Growing former colliery village to get its own parish council

Hersden is getting its own parish council

Hersden is to get its own parish council next year.

Canterbury City Council says the move follows a public consultation which showed that the expanding former colliery needs its own voice on local matters.

The parish council will operate from the Hersden Neighbourhood Centre and will be immediately responsible for such things as maintaining the play area and the BMX track, grass verges, litter picking and street furniture.

The creation of a Hersden Parish Council comes as part of the city council’s recent Community Governance Review (CGR).

A drive to recruit parish councillors is underway.

Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding

Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, chairman of the cross-party CGR Working Group, said: “Parish councillors are there to listen to residents and represent their views, decide the parish council’s priorities, make decisions and use their knowledge of the area to influence the decisions made by others.

“All parish councils are consulted about planning applications made to Canterbury City Council from their area.

“And they can can also influence the city council’s approach to issues like flytipping, parking and waste collection and are part of its meeting dedicated to rural issues, the Rural Forum.

“Kent County Council also listens to parish councils around issues like speed limits, traffic calming and potholes as well as the other services it provides.”

To begin with there will be nine parish councillors. If 10 or more people are nominated to become parish councillors, an election will be held at the same time as the Canterbury City Council elections in May. If fewer than 10 people are nominated they will automatically become parish councillors.

Cllr Fitter-Harding went on: “Parish councils need people who are willing to give up their time and volunteer to be parish councillors. Meetings usually take place once a month.

“In return, they get the satisfaction of being able to make life that little bit better for the people living in their area.”

The new parish council will cover the original village of Hersden, Chislet Gardens and the areas of Chislet and Westbere. It will also include the homes proposed for Hoplands Farm, Hersden Colliery and, eventually, north Hersden.

The city council is in the process of calculating what the council tax precept for the new council will be.

A public information event on the new council will take place at the Hersden Neighbourhood Centre in The Avenue at 6.30pm on Tuesday, December 4.


  1. It is welcome news that the soon to be enlarged Hersden village is to get a Parish Council. However Cllr Fitter Harding is no believer in local democracy as is evidenced by his insistence in promoting the Multi Storey Car Park at Canterbury West in spite of rational comments from the community. Has the City Council even thought about the effect of autonomous cars and their lack of need to park in the City Centre?

    The City Council as a whole has a sad record of ignoring Parish councils when they make well reasoned comments on Planning. Examples of this in recent years include the councils of Herne, Sturry and Thanington..

    The enlarged community of Hersden could have been planned to have a proper centre on the old A258 with that route looped to the south to by pass the areas of new development. Sadly this has not happened and we have the ugliest school building imaginable and a home for older people scattered around, when they could have formed the nucleus of a proper centre. A road with 22,000 vehicles per day will bisect the community, causing a divisive and unsafe outcome.

    The suggested development between Sturry and Canterbury would,again, if it is approved, be slashed into pieces by that same A28. It would also remove the Green Gap which City Council Policies had sought to achieve

    There seems to be no proper Planning function exercised by the City Council , with each development entirely left to private developers, just like it was in the early twentieth century.

    At least at that time, before the Town & Country Planning act of 1948, the price of building land had not been escalated by government controlling its supply. Graphs are available to show how the cost of land, rather than the cost of building, really took off from the early 1950’s. The attempts at Land Value capture today only go part of the way to help.

    Who will help to resolve these issues?


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