PARISH HEADLINES – 23

These are my slightly tardy (and therefore fuzzy?) recollections of the parish council meeting on September 4:

  • wickhamThe county councillor Andrew Wickham attended and spoke about the transformation process at Kent County Council (brought on by having less money). He explained that officers were having to make difficult decisions in cutting services. Wherever possible they were trying to combine existing services and avoid duplication.
  • Councillor Shoults asked him about the Section 106 money – particularly the £130,000 which came with the Havillands development for primary school places but which we are told is now lodged at Kent County Council. He said that he’d look into it.
  • He was also asked whether the council was going to stop employing community wardens. He responded by saying that community wardens were very popular and that the council would have to tread very carefully.
  • Similarly with libraries. Some libraries are going to be closed which he acknowledged is a controversial decision. But he has seen a list and Wye isn’t on it.
  • He wasn’t aware of the Our Place initiative. Subsequent to the meeting I sent him a video.
  • The council were also addressed by representatives of Bacchus Partners who hope to develop the brickworks site to the right of the road in Naccolt as you travel away from Wye. They presented a scheme incorporating 8 units which is going to go to planning at Ashford Borough Council. They have carried out extensive consultation among Naccolt residents and have won much support – but are nevertheless aware that the scheme is contrary to ABC planning guidance.
  • Bacchus said that they’ve been looking for a group to maintain the wildlife area around the site. Kent Wildlife Trust has said that it isn’t interested. They will continue looking.
  • Councillor Shoults presented a report on the Neighbourhood Plan. He identified the following gaps in the plan: undertaking a parking survey for the village; completing work on well-being and community facilities; devising robust and justified policies; preparing proposals maps; finalising the consultation statement; completing the education section; drawing a boundary for the village; finalising community benefits list. The intention is still that the final draft should be presented to the council meeting in October.
  • Councillor Shoults said that there was a need for a public meeting to inform the village about WYE3. The timing of this meeting has still to be agreed.
  • Councillor Shoults also said that he’d welcome village input on the priorities for community spending – particularly with regard to Section 106 payments. To this end, he had presented the council with a report in August and was keen that it should be more widely distributed: 127c. NP section 106
  • There appears to have been no progress on the Withersdane site. Councillors discussed the possibility of visiting the PROMIS premises in Ham.
  • Some discussion was had about how the plan was going to be presented for referendum – as few would have time to read the full document that is emerging. One idea was to itemise policies in a shorter document and refer villagers to the full document if they wanted to see it.
  • Ashford have approved 25 houses on the WYE2 site. Councillor Shoults has written to the leader of Ashford Council to express disappointment that the emerging Neighbourhood Plan (which recommended 15 for this site) had been overlooked and that housing density was much greater than the village would have wished.
  • Councillor Shoults reported that there was at that time no date for WYE1 going to planning. Subsequent to the meeting we have heard that it will be heard on September 17.
  • A parking survey is being carried out in the village in September – with particular attention being focused on the areas around the schools, the station and the car park.
  • The council reviewed the extensive logic models for the Our Place project which had been drawn up by Dave Martin. Subsequent to the meeting, we have heard that the village has been allocated the full grant for the project (£30,000?) – one of only 20 in the country.
  • The council had written to Wye Ground Force suggesting a more formal working group relationship with the parish council – as this would help with insurance and accounting issues. The council noted the response from the chair Kathy Roberts saying that the group wished to maintain its independence from the council.
  • However she did say that two members of Ground Force would be happy to attend environment/community committee meetings.
    Community Warden Richard Sinden reported that the new Multi-use Games Area had been incredibly well used. He said that it has had an immediate beneficial effect on the teenage population of the village who use it regularly in the evenings. There has been a drop in anti-social behaviour in the village but obviously difficult to say for certain whether the two things are related.
  • As director of Funder Films, I reported that the company is still interested in making films with teenagers (and others?) about community events. However the hope is to set up a regular film-making workshop in the village rather than appeal for funds for individual projects. The project is evolving.

About jasperbouverie

I am Jasper Bouverie. I have two blogs: jasperbouverie.com which is about promoting sustainability in the village of Wye in Kent (and beyond); and FunderFilms.com which I will fill with short films dedicated to promoting social and environmental awareness and change. Find me on Twitter: funderfilms and finelinej
This entry was posted in Care, Children and Leisure, Communal space, Governance, Housing, Transport and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to PARISH HEADLINES – 23

  1. Pingback: PARISH HEADLINES - 23 | Gaia Gazette

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