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Speldhurst Parish Council has several vacancies for new councillors to join our local council.
More to follow on this shortly!
The Village Society AGM took place up at the Village Hall on 25th March and was well attended by many residents. As well as the usual 'AGM stuff' and our guest speakers, it was particularly pleasing to be able to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Lynn Jeffreys of Langton Green for her long service, as both a councillor and for many years as chairman, on Speldhurst Parish Council. Well done Lynn!
Click to enlarge the photo.
The Village Society annual quiz night took place in early March and after lots of rounds, a picture marathon and the playing of jokers, one team stood out as this year's winners - 'Les Chantecleurs'. Here we see captain Linda Mortley collecting the shield on behalf of the team of eight, with quiz master Anton Vamplew at the back left of this picture.
Thanks go to Lyn and Lawrence Dollimore for organising another successful evening of fun with nett proceeds going to the Village Society to be used for the benefit of the village.
Langton Green Village Hall needs your help!
The Trust responsible for our Village Hall (a registered charity) is looking for one or two new Trustees to help with running the charity and to be involved in making important decisions with regard to the future of the Hall and the Trust. If you can spare a few hours each month and would like to become a Trustee, in the first instance please contact Stuart, Vice Chair of the Trust, on email@example.com
Preparations for the Langton Green Fete are now well underway. Our lead coordinator this year is Josie Gamble. Please see the Fete tab above for contact details. We are always in need of some help in the run up to the fete as well as on the day itself. If you can assist us, please do get in touch.
Planning - You may have seen recently that both Knowle Close and Newlands were refused planning permission by TWBC, although the development at Speeds Farm was eventually approved. In particular, the Newlands application had attracted a massive amount of local opposition and which shows how important it is, these days, to focus any objection on the key facts and with, perhaps most importantly, reference to the relevant planning policies both at local and national level. If this is done in a clear and sensible manner, the TWBC delegated officer responsible for deciding on the application has every reason to consider each point in an objection very carefully.
Also to note, on nearly all applications, it is this individual delegated planning officer who makes the decision with regard to approval or refusal. Some people still believe, erroneously, that these decisions are made by committee. Many years ago that was the way; in our case the TWBC 'Western Area Planning Committee' would have decided on a planning application. Now, one officer decides using a clear set of local and national criteria. Only if a Borough Councillor "calls in" an application, does the application go before the full Council in one of their evening meetings. This happened in the Speeds Farm example, on which the delegated officer had given his view that it should be approved. Councillors then made their decision based on all the information before them.
Our Borough Councillors (Speldhurst & Bidborough) are Julian Stanyer, Julia Soyke and David Jukes. Their contact details can be found on the TWBC website.
Lastly, please remember that TWBC no longer send out letters to neighbouring properties about new planning applications. We first mentioned this some while ago on this page (see below). Instead, you need to look out for any yellow notices on lamp posts, trees or fences etc which now notify you of an application.
Several years ago the Village Society commissioned a factual book about Langton Green and which contains lots of old, historical photos of the Village. We do have several copies still available for purchase. For further information, please see the History tab above and contact the webmaster if you would be interested in buying a copy (at a reduced price).
It was with sadness that we learnt of the sudden death of Mike Bender, a long standing member and volunteer up at the Langton Green Junior Football Club. The following has been taken, with their permission, from the LGCSA website:
"Our beloved Mike passed away suddenly on the 9th December.
Mike loved our Club and dedicated his life to encouraging young people to enjoy the sport he was so passionate about, football. His enthusiasm and support was boundless. Literally thousands of children started playing the game and flourished with Mike’s unwavering help and advice. He made time for everyone, he loved us, and we all loved him right back - it was a simple and beautiful thing.
Mike’s passing has left a hole in our lives that will never be filled. At this time we remember so many happy memories of Mike, created by his selfless and boundless dedication. Our club is his lasting memorial.
In the fullness of time, we will hold a celebration of his life, so we can show how much he meant to us all. He was the best of us all. It is impossible for us to express how much we all miss him.
We would like to share our sincere condolences with his family, children Karen, Sarah and Matt and his beloved grandchildren. Our thoughts are with you all at this incredibly difficult time".
Some new planning applications in the village recently submitted by developers have been objected to by both the Parish Council and the Langton Green Village Society. We felt that both were trying to over develop the sites in question (in one case 10 houses where two currently are) and were not in keeping with the established neighbouring houses or roads. December 2018
On a wet and windy Saturday morning, volunteers from the village helped erect the Christmas tree which as always was provided by the Village Society for the benefit of all those passing by during the seasonal period. New lights were purchased last year to improve the look and this year we were treated to some mince pies by one kind neighbour along the Green - thank you!
The Brunch Cafe is now open for business along the main Langton Road (A264) in the village. Opening from 7.00 am through to 4.00 pm you're assured of a warm welcome for breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake. Sam, the owner, looks forward to meeting as many of the local community as he can!
To browse their menu please CLICK HERE
A new dance class is coming to Langton Green! Silver Swans ballet classes, part of an initiative launched by the Royal Academy of Dance, is specifically designed for the over-55s. Dance has been scientifically-proven to improve balance, thus reducing falls, to maintain strength and posture and also to bring benefits to the brain, such as delaying the onset of memory-loss and dementia. Possibly even more rewarding however, is the enjoyment and overall sense of wellbeing.
Two well attended quiz nights have recently taken place up at the Village Hall. First we had the All Saints' Church one held at the end of September where team "The Jacks" ran out winners followed by the Friends of Hospice in the Weald quiz on 13th October ably organised as always by Daphne Streeter.
Well done to both evenings for raising funds out of competitive and enjoyable evenings!
Our photo is from the All Saints' quiz night.
The Langton Green Charitable Trust's AGM took place up at the Village Hall on Thursday 11th October. The Trust owns and is responsible for bookings at the Village Hall. For info please CLICK HERE
Speldhurst Parish has a new PCSO. His name is Matt Hill and he can be contacted via email -
In emergencies always call 999. For non-emergencies please call Kent Police on 101.
July Fete -
A handbag was found on Saturday after the Fete. Please email LGVS.firstname.lastname@example.org if it might be yours. Please give us a quick description of it and the shop it came from. Thank you.
As you may have seen by now, the Village Society has put up the hanging baskets for this year. Whilst our own funds do pay for these, we do also receive a donation from one household specifically to help towards the cost of the baskets, so thank you to that family as well. May 2018
Preparations are now under way for this year's Langton Green Fete. If you are able to help, either in the run up to Saturday 7th July or on the day itself (perhaps by helping to run one of our main stalls for an hour or two), please do get in touch. Please email Neil & Debbie on email@example.com
Thank you so much!
Some of you may know that there is a consultation period currently open regarding the amending of Parliamentary Constituency Boundaries. This is perhaps important to villagers because potentially Langton Green could be moved in to the Tonbridge constituency instead of remaining in the newly named "Tunbridge Wells and Crowborough" one. If you wish to make a comment on this, whether in support or against, you can do so via the BCE website (links below). To note, this is purely for voting in a General Election and who your MP would be - Langton Green would still remain under TWBC for all local issues.
This public consultation runs until Monday 11 December. Opening up the expanded map function on the first link is quite good as you can see how the whole of Spelhurst Parish has been moved away from our "home" town of Tunbridge Wells if you zoom in.
Langton Green has a new PCSO. His name is Simon Fuller and he may be contacted by his email here
In emergencies always call 999. For non-emergencies please call Kent Police on 101.
The Trustees of the Langton Green Charitable Trust, which owns and manages the Village Hall, have two important news items to bring to our attention.
On Thursday 12 October at 7.30 pm, the Trust's AGM will be held in the Gallery Room up at the Hall and all villagers and users of the Hall are welcome to attend.
Secondly, the Village Hall recently applied for a renewal in their HALLMARK status, levels 1 and 2 - a quality standards scheme for village halls. This requires the Trustees to show competence and strong performance in the general running of the Village Hall along with an efficient day to day working functionality of the hall itself. We are pleased to report that our Village Hall passed with flying colours and attracted the following comments from the inspectors -
"This is an extremely professionally run hall. Committee members (the Trustees & managers) are committed and progressive and there is an excellent relationship with the local Parish Council. Particularly noteworthy is their use of the electronic booking system, which has not only increased hall bookings substantially, but is much more in tune with the way that the community prefers to interact with the Hall. Their effective use of IT in both the booking system and their website is a good example of their forward thinking. This is probably the most professionally run hall that we have visited and yet it retains its friendly Village Hall feel".
Our second student grant this year went to Nandini Magoon, a pupil at Tonbridge Girls Grammar School, who was a volunteer for the Joshua Orphan and Community Care Charity. Nandini moved to Langton Green with her parents and younger sister in 2015. They have two dogs who you'll see being walked regularly in the village.
Several schools and churches around the UK send volunteers out to Malawi specifically to help with projects in the country and in particular to make life better for young children and orphans. You may read Nandini's report on the attached document and learn more about the charity from the link here -
The Village Society awards grants to students living in Langton Green who are generally in years 11 to 13 and are raising funds for overseas educational trips. Please visit the Village Society page above for details.
As you may know, the Village Society awards grants to students who apply directly to us in order to help with the cost of educational trips abroad. Isabelle Ormsby, a local musician & student, went to France at the end of July and has kindly written the attached report for us on her return to Langton Green.
Isabelle has lived in the village all her life and attended our local primary schoool before going on to Tonbridge Girls Grammar. She is now studying Biological Natural Sciences at St Catharine's College, Cambridge. She started to play the cello in primary school aged eight and has been playing ever since.
Congratulations to our Photo Competition winners who were awarded their prizes at the Village Fete on Saturday 1 July. This photo shows them along with some of our second placed contestants. The judges, Ian Palmer and Jonathan Bolland, were also present along with the new Mayor of Tunbridge Wells Julia Soyke. All three presented the prizes to our winners as follows - Clare Marples, Andrew Chapman, Amy Collinson, Ben Macklen, Karen Williams, Warwick Morris, Henry de Carle, Tina Chandler and Claire Edmondson. Well done to them all, and thank you to everyone who entered. We had nearly 50 photos in all.
Once again our local sports club put on a fabulous football fiesta at the end of the half term holiday up at the recreation ground where a thousand kids took part. For a full report, please see their own website as follows https://langtongreencsa.org.uk/fiesta/
TWBC have announced that from April 2017 letters to households giving notice of nearby planning applications will cease and that residents will have to register via their website and/or rely on reading public site notices which will continue to be erected in close proximity to the planning application address.
Please see the attached note -
Earlier this year we reported on a local family's fundraising efforts for their son to have a potentially life changing operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy. There was a fantastic response to the Hassett family's fundraising efforts and Theo, who also has cerebral palsy, had his SDR operation in May. Theo, who started at LGPS in September, is recovering well from the procedure and is now working hard at his daily physio with a view to improving his mobility and achieving independent walking over the next couple of years.
You can follow Theo's progress here - www.facebook.com/readysteadytheo
New Pavilion Opening
After seeing all that rain Friday evening, it came with much relief that the sun was out for the morning of Saturday 3 September for the official opening of the new LGCSA sports pavilion up at the Village recreation ground. Several local celebrities such as Guy Lambert, Chairman and Chris Allen, Head of Football were joined by Greg Clark MP, George Cohen MBE and Lord Pendry (representing the FA) for the ribbon cutting event.
The ceremony was ably assisted by Mike Bender and with Steve Alldis supporting everyone by cooking the bacon for the breakfast rolls being served from the newly fitted out kitchen, many local parents and their kids enjoyed a really nice start to their day's activities. Several local Councillors were also in attendance as help and support for this large and important building project was necessary over the last year or so from Speldhurst Parish Council. Official photographers from both the FA and the Courier attended, so look out for lots more photos of this event over the next week or two.
You may have noticed a fairly constant stream of 'arriving' aircraft over Langton Green during July and the first part of August. Seemingly, summer had truly arrived for us all. Well, there has been some very recent, important news for everyone concerned by the noise from overhead aircarft.
From Monday 15 August the flight landing swathe for planes coming in to Gatwick was officially re-widened, effectively negating NATS and the CAA's plans to create a narrow superhighway over a number of villages in west Kent, including ours. Planes coming in to land at Gatwick from the east will now be guided over a larger area which we should definitely notice from this week by having fewer planes diectly over us.
This has come about largely due to the huge public oppostion from those villages that, through no fault of their own, suddenly found themselves experiencing far greater noise from aircraft than they had five years ago. Huge thanks must go to the team behind 'Gatwick Obviously Not' who have worked so very hard on everyone's behalf to get this far. Many local people have helped with donations directly to GON as has the Langton Green Village Society on your behalf.
However, please stay vigilant as there is still much work to be done following on from the independent review which was released at the end of January this year and which we reported on at the time and can be found further down this page.
Gatwick - There have been several items of interest concerning Gatwick and the associated aircraft noise over East Sussex and Kent in the last few days. One primary piece of information was the results of the independent review by Bo Redeborn released on Thursday 28 January. This has been reported quite widely in the local press, for which we attach some links of interest for you. In addition, late last year 'Gatwick Obviously Not' were informed by the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) that they had won their right to take their Judicial Review to a full hearing concerning the narrowing (concentration) of flight paths "being engineered" by the CAA over the last couple of years. Again we attach a link to their relevant website page.
You may have seen this previously, but even so it still makes pleasant reading! Country Life magazine mentioned Langton Green as one of the best places to live in Kent. Their full article was entitled 'The 50 Best Places to Live Near London' with 6 villages in our county getting a mention. Langton Green was first out of those six on the list, just in case that makes a difference ;-)
You may read their article HERE