Achievements

 

Scroll down this page for our targets and list of achievements, meetings with MPs and Meetings with County Councillors.

Our Targets and our List of Achievements

WE HAD TO BE big enough for decision makers to LISTEN TO us.

Our success is;

1    Reaching 1,000 members (September 2016 – 6 years after our institution)

 

WE NEEDED THE DECISION MAKERS TO KNOW ABOUT US.

Our successes are;

2    More people and Departments of Kent County Council know about us

3    Sevenoaks District Council know about us

4    Many of our Parish Councils know about us

5    The Big Lottery Fund knows about us

6    Our range of partners built up by Steve Plater through fetes etc and Roger Bryan through his newsletter distribution has grown.

 

WE NEEDED PARTNERSHIPS WITH DECISION MAKERS.

Our successes are;

7    By invitation of Sevenoaks District Council, we are members of the Local Strategic Plan Older Persons Sub-Committee.

8    By invitation of Sevenoaks District Council, we are members of the Access Group.

9    By our own efforts we are being influential in the relationship between the Older Peoples Forums in Kent and the County Council.

 

WE NEEDED DIRECT ACTION TO IMPROVE THE LIFE OF OLDER PEOPLE IN THE DISTRICT.

Our successes are;

10    Project Defibrillator

11    The Swanley Planning Inquiry – Broomhill Second Inquiry.

12    We have held or been involved in numerous meetings both formal and informal with politicians at all levels where we have discussed our Members’ concerns.

13    We have built relationships with several senior local government officers so as to ensure that the needs of older are understood by them.

14    We have taken opportunities to influence decision makers on the travel and transport needs of older people – we have met with Councillors and officers at County Hall to  discuss Bus Service Provision.

 

Our meeting with Tom Tugendhat MP in October 2017

 “I can’t represent you unless you tell me what concerns you”

The Chairman and two SDSAF committee members met with Tom Tugendhat MP on 6 October 2017.  Mr Tugendhat’s Tonbridge and Malling constituency covers some of our southern parishes; the Parliamentary wards of Cowden and Hever, Edenbridge North and East, Edenbridge South and West, Leigh and Chiddingstone Causeway, and Penshurst, Fordcombe and Chiddingstone. 

We explained that we catalogued the views of elderly people gave him copies of two recent newsletters, the breakdown of membership by Parishes, the Achievements paper and the Scams paper.

We noted especially concerns on buses (and transport in general) noting the effect on hospital appointments, and commented on the lack of provision of public toilets.

The problems of and loneliness and poor mental health treatment in the KCC area were touched on both by SDSAF and Tom Tugendhat with specific reference to the Jo Cox Foundation on Loneliness.

We spoke to him of public toilets and his assisting colleague confirmed that businesses in Maidstone (like Bromley) receive some sort of acknowledgement from those authorities for allowing the public to use their toilets.

We passed on complaints about the lack of enforcement over parking on pavements.  We told him of our concerns on how we are financed by KCC and their current ambivalent attitude to this.

We told him how our post/email membership had moved rapidly to a greater proportion of email than post.  We stated that SDSAF surface mails our newsletter at considerable cost to approximately 30% of the members who did not have access to the internet.  We referred Mr Tugendhat to our website and he wanted to know about the actual quality of broadband services received throughout his area.

He hoped that pension concerns would be reduced and briefly discussed taxation on property.

Tom Tugendhat stated he was very interested in the expressed concerns of the SDSAF members (Steve Plater to be asked for a copy of his analysis of the concerns expressed by members on their joining data).

SDSAF advised they were concerned about their finance and explained the financial funding that was received from KCC, the state of SDSAF’s bank balance and the monies maintained in case of withdrawal of KCC funding.

The meeting lasted about 45 minutes and the three SDSAF members left feeling positive about the event.

Mr Tugendhat specifically wants his constituents to communicate with him and wants to know what concerns our members.  His email address is; tom.tugendhat.mp@parliament.uk.  He offered to speak at our AGM.  If SDSAF surveys its members again, he would be happy to contribute some questions.

 

 

TRANSPORT

We had a meeting in late October 2016 with officers and Councillors at Kent County Council to talk to them about the general dissatisfaction Members have with BUS SERVICES across our area.  They invited us to meet them – that’s because they are aware of us now that we are so big. See paragraphs 1 and 2 above.

Members have complained and complained and complained about bus services and transport in general.  SDSAF has taken every opportunity to pass on these comments.  In December 2015, we had a bit of a breakthrough thanks to Veronica, one of our Members in Hartley.

Veronica told us that bus pass holders in her area were being waved on into the bus without having their passes scanned.  This means that Arriva buses have NO ACCURATE DATA on how many passengers are using the bus service.  That means, they could very easily claim that there were few passengers and that the service was not worth maintaining.  Then they would close it down.

Veronica wrote to her MP and to Paul Carter, the top politician in Kent County Council (KCC).  KCC has a huge amount of power in the provision of bus services.

SDSAF supported Veronica and also emailed Gareth Johnson, (Veronica’s MP), Michael Fallon MP, and Paul Carter of KCC.  SDSAF had acknowledgements from all of them and in December, Veronica had a reply from her MP.

Veronica writes;

Gareth took it upon himself to contact Arriva, as he had picked up from all the correspondence that it appeared that passengers were not being counted as they boarded. Their reply was as follows.


‘ I advise that our operation manager at Northfleet has issued a reminder notice to his staff in stressing the importance of them recording all passes presented at the time of passengers boarding. Additionally we will arrange for our mobile inspector team to travel on the route over the coming weeks.
I am pleased to advise that we are planning to change the current timetable and are to schedule a journey from Wellfield at 9.30, which will permit travel to DVH for concessionary pass holders. This change will be included along with a more general set of revisions to improve reliability of key services throughout the area. We are aiming to introduce these changes from March 6 2016.

He then goes on to apologise for the problems that his passengers are encountering.  I will of course keep you (SDSAF) all informed of any more issues that arise and thank you all for your continued support.

Well done, Veronica.  The continued support of SDSAF is assured!

 

SWANLEY PLANNING INQUIRY

After representations from the SDSAF to Sevenoaks District Council, the Planning Inquiry for the application to build even more homes on Broom Hill was heard in Swanley.  Last time, this was held in Sevenoaks much to the convenience of planning officers but to the complete dismay of Swanley residents affected by that decision.

 COMMITTEE WORK

SDSAF is part of a sub-committee of the District Council which focuses on the needs of older people in the District and contributes to the Council’s Strategic Development Plan.

This is probably about as close as we can be to Councillors who are the top decision makers of the District Council.  This will help to ensure that SDSAF does what we said we would do – influence local decision makers. 

SDSAF Committee Members, Medina Hall and Merilyn Canet belong to the Sevenoaks District Council Access Group.  This group tries to make sue=re that council services are available to all residents whether they are old or young abled or disabled.  We ensure  that the varying needs of older people are represented in this group. 

 

WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP

We are very happy to work in partnership with like minded organisations but Members should note that this does not threaten our independent views.

AGE UK    The Chairman of the Sevenoaks and Tonbridge branch of Age UK was the guest speaker at our 2015 AGM

SEVENOAKS DISTRICT COUNCIL     SDSAF is part of the the Older People’s Sub Committee of the District Council’s Local Strategic Plan Partnership.  See comment at the top of this page.

We have lots on this website on our achievements, please click below on your areas of interest.;

     Defibrillators

          Hospital Appointments

               Transport to Hospital

                    Consultations

                         Membership

 

We believe there are more achievements to come, thanks to all of our Members who give us their opinions so that we can pass them on to decision makers.

© 2012 Sevenoaks District Seniors Action Forum Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha