March 2019 Minutes.

The Minutes of the Hollingbourne Parish Council meeting of 11th March 2019 in the Cardwell Pavilion that were approved at the Parish Council Meeting on 8th April 2019.

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 11th March 2019, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.

Present: Mr A Ward (Chairman), Cllr J Cobbett, Cllr D Ardley, Cllr Dr S Bauer, Cllr M Gray,
Cllr A Marshall & Cllr C O’Meara

In attendance: Cllr Patrik Garten (Maidstone BC), PCSO Dan Genn, eight members of the Public and
Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.

1. Apologies for absence: Cllr S Hulme & Cllr Mrs S Prendergast (previous work commitments)

2. Declarations and Requests
Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none; Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda – Cllr Cobbett knows three of the decorators who have been asked to quote for works at the Cardwell Pavilion. Council Ardley stated that he also knew one of them. Requests for Dispensations – none

3. Approval of minutes of last meeting (circulated prior to meeting)
It was resolved that the minutes of the meeting on 14th January 2019 are a true and accurate record of the meeting with the exception of Cllr Dr S Bauer being present at the meeting but this had been excluded from the minutes.

4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda) – none
9c. Two quotations had been obtained for replacing the white signpost at the top of Hollingbourne Hill and these were discussed. It was agreed that further quotations were needed. Action: The Clerk
16b. The Clerk is in the process of getting a quotation to re-erect the ‘no dog fouling’ sign near the entrance of the Millennium Green. Action: The Clerk

5. Police Report – (via email)
a. The report for the Hollingbourne area taken from www.e-watch.co , since the 6th February showed three crime reports, each being on the 1st March, between 3.00 am and 5.00 am, on the M20, damage caused to curtain sided trailers overnight, with cuts being made in their sides. Crime Report numbers 46/39369/19, 46/39387/19 and 46/39419. The Police UK web site advised that 2019 figures for Kent were unavailable.
b. PCSO Genn advised that hare coursing and trespassing onto land using 4×4 vehicles continues to be a big problem within the locality and would ask the public to be vigilant in reporting any suspicious activity to the Police. If a 4×4 is seen overnight with two or more occupants and it does seem out of place/suspicious (i.e. three or four occupants, slender dogs in the boot/cabin, lamps, catapults, rifles of excessive clothing worn by occupants) he would urge that the number plate, a description, the location and the time is taken down or a call is placed if the witness/public feel it needs looking into. Even if the information is passed via an online report the day after this would be very helpful.
c. The Police have planned for related issues in the event of a disorderly Brexit, and if required vehicles will be diverted from the motorway onto the A20. Cllr O’Meara will contact PCSO Genn if the matter becomes necessary.
d. The Parish Council would like to urge villagers to contact the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they have information relating to crimes, or other concerns that they would like to anonymously supply to the Police. Crimestoppers is a charity which the Police use frequently. If you own a smart phone, the ‘app’ https://countryeye.co.uk/ is also a very convenient way of reporting matters and concerns to the police and the Parish Council would urge you to use this service.

6. Highways – Upper Street Traffic Concerns (All Councillors / Public)
a. Speeding cars in Upper Street has made walking along the road very dangerous for people in this area. A resident was ‘brushed’ by a white van travelling too fast outside the public house in Upper Street, but the incident could have been far more dangerous. Cllr Ardley has been in contact with Cllr Mrs S Prendergast and Cllr P Garten with regards to the traffic issues and PCSO Genn has been in attendance at the scene. The Police have recommended that the ’30 mph’ signs at the bottom of Hollingbourne Hill be moved further up, closer to the Hollingbourne village sign, as this may give drivers more ability to slow down before they reach Upper Street, however this would be an expensive procedure which may or may not work. However, the signs need to be replaced, overhanging branches trimmed back and road markings repainted in the area, and it would be advisable to have this work carried out throughout the village. Cllr Garten stressed that the only way to stop speeding traffic was to report it to the Police, with the time of the incident, vehicle registration plate numbers, etc. It would also be prudent to inform the Parish Council of incidents that you report to the Police so that they are kept aware of the matter. The Police and local government plan their works from data statistics and so please remain vigilant in reporting all speeding online via link https://www.kent.police.uk/services/report-online/kent-police-online-reporting/ or by using the 101 phone service.

7. Chairman’s Report – Cllr A Ward
a. Cllr Ward is regularly approached with regards to the traffic issues around the school, which can either be parents parking on zig-zag lines or on dangerous junctions of the road, as well as speeding vehicles. Concerns are that the signs along the road advising road users to slow down because they are approaching the school are too far to the right to be seen clearly amongst the hedges and overgrowth. The signs need replacement and the road markings repainted. All of this necessary work will be placed upon the Highways Improvement Plan for Hollingbourne and prioritised accordingly.
b. Cllr Ward has received a letter of grievance from the villagers who regularly attend to Tanyard Green, planting flowers and mowing the area, etc. This is following the Parish Council’s application for grant funding for the area and for it to have ‘pocket park’ status, where the application was referred to as being under the name of ‘Friends of Tanyard Green’. The villagers are upset that they were not consulted beforehand on the matter – who were the friends of Tanyard Green and why weren’t they invited to be friends? The Clerk interjected at this point of the meeting to sincerely apologise to the villagers in attendance at the meeting. She did not mean to upset the residents by applying for the grant using the aforementioned name. The grant needed to be submitted speedily and time was very limited for consultation with the residents beforehand, but with hindsight the grant should not have been sent without talking to the villagers first. The Parish Councillors were not aware of the name being used for the application of the grant before it was submitted and so shouldn’t be blamed by the residents in this instance, any grievance should be towards the Clerk. The Parish Council is very grateful for the hard work in which the villagers give to maintain the Tanyard Green and hope that this long continues. It was seen that the residents at the meeting accepted the Clerk’s apologies and gave her forgiveness.

8. Parish Council Minutes in the Parish Magazine – Cllr D Ardley
a. The Parish Council could pay £355 p.a. extra for additional pages within the magazine and this item will be discussed at the Parish Assembly to gauge interest and support from the villagers.

9. Clerk’s Report –
a. A defibrillator and its storage box have now been delivered to the school for installation in April 2019. A defibrillator and its storage box is also now on the outside of the Village Hall, and the equipment has been registered with SECAMB (South East Coast Ambulance Service). Action: The Clerk
b. The Clerk has received four quotations for the exterior decorating of the Cardwell Pavilion over the Easter school holiday, and they were discussed amongst the Parish Councillors. Cllr Ward will follow up this matter with urgency. Action: Cllr Ward

10. County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs S Prendergast (via email)
a. With regards to the traffic issues in Upper Street, Cllr Mrs Prendergast has seen the email correspondence between a local resident and Cllr Cobbett and referred to her previous email of the 20th February. To reiterate, speeding enforcement is an item for Kent Police and not KCC and if would be very helpful if the Parish Council encourages residents to report speeding issues, either online or by calling the Police via 101. This will assist Kent Highways, and Hollingbourne residents, when seeking evidence/justification for future highways improvements in Hollingbourne. This matter should also be included in the Highways Improvement Plan for Hollingbourne (please see items 6.a. and 7.a.).
b. The Clerk will furnish Cllr Mrs Prendergast with an update on costs/timings for the white-post.
Action: Clerk
c. There have been some issues regarding the accessibility of PROW KH199, reference the management of the Bourne, in Hollingbourne and its flooding. There have been various email exchanges between Cllr D Ardley, the PROW (Public Rights of Way) team and Cllr Mrs Prendergast, and Cllr Ardley has very kindly agreed to follow this up directly with the PROW team.
d. Cllr Mrs Prendergast regularly seeks an update on the Kent Resilience Forum information pack, and will revert back to the Parish Council as soon as she has further information.

11. Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Patrik Garten
a. Cllr Garten advised that the Community Grant application made by the Parish Council for help towards the purchase of the defibrillators had been granted. The Clerk is very grateful for Cllr Garten’s generosity.
b. There is a proposal to build a care home at White Heath on the A20 close to Junction 8, the site of which backs onto Junction 8, Woodcut Farm. The care home is intended to be built on the site of two houses, which will be demolished, in this location. It is understood that White Heath is the site of a Saxon burial ground, which was the subject of a major excavation in 1912, and it is trusted that its historical importance will be considered in the proposed development of the care home. The developer, Berkley Care Group, is holding a meeting at the Hollingbourne Village Hall on Tuesday, 26th March, between 2.00 and 5.00 pm to gauge public interest.
c. The Stockbury PC asked to meet with the Waste Crime Team, Maidstone BC. This opportunity is open to all Parish Councillors of the North Downs and Cllr J Cobbett will attend the meeting on behalf of Hollingbourne on Tuesday, 19 March 2019.
d. A call for sites has been published by the Maidstone BC to be addressed by the Local Plan for 2021. Another 7,000 houses have been asked to be built by Central Government, and the Maidstone BC need to find the land. The Parish Council wonders why the Maidstone BC cannot argue their case with Central Government over this matter when such decisions are made. The roads cannot cope with the traffic already upon them and Cllr Cobbett is concerned that the homes being built are not selling. Cllr Garten said that the Parish Council needs to contact Mrs Helen Whately MP with these concerns. The NPP (National Planning Policy) applies a national formula for housing numbers which need to be implemented in Local Plans. Borough Councillors are interested to build a ‘Garden Village’ with new infrastructure rather than to disperse the houses. Additional local affordable housing can be built as an exception to the local plan as houses are needed for the younger generation. The Maidstone BC uses one main housing provider at present supplying affordable homes, but they are considering using a second company as well. Cllr Garten has voted against this plan, and would propose that the Maidstone BC facilitate to promote co-ownership schemes instead.
e. Three of the pathway lights along the Station Approach, Hollingbourne are not working at present. The Clerk will email the Stationmaster with this information. Action: The Clerk
f. Please see Cllr Garten’s latest newsletter on the Parish website http://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/march-2019-newsletter-from-our-borough-councillor where issues and information which will be of interest the residents of Hollingbourne are candidly discussed. Current Consultations can be found at:
http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/home/primary-services/council-and-democracy/additional-areas/have-your-say/tier-3-primary-areas/current-consultations

12. Planning Committee Report – Cllr A Ward
a. 19/500811/FULL – The Site of Previous Maple Leaf Garage, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Demolition of existing office building and erection of a two-storey office building, a storage building, car park, landscaping and fencing (revised scheme to 17/506323/FULL).
Decision: OBJECT (all against)
Reason: The Parish Council rejected this planning application for the identical reason that it objected previously to 17/506323/FULL, which is the very real concerns about the extra traffic on the Ashford Road that the new development will generate, as the proposed offices, store and parking for 47 vehicles is extensive. This part of the road is notorious for traffic accidents. The development does not have deceleration or acceleration areas to approach the Ashford Road which would exacerbate the problem of road traffic and lack of safety. The Parish Council is prepared to attend the Planning Committee meeting to put forward its case if this is required.

13. Environmental Committee Report –
a. The Hollingbourne Village Litter Pick Day will take place on Saturday, 23rd March 2019, commencing at 10.30 am, at the corner of Hasteds. UPDATE: The day was a great success with almost twenty volunteers in attendance. Volunteers covered the entrance of the village including a short section along the A20, around the Village Hall, Hasteds, Musket Lane, Athelstan Green, Station approach, the Millennium Green and Upper Street as well as many other areas. A representative of the Hollingbourne Meadows Trust kindly came back with his tractor and trailer and loaded up all of the bags of rubbish which have now been left at the entrance to the station approach to make it easier for Maidstone Borough Council to collect.
b. The Maidstone Bus Pilot Consultation has taken place and will come into effect from June for a 12 month trial session. The number 13 bus for Hollingbourne and number 59 bus for Grafty Green will be affected. Please see the link www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/kcc-to-cut-direct-bus-service-into-maidstone-from-june/ for more information.
c. The Pancake Race Day, 5th March on the Lance Memorial Field, arranged by the Hollingbourne WI and Meadows Trust was well supported.
d. The Clerk will find out about the repairs necessary for the village sign and report back. Action: Clerk

14. Tanyard Green Deeds and Pocket Park Status
a. Cllr S Hulme has investigated prices for the Parish Council obtaining the deeds of the Tanyard Green, and it was decided by the Parish Councillors to stick with the original solicitors holding the documentation, as the price differences were nominal. It was agreed by all of the Parish Councillors present to go ahead with the instruction to Whitehead Monckton, and the Clerk would action this. Action: Clerk
b. Please see item 7.b.

15. Finance Committee Report –
a. There is £35,648.14 in the Parish Council’s combined bank accounts as of the 2nd March 2019. The Parish Councillors authorised the cheques drawn by the Clerk.

16. Highways and Infrastructure Committee Report –
a. Please see item 6, 7.a. and 10.a.
b. The residents living opposite the ‘passing point’ in question along Pilgrim’s Way / Broad Street have ongoing problems with access to their property, sometimes with the entrance being completely blocked when vehicles park in the passing point. There has been a great deal of confusion over who would be responsible for stopping parking in this particular passing point. If there is a parking order in place it would refer to Maidstone BC, if it is with regards to the highway, it would be a KCC issue. The residents have received correspondence from the KCC stating that it would be the responsibility of the Parish Council, but from a legal position they are powerless in this instance. A copy of the correspondence will be forwarded onto the Parish Council from the residents to ascertain what the Parish Council has been instructed to do by the KCC.
c. Cllr Gray is also concerned about the mud on the road of the Station Approach and the logs preventing road users from parking. The Clerk will contact the Station Master about this matter. Please see item 11.e. Action: The Clerk
d. Cllr O’Meara reported that the provisional date of the 11th March 2019 (today) has been set for the quiet skimmed surface to be placed along the M20, coast-bound, between junctions 8 and 9, and then the noise monitoring equipment will be put back in place. The skimming on the London-bound M20 lanes have been delayed due to the Operation Brock works and an apology has been received from Highways England regarding this matter. The noise has been horrendous, especially when the steel barriers were installed along the motorway at night, and it feels like Hollingbourne is bearing the brunt of most of the works.
e. The Speed Watch initiative will be high-lighted at the Parish Assembly and the representation from local Parish Councils with the equipment would be much welcome at the event. The Clerk will invite them to attend. Action: The Clerk

17. Parks Committee Report – Cllr A Ward / Cllr A Marshall
a. With regards to the Millennium Green, Cllr Ward has made headway in finding out who currently insures the Green with a view to combining the current policy held with the Parish Council’s insurance policy, or paying for the Green’s policy separately. The Parish Clerk will investigate this matter and report back. Cllr Ward is making progress towards the Parish Council being the custodian of the land (as Corporate Trustees) and the Parish Council thank him for his patience and hard work.
b. The prevention of dog fouling notice needs to be re-erected on its post at the entrance of the Millennium Green and the Clerk will pursue this matter. An additional litter bin would be very useful at the entrance of the Green as well and Cllr Garten will enquire with the Maidstone BC whether this could be provided and how often it would be emptied. Cllr Garten will report back to the Clerk with regards to this matter.
c. Cllr Marshall has contacted Maidstone BC with regards to the ‘Go Green Go Wild’ funding available and waits for a response.
d. It was suggested that the moss is removed from the roof of the Cardwell Pavilion before external decorating takes place. The Clerk will investigate this matter. Action: The Clerk

18. Parish Assembly –
a. A revised date for the Parish Assembly has been made of Tuesday, 30th April 2019 which will be easier to attend rather than having the event over the school holidays. Cllr Cobbett advised that the Leeds Castle is 900 years old this year and it would be good to hear about its history at the Parish Assembly. The Clerk will write to the Leeds Castle to see if a representative can attend the event. Action: Clerk

19. Fête Sub-Committee Report – Cllr D Ardley & Cllr A Ward
a. The Fete meeting will be held in The Sugar Loaves PH, on Monday, 25th March 2019 at 8.00 pm. Decisions on the running of the bar and food options have now been made and the car park will run by Hollingbourne Meadows Trust. UPDATE: The next Fete meeting will be held on Monday 20th May 2019 commencing at 8.00 pm in The Sugar Loaves PH which will be the opportunity to finalise the details for the day along with reviewing the allocation of responsibilities for the event. Also it was decided to hold a session to repair the damaged gazebos on Saturday 18th May 2019 meeting at 10.00 am at the Cardwell Pavilion. If enough supporters turn up then there other works that require attention.

20. Twinning Sub-Committee Report – Cllr J Cobbett –
a. The Templeuve Twinning Committee is dwindling in numbers but they are very keen on keeping the relationship between themselves and Hollingbourne strong. The Hollingbourne Twinning Committee has received an invitation from the French War Veterans Association to attend two days of events from 23rd to 24th March which will mark the 50th anniversary of the end of France’s war in North Africa, and arrangements for this visit are being made. UPDATE : The Parish Council website reports that the planned day trip to Templeuve on Sunday 24th March has been cancelled due to a combination of factors including a lack of numbers and the fact that traffic jams are expected around the ports of Dover and Calais due to well publicised industrial action by French Customs Officials. Please see http://www.lavoixdunord.fr/ . This was to have been the last twinning visit to Templeuve before the scheduled day of Brexit on 29th March after which it may be necessary to obtain an International Driving Permit from the Post Office at a cost of £5.50 and to hold a Green Motor Insurance Card as well as having some health insurance to replace the EHIC card which will no longer be valid. The nearest Post Office that issues International Driving Permits is in WHS Smith in Week Street, Maidstone.

Date of next meeting: Monday 8th April 2019, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne

Signed as a true record: Chairman:                                                                                                          Date: