Parish Chairman’s notes June 2020

Parish Chairman’s notes June 2020
At the time of writing we are entering the seventh week of lockdown. The Parish Council are adapting to this new reality as decisions are made under delegated powers by the clerk, the chairman, vice chairman and the chairs of the various parish council committees. However, after the government changes to the law in April, we are now able to hold virtual council meetings, and the first one of these took place on May 4th.
At this meeting:
The Council noted a decision made under delegated powers to re-award the Grounds Maintenance Contract to Capel Groundcare. Their record over the last three years has been excellent and their tender was the most competitive of those it received.
Following the end of the tenancy of one of the cottages owned by CPC at Brampton Bank it was decided to redecorate before a new tenant moves in. A revised criteria for the those who wish to take up the tenancy was drawn up and it was agreed that those with a military connection to the parish and then those working for the emergency services also with a connection to the parish would have preference when the letting is advertised. This is in line with the original purpose of the cottages which was to house former servicemen from World War I. It is envisaged that we will be able to fully advertise this in October (hopefully after the lockdown).
The Parish Hardship Fund set up in association with the Paddock Wood Community Advice Centre has received extra funds (£1242) from the return of the Parish Reserve Fund from TWBC to CPC. A reminder that Capel Parish Council has made the Capel Hardship Fund available to those suffering financially from the virus or the previous flooding episodes in February. Details can be found on the parish council website www.capel-pc.org.uk or directly from PWCAC http://www.pwadvice.org/capel-residents/4594766472
The Parish Council also resolved to establish a Capel Neighbourhood Plan Working Party to co-ordinate the Capel Parish’s response to the draft Local Plan and move towards the writing of a Neighbourhood Plan which would be a material consideration when responding to planning applications. Further details will follow, but anyone wishing to be involved in the process should contact the clerk of the parish council clerk@capelpc.co.uk
The next virtual parish council meeting is scheduled for Monday June 1st. If you wish to attend this or any other meeting please contact the clerk beforehand so that she can admit you to the meeting which is held via Zoom. There is an agenda item at each meeting for residents to make their comments either in person or in writing. Residents’ comments on planning applications within the parish are also welcome and the parish will continue to send our comments to TWBC planning.
The parish council would also like to thank the vast majority of those residents who have observed the lockdown rules and have stayed at home to protect their fellow residents and the NHS. There have been one or two occasions of people trespassing on the closed MUGA and these have been reported to the police.
With best wishes for the health and well-being of all Capel residents and their families at this difficult time.
Hugh Patterson

KCC Household Waste sites to re-open

From next Friday (May 15), Kent County Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) will open to the public for essential use.
On Wednesday, May 13, people will be able to book a slot to use one of the county’s 18 HWRCs which closed on March 23 as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

People can book a slot either online or by phone for the opening on Friday, May 15 – details on how to book will be released shortly.

The full press release from KCC can be found below:

200511 KCC Household Waste sites

Garden Waste Collection Service Restarts

Service Restarts

TWBC have confirmed that Urbaser are now in a position to restart the garden waste collection service.  Collections will recommence based on the existing collection schedules, from 18 May.

The six core collection rounds will be supported by two additional crews during the first two collection cycles to help with the high volumes of garden waste that are expected as all bins are likely to be full.

Extra Waste

TWBC have stated that they will not be collecting extra waste that is put out. As this is likely to swamp the service in terms of volume and time to complete the rounds,residents will be advised to hold on to this and put out in their bin over future collections.

Garden waste subscribers will be sent an email this week to confirm the restart and an extension to their current subscription to cover the missed weeks.

Garden Waste Collections – Suspended

TWBC have reported that there are rumours circulating on various social media platforms that they have re-started the garden waste collections or are inviting residents to provide their preference over collecting recycling and garden waste alternate fortnights. Please note that TWBC are not yet in a position to re-commence garden waste due to staff shortages and as soon as they can re-start the service we will.

At the moment garden waste collections are suspended as the staff have been re-deployed to keep the core services running ie food waste, household waste and recycling collections.

TWBC will advise a start date as soon as we possibly can.

Online Parish magazine

The online version of the Parish Magazine will appear here at the end of April / beginning of May.

Due to the Covid -19 virus it is impossible to deliver the usual printed version of the Parish Magazine at the present time. (The magazine covers church and community news for Capel Parish and usually costs £6 annual subscription for 12 issues). For the next few months an online version will appear  on this website under the tab Parish Magazine free of charge. Alternatively you can request your own copy by emailing:  capelparishnews@hotmail.com

 

Parish Chairman Notes May 2020

These are very strange and worrying times for the parish. The Chairman’s Notes of March and April, have been overtaken by the fast moving events of the last few weeks, and are now largely irrelevant, but I hope the following will give you an idea of how Capel Parish Council and community it serves are coping with the present emergency.

It has been heartening to see the community pull together over the last few weeks to support each other and those most vulnerable within our community. Parish councillors were among a much wider group of volunteers that came together in mid-March before the lockdown to deliver slips of paper to local residents offering a phone number and contact details of a neighbour willing to help those vulnerable or self-isolating at this difficult time. Since then the group has grown into the Capel Covid volunteers, a group seeking to help those within the parish affected by the virus. The parish council also refers requests for help made by the Borough Council to the group.

In co-operation with the Paddock Wood Community Advice Council (PWCAC) Capel Parish Council has made the Capel Hardship Fund available to those suffering financially from the virus or the previous flooding episodes in February. Details can be found on the parish council website www.capel-pc.org.uk or directly from PWCAC http://www.pwadvice.org/capel-residents/4594766472.

The Parish Council is not running normally at the time of writing, and we envisage this situation remaining for several weeks ahead. All face to face meetings were stopped, and the planned council meeting on 30th March was postponed. The parish elections scheduled for this May have now be postponed until May 2021, so the present council has another year in office. At present the day to day running of the council is being handled by the clerk in consultation with the Chairman and vice Chairman and where relevant the chairs of the council’s various committees. As from April 4th the Government bought in legislation allowing virtual council and committee meetings and the council are investigating the practicalities of this, meanwhile we are communicating with each other through email. Parish council meetings are normally held in public. However, this is no longer possible so we would encourage residents with concerns or issues they want to raise with the parish council to write to clerk@capelpc.co.uk and she can refer these to councillors who can respond accordingly. Comments on planning applications should also be made to the clerk and copied to TWBC via their planning portal. The parish council will continue to make planning comments having agreed their response through email. At the time of writing councillors are also due to take part in a telephone conference call with the Borough on setting up a Neighbourhood Plan group.

As of the first week in April the Recreation Ground remains open for exercise within government guidelines, but to encourage social distancing and to prevent the transmission of the virus on hard surfaces the play areas and the MUGA have had to be closed for the time being. Please abide by this instruction which is for the safety of everyone. On a brighter note the Friends of Five Oak Green have been awarded the funding which will allow them to install a new play area next to the MUGA; this will be installed at the same time as the zip wire funded by the parish council. The installation has been provisionally timed for June, but circumstances may push this back until later in the summer.

If you are a key worker you have our thanks and admiration, if you are not stay at home and stay healthy!

Hugh Patterson