Chairman’s Report May 2016

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Farningham Parish Council met on Wednesday 4th May – Cllr McGarvey welcomed 4 Parish Councillors, the Clerk Jane Gray and 4 members of the public.

Election of Officers

As this was also our Annual Parish Council meeting, the first item on the Agenda was to elect the Officers. With no other members of the Council wishing to be nominated, the status quo remained (sorry, but I am not going to stoop to any comments about sitting around the table singing rock songs or the Chairman playing his guitar again!), Chairman Cllr Philip McGarvey, Vice-chair Cllr Mrs Daryl Burns and Planning Officer Cllr Giles Bergne. The position of Finance Councillor will be resolved at the next monthly meeting.

Parish Council Vacancy

Unfortunately the Council were advised of the immediate resignation of Cllr Brian Wells. His time on the PC has been so productive and we all thank him enormously for his accomplishments, especially gaining the donations and funding to have 3 defibrillators installed around the Village and his representation on a number of external groups.

We need to replace Brian and therefore ask for any 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.

Dog Poo

The Dog Warden has loaned the stencil for reminding dog owners to collect the offerings left by their pets when out for a walk. We have a volunteer, a mum with a little bit of spare time, who has agreed to apply the chalk based paint (onto the pavement, not onto the dogs or their owners, tempting as that may be). We thank her and encourage anybody with a spare hour or two to get involved in Village activities.

Farningham High Street

Complaints were heard from members of the public both in person and in writing regarding the new illuminated signs on the Palace of India restaurant in the High Street. The Parish Council agreed to write to SDC to ascertain if planning permission was granted for the installation which appears to be rather bright and out of keeping within a High Street in a Conservation area.

Farningham Woods

The Forestry Commission is confident the felling of trees in Farningham Woods to curb the Gall Wasp infestation appears to have been successful. Although almost impossible to eradicate every gall, the Commission will soon start to survey the area to keep an eye on the new buds blooming and take necessary steps should any galls be spotted.

Sevenoaks School Volunteers

Sevenoaks School have again volunteered 15 students to come to the Village on 1st July to undertake suitable community-based jobs in the Village. We are asking for residents to suggest tasks the students can undertake or if anybody would be prepared to spend a few hours ‘supervising’ a small group of maybe 5 students. Last year the students did a great job clearing grass cuttings and weeds from Oliver Crescent and removing ivy from the wall at Market Meadow. The students were hardworking, polite and enthusiastic, let’s encourage such great young people. Please contact Jane if you would like to help out.

Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services

The above Charity (DAVSS) are urgently looking for volunteers to train as either additional Helpline or Abuse Advisors and have asked the PC to circulate their request. If you have an interest in joining this charity please give them a call on 01892 502074. Or if you need to contact them for support their number is 01892 570538.

Grass Cutting

It was decided the grass in both Crescents is in need of another cut. We will again request from SDC their schedule and if the next cut is too far away, will fund another interim cut.

The next monthly Parish Council meeting is on Wednesday 8th June at 7.45 pm to be held in Farningham Village Hall as usual. Come along and see what we are up to.

Daryl Burns

Vice-Chair Farningham Parish Council