February 2018 Minutes.

The Minutes of the Hollingbourne Parish Council Meeting of 12th February 2018 in the Cardwell Pavilion that were approved at the Parish Council Meeting on 12 March 2018.

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 12th February 2018, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.

Present: Cllr M Bedwell (Chairman), Cllr A Ward (Vice-Chairman), Cllr J Cobbett, Cllr Dr S Bauer, Cllr A Bennett & Cllr M Gray

In attendance: Cllr Patrik Garten (Maidstone BC), one member of the Village Hall Committee, three members of the public, and Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.

1. Apologies for absence: Cllr S Hulme (previous engagement), Cllr D Ardley (previous engagement) & Cllr Mrs S Prendergast, KCC (work commitments)

2. Declarations and Requests
Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none; Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda – the vast majority of the Parish Councillors know Mr and Mrs P. Dixon of the Courtyard Studios, but not on a professional basis and it was felt that this would not affect their voting on the planning application; Requests for Dispensations – none

3. Approval of minutes of last meeting (circulated prior to meeting)
It was resolved that the minutes of the meeting on 8th January 2018 are a true and accurate record of the meeting.

4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda) – none arising.

5. Chairman’s Report – Cllr M Bedwell)
a. The CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) has put in a legal challenge against the building of the Roxhill development at Woodcut Farm, particularly with regards to the adverse effect it would have on the air quality in the locality. Unfortunately their case was dismissed by the High Court leaving the charity to pay costs. Cllr A Bennett advised that he had attended the Joint Parish Group meeting which discussed the aftermath of the legal challenge, and he wholehearted believed that the Parish Council should join the neighbouring villages in assisting the CPRE with a reimbursement of funds as they had tried diligently to reject the development for the wellbeing of the local residents. Cllr A Bennett proposed, and Cllr M Bedwell seconded, that the Parish Council give the CPRE, £1000, as a token of goodwill in this instance. The vote was not unanimous with four Parish Councillors voting in favour, and two voting against the sum of money but not on the principle.

6. Crime Report
a. There have not been any crime reports generated between the 8th January and the 12th February 2018 listed on the e-watch website for the North Downs area. There was however, good news from the Police as they have caught the thief who stole a car from Eyhorne Street in December 2017. Charges against him also included a theft of fuel, failing to stop, and collision with a Police car on the M20. The thief, who came from Thamesmead is now serving a 14 month prison sentence.
b. Mrs Gloria Stringer (81) who went missing in the Hospital Road area on the 1st January 2018 has still not been found. The Parish Council encourages all of the village residents to remain vigilant in looking for the lady while various articles in the Kent Messenger have publicised the matter to all Maidstone residents.
c. The Parish Council would like to urge villagers to contact the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they have information relating to crimes or other concerns that they would like to anonymously supply to the Police. Crimestoppers is a charity which the Police use frequently.

7. KCC Volunteer Support Warden –
a. The Clerk has received notification from the WI that they believe that having a KCC Volunteer Support Warden would be a very good idea. The Clerk will investigate the matter further and contact Parish Councils already using the service for comment. Action: The Clerk

8. Hollingbourne Village Hall – Mr M Bedwell / Mr J Cobbett
a. The Parish Council received a verbal report from Mrs Lynn Bryan of the Village Hall Committee on a meeting with Mr Ian Garrood, Property Director at Enterprise Inns Plc, who are the landlords of the Village Hall in January 2018. Mr Garrood confirmed that, although the lease formally expired in August 2016, there is a rolling lease on the hall, and a new lease may be drawn up over the next year which will be for up to 5 years with a requested but not agreed 12 month notice period at the end. It is expected that the annual rental will increase almost three fold when the new lease is enacted. Concern was expressed that the new arrangement might not offer sufficient security of tenure with the result that Hollingbourne may eventually need a new Hall on a different site. The Village Hall Committee will keep the Parish Council updated.

9. Battle’s Over – Commemorations of the 100th Anniversary of WWI (11th November 2018)
a. It was agreed by the Parish Council that they will support the Royal British Legion if they would like to commemorate this event which will be chain of beacons across the country. A fire beacon is Hollingbourne CP School and has been used for similar events in previous years.

10. Clerk’s Report –
a. The Clerk and her children, together with all those in the audience, had very much enjoyed the ‘Wizard of Hozz’ pantomime in the Village Hall at the weekend, and wanted to thank all of those in the show for all of their hard work. The Parish Council also wished to express their appreciation for the efforts of those performing in and organising the production.
b. The Clerk is seeking a third quotation for the provision of artificial grass in the outside play-area at the Cardwell Pavilion.
c. The Clerk has received an email from a local school assisting children with ‘profound, severe and complex learning difficulties, including Autistic Spectrum Disorder’, who were looking for a financial donation towards the acquisition of new equipment for the school in their fund raising campaign. Unfortunately, the Parish Council has used all of the 2017/18 budget for goodwill gestures and cannot assist on this occasion. The Clerk has contacted the school and suggested that they raise funds at the Hollingbourne Fete 2018, and the school is very interested in this option.
d. The Clerk advised the Parish Council that the 10th Annual KCC Rail Summit was taking place in County Hall on 14th May 2018 and that the Parish Council has been invited to send a representative in place of Cllr J Cobbett who has attended all of the previous meetings.

11. Proposal for Part-time traffic lights at the Great Danes Roundabout – Mr J Cobbett
a. Cllr J Cobbett requested that the Clerk will write to the Leader of the KCC for their consideration regarding the almost daily traffic problems experienced at the Great Danes roundabout. It is believed that the traffic congestion will only increase with developments built such as Woodcut Farm, future additional housing locally, the proposed Leeds/Langley bypass, Leeds Castle events, and possible future ‘Operation Stack’ occurrences. The air quality will also be greatly affected by such extra traffic. Action: The Clerk

12. County Councillor’s Report –
a. Cllr A Bennett and the Clerk meet with Cllr Mrs Shellina Prendergast regularly to discuss ongoing issues that the Parish Council considering.

13. Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr P Garten
a. The Park and Ride service was discussed by the Strategic, Planning, Sustainability and Transport Committee who took the decision on Monday, 22 January 2018, to extend Maidstone’s Park and Ride Service for one year. The Park and Ride service will continue to be run from two sites (London Road and Willington Street) and will extend its operating hours to 7 pm with the frequency of buses remaining at 20 minutes.
b. A planning appeal has been lodged with the Planning Inspectorate for two dwellings, each with a triple garage, to be built on land at Ashford Road, Hollingbourne. The planning application for the development of 10 houses on the land to the west of Windmill Lane, Eyhorne Street is yet to reach the MBC Planning Committee and Cllr P Garten will investigate the reason for this.
c. The appeal against the development at Woodcut Farm has been put on hold for now. (Please see Chairman’s Report with regards to this matter).
d. Cllr P Garten has kindly liaised with Mr Matthew Scott, Police and Crime Commissioner, for a meeting to take place in March 2018, so that the Hollingbourne and Stockbury Parish Councils can discuss various matters and local concerns. Two of the members of the Hollingbourne Parish Council will be in attendance. Any specific questions for Mr Scott to answer should be sent to Cllr P Garten beforehand at PatrikGarten@Maidstone.gov.uk . The Parish Clerk has been advised that the PCSO for the area cannot attend the Parish Meetings or furnish the Parish Council with crime reports. The Parish Councillors will raise their concerns over this matter at this meeting.
e. Cllr P Garten advised that he had objected, together with three other panel members, to Network Rail’s plan to divert the footpath over the railway line in Hollingbourne. It will be the responsibility of Network Rail to make good the steep path leading down to the railway forecourt and be tidied up with a hard-core chipping base. (Please also see item 16.b. for additional comments).
f. As a point of local interest, the Boxley Parish Council is at present objecting to the planning approval of the use of office buildings by non-medical related companies at the Kent Medical Campus, Newnham Court Way, Weavering.

14. Planning Report – Cllr A Bennett
a. 18/500580/FULL – Manor Cottage, Upper Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Demolition of existing conservatory and shed and erection of a two storey rear and single storey side extension. Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT
b. 18/500228/FULL – Courtyard Studios, Hollingbourne House, Hollingbourne Hill
Proposal: Conversion and adaptation of existing photography studio into two new residential dwellings with associated parking and garden area. Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT
c. 18/500201/AGRIC – Warren Wood, Hospital Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Prior notification for a proposed track. For its prior approval to – siting and construction.
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT. Notification already deemed by the Mid Kent Planning Department as ‘prior approval not required’ according to their website.
d. 17/506462/FULL – Morning Dawn Cottage, Ringlestone Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Demolition of existing garages and conservatory, erection of a two storey extension, internal/external alterations and dormer windows (revised scheme to 17/501481/FULL).
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT
e. It had been noted by a Parish Councillor that a large wooden shed had been erected in a property within the village. If the wooden structure is a mobile structure it doesn’t need planning permission, but the Clerk will check these facts.
f. Two members of the public tabled proposed plans for an office and store close to the railway arch in Culpepper Close. Further information was requested.

15. Parish Plan for Hollingbourne – Cllr A Bennett
Cllr A Bennett has made a good input into the Parish Plan and now feels that other members/organisations within the village need to be involved in its production. The proposal of the Parish Plan will be cascaded out to the other village organisations at the Parish Assembly.
Action: Cllr A Bennett / All Parish Council

16. Maidstone BC Local Plan – Mr A Bennett
a. Cllr A Bennett circulated his report on the Maidstone BC Local Plan on behalf of the Parish Council. Cllr M Gray said that the Parish Council needed to voice its concerns over the Plan as the villages roads are small and narrow and therefore reduces the size and number of developments that it can have. However, the Parish Council is pro-active, and does not reject every planning application for developments in the village. Cllr A Bennett had in the past advised the Maidstone BC of potential ‘affordable housing’ land within the village, but this had not been highlighted on the Local Plan.

17. Environmental Report –
a. Cllr Dr S Bauer reported on two lots of fly-tipping which she had reported to the Maidstone BC. One of the fly-tipping consisted of ‘un-tipped’ syringes, which could easily caused needle-stick injury in a human or animal. Cllr Dr S Bauer covered the syringes, which were near the bridge across Eyhorne Street and urgently reported the matter to the Maidstone BC, who responded very quickly to the matter. The Parish Council would very much like to thank the Maidstone BC for their urgent assistance in this instance, and it is very reassuring to know that they can help in an emergency.
b. A public meeting relating to the Network Rail plan to divert the footpath over the railway line in Hollingbourne was held on Tuesday, 23rd January 2018 at the Village Hall at 2.30 pm. The panel subsequently decided to divert the path, and the reason given was “the panel agreed with the Network Rail’s view that it was not practicable to make the existing crossing safe for the public. It concluded that it was in the interests of the safety of users or likely users of the crossing to divert the public path” over the station footbridge.
Cllr A Bennett had been asked for his opinion on the matter by the Downs Mail, as he would be less physically able to climb the steps over the railway line himself, and had expressed the view that it would be impossible to access the steps if you were in a wheelchair. Alternatively, if a parent/carer had a small child in a pram, the access would be very difficult indeed.

18. Cardwell Pavilion
a. Cllr A Ward has attended courses with regards to fire safety in order to produce and maintain a Fire Safety policy for the Cardwell Pavilion.
b. Cllr A Ward agreed to affix the health and safety signage within the Cardwell Pavilion regarding not drilling into the walls of the building and using blu-tac on the paintwork, which the Clerk had obtained. Action: Cllr A Ward

19. Highways Report (update on speeding signs) – Cllr D Ardley – update at next Parish Meeting.

20. Parish Assembly –
a. The Parish Assembly will be held in the Village Hall, Tuesday, 10th April 2018, 7.30 pm – 10.00 pm. It was agreed by the Parish Councillors, that Cllr M Gray organised and Cllr S Hulme led the Parish Assembly very well last year and it was hoped that they would happy to do so again for 2018. Cllr M Gray is quite willing to do so and will liaise with the Clerk regarding its organisation.
Action: The Clerk / Cllr M Gray

21. Parks Report (Lance Memorial Playing Field) – Cllr A Ward
a. Cllr A Ward proposed that a quotation be obtained to make necessary cosmetic repairs within the children’s playground, including the repair of the gate. The Clerk will make enquiries into this work. Action: The Clerk

22. Defibrillator(s) for the village –
a. The Clerk has applied for funding towards the two defibrillators in the village, and she has also been advised by English Heritage that they can be placed on the outside of listed buildings if the local planning office is advised of this fact. This matter is being investigated further.

23. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes – Cllr M Bedwell – nothing specific to report.

24. Fête Report – Cllr D Ardley
a. 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, 19th February 2018, 8.00 pm, at The Dirty Habit PH.

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

26. Financial Report –
a. There is £28,471.59 in the bank, and a VAT reclaim payment of £4759.72 will be shown on the February bank statement. Cllr J Cobbett proposed the approval of authorising the cheques drawn by the Clerk and all Parish Councillors voted in favour.

27. Community News –
a. Cllr A Bennett had received communication from Mr Norman Kemp, Nu-Venture buses, who advised that the bus service in Hollingbourne would be available to at least September 2018.

Date of next meeting: Monday 12th March 2018, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne

Signed as a true record: Chairman: Date: