Marion Lovell, Abingworth, New England Lane, Playden

Iden Parish Council met on Tuesday 3 December at which all the Parish Councillors were present together with District Councillors Nick Ramus and Paul Osborne. Apologies were received from County Councillor Keith Glazier. There were also 8 members of the public present.

Before the meeting started, the Police held one of their regular update sessions which was appropriately timed bearing in mind the two burglaries experienced in recent days in the village after a few months of relative calm on the crime front

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PCSO Dan Bevan reported that there had been two recent burglaries in Parkwood on the 23rd November between 4pm and 8pm 2013 and Idenfield Farm on 15th November between 12 noon and 8pm. These burglaries were similar in operation to past burglaries in the village, rather than being part of the recent spate of incidents in Peasmarsh. Amongst other measures, the Police had increased their surveillance of the village with uniform and plain-clothes police patrolling day and night. As these burglaries occurred in the afternoon to early evening it is quite possible that the culprits had been seen, especially as the thefts were not chance events. Should anyone see someone out of place or acting oddly please call IMMEDIATELY 07787 685 691 direct line or dial 999

Residents were reminded to take precautions to secure their sheds and oil tanks with winter now approaching and to keep a light on when going out at night. The police would be happy to visit residents, for free, to advise on security. Call P.C.S.O. Dan Bevan on 07796195639.

The Police were still looking for Neighbourhood watch coordinators. Please contact P.C.S.O. Dan Bevan if you can help.

Speed traps were still being run through out the area. Should anyone wish to participate in Community Speed Watch then contact the Parish Clerk 01797 270 790. The illegal usage of mobile telephones whilst driving was seen to be an ongoing problem in Iden and elsewhere and the police would have no hesitation in prosecuting those so caught.

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At the commencement of the meeting proper, the Chairman thanked all those residents who had turned out last month to help with the tidy up of the playing field by removing dead branches and nuisance vegetation. This was a splendid example of the community working together

Under Planning, Seaview in Playden Lane has been requested to submit a retrospective planning application and the appeal by Grove Farm regarding the expiry of its mobile home permission had been refused. The Council unanimously agreed to support the current planning application from the Trustees of the Village Hall for improvements and extensions

The Council considered the draft budget for the financial year 2014/5 and this will be agreed at the next meeting. It is hoped that it can maintain the precept at £13,000(that is the amount of money taken from the total Council Tax collected from the village)

The final draft budget will be on display in the village notice board ahead of the next meeting as the Council would welcome comments on this during the next Public Question Time session before it finally agrees the figures.

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It was agreed that the Council would spend £285 in the coming year to eradicate the mole problem in the Playing Field.

It is hoped that the bus shelter opposite the Bell garden would be repaired before the end of January

District Councillor Osborne reported that telephone lines taking orders for the new brown bins for garden waste were very busy and it was recommended that residents order them on line. Householders should have received a leaflet with all the details.

The next meting will be on Tuesday 7 January at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

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Don’t forget!! Auditions for next year’s production of Red Riding Hood will be this Sunday 15 December at 2.00pm in the Village Hall

As usual, all are welcome for roles both on-stage and back-stage. Bob wants to hear from you!

The annual Carol service will be held this coming Thursday 19 December at 7pm in Iden Church- readings and your favourite carols followed by seasonal refreshments- all very welcome- the Church always looks lovely for this very special evening- the collection as usual will go to charities, including the Red Cross Appeal for the Philippines disaster

Do not forget also that the splendid Iden Calendar is on sale for £6 at Iden Stores- this is an ideal present and we are all grateful to Rod Stuart for producing it.

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The Iden and District Natural History Society’s last lecture of the year will be held this evening at the Village Hall at 7.30pm. The subject will be the rise and fall of the Beekeeper and will be given by Susan Scriven. The series of lectures will recommence on the 10 January

The Sunday Parish Communion at Iden Church this coming Sunday will be at 9.30am and conducted by the Reverend Stella Halmshaw

The Pop - in Coffee morning will be on Monday 23rd December, when the Mobile library calls. Coffee is served from 11 am to 1.30 pm, the library is there from 12.05 until 12.45. It is sure to be a very Christmassy ‘do’.

The Iden and District Natural History Society winter series of talks continues this evening, Friday, with a talk by Susan Scriven on the ‘Rise and fall of the Beekeeper.’ The talk begins at 7.30 pm.

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The next meeting will be on 10th January when John Buckingham will speak about Fynbos Spring - Birds and Flowers of the Cape.

And the last meeting in January will be on 24th, when Colin Page will demonstrate ‘My Kind of Birding’.

Auditions are being held on Sunday 15th December for the Iden Panto next March - 28th and 29th.The panto will be Red Riding Hood and the auditions begin at 2 pm in the Village Hall. All are welcome for roles both on-stage and back-stage. Bob hopes that lots of people will come.

The Iden Carol Service will be held on Thursday 19th December at 7 pm in Iden Church. There will be readings and favourite carols followed by seasonal refreshments. Everyone will be very welcome. All Saints Church always looks lovely for this very special evening. The collection will go to charities.

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There are just a few Iden Calendars left in Iden Stores, priced £6. Thanks to Rod Stuart for producing it.

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Tuesday 7th January at 7.30 pm.

The next W. I. meeting will be on Tuesday 14th January at 7.30 pm.

The Iden and Playden Garden Society Annual Social evening for members and their guests will be on Saturday 25th January at 7 pm in the Village Hall.

The Christmas services at Iden are as follows:

19th Carol Service with Readings 7 pm.

24th Midnight Service with Communion at 11.30 pm

25th Family Christmas Day service at 9.30 am.

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29th there WILL be a Parish Communion service as usual at 9.30 am

This is my last column for Iden and I must say that I will miss writing it. But being further away will mean that I do not get all the local news and gossip.!! Is there someone in the village who would like to take over? It is fun to do if you have an interest in local affairs and people. And organisers ring up with dates of events.

May I wish everyone a peaceful, blessed Christmas and a Happy new Year.