February 2014 Minutes.

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council
held on Monday 10th February 2014 in the Cardwell Pavilion
commencing at 7.30pm


Present:           Mr M Bedwell (Chairman)

Mr A Ward (Vice-Chairman)

Mr D Ardley

Dr S Bauer

Mr A Bennett

Mr J Cobbett

Mr P Waite

and      Ms E Lawrence, Parish Clerk

 In attendance             Mrs D Parvin, Borough Councillor and one member of the public.

  1.      Apologies for absence     Mrs J Whittle (clash of commitments)

Mr Vallins      (without apology)

 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 and they were duly signed by the Chairman.

 4.        Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda)  None

 5.             Chairman’s Report     Mr Bedwell reported on the recently held exhibition by Roxhill developers held at The Great Danes (Mercure) hotel.  It demonstrated the refinements made in response to feedback received.  A significant point of note is that “the most sensitive area has been moved to a point furthest away from Bearsted”.  It is estimated that there will be 300 vehicular movements twice a day, occurring at peak times.  Roxhill a company owned by a firm in the USA are backed by fund managers who identify areas across Australia and the USA and are without in depth knowledge of  local issues, argue that employees will be local, but assert that they will use the M20, and their assumptions are therefore speculative and without credence.  John Horne has written to the Kent Messenger (KM) regarding a “Call for Action”.  Mr Drury has written, pointing out the benefits of developing the Detling site.

When opposing the development, Mr Bennett suggested that rather then merely opposing, the Council would be better served by suggesting and positively supporting another option [such as the Detling site].  Mr Cobbett continues to question the need for further warehousing at all.  When Mr Bedwell had queried the eventual ownership of the site, the PR company representing Roxhills were unable to provide him with an answer.

 It was again reinforced that even though a smaller scheme, the same arguments against this proposal were relevant as those used against the KIG scheme.  The apparent close relationship between Gallaghers and MBC were again noted.

 It was resolved to approve the request made by the Pre-school to extend the outside play area,

and it was agreed that the Council would make the planning application to MBC.

 6.             Crime Report                       None received.  Mr Bedwell reported that a (presumed stolen) Land Rover Discovery had crashed and been abandoned in Greenway Court Road.   Dr Bauer urged caution and awareness of potential identity fraud if  leaving out paper rubbish for recycling in a separate bag as hers had been taken before the MBC collection had taken place.

The Clerk reported that a traffic warden had been patrolling Eyhorne Street on two consecutive days.

. 7.             Clerk’s Report                     The Clerk advised that the Minerals and Waste Local Plan Pre-Submission consultation document is the final draft version (of the Kent Minerals and Waste Local Plan 2013-30 prior to its submission to the Secretary of State).  A CD is available and opportunities to comment are also available via the KCC website.

The Clerk hoped for improved response times to streetlamp faults as the contractor has changed.

Mr Cobbett recapped on the current impasse on funding streetlighting. 

 8.      County Councillor Report        The Clerk reported from Mrs whittle that  Thursday’s full KCC meeting is about the  2014-15 budget where there will be a vote on issues like the proposed 1.99 per cent council tax increase, which will raise around £10m. This is against a £17m reduction in government funding and £74m of additional spending pressures that has in effect led to a £91m funding cut for next year. The County Council will be protecting socially necessary bus routes including Hollingbourne’s bus service where passenger trips are subsidised. The Freedom Pass for 11-16 year olds attending Kent schools is set to be revised to make it more affordable – the fee will go up to £200 per annum for travel Monday-Friday, 6.00am-7.00pm all year round except August. Those on Free School Meals will be charged £100 and children in care and young carers will get a free pass. It is still the most generous scheme of its kind in the country outside London.

 9.             Borough  Councillor Report    

 Mrs Parvin described the A249 upgrading necessary for applications to develop the Detling site would be considered.  Mr Ardley asked for further detail, to which Mrs Parvin explained that from the roundabout at the M20 junction to the next one at the M2 exit is not designated, nor maintained as a trunk road, whereas the remaining stretch is.  Mr Ardley confirmed that an additional roundabout at the entrance to the Detling site is what is really needed.

A firm is considering offering to take over the management of the White Horse Wood site as a natural burial ground.

 10.         Planning Report          MA/13/2043  Proposal: Demolition of existing garage and erection of           attached house at 1 Culpeper Close, Hollingbourne ME17 1UD

Do not wish to object

 Mr Bennett reported on the new Planning portal website consultation, which appeared to make assumptions (a projector, available laptop, large document printer etc.  The Clerk read out the response she had made, which included an assumption that the broadband provision was sufficient to deliver such potentially large attachments.

Messrs Bennett and Waite agreed to make a site visit to Crismill Lane and to report back

Mr Bennett agreed to contact those who had expressed an interest in helping with formulating a Neighbourhood Plan, even if pressure against development at J8 of the M20 diminishes.  It was noted that a Parish Council had had issued a Community Plan consisting of a set of objectives at a cost of £300.00 which would have a measure of legal standing.

Mr Ward offered to pass the paperwork from the former Community Action Plan to Mr Bennett.

.11.         Environmental Report            Dr Bauer commented on the state of the road surface in general and on the increasing number and worsening of potholes in particular.

The quest for a replacement sign is ongoing.  Mr Cobbett commented that funds raised from the 2013 fete have been earmarked for that use and should be spent as soon as possible.

Mr Ardley commented on the fading into non existence of the yellow lines in the village. If they are to be re-painted, a consultation would be welcomed on where best to designate no parking in view of the absence of a public car park and the continued need to slow down vehicular traffic through the village, parked cars being one method.

 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. Mr Cobbett commented that the precept would be £16369, a slight increase. Mr Bedwell queried this, to which Mr Cobbett referred him to a letter previously circulated. The Clerk confirmed that £16369 was the amount given as the precept last year whereas the precept for 2014/15 will be £15,067.00 plus £1,302 Local Council Tax support payment(LCTS).

A budget meeting is planned for Monday 24th February 2014 at 7.30pm in the Cardwell Pavilion.

 13.      Parks Report                           Nil to report

 14.         Items for Information             Mr. Bennett confirmed that there have been fewer unauthorised signs in and around the village recently.    The Clerk reported that there are three applications for her post and interviews will be conducted shortly


Date of next meeting         10 March 2014