Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council held on Tuesday, 11th May 2015, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.
Present: Mr M Bedwell; Mr A Ward (Vice-Chairman); Dr S Bauer; Mr J Cobbett (part); Mr A Bennett; Mr D Ardley; Cllr Mrs D Parvin & Mrs V Smith, Parish Clerk
In attendance: Two members of the public
1. Apologies for absence: Cllr P Waite (holiday); Cllr J Whittle (previous meeting commitment) and Cllr J Cobbett (arriving late due to previous meeting commitment and not at Annual General Meeting)
2. Declarations and Requests
Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none
Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda – yes – Mr A Ward has a planning interest.
Requests for Dispensations – none
Annual General Meeting
The election of officers: The Clerk had not received any nominations. Mr Bedwell offered to stand again as Chairman, and was this was duly agreed upon, unanimously and unopposed.
Mr Ward offered to stand again as Vice Chairman, and this was duly agreed upon, unanimously and unopposed.
The following Committee Chairs and members are happy to continue in their roles, and the allocation of the Committee Places are as follows:
i. Environment: Dr S Bauer, Mr Bennett and Mr Waite;
ii. Finance: Mr Cobbett, Mr Ardley and Mr Bedwell;
iii. Planning: Mr Bennett, Dr Bauer and Mr Waite;
iv. Parks – Mr Ward and Mr Bedwell.
Hollingbourne Parish Council Meeting – May 2015
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 Clerk is arranging for the village notice-board to be erected.
b. The Clerk is looking into having the electrical items at the Cardwell Pavilion PAT tested.
c. Cllr A Bennett has heard that Mrs Jan Fry has been moved to the Dorothy Lucie Centre, Maidstone for assisted help, and the Reverend Nigel Fry is progressing in recovery, but this is going to be a slow process. Our thoughts are always with them.
d. The delay in providing faster Broadband in the village is very disappointing and hopefully we will have a more positive outcome soon.
5. Chairman’s Report
a. The Councillors would like to thank Cllr A Bennett and his wife Anne, for the work that they carried out for the Parish Assembly. Feedback from the event was well received, and this is obviously the right format. We need to focus on the publicity next year. Cllr D Ardley suggested ‘letter-drops’.
6. Neighbourhood Plan – nothing to report.
7. Crime Report
a. PCSO Thomas Maybank provided us with the April 2015 crime report for Hollingbourne, and it was as follows: Crime reports: 12/04/2015 – Criminal damage (Under £5000) – Hollingbourne Hill; 24/04/2015 – Criminal damage (Under £5000) – The Pavings. Anti-Social Behaviour: 11/04/05 and 04/05/15 – nuisance vehicle in Ashford Road and 12 & 19/04/15 – nuisance vehicle in Greenway Court Road.
b. In comparison with the same period in 2014, one crime report was created – 10/04/14 – theft of vehicle in Pilgrims Way; and one case of anti-social behaviour reported – 05/05/14 – nuisance vehicle in Greenway Court Road.
8. Clerk’s Report
a. The Clerk has received a more competitive insurance quotation, and it was agreed unanimously that we should use this new company. The Clerk will advise the company that the insurance value of the Cardwell Pavilion and the street-lights needs to be increased, in line with our internal auditors report. The Clerk will also advise the company that we may in the near future add the Millennium Green to our public liability insurance.
9. County Councillor’s Report – via email previous to the meeting
a. Cllr J Whittle had advised the Clerk that she was attending a meeting tonight regarding school allocation places. This will include voicing her concerns over the implications for building new homes opposite Godfrey House, Eyhorne Street and the lack of space at the village school.
10. Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs D Parvin
a. Very soon the Maidstone BC are having their AGM, which will lead to comments regarding the committees, and how they will function. There are fifty-five members on the Council, and their distribution between the political groups has hardly changed since the election and no party has overall control.
11. Planning Report – Cllr A Bennett
a. 15/502862/FULL – 101 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Insertion of side dormer window.
Result: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT – (all Councillors in favour, except for Cllr A Ward who has an interest in this item).
b. 15/502708/TCA – Six Bells, Upper Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Conservation area notification to crown reduce 1 yew up to 20% and reduce by approximately 2-3 ft.
Result: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT – (all Councillors in favour).
c. 14/501895/HYBRID – Waterside Park, M20, Junction 8, Ashford Road
Result: OBJECT – (all Councillors in favour).
Update: The Public Inquiry for Waterside Park started last week. Cllr J Cobbett is attending a site visit tomorrow with Mrs Katie Peerlesss, the Inspector and others, and he will be present on Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday, Mr Richard Knox-Johnston of CPRE, will be leading with his witnesses against the Waterside Park, and this could extend all week. Cllr J Cobbett is one of these witnesses, and we thank him for his dedication in this matter, but more volunteers from the village add weight to our argument – so please come forward. Additionally, ADL who had stood as the main interested party to be based at Waterside Park have withdrawn which leaves Scarab who still could move there in about 2020 after almost a million tons of sand have been extracted from the site.. It has been found that the site is based on an aquifer providing water for 38,000 people. If pollution from the site works gets inside the aquifer, major public health problems could occur.
d. 15/503288/OUT – Land at Woodcut Farm, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Outline application for a mixed commercial development, etc.
Result: OBJECT – (all Councillors present in favour).
Roxhill PLC, the Developer, have sent us a lot of drawings, and they were very good to come and present the proposals, which were certainly an ‘eye opener’ at their meeting at the Cardwell Pavilion. It is felt, however, that Roxhill’s message is that ‘KIG was rejected, but this option is a lot better!’ Unfortunately, it does not solve the problems that we will have with a substantial traffic increase for Hollingbourne and our neighbouring villages. Cllr A Bennett is very much against the proposal, as were the other Councillors and representation at the Roxhill meeting. In response to this, a coherent reply needs to be made to the MBC before the 22 May 2015. Cllr A Bennett will draft a response for the Clerk, by Friday 15th May at the latest.
e. 14/0475 – Land adjacent to 103 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne –
Update: Containers have appeared on the land and Cllr J Cobbett has enquired with the developers, as to why. He was advised that the developers are unable to start work yet as they have not fulfilled all of their commitments prior to the building works.
Following our letters to KCC, Southern Water and Environmental Agency, voicing our concerns about the drainage, two responses have been received, but we are still waiting for a letter from Southern Water. The Clerk will send letters asking a description of the works regarding the provision of measures to prevent any discharge of surface water onto the highway’. A further explanation is required to satisfy our concerns. Action: The Clerk
f. 15/500680/FULL – 1 Culpeper Close, Hollingbourne –
Update: Cllr A Bennett contacted the Planning department, MBC, as to the planning permission obtained by the proposer. Permission has been granted for an extension on the property, but not a separate house. Mr Graham Parkinson of MBC will investigate this matter.
g. The Windmill, Eyhorne Street –
Update: Cllr A Bennett spoke to the business owner at The Windmill who informed him that the barbecue is only temporary; but not all of it is removable. Cllr A Bennett strongly advised him to contact the Planning Department, MBC.
12. Environmental Report – Dr S Bauer
a. The grass and plants at the entrance of the village were considered. Cllr A Ward has cut around the planters before, but it was agreed that the Clerk would approach our regular contractor to have this work carried out. Action: The Clerk
13. Fête Report
a. The hog roast and band have been booked, and competitive quotes obtained. Cllr J Cobbett is concerned about the ability of the band to play ‘sixties music’. Cllr M Bedwell assured him that this requirement had been covered.
b. Dr S Bauer asked whether we should invite the Ghurkha’s to attend the fete, dressed in their uniforms, enabling them to collect for their charity. It was agreed that this would be a good idea. Cllr Mrs D Parvin advised the Clerk that the Mayor’s PA would have their contact details. Action: The Clerk
c. The Clerk has contacted various local classic car owners clubs inviting them to attend the fete. We also have other contacts to invite as soon as possible. Action: The Clerk.
d. The next fete meeting will be on the 18th May 2015, 8.00 pm, in The Dirty Habit.
e. The Clerk will write and invite Helen Whately, Conservative MP, to open the fete and judge the fancy dress and the best stall competition.. Action: The Clerk
f. Cllr A Ward will contact a cabaret dance troupe who would like to attend the fete. The fete committee are considering cancelling the ‘tug-of-war’ this year in order to accommodate the dance troupe.. Action: Cllr A Ward
14. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes – Councillor A Bennett
A huge number of events have taken place recently, causing disruption and unnecessary problems to many residents. The issue is not just noise and obstruction on the roads, but visual disturbance caused by dust clouds. The dust causes danger to walkers on the road, as drivers cannot see them clearly, and this could result in a fatality. Greenway Court Road has a 60 mile an hour speed limit and the Quad Bike Track is only 10 metres away. Not only is this dangerous for the motorcyclists, but even more so for walkers. An enforcement notice was issued last year to remove the ‘lumps, bumps and containers, etc by the 31 October 2014, but very little has been done to this effect. Mr Alan Howell, the MBC Enforcement Officer is aware that events are being held despite the enforcement notice. The legal understanding is that the land has to be levelled after each event. If it isn’t, it is considered that the event is on every day! The landowner has attempted to block up the gaps to stop entry to the land but the motorcyclists still find access. It is felt that the Police are not bothered about this situation.. Cllr Mrs D Parvin and Cllr A Bennett have spoken to Mr Howell, but without any luck. They were informed that the toilets are still on the land so that the landowner can use them when they are inspecting the orchids – which seems laughable since the orchids habitat has been destroyed by the club! .The Parish Council has acquired a video of the land being used by the club, obtained by using a ‘drone’. The place is an absolute mess and Cllr Bedwell feels that we now need to approach the Chief Executive, MBC, about resolving this issue. Cllr Mrs D Parvin has kindly agreed to do this for us, and has said that it would also be a good idea to highlight the problem through Meridian news, and Kent Messenger and the Downs Mail. The Clerk will forward any correspondence/emails to Cllr Mrs D Parvin to build a case. Action: The Clerk
a. Mr M Bedwell met James Tosh and has the claret jug to engrave for the golfing tournament.
b. Cllr J Cobbett informed us that the first hundred visitors from Templeuve will visit at 10.00 am, on the day of the fete, with another arrival at 11.00 am. Approximately fifty visitors from Templeuve and the Ramblers club will go on a two hour walk on the Downs, trekking through the Hucking Estate and leading into Broad Street and back towards the Church approach. Only a quarter of the walk will be on the road, with the rest sometimes in challenging circumstances. The total climb will be 100 metres, and so walkers need to be prepared.
c. The next events are 20th June – Templeuve Witches and Street Music Festival, 13th July -Bastille Day, 22nd June – Golf Tournament in France, and 19th September – Bowls and Boules Day at Lenham Community Centre with supper at The Dog and Bear PH. There is also a possibility in November of visiting Templeuve to commemorate Remembrance Day.
16. Financial Report
a. The year-end report has been received by our Internal Auditor. The accounts have improved but we still have a deficit for the year which needs to be reduced; unfortunately the Parish Precept had to be increased by 50% a year to cover outgoings, particularly in street-lighting. The Internal Auditor noted that the accounting format had reverted to a receipts and payments basis instead of an income and expenditure basis which meant thatno provision is made for related payments and receipts in subsequent years which relate to the year in question. He has recommended that the Council reverts to an Income and Expenditure methid.
b. The Chairman signed the year-end report for the external auditor, and the internal auditors report was discussed. Cllr D Ardley asked for clarification regarding the street-lighting opposite Godfrey House; the difference between Npower and the replacement of the light. The audit report intimated that a surplus had been realised between the charge levied and the costs incurred. It was reported that the reported surplus was due to the disconnection and reconnection charge levied by the DNO had been paid in a previous period and therefore accounts did not reflect the whole picture.
c. In general, the Councillors are pleased with the work that the Clerk has put into bringing the accounts into better shape, but this is a gradual process.
17. Street Lighting
a. There is a street-lighting meeting being held at the Cardwell Pavilion on the 18th May 2015, 1.45 pm, to discuss future financing. Cllr J Whittle, Sue Kinsella (KCC), Mr Ken Bonner (Streetlights Contractor), Cllr J Cobbett and the Clerk will be present on the occasion.
b. The street light opposite Godfrey House has now been painted green, and we would like to thank our contractor for this. The lantern on top of the new light is the standard design to be put on the posts as and when lights are replaced.
c. The Clerk has received a new energy contract for the street-lights, which save the Council some money. The Councillors agreed unanimously that we should take up this offer.
Items for Information
a. Cllr D Ardley is looking into adjusting the Clerk’s employment contract, where required.
b. The funding email received by the Clerk was for play schemes, and therefore not appropriate for the Parish Council.
c. Cllr M Bedwell and Cllr A Ward will contact Mr Dean Burfield, Stepahead and arrange a meeting at the Cardwell Pavilion, regarding the five aside football pitch, table tennis court and flag pole (requiring planning permission). Action: Cllr M Bedwell/ Cllr A Ward.
d. Cllr D Ardley commented on the unsafe state of the steps between the Windmill PH and the Sugar Loaves. The steps appear to be owned by Enterprise Inns PLC..
Date of next Parish Council meeting: Monday, 8th June 2015, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne