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Held on Tuesday 8th January 2002 at 7.30p.m. in the Club House
(In the absence of the Clerk, due to illness, the Chairman and Cllr. Wingham took notes of the meeting.)
QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC IN RESPECT OF NON-AGENDA ITEMS - No matters raised.
The minutes of the meeting of 11 December 2001 were approved and signed.
Quality Town & Parish Council Consultation Paper
The Chairman will liaise with Cllr. Conway and respond before the deadline of 14 February 2002. NOTED.
The Countryside Agencys Open Spaces Map
A response noting the omission of the Village Green is to be submitted. AGREED.
New Code of Conduct
KAPC is advising Parish Councils to begin the process of adoption as soon as possible. Concern was expressed regarding the required declaration of interests. This item is to be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.
Bowls Club The requested written confirmation from Mr. Brown is still outstanding. Cllr. Richards confirmed that no approach has yet been made to the Village Hall Management Committee with regard to a contribution. A letter is to be sent accordingly. AGREED.
After discussing the various suggested tree varieties Cllr. Richards proposed that a Holm Oak be planted on the Village Green. This was seconded by Cllr. Farris and AGREED. Further consideration to the cost and location is to be given at the next meeting.
High Street Pavements
A decision has been made on the block paving (Pennant Grey). The work has been programmed for February 2002 and a letter will be sent to all businesses affected by the works. NOTED.
Cllr. Bell has confirmed that it would help if the PC offered to pay a contribution towards traffic calming measures. However the Borough Council's resources are booked up for the next 2 years on works directly related to safety, so even a financial contribution might not be enough to raise the priority of a scheme when competing on safety terms. NOTED.
The Highways Unit has carried out initial investigation regarding the siting of an interactive speed sign. The only potential location is the Sissinghurst Road 30mph terminal as it is straight and has a crash record, however speed checks would need to be carried out to see whether average vehicle speeds are at least 5mph above the limit. It was AGREED to pursue an application for an interactive sign at this site.
Parish Paths partnership Maps - Cllr Stokes has forwarded suggestions to the relevant department and the matter is now proceeding. NOTED.
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL REPORT
At the request of Cllr. Bell in his absence, the Chairman reported that Ashford BC's Standard Spending Assessment had been set at £11 million for the next financial year. As its budget forecast is £12 million there is a shortfall of £1 million. Proposals to address this were to be discussed at that evening's Executive Meeting. Cllr Bell would be arguing that, if at all possible, any increase in the Borough Council's portion of the Council Tax be kept as close to inflation as possible. NOTED.
Full Council Decisions:
Oaklands Farm Holdings, Fosten Green
Appeal Proposal: 3-bedroom mobile home (dwelling on agricultural holding) renewal of temporary.
Appeal Start Date12 December 01
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL DECISIONS were tabled and noted.
The cheques presented at the meeting were authorised and receipts noted.
Public Works Loan Board Existing Loan Repayments - £1,940.20 will be paid by DDM on 16 January 2002. NOTED.
Concurrent Functions grant for 2002/03 has been confirmed at £2416.89. NOTED.
South East Regional Play Association (SERPA)- A donation of £20.00 was AGREED. (Cheque to be presented for approval at the next meeting - S137 payment)
BEST is looking for a donation towards the replacement of the Christmas lights, which cost £650.00. This is to be included in next month's agenda. AGREED.
Cllr. Farris will contact British Gates regarding its quote. The Playing Fields Representatives will assess the site in terms of type and location of replacement posts and will report back at the next meeting.
Tenterden Tigers FC Due to the lack of home games to be played by the Senior Team this season, no additional charge will be made be for its boy's team for the remainder of the season. AGREED.
Ashford BC Car Park - letters are to be sent to Ashford BC chasing the promised works to the hedge and to request attention to the potholes in the car park.
The following items of correspondence were NOTED:
Local Government White Paper - details as covered in a Special Edition of the KAPCs Parish News (sent to all Cllrs.)
An application pack for the Village of the Year 2002 has been received. Applications are to be submitted by 31st March. A seminar specifically for first time entrants will take place at Godmersham Village Hall on 18th January 2-4pm.
Rate relief for Shops Post Offices etc. Proposals to alter the settlement boundaries for rate relief have been announced for 4 parishes within the Borough. This does not affect Biddenden.
Planning Green Paper: Delivering a fundamental change - A copy of this document has been requested by the Clerk, which Cllr. Raffe agreed to consider.
A resident of North Street has expressed concern that residents are unable to drive safely out of their drives along this stretch of road - a problem that resulted in an accident at the end of December.
ABC has been asked for an update on the proposals to remove the rubbish from the Cheeselands Play Area.
Local Needs Housing Having received a positive letter from the Borough Council's Planning Department, The Rural Housing Trust is to prepare draft sketch proposals to allow planning to make further comment. The Parish Council will be included in discussions of the drawings, when available.
Cllr. Richards read extracts of a letter from the vendor's solicitor dated 18th December. He has subsequently advised the Council's Solicitor of the need to clarify the development restrictions the vendor will impose so as not to exclude the possibility of a future new sporting facility. Cllr. Mrs. Swain confirmed that as there was currently no draft contract, completion by the end of January 2002 was extremely unlikely. As it had been confirmed that the tenants licence expires on 30th April 2002 (one month notice required) the Chairman commented that this would seem a more suitable completion date. (Post meeting note: Borrowing approval expires 31st March 2002 so funds may need to be drawn down in advance of completion i.e. on exchange of contracts).
The Chairman felt that the Council should adhere to the £37,500 loan agreed in the precept and budget calculations at the December meeting. However due to the delay in the funding appeal it was AGREED, after discussion, that the borrowing approval be increased to £47,500 (no authority to increase the Council's level of borrowing was given at this time.)
The following matters were also discussed and AGREED:
The deposit will come from the Parish Council (as opposed to Millennium Field) account.
A final draft of the appeal letter is to be approved by the Chairman. Approval was given for the Clerk to purchase additional stationery supplies in this respect. The Clerk is to produce 1000 letters and printed envelopes and Cllr. Mrs. Griffiths will co-ordinate distribution.
Any donations received will be paid into the existing current account however a separate heading is to be included in the accounts so that such receipts may be easily identified. The opening of a new account was considered but the idea dismissed after clarification that the bank's requirements.
(Post meeting note: Further investigations regarding Gift Aid and Charity Status are to be made.)
GORDON JONES PLAYING FIELD
The bottle bank and dog fouling bin (by tennis courts) both require emptying (Reported by Clerk post meeting)
Mr. Brightling is to be contacted again regarding the weeds around the children's play area. A request to top up the 'woodfill' is to be considered at the next meeting.
MILLENNIUM FIELD COMMITTEE REPORT
The next meeting of the Committee will take place on 22nd January 2002, 7.30p.m. at Wealden, Cot Lane.
MATTERS FOR FUTURE CONSIDERATION February Agenda: Tree for Village Green, Top-up woodfill at the Children's play area, BEST contribution request for replacement Christmas lights, New Code of Conduct, the Youth of the Village and report from WPC Williams. (Post meeting note: WPC Williams is unable to attend the February meeting but will endeavour to update the Clerk before then).
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Council will take place on Tuesday 12th February 2002 at 7.30p.m. in the Old Village Hall.