Author Archive | Parish Clerk

Kent’s Cuckooing Awareness Week

Cuckooing is a form of crime in which a drug dealer or group of drug dealers takes over the home of a vulnerable person to use it as a base for “county lines” drug trafficking. County lines gangs use vulnerable people such as teenagers and children to transport drugs from cities like London to rural cities and towns.

Cuckooing has a significant impact on the community including anti-social behaviour and violence. There are many signs of cuckooing and our Kent Community Safety Units have created this video to help you to identify the signs of this crime.

See it, report it!

You could hold a vital piece of evidence that could allow Kent Police to prevent or stop cuckooing. Please always call 999 in an emergency or 101 for non-emergencies. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If you suspect, or are concerned, that someone is a victim of Cuckooing please report this via the contact numbers above. All information is investigated to prevent this type of crime continuing. Please share all material in this email to friends, family and other networks and across social media platforms to promote awareness of this campaign.

Cranbrook Goes Virtual Nuts in May

The winner of the Cranbrook Goes Virtual Nuts in May 2020 Busy Bee Competition is Violet Venn-Novissimo.   Her artwork was chosen by the Mayor of Tunbridge Wells, Cllr James Scholes, after he had considered all the entries sent to him by email.   He said, “We found it difficult to choose as all of them were very good and imaginative, however this is the one we thought worthy of first place.”

Violet is 7 years old and during lockdown she has spent an hour each week over Zoom with an aunt exploring art history, techniques and just messing around. When the competition was suggested to her as a great subject for one of their times together, she wanted to make a happy bee as her younger brother doesn’t like them and she wanted to show him that they are nice really! She knows all about bees and their importance in the garden and so they looked at pictures of bees for inspiration. Once she’d drawn the bee, they talked about what the bee might say to her and she came up with the snazzy message! Then she added the rainbow and declared that she would now put it in the window at home to support the NHS! 

Cranbrook Goes Nuts in May is an annual street festival that started in 2017 and takes place in Cranbrook High Street.   It celebrates everything that grows and what can be done with it, and exhibitors have displayed everything from a variety of foods, plants, decorative and practical garden items – in fact anything that has its origin in growth.   Visitor numbers have been between 3-4,000 each year and in 2020 we have tried to reach as many as possible via a social media campaign for our virtual festival.   If it’s up to us, we’ll be back on the High Street in 2021!

Cranbrook Goes Nuts in May is run under the auspices of Cranbrook in Bloom and in association with the Chelsea Fringe Festival.

Contact: Gwenneth Heyking, Cranbrook Goes Nuts in May:  07721 672348

Gwenneth Heyking


01580 713634/07721 672348

Cranbrook Nuts logo no backgroundin association with   under the umbrella of CIB

Domestic Abuse Support Services from Kent Police

Kent Police have also provided the following social media links:

We're still here

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, you can report it. Limited contact with the outside world during this pandemic may make you or someone you know feel unsafe, but our specialist teams are still here 24/7. Visit: #KentTogether #Covid19

Posted by Kent Police on Thursday, 14 May 2020

TWBC launch new social website

A new website has been launched. With social distancing measures currently in place many people are experiencing social isolation and loneliness. To help combat this, and the impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has launched a new community website ‘Tunbridge Wells Social’.

The site is a collaborative project between the Council’s Culture, Health and Housing teams, the Community Safety Unit and partners including Town & Country Housing, St Giles Trust, KCC’s Early Help, Salus, DAVSS and Age UK. The site is free to use. More content will be added over the coming weeks and months, and the site will continue to be available as a community resource after lockdown measures are lifted.

Tunbridge Wells Social offers something for everyone. It’s a one stop shop of information and support as well as entertainment and fun. There is an interactive weekly podcast ‘Tunbridge Wells Talks’ airing lighthearted views about what’s going on, as well as updated and relevant content to help connect people.

Stars from the stage and small screen with local connections have given their support to the initiative. Comedian, writer and presenter Jo Brand recalls her school days in Tunbridge Wells; local actor Philip Martin Brown (Waterloo Road and Coronation Street) reads a favourite poem; Olympic medallist Jayne Torvill shares a message of support, commending how the local community has come together, and TV presenter Nick Knowles, who went to school in Tunbridge Wells, is also supporting the project sharing funny poems and a message.

Please do share this email and the website with your contacts and networks, families and friends. It would be also helpful to note that the Council has set up a local helpline to support people who need urgent help, supplies or medication as a result of the coronavirus. The number is 01892 554497.

Keep well and stay safe

Best wishes The Social Isolation Group
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Launch of New Wellbeing Support Info Hub

Health partners and providers, local authorities and emergency services across Kent and Medway are working together to provide information on local support services to help people’s mental wellbeing during the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic crisis.

Information is available at for people experiencing bereavement and loss, debt and financial difficulties, pregnant women and new mums needing extra support, families looking for help with young children or teenagers.

There is support for those who might already have pre-existing mental health conditions, are victims of domestic abuse or are people in the shielded community.

The site also offers help for people with learning disabilities, people who don’t use English as a first language, carers and NHS staff, care staff and other key workers.

Kent County Council Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark said: “The challenging reality of lockdown is creating uncertainty and anxiety for many. The constant news can feel overwhelming and you may be adjusting to a different way of life, with children off school, many people not working or working from home, as well as not seeing family, friends and colleagues.

“This anxiety is natural, and we are all feeling it. Fortunately, there are things that we can do to protect our mental health and to support the wellbeing of our friends and family. At you can find information, advice and signposting to other great sites which can help, whatever your situation and need. This is #kenttogether.”

Thanks to all of those supplying content to including: Kent County Council; Medway Council; Public Health England; NHS England; Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group; Kent Community NHS Foundation Trust; Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust; Live Well Kent; Healthwatch Kent; Kent Community Foundation; Headstart Kent; Carers UK; Kent’s Integrated Domestic Abuse Support Services; KCC Children’s Centres; Citizen’s Advice and Age Concern.

As part of the Release the Pressure campaign, a new text service is now available – by texting the word “Kent” or “Medway” to 85258, you will start a conversation with one of the many trained and experienced volunteers who can give support at any time, wherever you are. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help. Texts are free on all major mobile networks and the service is provided by SHOUT and the Crisis Text Line.

The service will run in addition to the current 24/7 freephone helpline and is funded by the Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) which is a collaboration between Kent County Council, Medway Council, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust and all the NHS organisations across Kent and Medway.

Vulnerable people in Kent who need urgent help, supplies or medication are also reminded of the helpline – called Kent Together – which provides a single, convenient point of contact for anyone in the county who is in urgent need of help during the Coronavirus outbreak. It is a collaboration between KCC, central Government, District, Borough and local councils, the voluntary and community sector, the NHS and other partners to ensure help is at hand for vulnerable people.

If you are vulnerable and have an urgent need that cannot be met through existing support networks, you can contact the Kent Together helpline at  or by calling on 03000 41 92 92. It is a 24-hour service.The Kent Together service is a single, convenient point of contact for anyone in Kent who is in urgent need of help during the coronavirus outbreak

Bulletin from Helen Grant MP

  Covid-19 bulletin no.5 – 01-05-2020
Dear Friends and Residents

Hello again, and I hope you and your loved ones have remained safe and well since my last bulletin a couple of weeks ago.   

Yesterday the Prime Minister announced that the country has passed the peak of the viral infection rate and that next week the Government will set out a road map for how the UK’s lockdown will begin to be eased.  At all times, however, the highest priority will be to prevent the effective reproduction rate of the virus from causing a second peak in infections.

In the meantime, as we all continue to stick to the Government’s social distancing instructions, I wanted to provide an update on some developments with our local and national fight against Coronavirus, including; Non Coronavirus NHS services still available Expanded availability of Covid-19 testing New loan scheme for smaller businesses Kent police report Support Available for People Self-Isolating     NHS STILL OPEN FOR BUSINESS   Our local NHS, including Maidstone and Pembury Hospitals and GP surgeries, are very keen to convey that they are still ‘open for business.’

If you have an unusual lump or you are experiencing chest pains for example, you should not be put off seeking medical attention for fear of catching Coronavirus.

All medical assessment facilities have designated ‘red’ and ‘green’ areas, to separate patients who may have Covid-19 from those who don’t, to minimise the risk of infection. 

(Note: If you think you need to see a doctor it is best to contact 111 in the first instance or of course 999 in an emergency).   COVID-19 TESTING AVAILABILITY   There has been a very substantial increase in the availability of Covid 19 testing this week.  This means that testing is now available to the following groups of people: All essential workers including NHS and social care workers with symptoms. Anyone over 65 with symptoms. Anyone with symptoms whose work cannot be done from home (for example, construction workers, shop workers, emergency plumbers and delivery drivers). Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus and lives with any of those identified above. There a number of ways in which people can access a test including by attending drive through centres or by ordering a home test kit. If you are in one of the above groups then you can arrange a test here:
    NEW LOAN SCHEME TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES   This week the Chancellor announced a new ‘Bounce Back Loan’ scheme which will help small and medium-sized businesses affected by coronavirus to apply for loans of up to £50,000.

The loans are 100% guaranteed by the Government and therefore should be quick and easy for banks to administer so businesses can get the money within days of application. The scheme is available form Monday 4th May and you can read full details here:   KENT POLICE CORONAVIRUS REPORT   Last week I spoke with Kent’s Chief Constable Alan Pughsley and Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott about Kent Police’s response to Coronavirus.

The vast majority of people in Kent are adhering to the Government’s social distancing rules. Within a County population of 1.8 million only 64 enforcement notices have been issued for breaching the regulations. I was pleased to note that police protocol follows ‘4 Es’ when dealing with this issue, meaning they firstly Engage, Explain and Encourage…..and only Enforce as a final resort.

Appallingly, however, there have been 72 offences in Kent of people spitting at, or coughing on, police officers, before claiming to be infected with Covid 19. 

In response, together with several other Kent MPs, I wrote to the Lord Chief Justice asking that our Judges impose immediate prison sentences on guilty parties. The reply we received confirmed that judges can add more weight in their sentencing decisions when ruling on such despicable crimes.   SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SELF-ISOLATING   If you are self-isolating and require assistance my previous bulletins contain information on how you can access the help you need. More information here:

If you live in Maidstone there is also the superb ‘COVID19 Mutual Aid Maidstone Facebook Group’ which you can access here:   AND FINALLY…….   A big thank you to everyone across Maidstone who is doing such amazing work to help our community through this hugely challenging period.

I have been particularly inspired this week by Mitu Chowdhury from the Mughal Dynasty and Sunahor Ali from Al-Amin Tandoori who have provided meals to our frontline NHS workers at Maidstone and Pembury Hospitals. I know their efforts will have been hugely appreciated by NHS workers and their families.
A reminder too that my team and I remain on hand to assist you in any way that we can.  We are all still working full time, albeit remotely, successfully handling hundreds of incoming enquiries and calls for help.  If you have any questions, concerns or think I can be of assistance in any way then please do get in touch at or by calling 0207 219 7107.

Please do continue to stay safe and well.

Very best wishes

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Fake Tesco Phishing Email and other Scams

Please see below an alert from Action Fraud in relation to a phishing scam, where fraudsters are impersonating Tesco.

The fake Tesco emails are offering ‘free vouchers’ during the coronavirus outbreak and you are asked to click on a link, which takes you to a convincing looking phishing website that is designed to steal your login, personal and financial information.

If you receive one of these, please do not click on the link and delete it and report to Action Fraud.

For more info and extra help on how to keep yourself safe online visit

Use the A, B, C of scam awareness:

  1. never assume a caller, email or text is genuine.
  2. never believe a caller, email or text is genuine.
  3. always confirm by contacting a trusted number, family member, friend, your bank’s fraud department or the police to check if it’s genuine.

Keeping a safety net around children in Kent

Kent Police is urging parents to look out for the signs of online grooming as children and young people in Kent spend more time at home.

The Covid-19 worldwide pandemic means that children who would normally be visiting friends and family or attending school around the county are now in lockdown and may be searching for things to do to keep them occupied.

With more people turning to the internet, Kent Police is reminding everyone of the steps that can be taken to keep young and vulnerable people protected from online abuse.

Detective Chief Superintendent Andrew Pritchard at Kent Police said: ‘This is an extremely worrying time for families who may be feeling anxious and dealing with new and difficult living situations. As a result it may be harder than usual to spot the signs of online abuse.

‘Whilst there is nothing to suggest more children are being groomed at this time, there is a potential for more young and vulnerable people to fall victim to predators who may take advantage of the health crisis and seek to enter homes without leaving their own.

‘Keeping children and vulnerable people safe is a top priority for us and significant resources are dedicated to tackling this issue. As the public continues to play their part in social distancing and saving lives, we will remain committed to keeping people safe both outdoors and at home.’

It is important that children using mobile phones, tablets and computers know what is right and what is wrong especially when using instant messaging services. They should only ever be speaking to people they know personally and report anything suspicious to their parents or the police.

Check what restrictions are in place, most devices or internet access will have parental controls available. Ask your child to be open and honest with you about their passwords and profiles.

Parents should talk about the risks when uploading and sharing private information as you can never be sure whose hands it will end up in or who can see it.

DCS Pritchard added: ‘We have invested in educating young people about online dangers and the chances of a real child meeting someone they’ve met online and becoming a victim of this sort of offence is extremely low.

‘Rest assured the force has specialist detectives who are trained to work in this field and have the skills and resources needed to carry out investigations in the most appropriate way.

‘It is important we all continue to do our bit to keep children safe, not just at this unprecedented time but always.’

Further advice

• Speak to your children. Understand the capabilities of the devices they use, and the websites that they use.

• Keep the computer in a communal room. Explain to them the dangers of talking to strangers; whether that be in ‘real life’ or on the internet.

• It’s important that online privacy settings are checked regularly especially when updating apps – the same applies for location settings too.

• Encourage the use of strong passwords such as three or more random words or capital letters, numbers and symbols.

• ‘Stranger danger’ is as relevant on the internet as it is on the streets. You should not speak to strangers and we encourage children to raise any concerns with their parents.

• Only speak to people you know and have met. Don’t accept social media requests from people you don’t know.

For more advice or to report online abuse visit

Parish Council Meetings

The Parish Council intend to hold meetings remotely under new powers the government have introduced to help us continue to function during the current crisis. Please keep an eye on our agenda page for details of those meetings and how you can attend these meetings remotely

Parish Council Vacancy


Sissinghurst Ward

Notice of Casual Vacancy


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a casual vacancy has occurred in the office of Councillor for the SISSINGHURST ward of the Parish of Cranbrook & Sissinghurst following the resignation of Councillor Brian Clifford.

The Returning Officer at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has confirmed that the regulation 10 requests from electors has not been fulfilled and the Council can now fill the casual vacancy by co-option.  NOTICE is hereby given that pursuant to Rule 8 of the Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) Rule 1986 the council will fill the casual vacancy by co-option.

The council may co-opt any person who is legally qualified to hold such office, and who is willing to serve provided they are a British citizen, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union, and are neither the subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order or have, within five years before the day of the co-option, been convicted in the United Kingdom of any offence and have had a prison sentence (whether suspended or not) for a period of over three months without the option of a fine.

Provided the person also satisfies at least ONE of the following they may be apply.

• They are registered as a local government elector for the parish

• They have during the whole of the preceding twelve months occupied as owner or tenant, any land or premises in the parish

• Their principal or only place of work during the preceding twelve months has been in the parish

• They have during the whole of the preceding twelve months resided in the parish or within 4.8 km of it They must also be 18 years or older on the day they become nominated for election.  Written expressions of interest from persons wishing to serve as a councillor need to be submitted to the Clerk of the Council within 21 days of the date of this notice. The closing date for the written submission interest is 15th April 2020. Final selection will be by vote at the Parish Council Meeting to be held on the 14th May 2020.

Dated 16th March 2020.

                                        Clerk to Cranbrook & Sissinghurst Parish Council

In computing any period of time for the purposes of this notice a Saturday, Sunday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday or a Bank Holiday or day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning, shall be disregarded.

Printed and Published by the Clerk to Cranbrook & Sissinghurst Parish Council, The Old Fire Station, Stone Street, Cranbrook,

Kent TN17 3HF – Tel: 01580 713112,