Parish Council - Official Website
Held on Tuesday 9th July 2002 at 7.30p.m. in the Old Village Hall
1. There were no questions or comments from the parishioner present.
2. There were no alterations to the members Register of Interest.
3. The minutes of the meeting held on June 1 were approved and signed by the Chairman after the amendment on page 9 that the Gordon Jones Playing Field car park posts will cost £4.05, plus Vat, each.
4. There were no Matters Arising but the clerk confirmed that all the necessary letters required by the minutes had been written.
5. Planning. All the items discussed at the Special Planning Meeting on June 25 and the four additional items, are listed on page 14 with Council recommendations. In view of the volume of planning issues being received from the Borough, that often could not be delayed for consideration at the next monthly Parish Council meeting, it was decided that an additional Planning Meeting would be held (if required) on the fourth Tuesday of each month. This would be attended by the Chairman, Vice Chairman and three other councillors on a rota basis. All councillors would, of course, be welcome to attend and the meeting would be open to the public. The meetings were scheduled for July 23 August 27 September 24 October 22w’ and November 26
Cllrs Conway, Farris and Mrs E Griffiths would attend on July 23 The items discussed at any Special Planning Meeting would be reported to, and minuted, at the next full council meeting.
6. Finance. All the payments listed on page 15 were agreed. It was noted that since the agenda for this meeting was prepared three donations had been received for the Field Appeal.
£500 from Biddenden Art and Needlework Exhibition.
£208 from ClIr and Mrs Richards following their Cheese and Wine evening.
£100 from a parishioner.
The Council expressed their appreciation of these generous gifts and the clerk would write accordingly.
Cllr Mrs Scott asked when the Finance Committee (of councillors), agreed at the meeting on June 1 1 would meet and what were its terms of reference. Following the meeting the clerk checked with KAPC who advised that the first priority was for the Parish Council to agree brief terms of reference for the Committee. These would be tabled at the August 13 meeting. A Committee meting would then be arranged. The clerk explained the views of the Audit Commission on the appointment of an Internal Auditor for 2002/3 now that this role could not be undertaken by a councillor or someone "close to the council". It was agreed that an advert would be placed in the village to see if a suitable village person was available, if not the clerk advised that he knew a retired professional finance manager who may undertake the task.
7. Ashford Borough Council Report by Cllr. N Bell. Cllr Bell spoke briefly on the Council Housing situation in the Borough, which still manages about 5000 homes. He also reported that some £25m had been obtained through the Private Finance Initiative towards improvements, particularly in the Stanhope area.
He was aware of the parking problems at some of the Biddenden council properties and solutions were being examined.
The Chairman reminded Cllr Bell of the speed and traffic problems in the village and asked that as our Ward member he give particular attention to this issue which was of great concern to the villagers.
Mrs Cansdale also drew his attention to the problem of refuse dumping on the recreation ground behind The Meadows and asked that the Borough follow this up as the culprit was generally known.
Cllr Bell reminded the meeting that he could always be contacted quickly by email on:- firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Village Design Statement. Mr Carr was unable to be present but his report, including his budget update, is attached to these minutes.
9. Correspondence. The clerk read items of correspondence and drew attention to various pamphlets and reports received. Three requiring attention were:
Proposed twinning with Buchy in Normandy
The council was not against this idea but asked that the clerk write to the "mayor" and seek more details about the town and its activities. Cllr Stokes said he would try and visit Buchy in the next few months and see whether he felt it was a suitable location for a possible twinning. We would approach the idea "cautiously" at present. Kent Volunteers Awards
This scheme seeks to recognise individuals or groups that have given or are giving exceptional voluntary service to the community. All councillors were asked to consider nominations for the next meeting.
This scheme seeks to offer the over SOs training in the use of computers. Courses are for 8 at a time and last about 6 days spread over six weeks. The Council were keen to support this and would make the Village Hall available as a matching contribution to the costs which are largely met from European funding. It was noted that a telephone link would be required for each session.(The clerk confirmed to Training Highway the Councils support subject to all details being known.)
10, Gordon Jones Playing Field. It was noted that chains needed to be fixed between the new posts protecting the field from the car park. It was agreed that existing chain be used but that hooks and paint were needed to complete the job. Authority to purchase was agreed.
Cllr. Farris has made new seats for the playground "Sputnik" and authority to buy new fixing bolts was agreed.
It was noted that the weeds in the play area had been cut down as a matter of urgency but digging out or weed killing would still be necessary.
11, Millennium Field Report. The report of the Committee meeting held on June 25 is attached to these minutes.
The Council Chairman said it was the responsibility of the Council to approve a name for the new field. After some discussion it was unanimously agreed that the field would be known as "Jubilee Meadow".
It was agreed that the existing Millennium Field Committee would manage the Jubilee Meadow until further notice. To recognise their new role it was agreed that the Committee in future be known as the "Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow Committee."
Cllr. Mrs Scott queried whether it was "legal" to change the name of a Council committee. Subsequent to the meeting the clerk checked the position with KAPC who confirmed that there was no problem in such a name change so long as the Council agreed the change and the original Committee terms of reference were not altered in any substantial way. The addition of a field to an exiting field committee was not seen as a substantial change.
It was agreed that if the Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow Committee met in the Village Hall the Parish Council would pay the hail hire fees.
It was agreed that Cllr. Mrs Scott could cut down any thistles on the Jubilee Meadow that bordered her property.
12 KAPC and Parish Forum Reports. Cllr. Conway gave his reports on these meetings. Key points were, The Rural Regeneration and Leader + programmes had the potential for grants up to £60,000 for innovative village projects so long as match funding was available from village sources. The programme would run from June 2002 to December 2006 so we have time to develop proposals. Housing targets in Ashford are to be reduced overall to allow for the lack of infrastructure and lack of employment, but up to 6000 will be encouraged on "brownfield " sites. The Ashford area flood plain has been clearly designated so that new housing development is clear of this danger. There is to be a new sewerage works in the south Ashford area.
13. Police Forum. Cllr. Stokes attended on June 19hh1. Inspector Judd of the West Weald Policing area (this covers 28% of the county) outlined various initiatives to reduce crime and although we may not always think so crime in the Biddenden area is substantially down compared with a year ago. Motor cycle "nuisance" has been particularly targeted.
14. Additional litter bins would be an agenda item at the August council meeting.
The meeting closed at 21.55