The Next Parish Council Meeting will held on Wednesday 6th March 2024 at 7.30pm in the Wrotham Pavilion.
CHILDREN’S PLAY AREA
The equipment within the playground is not meant to be used by adults!!
The parish council reserve the right to seek financial remuneration from any individual who causes damage to the equipment within the playground.’
WINTER MAINTENANCE – CURRENT SITUATION
KCC Highways is the primary responder as they have depots filled with salt and fleets of vehicles at their disposal with employees on standby for cold weather. They get government funding to provide this service. They have set criteria in place for gritting operations covering
- all A and B class roads
- busy commuter routes
- other roads that can become hazardous in frosty or icy conditions.
Wrotham Parish Council does not get government funding and has a small gritter that needs to be towed by a robust 4-wheel drive vehicle that is suitably insured. Our previous contractor had such a vehicle, unfortunately he now has severe health issues and can no longer work for the Parish Council. Neither of the two part-time contractors that currently work for WPC have such a vehicle and we don’t have the financial resources to purchase, run and maintain a 4×4.
We therefore currently have no inhouse means of towing the gritter leaving the village dependent on the service provided by Kent Highways
All the new LED lights and poles have been installed with only painting outstanding from our contractor. Half of the power connections have been transferred. UK Power Networks is scheduled to transfer power to the 3 new columns although these works have been paid for by WPC , UK Power Networks for various reasons has yet to complete the work.
The remaining 26 lights are non-compliant connections and are therefore the responsibility of UK Power Networks, orders are in the system for these transfers. As of the 8th December 2023 UK Power Networks has completed 10 of these connection transfers. WPC has been informed that the work is having to be undertaken from ladders as their cherry picker has broken down, with no delivery date for the necessary spare parts!
Except for 3 lights all the old lights are working on the units awaiting connection transfers. Unfortunately, these 3 lights will remain out until UK Power Networks attends.
At the start of this project UK Power Networks were looking to charge WPC £700 per non-compliant connection which for 26 units would have been an additional cost of £18,200. This money has been saved thanks to negotiations by our contractor Mike Mills.
The toilets are now fully operational and are available for use by the public during the events that take place in the village and for sporting organisations.
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.