Parish Council Report - October


Parish Council Report
October 2017



The View from the Pavilion (note by the PC Chairman)

You may have noted that the Parish Council has published a Strategic Statement , the purpose of which is to make clear what the priorities are for councillors over the next three years. In the eighteen months since the local election there have been several developments related to the work of the Council, some of which could only be guessed-at. We have now to engage with the reality of the preparation of the Borough Council’s Local Plan – and the significant issues it is generating, such as speculative development interest in the south of the parish. There is the work to be done in acting on the results of the Parish Plan Survey. And there are very real pressures in maintaining the community assets owned by the Council.

Thus, as we move towards the halfway-point of our four-year period of office, taking stock and planning ahead seems the sensible thing to do – that is why we have published the Strategic Statement. I trust that you will be in broad agreement with the priorities that we have identified, and that we may count on your support to help us address those priorities. If you haven’t already seen the document, it is available on the parish website and from the Clerk at (01892 723586).

One of the realities that we must address is using the preparation of the Local Plan to influence the scale, location, and quality of development that the parish will need to provide over the next twenty years or so. The Parish Council believes that the best means of doing that is through a Neighbourhood Plan (NP), and we have voted, unanimously, to initiate such a plan. You may have already seen my invitation to you, to seek your support for this initiative. I firmly believe that the NP offers the best opportunity to shape the future of the parish; your contribution will help make a success of it.

The first thing you can do to help is to support the designation of the whole of the parish as the NP area. You can do so via the Borough’s website, or by replying positively if consulted directly. I would also urge you to consider joining the Interim Steering Group (ISG) that is already working on laying the foundations for the NP. My colleagues Lynne Butler and Kevin Sparkhall would be delighted to hear from you. Part of the foundations being laid is the sourcing of expert help and advice; interviews are currently being held to select a suitable consultant. An initial public meeting that was scheduled for November 25th has been postponed until the new year, to give the ISG time to plan the meeting with the support of the successful consultants. We will let you know the new date, in good time.

Finally, I would like to make a direct appeal to those of you who will act as the ‘Champions’ for our Neighbourhood Plan. I know you are there – I can see you with your hands up – so take a step forward and join the ranks of our standard-bearers.

Chris Woodley,
Parish Council Chairman

Lynne Butler 01892 832579
Kevin Sparkhall 01892 722498

Other PC News

Noticeboards in Matfield
A new noticeboard will be erected outside Hammond's Butchers shortly, this will have covered doors for the Parish Council and for Community Notices.

Post-box in Matfield
The existing post-box remains in use for the time being. Royal Mail has been provided with confirmation of a new site close by and is considering the PC's request for a new box to maintain the facility in the village.

Matfield Green speed limit sign
A new 30mph sign has been erected outside Matfield Pavilion.
Potholes in Petteridge Lane
KCC has agreed to do some patching work in the larger potholes in Petteridge Lane.

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

Drying Ground tree
The site of the new tree has been agreed and it will be planted in the next few weeks.