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 form on 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.  
    Following the recent elections in which Doug Marriott, Gill Schofield, Paul Lulham and Steve Gretton were elected parish councillors, there were 5 vacancies.
    Since then, 4 new members have been co-opted, Florence Bouzekria, Giovanna Brennan, Lindsay Heasman and Allan Rooke-James.  
    Their contact details are on the who we are page.  
    The parish council has received the following clarification from officers at Ashford Borough Council (ABC) regarding the sums available, ie:  
Play Provision
Outdoor Sport
Informal Open Space
    As a result, the council has accepted an offer from ABC to make use of its purchasing power and agreed that further meetings should be held to clarify how the monies can be used and address any other issues that may arise.  
    A meeting has been held with other two parish councils to share their experience of making use of developer’s contributions. As a result of the findings from this meeting, the council has agreed that:-  
    1) the Planning team should progress this issue following the suggested terms of reference set out in the paper.  
    2) a meeting should be held in mid to late September to:
(a) better understand the section 106 agreement and the funding available;
(b) discuss potential schemes that were “in the land of the possible; and
(c) plan a local consultation that would take place in early 2016.
    These byways form part of the recently opened cycle path from Chartham to Wye.  
    A Definitive Map Modification Order has been submitted to the Secretary of State in respect of this byway and is to be determined by the Planning Inspectorate.  
    In effect, this order will remove the restricted status of this byway that prevents use by motorcycles and upgrade it to a byway open to all traffic.  
    The Inspectorate considers that it is in everyone’s interest for all objections and representations to be publicly available for inspection.  
    In addition, a local inquiry is arranged to commence on 24th November 2015 at 10.00am in the large hall at Chilham. It is programmed to last for up to 4 days.  
    The parish council will be attending this inquiry and intends to give evidence.  
    25 people attended the Annual Parish Meeting in Chilham Village Hall on Thursday 16th April. Parish Council chair Ali Ralph gave his annual report highlighting key matters addressed by the parish council during the past year. He also thanked a number of individuals and groups for their contribution to parish life.
Vice chair Derrick Kennett thanked those parishioners who had helped out with the Xmas celebrations and reported on progress made with the new village sign at the junction with Felborough Close and the installation of a new noticeboard in the Felborough bus shelter.
Kent County Councillor Andrew Wickham and Borough Councillor Doug Marriott also gave their reports covering issues concerning the county and borough councils.
Reports were also heard from PCSO Chris Ellingham, Chilhams Future Delivery Board, Chilham Recreation Ground Trust, Chilham Village Hall, Neighbourhood Watch and the Community Choir.
While attendees were enjoying refreshments provided by the parish council, there was a unanimous vote of thanks and appreciation for the contribution Alistair Ralph and Derrick Kennett had given to the parish, each having given their time to serve on the parish council for 16 years.
There was special appreciation for Alistair for enduring 3 very difficult years as chairman. .
    Following discussions at its meeting on 21st August 2014, Chilham Parish Council (CPC) agreed to accept the offer of an independent review to be funded by Ashford Borough Council (ABC). Primarily the review would provide an independent facilitation solution to CPC concerns that persistent deterioration in :
1) its relationship with the ABC ward member
2) the behaviour of parish councillors
throughout the life of the current council term
hampered its ability to fulfil its duties to its electorate.
The review would provide all parties with the opportunity to share their concerns and aspirations whilst working together to agree a set of outcomes to address the concerns.
    The review report was finalised in February and the parish council held and extraordinary meeting on 26th February to consider the report and its findings and agree its response.  
    The agreed response is included as an annex to the approved minutes of the meeting.  
    23 parishioners attended a workshop on 11th February in Chilham village hall hosted by the parish council and facilitated by officers from Ashford Borough Council (ABC) to consider the 3 sites shortlisted sites in the parish of Chilham.  
    The 3 sites shortlisted were:-
DN2-Land at Harvest House, Branch Road;
DN12-Land between Bagham Lane and Felborough Close;
DN13-Land between Bagham Road, Arden Grange & recreation ground.
    ABC have provided an outcome statement summarising the conclusions drawn from the workshop. These conclusions will supplement the outcome from last years questionnaires which was strongly against housing development on these sites, and will be included in the remaining assessments to be carried out by ABC before it finalises its Local Plan to 2030.  
    The parish council had invited those parishioners who, at the meeting in St Marys Church on 7th May 2014, had volunteered to attend a workshop on sites in the parish.  
    ABC had previously written a letter to the parish council advising that 3 of the original 10 sites have been shortlisted with the qualification “However, these 'shortlisted' sites are not proposed to be a definitive list of Local Plan site allocations at this stage. The final list of proposed site allocations to be included in the new Local Plan will not be determined until 2015 as we still have a number of assessments to apply to the remaining sites.”  
    Latest news and background to the parish council local consultation regarding sites in the parish of Chilham submitted to ABC can be found on the Sites Submissions page by clicking here.  
    At its January meeting, Chilham Parish Council (CPC) approved a budget and precept proposal from its Resources Committee. The committee had drafted a three year budget forecast the first year of which is 2015/16. Each year assumed at least a break-even policy in a climate of continuing austerity programmes imposed by central government and their influence on parishioners and local authorities. The proposal was consistent with the following CPC decisions:-  
    a) Precept increase should be limited to inflation increase of 1.2% (based on September 2014 C.P.I.) and lost grant revenue in respect of council tax support  
    b) CPC should provide funding to meet the cost of maintaining those services for which it has specific responsibility and at current levels  
    c) Current levels of support for wholly voluntary services should continue as previously  
    d) Funding for trading entities, even where they are provided through voluntary labour should be limited to affordable levels consistent with grant income received  
    For 2015/16, this approach required a precept of £26,321, an increase of £1261 or 5.0% against the current year’s precept. This would mean an increase in Band D rate from £35.06 to £36.73.  
    The parish council has received a letter advising that the Local Government Boundarty Commission For England (LBGCE) is seeking your views on future boundary divisions for Kent County Council.  
    The parish council encourages its parishioners to partici[pate is this review and submit their views.  
    More details about the review can be found on the LGBCE website.  
    KCC is undertaking a series of service reviews including the Community Warden Service and an option to reduce the number of community wardens.
There was a 6 week public consultation in respect of KCC’s Community Warden Service from 29th September to 9th November with a final decision being taken by KCC Members on the 5th December.
Following the consultation, KCC announced that it is proposing to its full Cabinet meeting in January that they should retain their current level of community wardens, which is about 70. The original consultation proposal was to reduce the number of wardens to 46 but they have re-considered it following nearly 1,200 responses. More than 100 responses were from district and parish councils.
For more details click here.
    The parish council considers bids for grants from its recycling fund (monies received in respect of materials deposited at the recycling centre in Taylors Hill car park before it closed in 2014). The following types of bids will be considered:-  
    a) Capital Bids: Bids up to £1,000 will be considered for equipment and other items of a capital nature. The Council may set conditions around agreed sums such as match funding and evidence of income generating initiatives. Funds will normally be released upon completion of order placed but where staged payments are demanded by a supplier or provider - the Council will endeavour to be supportive.  
    b) Revenue Bids: Bids up to £1,000 will be considered to support recurring or extraordinary revenue expenditure. However, the bidder should be able to demonstrate that it is a sustainable entity and that the bid is to encourage and pump prime initiatives for the future. Funding may be agreed on a tapered basis over a period not exceeding three years.  
    c) Individual Parishioner Support: The Council will consider bids to support individual parishioners where this will provide outstanding opportunities for deserving individuals to receive professional guidance in the areas of sport, music, culture and the arts. Grants may be agreed up to a sum of £250.  
    Bids will be assessed against the following criteria:-
i) benefit to the community as a whole;
ii) benefit to youth in the parish;
iii) benefit to seniors in the parish;
iv) benefit to the environment
v) other sources of funding
    Bidders should apply in writing or email to the clerk on or before 31st October, identifying the type of bid being made, describing how the grant would be used and explaining the benefits that this would bring.  
    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.
Discussions have been completed with the PCC and diocese representatives to ensure that the work is compliant with their requirements and approval to carry out the refurbishment has been obtained.
The work has now been completed in commemoration of the outbreak of WW1.
    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 2013 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.
    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 this proposed management scheme.  
    The application was considered at the August 2013 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.
    In March 2014, ABC approved a scheme proposed by Stour Valley Estates (SVE) which identified an annual charge of £430 p.a. for each of 10 available spaces let to subscribing individuals. A further 5 spaces would be provided free of charge on a daily basis by prior arrangement.  
    Click here for more details on the approved management scheme.  
    The parish council has argued the case that it believed all 15 spaces would be provided free of charge for a period of 99 years subject to ABC not levying Business Rates. Those councillors who attended the ABC planning committee in August 2012 came away from that meeting believing that free parking had been secured. However, this is not reflected in the approved minutes of that meeting and ABC have contested that such an agreement would not be legally enforceable.  
    A point has now been reached where ABC has approved a scheme which clearly does not have the support of the parish coluncil. In an attempt to ensure a positive outcome for the parish, two councillors meet the developer’s agent in December 2014 to understand future plans in respect of the management scheme and provide feedback on the management plan and current usage of parking spaces. At this meeting SVE confirmed their plans to implement the approved scheme but agreed to review its costings with a view to reducing the annual charge.  
    A further meeting is now being requested to continue the dialogue and explore opportunities to ensure a positive outcome for the parish.  
    Latest news and background to the parish council response to the Sawmills development can be found on the Sawmills Development page by clicking here.  
    The parish council 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 received a one–off cash allocation and agreed to retain the facility for a minimum period of three years.  
    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 been working in other areas of the parish including Chilham and Old Wives Lees..  
    Regrettably, this project has not progressed in the way anticipated. Unfortunately, last winter CPC was advised that it did not have the statutory power to spend the grant. As a result, CPC has returned the grant to KCC.  
    Cllr Lulham has held discussions with KCC regarding an approach to resolve this matter and the parish council will be requesting a meeting with representatives from the parish council, KCC and Vfast to agree a mutually acceptable way forward.  
    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 available to properties within direct sight of the Boughton mast, extra infrastructure can extend this service to the remaining properties in the parish that are not within direct sight.  
    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, County Councillor Andrew Wickham’s Members Highway Fund proposals that included 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 have been implemented.  
The clerk and parish council chair Ali Ralph 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.
If parishioners wish to bring a matter to the attention of the council they can either contact one of the councillors or they can contact the clerk and request that the matter be included on the agenda or discussed in an Open Forum before the council meeting starts.
A local project to instal a seat offering stunning views of the Stour Valley and Chilham Castle on the new cycle path has recently been completed. The Cathas seat website has more details.
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.
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 .
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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