Covering the villages of Four Elms, Hever & Markbeech

Category: Four Elms (Page 1 of 6)

Severe cold weather warning for Kent residents

Severe weather forecast for the South East this weekend could cause major health risks and residents are urged to follow simple steps to help vulnerable friends, families and neighbours.

A level three cold weather warning has been called for the region by the Met Office which triggers actions in the NHS, public health, social care and other community organisations, to support vulnerable people who have health issues that increase their risk of harm.

The Met Office reports a 90% probability of severe cold weather in Southeast England from Wednesday 7 December to Monday 12 December. Very cold nights are expected with widespread frosts and daytime temperatures just above freezing. Wintry showers are likely to affect some coasts, bringing a risk of icy patches.

KCC Director for Public Health, Dr Anjan Ghosh said: “Cold weather can have impacts on anyone, but people with underlying health problems, such as older people and those who are frail, are at greater risk. Direct effects of winter weather include an increase in incidence of heart attacks, strokes, respiratory diseases such as influenza, falls, injuries and hypothermia.

“Every year, cold weather can lead to extra deaths and it is vital that during this prolonged period of severe weather, people act to keep themselves and their homes warm – even if this is just by heating the bedroom and living room. We’re also urging people to look after vulnerable family and neighbours, and to assist their local community. Taking measures to stay warm and work with others can make a life-changing difference.”

Nationally, there are thousands of excess winter deaths per year because of a drop in temperature.

Kate Langford, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Kent and Medway, said: “Staying warm during cold weather is really important and there are simple steps we can all take to help ourselves and vulnerable friends and family.

“Cold weather can make some health problems worse and some people may need extra help during the winter. Keep in touch with your friends, neighbours and family and ask if they need any practical help, or if they’re feeling unwell.

“If you do need NHS help and you’re not sure where to go, visit for a list of local services, including urgent treatment centres.”

Remember to get your flu and Covid-19 vaccines and the Covid-19 booster jab. Find out more about how and when to book flu vaccinations and Covid-19 vaccines.

More information is available about how to keep yourself and others safe during cold weather through

There are tips below about how to keep yourself and others safe during cold weather, and you can find out more information at


Keeping your home warm, efficient and safe:

Try to heat the rooms you use to at least 18°C if you can, as this reduces the risk to health of someone wearing suitable winter clothing.

  • Overnight, people who are 65 and over or who have pre-existing health conditions, may find bedroom temperatures of at least 18°C are good for their health; this may be less important if you are a healthy adult under 65 and have appropriate clothing and bedding.
  • If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and your bedroom just before you go to sleep.
  • Get your heating system and cooking appliances checked and keep your home well ventilated.
  • If you have an electric blanket, use it as instructed and get it tested every three years. Never use a hot water bottle with an electric blanket.
  • Do not use a gas cooker or oven to heat your home; it is inefficient and there is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning which can kill.
  • If you are not on mains gas or electricity, make sure you have a good supply of heating oil, LPG or solid fuel so you do not run out in winter.


If you need to go out:

  • Wear shoes with slip resistant, good grip soles.
  • Make sure you are not caught out by snow and ice; stay tuned to the weather forecast and plan ahead with food supplies.
  • In periods of severe weather such as snow and ice, do not travel unless necessary. Get up-to-date traffic information at
  • People are urged not to go to A&E or call 999 unless it’s an emergency. If you are in any doubt, NHS111 can help you get the right treatment.


Look after yourself:

Sitting or sleeping in a cold room is not good for you and increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke and breathing problems.

  • Keep your bedroom windows closed on a winter’s night; breathing cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.
  • Exercise is good for you all year round and it can keep you warm in winter.
  • Keep moving if you can, this will help keep you warm. Try not to sit for more than an hour, get up and walk around, make a hot drink and spread housework throughout the day.
  • Wear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer; this will trap the heat better to keep you warm.  Thin layers of clothes made from cotton, wool or fleecy fibres are particularly good for maintaining body heat.
  • Wear shoes with a good grip to prevent slips and falls. Make sure you have spare medication in case you are unable to go out.
  • Food is a vital source of energy and helps to keep your body warm so have plenty of hot food and drinks.
  • Aim to include five daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Tinned and frozen vegetables count towards your five a day.
  • Prepare for cold weather. Stock up on tinned and frozen foods, warm clothes and any medication so you don’t have to go out too much when it’s cold or icy.
  • Power and utility companies have schemes which make at-risk groups a priority for reconnection following power cuts. Find out if you meet the criteria and if so, sign up. Visit for more information


Keep the warmth in by:

Fitting draught proofing to seal any gaps around windows and doors.

  • Making sure you have loft insulation. And if you have cavity walls, make sure they are insulated too.
  • Insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes.
  • Draw your curtains at dusk and tuck behind radiators to help keep heat inside.
  • Make sure your radiators are not obstructed by furniture or curtains.


Get financial help:

There are grants, benefits and advice to help make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills. It’s worthwhile claiming all the benefits you are entitled to before winter sets in.


More information is available about how to keep yourself and others safe during cold weather through

Warm Spaces

Warm Spaces – Many households are struggling with the cost of living, including the steep rise in the price of their heating and energy bills, with some facing tough decisions about whether and when they can heat their homes. To help residents during this challenging time, the Sevenoaks District Council has developed a Warm Spaces directory. Warm Spaces are community or business places that provide a safe and friendly public space where people of all ages can go and spend time reading, studying, chatting with others and meeting new people.

Some of the venues also offer support, services and advice.

The directory is available on the Council’s website  The directory also has a sign up form for local organisations and businesses who want to offer a Warm Space

Residents urged to comment on the new Local Plan

Residents are being asked for their views on ‘Plan 2040’ the new Local Plan, which will provide new infrastructure to meet the future housing and economic needs of the Sevenoaks District.

Sevenoaks District Council’s new Local Plan will manage what can be built and where up to 2040.

In order to protect the District’s much cherished Green Belt, the Plan focuses growth in existing towns, promoting the most efficient use of land and the reuse of Brownfield sites.

It includes proposals for new homes, protecting business space and supporting the District’s high streets as well as new facilities such as schools, health centres and transport. Crucially it aims to protect the District’s character and environment.

At the heart of the new plan is a vision underpinned by three principles: the creation of healthy communities, delivering the Council’s net zero 2030 commitment and seeking design excellence for all new developments.

Cllr Julia Thornton, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Development and Conservation, says:

“Our new Local Plan focuses on what our residents have consistently told us about as being important to them; protecting the Green Belt while enabling new homes, supporting businesses, generating new jobs and providing new infrastructure.

“This public consultation won’t be the only opportunity that residents will have over the next 18 months to have their say, but is perhaps the most important one as the responses we receive will shape the final version of the Plan. And as the Local Plan will affect us all for many years to come, I would urge local people to get involved and take part in our survey or attend one of our drop-in sessions. We want to hear what everyone has to say.”

Residents can view the new Local Plan and have their say at

Alternatively they can call the Council on 01732 227000 to request a paper copy of the survey.

Copies of the new Local Plan will be available at the Council’s offices in Sevenoaks and at libraries throughout the District.

The Council is also running three drop-in sessions where local people can find out more about the new Local Pan and have their say.

The drop-in sessions are taking place on the following dates and locations:

  • Edenbridge – Wednesday 30 November 2022 – 2.30pm to 5pm and 5.30pm to 8pm – Edenbridge Leisure Centre, Stangrove Park, TN8 5LU
  • Sevenoaks -Tuesday 6 December 2022 – 2.30pm to 5pm and 5.30pm to 8pm – Sevenoaks District Council Offices, Argyle Road, TN13 1HG
  • Swanley – Thursday 8 December 2022 – 2.30pm to 5pm and 5.30pm to 8pm – The Alexandra Suite, St Mary’s Road, BR8 7BU
  • Online – Wednesday 4 January 2023 – 2.30pm to 5pm and 5.30pm to 8pm- visit nearer the time.

The consultation is open until 11.59pm on Wednesday 11 January 2023.


Bank Holiday waste collections

Message from Sevenoaks District Council:

Residents are being asked to put their refuse out one day later than usual after the Bank Holiday to mark Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

There will be no collections on Monday 19 September and all collections that week will take place a day later until Saturday 24 September.

Residents are requested to put their black and clear sacks out by 7am and their garden waste out at 6.30am on their collection day.

For more information visit

Meeting Cancelled on Tuesday 13th September -Next Parish Council Meeting and Conclusion of Audit

Please note, due to the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, the meeting for Tuesday 13th September has been cancelled. A new date will be published in due course.

The next Hever Parish Council Meeting takes place on Tuesday 13th September in Hever Village Hall  at 7.00 pm for the Planning Meeting followed at 7.30 pm by the full Parish Council Meeting. The Agenda can be found here: All are welcome.

Notice of the conclusion of audit for the Annual Governance & Accountability Return has now been received and can be viewed here:



Cost of living – Support

With the recent increases in the cost of energy, food and other bills, many people may experience financial difficulties for different reasons and might not realise they’re entitled to help. The significant rise in the cost of living is a concern for everyone, and Sevenoaks District Council do offer some help and support.

There is a wide range of support available for individuals and families who are facing rising energy costs and are worried about their finances. Details of the support being offered can be found at .

Vulnerable households can access financial support to help with essential household costs over the coming months as part of the Household Support Fund. The funding from Kent County Council is available up to 30 September. Pensioners living in the District, who are in receipt of Council Tax Reduction and/or Housing Benefit, will be allocated £100 per household to help with energy bills, whilst any low income or vulnerable household can apply for support to help with essential household costs including food, energy and water. For further information please visit:

Bulk Refuse Freighter – Saturday 23rd July 2022

The Bulk Refuse Freighter will be in the Parish on Saturday 23rd July 2022.  Details are as follows:

09.15 – 10.00 FOUR ELMS – layby opposite the Church

10.15 – 11.00 HEVER – bottle bank area next to Henry Pub in coach car park

11.15 – 12.00 MARKBEECH  – Village Hall

The Freighter cannot accept white goods, washing machines, dishwashers, fridges, freezers, cookers, cast iron boilers or baths, long metal poles, building materials, manure, large parts of engines or vehicles or hazardous waste or compostable garden waste.

Hazardous waste now includes items like fluorescent tubes, televisions & computer monitors, batteries, oil tins and filters, paint and paint tins and chemical containers. These items cannot be accepted on the Saturday Freighter service and must be taken to your nearest Household Waste Recycling Centre.

Please do not leave any rubbish unattended. Please DO NOT arrive early or leave items on site, otherwise will be classed as fly-tipping and information passed to the police, thank you.

This is a service free to residents, funded by Hever Parish Council and provided by Sevenoaks District Council.

Boiler Upgrade Scheme – grants available

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) new £450 million Boiler Upgrade Scheme is now open for grant applications and payments.

Homeowners across England and Wales can now benefit from £5,000 grants to fit clean heating systems when they come to replace their oil and gas boilers. This includes clean heating systems installed from 1 April this year.

Heat pumps are now much cheaper and more competitively priced against gas and oil boilers, and closer to the cost of installing a traditional gas boiler. The scheme will improve the energy efficiency of homes, reduce energy bills and cut emissions in the long-term.

The scheme has a committed budget of £450 million over three years from 2022-2025, with an annual budget allocation of £150 million and property owners will be able to get:

  • £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump
  • £5,000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler
  • £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump




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