The Next Parish Council Meeting will held on Wednesday 7th June 2023 at 7.30pm in the Wrotham Pavilion.
WHAT PROJECTS DOES THE PARISH COUNCIL CURRENTLY HAVE UNDER WAY?
This was a question raised by a parishioner during public question time at the last WPC Meeting. A good question that demonstrates that we must improve communication. Here are some of the projects we are currently working on.
WPC are responsible for 56 streetlights around the older village which are elderly with out of date equipment and KCC are responsible for street lights on the Tower View Estate. With help from a specialist, we are in discussions with UK Power Networks to upgrade the equipment under their responsibility so that we can provide new LED type lanterns. The historic part of the village will have heritage lanterns, two have already been installed in the High Street, opposite the Rose and Crown and outside West House. The cost of electricity for the existing lighting has tripled recently, making the change to LED all the more important.
The toilets were vandalised some time ago and taken out of service by Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council. WPC has recently taken back control of the toilets from TMBC, who had repaired some of the fire damage. Unfortunately, major faults were discovered, which we are putting right using a grant TMBC included in the handover of responsibility. The roof has been extensively repaired with new batten, felt and tiles making it completely watertight for the first time in years. Electricians will now be able to rewire the building to include new lighting throughout. The toilets will be available for use by the public during the events that take place in the village and for sporting occasions.
The square is owned by KCC, who repaved the centre square a few years ago. WPC want to make it more attractive, adding trees with ornamental iron tree guards and attractive seating with matching litter bins. Unfortunately, KCC turned down our suggestion of an actual bus shelter as it is not considered safe for buses to stop in the center square, however we are allowed to site a hardwood seating shelter under a pitched roof, to face the Church, with panels containing tourist information and a ‘village walk’ map.
It is anticipated that these design improvements will create a more relaxed and pedestrianised ambiance to the southern half of the square while still facilitating access to Bishops Lodge and also providing wedding vehicles and hearses room to park next to St Georges Church. We await feedback from KCC on our new plans, so keep an eye on the website for more news.
Last year we set up a new subcommittee to come up with ideas that WPC could implement that would help with combating climate change. One of the ideas was more trees to absorb CO2, which has started with a number of trees being planted around the village. The obvious ones are four multi stem silver birch on the Whitehill roundabout and two mallus fruit trees along Bull Lane. In addition, the bank near the pavilion has been planted with fifty cotoneaster shrubs that are bee friendly in the spring and provide plentiful red berries for wild birds in autumn. The hedgerow alongside the cricket field has been cleared of bramble and ivy and planted with seventy five native hedging plants. Watch the website for further updates.
Dog Walking Area
WPC has signed an agreement with St Clere for parishioners to use the Battlefield area for dog walking as a permissive path. We are getting signs made to show where the agreed areas are. We thank Eliza Ecclestone and the Trustees of the St Clere Estate for their work and support in creating the Permissive Path.
WPC is very aware of the problem of speeding throughout the village. KCC Highways set the speed limits across the County and have the ultimate say. In an effort to persuade them of the need to reduce speeds, we arranged for traffic monitoring on The Old London Road following complaints about speeding past the school and Children’s Play Area. The results will be sent to KCC as part of our attempt to get the road speed limit reduced to 20 mph. Our vision is to have a 20 mph speed limit throughout the village, but this ultimately remains in the hands of KCC Highways.
The layby on the A20 has been the scene of anti-social behavior for many years culminating in a near death motorcycle accident between two speeding bikes doing wheelies, that resulted in the temporary closure of the layby with bollards. WPC has worked tirelessly to get the layby permanently removed and landscaped and went so far as to offer to purchase the layby in order to remove the hard standing and return it to soft landscape with a grass bund. However KCC decided not to sell the land but have found the funds to do the works themselves and you will see that the layby is in the process of becoming a green area with a grass bund and shrubbery planting. This combined with the development of the Oakdene Cafe has effectively replaced the areas where motorcycles congregated thereby preventing the motorbike stunt riding that was so dangerous previously.
Keep checking this website for further updates on our projects.
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