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Chairman's Blog

Chairman's Blog


February 2017

Welcoming healthy communities


As 2017 gets in its stride, it’s heartening to see communities across the district making a great start to a happy and healthy new year, and with a wealth of amazing parks and countryside all around us, now is a good time to get out and keep active. 

Over the weekend, I was delighted to be invited to start the Deal Half Marathon for the Deal Tri, starting at the Betteshanger Country Park and winding around the quiet rural roads through the villages of Betteshanger, Sutton, Ripple, Langdon and Martin Mill. On 1 February, I was also very pleased to attend the Walkers are Welcome launch and reception for Dover, organised by Dover Town Council. 

Betteshanger Country Park is home to a Junior Parkrun event, running every week for youngsters aged between 4 to 14 years, (Sunday at 9am), which was set up following funding support from the South Kent Coast Local Children’s Partnership in 2016. Kearsney Abbey also hosts a Junior Parkrun every week, (Sunday at 9am), (for more information, please see the Leisure pages on the DDC website). These weekly events are free. Parkrun events are timed running events that are organised in parkland surroundings and encourage people of every ability to take part.


Investing in healthy communities


The Kearsney Parks themselves are set for a major restoration, and a new exhibition of plans for Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens was held in December and January, following the announcement of £3m Lottery funding for the parks.  For more details, please see the Kearsney Parks website. 

DDC is also moving forward with a commitment to deliver the district's new county standard, 8-lane competition swimming pool and leisure centre at Whitfield. Funding for the new centre has been approved, and a team of specialists has been appointed to develop the exciting £26m project.  For more information, see the Leisure Centre pages on the DDC website.


Helping our communities


We are also very pleased to continue to work closely with our communities to help and support them for the future.

Our congratulations go to the 29 different community groups across the area that benefited from over £22,000 funding from DDC in the recent round of our Community Grants Scheme. The latest successful grant applicants were announced in November, and included groups across the whole district, including £500 for the Sandwich Concert Band. We are also launching a new round of Neighbourhood Forum community meetings in the district, starting with a meeting focusing on Dover Town Centre at Dover Town Council offices on Wednesday 22 February from 6pm.  For more details, see the Neighbourhood Forum pages on the DDC website. 

We have also recently welcomed a new apprentice to our communities team, to support ongoing work to administer our successful Inspire Fund. The Inspire Fund is a unique package of support designed to help young people to realise their full potential.  The Fund was set up to provide funding support to help young people to create new friendships, introduce them to healthy lifestyles through sport, and open new doors into work with opportunities to learn new skills. The Fund can be used to help in a variety of areas, including sports, drama, training for employment and equipment. The fund is administered by DDC, working with a range of referral partners. We have helped more than 300 young people since the Fund was launched in spring 2016. For more details, please see the Inspire Fund pages or email


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