News and Notices

Current News and Announcments

Sandwich Town Council : Key updates from the Council meeting of 25th January 2021

14 town councillors were present at this meeting and there were two apologies, for work and personal matters.

  • The Council resolved to recommend the following planning application be approved by Dover District Council: ““20/01447 |Development comprising engineering and excavation works (including land re-profiling) to facilitate the creation of a shallow artificial lake for water sports activities with associated facilities (including reception building with ancillary uses, cable pulley system, inflatable aqua park and storage units), parking, landscaping and formation of a new site access from Ash Road | Land at North Poulders Ash Road Sandwich Kent”, subject to the applicant’s agreement that they plant a variety of native trees and shrubs, not just single species. And that the hedgerows be planted in two parallel, staggered rows as recommended by Sandwich’s Tree Warden.

  • An extra-ordinary meeting of the Council will be arranged for the 15th March 2021 at 6pm to finalise the Council’s response to DDC’s Local Plan consultation; calling an extra meeting increases the time available for the Council to consider the Plan. 
    The Plan will be split down into sections, that will be considered by the Council’s existing Committees during February and recommendations will be made on each section.
    A public meeting has been arranged for Friday 5th February at which all local residents are invited to give their thoughts on the Plan, the Zoom joining details are:
    Join Zoom Meeting
    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84135582014?pwd=Z3RUMVJrV2NZd3RrcFBjWlVpWStnZz09

    Meeting ID: 841 3558 2014
    Passcode: 186060
  • The Precept Demand Form for 2021/2022 was approved for submission to Dover District Council. The requested precept is £263,709.66, which represents a 10.04% rise on 2021/2021 (equivalent to £135.96 for a Band D property; a rise of £12.41).  A statement with further information about the budget will be forthcoming.

  • Mr C Townend, Strategic Tourism Manager at DDC, will be joining the Council’s Tourism Committee as a co-opted member, which will hopefully strengthen Sandwich’s links with the District Council’s tourism objectives, of which there are a number of plans in the pipeline.

  • A grant of £1,500 by Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund was approved to help start up the Sandwich Pantry by Sandwich Social Supermarket CIC.

  • Funding for Sandwich in Bloom was discussed, an application form for 2021/2022 was invited.

  • The Town Clerk is going to work on a number of governance matters relating to Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund, to clarify how and what the charity does.

This is not a summary of everything covered at this meeting, please see the official Minutes for the legal record of this meeting.  The above is intended to provide a snapshot of matters that may be of interest to residents.

Sandwich Town Council : Key updates from the Council meeting of 14th December 2020

All 16 town councillors were present at this meeting.

  • The Town Clerk is going to draft a clear policy, including process, criteria and local content, on how the letting of the Forecourt will be agreed in the future; this follows concerns that were raised by local residents and businesses about different proposals being received, particularly from private companies, for the use of this space.

  • Councillors are going to meet with the Council’s business tenants (we don’t have any residential tenants) when Covid permits to find out how their businesses are faring during the pandemic; this is intended to ensure that the council is fully aware of the latest problems that may be experienced, and where support is required.

  • The draft 2021/2022 was approved, we now wait for confirmation from Dover District Council as to what the tax base for the year will be (how many rate payers there are), before the precept for 2021/2022 is confirmed.  Usually we receive this information just before Christmas.  The precept (and the cost to the rate payers) will then be confirmed at the Council meeting in January 2021.

  • A wedding brochure for the Guildhall was approved, which is designed to showcase the Guildhall as a wedding venue and help increase bookings.  For the first time wedding packages will also be available for couples to compliment room hire. 
  • Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund’s Assets & Advisory Committee are going to consider the Guildhall’s contents insurance in the New Year, to ensure that we’re meeting our obligations to protect the artefacts and antiques within the building.

    This is not a summary of everything covered at this meeting, please see the official Minutes for the legal record of this meeting.  The above is intended to provide a snapshot of matters that may be of interest to residents.

Reed cutting along the Ropewalk: 30th September 2020

Contractors working on behalf of Dover District Council will be reed cutting along the Ropewalk from 10am tomorrow (Wednesday, 30 September) as part of a regular programme of maintenance works to improve water quality and habitat management.

Similar to pruning a shrub or tree, reed cutting is standard maintenance practice to prevent the build-up of nutrients and dead plant material.

The works involve a large excavator which will operate from Cow Leas Meadow.  This has been agreed with Sandwich Town Council. 

Following the reed cutting, renovation and seeding works will be completed.


Sandwich Library has Reopened

Good news! Sandwich Library has reopened on Tuesday, 29 September offering a socially-distanced book browsing and borrowing service for customers so they can select books from the shelves.

Additional safety measures will include hand sanitizer stations, a one-way circulation route through the building, use of the self-service machine, and face coverings being mandatory (unless exempt).

Opening hours are:

Monday : Closed

Tuesday : 10 am – 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm – 4 pm

Wednesday  : Closed

Thursday : 10 am – 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm – 4 pm

Friday  : 10 am – 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm – 4 pm

Saturday : 10 am – 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm – 4 pm

Public access computers and WiFi slots are available to book via our website www.kent.gov.uk/libs or by telephone on 03000 41 31 31. Check our website or @DoverLibraries on Facebook for updates to our service.


MONKS WALL NATURE RESERVE REOPENED TO THE PUBLIC

Sandwich Town Council is delighted to announce that the Monks Wall Nature Reserve was re-opened on Friday 11th September 2020 by The Right Worshipful the Mayor and Mayoress of Sandwich (Cllr & Mrs Paul Graeme), Mark Chandler (Finns Management) and Cllr Sue Chandler (KCC Representative for Sandwich) and Ken Chapman (Warden).

Members of the public are now invited to visit the Reserve, which we particularly hope will be of benefit to the residents of Sandwich who live to the north of the Toll Bridge, who will be effected by the forthcoming closure of the bridge for repairs. 

The main entrance to the Reserve is through the car park off the Monks Way, just before the junction with the A256. Alternatively, visitors may park on the quayside at Sandwich and walk in from the eastern end at Stonar.

A circular path allows visitors to walk around the main part of the Reserve and there are two public viewing hides.

Visitors should note, however, that the ground underfoot is often rough and uneven and unsuitable for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility. Some areas of the Reserve are ‘off-limits’ due to grazing livestock and the presence of deep water. In order to protect livestock and also ground-nesting birds, dogs are not allowed on the Reserve except for assistance dogs and these should be on a lead at all times. No angling is permitted.

History of the Reserve:

Monks Nature Reserve comprises an area of about 29 hectares (70 acres) lying on the north side of the River Stour from the town of Sandwich. The land was formerly farmland and was then purchased by the Pfizer pharmaceutical company. It has been run as a nature reserve since the mid-1990’s and in the past, members of the public were allowed to access the land by a permit system. In 2011/2012 the whole area was gifted to Sandwich Town Council on condition that the land continued to be managed as a nature reserve for the benefit of local wildlife and the interest, education and enjoyment of residents and visitors to the area. For the entire time of its existence, the Reserve has been managed by a committee made up of Sandwich Town Councillors and senior members of the Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory.

Monks Wall Nature Reserve is now mostly an area of lowland wet grassland, a habitat which has become very scarce in the British Isles over recent decades.  There are also areas of scrubland, hedgerows and reed-bed. The main aims of the management of the Reserve is to conserve and improve this habitat, while allowing members of the public appropriate access. The wildlife interest includes several species of duck, especially in the winter months, while other water birds such as Coot, Moorhen and Little Grebe and Grey Herons and Little Egret are almost always present. Birds of prey which visit the area include Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier and there are many species of other birds. Mammals include a few Water Voles, though these are rarely seen, and there is evidence that Otters visit the site. Of the wildflowers, there are a number of scarce species, including three species of orchid, while a range of insect life includes a good variety of dragonflies and butterflies.

The Reserve was closed in 2013 in order to allow the Sandwich Town Tidal Defence Scheme (a partnership between the Environment Agency, Pfizer and Kent County Council) to progress.  During this time, members of the public were not allowed to visit the Reserve and for various reasons connected with unresolved Health and Safety issues, it has only now become possible to safely re-open the Reserve to the public. The previous permit system will no longer apply.


GRANTS FROM THE MAYOR OF SANDWICH, CLLR JEFF FRANKLIN

The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Sandwich, Cllr Jeff Franklin has presented cheques totalling £2100 to local charities and organisations. These funds were raised by the Mayor and Mayoress during the 2019/20 Civic year, via fundraising activities, that included a Folk & Fizz night. Several local businesses contributed towards the success of the Folk & Fizz night by kindly donating prizes for a raffle that was held at the event.

Kent Search and Rescue and the Phoenix Centre have both received special awards this year in recognition of the great things that they have done to support the town. Kent Search and Rescue’s support during the search for Lucas Dobson last summer was invaluable and we cannot thank them enough for their tremendous efforts during that extremely difficult time. The Phoenix Centre continues to be an important local resource to Sandwich, offering a number of services including a foodbank, youth schemes and mental health initiatives, which help to support the community.

Donations were also made to Age Concern Sandwich, Sandwich in Bloom, Over 60’s Club, White Mill Folk Museum Trust, Townswomen’s Guild, Sandwich Scout Group, Sandwich Community Lights Committee, St Peter’s Care & Share, Sir Roger Manwood’s Band and Sandwich Rainbows, Brownies and Girl Guiding.

This year’s Mayor’s Civic Award was presented to Mrs Emma Reeve, of Fordwich Place, who has served the local community for thirty years as a Leader of the Girl Guides. She currently runs 2nd Sandwich Rainbows.

(13th May 2020)


SANDWICH TOWN COUNCIL AGREES A BUDGET FOR 2020/2021

Sandwich Town Council agreed a 25% increase in the precept for 2020/2021 on the 8th January 2020 at an extra-ordinary meeting of the Council, which represents an annual increase of £24.71 for a Band D property; just less than 48p per week.

This will raise an additional £50,220.56, which will largely go towards repairs, maintenance and running costs of the Guildhall.  

Since the 1970s the Guildhall has been heavily subsidised by Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund (a registered charity of which Sandwich Town Council is the sole trustee) and the Council is aware that the assets of the charity could be depleted within 10 years if the current drain on funds continues. The Council aims to reduce support from the charity for the Guildhall within the current term of office (2019 – 2023), which will then allow the charity to assist with other charitable works for the good of Sandwich and maximise investment income, by maintaining the reserves.

Additional funding for the Guildhall has not solely been sought from the rate payer; the Council will also reduce some services that are no longer efficient and work is underway to improve the business plan for the Guildhall and raise further funds from activities at the building.

Details of the Sandwich Town Council agreed budget for 2020/21 can be found on the Council’s website.

23rd January 2020


EXCITING PROGRAMME OF EVENTS DURING THE 149TH OPEN

Sandwich Town Council has resolved to fully support the schedule of events that are being organised by a number of local businesses via Sandwich Chamber of Commerce, to take place over the weekend of The 149th Open (Thursday 16th July – Sunday 19th July 2020).

The Council had received a proposal from an event organiser who has worked successful in Rye and Deal, however, the proposal that was received from the Chamber of Commerce received the Council’s full support.

Cllrs Mark Lintott and Tony Broun, and officer Mrs A Hollobon-Baxter have now been delegated to work with the Chamber of Commerce to assist where possible to help deliver a series of events that will attract visitors from The 149th Open into the town, provide new activities for residents to enjoy, and encourage support for the local business community.

Local Businessman, Mr Steve Ruston reported “The newly revitalised and energised Sandwich Chamber of Commerce has proven to be a successful vehicle in reaching out to local business and engaging interest in the fantastic opportunities that come with the return of The Open to Royal St Georges course. We have worked together in developing a strategy that will encourage the towns trades and businesses to participate in showcasing our town and developing a lasting legacy that will act as a platform for economic growth. This is at a time when every opportunity must be seized and we need to embrace the change that necessary to see Sandwich return to the golden days of growth and prosperity within its commercial offer. Not only will this opportunity for growth benefit our trading offer but the residual fallout from this can only increase the prosperity of the town as a whole in sustaining us as a tourist destination and a place where people will want to live.”

Cllr Mark Lintott reported that “the Chamber of Commerce’s attention to detail is extremely professional and their enthusiasm for the project is quite infectious.”

Anyone interested in finding out more should contact Vice President of Sandwich Chamber of Commerce Mr Dan Friend (dan@hilas.org.uk / 07723364042) or local businessman Mr Steve Ruston (steveruston8@gmail.com / 01304 449190).

Further updates, as these plans develop and are approved by Dover District Council’s Events Safety Advisory Group, will be posted on the “Sandwich Chamber of Commerce” and “Sandwich, Kent – forum” Facebook pages.

17th February 2020


SANDWICH PORT & HAVEN COMMISSIONERS BACK AT GUILDHALL

Sandwich Town Council has warmly welcomed the Sandwich Port & Haven Commissioners back to the Guildhall, following a period of being based at the Fishergate on the Quay.

The Mayor, Cllr Jeff Franklin, said “we are delighted to have the Commissioners meeting again at the Guildhall; hopefully this will foster a closer working relationship between the Council and the Commissioners; who perform an incredibly important function for the town and have some exciting plans for the future”.

27th January 2020

Local Police Notices

SANDWICH TOWN COUNCIL DECLARES A CLIMATE CHANGE EMERGENCY

At the Council meeting of 29th March 2021 Sandwich Town Council declared a climate change emergency.

Sandwich Town Council notes:

  1. The IPCC ‘Special Report on Global Warming’ (2018) - Global Warming of 1.5 ºC — (ipcc.ch)

  2. The CCC report ‘Net Zero – the UK’s contribution to stopping global warming’ (May 2019) - Net Zero - The UK's contribution to stopping global warming - Climate Change Committee (theccc.org.uk)

  3. Related documents from when DDC declared a Climate Change Emergency Councillors and Elections (dover.gov.uk)

Sandwich Town Council agrees with the following: 

  1. That human activities are changing our planet and the need for everyone to act on climate change is more urgent and immediate than ever;

  2. That not meeting the UK’s targets will have a negative impact on our residents whilst measures to combat climate change can have significant benefits;

  3. That local government has a role to play in responding to climate change, both through their own practices and policies, and through leadership and facilitation;

  4. That various councils across the UK (including the District Council, County Council and UK parliament) have declared a Climate Change Emergency and committed to radical action to combat climate change;

Sandwich Town Council now declares a ‘Climate Emergency’ as a pledge in moving to:

  1. Carbon neutrality by 2030;

  2. Convenes an Environment Committee (to oversee “task and finish”) working with officers, representatives of local environmental groups, residents, and businesses, that will report to the Council within 6 months on what actions must be taken, which should include how to achieve behavioural change;

  3. Acting within its powers and responsibilities set targets to measure its effectiveness;

  4. To develop a communication strategy to convey to residents the severity of the situation, and the ways people and businesses can take independent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  5. Lobby Government to provide the powers and resources needed to address this issue.

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