Minutes of the Annual General Meeting and the May Monthly Meeting of the Parish Council.

The Minutes of the 2018 Annual General Meeting and the Monthly Parish Council Meeting held on 14th May 2018 and approved at the Parish Council Meeting held in the Cardwell Pavilion on 11th June 2018.


Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council AGM and monthly meeting held on Monday 14th May 2018, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.

Present: Mr M Bedwell (Chairman), Mr A Ward (Vice-Chairman), Cllr D Ardley, Cllr A Bennett, Cllr M Gray and Cllr S Hulme Mr J Cobbett (arrived later within the Parish Meeting).
Apologies for absence: Dr S Bauer (previous engagement), Mr J Cobbett (arriving late) and
Cllr Mrs S Prendergast (prior engagement).

In attendance: Mr Patrik Garten, Borough Councillor, eight members of the public and
Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.


1. Apologies for absence: Dr S Bauer (previous engagement) and Mr J Cobbett (clash of meeting commitments)
2. The election of Chairman: Mr Bedwell relinquished his role as Chairman and Parish Councillor, but is happy to continue handling the bookings of the Cardwell Pavilion and assist with the organising of the Fete. Mike has been a very good Chairman and the Parish Councillors thanked him sincerely for all of his tireless effort, common sense and good humour in heading the Parish Council for many years. Cllr Adam Ward was in agreement to become the Chairman and all Parish Councillors in attendance were in favour of this proposal.
3. The election of Vice Chairman: Cllr S Hulme offered to stand as the Vice Chairman, and was duly elected to the role by all of the Parish Councillors in attendance.
4. Election of Committee Chairmen & Allocation of Committee Places:
The following Committee Chairs and members were agreed and duly elected to the role by the five Parish Councillors in attendance:
i. Finance: Chair – Cllr J Cobbett (elected in absentia), Members – Cllr D Ardley and Cllr S Hulme
ii. Planning: Chair – Cllr A Bennett and Member – Cllr M Gray
iii. Environment: Chair – Dr S Bauer (elected in absentia) and Member – Cllr A Ward
iv. Parks: Chair – Cllr A Ward
v. Highways and Infrastructure: Chair – Cllr D Ardley
vi. Webmaster: Cllr J Cobbett (elected in absentia)
5. Main Targets and Concerns of the Parish Council for 2018: to be discussed at the Finance Meeting, Monday, 4th June 2018, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion.
6. Any Other Urgent Items: Following Mr M Bedwell’s announcement there is now a vacancy for a Councillor on the Hollingbourne Parish Council. The Clerk will advertise the post accordingly.


1. Apologies for absence: Dr S Bauer (previous engagement)

2. Declarations and Requests
Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none; Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda – Cllr J Cobbett is a neighbour of residents of Fern Cottage and knows the residents of Cooper’s Farm (planning applications) and Cllr A Bennett is a friend of the residents of Fern Cottage; Requests for Dispensations – none

3. 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.

4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda) – none
5a. The artificial grass should be installed at the Cardwell Pavilion by the end of May 2018.
9a. The Property Director of Enterprise Inns Plc, who are the Landlords of the Village Hall, is aware that the application granted for the ten houses on the land west to Windmill Lane is subject to various conditions. Last Tuesday (8th May) an HGV Lorry became stuck between The Windmill PH and the houses at the entrance of the public footpath, which highlighted in no uncertain terms the potential problems of access to the proposed development of houses.

5. Chairman’s Report – Cllr A Ward – none to report

6. Crime Report
a. There has been one crime report generated between the 9th April and 24th May 2018 listed on the e-watch website for the Hollingbourne area, which was the attempted theft of a mini digger and damage to a road roller between 5.00 pm on Friday, 27th April and 9.00 am on Tuesday, 1st May in Hospital Road.
b. Cllr P Garten advised that the PCSO for the North Downs area is due to attend the next Parish Meeting.
c. 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.

7. Clerk’s Report –
a. The Clerk has investigated the new rules with regards to the General Data Protection Regulation Services which come into force on the 25th May 2018. Although Parish Councils have become exempt from legally requiring a separate audit and DPO (Data Protection Officer) the Parish Clerk feels that to provide Best Practice an auditor should be used. The auditor and DPO are an outside party to the Parish Council who would act on their behalf if necessary and provide advice on the matter of data protection. All Parish Councillors in attendance were in favour of this proposal. Action: The Clerk
b. The Clerk has received a complaint from a local resident with regards to dogs being allowed to run loose in the Lance Memorial Field, especially when they are in the playground area where children should be safe to play freely. Most dog owners are responsible and clear up after their dogs, but others do not and this is offensive to those using the playing field for sports activities. The exercising of dogs on the field is a difficult matter to address by the Parish Council and after all there is a dog show on the field each year. However, there are signs at the gateway of the field prohibiting dogs on the field. The Clerk is going to obtain quotations for the repair of the gates to the playground area which should assist in keeping dogs out and have further notices placed in the area reminding dog owners of their responsibilities. The Clerk would kindly request that dog owners keep their pets on leads on the field, stick to the designated pathways and keep their pets out of the playground. Action: The Clerk
c. The Clerk has received an email from a local resident about the litter on the verges along Ashford Road particularly near the Biffa site. Cllr D Ardley will look into this matter. Action: Cllr Ardley
d. The Clerk and the Parish Councillors would very much like to thank Npower who speedily removed a sizable tree which had partially fallen across Greenway Court Road and was teetering on the point of falling down. The tree was very large and dangerous to road users in the area.

8. County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs S Prendergast (report via email)
The Parish Council is grateful for all of the hard work that Cllr Prendergast does for the village and surrounding area and her annual report has been placed upon the village website.

9. Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr P Garten
a. Fly-tipping is a big problem and the Local Government Authority has revealed that more than £1 million a week was spent on clearing up fly-tipping over the past year. The £57 million total was a 13% increase on the previous 12 months. Cllr Garten would like to remind the Parish Council and residents that every single deposit of fly-tipping should be reported to the Maidstone BC via the website as being recorded separately helps to generate accurate data on the problem in the area. A trial will be undertaken at Tovil waste disposal site and starting in May this year (through to September), twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday) Tovil will open until 6.30 pm to take household waste. Hopefully, this will assist in reducing the amount of fly-tipping in the locality.

b. The Maidstone BC elections have taken place and Cllr Garten will be able to report back further at the next Parish Meeting.
c. The Longton Woods enquiry started on the 1st May 2018, details of which are available on the Planning Maidstone BC website reference 16/506144/FULL, for retrospective application for continued use of site for 4 touring caravans and erection of utility room together with installation of cesspit for extended Gypsy/Traveller family. In terms of the timescale for a decision this is unlikely to come through from the Planning Inspectorate for another 4 – 5 weeks.
d. MoneySavingExpert.com and the Alzheimer’s Society are running a campaign to raise people’s awareness of a relatively unknown council tax refund that is available for the severely mentally impaired. Those who have been medically certified as having a permanent condition that affects their intelligence and social functioning are “disregarded for council tax purposes” in England, Scotland and Wales.
e. Cllr Garten advised that there will be training for the Maidstone BC customer services team on Wednesday, 16th May and Wednesday, 6th June 2018. The ‘face to face’ service at the Council Building will run as normal but there will be reduced telephone service.
f. With regards to the Local Plan post 2021 going forward, it will also be crucial for the Maidstone BC to involve and engage with Parish Councils. Open discussion with parish councils and communities at an early stage would allow these groups to be proactive in plan preparation, rather than reactive to a draft, written plan which felt like a fait accompli. Landfill, and in particular recycling options need to be considered as no additional money is given to expand these sites in order to deal with the increasing housing numbers. Cllr Garten advised that he is the Parish Council’s advocate if they wish to take forward a particular Social Housing plan for the village and he has a useful contact able to assist. Cllr A Ward said that the Parish Council may need to review the Social Housing plan as it hadn’t been looked at in a while.

10. Planning Report – Cllr A Bennett
a. 18/501579/FULL & 18/501581/LBC – Fern Cottage, 26 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Listed building consent for erection of a single storey rear extension.
Decision: The Parish Councillors did not vote on the application as the deadline date for comments had passed on the 9th May 2018. However, if they had been able to, Cllr Bennett and Cllr Cobbett would not have been able to vote as they had declaration of interests, and Cllr Ward would have abstained.
b. 18/501665/FULL – Charity Farm Barn, Pilgrim’s Way, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Erection of a single storey extension to rear utility area and conversion of loft.
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT (all Parish Councillors in agreement)
c. 18/501617/REM – Land at Pine Cottage, Ashford Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Approval of Reserved Matter pursuant of Outline application 15/504418/OUT (allowed on appeal) for the construction of one 4-bedroom house (all matters being sought).
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT (all Parish Councillors in agreement).
d. 18/501487/FULL – 118 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Change of use to a portion of grass verge (2.4m) from open space to residential use and dropped kerb to allow for vehicular access to front of property.
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT (5 Parish Councillors in agreement, 1 – abstained)
e. 18/501698/FULL – 11 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Loft conversion, internal renovation with insertion of 3 dormer windows and 2 roof lights. External alterations and widen the drive entrance (part retrospective).
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT (all Parish Councillors in agreement)
f. 18/501600/FULL – The Oast House, Pilgrim’s Way, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Erection of a single storey rear extension. Conversion of basement with connecting single storey side extension. Alterations to fenestration along South East elevation. Erection of a detached pool house and a detached carport.
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT (5 Parish Councillors in agreement, 1 – abstained).

g. 18/502003/FULL – The Oast House, Pilgrim’s Way, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Change of use of part of an area of existing garden to accommodate two Shepherd’s Huts providing holiday let accommodation.
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT (4 Parish Councillors in agreement, 2 – abstained).
h. 18/502355/TPO – Cooper’s Farm, Court Dane Shaws, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Tree Preservation Order application – T11 -Ash – see plan -Proposed works: Reduce dominant regrowth by 2.5 metres ensuring pruning wounds do not exceed 75 mm in diameter; thin the remaining canopy by 20% by removing dead, dying and crossing and suppressed branches ensuring there is an even density of leaf bearing throughout the canopy. Inspect the cavity to establish the extent of the decay. Reason: Prevent limb failure due to the presence of Inonotus hispidus.
T21 – Ash fell to ground level – The unbalanced crown is growing towards the house and is overbearing. Part of a group order G24 – remaining will continue to form a cohesive feature.
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT (5 Parish Councillors in agreement, 1 – abstained)
i. 18/501312/FULL – Swanton Farm, Bicknor Road, Bicknor
Proposal: Provision of a cold store, concrete hardstanding, irrigation lagoon and associated engineering operations and the upgrading of an existing track and access.
Decision: OBJECT – on the grounds of the additional traffic, particularly articulated lorries driving through the village when accessing the farm

11. Parish Plan for Hollingbourne – nothing to report.

12. Environmental Report – nothing to report.

13. Highways Report (update on speeding signs) – 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 can only be confirmed by statistical information. The Parish Council have prices for automatic traffic counter(s) which would be in situ in the village for a week. The counters measure the speed and amount of vehicles crossing them and then calculate the 85% percentile of the average vehicle’s speed. This would be beneficial for the village and Cllr Ardley will seek recommendation in the best locations to place the counters. Villagers are also concerned about the size and speed of the agricultural vehicles passing through the village. The item will be placed on the Finance Committee Meeting Agenda.

14. Parish Assembly – Cllr M Gray
Cllr Gray commented that the attendance to the Parish Assembly was lower than on previous occasions, but the evening had been very good. There was discussion at the event over the production of the Parish Meeting minutes. Cllr A Ward suggested that the item is placed upon the Agenda for the next Parish Meeting and review how we deal with the minutes in the Village Magazine, as it is important that they are available to everybody to read. Cllr J Cobbett confirmed that the village website has 200-300 visitors a day and among the more popular items are the Minutes and Planning Applications. .

15. Parks Report (Including the Millennium Green) –
Cllr Ward confirmed that as of today the legal team advisors at the Maidstone BC were progressing with the deed title transfer document of the Millennium Green for the Parish Council.

16. Defibrillator(s) for the village –
This matter will be placed on the Financial Committee Meeting Agenda. The Clerk has contacted the Kent Fire Service with regards to obtaining the equipment.

17. Fête Report – Cllr D Ardley (please see 5.b. Chairman’s Report)
A date of the 9th June 2018 has been fixed for this year’s Fete and Exemption Dog Show. The next Fete planning meeting is to take place on Monday, 21st May 2018, 8.00 pm at The Dirty Habit PH.
18. Twinning with Templeuve-en-Pévèle – Cllr J Cobbett –
A Twinning Committee Meeting took place last week and it was confirmed that the friends from Templeuve will be attending the Fete in June and there will be a return visit by Hollingbourne in July. Sadly, following July, unless events and visits take place within the next six months the Twinning Committee will be wound up and transfer bank funds (£600+) to the Meadows Trust appeal.

19. Financial Report –
a. There is £47,538.16 in the bank following the payment of the 2018/19 Precept (£24,057.84) into the account. Cllr J Cobbett proposed the approval of authorising the cheques drawn by the Clerk and all Parish Councillors voted in favour.
b. The Parish Council’s 2017/18 accounts are with the Internal Auditor at present and the Finance Committee Meeting will be held on Monday, 4th June 2018, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion.

20. Community News –
Cllr J Cobbett attended the Kent Rail Summit Meeting earlier in the evening where KCC Councillor Shellina Prendergast complained about the poor service from Hollingbourne which will be affected further by the cancellation of one early morning service. Attendees from all over Kent heard of concerns that the High Speed service from Maidstone West may end and that there was some doubt that there was sufficient passenger capacity to carry all of the commuters to London who may be buying many of the thousands of new homes in Kent and around Maidstone in particular.

Date of next meeting: Monday 11th June 2018, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne

Signed as a true record: Chairman: Date: