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: 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.
Author: Theresa Durrant | Date: 1st May 2018
Data Protection and privacy laws have hit the headlines recently, following the controversy surrounding Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and how they have used and sold personal data. Up until now GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) is something that people may have heard about, but don't necessarily understand how or why it is one of the most significant changes that has happened around data privacy since 1998.
The original Data Protection Act came into play before the internet become what it is today and long before social media. Ownership of personal data very much belonged with the entity collecting the data, and in a nutshell, the new legislation aims to protect individuals and put the power of how personal data is used back into the hands of us, the data subject.
As the data subject your rights include;
Plus organisations must now ensure that any data that is no longer required, must automatically be deleted in line with their retention polices.
For those of you who may have read our recent newsletter, you will already know the parish council has been working towards ensuring they are fully compliant with GDPR. However, GDPR does not stop at putting a few processes in place, it is an ongoing mission to protect the personal data that we hold on individuals and to ensure that we are collecting it in a completely lawful manner, whilst preventing against data loss and breach.
The parish council may only hold limited amounts of personal data. Much of which is held to help the parish council fulfill its legal obligations, such as with tenants, or because it is in the public interest, but regardless of this, the parish council will still take the processing of personal data very seriously. Complacency towards data is not acceptable, and with this in mind, we aim to be fully transparent about the data that we may hold, along with with the purpose for holding it, all of which is reflected in our new Privacy Notice.
Behind the scenes all of the parish councils employees, councillor's and role holders will be undergoing training on data protection, as the responsibility for protecting data does not stop with the council it stops with the individuals working for and serving the council. And to add an additional layer of security, all councillor's will be adopting a professional email address.
If you have any questions or concerns about how your data is being used, you can contact the Parish Council at any time.
Cllr Theresa Durrant