Chairman’s Report 2013/14

(Given by Cllr Vera Hovenden at the 2014 Annual Parish Meeting on May 1st 2014)

This year has been a busy one, with the formation of Working Parties who have worked extremely hard, and brought many items to the table to be discussed.

Changes have taken place in the meadow, with regular mowing and hedge cutting leading to a neat, useable area.  Unfortunately the lease that we have inherited means that we have difficulties achieving our remit to use the land for recreational purposes because of the freeholder’s lack of willingness to give permission for items that we have requested.

Nevertheless, many things have been achieved, many meetings attended and the profile of this Council within Thanet and Kent has been raised. We are working with other Parish Council’s to:

1.   investigate how the bus service serves us, and how it may be improved

2.   look at emergency planning

3.   maintain the areas previously maintained by Thanet District Council

Members of this Council have attended training sessions and meetings with Planning Officers and advisers, as we negotiate ways to improve the quality of life in our Parish.

We held a public meeting, where the public showed their interest in carrying out a Neighbourhood Plan. The area for this has been out for consultation and has been approved. Now the real work needs to start!

All of our Policies are up to date, and we have a structured finance policy.

We have commented on local planning applications and organized the placement of a bench in Canterbury Road West. Plastic mesh is soon to be placed across the Meadow, along the line of the definitive route of the footpath.  This is different from the current route, by 11 metres at the South Eastern end, and a gap has been made in the hedge ready for this work.

A grant has been received via our two County Councillors, Cllr Martin Heale and Cllr. Trevor Shonk, for two picnic benches which are soon to be placed in the Meadow. We hope these are well used, especially on our planned Family Fun Day on 2nd August. This is two days before the commemoration of 100 years since the outbreak of World War I and we hope that it will be a day of fun, the like of which the War limited for 4 years.

Currently we have money held by Thanet District Council which is for maintenance of the Meadow.  This money source is due to finish in November 2017, so we are endeavouring to get things in order before that date.

We have ordered adult gym equipment to be placed in the Recreation Ground tomorrow. We had hoped to position this near to the new picnic benches, but this has not been possible.  However, I am sure that many will find the new equipment a source of pleasure and a good form of recreation.

Cllr. Searle has given many hours of her time to sort the memorial trees, liaising with families and contractors to organise pruning, barriers and identification labels.  She is also the Web Master and our village web site is top notch! Sincere thanks are extended to Cllr. Searle for all of her efforts.  Cllr Wendholt has been a great support and listener as Vice Chairman, besides his role as Chairman of the Meadow Working Party, organizing the ordering and placement of the picnic benches.  Thank you, Cllr. Wendholt.  Cllr. Lyon hit the ground running when she joined the Council and has added greatly to the working parties of which she is a member.  She also talks to many as she walks her dog, Alfie, and brings news and ideas to the table.  Cllr.Ratnasingham has attended TAC and TRRG meetings on behalf of the Council and takes active part in the Working parties.  The same councillors have offered to attend the PCSO visits to the village, as a Parish Council surgery. These Councillors have shown what ‘team work’ can achieve.

Thank you to members of the public who contact the council via the meetings, telephone, web site or direct communication with our members.  We appreciate your interest, support and views.

We are fortunate to have an excellent clerk and RFO, who works extremely hard to keep us up to date, and is a true professional in the manner in which she works for this Council.    Her support to myself is invaluable, and I wish to convey our thanks to Ashley, for a job well done!

I have enjoyed my year as Chairman and greatly appreciate the support of my fellow councillors.  Thank you.


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