LONGFIELD & NEW BARN PARISH COUNCIL
Mrs Tina Russell
Tel/Fax: 01474 707290
Office: 1st Floor
Long Valley Hall
Kent DA3 7QP
ANNUAL REPORT 2011/2012
It has been another busy year for your Parish Council and I am pleased to say that we have moved forward on a number of projects to benefit our communities.
Two projects stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of their likely impact on residents although both are at early stage.
The first is our continuing search for a solution to the village’s traffic problems. There are no easy answers – we must try to resolve the problems caused by lots of cars visiting and using Longfield but do nothing to damage the trade and activity they bring. Parish Members have been working hard on proposals for a new traffic system and I have offered to utilise part of my KCC Member’s highways grant if a scheme could be found that wins the support of residents. I know that some council’s have a reputation for ignoring public opinion and ‘ploughing on regardless’ but that’s never been our Parish Council’s way and it has never been MY way. The Council’s first suggestions, though technically workable, failed that important test of resident popularity and I declined to fund them. Work to find better alternatives goes on – this time alongside residents, but we shall do nothing to damage our village’s vitality or residents’ quality of life.
The second project is particularly exciting. The Long Valley Hall has served our communities well but there’s no denying that it is no longer in its first flush of youth! It will get ever more expensive to maintain and less and less fit for purposes as the years take their toll.
A small group of Parish Members, Social Club representatives and current hall users have been working hard behind the scenes to develop plans for a new Hall and Pavilion. Roger Sedgley, an architect who specialises in ‘green’ buildings (lots of lovely wood and natural lines) has come up with some superb ideas for what a new facility might look like.
All of us are going into this project with our eyes wide open. It won’t be easy to raise the money and there may be many trips and hitches along the way. However, we all feel that it’s a goal worth pursuing and we’d be delighted to tell you more about it and show you the drawings at the forthcoming Annual Assembly.
Otherwise, the work of the Parish Council goes on as normal. We are throwing ourselves into this Jubilee year with gusto and expect our Summer Festival to be better than ever. We are also hoping to complete a number of specific Jubilee projects – benches, village signs that sort of thing – and also one very special project that will hopefully leave a lasting and good-looking legacy from this memorable year ahead.
Between us, Parish, Borough Council and KCC, I think we delivered a much improved Winter service on our local roads this year. We took much more direct control of things locally and I know that engaging a super group of local farmers to clear snow from local roads and the supply of bags of grit to local households funded from my highways allowance was very popular. We will do even more next year.
As always, it’s a huge privilege to be representing the village I grew up in and to be surrounded by some super Parish Councillors and staff.
Have a great 2012.
Chairman of the Parish Council
Finance and General Purposes
The parish council tax for 2012/13 is £26.06 for a band “D” property. The sums we raise help to meet the demands of maintaining a growing and thrivingcommunity.
Grounds & Environment
The two play areas, at The Oval in New Barn and the Community Park in Longfield, continue to be popular with residents. The regular inspections and repair or replacement of play equipment is a worthwhile investment and helps keep our young people safe.
The Allotments continue to be in great demand. Expenditure on them this year has been focused on the purchase of new notice boards and the maintenance of taps and numbering. Discussions at the annual allotment holders meeting centered around security after vandalism of sheds at Longfield Hill.
Additional planters have been installed and planted up in Station Road.
A group of volunteer litter pickers have been formed who meet each Sunday morning. They are always looking for new volunteers so please feel free to join them. The Council very much appreciates the efforts of these members of the public working to improve the village.
The damage to established public footpaths on The Gallops caused by ploughing was an inconvenience for the many walkers who use them. The people responsible for footpaths at KCC, PRoW, and the farm Manager and Parish Councillors have addressed this problem. Unfortunately the dry weather delayed the reseeding of the paths, which will probably take eighteen months to return to the required state. Two of the paths down to the Main Road that were ploughed over, though well used by walkers for years, are not official rights of way and did not have to be reinstated. The farm Manager plans to seed a wild flower strip along the bottom of The Gallops.
Sunday 1st July 2012
12.00pm till 5.00pm
We were blessed, once again, with fantastic weather for our 2011 Festival on 3rd July and we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the organisation of this fun packed afternoon.
This year’s event is on Sunday 1st July 2012 at 12.00 noon with lots of activities and attractions for all the Family.
We are pleased to announce that most of our popular events such as The Bonny Baby Competition, Fun Dog Show and Wadard Morris Men will be returning this year, and joining The Longfield Rock School for an afternoon of music will be Skinners Rats Folk Group.
Food and drink to suit every taste will be on offer as well as charity stalls, a Classic Car display and you will have a chance to win spot prizes by scoring a goal with the Longfield Tigers!
The Parish Council are determined to ensure that as many of the local groups/businesses that make Longfield such a unique place are represented on the day and would ask that if you’d like to be involved in the 2012 Festival please contact the Parish Office.
This is your Festival and if you have any ideas that could make it even better this year please feel free to contact us.
Building has commenced on the new houses at Brickfield Farm and the Axton Chase school sites. The plans for both these sites were passed a few years ago. We are continuing to monitor concerns over contractor’s vehicles and dust from the site.
Pinden Quarry has submitted two applications in the last year, both of which have received consent. The first was for the enlargement of the office building and provision of training facilities. The second, and far more controversial application, was to dig deeper in the Northern extension. There was opposition to this from members of the public and the Parish Council, but the plans were approved by KCC – varying the terms of the earlier application to permit quarrying in the Northern Extension.
The Committee continues to be consulted on numerous applications to extend properties and tries to balance the needs of growing households with the preservation of our village environment.
The number of requests to remove or drastically reduce the size of trees in New Barn is a concern to some New Barn residents and insensitive pruning around power cables has been another problem.
After concerns regarding a property just on the Gravesham side of the border with Dartford at New Barn, Dartford Borough Council has agreed to a new policy of consulting with this council on ‘out of borough’ applications. The latest application for this green belt site was refused by Gravesham and has now gone to appeal.
Highways and Lighting
An informal consultation was carried out, by Jacobs on behalf of Parish Council, on the proposed One-Way System with Residents of Kent Road, Essex Road and Station Road and businesses on Station Road on whom there would be significant impact. The feed back was analysed and a number of issues were raised. Hence, a working group was set up with representatives from Kent Road, Essex Road and Station Road, to look at all the options again, with the information so far collected, to address the problems identified in the Parish Plan of improving traffic congestion, increasing the number of legal parking spaces and the need for safer pedestrian passing points, particularly in Station Road. These residents’ representatives have been working with members of the Parish Council Highways and Lighting Committee to bring
views and suggestions from local people and the Council is enthusiastic that this joint venture, with full resident involvement, will produce a solution for the long term improvement to the village.
A full survey has been made of the parish footway lighting and the council are well into repairing and replacing faulty columns and lanterns. An issue which the council will be considering in the next year will be whether to proceed with part night lighting in the parish. It will be looking at existing examples both set by Kent County Council and other Parish Councils. This will of course help to reduce energy consumption and costs to the Parish Council, but does not come without other considerations
This year has seen some reorganisation within Kent Police which is still being monitored and reviewed through these initial changes.
The Parish Council are pleased to retain the services of PC Tony Quilter who will soon be joined by a new PCSO and Community Warden. We wish outgoing PCSO Sheron Reece many thanks for her work in the parish over the last few years and wish her well in her new assignment.
Kent Police have launched a new number (101) to report non-urgent crime, to speak to your local officers or to make an enquiry. Calls to 101 will never cost more than 15p even from mobiles. Anyone requiring immediate help if a life is in danger or a crime is in progress should still dial 999.
Beat Officer – PC Tony Quilter
PCSO – Linda Down
Community Warden – Nic Roots,
Dartford Borough Council Public Safety Officer
Alison Reynolds 01322 343 205
Dartford Borough Council 01322 343 434
Kent Highways Services 08458 247 800
Parish Council Meetings
Parish Council meetings are held the 4th Tuesday of the month in the Jubilee Church Hall, Main Road, Longfield commencing at 8.00pm, with Public Question Time at 9.00pm. The Development Control Committee meeting commences at 7.00pm.
Please see Parish Website and Notice Boards for dates of Committee Meetings, of the Grounds and Environment Committee, Highways and Lighting Committee, Finance and General Purposes Committee, Longfield Festival Committee and the Longfield Community Park Committee.
Parish Office Opening Hours
Monday 10.00 am – 4.00pm
Tuesday 10.00 am – 4.00pm
Tuesday 10.00 am – 4.00pm
Wednesday 10.00 am – 4.00pm
Thursday 10.00 am – 4.00pm
New Barn West Ward
Cllr Jeremy Kite – Chairman 707380
Cllr Bob Hawes 704957
Cllr Dipak Patel 706142
New Barn East Ward
Cllr Tony Mack 702862
Cllr Steve Brown 705084
Cllr Jenny Macdonald 702018
Cllr Roger Perfitt 07801 972840
Longfield Village Ward
Cllr John Drake 706628
Cllr Stephen Gay 07836 264450
Cllr Sandra Carlse 703488
Cllr Mike Tamber 702123
Longfield Hill Ward
Cllr Zoe Snell 708298
Clerk Tina Russell 707290
Assistant Clerk Jane Tyrrell
ALL RESIDENTS OF THE PARISH
ARE INVITED TO ATTEND
ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY
This year the Annual Parish Assembly will be held on Thursday 26th April in the
Longfield and New Barn Community Hall
Fawkham Road, Longfield
Commencing at 7.30 pm
This year there will be a presentation of the architect designs for the proposed new Longfield Pavilion at Longfield Community Park.
Kent Highways Services
Refreshments provided by Longfield WI