We are sorry to report that some vandalism has taken place at the pond which is most disappointing.
A stake was thrown in and pierced the new liner as well as side boulders being thrown in. We have also had reports that the access platform for the filtration system is being walked on and shingle being thrown in the water. We would ask that people do not stand on this area or throw stones in to the pond.
Repairs to the liner have been successful and the water will be put back to the correct level. Some additional hedges will be planted to prevent access to the filter system and a metal cover installed. We aim to also replenish the bank with some more top soil to grade it steeper which will include additional grass seed.
A permanent sign will be placed by the filter system stating it is forbidden to access this area. We aim to arrange periodic visits to check the pond for debris, filter maintenance and attend to the lilies and other plants.
We now look forward to the pond being allowed to re-establish itself during the spring and summer months for all our residents and visitors to enjoy.
This month we have introduced a dedicated ‘Good to Chat’ bench on The Green. For such a long time the nation has not been able to have face to face conversations and many feel isolated, alone and lonely.
The suggestion was made by a resident a long time ago but we had not been able to implement the idea due to all of the restrictions being in place. We feel now our residents need a place they know if they go and take a seat it is a place they can have a chat.
With mental health also being affected this past year we have engraved The Samaritans telephone number here to guide to a place where help is at the end of the phone.
The first lockdown saw the postponement of our much loved Market on the Green. It was very sad to know that after all the hard work so many people had put in to getting the market back to a vivid, varied and well supported monthly event it would have to stop for the foreseeable future.
Bearsted Parish Council considered on many occasions during the summer whether it was right to bring Market on the Green back but felt due to social distancing and the restrictions on people gathering it was not the right for the council to endorse.
It was put on the Communication Committee’s agenda to consider the return of the Market on the Green for March 2021, this was before the current lockdown began. The committee did invite the Market Manager to their meeting this week and she gave her view of how the market could be bought back safely at the right time.
The Market Manager reported that there are many restrictions in place at the current time; only stalls providing essential items can trade, no licenses are being given for the sale of alcoholic items, markets have to be fenced in with limitation on capacity on top of extensive hand washing and toilet facilities for both traders and visitors.
The committee therefore did not feel it would be right to bring back the Market on the Green until such time that there is no limitation on the types of business allowed to trade, there was less restrictions on capacity and the UK lockdown had fully lifted. When this will be, who knows but Market on the Green will return and Bearsted Parish Council stay committed to ‘working with you to protect & enhance our village environment & wellbeing’.
Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) is reminding businesses it’s not too late to apply for a business grant if they own and run a business in the borough.
It is estimated that around 500 local businesses who were required to close for the 5 November national lockdown and are entitled to claim a grant still haven’t done so.
Cllr Martin Cox, Leader of Maidstone Borough Council said: “Since November last year we have already paid out £6m to our local businesses who so desperately need it and we are working really hard to get money out to all those who qualify as soon as possible.
MBC are particularly concerned about the 500 businesses that haven’t made a claim since the beginning of November and want them to know they can still can apply, the details and application form are all on our website.
Cllr Paul Harper, Chair of the Economic, Regeneration and Leisure Committee added: “Those businesses who previously successfully applied for the November lockdown grant will be sent an email encouraging them to apply for the newest government Local Restrictions Support Grant that has been introduced as a result of the national lockdown imposed from 5 January.
If you are one of these then please make sure you check your emails and complete an online application as quickly as possible.
MBC have quickly created a simple online application form for those businesses to complete and would encourage them to do this as soon as they can so that we can pay them the money they need.
For information on all the available grants please visit:
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