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Held on Tuesday 10th July 2001 at 7.30p.m. in the Club House
QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC IN RESPECT OF NON-AGENDA ITEMS
There were no questions raised at this point.
The minutes of the meeting of Tuesday 12th June 2001 were approved and signed.
Structure of Committees – A further communication from KAPC has confirmed the need establish the Millennium Field Advisory Committee as a formal Committee although further advice is still awaited in respect of planning. The idea of holding future Millennium Field Committee Meetings in the Village Hall, say on the 4th Tuesday of the month was also discussed. It was also suggested that this date could be used for Planning Committee meetings if required.
A proposition to formalise the Millennium Field Committee and appoint its members under item 12 on the agenda was seconded and, after a vote, CARRIED.
High Street Parking restrictions – Ashford BC’s comment that "It is not aware of a parking problem in Biddenden" is to be pursued. Cllr. Wingham will draft a reply for consideration at the next meeting. AGREED.
Village Green Maintenance – The £70.00 very kindly donated by residents is to be used to cover the cost of the recently purchased shrubs and compost. The balance of £10.00 will go towards the cost of bulbs. AGREED.
Maintenance of Village Noticeboard – Cllr. Mrs. Griffiths is to make enquiries regarding the repainting of the board outside Turner’s Stores. NOTED. (Post meeting note: Mr. Stroud is to supply a quotation)
Village Junction Layout – The Highways Unit has confirmed that the detailed design work for the minor alterations has been completed and that a copy will be sent to the Parish Council once the safety audit has been carried out. Cllr. Bell has asked for confirmation of when the remaining elements of the gateway features and the speed indicator device are to be implemented.
Instead of the offered meeting with Mr. Corcoran of the Highways Unit, an on-site meeting with Mr. Jory (Development Services Director, Ashford BC), Mr. Joynson (Highways Manager) and the KCC Area Highways Manager is to be requested. Cllrs. Claughton, Clokie and Bell are also to be invited. AGREED.
Car Park Greenery – Ashford BC has confirmed that the promised work to remove the hops from the young plants has been carried out. Hedge trimming will take place sometime in the period 16th July to 12th August. NOTED.
Mr. Brightling will mow the village green more frequently, using a lower cut.
High Street Pavements – A source of additional funding has not been found - English Heritage only offer grants where there is a grade I listing. There has been no further news regarding the Bethersden Marble missing from outside Turner’s Stores. NOTED.
Recycling Bins – An advert has been submitted to the Parish Magazine to remind residents that only glass bottles and jars can be deposited at the recycling bins.
(Cllr. Wingham left the meeting at this point)
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL REPORT – No report
The meeting was closed at 8.20pm to allow members of the public to speak and re-opened at 8.25pm.
*The use of additional land granted by the Parish Council in 1999 – Cllr Richards will make enquiries regarding the updating of the lease.
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL DECISIONS were tabled and noted. Concern was expressed over recent Borough Council Planning Sub-Committee decisions which had overturned the objections raised by the Parish Council, although Cllr. Raffe felt that its decision to grant consent in respect of 01/00603/AS (1, Little Acre) was correct.
The cheques presented were APPROVED and signed and the receipts NOTED.
Concurrent Functions Grant 2000/01 – details of the Council’s spending on qualifying concurrent functions has been submitted to Ashford BC as required under the rules of the grant.
Sign at the entrance to the Playing Field – Iden Signs has confirmed that a lower charge was made, as the removable blocks had proved unnecessary.
Audit – The audit meeting took place on 19 June. The Clerk was instructed to "minute" the reasons given should the Council not accept the lowest quote for a product/service. District Audit is to forward its certificate of audit and report, which will be reported to the Council accordingly.
Details of the Council’s finance, as at the end of the first quarter, were tabled and NOTED.
(Prior to the commencement of the meeting the Chairman accepted a request from Cllr Richards for an additional item of confidential correspondence to be discussed at the end of the meeting when a proposition for the exclusion of the public would be made.)
A draft consultation document on a borough-wide parking strategy for Ashford has been received for comment from the Highways Unit. TABLED.
Report from the Rural Housing Trust– (copies of the report were circulated to all Councillors prior to the meeting). Clarification is to be sought as to whether any conditions have been imposed on the offer of gifted land. AGREED.
Status of the Millennium Field - The Council is not looking to change the status of the land at this point in time. AGREED.
The following items of correspondence and action by the Clerk were NOTED:
Foot & Mouth - With a few exceptions, all footpaths in Kent are now open. Only new KCC notices dated 9 July are valid - any old notices, covered signs or obstruction should be reported to the Local Rights of Way Office (01233 850629)
The junction outside Turners Stores will be closed to traffic for approx. 5 days from 16 July for works by Mid-Kent Water. There will be 3-way traffic signals for traffic turning left onto North Street and access to all properties on the High Street will be maintained at all times.
KCC Draft protocol for illegal Encampments on Local Authority Land (tabled) – Any comments on this document are by 31 July 2001.
A resident of North Street has written about the car park entrance junction, damage to the no entry sign by Turners Stores and traffic speed.
Ashford NHS Primary Care Group is seeking to become a Primary Care Trust. Public consultation will run until 21 September and a public meeting will take place on Wednesday 1 August at Tenterden Town Hall.
Vacancy at Cheeselands – Southern Housing has given details of its recommendation.
Ashford Weald Housing properties, Chulkhurst - Water main renewal work has now commenced.
Website (www.biddenden.gov.uk) – Recent problems with the site have been resolved. There is now a "subscribe" page for those who wish to receive details of updates on the site.
Sewage Works – Complaints over the recent unpleasant smells are to be reported.
The damage to the No entry Sign (Turner’s Stores) has been reported together with the junction layout sign on North Street, which is obscured by the hedge.
Waste Bin on North Street - the missing metal liner has been reported.
SALARIES OF Lengthsman and Clerk
The Lengthsman’s salary is to be increased by 5% to £273.67 per month and the Clerk’s salary* by the NALC recommended scales to £479.50 per month. AGREED.
(*The Clerk was not present in the room for the duration of these discussions)
VILLAGE DESIGN STATEMENT
The Chairman reported on the idea of a "Parish Plan", as presented to her at a recent meeting held by KRCC.
It was agreed that there would be no sub-committee created to liaise between the VDS Group and the Parish Council.
Cllr. Richards will continue to liaise with Mr. Carr regarding the formation of a VDS Group.
(Post meeting note: plans for a stand at the Church Fete did not materialise)
GORDON JONES PLAYING FIELD
Cllr. Farris reported as follows:
The wire netting and gravel boards at the Children’s play area require attention. Cllr Farris will carry out the stapling work (with the Council paying for materials) and repair the broken gate. AGREED.
The repairs to the "Sputnik" roundabout and the installation of the seat and picnic bench are still outstanding.
Additional topsoil is needed to fill the cracks in the ground by the squash courts and more trees are needed in the picnic area.
MILLENNIUM FIELD COMMITTEE REPORT
After a proposition by Cllr. Mrs. Cansdale was seconded and AGREED, the following individuals were formally appointed as members of the Millennium Field Advisory Committee: Cllrs. Richards, Farris, Conway and Mrs. Swain, Mr. R Swain, Mr. J Wheadon, Mr. H Richards plus the Chairman and Vice Chair of the Parish Council.
The Committee will elect its Chairman at its next meeting, terms of reference will also be considered for submission to the Parish Council. (NALC Legal Topic Note for Local Council Meetings confirms that the Council determines the membership of a committee)
The next meeting of the Advisory Committee will be held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 25th July at Wealden, Cot Lane. Future meetings will then take place in the Old Village Hall on the last Tuesday of the month commencing Tuesday 28th August (post meeting note: this will not be possible on 25th September 2001 or in April of any year due to the VDS Meeting and Annual Parish Meeting respectively and may therefore require further consideration.)
Cllr. Richards reported on the minutes of the meeting held on 27 June 2001. (Post meeting note: The original cheque for the Circus School has now been cancelled.)
Cheese & Wine Evening – an alternative date needs to be agreed, as the suggested date of 14th July did not prove possible.
Additional items to be considered at the next Committee Meeting include the maintenance of commemorative trees and the idea of a Commemorative Book.
MATTERS FOR FUTURE CONSIDERATION
Items for the next agenda include: Minor Authority for the John Mayne School Governors plus KAPC, Parish Forum and Police Reports by Cllr. Conway.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Council will take place on Tuesday 14 August 2001 at 7.30p.m.in the Club House.
At 9.50pm it was RESOLVED that in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted, it was advisable in the public interest that the public be temporarily excluded and they were instructed to withdraw.
The Valuation Report for the land adjoining the Millennium Field was discussed. Cllr. Richards will now speak with the landowner. AGREED.
The meeting closed at 10.10p.m