Monday, June 30, 2008
There are energy efficient boilers at Clarence House and woodchip stoves at Highgrove, all working towards his promised 25% reduction between 2007 and 2012.
And to cap it all, he has converted his old Aston Martin - a 21st birthday present from the Queen, to run on alternative fuel. Although unlike the Japanese "water car" featured on this blog a week or so ago, the Prince's choice of fuel is - English wine. One assumes if he put in a French or German vintage, he'd have to drive on the other side of the road?
It's a shame the Prince's offspring don't share his visionary zeal. During Prince Harry's Royal Air Force training, he took five helicopter flights costing the taxpayer around £50,000, with one in particular - to a stag party on the Isle of Wight - costing just under £9000.
Perhaps we could find a helicopter that runs on champagne?
It's the patient, stupid. Their views will affect funding, their death rates will be published, their choice of drugs and treatments will be respected, and their GPs will be funded differently to make it easy for them to change practices.
But how many times have we heard this? The GPs I've spoken to since taking responsibility for Kent Adult Social Services have all told me how heartily fed up they are with bright idea after bright idea; with reorganisations on average every five years, and never enough time allowed to bed down changes before the next bright idea comes along.
Some ideas - like personal care plans or access to personal budgets for those with long-term conditions - are things which social services departments have been doing for some time now. Others - like the option to travel to Europe for treatment in UK waiting lists are too long - rely on the patient being able to travel, and the preferred country having the right medical team, the right pharmaceuticals, and hospital or clinic capacity.
Judge for yourself. But I'd rather have seen some real blue-sky thinking building on the dedication of the hundreds of thousands of dedicated staff in the system already, rather than another vague "customer knows best" plan.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Recently, I've started experimenting with curries, using "50 Great Curries of India" by Camellia Panjabi. It takes a little work assembling the spices and preparing the ingredients (why hasn't someone invented a fool proof grater for fresh coconut?) but ultimately it's really worthwhile if you want an authentic Indian dish that doesn't taste like the "what do I have left in the fridge" curries your Mum used to make on a Friday night...
I also adore desserts, and so I was really pleased to see the Butter Sugar Flour blog site from Linda in Australia. I've not tried any of her recipes yet, but next weekend might be the turn of her Tiramisu Layer Cake.
Certainly beats reading endless policy papers!
It seems from both local (Kent Messenger)and national press (Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph) that having taken delivery of a shiny new mayoral car, the Mayor of Maidstone Denise Joy has been told by her officers that it will not display either the borough insignia or flag - usually proudly affixed on the roof and the bonnet of any official vehicle.
And the reason? Health and safety. It seems that when the car is moving, a sudden rush of air might tear either flag or emblem off and fling them into the path of the vehicle behind. Has this ever happened? Well - er - no. But is certainly could do, says Neil Haris, Maidstone's Democratic Services Manager.
Maidstone councillors are already furious at the switch from a "British" Jaguar to the more environmentally-friendly hybrid Lexus GS450H costing some £40,000. Now, they say, the arrival of the Mayor of Maidstone without insignia could result in her car being diverted to a mere 'public car park' by mistake - imagine that.
So now all that's distinctive about the mayoral vehicle is the prestige number plate - 1 MKP - although perhaps this should be changed in case a member of the public is confused by the plate and begins 'thought showering'?
Thursday, June 26, 2008
It was an interesting and productive meeting, and we gained a valuable insight into the direction of travel of Conservative social care policy. We asked for the meeting since our group, SECASC - South East Councils Adult Social Care - represents the adult social services of all the south east counties, and we wanted to see how we could work alongside our Parliamentarians to shape the future agenda.
Stephen was generous with his time and consummately professional. We discussed safeguarding, learning disability funding and transfer, VAT legislation, dementia and the personalisation agenda. Whilst the detail of our joint work is clearly politically sensitive, we all felt there was a clear forward direction, and understand the constructive role local government in general - and our group in particular - can play. Stephen observed that we were "at the sharp end of the biggest issue in politics". Let's hope our joint work can start to make a real difference.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Interesting. I was on a train today going from Maidstone East up to London, when two youths got on and sat behind me - I couldn't see them, and could only hear their voices.
They spoke in faux Caribbean accents, and - stretched out across the seats - were playing rap music full blast from their mobile phone, making suggestive calls to girls, and swearing profusely when the line cut off.
A ticket inspector came down the carriage and when neither of them were able to show their tickets, they asked to buy two children's single tickets from Otford to Bromley South.
"£4.39" said the ticket inspector, and one of the boys produced a credit card - perhaps the inspector should have queried why a 'child' had a credit card?. Running it through the swipe, this was declined. "Alright, you'd better sort it out when you get off" said the inspector, walking away.
My point is, how can we expect young people to have any respect for rules when they're not enforced anyway? And how many times has that happened, pushing up the already over-inflated price of journeys for the rest of us?
Monday, June 23, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
"Have you noticed how the political establishment hates elections? It regards them as vulgar, foreign, exhibitionist and unpredictable. To those in power they are mere concessions to mob rule. If electors did not insist on them, elections would have been abolished long ago as Victorian gimmicks to appease proletarian sentiment."
Major players including France, Britain and Germany have all but ignored the obvious will of the populations of their partner states. Make no mistake; this is dangerous territory. For those of us who spend our lives in local government, we have seen the slow erosion of real democracy for some years now. At the very time Brown's government is trumpeting its "localism agenda" from every rooftop, the population and its elected local mechanisms have never been more emasculated. The 'earned autonomy' promised by Labour's performance management initiative, (where those authorities deemed Excellent by the Audit Commission inspections) came to nothing, as none of the freedoms and flexibilities were ever clearly defined enough to make a real difference.
Mr Jenkins argues that both Labour and the Liberal Democrats, in making a manifesto commitment for a referendum, have broken their promises to the country. When Switzerland's conservative catholic governments in the 19th century overrode the will of the people, there was civil war - not to mention political assassinations and many changes of government. Finally, the old guard were driven into exile and a free constitution was developed.
That constitution today still allows for the population - both by capita and by canton in a 'double majority' - to express its disdain. Consequently, the five major political parties are induced to work together to produce policies and state decisions which seek to meet with the population's approval, not to override it.
In a recent YouGov poll, the question "If Europe's leaders do agree a new constitution for the European Union, who should decide whether Britain should sign it?" brought a reponse from 83% of The decision should be made by the people in a Referendum".
Prime Minister Brown, President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel should think carefully about their next move. There's a lot to lose - governments have fallen for less.
Alongside ten other schools from Kent and East Sussex, children attended creative writing classes at Royal Victoria Place. A total of five hundred stories were then submitted to a judging panel made up of staff from the Courier and RVP, and three finalists were then voted on over the course of a week by school parents and RVP shoppers.
The winning entry - "The Missing Treasure" - was penned by pupils in years four, five and six at St Barnabas, winning the school a thousand pounds worth of Harper Collins' books for the school library.
St Barnabas - headed by the passionate and talented Teresa Anderson - is an excellent school with some unique challenges. It is a testament to the head teacher and the rest of her staff that they won this prize, but no surprise to those who know the school.
I'm immensely proud to have St Barnabas, a real treasure in itself, in my constituency.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
The NAS report claims that 63% of sufferers of autism simply don't have adequate support to meet their needs.
The article describes Harry Roberts of Tenterden, whose 37 year old daughter Nadya has had autism since she was twenty. Although she now has adequate support, in 2005 Nadya spent a year in a 'mental hospital' because the residential home where she lived was unable to cope with her challenging behaviour.
We simply have to do more. I hear again and again from families and carers dealing with autism that the biggest problem is understanding - that autism isn't a "mental illness", and that not everyone with autism is like Dustin Hoffman's 'Rainman'. In fact, high intellectual capacity, or 'savantism' is only found in around 2% to 3% of those with autism.
I've asked for a Select Committee on Autism at Kent County Council, so that a group of Members and officers can spend properly resourced time interviewing experts and talking to those with autism and their carers and families, to give us a better idea of how to provide the best support and care services.
Because the notion of 'waking up in another country' isn't something I want anyone to have to go through.
Friday, June 20, 2008
An unsuccessful attempt by solicitor Bill Cash, Conservative MP for Stone in Staffordshire to gain a judicial review of the ratification process were rejected by the High Court. It took a further High Court action by Conservative backer Stuart Wheeler to force the legal wheels to turn.
However, in a staggering display of arrogance, Treasury solicitors sent a letter to the High Court following Thursday's Royal Assent which said "The government is now proceeding to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon."
In turn the High Court responded through Lord Justic Richards, effectively forbidding the Government to proceed until Mr Wheeler's judgement had been determined, which should be sometime next week. In a classic understatement, the Government were "invited to stay their hand voluntarily until judgement."
Gordon Brown - currently attending an EU summit himself - seems untroubled by this unsuccessful attempt by his Government to sidestep the legal process, and is quoted as saying that this "fits in with our timetable".
When will this country stand up for itself? Headed up by a collection of Euro fanatics and Brussells groupies, we seem to be sleepwalking into a nightmare of catastrophic proportions from which it will take years to recover.
Is Britain really worth so little to this Government that it can so casually be handed over? Does Gordon Brown have so little regard for the very people he is elected to represent that he would sign away our future without even asking us?
For Mr Brown at least, fear of asking the people of Britain their view seems to be something of a habit...
Apparently afraid of offending people with mental illness or epilepsy, the Borough Council has thought up their new phrase to avoid using the word "brainstorming" - despite the fact that the National Society for Epilepsy actually use the term "brainstorm" themselves.
The borough council "thought shower" was derived from one of the council's "regular equality and diversity training sessions with all staff", and whilst they "welcome the clarification" from the National Society for Epilepsy, they urge that "if the term does offend even a small minority of people, they should get in touch."
So, a Thought Shower? Or a a collection of slow drips...
Unlike others on board whose luggage hadn't been loaded, La Campbell remonstrated with cabin crew, asking them to make personal enquiries about her missing case.
Unlike the others, Ms Campbell received personal attention from the captain of the aircraft who offered her a personal apology. Hurling abuse, she ordered him to get off the plane and find her case himself. She accused him of being a racist, and added "You wouldn't be doing this if I was white." What - offering a personal apology?
Unlike the others, Ms Campbell was apparently so disruptive and abusive that staff asked her to leave the plane. When she refused the police were called, and unlike the other passengers, she wedged herself into her seat, spat at them and kicked one officer in the shin and another in the thigh.
Uxbridge magistrates ordered her to pay £2300 in fines and sentenced her to 200 hours of community service.
Her defence lawyer Simon Nicholls said "all my client wanted was to be dealt with as though she was anybody else."
So why didn't she behave like anybody else?
Thursday, June 19, 2008
At the meeting of today's full County Council, Members approved KCC's Annual Plan. In an organisation like KCC, it takes a special breed of officers even to put a document together which sets out everything the organisation delivers. At 140 pages, it's a weighty tome.
To make sure the County Council actually delivers these services, every hour of every day, to the million and a half Kent residents is amazing, and to do this to the kind of standard which leads the Audit Commission to once again award the maximum four star rating and define Kent as "excellent" is nothing short of stunning.
"A tour de force" was how Labour Councillor Derek Smyth described it, and he's not wrong. Alex King, Deputy Leader described our task as delivering "modern services in a modern world". Whatever you call it, it's an impressive achievement.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
But almost as certain as death and taxes is the fact that fuel prices are unlikely to fall; surely all the more reason why we should be exploring alternative technologies. Yet the hybrids, like the Toyota Prius or the LPG Ford Ka, whilst novel and perhaps a little more economical, still don't really make the kind of fundamental shift that's needed.
Until now. I see from the Dow Jones "Market Watch" blog site that the Japanese have developed a car which delivers 188 miles per gallon - of water.
Don't believe it? Watch the video here.
And then wonder why all car manufacturers can't be like this?
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Went out this morning to check on the Kent Highways crew who were replacing the street lighting down Camden Road in St James'. The work was scheduled for a Sunday to minimise disruption to local traffic.
I've been pushing hard for this scheme over the last two years. It started when local residents showed me how dark the bottom end of Camden Road towards Albion Road had become, with no less than three lights out in succession. Age, wear and tear and a car crash had all taken their toll, and working with Kent Highways I managed to get not only the faulty lamps replaced, but a brand new scheme at the top end of Albion.
Now, in the new budget year we're turning our attention to a range of repair and replacement schemes, and today was Camden Road's turn. New lighting columns have been installed - not as many as were intended to be installed as unforeseen power cables will now have to be dealt with. But Kent Highways is on the case, and over the coming weeks locals will see a big improvement in street lighting generally around St James' area.
I'll be contacting residents to ask for their help in reporting lighting faults, but in the meantime, if you'd like to report a lights that's on all day, or not on at night, or even an old or broken column, please either post a comment here on my blog, or go to www.kevinlynes.com and leave a message for me.
But for the moment, Camden Road at least will be a little brighter, and a little safer.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
It's also got a game called "Magic Pen" whic has to be one of the most addictive games I've seen in ages. You can find Magic Pen at http://magic.pen.fizzlebot.com/.
I remember being in Seattle a few years ago for a week with Microsoft, where one of the things their programmers showed us was an intelligent shape drawing game - you draw a triangle, then draw a ball, and the ball rolls down the triangle.
Magic Pen seems to take this concept way further. Enjoy!
Went to Tenterden today to look for a present for a friend. It's been a while since I went there, and what a surprise I got.
It seems to have become the same as every other small shopping centre - all the usual large-chain coffee shops and clothes shops; the little gents barbershop closed down, the 'antique' shops increasingly selling not-really-antiques.
It seems to me a pity that the individuality of Kent's village shopping centres is being sold out - whether due to high rents or council business rates I don't know, but all the same, it's a real shame. What do you think?
Both France and Germany have described the result as "a serious blow" - yet they still resolutely want the EU to forge ahead. It speaks volumes about the quality of our democratic systems that, devoid of a true current mandate, our leaders wish the EU to lumber on regardless. At best, this is surely an expensive "members' club" whose exclusivity, not to mention effectiveness, dwindles with every new tranche of applicants.
At the last count, the cost of EU membership to the UK was in the region of £16,000,000 each and every day. Cast aside for a moment the "what else could we do with the money" argument, (an endless wish list of schools, hospitals, elderly care homes, roads, pavements, police...) can the Commission really tell us they've done and are doing everything they can to root out corruption and ensure that costs are pared to the bone? I think we all know the answer to that one; not a week goes by without another story in the press about MEPs or bureaucrats enjoying first class gravy train tickets at our expense.
I recall some years ago an an "Innovation Forum" formed out of the 22 top performing local councils in the UK. Within just a couple of years this had expanded to around 150 authorities, from tiny district and borough councils to the largest county and unitary authorities. It did strike me at the time that the issues faced by this range of bodies - some strategic, some local, some with a budget in tens of millions, some with billions - might be difficult to manage or indeed reach a concensus.
There is a stark similarity in the EU. The purpose behind its formation, the reasons for its continuance, even the objectives of those states seeking to join its ranks, are a world away from the initial mandate. The people are increasingly tiring of an arrogant "we know best what's good for our citizens" view adopted by most of the other leaders.
Czech President Vaclav Claus - whose forthright views on technology I had the pleasure to hear at during a dinner in the Royal Palace on the hill in Prague a few years ago - at least has the courage to admit that "the Treaty is dead". Our own David Miliband however states "...the UK will continue to press on with its ratification".
France and Holland, when allowed to voice their opinion came out massively against, and rebranding the old Constitution into the new Lisbon treaty will make little difference.
What's the old saying? "If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck...". But what do you think?
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I watched the excellent documentary 'Crime Invasion: Britain's New Underworld' on the Virgin1 channel tonight.
Investigative reporter Rageh Omaar travelled around Birmingham, pointing out the 'postcode gang' violence between the Burger Bar Boys from the B2 area of the city, and the Johnson Crew from the B6 area. Knives, and firearms have for years caused tit for tat killings, and led to the New Year's Day machine gun slayings of Charlene Ellis and Latisha Shakespeare back in 2003. Ironically, one of those convicted - Marcus Ellis - was a half brother of one of the murdered girls.
But perhaps most fascinating was a ten second interview with an elderly Asian man who was asked whether there was an effective police presence in the area.
"They are not afraid of God" he said. "How they can they be afraid of Police?"
Birmingham's young people - many armed with powerful and terrying deadly weapons - claim the reason for their behaviour is the new three R's - Revenge, Revenue and Respect.
Whilst former Europe Minister Denis McShane MP claims "..this will be seen as a stunt" and that "the Conservatives are totally unfit for Government", LibDem leader Nick Clegg has already agreed that, following discussion with Mr Davis his party will not be fielding a LibDem candidate in the ensuing by election.
The issue, of course, is Gordon Brown's over zealous push to increase the maximum period for which terrorist suspects can be held from the previous 28 days to a new 42 days.
Whilst Mr Davis now stands down from the Shadow Cabinet, his position is now taken by Dominic Grieve MP, who becomes Shadow Home Secretary with immediate effect.
Whilst I don't have an issue with Mr Davis' move, I do feel that the perhaps the expenses incurred by holding the by election should be found from party funds rather than the public purse. What do you think?
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Sadly, as soon as those contributions ran out - around five years - the service was pulled, leaving many elderly and disabled residents, not to mention young people and others without access to a car, stranded.
I met with transport planners at Kent County Council, and we hatched a plan whereby an existing Sunday service from another operator could be diverted from its existing route to allow it to cover the old Sherwood Sunday service. A licence would have to be applied for to allow route variation, and that should take around five weeks.
Last evening, a local resident handed me a paper which had been pushed through her door. It was a bus timetable for the new Sunday service, which is now up and running.
When another local resident made a point of shaking my hand and thanking me for bringing back the service, suddenly the effort seemed worthwhile.
This lasted until 1.40pm, when I had to leave to get to King's Hill in West Malling. Here I had a two o'clock meeting with the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Kent and Medway Mental Health Partnership Trust. I'd allowed ninety minutes for this, but it overran slightly and I found myself rushing to get to my next meeting, 4.30pm at St Barnabas Church in Tunbridge Wells to discuss the new Community Centre. I was two minutes late for this, but they were just making coffee so it was fine.
This ran until 5.40pm and I dashed back to Sherwood for the meeting of the TN2 Community Trust. I had allowed fifty minutes for this, in order that I could get to Pembury for a meeting with colleagues about campaigns in Sherwood and St James.
By the time I got home it was just after eleven - fifteen hours since I'd left that morning. And this isn't unusual - most days are like this!
Monday, June 9, 2008
The story, which was narrated and presented by Portillo, picked up at the point of Margaret Thatcher's decline and eventual resignation, through the Hague, Duncan-Smith, Howard and eventually Cameron leaderships, interviewing a number (there must be a better collective noun than this - answers on a postcard please!) of current and previous Parliamentarians, some of whom served in office, whilst others spectated from the sidelines.
The most overwhelming facet of this programme for me was the progress of the Conservative Party nationally during its "wilderness years" as it lumbered from policy vacuum to regurgitated message (remember "Save The Pound"?) in a seemingly unstoppable journey towards oblivion.
It sprang from my TV screen; it shouted loud and clear that we should celebrate David Cameron and his persona; even when Portillo nudged him towards bear traps ("So you're saying you want to be as amazing as Margaret Thatcher?) he elegantly and deftly sidestepped them. For the first time in years we have a charismatic face of modern Conservatism, and as Conservatives - at all levels, at all times - we must keep our nerve and our counsel whilst all about Labour are losing theirs.
Mind you, as I write this BBC News 24 is telling me that the Conservatives have a twenty point lead over Labour, and Brown's credibility is lower even than Iain Duncan-Smith's. The final round might come sooner than we think.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Saturday, June 7, 2008
In both Pembury and Sherwood, I work really well with the Borough Councillors and we seem to get things done as a team, but since I've never been contacted by the St James' Lib Dems it's no surprise that roads and footpaths have become so bad. Two weeks ago I set up a meeting with Kent Highways and St James' parents.
I've been concerned about the state of the roads and footpaths in St James' for a while, and never understood why the area always seemed to lose out when it came to the normal repair and maintenance programme that seem to be a matter of course in other areas.
I agreed a plan of action with locals to address the various school routes, then took Kent Highways on an hour's 'walkabout'. They agreed with me that things have reached crisis point, and went away to work up a programme.
Yesterday I met with Keith Ferrin, KCC Cabinet Member for Highways, and showed him the photos I'd taken of potholes, broken footpaths, eroded yellow lines and zebra crossings and bad patching by the utility companies.
I only hope we can make a start in St James' before we see a major accident. Watch this space.
Three fascinating, and totally disconnected, facts I heard today relating to the sixties pop group The Monkees:
Firstly, guitarist Mike Nesmith's mother was the inventor of Tipp-Ex (or SnoPake if you're American);
Secondly, that in the auditions run by the record label to find the four members of the group for the world's first "manufactured boy band", one of the final twelve successful auditions was no other than "Helter Skelter" psychotic multiple murderer Charles Manson;
And thirdly, that although Manson never made it into The Monkees, he did go on to compose with singer Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys, one of the group's 'b' side songs.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
These days are immensely useful as, outside of normal County Council business, it's difficult to find time to meet as local elected Members and discuss political business. Today we talked about local issues, joint working with our District colleagues, and the 2009 County Council elections - only 52 weeks away today!
Other items were election strategies, target seats, and new technology-based methods of campaigning.
And we discussed our recent CPA result - the Audit Commission inspection for which, despite their much-vaunted "harder test" nature, Kent was this week awarded the highest rating: a 'four star excellent authority'. Only ourselves and Hampshire remain as the only County Councils nationally to have retained the four star excellent rating since the inspections began.
It was a lot of hard work for both staff and Members alike, and since the inspectors specifically mentioned our strong political leadership, we felt we should celebrate the fact.
Thanks to the generosity of our Leader, we enjoyed a glass of champagne and a well-deserved pat on the back.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
What is dreadful is that his organisation had massively overestimated the regular monthly payments which consumers were asked to make, and then refused to pay these back when asked for a refund.
It's not just the water companies - many other large businesses ask for regular payments against phone, broadband, gas and electricity, not to mention council tax in some areas and it's only when they get exposed in the media that contrition kicks in.
I see also that Monsignor Michael Smith from Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Tonbridge, now owed around fifteen hundred pounds in overpaid credit, is being subjected to legal action by Southern Water to recover unpaid regular payments.
Isn't it time the regulators started earning their corn?
Monday, June 2, 2008
And so it's all the more worrying that a report by the Chief Constables of Cheshire and North Yorkshire to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith today highlights the crisis in UK which sees many of the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers being allowed to work in care settings without even the most fundamental criminal records checks.
The problem arises because there is simply no system in place whereby UK authorities can cross-check criminal records in the worker's country of origin. Of almost a quarter of a million migrant workers employed in the British care sector, nearly half of these provide care in the home or residential facilities. The European Union has been trying to set up a reliable system of checks since 2005, when a Directive was agreed where every member state would nominate an oficer to coordinate the sharing of criminal records. Yet to date the Labour Government has only set up pilot schemes, and then only in five UK counties. The new Independent Safeguarding Authority, which will come into being next year will still only flag up whether an individual has offended since coming to this country.
At a time when many of our frail elderly find their eyesight or hearing decreasing by the day, it's difficult enough to understand or be understood by a foreign care worker. That they also can have little or no confidence whether that person has a criminal record is nothing short of a national scandal.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
An energetic little chap, he was loved and played with constantly - even when he was clearly getting old and tired. Over the last few weeks Tucker became slower and started to drag his back legs. Then last night he just lay there, his breathing shallow, and within a few moments he was gone.
The funeral was this morning, the casket a dark blue shoebox, and I left the girls alone to say a few words before I filled in the grave. They picked roses and blossoms from the garden and placed them on the casket. All in all, a dignified affair and a peaceful end for a much-loved pet.
As my eldest inscribed on the wooden headstone she made this morning - "Heaven Has Gained Another Angel".
The annual Open Day attracts huge numbers of visitors, and is an excellent opportunity for the local community to see for themselves the wonderful work which Pepenbury does. Yesterday, walking past the china smashing stall and coconut shy, I stood and listened to the steel band, before visiting the coffee shop for a cappucino, and walking around the pottery room, where among the items for sale I fell in love with a beautiful pottery fruit bowl which I just had to buy!
Pepenbury are becoming more and more a part of Pembury life as every month and year goes by, and the village is fortunate to have such great neighbours.