Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council held on Monday, 8th December 2014 in the Cardwell Pavilion commencing at 7.30pm.
Present: Mr M Bedwell (Chairman); Mr A Ward (Vice-Chairman); Mr A Bennett;
Mr J Cobbett; Dr S Bauer; Mr L Vallins; Mr D Ardley and
Mrs V Smith, Parish Clerk
In attendance: PSCO Ryan Waring and PSCO Dave Rowley
1. Apologies for absence: Mr P Waite (meeting clash) and Cllr Mrs D Parvin (personal)
2. Declarations and Requests
Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – Mr D Ardley does not have his interests listed on the MBC website.
Declaration to the register of interests on the MBC website. Action: The Clerk
Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda – none
Requests for Dispensations – none
3. Approval of minutes of last meeting (circulated prior to meeting)
It was resolved that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the meeting. The minutes for the Accounts Meeting will be approved at the next Parish Meeting.
4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)
a. Mr A Ward said that he would wait to see if we can get any additional funding for the Parish Council before deciding on playground equipment.
b. The Millennium Green footpath is overgrown across its surface. Mr A Ward will speak to Mr B Smith to see if he can attend to this for the Parish Council.
5. Chairman’s Report
a. Mr M Bedwell thanked Mr P Lee FCA for his internal audit of the Parish Council’s accounts, his efforts and meeting attendance.
b. The Joint Parish Group Meeting on 13th November in the Cardwell Pavilion was very useful and Mr Paul Carter, Leader of KCC was in attendance. The local Parish Councils are concerned about the planning application for Waterside Park and the possibility of other development at Junction 8 of the M20. It was noted that MBC Councillor Daphne Parvin has been approached regarding her views on this matter. The Parish Councillors at the Meeting agreed that only developments like Waterside Park should be considered when all ‘brown field’ sites have been exhausted. There was a perception at the Meeting like there is a willingness amongst the MBC Councillors to approve Waterside Park instead of considering the views of the local residents who elected them.
c. The water leak along Eyhorne Street caused a nasty accident early on Saturday morning (6th December 2014), involving two cars and a telegraph pole. Fortunately, the drivers were not seriously hurt. South East Water are still to complete the repairs to the road.
6. Neighbourhood Plan
a. Mr P Waite has informed Mr J Cobbett that a Neighbourhood Plan could cost up to £10,000 and that finance might be available from Maidstone Borough Council who are holding central Government funds for Neighbourhood Plans. It was noted that the Maidstone Local Plan is yet to be completed and the delay has allowed developers to propose schemes which might not be permitted if a Plan was in place..
7. Governance and protocol for sub-committees – Mr D Ardley
This will be discussed at the next Parish Meeting.
8. Parks Report
a. It was agreed that any items left in the Cardwell Pavilion by the regular Hirers such as a Christmas tree are there at their own risk.. Attachments to the walls or ceiling should be made with ‘blue tack’ not sticky tape.
b. Regarding the proposed Hire Agreement for the Cardwell Pavilion, Mr P Waite has concerns over the amount of public liability cover hirers should have. The pre-school and after-school club have their own public liability insurance. The Parish Council’s insurance will be assessed to see if it covers the needs of private party hirers, or whether they need to have their own insurance.
c. Mr L Vallins would like to hire the Cardwell Pavilion on Wednesday evenings, for running Zumba classes.
d. A tree on Tanyard Green requires attention. The Parish Clerk will ascertain the exact tree for the Parish council.
9. Crime Report
a. PSCO Ryan Waring and PSCO Dave Rowley attended the meeting, and introduced the Parish Council to the new Police initiative in promoting rural safety that is called Country Eye. This is similar to a Neighbourhood Watch but for rural areas. It is important to report any suspicious activity or crime to ‘101’, so that information can be spread to others quickly. There is also a smartphone ‘app’, and this can be used to send messages and images. PSCO Rowley stressed how important it is to obtain registration numbers on vehicles, so that they can be traced to the owner.
b. Two arrests had recently taken place in Bicknor. This incident included robberies from the Bicknor Church and the theft of red diesel. The matter also resulted in the crushing of three vehicles belonging to the perpetrator of the crimes. There had also been an assault in Hucking, but the Police could not comment on this matter.
c. There has only been one crime and one account of anti-social behaviour between the dates of 10th November and 5th December in the Hollingbourne Parish. The crime was on the 28th November – burglary other than dwelling – Greenway Court Road, and 24th November – nuisance vehicle – Hospital Lane. Dr S Bauer had actually reported this nuisance vehicle and asked what the result had been. The Police had spoken to the driver of the car and took their vehicle details.
d. Following the incident last month of the driver of a white van intimidating a young woman near the Station Approach, Eyhorne Street; another van has been seen following a local lady, offering her lifts. The Police visited the driver of the van and gave them words of advice. PSCO Rowley stressed that there are three criteria that need to be considered before telephoning ‘999’; (1) is it a threat to life, (2) a threat to public safety or (3) a crime in progress. If ‘yes’ to any of these statements, telephone the Police immediately – please aim to get the vehicles registration number. Do not hesitate in calling the Police as they cannot help if you do not inform them there and then.
e. Security promotion events are going to be held at the Police Headquarters. Members of the Council are free to attend.
10. Clerk’s Report
a. The Clerk will arrange for salt bags to be delivered for use on icy roads with Hollingbourne and they will be at outside the School and the Church..
b. The Asbestos Survey contractors will be authorised to carry out works at Cardwell Pavilion.
11. County Councillor’s Report – Mrs J Whittle will return to her post, and attend meetings, from February 2015.
12. Borough Councillor’s Report – none available for the meeting.
13. Planning Report
a. 14/504822/LBC – Leeds Castle Ashford Road Hollingbourne Kent ME17 1PL
Proposal: Application for Listed Building Consent for creating an accessible (i.e. disabled) WC within existing ladies cloakroom. Works include a new door into the adjacent corridor.
Result: APPROVED – (all Councillors in favour)
b. Land adjacent to 103 Eyhorne Street (opposite to Godfrey House) – the decision for the planning permission for 14 houses is still pending on the MBC website. This is possibly to do with the Section 106 requirements, and the £78,000 requested from the developers for local infrastructure. We have not received a response to the letter previously sent to Ms Alison Broom at MBC for her comments on the lack of drainage to the site and the fact that the £78,000 is insufficient. The Clerk will send a follow up letter requesting a response. Action: The Clerk.
14. Environmental Report
a. Dr S Bauer has been receiving many telephone calls regarding the cutting off of villager’s water recently on the 6th December while the Eyhorne Street water pipe was repaired.
b. The Christmas trees look beautiful within the village and letters of thanks have been sent to the Leeds Castle and Kingswood Christmas Trees for their generosity.
15. Fête Report
Our new Fete Co-ordinator is Mr L Vallins. The first meeting was held on the 24th November, and it went very well. The format for the event has been set, and it is very similar to last year’s. The commencement of the band will be brought forward and will start after the ‘tug-of-war’. Jean Duffy has kindly agreed to arrange the bookings for the fête. Mr L Vallins would welcome any suggestions for a theme for the fête. There will be a Zumba competition at the event. The next meeting will be on 26th January 2015 at 8pm in the Dirty Habit abnd all are welcome to attend.
16. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes
The MBC issued the organisers of the club an enforcement order to level hills and restore the land to its former condition by the 31st October 2014. In November an excavator did some work on the land, but it was not completed. Unfortunately, even if events are not organised for the off-road motorcyclists, a lot of riders are aware of the venue and quad bikes are still getting on the land; and this makes the enforcement order powerless. Ironically, the organiser of the events had reported a theft of goods from his container on the land for which planning permission has not been granted.
The Police will look into this matter and check the Facebook page relating rto the Quad Bikes. The Police representatives at the Meeting said that Section 59 notices can be issued to motorcyclists if they are causing a nuisance to residents. If you are experiencing problems with the riders, you should telephone ‘101’ when it happens; not after the event, but there and then if you want the Police to help,
a. A Twinning Committee meeting has taken place with minutes circulated. We are waiting for a response from our Twinning friends regarding next events.
b. A longstanding resident is wishing to arrange a Twinning event for the village at the School for the evening of the Fete. This has caused a number of issues especially as the School is not big enough, there is no overnight accommodation for 100 French visitors, and the visitors will be going home before the proposed dinner takes place.
18. Financial Report (Mr J Cobbett)
a. The VAT input tax for some past years has been reclaimed for the Parish Council in the sum £3,633, but it appears we have suffered additional audit and late filing costs, losses due to a failure to reclaim other VAT tax, plus the refusal of MBC to pay for street lighting in the year ended March 2014. It is estimated that the total losses are around £6000 over a period of years. Since the start of 2014 financial controls have been tightened and the financial situation is improving.
b. We are still waiting for Cllr Perry’s repayment of street-lighting funds, which will be over £2,000 for 2013/4. The failure of MBC and/or KCC to adopt Hollingbourne’s street lighting means that the Parish Precept will have to increase by 50% from April 2015 which will cost £20-£30 per household for the year and in subsequent years. It was noted that the lights are listed on the Parish Council’s fixed assets register. The Clerk is contacting the contractor to see how much it would cost to repair all of the street-lights. Action: The Clerk
19. Items for Information
a. The light diffusers in the Cardwell Pavilion will be cleaned out.
Date of next meeting: Monday, 12th January 2015, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion
Signed as a true record: Chairman: