Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council held on Monday, 12th October 2015, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.
Present: Mr M Bedwell; Dr S Bauer; Mr J Cobbett; Mr A Bennett; Mr P. Waite, Cllr Mrs J Whittle & Mrs V Smith, Parish Clerk.
In attendance: Mrs A Bennett
1. Apologies for absence: Mr A Ward (previous commitments); Mr D Ardley (illness); Cllr Mrs D Parvin (illness) & PCSO Ryan Waring & PCSO Dave Rowley (work commitments)
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, with the following exception: Item 4: Matters Arising – 4.7c – the wording ‘Cotuam’s Hall entrance of the village’ sounds too ambiguous. As clarification, the wording should be changed to ‘the first bend by the entrance to the village near the 30 mile an hour speed limit sign, also referring to the A20 end of the village, which is a ‘bottle’ neck.
4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)
5.b. The Parish Council would like to announce that it was agreed that Mrs Anne Bennett be co-opted to join the Parish Council as a Councillor.
5. Chairman’s Report
a. With regards to the works of repairing the ceiling in the storeroom of the Cardwell Pavilion, the ball-valve in the water-tank above the room has been replaced, as it was not working properly. However, this was not the cause of the water leak coming through the ceiling of the room; it was instead caused by broken tiles and problems with the roof channels becoming obstructed. The workmen did all of the work on Saturday 10th October, to avoid disrupting the operation of the children’s groups within the Cardwell Pavilion. The work involved re-pointing tiles, removing moss, etc from the roof channels. We would like to thank Hollingbourne Property Services for their prompt and efficient service.
b. With regards to the A20 crossing by the Great Danes – Mercure Hotel, previously mentioned at the Parish Meetings; the height of the hedge in the centre reservation is very high, obstructing the vision of crossing the road. The Kent Highways have predicted the cost of £70,000 to provide the pelican crossing which the Parish Council desire for the road between the Great Danes and Leeds roundabouts. This cost is high as it involves the closing of the road, road resurfacing, labour, etc. A solution to the problem needs to found quickly, despite the expense, as we want to avoid road accidents and preserve the lives and safety of school children using the bus services, and other pedestrians. Prevention is far better than a cure.
c. The lorry parking on the slip road from the A20 to the M20 is very dangerous; the litter being a particular problem under the M20 bridge at the Chegworth junction where it is really disgusting. The lorry parking has crept in after the Operation Stack, and standards have slipped drastically. We will need to inform the Police about this matter – the lorry drivers should not be parking the M20 slip roads, as this is technically the motorway and therefore definitely ‘no parking’. The Clerk will contact the PCSO’s regarding this problem. Action: The Clerk
d. The bottle banks within the Station Approach are overflowing. The Clerk will chase up the contractors with regards to their emptying, as it looks disgusting. Action: The Clerk
6. Neighbourhood Plan – Cllr P Waite
a. Cllr Paul Carter, KCC Leader and Mrs Helen Whately MP attended a meeting at the County Hall to discuss various complaints regarding the Neighbourhood Plan. Cllr P Waite stated that the Maidstone BC had received money from central government, but has been reluctant to pass it to the Parish Councils and therefore enabling them to form their own local Neighbourhood Plan.
7. Crime Report – (sent by email)
a. The Hollingbourne crime figures 15th September – 12th October 2015: Crimes reported: 18th September – burglary other than a dwelling – Eyhorne Street; 18th September – Criminal Damage – Eyhorne Street; 21st September – theft – Eyhorne Street; 24th September – burglary – Hollingbourne Hill/Pilgrims Way & 2nd October – criminal damage – Pilgrims Way. Anti-Social behaviour: 21st September – nuisance vehicle – Culpeper Close; 27th September – noise – Eyhorne Street & 30th September – fly tipping – Greenway Court Road. In comparison, with the same period on 2014, three crime reports were created and one case of anti-social behaviour was reported for Hollingbourne.
b. Speed checks were carried out on Eyhorne Street close to the junction with Greenway Court Road with four tickets issued for speeding.
c. After the last meeting the PCSO’s patrolled the area around the school on a number of occasions and noted that there were no actual enforcement signs in relation to the zig-zag lines outside the school. PCSO Ryan has forwarded the signage appertaining to parking on entrance markings to the Parish Clerk and school, and the Parish Clerk has requested that new signs be provided by the Kent Highways. The signage should read ‘No Stopping, Mon-Fri, 8 am – 5 pm on entrance markings’.
d. The PCSO’s were informed that one of the local farmers had been suffering criminal damage on his field. We have been carrying out high visibility patrols around the field and surrounding areas.
e. When possible, the PCSO’s have been using the Police 4×4 vehicle to patrol the byways around Hollingbourne and on several occasions they have stopped a number of vehicles and spoken to the drivers in relation to the manner of their driving and the need to have courtesy for other byway users.
8. Clerk’s Report –
a. The suggested names for the development adjacent to 103 Eyhorne Street, have been rejected either by the Maidstone BC, for over popularity or by the developers. It was proposed that the name ‘Michael Nightingale Close, be suggested for approval. Action: The Clerk
b. The mower used for the maintenance of Eyhorne Green is broken. We will request that Mr A Snowdon obtain a price for repair.
c. The MBC Local Plan (reg. 18) is now available for online comment until the 30th October 2015.
d. The Clerk will contact Leeds Castle to see if they are still willing to supply a Christmas tree for the village, and the villagers paying for the tree’s electricity will be reimbursed as usual. Action: The Clerk
9. County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs J Whittle
a. Street-lighting – The Street Lighting Consultation does affect the Parish Council’s lighting, and we need get our comments back to Maidstone BC by the 23rd October 2015. Cllr Mrs J Whittle will get an update from Sue Kincella, KCC, to see how much it would cost to upgrade our lights to ‘led’, this will be in comparison to the quotation from Ken Bonner, Streetlights, who is our contractor.
b. Road Safety – Cllr Mrs J Whittle is in full support of the Parish Council’s need to provide a pelican crossing between the Great Danes and Leeds Castle roundabouts. Cllr A Bennett featured in an excellent Kent Messenger article regarding the matter. It was recommended that he gets back in touch with the local press to publicise a petition in favour of a pelican crossing. The Clerk will also arrange for a petition to be organised within the school for the parents and at Christopher’s Village Shop. The Parish Council asks that Cllr D Ardley looks at finding an alternative quotation for the supply of a pelican crossing. Action: Cllr A Bennett / The Clerk
c. Operation Stack – The KCC options for lorry parks, etc, have come to half a billion pounds (this includes lorry park facilities, contra-flow, etc). These results have gone to central government and Highways England are initiating consultation. Cllr A Bennett wanted to know why the lorries just end up parking on the motorway – why not just avoid the area and take an alternative route? Cllr Mrs J Whittle informed the Parish Council that the modern tachographs in lorries mean that lorry engines simply cut out if the driver goes over-time. If the engine is running, the tachograph assumes that the lorry is moving, which would explain why the vehicles are left stranded on the motorway.
d. There has been a huge increase in unaccompanied minors coming into Kent, with an 85% demand in adult social care.
10. Borough Councillor’s Report – none to report.
11. Joint Parish Group – Cllr P Waite
a. The Joint Parish Group met at the Great Danes Hotel and was attended by Cllr Paul Carter, KCC Leader, KCC Members and MBC members expressed concerns over the development plan for Maidstone, particularly Junction 8. Current MBC thinking prefers the Woodcut Farm, Roxhill Development in preference to Waterside, but its planning application has not been decided upon yet. The Waterside planning application is under judicial review, where the main grounds for the appeal concern Cllr Tony Harwood, MBC, who is widely respected for his ecological knowledge but lacks a forma qualification is this discipline.
b. G Forces are a very successful commercial operation which designs websites. They have obtained planning permission in Thurnham to turn an existing building into office block and to make build additional office space. They are now seeking support for a further expansion with a new building of 1000 m2 to provide training to customers. The work proposed is on an existing car park area. This displaced parking together with new spaces for the new building will be on an adjoining site called Gooseberry Farm demolishing a chalet bungalow in the process. This is of relevance to Hollingbourne as a possible argument to counter the Woodcut Farm proposal.
c. Crismill Lane development again this is in Thurnham but it is a commercial site where a warehouse building, last used by Pegusus Gym has been demolished to build 3 houses leaving the remainder of the site for commercial activities. The relevance to Hollingbourne is this demonstrates a lack of demand in the area for warehousing.
d. The Joint Parish Group is trying to get Rural Alliance MBC Members aboard, but the party whips may oppose independent action.
12. Planning Report – Cllr A Bennett
a. 15/508221/SUB – 53 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne, Kent
Proposal: Submission of details pursuant to condition 8 – trees and condition 12 – highway safety of MA/14/0475. Result: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT
b. 15/507860/FULL – 103 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Erection of detached three bedroom dwelling, with insertion of balcony and erection of a detached garage to rear of property. Result: OBJECT
Reasons: We are concerned about the foul water drainage in the area of proposed for erection of the property. There is evidence in neighbouring developments where it has been necessary to use tankers to extract effluent as at least three to four times a year, as foul drainage is unable to cope. It is felt that until a sewerage capacity check is carried out in the village and remedial works carried out if necessary, it is difficult to agree to property development in the area. With regards to the fourteen properties being constructed adjacent to 103 Eyhorne Street; the Parish Council feel that a sewerage capacity check should have been stipulated upon by Maidstone BC to be carried out by the developers, before planning permission was granted. In response, the Parish Council proposed the writing of a formal complaint towards the Planning Department about this matter, and it needs to be referred to the Chief Executive, Ms Alison Broom, Maidstone BC. It was agreed that Cllr J Cobbett would draft this letter for the Parish Clerk. Action: Cllr Cobbett/The Clerk.
c. 15/500682/ENVSCR – 1 Culpeper Close, Hollingbourne
Appeal Regarding The: Erection of one residential dwelling with associated parking and landscaping (held by written submission). Result: OBJECT
Reason: As previously suggested, The Parish Council feels that the planning application fails to provide enough associated parking and there is an over-development of the site.
d. 15/507060/TCA – The Old Cottage, Upper Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Conservation area notification to 2 x yews; 1 x lime and 3 x hollies – trim lateral branches by 1.5 metres. Result: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT.
e. Submissions have been sent to the House of Lords regarding the Select Committee on National Policy for the built Environment.
13. Environmental Report – Dr S Bauer
a. Litter picking and grass mowing needs to be carried out at the entrance of the village. The Clerk will contact Maidstone BC regarding to this work. Action: The Clerk.
b. With regards to the ‘bottle’ neck at the entrance to the village, Cllr Mrs J Whittle, suggested the 30 mile an hour speed restriction signs being brought further forward along the road to slow the traffic down. Cllr S Bauer would like to have some bollards placed on the footpath in the area, where cars regularly mount the kerb. There are concerns whether the footpath is wide enough to carry out this request – Cllr Mrs J Whittle will inspect the area herself.
c. The HGV’s driving through the village do cause unavoidable delays. Last week two arctic lorries became stuck near the Sugar Loaves PH, and this caused drivers to have to turn around in the car park and find an alternative route out of the village, which is far from ideal.
14. Fête Report
a. At the fete meeting held on the 21st September, it was agreed that more helpers are needed at the fete. Cllr A Bennett suggested personally contacting people to see if they would help. The BBQ is very good, but we need to provide staff, these of which would be more useful elsewhere. We also forgot to get a float of change for the stall. Cllr S Bauer reminded Cllr M Bedwell that this was the first time that Cllr A Ward and himself had organised the fete, and that they had done a brilliant job of it. The issue of the change was minor and was easily rectified.
b. Tables – It was been agreed by the Fete Committee that the Parish Council will no longer supply tables to the stall-holders. It is a big undertaking in collecting tables from various sources within the village, involving extra work from the table hirers and the volunteers transporting the tables. In the future, the stallholder should either hire or bring their own table with them.
c. Cllr M Bedwell advised the Parish Council that the three village hostelries would be approached to see if they wish to tender for the bar at the fete. It was agreed that the music commencing immediately after the fete worked well.
d. The fete events should be divided into thirty minute sections; twenty minutes for the event and ten minutes in between events. Each event is going to be given a set time, if the event is delayed it cannot go overtime and affect another display.
e. It has been recommended by the Fete Committee that the profit raised at the last fete should be spent on a shipping container to put the fete equipment in.
f. We need a Fete Co-ordinator – it is better if it is a joint position, as ‘two heads are better than one’.
d. The next meeting for the 2016 fete will be on the Monday, 16th November 2015, 8pm, at The Dirty Habit.
15. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes – Councillor M Bedwell
The situation is quiet at the moment. Cllr A Bennett spoke to Mr A Howell, Enforcement Officer, Maidstone BC, who has said that he is keeping an eye on events. His view is that after the last ‘push’ from Cllr Mrs D Parvin and Cllr A Bennett, he has come to the conclusion that the organiser is not that organised, and the landowner is not happy with people discrediting his land. Hopefully, this is why the events have died down. Cllr A Bennett asked about the enforcement notice upon the club and how long its validity lasted? Mr A Howell said that an enforcement notice had never been served, if it had, it is a permanent document and does not expire. Cllr M Bedwell said that the season for the off-road and quad bike events is over for now, but they may start again after April. We will keep an eye on situation.
16. Twinning with Templeuve – Cllr J Cobbett
a. On the 11th November a trip has been arranged to visit Templeuve and celebrate Armistice Day; the tickets for the 49-seat coach are £55.00, and there are just ten seats left.
17. Financial Report
a. The cheques at the meeting were authorised, and there is £39,527.36 in the bank.
18. Street Lighting
a. Cllr J Cobbett will liaise with Cllr Mrs J Whittle with regards to the street-lighting funding. A price of £14,400 has been quoted for the upgrading of the present lights.
19. Items for Information –
a. Sadly, the much respected villager, Mr Sid Jenkins, has passed away after a long illness. He will be missed by everyone.
c. A vacancy has arisen for the Editorship of the Parish magazine following Jean Duffy’s resignation of the post. Jim Findlay will advertise for the position.
Date of next Parish Council meeting: Monday, 9th November 2015, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne
Signed as a true record: Chairman: Date: