Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council
held on 10th December 2012 in the Cardwell Pavilion at 7.30pm
Present: Mr M Bedwell (Chairman), Mr A Ward. Mr D Ardley, Dr Bauer, Mr Bennett,
Mr J Cobbett, Mr F Stephenson,
Also in attendance: Ms E Lawrence (Clerk) and 1 members of the public.
1. Apologies for absence Mr P Waite, (illness)
Mrs J Whittle, County Councillor
Mrs Parvin, Borough Councillor
2. Declaration of Interests and amendments to Register of Interests None
3. Approval of minutes of last meeting
It was resolved that the draft minutes were a true and accurate record of the meeting and that they should be accepted. The Chairman duly signed the minutes.
4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)
Mr Bennett reported that there had been no action taken by Kent Highways to date to repair the unsafe kerbstone opposite 77 Eyhorne Street. Mrs Whittle due to meet with
Mr Bennett on 18th December.
Mr Cobbett reported that he had contacted Murphy’s regarding the protracted length of time it was taking to effect the electrical repairs which were causing the traffic light controls in Eyhorne Street.
The agenda was altered to permit PCSO de Burca to deliver her report, by agreement of the Members.
5. Crime Report There were 17 reported crimes in the North Downs ward during November and 10 during December to date. Crime in Hollingbourne included theft from a stables, theft of shrubbery from Hasteds, and criminal damage to a property on the Pilgrim’s Way.
The key message for the month from PCSO de Burca is for residents to ensure their vehicle doors are locked when left unattended, no matter for how short a time.
Mr Cobbett asked if it was known when Ann Barnes would visit Hollingbourne but that information had not been made available.
6. Chairman’s Report
Mr Bedwell confirmed attendance of Messrs Stephenson and Cobbett to the MBC meeting in the Town Hall on Wednesday 12 December at 18.30 about the dissolution of concurrent function grants and the introduction of a Parish Services Scheme. He stated that the new scheme would be disadvantageous and grossly unfair to rural parishes. Furthermore it was difficult to set the budget for the forthcoming year.
Mr Bedwell then moved on to the need to progress a Parish Plan following the presentation by Navigus Planning the previous month. External help would definitely be required if the parish were to realise the expectations of the residents. Although it was stated that a Parish Plan could not overturn properly constituted items within the Core Strategy of a Borough Council, there was nothing to stop alternative proposals being made which might be complementary or additional to other proposals for the use of land. These would be agreeable to the neighbourhood and would fit in with the Parish Plan as a whole. Mr Bedwell gave the example of perhaps a development of affordable housing at J8 of the M20.
The Chairman expressed concern at the significant increase in secondary age school children who are travelling to Maidstone by bus. This meant that they have to cross the A20 where there is no pedestrian crossing, between two roundabouts where motorists already frequently “creep”
accross the give way points. Action: Clerk to write.
Mr Cobbett, the Clerk and Chairman had visited Templeuve in northern France following their representatives’ visit to Hollingbourne. (on a half price day return ticket sourced by the Clerk, costing £22.00) Templeuve is a compact town comprising some 5800 inhabitants in a rural setting close to the Belgian border, within easy reach of Lille. The Head Teachers of schools on both sides are keen to see progress on this matter and the Chairman proposed that the Parish Council should continue the twinning process as well as investigate the possibility of EU funding support. The proposal was seconded by Mr Cobbett and carried.
The Parish Assembly and AGM were discussed briefly and it was agreed that the Assembly would offer an opportunity to discuss a Neighbourhood Plan with the community.
It was resolved to permit the WI to use the Cardwell Pavilion at no cost for the Annual Pancake races which will again include the children of Hollingbourne School.
7. County Councillors Report (via the Clerk)
Mrs Whittle is pursuing a weight limit for the Bourne Bridge.
8. Planning Report
It was debated whether the council wished to approve the application or did not wish to object to it. Following a lengthy deliberation it was resolved that the Parish Council did not wish to object to the variation applied for.
53 Eyhorne Street
Variation of condition 4 of Planning Permission MA/11/1494
Erection of a single storey side extension, a two storey rear extension
09. Borough Councillors Report – Nil received
10. Finance Report
It was resolved to approve the expenditure (previously circulated) and the cheques were duly signed.
Mr Cobbett pointed out that the interactive speed sign has still not been installed and the Council were committed to half the cost. Should KCC meet their responsibilities regarding the cost of street lighting it is possible that the Parish Council could break even. He echoed the Chairman’s concerns at the 15% deficit faced by the Parish at the loss of the Concurrent Functions grant.
Mr Stephenson confirmed receipt and completion of the necessary paperwork for the Utility Warehouse. From next year when anyone resident in the parish joins, and thereby receives utilities at favourable prices, The Utility Warehouse will contribute 5% of the sum of their bills for the Parish Council to put back into the community.
11. Environment Report Nothing to report. The Clerk pointed out that noticed regarding the current blight to Ash trees were now posted on the Pilgrims Way.
12. Parks Report
Mr Ward to pursue investigating the lighting failure outside the Cardwell Pavilion.
MBC Legal Department have still failed to produce the deeds for the Millennium Green in spite of many requests to do so.
Expenditure is anticipated on the Pavilion – the boiler service is due, and will need replacing at some point. There are minor leaks needing repair. It was agreed that Mr Ward and the Chairman would inspect the building and draw up a list of items to present.
13. Fete 2013
Mr Cobbett stated that much had been achieved in the planning for the Fete. More gazebos (x8) had been purchased as they were on offer of £100 reduction each!
As the planned theme is for a French event, it is hoped that we will receive visitors from Templeuve, and that hospitality would be offered by inhabitants. Mr Ward suggested inspiring people to decorate their houses again, in much the same way as some had done with enthusiasm for the Jubilee.
At the Conclusion of the meeting, the Chairman wished everyone a Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year.
15. Items for Information None
Date of next meeting
Monday 14th January 2013 at 7.30pm in the Cardwell Pavilion.