Hackington Parish Council
The Chairman of the Parish Council’s report to the AGM of the Council, the Parish Assembly, 25th March 2010
The Council has met on its customary six occasions over the past year, managing particular matters pertaining to the parish as well as its usual business of oversight of the highways, footpaths, street lighting, and conservation area. It continues to enjoy good working relationships with other bodies serving the community in the parish.
Highways and road traffic continues to be the subject that takes up the most of the Council’s time and efforts. Whilst, at last, Link Road has had a new surface applied after the gas main that runs under it had been replaced, other matters raised in the Parish Plan await any indication of when they will be undertaken. These issues include a new ‘gateway’ sign to the village on Tyler Hill Road, a redesign of the junction of Tyler Hill Road and Link Road and better signage on Hackington Road.
The Council were pleased that the gas main and resurfacing of Link road were undertaken following the Council’s lobbying of both authorities. We are grateful to our Ward and County Councillors for their support in getting the work done.
Following the dry summer of 2009 and very heavy goods vehicles using Calais Hill it became necessary for the road to be re-haunced on its western side and following our lobbying, this has recently been undertaken.
The proposal to have Summer Lane stopped up from a point to the rear of No66 Hackington Road northwards to the junction with bridleway CB36 is still ‘in the pipeline’. The lane is in a dreadful condition and especially so in bad weather.
Now that all the building work on sites at the north end of Summer Lane is completed, we are assured that it will be restored to its former condition.
The Parish has again enjoyed a year in which there were only a few crimes committed (theft and attempted theft) and the Council is grateful to both Godfrey King for his efforts on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch and to our PCSO, Jodie Bryan who have both, in their different ways reduced the fear of crime in our area. Jodie has recently been replaced by PCSO Chris Chapman (available on 07772 226034)
Cllr Nigel Cronin continues to be the co-ordinator for safety and security matters in the Parish.
We have completed a Design Statement for the conservation area of the parish. The text describes all the properties, or groups of properties that form a locale, so as to provide a clear picture of the local character of each of the locales in the conservation area. The Statement also contains a description of the much-valued open areas around the village.
The Parish Council has submitted the Statement to the City Council’s Planning Office and has received an encouraging response.
The Council welcomes commentary on the Statement. The draft text is available in hard copy for anyone to borrow and is also available on the Parish Council’s website. www.hackingtonpc.kentparishes.gov.uk.
The next stage is for the electorate to comment on the Statement before it is formally submitted to the Development Control Committee of the City Council for approval and, hopefully, inclusion within the City Council’s published guidelines for development.
The Council was invited to participate in a City Council Review of the development at 40 Hackington Road. Visiting City Councillors were told that the whole concept of the development was wrong, based on maximising profit rather than complementing the conservation area. The resultant mess of the internal courtyard appearance and the incongruities of three storey houses facing Hackington Road and two huge wood-faced houses, which do not correspond to any other building in the locality, was forcefully put to the Review. The Council has not yet received any indication of what the Review concluded following their visit.
The Tyler Hill Meadow Local Nature Reserve has been well maintained and more than a dozen surveys of various species have taken place. This year it was pleasing to have the first sightings of the Common Orchid in the Reserve.
There are regular surveys of birds, butterflies and moths, reptiles and amphibians, flowers, trees, and dormice. The management committee have been pleased to welcome Trish Hulks onto the committee as a qualified surveyor of dormice.
During the year the Council’s tree warden has advised on proposals for the reduction in size of individual trees, mostly in domestic settings. She has campaigned hard to make those agents who cut back trees under or near power lines to have greater regard to the aesthetic effect their work has on the environment. The tree warden has also extended her database on outstanding specimen trees and ancient trees in the parish.
Footpaths in and across the parish are very well used. Those to the east, which are mainly in or beside our woodlands, have been well maintained and sign-posted by the Public Rights of Way officers. A new bridge has been put over the Sarre Penn stream and a new style installed on PP 37, leading up to Alcroft Grange.
During the dry summer the paths they were in an excellent condition, affording easy access to the peace and quiet of our surrounding countryside. Of late some of the wetter areas of paths have become difficult and remedial work has been requested of the PRoW team. Anyone using our footpaths who has a concern about their condition or about overhanging vegetation are reminded to put their points to the footpath warden
The Council again records its thanks to Stephen Hambrook for the production of the Community Magazine under the patronage of the Council. Stephen is always pleased to have local news and articles submitted to him for inclusion in the magazine.
The increasing use of our web site has made for another busy year for our Clerk to the Council. The site provides immediate access to the formal business matters and decisions of the Council and to informal and social events in the village.
This year the Council has placed the following documents on the website:
The Parish Design Statement, for commentary.
‘Who we are and what we do’. A statement about the Parish Council’s
constitution and activities.
Minutes of Parish Council meetings
Minutes of the management committee for the Tyler Hill Meadow Reserve.
Members of the Council again wish to record their thanks to the Clerk, Mrs Denise Horswell, for the efficient, considerate and very pleasant way she has dealt with all her responsibilities during the year.
During the year the Parish Councillors have taken the following lead responsibilities
Footpaths                               Ray Evison
Highways                               Robin Whiting
Street Lighting + Security     Nigel Cronin
Annie Cover                           Liaison with KALC and Memorial Hall
Conservation                         Hazel McCabe.
Tree Warden                         Lynne Evison