As predicted in the January issue, the 2019 outlook remains a doubtful time if looking for certainty. Be that from pot holes (not yet) to Brexit (who knows) to parish elections and borough elections in May (no pun intended). To which we might well add the weather. Each of the four past years has been as different as the trade winds that weave their now irregular pattern: Highs where there should be Lows, prevailing winds from the north and east when they should be from the south west; consequently cold, grey and little rain when soon we will need it desperately. But in our High Street perhaps a little certainty, yes, we will continue to have to endure the high volume of traffic and HGV’s but perhaps a glimmer of light. At a recent meeting with Kent Highways who, after the usual list of what we cannot do and telling us there is no money, as if by an accidental miracle stumbled on four practical steps that we might be able to implement to ease the flow. These we will examine, using their recommended traffic consultants and in due course we may emerge with a practical and even affordable solution (though we pay!). Thinking of the more and more frequent blockages around the High Street there are meanwhile things we, the community of Goudhurst, could do to make our lives more tolerable. Namely be more careful where and how we park and stop pushing on regardless, often blocking the traffic for all, ourselves included. So, rule No 1. wherever it would help, wait, let the on-coming traffic pass and when the road has cleared move on. It is often quicker and usually less frustrating.
At its January meeting, your Parish Council thought and debated many things. We reviewed the projects near done and dusted, noted the receipt of the Glebe field lease – finally, and the progress on many fronts. We put to bed the plans for the maintenance of fields and open spaces in Goudhurst and Kilndown, noted the installation of CCTV in and around our public toilets and car park (to deter strange goings on) and the progress on our Neighbourhood Development Plan (- consultation completed – report from NDP awaited). We noted the planned move of our Parish office to Risebridge in March and the plans to advertise for an Assistant Clerk/Clerk designate in due course. We have initiated a review of the way we conduct the management of our council business through our various sub-committees and how to make better use of all the talent to better spread the workload. All with the intention of ensuring the best possible parish operation by the time of our May election.
As technology evolves more and more is obtainable on line, much without the physical intervention of requiring us to leave our home. Soon apparently, we will not be required to make a mental intervention either, for the great computer in the cloud will consider and predict our wants and deliver them to our door before we even knew ourselves. We in Goudhurst are indeed fortunate to still have some shops, sufficient that we could do much of our shopping in our own village: – General Store for fruit, vegetables, meats, wines and beer, Post Office, newsagents, antiques, a bakery and excellent cafes, hairdressers, Village Life for ladies clothes and indeed our own pharmacy. Apparently, we can now even get our prescriptions on line direct to our door. How long then will we still have a pharmacy in our village? We must protect and use what we have or lose them. Sound self-interest.