February 2009 Minutes.

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council
held on 9th February 2009 in the Cardwell Pavilion at 7.30pm
Present: Mr M Bedwell (Chairman), Dr S Bauer, Mrs S Baxter Mr J Cobbett, (Vice-
Chairman), Mr P Mace, Mr F Stephenson, Mr A Ward, Mr A Williams
Also in attendance: Mrs Daphne Parvin (Borough Councillor), Ms E Lawrence (Clerk),
PC Mike Kingwell and members of the public.
1. Apologies for absence – none received
2. Declaration of Interests and amendments to Register of Interests
Councillors Ward, Cobbett, Mace, Bauer, Bedwell and all declared personal interests in the
Enforcement appeal 07/0232 insofar as they knew the business operative Sheds and
Shelters as previous customers and supporters. Councillors Mace and Bedwell also knew
neighbours and objectors. Councillor Baxter declared a personal interest in TA/0004/09 as
the applicant is a neighbour.
There were no declarations of prejudicial interest.
There were no amendments to the Register of Interests.
The meeting was adjourned to allow the members of the public to speak
3. Approval of minutes of last meeting
(Circulated prior to meeting)
Parks Committee membership should include Mrs Baxter, page 2.
The date of the next meeting, page 3, was incorrect.
Mr Bedwell proposed that, subject to the above amendments, the minutes were a true and
accurate record of the meeting and that they should be accepted, seconded by Mr Ward.
4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)
Mrs Baxter reported that a new bench has ordered and the siting by the church would soon
be finalised. The old bench by the railway bridge will be repaired imminently.
She asked if the notice boards had been sourced. As they had not, she offered to look into
this as she felt strongly that the Pre School had been led to believe these would be
forthcoming and somewhere to use as a display area was needed.
Mr Ward queried if the cleaning issues had been resolved and Mr Mace replied that they
had, as far as he was aware. The log book was proving useful, but open to misuse as a
message book between users, rather than for users to sign in and report issues to the Parish
Council.
5. Crime Update
PC Kingwell reported that the only reported crimes were a wheelie-bin lid had been stolen,
presumably for use as a toboggan, and a birdscarer stolen from agricultural land.
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6. Chairman’s Report
Mr Bedwell thanked everyone for their input to the successful and well attended KIG
information day, especially Mr Mace and Mr Ward for the informative maps and supply of
coffee!
A brochure had been received for Applause a rural touring organisation serving Kent and
Sussex. Mr Williams offered to look into this.
Mr Bedwell had a letter from the Kent Messenger, offering 150 free trees as part of their
150 year anniversary. The Clerk to respond and apply. Dr Bauer reported that the Free
Trees scheme to which she had responded were planted, including two oaks, at the
[Eyhorne Meadow] entrance to the village, but were all very small. A holly sapling was
still in a pot, awaiting a suitable site for planting.
The libel case, as reported in the Kent Messenger, was settled and Mr Bedwell offered Dr
Bauer the opportunity to respond to the members, but she replied that she would do so at a
later stage.
7. Finance Report
Mr Cobbett reported that the Finance committee had met to set the budget for the
forthcoming year. It had been agreed to raise the precept to £16,000. A deficit for the
forthcoming year was predicted as £2,000, which would have to be met from reserves. The
cost of running the Cardwell Pavilion has risen and is heavily subsidised; the price of
rentals will need to be increased.
The Clerk reported that a breakdown of expenditure for producing the Community Action
Plan had been received.
A list of cheques to be issued for expenditure was circulated prior to the meeting.
Mr Ward proposed that the cheques be issued, seconded by Mr Williams.
8. Clerk’s Report
The Clerk reported that a request had been received for the Council to approve an
application for a salt bin at Troys Mead: agreed.
A Parish report from Kent Highways had been received since the correspondence list had
been circulated, with nothing significant to discuss.
A response had finally been received from Kent Highways to the many queries regarding
Speed/HGV issues in the village. No further speed limit signs will be installed as the street
lighting signifies a 30 mile limit, although a bid will be submitted in March for speed
reduction measures between the school and church and for a weight limit through the
village. An interactive speed sign is refused.
The Cardwell Pavilion will be used for the European Parliamentary elections and KCC
elections on Thursday 4th June 2009.
The Clerk drew members’ attention to: from Kent Highways
– the Forward Plan of Key Decisions for February to end May, issued by MBC.
– The draft Sustainable Community Strategy for Maidstone Borough. Ideas were
being sought on how to reach rural communities for the consultation process, such
as developing a community road-show. Mr Williams volunteered to look into this.
Action: Mr Williams.
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9. Parks Committee – nothing to report.
Mr Mace to arrange a handover to Mr Ward as Chairman.
10. Planning Report
08/0300 Erection of new dwelling on part of site of
demolished Eyhorne House
Land adjacent to Eyhorne
Manor,
Approved, with two
abstentions
08/1993 First floor extension with the insertion of
two dormer windows
Park Wood Cottage,
Hollingbourne Hill,
Approved
TA/0004/09 Notification of intention to pollard a row
of 15 Lombardy Poplar trees
75, Eyhorne Street,
Approved, with one
abstention.
A letter of objection to the proposed Kent International Gateway had been sent.
Enforcement Appeal
07/0232 Town & Country Planning Act 1990
Section 174 –
Enforcement Notices & Appeals
Hollingbourne Farm
Mr Stephenson stated that, whilst having every sympathy with Sheds and Shelters and their
supporters, the problem had arisen from planning permission not being correctly sought by
the landowner in the first place. Nothing had changed or been done to address the issues
identified previously in the retrospective application, which had been refused, so in his
view the enforcement should stand. Mr Cobbett stated that the economic climate had
changed considerably and that a pragmatic view could be taken, but Mr Mace pointed out
that representations to the Planning Inspectorate could only address the planning
infringements which continue to take place. After considerable debate Mr Stephenson
proposed that a letter be sent carrying the same objections, seconded by Mr Mace and
carried.
11. Environment report.
Mr Williams reported that a buddleia had been blocking the pavement (opposite Musket
Lane) and that it had bee removed courtesy of Hollingbourne Property Services. Clerk to
write and thank.
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The hedge near the school is again presenting a hazard to pedestrians. Action: Clerk to
write to Mr Wright, with copies to Mrs Parvin and MBC Environment.
Mr Williams urged residents who identified footpaths in need of clearing or maintenance to
report them to John Pelham on 01732 872829
He reported the flytipping that had taken place on Church Meadow.
12. Borough Councillors Report.
Mrs Parvin asked if the paperwork for the devolved budget purchase of the bench had been
completed. No form had been received. Action Clerk/Mrs Parvin
She informed Councillors that a training session on Planning had been arranged for 12th
February. Mr Stephenson had planned to attend.
Mrs Parvin apologised that, due to other commitments, she had been unable to attend the
KIG Open Day.
13. Community Action Plan.
Mrs Baxter reported that she had attended the Detling Design Statement presentation.
Victoria Lawson of Action for Communities in Rural Kent recommended waiting before
embarking on such a project at this point in time until the implications of the new Planning
Act are known. A view had been expressed that a Design Statement was more useful than
a Parish Plan. Mr Bedwell, who had also attended the day at Detling, remarked on the
similarities between Hollingbourne and Detling in respect of the school, need for affordable
housing, planning applications for extensions and general character of both villages.
Samples of Village Design statements are available on the web. Mr Cobbett and Mr Mace
offered to help take this item forward.
Mr Ward said he would take this item to the next meeting of the community Action Plan
Steering Group. Mrs Baxter stated that even though several points on the CAP were now
dealt with, there are still items or which no Council Member had volunteered to take the
named lead, and she remained concerned that these issues would remain unresolved unless
that situation changed. She proposed that she and Mr Ward asked the Steering Group to
revise the Plan and return it to the Council for named members to take the leads.
14. KIG update
Mr Mace had attended a further meeting of the Joint Parishes Group. One of the issues
considered by the Inspectorate is the existence (or not) and content of local Village Design
Statements. Mr Mace would support going ahead with one for Hollingbourne.
KIG have applied for non-determination, and MBC have appealed against this. MBC will
still in all probability go ahead with a Planning meeting to at least clarify their position as
the determining authority should the process go to appeal. Mr Mace had also attended the
KCC meeting at Invicta Grammar School, where he heard Paul Carter repeat his
commitment to fight the application.
Hollingbourne Parish Council had formally objected to KIG.
15. Correspondence List
A list of correspondence received since the last meeting had been circulated prior to the
meeting.
Mr Bedwell repeated his offer to Dr Bauer to respond to members regarding the libel case,
but Dr Bauer stated she needed more time and was not ready to make a statement.
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16. Items for Information
– Mr Williams stated that he is of the opinion that the Council have settled as a team
under the leadership of Mr Bedwell. He drew members attention to the previously
circulated publication “The Good Councillors Guide” and proposed that members
measure their performance against the contents of that guide at a future meeting in
order to evaluate past and present performance and identify areas where
improvement is needed. Mr Stephenson offered to work on this with Mr Williams.
Action: Mr Williams/Mr Stephenson
– Dr Bauer raised the subject of the clerks hours. Mr Cobbett responded that these
had been discussed at the recent Finance meeting, although the budget was still in
draft format, an increase to 15 hours a week had been suggested.
– An allocation of £1,000 had been suggested to replace the Parish Council laptop,
software and printer.
– Mr Stephenson proposed that, having investigated several alternative providers,
TNS Lighting should be awarded the contract for street lighting, following EDFs
announcement that they were discontinuing their service. Seconded by Mr
Williams and agreed unanimously.
– Mr Mace asked that Dr Bauer provided Council with a response at the next meeting
as he felt a sufficient period had elapsed.
– The Chairman permitted comment from the public, and Jenny Whittle introduced
herself as the Conservative candidate for Maidstone Rural East.
17. Date of next meeting: 9th March at 7.30pm in The Cardwell Pavilion.
Signed as a true record:
……………………………
Chairman.
Date……………………….