HOLLINGBOURNE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING 8TH JUNE 2020
Please find below the minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 8th June 2020, 7.30 pm, online via Microsoft Teams, due to COVID-19 Government recommendations. The Clerk made sure that public were invited to the online meeting on the agenda notice. To action this request, their email address was required by the Clerk and they could then be invited to the meeting, via email. This is a necessary requirement, as although the Parish Council can have online meetings at this time, they must still be audible to the public if they wish to listen.
Present: Cllr A Ward (Chairman), Cllr Dr S Bauer, Cllr D Ardley, Cllr A Marshall,
Cllr C O’Meara and Cllr C Gooding
Attendance: Cllr Mrs S Prendergast, KCC, Cllr Patrik Garten, Maidstone BC and Mrs V Smith –Parish Clerk
- Apologies for absence: Cllr S Hulme (Vice-Chairman) (work commitments / computer accessibility) and PCSO Matthew Adlington (work commitments).
- 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 11th May 2020 are a true and accurate record of the meeting, with the exception of Cllr Ward’s name linked with the Planning Report, as he is no longer on this committee.
- Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda) – none
5.a. The Clerk has chased up the Manager at the Roadchef Services, M20, Junction 8 for a response to her previous letter with regards to crime prevention at the location. As to date, no response has been received from Roadchef Services, the Clerk will see if there is another Head Office address in which the correspondence could be sent. Action: The Clerk
6.b. Cllr Ward has emailed Mr Balfour-Lynn’s (Hush Heath) legal team, with regards to handing back the Village Hall to them before the deadline of August 2020. In this way the owners of the hall can commence the halls maintenance repairs at their earliest convenience. Action: Cllr A Ward
13.a. The Clerk has ordered a new notice-board, identical to the design outside of the school, for the Upper Street end of the village. When it has been received Cllr O’Meara has kindly offered to assist in having the notice-board erected. Action: The Clerk / Cllr O’Meara
- Chairman’s Report – Nothing additional to add to the agenda.
- Police Report – (via email)
- The report for the Hollingbourne and neighbouring Hucking area taken from www.e-watch.co is unavailable at the moment due to the COVID regulations, but the Police UK website supplied the following information for April and May 2020:
In total, within the confines of the village, there were eight crime and four anti-social behaviour reports for April and May 2020. These consisted of three cases of violence or sexual offences taking place with the areas of Old Mill Road (near Glosrose Engineering), the Lance Memorial Field and Troys Mead. One crime report with regards to illegal drugs took place on or near Greenway Court Road, and four crime reports with regards to the theft from a vehicle took place on or near the Pilgrim’s Way / Upper Street area. The four cases of anti-social behaviour on or near the Lance Memorial Field, on or near Greenway Court Road and twice within the Althelstan Green area.
In total, within the Maidstone Services, M20, Junction 8, there was only one crime report for April 2020, which was for ‘other theft’ which includes theft by an employee, blackmail and making off without payment. There have also been various reports of crime and anti-social behaviour in April for local villages consisting of seven reports of anti-social behaviour and one crime report for violence and sexual offences in Broad Street Hill; one report of anti-social behaviour in Hucking, near Stanhope Farm; one report of anti-social behaviour and one public order offence in Bicknor Lane, Bicknor and one report of anti-social behaviour along Ringlestone Road.
- PCSO Adlington has been in touch with the Clerk with regards to running Police Surgeries at the Cardwell, where residents can meet and speak to the Police directly with regards to concerns that they may have. The PCSO would like to have a key to the hall, which hasn’t before been usual practice for the Parish Council. The Parish Council are keen on the idea of having the surgeries run from the hall, and would suggest that the surgeries are held on a regular basis, at a time which would fit in with the pre-school and the cleaner’s rota for attendance. The Clerk will contact the PCSO with the suggested surgery time, as agreed by the Parish Councillors. Action: The Clerk
- 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.
- Clerk’s Report –
- The Parish Councillor vacancy notice has been advertised and the Clerk has been in liaison with the Electoral Services at the Maidstone BC with regards to the correct protocol to electing members with regards to the COVID-19 regulations. There has been some interest shown in the position and details have been cascaded onto the Chairman.
- Works are progressing well for the Parish Website and the need for it to be compliant with Website Accessibility Initiative WCAG2.1. Action: The Clerk
- Various maintenance works have been carried out at the Cardwell Pavilion during the COVID lockdown period, with all health and safety procedures in place to prevent infection.
- Defibrillators – Cllr A Marshall
- Cllr Marshall has checked the defibrillator machines in the village and they are good for action. The Clerk is in the process of finding out whether a paediatric set of pads can be fixed upon the machine placed outside of the Village Hall. Please see the link https://www.train-aid.co.uk/blog/different-pad-placement-for-aed-on-a-child , for more information on this matter. Please be assured that the defibrillator machines guide the person operating the device through all of the necessary steps, both audibly and in text script. Please always advise the Clerk on 07856 180003, via firstname.lastname@example.org, or talk to one of the Parish Councillors, if the defibrillator has been used. Action: The Clerk / Cllr Marshall
- County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs S Prendergast (via email)
- It has been a very busy time for the KCC and they have been at the forefront of much of the COVID response. Within the KCC there have been countless virtual meetings and a full council meeting is due to take place very shortly. Great work has been carried out amongst partnerships in these critical times and please see Cllr Mrs Prendergast’s message on the Parish website on link https://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/a-message-from-shellina-prendergast-kcc/
- A new engagement platform has been produced by the KCC – please see the link https://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/kent-together/ . In addition to this the KCC provide information with regards to services and their availability on their website, please see link
- There has been a lot of interest in Household Waste and Recycling Centres over the last few weeks – which closed down on March 23 as a result of the COVID 19 lockdown. Cllr Mrs Prendergast is pleased to advise that the Household Waste and Recycling Centres have now re-opened but it is vital that visitors pre-book to attend the centres via an online booking system. Further details can be found on
https://www.kent.gov.uk/waste-planning-and-land/rubbish-and-recycling/visiting-a-hwrc-during-coronavirus . The booking is essential to guarantee that visitors and waste operatives can remain safe and abide by social distancing measures.
- Cllr Mrs S Prendergast advised that the site at Junction 8 of the M20, which had been put forward for development in the recent years, has now been sold by Roxhill to a new company called Clearbell.
- Cllr Ardley expressed his concerns over how difficult it is to get the Police to sort out problems being experienced locally with illegal off-road motorcycles/4×4’s. The residents are reporting the incidents to the Police, but the online reporting system is frustratingly difficult to use, and often does not have the correct categories on its pages to report such crimes. Cllr Mrs Prendergast said that she can highlight this matter, but it is essential that the Parish Council does this also. The Clerk will write to Matthew Scott with regard to these concerns on behalf of the Parish Council. In the meantime, it is very important that the residents keep on reporting the matters to the Police, as this is the only way to achieve worthwhile results. Over the last few weeks, four illegal off-road vehicles were seized by the PCSO’s in Langley, because the matter was reported to the Police.
- Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr Patrik Garten
- Cllr Garten had been in contact with the Clerk with regards to an initiative taking place by the Maidstone BC with regards to the sports clubs and activities being held within the village. The Clerk will make enquiries through her contact at the short-bowls club to find out if they are now playing in a different venue. Please contact the Clerk via email@example.com or Cllr Patrik Garten via PatrikGarten@Maidstone.gov.uk . UPDATE: The Hollingbourne Short Bowls Club will be meeting at the Leeds Village Hall on a Monday and Thursday afternoon 1.30 – 3.30 once the COVID-19 regulations allow it to do so. If residents are interested in joining the club please contact Peter Lee on 880580 or just turn up to one of the sessions.
- If a company pays business rates in the Maidstone area they may be entitled to a £10,000 grant payment from the Borough Council. Cllr Garten encourages all parties who receive business rate bills to take advantage of this offer.
- Cllr Garten was glad to announce that the Maidstone Borough Services were running smoothly under the COVID-19 circumstances. Various committees are slowly getting back on track holding ‘remote’ meetings, including the Policy and Resources Committee meeting to be held on the 24th June 2020. Cllr Garten is concerned about the effect of the COVID-19 breakout delaying the Local Plan timeline. In particular, with regards to the response from Central Government, where the Maidstone BC have requested some leeway on the number of homes being reduced in the local area. For further details please see the link https://www.maidstone.gov.uk/home/other-services/covid-19/tier-2-primary-areas/covid-19-impact-to-our-services with regards to the services available during the COVID-19 crisis. Also, please see the link https://www.maidstone.gov.uk/home/primary-services/council-and-democracy/primary-areas/meetings,-minutes-And-agendas if you would like details as to how to listen in to the Maidstone BC ‘remote’ meetings where it is appropriate.
- The Chief Executive, Ms Alison Broom, has established the COVID-19 Working Group, which will help the local authority to adapt to the ‘new normal’ in society. Due to the inherent long decision-making process in Maidstone’s Committee System of administration, the purpose of the COVID-19 Group is to ensure engagement by officers with all councillors to identify the key challenges for recovery. Until the time of the Parish Meeting, the working group didn’t have a ‘political balance’ within its membership for representing all political parties. However, Cllr Garten is also now joining the party, on the 9th June 2020, which will remedy this problem of unbalance for the Conservative party. Cllr Garten informed the Parish Council that the COVID-19 working group was a ‘brainstorming’ group and not a decision-making group. Cllr Garten personally looks forward to when ‘face-to-face’ meetings can take place once again, as they are important for democracy, but he does not think that this is going to happen within the next few months.
- Please see Cllr Garten’s latest newsletter on the Parish website https://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/patrik-garten-mbc-councillor-for-north-downs-ward-recent-newsletter-june-2020/ where issues and information which will be of interest the residents of Hollingbourne are candidly discussed and worth reading.
Planning Committee Report – Cllr C O’Meara & Cllr C Gooding
- 20/502254/SUB – Hollingbourne Property Services, Eyhorne Green, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Submission of details pursuant to conditions 2 (details of materials) including 2A (details of materials for windows) and 2B (elevation details and part vertical, part plan section of all doors to be used), and 4 (landscaping details) of application 19/504324/FULL.
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT ‘DNWTO’.
- 20/502332/SUB – Parkmill House, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Submission of details pursuant to condition 3 (Materials) and condition 6 (Biodiversity Enhancement) in relation to planning permission 19/504019/FULL. Decision: DNWTO
- 20/502333/SUB – Parkmill House, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Submission of details pursuant to conditions 3 (details of materials), 4 (joinery details for internal doors) and 5 (lime-mortar) of application 19/504020/LBC. Decision: DNWTO
- 20/501217/FULL – Land Rear Of 44 Culpeper Close, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Demolition of dilapidated garage and construction of detached single storey pitched roof office unit with ground floor parking.
UPDATE: After various email communications, and additional conditions involved with the Planning application, it has now been decided by the Parish Council to vote ‘DNWTO’ on this occasion, and the application will not go to the Planning Committee. The Clerk has responded to the Planning Officer with the Parish Council’s change of opinion.
- 20/501497/LAWPRO – Hollin Wood, Part of Castle Wood, Hospital Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Lawful Development Certificate for a proposed change of use of 3 acre woodland for dog walking business – maximum of 10 dogs a day (commercial use). Hard standing to existing tracks at site entrance for one vehicle. The proposal will be in use for 3 hours a day 10-1pm Monday to Friday.
UPDATE: The application has been approved by the Mid Kent Planning Department.
- Environmental / Parks Committee Report – (including the Millennium Green)
- The Parish Council had previously replaced the sign-writing on the notices outside of the park, but Cllr Marshall reported that the signs are already starting to peel away from the bases. The Clerk will contact the suppliers and find out what can be done to rectify the problem. UPDATE: The suppliers have now remedied the problem. Action: The Clerk
- The problem of the Millennium Green pond re-filling with water, before it is completely treated for the invasive rhizome plants in its base, has now been resolved. However, it has been noted over the past few weeks that people have been digging into the base of the pond, looking for fossils. This will of course damage the clay lining of the pond rendering it useless when it is refilled with water. Cllr Marshall suggested that laminate signs are placed in the area to stop the digging within the pond. The Clerk can understand the thrill and excitement that fossil hunting can bring to the whole family as she collects fossils herself. However, it is important that the land is not disturbed, especially if in doing so it could cause damage to the environment, as it would if the pond lining is dug into. Please see the link https://ukfossils.co.uk/category/kent/ for different sites close by, which will be of great interest to all fossil hunters. The Clerk may well see you at one of these approved sites with her bucket and spade.
- Summer pruning has taken place within the Millennium Park and prices have been obtained for various items that need repairing within the park. These will be discussed at subsequent Parish Meetings.
- The entrance to the village, from the Ashford Road end, looks a little overgrown at the moment and once the wild flowers have bloomed this can be cut back.
- Finance Committee Report – Cllr D Ardley / Cllr S Hulme
- There has been quite a lot of expenditure for the Parish Council in May 2020, including insurance and legal memberships. A total of £45,771.55 is in the Parish Council’s combined bank accounts as of the 2nd June 2020, and the cheques raised by the Clerk were agreed upon. Cllr Ardley signed the cheques for the Clerk at a separate time to the meeting (COVID-19 safety measures abided to).
- Various works have been carried out at the Cardwell Pavilion, whilst the building has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Clerk will obtain instruction books about how to operate some of the equipment for the Parish Councillors.
- Highways and Infrastructure Committee Report – Cllr D Ardley / Cllr C O’Meara
- a. Parts of Upper Street and Hollingbourne Hill will be closed for up to four weeks for works to be carried out to improve the drainage areas. Opportunistic drivers, attempting to bypass road closure signs in this area, have found that they have needed to reverse into people’s drives when finding that they most definitely cannot access the Hollingbourne Hill! This has caused some upset to residents in the Upper Street area, but this occurrence is not unique to the area within the village. UPDATE: Kent Highways have advised the Parish Council that most of the works carried out have been a success but there is still an underlining issue of flooding around the Vicarage in Upper Street. Further works will need to be carried out in this area, which will require access onto private land, to remedy this situation.
- Cllr Ardley has had no further progress to report from KCC Highways regarding the Parish Council’s Highways Improvement Plan, which is probably due the upheaval in working conditions within the KCC due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Generally, when the roads are open, the Parish Council continues to receive reports of speeding in the village, particularly in the Upper Street area of the Hollingbourne. Unfortunately, the speeding vehicles are not a unique problem for the Upper Street, as it is all through the village. All matters of speeding vehicles, and vehicles driving illegally on private land, should be reported directly to the Police. Please report all non-emergency crime on 101 or https://www.kent.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/ and emergency crime on 999.
- Fête Sub-Committee Report – Cllr D Ardley & Cllr A Ward – nothing further to report.
Date of next meeting: Monday 13th July 2019, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne