Parish Council

Welcome to the Parish Council page. Now is your chance to put names-to-faces, so as to get to know us better. Visit the Contact Page to find out how to reach us, or the PC Notes Page to catch up on the latest PC news. Also, you can now read the minutes of the last meetings or the Statement of Accounts.

Parish Councillor register of interests.


RORY SILKIN - Chairman and Member of Planning Committee and Finance, Emergency Help Team & Strategy & Policy Groups

I am a commercial solicitor living and working in Staplehurst, which I've been associated with since about 1960. My daughters went to Staplehurst school and then on to Angley (now High Weald Academy). I chair the Council's Emergency Planing group, and I'm interested in our amenities generally. Outside the Council, I Chair the Friends of the Health Centre, and am independent examiner for the Friends of the Parish Church. If you see a big, bearded man being pulled along by a small terrier, that's me and Huxley.

TOM BURNHAM - Vice-Chairman and Member of Planning Committee & Allotments, Finance, Local Transport, Playscheme, Publicity & Website, Strategy & Policy, Surrenden Playing Field & Village Enhancement Groups

I moved to Staplehurst in 2000, having driven through it many times over the previous 25 years on the way to the Kent & East Sussex Railway. My children have attended Staplehurst school, and I use our train service regularly to commute to my job with NICE. I am a member of Staplehurst United Reformed Church and the Churches Together in Staplehurst committee. I was co-opted to the Parish Council in May 2007 and was elected as its Vice-Chairman in May 2010. I expect that the Parish Council will have to take over responsibility for more local services in the next few years. It will be a challenge to do this in a way that is both affordable and responsive to residents' needs, but I hope that all sections of our community will eventually enjoy improved amenities.

PAUL KELLY - Vice-Chairman and Member of Planning Committee & Allotments, Finance, Publicity & Website, Strategy & Policy & Village Enhancement Groups

I moved to Staplehurst 14 years ago, 2 years after relocating my specialist printing business in the village at the Lodge Road industrial estate. The units at Lodge Road combined contribute £500,000 annually in business rates. Most of this revenue goes to Central Government. If Staplehurst Parish Council could collect and keep a larger proportion of these rates, we could provide better facilities locally and the Localism Bill would be more viable.
My idea of flower tubs at Bell Lane has been successful and I hope we can soon have more around the village. I’ve worked hard to ensure the Bell Lane toilets remain open and well-maintained. You will be seeing more of me, driving a Scarab cleaner and helping to make this a cleaner community.
As well as beginning my fourth term as a Parish Councillor, I am a member of the Staplehurst Rural Settlement Group, which considers future development in Staplehurst. It’s important we have a say in our village’s future. We should be thinking in creative ways. For example, how about charging points at the station and the Parade for the new electric cars? I look to the future with optimism.

MARGARET ASHBY - Member of Planning Committee and Publicity & Website Group

We moved as a family to the village in 1994 and both my daughters attended Staplehurst Primary School. During that time I was an active member of the PTA. I also have served on the Churches Together in Staplehurst committee for 15 years. My primary purpose on the Parish Council is to listen to the concerns of residents and try to address them. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead.

JOAN BULLER - Member of Planning Committee and Allotments, Playscheme, Publicity & Website, Rural Settlement, Staplehurst Emergency Help Team & Village Enhancement Groups

I have been a member of the Parish Council for thirty years. I am involved with many projects which include the Allotment Team, Playscheme Group, editing and organising the distribution of the Village Update, the Rural Settlement Group, the Staplehurst Emergency Help Team and heading up Speed Watch. I have been working on our emerging Neighbourhood Plan which is the most important aspect of this council’s work. As a councillor I also work with Age Concern running the CHAT afternoon, am Treasurer of Neighbourhood Watch and represent the council on the McCabe Day Centre Committee and the Patient Participation Group. I enjoy mentoring new councillors. I have two further dreams – to make Staplehurst a litter-free area and to promote our community as a good place to visit as well as live. I enjoy walking round the parish, meeting and listening to what parishioners think and need. With my husband I run Staplehurst Interest Group and do voluntary work in the library. I love being part of Staplehurst’s welcoming, friendly and caring community.

PAUL BUTCHER - Chairman of Planning Committee and Member of Finance, Staplehurst Emergency Help Team, Strategy & Policy, Uprockin & Village Enhancement Groups

I have worked and lived in the village for over 30 years and have always felt that there is a lot of work to do to improve our village. By working with local groups and local people with the same outlook so much can be done. As a single parent the Youth Club is very important to me and I aim to continue to help to improve it and ensure good staff so we can open every week. I also aim to use the Youth Centre for the village with lots of groups using the space. I am a member of several groups and try to help them with lots of issues, especially with fundraising in these difficult times. Uprocking is planned at the skate park in Jubilee Field and we hope to make this an annual event. Being a Parish Councillor is always a busy role but l want to work hard to make a difference.

ANNE GOSLING - Member of Planning Committee

I moved to Staplehurst six years ago, on our return from France. Now retired, my professional career began in the Evening Standard (advertising department) before a break to bring up my two daughters. After several years as a history and classical studies teacher, I worked with the Institute of Chartered Accountants, then SEIKO, and finally ended up with the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. I am now well settled on the rural fringe of the village with my husband, dogs, cats, rabbits and chickens – very much a country person. My other special interests are music, theatre and walking. My wish is to contribute to the life of the village, especially maintaining a safe and pleasant environment. I would be particularly interested in developing a project to restore all the drainage ditches to full working order.

SIMON GREEN - Member of Planning Committee and Finance Group

I lived in Staplehurst for 28 years, having previously lived in Tovil and Sutton Valence. I am Business Manager for the Institute of Conservation, a small national charity, having previously run other charities and a small local business. I am a member of the Planning Committee and the Policy and Finance Groups. I believe in taking a positive approach to all aspects of planning so that the Council can influence development rather than having it imposed upon us. I think it is important to ensure it benefits both existing and future parishioners, whilst the amount of residential development should be carefully restricted and of high quality. The new Staplehurst Neighbourhood Plan should reflect the views of the community as a whole and we need to do everything we can to ensure our priorities are properly considered in the wider Borough plans. I have a strong interest in the conservation of books, archives and works of art on paper and I own and maintain a small nature reserve.

NEAL KEMP - Member of Planning Committee and Knoxbridge/A229, Playscheme, Publicity & Website and Rural Settlement Groups

I am new to the council having joined at the end of 2012. I moved to the village in 2007 after living in Yalding for 20 years and am married with two grown-up children. I am recently retired from the police force having served nearly 32 years in various roles in frontline policing in central London, all community based. I sought this role to take an active part in the decisions that affect residents as well as the development of the village in the years ahead.

SAM LAIN-ROSE - Member of Finance, Publicity & Website, Strategy & Policy & Village Enhancement Groups

I am 18 years of age, and have lived in the village since I was born. I am actively involved with many local groups, including Staplehurst Drama Society and Staplehurst Youth Club. In addition to this I am the owner and Managing Director of Kent's Talent. I work full-time at K College in Tonbridge within the Adult Learning Department.

I am passionate about local facilities and the young people. I am very keen to work with and alongside my fellow councillors to ensure Staplehurst has great facilities and is a brilliant place to live for all.

BARRETT MANNING - Member of Allotments, Knoxbridge/A229, Local Transport & Surrenden Playing Field Groups

I am a retired senior local government officer with 49 years service in the Corporation of London with responsibility for administering the Corporation's interests and estates in Northern Ireland. My wife and I have resided in Staplehurst since 1963 and both our son and daughter attended the local primary school under Mr Yates-Smith, Headmaster, prior to university. After retirement in 1994, I served 10 years as an adviser with the Maidstone Citizens Advice Bureau and a further 5 years as Chairman. I am currently an Independent Custody Visitor for the Kent Police Authority (15 years) and a Counsellor for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association - Forces Help (SSAFA) (9years). My interests include grandchildren, gardening, golf, cricket and photography. I also represent the Parish Council on Headcorn Aerodrome Consultative Committee and the Local Transport Forum.

JOHN PERRY - Member of Allotments, Finance, Publicity & Website, Rural Settlement, Strategy & Policy, Uprockin & Village Enhancement Groups

My background is in economics and finance and I continue to take a strong interest in the Parish Council’s finances. I have worked in both the public and private sectors and I have extensive experience of working with government departments and have been the UK representative on various international committees. I was appointed Chairman last May and as such I am an ex-officio member of all the Parish Council’s key committees and groups; and I have continued to represent the Parish Council on the Jubilee Field Management Committee as a Trustee.

During the past year we have re-structured the Council procedures by substituting the monthly meeting of the Amenities Committee with a full Council meeting. We have also set up groups to review the provision of allotments and the consumption of alcohol in the Parish. We have successfully taken over responsibility for maintaining the public toilets and the Localism Bill might lead to further the services being provided by the Parish Council. We have therefore expanded the remit of our Policy Group to include short and medium project plans for the community. We continue to work closely with our County and Borough Councillors, our Local Authorities and our local Police to ensure that policies and projects are in place to enhance our community.

JOHN REARDON - Member of Finance, Publicity & Website, Surrenden Playing Field & Village Enhancememt Groups

I have lived in this village since 1999. I am married with two children. I was co opted onto the Parish Council in 2004. I currently work as a Diagnostic Testing Officer for BT Wholesale on 24/7 shift work. This allows me more time in the village to assist in the day to day running of the Parish Council and any community issues that arise. I am currently on the Finance Group and Web Site/Publicity Group. My aim over the next year is to work with other Parish Council members to further develop the Village Web Site and other publicity issues. I also, like many others, am working to preserve this village, as a village.

ADELE SHARP - Member of Rural Settlement, Surrenden Playing Field & Village Enhancement Groups

I am a born and bred Staplehurst-ite. Whilst I may have travelled the world a bit, I always return to Staplehurst, my home. Being involved in scouting gave me the opportunity to help take part in building a hospital-clinic in Zimbabwe in 1992 and I was part of a working party in 1993 and a young leader in 1995. Helping their community to help themselves was something I was proud to be a small part of.
I am looking forward to being able to help our community much closer to home. I have worked in banking and insurance but currently work at the local Secondary School, Angley, in Cranbrook, teaching English and Media Studies. Staplehurst has a great community atmosphere, being town size but keeping its Village feel and ethics. I believe that it’s important to ensure that our community’s best interests are kept in mind when facing the future whether it is issues about public toilets or education and housing plans.

PETER SPEARINK - Member of Planning Committee and Knoxbridge/A229, Local Transport & Staplehurst Emergency Help Team Groups

Married with two grown up children, I have lived in Kent since 1973 and in Staplehurst since 1983. Now retired I have more time for daytime Council affairs. I have been active in the field of disability disadvantage, local transport matters and the Staplehurst Emergency Help Team. I believe that Staplehurst should be more forward looking and accept that it is now a town not a village. I also believe that we should work more closely with MBC and adjacent parishes.

Other contacts associated with Staplehurst

MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL - Staplehurst Ward (Staplehurst Parish)

Councillor John Perry (Conservative)
Couchman Green Barn
Couchman Green Lane
Kent TN12 0RR
Telephone: 07770 734741

MAIDSTONE BOROUGH COUNCIL - Staplehurst Ward (Staplehurst Parish)

Councillor Paulina Watson (Liberal Democrat)
9 Barn Meadow
Kent TN12 0SY
Telephone:01580 891986

KENT COUNTY COUNCIL - Maidstone Rural South (Boughton Monchelsea, Langley, Marden & Staplehurst Wards)

Councillor Eric Hotson (Conservative)
White Willows
High Street
Kent TN12 0BL
Telephone: (01580) 892312

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT - Maidstone & The Weald Constituency

Helen Grant MP
Telephone: 01622 769898
Weald Constituency Advice Surgeries at Weald Information Centre by appointment only
on third Friday afternoons monthly.


See details at: