Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council
held on 20 September 2010 in the Cardwell Pavilion at 7.30pm
Present: Mr M Bedwell (Chairman) Mr A Ward (Vice-Chairman), Dr S Bauer,
Mr J Cobbett, Mr A Williams.
Also in attendance: Ms E Lawrence (Clerk) , Mrs J Whittle (County Councillor), Mrs D Parvin (Borough Councillor) and 4 members of the public.
1. Apologies for absence Mr G Bryan, (on holiday)Mr F Stephenson,(unwell)
2. Declaration of Interests and amendments to Register of Interests
There were no declarations of interest.
There were no amendments to the Register of Interests.
3. Approval of minutes of last meeting
It was resolved that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the meeting and that they should be accepted subject to an amendment to page 2. Item 6 which should read:
In order to accommodate Mrs Whittle also attending another Parish Council meeting, the agenda was altered to allow her report to be received.
9. County Councillors Report
Mrs Whittle had funded a Speed Survey and she described the findings as showing significant levels of speeding through the village. Michael Heath of Kent Highways Services will work with the police regarding the statistics. KCC is aware that the large volume of HGVs using rural routes is a major concern and the Council are working with the freight industry, especially regarding the use of satnavs, to try and reduce unnecessary traffic. One suggestion was to ask if anyone would give time to observe HGVs number plates and wait to see if those same numbers travelled back in the opposite direction during a set period of time, to determine if lorries are using the village as a cut through, or are on legitimate business delivering/collecting from outlying farms.
The community fund has given £500 to the Meadows Trust towards the purchase of land.
The comprehensive spending review is expected to mean up to 40% cuts to KCC
The recent refusal of the KIG proposals was good news and the Joint Parishes Group are now proactively looking at possible use of the land in the future. One suggestion has been made for a reservoir.
Mrs Parvin reported that she had attended a meeting to discuss the outcome of the KIG decision, and that a reservoir was almost certainly not a possibility because of the proximity of the high speed train line. MBC would welcome thoughts from the parishes regarding use of the land.
Mrs Whittle will continue to work on the site becoming included in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, who as an organisation is keen to adopt the site.
*The meeting was adjourned for10 minutes to allow the public to speak*.
4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)
Dr Bauer reported on the results of the Village of the Year competition. Hollingbourne was the only village to be commended in 4 categories. Transport was the category in which there was a shortfall, Lenham and Stockbury being cited as villages which have minibus services. Action: Dr Bauer undertook to investigate further.
Mr Cobbett praised the Meadows Trust and their tremendous success in raising £160,000 to purchase land. He explained the need to fundraise another £43-5000 for the field coming to auction in early November, the catalogue being due for publication on 13th October. Peter Lee has asked if the Parish Council could take a lead, perhaps with the Hollingbourne Society, to try and attract funds from other avenues such as commerce and grants etc. by forming an action group.
Mr Williams raised the issue of the stocks, kindly made and donated by Colin Cheetham, being installed on Eyhorne Green. Mr Cobbett asked that the Clerk contact the Council’s insurance company and ask for their comment.
5. Co-option of Councillor
Mr Bennett and Mrs O’Connell were invited to address the Council. Mr Bennett challenged Mr Bedwell’s right to vote; the Clerk affirmed that he was within his rights to do so. Mr Cobbett enquired if Mr Bennett was of the opinion that, as Mrs O’Connell was a near neighbour of his, he too should not vote.
The Council duly elected Mrs O’Connell by a vote of 4:1 and she was invited to join the Council. It was pointed out that Mrs O’Connell was not eligible to vote until she had signed her Acceptance of Office and Registration of Interests papers. Mr Bennett was thanked for his interest and time in attending.
6. Chairman’s Report
The Chairman reported the phased withdrawal of the concurrent functions grant from MBC over the next few years, being a 50% cut for 2011/12. The money was historically given to allow parishes to manage their immediate affairs which had been the responsibility of the Borough – such as street lighting and the maintenance and upkeep of Council property. Mrs Parvin explained the financial situation in which the Borough found itself. Mr Bedwell acknowledged this, but pointed out it will be hard for a relatively small village to raise the money itself. He went on to highlight the immediate expenditure needed for lighting to the Cardwell Pavilion and attention to the children’s play area. Mr Bedwell suggested hiring the Blues Brothers Band and a suitable i.e. large enough local venue as a fundraising initiative – supported by all.
7. Crime Update
The Clerk read a report received from PCSO Woods, who had sent apologies.
6 – week holiday crime figures
14.8.2010 – theft of farm machinery along Pilgrims way
19.8.2010 – criminal damage to property in Culpeper close
22.8.2010 – theft from motor vehicle in Musket lane
28.8.2010 – child was shot with airgun in Play Area – offender has been dealt with
3.9.2010 – taking vehicle without owner’s consent along Eyhorne street
4.9.2010 – criminal damage to a property
5.9.2010 – male arrested for possession of cannabis at railway station
Also there have been a number of thefts from motor vehicles at the J8 services.
These figures are similar to figures in other parishes during the school holiday period.
There are a number of changes going on within the Neighbourhood team and unfortunately it is very unlikely that PC Tallon will be able to attend Parish Council meetings in future. However PCSO Woods will be attending the Parish Council meetings to provide PACT and crime updates as far as possible.
8. Clerk’s Report
The Clerk circulated a letter received from Dr McNamara in which he expressed his views, objecting to the presence of dogs at the village Fete, primarily because of the risk of fouling and the possibility of toxicara canis. Action: letter of response to be sent, thanking Dr McNamara for sharing his views, but pointing out that this was a decision taken following several years of receiving residents views that their canine family members should be included in the day. Mr Bedwell also stated that there had been no instances of uncleared fouling on the day, whereas the football club users of the field had on occasions to clear up fox mess from the field. The Clerk stated that inclusion of dogs on the day was in accordance with The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.
An approach has been made by a company called SLK re Affordable Housing on the land opposite Godfrey House. Although not generally felt to be feasible, it was agreed to invite the company to attend and present their views, with a specific proposal, at a parish Council meeting.
The full report on the KIG refusal was received. The JPG will continue to meet, and representatives of Hollingbourne and Thurnham councils are also to meet informally.
A letter of thanks to be sent to George Smith for his invaluable contribution during the opposition period to KIG.
A gazetteer entry had been sent to Mr Williams, citing the road through the village as the C603
The Brownies are celebrating 100 years of Girl Guiding and one of the challenges they need to do is to have a sleepover and are asking for permission to use the Pavilion: agreed.
It was resolved to approve the expenditure (previously circulated) and the cheques were duly signed. The possible financial situation for the next year was noted.
Mr Ward identified a handyman who could undertake works to the Cardwell for £15.00 an hour, i.e. cheaper than previous quotes. He declared that the person was a family member, so if he is to be used, he would not wish to be involved. Mr Bedwell agreed to commission works on behalf of the Parks Committee. Works identified as imminent are lighting and the play area.
Peter Kirby, Conservation Officer from the Kent Branch of Butterfly Conservation has surveyed the Millennium Green and will draw up mowing proposals. Mr Ward stated that any changes in the mowing would be made in consultation with Barry Smith.
13. Planning Report
The following applications had been considered by the Planning Committee and the Council agreed to the following
Change of use of 3 no Agricultural Buildings to B1, B2 and B8 uses
Hollingbourne Farm, Hollingbourne Hill, ME17 1QJ
Do not wish to comment
Construction of a parking area with fencing
1, Eyhorne Street,
Do not wish to object
Listed Building Consent application for internal alterations
Do not wish to object
Erection of a replacement dwelling
Refuse – size, style and materials not sympathetic with locale
Notification of intention to fell four Yew trees
Hollingbourne Manor, Upper Street,
Do not wish to object
Mr Stephenson, through the Clerk, asked that consideration be given as to how best to handle planning applications received between the July and September meetings.
14. Environment Report
Dr Bauer reported that the ‘Free Trees’ scheme had not been a success as the saplings received were so small and had not survived. Mrs Parvin advised that this year two larger specimens were on offer instead, and Dr Bauer agreed to pursue.
The use of land adjoining Greenway Court Road for a Motor Cycling Event and partial closure of Public Footpath KH 202 was discussed. Mr Cobbett had pursued this with MBC and there are two issues:
– If the land is used for 14 days or less per annum, little can be done to prevent further events taking place, this being the second such event
– The footpath was blocked by a metal gate. To be pursued by the appropriate officer (John Pelham)
If the public are aware that off road bikes are being used on the public highway, they are asked to report such incidents to the police.
15. Items for Information
The Council wish to thank and congratulate the WI for organising another successful and enjoyable ‘garage safari’ which brought neighbours and visitors out and about
Date of next meeting
11th October 2010 in the Cardwell Pavilion.
*Although not part of the minuted meeting, it is acknowledged that Mr Boyd came to the meeting to explain the works he is undertaking, with the support of English Nature, in clearing a piece of scrub land behind Frogshole House. The stubble will be fenced off whilst burnt and planted with high pollen seeds to encourage bees and wild birds.*