Well, what a year 2020 turned out to be! Most of our events were cancelled and our normal activities were put on hold. The Parish Office was closed to members of the public and office staff continue to work from home. The Parish Council were pleased that so many members of the community pulled together to support those in need in the village. Nevertheless, Pembury Parish Council has had another busy year maintaining its facilities and delivering its services to the village!
Here is a snapshot of our work this year:
- We had to learn how to use Zoom for our meetings and are now very proficient!!
- We sadly said goodbye to Shelley Harris who had served as councillor for 7 years.
- We also welcomed Joe Pearce to the Council, and he sits on the Planning & Highways Committee.
COMMUNICATION & EVENTS COMMITTEE
- The quarterly village newsletter, the Pembury Village News continued and was delivered to every house in the village.
- Following the problems with the Christmas lights and residents helping to fund a Christmas tree in 2019 at the last minute, this year we were determined to pull out all of the stops! Everyone agreed that the display was a welcome sight. Many favourable comments were received either directly or via the Pembury Facebook pages.
- A new Community Grants Fund was distributed to some deserving community groups to help with developing their facilities.
- Work began to create a Youth Council so young people could have a voice. Hopefully, this will gain momentum when we can all meet again.
NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN
- Volunteers were recruited to join the working groups to help shape the future of Pembury. They are now working hard on various projects throughout the village.
OPEN SPACES COMMITTEE
- We continue to manage the Lower Green Recreation Ground, Woodside Playing Fields, Henwood Green Road allotments, burial grounds, Village Green, Old Coach Road, War Memorial and other open spaces in the village.
- Significant work to improve the condition of vacant plots has resulted in a big increase in new tenants at the allotment site!
PLANNING & HIGHWAYS COMMITTEE
- The committee meets monthly and reviewed and responded to over 60 planning applications in 2020.
- The village continued to object against the Hendy Motor Village proposed off the Pembury Road. Working with our Borough Councillors we were rewarded with a refusal against the application when it was considered at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
FINANCE & HR COMMITTEE
- The Finance and HR Committee oversees the Council finances and Human Resources function.
- Our internal and external auditors have again given us a clean bill of health to our accounts and governance arrangements. We were also awarded Quality Council status in recognition of the work of the Council.