HAPPY New Year. Please keep details of your events coming in for inclusion in this column. Because of copy dates it is necessary for me to receive your information two clear weeks before publication date. CHRISTMAS Tree recycling. Sevenoaks District Council can collect and recycle your real Christmas tree for free throughout January. The Council will collect trees with a trunk of up to 90mm, 3.5 inches, diameter with its Garden Waste Collection Service until the end of the month. Simply leave your tree by the boundary of your property, where you usually put your refuse and recyling sacks, by 7am on the day the Council’s Garden Waste Collection service visits your road. Using this service means that your trees will be turned into environmentally friendly compost so you can understand why they only take the tree not any decorations or pot. If your tree is too big you can take it to a Council Household Waste Recyling site, call KCC 03000 417373 for locations and opening times or visit www.kent.gov.uk. A short update on the Archbishop’s Palace. Although there is no visible progress the Trustees have been hard at work laying the foundations for the project, talking to the organisations that will need to grant the necessary consents and to potential funders who will help to raise the money need to complete the project. OTFORD’s two WI’s meet for the new year in January in the Memorial Hall. Otford Evening WI at 7.30pm on Thursday January 10 to hear Helen Kendall-Tobias talk about diamonds, so a glittering start to the New Year, and Otford Oast WI at 9.30am on January 17 when Joy and Merry will talk about the subject of maintaining your garden pond. Visitors and new members will be made very welcome. DIAL 2 Drive are still seeking car owners to volunteer to take an increasing number of elderly/disabled passengers to a medical appointment or shopping just once a week. The role is flexible and could even be once a month or daily depending on the time the driver can offer. Please contact them on 0300 777 1200 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to help. IF you are over 60 and have over-indulged over Christmas and want to keep active just once a week then why not go along, in comfortable clothes, to the Methodist Church Hall at 9.30am on a Thursday morning and join their Serendip Exercise Class. This session is designed to provide gentle exercise to keep the ageing body mobile and a warm welcome is guaranteed. Sessions last an hour and cost £2.50 with an opportunity to stay for a sociable coffee and biscuit afterwards. KENT County Council have a Consultation Questionnaire on their Libraries, Registration and Archives Draft Strategy runs until January 29. Paper copies are available in the Library or complete the questionnaire online at kent.gv.k/lrastrategy. KCC are seeking your views on their proposals to introduce a tiering model for their 99 libraries and are also hosting 20 consultation drop-in events across the county where you can speak to members of their LRA team. Visit their website or libraries for more information. A brief snapshot from their documentation shows their proposal to amend the current hours from 24 to 23 for Otford but for Sevenoaks from 55 to 42, and Riverhead 25 to 15. As you can see from these figures it is necessary for every resident to have their say as its once again a question of use it of lose it. Adult reader numbers in Otford are declining so unless it can be demonstrated that the Library is well used by both adult and child readers there will be every opportunity to cut opening hours yet again. VISITORS to Otford can now plan their time in our Heritage Village using the Visit Otford website (www.visitotford.org) which was launched in mid-November. The website, which was developed with the support of the Otford Sustainable Tourism Working Group, provides detailed information on the many interesting buildings and places in the Heritage Village including the Sixteenth century Archbishop’s Palace, the Grade II listed pond, St Bartholomew’s Church and the Otford Solar System – the largest scale model in the world. It also includes information on places to eat and drink and lists 13 walks around the Village. QR tags around the Village enable visitors to access the website with smartphones to get information on the buildings in front of them and directions for their chosen walk. The project to develop the website was undertaken by the Archbishop’s Palace Conservation Trust, on behalf of the Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. OTFORD Parish Council‘s next meeting takes place at 7.30pm on January 14 in the Club Room of the Memorial Hall and you are welcome to attend . For those interested in all the activities of OPC the Minutes of the meetings are available in the Library and also via the web. PAUL, our Community Warden, holds his weekly surgery, to discuss any problems and community issues, at the School House on Tuesdays between 11am and 12 noon. He can also be contacted on 07813 713366.