The Action Plan Steering Group, as it was originally named, was set up early in 2006 by Kingston Parish Council in response to a government initiative which required local authorities to draw up action plans reflecting the needs and aspirations of the communities they served. The first task of the Group was to draw up an action plan for the parish.
The first Kingston Action Plan was published in 2007 after extensive consultation with residents. It was updated and republished in 2011 and copies distributed to all households in the village. A further consultative exercise was carried out in 2013 and priorities identified for action either by Kingston Parish Council or the Action Group.
The Action Group, as it is now called, continues to operate independently of the Parish Council though works closely with it. It aims to represent the voices and views of the people of Kingston and convey these to the Parish Council. It regularly seeks suggestions and ideas for new projects through the Kingston News. Membership is open to anyone concerned to protect and enhance the village and always includes two Parish Councillors.
The Group is closely assisted by a number of volunteers who undertake practical work in and around the village. As well as planting wild flowers and trees, volunteers help keep village paths clear of leaves, overhanging branches and debris, undertake monthly litter collections and try to protect roadside verges in the village from damage by traffic.
Over the years, the Group has been involved in securing several important road safety improvement measures and has campaigned constantly for action to reduce the speed of traffic through the village. We were successful in convincing the Parish Council of the need for additional bins for litter and dog poo and since their installation there has been a marked reduction in problems with both. We are also currently liaising with local landowners and East Sussex County Council to secure an improved surface for one of the public footpaths in the village.
Recent work has concentrated on green initiatives. Several thousand daffodil bulbs were established along verges in Ashcombe Lane and Well Green Lane in 2009. More were added in later years including over 1000 opposite the garden centre on the Lewes-Newhaven road.
A new hedge was planted on the Village Green (behind the Juggs) in 2010 and has since been under-planted with wild hedgerow plants and snowdrops. More snowdrops were added here in the spring of 2018 and a variety of wildflowers, bought as plug plants and grown-on by villagers, in 2019. We helped the Pre-school Group to plant a new copse on the Village Green in October 2019. Crocus bulbs were planted among the small trees.
With financial help in 2017 from Waitrose (to the tune of c £300) and in 2018/2019 with a further £4000 from the Tesco Bags of Help Community Grant Scheme, many more bulbs have been planted in the village to add to the several thousand already established which were financed by individual private donations.
There are now 12,000 crocus, mostly on Snednore but also around St Pancras Green, as well as 10,000 snowdrops along verges in The Avenue and The Street. In addition, volunteers from the Group have planted more than 400 primroses and around 250 other wildflowers of various species, each selected for its attractiveness to pollinating insects. It is the ambition of the Group to continue to add to these, year on year.
We are always pleased to receive suggestions from residents and welcome offers of help. If you would like further information, please get in touch with a member of the Action Group whose contact details are below.
Victoria Scott (Chair) firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Berry email@example.com
Barrie Lambert firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Ambrose email@example.com
Will Dorman firstname.lastname@example.org
Dinah Morgan email@example.com
Robert Watson firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Wheeler email@example.com
Serving as representatives of Kingston Parish Council
John Bewick firstname.lastname@example.org