Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council
held on 11th February 2013 in the Cardwell Pavilion
commencing at 7.30pm
Present: Mr M Bedwell (Chairman), Mr D Ardley, Dr S Bauer, Mr J Cobbett,
Mr P Waite
1. Apologies for absence Mr A Bennett (away), Mr Ward (work)
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 (Circulated prior to meeting)
An item had been omitted from the Chairman’s report, namely that it was resolved to ascertain from MBC the level of their reserves. Subject to this amendment to the minutes, it was resolved that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the meeting and they were duly signed by the Chairman.
4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)
· Mr Cobbett reported that he had attended the Annual Parish Conference. At that meeting, he had discussed the matter of the withdrawal of funding for street lighting with Councillor Chris Garland, Leader of Maidstone Borough Council and the matter will be considered at the next Cabinet meeting. Meanwhile, the way Hollingbourne Parish Council might have to bear the charge will be by raising the precept, which Members agreed they are loath to do. Ultimately it is hoped that KCC will take on responsibility for street lighting – the Clerk confirmed that details of the 21 lamps had been sent to KCC and that someone was due to inspect the columns shortly.
· It was resolved unanimously to proceed with “twinning“ with Templeuve.
· Mr Cobbett reported that he and the Clerk had attended a meeting with Hugh Robertson M.P. hosted by Mrs Victoria Wallace at Leeds Castle to discuss the unacceptably low broadband speeds that are being received. Thanks were given to Mr David Cheeseman who supplied the recorded speeds he had during the month of January, which had been most useful. Mr Robertson had agreed to write to BT lamenting the current situation and asking at the least for the Hollingbourne Exchange to be updated. It is hoped that by the end of 2015 the village will receive 2Mb, with KCC having invested £10m.
5. Chairman’s Report
Mr Bedwell announced the resignation of Mr Frank Stephenson from the Council and wished to place on record thanks for his invaluable contribution to the work of the Council, especially on the Planning and Finance Committees. Re-allocation of committee work to be addressed at the next meeting. A new member is being sought.
Mr Bedwell said that the village must prepare to battle against unwanted developments around Junction 8. A Cabinet decision will be announced on 13 March. Mr Peter Waite and Mr John Horne from Bearsted will prepare comments for the Ward Member to present.
The Chairman told members that the rail High Speed 1 (HS1) has been reported by the BBC Countryfile Programme as being introduced easily and without disruption to the area. He had recently pointed out to the media that HS1 had been quietly introduced “on the back of “ the high speed Channel Tunnel rail link, which had been the subject of a great deal of work by residents who had forced several changes to the plans (including the bund and tunnel). Mr Waite stated that Thurnham would be interested to learn of any potential HS2 developments as they too are affected by the noise. Mr Cobbett pointed out that local fares are increased artificially to pay for the rolling stock on HS1, whilst “we in the middle get no benefit”.
Mr Bedwell had received a call from Mrs Johnston regarding on the amount of water on the roads which is running off the fields. This is especially the case at the Eyhorne Street end of Greenway Court Road. It is potentially dangerous when the temperatures drop to freezing point. Southern Water representatives are due to visit and it is hoped at least the water can be diverted so that it does not run across the road.
Mr Cobbett had made strenuous efforts of behalf of the village regarding funding for street lighting under the new Parish Services Scheme, for which the Chairman thanked him. He was disappointed at the responses given to Mr Cobbett and had pointed out to Mr Littlemore of MBC that as Chairman of the Finance Committee Mr Cobbett had his full support and had been delegated responsibility.
The recent negative response from Royal Mail who had seen fit to re-allocate our popular postman was regrettable.
The Chairman has been invited to address the Eynsford Parish Council in order to share the experience of preparing to twin with a French community. He has also been invited to the Mayor’s Spring Ball at the Great Danes Mercure Hotel.
Mr Bedwell wished to thank Mrs Victoria Wallace for permitting the use of the Castle for the English signing ceremony on 11th March.
6. Parish Assembly Messrs Waite and Bennett have yet to discuss.
7. Crime Update No crime report received. Dr Bauer reported that individuals doing high speed “spin turns” on the A20 have been apprehended. A vehicle from which someone gets out and tries the doors of parked cars has been identified by the police.
8. Borough Councillor’s Report – nil received
9. Clerk’s Report All items covered elsewhere throughout the agenda.
10. County Councillor’s Report
Mrs Whittle stated that she intended to support the funding of street lighting from her fund if re-elected in May. She also reported on the letter from Mr Hugh Robertson MP to Sir Ian Vallance, Chairman of BT, with a request to to update the Hollingbourne Telephone Exchange which also services Leeds and Kingswood. A site visit to the Bourne Bridge in Eyhorne Street where there are weight concerns will be arranged as soon as the May Election campaign is completed. The kerb stones by the Bourne have been re-set.
Mrs Whittle stated her total opposition to development proposed near J8, and it was suggested that the vision of the current Leader of the Borough Council appeared to support an increase of 14800 new homes (a one third increase in the population of Maidstone) in the next 18 years. No infrastructure plans for supporting amenities such as schooling, water, hospitals or employment etc. have been forthcoming. The continued pressure for primary school placements in Hollingbourne was noted.
11. Planning Report Dr Bauer proposed an objection to the Scoping opinion for a new development “Waterside Park”, seconded by Mr Cobbett, which was carried unanimously. The other decisions by MBC were noted.
Replacement Garage doors
Olde England Cottage
Part retrospective, part full application to erect boundary fence
Waterside Park M20 J8, Ashford Road,
Scoping opinion sought in respect of a proposed environmental statement
WTA = Wish to approve
DNWTO = Do Not Wish To Object
RNO = Raise No Objection
TBA = To Be Announced
12. Environmental Report Nil to report
13. Finance Report It was resolved that the cheques should be signed, a list of cheques to be issued for expenditure having been circulated prior to the meeting.
Mr Bedwell proposed a change of contract for utilities to the Utility Warehouse at the Cardwell Pavilion, seconded by Dr Bauer and carried. Action: The Clerk to negotiate with the Utility Warehouse. It was also reported that the Parish Council had joined the Utility Warehouse Community Fund Raising Scheme at a cost of £25. Further discussion of the arrangements for promoting this Scheme will be considered at the March Parish Council Meeting.
14. Parks Report The Clerk reported on Mr Ward’s behalf:
· The kitchen sink taps have been replaced.
· The gas meter padlock has been inspected and confirmed defective. Instructions given to replace with new more durable lock.
· Roof valley repairs and play area repairs also instructed Geoff, waiting for better weather to complete.
· Central heating controls and lockable cover confirmed Keelec to do this.
A positive conversation with MBC solicitor and hopefully we can resolve the deed transfer to official custodian in near future.
Details for the new bespoke notice board to be discussed with Mr Cheetham.
15. Fete Report Mr Cobbett reported that the programme is beginning to fill up. A response from a Dance group is awaited.
16. Items for Information – nil
Date of next meeting
Monday 4th March (AGM)
Signed as a true record: