The Chairman announced it was now two months since her election as Chairman and after a quiet start, things were getting busier. She began by congratulating Sevenoaks Town on recently being named the ‘Best Place to Live in the South East’ by The Sunday Times. It was a great honour and one well deserved by the community highlighting the importance of continuing to improve and support everyone in Sevenoaks, much like the goal of the new place brand campaign, ‘Sevenoaks So Much More’, the launch of which she was delighted to attend recently.
On this theme, she further announced that Hollybush Playground in Sevenoaks was getting an exciting £85,000 refurbishment which included installing new play equipment such as a tree top canopy tube slide. The work was being paid for by a grant from Kent County Council’s Community Parks Funding, and a further £15,000 is going to West Kingsdown Parish Council to part fund their playground improvements.
The Chairman was also delighted to announce that Sevenoaks District Council had secured £1.2 million for a new east to west cycle and walking route in Sevenoaks. This initiative would help towards the ‘Movement Strategy’ to encourage healthier, safer and more sustainable travel, and would also help the Air Quality Action Plan as the route improved connections to local schools, helping to reduce the environmental impacts of the school run.
For the first time since the pandemic, back in May returned the ‘Run, Walk, or Push Against Dementia’ at Knole Park. There were over 300 participants and it raised thousands of pounds for local dementia services. It was such an important cause and the Chairman was enormously proud of the community in all they had achieved to help those living with memory issues.
‘The Big Community Sing’ in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, took place in June, where singing groups of all ages took part in the musical extravaganza at the Stag. The night was a huge success and raised lots of money for local mental health services.
The Chairman announced that looking to the summer holidays, the council was once again organising 4 weeks’ worth of free Family Fun Days. They included every activity imaginable, details of which could be found on the council’s website, and no booking was necessary in order to take part. As well as this there were five, free eco-trails being set up across the District so families could enjoy local wildlife and possibly win a fabulous eco-hamper. The trails would be set up between 22 July to 4 September 2022 by Sevenoaks District Council and The North West Kent Countryside Partnership and would explore some beautiful nature spots.
Finally, next Friday the ‘Three and Four’ was set to be unveiled in Blighs, a new stunning bronze and steel sculpture created by Oliver Barratt, an international artist who lives near Sevenoaks. The project had been paid for by property developers from a fund specifically for public art, and celebrates the history of Blighs, Sevenoaks and the wider area in the beautiful and thoughtful work.
Before ending her announcements the Chairman requested Members save the date in their diaries of Thursday 13th October, for an event at Bore Place which would include a tour of the farm, talks about ecology and the work of the Commonwork Trust followed by afternoon tea. Details will be e-mailed nearer the time.