The Chairman announced that she had a couple of sad announcements to start with, including the loss of two former Councillors – Councillor and past Chairman, Frances Dick, and Councillor John Scholey who many would remember had the position of Portfolio Holder for Finance, had also sadly passed away. The Leader of the Council, shared some of his memories of his former colleagues, and joined the Chairman in a moments silence as mark of respect.
The Chairman congratulated Daniel Shaw and Gary Edmed from the Private Sector Housing Team who were recognised at the Energy Efficiency awards, for a mobile home insulation project. They had picked up a ‘Highly Commended Award’ for their work to insulate 48 park homes across the District. It was estimated the improvements would save the combined owners £200,000 on their fuel bills over the lifetime of their properties, not to mention some 1,000 tonnes of C02 gas, which contributed to Global warming.
She further announced that as part of the Council’s NetZero 2030 ambition, it was exciting that the Council would be working with KCC and Connected Kerb for 41 new public electric vehicle-Charging points. There would be a mixture of 7Kwh & rapid 50Kwh chargers to be installed in Sevenoaks, Swanley & Westerham Council owned car parks. Continuing with the NetZero 2030 ambition, the Chairman advised that it had been an honour to be involved with the tree planting of 3 oak trees for the Queen’s Green Canopy, tree planting scheme to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, celebrating 70 years of service. It had also been great to hear such positive feedback on the smart bins which were installed earlier in the year. The bins help reduce collections by around 90% as they hold more rubbish and will only be emptied when they were full, which was of benefit to visitors, residents and businesses.
Moving on to community news, on 1 October, The
Chairman advised that she had the pleasure to help fund and co-host
the Volunteers Thank You Event afternoon tea with SDC Communities
Team,at which there was also
alongside a magician and professional singer, this was held
for the Care for the Community Volunteers who throughout the
pandemic helped vulnerable residents obtain food and medicine as
well as being a friendly voice to chat on the phone to. She gave a
special thanks to Eliza from St. Clere
Estate who allowed the event to be held in the beautiful grounds,
and expressed her thanks to Kelly and the Team for organising such
a wonderful event.
The Chairman took the opportunity to announce that the ‘Making it Happen’ voluntary and community awards would be taking place again on Wednesday 9 March 2022 at St. Nicholas’ Church, Sevenoaks. These awards recognised residents and organisations in the District that go the extra mile. She encouraged Members to nominate people and organisations who stood out over the last year. Nominations must be submitted by Sunday 2 January 2022.
As mentioned at the last Council meeting, accompanied by Cllr Hogarth, they had visited a record number of entrants of nearly 80 gardens for the In Bloom awards, and it was a pleasure to present the awards at a prize giving ceremony in October. There were some fine examples of eco-friendly gardens and gardens that brightened up the District. The standard this year was particularly high, making the judging especially challenging, she reiterated her congratulations not just to the winners, but to everyone else who took part too.
To date over 200 invitations (covering the period May 2021 through to March 2022) had been received and 140 had been attended so far. Most invitations had been within the District. The Chairman advised that she had appreciated the opportunity to visit many voluntary organisations and schools within the district. Highlights had included support of various dementia cafes, social events for elderly residents, “pop up Sue” sessions and some interesting theatre and concert events. There had also been the occasional business-based event. Finally, there had been activity-based invitations to youth activities such as Westerham Sea Cadets and the Church Youth Club in Edenbridge.
So far eight Chairman’s Charitable events had been held including the well-attended Civic Service back in July of this year. Each of the Chairman’s events have been held in locations that showcase some of the best, and least known, attractions the district has to offer. These have been well supported locally and by other Mayors from around Kent
The Chairman advised her charity Winter Ball ’22 would be held on 22 January 2022, at Westerham Golf Club. All proceeds would be going to support the invaluable work carried out by DAVSS, and she would love to have as many of the Councillors there as possible. She advised that she would also be extending the invitation to the wonderful Staff and Officers as a way of expressing gratitude for all they have done and will do in the future.