Parish Council - Official Website
Held on Tuesday 9 April 2002 at 7.30p.m. in the Old Village Hall
With the permission of the Chairman Mr. Rymer-Jones gave the following update on the Jubilee Celebrations at this point, to allow him to attend another meeting:
JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS - An order has been placed for Jubilee Mugs, which are to be given to the children of John Mayne School. It is the aim to start the main arrangements and the sale of tickets following the Mayday bank holiday. A full committee meeting has been called for 25th April after which it is hoped the required volunteers will be recruited. Reassurance was given once more that the Council would not be asked for financial support beyond the £1,000.00 agreed. NOTED.
CONSIDER THE ADOPTION OF THE NEW CODE OF CONDUCT -
Mr. Mortimer, Monitoring Officer, Ashford BC invited questions from Councillors in order to address concerns relating to the Code. He also clarified points of procedure. The Chairman thanked Mr. Mortimer for his guidance.
It was proposed that the Council formally adopt the Code, without amendment, with effect from 1st May 2002. This was seconded and AGREED.
All Councillors present signed a Declaration of Undertaking to Observe the Code and were given the formal Register of Interests form for completion and return (within 28 days of 1st May).
QUESTIONS/COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC IN RESPECT OF NON-AGENDA ITEMS - No matters raised.
The minutes of the meeting of 12th March and the Extraordinary Meeting of 20th March 2002 were approved and signed.
Biddenden Parish Design Statement - Mr. Carr gave a brief update on behalf of the Steering Group. Notices for the forthcoming meeting and workshop (more volunteers required) are now on display. As expenses are now being incurred the Group hopes to receive approval from the Council for the Payment of the £500.00 agreed for 2001/02. Draft budgets are being prepared and will be provided in due course. NOTED.
Additional land Update
Contracts have now been signed and exchange/completion imminent. (Post meeting note: Completion of purchase confirmed 10th April 2002).
Mid Kent Water feels unable to contribute to the appeal fund (although it has agreed to the re-instatement of the verges damaged during its recent programme of works).
Details of the Highways Unit's latest Traffic Management Investigation Programme were tabled for all Councillors.
The Highways Unit has been advised of the concerns regarding Cranbrook Road, Fosten Green. The Council agreed that this should be ranked as a third priority behind the other two matters already in the programme (i.e. speed investigations in the village and pedestrian crossing facilities on the Sissinghurst Road).
It would now appear that the monitoring of the village junction improvements (promised for 2-3 months after implementation of the alterations) will not now take place until November 2002.
The interactive speed limit sign has been included in the County Council's programme for this financial year. NOTED.
Cllr Raffe expressed further concerns regarding the general state of the roads. (Post meeting note: The Clerk has forwarded details to Cllr. Bell to follow up on the Council's request for comments on this matter, made at the last meeting and the Highways Unit is now investigating.)
The Weavers - Cllr. Bell has urged ABC to look into the recurring problems at the Weavers in terms of parking on the verges and pavements plus the underlying problem of lack of parking which has also been raised in correspondence received from a resident.
Nick Watkin, Housing Operations Manager has confirmed that the Highways Unit does not have any plans to carry out major improve at present but if this ever changes the Housing Department would consider a contribution towards any scheme that benefits its tenants. Highways do however intend to reconstruct the damaged verges and insert large oak posts in an attempt to prevent the further damage. This work should be completed by the end of May, at the latest. Cllr. Bell is to be asked to pursue the parking issue as well. AGREED.
Annual Parish Meeting - Cllr. Mrs. Griffiths and Mrs. Cansdale kindly agreed to arrange the refreshments for the meeting. Expenditure up to £30.00 was AGREED. (Section 137)
Tree for Village Green - Cllrs. Raffe and Richards will select and reserve a bare-rooted Holm Oak from Rumwood Nurseries, for planting in the autumn. The cost will be in the region of £140.00-£160.00 plus Vat. NOTED.
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL REPORT - No Report
Full Council Decisions:
*Cllr. Cansdale declared an interest in this application and took no part in the discussions.
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL DECISIONS were tabled and noted.
Land in front of 58 North Street - Tree Preservation Order 2, 2002.
A resident is corresponding with Ashford BC relating to the possible breech of control at this site. NOTED.
The cheques presented at the meeting were APPROVED AND SIGNED.
The following requests for payment in respect of Parish Council contributions agreed in the 2001/02 budgets were APPROVED (Section 137 payments) and cheques AUTHORISED:
Biddenden Parish Design Statement Steering Group - £500.00 (263)
Biddenden Golden Jubilee - £243.00 as the deposit for the marquee hire (264)
Office Equipment - Approval was given for the new Clerk to purchase office equipment up to the value of £200.00 (filing cabinet and bookcase). Travelling expenses were also clarified. AGREED.
The following items were NOTED:
Additional Loan - Half-yearly payments of £1,591.72 to be paid on 16th January and June each year commencing 16 July 2002
Additional Land - John Mayne's Charity Trust regrets that it is unable to make a contribution to the purchase of the additional land as it would be outside the remit of the Trust.
External Audit Arrangements from 2002 - The Audit Commission has given details of the new lighter tough regime (tabled). District Audit has been appointed to carry out audit services in Kent.
Woodchipings at Children's Play Area
As the topping-up of the woodchippings cannot be done until the weeds have been removed Mr. Brightling is to be asked to give and inclusive quote for the removal of the weeds and the spreading of the woodchippings. AGREED.
Kent & Medway Structure Plan Review - Documentation relating to the public consultation was TABLED. A seminar on the review will follow the KRCC's meeting on Friday 26th April, which Cllr. Raffe agreed to attend.
Mid Kent Leader+ Programme of funding -Further details have been received. It is expected that a series of workshops will take place during the next couple of months to help local groups apply for this funding. Cllr. Conway believes that projects in respect of the additional land would not meet the criteria but he will bring further details to the next meeting.
A274 Biddenden to Headcorn - Reconditioning - Details of a meeting for Council representatives were given. Details of the Temporary Traffic Regulation Order affecting Lashenden lane, Smarden Road and Weeks Lane at various dates between 29th April and 2nd September have also been received.
The Following items of correspondence were NOTED:
The Mid-Kent area of Kent Highways has invited representatives from all local Parish Councils to attend an informal meeting about the Kent Highways Partnership. The meeting will take place at 2pm on Monday 22nd April in the Council Chambers, Civic Centre, Ashford.
Ashford Weald Housing Services has produced its programme of maintenance works for 2002/03. TABLED.
Rt. Hon Alun Michael - Minister for Rural Affairs - has written to all Parish & Town Councils to put the record straight over the Government's position with regard to Parish Councils in light of press articles in recent months, which he believes are misleading. TABLED.
GORDON JONES PLAYING FIELD
Cllr Farris reported that the dangerous tree has been felled and that work on the Sputnik was underway. The new goal posts are ready but require erection and several posts by the car park need replacing. As working party resources are running thin it was agreed to look for someone in the village to do this work - the Chairman will make enquiries.
Cllr. Richards advised that an approach has been made to the BVH & S Committee requesting water and electricity at the tennis courts. The Club would need to notify the Council prior to any services being laid. NOTED.
MILLENNIUM FIELD COMMITTEE REPORT
Cllr. Richards reported on the meeting of the Committee held on 20th March. Which included:
Jubilee Event - No final decision has been made with regard the Committee's part in the events. Disappointment has been expressed that there will be no Millennium Field Event in June this year and the suggestion of an event later in the year made. Previous Millennium Field events have proved to be a good source of fund raising for village organisations. Cllr. Mrs. Scott confirmed that any profits from the Jubilee Celebrations would go to the village organisations.
Field Appeal - Thanks were given to all those volunteers who assisted with the production and distribution of the appeal letter. The Committee feels it would be appropriate to send out a follow-up letter giving a report on the progress to-date.
Fund Raising - A Cheese & Wine Evening will take place on Saturday 29th June at Wealden, Cot Lane and a Race Evening planned for the Village Hall in September - both events in aid of the Field Appeal.
KAPC & PARISH FORUM REPORTS
Both meetings addressed the new Code of Conduct, details of which were covered by Mr. Mortimer earlier in the meeting.
Cllr. Conway reported on a recent meeting of the Police Parish Forum:
The New Area Commander for the Weald is Superintendent Peter West.
Sally Coleman, the Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer gave details of a scheme offering security improvements to the homes of elderly resident. Cllr. Conway has further details, which he will provide for the Parish Noticeboard.
Details of recent crime and accident reports were also given. NOTED.
MATTERS FOR FUTURE CONSIDERATION –
Cllr. Farris advised that Mr. Jack Witherden has resigned as the Parish Council-appointed representative for the Biddenden Charity. A letter of thanks is to be sent accordingly.
May agenda to include: Review of agenda item "Questions and Comments from Parishioners", Biddenden Charity - election of new Parish Council Representative, Maintenance of seats in the Village and Recreation Ground. Also arrangements for the new Clerk's absence at the June meeting (added post meeting).
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Council - the Statutory Annual Meeting - will take place on Tuesday 14th May at 7.30p.m. in the Old Village Hall.
Annual Parish Meeting - Tuesday 23rd April 2002 at 7.30p.m in the Old Village Hall.
The meeting was closed at 9.55p.m.