TENTERDEN TOWN COUNCIL
Newsletter - Spring 2017
Office opening hours: 9am-4pm Monday to Friday
Post: Town Hall, 24 High Street, Tenterden, TN30 6AN
Phone: 01580 762271 or follow us on Facebook or Twitter
It has been a year since we last released a newsletter, and a lot has happened in that time. It is quite difficult to release an “up-to-date” newsletter, as inevitably by the time it hits your doormat so much has changed!
The last year has been dominated by an extensive public consultation process, and we are now at a stage where we can at least give a brief report on the consultants’ findings, and some indication of how the process will move forward.
Keep in mind the office at the Town Hall is open from 9 till 4 on weekdays if you have any queries, and if we can’t help you directly, we usually know someone who can.
TOWN MAYOR’S UPDATE
Well where has the time gone? Only a few weeks left of our current Council year and indeed my second Mayoral term.
For me it has been a great privilege to have had this opportunity and I hope I have been seen to have done a reasonable job. It has been a busy time for myself and my husband Terry; we have met some great inspiring people and visited many interesting places around Kent and beyond. It has been our aim and indeed 'job' to promote Tenterden and all it has to offer. When we say where we are from, we always get the response 'I love Tenterden'.
Council cogs turn frustratingly slowly but I can happily say we have achieved much in the past two years, which has seen eight new Councillors join. With the Tent 1 development now well underway and Participatory Budgeting process in place, together we will continue to keep Tenterden a great place to live, work and visit, while striving to preserve the attributes that make it 'The Jewel of the Weald'.
I hope to see many of you at the Town meeting on 10th April.
We have updated our website to give you a fresh, friendly and easy-to-use experience. We think you will find it very much more helpful, but as ever if you have any feedback on this we would be very happy to hear from you. The website address remains the same: tenterdentowncouncil.gov.uk
GREENS & VERGE MAINTENANCE
The Town Council has taken on the contract to maintain greens and verges within the 30mph area of the town. It is hoped that we will be able to offer a service that is faster and of a superior quality than we have seen in recent years.
Andy Corcoran (top) and Rowan Painter (left) join Dave Bourner and Site Manager Lee Jarvis (right) to deal with the increased workload, which includes mowing verges, cutting hedges, play area inspection, and a whole host of related tasks.
If you see an area of public land which needs maintenance (in 30mph areas) please bring it to the attention of the Town Clerk’s office. Please note that areas under private ownership (such as boundary hedges abutting the highway) remain the responsibility of the landowner.
MAYOR’S CHARITY FUND
Every year the Town Mayor raises money for nominated or charities. In the 2015-2016 Mayoral year £4619.55 was split between South East Coast Ambulance First Responders, Kent Young Carers and Tenterden Day Centre. So far in 2016-2017 £3290.00 has been raised for Kent Air Ambulance and Pilgrim’s Hospice.
ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
This year’s annual town meeting will be held on Monday 10th April 2017, at 7.30pm. It is an opportunity for residents and local groups to share updates and ask questions. The Town Council will host the meeting at the Town Hall, and the Town Mayor will be the chairman. All residents are warmly invited to join us.
PUBLIC TOILETS: MEET LAURA
Hi, I’m Laura Napper, and I’m the Managing Director of Tenterden Twilight Commercial Cleaning. We provide cleaning services for the public toilets in Tenterden and St. Michaels. As a resident of Tenterden and having raised children, I understand all too well the importance of having a toilet that is hygienic. Personally I feel that we are so lucky to have such great facilities here, and my team and I love being part of it.
The company was founded in 2015, and is proud to play a big part in keeping Tenterden’s toilets clean and tidy for residents and tourists alike. We started with a mission – to make things beautifully clean. We are extremely proud to be part of Tenterden Town Council’s wider team. Since starting on the toilets in Tenterden, we have now grown to clean other toilets in Kent and East Sussex as well.
At the moment we are carrying out staff training so our toilets seem a little busier than usual. With the right training from me and the full support of the Town Council, our staff make a great team, and we have taken on the added responsibility of giving work experience for the Kent County Council Supported Employment project, so we are working together to get the job done.
You may have seen us at local events such as the Folk Festival, the Christmas Market, and Tentertainment. If you see us out and about, say hello – we welcome all feedback as it really gives us something to work with and towards.
In the latter half of 2016, very many residents participated in a consultation process looking at the needs and desires of the town for the future, in order to identify how best to spend the income generated by the sale of the Town Council’s land as part of the Tent 1 development. The consultation was carried out by an independent consultant engaged by the Town Council, but without involvement from the Council itself.
The consultant’s recommendations have been widely publicised in the local press, and a full copy of the report can be read at the Town Clerk’s office and on our website.
We are keen to maintain some momentum on the project, and the next step in the process is to establish focus groups looking at particular proposals in greater detail. These will have 6 to 10 members, including a couple of Councillors with the rest made up of local people with a specific interest in that particular field.
The focus groups currently being set up are:
- Tenterden Recreation Ground reordering and youth hub,
- Town Hall repairs, possible extension and possible community hub,
- Potential cinema,
- Outdoor pitches / football hub,
- Community halls and virtual hub
A design team will be appointed to work alongside the focus groups. If you would be interested in joining one of the groups, please contact us (using the details on the front of this newsletter) giving your name, contact details, age and particular area of interest.
We are also keen to keep abreast of projects at St. Mildred’s Church and the Leisure Centre, and would welcome an opportunity to work with both organisations in furthering their aims.
EAST CROSS GARDEN
We are in the process of enhancing East Cross Garden (at the eastern end of the High Street) to make it more attractive and easier to use by all members of the community. If everything goes as planned, the paved surface will be improved, as well as the walls and planted areas. Volunteer gardener Nikki Stewart has been working with us to create an attractive scheme for the garden.
TENT 1 DEVELOPMENT
You will have seen that work has begun in earnest on both halves of the Tent 1 site. It is anticipated that sales will start in the Summer, and this will be advertised by the developers.
Both of the developers are keen that the town should not be too heavily inconvenienced by the work taking place, and have made their site managers available to you if you need to report any issues arising from the build;
Eastern part of the site (Recreation Ground Road): Dandara - Paul Hatfield - 07730 598387
Western part of the site (Smallhythe Road): Taylor Wimpey - Neil Johnson - 07823 416606
Site traffic is restricted from using Recreation Ground Road during school drop-off and collection times to minimize the impact at these busy times. Changes have been made to the way in which the leisure centre is accessed, so please pay attention to the new road layout.
CLASSES AT THE TOWN HALL AND THE PAVILION
A range of classes are held at the Town Hall and the Pavilion. Please contact instructors directly if you would like to join. If you’d like to hold a class in a Council venue, just speak to the Town Clerk’s office.
Could you stay calm in an emergency such as severe weather, prolonged power cuts, etc.?
We are looking for volunteers to act as a link between emergency plan coordinators and residents. During and after an emergency, the role is to pass information from coordinators to residents, and vice-versa.
Some may have special training or qualifications which may be of assistance until the emergency services arrive, while others might simply visit vulnerable people, help with transport or pass messages on foot if necessary. Volunteers without specific skills or equipment are not expected to become directly involved in coping with the effects of an emergency; their vital role is as a liaison: they form the backbone of the emergency plan.
Volunteers can perform useful functions before an emergency, like reporting problem drains to minimise flooding, monitoring weather warnings, and encouraging others to do the same.
If you might be interested in this role, get in touch and we can give you more information. The full plan can be viewed on our website.
TOWN HALL SERVICES
The Town Hall is the home to the Town Council’s offices and meetings. Space is also set aside for Ashford Borough Council, the Tourist Information Centre and the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB opening hours: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9am until 12.30pm). We hire out rooms for a number of uses, including ceremonies, plays, fitness classes, meetings and more.
If you’d like information on any of the public services at the Town Hall, or are looking to hire a space, get in touch with the Town Clerk’s office.
The Pavilion on Tenterden Recreation Ground (opposite the Leisure Centre) is being used for an array of activities, such as drama, martial arts and yoga. The central hall measures 8.56m x 5.22m and there are toilet, shower and kitchen facilities. It was renovated a little while ago, so if you know it from a few years ago, it is well-worth a visit. It is very affordable to hire, so if you’re looking for a space for an event, class or rehearsal please get in touch.
Meetings of the Town Council and its committees are held on a three-weekly cycle, at the Town Hall, and are all open to the public. A time is always included on the agenda for public participation - if you would like to make a presentation, comment or ask a question, please make contact with the Town Clerk’s office no later than midday on the day of the meeting.
A schedule of meetings is on our website, or you can pick up a copy in the Town Hall.
Tenterden’s traditional May Fayre will be held on Tenterden Recreation Ground from midday until 4pm on Bank Holiday Monday 1st May. Come down for the usual mix of games, performances, and the ever-popular fun dog show.
There has been an increase in incidents of dogs fouling our pavements and public open spaces. We are investigating successful schemes from around the county in order to take action. In the meantime we appeal to dog owners to make sure that you always have a bag with you and put the waste into a litter bin.
CONTACTING THE TOWN COUNCIL
You can contact your local Councillor using the telephone numbers and email addresses below, or you can bring any matter to the attention of staff at the Town Clerk’s office, which is open from 9am until 4pm Monday to Friday. Staff will often be able to help you directly, or can refer matters to the Council.