Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council
held on Monday 10 June 2013 in the Cardwell Pavilion
commencing at 7.30pm
Present: Mr Bedwell, Mr Ardley, Mrs Askew, Dr Bauer, Mr Bennett, Mr Cobbett, Mr Ward,
Mrs Parvin (Borough Councillor)
1. Apologies for absence Mr Waite (surgery)
2. Declarations and Requests
Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none
Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda – none
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)
– Mr Ardley had sent a draft letter to the Clerk for KCC re street lighting.
– Discussion and resolution to continue to withhold payment for the interactive speed camera whilst the impasse regarding street lighting continues. Mr Cobbett will meet with Mrs Whittle and KCC/Kent Highway representatives and will make it clear that Hollingbourne Parish Council does not wish to prolong this matter, but will be happy to pay for the camera installation as previously agreed when the matter is resolved. The Council feel “pushed around” by both MBC regarding the withdrawing of funding and KCC who are only now declaring that the lamp columns do not comply with set distances within a 30mph – surely the Parish Council should have been informed of this before the camera was installed?
– If a Traffic Order can be made now, why could it not have been made as was originally discussed when the camera installation was asked for at the A20 entrance to the village? Advice given by Kent Highway officials was taken in good faith at the time, but it would seem that advice was not as robust as it could have been.
– Mr Ward had spoken at length with an MBC pond expert regarding the state of the Millennium Green pond and weed growth. There are four stages to pond water quality maintenance through natural means. None include the use of any type of pesticide or chemical weed control and the pond will be managed to encourage a bio diverse environment. This will include encouraging dragonflies etc. Flag (iris) and sedge are both indigenous plants and will be left. The first stage of the management plan will be to clear some, but not all, of the current pond weeds. The pond cannot be mechanically dug out because of the manner in which it was constructed. One positive aspect is that the water quality in the pond is good or it would not sustain the level of vegetation, but nevertheless needs partial clearing. Any volunteers for some wet and muddy activity should contact Mr Ward.
– Mr Ward reported that he intended to apply for planning permission to install a new notice board as it would be within the conservation area.
5. Chairman’s Report
The Chairman asked for someone to take up the role of Council Member with specific responsibility for foot-paths and public rights-of-way. Mrs Askew volunteered to take up the role.
Mr Bedwell read a letter he had received from the Preschool in which they expressed a wish to extend their play area. They have raised £500 to resurface the current play area. Unfortunately the space is already earmarked for possible future siting of a storage container, and is the necessary siting for hired toilets for large events such as the Fete (proximity of water and electrical power required), as well as the permanent installation of a Boules/Petanque pitch. It was agreed that this request from the PreSchool could not be granted.
The chairman moved onto another letter from the preschool in which they expressed dissatisfaction with the cleanliness of the Cardwell pavilion. Members agreed that every hirer had a duty to keep the pavilion clean and this was not the sole responsibility of a cleaner. The only other option would be to hire a contract cleaner after each period of hire, the costs being passed on to the hirer. However the cleaning agreement will be reviewed and a revised cleaning schedule drawn up if necessary.
A third letter was discussed, received from Mr Dudley Wright. It lamented the fact that some of the Fete activities were to take place at the Dirty Habit. Clearly there been some misunderstanding or mischief afoot and the Clerk will write to reassure that the fete activities will all take place on the Lance Memorial Field and all the pubs in the village are encouraged to welcome our French visitors and others from outside the village equally.
Mr Bedwell moved onto the proposed development of Waterside Park. He pointed out that “new jobs” would be relocations. He urged residents to read the recent article in the Downs Mail on this matter, and agreed with the sentiment that questioned the need to use farmland for such a development. Mr Cobbett has asked MBC for details of contacts and hospitality with Gallaghers but has to date not received a reply.
The Chairman has received a request for the hire of the Pavilion for a county-wide event as Hollingbourne is seen as central for the attendees. Further details to be clarified.
6. Clerk’s Report
The Clerk read a letter received from DHA Planning, requesting that they be permitted to meet with the Parish Council and address the next [July] meeting. The Chairman hoped that, through publication of these minutes, members of the public would attend the next Parish Council meeting and hear for themselves what is being proposed.
The Clerk had received a communication from a resident who had witnessed fly tipping. A reply, urging that the proper authorities be contacted, and had reported the matter to the police, as fly tipping remains both an antisocial and an illegal activity. During land preparation for the Fete, old fence panels, posts (complete with concrete) have been found in the woodland adjoining the Lance Memorial Field and it was pointed out that the land abutting this does not belong to the Council but to a private individual who could also take legal action for both fly tipping and trespass if the culprit is identified.
It is also noted that there has been violation of the Field boundary by a resident.
7. County Councillor Report – nil received
8. Borough Councillor Report
Mrs Parvin reported:
– That she and her husband would attend the wreath laying at the War Memorial immediately before the Fete.
– There will be a flag raising ceremony in Maidstone to commemorate Forces Day on 24th June.
– The Kent Woodland Employment Scheme aims to improve the management of ancient woodlands by recruiting, training and mentoring a team to become skilled and productive coppice workers. An event is planned at Bicknor for early July.
9. Planning Report
Mr Bennett reported on the meeting he and Mr Waite had attended in relation to the recent call for sites for new houses, which had not been helpful in that neither full listings with addresses nor meaningful maps were made available, and each parish was allocated a slot of about thirty minutes. Mr Bennett also was disconcerted to note that the Parish Council views on two recent applications appear to have been totally ignored by MBC.
Regularisation of planning approval MA/10/1949 erection of a single dwelling in respect of size of garage, roof lights, chimney breast and stack, and porch
Greenway Court Barn,
Greenway Court Road,
Erection of a detached garage
Land Off Woodcut Lane,
Application for a lawful development certificate for the existing use of the land for the siting of two containers for B8 storage purposes
Bearsted Caravan Club, Ashford Road, ME17 1XH
Introduction of 13 additional all weather caravan pitches and new access road
10. Environmental Report
Dr Bauer expressed dissatisfaction with the appearance of the A20 entrance to the village and the recent one metre grass cut. Mr Ardley pointed out that was all the mowing the village would receive to the verges under the current regimen. Anything more would be down to volunteers undertaking the work.
There have been further instances of vehicles mounting the pavements instead of “giving way”
11. 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, with the exception of payment for the interactive speed camera.
12. Parks Report
Mr Ward reported that the soft surface of the play area has been repaired. It was noted that the alarm system needs attention and the contact number on the Lance Memorial Field/Cardwell Pavilion needs changing.
The field fence is in need of repair – Clerk to arrange.
13. Fete Report
All ready! It was agreed that Dr Bauer would lay a wreath at the War Memorial immediately prior to the Fete, when representatives from Templeuve would do the same, with a short service be held by Rev Fry, and buglers would sound the Last Post.
Standard bearers from France War Veterans Association the Royal British Legion will attend and the standards accompany our visitors to the Fete.
14. Items for Information
Yet again complaints have been received about the noise caused by off-road motor cycling events. Residents are urged to complain to MBC as the Parish council are unable to “ban” these events as they are held less than fourteen times a year – which are the current rules. Nevertheless the Borough Council should know about events which adversely affect the quality of life of those living in Hollingbourne.
A request has been received from a Parish council in Cambridgeshire regarding the cost and efficacy of the white “gates” installed at the A20 entrance to the village.
Date of next meeting 8th July 2013