Chairman’s Report for April 2017

Farningham Parish Council met on Wednesday 5th April 2017 – Vice-Chair, Cllr Mrs Daryl Burns, welcomed 3 Parish Councillors, KCC County Councillor Roger Gough, the Clerk Jane Gray and three members of the public. The Parish Council meeting started at 7pm and we managed to get through half the Agenda items for the monthly PC meeting before starting the Annual Parish Meeting at 8pm when a further 8 representatives joined us.

Planning

There were only three planning issues to be discussed. However, one cause for concern is the application to allow vehicular access from the A225 Dartford Road onto the field behind Franks Hall. Despite the application stating there is already a dropped kerb and road in the field, the Parish Council and local residents believe this is erroneous and were under the impression the gate, which leads from the field to the public pavement, can only be used by pedestrians and people with horses. It is felt vehicles, especially lorries, trying to turn off the road at this narrow point is seemingly dangerous. This stretch of the A225 is currently 60mph and there have been some nasty accidents in this vicinity already, therefore the PC strongly object to this application on a number of grounds.

Friends of Farningham

It has been a delight to have so many villagers involved in this venture and the first working party, on 31st March, undertook clearing of litter and overgrown vegetation along the river path towards the A20 bridge. There are currently 25 people involved who will attend as and when they can. If you would like to join the group, please contact Cllr Carol Salmon via carolsalmon46@talktalk.net or Clerk, Jane Gray via clerk@farninghampc.co.uk to find out more details. We will arrange for meeting dates to be included on the website and Notice Board outside the Village Hall.

The organisation for this group is currently being undertaken by Carol and Jane, however if there is somebody who would like to be involved in the administration side, for example emailing meeting dates and ordering of equipment, please make contact with Carol or Jane.
The Annual Parish Meeting commenced at Spm and had verbal or written reports:

Cllr Burns read the written report from the Chair, who had sent his apologies for this meeting. His report included how the A20 between Brands Hatch and Button Street is classed as 1, 2 and 4 of the most dangerous stretches of road in Sevenoaks District and his dismay at the lack of information regarding KSI (Killed/Seriously Injured) statistics available for traffic accidents. His closing paragraph advised he would be stepping down as Chairman, but will remain on the Parish Council, giving his support to whoever takes over the role.

Cllr Roger Gough, KCC Country Councillor, reported on a number of topics, including the funding he had made available for replacement items in the Village Hall and the necessary savings that KCC had to make in the previous financial year. He also reported his continued support of helping the PC to gather accident statistics on the A20.

PS Ballard from Kent Constabulary advised that Farningham is considered to have a low crime rate, with 23 offences being reported in the previous 6 months. Alter hearing of our problems, he agreed to look into the issues the Parish Council are having with road traffic statistics. He also introduced Liz Cole who is the new I’CSO for Farningham, contact details etc to follow as she had only started her new job thai day.

The attendees were then given the opportunity to have a viewing of Shand Hall, the new community building next to the Church. Gerald Roome did a great job of showing us around and answering many questions. We then returned to the Village Hall.

Viv Parker gave a brief summary of the activities of Solomon Cox Charity and her report as Chair of Farningham Village Hall. She thanked the resigning Fund Raisers and Treasurer and announced the appointment of a new Treasurer and the open vacancy for a new Fund Raiser.

Marilyn Wells gave a humorous report telling us about the antics and activities of the Women’s Institute over the last year and their continued success in the darts tournaments.

Gerald Roome gave a report on the Church and Shand Hall. He also explained about the wall paintings which have been found whilst the Church was being redecorated. It is thought they may be Victorian and will be dated and examined further in the coming months.
Liz Meachin spoke about the activities of the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides over the last year, including the types of badges the girls are now studying for and some of their past & forthcoming excursions outside of the Villages.

James Wilson gave us news from Farningham Cricket Club and it was good to hear that a local business had donated a new artificial surface to replace the one stolen last year. He also gave a report about the plans to improve the ladies’ toilets, changing rooms and their long term plans to try and increase the size of the bar area. With the new season, fund raising activities have started and social evenings are planned which are open to non-members of the club too.

Barbara Cannell for Farningham and Eynsford Local History Society gave us insight into the workings of the Society. She also spoke about the difficulties they are facing with the small number of members who are willing to be on the Committee despite a flyer being widely circulated. If there is anybody reading this who would like to become involved in helping with Committee work of FELHS, please contact Barbara via barbarathecottage@btinternet.com They are also looking for help to digitalise their documents, but need somebody with the IT knowledge to get them started.

Written reports were received from District Councillor Ingrid Tennessee and Farningham United Charities, along with the Parish Council accounts.

It was great to have had so many reports on Village activities, we thank all those who were able to attend. The APM closed at 9.10pm.

The Parish Council continued with the remainder of the Agenda items. Parish Council Vacancy

At the end of the meeting, Hayley Butler tendered her resignation from the PC, as she will soon be moving away from the Village. She was instrumental in setting up the Friends of Farningham along with Carol and she has been a great asset to the Parish Council during her time with us, we wish her and Tim much happiness in their new home.

We need to replace Hayley and therefore ask for interested parties to contact the Clerk to find out further details or to register your interest in filling this vacancy. Should 10 or more registered electors advise SDC in writing, within 14 days of the vacancy being advertised, their wish for an election, the necessary arrangements will be made. Alternatively, if no election is called, the Parish Council can co-opt a new Councillor from any nominees. It is a very interesting voluntary activity, we welcome new ideas and courage anybody who resides or works within the Village (or within a 4.8km (3 miles) of the Village boundary) to become involved.

The next Parish Council meeting is on Wednesday 3rd May at 7.45pm to be held in Farningham Village Hall as usual.

Daryl Burns

Vice-Chair Farningham Parish Council