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Hartley Annual Parish Meeting 12.5.17

Parish Council:
This year's meeting was at the Church Hall and ran from 7.45 - 9.30 pm. All councillors except Cllr Rogers were in attendance along with Cllr Brazier (KCC), Cllrs Gaywood & Kelly (SDC) and 29 members of the public. Gareth Johnson was billed to attend, but the chairman Cllr Oxtoby, said that as a general election has been called he is no longer an MP and she didn't want to invite all the candidates.
(Annual Parish Meeting 12 May 2017)

Planning: House building
Cllr Robert Piper, the cabinet member at Sevenoaks District Council spoke about future housing provision. He said up until now Sevenoaks had got away with murder because their current target is only 165 houses per year. The government has ordered them to produce a new plan with a target of 12,400 hourse in 20 years - 620 per year, and will take over if the council doesn't produce a plan. This has involved a lot of evidence based work which will lead to a public consultation in the summer, then a first draft and then final submission to the planning inspectorate in late 2018, who has the final decision.

He outlined some of the background. Sevenoaks has 49,400 houses and zero net migration but the population of the UK is rising and there is internal migration to the south-east. 93% of the district is green belt land, and most of the site nominations they have received to meet this target are from developers wanting to build in the Green Belt. Another problem is that developers do not build all the sites they have now, London has outstanding planning permissions for 250,000 homes.

As for the target he says the council will propose 8-9,000 and hope the inspector accepts this. This is made up of existing known sites, brownfield greenbelt sites and exceptional sites such as quarries. In Hartley the sites that will go forward are Chapelwood Enterprises (20), Rear of Olinda Ash Road (30), Park House Church Road (10), Grosvenor Church Road (25).

He said their target of an extra 51 gypsy site pitches can be easily met within existing sites without planning for more.

Audience members raised concerns about other sites known to have been nominated, but he said they would not go forward. Concerns were also raised about infrastructure effects in particular doctors' surgeries. He said it was an issue for the county council, but unfortunately in the UK we have a tradition of building first and then thinking about the infrastructure. Cllr Gaywood said later in the meeting that he felt he was elected to protect the green belt and didn't think they should be forced to do the government's bidding.
(Annual Parish Meeting 12 May 2017)

Crime: Policing
PCSO Peter Jones spoke about the fall in the number of PCSOs in recent years. Once Sevenoaks district had 25, now it is 15, 3 office based and 12 operational. The reduction in numbers has led to New Ash Green being added to his Hartley area. A spike in crime and anti-social behaviour in NAG has meant he has had to spend a lot of his time there. Crime levels in Hartley are broadly static. There were no questions for him from the audience.

Jackie West, the Community Warden for Hartley and West Kingsdown gave a report of the work of wardens in general and herself in the last year.
(Annual Parish Meeting 12 May 2017)

Parish Council: Annual Report
Cllr Oxtoby (chairman) said she wasn't going to repeat what was in the printed report given to everyone at the meeting. She mentioned that Cllr Brian Ramsay had resigned and thanked him for all the work he had done for the council and village.
(Annual Parish Meeting 12 May 2017)

Parish Council: Finance
The chairman of the Finance Committee, Cllr Bennett, gave a report to the meeting. She said she had just taken on the role but does have a background in accountancy, although she is still learning the intricacies of local government finance. She reported a surplus of £17,000 after additional expenditure this year of £17,000 on Chantry Avenue play equipment. She said the general reserve was unchanged.

Mr Senneck asked whether they were going to spend money on the village hall, he was told that they did need to spend money on it but because the parish council does not run it directly, the hall trustees would have to apply to the Parish Council for a grant. Mr Mayer referred to the fact that the money reserves had been rising rapidly in recent years, it had gone up £80,000 in 3 years and had risen from £242,000 to £259,000 in the last year. Might some people think the council tax is too high? Cllr Bennett said they would look at the precept later in the year. Cllr Oxtoby said the precept had been unchanged this year, Mr Mayer replied that it went up a lot recently when the council feared it would be rate capped.
(Annual Parish Meeting 12 May 2017)

Kent County Council: Annual Report
Cllr Brazier joked that he had just scraped through at the election (He got 78% of the vote!). He said Kent County Council want to be a mainly commissioning authority, although some in house bids have been won. He regretted they have lost thousands of good and loyal staff to meet government targets. They have set up arms length companies to run education and legal services, and in spite of the drive for academies they have schools like New Ash Green Primary that are determined to remain local authority run. On a better note the financial settlement from the government this year has been the best for years, with an extra £56m for social care.

On highways he said when he tries to get things done they have to go through the highways manager and be scheduled in; this can lead to delays. Cllr Brazier said there are 1.6 million residents in Kent and everyone is a highways engineer.All councillors get a budget to spend on local projects; he is often under pressure to use his for routine road maintenance, but he will not do that as that is the job of the Highways Department. He has spent money on the Speed Indicator Display Unit and a traffic survey at Wellfield, and will part pay for a crossing at Wellfield. He said speed surveys show it is only a serious problem at the Black Lion on Ash Road. A resident of Billings Hill Shaw said local road surfaces were terrible and cited the example of St John's Lane. Although it was due to be closed for repairs, he was concerned that KCC only do bodge repairs. Cllr Brazier also referred to fly tipping which they believe is mainly household not commercial waste.

He also said Kent County Council were worried about the possible end of the Le Touquet agreement which would bring border controls back to Kent. If this happens the government has said they will reimburse the additional costs, but their experience that it is paid late and never completely.
(Annual Parish Meeting 12 May 2017)

Sevenoaks Council: Annual Report
Cllr Abraham is to be chairman of the council next year. Cllr Gaywood said it was better when he was chairman, as then they were transported in a chauffeur driven limousine. The council has won an award for Council of the Year for financial innovation, and also one for dementia services. To questions from the public Cllr Kelly said there was no plan to change from sacks to bins for rubbish collection. Mr Mayer referred to a recent article in the Kent Messenger that found Sevenoaks had one of the lowest recycling rates in Kent - why would that be? Cllr Abraham said it was the fault of householders, but some members of the audience said they had seen clear recycling sacks being put with black sacks. Cllr Kelly thought they were sorted at the Dunbrick depot.
(Annual Parish Meeting 12 May 2017)

Parish Council: Question Time
In the general question time, Mr Glander asked who would enforce the new yellow lines proposed for Wellfield? Cllr Kelly said the parking enforcement officers would be told to do so. However some in the audience were skeptical that they would come out this far very often. Residents from the Parkfield Estate were present, and they said the parking problem had spread to their roads too.

Mr Gibbons asked about the Parliamentary Boundary Review, which threatened a move for Hartley from Dartford to Sevenoaks Constituencies. Cllr Alford said there had been representationst to remain in Dartford Constituency but a decision was not due until next year.
(Annual Parish Meeting 12 May 2017)

Posted on 14 May 2017 by administrator
May 2017 News
(5 May) In one of the most one sided results in Kent, the Conservatives won the Sevenoaks North East division, which includes Hartley, New Ash Green and West Kingsdown with 78% of the vote.

It is clear that the Conservatives were the main beneficiaries of the decision of the right wing parties UKIP and English Democrats not to stand, as the Conservative vote was more or less what the 3 parties combined got last time. Mr Brazier's vote was probably also helped by a recognition from many that he is a good constituency councillor whatever the party label, and also that Labour put up someone who lives some distance away.

Overall the Conservatives won 67 of Kent's 81 seats. Hartley resident Penny Cole also defended her Dartford East seat for the Conservatives.

Turnout rose slghtly from 26% to 30% to this time. Once again the election was practically invisible. This writer got one leaflet and saw no election posters.

Result:
David Brazier (Conservative) 3,371 (78% up 30%)
Lucas Pearce (Labour) 539 (12% down 1%)
Mark Lindop (Green) 435 (10% up 4%)

Did not stand: UKIP (31% in 2013), English Democrats (2% in 2013)
Posted on 06 May 2017 by administrator
April 2017 News
06 April 2017
All smiles at lunch club
Picture feature of new lunch club at All Saints Church Hall, Hartley. 50 attend.
News: Dartford Messenger

27 April 2017
More than a café - this is a lifeline
Picture feature on Wellfield Memory Café. One family member said "I can't do anything but praise the volunteers here, they make it what it is and without them there wouldn't be a café".
News: Dartford Messenger

27 April 2017
In Court
52 year old man from Millfield New Ash Green fined and banned for drink driving and failing to stop
News: Dartford Messenger

27 April 2017
Family's heartache over missing Louise
Interview with New Ash Green family of Louise Kerton, a student nurse who went missing in Germany in 2001. Kent Police ask for those with any information to get in touch
News: Dartford Messenger


Parish Council: Attendance
11 councillors were present. Those not in attendence were Cllrs Mrs Cole and Mrs Rogers. Also present were Mrs Gilder (clerk), Cllr David Brazier (KCC), Cllr John Kelley (SDC) and 4 members of the public
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Roads: Parking
Cllr Kelly said the problem of commuter parking is also an issue for Longfield. Cllr Brazier has promised to do something about it.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Transport: Railway
Mr Mayer asked whether the council planned to respond to the South Eastern Franchise consultation. He said they appeared to want to reduce the number of trains calling at Longfield and remove the Blackfriars peak hours trains. Cllr Brazier said South Eastern had no plans to do this, but Mr Mayer said the consultation is about the successor to South Eastern. Cllr Ramsay said the MP will campaign against this.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Sevenoaks Council:
Cllr Abraham said they have bought an investment property in Sevenoaks on a yield of 6%.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Amenities: Cricket
The committee agreed to the New Ash Green and Hartley Cricket Club putting up a sign at the entrance to Manor Field. The council need to prepare a memorandum to record the increase in rent at Longfield Hill from £550 to £650 pa. Their solicitors have quoted £200 to do this. Council would like them to do this for free as they did in 2012 when the rent was increased from £480 to £550.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Amenities: Trees
The committee decided to reappoint Duramen Consulting Ltd for the next tree risk assessment which is now due, provided their quote is reasonable. A possibly unsafe tree at the boundary with Patches, Gorsewood Road, will be looked into.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Amenities: Manor Field Pavilion
They agreed to accept quote of £170 from Hartley Electricians to remedy the problems identified in a recent Electrical Installation Consition report. A boiler maintenance report also resulted in some work. It had criticised items in the Calor Gas Compound (Mr Munday to remove), refit draft diverter on LPG water heater (quote of £84 from CACHES Ltd accepted) and that the water heater be left on frost setting (council agreed to do this). The committee rejected a request to hold a school prom here.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Amenities: Rectory Meadow
Currently the grass is cue in April, June and September. The NW Kent Countryside Project said it would be better to drop the June one to encourage wild flower growth. The committee agreed and as they are not happy with the current contractor they have written out to ask for suggestions. The owner of Glebe House has agreed to move their new fence back which had encroached on the PC land.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Amenities: Playgrounds
New equipment now installed, contractor has promised to resolve snagging issues. Council to clean safety surfacing and cut back conifers that made it hard for the contractors to access the site.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Amenities: Church Road Pond
Several residents have complained about the state of the pond, which was last restored by Adam Osborn and the Community Wardens Team in 2009. Council don't own the pond and claim they don't have the power to improve it.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Amenities: Benches
Council has been left £2,000 in a will for a bench to be chosen by the family
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Amenities: Allotments
Committee permitted one of the allotment holders to put up a noticeboard. They involve pre-school children as part of the HRS School Gardening scheme and want the board to show them what they have achieved.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Parish Council: Staff
Owing to concerns about the workload on staff and the need for the assistant clerk to spend time on getting a local government qualification, they agreed to increase the assistant clerk's hours by 8 per month, and to close the office from 8.30 - 10.30 on Tuesdays. They also wanted to change the clerk's hours on a Friday to 8.30am - 3.30pm without a break, but a councillor queried whether 7 hours without a lunch break was allowed in law.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Northfield:
The committee agreed bills of £1,288 including £855 for cutting of play areas and paths, and £240 for 3 month's weekly visual inspections, and £79 for three month's emptying of dog bins. The annual contribution from Hartley Parish Council for 2017/18 will be £100. The committee agreed not to pursue a trim trail there after receiving 2 replies, 1 for 1 against. Fee for new memberships of horse riding route to be increased to £20.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Parish Council: Payments
Payments of £84,392 for April were agreed. £75,000 of that was a transfer of money to a new bank account.
(Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017)

Posted on 06 May 2017 by administrator
March 2017 News
16 March 2017
Teens Caught with Ecstacy
15 and 16 year old from Hartley convicted of possession of ecstacy with intent to supply after being caught in Gorsewood on 20/7/16
News: Dartford Messenger

21 March 2017
Council hits back at statistics on waste recycling
Dartford (25.6%, 13th out of 13) and Sevenoaks (31.9%, 11th) have some of the lowest recycling rates in Kent
News: Dartford Messenger

21 March 2017
Foal destroyed after it was left to die in field
RSPCA called to abandoned horse in field at Brands Hatch Road, Fawkham
News: Dartford Messenger

30 March 2017
In Court
20 year old man from Caxton Close fined for travelling without paying on railway
News: Dartford Messenger


Parish Council: Attendance
9 councillors were present at the meeting. Apologies were received from Cllrs Tremain, Mrs Cole, Graeme, Mrs Rogers. No interests were declared
(Parish Council Meeting 13 March 2017)

Health: Social Care
Cllr Brazier (KCC) said social care had been ignored by the government but now they realise it is a problem. Kent will get over the next 3 years £27m, £16m, £10m which will revolutionise care as their current budget is £65m. They are much more confident they can provide care
(Parish Council Meeting 13 March 2017)

Sevenoaks Council:
Cllr Abraham said the district council had won the council of the year award from the Local Government Association
(Parish Council Meeting 13 March 2017)

Roads: Ash Road
Dr Roberts asked the council would would pay for maintenance if one were built at Hoselands Green. Cllr Brazier said this is always a problem for community assets paid for by 3rd parties such as bus shelters. But with zebra crossings, KCC acknowledge they can't be neglected.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 March 2017)

Burial Grounds: New Burial Ground
Committee call for additional £10,000 for completing the works (on top of the £44,000 already agreed). Cllrs Bennett and Ramsay said there was not enough idea what the money would be used for, council voted 8-0 to refer matter to Finance Committee. Council voted 9-0 to accept quotation of £13,200 from Jade Construction to build a lychgate, and to pay Pear Technology £375 for a digital map of the ground. They will plant 6 acer trees along either side of the route of the water main.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 March 2017)

Burial Grounds: Burial Ground
Council agreed to pay G & J Surfacing £4,550 to repair the tarmac path, as this is more than the committee have they have requested the council allocate more money.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 March 2017)

Burial Grounds: Old Garden of Remembrance
A resident had written to complain about the state of garden. Committee agreed to jet wash and repoint the path when the weather is better. They rejected a proposed bronxe plaque for too many letters, but allowed an appeal against a treble non-resident interrment fee because the person was a resident who only had to leave Hartley to enter a residential home.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 March 2017)

Burial Grounds: War Grave
Committee said CWGC had put the sign in the wrong place and asked Mr Munday to move it to the Church entrance gate.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 March 2017)

Parish Council: Finance
The committee had reviewed a number of policies. Council agreed to amend the policy on reserves so there would be no limit on how much the council can keep. Previously the policy had said an ideal upper limit would be 6 months' expenditure. Cllr Bennett said the current level of reserves was too high. Council also agreed 9-0 to move £30,000 from the general reserve to a highways reserve to pay for the zebra crossing, yellow lines and the speed sign. A £15,609 bill for the new burial ground had been wrongly allocated to the General Reserve, so they have moved that sum from the New Burial Ground to the General Reserve.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 March 2017)

Parish Council: Subscriptions
Finance committee recommended dropping the Open Spaces Society from the list of bodies the PC subscribes to. Council agreed 7-0 with 2 abstentions.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 March 2017)

Posted on 06 May 2017 by administrator
February 2017 News
02 February 2017
Surgeon investigated over payments for operations
Former surgeon at Fawkham Manor Hospital being investigated, but continues to work for NHS
Dartford Messenger

23 February 2017
Teen's lake death will remain a mystery
Coroner records a verdict of death by misadventure on 16 year old Jack Morrison of Hartley, who died while fishing at Sutton at Hone
Dartford Messenger

28 February 2017
Crime Report
Crimes reported in February 2017 were burglary other than dwelling 2 (Ash Road 2), vehicle interference (St John's Lane), criminal damage 2 (Ash Road, Church Road)
West Kent Watch


Parish Council: Attendance
8 members attended the meeting (Cllrs Abraham, Alford, Bennett, Burchell, Oxtoby, Ramsay, Sewell and Tremain) as well as Mrs Gilder (clerk), cllr Brazier (KCC) and 3 members of the public
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Sevenoaks Council: Finance
Cllr Abraham said they have bought shop/offices in Sevenoaks High Street for £4m.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Northfield: Electricity Cables
Dr Roberts said years ago their removal was discussed, why are they still there? Cllr Oxtoby said she would ask Ash Parish Council.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Roads: Ash Road
(1) The council had been told children had been involved in accidents crossing at Hoselands Green and there had been requests for a crossing there. KCC had done a survey which found 13,239 vehicles pass there each day but it had only recorded 4 pedestrians of school age. They unanimously agreed to ask KCC for money and pay the reset themselves. Cllr Ramsay said there may be costs of moving the bus stop. Cllr Brazier said that, if reelected, he would use the member's grant money to pay towards the crossing. (2) Cllr Oxtoby said Ash are keen to go ahead with the mobile speed indicator device and want a permanent site at Millfield, they will buy the smaller, lighter box, which can collect road data, Cllr Sewell asked how effective it would be, Cllr Ramsay said it would be better than a metal sign. (3) Council also agreed to install entrance gates like at Sutton at Hone. Cllr Oxtoby said they looked nice but had little other purpose. Cllr Ramsay said instead of wasting money on this they should install yellow lines at the St Johns Lane / Ash Road junction, council agreed 5-2 to add this to the list of future projects.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Roads: Wellfield
A meeting of interested parties had taken place on 26 January about the problem of parking at the Wellfield/Ash Road junction. Arriva buses said it was a problem for them, buses had been damaged and they may have to reroute buses if it continued. SDC reps were sympathetic. At the meeting Cllr Brazier said double yellow lines is a function devolved to Sevenoaks Council, but they don't want to get involved. Cllr Kelly (SDC) said he will make sure they do. Cllr Burchell pointed out yellow lines are no good if they are not enforced.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Parish Council: Communications
They agreed 8-0 to not put supporting documents to agendas on the website but members of the public could ask for them to be emailed to them. The council doesn't want their newsletter to be put inside other leaflets but found all companies will charge more for this, so decided to rely on the assurance from their current deliverer that they will ask people not to put the newsletter inside other leaflets.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Youth Services: Woodland Avenue
Council agreed unanimously to pay Playplace £2,355 to provide 22 weekly youth sessions from April to September at Woodland Avenue, but rejected a quote for an additional 5 monthly sessions of £1,705. Cllr Burchell noted attendance was poor last year, Cllr Oxtoby put that down to some late starts.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Youth Services: Football
They agreed 7-0 (1 abstention) to commission Sport Health and Fitness Limited to provide 16 weekly football/multi-sport/kidfit sessions at Woodland Avenue form May to August at £35 per session.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Youth Services: Family Fun Days
Council agreed unanimously to pay Playplace £800 to run fun days on 30/5/17 at Chantry Avenue and 1/8/17 at Woodland Avenue. Sevenoaks will run their event at Woodland Avenue on 15/8/17 and council agreed to pay £100 for a mobile toilet.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Longfield: Parking
Council welcomed the fact Waitrose had extended the free parking period to 2 hours but were cross they hadn't replied to their letter.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Events: Hartley Village Fete
The council had wanted Fawkham and Hartley Church Fete to alternate between Fawkham and Manor Field. The churchwarden had said that wasn't possible but they would be happy to explore the possibility of being involved in another event. The General Purposes Committee had recommended that the council see if anyone else would run a fete in Hartley, but this was unanimously lost after it was put out to debate.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Events: The Battle's Over
Council wants to have one of the 1,000 beacons to be lit to commemorate the end of WW1. Would be at Manor Field.
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Parish Council: Finance
Invoices of £11,144 were agreed for February, including £3,226 for acer trees at the new burial ground
(Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017)

Posted on 19 Mar 2017 by administrator
January 2017 News
05 January 2017
Drink driver's 40 month ban
31 year old man from Ash Road fined and banned for 40 months for drink driving, driving without insurance and possession of a locking pocket knife
Dartford Messenger

05 January 2017
Jack was 'blown away' with the support he got in cancer battle
Jack's family talks to the paper to pay tribute to him and all the well wishers who raised £250,000 for his treatment in America. They are looking at giving he £150,000 left over to children's or cancer charities.
Dartford Messenger

26 January 2017
Career wrecked after boozy night
Magistrates find driver of 423 bus guilty of dangerous driving. The bus had crashed into a house at Gore Road, Darenth last May. Owners of the house praised the work of the emergency services (Pictures)
Dartford Messenger

26 January 2017
Gold bless son, I hope we will meet again. Tight lines fella
Father pays tribute to 16 year old son who died at Sutton at Hone while fishing. Funeral was held at St Mary's Church, Fawkham. Thousands raised by well wishers to help family with funeral costs.
Dartford Messenger

31 January 2017
Crime Report
Crimes reported in January 2017 were theft of caravan (Manor Road); burglary other than dwelling 2 (Ash Road, Carmelite Way); theft from motor vehicle (Wellfield)
West Kent Watch


Parish Council: Attendance
9 councillors were present (all except Cllrs Alford, Graeme, Rogers and Sewell). Also present was Mrs Gilder (clerk), Cllrs Brazier (KCC), Kelly (SDC) and 7 members of the public
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Roads: Ash Road
Cllr Brazier said the traffic count at Hoselands Green will be done in 14 days from the 10th. Pedestrian count will be done by camera on Wednesday.
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Roads: Wellfield
Cllr Kelly reported that the problem parking at the Ash Road junction is continuing. Sometimes the buses can't get round and have had to take passengers up to New Ash Green and back. The owner of the dentist's surgery was there, he said he has spoken to the parkers who say they won't pay for the car park at Longfield. He is concerned though that parking restrictions for his patients, it would be better if there is a restriction early in the morning only before the surgery is open. Cllr Ramsay said early restrictions work in Longfield. Dr Roberts said there was a successful scheme in Sole Street where the yellow lines only apply from 12 - 12.30 pm which is enough to stop commuters.
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Communications: Telephone
Mr Mayer asked whether the council had a view on the proposed closure of Hartley's two phone boxes. Cllr Ramsay said they had no objection. Mr Mayer said that the usage stats may have been affected by the fact that the phone didn't work when he tried to use it. Council have accepted new tariff from BT which will reduce monthly cost from £69 to £61.
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Amenities: Football
Council had wanted to increase fee for De Sales FC by £50 to £1,850. However club said they were fielding 2 fewer teams (4) so council agreed 8-0 to reduce fee to £1,500 if they do the marking of the pitches themselves.
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Amenities: Manor Field Pavilion
The committee agreed to pay CACHES £470 to service the boilers and water heater; Hartley Electricians £250 to carry out electrical installation report; Sixpence Co £99 to repair door of Gents.
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Amenities: Hoselands Green
A resident had asked for a dog bin at Hoselands Green, because the ordinary bin is overflowing. Committee refused because no-one else had asked. The rubbish bin is emptied on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Committee also agreed not to ask Sevenoaks to add to the 17 rubbish bins in Hartley
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Amenities: Manor Field
The council has been left £2,000 to the council. Committee agreed with family's wishes to erect a bench on Manor Field, with the rest being held for maintenance.
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Amenities: Woodland Avenue
They agreed to pay Sixpence Co £350 to repair surface around top entrance gate
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Amenities: Gorsewood
The owner of Strawberry Lodge had reported trees overhanging the track there. Tree surgeon told council trees were safe but council to inform UK Power Networks they are overhanging power lines.
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Parish Council: Council Tax
Council agreed 9-0 to freeze the precept at £52.32 for a Band D property, but this will still mean their income will increase by nearly £1,000 because the "Council Tax Base" has increased.
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Parish Council: Donations
Council agreed 9-0 not to donate any money to the Open Spaces Society, Cllr Bennett said they had enough of their own open spaces.
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Planning:
Councillors at Sevenoaks have voted against proposal for electronic notification of planning applications to parish councils
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Community Wardens: Volunteer Support Warden
Council rejected request to participate in Volunteer Support Warden Scheme. Cllrs Oxtoby and Abraham said it would cost the parish money. The idea of the scheme is to provide support to the paid Community Wardens
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Roads: Speeding
The council considered a letter about the Parish SID scheme from the county council. They cost about £6,000 to install and can be moved between sites. They indicate speed when it is above the limit. Cllr Brazier thought the council should share one with Ash and he offered to use his member's budget to pay half. A previous sign at the bus stop in New Ash Green had worked well. Cllr Abraham asked if they could flash as well. Cllr Brazier said that would be deceitful and is not allowed. Council voted 8-1 in favour, Cllr Vesey voted against only because she felt they needed more information first.
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Parish Council: Payments
Payments of £10,672 for January were agreed. This included £3,323 to Commercial Services for a half year's ground mainenance.
(Parish Council Meeting 09 January 2017)

Posted on 19 Mar 2017 by administrator
South Eastern Rail Franchise Public Consultation

The government is planning to award a new franchise for the period 2019 - 2026 and they have launched a consultation to see what people want it to include.

At the moment 182 million passengers a year use South Eastern. In the next 2 years they plan to introduce wi-fi on all trains, reduce the threshold for delay repay to 15 minutes and introduce season tickets for part time workers. The area has ageing and in places inadequate infrastructure and overcrowding, while the range of London destinations causes congestion at points. They foresee increases in passenger numbers related to increasing population of London and the Thames Gateway.

To deal with overcrowding they offer options to increase length of trains, remove 1st class or to redesign the carriage seating to fit more in.

Other areas they are looking to improve are smart ticketing, disabled access, station facilities. One proposal which looks ominous for Longfield is to speed up longer journeys by removing stops on route. Also under threat is the Longfield to Blackfriars service, as they think that trains from an area should only run to one London destination.

They propose a 'simpler' timetable with regular timings. They also suggest that a new franchisee looks to improve connections in London. They want would be franchisees to say how they would improve availability of staff if people need them.
(Department for Transport 15 March 2017)

Posted on 15 Mar 2017 by administrator
EU Referendum Detailed result
As a result of a freedom of information request, Sevenoaks council have released more detailed results than those published on the day. To count the votes they split them into 40 mini-counts. Often this means it is difficult to get a local result because sometimes votes from polling stations at opposite ends of the district were counted together.

For Hartley, the northern half of the parish who vote at the Scout Hut were counted alone, but the southern part of Hartley, who vote at the Church Hall, were counted with 1,000 postal votes from across the district.

With that in mind the local results were:

North Hartley: Remain 458 (33%), Leave 944 (67%)
South Hartley + Postal: Remain 958 (43%), Leave 1,269 (57%)

Overall the whole borough voted 54% - 46% to leave, but this masks a sizeable remain majority in Sevenoaks Town itself.

Postal voting was very high - nearly 1 in 5 people in Sevenoaks District had voted in advance.
Posted on 22 Feb 2017 by administrator
December 2016 News

Parish Council:
The meeting ran from 7.30pm to 8pm. All councillors but Cllr Mrs Cole were in attendance. They voted to coopt Carol Beaman to the council vacancy, who had previously applied in 2013 when Cllr Vesey was appointed. She volunteered to join the Burial Grounds Committee
Parish Council Meeting

Roads: Hartley Bottom Road
Cllr Brazier of KCC said he had been asked about the closure of bridge over the railway. It is due to be closed until December 2017, but he thinks it will be reopened sooner.
Parish Council Meeting

Roads: Manor Road
Cllr Brazier of KCC said flooding outside Manor Farm had been sorted out.
Parish Council Meeting

Manor Field: Football
Hartley de Sales requested a cut in rent of the pitches from £1,800 to £1,500 because the number of teams has fallen from 6 to 4. The Committee had originally agreed subject to the football clubs marking out the pitches themselves, However at the full council meeting Cllr Vesey said they had run into problems with insurance. Other councillors raised concerns about use of supplies and the fact it is part of Mr Munday's existing contract. Therefore the motion was lost 10-0.
Parish Council Meeting

Manor Field: Bench
Council decided to spend a bequest on a new bench here
Parish Council Meeting

Manor Field: Entrance
Council agreed to request from Cricket Club for a sign at the entrance
Parish Council Meeting

Manor Field: Pavilion
They agreed to accept the following quotation (1) Caches Limited to service annually the 2 boilers and 1 water heater (£470), (2) Hartley Electricians for electrical installation report (£250), (3) Sixpence Company to repair door of Gents (£99)
Parish Council Meeting

Open Spaces: Hoselands Green
Council turned down request for dog bin. Resident said existing bin which was emptied on Tuesday and Thursday is overflowing. Council also decided the current 17 litter bins in Hartley were sufficient.
Parish Council Meeting

Open Spaces: Woodland Avenue
Council accepted quote from Sixpence Company to repair eroded concrete at top entrance gate.
Parish Council Meeting

Open Spaces: Chantry Avenue
Cllr Vesey gave a report on the improvements to the play equipment there. She said they had got views of local residents and users, and that the representative of the Mothers and Toddlers group had been particularly helpful. They will be increasing the mix of equipment so whole families can go there. It will cost £17,400 and their preferred contractor chosen is Park Leisure. Council agreed 12-0 to proceed.
Parish Council Meeting

Telephones:
Council agreed not to object to the removal of the last 2 phone boxes in Hartley
Parish Council Meeting

Posted on 14 Dec 2016 by administrator
November 2016 news

Crime: Hartley
"Drink-driver said burglar stole car and crashed it" Manor Drive man convicted of perverting the course of justice after a collision with a land rover in Church Road
(News: Dartford Messenger 11 November 2016)

Social Events: Hartley Players
"Have fun in the wild wood" Picture feature of Hartley Player's Wind in the Willows
(News: Dartford Messenger 17 November 2016)

Unemployment:
"Unemployment Statistics since 2013" The Nomis website (www.nomisweb.co.uk) reports a slight rise in unemployment in Hartley and Hodsoll Street ward since its low point last March. Overall 30 people are claiming job seeker's allowance, with the level of unemployment higher in the Wellfield area.


(Nomis 27 November 2016)

Transport: Trains
"Only 38% of trains run on time at Longfield" The Real Time Trains website publishes historic train running data from Network Rail - useful if you can't remember which day the train ran late to claim delay repay refunds. They found that in the last 12 weeks only 38% of trains arrived at Longfield arrived at the timetable time. The worst performing trains were the 19:37 Longfield to Victoria which was never on time and the 18:22 Victoria to Longfield and 17:51 Longfield to Victoria which were only on time 2% of the time. Of course for the rail industry a train is not late unless it is 5 minutes late; by that criterion 83% of trains were up to 5 minutes late at Longfield.
(Real Time Trains 27 November 2016)

Posted on 20 Nov 2016 by administrator
October 2016 news

Longfield: Station Road
"Fire at Indian takeaway" in Station Road at 6.20pm on the 4th, when cooking oil caught fire
(News: Dartford Messenger 06 October 2016)

People: Hartley
"Dancing, weaving and cycling to support Jack" Picture feature on faundraising efforts to help pay for Jack Howard's treatment. £187,000 has now been raised
(News: Dartford Messenger 06 October 2016)

Ash Road: Fairby Grange
"Craft skills help to bring home a handy sum" Picture feature on Fairby Grange autumn fair, which raised £300 to pay for residents' entertainments.
(News: Dartford Messenger 06 October 2016)

People: Hartley
"Footballers pitch in to help Jack hit his £250,000 goal" Picture feature of football day at Manor Field for Jack Howard
(News: Dartford Messenger 13 October 2016)

Fawkham: Hospital
"Coffee Cash" Fawkham Manor Hospital raise £251 for MacMillan Cancer Support
(News: Dartford Messenger 20 October 2016)

Schools: Statistics
"Below average results for Kent schools in GCSE League tables" Government has replaced the 5 GCSE measure with 'Progress 8' score. The national average is 0.03, Kent is below average at -0.04. Longfield School is -0.09.
(News: Dartford Messenger 20 October 2016)

Social Events: New Ash Green
"£10K grant for village's anniversary" Lottery grant to help New Ash Green celebrate its 50th anniversary
(News: Dartford Messenger 27 October 2016)

People: New Ash Green
"The Earth Is Flat and Nasa Lies?" Young reporter writes about mystery grafiti artist in New Ash Green
(News: News Shopper 31 October 2016)

Posted on 08 Oct 2016 by administrator
September 2016 News
Seeking a miracle in America
(Dartford Messenger 22.9.16, p3) Jack Howard and his family have flown to America after £108,000 raised which is enough for a deposit at the hospital. His aunt wrote "a huge thank you to everyone who has pledged and shown so much kindness."
To give to Jack please go to his Crowd Funder Page Update 25.9.16, so far £120,000 of the £250,000 needed has been raised

No medals just golden memories
(Dartford Messenger 22.9.16, p15) Longfield paralympian comes 6th in T51 100m final and 5th in T51 400m final.

Nearly £50,000 raised for young cancer-stricken West Ham fan from Hartley
(News Shopper, 12.9.16) £250,000 fund raising drive for 12 year old from Hartley to get pioneering cancer treatment in America. So far £50,000 raised including £5,000 from West Ham United. To give to Jack please go to his Crowd Funder Page
See also "Family's desperate bid to fund cancer treatment for young son" (Dartford Messenger 15.9.16, p3)
Update - as of 15.9.16 the fund is now at £90,000.

Poo what a scorcher
(Dartford Messenger 15.9.16, p3) Record September temperature of 34.4 C recorded at Gravesend on the 13th. Muggy conditions meant the smell of muckspreading in some areas was not dispersed.

Car Parking Charges face shopkeepers' Opposition
(Dartford Messenger 8.9.16, p6) Waitrose in Longfield criticised after it limits parking to just 90 minutes. Other traders say it is not enough time to visit other shops there. Waitrose claimed it was to stop commuters parking there.

Man exposes himself while children play
(Dartford Messenger 8.9.16, p5) Flasher reported near Lambardes, New Ash Green.

Free help on mobile boost
(Dartford Messenger 8.9.16, p10) Longfield is to get 4G mobile phone signal, but it may interfere with freeview locally. If it does people told to phone helpline.
Posted on 15 Sep 2016 by administrator
August 2016 News
Five people arrested over 'car key burglaries' in Dartford and Sevenoaks
(News Shopper, 15.8.16) Arrests following burglaries to get car keys. One case was in Hartley where 2 Mercedes cars were stolen on 13/14 August.

Fun Days will help keep the family entertained
(Dartford Messenger 11.8.16, p20) Picture feature on Sevenoaks Council fun day for youngsters at the Woodland Avenue park.

Crime Report
(West Kent Watch) The following crimes are recorded in August on the West Kent Watch site, but it omits the case reported in the News Shopper above: Criminal Damage - 2 (Ash Road, Porchester Close)
Posted on 15 Sep 2016 by administrator
June 2016 News
Woman rescued from car after getting stuck in floods in Hartley
(News Shopper) Woman rescued from car at Manor Road, Hartley after flooding on Saturday June 25th.

Referendum result
(24 June) Sevenoaks district voted 32,091 to remain and 38,258 to leave the EU with 44 spoiled ballots, on a turnout of 80.6%
For Dartford Borough which contains Longfield, the result was 19,985 to remain, 35,870 to leave and 29 rejected ballots, on a turnout of 75.5%
Kent Messenger (30 June, p24-26) reported on people's fears for the future including many local councillors who supported remain. It also quoted older people in favour of leaving, one 84 year old who claimed it will be "like it used to be in the old days."
Meanwhile nearly 12,000 people in Dartford and Sevenoaks have signed a petition for another referendum.

Crime Report
0 Comments
Posted on 04 Jul 2016 by administrator
July 2016 News
(21 July) School eveacuated after bomb threat email hoax
(Dartford Messenger, p7) New Ash Green Primary School evacutated on Friday 15th July after email.

(7 July) Blaze Cut Out
(News Shopper) Fire in log store and diesel tank at Church Road on Wednesday 6th.

Crime Report
(West Kent Watch) The following crimes were reported in July: Burglary - 5 (Church Road, Manor Drive, Stack Lane, The Warrens, Wellfield); Burglary other than dwelling - 2 (Church Road, Green Way); Theft of Motor Vehicle - 1 (Manor Drive); Theft from Motor Vehicle - 1 (Manor Drive); Interference with Motor Vehicle - 1 (Manor Drive); Criminal Damage - 2 (Manor Road, Porchester Close)
Posted on 15 Sep 2016 by administrator
May 2016 news
Police Commissioner election result
(6 May) Matthew Scott for the Conservatives wins after the second round. The 1st preference results are set out below with the results for Sevenoaks District and change over 2012 shown in brackets.

Cons 33.1% (41.4%, +6.7%)
UKIP 27.5% (26.6%, +19.2%)
Lab 19.1% (14.5%, +6.1%)
Ind 9.8% (8.6%, -35.7%)
Libdem 7.3% (6.6%, n/a)
Engdem 3.1% (2.4%, -2.7%)

Turnout in Sevenoaks was only 20.1% (21.5% for the whole county, helped by higher turnouts in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells because they elect their councils by thirds and so had other elections). Turnout was not helped by an almost total lack of campaigning. Just 1 poster (for Labour) seen in Hartley.

See Police Commissioner website for full details.

Crime Report
(West Kent Watch Crimes reported in May were: Criminal damage 7 (Gorsewood Road 4, Ash Road, Caxton Close, St Johns Lane),
Posted on 06 May 2016 by administrator
April 2016 News
Crime Report
(West Kent Watch Crimes reported since 11 April were: burglary other than dwelling 4 (Church Road 3, Old Downs), theft of motor vehicle 1 (Gorsewood Road), theft from motor vehicle / interference with motor vehicle 3 (Pitfield, Gorsewood Road, Springcroft), theft of garden furniture 1 (Hartley Hill).
Posted on 06 May 2016 by administrator
March 2016 News
Parish Council
(14 March) Council welcomed Helen Gilder as the new clerk. They agreed to build a lychgate for the new burial ground at Manor Field, and decided not to run a lunch club. Click on link for further details.
Posted on 19 Mar 2016 by administrator
February 2016 news
Area's MPs will both vote for UK to leave the EU
(Dartford Messenger 25.2.16, pp10, 12). Dartford and Gravesham MPs say they will vote to leave the EU. However 3 of the county's senior MPs have said they support staying in, including the Secretaries of State for Defence and Communities. Paper appears to be neutral at present.
Hartley skiing sensation
(News Shopper, 24.2.16) 8 year old from Hartley wins 2 bronze medals at English Alpine Championships.
Virgin Group wins price war for health service contract
(Dartford Messenger 11.2.16, p31) Clinical commissioning group admit price was main reason for awarding the contract to run Livingstone and Gravesend hospitals to private operators Virgin Care, after NHS providers scored higher on quality of service questions.
Gilbert and Sullivan
(Dartford Messenger 11.2.16, p36) 20th anniversary of Hartley Gilbert and Sullivan Society after it was spun off from the WI in 1996.
Crime Report
(West Kent Watch) Crimes reported in February were burglary of dwelling 2 (Gorsewood Road, Gresham Avenue), burglary other than dwelling 3 (Gorse Way, Springcroft, Woodland Avenue)
Posted on 06 Mar 2016 by administrator
January 2016 news
What is wassailing?
News Shopper, 31.1.15. Article about the tradition of wassailing at New Ash Green.
Borough's schools falling short of county average
(Dartford Messenger 28.1.16, p23) At 52% Longfield Academy just short of Government target of 53.8% of pupils getting 5 GCSEs. County average is 57.3% with Dartford Boys Grammar scoring 100%. Longfield Academy had 61% of pupils getting 3 A levels, where the national average 78.7%, however they were in line with the national average for pupils getting 1 or 2 A levels.
Early riser saves family after loft goes up in flames
(Dartford Messenger 28.1.16, p8) Fire at Bazes Shaw, New Ash Green. Early detection saved family from worse damage.
Gravesham's Hartley De Sales U9s football team on a two-year winning streak
(News Shopper (25.1.16) Picture feature on Hartley De Sales under 9 team which in the last 50 games in the Maidstone League have won 48 and drawn 2.
Virgin secures hospital contract
(Dartford Messenger 21.1.16, p15) Services at Gravesend Hospital, Livingstone Hospital and elsewhere to be given to private company, as Virgin Healthcare wins £126 million contract instead of the local NHS trust. Current NHS provider said it had higher quality scores but the Clinical Commissioning Group went with the cheaper bid.
Crash motorist lost control after choking with laughter
(Dartford Messenger 21.1.16, p17) Gravesend inquest records death by road traffic collision, on popular 58 year old man who crashed into a wall on Main Road, Longfield in October.
Animal charity on the hoof in move to a larger home
(Dartford Messenger 21.1.16, p23) Anim-Mates animal charity to move from St Mary Hoo to Oliver's Farm, Ash. They have 100 animals including ponies, goats, sheep, cats and dogs.
Thieves leave a trail of destruction in their wake
(Dartford Messenger 14.1.16, p15) Considerable damage caused by thieves who took £2,500 Brian James Tilt Bed at Speedgate Hill, Fawkham.
'Inspirational' Longfield mum dies following second cancer battle
News Shopper (11.1.16) Tributes paid to 40 year old Longfield mother, including "you showed us what courage is, you are an inspiration and I feel blessed to have been able to witness your dignity, strength and courage." Fund started to help her 5 year old son.
Crime Report
(West Kent Watch) Crimes reported in January were Burglary of dwelling 2 (Carmelite Way, Caxton Close), burglary of outbuilding 6 (Ash Road 2, Gresham Avenue, Larksfield 2, Woodland Avenue), criminal damage 2 (Church Road, Quakers Close), theft of motor vehicle 1 (Church Road), theft from motor vehicle 1 (Church Road)
Posted on 03 Feb 2016 by administrator
December 2015 News
Fire tackled
(Dartford Messenger 31.12.15, p3) Fire at Russell Square, Hartley, caused by electrical fault. No-one hurt.
Longfield Station sets record for passenger usage
(Office of Rail and Road) Passengers boarding at Longfield in 2014/15 reach 300,000 for the first time, up 6.7% on last year. Total was 301,214 with 53% of journeys being by season ticket holders. For historical statistics see History of Railways page.
More Members
(Dartford Messenger 24.12.15, p7) Sevenoaks and Swanley Labour party has doubled to over 400 since the general election, new branch opened in New Ash Green.
Drink-driver's 32 month ban
(Dartford Messenger 24.12.15, p18) Man from Bowes Wood stopped in Main Road Longfield, three times over the limit.
Thug used car as weapon and put children at risk
(Dartford Messenger 24.12.15, p5) Man from Porchester Close jailed for 2 years after driving into back of ex-girlfriend's car while her children were inside.
Around the world in song
(Dartford Messenger 24.12.15, p2) Picture feature on Christmas Around the World concert at New Ash Green Primary School
In Court
(Dartford Messenger 10.12.15, 24) Man from Bazes Shaw, New Ash Green fined £600 + £235 costs for not giving identity of driver.
Secure Scouts
(Dartford Messenger 10.12.15, p13) New Ash Green Scouts get £6,000 lottery grant to prevent vandalism at their hall.
Teenager using power of YouTube to help good cause
(Dartford Messenger 10.12.15, p8) Picture feature on 16 year old from Main Road, Longfield, who has raised £250 for American charity for those with neurofibromatosis.
Pupils dress up for world-class lesson
(Dartford Messenger, 3.12.15, p8) Picture feature on International Day at Steephill School, Fawkham.

Crime report
(West Kent Watch) Crimes reported in December include burglary 1 (Gorse Way)
Posted on 13 Dec 2015 by administrator
November 2015 News
Cry me Arriva
(News Shopper 30.11.15) New Ash Green resident writes about the poor bus service in New Ash Green and Hartley since the recent timetable changes. Complaints of long waits, buses stopping in Longfield, no reason given for delays, and old buses being deployed on the route which break down. Bluewater route said to be particularly bad. Particularly bad for the elderly and those without cars.

Hospital Services in quiet £20m tender
(Dartford Messenger, 26.11.15, p30) Local Dartford Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning group put out services at Gravesend and Livingstone Hospitals to tender, which will include private firms. Group claims there will be no change to services.

Post Haste
(Dartford Messenger, 26.11.15, p22) DA post deliveries April - September were 93.7% on time for 1st class and 98.9% for 2nd class post.

Cortege traffic fears delay decision on crematorium
(Dartford Messenger, 26.11.15, p10) Concerns over traffic problems on B260 said to be the busiest B road in Kent, and an alternative proposal for the entrance to be in Gore Hill led council to decide on a site visit (see 19.11.15 below).

Dance school pair prove that they're the cat's whiskers
(Dartford Messenger 19.11.15, p23) Picture feature on 15 year old from Longfield who has won a starring role in the Orchard Theatre Pantomime alongside Shane Ritchie.

None of county's health trusts hits target for A&E Patients
(Dartford Messenger 19.11.15, p19) Dartford and Gravesham NHS trust had 7,926 attendences in A&E in September, 91.4% of which were seen within 4 hours. 2,230 of them were admitted, of which 98 had to wait more than 4 hours from that decision to actual admittance. None had to wait over 12 hours.

Jobs to be axed at tax offices across the country
(Dartford Messenger 19.11.15, p20) HMRC propose to close most offices in Kent, including one at Gravesend (in 2019/20). The nearest in future would be at Croydon.

New crematorium plan likely to be approved
(Dartford Messenger 19.11.15, p3) Private firm Dignity PLC plans to build new crematorium on site of former Mabledon Hospital in Green Street Road, Darenth.

Longfield gin thief avoids prison
News Shopper, 10 November 2015 Suspended sentence for 45 year old man from Sheerness, for stealing bottle of gin from Longfield supermarket.

In court
(Dartford Messenger 5.11.15, p23) Culcroft woman fined £220 + £100 costs for not having TV licence.

Pilot mole scanning service
(Dartford Messenger, 5.11.15, p26) Hodgson Pharmacy in Longfield is now able to take images of moles under the skin, which is then sent to a dermatology specialist lab for analysis, taking about 2 weeks.

Serial shoplifter who targeted Longfield chemist slapped with 4 month suspended prison sentence
(News Shopper, 3 November 2015) 38 year old woman from Strood given 84 days suspended sentence for stealing from a number of shops including £412 of goods from a Pharmacy in Longfield (see also Dartford Messenger 12.11.15 p14)

Crime Report
(West Kent Watch) Significant increase in numbers of incidents. Crimes reported in Hartley in November include Burglaries 4 (Merton Avenue 2, Carmelite Way, Brambledown), burglary other than dwelling 3 (Brambledown, Chapelwood Road, Grange Way), theft of car 2 (Ash Road, Brambledown), criminal damage 1 (Quakers Close)
Posted on 28 Nov 2015 by administrator
October News
School team pulls together for children's charity
(Dartford Messenger 22.10.15, p10) Picture feature on Steephill School staff and governor team at Bewl Water Dragon Boat Festival.

Flock greets new minister
(Dartford Messenger, p9) New minister, Samantha Aspinall becomes first female minister of Gravesend URC group, which includes Hartley (picture).

Loving husband dies in Mercedes crash horror
(Dartford Messenger, 22.10.15, p3) 58 year old driver killed and 60 year old passenger seriously injured after car crashed into wall in Main Road, Longfield, opposite Hartley Road.

Minister finds time for tea
(Dartford Messenger 22.10.15, p9) New Ash Green MP Michael Fallon opens new £180,000 at NAG primary school (picture).

Charlton supporter receives ban for throwing seat at Palace fans during League Cup match
(News Shopper, 16 October 2015) 22 year old man from New Ash Green given 3 year football banning order and fined for throwing seat in match.

Firefighters battle house and undergrowth blazes in Swanley and New Ash Green
(News Shopper, 12 October 2015) Small fire covering 25 m2 put out at Longfield Hill on 11th.

School creations are care-crows
(Dartford Messenger 8.10.15, p3) Picture feature on Harvest scarecrows at Steephill School, Fawkham

October Crime Report
(West Kent Watch) Crimes recorded in October were 1 Burglary (Carmelite Way) and 3 burglary other than dwelling (Fairby Lane, Hartley Bottom Road, and Quakers Close)
Posted on 01 Nov 2015 by administrator
September News
Longfield farmer plagued by fly tipping for 20 years hits out at Kent County Council
(Kent Messenger, 4.9.15) Hartley Farmer highlights problem of fly tipping which has included asbestos forcing a closure of the road. He said it had got worse in the last 20 years, but felt that council makes things worse by making it too hard for people to dispose of their rubbish.

Hartley skipper hails latest Kent Cricket League title success as best yet
(News Shopper, 4.9.15) Hartley Country Club win Kent Cricket League Premier Division title for 5th time in 8 years (picture).

Crime Report
(West Kent Watch) Crimes reported in September include Criminal Damage 4 (Larksfield 2, Ash Road, Gorse Way), Theft from Motor Vehicle 1 (Downs Valley), Burglaries 0.
Posted on 01 Nov 2015 by administrator
August News
Villagers in Hartley and New Ash Green label Arriva bus timetable changes as 'ridiculous' with fears they will become prisoners
(Kent Messenger, 3.8.15) Local residents complain about cuts to bus service 433. Online petition has 334 signatures and local MP has written too about lack of consultation. Arriva say they are too poorly used and want to run services elsewhere. Picture of people waiting for bus in Wellfield. (from my own observation, my impression is that the 433 is the most used of the local buses).

Borough fails to meet national salary average
(Dartford Messenger 13.8.15, p20) Average salary for 2014/15 in Dartford borough is £28,885 while in Sevenoaks it is £46,930. UK average is £26,000 - down £500 from last year.

Celebrating success
(Dartford Messenger 20.8.15, p26) Longfield Academy get 61% A-C pass rate in A levels. Pictures of pupils.

Road Closure
(Dartford Messenger, 20.8.15, p 42) Ash Road to be closed by Tates Orcherd for up to 3 days for sewer connection works.

Our water is good for teeth, bad for kettles
(Dartford Messenger 27.8.15, p21) Figures published show local water has high levels of calcium carbonate, due to being pumped out from the chalk.

Regulated fare increase of 1% is smallest for years
(Dartford Messenger 27.8.15, p37) Southeastern commuters face 1% rise in season tickets in 2016, following a 2.2% increase in 2015.
Posted on 01 Nov 2015 by administrator
July 2015 News Roundup
(25 July) Patients' Association find increased hospital waiting times (Patients' Association Report)The charity found that average waiting times for hip replacement, knee replacement, hernia operations, adenoid operations, gallstone operations, tonsillectomy, and cataract operations increased sharply in 2014 to over 90 days. However Darent Valley Hospital had some of the best waiting times for Hernia (49 days) and Hip Replacement (77 days).

(22 July) Fire crews battle large field fire in Longfield (News Shopper) Fire crews put out large field fire in Hartley Bottom Road.

(2 July) Families enjoy fun in the sun (Dartford Messenger, p17) Picture feature on Hartley Primary School Fete.

(2 July) Man dies after being struck by train (Dartford Messenger, p5) 57 year old man from Dartford struck by Dover Priory to Victoria train on 25 June.

Crime Report (West Kent Watch) Crimes recorded in July are - theft from motor vehicle (Stack Lane), theft of garden ornaments (Springcroft).
Posted on 12 Jul 2015 by administrator
June 2015 News Round Up
(27 June) Car crashes into Longfield Barclays Branch (News Shopper). Car knocks over bollard and crashed into bank. No serious injuries.

(25 June) Excitement bubbles up (Dartford Messenger, p20). Picture feature on 80th birthday celebrations for Steephill School, Fawkham.

(11 June) OAP's hole in one worth a watch (Dartford Messenger, p8) Prize for 70 year old Longfield woman who got a hole in one at Rochester and Cobham Golf Club.

(4 June) School to mark 80 year milestone with a party (Dartford Messenger, p13). HIstory of Steephill School, Fawkham, founded by Miss Eileen Bignold in 1935 when she was asked to teach two of her neighbour's children. School is now a non-profit making charitable trust with 120 pupils.

(4 June) Viewers share joy of DIY SOS family (Dartford Messenger p2). TV Big Build programme shows transformation of house in Hartley Bottom Road, Longfield to help family of 13 year old with epilepsy and spastic quadriplegia. Family to throw party at New Ash Green sports pavilion for the many who helped them.

Crime Report (West Kent Watch) Only crime recorded in June was burglary in Manor Drive.
Posted on 12 Jul 2015 by administrator
May 2015 News Roundup
(28 May) Bouncing along to the music (Dartford Messenger, p13) Picture feature of NAG festival.

(28 May) Some libraries are 'just not viable' (Dartford Messenger, p14) KCC councillor Hartley and New Ash Green, David Brazier, said the library service had been in decline and needed to change if it was to survive, and he wants it to survive.

(27 May) An owl lot of fun in Swanley
(News Shopper) Picture feature on display by Hartley Owls at Swanley.

(22 May) Overturned furniture and spilled coffee in hilarious reactions to Kent earthquake (News Shopper) People from Longfield report feeling tremors at 3am following 4.3 scale quake at Sandwich.

(7 May) Fete proves a perfect day out (Dartford Messenger, p24) Picture feature on RC Fete in Stack Lane.

(7 May) In court Woman from Bazes Shaw fined for not having a TV licence.

(1 May) Post box worth £200 stolen from outside Hartley pub (News Shopper) Victorian post box stolen from Black Lion. Uncertain if post inside but believed to be little used. Additional information from www.hartley-kent post box is first mentioned in 1899 Kent Directory. which means it was installed between 1882 and 1899. (see also Dartford Messenger, 7.5.15, p13)

May Crime Report (West Kent Watch) Crimes recorded in Hartley this month: Burglary (Gorse Way), Car Theft (Church Road), Criminal Damage (Church Road), attempted theft of horse (Church Road)
Posted on 01 Jun 2015 by administrator
Dartford Crossing Top Ten
(10 May) A freedom of information request reveals that there are 2,161 account holders for the Dart Charge from the DA3 postcode area (Longfield, Hartley, New Ash Green). For comparison there are 6,788 households but there is likely to be many cases of more than one account per household.

The top ten postcode districts are:
1. DA (Dartford) - 44,311
2. ME (Medway) - 40,431
3. RM (Romford) - 39,176
4. CM (Chelmsford) - 36,503
5. SS (Southend) - 32,534
6. TN (Tonbridge) - 31,837
7. CT (Canterbury) - 17,138
8. BR (Bromley) - 14,472
9. IP (Ipswich) - 13,604
10. CO (Colchester) - 13,031
Posted on 10 May 2015 by administrator
Local Elections 2015
(8 May) Conservatives retain Hartley district council seats The result was announced about 5.45pm.

Gaywood (Cons) 2,380
Abraham (Cons) 2,272
Kelly (Cons) 1,921
Sewell (UKIP) 1,250

Rejected ballots 121 (110 blank/uncertain, 11 too many crosses)
Turnout 75%

With multimember seats percentages are hard to work out but if we average the Conservative vote to 2,191 then they got 63.7% and UKIP 36.3%. On this basis Conservatives are down 6.1% on the 2011 poll, UKIP up 36.3% and Labour (who didn't stand this time) down 30.2%.

The average number of votes per elector was 2.23, which suggests a lot of people know how to vote when their preferred candidate is not part of a slate of 3 (that is, if supporters of Mr Sewell voted for him and then 2 conservatives, that is one vote for him but two against, so in those circumstances it would be more effective to use just 1 vote). It may be that some were also only voting for the two Conservatives who actually lived in Hartley.

Overall Sevenoaks remains a virtual one party state with 49 Conservatives, 2 Libdems, 1 Labour, 1 UKIP, 1 Independent.


"Hartley First" announce their manifesto The group have circulated a leaflet, which presumably is the one they would have sent if it were a contested election.

* Look for funding for Chantry Avenue and Longfield Hill play areas
* Open new burial ground when the existing one is full
* Ensure Hartley continues to have a library
* Oppose "unsuitable" development
* Continue to provide youth facilities

They also promise "to strive to maintain ... expenditure at below inflation or less" (from 2011-2014 the parish precept (amount of money collected by the parish council in tax) has risen by 17% compared with 9% for the cost of living in general).

Candidates Announced Only 4 candidates declared for the 3 seats of Hartley and Hodsoll Street ward on Sevenoaks Council. Even the conservatives appear to have had difficulty in finding their slate of 3 because one of their candidates does not live in Hartley. The candidates are: Larry Abraham (Con), James Gaywood (Con), John Kelly (Con), Vince Sewell (UKIP).

No election for Hartley Parish Council Only 12 candidates for Hartley Council's 13 seats (they will be able to fill the vacancy by co-option after the election). All but 2 are existing councillors (one of the two is a former councillor) and all are from the middle of the village. The candidates are: Larry Abraham, Christopher Alford, Sheila Bennett, Roger Burchell, Jane Burns, Penny Cole, David Graeme, Ann Oxtoby, Brian Ramsay, Vince Sewell, Andrew Tremain, Dorothy Vesey. All are from the ruling 'party' Hartley First.
Posted on 11 Apr 2015 by administrator
General Election - Dartford Constituency
(8 May) Conservative Hold The result for Dartford was announced at 6.03am. Mr Johnson increased his majority from 10,628 to 12,345.

Conservative 25,670 (49.0%) +0.2%
Labour 13,325 (25.4%) -2.1%
UKIP 10,434 (19.9%) +16.2%
Libdem 1,454 (2.8%) -11.9%
Green 1,324 (2.5%) +2.5%
Engdem 211 (0.4%) -3.9%
Others n/a (n/a) -0.9%

There were 199 rejected ballots.
Turnout was 70.0% (+4.3%)

(7 May) fivethirtyeight.com's prediction for Dartford Academics for five thirty eight predict the following result - Cons 44.8%, Lab 26.3%, UKIP 17.9%. This would represent a 1.4% swing to Labour.

(6 May) Final YouGov nowcast The Dartford predictions for the nowcast poll conducted by YouGov show a slight fall for the Conservatives with their range down a couple of points to 36-48%, Labour are unchanged with a 24-35% range while UKIP have improved to 13-22%. The LibDems and Greens are very close for 4th place. Overall the nowcast predicts a dead heat between Conservative and Labour with 276 seats each.

(6 May) The Poster Campaign Probably the fewest ever number of election posters this year. In Hartley I have counted 6 Conservative, 5 UKIP, 1 Labour and 1 Green.

(4 May) Bookies bet on Conservative win Current constituency odds for Dartford are Conservative 1/20, UKIP 12/1, Labour 14/1. Sevenoaks is even more one sided in the bookies' eyes with Conservative being 100/1 on to win there.

(4 May) Party Leaflets Although we have 6 candidates, I have only received communications from three.

For the Conservatives, Mr Johnson claims unemployment in Dartford is now back to the level it was under the last government in 2007. Details from the Office of National Statistics for Dartford Constituency show that while unemployment has fallen since 2010, so has gross weekly pay (by 2.7%). Unemployment has risen in the first quarter of 2015 from 823 to 910.

He claims Darent Valley has a bigger A&E department, but is this anything to do with the downgrading of the A&E at Sidcup in spite of his party's promises in 2010? For the future, apart from the usual claims that the sky will fall in if the Conservatives don't win, the leaflets are full of vague aspirations, but little on specifics.

Looking back to Mr Johnson's leaflets in 2010, one of his key pledges was for more police on the streets. However House of Commons Library research has found that the number of Kent Police Offices is likely to have fallen by 13% in the period 2010-15. There was also a pledge to fight to abolish Dartford Crossing tolls, but they have actually risen, although the booths have gone.

The leaflet from Mr Thomson, the Labour candidate, features a lady from Hartley who remembers that people couldn't afford healthcare before the NHS was founded. He promises to reverse privatisation in the NHS (but Labour in the past has encouraged this as well as the Conservatives) and makes specific promises of more health workers and a guarantee to get a GP appointment within 48 hours. He promises to help ordinary people with help on rents, fuel bills and banning zero hours contracts. He wants Southeastern railway to be taken into the public sector, but doesn't claim it is party policy (and it was Labour who created the Southeastern franchise in 2006, replacing a successful public sector company).

The Libdem candidate Mr Beard, seems to claim that any successes of the government are entirely down to the Libdems! He claims Labour will borrow too much again and the Conservatives "only care about themselves". He promises £400 cut in income tax and £8bn more for the NHS (without saying when).

(29 April) Yougov Nowcast As an alternative to standard opinion polling, pollsters YouGov have produced an alternative called Nowcast "that combines the respondents we have in each seat with modelled observations from similar types of people across the country". For Dartford they currently have the Conservatives currently in the lead with a range of 38-51%, Labour have 24-35% and UKIP 12-21%. (See Dartford nowcast page.

Candidates Announced The following are the candidates for Dartford: Simon Beard (Lib Dem), Andy Blatchford (Green), Gareth Johnson (Con), Elizabeth Jones (UKIP), Simon Thomson (Lab), Steve Uncles (Eng Dem). Sadly no Fancy Dress Party candidate this year!

County Poll suggests UKIP support well up in Kent (Kent Messenger, 10.4.15). Poll of 1,000 in Kent with change from 2010 in brackets): Con 39% (-12%), UKIP 24% (+20%), Lab 22% (+1%), Green 8% (+7%), Libdem 6% (-15%). Percentages based on those who said they were likely to vote, 22% of likely voters were undecided. Dartford should remain Conservative on these findings.

Paul's Prediction (Dartford Messenger 2.4.15) Paper's political editor forecasts Conservatives will win 15 seats in Kent with UKIP tipped to win in Rochester and South Thanet. He says the conservatives should be "untroubled" in Dartford.
Posted on 11 Apr 2015 by administrator
April 2015 News Roundup
(23 April) Progress in fight over neglected village centre Campaigners have the 1,000 signatures required to force Sevenoaks Council to discuss the problems in the neglected shopping centre.

(23 April) In court (Dartford Messenger, p17) Two people from Caling Croft and Penenden, New Ash Green, fined for having no TV licence.

(23 April) Knitters enjoy a fundraising natter (Dartford Messenger, p18) Picture feature on Ash WI who raised £80 for NAG Youth Centre Trust.

(16 April) Slower response is down to a rise in demand, say police (Dartford Messenger, p14) Freedom of information request finds response time for high priority incidents between 11pm and 6am has risen from 8½ minutes in 2011 to 12½ minutes in 2014.

(2 April) Drunk Driver given 20 month ban (Dartford Messenger 2.4.15, p8) Man from Oliver's Mill, New Ash Green found to be 2½ times over the limit when stopped by police at Greenhithe in February.
Posted on 06 Apr 2015 by administrator
March 2015 News Roundup
In court (Dartford Messenger 26.3.15, p17) Man from Olivers Mill fined for speeding. Man from Main Road, Longfield fined for not giving identity of driver.

All roads lead to Rome in property pair's marathon (Dartford Messenger, p8) Owners of Esquire Developments in Longfield (pictured) running for Ellenor Lions hospice.

Prolific burglar, 21, who stole car in New Ash Green is jailed (News Shopper 12.3.15) Rochester man jailed for 4 years for 10 offences including theft of Citroen and handbag at Coltstead on 1 August last year.

Lights out for roads chief (Dartford Messenger 5.3.15, p9) Hartley and New Ash Green councillor David Brazier resigns as Kent County Council cabinet member for Environment and Transport. He told the paper he had enjoyed doing the job.

Tree causes rail delays (Dartford Messenger 5.3.15, p7) Delays on 3rd March after 5.05 am train struck tree at Farningham Road.


(all Feb) Crime News (West Kent Watch). A mini-wave of garden crime this month with no fewer than 5 thefts of garden equipment and plants. Reported crimes in March included - house burglaries at Chantry Avenue, Cherry Trees and Larksfield; attempted burglaries of houses at Gorse Way and Woodland Avenue; thefts at Ash Road (4), Church Road and Stack Lane; theft from motor vehicle at Stack Lane; and criminal damage at Gorsewood Road.
Posted on 03 Apr 2015 by administrator
February 2015 News Roundup
(26 Feb) Charity jobseeker adds KM newsdesk to her growing list (Dartford Messenger, p8) Picture feature on 27 year old woman from Ash Road, Ash, who is doing 100 different jobs to raise money for the Meditation Trust.

(12 Feb) Fire crews tackle blaze in Longfield Chimney (News Shopper) Chimney fire at Manor Road on 11th.

(9 Feb) Frying pan causes house fire in New Ash Green (News Shopper) Bazes Shaw man treated for smoke inhalation. Fortunately altered by smoke alarm.

(3 Feb) 17-year-old reportedly pelted with stones and hit with sticks by teenage mob in New Ash Green (News Shopper 3.2.15) Police make three arrests following attack in Centre Road, New Ash Green. Victim helped by 2 women who drove him home.

(all Feb) Crime News (West Kent Watch. Reported crimes in February included - house burglary at Chantry Avenue; burglary of outbuildings at Manor Drive, Ash Road and Church Road; theft from motor vehicle at Wellfield, Castle Hill and Gorse Way; and criminal damage at Castle Hill.
Posted on 11 Mar 2015 by administrator
January 2015 News Roundup
(1 Jan) Rail fares to rise Annual season ticket from Longfield to London to rise on 2 January from £2,972 to £3,044. Annual season ticket from Longfield to London All Zones goes up from £3,612 to £3,700.

(All January) Crime news (West Kent Watch) In January the following crimes were recorded in Hartley - criminal damage at Wellfield, Culcroft, Woodland Avenue and Gresham Avenue; theft at Culcroft, and theft from motor vehicle at Wellfield.
Posted on 02 Jan 2015 by administrator
December 2014 News Roundup
(11 December) Free ice rink for all the family (Dartford Messenger, p 14) Sevenoaks Council to set up ice rink on the 13th at New Ash Green.

(11 December) Katherine thanks Masterchef for her fresh confidence (Dartford Messenger, p16) Picture feature on New Ash Green and former Longfield School entrant to Masterchef.

(9 December) Hartley beauty queen wins award for best smile in whole of UK 27 year old from Ash Road wins title of UK Dazzling Beauty 2014/15. She also won the Miss Charity Award for raising hundreds of pounds for Darent Valley Hospital.

(4 December) Erith mechanic jailed for conspiracy to commit burglary in Longfield (News Shopper) 27 year old from Erith jailed for 3½ years after admitting conspiracy to commit burglary.

(All December) Crime news (West Kent Watch) In December the following crimes were recorded in Hartley - burglaries at Culcroft, Hawthorns, Wellfield and Woodland Avenue; attempted burglary at Hawthorns.
Posted on 01 Jan 2015 by administrator
November 2014 News Roundup
(20 Nov) Man who killed himself had just stabbed his wife (Dartford Messenger, p11) Inquest records suicide verdict on 47 year old man from Ightham Close, Longfield, who was just about to move into a flat at South Darenth following the end of his marriage.

(6 Nov) Stray plane 'close to being shot down' after RAF warning (Dartford Messenger, p9) Sonic boom heard over Hartley and elsewhere due to planes from RAF Coningsby in Lincs intercepting a Latvian freight plane over Sevenoaks and escorting it to Stansted.

(all Nov) Crime News (West Kent Watch) The following crimes were reported in Hartley in November - Burglaries other than dwellings at Gorsewood Road (building site), Larksfield (2) (one garage and one shed), Stack Lane (building site); attempted burglary at Woodland Avenue; theft at Gorse Way (garden shrubs), Larksfield (from car); criminal damage - Caxton Close (car), Larksfield (fence).
Posted on 01 Jan 2015 by administrator
October 2014 News Roundup
(2 Oct) Rudi rallies round to help charity on gruelling challenge New Ash Green father's fundraising for EllenorLions Hospice, in thanks for all the support they gave his family.

(2 Oct) You could lend a hand with TV's DIY SOS Hit series will be filming in Longfield later this month.

(9 Oct) Lawyer to be UKIP Hopeful (Dartford Messenger, p4) Family lawyer Elizabeth Jones will fight the Dartford seat at the next general election.

(9 Oct) Marcia's silver with team GB (Dartford Messenger) 75 year old woman from Springcroft part of silver medal winning team at Super Seniors World Tennis Team Championships.

(23 Oct) Woman in court over starving horse (Dartford Messenger, p14) West Kingsdown woman banned from keeping horses for 2 years after emaciated horse seen in Hartley reported to RSPCA.

(23 Oct) Driver over drink limit banned (Dartford Messenger, p6) Ash Road man banned for 2 years after being stopped in Ash Road in July.

(23 Oct) Alan, 76, strikes gold with world record ride (Dartford Messenger, p8) Carmelite Way man wins gold medal in record time in over 75 riders 2,000 metres category at the World Championships.

(23 Oct) Labour of love for TV transformation (Dartford Messenger, p9). Picture feature on property at Hartley Bottom Road, Longfield, which is to be featured in the TV programme DIY SOS. Over 100 local tradesmen have donated their time to help. (Continued on 30 October "The Big Reveal").

(27 Oct) Hartley Woman in the running for UK's Dazzling Beauty 2014 (News Shopper). 27 year old from Ash Road in final of contest with a difference, because of its large emphasis on charity works.

(30 Oct) Apple tasting at core of charity coffee morning (Dartford Messenger, p16). Picture feature on Longfield Country Market, which raised £300 for MacMillan Nurses.
Posted on 15 Oct 2014 by administrator
September news roundup
(5 Sep) Furious jaguar driver swears at cyclist (Kent Online) Man from Church Road fined £500 for using threatening or abusive words or behaviour at Pevensey in East Sussex

(14 Sep) Longfield teenager jailed for two years for unprovoked head-butting 19 year old from Main Road jailed for assault. (News Shopper)
Posted on 15 Oct 2014 by administrator
August News Roundup
(21 Aug) Raising a mug to friendship and support Memory cafe for dementia and Alzheimer patients opened at Wellfield Community Hall (picture). (Dartford Messenger, p26)

(21 Aug) Cyclist, 80, on track for family celebration ride Picture feature of Redhill Wood man's charity cycle ride (Dartford Messenger, p26)

(17 Aug) Men broke into Hartley house claiming 'cat was stuck in sewer' Fairby Lane homeowner called police when they found intruders in their house, who left immediately. (News Shopper)

(14 Aug) Former farm became refuge WW1 feature includes illustrated piece about Fairby Grange, which looked after conscientious objectors whose health had been damaged by harsh imprisonment. Includes testimonies of two guests. (Dartford Messenger, p9)

(14 Aug) Family fun in the sun Picture feature on Hartley Family Fun Day at Woodland Avenue Park. (Dartford Messenger, p14)

(14 Aug) Family back Bob on his birthday ride Charity bike ride round Brands Hatch by Redhill Wood man (pictured) to celebrate his 80th birthday. (Dartford Messenger, p5)

(7 Aug) Driver banned 40 year banned for being over the limit at Bazes Shaw (Dartford Messenger, p9)
Posted on 10 Sep 2014 by administrator
July news round up
(31 Jul) Pupil group on festival stage Longfield school pupil band the Prequels play Dartford festival. (Dartford Messenger, p3)

(31 Jul) Memory cafe to open at the Wellfield Community Centre on the first Thursday of the month. (Dartford Messenger, p17)

(17 Jul) Be on your guard for rogue traders Reports of door to door sales in New Ash Green, where trading standards have concerns about the cost of the maintenance contract people are asked to sign.

(17 Jul) 20 dog attacks on our posties 20 dog attacks reported in the DA postcode area for the year ending April 2014.

(17 Jul) Picnic success Jazz picnic raised £8,000 for Arthritis Research.

(10 Jul) Banned driver resisted arrest 24 year old man from Stack Lane fined £100 and banned for 3 years.

(10 Jul) Man guilty of assault charge 23 old man from Bazes Shaw given suspended sentence for assault in Essex Road, Dartford.

(10 Jul) Magistrate leads tribute to court-collapse lawyer Obituary of 49 year old lawyer from Hartley, who had played for the New Ash Green Cricket Club since the age of 15.
Posted on 09 Aug 2014 by administrator
June news roundup
(26 Jun) Family run takeaway still frying high after 35 years Picture feature on the Longfield Fish Bar, which opened in May 1979.

(26 Jun) Cannabis plants found by the dozen in man's garage 33 year old man from Millfield given suspended sentence for cultivating plants and abstracting electricity.

(16 Jun) Man in his 60s hit by go kart in Longfield Man taken to King's College Hospital after accident at 3.40pm yesterday. News Shopper

(12 Jun) Sky setting her sights high after another gym success Feature on 11 year old gymnast from Hartley Primary School, who recently won two national competitions.
Posted on 09 Aug 2014 by administrator
May news roundup
(22 May 2014) Bash goes down well Picture feature on Fawkham and Hartley Church Fete (Dartford Messenger, p18)
Posted on 29 May 2014 by administrator
Euro Elections 2014
(25 May) Euro elections result for Sevenoaks District
Early announcement just after 10pm of the Sevenoaks District result which will be added to the other authorities for the South-East region.

UKIP 11,873 (36.9%, +16.1%)
Cons 11,182 (34.8%, -7.7%)
Lab 3,349 (10.4%, +2.9%)
Green 2,220 (6.9%, -5.0%)
Libdem 1,993 (6.2%, -5.9%)
Others 1,521 (4.8%, -7.0%)

For full details go to the Euro Elections page
Posted on 26 May 2014 by administrator
April News Roundup
(17 April) Family party enjoyed by diamond couple Picture feature on diamond wedding of couple from New Ash Green. Wife was dinner lady at Hartley Primary School until she was nearly 80. (Dartford Messenger, p16)

Police appeal for witnesses of knifepoint robbery in Longfield Robbery at Martin's Newsagent in Longfield at about 6.50pm on 16 April. Three men sought by police. (News Shopper)

(14 Apr) Man hospitalised after reported assault in Longfield Main Road Man taken to hospital with head wound on 10 April. 19 year old man arrested and bailed pending further enquiries. (News Shopper)

(10 April) Grammar School catchment area set to expand Dartford Grammar school to expand in 2015 to have an intake 180 instead of 150. This means it can expand its catchment area, where priority is given, to include Longfield. (Dartford Messenger, p2)

Three locked up for burglary 26 year old man from Pitfield and 2 others jailed for burglary at Shoreham.

(3 April) Drink driver's 3 year ban Woman from Perran Close convicted of being over 3 times over the limit at Watling Street in Dartford. (Dartford Messenger, p19; News Shopper 1.4.14)
Posted on 25 May 2014 by administrator
March news round up
(20 March) Solicitor is struck off for spending clients' cash Man from New Ash Green who is a solicitor in Hounslow was struck off by the Solicitor's Disciplinary Tribunal. He is said to have taken £96,000 from client accounts, in his defence he said all the money had been repaid. (Dartford Messenger)

(13 March) Mum's climb for ward that cared so well for her son Bazes Shaw woman and her friend raise £2,200 for Dolphin Ward at Medway Maritime Hospital. (Dartford Messenger p11)
Posted on 25 May 2014 by administrator
February 2014 News Round Up
(17 Feb) Greater Anglia and Southeastern Bottom of Train Satisfaction Survey A survey of 499 passengers by Which Magazine found only 40% satisfied with Southeastern Railways, the company which serves Longfield Station. In an interview with Metro Newspaper the company appeared to blame the wrong type of passengers, saying they have a lot of commuters going to work. Metro comments "As excuses go for substandard rail journeys, it’s up there with blaming late arrivals on ‘slippery rain’ and the ‘wrong type of snow’."

(Guardian 17.2.14, Metro 17.2.14)

(6 Feb) Petrol thief who used car as weapon gets 11 years Report on trial of Hartley man convicted of GBH after driving car at West Kingsdown petrol station manager during petrol theft. (Dartford Messenger p10)
Posted on 22 Feb 2014 by administrator
January 2014 News Round Up
(30 Jan) Tea and a good book Picture feature on the Glad Tidings Second Hand Bookshop which opens Saturdays until 2pm at Ash Chapel. (Dartford Messenger p21)

(30 Jan) Open verdict after PC was found hanged Report on inquest on 41 years old man from Punchcroft, New Ash Green. (Dartford Messenger, p4)

(30 Jan) Drink-drive ban Man from Penenden banned for 18 months after being caught driving at Hall Road, Southfleet. (Dartford Messenger, p10)

(17 Jan) Second landslide hits Gravesend today Two closures of the line at Longfield due to landslips (News Shopper)

(16 Jan) More black and white TVs here Figures show there are still 21 Black and White TV licences sold in Gravesham and 12 in Dartford last year. (Dartford Messenger, p14)

(14 Jan) Dartford Grammar School £3m expansion nearly completed As a result school will expand by 180 pupils by adding an extra class each year. This will mean applicants from Longfield will be treated the same as those from Dartford town. (News Shopper)

(9 Jan) Three set to stand trial for burglary Accused include 22 year old man from Pitfield. They deny breaking into home at Shoreham on 18 September. (Dartford Messenger, p22)

(2 Jan) Longfield chimney fire put out by firefighters On January 1st at Hartley Bottom Road.
(News Shopper)

(2 Jan) School celebrates outstanding report Our Lady of Hartley RC Primary School (pictured) given outstanding rating by Ofsted. (Dartford Messenger, p17)
Posted on 12 Jan 2014 by administrator
December News Round Up
(30 Dec)Woman taken to hospital after Longfield crash Collision between 2 cars in Valley Road on 29th, leads to one driver being taken to hospital with back pain.
News Shopper

(24 Dec) Heavy wind and rain causes problems Storm force winds and heavy rain fell on Hartley from the afternoon of 23 December and continued overnight. This caused disruption to trains on Monday evening and no service was planned to run at Longfield on Tuesday because of a landslip between Longfield and Meopham and other fallen trees. In Hartley many households were without power from 3pm on Monday, while a fallen branch brought down power cables, closing the Ash Road entrance to Round Ash Way (see picture).

Fairby Grange, Hartley - Dining Room

(19 Dec) Farmers' reps meet police chief Crime Commissioner Ann Barnes meets NFU representatives at Hartley Bottom Farm

(10 Dec) Parish Council meeting See Full Story below or click on link for 2013 Reports. Council agreed a budget which will increase spending by 7.3% and council tax by 2%.

(5 Dec) Hooded trio hunted after raid Burglary at Longfield Co-op on Sunday. Cigarettes stolen and glass panel on sliding doors damaged. (Dartford Messenger 5.12.13, p 19 with additional reporting)

(1 Dec) Paper collection raises £5,000 Scout's monthly paper collection at the Black Lion raises nearly £5,000 for the group.
Posted on 21 Dec 2013 by administrator
November News Round Up
(28 November) Mum and daughter overcome sickness to climb Kilimanjaro Together with a friend they raise £13,000 fro Guy's Cutaneous Lymphoma fund in memory of their mother from Hartley. (Dartford Messenger, p28)

(28 November) Home battle for son Family of severely disabled 12 year old boy are trying to raise £100,000 to adapt their Hartley Bottom Road home so that he can live with them permanently. (Dartford Messenger p1&5)

(21 November) Armed Raiders jailed for string of dawn robberies Two men from Wandsworth and Walderslade jailed for 14 years and 9 years 9 months respectively for a string of raids on McColls and Martins shops in Kent, including their store at New Ash Green on 18 December. (Kent Online 21.11.13)

(7 November) Blasts from the past Dartford Council offices had to be evacuated after man from Hartley innocently brought in wartime shell, which he had dug up in Otford. (Dartford Messenger, pp 1 & 7)

(7 November) New Girls wanted for Green Army Picture feature on New Ash Green women's rugby team.
Posted on 21 Dec 2013 by administrator
October News Roundup
(31 October) Quarter century of looking after other people's children Picture feature on Chapelwood, New Ash Green woman who is retiring as a childminder, having looked after 110 children over the last 25 years.

(31 October) Harvest to help hungry Picture feature on Harvest Festival Assembly for New Ash Green Primary School.

(24 October) MP goes into battle over 'deplorable' rail service MP Gareth Johnson says Southeastern and the Department for Transport will not reduce the number of trains stopping at Longfield, which had been requested by campaigners in East Kent to reduce their journey times. (Dartford Messenger, p15)

(24 October) Concert success Hartley and District Choir raise nearly £500 for the Roundash Preschool. (Dartford Messenger, p43)

(17 October) Former BBC man aims to be next MP Labour select Simon Thomson to be prospective candidate for Dartford. (Dartford Messenger p2)

(17 October) Gourmet feast - for just £9.50 Picture feature on Telescope, the restaurant run by pupils of Longfield Academy (Dartford Messenger p10)

(17 October) Teachers' Strike report News Shopper reports Hartley Primary School, Our Lady of Hartley RC School, Milestone School and Longfield Academy all partially closed on the one day strike.

(14 October) Parish Council Meeting Click here for report of meeting, which discussed the following:
* Calls for traffic calming on Ash Road near Black Lion
* Complaints about parking at Cherry Trees. Improvements to rendering of shops there by landlord.
* No reduction in Hartley's streetlighting.
* Rail service at Longfield unlikely to be reduced until 2018. County Council keen for Southeastern to win franchise then.
* Grant money sought for phase 2 playground improvements.
* Plans for new burial ground at Manor Field scaled back.

(3 October) Raider threatened to shoot manager Armed robbery at Co-op in New Ash Green, by man pretending to be a security guard. He fled empty-handed. (Dartford Messenger, p15
Posted on 27 Oct 2013 by administrator
September news roundup
(26 Sept) Awards Two Hartley residents given Community Safety Awards.

(26 Sept) Tennis Success Springcroft resident one of GB Ladies Over 75s Tennis Team which won a silver medal at World Super Seniors Championships in Austria.

(26 Sept) Three charged over car theft Man from Hartley one of those accused of burglary at Shoreham.

(26 Sept) Zumba class raises cash for ADSS Charity Zumba class at Fawkham Village Hall, attended by Hartley WI members raises £150 for Northfleet Alzheimers Charity. (News Shopper)

(19 Sept) Funeral director keeps up family's proud traditions Picture feature on Stephen P Gay Funeral Service in Longfield.

(19 Sept) "Cheeky Damien would have been really proud" Charity walk from Dartford to Milestone School raises £240 in memory of former pupil at Milestone. (Dartford Messenger, p31)

(19 Sept) Kent County Council and Living Wage Kent County Council rejects proposal to pay living wage of £7.45 per hour to staff (current minimum wage is £6.19). About 3,000 staff would be helped and it would cost £1.48m per year. Paper points out council pays over £2m a year to just 20 staff. Sevenoaks and Dartford councils do not pay living wage either, but Gravesham does. (Dartford Messenger p16)

(3 Sept) Raiders flee with thousands after attack on two staff Police release CCTV pictures of attack on staff filling cash machine on June 27th. (News Shopper, see also Dartford Messenger 5.9.13, p7)
Posted on 28 Sep 2013 by administrator
August News Roundup
(August) The Hartley Trader Launch of new advertising magazine with 10,000 copies circulating in Hartley, Longfield, New Barn, New Ash Green and elsewhere. They say they offer "low cost advertising to businesses".

(29 Aug) Armed robber admits shop raids Man admits involvement in raid on Martins the newsagent in New Ash Green on 12 December 2012.

(22 Aug) 'Lovable rogue' died of overdose Inquest verdict on death of James Grover (41) of Main Road, Longfield. Neighbours said he was always willing to help anybody.

(8 Aug) Bees find new ally in housebuilders Ward Homes say they are planting bee friendly plans over 3 years at developments, including Longfield. (Dartford Messenger p14)

(8 Aug) I should have been born with webbed feet Picture feature on 75 year old man from Gorsewood Road who still swims competitively, and has raised £24,000 for Ellenor Lions Hospice from the sale of his book.

(8 Aug) Driver banned Man from Merton Avenue banned for driving while disqualified and without insurance. (Dartford Messenger p17)

(1 Aug) Church Centenery Anniversary of Hartley's RC Church founded by Miss Davies-Cooke, thought to have designed Airman's Star Medallion in WW1.

(1 Aug) 'Babies help care unit Staff dressed as babies (picture) at Images Hairdressers at Cherry Trees raise £900 for special care baby unit at Darenth Valley Hospital.

(1 Aug) Keeping it local for 35 years Picture feature on Longfield Country Market.

(1 Aug) Dartford Magistrates 21 year old Vigo man banned for drink driving in Ash Road.

(1 Aug) Mail delivery office moving to Dartford Closure of Longfield Delivery Office, local parcels may now be collected at Hartley Post Office.

(1 Aug) Action at First hand on police community tour When Police Commissioner and area commander visited Longfield, they got a taste of first hand policing when the commander had to dash off to deal with a case of suspected shoplifiting.
Posted on 09 Aug 2013 by administrator
July news roundup
(29 July) Cannabis farm sniffed out by police in Fawkham Road, Longfield Police patrol smells cannabis, raids house, and arrest three men. (News Shopper

(25 July) Neighbour in Fire Rescue Neighbour sees smoke coming from house in Millfield, New Ash Green, rouses owner and puts out fire in frying pan. (Dartford Messenger, p2)

(19 July) Closure date for Royal Mail Delivery office in Longfield announced Delivery office to close on 5 August, undelivered post where there is no fee to pay will go to Hartley Post Office. News Shopper

(18 July) Smoker was stabbed in arm in row with gang Man stabbed at Punchcroft, New Ash Green at 1.15am on June 29. (Dartford Messenger, p 8)

(18 July) Tolls argument derided as 'pointless nonsense'County councillor for Hartley and New Ash Green criticises those who say a decision on another Thames Crossing should be delayed until the effect of removing the toll booths at Dartford is apparent. (Dartford Messenger, p4)

(11 July) Area Dean appointed Rev Jim Fletcher of Hartley to become area dean of Cobham as well (picture). (Dartford Messenger, p22)

(5 July) Huge Longfield blaze being treated as suspicious Fire in Old Wood Yard at Northdown Road, Longfield on 4 July. Crews from Dartford and Northfleet attend. Smoke closes roads and UK Power Networks called because of concerns about the overhead cables, which proved to be OK. (Picture) (News Shopper)

(4 July) Fire service's new recruitsFirst staff being trained at New Ash Green fire station, which is due to open in September. (Dartford Messenger p14)

(4 July) Playground fun for village youngsters Picture feature on the new play equipment at Woodland Avenue Park. (Dartford Messenger p18)
Posted on 27 Jul 2013 by administrator
June News Roundup
To follow
Posted on 27 Jul 2013 by administrator
May news roundup
(22 May) Threat to Longfield's Rail Service has not gone away
Kent County Council held a rail summit at County Hall on 20th May. At the meeting a representative from a pressure group called "North Kent Rail Users Group" called for fast trains from Chatham not to call at Longfield and Meopham. He claimed it "greatly added to journey times" (actually it is just 5 minutes). For South Eastern they said that when they consulted before they had a lot of objections and only 2 in favour (from KCC and a railwayman). He said they think they should do this because there were lots more people on the train wanting a fast journey than got on at Longfield and Meopham. He said that signalling improvements planned for the line will mean the time difference will increase. They expected to remove the stops from at least one train an hour in the 2014 timetable.
See podcast of the rail summit at 1 hr 16min

(17 May) Click here for Report of the annual parish meeting Only 17 attended to hear amongst other things, of increases in the parish council tax, and future changes to rubbish collection which will mean more bins. The public raised concerns about the state of the Cherry Trees shops, and congestion on Castle Hill when Ash Road is closed.

(16 May) Baby Jessie's surprise arrival on surgery visit Baby born at New Ash Green Surgery (picture). (Dartford Messenger, p5)

(7 May) Accident and oil spill closes Ash Road for a while. (Heart FM traffic website)

(2 May) Cake celebrates heroes donation

Longfield and New Barn Active Retirement Association raises £2,650 for Help for Heroes. Picture feature (Dartford Messenger 2.5.13 p7)

(2 May) Youngsters get stuck in during visit to butcher

Picture feature on visit by Milestone School Children to Glovers Farm Shop in Hartley. (Dartford Messenger 2.5.13 p16)
Posted on 07 May 2013 by administrator
Kent County Council Election Results
(2 May) The Conservatives comfortably held the Sevenoaks North East division, which includes Hartley, New Ash Green and West Kingsdown. David Brazier, the winning candidate, got 48% of the vote, which was slightly down on 2009. UKIP came second, having apparently won most of the votes which the English Democrats got last time. Even though he lived 20 miles away, their candidate got 31% of the vote. Labour recorded a small increase, and the Greens, standing for the first time, got 6%. Turnout was very low at just 26%, probably partly due to a very low key campaign (this writer only received 1 election leaflet).

David Brazier (Conservative) 1,843 (48% of the vote, down 7%)
Richard Harrington (UKIP) 1,160 (31%)
Jim Weekes (Labour) 495 (13%, up 3%)
Mark Lindop (Green) 226 (6%)
Louise Uncles (English Democrat) 67 (2%, down 19%)
Posted on 05 May 2013 by administrator
April News Round Up
(8 April) Click here for report of Parish Council meeting. Among items discussed were Stack Lane, the New Burial Ground and Northfield.
Posted on 05 May 2013 by administrator
March 2013 News Roundup
(7 Mar) Leader fends off challenge over council budget woes
Cllr Gaywood of Hartley mounts unsuccessful challenge on March 5th to become leader of Sevenoaks Council. Council leader Cllr Fleming received 2/3rds of the votes in a closed meeting.Sevenoaks Chronicle

(21 Mar) Domino's Pizza opens branch
A branch of the pizza franchise to open in Longfield, creating 25 jobs.
Dartford Messenger, p11
Posted on 09 Mar 2013 by administrator
February 2013 News Roundup
(14 Feb) Store helps carers
Staff at Longfield Co-op dressed in 1950s costume to raise money for Carers Trust Dartford Messenger, p8

(18 Feb) Two women in hospital after crash in Ash Road
Crash in Ash Road about 5.50pm caused multiple injuries to both drivers, one had to be cut from car by fire brigade. News Shopper and Sevenoaks Chronicle

(21 Feb) Stolen Cars in bizarre towing crash
Car with car on trailer (both believed to be stolen) crashed into parked car at Knights Croft, New Ash Green on 16th. Dartford Messenger p15

(28 Feb) Silent heroes honoured for giving blood
Blood donors from Hartley and Longfield (pictured) presented with award for 75 donations of blood. Dartford Messenger, p14
Posted on 09 Mar 2013 by administrator
January 2013 News Roundup
24 Jan Benefits are not welfare handouts
Longfield resident writes to say that benefits are entitlements not handouts and points out that they are being cut at the same time as the top rate of tax is being reduced. Dartford Messenger, page 18

31 Jan Bill in £2.10 parking fee row reaches £375
Woman from Main Road, Longfield refused to pay parking ticket in Hythe. Matter referred to bailiffs who now say bill is £375. Dartford Messenger, p2
Posted on 09 Mar 2013 by administrator
Last journeys for KCC bus company
Dartford Messenger 20.12.12 p10
Kent County Council is to wind up Kent Top Travel, which has run some local bus services. They created it to reduce contract prices on some bus routes, but has been criticised by their private competitors.
Posted on 09 Mar 2013 by administrator
Council tax scrooges in plan to hike your bills
Sevenoaks Chronicle 13.12.12 p1
"Well placed sources" claim council tax will rise next year for first time in 3 years. Cllr Ramsay said they won't know until they are told the amount of government grant, which has fallen from £6.3m in 2010/11 to £4.6 million in the current year.
Posted on 09 Mar 2013 by administrator
Car thieves chased off
Sevenoaks Chronicle 22.11.12 p3
Would be thieves scared off from Manor Forstal, New Ash Green on 15th November.
Posted on 09 Mar 2013 by administrator
Councillors in line for outrageous "cash boost"
Sevenoaks Chronicle 22.11.12 p1
Plans have been drawn up for Sevenoaks Councillors to increase their basic allowance by nearly £2,000 to £6,039 with further increases for Cabinet Members. In all it will cost local taxpayers another £110,000 p.a. Final decision to be taken in January.
Posted on 09 Mar 2013 by administrator
Rich pickings for Scouts
Dartford Messenger 6.9.12 p7
Longfield and Hartley Scouts raise £4,000 a year by monthly paper collection at Hemesley's Yard.
Posted on 06 Mar 2013 by administrator
A trip back to Longfield's Past
Reporter 13.9.12
Picture feature on history exhibition at Longfield Church. Article features 3 pictures dating from 1937 to 1950.
Posted on 06 Mar 2013 by administrator
Team hopes to cash in for village
Dartford Messenger 27.9.12 p8
New Ash Green applies for £10,000 from a government scheme to rejuvenate town centres.
Posted on 06 Mar 2013 by administrator
Bright sun a clue to cause of fatal crash
Dartford Messenger 27.9.12 p13
Inquest on June Wilkinson (76) of Beechlands Close recorded a verdict of accidental death. Her car was hit on December 29th at New Barn by another driver who was blinded by the low sun.
Posted on 06 Mar 2013 by administrator
Training for young jobless people
Dartford Messenger 20.9.12 p7
Co-op in Longfield to hold training sessions for people aged 16-24.
Posted on 06 Mar 2013 by administrator
Manston is only sensible airport option
Reporter 7.6.2012 p9
Letter from resident of Cherry Trees says that building an airport at Manston would be less disruptive than an estuary airport.
Posted on 06 Mar 2013 by administrator
Namibian Commissioner visits school
Reporter 17.5.2012, p7

Picture feature on visit of High Commissioner for Namibia to Milestone School, which works with schools in Namibia.
Posted on 17 May 2012 by administrator
Parish Council meeting 10 December 2012
Click on read more for account of meeting.
Posted on 10 Dec 2012 by administrator
Hartley Parish Council Meeting 12 November 2012
Only 12 minutes long this month, click on Read More below for details.
Posted on 09 Dec 2012 by administrator
Independent wins police commissioner election
Independent candidate Ann Barnes romped home to defeat the Conservative candidate Craig Mackinlay by a margin of 65% to 35%. Voters appeared to be impressed by her track record as a former head of the Kent Police Authority, that she had fought a positive campaign, and the fact that she was independent of party politics. The real winner was apathy though with a turnout in Kent of only 16.3%.

Hartley's vote would have been part of the Sevenoaks vote, where even here the Conservatives did not win. First preference results here were Independent (Barnes) 5,665, Conservative 4,778, Labour 1,163, UKIP 1,025, Eng Dem 702, Ind (Llyanage) 452. In the second round the result was Ind (Barnes) 6,704, Conservative 5,390.

Nationally the supplemental vote system produced some different results than First Past the Post would have done. As a result Labour lost Humberside and the Conservatives Hampshire.
Posted on 16 Nov 2012 by administrator
Teenagers jailed for Longfield jewellers armed robbery
Reporter 0 Comments
Posted on 14 Nov 2012 by administrator
Hartley robbery victim hit with metal object outside house
News Shopper 27.9.12

Dartford Messenger 4.10.12 p9
47 year old man from Church Road hit over head with metal object during robbery on the morning of the 26th.
Posted on 14 Nov 2012 by administrator
Hartley cinema-goer shocked to see mice inside Bluewater cinema
News Shopper 17.10.12

55 year old from Manor Drive claims to have seen mice in cinema. At the time of writing cinema was unavailable for comment.
Posted on 14 Nov 2012 by administrator
Dangerous dogs petition from Hartley schoolchildren presented in parliament
News Shopper 13.11.12

Pupils at Our Lady of Hartley RC Primary School present 110 signature petition to local MP, calling for dangerous dogs to be microchipped.
Posted on 14 Nov 2012 by administrator
A trip back to Longfield's Past
Reporter 13.9.2012

Picture feature on photo exhibition held at Longfield Church on 29 September. It features a large number of photos of Longfield past supplied by present and former local residents.
Posted on 17 Oct 2012 by administrator
Hartley retain premiership crown
News Shopper 29.8.12

Hartley Country Club win Kent Cricket Premier League for the second year running.
Posted on 16 Oct 2012 by administrator
Boundary Commission makes revised proposals for constituencies
16.10.12

The Boundary Commission today published their revised proposals for the new electoral map of the area. As previously mentioned they had proposed that Hartley and Hodsoll Street should move from Dartford to Gravesend constituencies, to make Gravesend the size required by the new law.

The replies they received were mostly in favour of Hartley remaining in Dartford constituency, although the national Conservative and Labour parties were both in favour.

some suggested moving Swanscombe from Dartford to Gravesend instead. The commission rejected this because they said the numbers didn't stack up and they don't like crossing borough boundaries if it can be avoided. They did agree with representations to put Hextable and not Horton Kirby in the Dartford seat. They also agreed to call the Gravesend constituency Gravesham instead to reflect the fact that it was more than just Gravesend.

People now have a final chance to make representations before 12 December. See Boundary Commission website.
Posted on 16 Oct 2012 by administrator
Hartley Parish Council meeting 14 May 2012
Click on read more below for full story
Posted on 16 May 2012 by administrator
Paralympic selection for Longfield athlete
News Shopper 11.7.12

49 year old man from Longfield selected to run for Great Britain in the T51 100m at the Paralympics.

See Kent County Council website Kentsport for details of the Paralympic classifications.
Posted on 25 Jul 2012 by administrator
Two 15-year-old boys from London have been charged following an armed robbery at a Longfield jewellers
News Shopper 5.7.12

Two 15 year old boys have been charged following armed robbery at jewellers in Longfield, which involved police firearms officers, dogs and helicopter being deployed.

News Shopper 10.7.12
Accused from Camden and Islington appeared at Dartford Magistrates, to be remanded for trial at the Crown Court.

Teens face trial over jewel raid
Dartford Messenger 6.9.12 p5
Trial due to start at Kingston Crown Court on 8 October.
Posted on 25 Jul 2012 by administrator
Hundreds enjoy sunshine as festival fever hits Longfield
News Shopper 2.7.12

Picture feature on successful Longfield Festival on 1 July.
Posted on 25 Jul 2012 by administrator
Man in intensive care after car crash in Main Road, Longfield Hill
News Shopper 12.6.12

Car accident at Longfield Hill on 11 June. 32 year old man taken to intensive care at Kings College Hospital, London.
Posted on 25 Jul 2012 by administrator
Longfield Trains will not be cut
New Ash Green Village Association website
South Eastern have decided not to proceed with plans to cut the number of off peak trains to Longfield. See news item posted 7 May below for details of proposals.
Posted on 25 Jul 2012 by administrator
Off-duty police officer chases mobile phone thief in Longfield
News Shopper 8.6.12

28 year old women from Tottenham sentenced to 240 days after being caught stealing 2 mobile phones in Longfield
Posted on 25 Jul 2012 by administrator
Ellenor Lions Hospice - Garden Open Day
Garden Open Day at Urcheons, Larksfield, Hartley on 8 July (2-5pm) in aid of the local hospice. Features pond and Japanese garden. Refreshments available and plants for sale. Disabled access available. Entry £2.50 adult and 50p children.

Click here for details and booking.
Posted on 24 Jun 2012 by administrator
Two drivers trapped in vehicles after crash in Hartley
News Shopper 7.6.12
Dartford Times 14.6.12 p5
Collision between milk float and van at Hoselands Hill at 4.30am today. Both drivers taken to hospital. Road closed until 7.45am.
Posted on 20 Jun 2012 by administrator
New fire station will be an eyesore say villagers
Reporter 24.5.12, p11; News Shopper 12.6.12
Residents of Butler's Place have set up a campaign on Facebook to oppose the site of the neighbouring new station. The site has been owned by Kent County Council has owned for many years, and they had previously got planning permission in 1994 for a fire station there, as the area's need for better fire cover has long been recognised. Campaigners claim they are not against a fire station in New Ash Green, but want it built elsewhere. The proposed station is said to be taller than their houses, in reply the Fire Authority offer to look at design, screening and to buy play equipment. Some comments critical of the campaign on the News Shopper website.
Posted on 20 Jun 2012 by administrator
Firm fined for accident that saw worker's arm torn off
Reporter 24.5.12 p3
News Shopper 21.5.12
Pinden Limited fined by Dartford Magistrates after accident which the Health and Safety Executive thought was "entirely preventable".
Posted on 20 Jun 2012 by administrator
Missing Gravesend girl found safe and well
News Shopper 15.5.12
Missing 15 year old Hartley girl found in Gravesend.
Posted on 20 Jun 2012 by administrator
Report of public meeting on Longfield Rail Service
A meeting was held at Long Valley Hall, Longfield on 17th May. It was attended by the MPs for Dartford and Gravesham, local councillors and about 50 members of the public.

Click on read more link for full story.
Posted on 20 Jun 2012 by administrator
Councillors launch a petition on plans to cut rail services
Reporter 10.5.12 p2
Meopham Parish Council launch petition against plans to reduce off peak trains from Longfield and Meopham from 3 to 2 an hour. Clerk to council said "everyone is very much up in arms about this".
Posted on 20 Jun 2012 by administrator
Missing Hartley Teenager found
News Shopper 16.4.12
15 year old found safe and well in Manchester
Posted on 20 Jun 2012 by administrator
Hartley Parish Council Meeting 16 April 2012
Click on read more below for full details.
Posted on 16 May 2012 by administrator
Ellenor Lions Hospice - Garden Open Day
Garden Open Day at Conifers, Ash Road, Ash on 27 May (2-5pm) in aid of the local hospice. Extensive beautifully kept gardens centred on a large pond. Refreshments available and plants for sale. Disabled access available. Entry £3 adult and 50p children.

Click here for details and booking.
Posted on 13 May 2012 by administrator
RSPCA investigates dumped lurcher in Hartley
Kent Messenger 23.11.2011

An abandoned lurcher was found in Church Road on 20th November in a very poor condition (pictured). As a result of the story the dog was reunited with its owners, from whom it had been stolen in September, after a member of the doglost.co.uk team saw the news story.
Posted on 07 May 2012 by administrator
Big cuts in trains to Longfield proposed by Southeastern
Southeastern railway have published a consultation on changes to the timetable in 2012. The main change being proposed is to cut the daytime trains stopping at Longfield and Meopham between the peak hours by a third from 3 trains an hour to 2.

This will mean one of the hourly semi-fast trains calling at Bromley South and Victoria only will no longer call at Longfield and Meopham, because some passengers in east Kent wanted to save time on their journey to London. Removing Longfield and Meopham as a stop saves just 4 minutes.

These cuts were proposed to Southeastern by Kent County Council in their "Rail Action Plan for Kent" and supported by Sevenoaks Council (according to Appendix 4 of the report). The only ones to speak up so far for retaining the current train service are the New Ash Green Village Association and Gravesham Council.

For details see the Southeastern consultation which runs until 31 May, and the KCC document Rail Action Plan for Kent.
Posted on 07 May 2012 by administrator
Hartley Parish Council Meeting 9 January 2012
See Full Story below
Posted on 10 Apr 2012 by administrator
New Ash Green applies to be a "Portas Pilot" shopping centre
Sevenoaks Press Release

Sevenoaks Council have applied for New Ash Green to become a Portas Pilot town, including a Youtube video.

The Department of Communities are looking for 12 pilot towns nationally for up to £100,000 of grant money to take forward recommendations on high streets made by Mary Portas. About 350 towns have applied for a share of the money.
Posted on 06 Apr 2012 by administrator
Hartley Parish Council Meeting 12 March 2012
Click on the read more button for details.
Posted on 06 Apr 2012 by administrator
Hartley Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2012
Click on the read more button for details.
Posted on 06 Apr 2012 by administrator
Heroes given honour of carrying games torch
Reporter 22.3.12, p3
74 year old man from Gorsewood Road, who is Ellenor Lions' biggest individual fundraiser, chosen to be local torch bearer. He remembers seeing torch procession at Wrotham Hill for the 1948 Olympics too.
Posted on 28 Mar 2012 by administrator
Dave Charnley
Reporter 15.3.12 p 5
Obituary of boxer and former Hartley resident Dave Charnley, who died aged 76. He was European Lightweight Champion in 1960 and narrowly lost World Title fights in 1959 and 1961. See Wikipedia article
Posted on 28 Mar 2012 by administrator
Campaigners lose their battle to halt closure of fire station
Reporter 23.2.12, p5

Kent Fire and Rescue Service confirm they will be going ahead with a new fire station at New Ash Green. Article concentrates on those unhappy with closure of Horton Kirby Fire Station, including Sevenoaks MP.
Posted on 25 Feb 2012 by administrator
Dartford is third luckiest lottery town
Reporter 16.2.12 p4

Since lottery began in 1994, there have been 220 winners of over £50,000 in the DA postcode area, or 1 in 1,391 people. Number 1 and 2 were Romford and Enfield.
Posted on 25 Feb 2012 by administrator
Post Office raided
Reporter 9.2.12 p2; News Shopper 13.2.12

Masked gang steal money from Hartley Post Office on the 6th at 10.25am.
Posted on 25 Feb 2012 by administrator
Young eco-warriors earn top accolade for primary
Reporter 26.1.12 p12

Hartley Primary School wins green flag award by renovating wildlife area, reducing waste, encouraging recycling and keeping school litter free (picture)
Posted on 25 Feb 2012 by administrator
Police Appeal for witnesses after crash motorist dies
Reporter 5.1.12 p3

76 year old woman dies in road crash in New Barn Road, other driver also seriously injured.
Posted on 25 Feb 2012 by administrator
Two debit card thefts trigger warning to public
Reporter 29.12.11, p4

Elderly customer in Longfield had debit card stolen on 8 December by thief who pretended he had dropped £10. Card immediately cancelled but thief had already withdrawn £700.
Posted on 31 Dec 2011 by administrator
Elderly driver dies in Longfield crash
News Shopper, 29 December 2011
76 year old woman dies in hospital after crash in New Barn Road on 22 December.
Posted on 31 Dec 2011 by administrator
Council boss relishes helping to knock down his old school
Reporter 15.12.11 p12

The old Longfield school is being knocked down by Ward Homes to make way for a new housing estate to be called the chase.
Posted on 17 Dec 2011 by administrator
Dawn raids are 'just the start' promise police chiefs
Reporter 15.12.11 p6
News Shopper 12.12.11

Several raids under operation Whirlwind on Thursday included addresses in Hartley, where 4 were held for burglary and cultivation of cannabis, and released on bail.
Posted on 17 Dec 2011 by administrator
Christingle celebration to usher in festivities
Reporter 15.12.11 p4

Picture feature on Christingle Assembly at Hartley Primary School
Posted on 17 Dec 2011 by administrator
Protesters hit out at 'flawed' reasoning for fire station axe
Reporter 15.12.11 p2

150 attend meeting in Horton Kirby to protest about plans to close Horton Kirby fire station and open one in New Ash Green, claiming there are more flats in South Darenth than New Ash Green.
Posted on 17 Dec 2011 by administrator
Hartley Parish Council Meeting 11 July 2011
Click on full story link below for details.
Posted on 28 Nov 2011 by administrator
Concerns raised over care of 83 year old former Hartley resident
News Shopper 9.11.2011

The daughter of an 83 year old lady who used to live in Hartley in the 1950s claims she did not receive the care she deserved from the care home in Northfleet. They say they are investigating.
Posted on 27 Nov 2011 by administrator
Hartley Parish Council Meeting 14 November 2011
Click on the read more button for details
Posted on 27 Nov 2011 by administrator
Great social reformer MP loses his seat
Evening Standard 22.11.11, p7 and additional reporting

Statue of Dr Alfred Salter stolen by metal thieves in Bermondsey. He bought Fairby House in Hartley in 1917 and gave it to the borough of Bermondsey as a convalescent home. Southwark Council are offering £1,000 reward for its return. A council spokesman said “His statue is a well-known local landmark and a fitting tribute to a man who devoted his life to helping others, particularly in Southwark."
Posted on 27 Nov 2011 by administrator
Pupils from Hartley Primary School took part in Roman Day
News Shopper 31.10.11
Picture feature on year 3 Roman Day. Headteacher said it was enjoyable and helped learning.

See also Reporter "Children step back in time to learn about Roman Empire" (Reporter 3.11.11, p5)
Posted on 06 Nov 2011 by administrator
International links praise for school
Reporter 13.10.11, p3
Milestone School awarded British Council International School Award, for links to schools in Namibia, India and Poland. Links to Denmark, USA and Nigeria planned.
Posted on 06 Nov 2011 by administrator
Village Fire station 'to close in cuts'
Reporter 13.10.11, p1
Kent Fire Brigade propose to close retained station at Horton Kirby, but build a new station at New Ash Green to cover "higher risk" villages of New Ash Green, Meopham, Vigo and Hartley.
Posted on 06 Nov 2011 by administrator
Three grants handed out
Reporter 6.10.11. p14
Sevenoaks Council give £2,500 for urgent repairs to New Ash Green Village Hall.
Posted on 06 Nov 2011 by administrator
Teenage dream comes true as girl meets JLS
Reporter 6.10.11, p14
Hartley girl met boy band JLS following a brain tumour operation, thanks to charity Rays of Sunshine.
Posted on 06 Nov 2011 by administrator
Children transform front of food store
Reporter 6.10.11, p12
Milestone School Children installed flower beds etc. at Waitrose in Longfield.
Posted on 06 Nov 2011 by administrator
Fire Destroys Sheds in Hartley Road, Longfield
News Shopper 3.10.11
2 sheds containing bicycles, tumble driers etc completely destroyed.
Posted on 06 Nov 2011 by administrator
Swimmer still a daredevil, aged 73
Reporter 29.9.11, p7
Gorsewood Road man came 2nd in Alcatraz Invitational Swim in USA.
Posted on 06 Nov 2011 by administrator
Man held over cigarette raids
Reporter 22.9.11, p14
21 year old man arrested in connection with theft of cigarettes from Longfield, Hartley and 8 other locations.
(also reported in News Shopper 27.9.11)
Posted on 06 Nov 2011 by administrator
Hartley Parish Council Meeting 12 September 2011
Click on link below for report
Posted on 05 Oct 2011 by administrator
Gravesham constituency to lose name under new plans from the Boundary Commission
News Shopper 14.9.11

Gravesend's conservative MP is happy the Gravesend seat will be largely the same as present, but local historian thinks seat should continue to be called Gravesham.
Posted on 14 Sep 2011 by administrator
Hartley to move to Gravesend constituency?
The boundary commission for England has publish its proposals for the new parliamentary boundaries.

The government have reduced the number of seats for the UK parliament from 650 to 600, so this has meant most boundaries are redrawn. All seats must have an electorate between 72,810 and 80,473.

Hartley is currently in Dartford constituency which is within that quota but the neighbouring seats of Gravesend and Sevenoaks are too small. To make up the numbers they propose moving Hartley and Hodsoll Street to the Gravesend. The proposals now go out for consultation.

Boundary Commission for England
Posted on 17 Aug 2011 by administrator
Car blaze on drive
Dartford fire brigade attend fire at Idleigh Court Road.

Reporter 4.8.11 p4
Posted on 17 Aug 2011 by administrator
Anger at £1.6K travel claims
Councillors are claiming mileage allowances of 47p - 65p per mile which the paper says is more than private businesses can claim, and at a time when funding for minibuses for the elderly is being withdrawn. Hartley councillor defends his £1,236 claim.

Sevenoaks Chronicle 17.12.2010
Posted on 17 Aug 2011 by administrator
Boss banned from driving for a second time
Church Road man banned from driving for 23 months by Sevenoaks Magistrates for being over limit after crash into neighbour's fence.

Sevenoaks Chronicle 21.1.11
Posted on 17 Aug 2011 by administrator
Sevenoaks Local Authority Inequalities Profile
Kent Public Health Laboratory (NHS) June 2008

This report contains a lot of health statistics for our area.
Posted on 18 Sep 2009 by administrator
Archant to merge Gravesend Reporter with Dartford Times
UK Press Gazette 25.1.11

Publisher of Kentish Times newspapers, Archant, plan to close Gravesend office and move production to Ilford. Gravesend Reporter has a circulation of 21,700, the Dartford Times 15,500. Only a minority are paid for copies.
Posted on 17 Aug 2011 by administrator
Conservatives win district council vote in Hartley & Hodsoll Street
The Conservatives retained all 3 council seats for the Hartley and Hodsoll Street ward. In a low key poll they got 69.8% of the poll to Labour's 30.2%, the increase in share probably due to the fact the electorate had 9 candidates to choose from in 2007.

The Conservatives made gains from Labour and Liberals elsewhere and now have nearly all the seats on the council. The position is: Conservative (47 seats), Labour (4), Liberal (2), Independent (1).

The result for Hartley and Hodsoll Street was:

Abraham (Conservative) 1,550
Gaywood (Conservative) 1.499
Ramsay (Conservative) 1,451
Swain (Labour) 650
Posted on 08 May 2011 by administrator
Election surprise as Hartley ceases to be "one party" state
The Hartley Parish Council election held on 6th May ended 8 years of "one party" rule by the self styled "Putting Hartley First" grouping, but only just. They won 12 of the 13 seats but an independent candidate did manage to get elected too. The electorate appear to have disliked Hartley First's tactics of having candidates from outside the parish, the two involved were their two lowest placed candidates. Turnout was up from 39.6% in 2007 to 47.8%.

The result was

Abraham (Putting Hartley First) 1,014
Ramsay (Putting Hartley First) 1,012
Oxtoby (Putting Hartley First) 1,002
Alford (Putting Hartley First) 981
Cole (Putting Hartley First) 976
Burns (Putting Hartley First) 963
Coates (Putting Hartley First) 953
Burchell (Putting Hartley First) 908
Graeme (Putting Hartley First) 900
Sewell (Putting Hartley First) 862
Glander (Putting Hartley First) 775
Fernley (Independent) 766
Horwood (Putting Hartley First) 760
Chick (100% Hartley) 681
Britton (100% Hartley) 671
Swain jun. (100% Hartley) 652
Fowler (100% Hartley) 644
Shipston (Independent) 631
Swain sen. (100% Hartley) 622
Minns (Putting Hartley First) 622

Spoiled papers 34 (3 - too many crosses, 31 blank or uncertain)
Posted on 08 May 2011 by administrator
Hartley and Longfield celebrate royal wedding
Figures from Kent County Council show that Hartley (Springcroft) and Longfield both have 1 streetparty each. With more than 180 approved, Kent has more street parties than any other county. KCC waived the usual fee for a road closure which is £75 or £850, depending on the type applied for.
Posted on 29 Apr 2011 by administrator
Changes to buses from New Ash Green
Arriva announce some changes to our local buses from Sunday 8th May:

423 - will no longer run between Dartford and Swanley, but otherwise service from New Ash Green will be similar. The good news is that many buses have been retimed to better connect with trains at Longfield Station.

489 - some buses retimed.

See Arriva Press Release
Posted on 29 Apr 2011 by administrator
Police station doors slam for the last time after four decades
Reporter 14.4.11, p12

Dartford Police Station in Instone Road closes after 40 years, replaced with contact point in Dartford Council Offices (picture)
Posted on 18 Apr 2011 by administrator
Harriet's a wheely good dancer
The Reporter 14.4.11 p 26
Eleven year old girl from Longfield wins silver medal at British Artistic Roller Skating Championships.
Posted on 14 Apr 2011 by administrator
Fall in rail usage locally
The latest rail usage figures show the number of passengers at Longfield fell by 9% in 2009/10 from 510,000 to 465,000.

However the fall in usage at Longfield is only just above the county average of a 7.3% decline. As the largest fall in sales at Longfield is in season ticket sales, this could well be linked to the economic downturn. It is also possible that some of Ebbsfleet's 284,000 passengers may formerly have used our line.

Of the other local stations, Farningham Road showed the smallest fall at -4%, Swanley -5%, Meopham -10% and Sole Street -15%.
Posted on 12 Apr 2011 by administrator
Survey Praise for hospital
The Reporter 3.3.11 p5

Fawkham Manor Hospital's customer satisfaction survey found 537 out of 543 thought casre was good, very good or excellent.
Posted on 26 Mar 2011 by administrator
Nine buses given free to charities for elderly
The Reporter, 3.3.11, p 10

The nine buses that Sevenoaks council have axed as a cost cutting measure are to be offered to charities for the elderly. Darenth Valley Age Concern are applying for 2 but are concerned about how to pay the £80,000 per year running costs for them.
Posted on 26 Mar 2011 by administrator
Hartley has highest council tax of local parishes
Dartford, Gravesham and Sevenoaks councils have announced the council tax for 2011/12. All parishes pay £1,811.93 for Kent county council, police and fire for a band F property but the district councils vary. Those in Dartford borough pay £235.30, Gravesham £239.33 but in Sevenoaks it is £262.73.

In Hartley the average property is band F, so the figures below are for that property band.

Hartley (Sevenoaks) £62.43
Ash (Sevenoaks) £37.87
Longfield (Dartford) £35.85
Fawkham (Sevenoaks) £35.29
Meopham (Gravesham) £31.69
Posted on 26 Mar 2011 by administrator
Hartley Parish Council 10 January 2011
The council affirm their willingness to take over the WI Hall, together with potential £20,000 to £30,000 building repair costs, but will not indemnify the current trustees from all other liabilities.

Click here for full details of the meeting.
Posted on 13 Feb 2011 by administrator
Sevenoaks Council publishes details of payments to suppliers
As part of the new government's directive all principal councils have to publish details of payments for over £500 and these are now available for each month since August 2010 on the Sevenoaks Council website.

However the December payments (289 totalling £1.1 million) show the limitations as there is little information of what the money was spent on. 4 of the top 10 (£227,000) are payments to Kent County Council, labelled "Housing - premises and grounds".

For details see Sevenoaks Council - Payments to suppliers.
Posted on 13 Feb 2011 by administrator
Phone call evidence redraws regions of UK
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - "Redrawing the Map of Great Britain from a Network of Human Interactions"

Using an anonymised database of 12 billion calls in one month, MIT found several distinct areas of the UK, based on where people are phoning. Locally they found that London extends beyond its boundaries to include most of Hertfordshire, while the bulk of Kent, Surrey and Sussex form another region. Most of the remainder of the Government's South-East region (Hants/Berks/Bucks/Oxon forms another telephone call region.

Being near London, Hartley falls in a border zone between London and Kent/Surrey/Sussex, where their influence overlaps.
Posted on 29 Jan 2011 by administrator
Moto is seized
Dartford Times 13.1.11, p10

Police seize mini motorbike at Knightscroft, New Ash Green because they had no insurance.
Posted on 29 Jan 2011 by administrator
Firefighters cut drivers from cars following smash in Fawkham
News Shopper, 17.1.11

Two drivers had to be cut from their cars after collision on Valley Road, Fawkham on 15th January.
Posted on 29 Jan 2011 by administrator
Firefighters called out after propane cylinder goes up in flames
News Shopper, 28 January 2011

Fire in propane cylinder at Fawkham Road, Longfield on 27th. Fire crews from Dartford (2) and Swanscombe attend.
Posted on 29 Jan 2011 by administrator
100 jobs under threat in change to sorting office
Dartford Messenger 9.12.10 p 8

Royal Mail plan to close their 4 sorting offices at Dartford and elsewhere and replace it with a new facility at Strood. Dartford's 5 delivery offices, including the one at Longfield, will close and relocate to the former sorting office at Dartford, probably in 2012. Royal Mail claim they will still "provide a convenient place for customers to collect post".
Posted on 09 Jan 2011 by administrator
Plaque unveiling
Dartford Messenger 9.12.10 p 28

Commeroative plaque unveiled on new extension at All Saints' Church in memory of John Field and Peter Wilson to acknowledge their contribution. Sadly "both passed away before the translation of their dream into reality took place".
Posted on 09 Jan 2011 by administrator
Donation to youth group
Dartford Messenger 9.12.10 p 28

Longfield Academy donate table football to the local HAWK youth group, as many of the group attend the school.
Posted on 09 Jan 2011 by administrator
Conveyor belt severs landfill worker's arm
Dartford Messenger 6.1.11 p3

Air ambulance called to Pinden Quarry on 20 December, after 43 year old man's arm became entagled in a conveyor belt.
Posted on 09 Jan 2011 by administrator
Driver killed in new year tragedy
Dartford Messenger 6.1.11 p1

75 year old Longfield man killed in road accident near Bluewater shopping centre on New Year's Day. His car is thought to have been hit by a jeep that was driving on the wrong side of the dual carriageway.
Posted on 09 Jan 2011 by administrator
Unemployment falls locally by a quarter
Local unemployment has fallen by a quarter since its peak in February 2010. In February there were 232 out of work and claiming benefit in the DA3 postcode area, but in November that had fallen to 165. The fall in male unemployment was more marked with a fall from 166 in February to 109 in November.

Click here for more information.
Posted on 09 Jan 2011 by administrator
Charity Bike Ride Marks big four-o
Dartford Times 2.12.10 p15
Picture feature on 40 year old worker at Fawkham Manor Hospital who raised £3,000 in bike ride in Cuba for Kent Air Ambulance.
Posted on 11 Dec 2010 by administrator
One of the best
Dartford Messenger 2.12.10 p8
Hodgson Pharmacy in Longfield wins best small pharmacy award at the Alliance Healthcare Pharmacy Awards 2010.

More details of the reasons for the award are at Alliance Healthcare website.
Posted on 11 Dec 2010 by administrator
Glowing Ofsted report for school
Dartford Messenger 2.12.10 p 5
Picture feature on Fawkham CE Primary School after good Ofsted report.

School received an "outstanding rating". For details see Ofsted report
Posted on 11 Dec 2010 by administrator
Rugby club tackles fan over punch up
Dartford Messenger 25.11.10 p 4
New Ash Green rugby player allegedly attacked by fan at match at Lordswood RFC. Player sought hospital treatment. Lordswood have banned fan.
Posted on 11 Dec 2010 by administrator
Channel swimmer's book pledge
Dartford Messenger 11.11.10 p47
Gorsewood Road man presents £12,000 to Ellenor Lions Hospice from sales of his autobiography "Believe it.. or not". (picture)
Posted on 11 Dec 2010 by administrator
Recycling record is rubbish
Dartford Messenger 11.11.10 p 2

Paper has figures for the amount of rubbish recycled by local councils in Kent. Sevenoaks with 31.3% is 7th out of 13, Gravesham with 23.1% is 11th and Dartford with 22.6% is 12th.
Posted on 11 Dec 2010 by administrator
One way solution to village traffic jams
Dartford Messenger 18.11.10 p 14
Writer to paper calls for one-way system in Station Road, Longfield
Posted on 11 Dec 2010 by administrator
Bosses braced for 35% government cash cut
Dartford Times 4.11.10 p 2
Sevenoaks Council reckon their government grant will fall by 35% over the next 4 years. They think they can save half by reorganisations and sharing services with other councils, but they propose to axe 8 minibuses for the elderly to save £333,000 per year.
Posted on 11 Dec 2010 by administrator
Charity Champs in the pink
Dartford Times 4.11.10 p19
Picture feature on fundraising day for Breast Cancer research at Fawkham Manor Hospital. £100 raised
Posted on 11 Dec 2010 by administrator
2011 Rail Fares Announced
As a result of the fare structure set by the last government and continued by the new one, rail fares in Kent rise by 3% above the Retail Price Index (usually the higher inflation measure). This meant an average 8.8% fare increase, which is roughly what travellers from Longfield face.

Examples:

London terminals
Peak Return - from £17.90 to £19.30 (up 7.8%)
Cheap Return - from £9.50 to £10.30 (up 8.4%)
7 day season - from £60.40 to £65.30 (up 8.1%)
Annual season - from £2,416 to £2,612 (up 8.1%)

London travelcard
7 day season - from £73.60 to £80.00 (up 8.7%)
Annual season - from £2,944 to £3,200 (up 8.7%)

Source - National Rail Website
Posted on 11 Dec 2010 by administrator
Police act to stop nuisance motorbike riders
News Shopper 15.9.10

Police serve "section 59" notice on anti-social motorbike rider in New Ash Green, which means it could be taken away if they are caught again.
Posted on 06 Nov 2010 by administrator
Waitrose customers give £750 to stroke unit
News Shopper 20.9.10

£750 from monthly scheme at Waitrose in Longfield goes towards more equipment for stroke patients at Darent Valley Hospital.
Posted on 06 Nov 2010 by administrator
Youngsters tackle the art of fishing
News Shopper 1.11.10

Picture feature on course at Darenth organised by Environment Agency, led by man (47) from Main Road, Longfield.
Posted on 06 Nov 2010 by administrator
Neighbours protest over sports plans
Gravesend Messenger 4.11.10 p11

Plans launched for a replacement for Long Valley Hall in Longfield into a sports and leisure facility to include a floodlit all weather pitch. Thre would be more parking than at present with 87 places accessed from Green Street Green Road. Concerns expressed by neighbours in West Shaw, who would be next to the floodlit pitch, and current users, about the loss of green space.
Posted on 06 Nov 2010 by administrator
Volunteer Bureau News
Hartley and New Ash Green are part of the area of the Swanley Volunteer Bureau. The most recent report on their website is from 2008/9 annual report, but links to more recent newsletters are available.

In that year they placed 126 volunteers and had 297 volunteering opportunities. Their volunteer drivers carried out 3,365 drives - an increase of 150% on 10 years ago. New Ash Green has 7 volunteer drivers with 55 clients, and 2 befrienders with 2 clients. Hartley/Longfield has 2 volunteer drivers with 37 clients, and 3 befrienders with 3 clients.

They receive most of their funding from Kent County Council, Sevenoaks District Council and Swanley Town Council.
Posted on 10 Oct 2010 by administrator
Parish Council News
Reports of meetings for July and September are now available
Posted on 10 Oct 2010 by administrator
Family flee as electrical fault starts house fire
Dartford Messenger 30.9.10 p 10

Fire at house in Copse Side on 23rd September, thought to have been caused by hairdryer. Faimily alerted by alarm. Attended by 4 fire crews from Dartford (2), Thameside (1) and Horton Kirby (1).
Posted on 08 Oct 2010 by administrator
Delivery offices earmarked for closure by Royal Mail
Bexley Times 7 October 2010

Post Office propose to close delivery offices at Longfield, Erith, Bexley, Belvedere and Swanscombe if the Dartford delivery office closes. The Dartford office site would then become a delivery office for the whole DA postcode.
Posted on 08 Oct 2010 by administrator
400 years service rewarded
Dartford Times 16.9.10 p8

Picture feature of 7 staff from Fawkham Hospital given awards for a total of 411 years service.
Posted on 19 Sep 2010 by administrator
Pupils get excited by school meal
Dartford Times 16.9.10 p5

After 140 years, Fawkham CE primary school has meals prepared on the premises in new £50,000 kitchen. Previously they were cooked at Hartley Primary and driven there. Picture of headmistress with 2 pupils.
Posted on 19 Sep 2010 by administrator
Splash your cash on a great book ... and cause
Dartford Times 16.9.10 p4

Picture feature on the 72 year old author from Gorsewood Road, who hopes to raise £20,000 for Ellenor Hospice Charity with his autobiography "Believe it or not". Details of his many swimming achievements.
Posted on 19 Sep 2010 by administrator
Plastic bag disposal
Dartford Messenger 19.8.10 p50

Sevenoaks council have asked people not to put plastic carrier bags in the recycling bags, because no-one wants them now. They say the black sacks are not sent to landfill but are sent to Allington to be burned for electricity generation.
Posted on 06 Sep 2010 by administrator
Sevenoaks Councillors' Allowances top £¼ million
Dartford Times 26.8.10 p32 (with additional reporting)

Information relased by Sevenoaks Council show the 54 councillors claimed £250,321 in allowances last year. The basic allowance rose by 6.1% to £3,158 (for comparison the pay award for staff was 2.75%). In addition to this they can claime for "special responsibilities", as well as travel and ancilliary expenses. Only 4 councillors chose not to take the 6% increase at this time, the nearest one being one of the New Ash Green members. The member for Brasted chose not to claim for anything at all.

The total claimed by Hartley's 3 councillors was £4,373 £6,407 and £8,566.
Posted on 06 Sep 2010 by administrator
Crimewatch viewers help catch teen robbery duo
Dartford Times 26.8.10 p5

Three youths given 3 years in Young Offenders Institution after admitting to robbing Martin's Newsagent in Longfield. They were caught after CCTV footage of them at Longfield Station was shown on Crimewatch. (see also Dartford Times 25.2.10)
Posted on 06 Sep 2010 by administrator
Swimming Anniversary
Dartford Messenger 12.8.10 p40

Feature on Gorsewood Road resident who swam the English Channel 50 years ago and has written an autobiography ("Believe it or not!") which has already raised £13,000 for EllenorLions Hospice.
Posted on 12 Aug 2010 by administrator
Conmen claim to be council workers
Dartford Messenger 12.8.10 p4

Homeowner in Longfield catches out conmen asking to see her drains. They were seen driving a black saloon car.
Posted on 12 Aug 2010 by administrator
Hartley and Hodsoll Street Community Safety Newsletter
Summer 2010

Neighbourhood policing team give report:

  • 10 incidents reported in March, half of 2009. Burglaries down from 3 to 2 over same period.
  • Resident nearly hit by car mounting pavement. 2 cars on pavement fined subsequently

  • Burglaries from sheds and garages reported. Crime prevention advice given and follow up visits to all

  • Anti social behaviour in Culcroft leads to more patrols there

  • New Ash Green man cautioned for possession of locking knife in Ash Road
  • Posted on 09 Aug 2010 by administrator
    Young and older snappers capture village life
    Dartford Messenger 5.8.10 p52

    Picture feature on photography competition for children and parents of Hartley Primary School, New Ash Green Primary School and Our Lady of Hartley RC School.
    Posted on 07 Aug 2010 by administrator
    Family maintain a dying tradition
    Dartford Times 5.8.10 p15

    Picture feature on Stephen P Gay, the new funeral director's business in Longfield.
    Posted on 07 Aug 2010 by administrator
    Fire in Woodland
    Dartford Messenger 22.7.10 p3

    One fire engine sent to put out fire in wood off Gorsewood Road on the 20th at 9.30pm.
    Posted on 31 Jul 2010 by administrator
    Cycling revolution is wheeled out accross London
    Evening Standard 30.7.2010 p 2-3

    Article about the new bike hire scheme in London includes an interview and picture with a commuter from Longifeld, who travelled by bike from Victoria Station to Covent Garden.
    Posted on 31 Jul 2010 by administrator
    General Election Expenses by Dartford Candidates Revealed
    The details of the local expenditure on the recent general election are available from Dartford Council offices. They show the Conservative and Labour candidates spent considerably more (they had also started the campaign some time before the election was called), and this doesn't even count the national expenditure, for example posters in Princes Road. It appears the Conservatives had more volunteers as they appear to have spent less on delivery than Labour and the Liberals. Other publicity included balloons, posters, placards and badges. The English Democrats hired a battle bus, while one candidate used a megaphone, and no prizes for guessing who spent money on costume hire!

    Conservative £14,900 (incl £4,376 before election) - 207,000 leaflets
    Labour £11,346 (incl £2,700 before election) - unknown no of leaflets
    LibDem £2,125 - 66,000 leaflets
    EngDem £4,240 - 117,000 leaflets
    UKIP £1,487 - unknown no of leaflets
    Independent - £3,236 - 52,000 leaflets
    Fancy Dress - £350 - 1,000 leaflets
    Posted on 13 Jul 2010 by administrator
    School celebrates 40 years with a fair
    Dartford Messenger 17.6.10, p7
    Picture feature on the fete to celebrate 40th anniversary of the new Hartley Primary School.
    Posted on 19 Jun 2010 by administrator
    Learning Course Creates a Buzz
    Dartford Times 17.6.10 p13
    Hartley beekeeper reports big increase in membership of local societies.
    Posted on 19 Jun 2010 by administrator
    Hartley Parish Council meeting 14 June 2010
    Click on "read more" below for details.
    Posted on 16 Jun 2010 by administrator
    Spring finally explodes into life
    News Shopper 10 March 2010

    Feature on spring after cold winter, mentions lambing at Hartley Bottom Farm, where 600 have been bred this year.
    Posted on 13 Jun 2010 by administrator
    Parish council meeting 10 May 2010
    Click on expand to see details of May's council meeting
    Posted on 07 Jun 2010 by administrator
    Dog covered in sores is found outside kennels
    Dartford Messenger 13.5.10 p9

    Lurcher dog found abandoned outside Nestledown Kennels in Fawkham in very poor condition and is now being looked after by the kennel workers. RSPCA make appeal for information (pictures)
    Posted on 31 May 2010 by administrator
    Primary Impersonators
    Dartford Messenger, 13.5.10 p 7

    Picture feature on 7th Hartley Primary school "Stars in their Eyes" event
    Posted on 31 May 2010 by administrator
    Deprived of giving his little girl away
    Dartford Messenger 13.5.10, p1

    Obituary of retired civil servant (pictured) from St Mary's Way, Longfield, who was killed in a collision with a car on Wrotham Hill last week.
    Posted on 31 May 2010 by administrator
    Fly-tipping driver and Halstead firm fined at Maidstone Crown Court
    This is Kent website 25.5.10

    Ash Road man fined £9,000 and £19,000 costs for 97 loads of fly tipping at Polhill
    Posted on 28 May 2010 by administrator
    Conservatives win Dartford with 10,000 majority
    A big swing to the Conservatives saw Gareth Johnson of Hartley elected as MP for Dartford at about 3.30am on the 7th. Labour's vote fell sharply, and all the other parties benefitted.

    The result was

    Conservative 24,428 (48.8%, +7.4%)
    Labour 13,800 (27.6%, -15.1%)
    Liberal Democrat 7,361 (14.7%, +4.5%)
    English Democrat 2,178 (4.4%, +1.8%)
    UKIP 1,842 (3.7%, +0.7%)
    Stephane Tindame 264 (0.5%, +0.5%)
    Fancy Dress Party 207 (0.4%, +0.4%)

    Rejected ballot papers 82
    Turnout 65.7% (+2.5%)

    Boundary changes mean the percentage change in the vote relates to what they would have got if the seat had been fought on the new boundaries in 2005.
    Posted on 08 May 2010 by administrator
    Girl's tribute to PC father
    Dartford Messenger 22.4.10 p3

    Obituary of PC Matt Williams, who grew up in New Ash Green (picture)
    Posted on 25 Apr 2010 by administrator
    Man cleared of stabbing brother in law
    Dartford Messenger 22.4.10 p6

    27 year old man from Manor Drive acquitted of stabbing, after brother in law stabbed in scuffle. However he was given a 6 month suspended sentence and fined on another unrelated charge.
    Posted on 25 Apr 2010 by administrator
    Hartley Parish Council 14 April 2010
    The council meeting had a very short agenda and took less than ½ hour. Public concerns continue about the rules of the graveyard and the Brambledown flats. The council are also forecasting a slight deficit for the 2009/10 financial year.

    Click on read more for details.
    Posted on 18 Apr 2010 by administrator
    Girls gather for Doris's big day
    Dartford Messenger 15.4.10 p14

    Picture feature on 90th birthday of resident of Russell Court nursing home at Bramblefield.
    Posted on 15 Apr 2010 by administrator
    Review for store's alcohol licence
    Dartford Messenger 15.4.10 p5

    After a trading standards investigation the convenience store attached to the Longfield Shell petrol station faces a review of its licence. It has set out the checks they propose to make to stop underage customers buying drink.
    Posted on 15 Apr 2010 by administrator
    Faster trains but not as many seats
    Dartford Messenger 1.4.10 p12

    2 more letters about the train service from Longfield, both in favour of the new services. However one says the trains have fewer seats. The other letter points out that Longfield station is very well used, and has the same number of passengers as Broadstairs.
    Posted on 15 Apr 2010 by administrator
    Retirement home lowers age to 45
    Dartford Messenger 1.4.10 p2

    Residents at Bramblefield flats concerned as West Kent Housing Association say they will allow people as young as 45 to apply. WKHA say it is to take into consideration "demographic changes", but local Age Concern describe the decision as "baffling" when the population is ageing.
    Posted on 15 Apr 2010 by administrator
    Your candidates your vote
    Dartford Times 8.4.10 p 6-7

    Paper asks the candidates about themselves and their main policies:

    John Adams (Lab) - Education, bringing investment to Dartford, affordable homes
    Gareth Johnson (Con) - Dartford generally eg post offices, bridge tolls
    Richard Palmer (UKIP) - Dartford Town Centre, Europe
    Gary Rogers (Eng Dem) - Voting system, keep Dartford in Kent
    James Willis (Lib) - Dartford generally, fairer proportional voting system
    Posted on 14 Apr 2010 by administrator
    Special play area opened
    Dartford Times 8.4.10 p35

    Opening of £7,500 specially designed play area for pupils with severe learning disabilities at Milestone School, New Ash Green.
    Posted on 14 Apr 2010 by administrator
    Sorry I haven't a clue
    Dartford Messenger 8.4.10 p2-3

    Paper asked candidates 10 questions about Dartford (including one about the paper!). Best score was Gareth Johnson with 8 followed by James Willis with 6, John Adams and Stephane Eindame with 5, and then Gary Rogers with 4.
    Posted on 14 Apr 2010 by administrator
    Crowds turn out for a fundraising mile run
    Dartford Messenger 25.3.10 p11

    Picture feature on charity run, which featured pupils from New Ash Green Primary School.
    Posted on 14 Apr 2010 by administrator
    New timetable is a vast improvement
    Dartford Messenger 25.3.10 p14
    Writer from Longfield supports the new rail timetable. Suggests people from east Kent who complained about trains stopping here, should have thought about that when the railways were privatised.
    Posted on 14 Apr 2010 by administrator
    Shop Robbery CCTV appeal
    Dartford Times 25.2.10 p 7; Dartford Messenger 25.2.10 p 3

    Crime - £300 stolen from Martins Newsagent in Station Road, Longfield at 11am on the 18th, by two youths with knife and a gun. Police appeal for information.
    Posted on 21 Mar 2010 by administrator
    Taxi Driver's bid to be MP
    Dartford Times 25.2.10 p22

    English Democrats select Gary Rogers from Darenth to fight general election in Dartford. Policies include cancelling Tesco development and have leisure facilities instead, reduced tax on beer and smoking rooms in pubs.
    Posted on 21 Mar 2010 by administrator
    Local council tax lowest in Longfield
    Dartford Times 4.3.10 p4, 11.3.10 p27

    Local Band D council tax:

    Longfield (Dartford Borough) £1,439.37
    Fawkham (Sevenoaks Dist) £1,459.75
    Ash cum Ridley (Sevenoaks) £1,461.98
    Hartley (Sevenoks District) £1,478.03
    Posted on 16 Mar 2010 by administrator
    Solicitor takes the plunge
    Dartford Times 11.3.10 p20

    63 year old magistrate from Knights Croft, New Ash Green to do parachute jump to raise £1,000 for the Orpheus Centre, which gives disabled youngsters the chance to perform on stage (picture).
    Posted on 16 Mar 2010 by administrator
    Times Election Poll shows town is still an open race
    Dartford Times 11.3.10 p6

    Paper interviewed 100 people in Dartford Town Centre. The results were:

    Conservative 24%
    Labour 14%
    Others 11%
    Don't Know 27%
    Won't Vote 25%
    Posted on 16 Mar 2010 by administrator
    Tories admit taking 'non-dom' donations
    Dartford Times 11.3.10 p 5

    Dartford conservatives admit they have received money from Lord Ashcroft including £3,546 for the 2007 council elections. Labour prospective candidate said unlike ordinary hard working people he "lacks commitment" to pay full tax in the UK. Conservative prospective candidate criticises "negative" campaigning.
    Posted on 16 Mar 2010 by administrator
    Full heritage list revealed
    Dartford Messenger 7.1.10 p 7

    Picture feature on some local listed buildings, including the old victorian police station on West Hill, Dartford, Dartford Library and railings at Pennis House, Fawkham.
    Posted on 16 Mar 2010 by administrator
    New parking restrictions around schools
    Dartford Times 7.1.10 p 38

    Under the KCC (Various Roads in the District of Sevenoaks) Prohibition and Restriction of Waiting, Loading and Unloading and On-street parkign places (Amendment no 8) Order 2009, new restrictions on parking around schools at:

    Hartley: Round Ash Way, Fairby Lane, Stack Lane
    New Ash Green: Church Road
    Fawkham: High Street
    Posted on 16 Mar 2010 by administrator
    Here we come a-wassailing
    Dartford Messenger 21.1.10 p47

    Picture feature on ancient custom of blessing the apple orchard in Nine Horse Wood.
    Posted on 16 Mar 2010 by administrator
    Parish Council - February Report
    Subjects discussed at their 8 February meeting included:

    Burial Ground - they agreed to alter their regulations regarding turfing of graves at the request of the public, but refused requests from others to allow small photos.

    Salt Bins - they decided not to pay for salt for a salt bin at Parkfield, which woul have been a condition of grant money to buy one.


    Click on read more below or click here for full 2010 reports
    Posted on 06 Mar 2010 by administrator
    February News
    Click on "read more" at end of item for details.

    (11.2.10) New Ash Green knife victim speaks against restorative justice
    (11.2.10) Bookies betting on Tory triumph
    (18.2.10) Fire in kitchen at Nuthatch Longfield
    (18.2.10) NAG woman stole patients' cash
    Posted on 21 Feb 2010 by administrator
    Parish Council January Report
    Subjects discussed included:

    HAWK Youth - new meeting at the Social Club
    Recycling centre - calls for its restoration at Woodland Avenue
    Salt bins - calls for more in Hartley
    Springcroft

    Click on read more below or click here for full 2010 reports
    Posted on 21 Feb 2010 by administrator
    January 2009 News
    Click on the more button below for full details

    Fawkham Manor Hospital celebrates 30th anniversary
    Vandalism at Knightscroft, New Ash Green
    John Adams selected as Labour parliamentary candidate
    Pride turns to pain as soldier grandson dies
    Big Tree Cider of Hartley
    Posted on 14 Feb 2010 by administrator
    Weight over
    Free weight loss programme to start in New Ash Green on 13 January for those over 18 with at least 2 stone to lose. Places limited, to apply email healthyliving@sevenoaks.gov.uk.

    Dartford Times 31.12.09 p5
    Posted on 03 Jan 2010 by administrator
    Excavators Celebrate Roman Dig
    Dartford Times 5.11.09 p 11

    60th anniversary of discovery of Lullingstone Roman Villa. Hartley archaeologist (pictured), who worked on the site in 1957, interviewed.
    Posted on 15 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Man dead on rail track
    Man hit by Longfield bound train at Swanley on Friday 23rd October. Police say there were no suspicious circumstances.
    Posted on 15 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Belated recognition
    Dartford Messenger 29.10.09 p39

    Resident of Fairby Grange, formerly of Gresham Avenue, received medal for service at Bletchley Park 1944-45, with certificate signed by Prime Minister.
    Posted on 15 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Parish Council Meeting 9 November 2009
    The November meeting lasted just 16 minutes and took no decisions. In the Public Question time we learned that some Kent council services are likely to be hit next year as they try to reduce costs. Sevenoaks council are also cutting budgets. The council was also questioned on the rules of the council cemetery next to All Saints' Church.

    Click on "Read more" for full story
    Posted on 15 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Co-op award winner mixes with the stars
    Manager of New Ash Green Co-op wins Pride of the Cooperative award for community work and making New Ash Green the store of the year (picture).

    Dartford Times 15.10.09 p 10
    Posted on 16 Oct 2009 by administrator
    Couple died in fire started by stray cigarette
    Coroner records verdict of accidental death on Mr and Mrs Purnell of Main Road, Longfield, who died in a fire on 29 December 2008. The Coroner also praised the bravery of neighbours who attempted to rescue them.

    Dartford Messenger 15.10.09 p3
    Dartford Times 15.10.09 p3
    Posted on 15 Oct 2009 by administrator
    Hartley Parish Council meeting 12 October 2009
    Present: Mrs Oxtoby (in the chair), Abraham, Barnett, Coates, Mrs Cole, Graeme, Minns, Ramsay, Sewell

    Mrs Hoad; County Councillor Brazier and 6 members of the public.

    Apologies - Cllrs Gaywood, Mrs Burns, Alford, Granger

    1. Interests
    Mrs Oxtoby (Hartley Wood and allotments - personal), Barnett (Allotments - prejudicial)

    2. Minutes of meeting of 14 September 2009
    were approved.

    3. Adjournment

    (a) None of the district or county councillors had anything to report.
    (b) Village Green - Dr Roberts said Cllr Gaywood had given many valid reasons for making the land the council own in Hartley Wood, a village green; but shouldn't they consider their other land like Gorsewood which is more vulnerable to development? Cllr Oxtoby said they would consider this. Mrs Hoad said Hoselands Green also had village green status.
    (c) Horse Riding on Northfield - Mrs Delf asked how many horse riders there were now as she hadn't seen many. 20 was the answer.

    Click on "Read More" to continue.
    Posted on 12 Oct 2009 by administrator
    Hartley Parish Council - September 2009
    Present: Cllrs Gaywood (chairman), Abraham, Alford, Barnett, Mrs Burns, Coates, Mrs Cole, Granger, Graeme, Minns, Mrs Oxtoby, Ramsay, Sewell

    Mrs Hoad; County Councillor Brazier and 6 members of the public.

    1. Minutes of meeting of 13 July 2009 were approved.

    2. Interests
    Cllr Coates (payments), Mrs Cole (Woodland Avenue - prejudicial), Mrs Oxtoby (Hartley Wood - personal), Sewell (URC Church), Barnett (Allotments)

    3. Adjournement
    Kent County Council - Councillor Brazier said an electronic highway problem reporting system called "Parish Portal" is beginning to be rolled out. He thinks it will be very useful but there is just one problem - it doesn't work yet! Cllr Abraham asked him what about the request for salt bins in Hartley, he replied nothing can be done at present because of a wider review.

    Sevenoaks District Council - Cllr Ramsay said the council owe £30 million to the local government pension scheme, and were a bit surprised when the government told them the scheme need only be 80% funded. Cllr Abraham said only one new site for housing in Hartley has been approved between now and 2026.

    Data Controller - Mr Mayer asked who the council's data controller. They weren't entirely sure but thought it must be the clerk.
    Village Design Statements - Mr Mayer also raised concerns that Sevenoaks council now say they are only informal guidance.

    Click read more to continue
    Posted on 10 Sep 2009 by administrator
    Shed raiders beat up man
    Dartford Messenger 30 July 2009, p2

    Following burglary on 20 April when a householder in Church Road was attacked by 2 burglars, one of the assailants from Pitfield was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months prison.
    Posted on 09 Aug 2009 by administrator
    Scout Hall Wrecking Misery
    News Shopper
    Dartford Messenger 16.7.09, p2.

    £10,000 of damage done to Scout Hut in Larkwell Lane by vandals who broke in on night of Friday 10th July.

    Dartford Messenger 20.8.09 p14
    Police make two arrests in connection with this crime.
    Posted on 20 Jul 2009 by administrator
    Cricketers on Fire
    Hartley Country Club team set new Kent League record by scoring 540 for one in just 55 overs, winning their match against Gore Court by 340 runs.

    Dartford Messenger 9.7.09, p15
    Posted on 20 Jul 2009 by administrator
    Top Movers
    1st New Barn Cubs win 2009 Kent County Challenge, Longfield and Hartley Forest were 6th. (Picture).

    Dartford Messenger 9.7.09, p11
    Posted on 20 Jul 2009 by administrator
    Clowning About
    Picture feature on New Ash Green Village Day.

    Dartford Messenger 9.7.09, p9.
    Posted on 20 Jul 2009 by administrator
    Swine flu alert after pupils test positive
    4 cases of swine flu reported locally in Dartford/Gravesham area.

    Dartford Messenger 9 July 2009, p6
    Posted on 20 Jul 2009 by administrator
    Hartley Poetry Club
    New Club founded with inaugural meeting to be held at the Black Lion on 7 July, 8.30pm.

    Dartford Messenger 2.7.09, p 16
    Posted on 03 Jul 2009 by administrator
    Third Shop hit by raids
    Thefts from Newsagent in Longfield (£7,000 of cigarettes) on 20 June, and Fairby Stores, Hartley (£4,000 of cigarettes and spirits) on 9 June.

    Dartford Messenger 2.7.09, p 5
    Posted on 03 Jul 2009 by administrator
    Railway line death remains a mystery
    Open verdict at inquest on Jean Judson of Main Road, Longfield, who died after falling onto the railway between Longfield and Meopham on 13 February 2008. Coroner heard fencing was due to be repaired.

    Dartford Messenger 2.7.09, p 5

    See earlier article 21.2.2008
    Posted on 03 Jul 2009 by administrator
    Warm end to June
    After a generally cool start to the month, June ended with temperatures 10 degrees (F) above the seasonal average. However overall it was only slightly warmer. It looked like it would be a very dry month until half an inch fell in one thunderstorm on the 27th.

    See Weather Report.
    Posted on 02 Jul 2009 by administrator
    Dartford Hospital Cold War on Tumours
    Article about how "cryotherapy" - freezing of the tumour, is helping to fight cancer. Darent Valley is one of the few hospitals in the country to offer it. At the moment they only hire the equipment, but hospital is trying to raise £95,000 to buy one so they can treat more. Interview with the surgeon who lives in Hartley.

    News Shopper 12 June 2009
    Posted on 27 Jun 2009 by administrator
    Birthday Honours
    Charlotte Edwards, captain of England and the Hartley Invicta Cricket Team awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

    Dartford Messenger 25.6.09 p 13
    Posted on 27 Jun 2009 by administrator
    Open Gardens
    Picture feature on the garden at Reod-Leah, Larksfield, which was opened to raise money for the Ellenor Lions Hospice.

    Dartford Messenger 25.6.09 p11
    Posted on 27 Jun 2009 by administrator
    Village festival offers even more
    Dartford Messenger 30.4.09 p11

    Biggest Longfield festival yet promised with morris men, brass band, dog show, vintage car display, belly dancers and a tug of war competition.

    For details see the parish council website
    Posted on 10 May 2009 by administrator
    More trains for Longfield from December
    Southeastern trains have published their draft timetable for when the high speed domestic trains begin in December. They have reduced the number of trains travelling to Victoria, but because they now plan to stop the fast trains at Longfield and Meopham, we will have more trains than before.

    * There will now be 3 trains an hour off peak to London (2 fast, 1 slow)
    * There will be 2 trains an hour in the evening instead of 1 as now
    * The last train will be almost an hour later at 00.35
    * There will still be only 1 train an hour on Sundays.

    For more details see Southeastern website
    Posted on 10 May 2009 by administrator
    Unemployment rises in March
    The total unemployed in Hartley, Longfield and New Ash Green rose from 188 in February to 204 in March.

    For more details see background information page
    Posted on 23 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Police offer advice as garage block raided
    Dartford Messenger 23.4.09, p9

    Eight garages burgled at Caling Croft, New Ash Green in one night.
    Posted on 23 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Know your bacon
    Dartford Messenger 23.4.09, p6

    Glovers Farm shop at Hartley Bottom wins prestigious award for bacon at BPEX butcher roadshow (picture)
    Posted on 23 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Neighbours fight school sports plan
    Dartford Messenger 23.4.09, p4

    Local residents and a nursing home raise concerns about the floodlit sports pitches planned for the rebuilt Longfield Academy, which will be open until 11pm. As well as a new school, the proposals include 104 large houses, 23 smaller houses and 22 flats.
    Posted on 23 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Car chase from Ash Road
    This is Kent website 11.2.09

    15 year old boy arrested after allegedly running from stolen car which the police had pursued from Ash Road on Saturday at 10.45pm.
    Posted on 19 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Direct service impractical
    This is Kent Website, 25.2.09

    Arriva say although New Ash Green is in Sevenoaks district, there is no demand for a bus service to Sevenoaks, as compared with Longfield, Gravesend, Bluewater and Dartford. The sparsely populated areas in between further make it uneconomic.
    Posted on 19 Apr 2009 by administrator
    The Cat with nine kittens
    Dartford Times 15.4.09

    Resident found stray cat in her airing cupboard giving birth to a massive 9 kittens. Interview and picture of Animal Samaritans volunteers from Gresham Avenue and Church Road, who are trying to rehouse them.
    Posted on 18 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Parish Council Report 9 March 2009
    The meeting discussed the following issues, listed in detail under full story:

    (1) Amenities and Open Spaces
    (2) Burial Ground
    (3) Communications
    (4) Highways

    It also approved payments for March of £9,533.
    Posted on 18 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Parish Council Report Feb 2009
    To follow...
    Posted on 18 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Parish Council Report January 2009
    To follow...
    Posted on 18 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Great strides
    Dartford Messenger 2.4.09, p13, 18

    Picture feature on sponsored walk by Longfield and Hartley Scouts to raise money for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

    Meanwhile Hartley guides raised £200 for Comic Relief.
    Posted on 18 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Schoolgirl murder cases revisited after 60 years
    Dartford Messenger 2.4.09, p2

    Police in Wales and Kent are looking at similarities between two unsolved murders in Fawkham and Swansea within 2 weeks of each other in 1946 (article includes archive photos)
    Posted on 18 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Pupils as young as six expelled
    Dartford Messenger (26.2.09, p3)
    Local paper uses freedom of information to find that in Dartford and Gravesham schools, which includes Longfield Academy, while the number of exclusions from school has fallen in 2007/8 to 1,820 the number of days of exclusions has increased. Top reasons for exclusions are assault or verbal abuse of staff and pupils, follwed by persistent disrputive behaviour.
    Posted on 18 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Local fire brigade statistics
    Thanks to a freedom of information request, Kent Fire Brigade have released local statistics on incidents in 2008. The figures in the full article below are for the 3 neighbouring council wards. They show considerable difference even in a comparitively small area, particularly in response times.

    Meanwhile the local Liberal Democrats claim Horton Kirby retained station with 14 fire fighters may have to close if the EU working time directive is implemented in the UK (Dartford Messenger 16.4.09, p9)
    Posted on 18 Apr 2009 by administrator
    Local unemployment rises again
    The number of unemployed and claiming benefit in the DA3 postal area (Hartley, Longfield and New Ash Green) rose from 161 to 188 in February, which is 2½ times higher than February last year.

    Further details
    Posted on 19 Mar 2009 by administrator
    Scouts make a splash
    Dartford Messenger 19.3.09 p6

    Longifield and Hartley Scouts win several competitions in the Swanley District Swimming Gala (picture of one of the winners from Longfield)
    Posted on 19 Mar 2009 by administrator
    Power outage in Hartley
    8 March 2009
    EDF reported a power cut in the Longfield area from 7pm to 8.50pm due to problems with underground cabling.
    Posted on 08 Mar 2009 by administrator
    The future rules on applying for house extensions
    Sevenoaks Council are consulting until 12 March on new rules for extensions to houses. This will affect householders' chances of getting planning permission for years to come, so it is important to be aware of them.

    For more details see article and link to the consultation site.
    Posted on 08 Mar 2009 by administrator
    Charity pioneer to meet HM the Queen
    Dartford Times 28.1.2009

    One of the founders of the Family Matters Counselling Charity in Gravesend, who lives at Cheyne Walk, Bramblefield, invited to Buckingham Palace Garden Party (picture)
    Posted on 05 Mar 2009 by administrator
    Rogue Builder's jail term cut
    Dartford Times 25.2.2009

    Builder who was sentanced to 8 years 4 months for conspiracy to defraud has jail term reduced by Court of Appeal to 7½ years. Victims in period 2003-7 included people in Hartley.
    Posted on 05 Mar 2009 by administrator
    Van Blaze Drama
    Dartford Times 18.2.2009

    Van blaze at Northfield at 7.15pm on Sunday 15th attended by Dartford Fire Brigade.
    Posted on 05 Mar 2009 by administrator
    Hartley Parish Council - Finance Committee 15.12.2008
    Items discussed:

    Fidelity Guarantee
    WI Hall
    Hartley Library
    Parish Office
    Accounts 2006/7
    Posted on 02 Mar 2009 by administrator
    Hartley woman campaigns for tube memorial
    Dartford Times 18.2.2009

    BBC Website 23 February 2009

    Hartley woman (pictured) aims to raise £650,000 for a memorial to the victims of the Bethnal Green tube disaster in 1943, when 173 people were crushed to death. Her mother was one of the survivors but lived with the pain all her life.
    Posted on 02 Mar 2009 by administrator
    Increase in water charges the highest in the country
    Householders in the former Mid-Kent water area, which includes Hartley, will see water charges rise by 7.9% this year - the biggest increase in England and Wales. The average increase for houses paying by water rate will be even higher at 9.5%, those on water meters will see an average rise of 7.4%

    According to the industry regulator, Ofwat, South East Water can raise prices this year by inflation (3%), plus 2.7%, plus "unused price limit" of 2.53%.

    More details of the new charges is at: Ofwat - South East Charges for 2009-10
    Posted on 28 Feb 2009 by administrator
    Unemployment rises again in January
    Unemployment in the DA3 postcode area (Longfield, Hartley and New Ash Green) rose from 134 in December to 161 in January. This means the number has doubled in 6 months and stands at the highest level since 1999.

    For details see http://www.hartley-kent.org.uk/info/unemployment.htm
    Posted on 25 Feb 2009 by administrator
    House sales in Hartley down in 2008
    There were only about 43 house sales in Hartley in 2008, down from the 81 of 2007. The historic average is about 74 sales a year. Most expensive was a house in Ash Road for £695,000. The most inexpensive was a flat in Pitfield which sold for £60,375.

    For more information see http://www.zoopla.co.uk/
    Posted on 22 Feb 2009 by administrator
    Home baked cakes tempt the tastebuds to help cancer charity
    Dartford Messenger 12.2.09 pae 16

    Picture feature of Cake Sale at Fawkham Manor Hospital, that raised £300 for Beating Bowel Cancer
    Posted on 12 Feb 2009 by administrator
    Kevin keeps on delivering
    Dartford Messenger 12.2.09, page 13

    Meals on Wheels delivery driver from The Mead, New Ash Green, praised by his employers making sure the meals got through in the snow (picture)
    Posted on 12 Feb 2009 by administrator
    Thousands affected by power cut
    BBC website 2 February 2009

    Power Cut Causes big freeze (Dartford Messenger 5.2.09 page 3)

    Fault on overhead powerline thought to be caused by lightning led to power cut in Longfield and New Barn Area at about 8pm on Sunday evening. Power was restored to 418 customers until Monday morning but 270 had to wait to the afternoon. Interview with residents from Larksfield.
    Posted on 02 Feb 2009 by administrator
    Heaviest snowfall for 18 years
    (2 February 2009)

    Heavy snowfall of around 8 inches has blanketed the local area. Heavy falls on Sunday afternoon (1st Feb) were followed by prolonged snow showers during daylight hours.

    The area was further hit by blackouts on Sunday evening. Parts of south Hartley lost power after thunder at about 7.45pm. The centre of the village followed with loss of power between 10.45pm and 12.15am.

    No rail services ran from Longfield all day Monday, and Monday's rubbish collection was cancelled. Many local schools closed, although Hartley Primary School did open for the morning.
    Posted on 02 Feb 2009 by administrator
    Planning for 2026 - Sevenoaks Core Strategy
    (2.2.09) Sevenoaks council are running a consultation on the "Local Development Core Strategy". It may not sound very interesting, but it
    will affect planning decisions for the next 17 years, which could affect us all. So have your say now!

    Read more here
    Posted on 02 Feb 2009 by administrator
    John Field
    Rochester Link February 2009 page 8
    Obituary of John Field, aged 76. He moved to Hartley in 1969 to be head of Northfleet Grammar School for Boys. He became Director of Reader Training for Rochester Diocese in 1988 and National Moderator for Reader Training in 1996. He was one of the first laymen to be a canon of the Cathedral. In spite of his illness, he worked tirelessly for the parish, and led the fundraising effort to raise money for much needed improvements to All Saints' Church.

    See also "Popular Headmaster loses cancer battle" Dartford Times 28.1.2009

    For more information see the Church website at
    http://www.fawkhamandhartley.org.uk/
    Posted on 01 Feb 2009 by administrator
    Boot camp
    Gravesend Messenger 22.1.09 (page 16)

    Woodland Avenue resident introduces new outdoor exercise programme at Dartford Central Park on Saturdays.

    For more details see www.markonefitness.co.uk
    Posted on 01 Feb 2009 by administrator
    Keeping it local
    Dartford Messenger 15.1.09 (page 16)

    Picture feature on the Longfield WI Country Market, which is held every Friday in the Longfield and New Barn Community Hall.

    For details see their website at
    http://www.longfieldcountrymarket.co.uk/
    Posted on 01 Feb 2009 by administrator
    Local Unemployment highest for 9 years
    Unemployment in the DA3 postcode area rose from 120 in November to 134 in December, meaning it has doubled in 6 months.

    For further information see
    http://www.hartley-kent.org.uk/info/unemployment.htm
    Posted on 01 Feb 2009 by administrator
    Washing machine fire drama
    Dartford Messenger 29.1.08, p3
    Dartford Times 29.1.09, p8

    Washing machine catches fire in Ash Road, Hartley on the 24th. Mother evacuated her children from house, praised by Dartford fire brigade.
    Posted on 01 Feb 2009 by administrator
    Hartley Parish Council - Highways Committee - 11.12.2008
    The meeting discussed the following items (see full story for details)

    Ash Road - Hartley signs
    Buses
    Cherry Trees - parking
    Church Road - surface water run off
    Springcroft - flooding
    Posted on 11 Jan 2009 by administrator
    Save our morrismen
    The secretary of the Copperfield Clogs says Morris Dancing is in danger of dying out, but spokesman for Frog Island Morris, based in Hartley, says it is not a problem, although they don't get many young new members.

    (Dartford Times 8.1.09, p2)
    Posted on 11 Jan 2009 by administrator
    Hartley Parish Council meeting 14.12.2009
    The items discussed included:
    (a) Kent County Council gets praise from Audit Commission.
    (b) Manor Field - meter cupboard in poor state and will need replacing
    (c) Billings Hill Shaw - tree work required after tree fell on car.
    (d) Burial Ground - council policy of not allowing photos on graves is claimed to be discriminatory under race relations law. Legal advice sought.
    (e) Woodland Avenue - youth shelter consultation inconclusive, more time needed for consideration.
    (f) Council tax - to rise 4% next year, with £5,000 spent from reserves also.
    (g) War Memorial - to be insured by council after recent near miss.
    (h) Northfield - lengthy discussions about soakaway to prevent surface run off
    (i) Social Club - new youth project to be hosted there.

    Click on link below for more details
    Posted on 14 Dec 2009 by administrator
    First video shot for new indie band
    Picture feature on indie rock band The Startover, one of whose members lives in New Ash Green. More details on their Myspace webpage
    Posted on 06 Dec 2009 by administrator
    'Shameful' appeal theft
    Unnamed 16 year old from West Kingsdown sentenced by Dartford Youth Court to 24 hours youth training and ordered to pay £70 compensation for thefts of poppy collecting boxes at Longfield Fish Bar (3rd Nov) and Longfield Co-op (11th Nov).

    Dartford Messenger 26.11.09 p6
    Posted on 06 Dec 2009 by administrator
    Counting the cost of storms
    Branch from ash tree falls on van belonging to man from Dickens Close, while walking his dog at Billings Hill Shaw, during storms the previous weekend (picture)

    Sevenoaks Chronicle 19.11.09 p 3
    Posted on 06 Dec 2009 by administrator
    Metal shutters go on Scout Hut after attack
    Longfield and Hartley Scouts have to install metal shutters on the door to their HQ in Larkwell Lane after vandalism attack at a cost of £4,000. Police say two 16 year olds received a "final warning" for the vandalism (picture of one of the Scout groups there)

    Sevenoaks Chronicle 26.11.09 p10
    Posted on 05 Dec 2009 by administrator
    Author's grand dream
    Picture feature on new book The Boy who fell down Exit 43, a new novel by 39 year old author formerly from Longfield.

    (Dartford Messenger 3.12.09, p11)

    The book has been reviewed twice on Amazon and both reviewers gave it 5/5.
    Posted on 05 Dec 2009 by administrator
    Weather news - a very wet November
    There were 18 rainy days in November, resulting in over 6 inches of rain - three times the long term average, and more than cancelling out the dry months of August, September and October (these months only had about half their average rainfall). However average temperatures for November were well above average too.

    For more info see the weather page.
    Posted on 05 Dec 2009 by administrator
    Man's eye injured in row with gang of youths
    Dartford Messenger 19.11.09 p2

    Crime: 27 year old man injured in attack by 5 teenage boys outside Dolly's Diner on Sunday 18th October. They threw unidentified liquid in his face, causing eye injury.
    Posted on 23 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Villages taking development into own hands
    Our MP, Dr Howard Stoate, praises the Hartley Village Design Statement, which was written by a team of local volunteers, saying "it's constructive and forward looking. It recognises the community is evolving and talks about how to manage the change so that Hartley's distinctive feel and look is enhanced".

    Dartford Messenger 28.5.09 p12
    Posted on 27 Jun 2009 by administrator
    Hands up to have a whacking good time
    Picture feature on St Francis de Sales RC Church fete on May 25th, which raised £6,548.

    Dartford Messenger 28.5.09 p10
    Posted on 27 Jun 2009 by administrator
    Christian Aid
    Annual door to door collection in Hartley for the charity raised £1,253.

    Dartford Messenger 11.6.09
    Posted on 21 Jun 2009 by administrator
    Hartley Wood - Landowners in an unenviable position
    Writer to the paper says that following the village green designation, Southwark has little control over the use of the wood, but has to pay for maintenance and public liability. They ask whether Hartley Council would like that if the boot was on the other foot?

    Dartford Messenger 11.6.09 page 10
    Posted on 21 Jun 2009 by administrator
    Trek stars
    Picture feature on sponsored horse ride at Speedgate Farm, Fawkham for Cancer Research UK.

    Dartford Messenger 11.6.09 p 7
    Posted on 21 Jun 2009 by administrator
    I killed my son
    Mother from Knightscroft's guilty plea to manslaughter by diminished reponsibility accepted by Crown. Her son was found drowned on 2 December 2008.

    Dartford Messenger 11.6.09 pages 1 and 3
    Posted on 21 Jun 2009 by administrator
    European Election Result
    The South East region that Hartley is in returned 4 Conservative, 2 UKIP, 2 Liberal Democrat, 1 Green and 1 Labour MEPs.

    The result shows at a local level the disenchantment with the main parties with Conservative, Liberal Democrats and Labour all losing ground. Labour in particular did badly with their share of the vote falling from 11% to 7%.

    It shows the staggering fall in support for the two main parties - in 1945 Conservative and Labour had 82% of the vote in Sevenoaks, this time it was only 45%.

    The main beneficiaries were the English Democrats (+4.0%) and the Greens (+3.3%). The English Democrats scored more than twice their average for the South East here, no doubt because they are well organised in the Dartford area.

    Click on "read more" below for the full results for the Sevenoaks District counting area.
    Posted on 13 Jun 2009 by administrator
    Rise in unemployment halted
    Unemployment in the DA3 postcode area was 205 in April, compared with 204 in March.

    Unemployment was highest in the 20-24 age group which accounts for 20% of the total. A third have been unemployed over 13 weeks.
    Posted on 11 Jun 2009 by administrator
    Hartley Parish Council - meeting 8 June 2009
    Some of the items discussed were:

    Hartley Wood
    Hoselands Hill
    Icelandic Banks
    Northfield - surface water runoff
    Parish Plan
    Sevenoaks Councillors - 62% increase in allowances
    WI Hall
    Youth - grafiti project and In the Zone summer project

    More details under "Full Story" below

    Posted on 11 Jun 2009 by administrator
    Weather report: A dry and warm May
    Temperatures in May were above the seasonal average, helped by a warm end to the month. However rainfall was half the usual amount for May.

    See Weather Report.
    Posted on 06 Jun 2009 by administrator
    David Brazier returned to county council
    Conservative David Brazier was returned by the electors of Sevenoaks North East with an increased majority. The editor of this site only received Mr Brazier's leaflet, so this may indicate the other parties did not campaign as hard. The most startling result is the vote for the English Democrats, who came 2nd with a big increase in the vote may have benefitted from the disenchantment with the major parties at present. Overall the Conservatives how hold 74 of the 84 seats on the county council, the Liberal Democrats have 7, Labour 2 and the Swanscombe residents association 1.

    David Brazier (Conservative) 2,885 (55.6% - up 4.4% on last election)
    Louise Uncles (English Democrat) 1,091 (21% - up 16.7%)
    Philip Hobson (Liberal Democrat) 697 (13.4% - down 0.6%)
    James Weekes (Labour) 518 (10.0% - down 9.4%)
    Posted on 05 Jun 2009 by administrator
    Robert Coates wins parish council by-election
    The Hartley by-election was won by Robert Coates from the "Putting Hartley First" group, ensuring that they continue to hold every seat on the council. His platform was to support their policies. Independent Jerry Swain had promised to freeze council tax this year and improve youth facilities.

    Result:
    Robert Coates 1162 (69%)
    Jerry Swain 514 (31%)

    There were 38 spoiled ballots (37 blank or uncertain, 1 voting for both candidates) and turnout was 39%.
    Posted on 05 Jun 2009 by administrator
    Bus fares rise
    Local Arriva bus fares were increased from 1 June. Most single fares increased by 10p and returns by 20p. This means the fare from Longfield to most of Hartley rises from £1.70 to £1.80
    Posted on 05 Jun 2009 by administrator
    We're out of the woods in tree fight
    Dartford Messenger 21.5.09 p9

    Feature on the designation of the part of Hartley Wood owned by Southwark Council as a village green. Picture of residents in another part of the wood included.
    Posted on 24 May 2009 by administrator
    Jumping for joy
    Dartford Messenger 7.5.09 p 7

    Picture feature on New Ash Green Primary Schools health campaign.
    Posted on 24 May 2009 by administrator
    Ditch the bridge? How ferry clever
    Dartford Times 21.5.09 p9

    Writer says when they moved to Hartley in 1965, the Dartford Tunnel toll was 26p and suggests people use the Woolwich ferry instead.
    Posted on 23 May 2009 by administrator
    Head is Scout and about
    Dartford Times 21.5.09 p 13

    Picture feature on visit of Kent County Commissioner to Forest Pack of Longfield and Hartley Cubs
    Posted on 23 May 2009 by administrator
    Village fury at 'trashy' centre
    Dartford Messenger 7.5.09 p 6

    Locals say that New Ash Green shopping centre is slowly falling apart and developers have suspended regeneration plans because of the recession. Only the Co-op have carried out the repairs demanded by the council (at a cost of £420,000) and the council is considering serving enforcement notices on the other landowners there.

    Dartford Messenger 14.5.09 p 14

    Writer to paper calls for enforcement action to be taken against the landlord of part of the New Ash Green Shopping Centre
    Posted on 23 May 2009 by administrator
    Talent Shines through
    Dartford Messenger 14.5.09 p 7

    Picture feature on Hartley Primary School's 6th Stars in their Eyes show.
    Posted on 23 May 2009 by administrator
    The headless horseman of Hartley
    Family Tree Magazine April 2009

    The great-great-great-great-great-granddaugher of Richard Treadwell of Fairby Farm, Hartley, writes about her ancestors the Treadwells and Fairby Grange. She shows how you can use sources available via library access such as the Times online and the Dictionary of National Biography.
    Posted on 23 May 2009 by administrator
    Longfield Academy - noise will go on far too long
    Dartford Messenger 30.4.09 p 14

    A writer to the paper complains the council have allowed the floodlit games area to open until 11pm. While not against the school, they think this is unreasonable.
    Posted on 10 May 2009 by administrator
    Hector drops in for fun lesson
    Dartford Messenger 19.11.09 p2

    Picture feature on road safety roadshow character Hector's visit to New Ash Green Primary School.
    Posted on 23 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Fay's fond farewell after 36 years working at shop
    Dartford Messenger 5.11.09 p 11

    Picture feature on retirement of long serving shop assistant at Fairby Stores, who started on 1 April 1974. The shop manager said she had received a large number of good will messages and said "you can always rely on her... and will be missed by everyone in the village".
    Posted on 23 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Partying hard with our cash
    Sevenoaks Chronicle 19.11.09 p1

    Sevenoaks District Council to spend £2,400 on councillors' Christmas party, after telling staff they would have to pay £20 for their own parties. Newspaper pointed out that the council also voted to increase councillor allowances by 62% earlier in the year. Councillors, including one from Hartley, shown with superimposed party hats.

    This story resulted in a large postbag with 6 letters being quoted from the following week all of them critical. The leader of the Liberal Democrat group wrote to say that all Liberal councillors attending will be paying for their evening (Sevenoaks Chronicle 26.11.09 p17).
    Posted on 23 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Cub scout record
    Dartford Times 12.11.09 p 17

    Picture feature on 9 year old winner of Chief Scout's Silver Award from Hartley.
    Posted on 16 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Building starts on academy extension
    Dartford Times 12.11.09 p 22

    Picture feature on the first turf being cut on the £26 million building project to build a new school at Longfield on the playing fields.
    Posted on 16 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Recycling bank removed from Woodland Avenue
    Hartley is now without a glass recycling facility after the bottle banks were removed from Woodland Avenue. It was reportedly because a firework had been placed in one.
    Posted on 16 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Daily Caller whose mission was to deliver the goods
    Dartford Times 5.11.09 p22

    Historical article about the local post service from early days. Includes a picture of Frederick Smith of Essex Road, Longfield on his last day at work in 1959, after 31 years in the job.
    Posted on 15 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Woman recovering after armed raid on off licence
    Dartford Messenger 22.10.09 p7

    3 hooded men hold up Threshers in Longfield at closing time on Weds 14th October, and stole £200. Police looking for silver Honda Civic Car.
    Posted on 15 Nov 2009 by administrator
    Unemployment rises slightly in August
    There are now 227 people unemployed in the DA3 post area, a rise of 10 from July. However the figure is well below the 650 it rose to in the last recession of 1993.

    Click here for more details.
    Posted on 11 Oct 2009 by administrator
    Debt-hit mother drowns her son
    Mother from Knightscroft, New Ash Green, who drowned her 11 year old son and attempted suicide, is sentenced to be detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act, after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The judge said there was no doubt she deeply loved her son, but became depressed due to financial pressures.

    The case has led to calls from Credit Action for more action to protect mentally vulnerable debtors.

    Evening Standard 2.10.09 p1
    Dartford Messenger 8.10.09 p1 and 3
    Dartford Times 8.10.09 p1

    Letters to Dartford Times (15.10.09) sympathise with the plight of those in debt and the mentally ill.
    Posted on 04 Oct 2009 by administrator
    Asbestos killed two pensioners
    Dartford Coroner records verdict of death due to industrial disease of asbestosis on Tom Martin, a retired carpenter from Hartley.

    Dartford Times 1.10.09 p 45
    Posted on 03 Oct 2009 by administrator
    Motorbike fanatic died realising childhood dream
    Generous tributes paid to Richard Bartlett of Longfield Hill (38, pictured), who died while competing in the Isle of Man TT races.

    Dartford Messenger 1.10.09 p 9 (and 24.9.09)

    Funeral (pictured) Dartford Messenger 8.10.09 p 7; Dartford Times 8.10.09, p54
    Posted on 03 Oct 2009 by administrator
    Four arrested
    Police make 4 arrests in Longfield and West Kingsdown after being alerted to attempted break in of car at Over Minnis, New Ash Green.

    Dartford Messenger 13.8.09 p3
    Posted on 03 Oct 2009 by administrator
    24 cars damaged by vandals on rampage
    Cars damaged on night of the 18th at Millfield and Ayelands, mostly broken wing mirrors and dents.

    Dartford Messenger 24.9.09 p 11
    Posted on 03 Oct 2009 by administrator
    Longfield and Hartley Guides
    Guides collect 6,500 Sainsbury's tokens to get 2 tents and a basketball ring for the group.

    Dartford Messenger 13.8.09 p13
    Posted on 03 Oct 2009 by administrator
    Coffee Morning
    Picture feature on coffee morning held at Jubilee Hall, Longfield.

    Dartford Messenger 13.8.09 p 11
    Posted on 03 Oct 2009 by administrator
    How energy efficient is local housing?
    A report made by Creative Environmental Networks for Sevenoaks Council in 2004 found that there was room for improvement in Hartley and Hodsoll Street with the ward well down the list of those with cavity wall and loft insulation.

    Posted on 27 Sep 2009 by administrator
    Extension begins
    Building work has begun to extend All Saints' Church. The first turf was cut by the rector and the widows of two of the guiding lights behind the project.

    Dartford Messenger 3.9.09, p14
    Posted on 26 Sep 2009 by administrator
    Warning of 'hospice' con bid
    Attempt to gain access to home in Longfield by man pretending to be from the Ellenor hospice. Charity says they don't make calls without an appointment.

    Dartford Messenger 3.9.09 p2
    Posted on 26 Sep 2009 by administrator
    Blaze causes damage to field crop
    Dartford fire brigade called to fire in field at Fawkham Road, Fawkham on the 23rd.

    Dartford Messenger 27.8.09 p 5
    Posted on 26 Sep 2009 by administrator
    Hartley and Hodsoll Street Neighbourhood Policing Team
    In their July - September report Hartley's PCSO said they had run crime reduction events at Gorsewood Road and Springcroft. They offered security marking and anti-tamper screws for number plates. More are planned (Hartley Parish Council newsletter Sept 2009).

    They have also dealt with anti-social behaviour at Culcroft where youths were reported to be throwing litter into people's gardens. And following complaints of speeding on Ash Road, have issued 10 fixed penalty tickets and one summons to court.

    Link to Hartley and Hodsoll Street Neighbourhood policing page
    Posted on 10 Sep 2009 by administrator
    Police will take action on concerns
    Dartford Messenger 20.8.09, p 3

    Police promise to target speeding and anti-social behaviour in New Ash Green.

    2 cars reported burnt out in Hanover Place.
    Posted on 23 Aug 2009 by administrator
    GP rushes to NHS defence
    Dartford Times 20.8.09 p 10

    Hartley's MP, Dr Stoate, speaks up for the NHS after a SE England Conservative euro MP attacked the NHS in America. He said "The NHS is all about freeing people from the fear of health care. If they ar in trouble with their health, the NHS is there for them. You don't have to be frightened about being ill in this country".

    Meanwhile the Dartford prospective Conservative candidate, Gareth Johnson, from Hartley, calls for the NHS to spend more on IVF treatment (Dartford Times 20.8.09 p 14).
    Posted on 23 Aug 2009 by administrator
    News from the Police
    Community Safety in Hartley and Hodsoll Street (Spring 2009)

    Local Police newsletter reports priority is to tackle speeding on Ash Road, because concerns have been raised by locals and accidents on the road.

    They have also spoken to a group of young people at the Northfield "bomb hole", who agreed to tidy up the site, but said they just wanted a place to meet.

    They report success in convicting a juvenile for a burglary in Penenden, after they were identified from CCTV footage.
    Posted on 23 Aug 2009 by administrator
    July - a very rainy month
    Nearly 3½ inches of rain fell in July compared with the average of 1½ inches. The wettest day was the 7th when 1¼ inches fell, much of it in one torrential downpour. Temperatures were only a little below seasonal average though.

    See weather page
    Posted on 09 Aug 2009 by administrator
    Avalanche survivors scoop lottery millions
    Dartford Times 16.7.09 pages 1-3

    Former Hartley resident shares in lottery jackpot. She and her hussband survived an avalanche tragedy in Scotland in 1998.
    Posted on 09 Aug 2009 by administrator
    New website for Hartley Business
    Longstanding Hartley motorspares business The Gearbox now has its own webpage at www.the-gearbox.co.uk
    Posted on 09 Aug 2009 by administrator
    Gunmen target takeaway drivers
    Dartford Times 6.8.09 page 5
    Dartford Messenger 6.8.09 page 2

    Takeaway delivery driver from Longfield robbed at gunpoint at Capelands, New Ash Green.
    Posted on 09 Aug 2009 by administrator
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