This Blog contains contributions from members of Eynsford Parish Council. Any opinions expressed are their own, not necessarily representative of other councillors.
Previous posts (up to December 2014) were made by ex-Chairman, Clive Stanyon.
Author: Theresa Durrant | Date: 4th April 2019
It was great to see residents attending the recent Annual Parish Meeting (APM) held on the 28th March at St Martins Church. Far from being a 'stuffy affair' there was quite a vibrant atmosphere as residents had the opportunity to discuss their concerns within the village with their local councillors.
Sarah Boyle, Chairperson for the Parish Council, introduced members of the council and highlighted just some of the projects that councillors have been working on during the past twelve months, such as;
All of which, is in addition to responding to planning applications, maintaining opening spaces and recreation areas and liaising with third parties such as Kent Highways, KCC and SDC over various issues.
Alongside the Parish Council, the meeting was well attended by various organisations such the Citizens Advice Bureau, Kent Air Ambulance, Kent Fire & Rescue Service, the Village Society, Farningham & Eynsford History Society, Eynsford Village Hall project committee and our local PSCO. We can't thank the volunteers enough for giving up their free time to come along and tell us more about what they do. Clerks and councillors alike, also took the opportunity of raising residents concerns about an increase in crime with the PSCO.
The APM was also a wonderful opportunity to present Sally Coston with her Community Award for her outstanding contribution to the village over the last 26 years. The award was presented by Chairman, Cllr Sarah Barker, of the Kent Association of Local Councils (KALC). Just hearing the list of accomplishments and projects that Sally has been part of was exhausting and judging by the smile on her face, I would say that the award was very much appreciated.
Whilst the APM does have to follow a fairly formal structure, the parish council has tried to keep precedings as informal as possible, with some light refreshments and good conversation. However, we always welcome thoughts from residents on how the meeting can be improved, to ensure we attract as many attendees as possible, as we are keen to hear thoughts and input from all demographics and groups within the village. If you do have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to email the parish council.
On a final note, we wish to thank the Clerks, Holly and Naomi, for their hard work in organising the meeting.
Author: Phil Ward | Date: 12th February 2019
On 2nd May, Eynsford parishioners may be asked to vote to elect an new Parish Council. I add the proviso, 'may', because if not enough candidates put themselves forward, there is a chance, that candidates will be automatically elected without a vote, an uncontested election. Having been a beneficiary of an uncontested election, I still can't help but feel it's a slightly unsatisfactory outcome.
In the coming weeks, you may see articles asking people to consider standing for election; I would encourage you to do so. From my experience, serving your community in this way is extremely rewarding. Even if your achievements sometimes go unnoticed, you know you are making a real difference to the well-being of your community and helping shape its future. Your political leaning is unimportant, but what does matter is your commitment to serving your friends and neighbours as part of a team. If you want to know more check out the link below...
Author: Theresa Durrant | Date: 24th September 2018
The potential development of the Pedham Place site, has been without doubt one of the most talked about subjects over recent weeks, but it does not look like the conversation will end anytime soon, as the final version of the Local Plan is not set to be formally adopted by Sevenoaks District Council until late 2019.
After attending one of the recent consultation meetings, held at both Eynsford and Farningham's village halls, I was staggered by the number of residents who attended to either provide their support or voice their objections over the proposed development of this site. Whilst I admired the way the Sevenoaks District Council representatives remained relatively calm, under what was at times ferocious questioning by members of the public, I was disappointed by the lack of information to hand. Any line of questioning I pursued about the development with the representatives, was met with reference to one of many online consultation documents that weren't available at the meeting. In my personal opinion, I feel that more could have been done by Sevenoaks District Council to raise awareness about the consultation much earlier in the process, particularly given that a large proportion of our residents do not have access to social media, thereby giving them more time to consider the proposals in more detail for what is a significantly large development proposal with far reaching impact on the surrounding area.
It would also seem that Sevenoaks District Council are struggling under the volume of comments and concerns being raised by residents and various organisations, as despite the draft consultation being closed on their website, they are still processing comments made prior to the deadline date.
Now that the consultation has closed, I have taken some time to read through many of the comments online, and it would appear that the vast majority of residents who responded are against the site being considered for development. Organisations that have also voiced their objections include; Swanley Town Council, Kent Downs AONB and many of the surrounding parish councils, of which Eynsford is one of them. Many of you objected against the potential loss of AONB land; that the land did not fit the green belt 'exceptional circumstances' criteria, along with concerns over the detrimental impact on infrastructure, such as; medical and social care services, emergency services, schools, traffic and road congestion and the lack of adequate utilities, which was also raised as a major concern by Thames Water.
Unfortunately, the fate of Pedham Place is far from being decided yet, as the Planning Policy Team at Sevenoaks District Council, will now spend the next few months considering all comments, with the aim of publishing the final version of the Local Plan by the end of 2018, which will in turn be submitted to the Government’s Planning Inspector around Spring 2019.
It will be down to the Planning Policy Team to decide if the final version of the plan, may or may not include the Pedham Place site. If they do decide that the site should remain in the final version of the plan, then there will be further opportunity for members of the public and developers to have their say, during a public examination and a further six week consultation period, details of which will be available on the Sevenoaks District Council website closer to the examination date.