April 2012 Minutes.

                              Minutes of the AGM and meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council

                                          held on 9th April 2012 in the Village Hall at 7.30pm


Present:  Mr M Bedwell (Chairman) Mr A Ward (Vice-Chairman), Mr D Ardley, Mr J Cobbett, Dr S Bauer, Mrs S O’Connell, Mr F Stephenson, Mr A Williams



Also in attendance: Ms E Lawrence (Clerk), Mrs D Parvin Borough Councillor and Mr C Garland, Leader MBC.


1.                                                                                          Apologies for absence     Mrs J Whittle , County Councillor


2.                                          Declaration of Interests and amendments to Register of Interests 




3.                                          Approval of minutes of last meeting


Mr Bedwell proposed that the draft minutes were a true and accurate record of the meeting and that they should be accepted, seconded by Mr Ward and agreed by all present.  The Chairman duly signed the minutes.


4.                                          Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)


Item 4.   The notice board on Tanyard Green has been refurbished and safely affixed to the wall at a cost of £91.00.  A warm thank you was given to Ivor Tapsfield et al who undertook the work. It was noted that the costs of new boards start at about £1000.00 each, so one new board will be purchased.


The agenda was altered to defer the appointing of chair, vice chair etc due to the imminent elections and the current posts not being ended until May. Mr Garland to speak after the Chairman’s report.


5.                  Chairman’s Report   The chairman presented his report for the AGM:


‘2011 was not the easiest of years for Hollingbourne.  The replacement gas mains caused many problems for the village and its people, with an unrealistic alternative diversion route of over 20 miles, vehicles other ways around which caused much damage to the verges, hedges and the narrow roads themselves.  There were some nasty accidents causing delays.  The road closure caused hardship to villagers, businesses and was a factor in the closing of the popular public house The Windmill.  The village Fete was also adversely affected with a lower than normal turnout of people from outside the village.  On a brighter note the Fete did raise considerable funds for the Meadows Trust who have, thanks to villagers support, secured the four fields that they wanted to buy. Speeding and HGV traffic through the village has continued to be a constant problem resulting in several historic buildings being damaged by HGVs.  It has been very pleasing with the help and support of our own Borough and County Councillors that an “Unsuitable for HGVs” sign has been placed at the entrance to the village from the A20, which is something the Parish Council has been demanding for several years. The Parish Council  have asked KCC to ascertain the weight limit of the road bridge over the Bourne by River Cottage as this could be another deterrent to large lorries coming through Hollingbourne unnecessarily.

This year the Parish Council wish to find ways of reducing traffic speeds through the village and to this end all proceeds from the Fete will go towards the purchase of an interactive speed sign. It is hoped  that our County and Borough Councillors will able to help fund this and other speed reduction initiatives. The Council has recommenced work on campaigning to reduce the noise from the M20 which continues to adversely affect the residents of Hollingbourne. 

Our village has a healthy mix of activities and organisations and it was interesting to hear about them at the Parish Assembly, giving us an update on what they have been doing.

The Parish Council has major concerns over proposed reduction/cessation of concurrent Function grant funds.  This is the amount of money received from MBC to pay for things that people living in Maidstone take for granted, such as street lighting and grass cutting.  At present we receive approximately £6000 a year, which if taken away will leave a big hole in our budget and could lead to heavy increases in the precept for our villages.  The Parish Council feel that villages like ours are short changed and are treated unfairly.  It appears to be a

post code apartheid.  3rd May sees some local council elections and I would urge people to ask all the prospective candidates where they stand on this issue. 

The PCSO has been a very welcome sight around Hollingbourne, and long may it continue.  I would like to thank fellow Parish Councillors for all theri hard work and I would also like to thank the unsung heroes who make Hollingbourne such a good place to live – the village gardeners, Hollingbourne Helpers and people who help at the Fête, a big thank you to you all.


The meeting was adjourned to allow Mr Garland to speak  He reported that the government are tackling the national deficit, pushing saving initiatives down to local authorities. Grants have been reduced and budgets reduced by 10%.  In turn MBC has reduced monies to parishes from £440,000 to £310,000 last year and kept at that level for this year, but this is not sustainable.  He went on to explain the Parish Services scheme, where individual parishes will negotiate with MBC for services or funding, whichever is most cost effective, for each area of expenditure.

Freedom of Information requests will not be charged for. 

A question and answer session followed.

Clerk to ask Maidstone Borough Council CEO re confirmation of service levels and standards.

 The meeting was then resumed.

6.         Crime Report    None received


7                  Clerk’s Report   Nil to report except that covered by the agenda.


8          County Councillors Report     The Clerk reported on behalf of Mrs Whittle, who is currently busy undertaking electioneering.  Her current concern is the number of children who have not been allocated their parents choice of primary school placements.  This includes Hollingbourne.



9.         Borough Councillors Report     Mrs Parvin was also heavily involved in campaigning for the forthcoming election.  She reported that the refurbished area in the Town Hall vicinity is scheduled to be completed and dedicated as “Jubilee Square” on Friday 1st June..


10        Planning Report        Mr Stephenson presented the applications received, proposed the decisions, seconded by Dr Bauer and agreed by all.









MBC Decision


Stable/garden store building

Retrospective application

Norton Charity

Broad Street Hill

ME17 1QY



Approved/Granted with Conditions


An application for prior approval for the installation of 8.5m high timber pole

Eyhorne Manor, Musket Lane,

ME17 1UU


Prior Approval Given


Erection of replacement Summer House

Foxgrove House

30 Eyhorne Street

ME17 1TR




Replacement windows

Poste Cottage

27 Eyhorne Street

ME17 1TR

Wish to see Approved



Listed building consent for MA/12/0450 (above)

Poste Cottage

27 Eyhorne Street

ME17 1TR

Wish to see Approved





Retrospective application to build woodstore

Acorn Cottage

Pilgrims Way





DNWTO = Do Not Wish To Object

RNO = Raise No Objection


10        Environment Report  Mr Williams reported receiving a letter from a resident complaining of a blocked footpath.  The route in question is not a public right of way (PRoW).  It was noted with appreciation that the paths alongside Drakes Cottage and Target cottage have been resurfaced and the steps and signage to the footpath along the shaw installed.


11        Finance Report          It was resolved to approve the expenditure (previously circulated) and the cheques were duly signed. 


An application to Awards for All for equipment for a fitness trail was approved. Clerk to apply.  The bank balances were noted and it was agreed to transfer any surplus from the current account into reserves to accrue interest.


12        Parks Report   Mr Ward reported that MBC still have sign the Deed of Rectification for the Millennium Green so the lease has still not been transferred. The Charity Commission are satisfied with the re-registration and have updated details but still have to formally agree the re-registration.  Mr Ward had looked at the Village sign on Eyhorne Green and will arrange for it to be removed.  The cost of a resin replica to be investigated. Clerk to action.


13                    Fete 2012   Mr Cobbett updated members on progress.  The next planning is on 23rd March.  The Clerk reminded members that plasticised rolls of Union Flag paper had been purchased in advance for use throughout the Jubilee weekend.



14.                                      Items for Information          



Date of next meeting

Monday 14th May 2012 at 7.30pm in the Cardwell Pavilion.





Signed as a true record: