Message from your County Councillor - Jan 2017

We took advantage of the quiet period (in terms of meetings) at the start of the year to enjoy some winter sunshine. I wanted to see Cuba now that it is open for tourists and before it becomes developed and ‘spoilt’. It was well worth the effort. Not just the 1950’s American cars, the main highway, their equivalent of our M1 or M2 had carts on the inside lane pulled by horses or oxen. See it if you can before it all changes as American tourists flood in.I attended the Kent Association of Local (Parish) Councils Executive Committee on Saturday 23rd. Swale also represented by Swale Board Vice-Chairman David Austin from Sheldwich, Baddlesmere and Leaveland Parish Council. A new Chairman and Vice-Chairman for the County Association Sarah Barker from Kings Hill Parish Council and Christopher Woodley from Brenchley Parish Council. One interesting item on the agenda was a report from the outgoing Chairman and Vice-Chairman of their meeting with Kent County Leader Paul Carter where the future shape of Local Government in Kent was discussed.Parish Councils I have attended in the second part of the month were Dunkirk and Lynsted.Another meeting which may be of interest was the Southern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee held in London rather than the usual venue of the Environmental Agency Office in Worthing. This was the meeting which annually sets levy and agrees schemes to be funded. Good news for Kent and indeed Swale this year with funding agreed for schemes at Elmley, Warden Bay, Mocketts and Bells Pumping Stations, Warden Bay and Barton’s Point. Over £2 million of funds for flood defences and habitat creation in Swale alone over the next two to three years.STOP PRESSMy Participatory Budget Meeting to allow residents to decide distribution of my Kent County Council Grant monies was held on the 4 th February. Amongst successful bids were those from Teynham and Newnham Parish Councils towards the cost of defibrillators, All Saints Church Murston, Magpie pre-school in Boughton and Selling Village Hall Committee.Andrew Bowles

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