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Local News

Childcare Course

An adult education course is being run at New Ash Green Childern's Centre on 'Managing Children's Behaviour'.  It starts on Monday 5 June at 9:30am.  Ring 01474 872411 to book a place.

Petition to keep Lloyds Bank

The petition has now closed for signature after it was signed by 906 people.  Thank you all for your support.  Councillor Claire Pearsall has handed it to our MP, Sir Michael Fallon, to pass on to Lloyds Bank.


Road closures

Kent County Council has had to implement an emergency road closure for Rectory Road in Ridley at the junction with New Street because of the need to remove fly tipped waste.  This will last for up to 7 days from 20 April.

Pease Hill is also closed until 5 May because of work by UK Power Networks

New Kitchen for the Village Hall

The Village Association is pleased to announce that work has started to create a new, enlarged kitchen for New Ash Green Village Hall.  The work is being done by Bovis as their contribution to this year's 50th Anniversary celebrations in the village with additional financial support from Kent County Council thanks to County Councillor David Brazier.  The support from both organisations is greatly appreciated.

County Council Election

The election for our representative on Kent County Council is on Thursday 4 May.  This is the person who is responsible for our roads, schools, social services and many other important aspects of our lives.  Polling stations will be in the usual places, as notified on the Poll Card which you should have received.  If you haven't had one, ring Sevenoaks District Council (01732 227000) as soon as possible.

Note the important dates:

Open Air Theatre

The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company will be visiting New Ash Green again this year on Sunday 4 June.  They will be performing their new play 'The Commercial Traveller' on the playing field at New Ash Green Primary School.  The performance will be at 7:30pm but you are welcome to bring your picnic from 6 o'clock onwards to secure the best position.  Bring your own chairs, too!

Tickets: £16 Adult, £15 Senior (65+), £12 Student, £9 Child (7-17), £40 Family

http://www.therudemechanicaltheatre.co.uk/book-tickets/

Power cuts - priority support

Do you or someone you know need extra support during a power cut? Although power cuts don’t happen very often when they do they can be worrying. UK Power Networks is the electricity network and it provides a ‘Priority Services Register’ for people who might need extra help in a power cut. Older people, families with very young children, and people with specific medical conditions are among the many people who are eligible to register for free support. You can find more details and register by visiting ukpowernetworks.co.uk/prioritysupport or calling 0800 169 9970.

Ring 105 for electricity problems

A national phone number 105 has been launched if you need to report or find information about a power cut in your area.

Dialling 105 will be free and put you through to your local electricity network operator.  You can also use the number if you spot damage to electricity power lines or substations that could put life in danger.

But if you see problems with street lighting in New Ash Green, contact the Residents' Society or Village Association first.

New Phone Number for Thames Water

Thames Water have again changed the telephone number to use if you suffer a blocked drain. You now need to ring 0800 316 9800.  Use option 2, then option 2 again.  When finally speaking to a person you will need to quote bulletin board reference BB-969633 to ensure they do not charge you for the work.

Neighbourhood Plan - Thank you for your comments

Ash-cum-Ridley Parish Council, with New Ash Green Village Association, is preparing a Neighbourhood Plan. During the recent  consultation period 45 people and organisations submitted views on the Draft Plan.  it was encouraging that most people supported the policies in the draft Plan - no policy received less than 78% approval.  The Draft Plan will now be reviewed and revised before formally submitting it to Sevenoaks District Council who will arrange for an independent examination and referendum.

Patient Transport - all change

A new and allegedly improved patient transport service was being launched in Kent on 1 July.  G4S has taken over from NSL.

There is a freephone number - 0800 096 0211 - to call 24 hours a day to book transport.  For more information click here.

Sevenoaks - the best Council in the World

It's official!  It has just been revealed that Sevenoaks District Council has been reassessed by Investors in People and the previous Gold award has now been upgraded to Platinum!

Sevenoaks District Council is the first public sector organisation in the world to be awarded Platinum status – an enormous accolade and a truly outstanding achievement! Indeed, of the 14,000 organisations holding IiP status, the Council is one of just five to be Platinum!

The new IiP framework is an incredibly tough standard which is focussed on the outcomes the organisation is able to achieve as a result of the way it is managed, the way it behaves at work and the focus it has on its customers.

Everyone who works at the Council, from the Chief Executive to the refuse collectors, has played a part in this and they must all be congratulated.

Talk with the Village Association

Residents are invited, and encouraged, to use a new opportunity to meet members of the Village Association's Council of Management in a drop-in session that is being held every Saturday morning.  As well as members of the Amenity Committee who will be on hand to discuss and offer guidance on any plans for extending or altering houses, Council of Management members - the Board of Directors of the Village Association - will be able to talk about any other questions or concerns people have about the village.  Obviously not everything is within the control of the Village Association but if people are able to say what is concerning them it will at least highlight the issues that need to be pursued.

The workshops take place on the first Saturday of every month from 10:30am until 12:00 noon in the Village Association office in Centre Road.

NAG Primary School wins 1st prize

Pupils from the school won £100 for the school in the Sevenoaks District Council Internet Safety Quiz on 9 February.  Details are in the Community Safety Newsletter.

Bus times have changed

Arriva made some small changes to the buses to New Ash Green in September.  The new timetable is available in the Library.

VA Changes to Improve Accountability

Residents’ Societies are now able to appoint any committee member to represent them as a voting member of the Village Association.

At an Extraordinary Meeting of the VA on Wednesday 3 February it was agreed to make changes to the Company Articles of Association.  With immediate effect the rule which said that only the Chairman of a Residents’ Society could be a member of the VA was changed so that anyone on the Society’s committee can be appointed as the Society’s representative member of the VA.  This means they can attend meetings of the Council of Management and vote at the VA’s Annual General Meetings when Council members are elected or stand for election themselves.

This change will greatly improve the opportunities for residents to have their say in the running of the VA, and hold it to account, so make sure your Society takes full advantage.

Don't sign for it ...

... unless you have identified the delivery person.  Fraudsters who have obtained your details by illicit means may just want a copy of your signature in order to gain access to your bank account.  If someone asks you to sign for a letter or flyer you are not expecting:

The Outdoor Gym is Open

Now open!

The Village Association has secured £11,040 to install a free outdoor gym to go on the Sportsfield (adjacent to The Pavilion at Punch Croft). The funding was awarded from the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Awards For All’ (£6,040), Kent County Council (£3,500) and Sevenoaks District Council (£1,500).

A proposal for an outdoor gym has been under consideration for many years, but the cost was considered to be unaffordable from VA funds. VA staff then undertook to identify sources of external funding. An initial application to the Big Lottery Fund was rejected but, after part funding was secured from KCC (Members’ Fund) and Sevenoaks District Council, a later application to the Big Lottery Fund was successful. Instrumental in securing lottery funding was the support of the Jubilee Medical Practice and the favourable responses to a consultation of residents.

The equipment will hopefully encourage people of all ages, abilities and fitness levels to exercise, free of charge whilst getting some fresh air at the same time!  It will allow users to have a full workout including toning, cardio or chill-out exercises. Many gyms can be intimidating, not to mention expensive, the outdoor gym is perfect for beginners, experienced athletes or friends to work out together.

The gym features six pieces of fitness equipment including a Double Air Walker, Seated Leg Press, Double Cross Country Skier, Double Rower, Combined Pull Down Challenger/Seated Leg Press, and a Push-up & Dip Station. Refreshments can also be served nearby in the Pavilion during opening hours.

The VA would like to thank the Big Lottery Fund’sAwards For All’ scheme, Kent County Council and Sevenoaks District Council, the Jubilee Medical Group and everyone else who supported this bid.

Warning of scam calls and letters from "BT"

Kent County Council Trading Standards is warning of scam phone calls and letters from people claiming to work for the telecommunication service, BT.  The caller asks for an upfront fee of £300 to opt-out of scam telephone calls and tries to gain the resident's confidence by quoting the last four digits of their credit card.  The caller then asks for the beginning of their credit card number to complete the transaction.  They may also send a letter.  This person may be using the identity of an existing company to scam residents.  The Telephone Preference Service is a free service that helps to reduce unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls.

Blue Badge Scam

There have been reports of bogus Blue Badge websites charging £49 for a badge.  The websites will ask for your personal information and will not have the authority to issue you a Blue Badge.  The official Blue Badge costs £10, you can find more information and apply or renew your Blue Badge by visiting the Kent County Council website. You can contact Kent County Council's Blue Badge Team on 03000 416262 or bluebadgeteam@kent.gov.uk.

Citizens Advice Bureau

The Citizens Advice Bureau are holding sessions in New Ash Green every Thursday in the Youth Centre from 9.30-11.00am.

To book an appointment, ring 01732 440448 and leave a message.  An assessor will then call you back.  Drop-in appointments may also be available on the day.

Town Team in the Shopping Centre

The Town Team and Sevenoaks Council are committed to improving the village centre as far as they can and they are supported in this by the Parish Council and Village Association.  The fact that the area is in private hands means that the opportunities for making improvements are dependent on securing the co-operation of the landowners and working with them rather than against them.  It is often a difficult balancing act but also a challenge that will continue to be pursued as vigorously as possible.  Recently this has proved to be even more of a challenge as the landowners have not responded to any requests for meetings.  Following the petition submitted to the Council last year the Cabinet of the Council will be reviewing what further steps can be taken.

Meanwhile the Town Team will continue to do what it can to promote and improve the centre and encourage more people to use the shops and facilities there.

Blood Donor Sessions

The next opportunitiy to save a life by donating blood in New Ash Green Village Hall is on:

All sessions are from 13:30 - 16:30 and 17:30 - 20:00.  Ring for an appointment on 0300 123 23 23 or go to www.blood.co.uk.

emembrance