CLERK TO THE COUNCIL:
Mrs Denise Horswell
Parish Office, 4, School Lane, Blean CT2 9JA
Telephone – 01227-470200
The Parish Council Office is open on Tuesdays and Fridays
The next Parish Council meeting is on Monday 14th March 2016 at 7.30pm.
Blean Post Office will close after business on Wednesday 10th February , to enable it to be relocated within the Londis shop near the tills. It is scheduled to re-open at the new location at 1pm on Friday 19th February.
While the work is being carried out the nearest post offices are at Hales Place and Rough Common Road.
The new opening times for the Post Office will be:
Monday - Saturday: 7am - 7pm
Sunday: 7am - 6pm.
We now have sandbags stored next to the wooden shed on the village hall car park for residents to use in an emergency.
In an emergency residents may help themselves but please let us know how many and where they are.
If necessary contact Serco 01227 819400 to have further sandbags delivered to your door so as to be distributed fairly.
For non-urgent matters call Kent Police on 101
Please call and have a chat about any matters of concern at the Police van which calls on alternate Mondays outside the village hall for two hours from 3 - 5pm.
To report a problem regarding street lights, potholes, overgrown vegetation etc please click on the link below to KCC
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.
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
Chairman’s Report April 2015
I took over the chair of Blean Parish Council last April and must firstly thank Cllr William Leetham for the 14 years of service as Chair. I am grateful to William for continuing as Vice-Chair and being available to help advise me in my first year.
During this year we have within the Parish Council had to say a sad farewell to Cllr Godfrey King who, after great thought and heart searching, made the decision to step down from the Parish Council and the many other duties he held within the village. Godfrey has been a stalwart of the Parish Council for many years and has been at the forefront of many changes within the village over years. We wish Godfrey and Dorothy well. Within the community Godfrey handed over the reins of the NHW to David Greenman who lives in Vicarage Lane, and Godfrey’s role as village correspondent has been taken on by Cllr Hugh Samuelson.
We have welcomed Rufus Howard to Blean Parish Council, as a co-opted councillor. Rufus lives in School Lane with his wife and two young daughters. He has a particular interest in the environment.
My first year as your chair of council has been a busy and varied one. The council has been able through careful financial management, grant applications and prudent use of the VAT refund been able to provide the community with a variety of additions to the Recreation Ground, village green and the old recycling area. The new noticeboard and interpretation panel are a great improvement – the old notice board was given to Blean Primary School who, with a little refurbishment, have been able to site near the school entrance providing a vital communication tools for residents in that vicinity.
The Recreation Ground has now further new equipment ie: the outdoor gym equipment which has become a part of many peoples daily routine, young and old alike. As part of a combined project with Blean Village Hall and Friends of Blean Church, brightly planted pots and planters have sprung up to the delight of many villagers. Thank you to all who have watered and laboured to keep them so well maintained. Keep your eyes open for more to follow this year.
Throughout the best part of my first year I have also chaired the Parish Plan Sub-committee. It was made up of myself, Cllr Leetham and our Parish Clerk, Denise representing the Parish Council, Cllr Ben Fitter as our Ward Councillor and a further 7 members who were all residents from the community who gave a wonderful commitment of time and thought to the survey and the subsequent analysis resulting in our new Parish Plan 2015/ 2019. The document is a true representation of the views and opinions expressed through the answers and comments received. As I said at the launch of the survey, your views and desires on which the Parish Council will plan their actions for the next five years.
Some of the business of the year has focused on speeding and bad parking within the village and along the length of the A290. The Council has been working closely with Cllr Ben Fitter to instigate a trial of Rural Enforcement, which means the presence of an enforcement officer [what used to be a traffic warden] who has the powers to issue tickets for various offences, but principally parking. In addition to this the Council is in the process of purchasing a Speed watch camera and a group of people have already indicated they would like to take part in helping to reduce speeding through the village. More information and times of training sessions will be announced in the coming weeks.
We have also met with representatives of KCC with regard to highways, footpaths, pavements and signage. Budget considerations are always paramount at the moment in any discussions due to a very restrictive budget at KCC due to Government cut backs and also the Parish Council’s desire not to raise the precept [that part of your council tax] to an unacceptable level. However some potential solutions are being explored and we will let you know more when final decisions have been made.
We are also continuing to work with the PROW Officer in an attempt to maintain the more used footpaths, sadly, like the Highways Department, budget restrictions exist in this department as well which has led us to explore alternative manpower for the clearing of the paths.
With reference to the Precept you will have noticed a slight increase this new financial year which amounts to 33p per year for Band D property. This has solely been to allow the Parish Council to continue to give the same level of service as the previous year. We hope you all understand that, as with normal household costs, the costs incurred by the Parish Council do not stand still and we are subject to increases in our insurance, wages and service charges.
Funding for Parish Councils comes from two sources, the Precept as mentioned above, and also Concurrent Funding from Canterbury City Council. This year, as in previous years, we only received a percentage of requirements [70%]. This is the money that the Parish Council uses to cover the litter picking, maintenance of seats, play equipment etc and also grass cutting, hedge cutting, tree maintenance and some vegetation cut back. The whole area of Concurrent Funding is under discussion with Canterbury City Council and the various Parish Councils of the district, we are hopeful of a good outcome which will reflect the actual amount of monies spent by the Parish Council in these areas. We will keep you aware of the developments as they take place.
I would like to finish my report as I started it, on a positive note, with news of two projects about to be completed in the next few days, both of which will benefit the community of Blean. They are again collaborative between the Parish Council and Blean Village Hall. Within the next few days users of the village hall will be able, upon request, to access Wi-Fi whilst in the hall. This has come about with the installation of a booster to the broadband from the Parish Office. The project has been a joint one and has 50/50 funding between the two parties. This will make a great difference to many people and will also enable new activities to take place in the hall. In addition in the next couple of weeks a public access Defibrillator will be fitted to the external wall of the hall adjacent to the entrance to the Recreation Ground. A vital life-saving piece of equipment which has been purchased by the Parish Council for the village and which the Village Hall has consented to have fitted to their building and provide and pay for the electrical supply to the cabinet.
Thank you to all who have made my first year as smooth going as it has been. The support of my fellow councillors and of Denise, the parish clerk, has been significant in making the work and decisions easier to carry out. Also thank you to the residents of Blean who regularly approach me to mention various things that either need attention and just to say thank you for doing something about their problems.
I hope to be able to continue to serve the community of Blean in the forthcoming year.
Barbara Anne Flack
Chair of Blean Parish Council