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NEW FOR 2019
The monthly Residents' Association meetings are now open to the public.
Committee meetings of the BMRA are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 7:45pm in the Badgers Mount Memorial Hall.
Our next meeting is on the 14th February. All are welcome.
BMRA Newsletter - Winter 2018/19
We’ve had our first snow of the Winter, but the picture is a warning from a previous year.
Remember that there are salt bins around Badgers Mount for icy conditions. The main roads should be cleared by the Highways Authorities but we have to sort out the last few tens of metres to our own doorsteps. The salt is intended for the roads, not your back-garden path, and is organised by the Parish and County Councils. You only need to scatter the salt thinly – it is intended to melt the ice, not act as grit.
Jenkins Neck Woods
During a Cabinet meeting in early January, Sevenoaks District Council agreed in principle to transfer the ownership of these woods to the Badgers Mount Parish Council. The detail of this transfer is still being sorted out.
Local tree safety
During the recent spell of high winds, a tree fell down on Highland Road. It landed on the electricity supply cable and was cleared by the Electricity Company around 2 hours later. The number of tree and branch falls is increasing – 3 in the past year or two – and the Residents Association is in discussion with the Parish Council regarding possible ways ahead should the next fall need to be cleared by us. If the tree falls from your garden, you are responsible for the clear-up, but there are a number of potentially unsafe trees growing on the road verges where land ownership is uncertain.
Nesbit House Care Home
The Care Home being constructed on the old Elite Motors site should be finished sometime this Summer. The boards outside refer to it as Halstead House, but we are assured that it will be called Nesbit House after the Victorian children’s author who lived for a while in Halstead. Tours and a display suite should be available for viewing from the end of January. If you are interested, either for a relative or for yourself, or just interested, the entrance will be from the footpath between the Orpington Bypass and the Old London Road.
Watercroft Woods Cemetery
The cemetery at Watercroft Woods on the way to the station has been under construction for several years, but now looks mostly complete and should be starting business sometime later this year. Some residents have complained about the night-time security lighting; as the site lies within Halstead Parish, we have circulated the complaints both to Halstead Parish Council and to Sevenoaks District Council who have planning oversight.
Most security lights have fairly well defined beams; it is always worth checking that any lights you have installed do not dazzle cars on our local roads or shine directly into your neighbours’ bedrooms. Adjustment is usually a simple matter of adjusting the tilt of the light fitting so that it only illuminates the desired area, not the whole neighbourhood.
The actual location of houses in our area is often difficult to remember, even for those who have lived here for a long time. Whilst the village website (see heading above for address) has an excellent house finder page, this is not easy to bring up when you are walking down the road and are asked by a delivery driver where such-and-such house is. Adding consecutive numbers to house names might simplify things but would require consultation with Sevenoaks District Council and the Post Office so it may not be a preferred solution. It has been suggested that we should commission simple location boards at road entrances showing the house names along each road – such as those at several points along Highland Road. Let us know what you think about the idea – e-mail the secretary (address above on the heading) or talk to Gordon during the Thursday Coffee Morning in the Memorial Hall. You can also help by making sure that your house name is easily readable from the roadside.
If your post is getting creased or bent, it may be worthwhile getting an external post bin. Many houses, particularly modern ones, have small, cramped or difficult to access built-in letter boxes. Help your postman (and committee members delivering Newsletters) by fixing a roomy, easy to access, waterproof letter bin at a suitable height outside your front door or possibly at the road entry if appropriate.
Sevenoaks District Council use the 2-bag system (clear and black) for separating recyclables from non-recyclable. This has the problem that the local magpies (big black and white birds with long tails) have learnt to puncture the sacks with their beaks in search of waste food and similar treats, frequently leading to rubbish scattering all over the place. Whilst we have excellent dustmen who try and clear up, they have a schedule to keep to and cannot spend much time on individual problems. Double-bagging – put the waste into a separate sack before putting it into the non-recyclable black sack – can help, and so can using some sort of box or bin to keep the waste sack in. I know we are all trying to reduce our use of plastic, but remember that the dustmen have to lift the sacks up to the lorry; 2 lighter sacks are preferable to one hernia-inducing heavy sack. Tall and extra-size wheelie bins can also present some potential lifting problems when removing the bags. If at all possible, do not leave rubbish sacks out overnight as the local foxes (and possibly badgers) then get into the act, causing even more litter.
There have been several cases locally of dogs being poisoned by something they ate. A report on one incident said that rotting food waste, probably potatoes, was the cause. Cooked food waste should never be put on a compost heap as it will attract rats and other vermin; these scavengers will often remove food items and leave them where they are accessible to dogs and cats. Pets can be infected by campylobacter from eating raw food; if your pet has severe diarrhoea lasting for more than a few days then it is worth discussing the problem with your vet.
The amount of dog fouling around our local paths seems to have significantly increased over the last few months. As a dog owner myself, I appreciate that clearing up after your dog is not the most rewarding thing in the world, but it is a necessary part of ownership. There are waste disposal bins at various places around Badgers Mount and disposable poo bags are very cheap (nappy sacks in supermarkets, specific dog poo bags in pet stores, etc) so it is not a burden to behave responsibly. It should also be noted that there are large fines for this sort of anti-social behaviour; it would be a shame if the dog-wardens had to be called in to police the area.
The coffee mornings are held every Thursday from 10.30 to 12.00 in the Memorial Hall. This is an excellent opportunity to meet other residents for a chat and keep up with local events, gossip etc.! Numbers attending recently have not been very high, so why not come along and join in?
Mobile Library – use it or lose it!
The mobile library continues to visit the Memorial Hall car park on alternate Thursdays from 11.10 to 11.45 during the coffee mornings. KCC carries out an annual review of the number of people using the library, and if the average for the year is less than 2, they stop the service. Knockholt lost their stop last year because of the low average in spite of new residents using it every time for a few months before KCC carried out the review. Numbers using the library at our stop have diminished recently, so unless more people use it regularly we are likely to lose it when KCC carry out their next review later this year.
Our third wine-tasting event went splendidly with nearly 30 residents assessing a number of wines at 3 different price points. A good time was had by all and our sincere thanks go to Zena Belton for organising the event. If you have any ideas or suggestions for a particular social event you would like to see, please contact Zena 01959534566 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She is considering a quiz night, but anything is possible from a simple getting-to-know-you get together to an Easter egg hunt or whatever.
For the ladies of Badgers Mount. A group of us meet on the fourth Thursday of the month in the Badgers Mount memorial hall at 8pm. An opportunity to have a laugh and relax with new friends, while we drink tea or coffee or even wine. Just come along and find out how friendly we are, or contact Zena Belton on 01959534566 or at email@example.com, we can even call for you so you don’t have to walk in on your own. We like to describe the Badgers Sett as a coffee morning in the evening with wine - we would love to see you there.
All Committee meetings of the BMRA are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 7:45 p.m. in the Memorial Hall. These are ‘open meetings’ for any residents to attend. There will be an opportunity at each meeting for residents to raise any matters of interest. Come along and chat with your representatives.
Committee members will be calling on you either while delivering this newsletter or soon afterwards to collect the subscriptions for 2018 / 2019, which remain at £2 per adult with a maximum payable of £4 per house.
The Badgers Mount Neighbourhood Watch group is now operational, and subscriptions are included within the BMRA subscription. There have been several burglaries recently; if you have an alarm system fitted, remember to turn it on whenever you leave the house – even if it will be for only a short time – as otherwise your house insurance could be void.
The local co-ordinator will be dropping a leaflet in to each house, with contact details.
There is also a Badgers Mount Facebook page. For those IT savvy people it is a quick and easy way to spread information. www.facebook.com/groups/1831340370289399/.
BMRA CONTACT DETAILS
Full contact details on the BMRA Committee page.
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