February 2016 Minutes.

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council held on Monday, 8th February 2016, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.


Present:  Mr M Bedwell (Chairman), Mr D Ardley, Mr A Bennett, Mr P Waite, Dr S Bauer, Mr M Gray

In attendance:  Mr Patrik Garten, Prospective Conservative Candidate for the MBC North Downs Ward and Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.


1.    Apologies for absence:  Cllr J Cobbett, Cllr Mrs J Whittle  – all due to previous commitments, Cllr Mrs D Parvin (transport difficulties) and Cllr A Ward and Cllr Mrs A Bennett – both due to 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, with the exception:

10. Cardwell Pavilion Hirers – Cllr M Bedwell and Cllr A Ward were going to talk to Michelle Archer of the After-School club initially, to see if the Parish Council could come to an understanding in her using the Cardwell Pavilion.  However, since Michelle Archer was no longer going to use the hall, it was then unnecessary to speak to Christine Judges at the Pre-School.


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

5.a.    The Clerk has written to the Director of South East Trains to find out why the works on the railway track between Hollingbourne and Harrietsham are taking place.

6.a.    The fly-tipping in the Station Approach is an ongoing issue, and the Clerk has written to the Director of the Environment at the Maidstone BC, with suggestions for the improvement of the area.

9.a.    With regards to the danger of the pedestrians, especially school children crossing the road on the Ashford Road to reach the bus-stop, in an email from Mr Robert Miller, Commercial Manager East Kent Stagecoach, he stated that “there is a ‘perception’ (however bizarre) amongst passengers that any deviation makes buses slow and this discourages travel”.  The buses turn into Grove Green, even though there isn’t a roundabout to gain access.  The question was posed as why cannot Stagecoach also assist our village in picking up passengers from both sides of the Ashford Road?  Even if the de-tour takes a few minutes, it is better than taking sixty years off of a child’s life!  The Parish Council asks Cllr Mrs J Whittle to pursue this matter.


5.  Chairman’s Report.

a.    There has been a lot of fly-tipping present along Greenway Court Road, and the Clerk will continue to report these matters to the Maidstone BC for their attention.  The local roads also contain a lot of pot-holes, possibly due to heavy vehicles using the roads.  Hospital Road is in a real state of disrepair due to the railway repair works taking place

b.    The works on the storeroom ceiling at the Cardwell Pavilion have been carried out to a very high standard, and had also included cutting out and replacing rotten timbers, damaged by the water leak.


6.  Crime Report –PCSO Ryan Waring and PCSO Tom Maybank (via email)

a.     The Hollingbourne crime figures 6th January – 8th February 2016.  It has been fairly quiet this month with three crimes reported being on the 16th January – theft from a motor vehicle – Greenway Court Road; 18th January – burglary other than dwelling – Hollingbourne Hill and 26th January – theft from motor vehicle – Hasteds.  One case of anti-social behaviour – 20th January  – nuisance vehicle – Greenway Court Road.

b.    In comparison with last year, when there were five crime reports created – 10th January 2015 – burglary other than dwelling – Upper Street, 17th January – attempted burglary dwelling – Pilgrims Way, 5th February  – criminal damage – Eyhorne Street x 2 and 5th February  – theft from motor vehicle – Eyhorne Street, 22nd February  – burglary other than dwelling – Pilgrims Way.  Also, five cases of anti-social behaviour – 11th January 2015 – nuisance vehicle – Hospital Road, 24th January – nuisance vehicle x2 – Greenway Court Road, 25th January – nuisance vehicle – Pilgrims Way and 8th February – nuisance vehicle – A20.

c.     The PCSO’s will continue to monitor the situation of the cherry-picker vehicle parking in the lay-by outside of The Pavings, with Parking Services, Maidstone BC, together with vehicles which are left parked on double-yellow lines.  The cherry-picker vehicle has been moved forward slightly to clear the space on the footpath.  Cllr D Ardley suggested that the Parish Council also contact Cllr Mrs J Whittle to find out about the clear designation of where the parking area ends in the lay-by, enabling a white line with two returns on it, to be installed.  The PCSO’s also highlighted that if someone has parked in a dangerous position residents should telephone ‘101’, but if the vehicle is on double-yellow lines, telephone Parking Services, Maidstone BC.


7.  Clerk’s Report  –

a.     The Clerk has received a report from a resident of Culpeper Close regarding a high fence which has been erected at a property within the Close.  Sadly, the fence restricts the vision of one of the long-term, housebound residents, which is making her feel isolated.  Cllr A Bennett and Cllr P Waite will investigate this matter.  Action:  Cllr A Bennett and Cllr P Waite

b.    The Queen’s 90th Birthday will soon be approaching.  The Parish Council have liaised with the School regarding the lighting of the Beacon to mark this event.  Unfortunately, the beacon at the school needs some considerable repairs, and the cost of repairs may be close to its replacement.  If the beacon needs to the replaced the Parish Council may have it placed upon the Lance Memorial Field.  The Clerk will look into the prices for this item.  Action:  The Clerk

c.     The Parish Council have received quotations for the ‘make-over’ of the traditional signpost opposite The Dirty Habit PH, the laying of loft insulation at the Cardwell Pavilion, the works to the guttering and exterior of the building.  The Clerk will obtain additional quotations to make sure that the Parish Council is using its funds wisely.  Action:  The Clerk

d.    The Clerk attended the SLCC (Society of Local Council Clerks) Regional Roadshow on the 3rd February 2016, and found it very useful and interesting.  The Clerk would like to join the SLCC to advance her training and knowledge in her role.  The Parish Councillors agreed that the Clerk could join, and she will instigate this matter.  Action:  The Clerk


8.  County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs J Whittle (via email)

a.    Today, Cllr Mrs J Whittle attended a budget meeting where the KCC need to identify £57 m of savings for 2017/18 – this year’s unidentified savings of £4 million have now been resolved.  The full KCC budget meeting on Thursday, 11th February, will debate the level of reserves, savings proposals and council tax increase for 2016/17 and work will begin in earnest to identify the £57 m gap for the following year.

b.    Cllr Mrs J Whittle is looking forward to attending the Hollingbourne Pantomime this Saturday with her family.


9. Cardwell Pavilion Hirers –Cllr M Bedwell

a.     Cllr M Bedwell and Cllr A Ward spoke to Michelle Archer of the After-School Club, and there were various reasons why she decided not to use the Cardwell Pavilion any longer.  Cllr M Bedwell has been in contact with another after-school club, and met with the owner last week, with a possible starting date of just after Easter.  Before this time, the space in the kitchen underneath the serving hatch will be ‘boarded out’ to provide practical storage space, together with emptying one of the walk-in cupboards, near the Cleaner’s cupboard.  The new after-school club would operate the same hours as Michelle’s club.

b.    The Clerk will officially write to the pre-school asking them to remove the Wendy House which has been placed between the two sheds.  The Pre-School’s Hirers Agreement was also agreed upon by the Parish Council, and will request that the document is returned, signed, within fourteen days.  Action:  The Clerk

c.     Cllr M Gray proposed that a questionnaire is issued to the regular hirer’s of the Pavilion, and the Parish Council every six-months.  This will help all parties view matters from each other’s perspective, and any problems can be addressed in a professional manner.  The Parish Councillors all agreed that this was a very good idea.  In the meantime, the Councillors suggested that if the Hirer’s do have concerns over using the Cardwell Pavilion, they should attend the Parish Council meetings and voice their opinions directly to the Councillors.  Action:  The Clerk.


10.       Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs D Parvin (via email)

a.     Cllr Mrs D Parvin wishes to draw the Parish Councillor’s attention to the Local Plan, which was circulated at the meeting.  Cllr Mrs D Parvin would like to hear the views of the Councillors, and asks whether they will make their own representation?  Comments on the Local Plan are to be submitted via the Maidstone BC website, before the 18th March 2016.


11.      Planning Report – Cllr Mr A Bennett

a.    There is going to be a public meeting regarding the Maidstone’s Local Plan and how many houses should be built in Maidstone, at the Maidstone Studios, on Thursday, 11th February 2016, 7 pm.

b.    15/510668/FULL – Penn Oast, Manor Lane, Hollingbourne

Proposal:  Erection of a three-bay carriage house with attached workshop.

Decision:  Do not wish to object.

c.     15/504418/OUT – Pine Cottage, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne

Update:  The construction of one four-bedroom house – notification of appeal lodged with the Planning Inspectorate.  The Parish Council had previously rejected the planning proposals due to the proposal representing an inappropriate form of development within the Green Belt and this reason for objection still stands with the Parish Council.

d.    15/508307/FULL – Eyhorne Green, Musket Lane, Hollingbourne

Update:  The erection of four dwellings and relocation of access to builder’s yard.  This proposal is to be discussed at the Planning Committee Meeting at Maidstone BC, 11th February 2016.  Cllr A Bennett and Cllr M Gray are going to attend, representing the Parish Council.  The proposal had previously been rejected, subject to the sewerage capacity inspection and improvements taking place within the village not having yet taken place, and the Parish Council maintain this decision.

e.     15/503288/OUT – Land at Woodcut Farm, North of A20, Junction 8, M20 Motorway, Maidstone

Update:  The Parish Council have received a lot of new documents, but with very little alteration, with regards to the planning application.  This was rejected back in May 2015 primarily due to its location in an ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’ (similar to the previous KIG proposals), inadequate local infrastructure to cope with increase in traffic, unwanted development in a rural setting.   The Parish Council maintain their wish to reject this planning proposal on the same grounds.

f.     15/503232/FULL – 21 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne, ME17 1TR – No update at present.


12.      Waterside Park and Junction 8 Update – Cllr J Cobbett (via email)

In January the High Court rejected the application from Gallagher’s against the Planning Inspector’s decision last year against development.  Maidstone BC launched the Local Plan consultation on 5th February and it is understood that the Plan includes development on Woodcut Farm at Junction 8 of the M20.


13.       Parish Assembly 2016 – Cllrs Mr & Mrs A Bennett

a.  The Parish Assembly is going to be held on Tuesday, 12th April 2016.

b.  The invitation letter that Cllrs Mr & Mrs A Bennett have produced was considered by the Parish Councillors, and a few changes within it were agreed upon.  The Parish Council would like to invite the candidates standing for the Police Commissioner role.  This may encourage people to attend the event, and a reference to its effect will be put in the letter.  It will also be mentioned in the local Parish Magazine, the Kent Messenger, Parish website, etc.  The Clerk will run any correspondence past Cllrs Mr & Mrs A Bennett before it is sent out.


14.       Environmental Report – Cllr Dr S Bauer

a.    Cllr Dr S Bauer highlighted that the litter and rubbish in the village is a big problem, and that it had been tackled on a personal level but needed further attention.

b.    With regards to the ongoing road safety issues at the Ashford Road entrance to the village, it was suggested that raised rumble strips, and signs to advise that approaching vehicles would be driving in the middle of the road are a possible useful addition to the area, and reduce the village to twenty miles an hour speed limit.

c.     The Clerk has received a quotation for new playground equipment in the village playground.  The Parish Council agreed to consider this matter at a later date.


15.       Sewerage Inspection Report for the village update – Cllr J Cobbett

Information about this matter, and a copy of a letter from Southern Water had been circulated at the beginning of February.  Basically, a check for an undisclosed site of ten homes has been carried out, but nothing for Wealden Homes, which has fourteen houses.  Also, Southern Water considered that the future is to continue clearing out by tanker in Hasteds.  Cllr J Cobbett suggests that the Parish Council presses harder to have a proper sewer system and continue to oppose development until the matter is clarified.  As mentioned at the previous Parish Meeting, Cllr J Cobbett is minded to suggest that the Parish Council make the point by asking the owners of new homes to flush their toilets only after midnight as a gesture of good neighbourliness.  Cllr M Gray suggested that if Southern Water wish to continue clearing out the sewers in Hasteds, could they at least consider installing an access point to the pipes, which is not on someone’s driveway.  This would make the situation more tolerable.


16.       Fête Report

a.  The next meeting for the Fete will be on the Monday, 15th February 2016, 8pm, at The Dirty Habit.

b.  It has been agreed that the stall charges will remain unchanged, with no discount offered for travelling costs.  Jean Duffy has very kindly agreed to be the Booking Clerk for the event.

c.  A draft program of the fete events has been issued.  We also need a definite decision on who will run the barbecue stall.  Cllr M Bedwell will confirm this matter as soon as possible.

d.  Mr I Tapsfield has confirmed that he does not wish to run the sound-system at the fete any longer, and so the Parish Council will make alternative arrangements .

e.  After consideration, the Fete Co-ordinators would like to invite Sir David Steel, the Chief Executive of the Leeds Castle Foundation to open the Fete.  The Clerk will write to invite him.  Action:  The Clerk

f.   The Fete Committee have decided that the money raised from the previous fete will be used to purchase a shipping container to house the fete equipment (gazebos, wheelbarrows, etc).  The loft of the Cardwell Pavilion is not fit for purpose.  The Clerk will look into the prices of the containers. Action:  The Clerk.


17.      Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes –

Cllr A Bennett highlighted the need for more than one Councillor to inspect the club site, when it is required.  The Parish Councillors are in support of this matter.


18.      Twinning with Templeuve – Cllr J Cobbett (via email)

The Twinning Committee has met and visitors from Templeuve will be attending the Fete on the 11th June, and coming to Kent for the weekend of the 12th and 13th November for the Remembrance Sunday service in the All Saints’ Church, which will be followed by a lunch in the Village Hall.  Other events in Templeuve which may be of interest to Hollingbourne residents are listed on the Hollingbourne Parish Council Website.  These include the Paris to Roubaix Cycle Race in April, the June Music Festival and the July Bastille Day celebrations.


19.      Financial Report

a.  The cheques at the meeting were authorised, and there is £33,510.58 in the bank.

b.  Cllr D Ardley pointed out that we do not have invoices from the cleaner of the Cardwell Pavilion, which we require for our accounts paper-trail.  The Clerk will look into obtaining these.

c.  Cllr J Cobbett had advised the Parish Council that the accounts for the year to the 31st March, must be ready for public inspection by the 1st May 2016.

d.  The bill from Southern Water (waste water) seems quite high for the Cardwell Pavilion.  The Clerk will find out where the water meter is and get it read.  Action in items b, c & d:  The Clerk


20.      Street Lighting

a.  A successful Street Lighting meeting took place on the 21st January 2016.  In attendance were, Cllr Mrs J Whittle, Cllr J Cobbett, Cllr M Gray, the Clerk and the KCC Officers Sue Kinsella and Al Tanriverdi.  A turnkey price for the upgrading of the 22 village lights was requested from the KCC and this is awaited.  A classic faux gas light design with black posts was chosen, and Cllr Mrs J Whittle will gently pursue the KCC later this week with regards to prices.


Date of next meeting: Monday, 14th March 2016, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne


Signed as a true record:                       Chairman:                                      Date: