Council - Official Website
Held on Tuesday 11th December 2001 at 7.30p.m. in the Club House
QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC IN RESPECT OF NON-AGENDA ITEMS - No matters raised.
The minutes of the meeting of 13 November 2001 were approved and signed.
Village Design Statement (this item was held over until Mr. Carr’s arrival)
Training - Mr. Carr and Cllr. Richards attended a "swap shop" event at Ashford BC and 6 members of the core group have now been to the workshop run by Rose Associates -which was funded by the Kent Downs AONB.
Finance – Enquiries are being made as to how the finance of the group should be administered.
Parish Plans – The general agreement is that a Parish Plan is considered after the VDS has been completed i.e. it is not usual to try and do both together. Mr. Carr has advised David Terry (Countryside Agency) that Biddenden is just starting the VDS stage and is therefore not in a position to commence work on a Parish Plan. NOTED.
Village Green tree - The further details supplied by the Tree Warden were noted. Guide prices for two of the suggested varieties of replacement tree have been obtained from Highbanks Nursery (Ash £32.00 and Maple £62.00 – both 5ft trees). Two other quotes are to be provided, which are to include the additional suggestion of a "Holm" Oak. AGREED. The Chairman confirmed that Grant funding might be available for both the tree and marquee - she will report back when further details are available.
Kentweek – Next year’s event will be replaced by the Community Festival, which cover the whole month of June. The Millennium Field Committee will consider a date for its annual event at its next meeting.
Additional land - Those members of the public who attended the consultation meeting on 6th December had given the project full support (one letter of objection received). The letter agreed at the last meeting had not been sent to parishioners due to uncertainties about the loan amount. The basis of the letter was discussed further and agreed - Cllr. Conway will assist in its drafting.
Cllr. Conway distributed copies of a Management Plan; drafted for use with grant applications but which may also address any queries from the public. He also reported on additional grant enquiries made since last week’s meeting, some of which look promising. The Clerk confirmed that no early redemption charges would be made should part of the new loan be repaid within the first year (as per PWLB).
High Street Pavements – The Chairman, Vice Chairman and Cllrs. Mrs. Cansdale and Griffiths will meet with representatives of Ashford BC on 19th December, to discuss materials.
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL REPORT – No report
Full Council Decisions:
01/00837/AS – Browns Yard, Smarden Road
The Planning Department has provided clarification with regards to the concerns raised over the granting of the above permission:
Landscaping -The Planning officer is happy to provide the Parish Council with any details forthcoming for assessment as to acceptability.
Processing – The application was considered on the basis of a storage and distribution site. The planning Officer is of the belief that there is probably no intention to carry out any processing at the site. NOTED.
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL DECISIONS were tabled and noted.
MILLENNIUM FIELD COMMITTEE REPORT
The Committee’s Secretary had been unable to attend the last meeting so a verbal report was given. Details included further discussion relating to the Noticeboard, Nature trail and the presentation for last week’s consultation meeting. Thanks were also given to Mrs. Hams for her efforts in respect of the Nature Trail. NOTED.
Budgets & Precept
After discussion, the suggested revised budget figures were discussed and agreed. As a result a precept request of £ 25,500.00 is to be made for the financial year 2002/03. The Concurrent Functions Grant is to be paid in addition to this sum, as in previous years. AGREED.
The cheques presented at the meeting were approved and signed.
Legal Fees – Land Purchase
The guide figure of £826.87 (inclusive of Stamp Duty, Land Registry, searches and VAT), quoted by the Council’s Solicitors for the purchase of the additional land was AGREED.
Drainage Problems at the Bowls Club – Additional quotes obtained by Bowls Club:
Cllr. Richards gave further details as to the background of the current problems and, having spoken to Mr. G Brown, is confident that only his quote (£1,800.00 + Vat) covers the exact work needed to resolve the problem. Mr. Brown, having great knowledge of the site, will work to the level of the old drains - below the current existing drains - which are the actual cause of the problem.
After discussion, it was agreed that the contract be awarded to G & S Brown providing that written confirmation that work will be carried out to the level of the said old drains, is received. It was felt that this would offer Best Value due to the contractor’s knowledge of the site, which has resulted in the more extensive work suggested. AGREED.
Details will be given to the Club House Management Committee to consider a contribution towards the costs. NOTED.
Angley School Donation Request– Cllr. Richards will attend the information meeting at Cranbrook Parish Council on 14 January at 7.30pm
Quality Town & Parish Council Consultation Document -A Summary of the consultation document was distributed to all Councillors before the meeting. A request for further copies of the full document is still outstanding. Cllr. Conway had been briefed on its contents (and that of the Model Code of Conduct) at a recent Parish Forum and confirmed that KAPC would be looking into both in more detail.
The Chairman took the copy of the full consultation document for consideration and will liaise with Cllr. Conway. Comments are required by 14th February 2001.
Model Code of Conduct -A copy of the code of conduct for Parish Councils was tabled for each Councillor. Each Authority (PC) must adopt a code of conduct applying to all members, incorporating the provisions of the model code, by May 2001. During this period authorities can decide whether to adopt the code as it is or add additional clauses. ABC is hoping that there will be one Parish Code locally, if possible, and it is hoped that this can be achieved by consultation with Parish Councils and KAPC.
Copies of the Standards Board’s quick guide of the New Rules of Conduct for Members plus the Guide to Part III of the Local Government Act 2000 were also distributed to all Councillors. Once adopted all members are bound by the new Code and must agree that they will observe it. The new rules also require each member to provide a record of their interests in a public register. NOTED.
Details of the National Training Strategy for Parish & Town Councils were given. NOTED.
The Countryside Agency is in the process of identifying and producing maps of open country and registered Common land. A draft map for Biddenden has been received with no areas indicated. Comments required by 11th February and the matter is to be discussed further at the January meeting. AGREED.
Parish Paths Maps - The deadline for submitting photos and illustrations is 30/12/01 - copy of the letter sent to Cllr. Stokes.
The following items of correspondence were NOTED:
Local Needs Housing newsletter. TABLED.
The Silver Felix Youth Centre - Details of its outreach service for young people aged 12-20.
Ashford B C Youth Forum Promotion - To be launched on 30th January 2002. It will provide young people aged 12-20 with the opportunity to voice their opinions on matters that concern them within the borough. Details sent to Parish Magazine and Kentish Express.
A Consultation Document on the Modernisation of Health Services in East Kent 2001-2005, has been received. Comments required by 28th Feb 2002. (TABLED)
Definitive Map Modification Order, to upgrade Footpath AT26 at Biddenden to Bridleway Status, has been declined by the Inspector.
Register of Electors - Must only be used for Council purposes.
It was proposed that Maureen Farris be appointed as one of 3 Parish Council Nominated Trustees, for a term of 4yrs. This vacancy has arisen from the retirement of H Deacon after 31 years in the position, to whom a vote of thanks was given. AGREED.
GORDON JONES PLAYING FIELD
Maintenance work at the children’s play area – this is to be followed up with Fairway Engineering.
5 – a-side goal posts – Evans Sports show goal post in its catalogue from about £200.00 upwards. Quotes from two other suppliers are to be obtained. NOTED.
KAPC & PARISH FORUM REPORTS
The reports from Cllr. Conway included:
GM Crops – Currently Councils have no say in the introduction of such trials. KAPC is to be asked to pursue the introduction of a licensing process.
Future Development in Ashford – the pressures on local services including communications and schools were discussed.
Also details of the Quality Town & Parish Council Consultation Document, the recent Vandalism in Parishes Meeting and plans by English Heritage to create a record of all listed buildings (with photos) which will be published on its website. This last item is causing security concerns and the Forum will be asking KAPC to investigate.
Kent now has two teams of Parish Wardens, one of which will be based in Cranbrook. They have no powers of arrest (apart from a citizen’s arrest) and will act as the eyes and ears of the police.
WPC Williams is now trained to use the laser speed detection gun. The Clerk is to write to WPC Williams to request its deployment in Biddenden.
MATTERS FOR FUTURE CONSIDERATION –
Quality Town & Parish Council Consultation document and the Countryside Agency’s Open Spaces Map.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Council will take place on Tuesday 8th January 2002 at 7.30p.m. in the Old Village Hall.
The meeting closed at 9.30p.m.