Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 14th November 2016,
in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.
Present: Mr M Bedwell, Mr A Ward, Mr D Ardley, Mr J Cobbett, Dr S Bauer, Mr A Bennett, Mrs A Bennett and Mr M Gray
In attendance: Cllr Mr Patrik Garten – Borough Councillor, Cllr Mrs J Whittle – Kent County Councillor, PCSO Ryan Waring, PCSO Dave Rowley, five members of the public and Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.
1. Apologies for absence: None
2. Declarations and Requests
Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none; Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda – Cllr J Cobbett is the treasurer at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and has connections with the charity ‘Porchlight’. Also, Cllr J Cobbett is a neighbour of Fern Cottage and therefore cannot comment or vote as a Parish Councillor. Cllr Mr A Bennett and Cllr Mrs A Bennett cannot comment or vote as Parish Councillors as they are friends or neighbours of the residents of Fern Cottage; 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 – from the previous minutes)
5.b. PCSO Dave Rowley has visited a local pensioner who had not been seen for some time by neighbours and he was found to be living with a carer and in good spirits. The Police do not have any concerns about his welfare but they will monitor the situation.
7.b. Kent Heritage Watch – The Clerk will pursue Dr P Cumming, Historic Environment Record Manager, KCC for the map of Hollingbourne’s historical and archaeological places of interest, for Cllr J Cobbett. Cllr Mr A Bennett commented that there had been a good article in the Kent Messenger regarding this topic.
10d. Cllr J Cobbett advised that the 2017/2018 Local Government Finance Settlement Consultation did not apply to the Parish Council, as they did not have a turnover of at least £500,000 per year.
27a. Cllr J Cobbett advised that the post of a Hollingbourne based Team Vicar had been published unfortunately without any results. The vacancy will be re-advertised.
5. Chairman’s Report
a. Cllr M Bedwell thanked Cllr P Garten on behalf of the Parish Council for him kindly welding the padlock on to a chain attached to the gate of the Cardwell Pavilion.
b. The Remembrance Day trip to Templeuve was a great success, and eighteen of our French visitors visited our village on Sunday for our Memorial Service. The Parish Council would like to thank Derek Davison and Barbara Gibbs, and the fellow members of the Twinning Committee, for all of their hard work to organise this occasion. The school also held a memorial service on 11th November which was attended by members of the WI and parents.
c. There is to be a Parliamentary Boundary Review, and it is proposed that Hollingbourne will be amalgamated with Tonbridge rather than Maidstone BC. Cllr Mrs J Whittle said that Mrs Helen Whately MP had expressed her concerns over this plan. Cllr P Garten advised that the review also involved the reduction of MP’s from approximately 650 to 600 and this meant changing boundaries so that they were approximately the same size (all ideally with a population of 70,000). It would come under ‘Maidstone and Weald’, ‘Tonbridge and Weald’ and the North Kent part of Canterbury. Cllr M Gray questioned what the problem with a boundary reshuffle was. Cllr P Garten said that it is to do with the distance between Tonbridge and Hollingbourne. It would be far more difficult for MPs to travel this distance for ‘surgeries’, have empathy with local residents and understand their concerns especially as they lived in different boroughs.
6. Crime Report –PCSO Ryan Waring / PCSO Dave Rowley
a. The Hollingbourne crime figures 4 October – 14 November 2016. There were three crime reports created this month. On the 10th October – theft – Eyhorne Street, 12th October – Culpeper Close and 13th October – burglary other than dwelling – Greenway Court Road. There were two cases of anti-social behaviour reported – 12th October – poaching – Hollingbourne Hill and 12th November – nuisance vehicle – Hospital Road.
b. In comparison with the same period in 2015, there were five crime reports created between 12th October and 5th November 2015. On the 12th October 2015 – attempted burglary dwelling – Eyhorne Street, 15th October – criminal damage – Eyhorne Street, 15th October – burglary dwelling – Culpeper Close, 31st October – theft in dwelling x 2 – Eyhorne Street and 4th November – theft – Pilgrims Way. There were no cases of anti-social behaviour reported.
c. The PCSO’s advised that an operation targeting rural crime was carried out in the North Downs area on 3rd November 2016, and some vehicles believed to be involved in poaching were dealt with on the day. The day before, four arrests were made in Stockbury, also relating to poaching offences. The PCSO’s are hoping to run another of these operations before Christmas, so please continue to feed information to them via telephone calls to 101.
d. There have been issues reported to the Police regarding nuisance vehicles on the byways around Hollingbourne, including Drakes Lane which runs through Saywell Farm. The PCSO’s have already issued two Section 59 warnings (see www.legislation.gov.uk ), and are in the process of issuing two more to vehicles which have been driving off of the byway, on private land. If these vehicles or drivers receive another warning within 12 months, the vehicles will be seized.
7. Village Bus Services – Mr Norman Kemp – Director/Company Secretary – NuVenture Coaches Ltd)
NuVenture is a locally owned company with approximately twenty buses. The number 13 bus has served Hollingbourne village for fourteen years. Unfortunately, the bus has a very low number of passengers and virtually nobody in the mornings when children travel to school. Unlike its competitors, which the school children use, NuVenture does not run entirely for profit and the KCC funds the service. Every four years the KCC Select Committee puts the bus services out to competitive tender (in the next eighteen months), and supported services are put under the ‘microscope’ for possible budget cuts. Cllr Mrs J Whittle will find out exactly how much subsidy the KCC gives to the bus services. On reflection it was thought that the NuVenture buses had not been advertised enough for parents / school children. The times of the bus pick up and collection from the schools did have a relevance on which bus company would be used, together with the time length of the journey and perhaps this was why children used a different bus service or the train. Cllr A Bennett suggested that perhaps NuVenture could find out if the buses could turn at the train station rather than the Church Approach, to assist visitors to the Leeds Castle. The main problem of the bus service not being used efficiently does mean that the bus services could be stopped ‘use it or lose it’!
8. ‘Christopher’s Village Shop and its future – No further information to report.
9. Clerk’s Report –
a. The Clerk has received two letters, the first from a resident of Culpeper Close and the other from a resident of Hadley Gardens regarding the dangerous and inconsiderate parking of vehicles at the entrance of Culpeper Close and a request for double yellow lines to be installed in this area. The Parish Councillors could be in favour of installing the lines but to action the matter would also include a traffic regulation order costing £3000 and subject to public consultation . The Clerk will write to the school so that they can ask the parents to park more sensibly. The PCSO’s would also be asked to patrol the area far more often. Cllr J Cobbett also suggested that the Clerk write to the owners of the houses closest to the proposed ‘double yellows’ for their comments. Cllr P Garten highlighted the fact that it is ‘illegal’ to park within ten metres of a junction (www.drivingtesttips.biz/parking-restrictions-laws.html ) and therefore Maidstone BC would be responsible for enforcing parking fines. The Clerk will write to Cllr P Garten so that he can take the matter to Parking Services, Maidstone BC. The Parish Council recognises that parents need to find parking spaces when taking their children to school and better pavement conditions so that they can walk to school safely, however, parking which potentially endangers children’s lives when crossing the roads or likely to cause a traffic accident is not acceptable. Action: The Clerk / Cllr P Garten
b. The Clerk will find out from Mr Jim Findlay how much it will cost for an extra page in the Village Magazine for the minutes to be published unabridged. Action: The Clerk
c. Mr A Snowdon has asked whether he can organise a service on the village lawnmower, and the Parish Councillors agreed for this to take place.
d. The Clerk has received a letter from Kent’s biggest homelessness charity ‘Porchlight’ who are looking for support from the Parish Council. Cllr Dr S Bauer proposed that £50.00 be donated towards their very worthy cause. This was agreed upon by four Councillors in favour, two abstaining and two against the decision. As two Councillors abstained, this means that the overall majority was in favour.
10. County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs J Whittle
a. Cllr Mrs J Whittle advised that Cllr Shellina Prendergast, who is on the Maidstone BC Planning Committee, will be standing for election as a Conservative in County Council elections in May 2017. It was reported that she would like to meet the Parish Council at some time which would be an arrangement that would apply to any other prospective candidate.
b. Cllr Mrs J Whittle has requested that the Parish Councillors decide unanimously where in the village they would like to have a 20 mph speed restrictions. The matter can then be progressed by the KCC.
11. Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Patrik Garten
a. Cllr P Garten advised that he would be willing to call in any planning application which would put extra demands upon the inadequate drainage/sewerage systems within the village. He also felt that the current Planning Committee are more sympathetic to the needs of others than in previous years.
12. Planning Report – Cllr Mr A Bennett
a. 16/507722/TCA – Grove House, Upper Street, Hollingbourne.
Proposal: Trees in a conservation area – reduce height of laurel trees (approx. 6) by up to 60%.
Decision: do not wish to object.
b. 16/507757/NMAMD – Eyhorne Green, Musket Lane, Hollingbourne –
Proposal: Non material amendment for the insertion of an obscure glazed, non-opening window to the first floor side elevations. Decision: do not wish to object.
c. Update: 16/505700/LBC – Fern Cottage, 26 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne –
Previously, the Parish Council had refused this application as not enough information had been given regarding the noise, moisture and look from the front of the listed building. The Parish Council were tonight advised by the applicants that for insulation of the washroom, sound-boarding would be installed using the right materials for the listed property. To address the questions over moisture and dampness, a vent would be installed behind the front weatherboard, and so it would not visible from outside of the property. Also, a heated towel rail would be fitted inside the washroom preventing damp, together with an internal window installed into the house to aid ventilation. The foul water drainage at the front of the building would mirror the neighbour’s pipe-work in design and material, and would link directly to the main sewerage. The Parish Councillors able to vote on this planning application had concerns that this information was not written within the plans and that the applicants may need to check with building regulations first. The decision on the planning application was deferred. UPDATE: Upon detailed consideration, the Parish Councillors able to vote on this application decided ‘do not wish to object’.
d. Cllr M Gray is concerned that the public do not understand the decisions that the Parish Council make when it comes to planning. The Parish Council’s background work is immense and that in particular, Cllr J Cobbett’s work regarding the drainage/sewerage problems in the village, and therefore the reasons why new builds are rejected is not fully appreciated.
13. Maidstone BC Draft Local Plan –
a. Cllr P Waite (Thurnham PC), assisted by Cllr Mr A Bennett, attended the Inspector’s Public Inquiry of relating to the Maidstone Local Plan and made representations on behalf of Leeds Castle and the local tourism industry which might be affected by development at Junction 8 of the M20.
14. Environmental Report –
a. Cllr Dr S Bauer commented regarding the ongoing problem of litter within the village.
b. Complaints have been received regarding the quagmire of leaves and mud at the entrance to the old goods yard at the station, Eyhorne Street. Pedestrians including school children have to walk in the road and put themselves at risk of being hit by a vehicle to avoid slipping over. UPDATE: The area has since been attended to and it is much improved.
b. There have been two vehicles on the Junction 8 roundabout, which are dangerously placed and could cause a distraction to road-users. Maidstone BC will treat them as abandoned vehicles and are dealing with the matter urgently.
c. With regards to the flood lights illuminating from the used cars garage, opposite the car wash on Ashford Road, the Landlord has very kindly advised the Parish Council that he adjust the light so that it does not distract road-users with its beam. The Landlord also advised that he had tried his best to deal with the water drainage problems in this area.
15. Community and Communication – Mrs A Bennett
The Parish Council have received a letter of reply from the residents of 3 Bourneside Terrace, who were thanked for their efforts in winning the Golding Homes Garden Basket Award.
16. War Memorial Project – Mr & Mrs A Bennett – The war memorial project progresses well.
17. Cardwell Pavilion (Bookings Past and Present) – Mr M Bedwell
17a. The month’s bookings for the Cardwell Pavilion were listed inthe Parish Council cashbook.
17b. Essential drainage works will be carried out at the hall this week and the Clerk will advise.
18. Parks Report (Millennium Green) – Cllr A Ward –
a. Cllr Ward advised that he hadn’t received any further news from Maidstone BC about the Millennium Park deeds, and that the gathering of playground equipment quotations is ongoing. Action: Cllr Ward
19. Station Approach Recycling Area – Cllr J Cobbett
a. The recycling site is now closed but fly-tipping is continuing. The concrete base is still there and unfortunately half of the Station Lane lights are now not working.
20. Fête Report – Cllr M Bedwell / Cllr D Ardley / Cllr A Ward
a. The date of the 2017 fete is the 10th June 2017. The first fete meeting took part last Monday, and the next meeting will be held at The Sugar Loaves PH, on Monday, 5th December 2016, 8.00 pm. Unfortunately, the races will no longer be organised by the WI and the Clerk will approach the school to see if they can help out. The Parish Councillors would like to offer their sincere thanks to the WI for their support in previous years and their hard work has been very much appreciated.
b. James Tosh in Templeuve-en-Pévèle has advised Cllr M Bedwell that visitors from France would like to bring some of their classic cars, etc, over to the fete, which will be a lot of fun. Cllr Bedwell will find out whether the Zumba group would be attending the 2017 fete. Action: Cllr M Bedwell
21. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes – no further update available.
22. Twinning with Templeuve-en-Pévèle – Cllr J Cobbett – Matters previously mentioned in minutes.
23. Village Sewerage Inspection Report– Cllr J Cobbett
a. Neither the surface drainage problem nor the sewerage backflow problems appear to have been completely resolved.
b. The Wealden Homes houses foul water will go into an enormous tank which will then be pumped into the main sewerage at 3.00 am. Concern was expressed about surface water drainage from the site by local residents attending the meeting. Sometimes the water discharged is white (chalk and debris) and Cllr P Garten will press concerns with Maidstone Planning over this matter. The Clerk will contact the Environmental Agency to find out what procedures are in place to avoid this situation. Cllr D Ardley advised that there are attenuation tanks on the land of Wealden Homes to control the flow of water going into the Bourne via a culvert. Action: The Clerk / Cllr P Garten
24. Financial Report –
a. The cheques at the meeting were authorised, and there is £33,056.93 in the bank.
25. Street Lighting – Cllr J Cobbett
a. The LED upgrade project has now been completed..
b. The new Wealden Homes houses in Godfrey Meadow will be shortly be occupied and it was noted that there appear to be no pavements or lights on the road which has not been adopted because it does not meet the KCC Highways standard. It is understood that the responsibility for lighting and other services will be carried out by a site management company.
26. Items for information –
a Cllr Mrs A Bennett verbally resigned from her position of Parish Councillor at tonight’s Parish Meeting. This means that there is now a vacancy for a Parish Councillor and the Clerk will organise the advertisement of the post. Action: The Clerk
b. Cllr J Cobbett advised that Mrs Carole Findlay would now be the new Editor for the Village Magazine.
Date of next meeting: Monday 12th December 2016, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne
Signed as a true record: Chairman: Date: