Street Lights The good news is that the upgrade programme for the whole of Kent is due to be completed by the end of May, so all the old lights will be replaced by new LED lights by then. These are much more reliable, can be controlled centrally and will save KCC about £6 million a year in electricity bills!
Vegetation Overhanging trees and hedges are still a major problem. Please ensure that your vegetation is cut back to your boundary so that prams, pushchairs and wheelchairs etc. can use the pavement safely. If you are in a property where there is no pavement and your trees and hedges overhang the road you must cut them back at least as far as your boundary but as they will grow vigorously during the spring please cut them back an extra 0.5 meters before the birds start nesting.
Please continue to report any problems with potholes, broken kerbs etc on the KCC website – www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/report-a-problem. You can also use this site to report other problems like streetlights not working or fly tipping.
Did you know that we are lucky enough to have over 30 miles of marked public footpaths, not including bridleways, within the Parish Council boundaries? We are also fortunate to have the majority of Blean Woods, which provide glorious walks on 5 marked trails of up to 8 miles.
Sadly due to Kent County Council budget cuts footpaths are regarded as a very low priority and so the upkeep often falls on the Parish Council’s local volunteers who all do the best they can.
Please, if your property adjoins any of our footpaths be a good neighbour and keep your trees, plants and any foliage under control, and within your property’s boundaries. When you are out walking and find an overhanging twig or wayward nettle obstructing the footpath please feel free to cut/snap them off.
We now have more trees in the verge of Rough Common Road, and on the green, where the rotten maple stump has been removed. These trees will be watered by Highways during their first year. Thanks to all residents who watered the last batch of trees. After an erratic start I hope the oaks at Oaks Park entrance are now established!
Trees need to be managed and I’m grateful to residents who care for our environment. Residents wishing to work on trees in Conservation Areas (i.e. the Harbledowns and Havisham House) should seek permission from Planning at the City Council. Nesting begins in March, after which only emergency work is permitted until September.
Beatrice Shire (Parish Tree Warden).