The Minutes of the September 2017 Parish Council Meeting that were approved at the Parish Council Meeting on 9th October 2017.
Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 11th September 2017, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.
Present: Mr M Bedwell (Chairman), Mr A Ward (Vice-Chairman), Mr J Cobbett, Mr D Ardley,
Dr S Bauer, Mr A Bennett, Mr M Gray and Mr S Hulme
In attendance: Mr Patrik Garten, two representatives of the Village Hall Committee, two members of the public and Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.
- Apologies for absence: Cllr Mrs Shellina Prendergast – KCC (prior engagement)
- Declarations and Requests
Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none; Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda – Cllr J Cobbett knows the residents of Lime Kiln Cottage and he will abstain from commenting or voting on this planning application; Requests for Dispensations – none
- 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 exception of amendments to the County Councillors report, as per Cllr Mrs S Prendergasts’s email of the 10th September 2017. It was agreed by the Parish Council to adjust the wording in item 8c as requested, but the other minutes should stand. This decision was proposed by Cllr J Cobbett and seconded by Cllr A Bennett. Six Councillors voted in favour and two abstained.
- Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda) –
8.e. Cllr A Bennett will accompany the Clerk when they meet on a six weekly basis with Cllr Mrs S Prendergast to discuss parish Council matters. The Clerk will contact Cllr Mrs Prendergast to arrange mutually convenient dates. Action: The Clerk
5b. The Secretary of the Hollingbourne Pre-School Committee has liaised with Cllr M Bedwell with regards to the provision of artificial grass at the Cardwell Pavilion with various prices for the work. The Clerk will obtain three quotations for the works to ensure ‘best value’. Action: The Clerk
- Chairman’s Report.
- Cllr M Bedwell commented that residents of Culpeper Close have expressed concerns over the condition of the road name sign. Cllr P Garten advised the Clerk of the contact at Maidstone BC who attends with these matters. Action: The Clerk
- It has been brought to the Parish Council’s attention that there is a residential property within the village which has an overhanging fence partially obstructing the walkway. The Clerk will write to the householder kindly requesting that the fence is re-erected. Action: The Clerk
- Crime Report – PCSO Dave Rowley (via email)
- The Clerk is looking forward to making contact Mike Buckfield the new PCSO for the Hollingbourne area, and receiving any crime reports for the area.
- The e-watch police reports for August did not highlight any crime taking place within Hollingbourne. However, the Parish Council were reliably informed that five bar wooden gates had been ‘removed’ from Godfrey Meadow after being in situ for only four days! If you would like regular newsletters from e-watch please sign up to the scheme on www.e-watch.co/register.php .
- Hollingbourne Village Hall – Mr G Wood & Mr R Graynoth (Village Hall Committee)
- The future of the village hall was discussed in detail. It was felt that, EI (Enterprise Inns Plc) who are the leaseholders of the land on which the village hall is based are reluctant to renew the lease. At present the village hall agreement has automatically became a rolling month to month lease, meaning that the contract is still in effect and rental money has been received and banked by the leaseholder. The village hall is very important to the residents of Hollingbourne and a number of clubs and societies regularly use its facilities. The various social activities held at the hall are very well attended and enhance the wellbeing of residents, both physically and mentally, therefore helping prevent the potential isolation or loneliness sometimes experienced by vulnerable people. It is imperative that the lease is renewed for the village hall to ensure its secure future and so Cllr A Ward suggested that a Section 26 Notice should be served by the Parish Council in association with the Village Hall Committee to the leaseholder. The serving of the notice would be arranged by an assistant of the Village Hall Committee. The parish Councillors were advised by the village hall committee representatives that the assistant had considered any additional costs which could be potentially involved in submitting the Notice. According to the website www.tenancyagreement.com a Section 26 Notice is a legal document used by a Tenant of business premises in cases where he wishes to enforce his rights under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and renew the tenancy on the same and/or similar terms at the end of a tenancy. Cllr M Bedwell proposed that the Section 26 Notice should be served and the Parish Council would write to the EI, encouraging the renewal of the lease. Seven Councillors voted in favour of this decision, one Councillor abstained. Action: The Clerk (contact EI via. letter)
- As an additional measure, the Village Hall Committee has nominated the hall as being a community asset and they should know by the middle of October 2017 whether their proposal has been successful.
- Clerk’s Report –
- The Clerk circulated the Parish Council’s end of year report from the External Auditor for the perusal of the Councillors. The Notice of conclusion of audit together with section 1, 2 and 3 of the report has been placed upon the village notice-boards and the village website. The public, in accordance to the notice of conclusion of audit can contact the Clerk to view the Parish Council’s accounts. Action: The Clerk / Webmaster
- The Clerk had received an email from residents living at the Hollingbourne Hill entrance to the village concerning the speeding traffic through the village. Cllr D Ardley advised that he is looking at the availability of road signs, designed by local school children, reminding road users to slow down.
Action: Cllr D Ardley
- The Clerk reaffirmed that fly-tipping was a big problem in the rural areas of the village. Items of all shapes and sizes were dumped along country roads and often in the ‘pull ins’ along the single-track roadways making driving hazardous. Cllr P Garten advised that he would look into the availability of CCTV-signs for the Parish Council to self install. This would legally allow the Parish Council to set up their own camera systems in the areas most regularly targeted by fly-tippers. Maidstone BC is very keen to prosecute on good CCTV evidence. Action: Cllr P Garten
- County Councillor’s Report – (via email where applicable)
- Cllr Prendergast responded to last month’s enquiry regarding the KCC strategy for the funding of possible future Operation Stack and has tabled a question for the next full Council Meeting at Kent County Council on this subject and with specific reference to the impacts on residents of Hollingbourne. The response will be provided by Mr Matthew Balfour, Cabinet Member for Planning, Highways, Transport and Waste. This meeting will be held in the Council Chamber at County Hall on Thursday, 19th October 2017, commencing at 10.00 am. Cllr Prendergast appreciates there is some very genuine and serious concern in the parish concerning this matter, but personally had not been contacted on the item prior to and since her election to KCC by anyone other than Cllr J Cobbett. With this in mind Cllr Prendergast would be very grateful for the meeting to be promoted across the parish so that any interested residents can attend, together with many members of the Parish Council.
- With regards to the proposed diversion by Network Rail of footpaths KH/183/185 at Hollingbourne Station, a response was not received from the Parish Council before the consultation closing date of the 1st September 2017 and so Cllr Prendergast did not proffer any comment on the matter.
- Cllr Prendergast has been copied into various email exchanges between the Parish Council, Cllr P Garten and a village resident concerning the volume and speed of traffic on Hospital Road (please see item 18, Off-road motorcyclists and quad bikes). Cllr P Garten is correct in saying that ‘traffic situations’ such as the incident with the ambulance should be directed towards the police via the 101 service. Regarding the traffic, this link http://www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/what-we-look-after/roads/changing-roads-in-your-area might be of assistance in showing what steps need to be taken before any changes can be made to the road network.
- Cllr Prendergast please asks that all correspondence is sent to her KCC email address, Shellina.Prendergast@kent.gov.uk and not her private address just for the sake of good housekeeping and an open audit trail which is required in her position. Please allow Cllr Prendergast time to respond to emails as she has a very heavy workload.
- Cllr S Hulme advised that local KCC Cllr S Prendergast raised the issue of the Parish Council putting minutes on the village website before the accuracy of their content has been formally approved at the next Parish Council meeting as it was felt that there had been a minor inaccuracy within the Draft and Unapproved July Minutes and should not be in the public eye. Although the specific issues relating to the accuracy of Cllr Prendergast’s comments are dealt with under item 3, Cllr Hulme suggested that it may be worth discussing how unapproved minutes are handled/controlled from drafting following a meeting to approval at the subsequent Parish Council meeting. The Parish Council voted in favour of only publishing approved minutes at the September Parish Meeting.
- Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Patrik Garten
- Cllr P Garten commented on the proposed rail crossing diversion ref. 17/504109/PROW at the Hollingbourne station. It would be a shame to lose the current footpath as the bridge over the tracks at the station is not easily accessible by passengers with limited mobility or parents with small children and prams.
- As mentioned at the July parish meeting, Cllr P Garten spoke about two outside bodies, the AONB Unit a statutory body which is having an input into planning and strategic support to the ANOB. The other is the Mid Kent Downs Countryside Partnership which delivers multiple projects throughout the Mid Kent Downs area and which demonstrably implements key MBC strategic priorities. Last year MBC withdrew funding for the partnership. Cllr Garten’s attendance at the Maidstone BC Democracy meeting temporarily stopped that AONB Unit will also be removed from their statutory body list. Cllr Garten will continue to lobby the Democracy Committee to keep the ANOB unit as a supported outside body and he had the funding issue for the Partnership successfully referred to the Strategic Planning Committee who will investigate this soon. Cllr Garten will report back about the continued progress.
- With regards to the matter of fly-tipping Cllr P Garten would like to remind residents to keep a watch out for would-be culprits dumping items such as fridge-freezers in country lanes. There have been enforcement notices served recently on people fly-tipping and large fines given to them.
- Planning Report – Cllr A Bennett
- 17/503753/NMAMD – Lime Kiln Cottage, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Non material amendment being alterations to roof slope and reduction in size of bathroom window subject to 15/509266/FULL.
Decision: Seven Councillors voted ‘DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT’ and one Councillor ‘abstained’.
- 17/503979/TCA – Manor Cottage, Upper Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: TCA application for 1 x sycamore tree – pollard above the main union points reducing the overall height by approximately 50%. Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT
- 17/504109/PROW – Rail Crossing, Hollingbourne Rail Station
Proposal: Rail crossing diversion involving public footpath – proposed extinguishment of part of public footpaths KH183 and KH185 at Hollingbourne.
Decision: OBJECT – the reason being that those with limited mobility cannot climb over the footbridge.
- 17/504248/SUB – 3 The Pavings, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Submission of details pursuant to condition 3: details of materials (original application ref: 17/501329/FULL). Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT
- 17/504271/SUB – ‘Pinehurst’, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Submission of details pursuant to conditions 2: details of materials and 7: hard and soft landscaping (original application ref: 17/501452/FULL).Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT
- 16/506385/FULL – 2 New Cottage, Upper Street, Hollingbourne
Update: An appeal to the Planning Inspectorate has been lodged in relation to this planning application as the Maidstone BC has refused permission for this application of erection of a new dwelling utilising existing access arrangement to the site and demolition of existing garage. The Parish Council previously ‘did not wish to comment/object’ – 13.10.16. Planning Inspectorate Ref: APP/U2235/W/17/3176338.
All Councillors were in agreement to the decision reported apart from where otherwise stated.
- Maidstone BC Draft Local Plan – Cllr A Bennett –
- Cllr A Bennett has received correspondence from the Maidstone BC regarding the Parish Council’s concerns about the infrastructure and buoyancy of the housing market and its lack of mention within the draft local plan.
- Cllr P Garten feels that the draft local plan will be adopted at the end of the month, although he has not made up his mind yet which way he is going to vote. The Windmill Lane and Junction 8 sites are both contentious issues mentioned in the plan. Cllr P Garten feels that even if the plan is passed there are good reasons to defeat the development at Windmill Lane due to restricted access to the area. With regards to the Junction 8 site it should be noted that any proposed development should be below the tree-line and will not be as big as the once considered KIG. On a more positive note, if the plan is passed, the Council has a strong legal defence against permitting building on green field sites. It may be safer to adopt the plan to defence developers.
- Environmental Report –
- Cllr A Bennett said that the birdlife in the local area, particularly the ducks and moorhens had diminished in number. Cllr Dr S Bauer said that other residents had also noticed this problem including Cllr A Ward. Cllr S Hulme had noticed that the water level had dropped in the Bourne and there had been a build up of silt which may possibly had been exacerbated following works in the Mill Pond near the Church when its water had been diverted. The quality of the water in the river affects the number of birdlife present.
- The Parish Council have received some communication from villagers of possible waste issues at a property within the village. The Clerk will write to the owner of the property advising them about the matter. Cllr Dr S Bauer will investigate whether the problem reported is an environmental health issue. Action: The Clerk / Cllr Dr S Bauer
- Cardwell Pavilion (bookings past and present) – Cllr M Bedwell
- Cllr M Bedwell advised that unfortunately the after-school club had finished using the Cardwell Pavilion for their childcare sessions due to lack of numbers. The Clerk will contact the manager to ask for all of the clubs items to be removed and the keys to the building returned. Action: The Clerk
- Parks Report (Millennium Green) – Cllr A Ward
- Cllr A Ward was happy to inform the Parish Council that the playground contractors have advised that the refurbishment will start week commencing the 25th September 2017. The Parish Council will however fund the provision of a porta-loo on site for the workers and find space in the shipping container for their goods. However, Cllr M Bedwell would like confirmation of what the contractors would like to store in the container beforehand.
- Defibrillator(s) for the village – Cllr J Cobbett
- Cllr J Cobbett and the Clerk met with Richard Phillips of the Windmill PH who would be willing to have a defibrillator positioned on the outside of the Windmill PH. The Clerk will speak to Richard to find out what wall of the building would be suitable for the equipment. Action: The Clerk
- The Landlord of the Sugar Loaves PH is also willing to have a defibrillator on the outside of the premises and is liaising with his management. The Clerk will pursue the enquiry with The Dirty Habit PH. Cllr D Ardley asked whether the defibrillator could be placed upon ‘listed buildings’. Cllr A Bennett advised that he will look into this matter with the planning department. Action: Cllr A Bennett
- The Clerk could report that the British Heart Foundation could offer funding towards providing one defibrillator in the village and she is gaining statistics with regards to the success of the use of defibrillators. Action: The Clerk – placement of the defibrillators and their success rate.
- Station Approach & Railway Station –
- The station master has advised the Parish Clerk via email that there is a system in place that can help passengers with limited mobility. The full policy can be found here – https://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/about-us/our-policies/disabled-persons-protection-policy Basically if a person is unable to access the station – for example a person with a wheelchair wishing to use platform 2 at Hollingbourne – Southeasten Rail would arrange a taxi to take them to the nearest accessible station en route to their destination. Passengers booking assistance can also purchase train tickets from our assisted travel service 0800 783 4524 or Textphone 0800 783 4548.
- Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes –
- There are three off-road motorcyclist clubs in the local area, one on Greenway Court Road, one in Hospital Road and another just outside of the Hollingbourne Parish in Chegworth Road. Unfortunately, the events can also bring an enormous amount of traffic on the roads. At big events there can be over fifty motor-homes being driven in the area causing tailbacks on the Ashford Road when entering Hospital Road. On a recent occasion, associated traffic even obstructed the access of an ambulance to a ‘call out’ along Hospital Road and the ambulance had to abandon its mission! A pedestrian had also been forced into a bush whilst they were walking their dog by the sheer volume of traffic entering Hospital Road. There are many events at the Hospital Road club site and there are specific rules about how many events are held each year. Cllr M Bedwell reiterated that if the clubs are causing problems for the local residents they should maintain diaries with the times and dates of the events, and preferably photographic evidence of traffic, etc, with the date and time printed on the prints. The clubs can sometimes break planning regulations by intentionally forming high earth movements on the land. This can then be passed to the Maidstone BC for their attention. Cllr P Garten advised that the Maidstone BC website has a planning enforcement page for reporting such incidents.
- Fête Report – Cllr D Ardley
- A provisional date of the 9th June 2018 has been made for next year’s fete. However, Cllr Ardley said that due to a lack of funding can the Parish Council afford to run the fete? Cllr A Bennett said that the villagers enjoy the fete and it is a great social event which takes priority over the raising of profit from the day. The fete is a vehicle for other organisations to get together and raise funds for their charities. Cllr M Bedwell proposed that the 2018 fete take place and all of the Parish Councillors voted in approval.
- Cllr A Bennett advised that the Parish Councillors need to ask people directly from within the difference organisations in the village to sit on the fete committee. Please contact the Clerk on firstname.lastname@example.org if you are willing to help out and support future fetes as any help would be very much appreciated.
- Twinning with Templeuve-en-Pévèle – Cllr J Cobbett – Nothing to report
- Financial Report –
- There is £47,884.36 in the bank and all Parish Councillors voted in approval of authorising the cheques drawn by the Clerk.
- As previously mentioned in the Clerk’s report copies of the 2016/2017 end of year accounts returned by the External Auditor were circulated around the Parish Council. The Notice of conclusion of audit together with section 1, 2 and 3 of the report has been placed upon the village notice-boards and the village website.
- Community News –
- On Monday, 25th September, 7.00 pm – 8.15 pm there will be a licensing service for the Reverend Paul Kite, the new Team Vicar for the Pilgrims’ Way Parishes within the North Downs Benefice which includes Hollingbourne. Captain Graham Bibby of the Church Army will also be licensed as a Missioner by the Bishop of Dover, the Bishop in residence in the Diocese of Canterbury. Captain Bibby will be based in Grove Green and will work in the new housing developments in the Benefice including those on the Sutton Road. The service will be held at the St Mary the Virgin & All Saints Church, The Street, Boxley, Kent, ME143DR – (The Street, opposite The King’s Arms Pub. near The Pilgrim’s Way across the North Downs). Cllr A Bennett said that he is looking forward to attending the event.
- Cllr A Bennett and his wife Anne generously support the Royal British Legion and Neighbourhood Contacts scheme within the village. It was agreed by the Parish Councillors that notices supporting the charities could be placed on the village notice-boards. Please contact Cllr A Bennett if you could offer your driving services to those less able within the village. A monetary donation towards fuel costs is suggested to the villagers using the scheme.
Date of next meeting: Monday 9th October 2017, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne
Signed as a true record: Chairman: Date: