Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council
held on 13th December 2010 in the Cardwell Pavilion at 7.30pm
Present: Mr M Bedwell (Chairman) Mr A Ward (Vice-Chairman),
Mr G Bryan, Mr J Cobbett, Mrs O’Connell, Mr F Stephenson, Mr A Williams.
Also in attendance: Ms E Lawrence (Clerk), PCSO Woods.
1. Apologies for absence Dr S Bauer (unwell), Mrs Whittle.
2. Declaration of Interests and amendments to Register of Interests
There were no declarations of interest.
There were no amendments to the Register of Interests.
3. Approval of minutes of last meeting
It was resolved that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the meeting and that they should be accepted and were signed by the Chairman.
4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)
Hollingbourne Meadows Trust Ltd. Councillors to further consider fundraising ideas to purchase further plots as necessary and report to January meeting. Action: ALL
Closure of Eyhorne Street. Proposed closure moved to 8 April until September, when one way traffic will be introduced for remainder of works.
5. Crime Update
PCSO Woods reported the theft of a catalytic converter from a vehicle and the theft of a gas cylinder from a commercial premise. She emphasised a plea to members of the public to report anything suspicious to the police.
The police had undertaken speed checks in Hollingbourne, particularly along the stretch of road in the vicinity of Godfrey House. The checks confirmed there is a speeding issue within the village and PC Mark Sutton has issued a report to that effect.
6. Chairman’s Report
Mr Bedwell stated that he was aware of people’s unease regarding the massive disruption which will be caused by the closure of Eyhorne Street for such a long period of time. A number of self-employed people live and work in the village and it would appear that those people will not be entitled to compensation from the gas company for any losses incurred. He hoped that a public meeting would go ahead and that people would attend to hear about the work for themselves. Although the impact on the village as a whole would be great, safety is paramount and it seems that the gas main must be replaced. He hoped that sense would prevail and a sensible traffic system would be properly thought out.
The Ramada Hotel has offered a function room at a reduced rate in order that the Council may hold a fund raising event for the Meadows Trust. A date will be discussed with the hotel in order to prevent any clashes with other local events.
Following crop damage caused by quad bikes earlier in the year, Greenway Court Farm has installed gates to deter casual users, but the gates are not locked.
7. County Councillors Report read by the Clerk:
1. Monitoring of traffic speed through the village
Kent Police did some enforcement recently and issued 3 speed tickets (one driver doing 42mph) and one speed awareness course. Mrs Whittle has spoken with Warren Jarvis of Kent Police and agreed it would be a good idea to meet with Kent Highways and a Parish Councillor on site to discuss what we should do to try and moderate driver behaviour (signage/traffic calming).
2. Proposal to include land in Hollingbourne and Thurnham (north west of Bearsted) as part of the Kent Downs AONB
A useful meeting was held last week with Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council officers to take this forward. AONB designation criteria is due to be reissued in the New Year after a consultation period, when t a meeting will be requested with Natural England (the government agency that oversees such requests) about progressing this issue. A website possibly to be established to attract wide popular support for an AONB extension.
3. Mrs Whittle requested again that the statement KCC favours Hollingbourne as a Parkway Station” is removed. Although the piece is based on a Kent Messenger story, but the story itself is wholly without foundation. Mrs Whittle meets regularly with the KCC Director of Integrated Transport, Paul Crick, who assures me that KCC do not consider this to be a suitable site – if a site were to be proposed in Maidstone, this is likely to be in the Bluebell Hill area. In addition, both KCC and MBC have just spent a considerable sum of money in defending land in Hollingbourne from the KIG proposals and I am working with Highways and Environment officers on the AONB extension plan which flies in the face of the statement that has been aligned to KCC. The only parkway station that is being considered in Kent currently is Thanet to provide a link to the existing CTRL. Mr Cobbett replied that the story was already in the public domain by dint of being reported in the KM, and it would appear that the paper has not been asked to retract their story. It was agreed that there would be an update to this item on the website. Action: JC
4. Salt bin requests on Hollingbourne Hill (rejected as already part of a primary salting route) and Big Allington Farm (rejected, but Mrs Whittle is requesting a jumbo bag of salt).
5. Gas works on Eyhorne Street – conversations ongoing with Kent Highways about alternative routes.
9. Clerk’s Report The Clerk read a letter received from the Management Committee of the Pre School in which vandalism to equipment left outside in the play area and to a squirrel feeder was reported. The Clerk had been unable to identify these events on C CTV because of lack of accurate information as to when the incidents had occurred. The Council were concerned that a squirrel feeder had been placed so near the building, given the damage that can occur if squirrels access a building, especially a roof-space. Action: Clerk
10. Finance Report
It was resolved to approve the expenditure (previously circulated) and the cheques were duly signed.
Following further correspondence received regarding the Concurrent Function grant for 2011/12, it was agreed that Hollingbourne would support the strong representation being made to MBC at the unfairness of the way the reductions have been handled, thereby penalising rural villages in a way not apparent within Maidstone Town Centre.
11. Planning Report
The following applications had been considered by the Planning Committee and the following decisions reached:
Erection of a replacement dwelling.
Do not wish to object
Erection of one detached dwelling with associated access and double garage
Do not wish to object
Land Adjacent To
Erection of detached garage and conversion of integral garage to workshop
Do not wish to object
Alterations to windows and doors and conversion of garage
Do not wish to object
The Clerk reported that she had received several comments about changes to properties and their frontages for which no planning applications had been made, given that these properties are within the Conservation area of Eyhorne Street. General guidance from MBC was difficult to obtain, although specific instances were responded to if reported formally. Action: FS and Clerk
The Clerk reported that she had received favourable comments during the recent traffic light system which was in place to enable the test work to be undertaken in Eyhorne Street. These included:
traffic was automatically calmed,
speeding past parked cars was reduced,
safer for pedestrians crossing at peak times,
no “stand offs” between vehicles refusing to give way.
No adverse comments were received.
Date of next meeting
10th January 2011 at 7.30pm in the Cardwell Pavilion.