April 2015 Minutes.

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council held on Tuesday, 14th April 2015, in the Village Hall commencing at 7.00 pm.

Present:  Mr A Ward (Vice-Chairman); Dr S Bauer; Mr J Cobbett; Mr A Bennett; Mr P Waite; Mr D Ardley; Cllr Mrs D Parvin & Mrs V Smith, Parish Clerk

In attendance:   Four members of the public

1.  Apologies for absence:  Cllr M Bedwell (illness) & Cllr Mrs J Whittle (illness)

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)

MBC Cllr Mrs J Whittle is arranging a meeting with J Cobbett, K Bonner of Streetlights UK (contractor), the Parish Clerk and herself, as there have been KCC funds ‘ear-marked’ for the street-light maintenance.  This needs to be arranged as soon as possible.  Also the new street-light opposite Godfrey House is a different colour to the other lights in the village, the contractor will be contacted to find out why. Action:  The Clerk.

5a.       It was noted that there had been no applications to join the Parish Council in place of Mr L Vallins who resigned a few weeks ago. 

8b.       Cllr A Ward is arranging for the village notice-board to be erected.

10c.     The Clerk is looking into having the electrical items at the Cardwell Pavilion PAT tested.

13b.     Letters have been sent to the KCC, Southern Water and the Environmental Agency with regards to the properties which have been authorised to be built on the land adjacent to 103 Eyhorne Street (Godfrey House).  Cllr D Ardley was thanked for his assistance in drafting the letters.

15f.      The Clerk is in the progress of finding Shaun Williamson, within the village, to invite him to open the 2015 Fete.

19a.     The Parish Council and villagers are very concerned to hear that Priest in Charge, Nigel Fry and his wife Jan are very ill at the moment, and are both in hospital.  It is very sad that after all of their hard and faithful work within the village, this should now happen.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and hope for their speedy recovery.

5.  Chairman’s Report presented by the Vice Chairman

a.    A planning meeting took place with Roxhill Developments, the Parish Council and the public at the end of last month.  The Parish Council is not sure what the future is for the proposed industrial development at Junction 8.  As yet Roxhill have not put in a planning application for the proposed site, as it is at the early stage consultation.  MBC Councillor Burton Cabinet Member for Planning is keen for the development to take place, but Cllr Mrs D Parvin reassured the Parish Council that she has only heard negative comments from the Councillors about the approval of the Roxhill plans, and other industrial sites.  Cllr J Cobbett said that he had been informed that five out of the seven Faversham and Mid Kent General Election Candidates have expressed their opposition to development at Junction 8.

b.    Regarding the Waterside Park development application – the public enquiry opens on the 6th May, and the Parish Council is supporting the CPRE Kent in this matter.  Last week Cllrs A Bennett and J Cobbett met Richard Knox-Johnson, of the CPRE; who is leading the campaign against Waterside Park.  If Waterside Park gains approval, there is a good chance that Roxhill will too.  At present MBC is in a strong position to reject these proposals, as they rejected KIG at significant public expense.

6.  Neighbourhood Plan

a.     There have been lots of documentation generated from Central Government relating to the Neighbourhood Plan, but it is not at present relevant to us.

7. Crime Report

a.    PCSO Thomas Maybank (tel: 07989 179767) is now the new PCSO for the North Downs, as PCSO Ryan Waring has moved full time to OP Pool, the  Rural Safety Initiative that PCSO Dave Rowley had started upon.

b.    The crime figures for Hollingbourne for the 1 March – 11 April 2015 are as follows:

Five Crimes Reported:  15th & 16th March – two cases of burglary other than dwelling in Manor Lane; 18th March (two occurrences) & 28th March – three cases of burglary other than dwelling in Pilgrims Way.  Three cases of Anti-social behaviour:  17th March – nuisance vehicle in Hospital Road and two cases on the 22nd March of nuisance vehicles in Greenway Court Road.

In comparison, the figures for last year were as follows:

Seven Crimes Reported:  10th March 2014 – theft from a motor vehicle in Ashford Road; 10th March – theft of a motor vehicle in Greenway Court Road; 17th & 20th March – attempted burglary other than dwelling – Pilgrims Way; 28th March – burglary other than dwelling – Broad Street Hill; 31st March – burglary other than dwelling – N/A and 10th April – theft of vehicle in Pilgrims Way.  Cases of anti-social behaviour – none reported.

8.  Clerk’s Report – nothing to report.

9.  County Councillor’s Report – via email previous to the meeting

a.     KCC Budget – we held our full annual County Council budget meeting in February.  It was yet another very tough budget, when councillors agreed £83.1 million of savings for 2015/16 on top of £350 million savings over the four years prior.  This level of savings is unprecedented and reflects reduced government grant and additional pressures, including the increasing number of vulnerable adults and children needing support.

b.    Street Lighting – Cllr J Cobbett and I will be meeting over the next few weeks to try and secure a solution to the street lighting issue.  I have earmarked funding I have allocated to me as a County Councillor to make a significant contribution towards replacement of the existing lights and maintenance.

c.     Junction 8 – I do not support any development around this junction, Roxhill or otherwise.  Once parts of the area are developed, it is my view that the rest of the area becomes vulnerable.  The volume of traffic in surrounding villages is already high without exacerbating matters.

d.    Sat Nav – the recently appointed Cabinet Member for Highways has advised Councillors that he is working with freight companies to launch a new sat nav to deter lorry drivers from using inappropriate routes.  This is an issue that is raised with me more than any other by residents.  I will keep the Parish Council posted on progress.

e.     Over the past year I have supported one parent in the village when she appealed for transport assistance to get her children to school.  I am not aware of any other appeals relating to Hollingbourne over this period.  I have also pledged funding relating to an application for the Village Hall.

10. Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs D Parvin

a.    The Cabinet system at the MBC will be replaced by a Committee system, and this will start in May 2015, after the elections.  Cllr Mrs D Parvin explained the advantages in this system; an additional change in the new system will be that there will still be a Mayor at the Council, but the title of ‘Leader of the Council’ is now replaced by the ‘Head of Committees’.

 11. Planning Report      

a.  15/502314/FULL – Valley View, Pilgrims Way, Hollingbourne

     Proposal:  Erection of replacement summerhouse and open fronted seating area – re-submission of MA/14/0687.

Result:  DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT – (all Councillors in favour).

b.  15/502246/FULL & 15/502284/ENVSCR – Big Allington Farm, Pilgrims Way

     Proposal:  Open-sided hay barn.

     Result:  DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT – (all Councillors in favour).

c.  15/501801/FULL – The Granary, Big Allington Farm, Pilgrims Way, Hollingbourne

     Proposal:  Proposed porch.

     Result:  DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT – (all Councillors in favour).

d.  15/501782/FULL & 15/501799/ENVSCR – Middle Barn, Greenway Court Road

     Proposal:  Partial demolition, change of use and conversion of Middle Barn to provide two live/work units with amenity space, parking, access and landscaping.

     Result:  DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT – (all Councillors present in favour).

e.  15/501155/FULL – ‘Winchmore’, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne

     Proposal:  Proposed two storey side extension with balcony and demolition of existing garage.

     Result:  OBJECT – It was felt that the two storeys were out of context with the other properties in the locality – reason for objection ‘non compatible with other properties in the area’.  There was a split in the view to object amongst the Councillors on this occasion, and it was not a unanimous decision.

f.  15/500680/FULL – 1 Culpeper Close, Hollingbourne –

The Councillors have noticed that building activity is underway at the above property.  Cllr A Bennett has contacted the Planning Department with regards to this matter. 

g. The Windmill, Eyhorne Street – A new, extensive ‘brick built’ barbecue has been built at the establishment and no application for planning permission has been made even though it is within the cartilage of a listed property.  Cllr A Bennett will look into this matter.  Action:  Cllr A Bennett.

 12. Environmental Report – nothing to report.

13. Fête Report

a.  Cllr A Ward advised that the preparation for the Fete is progressing well and moving in the right direction – all major items are now in place.

 14. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes – Councillor A Bennett

There had been quite a large event taking place at the weekend.  Local residents continue to diarise these occurrences, but it seems unfair that they should have to cope with the noises and general disturbance.  With regards to the recent erection of scaffolding poles to close up gaps around the land used by the off-road / quad bike motorcyclists, this has been allegedly carried out by the landowner to stop people accessing the land.  The Clerk will write to the Enforcement Department at MBC to remind them about the ongoing unauthorised use of the land.  Cllr J Cobbett asked if Cllr Mrs D Parvin could encourage the Enforcement Officer, MBC, to pursue this matter, as it would help.  Action:  The Clerk

 15. Twinning

a.    The Pevele Brass Quintet, accompanied with Colin Leggat and Philip Reed, which was held on the 11th April was a great success, and made a £338 for the Twinning activities.  There are many more Twinning events in the pipeline. 

 16. Financial Report

a.  The opening balance of the yearly accounts was £25,440 and closing balance £22,733.  The losses incurred last year in the accounts were approximately £4,000, and this was mainly due to exceptional audit charges from the previous year, emergency heating repairs at the Cardwell Pavilion, and other costs which were partly offset by the reclaiming of VAT input tax from previous years .  The 2014/15 end of year accounts will be given to the internal auditor on Thursday, 16th April 2015, and then after approval the Clerk will advertise for the public that the accounts can be viewed on request.  Councillor Cobbett reported that the financial situation of the Council has improved although it has been necessary to increase the Parish Precept by 50% to cover the cost of street lighting which is yet to be supported by Kent County Council..


 17. Items for Information

a.  Unfortunately, we have been advised that the speeding up of the Broadband, previously advised to take place in May 2015, may not happen until December 2015, if at all.


Date of next AGM & Parish Council meeting: Monday, 11th May 2015, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne