Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 10th October 2016, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.
Present: Mr M Bedwell, Mr A Ward, Mr D Ardley, Mr J Cobbett, Mr A Bennett, Mrs A Bennett and Mr M Gray
In attendance: Mr Patrik Garten, Borough Councillor, Mr Mark Harrison – Historic England (National Policing and Crime Advisor), Mr Kelvin Wood – Leeds Castle Security Manager, Dr Paul Cuming – Historic Environment Record Manager, KCC, Ms Samantha Harris, Collections Manager, Maidstone Museum, Cllr P Waite (Thurnham Parish Council), three members of the public and Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.
1. Apologies for absence: Dr S Bauer (work commitments) and Cllr Mrs J Whittle (meeting clash)
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)
All items included on the Agenda and mentioned in minute sub-sections.
5. Chairman’s Report
a. Cllr M Bedwell reported that the padlocks for the Cardwell Pavilion gate kept on disappearing from the gate, and therefore were having to be replaced. Cllr P Garten offered to weld the padlock on to a chain attached to the gate, and he has very kindly carried out this work for the Parish Council.
b. Cllr M Bedwell had been advised of a rather large mobile home, with drainage, being erected in the vicinity of Snagbrook. At this point of the meeting, Cllr A Bennett advised that the Maidstone BC had advised him that they had inspected the mobile caravan is a temporary property of those renovating the house, and after the renovation it would be removed. As a result, no action would be taking place with regards to this matter. Members noted that today, at 4.00 pm, a low-loader vehicle exiting the village with a substantial number of Mr Dudley Wright’s old automobiles upon it which could indicate that the land is being cleared up. Cllr J Cobbett was very concerned that Mr Dudley Wright had not been seen for months in the village shop or around the village, which was unusual and that he would contact PCSO Dave Rowley to check on his welfare.
6. Crime Report –PCSO Ryan Waring / PCSO Dave Rowley (via email)
a. The Hollingbourne crime figures 9 September – 4 October 2016. There were five crime reports created this month. On the 14th September – criminal damage – Eyhorne Street, 19th September – theft – Hollingbourne Hill, 19th September (between 11.00 – 11.59 pm) – criminal damage to a property – Hollingbourne Hill, 21st September – criminal damage – Musket Lane and 23rd September – theft – Hollingbourne Hill. There were two cases of anti-social behaviour reported – 21st September (between 9.00 pm 20th September and 10.00 am 21st September) – poaching with crops in a field being damaged by hare coursers – Musket Lane and 22nd September – poaching – Hollingbourne Hill.
b. In comparison with the same period in 2015, there were four crime reports created between 10th September and 4th October 2015. On the 18th September 2015 – burglary other than dwelling – Eyhorne Street, 18th September – criminal damage – Eyhorne Street, 21st September – theft – Eyhorne Street and 2nd October – criminal damage – Pilgrims Way. There were two cases of anti-social behaviour reported – 21st September – nuisance vehicles – Culpeper Close and 27th September – noise – Eyhorne Street.
c. The PCSO’s advise that there have been numerous reports of poaching across the North Downs over the last ten days. Please report any suspicious vehicles in rural locations at night, especially 4x4s, which may be used for poaching. Kent Police ran an operation over the weekend of 1st – 2nd October which targeted poaching in the area. These operations will continue to run to provide a high-visibility presence.
7. Kent Heritage Watch – Mark Harrison – National Policing and Crime Advisor, Historic England
Mr Mark Harrison explained how Kent Heritage Watch, which is similar to Neighbourhood Watch works, how it can help protect the listed buildings, places of historical and archaeological interest from crime and how the residents of Hollingbourne can help. Kent Heritage Watch proposed that Hollingbourne be ‘ear marked’ to be the first village in Kent to have an assessment/audit take place of its assets to ascertain which buildings and areas are most at risk. Advice and schemes such as dog walking patrols can then keep an eye on archaeological sites to prevent criminal damage such as carried out by ‘night-hawking’, which is illegal metal-detecting at night. The Parish Councillors agreed to spear-head Kent Heritage Watch in the village, but there were some concerns over the amount of time the Clerk would need to spend in assisting Historic England in the process.
8. Village Gardener – Mr J Cobbett
The Parish Councillors need to ascertain what works within the village Maidstone BC and the KCC carry out before a private gardener is used to maintain the verges, pathways, etc. The Parish Council already has existing gardeners whose works are budgeted for, and therefore the necessity of a new gardener was not necessary at this time.
9. ‘Christopher’s Village Shop and its future – No further information to report.
10. Clerk’s Report –
a. The Clerk informed the Parish Councillors that she had attended a meeting with the Maidstone Bus companies in September and had been advised that timetables are due to change in the near future due to road congestion problems. The Clerk will investigate into the marking out of a ‘no parking – buses only’ area at the entrance of Church Approach, as the bus drivers often find it very difficult to turn in this area when gatherings, e.g. funerals take place. Action: The Clerk
b. The Clerk was requested by Cllr J Cobbett and Cllr A Ward to hold back on the provision of Welcome Packs for the residents of the new properties being built on the land adjacent to 103 Eyhorne Street for two reasons. Firstly, the Parish Council should in that case provide Welcome Packs to all new residents of the village and not just in the new builds if such a scheme were to be introduced by the Parish Council. It was noted that the distributors of the Parish Magazine already call upon new residents. Secondly, the problem of the inadequate sewerage system in the village has not yet been remedied and until this is done it does not seem appropriate to welcome new residents who may put more strain on the pipe-work.
c. Cllr P Garten confirmed that the removal of dog bins in the Maidstone borough will not affect Hollingbourne village.
d. The Clerk gave a copy of the 2017/2018 Local Government Finance Settlement Consultation to Cllr J Cobbett for his perusal and recommendations.
11. County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs J Whittle (via email)
a. The Parish Council is thrilled to announce that following concerns from the parents of schoolchildren who need to cross the busy A20 at Hollingbourne Corner to catch the bus into Maidstone each morning, Cllr Mrs J Whittle has succeeded in arranging for early morning buses to collect Maidstone bound passengers on the Ashford bound side of the A20 from the 4th December 2016 onwards. The Parish Councillors would like to offer their many sincere thanks to Cllr Mrs J Whittle for her persistence and hard work in this matter. The Clerk will provide notification of this matter to the parents of the children that are affected. Please see the Hollingbourne Parish website for further details. Action: The Clerk
12. Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Patrik Garten
a. Cllr P Garten advised that to date he had not been approached to lobby regarding the Draft Local Plan enquiry.
13. Planning Report – Cllr Mr A Bennett
a. 16/506385/FULL – 2 New Cottage, Upper Street, Hollingbourne.
Proposal: Erection of a new dwelling utilising existing access arrangements to the site.
Demolition of existing garage and provision of a replacement garage to serve the existing property.
Decision: do not wish to object.
b. Update: 15/503232/FULL – 21 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne –
Despite all of the Parish Council’s efforts, the above planning application was approved at the Planning Committee on the 15th September 2016. The considerable risks to the neighbouring properties, if building works are carried out in a thoughtless way, were recognised and various rules for its construction were specified to the developer.
14. Maidstone BC Draft Local Plan –
a. Cllr P Waite, Thurnham PC, informed that he has been attending the Inspector’s Enquiry of the Maidstone Local Plan, but needs the support of the Hollingbourne Parish Council when he attends the meeting on the 9th November 2016, when he speaks about Employment Policies and Allocations, regulation 18. This matter is with regards to Leeds Castle and its lack of a regulation 19 comment, but thankfully Hollingbourne PC has submitted such a comment. Cllr P Waite felt that Maidstone BC had played down their biggest employer, Leeds Castle, and the business that it promotes in local ‘bed and breakfast’ establishments, etc, and the Hollingbourne PC need to emphasise how important the Castle is in promoting tourism in the area. Cllr A Bennett offered to support Cllr P Waite.
Action: Cllr A Bennett & Cllr P Waite (Thurnham PC).
b. Cllr P Waite also reported that the KIMS’ site, Bearsted, is allegedly not performing financially, as expected. A high level of new build houses in the Maidstone area are occupied by people from the London area, who commute back to London for work. The Joint Parishes Group think an industrial development on the A249 site in Detling would best satisfy local employment needs rather than the Junction 8, Woodcut Farm site. Cllr P Garten advised that he had attended a developers meeting for the A249 site and the plans have got benefits, but the neighbouring Stockbury PC are totally against the proposals.
15. Environmental Report –
a. Samantha Harris BA (Hons) MA, Collections Manager, of the Maidstone Museums informed the Parish Councillors that an Anglo-Saxon hoard found in February 2014 in Hollingbourne by the Medway History Finders Group. The hoard has been valued at £10,000 by the coroner at the British Museum and contains around fifteen items, particularly showing the transition of brooch types which are significant and of national importance. The Maidstone Museum is applying for funding so that the Kent Archaeological Group, based at the Museum can buy this part of ‘Kent’s History’. The final chance for the purchase of the hoard would be in February 2017. With the understanding that the hoard would be on display for a period within the museum, it was proposed by Cllr A Ward and agreed unanimously by the Parish Councillors that the Parish Council would pledge £500 towards the acquisition of the hoard, as it is an important part of Hollingbourne’s history.
16. Community and Communication – Mrs A Bennett
The award for the Golding Homes Best Hanging Baskets was presented to the residents of 3 Bourneside Terrace, and the Parish Council would like to thank them for their efforts and the beauty that they bring to the village.
17. War Memorial Project – Mr & Mrs A Bennett
Mr Derek Davison has advised the Parish Council that the project is progressing well.
18. Cardwell Pavilion (Bookings Past and Present) – Mr M Bedwell
The month’s bookings for the Cardwell Pavilion were highlighted on the Parish Council cashbook.
19. Parks Report (Millennium Green) – Cllr A Ward –
a. As reported in July, Wealden Homes have designated £22,050 to the Parish Council specifically for the children’s playground on the Lance Memorial Field. Cllr A Ward is at present looking into getting quotations for the play equipment which would be of a design to accommodate children of all physical abilities. The Clerk gave a copy quotation of the pre-school’s request for improvements to the outside play area at the Cardwell Pavilion the Parish Councillors, but it was felt that the designated sum of money would not also cover this expense. Cllr P Garten advised that the Kingswood Parish Clerk has experience in obtaining playground equipment. Action: Cllr A Ward
20. Station Approach Recycling Area – Cllr J Cobbett
a. Network Rail has passed responsibility of the recycling area to South East Trains, who have subsequently given notice for the recycling bins to be removed. The Parish Council awaits further updates on the situation.
b. The lights along the Station Approach have been out for more than a month, and Cllr Cobbett is chasing this matter up with South East Trains. UPDATE – A lighting engineer attended on 11th October over a month after the fault was reported to South Eastern Trains.
21. Fête Report – Cllr M Bedwell / Cllr D Ardley / Cllr A Ward
a. The date of the 2017 fete is the 10th June 2017. The date of the first 2017 fete meeting will be the Dirty Habit PH, 8.00 pm, Monday, 7th November 2016. The Parish Council would very much like new members upon the Fete Committee, ideally a candidate from each club/group within the village. Please attend the meeting or contact the Clerk on 01622 880526, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
b. The Clerk has sent out invitations to all three hostelries in the village in September with a tender to provide the bar, evening food and entertainment at the 2017 fete.
c. James Tosh in Templeuve-en-Pévèle has advised Cllr M Bedwell that visitors from France would like to bring some of their classic Citroen 2CV cars, etc, over to the fete, which will be a lot of fun.
22. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes – no further update available.
23. Twinning with Templeuve-en-Pévèle – Cllr J Cobbett
a. A trip has been organised to go to the Armistice Day events in Templeuve on 11th November 2016, and Templeuve residents will be coming to Kent on the 12th and 13th November for Remembrance Day events where there will be a ceremony at 10.50 am, at the War Memorial ,a service in All Saints’ church, and a lunch in the Village Hall. Tickets to visit Templeuve are selling out quickly and please contact Cllr J Cobbett on 01622 880543 if you would like to attend.
24. Village Sewerage Inspection Report– Cllr J Cobbett
Neither the surface drainage problem nor the sewerage backflow problems appear to have been completely resolved. The problem with the sewerage appears far more difficult than previously thought and Southern Water have yet to come up with plans to sort out the problem under the Grove Mill pond. KCC Highways are totally silent on the Tanyard Green flooding issue. The Clerk will write to the Chief Executive of Southern Water, regarding the sewerage backflow problems and Mr Paul Carter, KCC, on the surface water drainage on behalf of the Parish Council. Action: The Clerk
25. Financial Report –
a. The cheques at the meeting were authorised, and there is £33,983.60 in the bank.
26. Street Lighting – Cllr J Cobbett
a. The LED upgrade project has now been completed and the KCC grant has been received by the Parish Council.
27. Items for information –
a. The Parochial Church Council is merging the Hollingbourne, Hucking, Thurnham, Detling, Grove Green, Detling and Boxley under the North Downs Benefice. The team Rector and Vicar will meet on the 30th October in the Hollingbourne Church. UPDATE – on the 14th October the Church Times published an advertisement for the post of the Hollingbourne based Team Vicar. The vacancy has arisen following the retirement of the Reverend Nigel Fry in April 2015 as Priest in Charge of the Leeds and Hollingbourne Benefice and the subsequent reorganisation of the local Anglican churches by the Diocese of Canterbury.
Date of next meeting: Monday 14th November 2016, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne
Signed as a true record: Chairman: Date: