These is my recollection of the parish council meeting and the annual parish meeting last Thursday night.
- The council welcomed Stuart Tickle, a newly co-opted member.
- Kathy Roberts from Wye Ground Force made a presentation to the Council about a prospective permanent memorial to the airmen who flew from Bramble Lane airfield. This is already paid for and will be made of black granite. Kathy was requesting permission to site it on Churchfield Green, close to the Village sign, and was also asking for consideration be given to the felling of one tree.
- Don Thake criticised the planning decision that has permitted development behind 59 Bridge Street on the Twitten (the path linking Churchfield Way with Bridge Street). Councillor Shoults explained that everyone on the current council agreed that this was a poor decision but it had been made by Ashford planning after Wye parish council had objected on two separate occasions.
- Mr Thake also suggested that a list of parish meetings should be published on the parish council website, to enable better cooperation between different village bodies. He also said that he felt the current council needed better coordination and management.
- Councillor Mansfield submitted an allotment report. He said that every effort was being made to tidy the allotments and that he envisaged embarking on two major tasks a year. For the coming year he suggested removing the spoil heap on Churchfield and laying plastic mesh to improve parking facilities.
- Councillor Donovan expressed disappointment that Ashford Borough Council had failed to mend the roads in Wye as they had said they would. It was thought that this may have been due to rain at the appointed time – meaning that we’ve slipped to the back of the queue. The borough councillor is going to pursue the matter.
- Councillor Bartley made a report to the council on planning applications. Of particular note was an application for a barn conversion on Harville Farm, and an application to fell a dying ash tree on Scotton Street.
- The council discussed calling a public meeting on the Wye1 application. There was indecision about this however as it was felt that there were not so many issues as with Wye2.
Annual parish meeting
Village awards were presented as follows:
- Big Combe Challenge Plate for a person promoting community well being Trudi Field for starting the 2nd Wye Cub Scouts Pack, for arranging church fetes and a CPFC youth event, and helping to publicise the Neighbourhood Plan
- Scotton Cup for the person or organisation contributing most to the local environment Jane Burnham Allotments Clerk for the improvements in the PC’s allotments and loyalty and dedication to the cause
- Long Trophy for an organisation that has contributed most to the community Wye Heritage Centre for helping to preserve the heritage of Wye College and the College’s buildings and contents, and providing a community based centre and facility to do this.
- David Marriott Cup for Youth Endeavour Katie O’Hara for the inspirational way in which she has coped with a bad car crash three years ago, her use of social media to inspire others, and her commitment to Wye Youth Cinema Club.
- A special presentation of a bunch of flowers was made to Vinny McLean for all the work she has put into the soon-to-be-built Multi Use Games Area.
- Parish council chair Tony Shoults read his annual report on council business. In particular he focused on the Neighbourhood Plan which should be completed by April 2015
- Councillor Shoults also reported that the Imperial College Endowment Board had now approved the concept of Wye Free School occupying the grade 2 listed Edwardian college buildings. Now only ministerial approval was required prior to the go-ahead in September 2015
- Chair of the Free School Margaret Williams said how excited she was by the news. She reported that the Free School had had 378 applications for 90 places for September 2014, and was continuing to foster relations with organisations in the village.
- Councillor Shoults said that he had been having discussions with Imperial College about the Grade 1 listed college buildings. The parish council still hopes to bring these into community use and Councillor Shoults said that Imperial had been positive about the idea, and were open to the idea of setting up a village fund with a view to supporting the initiative. Councillor Shoults said that in no way was this initiative linked to the development on Wye3.
- Borough Councillor Ovenden made a a short report in which he detailed the grants that he’d made since his election two months ago: to the cubs, the Multi-use games area, Wye business association (to produce leaflets to aid walkers visiting Wye), and the village hall.
- County Councillor Andrew Wickham submitted a written report. He reported on the effects of the cuts at the county council, notably in relation to the Kent Freedom Pass (more expensive bus travel for teenagers), the idea of combining health and social care for the over-60s, and the ongoing scheme to switch off streetlights between midnight and five in the morning. He also reminded residents of his highways and community funds and would welcome applications.