Public Consultation - Bus Service 404 / 405
I wish to make you aware of a Public Consultation exercise that has launched today in respect of bus service 404 / 405 which operates; Edenbridge – Ide Hill – Sevenoaks – Ivy Hatch – Shipbourne - Plaxtol. The proposals have been developed in conjunction with Go Coach and seek to materialise a reduction in the subsidy provided by the County Council to support the service.
The consultation opened today and will run until 19th December. For further information and to submit a response please visit: kent.gov.uk/404busserviceconsultation
Please find attached a briefing note and the full consultation document for your information and to assist with any support that you can provide in circulating this to a wider audience. Should you have any immediate questions then please contact the Public Transport Department at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online Response Form
Comments can be submitted online by completing a response form or by emailing email@example.com or in writing to Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, Local Plans Team, Gibson Building, Gibson Drive, Kings Hill, West Malling ME19 4LZ.
All comments must be submitted by 4pm on Monday
12 November 2018.del> ** now extended to 19 November 2018.**
Borough Green Garden City Site
TMBC's Draft Local Plan proposes 3000 houses in the valley between Borough Green and Wrotham, including the provision of a "Relief Road" from Darkhill roundabout at Ightham, to the A20 at Nepicar. This number of houses is 40% of the total TMBC requirement for housing needs as determined by government in the current Local Plan.
A Public Consultation begins on 1st October for 6 weeks, and everyone is urged to write to express their views. Any correspondence should use the title above as a header; a list of possible topics for comment are detailed below. It is important to comment within this time frame, as County Councillor Rayner emphasises in his October Magazine letter.
Loss of Metropolitan Green belt: the whole site is Metropolitan Green Belt and needs Exceptional Circumstances to allow development.
North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: TMBC intend to build right to the boundary of the AONB at Ightham potentially creating a more urban landscape.
Traffic: In addition to the obvious increase in traffic generated by an extra 3000 houses, there will be 10-15 years of accelerated sand extraction and landfill, plus construction traffic, all using the existing A25 and A227 through Ightham if a Relief Road is not completed before house construction starts.
Transport and Travel: Trains and bus routes are already failing to cope with current demand with no plans for further expansion of the public transport infrastructure.
Air Quality: Pollution levels in Borough Green in 2014 were high enough that an Air Quality Management Area was declared, which should limit development. The new development and its traffic will increase pollution levels.
Water Supplies: The proposed new development will be take place over the Local Aquifer, risking pollution of our sole drinking water supply Destroying Rural Life: our environment is a collection of small rural villages, but this scheme will potentially create an urban area the size of Tonbridge.
Other Topics - Medical Facilities, Schools and other infrastructure, Contaminated historic landfills after years of local quarrying.
Write to: Local Plan Consultation, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, Gibson Building Kingshill ME19 4LX
More info at www.boroughgreen-news.com, your own Parish Council website, or https://www.tmbc.gov.uk/services/planning-and-development/planning/planning-local-plans
Ightham Parish Council position as stated in the July 2018 parish council meeting minutes: Ightham PC will support the Parish Alliance of Wrotham, Platt and Borough Green by donating £16,000 towards the joint funding to employ professional advisors to help formulate a co-ordinated response to the Planning Consultation. Input will be required from Highway Engineers, Planning Consultants and Minerals Experts amongst others.
Cllr Bate from Shipbourne Parish Council, is hugely experienced in planning and will talk to local parishes, including Ightham, about the most effective ways of responding to the Consultation. We would strongly encourage Ightham residents to attend the next Ightham Parish Council meeting on Tuesday 16 th October, 7.30 pm in Ightham Village Hall where they will have the opportunity to ask questions about the proposed new development and the way the Planning Consultation will work.
Reuthe's, the Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks
Reuthe’s in Seal Chart, Sevenoaks, has opened its gates after months of renovation work to the historic gardens. Reuthe’s are the Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks, an acclaimed plant nursery founded in 1902 by a German plant hunter, set in 11 acres of ancient woodland, part of the horticultural miracle that is the Green Sand Ridge in the Weald of Kent.
Tuesday - Saturday | 8.30am-4.30pm
Sevenoaks Road | Seal Chart | Kent | TN15 0HB
The historic site has been bought by local plantsman Oliver Schneider who is restoring the gardens, including a new café, to its former glory. In its heyday Reuthe’s won Gold 17 years’ in a row at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show.
Reuthe’s welcomes visitors to explore the woodland, jungle-like pathways and walks up through the Hidden Valley. Here they will find plants and trees so rare they are the only ones in this country and discover hidden pockets of wild mushrooms, wild garlic and blueberries. The family friendly site is fantastic to go exploring with children and well- behaved dogs. Entrance is free.
Reuthe’s is situated on a north-facing woodland on a gently sloping hill with acidic, sandy and free-draining soil, part of the Green Sand Ridge. The Lost Gardens offer ideal growing conditions for the 300 varieties of rhododendrons growing on site and other acid loving plants such as rare trees, shrubs, azaleas and camellias.
Oliver Schneider comments, “Mr Reuthe’s curiosity during those treacherous plant hunting expeditions to the Himalayas and China in the early 20 th century is the driving force of our specialist plant knowledge today. In the spirit of that adventure Reuthe’s is our Base Camp HQ and we’re thrilled to be open this Bank Holiday weekend for visitors to come explore the Lost Gardens of Sevenoaks.”
Base Camp Café powered by Birch’s
At Base Camp café there is a daily changing menu of grilled and chilled sandwiches, warm baked sausage rolls, fresh crumpets, seasonal soups and salads. There is Monmouth Coffee alongside cakes and bakes and a delicious Base Camp afternoon tea. For children there is an Explorer Pack which is a healthy and nutritious lunch plus a few non- edibles for entertainment. Base Camp will fuel your adventure and feed your soul. Everything is handmade using local ingredients, including many grown on site in the vegetable potager, such as salads and herbs. Reuthe’s honey is for sale and will soon be followed by seasonal jams and preserves.
A place for discovery and adventure
Reuthe’s journey began over 100 years ago when a young Jewish émigré, Mr Gustav Reuthe, left Germany in fear of his life. Driven by an insatiable curiosity for the exotic, Gustav embarked on dangerous plant hunting expeditions to China and the Himalayas. There, high in the snow-covered mountains, he discovered never seen before rhododendrons, azaeleas and other rare plant species. The plants that he brought home are thriving to this day in the nursery’s magical 11-acre gardens. Many specimens in the Lost Gardens is available to buy. Reuthe’s can arrange professional and careful delivery to anywhere in the UK and Europe. Costs are quoted per plant and order. A smaller number of potted plants are available to buy at the nursery and also by mail order.
For more information and images for Reuthe’s, an interview with Oliver Schneider or to arrange a press site visit please contact Hannah Blake at The Dining Room PR T: 07730 039361 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kent County Council’s ‘Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) Consultation’ launches Thursday 6 September 2018.
This consultation will help us deliver the Kent Waste Disposal Strategy and seeks views on the proposal to implement a charging policy for non-household waste materials including soil, rubble, hardcore and plasterboard, deposited at Kent HWRCs.
The 8 week consultation is available until Thursday 1 November 2018, and we would like to invite you to comment.
The consultation questionnaire and supporting documents can be found at www.kent.gov.uk/wasteconsultation
Your views are important to us and we look forward to receiving your comments.
Kent Carers Matter
1 in 9 adults (151,000 people) in Kent are Carers, looking after a family member, partner, friend or neighbour who due to physical or mental illness, disability, age related difficulties or addiction cannot cope without their support. Being a Carer can be a positive experience but it can also be challenging and exhausting, which can impact on a Carer’s mental and physical health or well-being. Five Carer organisations in Kent (Carers FIRST, Carers’ Support – Ashford, Shepway, Swale, Carers’ Support – Canterbury, Dover & Thanet, Crossroads Care Kent and Involve Kent) have joined together to launch Kent Carers Matters, a county-wide campaign to:
- - raise the profile of Carers in Kent
- - increase access to Carer services
- - support health and social care professionals to identify and refer Carers to services earlier
- - provide more opportunities for Carers to engage with and have their say about local and national issues that affect them
To find out how you can support Carers in your workforce see www.kentcarersmatter.co.uk/employers
Flood Risk Management Strategy (Local Strategy)
Kent County Council (KCC) has launched a consultation on the draft of its latest Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (Local Strategy). The Local Strategy sets out how KCC and our partners will work together to manage local flood risk (flooding from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses). The draft Local Strategy can be found on the consultation page www.kent.gov.uk/localfloodrisk, there is also a questionnaire to respond to this consultation.
We are also launching the Flood Risk to Communities documents, which are flood risk information documents that provide information about flood risk in each borough of Kent (though some are still to be uploaded). The documents give a summary of the following:
1- who does what to manage flood risk
2- who does what in a flood emergency
3- what plans and strategies there are to manage flood risk in that borough
4- a description of the key flood risks in the area
These documents cover all forms of flooding and provide links for more information. The Flood Risk to Communities documents can be found here http://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-council/strategies-and-policies/environment-waste-and-planning-policies/flooding-and-drainage-policies/flood-risk-to-communities, there is also a link on the Local Strategy consultation page.
We are also developing a website to provide more information on flood risk management and are gathering views on what could be included though a survey. There is a link to the survey on the Local Strategy consultation page or it can be found directly here https://kentcc.firmstep.com/default.aspx/RenderForm/?F.Name=PFwLHFyoT4z&HideToolbar=1
Arriva Thameside Bus Network effective from the 3rd September
Housing white paper
Below is the link for anyone wishing to comment on the Housing white paper that Councillor Robin Betts (Ightham, Wrotham & Stansted) reported on recently. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/housing-white-paper
Invitation to join the Flood Action Group
Are you concerned about your flood risk? Would you like to be part of a local Flood Action Group in Ightham, working together to reduce flooding? If yes, you are warmly invited to join the National Flood Forum to discuss how we can support you in Ightham.
If anyone would like to be part of the Flood Action Group in Ightham, please contact email@example.com.
Alan Ball Award - Ightham at the Crossroads
We are please to announce that Ightham at the Crossroads, by Jean Stirk and David Williams, (Ightham Parish Council) has won the Alan Ball Award 2016 for a hard copy Local History publication. The judges thought it was an excellent, informative and well-illustrated publication and also reflected the spirit of the award through the participation of local people in addition to the local authors. Many congratulations, the award is richly deserved.
Ightham: At the Crossroads
The book may be purchased from Sevenoaks Bookshop or direct from David Williams for collection or by post. Red Court, Woodland Rise, Seal, Sevenoaks TN15 0JB email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 01732 764068
Available at £16 per copy + UK p&p £4, if required*. A companion CD containing a full index of the book and transcriptions of parish records, census returns, trade directories and more is also available at £10, post free. For direct sales, please send cheques payable to Ightham History Project to David Williams or make a direct bank transfer to Ightham History Project; Sort code 40-40-32; Account no 41561065 and email David to let him know that you have done so.
On all correspondence please include your name, address, email address and telephone number. * for overseas p&p, please contact David.
From your Member of Parliament - Broadband Speeds
Enough is enough. I’ve had so many complaints about rubbish broadband in every part of our community, and even brought a few myself. Whether it’s a rural village like here in Ightham, or a thriving economic hub like Kings Hill, our broadband desperately needs to improve. That’s why I'm hosting a public meeting with various of the providers to find solutions. I will be joined by senior representatives of BT and others to explain what they are doing to improve our speeds. This is a chance for them to respond to the challenges that we face. I’ve spoken a lot about poor broadband speeds across our villages but the situation in many is still not improving. That’s why I’m holding this meeting. Broadband is as important to modern day life as electricity. We rely on it for so much of our lives, both work and entertainment.
The meeting will be at Leybourne Village Hall on Friday 24 March and complimentary refreshments will be provided on arrival. If you suffer from slow speeds, or if you know someone who does, then please come along. I want every provider to know how much this impacts our lives. I’d be grateful if you could e-mail me on email@example.com or call my office on 01732 441563 if you can attend.
J5Slips November 2016 update
East Facing Slips at an appropriate location in the vicinity of J5 M25 Sevenoaks
The campaign to see the re-instatement of the missing Sevenoaks slip roads in the vicinity of M25 J5 has taken another positive step forward for our West Kent community with the final publication the ‘Economic Feasibility Study’. Our long campaign for Slip Roads at an appropriate location in the vicinity of J5 M25 Sevenoaks to take 1000s of vehicles a day out of our villages needs the support of this publication. UK Government will put money into schemes that will generate economic development and whereby EU legislation on air quality is likely to result in huge fines imposed on the UK for non-mitigation of diesel generated NO2 and PM2.5 air pollution.
Local Parish Councils, TMBC and KCC all contributed to engage our consultants SYSTRA into forecasting the future as to how these long overdue slip roads would improve the quality of our lives, safety, environment and economy. The study provided an independent review considering both qualitative and quantitative analysis and assessment of potential wider economic benefits. The report can be summarised as an investment that could be classified as ‘medium value for money’ with a benefit to cost ratio of 1.76
This has been seen as positive news taking into account that within the report there was little realisation and recognition of the huge amount of anticipated future infrastructure development planned for the South East over the coming years. There was no positive consideration in the report for the incredible impact on West Kent from the planned Lower Thames Crossing, London Airport 3 rd Runway Expansion, Paramount London Disney World, Southern Ports Expansion programme, Cross rail 1 and 2 schemes, HS2 development, European business increase and South East housing development. When one adds these national schemas into the South East infrastructure development plan the slip road schema has to be an absolutely critical piece of the jigsaw in the national traffic plan at a cost of peanuts that will provide a return on investment of huge benefit.
Health wise, the study recognised a most positive impact in air quality improvement within the villages from the re- instatement of the slip roads coupled with a huge improvement in the environment generally. The reduction of traffic from our roads due to the slip roads would also significantly improve the current safety risk to pedestrians and cyclists.
As for the wider economic benefit this would notably include the generation of controlled and sustainable housing development through ‘Dependent housing’ whereby improved transport schemes naturally enable recognisable housing development which in turn enables the use of employment land to generate employment and again improving connectivity to the labour market providing work for our people.
Finally, even without the anticipated South East future infrastructure development the Economic Feasibility Study concludes that ‘overall there appears to be an economic case for investment in the east facing slip roads at an appropriate location in the vicinity of J5 M25 Sevenoaks’. This statement has now been included in the ‘Highways England Route Strategies 2020-2025 consultation’. I have ensured that it is also included in the ‘KCC draft Local Transport Plan 4: Delivereing Growth without Gridlock 2016 – 2031’ which is currently out for consultation (see www.kent.gov.uk/localtransportplan).
We now have a sufficient economic case today aligned to the forecasted south east infrastructure development plan of tomorrow to take the slip roads campaign to the next stage with government – thanks to your continued support our case will eventually be recognised and approved for an overall improved quality of life for our folk in West Kent.
Residents Meeting - Flooding
If you were unable to attend the flood meeting but wish to be kept up to date or join a residents group, please email the parish clerk on Ightham.firstname.lastname@example.org
J5Slips and its impact on Ightham
Dear residents of Ightham within the West Kent Community.
Many residents of Ightham may not be familiar with the acronym J5Slips but they will be aware of the high volume of ‘rat – run’ traffic regularly passing through the village and the impact this has on safety to pedestrians and road users alike and the major but unseen problem of air quality particularly in the vicinity of the A25 and A227 stretches of the village. These issues are inextricably linked but sadly are shared by many other West Kent towns and villages.
J5Slips is an independent lobbying group, the objective of which is to achieve a significant improvement in the environmental conditions for the community in terms of health and safety and in particular air quality by, inter alia, building slip roads on the M25 at Junction 5. In essence the Group wishes to improve our environment bringing cleaner air to West Kent through growth without gridlock and thereby enhance the quality of life in the surrounding areas which includes Ightham.
About twenty five years ago when the M26 was built it was assumed, but as it turned out, quite wrongly that all its traffic would be able to exit at junction 5 to pick up the A21 and vice versa. The appropriate slip roads were not included and the problems this omission created have worsened considerably. Currently all areas along the A25, A227, A26 and A228 suffer from ever increasing volumes of traffic due to the fact that vehicles are unable to exit onto the A21 at Junction 5 where the M26 meets the M25. Freight and other vehicular traffic wishing to join the A21 invariably leave the M20 early and travel through local villages to reach their destination. The only alternative available to them is to stay on the motorway and exit at Junction 6 Godstone. They are therefore “forced” to short-cut through populated areas, past schools, shops and not least dwellings situated at the side of roads, many of which are often narrow and inherently dangerous.
Air pollution, particularly from diesel-powered vehicles is a serious health issue and many areas in West Kent including the A227 have air quality levels which exceed both UK, EU and World Health Organisation (W.H.O) safety targets. This problem could be ameliorated by building the slip roads at Junction 5 Sevenoaks as these would attract traffic away from the villages and at the same time make the roads just that little bit safer. There are obvious dangers when speeding vehicles short-cut through the village lanes and juggernauts pass through our village inches away from our pavements. Inevitably damage is or will be caused to our homes and the village infrastructure generally. The recent opening of the new hospital at Pembury has generated an increase in the level of emergency vehicles passing through Ightham and other villages on their way to or from Maidstone Hospital: a development which highlights the need for a supportive first class road infrastructure to which the J5 Slip (M26 / A21) roads would form an integral part.
The J5Slips Group has been instrumental in persuading Kent County Council and Highways England to carry out a ‘traffic - economic feasibility study’ of West Kent and, as mentioned, to enable the future construction of the “missing” slip roads to facilitate full connectivity of the M26 and the A21 at Junction 5 of the M25. It is a very laudable objective that merits everyone’s unconditional support. The J5Slips Group is a participating member of the Joint Parish Councils Traffic Consultative Group (Parishes within the Borough of Tonbridge and Malling) of which the Ightham Parish Council is an active member. It therefore requires the united and unequivocal support to this venture from everyone in the community.
Thanks to your support to the campaign for improving all our future lives in beautiful West Kent.
Tim Shaw – Local resident and Chair – J5-Slips.org
KCC Warden Volunteers - vacancy
On behalf of Kent County Council; Volunteer Support Warden vacancy
We are looking for someone who is enthusiastic, interested in their local community and enjoys engaging with people. You'll be friendly and happy to approach people. You'll be someone who is patient, a good listener and likes to make a difference to the people around you. You'll be keen to learn new skills. As a Volunteer Support Warden you'll work alongside the Community Warden getting to know your local community, making a difference to residents and creating resilient neighbourhoods.
The role will be challenging at times but rewarding and you'll be improving the well-being of the residents in your local area. You'll meet new people, learn new skills, gain valuable experience and provide important support to local residents.
We need volunteers in these areas:
- - Borough Green and Wrotham
- East Peckham
- Great Chart with Singleton
- Lower Halstow
- Paddock Wood
- Sutton Valence
- Swanscombe and Greenhithe
Overview of the role
You'll support Community Wardens by identifying issues and feeding back to organisations including Trading Standards and the Police. You'll be talking to local residents and liaising with organisations including Neighbourhood Watch, Victim Support and fire services. You'll engage with local groups and meetings providing advice on topical issues. You'll provide local residents with crime prevention materials and advice to reduce their fear of crime.
Training will be provided with on-going mentoring with a Community Warden. As a volunteer you will not have accredited powers or be expected to handle sensitive information.
Ideally we'd like you to give 5 hours a week but there is no minimum requirement.
Requirements of the role
You'll need to be over 18 years old and you will use your life experience to help you to help others.
Working knowledge of your local area. We will require a criminal record (DBS) check, but don't worry if you don't have one as we will arrange and pay for this for you.
You don't need to be a car driver for the role as you'll be located in the community.
You will need to have access to the internet to enable you to receive messages and information.
We'll provide you with a uniform and we'll cover mileage and incurred travel expenses.
Please go to the website for more information.
Change to bus service from the centre of the village to Bluewater, now every Tuesday
Tuesdays - Shopper bus service to Bluewater that starts in Ightham. It starts in the village at the bus stop outside the George & Dragon at 09:30 and takes approximately 45 minutes to get there. It runs via Culverstone & Meopham and then via the A2. It returns from Bluewater at 2pm. At the moment it runs every Wednesday but from the 14th of January it will run on Tuesdays instead of Wednesdays.
How Roadworks are Managed - A short guide from the KCC
This short guide explains how Kent manages work to the highway and the pipes and cables below
and above it. It covers the basic legislation and how quality of the finished work is monitored. The
guide explains how Kent works within national legislation to minimise the impact of road works.
Finding care is made easier in Kent
The new 2015/16 Kent Care Services Directory is now available. The Directory is packed with useful editorial that explains all available care options and includes comprehensive listings of care providers for residential care or care in your own home. There is also guidance on paying for care and what financial assistance is available from the Government.
Robert Chamberlain, Publisher of the Care Choices Directories, comments 'When choosing care you should be armed with the most up-to-date information to help you decide which kind of care is most suitable, who will provide it and how it is to be funded. The Care Services Directory is an invaluable source of information for anyone considering long term care'.
If you want to speak to someone about care options, funding, accessing services or other care-related questions you may have, call this directory’s free helpline on 0800 38 92 077. The friendly operators can give you more information, talk through any queries and provide you with a shortlist of care homes, in your chosen location, that meet specific care needs.
To receive a free copy of the 2015/16 Kent Care Services Directory simply call Care Choices on 01223 207770.
It is also available in e-book format with a spoken word option via www.carechoices.co.uk
Have a great winter - Not a rubbish one. Take your litter home with you!
NHS Stroke Services
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospitals jointly provide acute stroke care and rehabilitation for patients from West Kent and north East Sussex. Reviews have shown that similar to many other hospitals, locally and nationally, we can greatly improve stroke outcomes for our patients and reduce long-term disability.
Our hospital clinicians and GP leads are currently developing higher standards of care for every patient we see. It is our aim to ensure all patients have access to dedicated stroke teams and treatment 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We are involving our patients, the public and healthcare professionals in this important work over the coming months, using their knowledge and experience to help us build better stroke services. You can find out more about this online at www.mtw.nhs.uk
If you would like us to send you more information, or want to share your views and experiences with us on stroke care, to help shape these important improvements, you can:
Email us at: email@example.com
Write to us for free at:
Freepost RTKS – AKZZ - UCZZ Stroke Services, Room 118 Service Centre, Maidstone Hospital Hermitage Lane Maidstone, Kent ME16 9QQ
If you would like to speak to someone anonymously, you can contact Healthwatch Kent by telephone: 0808 801 0102 or email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on document above to enlarge or download the PDF.
What should I do in an Emergency? Advice on Flooding from KCC & the Kent Resilience Forum
Homes and businesses across Kent are being urged to make sure they are ready for flooding this year.
In order to help residents and employers prepare for flooding the Kent Resilience Forum – made up of rescue services and local authorities – has published a handbook: “What should I do in an emergency?” while Kent County Council has created a one-stop online information point at www.kent.gov.uk/flooding
View Kent Resilience Forum's booklet here >>
Ightham Village Defibrillator
A Defibrillator has now been installed on the outside wall by the main door to the Village Hall. It is available for use by any member of the public with or without training from Thursday 4th December. It will be registered with South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) so that if someone calls 999 about a possible heart attack they can direct the caller to the defibrillator. Please contact Sarah Huseyin, Parish Clerk via email@example.com if you would be interested in a small training group.
Highway drains help to keep water off the highway and make it safe for drivers and other road users. Kent Highways look after drains, ponds and lagoons, pumping stations and soakaways. They do not look after sewers, water leaks or ditches on private land. If you are concerned about flooding on a road make sure you let the right people know.
Calling All Young Footballers - your local team needs you!!
Borough Green Junior Football Club are looking for players of all ages - but in particular for our Under 10s teams next season where we have two teams entered into the Crowborough League. We train on Tuesday evenings on the Wrotham School 3G Floodlit pitch, and have Level 1 & 2 FA Qualified coaches - Please contact the club via email - secretaryBGJFC@btinternet.com - visit our website - http://www.boroughgreenjuniorfc.co.uk or contact Peter Donovan on 07956 381 071 for a chat, more information and to organise a taster session.