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A message from your County Councillor - March 2017

Regular readers will know that March and April are among my favourite times of the year. Once Swale Borough Council and Kent County Council have held their last Full Council meetings of the Civic Year the number of Committee meetings at both, especially Kent County Council thins out. This allows me more opportunity to attend Parish Council Meetings and get out and meet the electorate on the doorstep.

Pleasant duties in March included attending the Awards Ceremony for Swale Volunteers. It was humbling to see how much our Community benefits from those in the Voluntary Sector who give so unstintingly of their time.

I was also part of a Swale Borough Council Delegation to the Local Government Chronicle Awards in London where our Transformation Team had been nominated. This team is doing brilliant work transforming the way that the Borough Council works and delivers services to residents. This is being done by exploring opportunities for the greater use of technology to improve services and the way our resident access them. In these days when Government funding is disappearing it is important to ensure we make best use of every penny.

I was pleased to accept an invitation to speak at the Kent Association of Local Councils first Annual Rural Conference where several local Parishes were represented, Graveney, Selling and Sheldwich amongst them. This inaugural event for Local Councils explored key challenges and opportunities for communities in the rural environment. As a Vice-President of KALC I provided an overview of these issues focusing on Housing, Health and the Rural Economy including the provision of broadband. I attempted to interpret current Government thinking and how it will influence evolving Government Policy, with particular reference to the delivery of the three areas I have mentioned, within the rural community.

During the month I have attended Parish Council meetings at Selling, Newnham and Graveney as well as Throwley Annual Parish Meeting. I hope to see many of you in the next few weeks at the various Annual Parish Meetings

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