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Tuesday, 13 August 2013


To the Editor

The following 'Open Letter' addressed to Sellindge Parish Council is intended to be uncompromising in its assessment of the way the Council operates. However it is not intended to be a direct criticism of people as individuals. Indeed there is no intention to demine the Councillors or the Parish Clerk. The intention of the letter is to provide a sharp reminder of what this village expects of its representatives and to encourage Councillors to operate in a professional way.

Kindest Regards
Ronald Lello

Grove House
              Sellindge  Kent TN25 6JX

I am writing as a Sellindge Parishioner and a former Chairman of the Sellindge and District Residents Association to voice my concerns regarding the apparent failures of the Parish Council and its Clerk to effectively fulfil their duties towards the Parish – a concern that is shared by many residents.
It is beyond doubt that Sellindge village has a great deal to commend it.
Most of the people who live here choose to do so because of the combination of facilities that Sellindge offers. We have an award winning modern surgery and dispensary. We have a friendly Post Office and an efficient Supermarket.  Nearby is an excellent and hospitable Farm Shop with a wide range of produce. We have a Pub, an active Sports and Social Club developing among other things activities for teenagers  and children. There are plans to teach youngsters to safely ride motor cycles. And there is a special centre called the 'Pop Inn' – a friendly meeting place in the Community Hall – mainly for those of a certain age and we have Michael who will bring you and take you home again. Our school, led by Helen Baxter, is recognised as amongst the best in Kent. St Mary's Church is active. Clubs and activities are plentiful and we even have a hairdressing beauty salon. Drive though the village and catch those characteristic glimpses of surrounding countryside of outstanding natural beauty. Take a look at the houses – old and new  –  they are well built and well designed and Sellindgers keep them looking good.  A narrow lane, or a footpath leads to the river or a stream – or perhaps  a glade of trees or ponds of fish and frogs and great crested  newts. Oh yes – Great Crested Newts! Wild birds and fauna abound. Canterbury, Ashford, Folkestone – the beach and the Downs are but a few minutes car trip away and yes, we have a bus service. OK! the motorway and the railway line, detract somewhat - Sellindge is not perfect - but if you are looking for an affordable family house to bring up your children in a good environment, or somewhere to retire, the community of  Sellindge has so much to offer.
People have invested in their homes and houses here and do not want to see that investment decline. None of us can afford to lose money on what is for most of us the biggest investment in life. However in recent years a series of proposals have been made that involve millions of pounds of big business investment with the expectation of large profits and/or the development of professional reputations  – all at the expense of Sellindge villagers. The lorry park between Aldington and Sellindge, waste treatment and huge wind turbines opposite the old Folkestone Race track represent the greatest threats.  Were such proposals to succeed there will be a serious downward movement of property values of houses nearby as well as, and perhaps more importantly, a significant deterioration of local amenities.  Millions of pounds are at stake, not to mention reputations – personal and corporate. Companies making such investments do not play games. When dealing with such organisations and the people who run them, an organisation like a Parish Council must surely act with great caution and professional expertise.
Unfortunately it does not appear that the Sellindge Parish Council or the Parish Clerk can be said to have experience of managing  large business operations nor does anyone serving on the Parish Council have expertise regarding the construction of lorry parks, the development of waste treatment plants or land based wind turbines. Evidence of this is all too apparent in the latest contribution of the Parish Clerk to Sellindge Village News when reporting the recent visit  of the Parish Council to Countrystyle at Ridham Dock.  The Parish Clerk places herself at a severe disadvantage due to lack of experience when dealing with skilled managers who sit on a budgets worth £millions and whose decisions affect our well-being. But alas matters appear even worse than this.
The Parish Clerk appears unable to fully articulate or convey intended meaning in Parish Council  communications.  To be charitable, the account given monthly by the Parish Clerk in the Sellindge Village News does not read well.  To be uncharitable, the message is often muddled and meaningless.  One example is the so called apology to me in the Sellindge Village News in respect of the public accusation made that I was constantly negative about everything that happens in  Sellindge and that I 'slagged off' all Parish Councils. People with whom I have spoken and who read what she wrote, thought that somehow it was me who was at fault. The reason for the apology to me was not mentioned at all, so no one knew why the apology was given.
When the Parish Clerk was asked at recent public meetings to identify something that would normally be found in the Minutes of a previous meeting, such detail appeared to be absent. Reporting of meetings lack substance and again this can be seen in the latest report in Sellindge Village News. All indications are that the Parish administration is in a mess. If the Parish Council cannot express itself clearly or work efficiently with regard to standard procedures for clean footpaths and trimmed hedges, how is it to look after the interests of Sellindge Village as a whole when dealing with large scale business interests? I do not doubt that Councillors are well motivated and are prepared to work but you need more than motivation at a time like this.  
So given lack of experience and knowledge how should the Parish Councillors conduct Parish business in the interests of parishioners?  The answer is very simple. First they should ensure the Parish Clerk stops trying to run the Council and then attend efficiently to the duties of a Parish Clerk. Then the Council should do what every successful businessman does and what any manager of any kind of complex activity does. They should get advice from people who do have the experience and the knowledge. The Parish Clerk has maintained this is not the time to ask for advice. Why? People with expertise are not difficult to find in Sellindge and I am certain such people would be happy to give advice especially if it will protect property values and amenities we all value. Anyone with common sense seeks advice about things they do not understand or have not previously encountered and people always have done this.  "I don't know – but I know a man who does!" is the refrain. And these days there are just as many women as men 'who know!' It is just simple management technique.
Now according to her contribution in the Sellindge Village News, Countrystyle want the Parish Clerk  to be a 'one stop  information point' so that Countrystyle can channel all communications through her. This would save Countrystyle having to answer a range of questions from those people affected. Oh yes? Would this not mean that Countrystyle will be telling the Clerk what to say and do? In effect, the Parish Council will become the official Information Desk for Countrystyle Ltd. This would be
extraordinary! Certainly I am sure Countrystyle will be delighted to realise they have a tame and compliant non-challenging Council but is this what we villagers of Sellindge want? Has the Parish Council seriously considered and approved this or is this something else 'created' by the Clerk?  Now had the Parish Clerk taken  professional advice as was advocated at a recent public meeting regarding the Parish Council's visit to Countrystyle Ltd., I think the advice would have been to do a great deal of research before going.
    Each Parish Councillor should have prepared questions and asked them  - but they didn't
The Parish Council  should have wanted to  know why Countrystyle  claimed to be doing so much for Sellindge when in fact, all Countrystyle's re-assurance was to repeat 'conditions' applied by the planning authority when permission was first granted. But they didn't.
The Parish Council should have wanted to know why Countrystyle, not long ago, seriously broke the law and were fined around £250,000 for doing so. But they didn't.
The Parish Council should have wanted to know what safeguards are now in operation to prevent such a terrible action – an action that would compromise this village and surrounding land -  happening again. But they didn't.
The Parish Council should have consulted the Environment Agency and ascertained whether Countrystyle had recently contacted them. They should have wanted to brief themselves in depth so they properly understood all the Environmental Conditions that apply to Countrystyle developing the Otterpool Quarry site. But they didn't.
And the Parish Council certainly should have wanted to know why despite all their assurances, Countrystyle's  Folkestone operation is still subject to so much local criticism – the same  kinds of criticism  that was being made five years ago! But they didn't.
And the Parish Council should have wanted to know about current financial income and the current economic returns on waste treatment investment. Since the returns on waste treatment investment are said to have deteriorated, would that affect their operation of Otterpool Quarry as it appears to affect the Countryside operation at Downs Road? But they didn't

Instead, at the last public Parish Council Meeting, most  Councillors and the Clerk  smiled warmly as they recalled a delightful morning spent at Ridham Dock and said what nice clean people Countrystyle were and their visit was certainly not  about a public relations exercise on behalf of Countrystyle, intending to soften up the Parish Council. Well they certainly did that. And now the Parish Clerk asks for sympathy for Countrystyle who have 'a lot of work' to produce documentation for 'submission to either the KCC or the Environment Agency or both.' Poor old Countrystyle!

The quality of people's lives and their financial well-being is what is at stake here. Is Sellindge to retain its integrity or are we to let outside vested interests establish themselves un-opposed  while remaining indifferent to the well-being of the village. The Parish Council must return the Clerk to her  duties as Clerk and then begin to seek advice from people who understand what threatens  our  Village of Sellindge. With such leadership Parish Councillor heads will then be held high,

Ronald Lello: Sellindger and lately Chairman of Sellindge and District Residents Association
Copies to: Damian Collins MP, Cllr Susan Carey, Cllr Jenny Hollingsby, P Wignall Shepway DC, Environment Agency , KCC Planning Dept.

Monday, 12 August 2013


                                                                                                                        COUNTRYSTYLE WASTE SITE DEVELOPMENT.
The Sellindge & District Resident's Association maintain strong opposition to the building of a waste and Digester site at Otterpool Quarry, even though permission was approved by KCC over 2 years ago. We will be doing our utmost to ensure that all 37 conditions are adhered to and tested before construction period.
In a recent meeting with Sellindge Parish Council, it was stated by the Chairman that their initial opposition has now changed to supporting the application.

Friday, 21 June 2013


We are delighted to announce that two of our Resident Association members have been elected to serve as Sellindge Parish Councillors. Chris Mason will also be joining the Council as three positions were available.
With over 18 % turnout, the results are as follows:

Carlton Chislett: 161 votes.
Pat Vago: 132 votes
Chris Mason: 127 votes
Janet Mathews: 110 votes.

We wish all three successful candidates well in the future, and good luck in working with the existing council members.

Commiserations go to Janet Mathews who ran a closely fought race. We wish Janet well with all of her other village commitments. It is noted and much appreciated by all at the Residents Association.

Les Barratt. Co Chairman.

Friday, 14 June 2013


Four candidates are standing to serve as Parish Council members. All have been invited to say something about themselves here, on the Sellindge & District Residents Association website:

PAT VAGO. (Independent)
My name is Pat Vago. I live on Stone Hill and I am standing as a candidate in the forthcoming Parish Council Election. I have lived here in Sellindge, with my husband, for thirty six years. Our children went to local schools and I taught at the North school in Ashford for 17 years.
Over the last five years I have played an active role in the Sellindge and District Residents Association - fighting to stop the Anaerobic Digester development on the quarry - helping develop the proposal for the new Sellindge Village Green - suggesting we line the A20 with trees to encourage drivers to slow down as they drive through the village.
Today, we all know that Sellindge is going to change. Shepway's new 'Core Strategy' means that there will be new housing around a village green opposite the Post office. This will have implications for the surgery and the school. At the same time, issues such as the Quarry, the Wind Turbines and the Lorry Park will continue to loom. Yes, Sellindge is going to change and if you vote for me, I will do all I can to make that change, a change for the better.

CARLTON CHISLETT (independent).
My name is Carlton Chislett. My family came to Sellindge in 1939 and have been here ever since. I have continuously lived and worked in Sellindge all my life as a general builder and feel it's a great place to live, not just for myself, but also for my wife and children.
I am a member of the local Resident's Association and feel that the work carried out over the past five years has been paramount in keeping greedy and short sighted developers at bay. My vision for Sellindge is one that we can all contribute to. We have all seen how 'people power' works, whether it be the march against the Quarry development or the attendance of Parishioners at Shepway's Development control committee that threw out the single turbine application last December.
If I had to describe myself, I would simply say I'm a straight talking, no frills kind of person 'that does what it says on the tin'. I am sure that the experience gained within the Resident's Association would serve me well should you wish to vote for me as one of your new Parish Councillors.

Hello. My name is Chris Mason and I am standing for election to the Parish Council. I am 53 years old and have a long background in carpentry and general building. I have been around the village of Sellindge for many years, having my store yard at the premises of the late Mr. Walker's Homelands farm. I have taken a background interest in the development of Sellindge, but as I now have sufficient time, wish to become more involved.
We all know the Government plans for the expansion of rural communities and I would like to be iinvolved so that the essence of Sellindge is maintained whilst complying with the rural plan.
Having talked to councillors, I believe that a more pro-active council can help to improve the village, whilst maintaining a tight control on budgetary affairs. If elected, I hope to bring my experience to bear to help maintain and improve village life.
The election is on the 20th June and I hope you will vote for me to maintain village life.


My name is Janet Mattews. I am standing for election as parish councillor.
I have lived in Sellindge for 23 years. I have three sons who attended Sellindge Primary school over the years. I am head gardener for a small estate in Lympne, and care passionately about the environment.
I am a member of the Sellindge Village Hall Committee, supporting the maintenance, upkeep and running of the hall for others to use for village clubs, outside clubs and functions. I was also a founder volunteer along with others in the setting up of a village youth club four years ago.
I believe supporting, where I can, village views and concerns on village issues, whether it be development, traffic, pot holes or any other issues people have, however big or small.

                             PLEASE VOTE ON THE 20TH JUNE, 2013 IN THE VILLAGE HALL. 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Further website improvements made.

Email (Feed Burner)
You should all now have been transferred to the new email system.
Please follow the instructions sent earlier this month.

If you need further assistance or I have missed you please feel free to email me:

Mobile Site
For those of you with smart phones that can access the Internet.
The mobile site has had a overhaul and now resembles the following.
Please feel free to browse and stay connected from anywhere at anytime.

Web address for mobiles will still be

Other tab
I have added a tab to the top of the page for all posts that do not fall into the other categories.

The date for the election is getting closer.
Please remember to check this site daily for regular updates.

Kind regards,

Friday, 17 May 2013

Spread the word

Many of you may or may not know about the coming election.

Bellow is a simple poster/flyer that will pop up in a few places around the village.
Feel free to download and print your own copy to help spread the word.


Here is a schedule of dates that apply to the sequence of events and critical dates leading up to an election.



Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Electronic mail updates (Feed burner)

Transfer of service

Feed burner is a powerful tool designed by our good friends at Google.
It allows this website to deliver a more prompt and automated email update service.

I will attempt to transfer everyones email over soon, you can expect an email that resembles the following:

All you need to do is click on the blue link located in the main body of text to activate the new subscription.

To set up a new subscription

If I miss your email then the flowing simple steps will  get you signed up in minutes.

Type your email into the ''folow by email'' section. A new window will open.

 Type in the green text in the box at the bottom of the page, this is to prevent spam and junk mail.

Feed burner will send you an email. Click the blue ''close window''.

Check your E-mails for a new message from ''feed burner''.
Then follow the provided link.

If you have any concerns or questions please send them to

Kind regards,
Kyle Clark.

Monday, 22 April 2013

The world wide web, keeping you up to date.


Many of you who regularly visit the site may have noticed, there have been many significant changes.
I have tried to give the site a fresh modern look and make it clearer.

A brief itinerary of the changes so far is listed below.
Please send any quires and suggestions to:

Kind regards,
Kyle Clark.

New header, side bar has been refined into simple tabs:

The header has been split into two site title and a slogan at the top, the main areas of concern moved to the right hand side of page.

The links in blue on the side of the page are being transferred to separate tabulated sections to make
site navigation more streamlined. Click on any tab once to view.

Search Box:

Use this for locating specific interests that you cannot easily find.
Simply type in the box and click on search.

Follow by Email:

The E-mail system has been updated to streamline the service.
Please re-enter your details into this box to receive regular updates.
A follow up post will explain this in greater detail.

Pictures and videos:

I have added a little inspirational feature to get us all taking videos and photos not just of our gatherings but of the beautiful AONB landscape that surrounds our village.

Currently this feature is streaming from a google search but when enough photos have been received I will set up a slide show. Who knows your photo could be featured?

Please submit all photos or videos to -

Share the news:

For those of you with social networks and email I have added a share function at the bottom of each post.

To share simply click on the logo that best represents your desired medium and follow the on screen instructions.


This has been moved from the side of the page to the bottom.
This should make it far easier to locate and read.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


Isn’t it amazing just how the computer has taken charge of our lives. Ten years ago, email and the cyber world was thought to be little more than a useful tool that would assist communication sometime in the future. Only four years ago when we first set up the Residents Association, the ‘useful tool’ label had changed to ‘essential tool’.  And today the computer with all its accessories  and facilities is central to and at the heart of any campaign and it is unthinkable to operate without one. Indeed what misery manifests when something goes wrong and we find ourselves isolated from the cyber world out there!  But while usage of the cyber world has intensified at an amazing rate the number of people who understand how to operate it and how to sort out its problems has not moved quite so fast.

However we in The Sellindge and District Residents Association have been very fortunate. For the moment we realised we needed a computer genius, a computer genius emerged like a longed for prophet and has guided us through storms and gale force winds towards the promised land.  This genius is Dave Motley who not only had to develop our computer communication techniques and establish our web site but he also had to tolerate people like me who thought a computer was merely an impossible to understand typewriter. Now, not everyone would say Dave is the most patient man on the planet but I would like to say that he has showed over the years not just great reserves of patience but amazing tolerance and incredible fortitude especially when dealing with computer illiterates like me. And at the same time he inspired us to organise our thinking so that our principles remain steady and unalloyed. I owe him much as does the Residents Association and the people of Sellindge.  But as they say, all good things come to an end. We wish Dave well as he now devotes his energy and skills to new and challenging issues.

Fortunately holding sway today is God’s evolution (as distinct from Darwin’s – God’s meets need while Darwin’s does desperate battle with survival). So as one genius retires another  steps forward. Kyle Clark, young and creative, has now taken charge and a new vision is developing which will emphasise why Sellindge is a great place to live. As I watch Kyle at work on the computer I want to kneel in humble adulation. What is important is that he sees his contribution as a development, evolving what was established  before by Dave Motley. And that makes me happy for I am a believer in creating conditions whereby evolution rather than chaotic devolution operates.  Please do make a regular date with the web site –  We remain dedicated to bringing to your attention together with all who support us, issues and developments that affect the whole area. And good fortune to Dave Motley and Kyle Cark.

Ronald Lello  Sellindge and District Residents Association

Monday, 18 March 2013


It’s recently come to our notice that a gang of tarmac layers are offering their services in carrying out work on householder’s drives.

Needless to say, this gang is targeting the old and vulnerable and ripping them off; not just overcharging by hundreds of pounds, but by thousands.

If you are approached by this gang, have nothing to do with them, but try to get their truck registration number and telephone the police. If you suspect that a friend or neighbour is being targeted by this gang please do the same.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

61 Metre Turbine Appeal.


61 Metre Turbine Appeal.

On the 11th December 2012, Shepway Development Control Committee
debated the Single turbine application proposed by Windberry
Operations on Farmer Price's land. The whole committee had no
hesitation in throwing it out. Windberry Operations have now appealed
against the SDC decision. You now have the chance to make further
comments but please be brief, to the point and should be made
before midnight, 4th March, 2013.

Important points to be made should be : The turbine impacts AONB
landscape, both viewing from AONB and into (as backdrop) AONB land.
All members of the Development Control Committee opposed the
application with one Councillor citing Mrs Justice Laing's comments
that 'Wind turbines shouldn't take precedence over natural beauty'.
Comments made should be 'material planning considerations'.

Please go to the planning portal website:

The link should work, but if not, put in:
and then follow it through to "search for cases", then put in the
search box the reference 2191109. At the bottom of the page is the
link for making comments. Away you go.

All the best.

Les Barratt, Co Chairman. Sellindge & District Residents Association.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Site Under Construction

Hello my name is Kyle,
Dave and the Sellindge and District Residents Association have kindly left the website in my care.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Dave for keeping us all informed with this blog over the years and I look forward to picking up the baton.

Please be patient while both adjustments are made and I learn how to use the site fully.

Any changes made during this period of transition are by no means final.
If you have any special requests please feel free to submit them to the email below.

Kind regards,
Kyle Clark

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Interview on Radio Kent - Monday 18th February

If you think your house value won't be affected by Ecotricity's monstrous wind turbines, think again. In a ruling last month by the Advertising Standards Authority, Ecotricity have now had to withdraw the claim made that "Wind Farms have no long term detrimental effect on house prices".

You can hear our interview with Bob Dale on Radio Kent (96.7FM or 104.2FM) on Monday morning, 18th February, at 6.39am and 8.39am. Our representatives are Les Barratt (Initial complainant), Mandy Tragner, Ronald Lello and Richard Smithson.

UK renewables (Umberella group for the wind farm industry) will have the right to reply at 7.39am.

Please tune in and listen and let us know your feelings at

Kind regards
Les Barratt

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Updates for 9th December 2012 to 17th February 2013

The website has all the latest information on the main issues facing Sellindge. If you have any information, news or comments you would like to share, please email Sellindge Residents Association or write (our letter box is in Potten Farm shop). 

The older (pre-March 2012) information have been moved further down the right-hand column (see the 9 Sections beginning 'old'). Please also note, there is a new numbering system starting from '99' and going down with each new piece of information per Section - this will help keep the new information at the top of each Section.  

The new posts (information) added to the right-hand Sections of the website from 9th December 2012 to 17th February 2013, denoted by '* New and then the number below', are:

Section 2 - Harringe Brooks (Ecotricity) Wind farm
92) Somerfield Court Wind Turbine Appeal

93) Claims in wind farm ad were 'misleading'
94)) ASA ruling on Ecotricity and Property values
95) Safety fears grow after 80ft wind turbine collapses in gale.

Section 3 - Otterpool Waste
94) Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan

Section 4 - Barrow Hill Wind Turbine - Single Wind Turbine on land adjoining Somerfield Court Farm, Barrow Hill
94) Message of thanks to the Councillors from Anthony Bosley, Chairman - SALVATION
95) Shepway decision regarding Barrow Hill Turbine
96) Barrow Hill Turbine Rejected
97) Wind turbine bid is thrown out by district Council

Section 5 - Lorry Park
No new Information

Section 6 - Shepway Housing
92) Decision on revised 1 Swan Lane planning Application
93) Decision on revised Bernhurst Planning Application

Section 7 - other important information
96) An Epilogue..... by Ronald Lello

Section 8 - Correspondence including replies from KCC
No new information


The articles contained in this website are for general informational purposes only and have been provided by various sources including the public, newspaper content and local bodies. These articles are then presented by Sellindge & District Residents Association on this website, and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.

Through this website you are able to link to other websites which are not under the control of Sellindge & District Residents Association. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.

Every effort is made to keep the website up and running smoothly. However, Sellindge & District Residents Association takes no responsibility for, and will not be liable for, the website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond our control. This website may include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. The Sellindge & District Residents Association has no business relationship with any organisations mentioned in this website.