Sevenoaks Primary School Rebuilding Campaign

Michael Fallon announced his support for the Sevenoaks Primary New Build campaign on a recent visit to the school.

The school is seeking to raise up to £500,000 to contribute to a new building. The core funding for the new build is being provided by the Education Funding Agency but the school’s fundraising campaign will enable it to extend the Main Hall to support extra-curricular activities and community use of the space, increase the size of the Dining Hall, and introduce shared teaching areas.

As part of their fundraising efforts, the school is holding a family 5k run in Knole Park on Sunday 4th October.

During his visit, Michael said:  “I  am very pleased to be able to back the Sevenoaks Primary New Build campaign.  It is an excellent example of the parents and the community coming together.  I wish them all the best of luck for their family 5k run in October.”

Anyone wishing to participate in the run should visit this site:  www.sevenoaksfamily5k.eventbrite.co.uk

Westerham Company Opens New Technology Centre

Chartwell opening event Michael Fallon MP talks to Chartwell apprentices

Sevenoaks MP Michael Fallon opened the new Chartwell Technology Centre in Edenbridge on Friday 24th July.  This high-tech firm, established in Westerham in 2009, now employs 30 staff on environmental and security solutions for projects such as the Battersea Power station development, and has now taken on two full-time apprentices.Chartwell opening event Michael Fallon MP delivers a keynote speech

Michael said:  “I’m delighted and proud to open these new premises.  Chartwell is exactly the kind of growing high-tech company that we need here in Kent to create new, high value jobs.  I wish Chartwell every success in winning new project work at home and abroad.”

West Kent Mind

west kent mindMichael was a guest at West Kent Mind’s Annual General Meeting in Sevenoaks on 23rd July. Speaking at the event, Michael praised Mind’s work over the past year and the huge range of its activities.  He emphasized Parliament’s commitment that mental health should be taken just as seriously as physical health, and he outlined government support for mental health services: a further £1.25 billion was being ring-fenced for mental health as a result of this year’s Budget, and most of this would go to ensuring that waiting times for treatment and therapy were met.  Recruitment of therapists would be improved in each region.

London Bridge Station

Inspecting the work in progress at London Bridge Station
Inspecting the work in progress at London Bridge Station

On Thursday 16th July Michael Fallon MP visited London Bridge Station for an update on the current redevelopment and a tour of the site.

The station is being rebuilt as part of the Government-sponsored Thameslink Programme.  The Programme is expected to be completed by late 2018 and will provide service users with more space, improved connections to more destinations and importantly, reliable services for commuters.

Michael said:  “The scale of the work taking place at London Bridge is impressive and I am reassured of the benefits commuters will experience once the redevelopment has been completed.

Our railways are carrying more passengers than ever before and investment is vital to ensure services operate at their greatest potential for years to come; however I have reminded Network Rail of the need to keep disruption to existing service users at a minimum and I still want to see a discount for season ticket holders who face such a long period of disruption.”

New Bus Launch for Go Coach

Michael was at Sevenoaks Bus Station to launch the new 401 silver service run by Go Coach – the Sevenoaks bus company.  He then rode on the newly purchased bus along the 401 route to Chipstead and back.

Michael said:  “I am delighted to see the new bus with its luxury leather seating and wifi.  The 401 is my local service from Sundridge to Sevenoaks and I am sure it will now attract much more custom.  I congratulate Go Coach on their new investment.

Making it Happen Awards 2015

Michael gave the opening address at the first ever Sevenoaks District Community and Voluntary Awards.  He praised extraordinary number of nominations and thanked all those who did so much, so selflessly for our community.

He emphasised the importance of community in bringing us all together and in enhancing collective well-being; he also noted the impact of volunteering on the volunteers themselves who were able to develop their own skills and widen their social base.

To close the evening Michael presented the lifetime achievement award to Sandra Stewart who ran the Brownie Pack in West Kingsdown for 27 years.  Due to Sandra’s ill-health her award was collected on her behalf by her daughter Samantha.

Back to Constituency Work

Keen to get back to constituency work, Michael held his first Advice Surgery after the General Election.  It was a full evening on Friday, meeting constituents who need his support.

Later, Michael called in to inspect the exhibition of the designs for a new Community and Conference Centre in the Bat & Ball area of Sevenoaks.  Sevenoaks Town Council and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Competitions announced a shortlist for the competition recently.  You can see the designs and provide feedback on the five concept designs which have been shown anonymously by 11.59pm on Monday 18th May here.  The judging panel will shortly make its recommendation to the Town Council and the winning design will be publicly announced on 8th June 2015.

Once the preferred concept design has been chosen then a more detailed plan for both interior and exterior will be produced in approximately 6 months.

All Churches Together

Two All Churches Together election hustings with all the Parliamentary Candidates have now been held – one in Hextable for the Swanley group of churches in mid-April and one last night in the United Reformed Church, St John’s Hill for the Sevenoaks Group.

Nearly 200 people attended both meetings and the candidates answered a range of questions covering Christian values, the NHS, local education, housing, foreign aid, Trident and defence, immigration, and the deficit and national debt.

 

Rafferty’s in Eynsford

Relaunch of Rafferty's of Eynsford
Relaunch of Rafferty’s of Eynsford

Rafferty’s, the village shop in Eynsford, was relaunched by Michael today.  It is opposite Norman’s Butchers and Wards Estate Agents.  The shop has recently undergone a refit and a change of direction.  Lots of local produce (including Shoreham wine) is now stocked.

Rafferty's now open!
Rafferty’s now open!

Many congratulations – very best wishes for the future to Rafferty’s.  There was a  crowd and it was great to see again Norman as well!

Michael with Butcher Norman
Michael with Butcher Norman

 

Nepal Earthquake

Nepal Earthquake Appeal
Nepal Earthquake Appeal

Two weeks before the earthquake struck Nepal an expedition of boys from Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys (many of whom live in the Sevenoaks area) went to do some charity work and trekking in Kathmandu and Pokhara with World Challenge – exactly where they earthquake struck a week ago.  One adult member of the group is still stranded there (but safe).  Many of the places they saw and people they met will have been greatly affected and so the students decided to arrange a cake sale for the DEC appeal.

Fundraising for Nepal
Fundraising for Nepal

Michael called at the stall in Bligh’s, Sevenoaks today to provide support and, of course, invested in a few cakes as well.  He explained to the students how the Ministry of Defence has been able to assist with aid and described the personnel and equipment that has been mobilised in recent days – but the problems facing the country are huge and devastating – as many of them already knew.