December 2017 Minutes.

The Minutes of the December 2017 Hollingbourne Parish Council Meeting that were approved at the Parish Council held on 8th January 2018 in the Cardwell Pavilion.

 

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 11th December 2017, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.

 

Present:           Mr M Bedwell (Chairman), Cllr A Ward (Vice-Chairman), Mr D Ardley, Mr A Bennett &

Mr S Hulme

In attendance:             Cllr Patrik Garten (Maidstone BC) and Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.

 

  1. Apologies for absence:    Cllr J Cobbett & Cllr Dr S Bauer (ill health) & Cllr M Gray (previous engagement) & Cllr Mrs Shellina Prendergast – KCC (prior engagements)

 

  1. Declarations and Requests

Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none; Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda – none; Requests for Dispensations – none

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda) –

10a.Cllr A Ward reported on the public meeting regarding the Leeds / Langley relief road on Thursday, 2nd November 2017 at the Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel.  It was noted that the Chairman of the Langley Parish Council has concerns that if and when the bypass takes place, Langley will become a ‘stranded’ village.  Hollingbourne Parish Council’s main concern is that our village could become a ‘rat run’ for traffic wishing to reach the bypass.  KCC are committed in early 2018 to carry out a year’s monitoring and investigations into the routing and construction of the bypass.  Paul Carter, who spoke at the meeting as an individual rather than the Leader of the KCC, confirmed that he is 100% behind the bypass.  The Parish Council will bring this matter up with Cllr Mrs Shellina Prendergast.

 

  1. Chairman’s Report – Cllr M Bedwell)
  2. The Chairman mentioned the KCC Volunteer Support Warden Scheme that has been recommended as a valuable addition to the community, and feels that the Parish Council need to ask the villagers if they would like to have a Support Warden before any decision can be made. The Clerk will contact the local Parish Councils to see what their thoughts are also.  Further details of the scheme are on the Parish website, and any villager’s comments would be gratefully received by the Parish Council before Sunday, 11th February 2018 via email pchollingbourne@gmail.com .

 

  1. Crime Report

There have been four crime reports generated between 13th November and 11th December 2017, information of which has been found on the e-watch website for the North Downs area.

  1. Burglary of Public or Commercial Property – between 10.00 am on Thursday, 16th November and 10.00 am, Saturday, 18th November in Manor Lane. A shed at a residential property was broken into and a white specialist bicycle was stolen.
  2. Burglary of dwelling – between 1.00 pm on Thursday, 16th November and 10.00 am, Friday, 17th November in Pilgrims Way. A shed at a residential property was broken into.
  3. Theft from Motor Vehicle – between 10.30 pm, Thursday, 23rd November and 12.02 am on Friday, 24th November on M20. Fifteen tyres were stolen from the back of a lorry parked in the road.  The curtain side was cut to gain access.
  4. Theft from Motor Vehicle – on Sunday, 26th November between 12.35 pm and 2.15 am in Hucking, near Colyers Wents. A Land Rover Discovery parked in a car park was broken into.  A handbag containing cash and cards was stolen.
  5. Crime trends seem to be the breaking into outbuildings, sheds, etc, were items are stolen and then sold on to raise cash by thieves. Please keep all buildings locked securely and keep valuables out of sight of potential thieves.
  6. The e-watch website also advises that festive lights, decorations and deliveries have been stolen for gardens in nearby villages. There is also a new trend for the robbery of various vehicle body parts of BMW and Mercedes and ‘keyless’ cars, even when they have been parked on the owner’s driveways.  Thieves purchase devices which hack the locking system to these cars which makes robbery very easy.  This information was found on The Express website, https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/cars/866987/car-theft-hack-keyless-entry-video-BMW-stolen  .
  7. The public can now report crimes and incidents as well as non-injury road traffic collisions ONLINE directly through the website https://www.kent.police.uk . Once a report is made online, the user will receive a unique reference number and a return email confirming receipt.  The Kent Police are promoting both as a test/pilot at this stage. At the end of each form is the opportunity for the public making a report to give us feedback on using the forms.  The overall aim is to provide another choice for how the public can report crime or incidents as well as try to reduce the number of people calling 101 on non-urgent issues that could easily be dealt with through digital contact (which increasingly a lot of people prefer and have asked Police to provide).
  8. The Parish Council would like to urge villagers to contact the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they have information that they would like to anonymously supply the Police. Crimestoppers are a charity which the Police consult and currently achieve great results.

 

  1. KCC Volunteer Support Warden – (please see item 5, Chairman’s Report)

 

  1. Clerk’s Report –
  2. The Parish Council Draft Budget and Precept for 2018/19 was discussed at a meeting held by the Finance Committee, Cllr J Cobbett, Cllr D Ardley, Cllr S Hulme and the Clerk in December 2017. Cllr S Hulme confirmed that it was agreed that the Parish Council aim to retain a £19,000 reserve and keep the Precept the same as it was last year.  The Precept is carefully budgeted and as the Parish Council does not have any specific projects in 2018/9, it does not need raise to increase the Precept which is special charge on each household and which is collected with the Council tax.

It was felt that if the Village Fete 2018 breaks even in it will be good news as some fixed costs have risen. It was noted that the Parish Council’s total exposure is potentially £1500 in a worst case situation.  Cllr S Hulme proposed a vote on the 2018/19 budget, which was seconded by Cllr M Bedwell, and all Parish Councillor’s voted in favour.

  1. The Clerk attended a Crime Prevention and Safety Conference on the 7th December 2017, where the main speaker was Matthew Scott, Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner(PCC).  The Police have retained the same funding and amount of staff within the Police, but their priorities have changed dramatically and this means that unfortunately we do not see the Police on the street as previously.

The Police top priorities are assisting people with a mental health crisis (a third of their call outs); finding missing persons; the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and the abuse of vulnerable people; the stamping out of criminal gangs  (including gangs from London and overseas); and the prevention of terrorism.  With this in mind the Clerk feels that crime prevention within Hollingbourne would be far more beneficial and will investigate the restarting of a Neighbourhood Watch system within the village.  The Clerk will report back on this matter.  Action:  The Clerk

 

  1.      Hollingbourne Village Hall – Mr M Bedwell / Mr J Cobbett
  2. A letter of concern has been sent to Mr Ian Garrood, Property Director at Enterprise Inns Plc who are the landlords of the Village Hall and who have declined so far to renew the lease which expired on 21st August 2016. At the time of the Parish Meeting a response had not been received. (Since the meeting an e-mail has been received confirming that a meeting with Enterprise Inns Plc and representatives of the Village Hall Committee has been arranged for 10th January and the Parish Council expects to be updated afterwards).

 

  1. County Councillor’s Report
  2. Cllr Mrs S Prendergast advised that nothing is decided on the future of subsidised bus services including . The press release https://kccmediahub.net/statement-on-bus-subsidies745 helps answer some questions that residents have and it’s really important that people respond to the consultation when it comes out on 18th January.  This is at https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti .

One of Cllr Prendergast’s key pledges when she stood for election earlier this year was to ensure that children and other vulnerable residents were not left isolated in rural communities.

Cllr Prendergast will be letting her views and that of our residents, be known not just via the consultation but also to the service providers – so please give your views.

 

  1.             Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr P Garten
  2. Cllr P Garten advised that Matthew Scott, Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner(PCC), would like to meet the Parish Council.  It was agreed that this would be good idea and Cllr P Garten will arrange this.  Action:  Cllr P Garten
  3. The Public Meeting to consider Network Rail’s plan to divert the footpath over the railway line in Hollingbourne that was due to be held in the Village Hall on 13th December has been postponed until 23rd January 2018. The venue will be either the Village Hall or County Hall and more details are to follow.  The proposal is to close the present footpath cross to the west of Hollingbourne Station and to divert the footpath over the footbridge at the Station.  Please see the Parish website for further details.
  4. An AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) meeting is being held on Friday, 15th December 2017 by the Mid Kent Downs Countryside Partnership, regarding the Hollingbourne Vale. Cllr A Bennett confirmed that he was happy to attend this meeting and the Clerk will forward the details on to him.
  5. Cllr P Garten had attended a meeting with members of the Hollingbourne Meadows Trust and had found it very interesting
  6. The Communities, Housing and Environment Committee at the Maidstone BC had discussed the Parish Services Scheme funding and had wanted to make financial cuts in this area.

Cllr John Perry and Cllr P Garten had noted that the Parish Councils had not been consulted on this matter.

It was resolved at the Maidstone BC meeting:  That the outcomes of the review of the Parish Services Scheme be noted; and that consideration of Recommendations 2 and 3 of the report of the Director of Finance and Business Improvement be deferred until after the Parish Liaison Meeting in January when the representatives would have had an opportunity to be properly consulted.  Voting:  For:  2  Against:  1  Abstentions:  5.

The Clerk will download the minutes of the meeting from the Maidstone BC website.

 

  1. Planning Report – Cllr A Bennett
  2. 17/506053/TPO – Autumn Cottage, Musket Lane, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  TPO application – group of trees (G1) continued from west end, fell tree 7 due to split and on the 13th tree reduce limb over the garden due to weak fork.  On all trees, raise crowns over the highway to 5 metres and remove damaged limbs. Decision:   DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT

  1. 17/505933/TCA – Hollingbourne Manor, Upper Street, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  Trees in conservation area notification – 1 x yew tree – fell

Decision:  the Parish Council needs more information about the reason of felling the tree before a decision can be made.

  1. 17/505217/FULL & 17/505218/LBC – Ripple Manor, Whitehall Road, Thurnham.

Proposal:  Proposed rear extension comprising part two/single storey extension with balcony at first floor and the removal of existing rear lean-to and porch.  Decision:  DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT

  1. 14/0757 – The Windmill PH, 32 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  An application for listed building consent for the relocation of kitchen exhaust duct.  Amendments (24.11.17) Rev-PGJ1 to existing ventilation and proposed ventilation.  Nine items of additional information (24.11.17) – ACD disposable carbon cell; amendment email; cleanliness of ventilation systems; DEFRA score and specification; filtration technical data sheet; gigaBox centrifugal fan spec. sheet; jet cowl spec. sheet; odour control technology and ventilation systems specification.  Decision:  DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT

All Councillors were in agreement to the decision reported apart from where otherwise stated.

  1. 17/502331/OUT – Land at Woodcut Farm, Ashford Rd, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  Outline application for a mixed commercial development comprising B1(a), B1(b), B1(c) and B8 units, with a maximum floor space of 45,295 square metres (access being sought) (resubmission of 15/503288/OUT).

Update:  At the Planning Committee meeting, Maidstone BC, on the 30th November 2017, the outline application was approved subject to conditions and Section 106 agreement, at 7 votes to 5.  Cllr P Garten was thanked by the Parish Council for his strong argument against the proposal.      

 

  1. Parish Plan for Hollingbourne – Cllr A Bennett

Cllr A Bennett has drawn up a basic scheme of what should be included within the Parish Plan.  All members of the Parish Council will receive a copy and the matter will be considered at the next Parish Meeting.  Action:  Cllr A Bennett / All Parish Council

 

  1. Maidstone BC Local Plan – Mr A Bennett

The Clerk has received a paper copy of the approved Local Plan and it was given to Cllr A Bennett for his information and comments at the next Parish Meeting.

  1. Environmental Report
  2. Cllr J Cobbett reported by email that there has been no news from KCC about arrangements for the free movement of vehicles through Dover Customs after Brexit when the UK will cease to support the European Transit Convention. This may mean than Customs transit times will increase from two minutes a vehicle to twenty minutes which could cause Operation Stack on the M20 on a daily basis.
  3. With regards to speeding traffic through the village, Cllr D Ardley advised that he has written to the local authority with a proposal for new road signs within the village. A response has not yet been received from the Highways Department, and the Clerk will pursue the matter.  Action:  The Clerk

 

  1. Cardwell Pavilion
  2. The Clerk will arrange for the bulkhead light to be repaired at the Cardwell Pavilion.
  3. Cllr A Ward will look into producing a Fire Safety draft policy for the Cardwell Pavilion.
  4. Cllr D Ardley requested that there is more health and safety signage within the Cardwell Pavilion regarding not drilling into the walls of the building and using blu-tac on the paintwork. This matter will be looked into.  Action:  The Clerk

 

  1. Parks Report (Millennium Green) – Cllr A Ward
  2. The installation of the Wealden Homes funded new equipment in the village playground has been a real success and it is very popular with the children.

 

  1. Defibrillator(s) for the village – This matter is is being investigated further.

 

  1. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes –
  2. Cllr M Bedwell reported that there had been a couple of events taking place, but these had taken place in an orderly fashion and planning rules had not been breached. Cllr M Bedwell will now be the Parish Councillor reporting on this item.

 

  1. Fête Report – Cllr D Ardley
  2. A date of the 9th June 2018 has been fixed for next year’s Fete and Exemption Dog Show. A Fete planning meeting is to take place on Monday, 18th December 2017, 8.00 pm, at The Dirty Habit PH.  Ideally more people are needed on the Fete Committee.  There is also a need for more stallholders at the 2018 Fete in order to break even. (A further meeting of the Fete Committee has been fixed for Monday 22nd January at 8pm in the Dirty Habit and all are welcome).

 

  1. Twinning with Templeuve-en-Pévèle – Cllr J Cobbett – nothing to report.

 

  1. Financial Report –
  2. With regards to the Parish Council 2018/19 budget please see item 8.a. Clerk’s Report. Additionally, Cllr J Cobbett reported by email that the budgeted income for 2018/9 is £27,950 with expenses of £26,220 assuming no change in the Parish Precept per house hold. Amounts not included are a possible loss on the Fete of circa £250 due to higher mobile toilet and other fixed costs and possible expenditure on two defibrillators at £4,000 in total which may be reduced with grants. The cash position subject to presently unforeseen events is a balance of circa £25,000 at the end of March 2017 subject to a successful reclaim of VAT on the Playground equipment.
  3. There is £30,639.03 in the bank and all Parish Councillors voted in approval of authorising the cheques drawn by the Clerk.

 

  1. Community News –
  2. Cllr A Bennett attended the Avenue of Remembrance meeting held by the Hollingbourne Meadows Trust with the Royal British Legion and was glad to announce that the project is gathering pace and is looking forward to raising the necessary funding for the 100 hawthorn trees that will be planted on Hollingbourne Meadows Trust land to mark the centenary of the WW1 Armistice.

 

Date of next meeting: Monday 8th January 2018, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne

 

Signed as a true record:                       Chairman:                                      Date: