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Clerk

Denise Horswell
Parish Office
4 School Lane
Blean
Canterbury
Kent
CT2 9JA
Tel: 01227 470 200

 

Chairman

Barbara Flack
Blean Parish Office
4 School Lane
Blean
Canterbury
Kent
CT2 9JA
Tel:01227 470 200

OUR PCSO is: Matt Hand: Any problems with vandalism or anti-social behaviour please email: matthew.hand@kent.pnn.police.uk

POLICE For non-urgent matters call Kent Police on 101

To report a problem regarding street lights, potholes, overgrown vegetation etc please click on the link below to KCC http://www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/report-a-problem or phone 03000 418 181
Once reported, faults can be tracked by reference number, given at time of reporting, to see the status of the fault.

Welcome to the website of St. Cosmus and St. Damian in the Blean Parish Council.


  The Parish Council Office is open on Tuesdays and Fridays.


Parish Council meetings are usually on the 2nd Monday of each month except January and August.

The next meeting of the Parish Council is on Monday 11th September at 7.30pm.

Notice of the Conclusion of Audit 2016-2017

COMMUNITY GOVERNANCE REVIEW 

The first stage of formal consultation on Canterbury City Council’s Community Governance Review has now started. This is aimed at testing opinion on the different options and is also an opportunity to put forward alternative options for consideration.

The consultation starts today and will end on 8 October 2017. CCC are encouraging people to respond via the online questionnaire as the quickest and easiest way of getting involved, but there are many other ways in which residents and stakeholders can have their say:

• Contributing to the online consultation, where people can take part in the discussion and see what others are saying
• Picking up a paper copy of the consultation booklet and questionnaire from various locations across the district
• Emailing CCC at strategy@canterbury.gov.uk
• Writing to CCC at Community Governance Review (TPS), Canterbury City Council, Freepost RTHC-JJHK-ZUHJ, Council Offices, Military Road, Canterbury, CT1 1YW

Further information is available on CCC website at www.canterbury.gov.uk/cgr.



Look at the exciting new swings and see-saw on the recreation ground!!

TravelHero app

The parishes surrounding Canterbury, Faversham, Whitstable and Herne Bay have been selected as the first in the UK to pioneer a new free local transport app. The TravelHero app is designed to provide an easy-to-use tool to compare travel options in the local area for bus and cab journeys.

 Available to download now from the App Store on iOS smartphones, local people can use TravelHero to plan door-to-door journeys by bus or cab, buy tickets by card or PayPal, and enjoy hassle-free travel using mobile tickets. There’s also a dedicated website for information at www.travelheroapp.com and a Facebook and Twitter page @TravelHeroApp.

TravelHero has brought together well-known bus service provider Stagecoach South East and Kent cab company Longley’s Private Hire to make travel easier for customers in the region.

 TravelHero will particularly appeal to people travelling between towns and villages within East Kent, including students and young professionals and those who are occasional bus and cab users. Its features include:

  •  Sophisticated journey planning with easy input of planned start and end points. The app will then calculate and offer different journey options using bus and cab travel, as well as walking
  • Tailored routes for individual needs, which give a breakdown of the cheapest and fastest travel methods to best meet the user’s ideal journey
  • Secure cashless payments through TravelHero can be made using PayPal or debit or credit card, so there’s no need to have cash for the bus or cab
  • Convenient mobile ticketing, as there’s no need to print tickets because they appear on smartphones ready to show the driver
  • Easy group bookings for up to eight people on one mobile ticket, for one price
  • Hassle-free travel with time-saving features such as favourite places which will allow for quick journey planning
  • Trusted suppliers with journeys delivered by well-established travel providers Stagecoach South East and Longleys Private Hire
  • Stagecoach Bus link www.stagecoachbus.com

DEFIBRILLATOR

An automatic public defibrillator is now available within the village of Blean. It is located on the wall of the village hall adjacent to the main entrance to the recreation ground. The defibrillator has been registered with the Ambulance Services and they will also be able to assist you if you need to use it. It is fully automatic and has spoken instructions which are simple to follow. At no time can anyone using it cause any harm to the ‘patient’ as the machine has built in failsafe steps.

Remember to always telephone 999 first.

BLEAN PARISH PLAN

The Parish Plan for 2015 – 2019 is now completed and printed.

Copies are available from the parish office on Tuesdays and Fridays and will be available at the monthly coffee mornings in the village hall or click on the link below to read on-line

/bleanpc/UserFiles/file/BPC%20%20Parish%20Plan%202015%20-%202019.pdf

Chairman’s Annual Report April 2017.

Blean Parish Council has nine members and is, for the first time in many years, at full compliment.  It is a positive step forward for us all and all the councillors are committed to working for the benefit of the village and its community.  Sadly, this year has seen the loss of a dear colleague, Mr Charles Harris who gave many years service to the village as a Parish councillor and was known to many within the village as ‘a true gentlemen’.  He will be missed by many.

As a Parish Council, we remain pro-active and make representations through our Ward and County Councillors regarding various issues that have an impact on the Blean.  Over the last year, this has included potholes, the A290, Parking Enforcement for the village, litter and speeding to name a few.  I, and the Parish Clerk, meet regularly with our Ward Councillors to raise any issues and give feedback to the City Council on the pertinent topics at the time of meeting.  We feel that maintaining this level of communication fosters a better understanding of the roles that we all play in the local government of our area.

Looking back over the last year I think the overriding issue within Blean has been planning applications.  It has been an exceptional year for planning applications within the parish.  The one that most people are aware of has been the 2nd controversial application from Gladman Developments and the subsequent appeal.  The Parish Council entered a steep learning curve.  With the tremendous support from the community through encouragement, funding and the provision of important evidence Blean Parish Council took part in the recent Planning Inquiry held at The Guildhall in Canterbury.  We are now awaiting the Planning Inspector’s decision which should in the next few weeks.

Apart from this application there have been a number of controversial applications throughout the year, two of which have also gone to appeal and have been dismissed.  Others such as the conversion of a residential property to a Vets’ Surgery and the potential development in School Lane have been the subject of strong objection by the Parish council and of working with the officers within City Council Planning Department.  Blean Parish Council carefully look at every application and balance local and national planning policies, the needs of the village and realistic outlook for our future.  This is not an easy task.

The other major issue that caused concern amongst the village and community was the publication of the University in Kent’s Master Plan for the next 50 years.  The plan was conceptual in nature and was difficult for several people to understand that it was not the final plan.  There was also sadly a lot of confusion caused as many leaflets were not delivered to various properties in Blean and Tyler Hill.  Villagers understandably felt disenfranchised by this.  Blean Parish Council was able to facilitate two open sessions at the village hall for the community to view the plans, ask questions of the University staff and make comments.  The Parish Council made an initial objection to the plan and have continued to maintain dialogue with the University.  Through this dialogue, we now have a letter from the University stating that the Park and Ride concept is not being taken forward.  At a recent meeting with the University, the 3 parishes of Blean, Hackington and Rough Common and Harbledown and our Ward Councillors, we were informed of two very important factors, namely it is the University’s intention to concentrate on the Campus heart first and that it would be 5 – 10 years before they would look at any potential development out with the Campus.  This is very encouraging and a lot can happen in the next 5 to 10 years with regard to Brexit, the funding of higher education and the delivery of higher education, which could affect any future expansion.   Blean Parish Council will continue to keep a watching brief [along with our colleagues in the other parishes and our Ward Councillors] on any changes within the University.

On a more positive aspect, we have seen the completion of the Chestnut Avenue project.  The diseased trees are all removed, the pavement reinstated and new trees planted.  It all looks very pleasant and I thank the residents of Chestnut Avenue for their patience whilst they waited for the work to be fully completed. 

Within the Recreation Ground and Nature Reserve we have been exploring funding for two projects, the upgrading of our swings and the lining and planting of the pond.  I am very pleased to tell you that we now have through various sources all the funding now in place to go ahead with these two projects which will be completed by early summer.  At this point I would like to extend my grateful thanks to Hazel, Michael and their small band of volunteers who have continued to enhance the Nature Reserve through their planting and care for the hedge and saplings.  Only recently I had a wander around and admired the blossom, the cowslips and the trees and saplings all coming forth for Spring.  It is an important asset for our community and we hope to further enhance it over the coming year.  If you would like to help please do get in touch.

As a Parish Council, we have, like our colleagues in City Council, have had to accept a cut in the level of our funding.  Government cuts to the City Council have meant less monies available for our funding, known as Concurrent Funding.  Under the new funding structure, we are now funded for a four-year period at a capped level which for us is 70% of our bid.  This has sadly meant that we have had to make some difficult decisions.  Firstly, our Parish Clerk took a voluntary cut in her hours, with an agreed proviso that at ‘busy’ times e.g. Annual Audit etc she can claim additional hours which will be approved by the Parish Council.  The second difficult decision was to increase the Parish Precept.  You will have noticed this in your recent Council Tax Bill.  This increase is to make up the shortfall from our Concurrent Funding and allow us to continue the grass cutting and hedge maintenance of the Recreation Ground along with all the work done by our village handyman Ken, who does all the litter picking in the village, cares for the play equipment and many other tasks to keep our village pleasant and enjoyable to walk around.

This leads me to a point of expressing my thanks to all of you as residents who have taken on roles within the village as Speedwatch and/or Neighbourhood volunteer.  All of you, who care for the Nature Reserve, who quietly and without fuss pick up the odd bit of litter, cut back the odd overhanging branch and generally care and take pride in our village.

Thank you to Denise and Ken, who work hard for the parish and do far more than they are paid for, and a final thank you my fellow councillors with a mention to our two new co-opted councillors this year, Jane Rouse and Kirsty Vant.

 

 

 

LAND AT BLEAN COMMON DEVELOPMENT (GLADMANS)

THE PLANNING INSPECTOR HAS GIVEN HIS DECISION AND FOUND THAT GLADMAN CAN BUILD UP TO 85 HOUSES ON THE LAND AT BLEAN COMMON.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINK BELOW TO READ THE APPEAL DECISION

APPEAL NO. 3156397

https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?caseid=3156397

Register to Vote

Household Enquiry Forms for electoral registration are now being delivered to every property in the district.

Please check the form carefully when it arrives.

 The city council needs to know whether all the details are correct or if any changes are required.

 The quickest and easiest way to do this is on the council’s website. Other options are available and information is on the form.

 It is important to make sure you are registered to vote.

If you are not, you will not be able to vote at elections and it could put your credit rating at risk, which means you may find it difficult to get a loan or mortgage.


UNIVERSITY MASTER PLAN

Initial Response from Blean Parish Council September 2016

This first response has been written after consultation with the Parish Councillors and attendance at two presentations held by the University of Kent. Blean Parish Council welcomes the publication of the Concept Master Plan, it has given an opportunity to enter into dialogue with the University and has ended speculation and rumours. At first sight the plan would appear to have severe implications to the village and the Tyler Hill Road, however at this point in the consultation we should be mindful that this is a conceptual plan – not a concrete indication of potential developments in our parish. The Northern Holdings [as named by the University] are, to a greater extent, agricultural in nature and reflect the rural aspect surrounding the village of Blean. Blean Parish Council have, and will continue, to strongly oppose, the building on and the loss of agricultural land in and around the village. The land provides a positive rural border between Tyler Hill village and Blean village. The area is served by a rural road, in places very narrow, named Tyler Hill Road. This road is not able to sustain any further traffic without causing danger to pedestrians, cyclists, farm vehicles and cars. This was illustrated recently with the Stagecoach bus diversion along the road, numerous skid marks, near misses and a considerable disruption to the quality of life for the residents of both villages took place. Blean Parish Council would strongly oppose any development that impacted on the traffic using the road. Due to the conceptual nature of the Master Plan there has been much speculation regarding wordings such as ‘Park and Ride’, ‘shuttle bus services’ and ‘utilising existing public roads’. All of these aspects if taken forward would have to be the subject of discussion with Blean Parish Council, Hackington Parish Council and Canterbury City Council. It should also be acknowledged that any move forward regarding development in this area would have to be accurately tested through Traffic and Transport Assessments, Ecological Impact Assessments, Sustainability Assessments etc. and further public consultations. To summarise, Blean Parish Council do strongly oppose any change in the usage of Tyler Hill Road from its present link between the villages and as a means of access to the agricultural land bordering its sides. We would strongly oppose any development in and around the historic building of St Cosmus and St Damian in the Blean Church. We would also be strongly opposed to any ‘carpet’ development along the boundaries of Tyler Hill Road. We would be strongly opposed to any development, be it building or transport links, that disrupted the ecological balance that exists at present. In conclusion, although the above outlines our potential opposition, Blean Parish Council would welcome the opportunity to continue in an open dialogue with the University of Kent regarding all proposals for the Northern Land Holdings. It is our hope that a balanced expansion of the University which would benefit the community of Blean and open up new opportunities for recreational, cultural, sport, economic and educational activities for all, can be achieved.