Council - Official Website
Held on Tuesday 13th November 2001 at 7.30p.m. in the Club House
PRESENTATION BY CLIVE POWELL, PARISH COUNCIL ADVISER, KAPC
After an introduction from the Chairman, Mr. Powell addressed the Council on various structural and procedural matters including the role of KAPC and heightening the profile of Parish Councils. Emphasis was placed on the recently released Consultation Paper on Quality Parish Councils, which is seen as one of the most significant documents in the last 30 years and one that every Council should review and comment.
The Chairman thanked Mr. Powell for his presentation and after a short interval the Business of the Council proceeded as follows:
QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC IN RESPECT OF NON-AGENDA ITEMS
This item is to continue in its present format. AGREED
The minutes of the meeting of 9 October 2001 were approved and signed.
Village Design Statement – The Chairman reported that Mr. Carr has arranged a training session with Mrs. Rose on 3rd December. Mr. Carr is to be asked for his comments on information provided to him by Cllr. Conway relating to Parish Plans. AGREED.
Rural Housing Trust Proposals – Ashford BC is unable to provide independent clarification as to the current housing need as it commissions RHT do carry out work on its behalf. However its Housing Enabler was able to confirm that it is the job of the Borough Council to ensure the figures ‘stack-up’ before its authorises funding for new schemes.
The Parish Council is to offer its support to progress the Rural Housing Trust’s proposals to the next stage. AGREED.
Millennium Beacon – Cllr. Mrs. Swain will report back to the Council at the next meeting. NOTED.
Jubilee Celebrations – The Tree Warden has supplied details relating to a possible replacement tree on the Village Green. Further advice is to be sought from the Tree Warden and the Borough Council’s Landscape Office.
The Chairman floated an idea that had been put to her relating to the current planned weekend of celebrations. It has been suggested that all groups and organisations within the Parish are brought together to arrange a number of events – some of these will have a subsidised ticket cost in order to finance further events. All arrangements will compliment the existing Church Flower Festival timetable. The initial thought is that a core committee is formed with finger committees running off it to organise the individual events. The Chairman and Cllr. Mrs. Cansdale would be happy to be part of the core committee.
The dates for Kentweek 2002 have still not been set and concerns relating to a possible clash of dates were noted.
The idea of the Council funding the cost of a marquee, to host the various activities, was discussed and a sum of £1,500.00 is to be allocated in the budgets. AGREED.
Skate Park Petition – A letter has been sent to the parents of those responsible for the petition and to the school but no interest has been expressed to-date. NOTED.
Cheeselands Play Area – Bollards at the Cheeselands end have been concreted in plus the gate locked and fences renewed at the Meadows end. Ashford BC is currently obtaining quotes to have the rubbish removed. NOTED
High Street Pavements –Approval was given to the Highways Unit’s proposal to replace the slabs on the North side on the High Street with block paving, as this has now been approved by the Borough Council Conservation Officer. AGREED. Mr. Watson (Highways Unit) has been able to secure additional funding of £13,000.00 for this project and, subject to quotations, hopes this will be sufficient for the area of Turners Stores to the Rectory. Block samples will be made available to the Parish Council prior to commencement. He also hopes that further funds will be available in future years for additional work.
PAYE, a specialist stone restoration company, estimate the cost of lifting and re-bedding of the Bethersden Marble to be £89,380.00, increasing by £16,745.00 should the sub-base need replacing.
The Highways Unit has confirmed that the damaged tarmac area to the left of the school entrance will be attended to, as soon as possible. NOTED.
Village Green –A number of bulbs have now been planted, more are to follow. NOTED.
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL REPORT
Cllr. Bell confirmed that Ashford B C has allocated funds for a speed indicator device, in its budgets for 2002/3. However, due to the criteria for the placement of such devices it may not be technically possible for one to be installed on the Tenterden or Headcorn Road. This matter is to be investigated further by the Highways Unit in due course. NOTED. (Cllr. Bell left the meeting at this point.)
Village Junction Layout
Damage to the curbing on the new promontory has already been reported but the removal of the bollards will also be reported. Cllr. Wingham advised that the promised work to move the curbline (from the car park entrance to Henden Hall) appears to have been overlooked. The Clerk will pursue this with the Highways Unit.
Cllr. Conway will be speaking to PC Gilmore about speed checks at his next Police Forum meeting.
Planning Sub-Committee Decisions -29 October 2001 (GS/EC/MC/DH/BW)
Full Council Decisions
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL DECISIONS were tabled and noted.
MILLENNIUM FIELD COMMITTEE REPORT
Cllr. Conway gave a report on the financial considerations with regards to the possible purchase of additional land, including the financing of any shortfall of funds. Unfortunately there appears to be no grant funding available for this purpose at the present time although there are a couple of possibilities for funds at a later date.
After lengthy discussions a proposition was made to put the purchase of the additional land in motion - seconded and agreed. This is to include the formation of a committee - consisting of Cllrs. Conway, Richards & the Vice-Chairman (The Chairman exercised her right to be excluded on this occasion) – the involvement of the Councils’ Solicitors and the production of a letter to the public. Authorisation for an additional valuation report was also given, if required. AGREED.
Budget estimates – Cllr. Conway stated that a sum of £2,000-3,000 would be sufficient to cover the anticipated maintenance during the next year. NOTED.
Memorial Trees – Based on advice received from the nursery, it has been decided to delay the replacement of memorial trees until February/March 2002. In the meantime 180 whips are to be ordered for gap filling. AGREED.
The minutes of the meetings held on 10th October & 7th November had been circulated and NOTED. The next meeting of the Millennium Field Committee will take place on Wednesday 4th December at Wealden, Cot Lane.
The cheques presented at the meeting were approved and signed and receipts noted.
A Donation Request of £50.00 in favour of Tenterden Citizens Advice Bureau was AGREED and a cheque AUTHORISED (228).
Audit of Biddenden Parish Council Accounts 2000/01
The Audit of the Council’s financial statements is now complete and an unqualified opinion of the accounts given.
Copies of the District Auditors Report were presented to all Councillors, which resulted in agreement to ‘sign off’ the accompanying action plan. AGREED.
Donation request from Angley School Farm – The farm is looking for pledges for outside funding towards its annual running costs, for the next 3 years. A meeting has been arranged at the offices of Cranbrook Parish Council on Monday 14th January 2002, 7.30pm so that representatives from each Parish contacted may raise questions. NOTED.
Quotation presented by the Bowls Club re proposed drainage works around Bowling Green: G & S Brown
The Bowls Club is to be asked to obtain two additional quotations for comparison. AGREED. The Club’s comment regarding the unavailability of grant funding was noted.
Mowing of the Village & Playing Field -Details of the three estimates received were tabled. It was AGREED that the contract for the 2002 season be awarded to Mr. Brightling (Fairway Engineering).
Budgets – expenditure for the remainder of the current financial year and budgets for 2002/03 were discussed. Based on this, the Clerk will prepare a provisional Precept figure for discussion at the next meeting. AGREED.
A copy of the Consultation paper on Quality Parish & Town Councils has been received. The closing date for responses is 14th February 2002. The Clerk will attempt to obtain copies for all Councillors for discussion at the next meeting. AGREED.
NALC and the Countryside Agency have also issued an update on the National Training Strategy for Parish and Town Councils (tabled). The new Strategy, which will be published any time now, aims to provide a programme that meets the competency requirements for Quality Parish Council Status throughout the country. NOTED.
Turner’s Stores – A letter of support is to be sent to the Countryside Agency in respect of Mr. Shah’s grant application towards the cost of refurbishment works. AGREED.
Biddenden has been awarded a Highly Commended Certificate in this year’s Kent Men of the Trees Competition. NOTED.
ABC’s Annual Parish Council Evening – Councillors were reminded that this years event is to be held on Tuesday 27th November, 6.00 – 8.30p.m. at the Civic Centre. Names of those attending required a.s.a.p. The meeting will include and update on the Model Code of Conduct. NOTED.
Rev. Cox has arranged a Biddenden Christmas Celebration for 7.30pm on Wednesday 19th December. The celebration will consist of carols and readings followed by mulled wine and mince pies. Rev Cox hopes that members of the Council will attend. NOTED.
The following items of correspondence were also noted:
ABC Forward Plan of Key Decisions November – February (tabled)
Notice for the transfer of the Restaurant Licence for the Kushboo Tandoori.
ABC has announced the appointment of Sally-Anne Howard as Youth Development Officer.
GORDON JONES PLAYING FIELD
RoSPA Report – Cllr. Mrs. Swain reported that, apart from the ‘Sputnik’, the report only highlights general maintenance matters.
Weeds are still growing through in the infants play area and graffiti has been noted in the junior section. NOTED.
The Clerk will make enquiries regarding the replacement of the five-a-side goals.
MATTERS FOR FUTURE CONSIDERATION – December agenda: agree budgets and Precept, Quality Parish Council Consultation Paper, Consolidated Charities – PC Nomination (proposal: Maureen Farris to replace H. Deacon), KAPC, Parish Forum & Police Reports.
Other matters for future consideration: Cllr. Raffe’s request that all minutes tabled are taken as read.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Council will take place on Tuesday 11 December 2001 at 7.30p.m.in the Club House.
The meeting closed at 10.55p.m