Update from Borough Councillor Patrik Garten on Hollingbourne issues.

Local Borough Councillor Patrik Garten has advised the Parish Councillor that he will not be able to attend the Annual Parish Assembly in the Hollingbourne Village Hall at 7.30pm on 25th April and has sent the following message to local residents:-

Dear Residents

I am very sorry that I cannot attend the Annual Parish Assembly as I am on a CPD course in Austria this week.

I agreed this course last September, thinking that the end of April may be a suitably quiet time. This must have been my worst miscalculation since you entrusted your vote in me.  The past weeks were remarkably busy but I’ve been kept on my toes virtually every day since last May.

There were some minor planning problems in the village, but a few mega ones needed addressing too: For one, there was the possible development in Windmill Lane, which luckily has been kicked in the tall grass for now, and, most currently, Woodcut Farm at Junction 8.  Thursday evening the Planning Committee will address the latter once again. I wrote a comment on the village website last Friday after weeks of lobbying members and working in the background. The five most affected ward councillors formed a joint working group under my steer and Councillor Springett will speak on our behalf Thursday night.

In joint collaboration with the Parish Council I forged closer communications with Southeastern Rail regarding the Station and Station Approach. The streetlights will be sorted soon. There is an underground cable fault and Southeastern is in touch with Network Rail over this.  With regards to hedge clearance and litter, I think that we have already seen some improvement .

Generally, litter and fly-tipping is certainly a topic which causes me sleepless nights.

Maidstone has a very good website to report any fly-tipping. While you may report by phone, the operator will use the same website like you would if you’d report it on-line. A few quick words regarding the use of the site:

You can zoom in a map or satellite view and pinpoint quite precisely the illegal tip. You can also see whether the spot has already been reported.  Should you get the response that you cannot report here, just zoom closer, as your pointer probably strayed just off the public highway onto private land. This GPS system is very precise. Your report will be automatically transferred to the nearest operator and the Borough’s fastest collection on record was within 7 minutes ! –admittedly this was a one-off. The target is however 48 hours including weekends.

The whole system is statistic and performance driven, meaning, the more reports are made, the more resources will be allocated. All reports will be uploaded to the Environment Agency’s computer.  It is therefore important to report every fly-tip individually. Do not post a note in the comment box saying: “there is another pile 20 metres down the road” This must be reported individually or it will get ignored.

The message to take away here is: report it, report it, report it….!

There would be so much more to tell and I may see some of you individually over the next months. As a group, I’m looking forward to seeing you next year and I learned my lesson to keep my diary free in April !

I regularly attend the monthly parish council’s meetings and it would be great to see you there, if you want to catch up or just come by for a chat.

However, if you have a problem or want to give me any sort of feedback, my details are on the village website as well as on Maidstone’s website. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

I hope that you enjoy the rest of the evening.

Cllr Patrik Garten