EAST FARLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL
Chairman’s Report 2021
My report last year was written and only placed online in the hope that it would be able to be delivered within a few weeks. As we are now all aware, COVID-19 has affected us all for far longer than we had hoped but at least the outlook looks brighter now.
Council elections were cancelled last year so our term of office was extended and now the elections are due on 6th of May. Currently the council is up for re-election and there are potentially 9 vacancies for election. We are running with 8 councilors after Jackie King resigned during the year. We are aware that 5 councilors are putting themselves forward for re-election so even if they are successful there are plenty of opportunities for others to stand to attain the full complement of 9. This presents a huge opportunity for those interested especially those from areas where residents feel they are not represented. It has always been my aim to have councilors from all areas in the village. This is a real opportunity as if more than 9 residents stand there will be an election for all to decide how the village will be best represented.
We have done a lot of work recently setting up a new web site in an endeavor to improve communication with everyone. You will find details of what The Parish Council is responsible for in looking after the community in which we live. Please take a look: www.eastfarleigh-pc.org.uk
We have continued to deal with planning issues in the village as a consultee and we have managed village maintenance trying to keep pathways clear, gulley’s flowing, and litter to a minimum. It will always amaze me the amount of litter that is discarded from cars as they drive through our village. I wish to express our thanks to the many residents that pick up litter throughout the year. Many villages organise litter picking days but we are also very concerned at the lack of footpaths in East Farleigh and the dangers of walking on the roads with fast moving traffic.
Ongoing are efforts to restrict lorries on Dean Street and when COVID-19 restrictions allow, we are ready to set up lorry watch. This has potentially increased large lorries onto Lower Road and we are discussing if there is something that could be done to reduce this flow of lorries. There is a scheme under consideration by Kent Highways for all lorries to have a permit if they are delivering in the area, but this has got bogged down a little due to the issues over Brexit.
We continue to endeavor to prevent speeding through the village and are currently in discussion with highways over the traffic calming scheme on Lower Road. Speed watch has been suspended during COVID-19 which certainly has not helped. We are just initiating an experiment where we will pay for police time to attend regularly to carry out speed enforcement.
Des, our clerk, is settling in now and I would like to thank her for all her hard work. I would also like to thank all the council members who all play and important role in bringing our decisions to fruition.
I am not standing for re-election. I have been on the council for 16 years and it is now time for me to pull back to give the opportunity for new ideas. I have enjoyed my time serving the community and have been very privileged to see many ideas come to fruition.
I would particularly like to thank Peter Beasley who has been Vice Chairman all the time I have been Chairman.
In closing, I wish the new councilors – whoever they are – good luck in looking after our Parish and the community in the years to come.