Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council
held on Monday 13th January 2014 in the Cardwell Pavilion commencing at 7.30pm
Present: Mr Bedwell (Chairman), Mr Ward, Mr Ardley, Mr Waite, Dr Bauer, Mr Cobbett (late arrival due to prior meeting).
In attendance: Mrs D Parvin (Borough Councillor), PCSO D. Rowley and two members of the public.
1. Apologies for absence
Mr Bennett, Mr Vallins, E Lawrence (Clerk) and Mrs J Whittle (County Councillor).
2. Declaration of Interests and amendments to Register of Interests
A declaration of interest was received from Mr Bedwell in connection with a planning application near to his residence. He reported that he would not vote when the application was discussed during the meeting.
There were no amendments to the Register of Interests.
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 and they were duly signed by the Chairman.
4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)
Dr Bauer commented that Elaine Lawrence has given 7 years of good service as Parish Clerk and she feels humiliated after the public criticism by Mr Cobbett at the last meeting regarding the preparation of end of year accounts. All present acknowledged that the matter had caused unnecessary upset to the Clerk at the meeting and should have been handled in a more appropriate manner.
Mr Bedwell advised that an advert had been placed on the village website for the post of Parish Clerk. He agreed to post further adverts within the village shop and also via the Kent Messenger newspaper. The closing date is 31st January 2014.
Mr Bedwell advised that he had received one application to date. A review of the role description was required before interviews are held.
Mr Bedwell commented that the 2012-2013 accounts had been inspected at the request of a member of public at the Clerk’s office.
Mr Bedwell confirmed that the 2012-2013 accounts had been given to the Parish Council’s advisor for final review before issue to Maidstone Borough Council.
Mr Ward confirmed an order had been placed for a new notice board.
Dr Bauer advised that she had inspected a plastic type village sign and felt it was not appropriate for the village. Further sign types / samples to be considered before final agreement on new sign.
5. Chairman’s Report
Mr Bedwell commented on the recent poor weather and flooding that had had a detrimental impact on local villages. In the context of Maidstone Borough Council’s as yet unconfirmed plans for future housing sites he raised concerns that any developments around Hollingbourne might lead to similar problems.
Mr Bedwell wished to thank Elaine Lawrence for the good work that she has done as Parish Clerk and would be sorely missed.
The meeting was adjourned for a 10 minute public question time.
6. Crime Update
Country Eye is a partnership between the rural community, Kent Police and Neighbourhood Watch. Mr Bedwell confirmed that he would be the Specific Point of Contact (SPOC) until a new Clerk had been appointed.
Crime report locally:
· Junction 8 services four make off without payments.
· Junction 8 services mobile phone theft from vehicle.
· Criminal damage to property involving damage to fence to gain access. Nothing taken.
· Theft of horse tack.
· Attempted access to storage container.
7. Clerk’s Report
8. Street lighting
9. County Councillor’s Report
10. Borough Councillor’s Report
Cllr Parvin noted a recent report on BBC Countryfile stating that 49% of Local Planning Authorities were without an adopted local plan. Unfortunately Maidstone was one of these authorities. Central Government housing targets was a key issue in delay to agree plans.
Cllr Parvin stated that Maidstone Borough Council was doing its best to limit the number of new houses proposed by the Government to be built within the borough in future years. However housing targets need to be robust if the plan is to be approved by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. It was noted that Medway Council’s plan had been refused and they were now starting the process again. Maidstone wishes to avoid this scenario.
11. Green & Blue Infrastructure Strategey
Mr Waite reported that he had attended a recent meeting and felt it was poorly managed and not of much benefit. Nothing to report. Comments had been made to Cllr Garland of Maidstone Borough Council.
12. Planning Report
Mr Waite confirmed no new applications received at this time.
Mr Waite gave an update on recent applications:
· Waterside Park – likely to be refused by the Planning Officer but could go to Planning Committee for decision.
· Woodcut Farm – likely to be refused by the Planning Officer but could go to Planning Committee for decision.
Mr Waite gave some comment on the LPA housing targets discussed by Cllr Parvin. A population growth forecast identified 19600 new homes were required in Maidstone by 2034, although this was likely to be reduced to 17000. The LPA have reviewed 200 potential housing sites which have been boiled down to 60 that are under further review before final approval.
Hollingbourne is likely to see some development.
13. Environmental Report
Nothing further to report.
14. Finance Report
Mr Cobbett had not received the account update for this month and had nothing to report.
Mr Cobbett advised that he would be happy to assist with management of the 2013-2014 accounts if this was needed to bring them up to date.
Mr Cobbett reported that the fete committee had a quote in sum of £400.00 for a band to play at the fete evening event. He proposed this was accepted. Mr Bedwell seconded, all agreed.
15. Parks Report
Mr Ward noted recent power failures had caused the Cardwell new central heating controls to zero and turn off the heating. Pre-school had reported the problem. Mr Ward had reset to system.
Mr Ward will review fire exit signage within the Cardwell. The illuminated sign above the entrance appears to be defective.
16. Items for Information
Mr Waite reported that planning applications would be notified to the Parish Council in future via a new local planning portal. The Clerk should be the nominated contact.
Mr Ardley reported a streetlight was out opposite Claygate on Eyhorne Street.
Date of next meeting: Monday 10th February 2014
Signed as a true record: