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Biddenden Parish Council
Held on Tuesday 8th May 2001 at 7.30p.m. in the Club House
QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM PARISHIONERS – As there were no questions the Chairman proceeded with the business of the Council as follows:
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
After thanking Councillors for their support Cllr Farris confirmed his resignation from the Chair and called for nominations for a new Chairman. Cllr. Scott confirmed that she was willing to stand however she stated that, due to personal circumstances, she would require a very active Vice-Chairman if she were to take on this position. NOTED. Cllr. Mrs. Scott was proposed by Cllr. Raffe, seconded by Cllr Stokes and agreed unanimously.
After accepting the chair and signing the declaration of office, new Chairman called for nominations for the position of Vice-Chairman. Cllr. Wingham was nominated by Cllr. Farris, seconded by Cllr. Conway and AGREED.
The following appointments were then made:
National Savings Signatories – Cllrs. Farris, Raffe and the Clerk
Bank Mandate – Cllrs. Richards, Mrs. Scott, Farris, Harrison,
(N.B. The inclusion of Cllr. Wingham on the mandate would have preclude him from conducting the internal audit)
KAPC – Cllr. Conway (Cllr. Mrs. Swain will deputise)
Parish Forum – Cllr. Conway
Footpaths – Cllr. Stokes
Playing Fields & Village Maintenance – Cllrs. Richards, Farris, Conway, Mrs. Swain & Mrs. Cansdale
Planning – Chairman, Vice Chairman and any 2 two Councillors
(Although further consideration is to be given to the procedures for dealing with planning applications at the next meeting)
Village Hall Representative – Cllr. Mrs. Griffiths
Responsible Finance Officer – Clerk
News Correspondent – Cllr. Wingham
Tree Warden – Mrs. Susan Daly
Police Liaison Representative – Cllr. Conway (Cllrs. Stokes and Mrs. Cansdale will deputise)
The minutes of the meeting of Tuesday 10th April 2001 were approved and signed.
Local Needs Housing – More information is needed before any decision can be made in respect of an additional small scheme for Biddenden. A written report is to be requested from the Rural Housing Trust. AGREED.
Surplus Chain from Village Green – After lengthy discussions it was decided to defer any decision until Ashford BC has confirmed the position regarding maintenance of the Car Park. AGREED.
Website – The site has now been publicly launched and details are to be sent to the Kentish Express. Links to local business sites will be considered upon request, at the Council’s discretion. Cllr. Stokes agreed to vet any potential new link sites. AGREED.
High Street Repairs – Highways Unit has agreed to liaise with Cllr. Wingham although nothing has been heard to date. The Clerk will follow this up.
Maintenance of greenery at ABC Car Park – A formal response from Ashford regarding the possibility of the Council taking over maintenance has been promised by the end of the week. There was a very strong feeling amongst Councillors that more could and should be done to the hedge as matter of urgency. This point is to be made to the Borough Council in the meantime. AGREED.
Contributions towards the maintenance of the Village Green flowers – Cllr. Richards agreed to pursue this matter.
(8.15p.m. WPC Williams reported on the crime figures for April and warned people to take extra care with the security of garden equipment.)
The Chairman moved items 6 & 7 on the agenda to later in the meeting to await the arrival of Cllr. Bell.
Full Council Decisions
Weald of Kent Preservation Society
Copy letters of objection have been received in respect 01/00428/AS Roberts Farm, Monks Hill – variation of condition 6 and 01/00484/AS Pond Farm, Weeks Lane – proposed new house and garage. NOTED.
Parish Councils are to receive copies of letters sent to individuals committing Breaches of Planning Control. NOTED.
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL DECISIONS were tabled and noted.
The cheques presented were approved and signed and receipts noted.
The Clerk’s request for authorisation to purchase a pack of 6 ZIP Disks at £45.49 was APPROVED.
Tree Warden Scheme – A donation of £75.00 to BTCV was AGREED.
Parish Audit 2000-01 the accounts are to be deposited with the Auditors on 4 June and the audit meeting will take place on 18 June 2001. NOTED.
Parish Council accounts 2000/01 - Details of the financial situation as at 31st March 2001 and budget reports as at the end of year were TABLED (The retiring Chairman had approved and signed the full accounts prior to the Annual Parish Meeting on 24 April 2001.)
The following items of correspondence were NOTED:
Funding Opportunities for Rural Areas: "Leader+" – KRCC wishes to identify projects to be included in a Mid-Kent bid for funding and candidates to join the partnership board.
Tenterden Tigers FC will be hiring one of the Biddenden pitches next season.
A Kent Market Town Conference will take place on 22 May at Staplehurst Village Hall.
Street Lighting – Ashford BC has confirmed that there is currently no funding for new street lights.
Concessionary Bus Fares – details have been displayed on the noticeboard.
Recycling Bins – The Clerk is to be contacted should the arrangement of additional emptying be required.
The Hi Kent mobile unit (charity for the deaf & hard of hearing) will be at the Biddenden Garden Centre on 14 May.
Potholes – Should be reported to Ashford BC Highways Unit on (01233) 330301
Local Housing – The recent vacancy at Cheeselands has been filled.
Mobile Speed Indicator Device – The Clerk reported on the feedback data supplied by KCC.
Ashford BC’s Annual Parish Council Evening will take place on 27 November 2001 and will include an update on the Model Code of Conduct for Members.
Model Code of Conduct – A copy of the Borough Council’s response has been received.
Ashford Borough Review – Copy for the next edition, which will include an events listing for August to October, should be sent to Adrian Westwood at Ashford BC by 1st June 2001.
Road Closure – Whitfield road will be closed for approx. 4 days from 4 June for repair work.
VILLAGE DESIGN STATEMENT
A further Open Public Meeting, to be chaired by Richard Carr, is to be arranged for 7.30pm on Tuesday 26 June in the Old Village Hall. AGREED.
GORDON JONES PLAYING FIELD
Event at Squash Club - It was agreed that the Council’s permission would be required for events which also required the use of the playing field and therefore a written request should be made. (Post Meeting note: Cllr. Mrs. Swain has since advised that the event discussed will not be proceeding.)
Missing posts by car park – Cllrs. Farris and Conway will use the surplus posts from the Village Green to rectify this problem. AGREED.
MILLENNIUM FIELD COMMITTEE REPORT
There have been no further meetings of the Millennium Field Committee.
KCC hope to be able to announce the lifting of some of its footpath closures at a meeting to be held on 9 May. If the news is good it is hoped that the event on 16th June can proceed as planned. NOTED.
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL REPORT – No report
Village Junction Layout
The Clerk reported that Alan Joynson, Highways Manager, had confirmed that:
The requested speed limit extensions will not be considered at this time.
The gateway features will actually be just red surfacing although, if the need is proven, other enhancements may be considered.
The Council will be notified when the design work for the junction modification has been completed.
Mr. Joynson is to be advised of the Council’s wish to be kept up-to-date on the design progress and that it wishes to have another meeting with the Highways Unit before the final design is approved. A copy of this request is to be forwarded to Mr. J Jory. AGREED.
Cllr. Wingham will liaise with Jamie Watson regarding the problem with the blacked out white lines.
MATTERS FOR FUTURE CONSIDERATION
Planning Committee, High Street parking restrictions.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting will be held on Tuesday 12th June at 7.30p.m.in the Club House.
The meeting closed at 9.24p.m.