The offices of the Parish Council are based in The Old Fire Station and the Vestry Hall situated in the centre of Cranbrook at the top of Stone Street adjacent to St Dunstan’s Church steps. Details of the 15 elected Parish Councillors, 4 of whom represent Sissinghurst, are displayed on the wall outside and notices of community events and activities are regularly updated in the roundel on the pavement opposite the doors. The Old Fire Station has been stylishly converted to create the Weald Information Centre, housing the Parish Council and officers from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. A meeting room named after a local hero, Addison VC, provides a useful venue for parishioners to access advice and information.
Coral Kirkaldie, the Parish Clerk, and Angela Constable, her Deputy, oversee the day-to-day business of providing the services and co-ordinating the needs of the community. All the activities of the Parish Council are reported in quarterly newsletters available free from the Weald Information Centre.
The responsibilities of the Parish Council are many and varied and include the management and maintenance of the Churchyard, the burial grounds at Golford and Sissinghurst, the War Memorial, recreation grounds, allotments, litter bins, public seats, street lighting and Vestry Hall.
The Parish Council is supportive of all initiatives to promote the prosperity of the town. Sensitive to the potentially conflicting interests of historic preservation and commercial development, the Parish Council plays a pivotal role in defining policies that affect the quality of life in the town.
Projects like “Cranbrook in Bloom” foster a sense of pride in the town while enhancing the attractiveness of the streets and public places. Events like “Art in Store” bring retailers and artists together and encourage visitors to linger longer. The Parish Council is keen to endorse schemes that boost the economy without compromising the natural beauty and historic context of the town. New Heritage Plaques have been designed to pique an interest in the historic sites of Cranbrook. Anyone following the trail will inevitably discover the contemporary temptations in the town, from the superb range of shops to the award winning restaurants. These are just a few examples of progressive ideas that are endorsed by the Council in a continually dynamic process of exploring ways to improve conditions in the community.
The Council is always answerable to its electorate and residents of Cranbrook and Sissinghurst are invited to attend public meetings of the Parish Council where they can witness and influence the workings of this important engine of local government.