The installation of two defibrillators was one of the topics considered at the Hollingbourne Annual Parish Assembly in the Village Hall on 25th April. Frank Bradshaw, the local Emergency Responder, gave a talk about defibrillators which can save lives if administered within four minutes of a heart attack. Other local villages have had them installed and each installation costs about £2500 including VAT and in the case of Hollingbourne the ideal solution would be to install one in Upper Street near to the Dirty Habit and one in Eyhorne Street near to the Sugar Loaves or Windmill public houses. Volunteers may be needed to help with their use and Mr Bradshaw surprised the 50 strong audience with the news that the average age for heart attack victims is only 20 due to lifestyle choices including drugs and alcohol. The Parish Council was urged to consider the matter further.
Other speakers at the meeting that was chaired by Parish Councillor Simon Hulme included three of the five candidates for Maidstone Rural East in the Kent County Council elections on 4th May. They were Dennis Eagle (Green), Mark Mcgiffin (UKIP), and Shellina Prendergast (Conservative).
Presentations from speakers representing local organisations followed:-
Jim Findlay from All Saint’s Church reported on the search for a new priest following the retirement of the Reverend Nigel Fry in April 2015.
Mel Lawlee from the After School Club advised the meeting that the Club had some vacancies.
Matt Allardyce from Harrietsham Parish Council invited liaison with Hollingbourne Parish Council on local issues.
Ralph Baldock from Hollingbourne CP School reported on the recent excellent Ofsted inspection and the fact that Hollingbourne has been rated in the top 1% of Primary Schools for English.
John Holley reported on behalf of the Friends of Hollingbourne’s Historic Church who are funding repairs to the vestry roof as well as the Village Hall Committee who are trying to obtain a new lease for the Village Hall in Windmill Lane from Enterprise Inns PLC. The previous lease expired in August 2016 and the landlords are delaying negotiations until it is known whether or not there will be any housing development alongside Windmill Lane which Enterprise Inns PLC partly own. They control vehicle access rights along the narrow single track Windmill Lane public footpath (PROW KH199) to the Village Hall and to a possible housing development in a field on the opposite side of the Lane. A recent planning application has been withdrawn but another one is expected in due course. Until the matter is resolved the Village Hall Committee has concerns about the long term future of the Hall which was built in 1968 with monies raised in Hollingbourne on land leased by Whitbread’s Chiswell Properties Limited who are now part of Enterprise Inns PLC (now renamed EI Group PLC).
Deidre Diggins from Athelstan Green expressed the concerns of local residents about access and other problems caused by the building works in Musket Lane.
Derek Davison spoke on behalf of the Royal British Legion who raised £23,000 from poppy sales last year, the rebuilding of the Village War Memorial with help from a Tesco charity, and the Hollingbourne and Templeuve Twinning Committee who would like more support especially with the proposed visit to France on 24th and 25th June. More details are available from Derek Davison (Tel 880650).
Pam Nash reported that the new church bells installed in 2016 had been a great success and that the All Saints’Bell Ringers are looking for new members.
Jean Talboys spoke about the locally organised coach trips to concerts.
Val Williams spoke on behalf of the Women’s Institute and gave a summary of their activities including the Annual Pancake Race and the Safari Market on 23rd September.
Rebecca Arnott from Maidstone Museum told the meeting about their recent acquisition of an Anglo Saxon Grave Assemblage that was found in Hollingbourne. The £10,000 purchase was partly financed by a £500 donation from Hollingbourne Parish Council.
Shaun Cardwell from the Hollingbourne Meadows Trust advised the meeting that they have 21 trees awaiting sponsorship and that Hadlow College send students to work on the Meadows.
Michael Bedwell reported on the Football and Cricket Clubs who are both seeking new members especially the Cricket Club whose members are getting older.
Finally guests Peter Rowlinson and Mark Harrison gave a talk on the Heritage Crime Initiative and Heritage Watch. Hollingbourne has 76 listed properties of which 70 are low risk because they are inhabited. The Country Eye App which can work in place of the 101 telephone number was explained.
The evening which included refreshments closed at 10pm with a raffle.
Pictured below is Parish Clerk Vicki Smith with the Hollingbourne cake which was enjoyed during the evening.