Parish Councillors Update post Local Elections May 2023
We are seeking additional parish councillors to join our ranks. We understand you may feel there isn’t much you can do, but just come along to a few of our meetings and you will catch a glimpse of the work done in the preceding month. As your parish councillors, we often hear concerns from our community about our actions, or perceived lack thereof. We want to assure you that we are dedicated to serving the needs of our village and working within the regulations and structures of government to achieve this.
It can be disheartening to hear criticisms about our work, especially as we are now facing a shortage of councillors to spread the workload. We appreciate your support and welcome anyone who is interested in joining us in this important work.
One issue that we hear frequently is the state of our roads, particularly the potholes. While we share your frustration, we would like to remind you that we do not have the authority or funding to instruct repairs ourselves. We have, however, reported these issues to the relevant authorities and will continue to do so. You can also support us in this by reporting issues you see directly to Highways, as the more reports received the more likely the repairs are prioritised.
Another area of concern for our community is the future of Glebe Field. We have invested countless hours into this issue and continue to fight for the best possible outcome. We are grateful for the support received from residents through the planning portal, if you haven’t had a chance to do so already, please add your comments.
Despite the challenges we face, we are proud of the work we have accomplished over the past 4-8 years. We have had successes, disappointments, and ongoing challenges, and we would like to share some of these with you:
- Reach Road Pond renovation.
- During COVID
- Set up a village Hub to coordinate villagers helping each other – with 6 newsletters delivered to every house in the village.
- by installing appropriate mitigation measures we were the first Council to re-open the play areas.
- Supported local amenities e.g. shop, nursery, post office.
- Your council did not miss a single meeting and worked effectively.
- Village groups support e.g. Dementia, Toddler, Pegasus, the Boat & History Society.
- Defibs – from none to Four available 24/7 and being checked regularly.
- Bins – 5 additional in 2019 and more recently 1 each in King George V and Alexander Field.
- Migrated all councillors to Google Workspace– integrated office package – suitable for virtual and day to day business. Data protection compliant.
- Set up a Parish Council phone hot line that automatically sends voice recordings as emails to councillors.
- Set up a screen in village hall for effective meetings and available to other users.
- New webpage / social media presence /regular articles in Parish mag.
- Financial support for cricket club extension.
- Bowls club and Tennis club refurbishment & football maintenance
- Play area regular maintenance and recent new equipment.
- Civic cemetery – It is looking beautiful and serene.
- More memorial benches and maintenance of current ones.
- Village maintenance – changed contractor – and it is all good.
- Conservation group to protect our Bay SMBCA support.
- Bus Shelters in Nelson Park.
- Double yellow lines in targeted areas. Some more are on the way.
- Footpath walk maps – rechecked and redrawn.
- South Foreland Valley SFV – 90 acres of beautiful chalkland and part of the Heritage Coast. Open to the public and an oasis of calm. An area of Special Scientific Interest and it is currently looking the best it ever has.
- Glebe field campaign against development.
- Increased CCTV coverage in KGV Field & renewed in Village Car park.
- Campaign against parking charges in Reach Road carpark.
- Good relations with National Trust.
- Positive relations with DDC and KCC Councillors and Community Warden.
- A small part of St Margaret’s Beach available for dogs to use all year round and thus not disturb beach worshippers
- Funded 100% the Public toilet in Reach Road carpark.
- Village awards
- Supported the phone box renovation on Reach Road.
- Keep St Margaret’s Tidy signage.
- Station Road/A258 junction under investigation for improvements
- Torchlight Procession: 100 torches for 100 years 4-500 villagers marched to the Lighthouse as the village remembered. 11th Nov 2018
- VE day: Social distancing celebrations and commemorative brochure. 8th May 20
- Platinum Jubilee celebrations: 10 hours of bands, disco, dance and entertainment on stage and dog shows, stalls, games and community get-together. 4th June 22
- Annual Footpath walks & litter picking events.
- Christmas Light switch-On support & providing Rudolph the tractor for Santa’s sleigh and lights along the Highs Street – thankfully converted to LEDs in 2021.
- Planning – DDC has not accepted our pertinent planning arguments. White Cliffs: We may have got Condition 15 revoked but in the end the village still lost a pub. Coastguard cottages – residents evicted and listed building not protected.
- Highways – words fail us!
- Complaint to Charity Commission re Bay Trust
- Struggle to get parking, dog poo & littering enforcement.
- Smartwater & Fibre Broadband initiative – very limited interest
- Attempts to get footpaths included as official Public Rights of Way PROW
- Glebe Field Planning
- Buses & bus stops
- Effectiveness of our input to the Dover Local Plan – new housing sites.
We hope this summary of our work over the past few years gives you a better understanding of the efforts we put into serving our community. We welcome your feedback, suggestions, and support, and we look forward to continuing to work together to make St Margaret’s a wonderful place to live.