Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council held on Monday, 14th March 2016, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.
Present: Mr M Bedwell (Chairman), Mr A Ward, Mr J Cobbett, Dr S Bauer, Mr D Ardley, Mr A Bennett, Mrs A Bennett, Mr P Waite and Mr M Gray
In attendance: One member of the Public, Cllr Mrs J Whittle, Mr Patrik Garten, Prospective Conservative Candidate for the MBC North Downs Ward and Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.
The Parish Councillors would like to send their sincere condolences to Mrs Mary Henderson, former Parish Clerk, on the loss of her husband Jim, and our kind thoughts to the family and friends of Miss Marion Pring who died on 12th March.
1. Apologies for absence: Cllr Mrs D Parvin (transport difficulties)
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.
4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)
9.a. Cllr Mrs J Whittle will take up the issue of the bus collecting schoolchildren children from the Great Danes side of the A20 which is difficult to cross with Stagecoach. Mr Bedwell said that the Parish Council will not rest until a solution has been found to ensure the safety of Hollingbourne children.
5. Chairman’s Report.
a. Cllr M Bedwell commended Cllr J Cobbett on behalf of all of the Councillors, for all of his hard work in contacting Maidstone BC and getting them to amend their Draft Local Plan were there errors due to lack of local knowledge and judgement.
b. With regards to the fly-tipping at the Station Approach and the state of the recycling area, a letter has been received from the Maidstone BC which stated that the Parish Council agreed in 2013 to keep the recycling banks and maintain the area. Cllr J Cobbett advised that a meeting with MBC took place in 2013 and that it was agreed that MBC would maintain the site for the time being.
c. A potentially dangerous metal fence with spikes has been erected along Hospital Road and it is believed the Quad Bikers who use the adjoining land are responsible for the new fence. The concern is that if any cyclist, horse rider or adventurous child should fall upon it, the fence could ‘impale’ them. Cllr A Bennett had contacted Enforcement at the Maidstone BC, and we need to make a formal complaint about the matter. In the meantime, the Clerk will forward photographs of the fence on to Cllr Mrs J Whittle, who will then take the issue up with Mr Richard Emmett of the Highways Department, KCC. Action: The Clerk / Cllr Mrs J Whittle.
6. Crime Report –PCSO Ryan Waring
a. The Parish Council were advised that there is a growing trend of vehicle thieves using electronic devices, which they use from parked cars in the vicinity, to clone the ‘signals’ emitted by a driver’s key fob when they remotely unlock their car. This cloned information can then be used to produce another identical key, which is then used to steal the vehicle. Vehicles are then stolen ‘to order’, and are generally types such as new Land Rovers and other 4×4’s..
b. There has been an increasing threat of people approaching properties and gathering information shortly before an offence takes place.
c. The Hollingbourne crime figures 8th February – 11th March 2016. Two crime reports were created this month being both on the 8th March – theft from motor vehicle – Pilgrims Way and theft of a motor vehicle – Tilefields. There were no cases of anti-social behaviour reported.
d. In comparison with last year, when there were three crime reports created – 8th February 2015 – theft – Ashford Road, 16th February – criminal damage – Eyhorne Street and 25th February– theft in dwelling other than auto machine or meter – Eyhorne Street. There were five cases of anti-social behaviour reported – 8th February and 23rd February – nuisance vehicle – Ashford Road, 13th and 14th February – nuisance vehicle and nuisance youth – Hospital Road and 18th February – nuisance vehicle – Greenway Court Road.
e. The PCSO’s have emailed Parking Services regarding the ongoing parking on ‘double yellow’ lines of various vehicles in the village, and the provision of double yellow lines in the lay-by opposite The Pavings. Cllr Mrs A Bennett also mentioned a high-sided commercial vehicle which is now permanently parked outside properties of Bourneside Terrace, Eyhorne Street. The properties here are for elderly or disabled residents, and it is believed that the commercial vehicle does not belong to any of them. Sadly, it takes up parking space designated those living in the properties and blocks the view of housebound people. Mr Jo Weaver, a member of the public who is a former policeman and who attended the meeting as a member of the public agreed to research the law on parking as it appears that Kent Police and MBC Parking Services may not have interpreted the law correctly with regard to the parking of a vehicle in Eyhorne Street which has a cherry picker that overhangs the pavement.
f. PCSO Ryan Waring (07969 584213) and PCSO Dave Rowley (07772 226097) have agreed to have their telephone numbers put in the village magazine.
7. Clerk’s Report –
a. A letter has been received by the Maidstone BC informing the Parish Council that in 2013 they agreed to retain the recycle bins at Station Approach and maintain the area.
b. The Queen’s 90th Birthday will soon be approaching and prices have been obtained for repairing the fire beacon brazier on the school grounds. A quotation was agreed for the works which can go ahead. The Clerk will liaise with the school and start organising the event on 21st April. Action: The Clerk
c. A quotation has been agreed upon for the refurbishment of the village signpost opposite the Dirty Habit PH. The contractor will be instructed to start work on it. Action: The Clerk
d. Following discussions with hirers, the Clerk mentioned that a rota of works needs to be generated for the cleaner at the Cardwell, and an agreement form instigated for occasional hirers. Cllr M Bedwell agreed to consider these. In addition, it was agreed by all Councillors that a deep clean polish of the floors would be organised after the Village Fete. Action: The Clerk / Cllr M Bedwell
e. The Clerk asked whether she could look into changing the Parish Council’s bank accounts to obtain a better rate of interest and improved customer service. The Councillors all agreed that she could do this. Action: The Clerk
8. County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs J Whittle
a. Traffic issues in the village raise the question whether there should be a twenty mile an hour speed limit enforced within it, particularly in the area around the school. Cllr Dr S Bauer also pointed out that this should be at the entrance of the village, or even throughout the village. Cllr D Ardley advised that every speed limit needs the occasional enforcement, and people were not sticking to thirty miles an hour, let alone twenty. Cllr Mrs J Whittle will look into whether we can have a dual twenty and thirty mile an hour speed limits in the village. Due to Central Government predicted budget cuts, and less money to be given to the Police and Highways, schemes such as Speed Watch, which is run by the neighbourhood, may become necessary.
b. Many thanks to Cllr J Cobbett for his response to the Maidstone BC Draft Local Plan which opposes development in Hollingbourne. Cllr Mrs J Whittle is covering various villages in her own report, and the comments on the document will be very useful in her correspondence. With regards to infrastructure and the Hollingbourne Primary School intake this year, it is good news to know that seven out of the fifteen places were taken up by siblings, and on this occasion local demand should be satisfied.
c. Cllr Mrs J Whittle is looking forward to attending the Parish Assembly on the 12th April 2016.
d. Cllr Mrs J Whittle announced that she will be not not be seeking reelection as County Councillor in May 2017.
9. Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs D Parvin (via email)
a. Cllr Mrs D Parvin will be attending the Parish Assembly on the 12th April 2016.
10. Cardwell Pavilion Hirers –Cllr M Bedwell
a. Cllr M Bedwell was glad to announce that Mel Lawlee, of Safe Hands (07958 521517), who provides an after school club service, is likely to soon start using the Cardwell Pavilion.
11. Planning Report – Cllr Mr A Bennett
a. 15/508307/FULL – Eyhorne Green, Musket Lane, Hollingbourne
Cllr A Bennett, Cllr M Gray and Mr Andrew Snowdon attending the Planning Committee meeting when this application was being considered. The Parish Council and local residents opposed this application on a number of grounds. The Planning Committee noted the local concerns and rejected the application.
b. 16/501333/FULL – Esso Petroleum, M20, Services between Junction 7 and 8 Hollingbourne
Proposal: Installation of three above ground LPG storage tanks and single LPG dispensing pump.
Decision: Do not wish to object.
c. 16/501436/FULL – 1 Athelstan Green, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Alterations to conservatory. Decision: Wish to approve
f. 15/503232/FULL – 21 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne, ME17 1TR
This application will go to Planning Committee, and the Parish Councillors want to attend. Cllr Mrs J Whittle asked whether the Conservation Officer, Michael Parkinson, had attended the site. The Clerk will gain an update from the Planning Officer, as to dates for the committee, etc. Cllr J Cobbett had been advised local residents had noticed that on the 9th February large numbers of Police had attended one of the nearby garages and had removed items.
g. As mentioned last month, a large fence has been erected at a property within the Culpeper Close. Cllr A Bennett has checked planning regulations and has established that any fence over a metre tall near to a pavement does need planning permission. Cllr A Bennett is pursuing this matter. Action: Cllr A Bennett
h. Cllr A Bennett has advised staff at The Windmill PH that they should check whether they need planning permission for the pergola which they are building on site.
12. Possible Development between Godfrey House and Claygate / Draft Local Plan – Cllr J Cobbett
Unfortunately the developer interested in building the ten possible dwellings was unable to attend the meeting tonight. Cllr Cobbett reported that response to the Draft Local Plan had been circulated to Parish Councillors for comment and that a final version had been filed with Maidstone Borough Council ahead of the closing date of 18th March. It was noted that the comments opposed new housing development in Hollingbourne until various infrastructure issues were addressed as well as objecting to development at Junction 8 of the M20. The full version of the response is on the village website.
13. Parish Assembly 2016 – Cllrs Mr & Mrs A Bennett
a. The Parish Assembly is going to be held on Tuesday, 12th April 2016, and posters to its effect will be put up in the village very shortly. Many local organisations have indicated that they will be attending.
14. Environmental Report – Cllr Dr S Bauer
a. Various loads of fly-tipping have been removed, but this is an ongoing problem and incidents need to be reported to the Maidstone BC.
b. Cllr Mrs A Bennett pointed out that the pavements are very dirty from Hasteds to the Sugar Loaves PH, with a build up of dirt. The Clerk will request that the pavement is swept.
c. Cllr J Cobbett advised that the manhole outside the village shop were full of surface water and others which was not draining away. The view is that this is probably due to tarmac being swept down the drain and the time of the recent road works, and this problem had been reported to the Highways Department.
15. Parks Report (Millennium Green) – Cllr A Ward
a. Cllr A Ward had not had a response from Maidstone BC regarding obtaining the deeds of the Millennium Green. He advised that he had contacted Ms Kate Turner in the MBC Legal Department with a view to moving matters on.
b. There have been various complaints about dog faeces being left in the park. . Not only is it very unpleasant, it can also carry a serious health risk called toxocariasis, which is carried by parasites in the faeces. This condition, in its mild form will make a person very unwell, especially young children, but on rare occasions it can even cause permanent blindness.
c. The Parish Council will consider getting a notice-board near to the Church on a future occasion.
16. Sewerage Inspection Report for the village update – Cllr J Cobbett
Cllr J Cobbett continues to liaise with Southern Water regarding the inadequate sewerage system that is installed in the village. It was noted that The Sunday Times reported in September that the pay of the CEO had been tripled to £1.9 million despite shortcomings with the system and a number of prosecutions for pollution. It was noted that Mr Matthew Wright has advised the Parish Council that the present situation in Hollingbourne is being managed by clearing the system via a manhole in the front garden of a private house and that they have no plans to upgrade the system.
17. Fête Report – Cllr D Ardley
a. The next meeting for the Fete will be on the Monday 21st March 2016, 8pm, at The Dirty Habit.
b. Everyone taking part in the arena events have confirmed their attendance except for Ms Holly Brown of Sunset Productions.
c. Two of the villagers will provide the barbecue this year.
d. Following the sending out of tenders to the three village Public Houses, and the subsequent responses, it has been agreed that the Dirty Habit PH will provide the evening food, band and bar at the fete.
e. Cllr D Ardley has come to a good deal with regards to the hire of a PA system at the fete. This will also include the provision of a technician to operate the equipment for the day, free of charge.
f. The Clerk is pursuing a response from Sir David Steel, the Chief Executive of the Leeds Castle Foundation with regards to opening the Fete. Action: The Clerk
18. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes – Please see Chairman’s Report, item 5.c.
19. Twinning with Templeuve – Cllr J Cobbett
Our friends from Templeuve would like to visit Hollingbourne on the 26th and 27th November 2016 for a martial arts event. Are there any village members or local clubs who would like to become involved? If so, please contact The Clerk on firstname.lastname@example.org or Cllr J Cobbett via the website.
20. Financial Report – The cheques at the meeting were authorised, and there is £31,106.94 in the bank.
21. Street Lighting
a. Cllr Mrs J Whittle advised the Parish Council that the KCC have quoted a price of £1,000 for the works carried out to each lamp post and lantern in their upgrade she will try to drive down this price as another contractor had offered better terms. A total of £8,000 has been ‘earmarked’ by Cllr Mrs J Whittle for these works, and it will be formally allocated to these works. This funding has been confirmed as definitely allocated for the 22 lights, even if Cllr Mrs J Whittle is no longer our Councillor when it is used. Competitive quotations are being obtained.
Date of next meeting: Monday, 11th April 2016, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne
Signed as a true record: Chairman: Date: