Take a closer look at some of the news stories from the Parish Council this February.
To contact the Parish Council please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Council News
The MARCH newsletter has been released
Important Vote for the Methodist Church Building
The Methodist Church building is to be auctioned on 9th February. If the Heart of Headcorn Project wins the bid Headcorn Parish Council has agreed to ask parishioners whether they would support it for a Public Works Board Loan. This would provide financial support in the same way as the Parish Council supported the Village Hall. The broad principle is that a loan is taken out by the Parish Council to fund the purchase at the point that any initial finance to purchase must be repaid.
That loan’s repayments would be made by the Heart of Headcorn Project over a fixed term. Such a loan arrangement worked well for the Village Hall, for whom their loan repayment will be completed in 2023. Although this loan is repaid from parishioners' council tax (precept) there would be no increase in this case, as the payment is already included from the previous loan.
A public meeting will be held in February where you can learn more about the proposal and vote. Only those present at that meeting will be eligible to vote.
Neighbourhood Plan News
The Headcorn Village Neighbourhood Plan is nearing completion of its final draft which will be submitted to Maidstone Borough Council for approval in March 2022. This draft has been painstakingly put together utilising existing research data, the recent parishioners’ survey, and up to date planning guidelines from MBC.
Within a few weeks parishioners will be able to read the draft and then vote whether they support it. A link to the vote will be included in next month’s newsletter.
The submission of a Neighbourhood Plan should provide some planning guidelines and CIL payment criteria for the future. It is the only mechanism available to allow our community any voice on planning issues. Therefore please do vote next month.
Tackling Speeding Vehicles
The Parish Council has concluded its review of options to manage speeding vehicles and the merits of potentially installing a 20mph zone.
When weighing up costs for all options the decision has been taken not to have 20mph zone and instead to install speed indicator devices. For example, should a 20mph zone be implemented such a scheme is not currently enforced and so there could be additional costs to encourage compliance with the restrictions.
These speed indicators can be used alongside the existing Speedwatch scheme. Plans are being made for six speed indicator locations to be used across the village, including Oak Lane. If you'd like to recommend a location for these movable devices please let the Parish Council know.
Email the Clerk: Clerk@headcornpc.org.uk
Platinum Jubilee Celebrations 2022
Time to get planning! There will be some activities planned by the Parish Council to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee in June this year. This includes the lighting of our beacon, a bugler and a choir on Thursday 2nd June. Also at a later date the planting of seven trees to commemorate each decade of The Queen’s service. (Rev'd Fiona Haskett will also be organising an event at Parsonage Meadow and a celebratory Singalong.)
This is a great opportunity for the community to get together and celebrate. There is a national Big Jubilee Lunch scheme for Sunday 5th June which you might wish to participate in. If you wish to apply for a road closure then contact the Parish Council, they can advise of the guidelines.
More details here:
Improving the Christmas Light Displays
Headcorn's Christmas lights are set for an overhaul this year. Funding has been set aside to install new lights around the High Street. Planning for the design of the displays will soon begin therefore if you have creative ideas then do pass them on to the Parish Council. Be aware, there are considerable constraints in terms of how and where any can be suspended. For example, they cannot be suspended across the High Street and must be safely out of the way of pedestrians. At this stage the expectation is that there will probably be a predominantly white display and that this will feature along the High Street and Foreman’s Walk. If you have any creative ideas that might be both affordable and achievable then do get in touch with the Clerk.
Tackling antisocial behaviour, from dog owners to flytippers
Headcorn Village is regularly plagued by dog mess left by a few irresponsible owners in the community. The Parish Council has appealed for help from Maidstone Borough Council to help tackle the problem. Thus, you might have spotted some spray-on guidance on some affected pathways in the Village. MBC has started this scheme of publicity which the Parish Council plans to adopt themselves. Remember you can report dog mess using the link below.
The Parish Council has also re-sited a bench at Spires Ash. Its position in a secluded corner had been attracting some antisocial behaviour and it was felt that a move to a more visible position beside the path might help resolve the problem. The Parish Council plans to take other steps this year to reduce ASB opportunities in the Village. This includes looking at areas where people gather to commit ASB and cutting hedges that might shield them.
Finally, as we continue to be blighted with flytipping please continue to report any that you find, both to MBC and the Parish Council in order that they can monitor trouble spots:
Improving Disability Access
Do you know of any roads that would benefit from a dropped kerb for disabled access? If you know anyone who struggles with walking, with a wheelchair or mobility scooter perhaps they can let the Parish Council know if there are any areas in the centre of the Village that need attention.
After more than four years' appealing to both Crest Nicholson and Kent County Council, the missing footpath that links Hop Pocket Way and Woollen Way along Lenham Road will be installed from 12th February. The work could take up to nine days at which time the road is scheduled to be closed.
Over the past few months our Village lengthsmen have undertaken a range of work on projects around the Village. These include: re-siting a bench at Spires Ash; the paths and fencing around the burial ground and edging of the green spaces in the High Street.