Hackington Parish Council
 
The Chairman of the Parish Council’s report to the AGM of the Council, the Parish Assembly, 8th March 2012
                                                                                               
 
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.
 
In late autumn Nigel Cronin resigned as a co-opted councillor for personal and business reasons. After giving due notice of the vacancy caused, and finding no electors wished to hold a bye-election, the Council sought recommendations for a replacement councillor and were, after due process, pleased to co-opt Mr Ben Fitter of Dawes Court as councillor in January 2012.
 
Highways and road traffic always feature prominently in the Council’s work.This year has been no exception and the following matters have featured in our negotiations with other bodies:
We understand that a long promised additional hump is to be put in Summer Lane in order to reduce the speed of traffic beside the Recreation Ground.
Councillors are disappointed that a new village sign that they asked be erected on Tyler Hill Road to indicate to motorists travelling into the village that they are entering the village and that they should drive carefully has not yet been provided some five years after the request was first made.
We are pleased to report that two supplies of road salt have now been placed in the village. There had been a large bag placed on the traffic island at the junction of Hackington Road and Link Road last winter which was replenished and now we have a salt bin at the junction of Link Road and Tyler Hill Road. Both were well used in the cold spell in early February.
With the assistance of our PCSO, Chris Chapman and his colleagues, Hackington Road and Tyler Hill Road have been monitored for speeding vehicles, but not, in the Council’s opinion often enough. There are still too many instances of speeding. There was sadly a road accident fatality in the parish when a student was killed on St Stephen’s Hill in February 2012.
 
The Parish has again enjoyed a year in which there were very few crimes committed and the Council is grateful to PCSO Chris Chapman (available on 07772 226034) for his attendance in the village.
Cllr Nigel Cronin was the co-ordinator for safety and security matters in the Parish whilst a councillor but those duties have now been taken over by Cllr Robin Whiting.
 
The Parish Council is pleased to report that the City Council’s recently published statement on its hierarchy for rural housing development formally recognises the Hackington Parish Plan and the Parish Design statement as a material statements concerning planning and development in the parish.
The Council continues to welcome commentary on the Design Statement. The text is available on the Parish Council’s website www.hackingtonpc.kentparishes.gov.uk.
The Parish Plan (2007 –2012) will need to be renewed and the Council will be undertaking an Appraisal of all residents in summer 2012.
 
There has been one planning issue that has caused and continues to cause the Council some concerns. The Council objected to the proposed removal of an Agricultural Occupancy Order on Honey Wood House at Britton Court Farm. The applicant objected to the Council’s response to the application and the matter is still being considered some four months after the application and two months after its determination by the Development Management Committee of the City Council in favour of the application.
 
It looks as though our campaign for improved broadband service to the village is about to bear fruit. It seems that BT have, over the autumn and winter, cleared the ducting between Tyler Hill and Blean which will allow a new fibre optic cable to be installed to bring much faster broadband to the village. A new junction and control box has already been installed and we are hopeful that the improved service will be available by the end of June 2012. The Council thanks all those who assisted in their campaign to improve the service.
 
The Tyler Hill Meadow Local Nature Reserve has benefited greatly from the voluntary efforts of pupils from St Edmund’s School who, as part of their service in the community, have cut, cleared and tidied in the Reserve.
There continue to be regular surveys of birds, butterflies and moths, flowers and grasses, trees, and dormice. The Management Committee would like to secure the assistance of an enthusiast for the monitoring and surveying of reptiles and amphibians and any volunteer should contact the Chairman.
 
The tree awarded to the Parish by the Kent Men of the Trees, a flowering cherry, for the Tree Warden’s work on recording trees in the parish was planted on the village green.
 
Footpaths in and across the parish continue to be very well used. Nearly all of the signage on the paths has been renewed during the year. The footpaths to the east, which are mainly in our woods, have been very heavily used. During the dry summer all the paths, including those crossing crops, were in an excellent condition, affording easy access to the peace and quiet of our countryside.
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 City Council has apparently completed its consultation on Houses in Multiple Occupancy. The Parish Council responded to the consultation, offering the recommendation that no more than 10% of any houses within a 200m radius of the centre of the village, (the Ivy House pub), should be allowed to be converted to HMOs. We understand that the outcome of the consultation is to be known shortly.
 
The Council again records its thanks to Stephen Hambrook for the production of the Community Magazine especially so as he has not been well recently. 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.
The Council has placed the following documents on the website:
A revised and updated version of 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 continues to deal with all her responsibilities.
 
 
Our thanks also go to Barbara Flack who has been our Neighbourhood Watch coordinator for part of the past year.
 
During the year the Parish Councillors have taken the following lead responsibilities
 
Footpaths                                                      Ray Evison
Highways                                                      Robin Whiting
Street Lighting + Security                           Nigel Cronin then Robin Whiting
Liaison with KALC and Memorial Hall     Annie Cover
Conservation                                                            Hazel McCabe.
 
Chairman of B, H & TH Society               Penny Reilly
 
Tree Warden                                                 Lynne Evison
 
 
 
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