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Onlooker for October 2023

ONLOOKER

Ash Parish Council Meeting

This month I have combined the meetings from September and October.

The monthly meetings taking place at The Cartwright & Kelsey School was attended by several parishioners who contributed to a discussion regarding a number of topics which are covered later.

Appointment of Parish Clerks –At the October meeting the Parish Council was pleased to announce the appointments of Caroline Flynn and Chloe Wheatly as joint clerks who will share the roll. Caroline will be responsible for financial matters and Chloe for administration.

Green Bins – Cllr Trevor Bartlett on behalf of DDC informed the meeting of the new green bins to replace the green bags from April 2024. Health and Safety appeared to be the main driver of the change. All DDC residents using the current service will be contacted by letter informing them of the changes. The service will cost £58 for collection and an additional bin can be purchased for a one-off charge of £40. The collection fee will cover both bins.

Foster Care recruitment – Cllr Sue Chandler on behalf of KCC explained the need for new foster carers due to a shortage which is not limited to Kent but is a National concern. Sue also confirmed that whilst KCC is struggling to meet its financial budget the County is not close to bankruptcy as some of the media would have you believe!

Jobs Fair – A jobs fair in Dover on 12 October at Cruise Terminal 2 is being promoted with 800 jobs on offer.

DDC Grant Scheme – Grants in the immediate future will be based on the effects of the cost-living-crises.

Public Contributions:

September meeting:

  1. The pond on the Jack Foat Trust land has been an area of concern for sometime not the least being the centre of Anti-Social Behaviour. The pond contains a weed commonly known as “Parrot’s Feather”. This weed can affect the water of the Wingham river if transferred by dogs etc. Improvement works will take some time and Parishioners should be aware of the work being undertaken.
  2. A dangerous overhanging tree on the bypass has been reported to KCC and DDC. Parish council will follow this matter up.
  3. The new Head Teacher of St. Faiths School introduced herself to the council members and confirmed her attendance in the future on behalf of the school.

October meeting:

Neighbourhood Watch – A re- launch of the scheme was proposed by a resident of Collar Makers Green who stated that help will be needed. Watch this space!

Council Reports:

Environment – The matter of certain areas of the village need support and a working party was suggested. The installation of CCTV was raised and confirmed as being addressed particularly to cover The Rec next summer. Subsidence in the children’s playground is covered by the installer’s warranty and gym equipment repairs are being dealt with.

Allotments – Following an inspection in August it was resolved to serve notice on two plots that failed to maintain the standards expected and at the October meeting it was confirmed that the two plots in question will be vacated forthwith. Plots continue to be popular with the villagers as there are now 23 applicants on the waiting list. The council have stated that they are actively pursuing ways to reduce the list.

Biodiversity – The plan is make Ash Village a Wildlife Friendly Village and to achieve and maintain that status. The terms of the Neighbourhood Plan are to be continually reviewed and reinforced with both existing areas and new housing developments. Hills Court Wildlife Path was given as an example of the work undertaken with Chequer Lane path to follow with Bovis assisting. Encouragement to record biodiversity and raise awareness in the village must be a priority and there will a promotion to get the community involved in recording wildlife throughout the village. It is good to see that bird and bat boxes are in the process of being purchased for installation at various sites.

Speedwatch – Matters concerning speeding in the village and pavement parking were raised. There is support for a Speedwatch campaign to reduce speed in the village to 20mph. It was agreed to join the Speedwatch scheme. Consideration is being given to the engagement of a Traffic Management consultant volunteers are being sought to train and get the scheme underway.

Reporting Crime – Parishioners are requested to report crimes to the police as a matter of urgency following the spate of incidents over the summer.

D-Day 80 Celebrations – After discussions it was agreed a village fete in June would be a better option than to compete with other D Day celebrations of other villages who would be better prepared.

Maintenance of the hedge alongside the Rec in Queens Road will be subject to quotes and a decision at the next meeting alongside that of the removal of the fallen treein Weddington Lane.

And Finally,

Erection of the village Xmas Tree (in Pound Corner) is hoped to coincide with the launch of this year’s Advent Window Trail.