November 2017 Minutes.

The Minutes of the Hollingbourne Parish Council Meeting of 13th November 2017 in the Cardwell Pavilion that were approved at the Meeting on Monday 11th December 2017.

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council monthly meeting held on Monday 13th November 2017, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.

Present: Mr M Bedwell (Chairman), Mr J Cobbett, Mr D Ardley, Mr A Bennett & Mr M Gray
In attendance: Two members of the Hollingbourne Village Hall Committee, Cllr Patrik Garten (Maidstone BC) and Mrs V. Smith – Parish Clerk.

1. Apologies for absence: Cllr A Ward (Vice-Chairman) & Cllr S Hulme (meeting clashed with secular work), Cllr Dr S Bauer & Cllr Mrs Shellina Prendergast – KCC (prior engagements)

2. Declarations and Requests
Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests – none; Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda – Cllr D Ardley will abstain from commenting or voting on RBL / Hollingbourne Meadows Trust use of the War Memorial Grant funds as he is one of the Trustee Directors of the Hollingbourne Meadows Trust; 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.

4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda) –
10a.Cllr P Garten reported that there were approximately four hundred people at the public meeting regarding the Leeds / Langley relief road on Thursday, 2nd November 2017 at the Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel. There are no funds or route for the road which has been the subject of discussion for several decades.

5. Chairman’s Report – Cllr M Bedwell)
a. The Royal British Legion, thanks to a donation of £2,000 from a major retail store to renovate the Village War Memorial, has spent £954.54. It was proposed by Cllr M Bedwell, and seconded by Cllr A Bennett, that the surplus funds of £1,045.46 be held at present in trust by the Parish Council for the joint Royal British Legion and Hollingbourne Meadows Trust project to plant 100 Hawthorn trees to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1. Cllr J Cobbett and Cllr M Gray voted in agreement and Cllr D Ardley abstained as he is a Director of the Hollingbourne Meadows Trust.
b. All of the lights in the Station Approach are presently working, the station is far busier and there has been a proper ticket machine installed at the railway station, which is great news.
c. Gas and electrical annual safety testing has taken place at the Cardwell Pavilion. Some necessary electrical works have been carried out. The Clerk will furnish Cllr A Ward with copies of the pass certificates. Action: The Clerk
d. The Chairman of the Hollingbourne Cricket Club has asked Cllr M Bedwell permission for a standard finger post sign to be erected on the lamp-post outside of the Dirty Habit PH, to advertise where the cricket club is along the Pilgrim’s Way. It was agreed that the sign could be fitted to the Parish Council owned lamp post subject to any comments from MBC and/or KCC Highways.

6. Crime Report –
a. On the Ashford Road, Hollingbourne, between 5:30pm on Thursday 12th of October and 7:00am on Monday 16th of October. Containers at a farm were broken into. Several lawn mowers, including a large commercial one, a chain saw, a leaf blower and other tools were stolen. A Ford Transit tipper lorry was broken into and moved to gain entry.
b. A shed was broken into in Hadley Gardens, Hollingbourne, between 1pm on 10th November and 1pm 13th November. Damage was done to the padlock and a number of fishing items were stolen.
c. There have been reported suspicious callers in the ME15 area (Bearsted, Leeds, Otham and surrounding villages). Five males were calling at houses claiming to be from the RSPCA looking for donations/memberships and they were intimidating. The RSPCA have been contacted and confirm that they did not have anybody operating in this area.

7. Hollingbourne Village Hall –
a. The Hollingbourne Village Hall Committee have tried a number of times since approximately February 2015 to renew the long term lease of the Village Hall building, of which the Hollingbourne Parish Council are lessees, with the landlords being EI Group PLC (formerly Enterprise Inns Plc). The Committee representatives gave the Parish Councillors a very detailed report of the communication and correspondence which had passed between both the tenant and the landlord. To date, a fixed term rental agreement has not been achieved, and the Village Hall Committee rent the hall on a ‘month by month basis. However, the Committee were pleased to announce that the Village Hall is now registered as a Community Asset with Maidstone Borough Council. Cllr D Ardley said that the Village Hall Committee and Parish Council need to have a ‘plan B’ just in case the Village Hall is no longer viable. In the meantime, Cllr A Bennett, suggested that a public meeting take place to advise all of the villagers about the possible plight of the Village Hall. Cllr J Cobbett stated that the village will only know if EI Group PLC decide whether to renew the lease when a decision has been made over the proposed housing development on the land alongside Windmill Lane where they own access rights. Cllr M Bedwell reaffirmed that the Parish Council need to work with the Village Hall Committee in this matter.
b. It was agreed that the Parish Council write as lessees to EI Group PLC supporting the Village Hall Committee stating and why the Village Hall is so essential to the villagers. Cllr J Cobbett agreed to draft the letter for the Chairman to sign. Action: Cllr J Cobbett

8. Clerk’s Report –
a. The KCC budget is very tight with regards to providing extra signage around the Great Danes roundabout to control speed. However, following a recent accident in this area, the Clerk will write to the Highways Department, KCC, to see how they can help. Action: The Clerk
b. The Clerk had received an email from the privately financed Children’s Summer Holiday Club run from Harrietsham enquiring as to whether Hollingbourne Councillors would be happy to offer a grant towards its running given that 20% of those attending lived in the parish of Hollingbourne. The Parish Council considered the matter and decided not to support the project.
c. The Clerk recently attended the Community Transport seminar where various schemes, including voluntarily maintained minibus and ‘car-share’ services were discussed. The Clerk felt that the already established car-share scheme, organised by Cllr A Bennett, was probably the best option for the size of the village. The Parish Council will offer support in this matter.
d. The Clerk has received notification from KALC (Kent Association of Local Councils) that a new Data Protection Policy comes into force within 2018, and she will make sure that all rules and regulations are adhered to. Action: The Clerk

9. County Councillor’s Report – none to report.

10. Borough Councillor’s Report – Cllr P Garten
a. The Maidstone BC Draft Local Plan was formally adopted on the 25 October 2017.
b. At the latest Joint Transportation Meeting, Maidstone BC, a business plan had been proposed for the Leeds Langley RR, but its compilation would take approximately twelve months. There is a threat of closure of the bus stops on the A249 as they are not safe to use.
c. The grass strips and accumulating leaves which form in the middle of many rural roads were also discussed. Cllr P Garten and Cllr Mrs S Prendergast had approached KCC about this matter, and it is agreed that KCC will remove the aforesaid build-up of vegetation with a JCB and Maidstone BC will then collect the green refuse from the roads.
d. CCTV in Maidstone Town Centre – 50% of the sixty CCTV cameras in the Town Centre are going to be decommissioned. Data Protection laws insist that if the cameras are not in crime hot spots, they should not be used. This matter will be discussed at the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee meeting on 14th November 2017. CCTV can be used by the Parish Councillors to prevent fly-tipping. Cllr P Garten has given the Clerk signage to ward off potential fly-tipping and suggested that it would be wise to invest in cameras. The cost of these items will be considered further.

11. Planning Report – Cllr A Bennett
a. 17/505247/FULL – 118 Eyhorne Street, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1UG
Proposal: Two storey side/front extension Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT
b. 17/505329/TCA – Hollingbourne Manor, Upper Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Trees in conservation area notification – 2 x yew trees – fell & 1 x yew tree hedge 6 mtrs high – reduce to 4.5 metres high. Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT
c. 17/505436/SUB – Morning Dawn Cottage, Ringlestone Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Submission of details pursuant to Conditions 3: Details of materials; 5: Construction vehicle facilities for loading, unloading and turning; 6: Demolition method statement; 7: external lighting details & 9: landscape scheme (original application ref: 17/501481/FULL).
17/505450/NMAMD – Morning Dawn Cottage, Ringlestone Road, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Non-material amendment: Change 1 – pitched dormer replaced with flat roof dormer to match other new dormers; Change 2 – addition of flat roofed bay at ground floor (original application ref: 17/501481/FULL). Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT
d. 17/505633/TCA – ‘Wayfarers’, Pilgrims Way, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Tree in conservation area notification to fell 5 x sycamore; crown reduce 3 x lime, 1 x field maple, 1 x silver birch, 2 x cherry and 1 x ash by approximately 2 metres.
e. 17/505622/TCA – All Saints Church, Upper Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Trees in conservation area – 8 x lime – remove epicormics growth and lift to 2 mtr; 1 x conifer – remove dead hanging branch; 1 x yew – remove dead hanging branch & 1 x birch – sever ivy.
f. 17/502331/OUT – Land at Woodcut Farm, Ashford Rd, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Outline application for a mixed commercial development comprising B1(a), B1(b), B1(c) and B8 units, with a maximum floor space of 45,295 square metres (access being sought) (resubmission of 15/503288/OUT).
Decision: OBJECT – The reasons for objection to the original proposal also apply to the revised application, and they are that the development is detrimental to the visual amenity in an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’. It is an unwanted development in a rural setting when more suitable existing commercial and industrial locations exist, notably at Detling Airfield. There is in-adequate local infrastructure to cope with increased traffic movements and potential danger caused to the local community caused by influx of heavy goods vehicles.
g. 17/503118/FULL – Land to the west of Windmill Lane, Eyhorne Street (erection of ten houses)
Update: The Parish Council has not received any further news as to when this application will be decided upon. Cllr A Bennett is happy to attend the Planning Committee meeting at Maidstone BC when it appears on its agenda.
All Councillors were in agreement to the decision reported apart from where otherwise stated.

12. Parish Plan for Hollingbourne – Cllr A Bennett
The time has come for the Parish Council to produce a Parish Plan for Hollingbourne. If the Parish Council want to achieve results and hold on to what is precious to the community a plan is very advantageous. Cllr A Bennett will list what he thinks the plan should include for the next Parish Meeting. Cllr J Cobbett also agreed that the Parish Council need a new and updated plan as the original plan included a Village Envelope which restricted development as Maidstone planners have ignored the Envelope. Action: Cllr A Bennett / All Parish Council

13. Maidstone BC Draft Local Plan – no further update.

14. Environmental Report –
a. With regards to speeding traffic through the village, Cllr D Ardley advised that he has written to the local authority with a proposal for new road signs within the village.
b. Cllr J Cobbett and other residents accompanied the WI at the well attended lecture by Pernille Richards and Samantha Harris, Collections Officer at the Maidstone Museum on the Hollingbourne ‘hoard’ on 7th November. The purchase of the Anglo Saxon hoard was part financed by the Parish Council and is now on display in Maidstone Museum.
c. Cllr J Cobbett attended the KCC meeting on the 19th October 2017 concerning arrangements for traffic on the M20 after Brexit if there is no Customs Union which is expected to create major traffic jams around Dover and Operation Stack on a daily basis with traffic implications for Hollingbourne. A formal question on the matter was put to KCC on behalf of Hollingbourne Parish Council by Councillor Shellina Prendergast. Kent County Council are aware of the problem as it will affect many other parts of Kent and they have written to Mr Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State of Transport for an assurance that traffic will be “fluid”. No response had been provided to date.

15. Cardwell Pavilion (bookings past and present) – Please see Chairman’s Report

16. Parks Report (Millennium Green) – Cllr A Ward
a. The installation of new equipment in the village playground has now been completed.
b. The Clerk has contacted Maidstone BC with regards to benches to replace the damaged one by the railway arch and another one which will be placed elsewhere. The Clerk is presently liaising with staff regarding the placement of the seats. Action: The Clerk

17. ‘Christopher’s Village Shop – Cllr J Cobbett
The Parish Council is very glad to say that Christopher Rudgard has confirmed that the future of the village shop is secure for now following negotiations with the landlord of the building.

18. Defibrillator(s) for the village –
a. MBC have advised that there may be difficulties in placing defibrillators upon listed buildings and therefore Cllr A Bennett suggested that a defibrillator could be placed on the outside wall of the Cardwell Pavilion. Cllr J Cobbett suggested that a defibrillator could be placed on the outside wall of the Village Hall. The Clerk will make further enquiries. Action: The Clerk
b. The Clerk has received a ‘freedom of information’ response from SECAMB (South East Coast Ambulance Service) with regards to the success rate of defibrillators within the emergency service and this had been forwarded by email onto the Parish Councillors. Information with regards to funding and grants in purchasing equipment had been received by the British Heart Foundation.

19. Station Approach & Railway Station – please see Chairman’s Report

20. Off-Road Motorcyclists and Quad Bikes – nothing to report.

21. Fête Report – Cllr D Ardley
a. A provisional date of the 9th June 2018 has been made for next year’s fete. The initial fete planning meeting is to take place on Monday, 27th November 2017, 8.00 pm, at The Dirty Habit PH (tbc).
b. Cllr A Bennett feels that members of the village organisations should be approached directly for their support in organising the fete.
22. Twinning with Templeuve-en-Pévèle – Cllr J Cobbett
a. This year, to commemorate Armistice Day, five residents went on the day trip to Templeuve-en-Pévèle to lay wreaths at the graves of the two soldiers in the Town Cemetery that are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. During the visit an invitation was issued to Hollingbourne to come in July when the whole town will be “en fete” for a Music Festival in Templeuve on 13th July, Bastille Day on 14th July, and the World Cup Final on 15th July when a giant TV screen will be erected in the Town Square and the bars and restaurants will be open. Additionally on 15th July the Tour de France will pass through the town. More information is available from any member of the Twinning Committee. Templeuve en Peveule is close to Lille in France and about 90 minutes by motorway from Calais.

23. Financial Report –
a. There is £46,217.20 in the bank and all Parish Councillors voted in approval of authorising the cheques drawn by the Clerk.
b. The Clerk will arrange a financial meeting to be held before the end of the year to discuss the Parish Council’s budget and financial plan for 2018. The Clerk will arrange a time and date. Action: The Clerk / Financial Committee

24. Community News –
a. Cllr J Cobbett attended the interesting and enlightening Action for Communities in Rural Kent Annual General Meeting on the 26 October, which was held in Headcorn Village Hall.

Date of next meeting: Monday 11th December 2017, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne

Signed as a true record: Chairman: Date: