The Parish Council has had a very busy month in July. Following a positive co-option process, I am pleased to report that HPC is now back to full strength. I am delighted to welcome three new members to HPC: Chris Eccles, David Veale, and Jeremy Cross, who some of you might recognise as a previous Parish Councillor. Each of them brings skills and experience that will be a real strength to the Parish Council as we move forwards.
As your Parish Councillors, we are committed to improving our facilities and bringing them up to a standard that we can all be proud of. We know that there is a great deal to be done and progress can be slower than many of us would like. However, this year, our Facilities and Services Committee (FAS) have been working tirelessly to bring about these improvements. At Copt Hall, this has included new heating, together with upgrading the surface of the car park. At the KGV, we have installed a new oven, and the lines have been restored on the MUGA. The second phase of the Cemetery restoration has been completed, with 20 graves now restored.
We appreciate the positive feedback from users. It is good to know that this investment is valued. We have plans for so much more, including a new kitchen at the Copt Hall and upgrades to both our playgrounds.
I am also pleased to announce that HPC has purchased our Parish Office at The Moor. This action has secured a facility that we have been renting for many years. The purchase price of £65,000 was paid from reserves. The annual saving on rental is significant, even before considering the impact of rising prices, and will be reflected in Council tax bills that will be lower than otherwise planned.
I am very grateful to Anita Maxwell who has stepped up to take on the role of Acting Clerk. As a result, I am pleased to report that the Parish Office is now open to the public between 9:30 and 12:30, Tuesday to Friday. Anita will be at the library on Monday mornings. There are occasions when Anita will be called away from the office to deal with issues around the village, so phoning in advance of dropping in will prevent wasted journeys. However, there is no need to make an appointment, and you are more than welcome to stop by the office.
All the best,
Chairman, Hawkhurst Parish Council