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Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on Tuesday July 8th 2003
Cllr Mrs E Cansdale – Chairman Cllr H Richards
Cllr Mrs G Scott – Vice Chairman Cllr J Rymer Jones
Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft Cllr Mrs B Swain
Cllr R Brown
Apologies for absence from Cllrs Mrs U Aincough, Mrs R Ashton, M Conway, and
One parishioner was present.
1 There were no comments from parishioners.
2 There were no alterations to members Register of Interests.
3 The minutes of the meeting held on June 10th were signed by the Chairman but with reference to item 8 Cllr Rymer Jones considered that the minutes should have explained the purpose of the Winged Fellowship Trust to which the council had voted a donation of £25. The clerk said that, in brief, the Trust existed to provide much needed holiday breaks for disabled people and their carers. A copy of the latest newsletter would be passed to Cllr Rymer Jones for his interest and would be available on request for any other interested person.
4 Matters arising,
Cllr Rymer Jones said that in his letter of May 23rd (attached to the June 10th council minutes) he requested a valuation of the councils assets, particularly its land. Cllr Brown expressed the view that such a valuation would be meaningless unless there was an intention to sell any of the land and he did not believe this was in mind. The clerk explained that any valuation would have to be via the District Valuer and this would incur a charge. After further discussion it was agreed that when the requested map (minute 10 of June 10th) of the councils land assets was produced the purchase price of the relevant parcels of land would be shown.
Cllr Mrs Ashcroft reported that the hedge on the main road adjacent to the entrance to the Gordon Jones Playing Field had been trimmed. It was further requested that the adjoining pavement be swept as in wet weather the accumulated leaf droppings were very slippery. Cllr Mrs Ashcroft would speak to the owner when thanking him for the trimming.
5 Report from Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council.
Cllr Bell said he had no specific items to report but did mention that in the drive to get Biddenden on Broadband there were now other providers in addition to BT offering connections. He hoped the Council would continue to support the need for Broadband.
In answer to a question concerning the planning permission granted by ABC for a mobile home at Ashenden Farm (against the Parish Council recommendations) Cllr Bell said he would investigate the reasons and advise the clerk.
On general planning concerns Cllr Bell thought the Parish Council should write to the Borough Council seeking to influence the forthcoming Ashford Local Plan.
6 Reports from lead councillors.
· Cllr Mrs Ainscough – scrutiny of reports.
The Chairman said Cllr Mrs Ainscough had studied a document on Ashford Community Strategy. She suggested it be passed to Cllr Mrs Ashton as there maybe some “youth money” available via the Strategy.
· Cllr Mrs Ashcroft – roads etc
Nothing to report apart from 4 above. In answer to a question Cllr Mrs Ashcroft said no feedback had yet been received from ABC concerning the earlier speed monitoring on the village approaches.
· Cllr Mrs Cansdale – police matters
Nothing to report as no meetings had taken place.
· Cllr M Conway – June 14th Millennium Field fete
In his absence Cllr Richards reported for Cllr Conway that the fete was likely to have made a profit of about £1400. In addition the various village organisations that took part would have made their own profits and so in total the overall “village profit” was likely to be in the order of £2000. Final accounts would be available at the next meeting. Councillors expressed their appreciation of the excellent work of all involved.
· Cllr H Richards – Millennium Field & Jubilee Meadow
Cllr Richards said that with the receipt of the DEFRA Stewardship Grant for the Jubilee Meadow the committee had sufficient funds to manage and improve the fields. He suggested that at appropriate intervals lump sums (say of £4 – 5000) be paid off to the Public Works Loan Board towards the field loans. The clerk explained this would incur some interest penalty but was asked to get details from the Loan Board so that an informed decision could be made in due course.
Cllr Mrs Scott felt it essential that the Millennium Field and the Jubilee Meadow accounts were kept separately and to aid this a separate Jubilee Meadow bank account be opened. Cllr Richards said the monies were separated in a bookkeeping sense although only one bank account was used. He did not feel another bank account was necessary and would check the matter with DEFRA and report to the August meeting.
Cllr Richards said the Field Committee was taking advice on the correct wording for a sign at the fields saying “the public use the fields at their own risk”.
Cllr Richards said Field “budget figures” would be available by the August or September meeting in time for the preparation of the Parish Council 2003/4 budget.
· Cllr Rymer Jones – Design Statement, Parish Plan
At Cllr Rymer Jones request Mr Carr updated councillors with the progress of the Design Statement which was nearing final publication. A copy of his report was passed to all councillors.
When published the clerk requested two or three spare covers that could be used as advertisements for the Statement on the village notice boards. Mr Carr would arrange.
Mr Rymer Jones reported that he was meeting Kathy Budgen of the KRCC to establish the procedure and the funds available for the preparation of a Village Plan.
He would report at a subsequent meeting.
· Cllr Mrs Scott – Post Office
Cllr Mrs Scott reported that the temporary Post Office opened as planned on June 26th. The problem of disabled access had yet to be fully resolved.
The various grant monies were still coming in and final accounts would be available for the August meeting.
Cllr Mrs Scott felt the Post Office Liaison Group needed reorganising to take the issue of a permanent Post Office forward and she would report on this at the August or September meeting.
· Cllr Mrs Swain – Gordon Jones Playing Field
The damaged swing had been taken out of use.
The annual ROSPA inspection was now due and we would follow up recommendations when received.
The Report Book for the playground and Field was being kept up to date.
It was agreed another one or two “folding posts” to allow access from the car park area to the field were required – Cllr H Richards would arrange.
7 Planning – see attached
Only one item was tabled – a proposed farmhouse at Frogs Hole Farm.
Cllrs Brown, Mrs Cansdale, Richards and Mrs Scott agreed to a site visit on July 18th at 09.30. Cllr Richards agreed to check with the owner that this was convenient.
Cllr Rymer Jones raised the issue of the councils decision re Vane Court (see attached) and felt that from personal knowledge of the house the planning proposals were desirable and not for “objection”. Cllr Richards supported this view. Cllr Mrs Scott said the council members who had reached the conclusion to object had done so on the basis of the poor plans presented and had not had the benefit of a site visit.
Before deciding whether to revise the councils recommendation the clerk would speak to the Borough planning officer concerned to establish whether any revised views were now too late to be considered.
8 Finance – see attached.
Cllr Rymer Jones asked that in paying Sue Boons account for flower bed works on the Village Green the council express its appreciation of the attractive work carried out. All agreed to this.
Cllr Mrs Scott presented the minutes of the Finance Committee held on July 2nd which were self explanatory. She would deal with the Annual Report idea under the next agenda item.
With reference to Finance Committee minute 6 Councillors agreed that they would not wish to seek Attendance Allowances but did agree to claim expenses for postage, telephone calls etc. and mileage to council business outside the parish. Written claims should be presented to the clerk and it was suggested these should be “saved up” until about £10 was due for reimbursement. (The current local government mileage rate is 49.9p per mile)
9 Quality Parish Councils
Cllr Mrs Scott circulated some key pages from a document on this government inspired scheme. The full document was available from her on request. She suggested that councillors think about the matter and a fuller discussion should take place at the August meeting.
She was broadly in favour of seeking Quality status but to achieve this a lot of work would be involved and perhaps a committee should be formed to take the matter forward.
One of the issues would be an annual (or more frequent) parish report as mentioned in the minutes of the Finance Committee.
Cllr Rymer Jones had suggestions concerning reporting council matters to the parish as a whole and these could be considered under the Quality initiative.
There was not a great deal to report but the clerk highlighted,
· The KCC Volunteer Awards scheme – any nominations from councillors?
· The KCC Annual Plan 2003/4 available on www.kent.gov.uk/annual plan.
· A request from Headcorn Parish Council to complain to Maidstone Borough Council if excessive noise nuisance is caused by Headcorn Airfield flying.
· A request from Pluckley Parish Council to keep July 3rd 2004 clear of events so as not to clash with their Hog Fair.
· The clerk reported on his follow up with KCC re Community Wardens. It was clear that Biddenden was too small and without sufficient “social problems” to justify a warden (a salaried KCC post) and councillors agreed not to progress at this time.
11 T Richards lunch.
Cllr Mrs Swain reported that 16 past and present councillors would be attending at Ye Maids on July 16th. Attendees would be meeting their own costs.
12 Matters for future consideration.
Cllr Richards asked that consideration be given to recording, in some way, the village recollections of Mr Jack Witherden who had lived in the parish all his life.
13 Next meeting
August 12th and if required a planning meeting on July 22nd or 29th.
Graham Smith, Parish Clerk. July 10th 2003
Biddenden Parish Council
The Council approved the following payments at its meeting on July 8th 2003
£241.20 J Beeken, Lengthsman – Wages 377
£393.39 G Smith, Clerk – Salary 378
£100.00 G Smith, Clerk – Imprest account (ie Petty cash) 379
£235.00 KAPC. Five training places for councillors 380
£60.00 Biddenden Club House. Council hires of village hall. 381
£411.80 Sue Boon. Preparation and planting of Village Green beds. 382
£338.77 Mid Kent Water. Supply to Gordon Jones Playing Field. 383
£80.00 Impact. Update of Council computer accounts system. 384
£22.98 Staples. Stationery 385
£117.83 British Gates. Repairs (materials) for Millennium Field sign. 100
£250.00 Headcorn Parachute Club. Display at Millenium Field fete. 99
£176.25 Farm & General Services. Piping for Jubilee Meadow. 97
£140.00 C Town. Spiles and posts for Millennium Field 98
£3235.37 Direct Debit to Public Works Loan Board on 16th July for
Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow loans.
If these loans are reduced by unscheduled repayments there is an interest penalty raised by the PWLB depending on the rate of interest of the original loan.
The following monies have been received by the Council.
£1089.60 Cash banked from Millennium Field event.
£814.91 Refund of VAT
£1337.63 Recycling credits from Ashford B C for glass and paper
£200.00 Biddenden Cricket Club. Use of field 2002/2003
Biddenden Parish Council
Planning items to be considered at the meeting to be held on July 8th 2003
The following decisions have been received from Ashford Borough Council.
03/00594 1&2 The Old Workhouse. Rendering, repointing, replacement windows.
03/00660 9 Glebelands. Extension over garage. Permission granted.
03/00751 Ashenden Farm, Bell Lane. Temporary mobile home (3 years)
03/00764 Bettmans Oast, Hare Plain Road. Garage/store. Permission granted.
03/00811 Little Whatmans, Gribble Bridge Lane. Single storey extension and
relocation of entrance. Permission granted.
03/00956 Land adjoining Stede Quarter Farm. Hay/machinery store.
Full planning approval is required
02/00881 1a Little Acres, Woolpack Corner. Stationing of five mobile homes.
There is to be an appeal. No details available at present.
The following have been considered by Councillors Mrs Cansdale, Mrs Scott and
P Whapham. Councillors are asked to endorse their decisions.
03/00897 Vane Court, Smarden Road. Extensions and alterations. Object on the grounds that the proposals are excessive in scale and will alter the character of the property.
03/00896 As above but Listed Building Consent. Same objections.
03/00930 The Oast House, Hare Plain Road. New front wall. No objections.
The following is for consideration at the meeting on July 8th.
3/01095 Fr0ogs Hole Farm, Sissinghurst Road. Farmhouse and garage to replace mobile home.