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Home > BMRA > News Archive > January 2016 Newsletter

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BMRA Online Newsletters
JANUARY 2016
There are approx. 4 newsletters published each year.
 

 

 
BMRA Newsletter - January 2016

A warm welcome to all residents of Badgers Mount. The aims of the Residents Association are:

- To be the voice of the community. The Parish Council is required by law to be neutral and even-handed. The Residents Association can be partisan and provides a framework for complaint and protest against outside threats.
- To provide checks and a balance to the Parish Council
- To organise community events.
- To produce newsletters four times per year (we hope you find these useful).

The Badgers Mount website (address above) has a wealth of information about our community and its surroundings.


SUBSCRIPTIONS

Committee members will soon be calling to collect subscriptions for the current financial year which ends March 31st. There will be no change to the fee payable - 2 per adult with a maximum of 4 payable per house.


ROAD SAFETY UPDATE

County Councillor Roger Gough was at the BMPC meeting in January. He reported that:-
- Some funding is available for design etc for the footpath on the east side of the Orpington Bypass.
- Roundels are going ahead.
- The Members Highway Fund will be implementing the speed activated sign.


POSTMAN TONY NUTTON’S RETIREMENT

Tony Nutton retired on 31st October after being the main postman for Badgers Mount for nearly 20 years out of a total of over 37 years service to Royal Mail. As mentioned in previous newsletters, we organised a collection to mark the event, and 25 people were at the coffee morning on 29th October when the collection and a number of cards were presented to him. Tony has given excellent service over the years, and hopefully his successor will keep it up. He has sent the following thank you letter which he asked to be widely circulated.

I would be grateful if you will pass on my thanks to all the residents of Badgers Mount for their kind gifts and cards received on my retirement.

I was surprised at the amount of people at the Coffee Morning and I would like to thank all those involved in making it such a special day. The delivery that day was much slower due to the amount of cake we ate.

I will miss you all after all these years, but I am now happy to retire.
Yours sincerely, Tony


MOBILE LIBRARY – use it or lose it!!

The mobile library visits the Memorial Hall car park on alternate Thursdays during the weekly coffee mornings. Come and change your library books whilst enjoying a cup of coffee or tea.

Users of the mobile library should have received notification from KCC that they have opened a consultation on restructuring the mobile library service. This proposal will result in over 56% of the current stops being withdrawn because less than 2 people use the service on each visit. The Badgers Mount stop exceeded this so will continue to be on the new schedule with the only change being proposed is that the arrival time will be 11.10 am instead of 10.45 am, but still on alternate Thursdays during the weekly coffee morning. The consultation closes on 4th March, and the results are due to be published on 20th June. No date has been given yet for implementation if the changes are approved. If you will be affected by this then please send in your comments.


PLANNING

Recent planning applications have included:-

- Merrowlea, Milton Avenue. Rear extension. Granted.
- Kloof, Milton Avenue. Replacement house. Refused. An appeal has been lodged.
- Haresfield, Badgers Road. Side and Rear extensions. Refused.
- Fairlight, Badgers Road. Replacement house. To be decided at SDC Development Control Committee on 28th January.
- The outline application for the Fort Halstead redevelopment has been granted.
- Just outside our area, the application for a car park adjacent to Knockholt Station has been refused by Bromley Council but an appeal has been lodged.


DUMPING IN WATERCROFT WOODS

Anyone moving along the Old London Road will probably have noticed the huge pile of yellowish earth and stones in the area below Watercroft Woods on the West side just North of the Badgers Mount Village Gate. This is part of Halstead Parish but could affect the Old London Road and possibly access to properties in Badgers Mount if silt-laden water and mud floods the road. At the moment we are watching the situation but would welcome any inputs from residents who may have been affected by the dumping and particularly if there are any apparent movements of mud towards the road.


F M CONWAY UPDATE

Site Development

Following SDC's trawl for suitable sites for development F M Conway’s consultants were instructed to submit such an application.

The consultants called for an early meeting with the planning department and were told that SDC are intending to sift all the applications before embarking on any preliminary planning discussions. The consultants are hopeful of having that meeting in the early part of this year.

Furthermore the consultants confirmed that it remains their intention to fully consult with the BMRA and the new Parish Council during the planning phase.

Vehicle Movements

A further incident occurred of lorries and cars parked in Shacklands Road on 29 October in the early morning resulting in vehicle users passing on the wrong side of road. FM Conway Ltd confirmed this was due to external customers collecting material on time collection basis despite being told not to arrive prior to allotted collection time. FMC have apologised that their instructions were not followed on this occasion. Please do not hesitate to report any similar incidents to a member of the BMRA Committee

Complaints of early morning vehicle noise in late November and again in mid-December have been received. The F M Conway vehicle logs show no significant vehicle movements at the relevant times. We would be interested in any further information which could indicate possible destinations and operators for these vehicles. Are they going to the Skip site near Knockholt station, the Oak Tree Farm site opposite the Polhill Garden Centre, dumping at the Watercroft Woods site or just passing through?


NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

Richard King has agreed to co-ordinate the road stewards and every house should be contacted in the coming months to gauge interest. If you are not already receiving the bulletins, newsletters and scam warnings via e-mail contact Richard on 533979 or e-mail avrilandrichard@btinternet.com.


BADGERS MOUNT PARISH COUNCIL

The Parish Council meets on the first Thursday of each month to discuss planning applications and other local issues. Additional planning meetings are held on the third Thursday if necessary to suit timing of applications and the required consultation return date. Minutes of the meetings are published on the Badgers Mount website, in draft form until approved at the next meeting. Members of the public are welcome to attend the meetings, and may raise any points they wish in the public question time.


DISPOSAL OF JENKINS NECK WOOD BY SEVENOAKS DISTRICT COUNCIL

The committee is aware of SDC’s proposal to dispose of Jenkins Neck Wood, an area of woodland alongside the M25 between Badgers Road and Shacklands Road, which provides an essential barrier to reduce noise and pollution from the motorway. Badgers Mount Parish Council is currently in talks with SDC in order to keep the woods in public ownership. There is a full report in the BMPC newsletter.

The BMRA and BMPC have some worries about the increase in traffic noise and pollution should these woodlands be cleared of trees. Some estimates indicate a possible doubling or more of traffic noise from the M25, particularly along Highland Road.

The BMRA has yet to formulate a view on the subject and is urging the Parish Council to publish a cost/benefit analysis so that the residents can make a judgement from an informed position.

The BMRA would hope to support the endeavours of the Parish Council and to this end needs to have confidence in what the Parish Council propose.
Above all the BMRA is keen for the residents to have a voice on the issue whether it is direct with the Parish Council, the BMRA or both.


ENTERTAINMENTS

Were you there? or alternatively,
What might you have missed?
Social activities round up

Muddy boots, rosy cheeks and no one lost!

Badges Mount Ramblers !
1st Sunday of the month meet at the hall at 10 o’clock
First meeting had 8 walkers and 3 dogs - great planning by Wil and Mel no one got lost and we all retuned safely.

Good singing, good food, good company and Good King Wenceslas

Christmas Carols
Yet another fantastic social occasion; 2 dozen friends old and new had a chance to sing some Christmas Carols.
Old friends, old songs and auld lang syne,
New Friends, new dances and New Years Eve

New Years Eve
A lovely evening. providing another opportunity to catch up with neighbours, there was lot of chatting until the music got us all up on the dance floor. Most came along for the whole party but a few took an early taxi home and joined us to welcome in the New Year.

Coming soon!

We have had great successes over the past year, and still have plenty of ideas, activities and entertaining evenings planned; all that is missing is you! At the moment these events are being run on very small numbers, they would be so much better if more people could come along.

It is a struggle to get information to everyone in Badgers Mount, we don’t bump into each other in the pub, or at the school gate or as we leave church, we don’t all walk our dog on the village green or stand side by side at the playground watching our children on the swings.

The events for the coming year are a repeat of last year – there are many more exciting things I would love to organise but it’s a little lonely in the hall if no one comes. Please put these dates in the diary and come along. Very few need booking but may be cancelled if I don’t get enough interest. If anyone has any ideas as to how I can promote these events better please please let me know.

Events co-ordinator Zena Belton zbelton@live.com

Quiz Night Saturday 5th March Quiz starts at 8pm. Tables of 6-8 7 per head or we can help you make up a team. Will include ploughmans.

Easter Egg Hunt Saturday 2nd April from 2pm for younger children, collect a quiz sheet from Johnson Ave and return completed for a prize! Entrance 1

Walking Treasure Hunt Saturday 18th June from 2pm start at Badgers Mount Memorial Hall.



ARE YOU PAYING TOO MUCH FOR YOUR WATER?
(by the Chairman)

The Sunday Times recently published an article highlighting an issue whereby domestic customers were being overcharged for their supply, sometimes by hundreds of pounds.

The article called for consumers to check they were on the correct tariff, particularly in cases where their water company was unable to fit a meter for technical reasons.

This prompted me to ask the question in the case of a property in Tonbridge, which revealed that the customer was indeed being over charged by Southern Water.

Following this enquiry, Southern Water quickly activated the necessary refund arrangements.

Being on an unmetered supply myself, I decided to ask Thames Water what I should be paying based on a two-person occupancy. They confirmed my annual charge should be in the region of 250 to 300 per annum.

Having been paying 571, naturally I was stunned.

I immediately applied for a meter, which was fitted free of charge. They also gave me a handy chart setting out the company's charging structure. I now look forward to an annual saving of about 300. If I am unhappy with the service, I have the added advantage of being able to revert to my former tariff, based on the rateable value of my property, free of charge.

A good result, then, from an organisation that clearly has the best interests of its customers at heart?

Well, err, no.

Had the Sunday Times not have run its article, I would never have known that I was being - and I choose my words carefully - ripped off. I would have continued to pay over the odds for my water supply.

By my reckoning, over the past six years I believe that I have paid at least 1,800 more for my water supply than someone with a meter whose circumstances are otherwise similar to mine. I expect a refund.

Thames Water claims that that they encourage the fitting of meters, although I can find little evidence to support this, a matter which I now intend to raise with the regulator.

If you, like me, fell asleep while a nationalised industry quietly morphed into a hard-nosed commercial outfit, I suggest that you contact Thames Water right away.

Tel 0800 009 3657: www.thameswater.co.uk or
PO Box 436,Swindon, SN38 1TU

I am available to research and discuss individual cases but of course each consumer's circumstances remain unique.

Dave Woledge, Chairman

 

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