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Minutes of the Council meeting held in the Old Village Hall on August 13th 2002
Cllr T Richards – Chairman Cllr G Raffe
Cllr Mrs E Cansdale – Vice Chairman Cllr Mrs G Scott
Cllr E Farris Cllr H M Stokes
Cllr Mrs E Griffiths Cllr B Wingham
Cllr D Harrison
Apologies received from Cllr M Conway and Cllr Mrs B Swain.
Two parishioners were present.
1. There were no questions or comments from the parishioners present.
2. There were no alterations to the members Register of Interest.
3. The minutes of the meeting held on July 9th were approved and signed by the Chairman.
4. Matters Arising. The Clerk confirmed that he had written to the mayor of Buchy (France) seeking more information concerning the proposed twinning but that nothing further had been received. Also the Clerk had confirmed to "Training Highway" that the parish was interested in computer training courses for the over 50s but again nothing further had been heard to date.
A suggestion was made for a parish recipient of the KCC Kent Volunteers Awards scheme. The Clerk would check whether the person concerned was willing to be put forward. (It was subsequently confirmed by the Clerk that Mrs Betty Wiles was willing to be put forward.)
5. Planning. The Chairman drew attention to the decisions of the special planning meeting held on July 23rd and councillors approved these apart from,
00164 Stede Quarter Farm
Subsequent to the meeting held on July 23rd some neighbours had approached the Chairman to voice concerns about the proposed development of a combination of holiday lets and business units. Also subsequent to the July 23rd meeting the Weald of Kent Preservation Society had raised a number of objections to Ashford Borough Council. In the light of this new information the Councillors asked the Clerk to write to Ashford Borough Council saying that we now wished to rescind the original "No objection" decision and instead support the W of K P S views, also we would like the Borough to arrange a Planning Committee site visit to consider the overall proposals for the development. The W of K P S letter is attached to these minutes.
Although not a Borough planning matter the request by Mr Furner of Mill Hatch to have access to his "Barn" property via a roadway along the edge of the Jubilee Meadow was discussed. Councillors felt that at this time they were unable to make a decision in view of the emerging proposals for the management of the Jubilee Meadow.
6. Ashford Borough Council Report by Cllr N Bell. Cllr Bell raised three items of interest to the Parish.
Electoral roll . When the new roll is compiled people will be able to "tick a box" to say they do not wish their details to be made available to any marketing organisation.
Blue Box recycling scheme. These doorstep boxes are used to collect cans, paper and bottles by a contractor on behalf of ABC. They operate at about 16,000 homes in the Ashford area and could be introduced in Biddenden, except at outlying properties. They would not replace the existing Recycling Centre by the Playing Field but the Parish would not get any financial benefit from the doorstep collections as it does from the Recycling Centre. In the light of this and the availability of the current Recycling Centre the parish council decided against the Blue Box scheme at this time.
Interactive speed sign. Current criteria mean that the only possible location for "a flashing speed sign" is on the Sissinghurst Road whereas councillors would prefer one located on the road from Headcorn. There will be a Borough review of speed restrictions in November and if the 30mph restriction on the road from Headcorn could be moved northwards then an Interactive speed sign may be possible. Cllr Bell would keep the situation under review.
7. Finance. The payments on page 20 were approved.
The draft Terms of Reference for the Finance Committee were discussed and Cllr Mrs Scott made some suggested alterations which are attached. The Council would consider these alterations and decide at the September meeting.
The Clerk explained the position concerning the need for an Internal Auditor and it was agreed that we accept the offer from Wealden Consultancy, which specialises in local authority work, and is managed by a retired District Audit official.
The Clerk would check the charges but at £130 per day they were seen as in line with current fees. We would not require more than two days work per annum.
The Chairman raised again the problem of the Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow being able to attract tax relief through charitable status. This was a difficult issue but he was investigating the possibilities with KAPC and would report as soon as information was available.
8. Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow Committee. The Chairman asked Mr H Richards to update the Council on management proposals for the Jubilee Meadow and his report is attached. Before the Council could agree to sign up with DEFRA to a 10 year Stewardship Agreement for the Meadow it was felt that the proposed arrangements should be explained to the village and for this purpose a meeting open to all villagers would be held on September 18th. Mr H Richards would prepare details, the Clerk would arrange printing and the notice of meeting would be hand delivered to all households.
The Council agreed that the MF & JM Committee could spend up to £100 to provide protection at the sides of the sleeper bridge over the stream in the Millennium Field.
9. Gordon Jones Playing Field. The Chairman explained that a mini digger would be needed to prepare the holes for the new posts and chains between the car park and field itself and this work would cost no more than £100. Also the Chairman could buy the required chain hooks more cheaply than the usual supplier. The Council agreed to both the above items of expenditure.
10. Correspondence. Various items were read out but the following were particularly noted.
The Council would support the Meridian TV proposal for a programme about Biddenden. Clerk to reply to Mrs Stokes.
The Council agreed to the BEST request for the Blaze and Carnival on November 1st.
Mr Raffe would consider the Council response to the consultation booklet on Airfield Development in the South East and report back at the next meeting.
Mr Carr was unable to be present to speak to the Council on the current position concerning the Design Statement but his report is attached to these minutes. He hopes to personally update the Council at the September meeting.
11. Litter Bins. Cllr Mrs Cansdale, Cllr Mrs Griffiths and Cllr Farris would examine where new or replacement litter bins were required in the village and would report back at the September meeting.
12. Matters for future consideration. Cllr Stokes would like to discuss a village e mail data base at the September meeting.
The meeting closed at 22.05
NB If a Special Planning meeting is required on August 27th Cllr Mrs Cansdale, Cllr Mrs Griffiths, Cllr D Harrison and the Chairman would attend.
G Smith. Clerk. August 14th 2002