Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council
held on 12 July 2010 in the Cardwell Pavilion at 7.30pm.
Present: Mr M Bedwell (Chairman), Mr Ward (Vice-Chairman), Dr S Bauer,
Mr F Stephenson, Mr A Williams.
Also in attendance: Mrs J Whittle (County Councillor), Ms E Lawrence (Clerk) and 1 member of the public.
1. Apologies for absence Mr Bryan (critical health of friend);
Mr Cobbett (conflict of meetings)
2. Declaration of Interests and amendments to Register of Interests
Mr Bedwell declared a personal interest in the planning application to be considered as he is an immediate neighbour of the applicant.
There were no amendments to the Register of Interests.
3. Approval of minutes of last meeting
(Circulated prior to meeting)
It was resolved to accept the minutes were a true and accurate record of the meeting and they were duly signed.
4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)
Dr Bauer stated she had submitted an entry for the Village of the Year competition on behalf of the Council. The Clerk asked for a copy of the submission.
Mr Stephenson reported that npower had improved their offer for electricity supply Action: the Clerk to action a change of suppliers.
5. Chairman’s Report
Mr Bedwell gave a short report on the debriefing following the Village Fete. The borrowing of equipment from various sources involved many lost man hours on the day of the Fete and it was suggested purchasing items such as rope, rope pins, tables and a storage facility. It was resolved that Mr Bedwell investigate costs of container storage. Thanks were again extended to all those involved in making the day a successful and enjoyable occasion.
Mr Bedwell reported that another application had been received for the position of [co-opted] councillor, but that Mrs Sarah O’Connell unfortunately was unable to be present at the meeting and Mr Bedwell moved that the appointment be deferred until the next meeting, when both candidates could be present. He was pleased to have received several expressions of interest and to know that the village had people who were prepared to stand in the future. Dr Bauer and Mr Williams expressed embarrassment at the delay in co-opting someone to fill the vacancy especially for Mr Bennett. Mr Bedwell explained the reasons for the delay, in that matters had to be prioritised and that the Council had dealt with matters such as fighting the KIG application, organising the village fete, preparing for Audit etc. He reiterated the need for the Council to be seen to be open and transparent in its dealings and to give fair and equal opportunity to all residents of the village.
*The meeting was adjourned for public question time, and to allow Mr Bennett to speak. The meeting then resumed*
After further discussion, Dr Bauer proposed that Mr. Bennett be co-opted immediately, seconded by Mr Williams, who asked for the votes to be recorded.
For: Dr Bauer, Mr. Williams
Against: Mr. Bedwell, Mr. Ward,
Abstention: Mr. Stephenson
Mr. Bedwell cast his vote against the proposal.
He proposed inviting Mr. Bennett to the next meeting, seconded by Mr. Ward.
Agreed, with one abstention.
Mr. Bennett interjected, voiced his objections and after addressing direct remarks to the Chairman, left the meeting.
Mr. Stephenson suggested writing to Mr. Bennett to apologise for the delay once more but to point out that it is the Councils responsibility to co-opt councilors, and also to encourage Mr. Bennett to return. Agreed.
6. Crime Update
No report received. Mr Stephenson voiced an objection, especially in the current climate, to the production and delivery of the latest police publication, which contained virtually no real information of any value or interest to the public.
7. Clerk’s Report items dealt with throughout the agenda
8. Borough Councillor Report Nil received
9. County Councillors Report
Mrs Whittle had not heard anything further regarding the lack of CCTV coverage at the station, and will write again. In the event of no response, she will include Hugh Robertson in the correspondence. She highlighted the reduction of numbers using Hollingbourne Station, although estimates show that one quarter of the village population use the railway.
Mrs Whittle had toured the area with representatives of the Highways dept. and highlighted the deteriorated surface of Greenway Court road, and noted that Hollingbourne Hill will be resurfaced..
Mr Williams asked for a survey of HGV usage through the village to be undertaken. Mrs Whittle will investigate the possibility, acknowledging the strong feeling that there is still a high number of non-local traffic following their sat-nav instructions. Mr Ward pointed out that traffic was a major issue for the village in the Community Action plan and despite the several meetings and requests for action, nothing had been forthcoming[apart from speed surveys]. There had been no improvement to the road signage, and Mr ward stressed that although there is a need to be realistic as to the ‘what’ and ‘where’ improvements could be made, the approach to the village from the A20 and outside the school were still felt to be areas of concern.
10. Finance Committee
A list of cheques to be issued for June expenditure was circulated prior to the meeting. It was resolved that the cheques be signed.
11. Parks Report Nil to report
12. Planning Report The following applications had been considered by the Planning Committee:-
TA/0071/10:An application for consent to fell 4 Elder trees, 5 Hazel trees and others on land bordering Greenway Court Farm.
13. Environmental Report
Dr Bauer agreed to formulate a plan regarding the condition and care of some 15 ancient trees which have been identified, and to obtain advice where necessary.
Mr Williams reported a third “kissing gate” had been installed to replace an old stile.
The state of the verges are now lamentable, but it was acknowledged that MBC had to make priorities in their spending. It was noted that the fence at the western approach to the village been repaired and the abandoned road signs removed. A consireble amount of rubbish dumping continues.
Mr Williams proposed that the stocks donated by Mr Cheetham be installed on Eyhorne Green – agreed by all. The Clerk to pursue.replacing the village sign.
The sale of Grove Mill Farm and the splitting of the land into smaller plots was noted.
14. Items for Information
The future work of the Community Action Plan Group to be considered as all items have been dealt with. Application for Quality Council status had been decided against as all the criteria could not be met. It had been decided against a Village Design Statement in current climate and hopes for “Fitness for All” equipment not pursued as grants not available. Mr Ward doubted pursuing any items again in the current financial climate.
Date of next meeting
13th September at 7.30pm in the Cardwell Pavilion.