December 2013 Minutes.

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council

held on Monday 9th December 2013 in the Cardwell Pavilion commencing at 7.30pm


Present:  Mr Bedwell (Chairman), Mr Ardley, Mr Bennett, Dr Bauer, Mr Cobbett,

Mr Vallins, Mr Ward.

In attendance:  E Lawrence(Clerk), Mrs J Whittle (County Councillor), and two members  of the public.

 1.      Apologies for absence           Mr Waite (clash of meetings).  Mr Ardley for lateness.

 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.

       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 and they were duly signed by the Chairman.

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

 Mr Cobbett declared his utter dissatisfaction and embarrassment at the unresolved matter of the audit of the yearly accounts.  The Clerk stated that arrangements were in place for the member of the public to make their inspection of the accounts. A further airing of the failings of the Clerk ensued, to which she replied that a performance review should not take place in a meeting held in public. Mr Bedwell stated that he was responsible for the Council and that he took any criticism for its performance.  Mr Ardley added that the whole Council was accountable

 5.      Chairman’s Report  

 Mr Bedwell read out the letter of resignation received from the Clerk, which he hoped would be re-considered.

 Mr Bedwell reiterated his view that the development of Waterside Park was jumping on the back of the intention of extracting the sand from the area, and that the whole venture was a scaled down version of the Kent International Gateway proposal.  Again the public are left wondering who is the decision maker, the Leader of the Council or the Director of Planning and Development, but currently none of the employed officers appear to be taking heed of the elected Members, and thus are ignoring the views of the public.  He urged residents to read the comments published in the Parish Magazine written by Victoria Wallace from Leeds Castle. 

  The meeting was adjourned for a 10 minute public question time. 

 6.      Crime Update     nil


7.      Clerk’s Report    nil   not covered elsewhere on the agenda.           

 8.      Street lighting   Mr Cobbett to meet with Mrs Whittle and other KCC representatives on Friday 13th December to discuss the way forward with regards replacement and future financing.

 9.      Borough Councillor Report   nil

 10.  County Councillor report     Mrs Whittle had met with Mr Baker from Allington Farm, and it has been arranged to close the by-way for a short period to divert the riparian water.  Currently 4×4 vehicles and quad bikes are using the byway often late at night and causing a great deal of soil erosion. A notice of public exclusion will be issued and displayed.

 Mr Bedwell commented on the new street lighting which is being extended at Harrietsham, at a time when a switch-off is being considered. He asked who is financing the new lights.  Mrs Whittle replied that the developers are.  Dr Bauer asked for how long the road through Leeds village would be closed, Mr whittle replied that it is hoped  that a re-opening in January/February would be possible.

 11.  Parks Report       Mr Ward proposed a new notice board to replace that by the school at a cost of £696.  Approved.

 12.  Finance Report It was resolved that the cheques should be signed, a list of cheques to be issued for expenditure having been circulated prior to the meeting

 13. Environmental Report     Dr Bauer reported on progress of sourcing a replacement village sign.  Wrought iron was ruled out as prohibitively expensive at between £5000 and £8000.  A discussion ensued re the merits of a coloured resin sign which is fade free and maintenance free but perhaps less traditional than a carved one, which is estimated at between £500 and £800.  The Clerk to provide a photograph showing good detail of the original.

 14.  Planning Report      Mr Bennett had been “fobbed off” by MBC in his attempts to ascertain responsibility for removing the increased unauthorised signage which is appearing in and around the village. Planning & Development and Environment Departments both appeared disinterested and the police only will intervene if traffic signs etc are affected.

 Application MA/13/2021        Chestnuts, Ashford Road, ME17 1XG

Retrospective consent for the continued siting of a container 2.4 x 6.5 metres (height 2.5 metres) for a temporary period of 3 years                                                    DNWTO

 Application MA/13/1536 Land at Ashford Road, Hollingbourne

Erection of 2 detached six bedroom houses, ancillary buildings, driveways etc

                                                                                    Object and refer to Planning Committee

 The Clerk reported that Mr Cobbett had asked that she take up the matter of possible non compliance with MBC as  the alterations at Niton House, 19, Eyhorne Street did not appear to have received planning permission, given that the property is in a Conservation Area and that the Building is listed.  The Clerk had received confirmation that no breach had taken place.

 15.  Items for Information   The Clerk enquired if anyone could source a photograph of the Olde England public house.  Mr Vallins reported on the links between MBC and Voluntary Action Maidstone (VAM).  The Youth Funding Fair had also been held recently should anyone require any further information..

  Date of next meeting             Monday 13th January 2014


Signed as a true record: