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Working together to solve parking issues

BEARSTEDParish Council is seeking a collaborative approach with Thurn- ham Parish Council to resolve traffic and parking issues inWare Street.

Keeping tabs on speeding

A PORTABLE system which can identify speeding drivers using an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) would cost residents £8,000 unless it can be offset by sharing the machine with other parishes. The ANPR system shares infor- mation about offending motorists from across Kent. Borough councillor Mike Cuming

told full council on August 8 that it can make errant drivers change their ways after they have received their firstwarning. Offenders receive a letter after two detections and a more strongly- worded warning if the behaviour continues. After a further offence, a police officer will deliver awarning. Cllr Cuming said research shows

90% of drivers on a firstwarning do not get recorded for speeding within 12 months. Parish clerk Sarah Lewis said the

ANPR system had been brought to her attention by borough member Val Springett. The clerk said that to obtain a licence to legally enforce speeding tickets would cost a sub- stantial amount.

Planting plan

THEparish council has received per- mission to enhance the bank oppo- site the railway station. Sycamore saplings will be re-

moved and the area treated, with planting starting next spring 2018. Aspokesman said: “This planting

will be sympathetic to the area hav- ing consulted with the gardening team from Snowfields.We are also fortunate to receive guidance from MalcolmWithnall.”

New bollards

BOLLARDS around the Green in Bearsted are being replaced as the old ones are no longer fit for pur- pose, Cllr Jon Hughes told the parish council. He said “They’re getting a bit old

and skanky and don’t lock prop- erly.”

Assistant clerk Erin joins council

ERIN Sugden has joined Bearsted Parish Council as assistant to the clerk Sarah Lewis. Erin (34), of Willington Street,

joined in early August in the part- time role. She formerly worked in the

events management business and was based in Maida Vale, London, with husband Lee until they de- cided to move to Maidstone. They have a little boy, Elliott, aged two.

This page is sponsored and edited by:

Bearsted Parish Council

28 Maidstone East September 2017

Erin, who was brought up in Sit- tingbourne, said: “Bearsted is a very interesting area and doing this job you get to know the sort of issues that people are taking about around the dinner tables. “My aim is to use my skills in

eventmanagement in terms of or- ganisation and proactivity.” Lee is a director of an aircraft engineering firm based at Biggin Hill.

BPC says the authorities need to

work together to tackle the problem as both authorities share the once- quiet street which is now used as a cut-through to avoid the A20. Bearsted believes it is not just parked cars in Ware Street which pose problems for residents, but also the amount of traffic now travelling through Bearsted. The council is also concerned that

with more housing planned for the borough, traffic volumes usingWare Street are bound to increase. Some residents feel the parked vehicles act as a traffic-calming measure, whilst others find them dangerous to pass. A council spokesman said: “Over

the past three months, Ware Street has become a hot topic for residents of Bearsted and Thurnham parishes. “The challenge remains in the dis-

parate views about how to make Ware Street safer.

“At the heart of the issue is the

need for pedestrians to cross the road a number of times as theywalk to and from Bearsted station. “Some argue parking makes the

traffic slower.Somefeel it makes vis- ibility poor. Tensions are running high and vehicles described as legally parked by the police have been vandalised to discourage them from parking in the ‘wrong place’. “Some feel the parish councils are

not moving fast enough to put in place a fix.” There has also been an unaccept-

able level of casualties in Bearsted over the last three years, particularly on the long stretch of road through the village that incorporates Ware Street. It is, therefore, imperative that the situation is considered fully and that the action taken will answer the problems long term and in the best

possible way for residents, a spokesman said. The spokesman added: “Wewant

to work with Thurnham on this, and we know they are as passionate as we are to achieve a resolution which has the safety of the residents firmly at the forefront. “It is important to remember that

any fix needs to be long term and will there will be a significant cost to taxpayers.” BPC is in contact with all the rele-

vant authorities, including Kent County Council, police, Kent High- ways, ThurnhamParish Council and has sought the views of the local bor- ough councillors. The council is considering a traffic

survey which will hopefully lead to action that could include the imple- mentation of traffic-calming meas- ures, that would hopefully resolve the issues for residents.

Play scheme

hailed success HUNDREDSof children, dozens of helpers and one special guest made sure this year’s Bearsted Play Schemewas a roaring success. Organisers said 600 children en-

joyed 10 days of fun and games – taking part in a host of different ac- tivities, including sports, crafts, pottery painting and dance. It was held at Roseacre School, instead of Madginford Hall, for the first time after a dates clash. The scheme played host to 100 children per day over the 10 days, staying for all or part of the scheme. Organiser Amanda Franklin, of

Grove Green, said: “It’s like having a baby, this play scheme. There’s a lot of pain and preparation which goes into it but it’s all so worth it. “In the end, you forget all about

the difficult bits! I am absolutely looking forward to doing it again next year.” Amanda said one of the big high-

lights was having the Mayor of Maidstone, Malcolm Greer, attend as a special guest onAugust 3. She added: “That was definitely

a special moment of the twoweeks wewere running.”

Council Office: Madginford Hall, Bearsted Telephone: E-Mail: Chair:

01622 630165 Fiona Redman


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