Parish Council - Official Website
Minutes of the meeting held on September 10 2002 in
the Old Village Hall at 7.30 pm
Cllr. T Richards — Chairman Cllr Mrs E Griffiths
Cllr. Mrs E Cansdale — Vice Chairman Cllr. H M Stokes
Cllr. M Conway Cllr. Mrs B Swain (left 9pm)
Cllr. E Farris Cllr. B Wingham (left 8.45 pm)
Apologies were received from Cllr. D Harrison, Cllr G Raffe and Cllr Mrs G Scott. Five parishioners were present.
1. Mr Carr raised a question not on the Agenda and this was answered by Borough Councillor Bell at the Chairmans request — see item 6 below.
2. There were no alterations to the members Register of interest.
3 The following Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the Agenda) were noted.
It was suggested that Mrs Dorothy Marshal be added to the Parish Council recommendations for a KCC Kent Volunteer Award. (Mrs Marshall confirmed she was willing to be put forward.) Mrs Betty Wiles was put forward at the August meeting and so both names would be passed to KCC.
In confirming its support to BEST for the Blaze and Carnival on November 1 St the Council also confirmed it was happy to place its usual advert in the Programme. Mrs Swain would pass this confirmation to the organisers.
A note had been received from Buchy (France) saying that the council there were preparing information about their village for our consideration in a possible twinning project.
The Clerk updated the meeting on the "Training Highway" proposal to offer computer classes in the village primarily for the over 5Os. This scheme had attracted DEFRA Mid Kent Leader + funding and an initial meeting would be called in the Village Hall on 2nd October for all villagers who were interested. It was emphasised these were beginners courses and no previous knowledge was required. All the necessary equipment would be provided by "Training Highway". The Clerk would place posters on the village notice boards.
It was also noted that the previous application No.OO164 for development at Stede Quarter Farm, which was due to be heard by the Borough Planning Committee on 4th September, had been withdrawn by the applicant.
Although not a Borough planning matter the Chairman drew attention to the letter of September 2nd received from Mr Furner explaining in more detail his request for private access along the side of the Jubilee Meadow to the "Barn" on his property. The Council agreed to give further consideration to this difficult issue and give a firm decision at the October 8 Council meeting.
The recent £1000 donation for the Jubilee Meadow by Mr Weston, a visitor from Brussels, was noted with gratitude and the Clerk read the "thank you" letter he had written.
This evening the Clerk had been passed a further £200 donation from Mr Mc Kinnon, a village resident, and a letter of appreciation would be sent.
The amendments to the Terms of Reference of the Council Finance Committee, suggested by Mrs Scott at the August meeting, were accepted and a meeting of the Committee would be called in due course.
The Clerk confirmed that the services of Wealden Consultancy had been accepted for the 2002/3 Internal Audit and they would make an initial visit to the Clerk on October 3rd.
6. Borough Council report.
Mr Bell said he was anxious to address any specific issues the Parish had at his monthly visit. This evening he was going to say more about the Borough "Blue Box" recycling scheme but the Chairman said he also wished to revisit this initiative following parish "pressure". It was agreed Mr Bell would invite a Borough officer to address the October Parish Council meeting on this important topic.
Mr Bell said he would follow up Mr Carrs concern (see Para. I above). Mr Carr explained that a Borough Planning Officer no longer attended at the Tenterden office to explain and discuss the tabled planning applications for the vicinity. This valuable "face to face" discussion with the planning experts was a great loss.
The key topics brought to the attention of the Council were,
a.) A joint letter from DEFRA and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister confirming that it was firm Government policy that Parish Councils would continue to be consulted (as now) in the local planning process as a matter of law.
b.) Rona Ashton, the Biddenden Sub Post Mistress, presented a letter advising the Council that the lease of the Post Office would be terminated in February 2003 and without new accommodation the Post Office would close. The Council were most concerned at this prospect and the Chairman would speak to KAPC on possible solutions to this not uncommon rural problem. A Post Office liaison manger would be invited to attend the October Council meeting.
c.) A suggestion from Mr Stanford that cast iron bollards be placed along the High Street pavements was rejected by the Council. The Clerk would advise Mr Stanford.
d.) 02, the mobile communications company, had written to all councils in the country advising that they were installing a national emergency communications network for fire, police, ambulance etc. and this may mean additional communication masts in some areas.
e.) Barretts car Rally of Kent would be taking place on October l3lh off road on Forestry Commission land but additional traffic to and from the event may pass through Biddenden.
f) The Borough Council had invited councillors to the Annual Parish Council Evening at Ashford on 28h1 November at 6pm. Councillors Mrs Cansdale, Mrs Griffiths, M Stokes, Mrs Swain and B Wingham wished to attend. The Clerk would arrange.
g.) Mrs Palmer of Holden Farm asked if the road reflector posts on the sharp corner outside her property could be replaced, The Clerk would follow up with ABCouncil.
h.) The KCC Local Transport plan for Kent would be passed to Cllr. Raffe for consideration. (Cllr. Raffe was also considering the SE Airfield Development plan)
8. Village Design Statement.
Mr Carr updated the Council on the current position. His report is attached.
The Council agreed he could advertise the Statement open evening for October 9 on the Village Green.
9. KAPC report.
Cllr. Conway referred to the success of the Leader + project (eg Training Highway see 3 above) and said there could be up to £60,000 available for innovative community projects within villages. Ideas would be welcomed.
He also referred to the English Heritage proposal photograph all listed buildings and put them on their Web site. It had now been agreed nationally that if the owner did not want the picture on the Web site it would not appear.
10. Gordon Jones Playing Field.
The Chairman drew attention to the just received ROSPA report on the condition of the play area and its equipment and whilst there were no serious hazards some remedial action was needed. It was agreed the Clerk would seek professional estimates for all the work to be done.
11. Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow.
The Chairman reported that since the last meeting the Committee had looked at the bridge over the stream in the Millennium Field and decided the right remedy for the long term was to enlarge the pipe under the bridge to accommodate the considerable water flow. When this was done railings would be put on the bridge as agreed at the August Council meeting. The Chairman said the "digger" required to place the new pipe could also be utilised to install the previously agreed car park posts and the whole cost of both items of work may be in excess of the previously agreed £200. The Council confirmed it was happy with combined costs of this order.
A letter from Mr Dillon suggesting an all weather foot path be built around the Millennium Field was rejected by the Council on the basis that the Field was "a country walk" rather than "a park".
A proposal from Mr Randall to have an open day at his garden railway in 2003 with funds being donated to the Field appeal was warmly welcomed by the Council. The Clerk would contact Mr Randall.
The Chairman asked councillors to be at the public meeting to explain the proposals for the development of the Jubilee Meadow on September I8 as afterwards there would be a Special Parish Council meeting just to confirm the Council willingness to enter into a 10 year Stewardship agreement with DEFRA for our management of the field. This agreement will attract funding to the Parish Council.
12. Litter bins.
Mrs Cansdale reported that the High Street area could usefully require four more litter bins (by Turners, the Red Lion, the Chinese and the school) and suitable "Glasdon" products were selected. The Clerk would check whether the Borough council would fund these or whether the Parish Council must purchase themselves.
13 Village e mail data base.
Cllr. Stokes presented a paper produced by Mr Graham - Hart. The Council thought the idea was basically good and asked Cllr. Stokes to invite Mr Graham- Hart to the October Council meeting to explain the proposal in more detail.
14. Next meeting. October 8
If required a Planning Meeting would be held on September 24 In addition to the Chairman and Vice Chairman, Cllrs Mrs Scott. Mr Stokes and Mrs Swain should attend.
NB the Special Council Meeting on September 18 — see 11 above. (Cllr Raffe apologises in advance for his absence at this meeting.)
The meeting closed at 9.25 pm.