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Parish Council update: July 2021

Lenham Parish Office

Work is underway to prepare the new Parish Office for use, the observant amongst you will have noticed the new sign in the window, some of the building is getting a “refresh” in decorative terms while the final safety checks and updates are scheduled and will take place early July.

We will be in a position to hold a “soft opening” the Parish Office to the public during the second half of July, so from week commencing 19 July 2021 the Parish Office will be open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00h - 13:00h. If you wish to speak to the Parish Clerk, please ring the door bell and you will be admitted.

It would be appreciated if, for the time being, visitors to the Parish Office would continue to wear masks when entering the building.

Once open the Parish Office will be the base for the Clerk and the Responsible Finance Officer and you will be able to arrange to meet Parish Councillors there. As we all get used to this new facility the number of services available from it will increase.

Lenham Neighbourhood Plan

The Lenham Neighbourhood Plan will formally become part of the Maidstone Local Plan when it goes to full council at Maidstone this month.

The Lenham Neighbourhood Plan has already successfully supported a refusal for a development of 16 houses at the former Lenham Sandpit which went to appeal in June. The Inspector taking the appeal against the decision to turn down the proposal quoted the Neighbourhood Plan several times in his summary noting that unsustainable development in the countryside is not supported in the Neighbourhood Plan. This was an important first test of the Neighbourhood Plan which it passed with flying colours, this decision sets a precedent which the Parish Council will have no hesitation reminding the planners at Maidstone should that need arise.

Maidstone Local Plan review / Heathlands “Garden Community”

Maidstone Borough Council has delayed the consultation on its reviewed Local Plan proposal until October / November of this year. We were originally told to expect it during July, which would have buried it in the holiday season, so the delay deals with that point if raising others in the process.

The Borough Council continues to pursue its proposal for what is now called a “Public Sector led Garden Community”: a new version of the so-called Masterplan has not been released, as we were told it would be in April, and we understand that it won’t now enter the public realm until it forms part of the review of the Maidstone Local Plan  which will be released into the public domain for consultation in October / November 2021.

The main news on the Heathlands proposal is that the Chief Executive of MBC has now confirmed that a new motorway junction is no longer part of the Heathlands proposition. While I don’t think any of us ever thought there would be a new junction or a new station on HS1, both of those initial ideas have now been ruled out.

The plan will now focus on trying to engage with Network Rail to provide a dedicated railway station, referred to as a “halt” for the development. As usual, details relating to this are few and vague. Both Maidstone Council and Network Rail have been formally approached to try and get more detail, both declined to comment citing that the plan was still in “the development phase” and therefore may change.

The Parish Council has and will continue to support the local resident’s group, Save Our Heath Lands (SOHL), in their opposition to the "Heathlands" proposal, we continue to make it very clear to Maidstone Borough Council this is not a proposal we will accept. 

Parish Council Meetings

From July the Parish Council resumes meeting in person, the agenda for the Council meeting on 7 July is published as usual. Anyone wishing to attend the July Council meeting should inform the Parish Clerk as we will be operating under COVID-secure regulations until these change on 19 July, thereafter we will be observing the requirements at the Lenham Community Centre.

There will be no Parish Council meeting in August although the committees will continue to meet. The next Parish Council meeting will be Wednesday 1 September, 19:30h at the Lenham Community Centre.

 

Cllr John Britt (Lenham South)

Chair: Lenham Parish Council

 

Published agendas will be available here

 

What does Lenham Parish Council do?

Parish Councils are the tier of local government closest to the people. They are not linked to the church in any way. All Parish Councillors are volunteers who dedicate their free time to enhancing their Parish as best they can by utilising their individual skills and experience.

The responsibilities of Lenham Parish Council include looking after open spaces, such as the William Pitt field and Cemetery, maintaining playgrounds and other amenities, providing Maidstone Borough Council with a view on planning applications within the Parish and undertaking projects to benefit the Parish.

 

Our Mission Statement 

The Lenham Parish Council (LPC) is dedicated to enhancing the lives of all the residents of Lenham and its surrounding hamlets. LPC aims to maintain and protect the Parish environment and amenities. LPC strives to be pro-active in identifying and completing projects, large and small, that will benefit the Parish as a whole, with value for money always being sought. LPC aims to help keep Lenham Parish a unique and special place for residents and visitors alike.

 

Meet Our Councillors

Councillor Personal Details Responsibilities

Cllr. John Britt (South Ward)

Tel.07973 207521

john@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Parish Council Chairman Chairman of Finance & General Purposes. Planning and Implementation Committee member. Hamlets, Health & Welfare, Emergency Plan / Co-ordination, Communications, Youth Work Liaison, Cross maintenance.

Cllr. Alastair Walmsley (North ward)

Tel. 01622 859032 

alastair@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Vice Chairman of the Parish Council.

Chairman of Planning and Implementation Committee. Finance & General Purposes Committee member. Highways & Speed Indicator. Allotment liaison.

Cllr. Michael Ballard (North Ward)

Tel. 01622 851409 Mob. 07780 665996 

michael@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Douglas Alms Houses Trustee. Transport South East trains. WCs project.

Cllr. Michael Cockett (North Ward)

Tel. 01622 858422 

mike@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Planning and Implementation Committee member. Finance & General Purposes Committee member. Lenham Meadows Trust. CPRE Representative. Web-site co-ordinator. Communications.

Cllr David Garland (North Ward)

david@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk 

Mob: 07801371004

Finance and General Purposes Committee member, S106/CIL monies Representative, Maidstone Road car park, WC project.

Cllr. Kate Hammond (South Ward)

Mob. 07925 606236 

kate@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

KALC Maidstone Area Representative. Hamlets, Save our Heathlands (SOHL) Representative.

Cllr Steve Heeley (South Ward)

Mob: 07791 694073

steve@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk 

Hamlets, Save Our Heathlands (SOHL) Rep.

Cllr. Mike Lowe (North Ward)

Mob. 07841123123 

mike.lowe@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Play facilities risk assessment & maintenance / installation of new play equipment. Planning and Implementation Committee Member. FC & Sports liaison.

Cllr. Marino Michaelas (North Ward)

Tel 01622 850658 Mob. 07827 016534 

marino@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

CCTV, Parking, Business Link Representative. Speed watch & CCTV equipment keeper. WCs Project

Cllr. Nick Osborne (North Ward)

Tel. 01622 859069 Mob. 07900 585733 

nick@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Finance & General Purposes Committee member. Planning and Implementation Committee member. Picnic site, Nursery project, Cross maintenance, Christmas Lighting. Lenham Meadows Trust.

Cllr. Andy Ratcliffe (South Ward)

andy@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Finance & General Purposes Committee member. Planning and Implementation Committee Member. Hamlets, Nursery project, Parking, Representative. WCs project. Communications.

Council Officers:

Parish Clerk: Lisa Westcott

Contact details Email: clerk@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk            Telephone: 01622 829034

Registered office: 1A High Street, Lenham, Kent ME17 2QD Open: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10:00h - 13:00h.

Responsible Financial Officer: Mr James Bate

Contact details Email: rfo@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk