The Horsted Valley in our Rochester South and Horsted ward is a wonderful expanse of chalk grassland, open fields, scrub and woodland that runs from Davis Estate down to the ward’s border at Ridgeway Banks / Walderslade Road.
Much valued by dog walkers and with its own Friends Group, the ward councillors are very keen to see this area continue to be protected from development and encroachment and made more accessible to local residents. All three of us recently attended a summit with Council officers and other interested parties including Kent Wildlife Trust to talk about the Valley’s future and what enhancements can be made to it that will preserve its character and enable many other people to enjoy its natural amenities.
Following the success of last year’s national “Clean for the Queen” clean-up, which saw 250,000 litter heroes take action. This year “Keep Britain Tidy” are aiming to inspire a half a million people to join in and enjoy a few hours together litter-picking to make the places where we live more beautiful by attacking the blight of litter and reclaim our beautiful countryside, our fabulous towns and wonderful parks.
All of the country’s litter charities have come together in support of this campaign together with a growing range of companies, land managers and associations. The Great British Spring Clean – the name was chosen by the public – will be the most monumental of all litter clear-ups and will take place in Medway from Friday March 3 to Monday 13 March, 2017.
As we have reported on our website previously, the roads around our ward schools are blighted by inconsiderate and sometimes dangerous parking that has not only road safety implications but causes damage to verges, inconvenience to residents who have their drives blocked and interruptions to traffic flow especially on the bus routes.
Rochester South and Horsted ward councillors Rupert Turpin, Sylvia Griffin and Trevor Clarke have arranged for some further bollarding to be installed at the junction of Warren Wood Road with Arethusa Road to try to address some of the issues experienced daily during the school run times. It is hoped that these bollards as well as protecting the badly rutted verges, will ensure the bus route is kept open and there will be slightly less traffic congestion around this key road junction.
As part of the Council’s Cycling Action Plan, the section of Maidstone Road running through the Rochester South and Horsted ward from the Horsted Gyratory to ASDA was identified as a key route. Work has therefore been underway to design improvements to existing sections of cycle route at this location as well as upgrading the signalised crossing at the Shirley Avenue roundabout.
We attach a layout of the plans that indicate the proposed improvements. The overall aim is to create a continuous cycle facility from ASDA to the National Cycle Route 1 on Rochester High Street (east of the junction with Star Hill). These improvements include where appropriate; widening and or resurfacing of existing footways to accommodate shared use by pedestrians/cyclists, new signing, improved crossing points, and other improvements to provide suitable shared footway/cycleway facilities.
As ward councillors we are very pleased that funding has been found to introduce these improvements which will make our roads safer for many local cyclists and pedestrians alike.
One of the Ward’s oldest residents celebrated her one hundredth birthday at one of our excellent care homes in the Rochester South and Horsted ward.
Cllr Sylvia Griffin along with the Mayor and Mayoress of Medway, Cllr Stuart and Mrs Sarah Tranter, attended a party at Fort Horsted Nursing Home to celebrate Sheila’s milestone occasion. Hard to believe that Sheila was born the year the Battle of Verdun was raging in World War One, David Lloyd George became prime minister (there have been eighteen more since!) and Woodrow Wilson was re-elected as US President.
The traffic issues around the Horsted Gyratory have dogged local residents for many years. Ward councillors met recently with Highways officers to press for a resolution to the problems with the traffic flow, road safety, the speed of vehicles up Horsted Way, congestion down City Way, access on and off the new Horsted Park development and into the Fire Station in Marconi Way.
Using section 106 monies from the development at Horsted Park, we are pleased to advise that external consultants will be engaged in the new financial year to investigate the issues and design out these recurring problems so that funding bids can be made for the infrastructure enhancements that will be needed to address the overall Gyratory situation.
That will sadly still be some years off, but the journey there has at long last begun.
The Council are removing the yellow can banks from all the Recycling Points across the Towns including the one at the Horsted Retail Park. The decision was made as the banks are underused.
In 2015/16 around 16 tonnes of cans were collected from these recycling points compared to 270 tonnes of paper and 525 tonnes of glass. This in effect will save an estimated £11,000 per year in collection costs. Metal food and drink cans are of course still recyclable via the kerbside weekly service in white bags or clear sacks which is much more convenient.
Details of all Medway’s Recycling points can be found on the Council’s website.
Ward residents are advised that the police will be holding two further surgeries in the ward at The Thomas Aveling School Public Library, Arethusa Road between the hours of 11.00 am and noon on Saturday 18 February and Saturday 18 March. One of the ward PCSOs will be present, no appointment necessary.
The ward PCSOs can be contacted as follows: PCSO Chris McCann: email@example.com PCSO Laura Taylor: Laura.Taylor@kent.pnn.police.uk
More information on local policing can be found at the ward page on the Kent Police website: https://www.kent.police.uk/your-area/north-division/medway/rochester-south-and-horsted/
Ward councillors have been informed of a change to the bus service time of the final 135 and 145 buses from Chatham with effect from 1 April 2017.
The 145 journey from Chatham Bus Station to Warren Wood at 22. 10 and the 135 journey from Chatham Bus Station at 23.00 are being withdrawn. The last journey from Chatham to Warren Wood will be leaving at 21.30.
We are advised that after the last 145 service at 21.30 there is the option of using 140, 151, 191, and 700 which will get bus passenger to Star Hill. The change is as a result of extremely low levels of patronage on these late night services.