The Minutes of the Hollingbourne Parish Council Meeting of 11th June 2018 that were approved at the Parish Council Meeting on 9th July 2018 in the Cardwell Pavilion.
Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 11th June 2018, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.
Present: Mr A Ward (Chairman), Cllr Dr S Bauer, Cllr D Ardley, Cllr A Bennett.
In attendance: Seven members of the public and Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.
- Apologies for absence: Cllr M Gray, Dr S Bauer, Cllr J Cobbett, Cllr Mrs S Prendergast (KCC) and Cllr P Garten (MBC) all (previous engagements) and Cllr S Hulme (family commitment – may arrive late)
- 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
- Approval of minutes of last meeting (circulated prior to meeting)
It was resolved that the minutes of the meeting on 9th April 2018 are a true and accurate record of the meeting, with the exception of a spelling mistake in item 20 which the Clerk will amend.
- Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda) – none
AGM(2)The Clerk has not yet received any interest in the Parish Councillor vacancy and awaits confirmation from the Maidstone BC as to when of whether the position can be filled by co-option of a member.
7a. With regards to data protection and the new regulations adopted by the Parish Council, the Clerk has been advised by the Data Protection Officer of the auditors that it is prudent that the Parish Councillors have private email addresses specific to the Parish Council. This offers protection to the Parish Councillors especially if a freedom of information request is made. Cllr S Hulme had previously suggested this course of action and the Clerk will investigate the matter. Action: The Clerk
- Cllr A Bennett has been approached by a Hollingbourne resident with regards to the speed of traffic through the village and a petition is circulating within the village asking for a speed restriction of 20 miles per hour along Eyhorne Street. Cllr A Ward and Cllr D Ardley stressed that the Parish Council need to go through the correct procedure to enable the speed in the village to be reduced. In the first instance statistical information will be gathered from the speed/vehicle count operation to be held in the village. Please see item 12, Highways and Infrastructure Committee Report.
- At the recent Parish Assembly the reintroduction of the Parish Meeting minutes within the Church and Village News magazine was discussed as they were very popular with the residents. There are various reasons why they are not at present in the publication – the minutes are longer and take up more pages than previously and the printing dates of the magazine has meant that the minutes could be months out of date by the time that they had been approved for print. The Parish Council would be willing to pay for extra pages within the magazine but this would have to be agreed upon by the All Saints’ Parochial Church Council and the Editor. Therefore it was agreed that copies of the minutes could be left in Christopher’s Village Shop for villagers who would like a paper copy to read.
- Chairman’s Report – Cllr A Ward
- The agenda for the Parish Meetings is slightly different now with fewer items upon it. Parish Councillors can add non-committee agenda items on request after the standard sixteen items. Planning applications will be drawings will be laid out on the spare table in the hall and discussed about between the Parish Councillors each month before the Parish Meeting commences.
- At the Finance Meeting held on the 4th June 2018 the 2017/2018 end of year accounts were approved. It is clear by the current 2018/19 budget that the Parish Council had requested a precept that simply covers the expected costs of the Parish Council and does not leave enough money for unplanned expenditure or inflation if it materially increases. The Parish Council has a reserve of £25,000 in case of urgent building repairs, but proposals for the 2019/20 budget include 2 x notice-boards at approximately £1,000 each (one based near the Church and one outside of the Cardwell Pavilion office); a defibrillator including its storage cabinet, which has adult and paediatric pads at approximately £1,500; a Volunteer Support Warden with an initial charge of £1,075 or less if the Warden can be shared with neighbouring villages; speed/traffic frequency survey at approximately £700 and the cost of two new seating benches for the village. In addition to this the Clerk will find out the costs for adult outdoor exercise equipment in the vicinity of the children’s playground.
- It is realistic to assume that the Parish Council precept will increase if the village residents would like positive changes to take place within the village. For instance if it is a popular request by local people that the verges are mowed more often, at the expense of the Parish Council, that it will need to be funded via their Council tax. With this in mind the cost of some of the rentals at the Cardwell Pavilion and the field will have to be reviewed to help cover the cost of the maintenance of the land and property.
- At the Finance Meeting it was also approved that the Parish Council policy will be not to give donations to charities. Requests by charities/organisations directly linked/very local with the Hollingbourne village would with discretion be considered by the Parish Council, but the general policy would be not to support.
- Mileage rates for the Parish Councillors and Clerk will be formalised in line with the Maidstone BC casual mileage rates and this will be allowed for in the budget.
- The Clerk will look into the percentage of wage increase that she is entitled to via Local Government and KALC pay award scheme. Action: The Clerk
- The Hollingbourne Fete on the 9th June 2018 was a great success and Cllr A Ward wanted to thank Cllr D Ardley especially for his hard work in the preparation of the event. The Parish Council has received a lot of positive feedback following the event and the Clerk will write letters of thanks to our regular supporters. Action: The Clerk
- The Clerk will inform the Editor of the Hollingbourne and Hucking Magazine that Cllr A Ward is the new Chairman for the list of contacts at the front of the publication. Cllr Ward’s home number will be the contact information.
- It is sad to report that the Hollingbourne Cricket Club has left the Kent Village League. Cllr A Bennett will find out why this has happened, as it is a very old and well established club.
- The Parish Council is very grateful for all of Cllr J Cobbett’s work as the webmaster for the Parish Council website, but it would be good practice for the Clerk to also have training in this matter also, including access to the passwords, for maintaining the site in Cllr Cobbett’s absence.
Action: The Clerk / Cllr J Cobbett
- Clerk’s Report
- The Clerk was very happy to report that Nu-Venture will still run the number 13 bus through Hollingbourne from the 18th June 2018, and in general terms current service levels are being retained. The Clerk will write to Mr Norman Kemp, Director and Company Secretary of the Company thanking him for his reliable service. However, Cllr Dr S Bauer is concerned that the bus driver sometimes speeds through the village in the early mornings and the Clerk will bring this to Norman’s attention. Action: The Clerk
- There have been no crime reports generated between the 9th April and 24th May 2018. The North Downs have a new PCSO called Daniel Genn who took over this role from the 19th May 2018.
- The Parish Council would like to urge villagers to contact the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they have information relating to crimes, or other concerns that they would like to anonymously supply to the Police. Crimestoppers is a charity which the Police use frequently. If you own a smart phone, the ‘app’ https://countryeye.co.uk/ is also a very convenient way of reporting matters and concerns to the police and the Parish Council would urge you to use this service.
- County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs S Prendergast (report via email)
- Highways England are holding a series of public information events to garner views on their proposed approach to develop lorry holding areas to reduce the congestion caused by cross-channel disruption and possible future delays at Dover and the Channel Tunnel. Full details are on the following link and the consultation closes on the 22nd July 2018 https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/solutions-to-operation-stack-managing-freight-traffic-in-kent/
- KCC – The Big Conversation – you will all be aware by now that KCC are looking for opportunities in providing a rural transport service and details of Parish seminars are being held over the coming months. There are also a series of public events to seek the views of all stakeholders and details are on: https://kccmediahub.net/kcc-launches-big-conversation-programme-future-rural-bus-services745
- Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr P Garten
- For latest updates on MBC post election and local concerns please read Cllr Garten’s latest newsletter on the Parish website on the following link:
- Planning Committee Report – Cllr A Bennett
- 18/502594/FULL – 14 Godfrey Meadow, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Retrospective planning for a summerhouse in the garden or the property.
Decision: The Parish Councillors were divided in their opinion with regards to the above planning application, but the majority voted to REFUSE due to over-development within a small plot of land. (Two Parish Councillors wished to refuse, one did not wish to object and one abstained from voting).
- 18/502678/FULL – Tile Barn Farm, Ringlestone Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Erection of tractor shed.
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT (all Parish Councillors in agreement)
- Environmental Committee Report – Cllr Dr S Bauer
- The hedge has been ‘hacked’ on the Great Danes roundabout to the entrance of the village. Two disturbed bird’s nests and their eggs had fallen to the ground in the process which was very upsetting. The hedges should not be cut at this time of the year as birds are fledging. According to the Natural England website, under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), it is an offence to: 1. intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird; 2. intentionally damage, destroy or take the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built (nests of golden eagle, white tailed eagle and osprey are protected all year round); 3. intentionally destroy an egg of any wild bird; 4. intentionally or recklessly disturb certain wild birds or their dependent young while they are nesting (including disturbance of nesting young). Although within the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 no dates are legally stated between which hedges cannot be trimmed, cut, laid or coppiced, the main bird breeding season is recognised as being between 1 March and 31 July. Therefore the risk of committing any of the above offences is increased between these dates. The Clerk will report the complaint to Kent Highways for their comments.
- Unfortunately, the contractors maintaining the verges simply cut through litter left on the grass rather than picking it up first. This is probably due to work load the lack of funds in paying the contractors.
- Finance Committee Report –
- There is £46,400.73 in the Parish Council’s bank combined bank accounts. In Cllr J Cobbett’s absence Cllr D Ardley proposed the approval of authorising the cheques drawn by the Clerk and all Parish Councillors voted in favour.
- With regards to the Finance Meeting on the 4th June and the Precept for 2019/20 please see the comments in the Chairman’s Report (5.b, c and d).
- Highways and Infrastructure Committee Report – Cllr D Ardley
- There are traffic signs in the village reminding road users of the 30 m.p.h. speed limit. The perception of speeding and the number of vehicles driving through Hollingbourne remains a serious concern to residents but problems with speeding and the amount of vehicles driving through the village can only be confirmed by statistical information. The Parish Council will carry out a traffic survey and produce a traffic report with proposals. The positioning of the traffic counters need to be situated carefully and following expert advice Cllr D Ardley will suggest options, and how many counters are required in the survey at the September 2018 Parish Meeting.
- Traffic calming measures with yellow bar markings from the slip road have been suggested by Kent Highways. The Parish Council had previously talked about ‘rumble strips’ to Kent Highways and if all of the yellow lines are raised it will cause a lot of traffic noise. A central visibility barrier would also force road users to slow down when approaching the roundabout. Cllr D Ardley will draft a response to the Highways department.
- The Parish Council have received an email from a resident in the Upper Street area with regards to the challenging road conditions including a lack of a footpath in the area. Cllr D Ardley will contact the resident directly with regards to improving the area and making it safer for pedestrians.
- Parks Committee Report – Cllr A Ward – nothing to report.
- Fete Sub-Committee Report – Cllr D Ardley & Cllr A Ward
Please see Chairman’s Report (item 5.g.).
- Twinning Sub-Committee Report –
Cllr A Ward spoke with James Tosh (previous Templeuve contact) at the village fete about the future of the twinning between the two villages. The Hollingbourne Parish Council wants the twinning relationship to continue and James is very keen to arrange a meeting in July 2018 to discuss keeping the channel of communication open. Cllr A Ward will arrange a convenient date in July for both parties.
- Items for information
The Clerk will obtain prices for various works at the Cardwell Pavilion and children’s playground.
Date of next meeting: Monday 9th July 2018, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne
Signed as a true record: Chairman: Date: