We hope this email finds you and your family well in the run-up to Christmas. Here is a round-up of December’s news from the ward:
Christmas bin collections and Christmas trees
There will be temporary changes to the schedule the week after Christmas:
As the garden waste collection is suspended, Christmas trees will not be picked up, but they can be taken to the tip to be composted. Please remember to book on the KCC website before you go.
Alternatively, Hospice in the Weald volunteers will be collecting trees in TN1, TN2 and TN4 on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 January in return for a donation to the hospice. Trees will be recycled and turned into wood chip for the hospice’s gardens. For details and to register your tree, please visit this link and search for Hospice in the Weald:
If the weather turns cold, you may be in need of a salt bin. Culverden’s salt bins are located at:
Grosvenor Park x2, Dunstan Road, Rydal Drive, Somerville Gardens, Boyne Park and Derwent Drive.
We await an update on a new vaccination centre for Tunbridge Wells – you will find the latest on local vaccination services here:
And the latest Tunbridge Wells stats can be found here:
The Town Hall - consultation
You may have heard about the new direction for the Town Hall. It is hoped to utilise much of the spare space in the Town Hall as co-working rooms and offices, with the aim of renovating the building and creating a future revenue stream. Find out more and comment here:
TWBC continues to be strapped for cash and would like your views on how to balance its budget, including its use of reserves. We learnt at Full Council this week, in response to our question, that the suspension of the garden waste collections is costing the council £45,000 a fortnight - over £470k so far, with no end in sight, and at no cost to the contractor, Urbaser.
Budget Consultation 2022/23 | Talking Point Tunbridge Wells (engagementhq.com)
Amelia Scott update
We are pleased to report that construction and fit-out are still on schedule and costs have not risen further. The adult education department will open 23 April and all services (library, museum, Gateway, gallery, etc) on 28 April. It is going to be fabulous.
Arriva depot build
Last week we attended a community engagement meeting held by Elysian, the company building 89 retirement apartments on the site of the Arriva bus depot on St John's Road. The protracted nature of this build has been very difficult for residents living close by. Thank goodness it now looks as if it's going to get off the ground. The site continues to be cleared. Construction will begin April 2022 and last 24 months.
We raised the issue of pedestrian safety during the build. There will be mitigations in place including traffic marshals; no stacking of vehicles on the public highway; and major deliveries to be made outside of school travel times.
Woodbury Park Cemetery
We are happy to hear that repairs to the lower boundary wall will begin in March (it would be sooner but the contractors are waiting for spring weather). Also, WPC 2022 events are now on the website and the Friends are always happy to hear from volunteer gardeners who would like to help look after this hidden Tunbridge Wells gem - Friends of Woodbury Park Cemetery - Events (fwpc.org.uk).
Local things to do this Christmas
If you feel able, please do support our local theatres – Trinity’s festive show is The Prince and the Pauper and we can confidently say it is very charming and cheering - while over at the Assembly Hall, there is a riotous Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, starring Shirley Ballas as the Wicked Queen. Both venues are See It Safely approved and have multiple Covid measures in place. All details on the websites. Skating in Calverley Grounds is proving massively popular this year, so please book in good time, as many slots are already sold out.
The last Pantiles markets of 2021 take place this weekend (18 and 19 December) and at the time of writing our churches are open for Christmas services (please check their websites for details).
It only remains for us to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2022. Please do look out for your neighbours who may be feeling lonely and isolated, especially if the weather is bad, and let us know of any problems so we can help. We hope to see you out and about and on the doorstep soon.
With warm wishes,
James and Justine – the Culverden Lib Dem team
James Rands, borough councillor for Culverden ward [email protected]
Justine Rutland, borough councillor for Culverden ward [email protected]