Hextable Parish Council

Sevenoaks District Council Information

Sevenoaks Scoops Two Top Awards for Pushing the Boundaries of Innovation
March 15, 2018

Sevenoaks District Council collected two prestigious public sector awards on Wednesday 6 March winning the iESE Gold Award for Transformation in Health and Social Care and Civic Office of the Year.

The iESE Gold Award for Transformation in Health and Social Care was in recognition of the Council's unique approach to delivering health and wellbeing services.

iESE (The Improvement and Efficiency Social Enterprise) works with public sector organisations to help them deliver the best possible services at the best possible cost.

This award acknowledged the Council’s unique approach to delivering health and wellbeing services, including the West Kent Hospital Discharge scheme to help tackle NHS bed blocking. The scheme works with patients who are well enough to leave hospital but cannot return home for a variety of reasons, such as the necessity to move some furniture, the need for small but important home adaptions through to hoarding. The scheme also offers ongoing support so patients can continue to live independently. Since November 2017, 288 residents across the four council areas in the scheme have benefitted, saving the NHS a minimum of £129,000.

The award also praised the Council’s One You preventative health services and the Super HERO Advice Service which tackle the non-medical reasons why people visit their doctor, even if the symptoms are medical. Examples include anxiety caused by debt, asthma caused by damp housing, identifying people likely to fall and preventing it, symptoms caused by loneliness, lack of exercise and poor diet.

The Council’s Democratic Services team scooped the Civic Office of the Year award, promoted by the National Association of Civic Officers, for its work supporting the Council’s Chairman.

Most councils have a dedicated member of staff or a team supporting their Mayor or Chairman. But at ever-efficient Sevenoaks District Council, this work is carried out by Democratic Services.

The team’s primary job is organising, running and documenting Council meetings, including the publication of meeting agendas. But unlike most other councils, they promote the Chairman and manage his busy diary, with the Chairman attending some 300 events in any given year. They also organise events on behalf of the Chairman, including Armed Forces Day, Merchant Navy Day and Commonwealth Day celebrations.

Cllr Peter Fleming, the Council Leader, says: "These awards are proof that Sevenoaks District Council continues to bring forward unique services to positively change and improve the lives and opportunities of residents across the Sevenoaks District. It is great to see the work of the Chairman of the Council, in supporting and raising the profile of the amazing work of our community groups and volunteers recognised. Sevenoaks is a seriously different council and it is great to receive external recognition for our pioneering work."

May the forces be with you... as Run, Walk or Push against Dementia returns!
Feb 23, 2018

On your marks, get set, go! After the huge success of last year’s Run, Walk or Push against Dementia in Knole Park, it’s time to lace up those running shoes again as it returns in May, with representatives from Kent Fire and Rescue and the Kent Police force stepping up to the challenge.

With around five-hundred runners taking part last year, the event makes its comeback on Sunday 13 May and will once again include timed 3, 5 and 10k courses suitable for everyone from parents with pushchairs to seasoned runners.

Last year, over £4,500 was raised which helped fund dementia friendly projects across the District, such as the new Forget-me-not café in Knole which provides support and companionship to those who are living with memory issues or dementia.

Entry for the 3k and 5k runs is £13 for people aged over 16, and £5 for under 16s. Both distances are suitable for beginners, children and people with pushchairs. Ages four and under go free.

Entry for the 10k run is £18 and is intended for keen runners and not open to under 16s or people with pushchairs.

Everyone who crosses the line will receive a commemorative medal and entrants can take advantage of a range of other benefits such as a 10% discount in Up&Running in Sevenoaks and free running workshops courtesy of the Sevenoaks Ladies Joggers & Oaks Blokes to help them prepare for the big day.

Sevenoaks District Council Chairman, Cllr Larry Abraham, says: “We’re very happy to be able to support this event again and residents should be quick to sign up with 500 spaces available. Dementia is one of the leading causes of death in the UK and this event gives everyone the opportunity to not only improve their own health, but also raise money for people effected by the diseases.

“It’s great to see a bit of friendly competition between the Fire service and Police force, with many of their workforce signing up – we’ll see who comes out on top!”

Elaine Ferris and Symone Salwan who co-chair the Sevenoaks Area Dementia Friendly Community Forum, add: “We are delighted to be partnering with organisations committed to changing the lives of those living with dementia in our community. With the support of our District Commander of Kent Police, Director of Kent Fire & Rescue and the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner; all senior figures in our local public services who are running with us on the 13 May. We hope that this year’s event will be more inclusive and even more successful.

“Our Forget-Me-Not Cafés and Wellbeing Days have reduced isolation, enabled people to access support and brought joy to so many in the last year, the 2018 Run will enable us to continue these activities and we have new initiatives planned. Every pound helps us positively change people’s lives.”

To sign up and for further details visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/runwalkpush

Sajid Javid spends time in Sevenoaks
Feb 11, 2018

Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, came to Sevenoaks on Monday 5 February to find out about the District Council and to launch a scheme to help young people learn good digital habits.

The senior Cabinet Minister was keen to visit Sevenoaks District Council to hear about its recent successes, including winning Council of the Year 2017, how it became the first financially self-sufficient authority in the country and how it has led the way in local government innovation.

Mr Javid started his visit by launching the #DigitalSunsetChallenge at Sevenoaks Primary School with year 6 pupils.

The Council-backed scheme is aimed at primary school children, encouraging them and their families to put their smartphones and tech away early in the evening to aid sleep, learning and development.

The Challenge was founded by Cllr Anna Firth and local writer and journalist Linden Kemkaran with support from the Council and the Sevenoaks District Community Safety Partnership.

During the Challenge week, pupils choose a time in the early evening when they put their tech away. They write down the time they stopped using their devices, when they went to bed and how they felt the next day in their #DigitalSunsetChallenge booklet or they produce a video log.

The Sevenoaks District Community Safety Partnership is rolling out the #DigitalSunsetChallenge to 25 schools across the District. The launch was ahead of Safer Internet Day 2018, taking place on Tuesday 6 February.

Following the launch, Mr Javid spent the morning with Sevenoaks District Councillors to hear about its recent successes and future plans.

The Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, says: “I am delighted to launch the ‘Digital Sunset Challenge’ in Sevenoaks today. As a father of four I am acutely aware that we all have a part to play in equipping our children to use social media in a positive way. The pressure to be connected ‘24/7’ is now so strong that it is vital we teach younger children the importance of taking a break from the social media and the internet especially over-night. The ‘Digital Sunset Challenge’ is a great way of supporting children, schools and parents to do just that and it is fantastic to see the whole community coming together to help make Sevenoaks one of the safest places for children to be on-line in the UK”

Council Leader, Cllr Peter Fleming, says: “We’re so grateful to Sajid Javid who took time out of his busy schedule to meet us and to launch the #DigitalSunsetChallenge.

“We all know that mobile phones and other smart devices offer us huge new opportunities for learning, creativity and above all fun. But to get the best out of them, we have to learn when not to use them. Putting them away at least an hour before we go to bed has been shown to aid a good night’s rest, which is essential for young people to recover and to grow.

“We hope he found his time at the Council useful and will share our successes with others.”

Housing Needs of Local Employees and Local Businesses Survey
Feb 04, 2018

If you are a local employee or a local business and the cost of housing affects your ability to live and work locally or to recruit and retain staff, then you may be interested in taking part in a survey being carried out by Sevenoaks District Council.

The survey can be completed online at the following address: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/localemployeessurvey.  Alternatively, hard copies of the survey can be printed here.

The aim is to use the results to help develop new local plans and new housing policies for local employees and business.

Further information can be found on page 9 of the Autumn edition of the newsletter In Shape https://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/downloads/file/1008/in_shape_104_-_autumn_2017.

There is currently no closing date for the survey. 

 Well-being walking group takes 30,000th step!
Dec 18, 2017

Sevenoaks District residents are well on the path to glory after taking a collective 30,000 steps with new well-being walking group Every Step Counts.

The group, also celebrating 10 weeks of walks, passed the thirty-thousand mark on Wednesday 29 November after setting off from their usual starting point at Otford Memorial Centre car park at 10am.

The new community wellbeing walk, organised and run entirely by volunteers with the help and support of the Council’s healthy living team and led by three qualified walk volunteers, Cllr Anna Firth, Jo Kingston and Irene Collins.

The walk is aimed at residents who may never have walked before but want to give it ago and also residents with a long term condition, overweight, lack fitness or simply lack the confidence and self-esteem to go out walking alone.

To celebrate the occasion, the walk was joined by Sevenoaks District Council Chairman, Cllr Larry Abraham, Vice-Chairman Cllr Pat Bosley as well as President of West Kent Mind, Pat Downing, Chief Officer of Age UK Sevenoaks & Tonbridge, Gillian Shepherd-Coates.

Cllr Michelle Lowe, Sevenoaks District Council Portfolio Holder for Housing and Health, says: “Just 15 minutes of walking per day has tremendous mental, physical and emotional health benefits. Every Step Counts is a great way for people who have not been able to walk for a variety of reasons to start short, gentle walks with the support of other like-minded people."

Sevenoaks District Council Chairman, Cllr Larry Abraham, adds: “The walk enables people to get fit without any pressure. If you’re looking to get back into fitness or just want some company, come on down and take the next step to well-being.”