Our Annual Parish Council Meeting will be held on Monday 26 September at 7.30pm at Lynsted Church. Speakers include Parish Council chairman Julien Speed and Cllr Alastair Stewart who will talk on water quality. All residents of Lynsted and Kingsdown are welcome.  Free refreshments will be provided. See more details HERE

 

It is with great sadness that we join the nation in mourning the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.  A Book of Condolence has now been placed in Lynsted Church.  When the Church is locked, the Book will be left on a table in the porch - so residents can pay their respects at any time of day or night.

Books of condolence are also now open at Swale House, Sittingbourne and at Teynham Community Hall.  Alternatively, you can write your tribute in the online book of condolence at:
 

Long Live The King!  
We learnt yesterday evening of the passing of our sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts and prayers are with King Charles III and the Royal Family.

Any parishioner wishing to pay a floral tribute can do so at Sittingbourne War Memorial.

A book of condolence is now open at Swale House, Sittingbourne.  Alternatively, you can write a message in the online book of condolence at:   https://www.royal.uk/
 

A planning application has been filed to build 380 houses on land to the west of Church Road in Tonge.  We consider that far too many new homes are being built in this part of the borough.  The infrastructure cannot cope and the extra traffic generated would have a detrimental effect on air quality, which is already a problem.  Read our letter of objection HERE

The hugely popular Lynsted Village Fete returns on Bank Holiday Monday, 29 August.  In this Platinum Jubilee year, we’re inviting you to grace us with your presence as Quintessential Queen or Dapper as a Duke…!   There’s live music, games, races, face painting, BBQ, bar - and even a Parish Council marquee.
 
All are welcome to join in the fun at Lynsted Park ME9 0JH - from 1pm to 4pm.  See poster HERE

The Lynsted Community Kitchen Garden is holding an 'Open Morning' this coming Sunday 7th Aug between 10.30 and 13.30.  The group grows seasonal fruit, veg, herbs and cut flowers.  They follow the 'no dig' approach with the aim of improving soil health and increasing biodiversity.

If you are interested in growing your own fruit and veg, this event is for you.  Growing together shares the tasks, is really rewarding and produces a lot of food.  No gardening experience required.  Practical and hands on, with a Q&A session.  Entry is free. 

For more info, visit:  https://www.lynstedkitchengarden.com/events

 

The Director of Primary Care for NHS Kent and Medway has responded to the Parish Council’s letter regarding the re-location of the Medic Care practice in Teynham to the Memorial Hospital in Sittingbourne – which will leave the entire Teynham & Lynsted ward without a GP surgery.  You can read the letter below.

Dear Mr Speed,

Thank you for your letter.

Firstly may I apologise that you and your colleagues on Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council were not invited to the stakeholder event. We tried to make sure that as many patient representatives as possible were invited, so I apologise for this oversight.

The Medic Care practice has to move following the retirement of the previous partner, Dr Kumar, who owned the building. This is not a decision taken either by the practice or by NHS Kent and Medway.

We understand that this move will cause difficulty for some patients and are supporting people with specific issues.

Patients have been engaged at the earliest opportunity. Contract deadlines on the building meant the practice had a six-month notice period to find alternative accommodation. 

The only available option which met the necessary criteria for running a safe and clinically-effective practice was at Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital. 

We informed patients as soon as we had confirmation of a new location for the practice and ran a survey between 26 May and 20 June for patients to be able to raise any concerns or ideas. The public meeting was also an opportunity to get feedback from patients, all of which will be reviewed and used to inform future plans. 

Regarding the question of a covenant on the existing surgery building, there is no evidence that a covenant exists. The building is owned by Dr Kumar and the decision regarding future availability of the building has not been made by Dr Nilan or NHS Kent and Medway.

The priority for the practice at the moment is to get into a safe and clinically effective building. We will continue to work closely with the practice to support development of plans for them to move back to the area, taking into account local health needs and other planning and development in the area and all exploration of potential options and sites for a medical centre.

Thank you for your location suggestion. The owner of the building has also been in touch with the practice and it will be considered, along with other suggestions, as part of the process when looking at site options. 

Yours faithfully

Sukh Singh
Director of Primary Care 
NHS Kent and Medway 

A recent Ofsted monitoring visit to Lynsted and Norton Primary has highlighted the school’s improvement plan is “fit for purpose” with “detailed plans to make further improvements with the support of Trust leaders”.

This was the first monitoring visit since the school’s full inspection during the pandemic in May 2021, when it was classed as ‘inadequate’. Since then the school has seen major changes and inspectors have highlighted its “shared commitment to improving the quality of education”. 

Since May last year the school has become part of Our Community Multi-Academy Trust, appointed a new Headteacher and made a number of changes to staff including new reception teacher, new Key Stage 2 teacher and changes to a small number of teaching assistants.

The Ofsted report states: “There is sufficient evidence to support leaders’ accurate evaluations of their impact. Leaders have detailed plans to make further improvements with the support of Trust leaders. The Interim Governing Board (IGB) includes knowledgeable professionals, who provide a range of skills to support the school. They have clearly defined roles and responsibilities and know the school well. They have appropriate approaches to monitoring the progress of the school and understand the work still to be done.”

Headteacher Catherine McLaughlin, who took on the role in September 2021, said: “We have made great strides forward in a short period of time, and our recovery from the pandemic has been tough but positive. We are under no illusion that there is much more to do, but we have a team that is working tirelessly to give our pupils the education they deserve.

“The monitoring inspection has been valuable and detailed, ensuring we remain focused on the road ahead. We have a Trust that is supporting our activity and providing high-level experience which will enable us to make further improvements in all areas quickly and effectively.”

The Ofsted report states: “The different layers of Trust support and monitoring have contributed to improvements across each area for improvement identified at the last section 5 inspection.”

During the inspection, Ofsted met with the Headteacher, subject leaders and pupils, and also with members of the Trust leadership team, Chair of the Trustees, the Chair of the IGB and the CEO.

The Medic Care GP practice in Teynham will be re-locating to the Memorial Hospital in Sittingbourne next month.  This means there will no longer be a doctor’s surgery in the entire Teynham & Lynsted ward.  

Lynsted with Kingsdown Parish Council has written to NHS bosses requesting urgent action to keep the practice in Teynham.  

You can read our letter HERE
Swale’s planning committee voted last night to refuse the application to build new houses on land East of Lynsted Lane.  This follows a vigorous campaign by the Parish Council against the proposals which attracted well over 200 letters of objection from local residents.

The Council chamber was packed on a hot and muggy evening with over 50 Lynsted householders in attendance to register their disapproval.  The debate raged for one and three quarter hours with strong arguments voiced on both sides.

Speeches from parish and ward councillors emphasised the highways and parking issues, the decline of shops and services in Teynham and the loss of amenity to those living in Lynsted Lane.  The housing would result in increased car use and carbon emissions in a location already designated as an Air Quality Management Area - contrary to Government guidelines that new developments should be designed to reduce pollution.

When it came to the vote, eleven councillors voted against the recommendation of planning officers - with just one in favour and four abstentions.

The meeting was then adjourned whilst officers drafted up the grounds for refusal, which were again approved by a huge margin.

A great result for local democracy, but it remains to be seen whether the developers will appeal against the decision.

You can read the three-minute formal presentations HERE