Sevenoaks District Council Information

In Shape April 2020
May 04,2019

During the Corona virus outbreak the In Shape magazine will be going digital. You can access the latest edition below.

In Shape - April 2020 – colour version

In Shape - April 2020 - black and white printer optimised version


Key workers urge residents to stay at home
April 26,2019

Frontline staff from across Kent and Medway are leading this weekend’s stay-at-home appeal to residents during the ongoing lockdown, as part of potentially life-saving measures against the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).

A short video of key workers from across the county is aiming to flood social media channels today as emergency services, local councils, health partners and essential service providers from across the Kent Resilience Forum are again uniting to remind everyone to follow the Government’s advice by staying safe at home and only going out for essentials trips.

Those taking part in the #KentTogether campaign include a Kent Police officer, an NHS nurse, a doctor, a KCC community warden, local council workers, search and rescue and coastguard volunteers, water and power company employees, and many staff who are contributing to keeping vital services running during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Sevenoaks District Council Cabinet Member for ‘People and Places’, Cllr Lesley Dyball says “We are so grateful to our key workers for keeping services running throughout this difficult time. The best way we can thank them is by staying at home and keeping them and ourselves safe. Only leave your home to shop for basic essentials, for exercise or to help a vulnerable person. Do not visit friends or family or invite them to your home. If we all obey the guidelines, we can go back to normal sooner.”

#StayHomeSaveLives


Councillors agree £20 million leisure centre for Swanley
April 26,2019

Councillors agreed to build a new, modern leisure centre for Swanley and the north of the District at the Council meeting on Tuesday (21 April 2020).

This represents a major investment in the heart of the town with the £20 million scheme being the largest Council project in over 30 years.

The new centre will replace the current White Oak Leisure Centre that was predominately built in the 1960s and extended in the 1970s. It will give visitors an improved experience in a bright and airy, energy efficient building. 

It includes a six-lane swimming pool with a movable floor, which can be adjusted for different ages and abilities and a wide range of clubs, a learner pool, a 100 plus station gym and fitness studio and a multi-use hall. Flexible studios for classes and events alongside new activities, including Tag Active, and a soft play area all form part of the exciting plans, which will see the current centre remain open throughout the build.

To support local sporting clubs that require a large hall, the Council is working with Orchards Academy to upgrade its four-court sports hall to accommodate netball, roller hockey and other sports.

Funding for the improvements has been included in the new leisure centre construction costs.

Planning permission for the new Centre was approved in February 2020 and construction could begin in late May. Sports and Leisure Management (SLM), which operates as Everyone Active, will manage the new Centre.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of the Council, says: “By agreeing to build a new, modern leisure centre for Swanley, we have committed to our biggest construction project in more than a generation. The current centre has served residents well for more than 50 years and I know some people will be sad to see it go, but it is coming to the end of its working life. We are now making a massive £20 million investment in the town bringing an exciting new centre that can cater for new and existing leisure activities and provide facilities in Swanley for generations to come.

“We are playing an important leadership role and the new facilities will be available to all, helping people to get active and promoting better physical and mental wellbeing."

David Bibby, Everyone Active’s Managing Director, adds: “We are delighted to be working with Sevenoaks District Council and be a part of a project that will provide a new state-of-the-art facility for the local community.

“We’re passionate about creating a healthier nation – which has never been so important – and it’s great that we’re able to work with another local authority that shares this same desire. The new centre will be a true asset to local people, with its unique design and consideration for a wide range of activity. We’re looking forward to being a part of the delivery and long-term management of a facility that a community can be proud of.”

For latest news on the centre, visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/whiteoak


Council mounts Local Plan legal challenge
April 26,2019

Sevenoaks District Council has begun Judicial Review proceedings after the Government Planning Inspector refused to endorse its new Local Plan.

On 2 March 2020, the Inspector wrote the final report on the examination of the Sevenoaks District Local Plan. This report concluded the Plan was not legally compliant in respect of the Duty to Co-operate. In other words, the Council had not satisfactorily worked with neighbouring councils to accommodate homes that could not be built in the District because of the Green Belt and other protections.

However, the Council strongly rejected this allegation, which surfaced after the first round of the Local Plan hearings in October, seven months after it had submitted the new Plan and supporting evidence to the Inspector.

Within the Local Plan submission there were more than 800 pages of evidence setting out how the Council had worked with its neighbours during the production of the Plan. The neighbouring councils and other organisations involved in the development of the Plan supported the Council’s evidence and approach on this key matter.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of the Council, says: “Taking legal action is not something we would undertake lightly and demonstrates we are serious about standing up for our residents and our cherished environment, against what we believe is a fundamental failure by the Planning Inspectorate to take account of the weight of evidence in front of them.

“Working with landowners, communities and developers, our new Local Plan put forward innovative solutions to deliver almost 10,000 homes and improved infrastructure while protecting nearly all of our Green Belt. It’s a huge frustration that, after so much work, we cannot take our Plan forward at this time.

“In our view, concluding we failed to co-operate with neighbouring councils was the only way to halt the examination. We reject this. We gave the Planning Inspector detailed evidence of our work with our neighbours and, from the start, they said they couldn’t accommodate the homes we could not deliver.”

Cllr Julia Thornton, Cabinet Member for Development & Conservation, adds: “Our Local Plan is the first in the country to be assessed under a new planning framework. We believe, whilst this is not the reason the Inspector has given, failing to meet the Government’s housing figure would potentially impact on subsequent Local Plans across the country."

If the Inspector did have significant concerns over our Duty to Co-operate, these should have been raised soon after we had submitted our Plan, not months later. We fundamentally disagree with the Inspector’s conclusions and firmly believe key parts of the Local Plan requirements have been incorrectly interpreted.

“We feel have no choice but to take this course of action.”

The Secretary of State for the Department for Communities, which is responsible for the Planning Inspectorate, will have an opportunity to respond before a judge decides if the case should proceed. In the light of the Coronavirus outbreak it is not possible to estimate when a hearing may take place.


Statement from the Leader of Sevenoaks District Council
April 13,2019

"The last week has seen unprecedented actions being taken by Government, this culminated in the Prime Minister’s address to the nation and the message is clear. We must act now to keep our country safe, to suppress the Coronavirus outbreak and shield the most vulnerable in our society from the virus.

It is without any hesitation that we urge people across our District to follow the advice we are all being given. By staying at home, or working from home, we will help to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. The slower it spreads, the better our incredible NHS staff and public services can cope and the loss of life can be significantly reduced.

Staying at home and self-isolating will be difficult. And some people may worry about how they will get the food and supplies that they need. But, I assure you, if you don’t have family, friends or neighbours to help, we will do everything we can to step in and be there for you.

I have been amazed by the public reaction to this crisis across the District, with people showing the very best of humanity, helping and supporting their neighbours and communities.

A small army of volunteers have come forward offering to help. We have asked them to register with us to give you confidence, should you need their help. You will be able to check who they are and they won’t ask you for any money. Working with our friends and partners in the voluntary sector and alongside community groups, both established and those set up to help during this emergency, we hope to be able to reach everyone who needs help.

If you or someone you know needs help, let us know. We will do all we can to support you.

There will of course be times when we need to leave our homes. Key workers in pharmacies, supermarkets and our public services will continue to provide their services across our District. And we need to help and support them too.

We need to shop responsibly. There is enough food for everyone and buying more than you need has to stop. I am sure that we can lead. We can show the rest of the country that our supermarket shelves can be well stocked as we think of others before ourselves.

The Government has made a number of commitments to businesses, many of these are being delivered by the Council. We have now written to every business in the District setting out the help and support that is available. This includes to our smallest business who will be supported by a grant of £10k. We are working relentlessly to get the business rate discounts and grants promised to the businesses that need them.

Events are moving at a great pace, but our Council staff are dedicated and working hard each day to speak with you and get that money out of the door.

We are aware that some people will be unable to work in the weeks and months ahead and regretfully, some will lose their jobs. We hope the measures put in place by the Government will help you. But we will also do our bit. Our HERO Service can help and advise. We will defer Council Tax payments where we can and we will use our discretionary housing payments to help the most in need to stay in their homes. We will do all we can to make sure you can speak to us if there is any help you need.

We must prepare for what will be difficult weeks and months ahead. We are doing all we can to make sure those vital public services upon which we all rely are remain in place to help and support the communities we serve.

We are determined to do all we can. With the help of town and parish councils, partners, community groups and a small army of volunteers, we will work hard to support the most vulnerable in our community, those that need help if they fall ill, our local key workers and the businesses that make our towns and villages great places to live."

Cllr Peter Fleming
Leader of Sevenoaks District Council


Joint statement – Sevenoaks District Voluntary and Community Sector Forum and Sevenoaks District Council
April 13,2019

Dear All

In response to the ongoing and developing impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, we are making this joint statement to inform people in the district of Sevenoaks what your local charities and community and volunteer groups are doing, and how you can help.

As a community, the situation we are facing with regard to coronavirus is unprecedented. This needs an unprecedented response. The Voluntary and Community Sector Forum (Sevenoaks District) and Sevenoaks District Council have come together to lead and support a response across the voluntary and community sector which includes staff and volunteers from charities, community groups, and social enterprises. We are all facing challenges and changes to how we operate. We are working to bring partners together to make a difference.

Cllr Lesley Dyball, Cabinet Member, People and Places, Sevenoaks District Council said: 

“In the Sevenoaks district we are fortunate to have a vibrant, well-connected group of voluntary and community organisations and we are very grateful to them for their hard work and response to the crisis. We already work well together to keep Sevenoaks district a great place to live, work and raise a family. Over the coming months we can all have a role to play in addressing the challenges we face. I encourage everyone to support these coordinated efforts. District Councillors are playing a prominent role in coordinating volunteer initiatives and residents can always get in touch with them for help and advice. Together we will do all we can to help keep the residents of our district, our local volunteers and colleagues safe and well.”

It is amazing how many community members and businesses, including those businesses in our rural areas, have contacted local charities to offer their support. From all of us, THANK YOU.

To make it easier for the public and businesses to offer help, we’ve developed a way you can offer help easily, and be directed to a local organisation that needs what you can offer:

  • The Council is working with Caring for the Community (Sevenoaks District) to take offers of volunteer support, and direct people to a local charity.
  • We are posting updates to the Sevenoaks District Council website and social media, where members of the public can receive updates, news and information about how they can help. If you want to volunteer please visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/communityvolunteer  or if you’re a resident with a request for practical assistance visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/requesthelp
  • The Voluntary and Community Sector Forum will support local charities and grassroots groups to work effectively together and to develop new ways of working. They will also support businesses that want to help, to find ways to do so.
  • Age UK is coordinating and deploying volunteers to support older people who are vulnerable or struggling in self-isolation, and to reduce pressure on the NHS and Social Care.

We are proud to be working closely to coordinate efforts, and to ensure the most vulnerable people in our community are supported and protected. We want our friends across the voluntary and community sector, our colleagues in the NHS and Social Care, and our partners in the wider community to know that we’ve got your back and will keep doing everything we can to support the district’s communities. 

Thank you

Angela Painter
Chair of the Voluntary and Community Sector Forum

Cllr Lesley Dyball
Cabinet Member – People and Places, Sevenoaks District Council


Help available for Council Tax payments
April 13,2019

Sevenoaks District Council are reassuring residents that help is available if they’re struggling with their Council Tax due to coronavirus.

There are a number of ways residents can be supported, be that as simple as deferring payments for a couple of months or more fundamental financial assistance.  Anyone who either needs help now or suspects they might do so in the coming months should contact the Council as soon as possible to discuss their options.

Cabinet member for Finance & Investment, Cllr Matthew Dickins, says: “Council Tax pays not just for your rubbish and recycling collection but for other vital public services too, many of which have come under particular pressure during this national crisis, such as care of the elderly and vulnerable, homelessness prevention, and the Police. Whilst these are testing times for all those out there on the front-line helping others, we know these are also times of particular anxiety at home. Every year we help thousands of people with their Council Tax payments, offering flexibility and even funding so they can meet their share. We know that approach will be needed more than ever in the weeks and months ahead, and we’re here to help. Please do not hesitate to get in touch for free, confidential advice and assistance if you might need a helping hand during this worrying period.”

Residents who would like to apply for help should visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/applyforhelp or call 01732 227000 as soon as possible.


Council issues multimillion-pound lifeline to virus hit businesses
April 13,2019

Sevenoaks District Council is distributing more than £20 million in the next two weeks to support businesses affected by Coronavirus.

The scheme sees eligible businesses receive a cash grant of either £10,000 or £25,000, with the criteria set nationally by the Government focussing help on those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

This vital lifeline is benefitting thousands across the District and forms part of a raft of measures, including the awarding of nearly £20 million of business rates relief.

Cllr Matthew Dickins, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Investment, says: “We are incredibly lucky to enjoy a strong, diverse and enterprising business community in the Sevenoaks District. But this is a time of great challenge and anxiety for them, their staff and families. So we have been working seven days a week getting in touch with all our qualifying traders, axing business rates, and issuing these grants.”

A handful of eligible business have yet to confirm their bank details and the Council is urging them to get in touch as soon as possible to ensure they benefit from the package of help on offer.


Coronavirus and housing
March 23,2019

For residents concerned about their housing situation, the Government has announced that private and social landlords will not be able to evict tenants who are finacially disadvantaged due to the coronavirus and are bringing in measures to protect both renters and landlords.

Further information outlining the support available can be found here

https://www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/info/20001/housing/512/coronavirus_and_housing


Council puts plans in place to keep services running
March 23,2019

Sevenoaks District Council recognise that many residents and local businesses rely on it services. As the Coronavirus outbreak continues, the Council is putting its plans into action so it can continue to deliver services to the usual standards for as long as possible.

The Council is taking action to reduce contact amongst staff to limit the transmission of virus. Wherever possible, staff are working from home and whole teams are not working in the same place together.

The means that some Council services are starting a little earlier than usual, including the Garden Waste collection service. Customers are being asked to put their garden waste bins and sacks out half an hour earlier, by 6.30am, on their collection day.

Other services starting earlier include the street sweepers, the fly tipping response crew and the cesspool emptying team.

The Council’s weekly refuse and recycling collection service is continuing as usual, however it may be necessary to change routes so collection times may be earlier or later than residents are used to, therefore it is important that residents put their sacks out by 7am on their collection day.

The Council is also urging residents to follow the Government and NHS advice to avoid unnecessary travel and therefore to only visit its offices if necessary. Residents can find information, apply for services, make payments and do business on its website www.sevenoaks.gov.uk or by calling 01732 227000.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of the Council says: “These are very challenging times for many in our community, and over the next few days we will be setting out the extra help and support we can offer as a council.

We have been putting in place plans so we can continue to provide the services our communities need, these plans mean we can continue to clean the streets and collect the rubbish at a time when it’s crucial to keep our environment clean for the safety of everybody”

“Although our offices currently remain open, and we’ve taken extra precautions to improve safety, we would urge residents to only come to our offices if absolutely necessary. Residents can still speak to us over the phone or use our website, where they will also find the most up to date information.”


Community grants continuing to support local groups
March 23,2019

Sevenoaks District Council will again be supporting local charity and voluntary groups by allocating £153,340 to help them continue their valuable work across the District.

The grants will support organisations which provide services to Sevenoaks District residents, particularly those in greatest need.

Funding totalling £54,800 will be made to 22 local groups who support volunteers, run community transport, help older people and people experiencing mental health problems, assist families and provide support for sport and arts across the District.

Amongst the organisations that will benefit from the grants are North West Kent Volunteer Centre, Age UK Sevenoaks & Tonbridge and Domestic Abuse Volunteer Support Services.

This year, several new charities and groups have been granted funding including PSB Breastfeeding, Fegans and The Hygiene Bank who will use their grant to fund volunteer toolkits.

A further £98,540 will be given to Citizens’ Advice across the District at Edenbridge and Westerham and North and West Kent (Sevenoaks and Swanley).

The Council’s Cabinet Member for People and Places, Cllr Dyball says: “The community grants scheme is a fantastic way to show our support to the incredibly valued voluntary sector across the Sevenoaks District. Residents’ wellbeing is one of our top priorities and our grants allow these wonderful charities and groups to continue helping our most vulnerable residents.”


Council considers next steps for the Local Plan
March 23,2019

The Council has expressed extreme disappointment that, in her final report, the Inspector appointed to examine its Local Plan has cited a failure to work with its neighbouring councils to find sites for housing.

Despite having the Plan since April 2019, the Government appointed Inspector, Karen Baker, informed the Council of her final conclusions this week. She claimed the Council failed in its ‘Duty to Co-operate’, in other words working with neighbouring councils to accommodate homes that could not be located in the Sevenoaks District because of constraints, including the Green Belt.

The report itself offered nothing new from previous correspondence and did not respond to the Council’s challenges throughout the process.

Whilst the Council submitted over 800 pages of evidence setting out how it had clearly worked together with its neighbours during the production of the Plan, the Inspector stated she believed this engagement had not been constructive, meaningful or happened at the correct time in the process.

Neighbouring authorities and other organisations involved in this part of the examination have supported both the Council’s evidence and approach on this key matter.

The ‘Duty to Co-operate’ was covered on the first day of the public hearings last year. The Inspector chose to continue with these sessions for two-weeks and the Council has asked for detailed comments on all the other matters that were discussed, including the approach to protecting the Green Belt. Aside from a brief covering letter, these comments have not been forthcoming.

The Council is now taking advice on its next steps.

The report setting out the Inspector’s conclusions is available at www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/localplannews  

Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of the Council, says:

“The Government has told us we should deliver 11,312 new homes. Over the past four years, we have worked with our communities to produce a new Local Plan that will protect the environment, nearly all of our Green Belt, whilst providing much-needed homes and improved infrastructure.”

“We are not an anti-development Council and we put forward innovative solutions to deliver almost 10,000 homes in an area that is 93% Green Belt.

“The inspector has hinted that she agrees that the council has delivered significant numbers within our Plan when put up against the District’s constraints.

“In our opinion, concluding we failed to co-operate with neighbouring councils was the only way to halt the examination. We reject any notion that we did not fully co-operate with our neighbours. We gave the Planning Inspector detailed evidence of our work with neighbours. But, from the outset, they said they couldn’t accommodate the homes we could not deliver.

“Our Local Plan is the first to be assessed under a new planning framework and, we believe, failing to meet the Government’s housing figure would impact on subsequent Local Plans across the country.

“If the Inspector did have concerns over our duty to co-operate, these should have been raised soon after we had submitted our Plan, not months later, and certainly well before any public hearings took place.

“We also want to hear the Inspector’s views on the other aspects of the Plan. Considerable time, effort and expense has been spent by this Council on producing the Plan and it’s only right that the Inspector, who spent time considering it, should share her thoughts.”

“It’s a huge frustration that after so much work, we cannot take our Plan forward.

“We fundamentally disagree with the inspectors conclusions and while we consider our options one thing is certain, we will continue to stand up for our residents and the districts environment.”


Sevenoaks Warm Homes Programme
March 23,2019

Full details of the programme can be found here


Budget protects services while investing in local communities
Feb. 28,2019

Sevenoaks District Council has set a budget for the coming year that will continue to protect its services and invest in local communities.

 The Council has agreed an annual budget of £15.6 million. Residents who live in a Band D property will now pay £219.96 per year in Council Tax for the Sevenoaks District Council element of their bill, an increase equal to less than one-and-a-half pence a day.

Sevenoaks District Council’s share of residents’ overall Council Tax bill will be 11p for every pound in Council Tax paid.

Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of Sevenoaks District Council, says:

“These are incredibly challenging times for local government. In the last 10 years, our revenue support grant has fallen by over six million pounds. In simple terms that means the direct funding for every man, women and child within the District has reduced from £55.95 in 2010 to zero two years ago, and there it remains.

But with more innovative and efficient ways of providing our services, including the weekly collection of rubbish and recycling, and income from our property portfolio, we will continue to invest in services and the most significant and ambitious capital programme in living memory, delivering investment in and for our communities.

Over the past year, we completed the much-needed Sevenoaks Town Car Park and planning permission was approved for the Swanley White Oak Leisure Centre. We are currently applying for planning permission to bring a new business hub and housing to the important Swanley gateway site.

The work of our two wholly owned companies has brought forward an exciting mixed tenure housing scheme in Westerham, which saw us deliver the councils first affordable homes in over 30 years

As we look forward to the next financial year, we will work to develop an exciting Masterplan to bring education, arts, retail, transport, housing and other uses together to two Sevenoaks town centre sites.

In Edenbridge, we will see how best to move forward a refurbishment of the Leisure Centre so it can continue to play an important part in that community for many years to come.

At the same time, we have protected our universal services that matter most to our residents, such as our weekly waste and recycling collections, while enhancing services to those within our community who most need help and support.”

For every pound of Council Tax collected, Kent County Council’s share is 70p, the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner’s share is 10p, the average town or parish council’s share is 5p and the Kent Fire & Rescue Service’s share is 4p. Sevenoaks District Council collects the Council Tax on behalf of all these authorities.


Leader's Local Plan letter to Secretary of State
Feb. 04,2019

Sevenoaks District Council’s Leader has written to the Minister for Local Government with his concerns about the Local Plan examination.

Cllr Peter Fleming wrote to the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, last week (21 January 2020). In the letter, Cllr Fleming challenged the Planning Inspector's conclusion that the Council had failed to work with its neighbours to find sites for new homes that, due to constraints such as the Green Belt, could not be delivered in the Sevenoaks District.

In October the Planning Inspector, Karen Baker, cancelled the Council's Local Plan hearings after two weeks due to a perceived lack of constructive engagement with neighbouring authorities to resolve the unmet housing need in its draft Local Plan.

However, before and during the examination, the Council provided the Planning Inspector with evidence it had worked closely with neighbouring councils since starting work on the new plan in 2015.

Despite pressure from Planning Inspector, the Council has vowed not to withdraw the draft Local Plan.

Cllr Peter Fleming says: "We are not an anti-development Council. In our draft Local Plan we have brought forward innovative solutions to deliver new homes in the District, which will stall if the Inspector’s misguided conclusions are implemented. This cannot be right.

Cllr Fleming adds: "Bringing this issue to the attention of the Minister now is the right thing to do. We have asked to meet with him at his earliest convenience to discuss the points raised in our letter."

Sevenoaks District Council is waiting to hear from the Planning Inspector about her next steps for the Local Plan examination.

You can view the Council’s latest letter at www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/localplannews.


Kebab Shop Operator's Court Grilling
Feb. 04,2019

The operator of a Sevenoaks kebab shop was fined £607 at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ court on Friday, 17 January 2020, for fly-tipping food and other waste associated with a fast food business.

Thirty-nine year old Hazim Saglam of 10 Crown Hill, Borough Green pleaded guilty to illegally dumping several large sacks full of old food and takeaway waste in Mill Pond Close in Sevenoaks.

The fly tipping came to light when an eagle-eyed resident spotted the waste being dumped in the residential side street around midnight on 8 May 2019. The community-minded local made a note of the car registration and took photos of the dumped waste on his mobile phone.

After the resident reported the incident, the Council’s fly-tipping investigation team traced the vehicle to Saglam.

Saglam was interviewed by the team on 13 June 2019. During the interview, he confirmed he was the owner of the vehicle.

At the time of the offence, Saglam was the operator of the Seal Kebab shop but he was looking after the 7Oaks Grill kebab shop in St John’s Hill on behalf of his brother when the rubbish was dumped. The 7Oaks Grill did not have a commercial waste agreement in place at the time of the offence.

At court, Saglam was handed a £325 fine and ordered to pay the Council’s costs of £250 and a Victim Surcharge of £32.

Cllr Margot McArthur, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleaner and Greener, says: “Dumping waste, including food, is unpleasant and potentially dangerous. Business owners have a legal duty to dispose of their waste responsibly.

“We want to thank the local resident who witnessed this incident and provided us with crucial evidence so we could take action against Mr Saglam.

We have promised our residents we will do our best to protect our environment and, where we have evidence, we will bring fly-tippers to justice.”


Hit the right note at the Big Community Sing 2020
Jan. 19,2019

Choirs, quartets, schools and signing groups of every description are invited to showcase their musical talents for the ‘Big Community Sing’ later in the year.

The extremely popular event takes place at the Stag Theatre in Sevenoaks on Monday 4 May 2020 from 7pm and money raised from the night goes to support local mental health services. All ages, genres and abilities are welcomed at this inclusive, community event.

The deadline for applying to take part is Friday 28 February and groups can apply in three ways. Visit www.sevenoaks.gov.uk/thebigsing to apply online, email communities@sevenoaks.gov.ukor call 01732 227000. Successful applicants will be notified by Monday 9 March.

Sevenoaks District Council Chairman, Cllr John Edwards-Winser says: “We’re delighted to be holding the Big Community Sing at the Stag Theatre again. It’s a great opportunity for a diverse range of singing groups to perform in front of hundreds of people whilst raising money for mental health charities.

Cllr Edwards-Winser adds “Singing as part of a group is a great way to get involved in the local community and improve health and wellbeing.”

Tickets to watch the Big Community Sing cost £5 and go on sale from 9 March from the Stag Box Office. Visit www.stagsevenoaks.co.uk or call 01732 450175.