The year ahead fills all involved with a sense of optimism, life returns to a new normal after the pandemic and we continue to build on strong foundations. We now have a working relationship with KCC Highways and while I facetiously dream of pedestrianising Wateringbury cross roads, we are finally seeing recognition that you are no longer just entering Wateringbury – you are entering Wateringbury Village!
The Parish Council commissioned local Highways consultants to produce an informed solution to the speeding issues around Wateringbury. Whilst no magic wand will implement all of these proposals immediately – we now have a strategic plan and funds in place to work towards slowing vehicles down. As KCC conduct the next phase of surveying our roads and allocated funding – we will continue to push for as much change as possible within the remit of the Parish Council.
All of this could not have happened without input from the village – over 70 suggestions went before the Highways consultants and the information collected by the speed watch team – lead by David Merry – deserve continued recognition for the information that formed the back bone of our arguments for more targeted road changes to mitigate poor driving choices.
Our local PCSO, Josh Vincent, continues to provide a visible deterrent in and around the village for speeding drivers. And I’ll take the opportunity to encourage every resident to create a queue of slow-moving traffic behind them as they traverse the Village. If we all drive to the limit, so is every vehicle behind us.
We watch intently as policy changes at central government may continue to afford us more protection from development in the local area. The suggestion of making development a more transparent and open process and removing the stealthly ability to only post an orange site notice is encouraging.
As we prepare for a summer of festivities – work continues between the church and Parish council to establish a Jubilee memorial garden at the cemetery and we look forward to creating an additional area of remembrance. Both the jubilee celebrations and the village fete look to be fantastic events and I look forward to seeing as many residents and their visitors as possible sharing our green spaces!
It should make us exceptionally proud that on any given day in our village there are an army of volunteers at work and play. Our local Scout and Guide groups are flourishing, the local football club is developing both boys and girls teams, responsible dog walkers everywhere helping collect any wayward rubbish, and it is only right that we take the opportunity to thank not just the small number I have mentioned, but all of the local volunteers for their contribution whether we experience the positivity directly or indirectly as residents of Wateringbury Village.
None of this happens without the continued efforts of our Borough and KCC councillor, our two village wardens, our Parish clerk and each of the Parish Councillors that continue to serve our amazing village.
On behalf of the Parish Council, I wish you all a prosperous continuation of the year.
Chairman of Wateringbury Parish Council