April Newsletter from Patrik Garten

First Fibre Broadband Goes Live

The first home has today been connected to the new Fibre broadband service, which has seen their connection improved 10-fold:

20-months in the making, this project should resolve slow and unreliable broadband problems for everyone in Bedmonton, Wormshill and Frinsted for many years to come.

As at time of writing, only Bedmonton is finished. The remainder will be released in blocks by BT as final testing and other remaining works are completed over the next 6-8 weeks – the project should be finished by the end of March.

Please be aware that getting this upgrade is not automatic, but can in most cases be ordered as an upgrade from your current supplier. Please note also that the way landline telephones (01622 numbers) work is changing – more information is available via the link below.

Waste Collections Update

Dear Residents

I hope that you are keeping well during this weather.

Most bins in the North Downs are being collected on Thursdays and with any luck the temperatures will return to something more normal. However, there may still be some legacy disruption to our waste collections due to the extremely hot weather at present.

All crews were out all day yesterday and worked exceptionally hard to get the work completed in uncomfortable conditions. Unfortunately, despite this, a large amount of work remained outstanding at the end of the day.

We have experienced a high level of sickness today, meaning we are unable to resource all rounds, therefore the decision has been made to suspend the garden service today and prioritise the catch up and completion of refuse and food waste by the end of the week.

Recycling collections will be maintained where possible but where we are unable to complete these collections, we will not be able to return prior to the next scheduled collection in 2 weeks.  I am very sorry for the inconvenience caused, but it is our priority to ensure all refuse is cleared by the end of the week (including Saturday catch up) given the hot weather.

Subject to the above, if your bins are missed this week, please report it as usual:

Litter, bins and street sweeping | Maidstone Borough Council

Please look out for your elderly and vulnerable neighbours and pass this message across your local networks.

Kind regards

Patrik Garten
MBC Cllr for North Downs Ward (Cons.)

Monthly Newsletter from our Ward MBC Councillor

Our Ward MBC Councillor Patrik Garten considers electoral boundary changes and brings news of wine tasting events.


Broadband Project Remains On-Track

An update from OpenReach this morning has confirmed that the fibre-broadband project remains on track and should be finished by March or April 2023. OpenReach have been more visible in the villages recently undertaking survey work (and of course tending to the never-ending problems with the old copper lines) and will likely start the engineering work for the upgrade in October.

Read more about this here.

Monthly Newsletter from our Ward MBC Councillor

The latest monthly newsletter by our Ward MBC Councillor Patrik Garten considers electoral reform, idling vehicles, and some very new technology using artificial intelligence used to detect littering in Maidstone.

Village clean-up – 9th April

Help clean up the village and its surrounding roads! It would be good to tidy up around village hall and the play area as well so we would welcome some extra volunteers!

If you would like to help, let me know on simon.bass@wormshill.org or on 01622 884233.

Tea and cakes can be provided as well as gloves, bags and litter picking sticks.

Defibrillator news

Great news! Kate Joy has taken this on and has got a KCC members grant from Shellina Prendergast for the full cost. It will be installed in the old telephone box and should be installed around October, all being well. We will in future years have to fundraise for maintenance but this should not be a great cost. Thanks to Kate for all her hard work.

Highsted Park update

Attached are some notes of the meeting at the village hall on the 29th July. Since then, the planning application has been completed and can be found on the Mid Kent website. There is a Facebook post from Monique Bonney, a Swale Councillor, on the following link.

We have until 17th September to respond although Rodmersham are asking for more time given the size of the proposed development.

More will be added here in the next week or two.

Alternatives to Oil for Central Heating

Most of the homes in Wormshill are heated with a combination of oil powered boilers and log-burning stoves. For many period properties, this is currently the only real option.

Newer homes with better insulation can however move to a renewable energy system and Government funding to do so has been extended until 31-Mar-22. This funding can cover the entire cost in some cases.

For homes with normal radiators and an oil fired boiler, one of the easiest systems to implement is an air-source heat pump. An outdoor box similar to an air conditioner replaces the boiler, and simply feeds hot water into the existing radiators. Powered by electricity, one of the main advantages is that there is no oil tank to fill.

The best Government funding available for air-sourced heat-pumps is the Renewable Heat Incentive, RHI, which pays home-owners over 7 years for the systems. To use the scheme, home owners must:

  1. Have a recent EPC certificate showing the annual heating demand. These cost about £50 to get.
  2. Engage with an MCS accredited installer to design and install the system
  3. Apply for RHI payments on the RHI scheme site, with the EPC number and MCS installation certificate number.

There is more information about applying for the MCS payments on Ofgem’s site, here.

The latest systems use about 1/3rd of the electricity when compared to an electric heater, and so have a running cost that should break-even with oil at about 45p per litre.

The Government funding for their installation is available because a heat pump generates much less CO2 than a gas or oil boiler producing the same output. The latest systems using ‘R290’ refrigerant will provide near full output at -5°C outside temperature and work down to about -18°C , so don’t require backup heating for normal operation either.

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