Chilham Square
Check out our whats on in the parish page to learn about events, run by village organisations and clubs in the next 90 days.
       
    Welcome to the Chilham Parish Council website. We hope you will learn something useful about what we are doing to improve the quality of life in our parish.  
       
    We recognise that most people in the parish dont really understand what we do, so this website and the quarterly newsletters printed in the Parish News is our attempt to keep you better informed so that together we can make the parish of Chilham a better place to live in.  
       
    We welcome feedback, good or bad, so please use the how are we doing page to let us have your views on the website or, for that matter, any issue that you think the parish council should be dealing with.  
       
    If we dont know what is concerning you then we cant help to do anything about it.  
       
    If you would like to receive emails keeping you in touch with updates to the information on this website then you can use the feedback form on the how are we doing page to let us know your email address.  
       
    PARISH COUNCIL TO FUND WAR MEMORIAL REFURBISHMENT  
    The parish council has been successful in securing grant funding from the War Memorials Trust and KCC Member Community Fund through Cllr Andrew Wickham, in order to refurbish the war memorial in St Mary’s churchyard. This work is planned to take place during the summer months in commemoration of the outbreak of WW1. Discussions are now ongoing with the PCC and diocese representatives to ensure that the work is compliant with their requirements.  
       
    PARISH COUNCIL SETS UP LOCAL CONSULTATION ON ABC LOCAL PLAN FOR 2030  
    ABC is in the process of preparing a new local plan. The new plan will need to identify sufficient land to provide for new jobs and homes to 2030 together with other facilities.
In June 2013, ABC wrote to local landowners and developers requesting to be notified of any land suitable for development.
A number of sites were submitted for the parish of Chilham and the parish council wishes to involve parishioners in a local consultation so that it can inform the ABC debate.
During April 2014, local residents will receive a leaflet (click here to view) setting out the consultation details together with dates and venues.
ABC expects to be producing its required draft local plan by the end of 2014.
 
       
    OLD SAWMILLS SITE NAME DECIDED - ITS BAGHAM PLACE  
    During September 2013, ABC consulted the parish council on an application to name the site Old Sawmills Place.
The parish council requested an extension to the one month statutory consultation period for the street name application to allow a full consultation with the local community and a parish council response at the November meeting but only a one week extension had been granted moving the deadline to 17th October. The council agreed that this extension did not allow sufficient time for a full consultation with the community.
The clerk had already publicised the opportunity for locals to contribute suggestions in Parish News and had also emailed over 70 parish contacts advising them of the proposed name of "Old Sawmills Place" and asking for comments and 10 contacts had responded.
At its October meeting, the parish council agreed to base its response based upon this feedback and decided to suggest an alternative name of "Bagham Place" as the site had a stronger historical link with the name Bagham and this name has been accepted by ABC and the Developer.
 
       
    PARISH COUNCIL CONSULTED RE STATION CAR PARK MANAGEMENT PROPOSALS  
    The planning permission granted by Ashford Borough Council for the housing development at the Old Sawmills site included a condition that requires the submission of a scheme for controlling the use and management of the new Station car park for users of the station to ABC for its approval.  
    ABC has received a planning application to discharge this condition and has consulted the parish council.  
    Click here for more details on the proposed management scheme.  
    The application was considered at the August meeting and the parish council unanimously agreed to object strongly to the application making the following observations:
1) there should be no charge for parking and no management or administration fees – a requirement of the s106 agreement
2) priority for season tickets should be given to those who live within the parish of Chilham (not just Chilham)
3) the parking spaces currently in use in along Station Approach would be lost.
 
    Latest news and background to the parish council response to the Sawmills development can be found on the Sawmills Development page by clicking here.  
       
    PARISH COUNCIL SURGERY NOW HELD BEFORE EACH MONTHLY MEETING  
    The clerk and parish council chair Roy Lincoln arrive 30mins prior to parish council meetings (ie at 7pm) so that parishioners can come along to raise and discuss any issues or concerns they would like they parish council to take up on their behalf.  
    This is intended to complement existing methods of contacting the parish council, eg. using the clerks phone or email address or the feedback form on the how are we doing page.  
       
    PARISH COUNCIL TAKES RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP TAYLORS HILL TOILETS OPEN FROM APRIL 2013  
    The parish council has employed a cleaner and took over responsibility for the toilets on 1st April.  
    The parish council had agreed to the transfer of responsibility of the toilets (including the freehold) from Ashford Borough Council (ABC) following the mandate it received from the local community in the recent leaflet consultation, ie that Chilham Parish Council should keep the toilets open and accept that Band D council tax in the parish of Chilham could increase by £12 per annum per household for the 2013/14 tax year. (A Band D increase of £12 would mean increases ranging from around £8 for Band A up to around £24 for Band H).  
    Following a reduction in its grant from Central Government, ABC undertook a major budget and spending review in 2011. One of the decisions taken at the end of that process related to public conveniences.  
    It decided that from April 2013, a number of public conveniences in rural areas should transfer to local parish council management. One of those affected is located in Taylor’s Hill Car Park, Chilham. For ABC, this would save money and if the facility was to continue to be available, costs would transfer to Chilham Parish Council. Having accepted the responsibility, the Parish Council will receive a one–off cash allocation and has agreed to retain the facility for a minimum period of three years.  
       
    HIGH SPEED BROADBAND FROM VFAST MADE POSSIBLE BY THE KCC COMMUNITY BROADBAND GRANT  
    With the aid of a KCC Grant of £47,400, the parish council have selected Vfast to provide the opportunity of high speed broadband to all properties within the parish.  
    Vfast have already connected several properties in Shottenden to a better than 20Mb broadband service and have started work in other areas of the parish including Chilham.  
    Regrettably, this project has not progressed in the way anticipated. At the 2013 Annual Parish Meeting it was reported that the signing of a contract and the roll out of the service had been delayed by the need to install a repeater on St Mary’s Church and that required planning permission by ABC and approval from the diocese. Following planning approval, the negotiations around contractual matters between Vfast and the diocese took some months to resolve for very good reasons, but eventually agreement was reached and work completed and signed off in late January. Unfortunately, in winter 2013 CPC was advised that it did not have the statutory power to spend the grant. As a result, CPC now believes that KCC will recover the grant and use KCC procurement procedures to contract with Vfast to provide the proposed service. However, KCC must first agree an internal procedure by which CPC can return the grant. KCC has agreed to arrange a meeting with Vfast to which CPC will be invited in order to resolve this matter. In the event that the grant is not recalled by KCC before October 2014, CPC will be bound to return it under the grant conditions.  
    The parish council made its decision to select Vfast primarily on the following:- physical and structural impact on the parish; overall parish coverage; versatile financial packages; system speeds; implementation timescale; localised technical support; ability to accommodate local business.  
    While high speed broadband from VFast is currently available to properties within direct sight of the Boughton mast, the KCC grant will enable VFast to put in extra infrastructure that will extend this service to the remaining properties in the parish that are not within direct sight.  
       
    RECYCLING GRANTS AWARDED  
    The parish council has awarded the following grants from the recycling credits received in respect of materials deposited at the recycling centre in Taylors Hill car park during 2012/13:-  
    £500 to St Mary Church for churchyard maintenance equipment
£250 to ChilKidz for the Halloween event
£500 to Shottended fireworks display
£825 to CPRGT for new fire alarm and electrical work
£750 to CTRG towards Chilham brochure costs
£350 to 1st Chilham Rainbow and Brownies towards vehicle and equipment hire
£750 to Chilham Village Hall for exterior works
 
    A further £500 was earmarked for a finger post in Chilham Square.  
    These grants would be presented for payment when the required proof of expenditure had been received.  
       
    PLEASE CONTINUE TO USE TAYLORS HILL RECYCLING CENTRE  
    The parish council is aware that all properties in the parish have now received information regarding the new waste and recycling scheme. This came into effect from w/c 8th July.  
    The parish council understands the borough council’s desire to improve its waste collection performance, particularly in respect of recycling. However it also wishes to retain the benefits which the parish has enjoyed under the current arrangements provided through the recycling centre at Taylors Hill car park.  
    That service is currently managed by Ashford Borough Council who have confirmed that it will remain available until April 2015. Thanks to your support, a significant level of income has been paid to the parish council (over £33k since 2005, currently averaging over £4.5k p.a.).  
    These monies have been allocated to provide funding for many local organisations. In some cases these funds were used to secure match funding with other bodies both local and national (since 2008 over £24k has enabled 52 community projects costing over £93k to obtain match funding of over £37k).  
    Without recycling revenues, the parish council will be unable to continue the current level of support to the local community. It therefore seeks your support to ensure that existing levels of income continue and if possible increase, through depositing recyclable materials at the Taylors Hill recycling centre. Over the coming months the parish council will be looking at options for preserving this facility in the parish after 2015. Any new arrangement would be managed by the parish council and we will keep you updated on progress as appropriate.  
    In the meantime, please take your newspapers, magazines, glass bottles and cans to Taylors Hill car park. If you have any difficulty in transporting your materials please contact Cllr Graham Swan on 01227 731478 and he will do his best to arrange collection from your property.  
    Working together across the parish we can really make a difference.  
       
    CHILHAM SQUARE PROJECT MOVES FORWARD WITH IMPROVED GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS  
    In February 2012, parish councillors, Chilhams Future Delivery Board (CFDB) and ABC met to consider the way forward, funding opportunities and the future role of CFDB.  
    The notes of the meeting were subsequently approved and in accordance with the resolutions agreed, the CFDB offer for future governance was formally accepted at the April parish council meeting. As a result, there are now 3 parish councillors who are directors of CFDB.  
    CFDB were asked to continue their funding search and contact KCC regarding contractors to implement option2 - the scheme with most community support at the open meeting in November 2010.  
    Earlier, in July 2011, cllrs had met with CFDB to cover the following items:  
    1) what has been done since the open meeting in November 2010  
    2) what are the proposed next steps  
    3) what is the continued purpose of CFDB  
    A further meeting with CFDB was held in November 2011 before the meeting with ABC was finally agreed.  
    In January 2011, CFDB had produced the final deliverable from their community engagement exercise – a technical design brief based upon Option2 (the scheme that achieved most community support ) and since then have been looking into future funding and developing a plan for the remainder of the project.  
    In a complementary initiative by the parish council to identify what could be funded by public money, work is underway on County Councillor Andrew Wickham’s Members Highway Fund proposals that include improved signage at both the main entrances to the Square (ie bottom of Taylors Hill and along the Avenue) and a change of priority to direct traffic into the car park rather than up Taylors Hill.  
       
    COMMUNITY EMERGENCY PLANNING  
    Emergencies happen. The emergency services will always have to prioritise those in greatest need during an emergency, especially where life is in danger. There will be times when you may be affected by an emergency but your life is not in immediate danger. During this time you need to know how to help yourself and those around you. By becoming more resilient, our community can complement the work of local emergency responders (eg Kent Fire and Rescue Services (KFRS), Kent Police and South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB) and reduce the impact of an emergency on our community.  
    In getting started to plan effectively for our community, as many people as possible within our community should have an opportunity to get involved.  
    The parish council is considering an open meeting where the community can discuss their priorities for the plan and identify who is interested in helping to create it.  
    If you are interested in getting involved, contact the clerk via the feedback form on the how are we doing page.  
       
    RURAL OLDER PERSONS HOUSING PROJECT  
    The parish council is participating in a project instigated by ABC to explore the need for older peoples accommodation in rural areas.  
    Check out the planning team section of the what we are doing page for more details of their plans.  
       
 
CATHAS SEAT COMPLETED ON CYCLEWAY BETWEEN CHARTHAM AND GODMERSHAM - OFFICIAL LAUNCH ON 3RD MAY
A local project to instal a seat offering stunning views of the Stout Valley and Chilham Castle on the new cycle path has recently been completed. The Cathas seat website has more details and supporters are invited to attend the launch on 3rd May.
 
CLARIFICATION OF STATUS OF PLANS FOR SOLAR PARK IN OLD WIVES LEES
The parish council is aware that ABC have received an enquiry with regard to a solar park in farmland at Old Wives Lees. The basis of this enquiry was to establish whether an Environmental Impact Statement (EIA) was required for such a development and ABC have confirmed that an EIA would be required.
ABC have also advised the parish council that if and when a formal application is received for the proposed solar park, then it and any neighbours of the land on which the solar park is to be situated would be consulted.
 
MESSAGE FROM ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL: YOUR RECYCLING AND WASTE COLLECTION SERVICE IS IMPROVING!
You told us you wanted more opportunities to recycle - we have listened and are introducing a new and improved service across the borough.
Ashford is getting a new waste collection service from April 2013, which will let you recycle more materials, including cardboard, Tetra Pak and plastics, and introduce a new weekly food waste collection. All of this will help the council – and its residents – save money and protect the environment.
The new service will be run in partnership with Swale Borough Council, Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council.
What will we collect:
The new service will be rolled out from April 2013, and we will be sending you full details of what containers your property will be getting in the new year.
Food Waste – Weekly: Raw and cooked meat and fish, all dairy products, fruit and veg, bread and pulses, tea and coffee, rice, pasta, leftovers, oils, butter, fats.
Recycling – Fortnightly: Cardboard, paper, magazines, plastic bottles, plastic food containers, yoghurt pots, Tetra Pak food and drink cartons, food tins, drink cans, foil, glass, aerosols, textiles.
Household Waste – Fortnightly: Cling film, polystyrene, crisp packets, sanitary products, nappies, cat litter.
For more information check out the Waste and Recycling page on the ABC website.
There will also be a new garden recycling collection service this year, as part of the overall new recycling and waste service.
The service does not launch until June, but ABC still want people to register their interest online now. Details of the service, including a new FAQ section, and a form for people to leave their details has been set up at this link .
 
BEWARE OF CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU SCAM
Members of the public are being telephoned by someone pretending to be from CAB and offering debt advice. Citizens Advice never call a member of the public without them having first contacted the CAB and giving permission for a call back.
Members of the public are reminded that they should never give personal details, banking information or other data to anyone who cold calls them. They are also reminded that the Citizens Advice Bureau do not charge a fee for the advice they give.
For more information about Ashford CAB click here to read their Spring 2013 newsletter.
 
HEALTHWATCH KENT - FREE INFORMATION SERVICE AVAILABLE FOR ALL
Healthwatch Kent is the new, independent consumer champion for health and social care users and is helping people find the health and social care services that are right for them. Everything that Healthwatch Kent does will bring the voice and influence of local people to the development and delivery of local services. A coordinated and unified voice is a stronger voice for children, young people and adults who use Kent’s health and social care services. For further details, click here .
 
Be Our Buddy (BOB) - a community based service supporting young people across Kent who have a mild/moderate disability
Voluntary Action within Kent has expanded its "Be Our Buddy" project into all Kent districts. BOB recruits peer mentors to work with young people (8-18 years) with mild disabilities or a social communication difficulty. This service supports young people to overcome real and perceived barriers and enables them to access mainstream activities such as sport, Uniform groups, dance, art and drama classes etc. This community based service is recruiting volunteers (16-30 years) to befriend young people and full training will be provided. For further information, including referral procedures and local contacts please see our website .
 
Volunteer Countryside Access Warden Training Invitation
The volunteer Countryside Access Warden scheme is currently looking for wardens within specific areas of Kent and our parish is one of our target areas. It has extended an invitation to our parishioners to the next training day on Saturday 10th November.
Please click here for the letter of invitation and details about the volunteer role.
 
OWL Green and Latin Field protected as a QE2 Field In Trust
The parish council has been successful in nominating OWL Green and Latin Field as QE2 fields to celebrate the Queens jubilee.
QE2 Fields in Trust is the only independent UK-wide charity dedicated to protecting and improving outdoor spaces for sport, play and recreation and OWL Green and Latin Field have been added to its list of protected outdoor spaces. Membership provides a campaigning voice for lobbying government for greater statutory protection of outdoor spaces across the UK. As members, the parish coumcil will also benefit from a range of special offers such as discounts on outdoor equipment and services for playgrounds, parks, sports and recreational spaces.
 
Ashford Voice
Keep in touch with what’s happening in Ashford with Ashford Voice magazine. Subscribe for free and get instant access to the latest news from the council, what’s on in the borough, fun features, and fantastic pictures.
 
Chilham Parish
Check out the self funding locally run Chilham Parish website to find out loads of useful and interesting information and anecdotes about the parish and its local history.
 
Enjoy Chilham
Check out the Enjoy Chilham website for more information on Chilham and its local businesses.
 
Chilham's Future
Check out the Chilham's Future Delivery Board website to find out what they are doing to revitalise Chilham Square.
 
Chilham Village Hall
Check out the Chilham Village Hall website to find out the facilities available and how to book.
 
Old Wives Lees Village Hall
Check out the Old Wives Lees Village Hall website to find out the facilities available following the recent refurbishment and how to book.
 
Chilham Sports Centre
Check out the Chilham Sports Centre website to find out the facilities available and how to book.
 
Chilham School
Check out the Chilham St Marys CofE Primary School website to find out their latest news and useful information for prospective parents.
 
Chilham Nursing Association
The object of this charity is to relieve in cases of need, persons resident in the parishes of Chilham, Godmersham, Challock and Molash who are sick, convalescent, disabled, handicapped or infirm ... provided that neither the National Health Service nor the Social Services is not bound by statute to meet such assistance.
If you are aware of any person who could benefit from this charity, please contact Rev Paul Ratcliffe on 01227 738720.
 
Chilham United Charities
These charities are for the benefit of any needy person in the parish of Chilham - including Old Wives Lees and Shottenden.
Anyone aware of a person living in the parish who could benefit should contact Rev Paul Ratcliffe on 01227 738720.
 
Wealden Wheels
Following promising usage of this scheme since 2009, the parish council decided to fund extending membership for another year – at the last count 22 groups and families have enrolled to use this service and average usage is 2 bookings per month.
They operate 3 vehicles:
1) a 15-seater custom-built Vauxhall Movano, with a tail lift for wheelchair access and removable seats that allows transport for up to 3 wheelchair-bound passengers or folded wheelchairs
2) a 9-seater Ford Tourneo, again with removable seats for additional space
3) a 7-seater Volkswagen Caddy, with disabled access via a rear ramp. This vehicle is owned by East Kent Strokes and is managed by Wealden Wheels on their behalf. It is available for hire to all members.
For more details contact Wealden Wheels on 01233 840000.
 
Ashford and Tenterden Community Car Scheme
Are you: elderly? Infirm? Disabled?
Volunteering Ashford run a Community Car Scheme, it can provide transport to enable you to get to those places that help you remain independent.
The service is run by volunteers, both the person who takes your booking and the driver who drives you to where you want to go. There is a mileage and booking fee. They ask for 3 to 4 working days notice for bookings.
For more information please call 01233 633219. Please Note: This is not a commercial taxi service.
 
Free Information and Advice Service from Age UK
Age UK offer Information and Advice, predominately to those aged over 50 covering:
-Benefit Information, Advice & Form-Filling Service for Benefits such as Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit, State Pension and many more
-Information & Help applying for Heating Grants
-Help finding Trusted Tradesmen or Free Handyman services in your area
-Carer Information
-Advice and referrals for Disability Aids
-Referrals to a range of services such as Health / Social Care Organisations for assistance
Home visits can be arranged or you can drop into any of their local offices.
For more details contact Lana Newman of Age UK on 01233 668765
 
Citizens Rights for Older People (CROP)
CROP is an independent advocacy service who will advocate for any older person. Do you need someone to speak on your behalf?
One of their trained volunteer advocates will visit you in your own home to help with most issues, for example:
-Negotiating Care Services
-Making a Complaint
-Putting finances in order
-Benefits/Council Tax/Pension Credits
-Family and Other Conflict
-Helping recently bereaved with paperwork
-Abusive Behaviour
-Consumer Disputes
The service is free and confidential.
Email the Ashford and Shepway team for more information.
 
Kent Probation - Community Payback
In any week the community payback scheme carries out nearly 6,000 hours of unpaid and supervised work for the community across Kent as offenders pay back for the crimes they have committed.
Community Payback projects range from litter removal to clearing dense under growth, and environmental projects through repairing and redecorating community centres or removing graffiti. Offenders usually work as part of a team, monitored by a supervisor, and will work all day with short breaks, although there are some opportunities for individual placements.
Local people and community groups are encouraged to help with the selection of projects that will help make their community a better place to live. The scheme looks for projects or jobs, not normally carried out by paid workers, which combine both hard work and learning skills.
To be considered your project must meet the following criteria:
a) It must benefit the local community
b) It must not take paid work away from others
c) No one must make a profit from the work
d) It must be challenging and demanding
e) It must be worthwhile and constructive
Offenders must be seen to be putting something back into the community.
Anyone can nominate a project, so, if you are an individual, member of a club, community group, faith group or voluntary organisation and have a project that fits the criteria above please call Kent's Community Payback Resource Hub on 03000 473100.
 
Public Transport Journey Planner
Travelling by public transport to our from London and the Southeast - then check out the Traveline website to plan your trip using buses coaches trains or undergound.
 
Severe weather train service updates
Dont freeze waiting for a train service that has been cancelled due to the bad weather - checkout the National Rail website to get live travel updates.
 
Kent Landscape Information System
Want to find out more about the countryside around us - then check out the Kent Landscape Information System website and get details of access to the local countryside, its landscape and its character. There a loads options you can select. It can even show you the parish boundary.
 
WhatsOn Listing
Want to find out more about village events and clubs, then check out our whats on in the parish page.
Our community events committee have put this together. The aim is to promote any event in the parish so if you want your event included please contact the clerk using the feedback form on our how are we doing page.
The Whats On listing will also be posted on village noticeboards at the start of each month.
 
Recycle Low Energy Bulbs
The CoBRA scheme is a multi national award winning scheme allows community volunteers to become custodians of a small collection box for CFLs (Low Energy Light Bulbs), which, on a large scale, are very harmful to the environment if not recycled properly due to their mercury content.
After a short and simple sign-up process on our website the volunteer will be sent a collection box, free of charge, and given all the tools they’ll need to undertake their important work. All they need do then is to take the contents of the full box to one of our ‘bulking up’ centres. From there, they will be collected and responsibly recycled by Recolight – a not-for-profit industry compliant who are generous enough to be supporting this scheme throughout the UK.
CoBRA already has the interests of over 50 UK councils since its launch in September and the backing of environment minister, Lord Henley, and is fully approved by all the relevant agencies (E.A., defra and DfT).
 
Fly Posters
Unofficial posters are becoming an increasing problem in the parish especially when they are positioned on dangerous junctions and could distract drivers and result in accidents.
The parish council supports local businesses and their use of appropriate advertising. Removing illegal signs is a matter for Kent Highways and the parish council has no powers to remove signs itself.
The role of the parish council is to encourage advertisers to understand and act within the law and also encourage the appropriate authority to act when necessary. The booklet Outdoor Advertisements And Signs - Guide For Advertisers is recommended reading.
If you see a badly positioned or unofficial poster please contact the clerk or better still contact the Ashford Borough Council Planning Enquiries team and they will be able to take the necessary action.
 
Roadworks
Delays due to roadworks dont have to take you by surprise and delay your journey...
Kent Highways have a regular piece in Kent On Sunday providing travel advice and details of planned roadworks and you can also find more information on their website.
You can also register with the Elgin system to receive email alerts of roadworks within a specified distance from your chosen post code.
 
Traffic News
You can get up to date traffic information on the BBC Kent traffic web page. Another way of preventing unforeseen delays to your journey ...
 
 
  Chilham Parish Council - serving Chilham, Old Wives Lees and Shottenden