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Councillor Vacancies

poster for councillor vacancy

We currently have vacancies for 2 new parish councillors.  Do you have some time to spare?  Do you want to get involved in the future of the Pembury?

Eligibility

To be eligible to join the parish council you must:

  • be a British, Irish or European citizen
  • be over 18
  • be an elector of Pembury
  • have lived in the parish of Pembury, or within 3 miles of it, for the last 12 months or have your principle place of work in the parish
  • not be under a bankruptcy order
  • not have received a conviction leading to a sentence of imprisonment for more than 3 months without the option of a fine.

Information

The Good Councillors Guide has lots of information about what it means to be a Parish Councillor.

Our Parish

Each Parish Council is very different and reflects the community which it serves.  Pembury Parish Council has responsibility for:

  • managing Lower Green Recreation Ground and its facilities:
    • Children’s playgrounds
    • Multi use games area
    • Outdoor gym
    • football pitches
    • tennis courts
  • open space management of Woodside Playing Fields and pitches
  • the village green
  • the Old Coach Road
  • Pembury Burial Ground
  • Events including annual Fireworks display, Picnic on the Green, Remembrance Day service, Christmas Carols on the Green
  • Pembury Village News – a quarterly newsletter delivered to all homes in the village
  • Christmas Lights
  • Floral displays
  • Allotments in Henwood Green Road
  • Streetlights in Belfield Road, Henwood Green Road
  • commenting on all planning applications in the parish
  • lobbying other agencies to support residents
  • signposting residents to other council services

We employ a Clerk and Deputy Clerk to manage the day to day administrative work of the Council and have a team of Grounds Maintenance staff maintaining our open spaces and sports facilities.

Questions?

If you want to find out more and speak to either a member of staff or another councillor, why not get in touch and we will call you to answer your questions and chat about the role.  In the first instance please email the Clerk, Helen Munro, on clerk@pemburyparishcouncil.gov.uk.

To apply

Please complete an application form and send to the Parish Office either by email to clerk@pemburyparishcouncil.gov.uk or post to:

The Parish Office
Lower Green Recreation Ground
Lower Green Road
Pembury
Kent TN2 4DZ

Next Steps

You will be invited to have an informal chat with the Chair and Vice Chair of the Council.  Normally this is done face to face but during the current restrictions, this can be arranged virtually.

A formal interview will then be arranged with the rest of the Council at a Council meeting.  Our Council meetings are currently being held virtually via Zoom.  Meetings are on the first Monday of each month starting at 7:15pm.

More Kent libraries to re-open

Good news! More Kent libraries are set to reopen over the course of week starting 24 August 2020. These will be the first libraries to also offer a socially distanced book browsing service for customers so they can select books from the shelves.

Cranbrook and Showfields will reopen on Tuesday 25 August.  Southborough library will be opening for browsing on Monday 7 September, and will continue to offer the Select and Collect service.

Additional safety measures in each library will include hand sanitizer stations, one-way circulation routes through the building, use of the self-service machines, and face coverings being mandatory (unless exempt).

The first 12 libraries that opened across Kent in July which included Southborough Library, will continue to offer a Select and Collect service for the time being, with browsing likely to be introduced in the coming weeks.

In September, we will also be relaunching the mobile library service and plan to open further libraries across Kent.  Call 03000 41 31 31, check our website www.kent.gov.uk/libs or @TunbridgewellsLibraries on Facebook for updates.

Full Overnight Closure of A21 – 1 to 11 September – 8pm to 6am

Highways England have informed us they will be carrying out ground investigations to the A21 carriageway between Riccards Lane and Marley Lane, to establish ground conditions for a proposed resurfacing scheme.  In order to carry out these works as efficiently and safely as possible, work will be carried out under full closures of the A21 between Riccards Lane and Marley Lane, between the hours of 8pm to 6am.

Full Carriageway Closure of A21

A21 closed between Riccards Lane and Marley Lane 1 September 2020 – 11 September 2020

Monday to Friday only 8pm – 6am

A clearly signed diversions will be in place during all closures utilising local routes, suitable for all types of vehicles when full closures of the carriageway are in place.

South Diversion route:

A21 heading south: traffic wishing to travel along the A21, will be diverted at Johns Cross Roundbout to follow the A2100 through to Baldslow, where traffic can re-join the A21

North Diversion route:

A21traffic wishing to travel north will be directed from Baldslow to follow the A2100 to re-join the A21 at Johns Cross Roundabout.

Residents living within the closure between Riccards Lane and Marley please wait at the hard closure points, where you will be escorted to your property. Residents wishing to leave their property whilst the closure is in place, please call our NCC (0845 6122 888) who will contact site to send an escort to your property. Please be advised there may be a short wait for the escort vehicle.

News from Paddock Wood Advice Centre – July 2020

Please be advised that Paddock Wood Community Advice Centre is now open as usual for appointments and drop-in clients. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 1.30pm and our contact details are.

Telephone          01892 838 619

Email:                  info@pwadvice.org

Website:              www.pwadvice.org

We continue to operate a telephone and email advice service for clients who are unable to attend our offices.

Excerpt from newsletter below:

Dear All
Welcome to our latest newsletter and the first of our current financial year. We start as usual with our statistics, however they are rather unusual due to the extraordinary start to 2020 we have experienced with the effects of Covid-19.
Since the start of lockdown on 23 March 2020:
• We have helped 324 individual clients
• We have had 1,007 contacts with these individuals
• Our dedicated volunteers gave 1,020 hours of their time, for which we are extremely grateful
• We have made 288 telephone calls and sent 304 emails to help clients
• We have generated £521,892.50 worth of additional income for our clients by helping them to access unclaimed welfare benefits
• We have helped clients to have £10,056.91 worth of debt written off.

Impact of Covid-19
Throughout the lockdown, our physical office has been closed but our wonderful team of volunteers have continued to provide advice, Monday to Friday by telephone and email.
The most common issue we have dealt with is Welfare Benefits, with many clients navigating the Welfare Benefit system for the first time in their lives. In quarter one, we saw double the number of clients about Universal Credit issues than we saw in the same period last year. We have continued to help clients to challenge incorrect decisions about disability benefits in the first-tier tribunal and helped twelve clients to win their appeals through detailed written submissions and representation ‘in person’ at telephone hearings. This is a 100% success rate.
The DWP recently reported a 40% decrease in new applications for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in April 2020 compared with the previous year. We have also observed a decline in new applications for all disability benefits, including PIP, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Attendance Allowance (AA). This reflects the difficulties many vulnerable people have with navigating telephone and online systems to demonstrate that they qualify for a benefit with a complex set of rules and requirements. We believe that maintaining our face to face advice service is of paramount importance during these difficult times and were delighted to successfully re-open our doors for face to face clients on Monday 13 July 2020.
As expected, the second most common issue has been Employment, which has made up 1 in 5 of our new cases. These have varied from enquiries about furlough, working rights, redundancy, and holiday pay. Employment issues will continue to be common as the furlough scheme changes and more and more businesses start to look at redundancy to cut costs.
What is clear is that we are yet to see the full impact of this unprecedented period and we anticipate an overwhelming demand for our services as measures introduced to alleviate financial pressure on people at the start of lockdown begin to be phased out. It is not surprising that housing and debt enquiries, both of which regularly feature in our top 3 issues, have fallen away over the last few months as people have not had to deal with evictions, bailiffs or benefit sanctions. Most of these measures are due to end over the next couple of months and we will be busier than ever.

Pembury Rocks

Pembury painted rock - rocks combine to make a tortoiseDid you paint any rocks during lockdown?  Do you still have them?

The Parish Council are considering a project to bring the stones together to create a memorial in the centre of the village.  If you are happy for them to be used in this project, please keep your stones and get in touch to let us know how many you have so we can see what we can create with them!

Please email us on clerk@pemburyparishcouncil.gov.uk or call on 01892-823193.

Revised Timetable for TWBC Local Plan

TWBC confirmed it has revised its timetable for its Local Plan. This follows a substantial response to the public consultation on a Draft Local Plan last autumn, with over 8,000 individual comments.  TWBC confirmed that the revised programme provides the necessary additional time to properly consider the contributions that a wide range of organisations and local people have taken the time and trouble to make before moving forward.

Therefore, TWBC has published an updated timetable for the next consultation stage of the Local Plan, which is now due to take place next March/April.

Full details are contained in the Council’s ‘Local Development Scheme, June 2020’, which is published online at www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/LDS.

The opportunity to make representations on the revised, final draft (‘Pre-Submission’) version of the Local Plan will be widely publicised in due course, while everyone who made comments at the Draft stage will be directly notified.