Monday 11th November, Armistice Day, was the Parish Open Meeting attended by Parish councillors, County Councillor Sean Holden and some 40 parish residents.
The meeting was kicked off with a talk by Mr John Musgrave, Managing Director of the National Trust property at Scotney. He briefed on the major investment and improvements that are planned by the National Trust for Scotney Castle, with new and considerably increased parking facilities, electric vehicle charging points, new walks, and a visitor centre.
Uppermost in the minds of some attendees were the twin issues of the Glebe field (village green) restoration and the children’s play area. Following a delayed start, the restoration and re-seeding of the field is expected to be completed by Christmas.
The children’s play area has had issues of past ownership (it has only recently been under parish council responsibility), partly the consequence of age and lack of previous maintenance which had required council to remove equipment now deemed dangerous. Restoration has taken a long time, owing to a combination of funding, timing and the need to reach agreement on the ultimate design. There is currently a public consultation and questionnaire. Assistant Clerk Claire Reed, together with the parents group, now have a plan which, together with phased council funding and some fundraising, will see restoration begin by the new year.
County Councillor Sean Holden gave an update on progress at county level to control and better direct HGVs across the county. Highways reported on the accidents and speed limits on the A21 south of Scotney and an update on central Goudhurst traffic and parking.
Amenities reported on several projects throughout the parish. Footpaths reported on the 4-quarters plan for footpath wardens to keep the parish’s 39 miles of footpaths in order (which also requires the public to walk them and report on obstacles and condition).