The following is my recollection of last week’s parish council meeting:

  • Only four councillors attended: Councillors Shoults, Bartley, Reece and myself. The others sent their apologies.
  • The council agreed to approve the Neighbourhood Plan and to send it to Ashford Borough Council (ABC) for the next stage on its journey towards becoming a statutory document. We are still hoping that it will get to referendum before the end of 2015.
  • The key thing that has been changed is the wording of the policy on WYE3, to allow for more flexibility and a variety of uses for the old college buildings, including commercial and residential – just in case the Free School is unable to move in for any reason. This change was made on the advice of ABC.
  • Councillor Bartley drew councillors’ attention to the eligibility rules for Local Needs Housing. Currently communities can only apply for local needs housing if they have a population under 3,000. With Wye’s population currently just over 2,000, it was something that he felt we should be aware of.
  • The council discussed the Free School’s application for an extension on the lease of the Kempe Centre. Discussion focused on the need to find a permanent home for the school, and the likelihood that extension to 2018 will result in portakabin classrooms being set up in the school playground. The clerk was going to find out from ABC if we had more time to consider this issue.
  • An Our Place Wye project meeting is being arranged for midday on June 18. This meeting will include the key stakeholders (See here for details), and any interested villagers. Please contact Vinny McLean (vinnymclean at to express interest in attending. The meeting will be addressed by Emma Hanson, head of strategic commissioning at Kent County Council.
  • Councillor Bartley reported that Ashford Housing had come on board with the Our Place project and could be added to the list of partner organisations.
  • Kent County Council have won funding from central government for a scheme entitled “Doing Things Differently in Neighbourhoods” (Parish headlines 27 mentioned the application). The two neighbourhoods which the council are focusing on are Wye and Newington (on the outskirts of Ramsgate). Recruitment of a KCC officer to run this process has just taken place. Councillor Bartley reported that he had been on the interview panel, and that it had been decided to recruit one and a half individuals for the role. While he could not be specific about who had been recruited at this stage, he said that there had been one outstanding candidate who was familiar with Wye, and another who lived very close to Newington.
  • Concern was expressed that the defibrillator which the previous council had agreed to buy for the community, had still not been ordered. The clerk agreed to process the order as soon as she could.
  • The community warden (Richard Sinden) reported in changes to his role. He explained that, as a community warden, he was now going to have to cover a larger area, to include Godmersham and Chilham. He said that he was likely to do two mornings a week in these areas (mainly in Chilham). We asked him about his working hours. He said that he could work weekends but only if he was asked quite a while in advance. Councillor Reece asked him to find out if he could be available for the Village Hall fayre on Saturday July 18.
  • The community warden also told councillors about his new role as ‘village agent’. He said that he’d attended a meeting at Luckley House and had discussed with residents what sort of help they required. Mention had been made of a community eating place, better communications and many of the things which have already been documented in the Our Place project. Councillors talked about how information gathered by Richard was going to be collated and used to support new initiatives.
  • Not discussed at the meeting but relevant nonetheless: sheep shearing open evening at the Wye Community Farm on Monday night (from 5.30 at Brook Agricultural Museum), and a bike ride next Saturday to visit 10 heritage trees in the area. Please see poster below.wyedowns

About jasperbouverie

I am Jasper Bouverie. I have two blogs: which is about promoting sustainability in the village of Wye in Kent (and beyond); and which I will fill with short films dedicated to promoting social and environmental awareness and change. Find me on Twitter: funderfilms and finelinej
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