Parish Chairman’s Notes January 2024

Parish Chairman’s Notes January 2024

If your New Year’s Resolution is to become more involved with the life of your local community…, have you considered becoming a member of *Capel Parish Council?


Elections are due for CPC on May 2nd (when there will also be elections for Borough councillors for the new Pembury and Capel Ward). Some existing members of CPC may wish to retire at the end of their term and the council could always do with new ideas and fresh blood. There are 9 councillors altogether. Could you be one of them? If you are interested, please contact Louise Goldsmith, Parish Manager and Clerk who can give you further information and supply you with nomination papers when the time comes.

*What does a parish council do?

Capel is one of around 9 000 parish and town councils throughout the country whose principal function is to promote the well-being of the local community. It has direct responsibilities which include managing the Recreation Ground, the allotments in Five Oak Green, and the Memorial Cottages in Brampton Bank. Even more important is its role as a community champion representing local opinion to other bodies including the borough and county councils, the MP, utilities providers, such as SE Water, the NHS and so on. It is the local authority closest to the community, and often the first port of call people will go to for help with their concerns and ideas for improving the parish.


KCC have considered the results of the consultation survey on the Speed Indicator Device (SID) scheme carried out by the Parish Council and are happy to proceed. Accordingly, the Parish Council agreed to buy a device and have engaged their contractor to move it, replace the battery and download the data. The device is on order, and we expect a lead in time of 10 weeks or so.

KCC was not able to fund the traffic calming scheme along Five Oak Green Road. However, it has agreed to proceed with a smaller scale scheme, which will be funded from the small works budget, and which could still offer more protection at Capel Primary School. KCC has agreed to upgrade the existing school wig wags to Smart pulsars which will improve the visibility of the school. This should reinforce the advisory 20mph speed limit past the school during peak times. KCC has also agreed to look at introducing an informal crossing in the next financial year to assist school children crossing the road. This crossing point will be highlighted by dropped kerbs with tactile paving near to the school and will be situated within the advisory 20mph zone.

Kent Police have set up a task group to monitor the car racing and anti-social behaviour at Castle Hill and Kent Police is also monitoring posts on known relevant social media sites. A Public Spaces Protection Order for the Borough of Tunbridge Wells is planned for the New Year to try and prevent the anti-social behaviour associated with these car racing meetings.

The Capel Neighbourhood Pan is with the Independent Examiner. At the time of writing, we await his Clarification Note, which has been delayed until after TWBC voted on the changes to its Local Plan (December 13th). The Clarification note will enable the Parish Council to respond to the comments made at the last consultation and the observations made by the examiner. (For further information on the TW Local Plan see Borough Councillor’s report.)

Other issues: The Clerk has arranged for replacement batteries and pads for the defibrillators in the village hall car park and in the BT Box in Tudeley. The long awaited EV chargers have finally been installed outside the gate of the Village Hall car park and will be available for residents to use.

CPC would like to wish all our residents a happy and prosperous New Year!

Hugh Patterson