Welcome to our latest Parish news.

Beechen Hall Closure

03

November 2020

Dear Residents

Beechen Hall will close its doors once more due to COVID-19 and the Government guidelines put in place from midnight on Wednesday 4th November 2020.

The Parish Office will remain open and staff are contactable by email or phone as normal.

Please stay safe and we look forward to welcoming you all back December.

Press Release from Maidstone Borough Council - Covid-19

02

November 2020

PRESS RELEASE

Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

Maidstone Borough Council is supporting the government Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

The Test and Trace Support payment of £500 is to help people who have been told to self-isolate by the NHS.

It is for anyone employed or self-employed on a low income and in receipt of certain benefits who has tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. They will need to be unable to work from home and have received a notification from the NHS to self-isolate.

Stephen McGinnes, Mid Kent Services Director said: “If you’re someone who is on a lower income, who cannot work from home and has lost income as a result of self-isolating, you could get help with this new Test and Trace support payment.

“These payments of £500 are designed to make sure people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus.

“They are also designed to encourage individuals who are eligible for this payment to get tested if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions.

“Do you know someone who might qualify? If so, please let them know and also make sure you tell your friends and family.  We are encouraging anyone in Maidstone on a low income who needs financial support while having to self-isolate to apply as soon as possible.”

All applications must be made within 14 days of the end of a self-isolation period and the scheme is open until 31 January 2021.Anyone who is told to self-isolate on or after 28 September will be able to make a backdated claim for payment as long as they have received notification from the NHS.

To apply people need to complete an online self-isolation payment application form which will then be assessed for eligibility:maidstone.gov.uk/testandtracesupport

For more information about the scheme please visit:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-package-to-support-and-enforce-self-isolation

Ends

Notes to Editors:

The qualifying criteria are:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.


Temporary Road Closure, Forstal Road, Sandling

20

October 2020

Temporary Road Closure –Forstal Road, Sandling – 12th November 2020

Kent County Council has made an Order to temporarily prohibit through traffic on Forstal Road, Sandling from 12th November 2020 for up to 1 night between the hours of 22:00 and 02:00.

The road will be closed south of the junction with Lock Lane, to the extent indicated by signs and barriers on site.

The alternative route for any through traffic (excluding HGVs) is via Running Horse Roundabout, Chatham Road, Cobtree Roundabout, A229 Blue Bell Hill, Kits Coty Slip Northbound Off, Rochester Road, Forstal Road and vice versa.

The alternative route for HGVs is via M20 J6 Join Link to J5 West, M20 J5 Leave Link From J6 West, Junction 5 Interchange, Coldharbour Lane, A20 London Road, Hall Road, Station Road and Forstal Road.

Access for emergency service vehicles and pedestrians will be maintained at all times during the closure.

The closure is required for the safety of the public and workforce while reinstatement works are undertaken by Southern Water.

For information regarding this closure please contact Southern Water on 0330 303 0368, who will be able to assist with the scope of the works.

This bulletin contains public information and can be freely forwarded to any other road users who may be affected. Every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, but no liability can be accepted for any changes or errors.

Road names are taken from the National Street Gazetteer on Elgin, with alternative names given where known.

For details of roadworks, please seewww.roadworks.org

KCC, Highways Transportation & Waste: keeping you up to date with what's happening on our road - for more information visithttp://www.kent.gov.uk/travel orhttp://www.kent.gov.uk/highways

Regards,

TTRO Co-Ordinator, Mid Kent Division
KCC Highways, Transportation & Waste
Aylesford Highway Depot
St Michael's Close
Aylesford
ME20 7BU

Tel: 03000 418181 (24hr Contact Centre)

Email:StreetworksMid@kent.gov.uk



A229 Blue Bell Hill Junction Improvement Scheme

Boxley Parish Council

14

October 2020

KCC are planning a major programme of works to improve this junction and have produced 3 options that residents can comment on.

To access the consultation and all the documents search for .

kent.gov.uk/a229bluebellhill.

Survey closes 19 October 2020

Maidstone Borough Council has a number of consultations open. To access these, go to their website and search for consultations.

Budget Survey

Residents and businesses are invited to have their say on the council’s spending priorities for the next year.

Like many councils, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on Maidstone Borough Council and the community it serves. The Council has been at the forefront of the response to the pandemic, for example in supporting rough sleepers and the homeless, establishing a community hub to support vulnerable members of society, and distributing over £30 million of grants to small businesses.

The restrictions introduced in response to the pandemic have resulted in a significant reduction in the income which we collect in order to subsidise local services. This includes income from parking, planning applications, council tax, business rates and rents from property which the council owns. Additional costs have been incurred in responding to the pandemic and providing support to the most vulnerable members of our community.

For 2021/22, the Council is facing a budget gap of £3.3m and we are keen to hear your views to help inform our response to this exceptional challenge. We will be considering all areas to identify options for reducing costs or increasing income. It’s important that we understand what your priorities are so that this can be taken into account as we consider the budget for the coming financial year.

The council funds a significant proportion of its spending through council tax. The basic average council tax charge made by this council for 2020/21 is £265.59 (band D charge for a non-parished area). More information about council tax and how we spend this can be found in our summary document.

The survey closes 5th November 2020.

It takes around 6 minutes to complete.

Allotment Vacancy

06

October 2020

The Parish Council are pleased to announce that an allotment vacancy has arisen at our Dove Hill allotments on Sandy Lane, Boxley.

Please do get in touch with the office on 01634 861 237 if you are interested. Our Clerk will provide you with an application form to ensure you meet our criteria.

Cyber Crime Scam

06

October 2020

Dear Residents

Please see an important announcement from the City of London Police regarding a current scam that is occurring.
Please be vigilant and report any cyber crimes to Actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Bearsted Cutting Stabilisation Works

03

October 2020

Dear Neighbor,

Railway Improvement Works – Bearsted Cutting Stabilisation Works

I am writing to update you on the urgent works to stabilise the cutting in the Bearsted area from the 14 September 2020 until late 2021. The works will involve stabilising the rock cutting on both sides of the railway line to make sure that the railway remains safe and open for trains to be able to operate.

We will be holding a Zoom virtual community drop-in session on the 7 October 2020 from 17:00 to 19:00 where you will be able to drop in at any time during this time. Representatives from the project team and BAM Nuttall the contractor who will be delivering the work on behalf of Network Rail we will be presenting an overview of the stabilisation works and will be able to answer any questions that you may have.

To join using video from a computer, a tablet or a smartphone:

1) Go to: Zoom.us in your Internet browser or the Zoom app.

2) Click ‘Join a Meeting’

3) Enter the meeting ID: 890 0498 6585

4) Enter the passcode: 627911

To join the call using only audio from a telephone:

1) Dial: 0131 460 1196

2) Enter the meeting ID: 890 0498 6585

3) Enter the passcode: 627911

The works will be completed in three phases and this letter is to inform you about Phase 1 of the works, which started on the14 September 2020 from 07:30 – 17:30 Monday to Friday. We will write to you again to update you on these works as they progress.

Work will take place during a line closure of the railway as follows:

TIME

DATE

TIME

DATE

01:55

3 October 2020

-

04:55

5 October 2020

Further weekend and/or night-time track access may be required for the project. This requirement is under review and we will capture any additional plans in our next communications.

The work will involve clearing trees and vegetation along the length of the cutting between the junctions of Cornflower/Meadowdown/Grovewood Drive South and Ashford Road. Most of the vegetation clearance will be on the cress (top) and slope of the cutting. Where possible we will leave as many mature trees along the boundary fence that is safe to be able to leave and which does not impact the design for the permanent works.

To facilitate these works there will be a lane closure with temporary traffic lights on Grovewood Drive South commencing from the 14 September 2020. The lane closure will give us an area to set up our main site compound and provide safe access to the top of the railway cutting.

We will be using a combination of steel mesh and soil nails to hold the rock face in place. The mesh will be secured by drilling rock anchors into the cutting face at various points and then securing the mesh. This will prevent further failures of the cutting and make sure that the railway remains open and safe for passengers.

We will be using long-reach excavators and a rig that is anchored to the top of the cutting. We will be abseiling down the cutting face with the rig to carry out these works.Due to the nature of the work and the equipment we need to use you may experience some disturbance. However, every effort will be made to minimise as much noise a possible.

Below is a map showing the area of the cutting where we will be working.


I hope this information is helpful and we apologise for any inconvenience these essential works may cause. However, if you have any additional questions or concerns, please visit

www.networkrail.co.uk or telephone our 24-Hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41 quoting Bearsted Cutting Stabilisation Works.

Yours faithfully

Paula Williams

THE KENT COUNTY COUNCIL (VARIOUS ROADS, BOROUGH OF MAIDSTONE) (VARIATION No.33) ORDER 2020

BOROUGH OF MAIDSTONE

01

October 2020

In the Borough of Maidstone

THE KENT COUNTY COUNCIL

(VARIOUS ROADS, BOROUGH OF MAIDSTONE) (WAITING RESTRICTIONS AND STREET PARKING PLACES) (VARIATION No.33) ORDER 2020

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984

Notice is hereby given that KENT COUNTY COUNCIL under sections 1(1), 2 (1) to (3), 3 (2), 4 (1) and (2), 32 (1), 35 (1), 44, 45, 46, 49 and 53 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (hereinafter called “the Act”) and of all other enabling powers, and after consultation with the chief officer of police in accordance with Paragraph 20 of Schedule 9 to the Act, hereby make the following order:-

The effect of the Order will be to place school keep clear markings on the following lengths of roads as prescribed below:-

Roads in the Borough of Maidstone

PROVENDER WAY, BOXLEY – (1) On the south western side from a point opposite and in line with the northern boundary of 1 Restharrow Road for a distance of 31.5 metres in a north westerly direction. (2) On the south western side from a point and in line with the south eastern boundary of 31 Speedwell Close for a distance of 31.5 metres in a north westerly direction. DARMAN LANE, LADDINGFORD – On the east side across the entrance to the Laddingford St Mary’s Primary School. HAM LANE, LENHAM - On the north eastern side across the south eastern and north western entrances to the Lenham Primary School. BOWER MOUNT ROAD, MAIDSTONE – On the north western side across the entrance to The Cedars.

The Order was made on 1 October 2020 and its provisions will come into effect on 12 October 2020.

A copy of the Order, statement of the Council’s reasons for making the Order, a map indicating the location and the effect and a copy of any Orders which will be amended by the Order may be examined on Monday to Friday at The Kent County Council, Sessions House, Maidstone, ME14 1XQ; The Kent County Council, Highway, Transportation & Waste, Ashford Highway Depot, Henwood Industrial Estate, Unit 4 Javelin Way, Ashford, Kent TN24 8AD during normal office hours or viewed online at www.kent.gov.uk/highwaysconsultations

Anyone may, by application to the High Court within 6 weeks of the date of publication of this Notice, challenge the validity of the Orders or of any provision contained in them on the grounds that it is not within the powers conferred by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, or any instrument made thereunder, or that there has been a failure to comply with any statutory requirement to the Orders.

Simon Jones

Director of Highways, Transportation & Waste


Tiny Talk Baby Signing

22

September 2020

We are excited to annouce we have a new class starting here at Beechen Hall this coming Monday morning 28th September.

Tiny Talk Bay Signing will be joining us for a regular class. The lovely Anna Drywood-Senior can be contacted on 07870 270921 or via email on annad@tinytalk.co.uk to make your booking. We look forward to welcoming Anna and all who attend.

Covid-19 Measures for Beechen Hall

15

September 2020

As the hall is now open for regular classes we would like to remind you that our hall has strict Covid-19 measures in place. To ensure that we keep everyone as safe as possible, could we please ask you to help by adhering to our rules and regulations set out below.

You must not enter if you or anyone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms within 7 days of visiting these premises alert Test, Track and Trace. Alert the hall cleaner whose number is displayed in the entrance lobby and alert the organiser of the activity you attended.

Maintain 2 metres social distancing as far as possible. Wait behind the marked lines as you go through the entrance hall to your activity and observe the one-way system marked.

Ensure you are wearing your face covering when entering and exiting the building.

Use the hand sanitiser provided on entering the premises. Clean your hands often. Soap and paper towels are provided.

Avoid touching your face, nose and eyes. Clean your hands if you do.

“Catch it, Bin it, Kill it”. Tissues should be disposed of into one of the rubbish bins provided. Then wash your hands.

Check the organisers of your activity have cleaned the door handles, tables, other equipment, sinks and surfaces before you have arrived. Keep them clean. We can not clean in between each hire.

Take turns to use the confined spaces such as corridors, kitchen and toilet area. Standing or sitting next to someone is lower risk than opposite them. Briefly passing another person in a confined space is low risk.

• Keep the hall well ventilated. Close the doors and windows on leaving.

This hall is cleaned regularly.

We look forward to welcoming you all.

Beechen Hall Bookings

14

September 2020

Under the updated Government guidelines we are pleased to announce that Beechen Hall is now able to hold Wakes and Wedding parties for up to a maximum of 30 people. Please do get in touch by emailing assistant-clerk@boxleyparishcouncil.org.uk or calling the Parish Office directly on 01634 861237 to check availability.

Update regarding Garden Waste Collections

08

September 2020


As you are aware Maidstone and Mid Kent operate a subscription based garden waste service. Over the past 6 months, the subscription rate for the service has increased by nearly 2,000 properties in Maidstone, with a total of 6,000 additional subscriptions across the whole of Mid Kent. This is largely due to the closure of the Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) and then the subsequent restrictions and booking system introduced when they reopened.

The rapid increase in the service has resulted in difficulties completing the work within the crew’s legal working hours, despite additional staff and vehicles being deployed. The primary issue is that the additional subscribers are spread across the three Boroughs and therefore the provision of one or two additional vehicles is not sufficient to cover the mileage between properties.

Therefore Biffa are about to implement a re-routing exercise to improve the efficiency of the rounds and enable the services to not only complete the current workload but have more resilience to further growth in the service.

This means that a number of properties will experience changes to DAY and / or collection WEEK for their GARDEN WASTE service. This will NOT affect the refuse, recycling or food waste collections. There are already many properties in the Borough that have a different garden collection day to their refuse and recycling, however this number will grow to enable the subscribed service to operate efficiently.

Some properties will experience a change in week of collection which may result in slightly longer wait between collections during the transitional fortnight. However Biffa will be carrying out additional collections during that fortnight to ensure no one is disadvantaged. Residents affected by this, will be notified of their new collection day and the additional interim collection day on a leaflet accompanying the attached letter. The ‘look-up’ function on the website will be updated next week to ensure that it remains accurate to provide residents’ their next collection date.

The changes are being implemented from Monday 21 September 2020 and the letter and leaflet is due to be sent out this week.

If you have any queries please can you direct them to waste@maidstone.gov.uk so the team can respond.


Beechen Hall Re-opening for Regular Classes

07

September 2020


Dear Residents

Great news!

We are happy to report that Beechen Hall will be re-opening our doors to the public initially just for our Regular Classes only from today.

There are new Covid-19 measures in place, numbers to these classes will be reduced in line with Government guidelines. Our hirers have been briefed and are fully informed of these guidelines and requirements and can update you prior to your arrival. Please ensure contact your class organiser prior to attending.

We are sadly not able to take any bookings for parties at this current time, however we will be reviewing this in October 2020 based on the current government guidelines.

We very much look forward to welcoming you all back.

New Weight Watchers Class at Beechen Hall

04

September 2020

The Parish Council have some exciting news!

Weight Watchers are joining us here at Beechen Hall.

Join Pauline Silk at Walderslade Weight Watchers workshop between 6-7pm every Wednesday evening.

There are full Covid-19 safety guidelines in place and we will run as an express workshop for the time being.

This means that you will need to follow the guidelines such as keeping your shoes on, wearing a face mask and sanitising your hands on arrival.

We have some lovely Weight Watchers goodies to buy, please you can pay by card only as we are cashless.

Please ensure you have your valid workshop/digital pass either as a photo or via your ww app.

If you need to rejoin, it will save time (and there are some great offers) via our website - sign up to workshop & digital.

If you would like further details please contact Pauline Silk via email: psilk@ww.com

Covid-19 - Difficult Times

Boxley Parish Council

24

March 2020

Dear Residents 

This is an alert for those deemed vulnerable in our community. Join a local Facebook group if you are able, you will then be able to post a message and if you need help with anything people will respond. 

Alternatively you can put a green piece of paper in your window if you are fine and do not need help and a red piece of paper if you need assistance with anything. Someone will then put a note through your letterbox with their phone number to call and then help you with anything you need. 

These are difficult times and it’s important to help each other where we are able to do so. 

Regards
Daniela Baylis
Clerk

Covid-19 - Beechen Hall Closure

Beechen Hall

23

March 2020

Following the Government Directive on Friday afternoon Beechen Hall is now closed until further notice. Bookings up until and including the 19th April 2020 are being cancelled or rearranged for later in the year. Bookings from 20th April might be able to go ahead and are currently on hold. All cancelled bookings will get a full refund with no costs incurred.

The telephone and emails are still being answered if anyone needs any further information.

Stay safe and take care. 

Regards
Daniela Baylis
Parish Clerk

Covid-19

Boxley Parish Council

18

March 2020

Regular Hirers

If you need to cancel your regular bookings on Government advice then your slot will be kept open and you will not incur any charges.

If the Government declares the closure of all public buildings, then all bookings will be cancelled until such time as we can reopen. In this instance your booked slot will remain reserved and you will not incur any charges.

Casual Hirers

Your booking can still go ahead if you would like it to. If we receive a Government directive advising to close all public buildings, then we will need to cancel your booking and all money will be refunded with no administration charges incurred.

If you would like to cancel or postpone your event then please let us know as soon as possible. Due to the extraordinary circumstances in this instance you will receive a full refund with no administration charges.

Christmas Opening Hours

Boxley Parish Council

10

December 2019

Our offices will be closing at midday on Tuesday 24th December and re-opening on Thursday 2nd January 2020.

The Parish Council would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Website issues

Boxley Parish Council

11

July 2019

The parish council is currently experiencing difficulties with its website and apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Currently it is not possible to display the Audit information and Annual Return and attempts are being made to reinstate the relevant document folders. Please bear with us.

Residents wishing to have a personal copy supplied to them please contact the parish office.

Planning decisions Popes Field

Boxley Parish Council

26

April 2019

From Bob Hinder Chairman Boxley Parish Council

Dear residents and councillors,

Last night’s decision by the Maidstone Planning Committee was utterly devastating for all involved and the community, it leaves a bitter taste in everyone’s mouths.

It surprized nearly all of us that the Legal Officer’s recommendation, to drop the two planning applications from the agenda, was rejected by the committee so I must thank the many residents who had turned up on the off chance that the applications would be heard. As it had looked like the two applications would be dropped from the agenda many residents who may have attended choose not to do so and the decision to permit both applications will be a great shock and upset to many, many people. The meeting was recorded and is available on the MBC website but as it was an emotionally charged meeting I have asked the Clerk to produce a factual summary of what happened, see below. This information is not going to lessen the anger and frustration many residents, Parish and Borough Councillors will be feeling, infact it may increase it, but I hope it helps residents to understand how this sorry state of affairs played out.

Clerk’s notes concerning Maidstone Borough Council Meeting 25 April 2019

Planning Applications 18/506656 and 18/506609

Borough Councillor Clive English, Chairman of the Planning Committee (PC) opened the discussion with an explanation of why he was thought that the Legal Officer’s recommendation should not be followed. He spoke of the independence, from politics, of the PC and the need that its members took a decision on the two items at that meeting rather than defer them. He put forward a proposal that the committee should consider the planning applications.

Prior to taking a vote he allowed a committee member to make a comment. The member stated that it was a shame that the Legal Officer’s recommendation had been put forward as he felt it had stopped many residents who may have planned to come to the meeting from attending.

The members voted to proceed with the two planning applications.

18/506656 Application for the two schools.

The Planning Officer gave a summary of the planning application.

The Chairman called for the speakers:

Mr Richard Coward Resident

Mrs Pauline Bowdery Parish Clerk on behalf of Boxley Parish Council

Cllr Fabienne Hughes Bearsted Parish Councillor

A speaker on behalf of the applicant.

Borough (and Parish) Councillor Bob Hinder

Borough (and Parish) Councillor Wendy Hinder

Cllr Mike Cuming Borough Councillor also speaking on behalf of Cllr Val Springett and Cllr Nick De-Wiggondene

Members of the Committee then debated the planning application it was not an easy debate with much frustration coming from members some of whom felt that their independence as a Local Planning Authority was being squashed/undermined by Government regulations. The following issues were raised:

  • MBC had previously lost two similar applications at Appeal because the Government guidance that schools had to be built meant the Planning Inspector always decided for the schools.
  • Decisions at Appeal nearly always meant that conditions negotiated or imposed by the LPA were not supported by the Planning Inspector and so the development went ahead with fewer mitigation measures. Clerk’s note: the two applications mentioned did not include the STEM school application. A statement was made that typically Planning Inspectors remove Planning Conditions, the experience of the Parish Council is that this sadly is a correct statement of fact.
  • Whether the decision to change the boundary of the education areas, made by KCC recently, was actually done for the right reason. Whether the North Education Area was actually a ‘fair’ area and were the boundaries actually correct.
  • Whether the KCC Education Department should be challenged on its statements concerning school needs etc. Whether this application could be deferred to allow this challenge. Clerk’s note: The Chairman notified the member that as KCC was the Education Authority if the application went to Appeal then the Inspector would question by MBC thought it knew better

Then the KCC Education Department which was the professional body. Unless MBC could come up with clear evidence of misinformation then the Planning Inspector would not consider this as evidence.

  • Whether it was right for members of the Planning Committee to state/think that they had no choice but to allow the application because they would lose at Appeal.
  • Whether the risk of losing mitigating conditions was worth the gamble, one many members felt they would lose, on an Appeal decision.
  • The lack of KCC engagement at the Local Plan stage that meant that MBC was not asked to identify possible school sites.
  • The need for school places.
  • Better landscaping was needed.
  • Whether condition 19 (Highway changes at and to the East of Gidds Pond Cottages) was needed as pupils would not be walked from Bearsted along Bearsted Road but would use the footpaths in the estates. Clerk’s note: there was some suggestion that this be removed but the KCC Highway Officer said it could not be or KCC would have to object to the planning application. This removal did not seem to be part of the final vote.
  • The car park being insufficient and unable to cope with the traffic. Clerk’s note. The Planning Officer notified the committee that the applicant had offered, at the loss of some landscaping, an extra 6 spaces.Strong statements were made by members, along the lines of this parking is inadequate and isn’t going to work.
  • Involving Ward Borough Councillors and Parish Councils in the discussions relating to the draft travel plan (Condition 18).

Officers were consulted at various stages during the debate.

Many members voiced that they were unhappy with the situation and felt that they had no choice

The vote was 7 for and 5 against, so the application was permitted.

……………………..

18/506609 Change of Use planning application.

The Planning Officer gave a summary of the planning application.

The Chairman called for the speakers:

Mr Keith Clark Resident

Cllr James Willmott Boxley Parish Councillor

Cllr Fabienne Hughes Bearsted Parish Councillor

Borough (and Parish) Councillor Bob Hinder also speaking on behalf of Cllr Wendy Hinder

Cllr Mike Cuming Borough Councillor also speaking on behalf of Cllr Val Springett and Cllr Nick De-Wiggondene

The Chairman tried to explain that failure to approve the planning application, as the schools had been permitted, could result in a loss at Appeal and no replacement site being identified. Clerk’s note: I’m not sure many of those sitting in the public section may have picked this up.It was a very emotion introduction as the Chairman was extremely frustrated/angry that the situation had got to this and was insisting that this should never happen again.

Members of the Committee then debated the planning application and many expressed their frustration/anger that:

  • The original condition supplying the LNR had been insufficient to ensure a) it was built and b) ownership remained with the landowner.
  • Further conditions should be tighter requiring such sites to be developed as soon as other development work started.
  • The Local Plan was being ignored.
  • The site being offered was smaller and not compatible.
  • It wasn’t a gain but a net loss of biodiversity.
  • Unless it came into public ownership the substituted NR land could be put forward for development in the future.
  • The new site was tiny and had fragile habitats that would suffer from public use, dogs etc. and unsympathetic management. The suggested management plan, with mown areas and the site being open to the public, was totally unacceptable. Clerk’s note: the current site would not have been open to the public.

Clerk’s note: The Planning Officer was challenged about a statement that was made that the term Local Nature Reserve in the Local Plan didn’t actually mean LNR and that MBC couldn’t designate LNR.

Criticism of previous decisions made by MBC were strongly voiced and the issue is to be reported to an MBC committee for investigation.

Permitted subject to negotiations to get the land into MBC ownership so it can never be developed. Clerk’s note; might have been 8 for, 1 against and 2 abstentions.

Clerk’s note: MBC’s decisions are now quasi legal, they will go ahead. There is no right of Appeal by objectors, the only course of action is a request to the Secretary of State that the decisions are called in but as the Secretary of State is the body demanding new schools be supported and built and as the schools application is supported by the Department of Education, KCC Education, KCC Highways, the local MP and the Local Planning Authority (MBC) then it is certain not to be successful. The Secretary of State rarely intervenes.

Village Green Stautus Petition

Boxley Parish Council

17

April 2019

The resident who started the petition to get MBC to place Weavering Heath into voluntary village green status has asked that residents be reminded of the e-petition existence.

So far there are 134 signatures but he understands that some people are finding it a bit difficult to engage with the MBC site but asks that you be patient and if you can’t get on using a tablet or smart phone would you consider using your computer if you have one.

ePetition - Village Green status for Weavering Heath

Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

PRESS RELEASE

Ref: EW/130/2020

Date: 5 October 2020


Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

Maidstone Borough Council is supporting the government Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, which is now live.

The Test and Trace Support payment of £500 is to help people who have been told to self-isolate by the NHS.

It is for anyone employed or self-employed on a low income and in receipt of certain benefits who has tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. They will need to be unable to work from home and have received a notification from the NHS to self-isolate.

Stephen McGinnes, Mid Kent Services Director said: “If you’re someone who is on a lower income, who cannot work from home and has lost income as a result of self-isolating, you could get help with this new Test and Trace support payment.

“These payments of £500 are designed to make sure people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus.

“They are also designed to encourage individuals who are eligible for this payment to get tested if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions.

“Do you know someone who might qualify? If so, please let them know and also make sure you tell your friends and family.  We are encouraging anyone in Maidstone on a low income who needs financial support while having to self-isolate to apply as soon as possible.”

All applications must be made within 14 days of the end of a self-isolation period and the scheme is open until 31 January 2021.Anyone who is told to self-isolate on or after 28 September will be able to make a backdated claim for payment as long as they have received notification from the NHS.

To apply people need to complete an online self-isolation payment application form which will then be assessed for eligibility:maidstone.gov.uk/testandtracesupport

For more information about the scheme please visit:https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-package-to-support-and-enforce-self-isolation

Notes to Editors:

The qualifying criteria are:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

If you would like further details, please contact the Maidstone Borough Council Communications Team: email: communications@maidstone.gov.uk or call: 01622 602560

Ella Watkins

Deputy Communications Manager

Maidstone Borough Council, King Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6JQ

t 01622 602554 / 01622 602560wwww.maidstone.gov.uk

(Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm)