Background …Both Councillor Tom and Janetta Sams have previously worked with Lenham Parish Council and want to continue to have a good working relationship with members and the Parish Clerk. We are committed to the Parish, its residents, village clubs, societies and associations, which we have been actively involved with over many years. This involvement has allowed us to build relationships within the parish and we are often requested to offer advice and support on a wide range of issues, which are not necessarily exclusively borough council business, but beneficial to those who requested our support. However, in order to define our role as the parish representatives at borough level, we sought the advice of Clive Powell from KALC and we would like to offer the following suggestions for consideration.
Parish Council Meetings: We will sit in the audience to show the public that we are separate from the Parish Council. We will give a mini report, similar to those presented by the PCSO and Community Warden, a copy of which will be sent to the Clerk.
We will note any action points and work to get an appropriate response from the Borough Council. In addition, if any resident needs a fuller conversation, this could be continued outside the Council meeting. We will both endeavour to regularly attend the meetings and we are also prepared to contribute to any other meetings if requested, subject to other work related commitments.
Planning: Both Borough Councillors would like to have continued involvement and dialogue with the Parish council. Whilst they are separate from the council and may need to represent a contrary view to that of the parish council on odd occasions, they are committed to supporting the council wherever possible in dialogue with and representation to the Borough Council. This includes attendance at Borough Planning meetings and working with the council in their representations to the Borough Planning Committee. To assist this we would appreciate receiving information where the Parish Council has immediate concern on any planning application, and copies of the Parish Council planning committee minutes, to assist understanding of the council position. We will in turn flag up applications that may be contentious or that have raised interest with residents and inform the Parish Clerk.
The Neighbourhood Plan Group. Both Councillors want to have a good working relationship with this group, and recognise the independent nature of the group putting forward a plan for the residents of the Parish. They will work with the group to facilitate a good working relationship with MBC.
Highways: Both Councillors have had an active role with residents, the Parish Councillors and County Councillor. They would like to continue to report issues via the KCC website and liaise with the Clerk and Highways committee chairman on matters that residents raise with them. We are both members of the Borough and County Council Joint Transportation Board and see this as an opportunity to progress appropriate highway initiatives. If agreeable with the parish council, a quarterly update of outstanding highway issues could be submitted via the LPC highways spokesperson for consideration by councillors.
Other common interests: We appreciate the helpful advice and assistance from Parish Councillors in relation to any matters that arise. We would like to call upon councillors in regard to their local knowledge and historical background information, to assist us with issues relative to the parish.