July 2014 Minutes.

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council

held on Monday, 14th July 2014 in the Cardwell Pavilion

commencing at 7.30pm

 

Present:                      Mr M Bedwell (Chairman)                             Mr L Vallins

Mr A Ward (Vice-Chairman)                          Mr A Bennett

Mr J Cobbett                                                   Mr P Waite

            Dr S Bauer                                                     

and      Mrs V Smith, Parish Clerk

In attendance             None

 

1.      Apologies for absence     Mr D Ardley (working in away from home)

Mrs J Whittle (maternity leave)

Mrs D Parvin

2.      Declarations and Requests

Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests   – none

Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda          – Mr Mike Bedwell knows the people applying for planning permission at Smith’s Farm – 14/500713/FUL. 

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.

4.      Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda) 

a.       The trip to see the beautiful ‘Pyramid Orchids’ on Mr Mike Attwood’s land was very interesting, and Mr M Bedwell and Mrs V Smith were in attendance.  Mr Attwood gave a tour of his new installations, temperature controlled barn conversion, for containing his grain and it was very impressive.  Mr Attwood also showed us the Neolithic ‘henge’ on his land and other archaeological finds.  The next excavation started today (14 July 2014), but it is not open to the public as it is under the control of the English Heritage.  However, if Councillors are interested in seeing the excavation, M Bedwell may be able to find out about the dates of the second or third dig of the henge, and we may be able to attend. 

b.      Mr P Waite attended Mr Jeremy Hindle, the former Mayor of Maidstone’s funeral last month. 

5.             Chairman’s Report    

a.    Mr M Bedwell thanked everybody for their help at the village fete.  Mr A Ward said that our twinning with Templeuve had been advantageous on the day.   In all fifty French visitors attended the day and they were generous in their spending.  The Zumba dancing was a very popular act.  We thanked Mr J Cobbett for all of his tireless efforts in arranging the fete.  It is only fair that we now find a new Fete Co-ordinator, so that Mr J Cobbett can have a well deserved rest.  Aline from the Dirty Habit has said that she would help with organising the bar and the music.  It may be an idea to divide responsibilities up, making it less of a burden on people.  It was felt that working in the evenings previous to the day of the fete functioned well.  In conclusion the day was a ‘genuine’ village event, not just a business promotion day – people loved it!  

b.     The verges on the middle of the A20, near the Great Danes Hotel desperately need a cut.  They are so overgrown that they are obscuring the vision of drivers on the roundabout.  It would be a lot safer if the roundabouts could also have ‘give-way’ road markings and a ‘children crossing’ road sign was erected.  The most worrying aspect is that children cross the road here to catch a bus to school.  If drivers cannot see each other they will not see a crossing child – it is a disaster waiting to happen.  We need to contact the Highways Department and get these works organised.

6.             Street Lighting Finances

a.    Mr J Cobbett informed us that this issue has not moved forward at present.  The money that we may be entitled to is based on the annual return of 2012/11, and due to some problems this has delayed the process.  The matter has been raised with the new Leader of the Council.  Mrs J Whittle wants the Parish Council to produce a schedule of what lights we have and their maintenance history.  The Parish Clerk will see what she can find on record but this is going to be almost impossible, as there have been streetlights in Hollingbourne for at least a hundred years – where do you start?

b.    A potential plan would be to replace all of the existing lights with renewable lights.  These would cost £2,000 per light.  To replace all of them would cost £50,000 over the next ten years – a serious drain on our budget!  It would certainly be an ill informed idea to turn off the streetlights altogether – newspaper reports show that road accidents increase by a third.  Mr J Cobbett feels that we should remain applying pressure on the KCC.  It is the General Election next year and changes are bound to take place.  If KCC cannot fund it then we certainly cannot. 

7.             Parks Report   

a.      A new lock is to be put on the door in the Cardwell Pavilion to prevent visitors from using the toilets in the hall, when toilet provision has been made on the field.

b.      Three quotations have been obtained for the tree works required at the Cardwell Pavilion.  They were carefully examined and a decision made.  The Parish Clerk will request that works are carried out during the school holidays for health and safety reasons.

c.       Mr A Ward has not received a reply from Ian Truman or Mrs D Parvin regarding obtaining the deeds to the Millennium Green.  Mr A Ward will continue to persevere. 

d.      The risk assessment for the Millennium Green is still in progress, and Mr A Ward is going to base it upon a HSE template.  Dr S Bauer offered her support in producing the document.

8.             Crime Report        (late entry from email)

a.    PSCO Dave Rowley informed us that there had been a total of fourteen reported crimes for the period of 2nd June – 17th July 2014.  Ten of the crimes took place at the Junction 8 Services.  The Police also received one call relating to anti-social behaviour within the village.

04.06.14

Eyhorne Street

Criminal damage

09.06.14

Junction 8 Services

Making off without payment

09.06.14

Junction 8 Services

Making off without payment

20.06.14

Eyhorne Street

Burglary

22.06.14

Junction 8 Services

Theft from motor vehicle

25.06.14

Junction 8 Services

Making off without payment

28.06.14

Junction 8 Services

Theft from motor vehicle

29.06.14

Junction 8 Services

Making off without payment

30.06.14

Greenway Court Road

Theft of wildlife

09.07.14

Junction 8 Services

Making off without payment

12.07.14

Junction 8 Services

Theft of purse

13.07.14

Junction 8 Services

Making off without payment

14.07.14

Upper Street

Burglary

16.07.14

Junction 8 Services

Vehicle interference

 

9.             Clerk’s Report           

a.    Mr M Bedwell will confirm with people or organisations wishing to hire the Cardwell Pavilion the costs involved.  The Parish Clerk furnished Mr M Bedwell with a copy of a booking form for the Cardwell Pavilion for his adaptation.

b.    The Clerk will approach the school and Highways department with regards to a ‘please do not drop litter’ sign, designed by the children. 

c.    The pre-school have asked whether they can have a temporary banner placed on the Cardwell fence, during child recruitment periods.  Mr M Bedwell says that a banner of 300 x 900 mm would be advantageous.  Mr J Cobbett said that we need to support the pre-school and he saw no objections to it.  The banner would be the responsibility of the pre-school.  All Councillors agreed that the plan for the banner could go ahead.

d.   The Parish Council has received an email from Mike Gibson, Public Affairs Manager, at Southeastern (Railway), regarding the restoration of the war memorials in the villages.  This sounds very interesting.  The Clerk will contact Derek Davidson, The Royal British Legion, as he may wish to take advantage of this offer.  The Clerk will contact the owner of the land beside the war memorial to see if he will trim back his trees which sometimes subdue the monument.

e.    Mr J Cobbett will consider a new social network site called ‘streetlife’ for the village website; its aim is to aim to help people make the most of where they live by connecting with their neighbours.

 

f.     Mr L Vallins will attend a training day in August regarding the support of older residents in the village.

 

10.         County Councillor’s Report  –  None available for the meeting.

 

11.         Borough Councillor’s Report  –  None available for the meeting.

 

12.         Planning Report       

 

a.       Unfortunately, Mr A Bennett had been unable to attend the Member Training – Part 1, on the 25th June, due to a family emergency. 

 

b.      Regarding the Planning Application MA/14/0757, at The Windmill, Eyhorne Street.   Mr P Waite feels that in line with a letter received from a villager outlining the ongoing problems experienced from The Windmill’s neighbours, the Parish Council should revise their previous response to the planning application at the property.  Would the proposed work actually cure the problem?  What sort of system is the ventilation fan, is it purely an extraction fan, or a filtered fan?  Problems can be of an acoustic nature and not just the smell.  Mr J Cobbett advised us that the smell is sometimes due to a change of cooking fat being used by a restaurant.  Mr P Waite recommended deferring our decision pending a technical report from an expert, as it is our duty to cover ourselves.  Proposal made by Mr P Waite, and seconded by Mr A Bennett.  In favour:  Mr M Bedwell, Mr A Ward, Dr S Bauer and Mr L Vallins.  Against:  Mr J Cobbett.

 

c.         14/500560/FUL/RITI

Land at Ashford Road, Hollingbourne                                          OBJECT

Erection of 2 detached, 6-bedroom houses and ancillary building (re-submission of MA/13/1536)

The Parish Council does not feel that properties come under our requirements for affordable housing.  Was the original planning application withdrawn or declined?  It also appears that the houses are proposed to be built on agricultural land – and this would be termed as a ‘change of use’.  Mr P Waite and Mr A Bennett both proposed to object against the building, all Councillors were in agreement to this proposal.                               

 

14/500713/FUL                                                                              Do not wish to object

Smith’s Farm, Hollingbourne Hill, Hollingbourne

Proposal to construct a small open sided shelter / seating area from new oak and Kent peg tiling within the cartilage of a grade II listed building.

Proposal by: Mr A Bennett, Seconded:  Mr J Cobbett – all in favour, except for Mr M Bedwell who could not vote as he knows the property owners.

14/500902/TCA                                                                              Do not wish to object

Manor Cottage, Upper Street, Hollingbourne

Tree in Conservation area notification:  fell one yew and plant three fruit trees.

Proposal by:  Mr M Bedwell, Seconded:  Mr A Bennett – all in favour.

14/500313/TCA                                                                              Do not wish to object

The Old Vicarage, Upper Street, Hollingbourne

Trees in Conservation area notification:  fell three yews, crown five yews, removed damaged Cedar tree, crown two Norway Maple trees, coppice two Hazels and one Horse Chestnut.  Works requires due to roots causing damage and light reduction.

Proposal by:  Mr M Bedwell, seconded:  Mr A Bennett – all in favour.

14/500282/FUL                                                                              Do not wish to object

Woodcut Cottage, Crismill Lane, Thurnham

Retrospective – use of land for a depot with associated storage, offices and parking.

Mr P Waite confirmed that the Councillors needed to check the site boundaries – nothing was felt to be wrong with the site, just tidying up the fringes.

Proposal by:  Mr A Bennett, seconded:  Mr P Waite – all in favour.

d.      Mr J Cobbett stated that at the Men’s Breakfast Morning at the Dirty Habit last month, it was mentioned that Gallagher had appealed against the refusal at Waterside Park.  Mr J Cobbett has sent an email to the Chief Executive of Gallagher’s, but no one has yet replied.

13.         Environmental Report

a.      Dr S Bauer presented the Councillors with the village sign and it looked beautiful.  The company restoring the sign had been unable to make a resin cast of the original sign, as there had been some significant damage to the sign.  Instead, they carefully repaired the original sign for half of the predicted price for a new sign.  The finished result was more than satisfactory, but the sign will need careful installation and weatherproofing.  Mr J Cobbett pointed out that since the sign was being funded out of the 2013 Fete budget.  Since it was now going to cost the Parish Council less money, this extra spare cash can be injected into the 2014 Fete budget instead.

b.      Mr A Ward will arrange to have the new notice-board fitted in the village. 

c.       Thankfully the verge opposite the school has now been cut back, but it was a pretty shabby job.  It was noted that the KCC maintains the verge opposite the school, but the MBC is responsible for litter-picking in the village.  Because of this, verges are cut back when they still contain a lot of litter, and the litter gets chopped up and left there.  The verges in Bearsted look a lot tidier – do they have a budget for their verges?  Mrs Jenny Whittle is the elected representative for our village, but she is standing down from the Cabinet during her maternity leave.  An email will be sent to find out who is taking over her role. 

d.      Mr A Bennett informed us that Golding Homes had used their contractors, Bridgelands, to trim back the hedge outside of Bourneside Terrace.  The pavement is now clear and easily accessible.  Golding Homes have also promised to cut back the height of the hedge very soon.  The infrequency of hedge trimming may be a problem, but Mr A Bennett will remain on their case.

e.       Mr J Cobbett was concerned about the parking due to an event held in the village on the 12th July 2014.  The roads were so congested it would have been difficult for emergency vehicles to drive through the village.  Please can a letter be sent to premises advising them to use alternative parking venues in the future? 

f.       Surface treatment of Eyhorne Street and Upper Street, between its junctions with Hollingbourne Hill / Pilgrims Way and Greenway Court Road, will take place on the 23rd July 2014.  It will take approximately one day to complete.

14.          Fete Report

a.       The Fete made a profit of over £1,200.  The Parish Clerk suggested that the funds could be spent on enhancing the playground.  Mr A Ward will look into what items we could purchase within our budget. 

b.      At the post-fete meeting, the suggestion was made that the Fete start a little later at 2.00 pm.  This may attract larger numbers of visitors, but would it affect the profit made on selling food? 

c.       In line with Mr J Cobbett stepping down from organising the fete next year, Mr A Bennett asked what the role of the Fete Co-ordinator actually involved.  It does involve delegation, but more essentially making sure that all aspects of the fete take place efficiently and on time.  You also have to make sure that good communication is retained between all parties. 

d.      Mr M Bedwell and Mr J Cobbett both agreed that six ‘pop up’ gazebos may need to be replaced for the next year’s fete.  This leaves an amount of £150 for replacement smaller items for the fete. 

15.          Off Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes -We have no further information at present.

16.  Twinning

a.    Mr A Bennett informed us that he is hearing concerns from villagers regarding the desirability of the twinning program.  Residents think that the Council is spending money on the twinning, when it should be spent elsewhere.  How do we make it clear that we pay for the twinning visits ourselves – it is all at our own expense?  We need to reiterate this fact to the village residents.  If the Councillors do hear negative comments about the twinning, suggest that the complainant attends the next Parish Meeting and puts their comments forward for a response.

b.    The twinning golf tournament took place on the 30th June 2014 and was financially supported by the Parish Council..  Fifteen golfers had attended for each team and it had been a very successful and enjoyable day.  They had attended a meal on Tuesday at the Dirty Habit.  Mr J Cobbett is concerned that the Hollingbouerne organisers of the tournament do not wish to continue..  Mr M Bedwell assured him that village residents wish to continue the event and that he had heard positive feedback. 

 

c.    We need a twinning committee, and it would be good to have applications from various organisations within the village to this effect.  Mr J Cobbett said that Mr Derek Davidson had shown interest in the twinning, especially regarding the Armistice Day in November 2014.  To date, however, there has been little response from people to form a committee and it is an up-hill task.  Dr S Bauer wondered whether we should change the way in which we approach people to encourage them to get involved.  Mr M Bedwell reiterated that we need to remain optimistic about people’s interest in the twinning.

d.   Mr Derek Davidson went to visit our twinning friends in Templeuve, and see the Tour de France.  Unfortunately, the weather was wet, but he still had fun.

17.         Financial Report  (Mr J Cobbett)

a.    The Annual Return for the year 2013/2014 has been filed, but the external auditor had required the figures from the year 2012/2013 to obtain a variance of the financial balances.  These have now been submitted.  There may be a charge for all of this extra accountancy.  We are yet to claim back the VAT but this will be acted upon. 

b.        An update of the Parish Council’s financial accounts and a list of the cheques being presented for the month are issued at each Parish Meeting. 

18.         Items for Information

a.         Mr A Ward is concerned that the Cardwell Pavilion may require an asbestos check.  The Parish Clerk will look into this matter, together with the PAT testing requirements.

 

Date of next meeting          Monday, 8th September 2014, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion

 

 

 

 

Signed as a true record:                       Chairman:                                                            

 

 

Date: