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Lenham Parish Council

December 2022

The Review of the Maidstone Local Plan

The public hearings relating to Stage One of the MBC Local Plan Review, which is designed to establish whether a plan is “sound” in its basis, are now ended. To be found sound means the plan has to be properly prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy and so it can go forward to form local policies from which delivery will follow.

If it is found sound then Stage Two, during which specific site allocations are discussed and agreed, follows on. If not, then the inspector will write to the borough council outlining the elements of the plan that either require more work or rethought to meet the attribution of soundness overall.

So, what happens next?

We were told by Mr Spencer, the independent examiner, that he would be writing to MBC in the near future to outline his initial thoughts on the plan before him, including what are described as “main modifications” (significant changes) to let them know whether he found the plan sound.

If he feels the plan is not sound, he will highlight these elements and ask for suggested changes.

Mr Spencer emphasised it was not his role to do that work for MBC but will highlight parts of the plan that either require more work or are unlikely to be found sound regardless of more effort. This exchange is likely to take place in the next few weeks, what happens after that, and the timing, relies entirely on what the inspector requires of MBC.

Save Our Heath Lands (SOHL) fundraising

The community group, SOHL, which has been fighting the borough council’s Heathlands proposal alongside the parish council, now needs help if you can give it.

Although the first stage of the inspection has ended, in order for the group to continue to take the arguments to the borough council SOHL is in need of funds so that it can continue to generate expert advice to support the opposition to the Heathlands proposal.

The group recognises that everyone is feeling the pinch financially and has put off asking for financial support until it has become necessary, mindful of the fact that it may only be able to ask for this once.

If you feel you can help, please visit SOHL’s Just Go Fund Me page at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/save-our-heath-lands

Any help you feel you can give will be most appreciated!

Local Government Boundary Commission (England)

There is an article in the news section detailing the outcome of the LGBC(E) consultation. The article also includes the link to the full report on the LGBC(E) website.

In short, the two proposals MBC made which would have divided the electors at Lenham in half were rejected by the LGBC(E) and from May 2024 Harrietsham and Lenham will be part of a larger ward: Harrietsham, Lenham and North Downs which will be represented by three borough councillors.

Parish Council Vacancies

The parish council has vacancies for co-option in North Ward (north of the railway line). The parish council is the first rung of local government, and we are all volunteers so we give what time we have to help keep the parish of Lenham ticking over and make sure the needs of the community are reflected as best we can. It can take as little or as much time as you are able to give and is a very rewarding activity!

If you are interested to learn what we do and how you might join the parish council please contact the Parish Clerk, Lisa, who will be happy to chat things through with you and give you an information pack, or you can contact me for an informal chat.

... and finally

Everyone at the parish council would like to wish all the residents of Lenham, young and old, long-standing and new, the warmest Greetings for the Festive Season.

2022 is a year that none of us will forget in a hurry and the parish council has produced a commemorative booklet as a reminder of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations which will be available in the New Year, more details to follow.

Cllr John Britt (Lenham South)

Chair: Lenham Parish Council

Parish Council Office

The Parish Council office is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00h – 13:00h.

Published agendas will be available here

What does Lenham Parish Council do?

Parish Councils are the tier of local government closest to the people. They are not linked to the church in any way. All parish councillors are volunteers who dedicate their free time to enhancing their parish as best they can by utilising their individual skills and experience.

Those putting themselves forward to serve as a parish councillor have to submit to the regular election process, or, if filling a vacancy mid-term, can be co-opted for the remainder of that electoral term. Electoral terms are four years. The elections for a parish council will only go to a public vote if there are more nominations than there are spaces on the parish council. Lenham parish is currently represented by 13 parish councillors: four representing South Ward (everything south of the railway) and nine representing North Ward (everything north of the railway). All parish councillors have to agree to abide by the Nolan Principles of Public Office. Parish councillors receive no remuneration for their time.

The responsibilities of Lenham Parish Council include looking after open spaces, such as the William Pitt field and Cemetery, maintaining playgrounds and other amenities, providing Maidstone Borough Council with a view on planning applications within the Parish and undertaking projects to benefit the Parish. Lenham Parish Council also has a Neighbourhood Plan which was adopted as part of the Maidstone Local Plan in July 2021. This Neighbourhood Plan is active until 2031. For more details of the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan please refer to the information tab "Lenham Neighbourhood Plan" on this website.

In addition to holding a full council meeting monthly, Lenham Parish Council has two specific sub committees which also meet monthly: Finance and General Purposes (F&GP) and Planning and (Neighbourhood Plan) Implementation (P&I). Both these sub committees focus on specific issues of work and in some cases do the detail which is then referred back to full council as recommendations to be discussed and agreed.

Both of these sub committees are public and can be attended by all parish councillors, however, while all nominated attendees and visiting parish councillors can participate in the discussions only those parish councillors nominated as attendees to that subcommittee are able to vote on recommendations that will go forward to the full parish council meeting for discussion and agreement.

Finance and General Purposes Committee (F&GP)

The F&GP subcommittee consists of six nominated parish councillors and addresses the financial issues which the parish council is responsible for, dealing with contracts for maintenance of open space, play equipment and other financial matters as and when these arise. The committee oversees the preparation of the annual budget and also discusses all other non-expenditure related matters and makes a recommendation to the full parish council for discussion and agreement. The sub committee is quorate when at least four parish councillors, including the Chair, are present.

Planning and (Neighbourhood Plan) Implementation (P&I)

The P&I subcommittee consists of six nominated parish councillors as well as three members of the public (who are non-voting) and the parish's planning consultant (also non-voting). The subcommittee carries out two important functions: it is a statutory consultee for all planning applications in the parish and it is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Lenham Neighbourhood Plan ensuring that the parameters and policies within the plan are actioned and reflected in the parish responses to planning applications. All recommendations from the subcommittee are referred to the next full meeting of the parish council for ratification. The subcommittee is quorate when at least four parish councillors, including the Chair, are present.

Our Mission Statement 

The Lenham Parish Council (LPC) is dedicated to enhancing the lives of all the residents of Lenham and its surrounding hamlets. LPC aims to maintain and protect the Parish environment and amenities. LPC strives to be pro-active in identifying and completing projects, large and small, that will benefit the Parish as a whole, with value for money always being sought. LPC aims to help keep Lenham Parish a unique and special place for residents and visitors alike as the world around us changes.

 

Meet Our Councillors

Councillor Personal Details Responsibilities

Cllr. John Britt (South Ward)

Tel.07973 207521

john@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Parish Council Chairman Chairman of Finance & General Purposes. Planning and Implementation Committee member. Hamlets, Health & Welfare, Emergency Plan / Co-ordination, Communications, Youth Work Liaison, Cross maintenance, Forestry England rep.

Cllr. Alastair Walmsley (North ward)

Tel. 01622 859032 

alastair@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Vice Chairman of the Parish Council.

Chairman of Planning and Implementation Committee. Finance & General Purposes Committee member. Highways & Speed Indicator. Allotment liaison.

Cllr. Michael Ballard (North Ward)

Tel. 01622 851409 Mob. 07780 665996 

michael@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Douglas Alms Houses Trustee. Transport South East trains. WCs project.

Cllr. Michael Cockett (North Ward)

Tel. 01622 858422 

mike@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Planning and Implementation Committee member. Lenham Meadows Trust. CPRE Representative. Communications.

Cllr Paul Culver (North Ward)

paul@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Open space maintenance records

Cllr. Kate Hammond (South Ward)

Mob. 07925 606236 

kate@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

KALC & KALC Maidstone Area Representative. Hamlets, Save Our Heathlands (SOHL) Rep. Lenham Heath 30mph zone project. Lenham Community Centre trustee

 

Cllr Steve Heeley (South Ward)

Mob: 07791 694073

steve@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk 

Hamlets, Save Our Heathlands (SOHL) Rep, Lenham Heath 30mph zone project, Highways (Lenham Heath area)

 

Cllr. Marino Michaelas (North Ward)

Tel 01622 850658 Mob. 07827 016534 

marino@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

CCTV, Parking, Business Link Representative. Speed watch & CCTV equipment keeper. WCs Project

Cllr. Nick Osborne (North Ward)

Tel. 01622 859069 Mob. 07900 585733 

nick@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Finance & General Purposes Committee member. Planning and Implementation Committee member. Picnic site, Nursery project, Cross maintenance, Christmas Lighting. Lenham Meadows Trust.

Cllr. Andy Ratcliffe (South Ward)

andy@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk

Finance & General Purposes Committee member. Planning and Implementation Committee Member. Hamlets, Nursery project, Parking, Representative. WCs project. Communications.

Council Officers:

Parish Clerk: Lisa Westcott

Contact details Email: clerk@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk            Telephone: 01622 829034

Registered office: 1A High Street, Lenham, Kent ME17 2QD Open: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10:00h - 13:00h.

Responsible Financial Officer: Mr James Bate

Contact details Email: rfo@lenhamparishcouncil.org.uk