Ongoing Parish Council Work


Ongoing PC Works
November 2017

Dear Residents,

In order to provide up to date information on the various projects the Parish Council is working on, I shall be sending round this brief report monthly, in the two weeks between PC meetings. Further updates can be obtained via the Parish Council Minutes available on the website.

Whilst not all projects will have new information each time (depending on whether progress has been made) I hope this will serve to give you a better idea of how tasks are progressing.

Kind regards,

Chantal Brooks
Brenchley Parish Council
01892 723586

Postbox in Matfield
The existing postbox remains in use for the time being. Royal Mail have been provided with confirmation of a new site closeby and have been asked again to confirm when this will be agreed.

Patching work to roads
Kent County Council have confirmed that work is being carried out on Pearsons Green Road, Cryalls Road and Tong Road.

Road markings at junction with Maidstone Road
A request to repaint the road markings on the junction outside the Wheelwrights Pub has been made with KCC.

Overhanging Trees in Maycotts Lane
KCC have cut back these trees with a tidy up of the resulting debris.

Drying Ground - Tree
The new tree has now been planted on higher ground.

Refurb of playing equipment
A new rope for the climber and bolts to repair the rockers have been obtained, to be fitted in the coming weeks.

Christmas Lights
Lights have been ordered, the cherry picker arranged, and will be going up in the next week or so around the parish, a tree will be sited outside Matfield Pavilion.

Matfield Pond
It will not have escaped anyone's notice that Matfield Pond remains in need of some TLC. I have been working hard on this since I became Clerk in May and would like to outline where we are:

~ May: The Environment Agency visited the site and agreed the proportion of the bogbean and lilies that could be removed.
~ June: The Contractor, Complete Weed Control, provided a quote and timeline for the work to kill the plants; the Parish Council considered the costs and likely outcome and approved this work.
~ July: Herbicide was injected into the roots of the bogbean and lilies and the foliage was removed to make removal of the roots easier. After a week, a boat went into the water with the aim of pulling out the root system. Unfortunately it transpired that the roots were silt-bound and therefore it was not possible to remove them.
~ August: A specialist contractor was found who attended a meeting with Complete Weed Control, the Clerk and Cllr. Wickham to discuss possible ways to remedy the situation including removal, dispersal around the pond and bunding.
~ September: A quote for £19k was received for this work, the main costs being in the disposal of the silt. As an alternative was clearly needed, the Clerk contacted Kent High Weald Partnership who manage the Cinderhill Reserve on behalf of the PC and a meeting was held. KHWP provided advice on sites within Cinderhill that may be suitable for a dump of the silt from Matfield Pond. The Clerk contacted TWBC, from whom the PC leases Cinderhill, to discuss the possibility of the placing of the silt on the reserve. Unfortunately this was declined.
~ October: A local farmer agreed to consider putting the silt on his farmland A second contractor was located and a further meeting was held with a sample of the pond water being taken. This was sent to a specialist laboratory for testing for invasive species, chemicals and any other concerns that may prevent the silt being removed.
~ November: The report was received (a long list of ingredients contained in the pond!) and a layman's translation requested. This was received ten days ago and it confirms that there are no undesirable constituents in the water.

Current status: The report from the testing laboratory states that "The removal and disposal of the silt (pond sludge) from the Village Pond, which is considered a waste by virtue of its removal, will be the subject either of a Waste Exemption or an Environmental Permit". This has been applied for.

Costs so far have been in the region of £3k with twice that amount likely to be required to remove the silt bank. This amount has already been budgeted for in the financial year 2017/18 and it is hoped that the work will be completed, weather permitting, early in the New Year.

Any questions anyone has please do not hesitate to contact me.