The Minutes of the Hollingbourne Parish Council Meeting of Monday 14th October 2019 that were approved at the Parish Council Meeting held in the Cardwell Pavilion on Monday 11th November 2019.
Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council held on Monday 14th October 2019, in the Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne, commencing at 7.30 pm.
Present: Cllr A Ward (Chairman), Cllr J Cobbett, Cllr D Ardley, Cllr M Gray, Cllr A Marshall and
Cllr C O’Meara.
Attendance: Cllr P Garten (Maidstone BC), nine members of the public and Mrs V Smith –Parish Clerk.
1.Apologies for absence: Cllr S Hulme (Vice-Chairman), Cllr Dr S Bauer, Cllr Mrs S Prendergast KCC and PCSO Daniel Genn – work commitments.
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 of the meeting on 9th September 2019 are a true and accurate record of the meeting,
4. Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda) –
10.c. The Clerk is in the process of contacting the Green Planet Action Group with regards to attending a Parish Meeting and possibly the Parish Assembly in 2020. Action: The Clerk
12.b. The Clerk is in the process of sending a photograph of the white post at the top of Hollingbourne Hill to Cllr Mrs S Prendergast KCC. Action: The Clerk
5. A20 crossing and the safety of pedestrians –
a. A lot of pedestrians cross the A20, particularly children wishing to catch the Stagecoach bus to school in the morning. Recently, a child was nearly hit by a car exiting the roundabout from Hollingbourne and turning left towards Harrietsham. Residents have asked whether the Parish Council can request that levy payments received by the Parish Council, as a result of the building developments, be used for railings, etc, in this area of the roundabout to protect pedestrians. The Parish Council cannot delegate the levy payments that they receive from building developments towards providing additional highway safety controls and infrastructure changes, and the monies for highway works emanate from the KCC. The levy payments that the Parish Council receive are specific projects only, the projects being decided by the Maidstone BC and the developers. However, the Parish Council fully recognises that this junction is dangerous and it needs to be mentioned on the Highways Plan, which is at present being produced by Cllr Ardley and the other members of the Parish Council.
b. Cllr Ardley believes that if the roundabout at the junction was larger it would slow road users down, as access across it wouldn’t be as easy. In addition, there is very little warning signage of pedestrians crossing the road. It would also be more advantageous if the designated crossing on the road was further away from the roundabout, giving the road user more time to slow down when pedestrians are crossing. The Parish Council needs to let the KCC know what our suggestions would be, ideas could include signage (possibly with lights when children are crossing), a change of colour of tarmac in the area concerned and large signs warning road users to slow down as pedestrians are crossing.
c. Cllr P Garten advised that the KCC and other agencies hold funds from CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy), which is a levy that local authorities can choose to charge on new developments in their area, and this money can be used for the improvements of infrastructure. He also reiterated that local government always prioritises work with the evidence of statistics, which can sadly mean that action on specific areas of the highway is taken only after a fatality. With this in mind, Cllr Ward agreed that the Parish Council will look into the provision of a big sign in the area warning drivers to slow down for pedestrians. Regular drivers in the area are aware of children crossing in the morning, but others will not and so the signage is the first matter of importance.
d. In November 2016, with the help of Mrs J Whittle, who was the KCC Councillor at that time, the Parish Council and Stagecoach worked together and the bus company kindly agreed to pick up children from both sides of the Ashford Road. This meant extra work for Stagecoach as they had to negotiate driving around both of the roundabouts for collect children, but they were very concerned about their safety, as is the Parish Council. Unfortunately, because children were concerned that they would not been seen by the bus driver and therefore get to school on time, they continued to risk crossing the road to the original bus stop. Please see links https://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/success-with-campaign-for-a20-school-bus-stop/ and https://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/stagecoach-10x-to-stop-picking-up-maidstone-pupils-on-ashford-bound-side-of-a20/ .Because of this Stagecoach stopped circumnavigating the roundabouts as it was not necessary. This option could be looked into again by the Parish Council, but if it was agreeable with Stagecoach it would require parent action as well, including leaflets and signage and possibly their presence at the bus stops if the arrangement ever started again.
6. Speeding in Upper Street and the rest of the village
a. Speeding doesn’t just take place in the Upper Street area in the ‘rush hours’ of the morning, but also in the evening 9.50 pm onwards, from both drivers travelling through the village and from the pub. Unfortunately, some of the drivers who speed in this area regularly do so! The Police carry out speed checks in Upper Street, but they cannot be present at all times. Parking can also be very inconsiderate in the area and it is getting worse. Residents often have problems trying to access their properties and in turning out of road junctions. Cllr Garten advised that the Police can be contacted if parking has caused an obstruction and the residents should contact ‘101’ to have vehicles removed if necessary.
b. The Parish Council has limitations in what it can do to reduce traffic and speeding in Hollingbourne as a whole, as it is a very historical village and was not built for such a lot of traffic. However, there are practical solutions which can be carried out, for example, refreshing traffic signage which can quickly become overgrown with foliage. Cllr O’Meara pointed out that the traffic on the road effects both ends of the village, causing tailbacks and congestion. The Clerk will also look into the possibility of obtaining ‘wheely bin’ stickers for residents, reminding road users of the speed limits in the village. Any additional signage in the village is effective, as it will remind people that Hollingbourne is a historic village and they should slow down when travelling through it.
c. As previously mentioned in 5.a., the Parish Council is producing a Highways Plan for the village, which will then be submitted to the KCC for their action to improve the roads in the area. The Parish Council needs the residents help in this matter, and all comments are given serious consideration by the Parish Councillors for input into the plan. Please send your comments to the Clerk via email@example.com , or post them to The Cardwell Pavilion, Greenway Court Road, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, Kent, ME17 1QQ.
7. Police Report
a. The Parish Councillors were sad to hear that PCSO Dan Genn is leaving the Police force for pastures new. Dan has enthusiastically worked very hard within the North Downs area to improve the lives of the residents. He has given advice regarding crime prevention and has tirelessly aimed to tackle the problems with speeding, poaching, illegal off-road vehicles, inconsiderate parking outside of the school amongst many other things. Dan will be a big loss to the Police force and to Hollingbourne.
b. The report for the Hollingbourne and neighbouring Hucking area taken from www.e-watch.co, since the 27thJuly 2019 showed two crime reports, and these being:
• Between 8.50 pm on Wednesday, 25th September and 5.20 am on Thursday, 26th September in M20 Junction 8, somebody cut into the trailer of a Volvo 460 HGV parked.
• On Saturday, 28th September around 9.05 pm in M20 Junction 8, a black Audi A4 RJ06*** was stolen.
c. The Police UK web site https://www.police.uk/kent/50/crime/+1VCkUQ/837094/advised that August 2019 figures for Hollingbourne showed that nine crimes and two cases of anti-social behaviour had taken place at the Maidstone motorway services. There had been two crime reports from the rest of the village andno recorded incidents of anti-social behaviour:
• At or near the Hollingbourne Train Stations there were two crime reports noted. These are both being dealt with by the British Transport Police and so no further details are available.
• M20, Junction 8 – Other theft (3 x crime reports), including theft by an employee, blackmail and making off without payment. Vehicle crime (2 x crime reports) – includes theft from or of a vehicle or interference with a vehicle. Violence and sexual offences (2 x crime reports) – includes offences against the person such as common assaults, grievous bodily harm and sexual offences. Possession of weapons (1 x crime report) – includes possession of a weapon, such as a firearm or knife; in this instance the offender has been warned about their behaviour and could be taken to court if they commit another crime. Public Order Offence (1 x crime report) – includes offences which cause fear, alarm or distress. Plus, two reported case of anti-social behaviour, but no further details are provided.
e. 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.
8. Chairman’s Report –
a. Cllr Ward confirmed for residents that a further notice-board will be placed in the vicinity of Upper Street, in the location of Church Approach near the bench and bus stop, and this purchase had been agreed by the Parish Council Finance Committee. In the meantime, the Clerk will also leave copies of the Parish Council meeting minutes in the covered entrance to the Church for residents.
b. Cllr Ward was very happy to receive a letter of thanks from the Pre-School with regards to the improved cleanliness within the Cardwell Pavilion, following the Parish Council’s provision of an additional cleaner attending the hall on a monthly basis. This arrangement was agreed upon in the September minutes, item 9.c., with a view to reviewing the situation with the hall cleaning within three months. In the meantime, the Clerk will aim to locate the original cleaning plan put in place when the long-term cleaner first started working as a contractor for the Parish Council. Action: The Clerk
9. Clerk’s Report
a. The Clerk was glad to say that the deeds for Tanyard Green and Lance Memorial Field had now been returned by the solicitors, together with documentation for Eyhorne Green. The Clerk will contact the solicitors with regards to Eyhorne Green as the Parish Council requires more clarification as to whether they are the freeholders of the public land. Action: The Clerk
b. The Parish Council agreed that they would like to provide a floral decoration for the Church in recognition of Remembrance Day and the Clerk will arrange this matter. The Remembrance Day Church Service will take place on the 10th November, at 10.50 am – 11.45 am at the St Nicholas’ Church, Leeds. Additionally, there will be on this day a meeting at 9.30am Hollingbourne Church War Memorial, a service at 12.15pm Broomfield Church and on Monday 11th November at 10.45am, a time of contemplation at the Hollingbourne War Memorial with the children of Hollingbourne Primary School. This information is on the village website, in the calendar of events.
c. The Clerk has received information about a deal from a local organisation for obtaining posters reminding dog walkers to dispose of their animal’s fouling appropriately, as this is a problem within the village. However, the cost of the posters, even though they are part of a special promotion is too expensive and the Clerk will look for alternative signage. Action: The Clerk
10. Defibrillators – Cllr A Marshall
a. Cllr Marshall has checked the defibrillator machines in the village and they are good for action. The Clerk is obtaining prices for additional paediatric pads for the machine at the Village Hall and additional adult pads for both machines. Action: The Clerk / Cllr Marshall
11. County Councillor’s Report – Cllr Mrs S Prendergast
a. There isn’t a report from Cllr Mrs S Prendergast for this Parish Meeting, but she is happy to receive any updates from the Clerk on matters raised at this meeting.
12. Borough Councillor’s Report– Cllr Patrik Garten
a. Cllr Garten advised that the results of the Call for Sites requested as part of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan is published for public distribution on the 4th November 2019, and therefore the item will be on the agenda for the November Parish Meeting. Cllr Garten emphasised that the information on the Call for Sites document for the Hollingbourne Parish are proposals from landowners only, not planning applications. There is plenty of time for consultation on the matter by the Parish Council and residents and this is reassuring. On the same matter there are possibly two Strategic Planning Committee meetings taking place at the Maidstone BC in November. Cllr Ward asked about the current shortfall of properties in the area and where the Maidstone BC near target. Cllr Garten said that Central Government are asking for an extra 7,500 homes and currently Maidstone BC has an idea of forming a Garden Village near Lenham Heath.
b. Please read Cllr Garten’s latest report to the North Downs residents on the village website link https://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/november-2019-newsletter-from-our-maidstone-borough-councillor/.
13. Maidstone BC Local Plan Update –
a. Please see item 12.a. This item will be deferred to next month’s Parish Meeting.
14. Planning Committee Report – Cllr O’Meara
a. 19/504838/FULL – Eyhorne Farm, Musket Lane, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Extension of existing barn. Decision:DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT
b. 19/504233/FULL – Eyhorne Farm, Musket Lane, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Erection of a steel-framed agricultural barn (relocated from Amarna Farm, Ulcombe)
Decision: DO NOT WISH TO OBJECT
c. 19/504533/FULL – The Old Vicarage, Upper Street, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Erection of detached double garage with multi-purpose room above. Decision: DNWTO
d. 19/503966/FULL – ‘Swiss Lodge’, Pilgrim’s Way, Hollingbourne
Proposal: Demolition of existing garage and construction of new garage/workshop.
Decision: Delayed until after the Parish Meeting, as more time required to examine the drawings.
Update: The Planning Committee of the Parish Council decided to OBJECT against the application. The reason for this decision is that the application states that it is for the demolition of the existing garage and the construction of a new double garage/workshop, however, the build would look exactly like a new build two storey detached house with a staircase going to the upper level with a bathroom and kitchen, dormer windows, red pitched roof tiles “to match surrounding houses” and velux roof lights. With this in mind, the drawings do not really match with the description of the proposal on the planning application.
e. 19/503495/FULL –‘Hillside’, Broad Street Hill, Hollingbourne
Proposal:Change of use of existing dwelling and annexe (Class C3) to use as a short break/respite care centre for up to 10 children and young adults (Class C2) Decision: DNWTO
15. Environmental / Parks Committee Report –
a. Cllr Marshall advised that the Millennium Park pond and pathways works will start in early November 2019, weather permitting.
b. On Saturday, 16th November 2019, between 10.30 – 12.00 midday, a litter picking session will take place within Hollingbourne village. All interested volunteers should meet at Tanyard Green, 10.30 am, to collect litter pick equipment. The Clerk has checked with Maidstone BC and the equipment will be available on that day.
16. Dog fouling in the village (prevention) – please see Clerk’s report item 9c.
17. Finance Report –
a. There is £37,423.98 in the Parish Council’s combined bank accounts as of the 2ndOctober 2019. The Parish Councillors authorised the cheques drawn by the Clerk.
18. Highways and Infrastructure Committee Report–
a. Please see items 5 and 6 of these minutes.
b. Cllr Ardley is producing a Highways Improvement Plan, however, it needs more input from the rest of the Parish Councillors and any comments need to be forwarded to Cllr Ardley for inclusion on the document. Cllr Ward is going to obtain maps of the village so that the residents can mark out precisely where items need inclusion on the Highways Improvement Plan. Action: All Parish Councillors
c. Cllr O’Meara said that the noise survey results were due back any day now from Highways England with regards to the M20. Recently there have been accidents and near misses taking place on the M20 in the vicinity of Hollingbourne.
19. Fête Sub-Committee Report – Cllr D Ardley & Cllr A Ward
a. Next year’s fete will be held on Saturday, 13th June 2020 and preparation works are already taking place.
20. Brexit (Operation Brock) and its impact on Hollingbourne– Cllr J Cobbett
a. Cllr J Cobbett and Cllr M Gray will be attending the Brexit meeting at the Maidstone BC on Wednesday, 16th October 2019 and will feedback relevant information to the Parish Council and residents in due course.
b. Cllr Cobbett is attending a Rail Summit meeting at the County Hall with regards to the effect of Brexit on the Euro Tunnel, and subsequent passenger train regularity. It is also proposed that Operation Brock will come into force on the 28th October 2019 if it is necessary.
21. Village Website – its future
a. Cllr Cobbett doesn’t know when he may be moving from the village but it may be very imminent. He has put an item on the website about volunteers to maintain the website, but without any takers so far. The WordPress system is used to maintain the website and it is quite easy to use once you have had some practice. Please see the link https://www.hollingbournepc.kentparishes.gov.uk/upcoming-vacancy-for-a-parish-councillor-and-editor-of-this-village-website/ . It takes Cllr Cobbett approximately an hour a day to carry out works on the website, which has between 200-300 visitors a day and is linked with the ‘Next Door’ network system. Cllr Cobbett and his wife have also organised the distribution of the Parish Magazine, but this task has now been taken on by another good-hearted village member.
Date of next meeting: Monday 11thNovember2019, 7.30 pm, Cardwell Pavilion, Hollingbourne
Signed as a true record: Chairman: Date: