Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

9th December 2003




Meetings 2003
9th December 2003
11th November 2003
14th October 2003
9th September 2003
12th August 2003
8th July 2003
10th June 2003
13th May 2003
Annual Parish Meeting
8th April 2003
11th March 2003
11th February 2003
14th January 2003

 Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on December 9th 2003



Cllr Mrs E Cansdale – Chairman                                               Cllr M Conway

Cllr Mrs G Scott – Vice Chairman                                            Cllr H Richards

Cllr Mrs U Ainscough                                                               Cllr J Rymer Jones

Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft                                                                   Cllr Mrs B Swain

Cllr Mrs R Ashton                                                                    Cllr P Whapham

Cllr R Brown

 Nine parishioners were present initially but did not stay for the whole meeting.

 1  There were no alterations to the Members Register of Interests.

 2 There were no items raised by parishioners present but the Chairman asked Mr Ian Brooks of the Tenterden Detached Youth Project to update the council on his discussions with the village youth on their local aspirations. He presented all councillors with a list of ideas prepared by the youth and the Chairman said these would be considered. However on the specific request to use the village hall on a weekly or fortnightly basis for a youth club the Chairman and the clerk agreed to meet Mr M Humphries to go through the “legalities” of holding a youth club in the hall. It was made clear to Mr Brooks that the council would help in any way, including if necessary subsidising the hall hire fees, but would not be responsible for actually running the club. This must be by Mr Brooks team or parents of the participants.

Mr Brooks would arrange for Mr Humphries to contact the clerk to take the proposal forward, probably in the New Year.

 3  The minutes of the meeting held on November 11th were approved.

 4  Matters arising.

    The Chairman reported that a public meeting had been organised in the Village Hall on Thursday January 22nd 2004 (from 3.30pm to 7.30pm) for Alison Thompson of the Rural Housing Trust to explain to villagers the proposed low cost housing development by Cheeselands. The Chairman presented some drawings of possible properties but explained that the final choice of types had still to be decided based on demand.

Cllr Richards reported on his attendance at the recent Boundary Commission hearing at Ashford into proposed changes to parliamentary boundaries which could transfer Biddenden from Ashford to Maidstone. He considered that he had received a “fair hearing” on our submission to remain with Ashford and all we could now do was await results.

The clerk reported that the proposal by Tenterden Tigers football club to develop at Biddenden was still under consideration by the Tigers and Ashford Borough Council with particular emphasis on access problems.

 5   Reports by lead councillors.

·        Cllr Mrs Ashcroft reported that a liaison meeting on village road and pavement matters did not take place as Ashford Borough Council failed to attend, having confused the dates! The meeting was being rearranged. It was reported that the pavement to Dashmonden was slippery with hedge trimmings and Mrs Ashcroft would take this up with ABC. Also the pavement approaching the Gordon Jones field was obstructed by overgrown hedges at two properties –Mrs Ashcroft would contact the owners.


·        Cllr M Conway referred to the Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow meeting of December 2nd (minutes were handed to each councillor) and wished particular note be made of various tree surgery works that would be undertaken by Mr Bridgeland this Thursday the 11th. The likely cost of  £630 plus VAT was noted and agreed.


·        Cllr Mrs Scott said various Post Office Liaison Group meetings had taken place with Mr Carter and he was being asked for his views on the Groups choice of a possible location for the permanent office. Mrs Scott hoped to have more positive news after January 20th next.


·        Cllr Rymer Jones reported on a recent KAPC meeting where Alan Joynson the Borough Highways Manager had explained their prioroties and the limitations of their budgets. Road edge repairs were a high priority and general repairs would increase three fold from 2004. Mr Joynson made the point that his department was largely “reactive” and depended on information from parish councils to initiate most minor works.


·        Cllr Brown said he had meet Mr Beeken, the lengthsman, who had expressed a wish to retire as soon as possible. The clerk advised that he was aware of this possibility and steps were in hand to find a replacement.


6  Parish Plan.

The clerks notes of the Open Meeting on November 22nd were noted and it was agreed that these could form the basis of a “wish list” to ABC. This list would be refined at a meeting on January 24th to which all 25 parishioners who expressed a willingness to help with a Parish Plan would be invited. (Clerk to arrange). Cllr Richards agreed to steer this meeting and the Chairman asked all councillors to be available to attend.

Cllr Rymer Jones said he had had a meeting with Richard Alderton, ABC, and suggested we write to Mr Alderton explaining our planning process was under way. This was agreed.


7  Planning. – See below.

 8  Finance. – See below

Cllr Richards queried a proposed payment to Mr Wheadon for hedge works in the Millennium Field and the cheque was withdrawn. Cllr Richards would check the details and advise the clerk of the appropriate sum.

Cllr Whapham proposed and Cllr Conway seconded a donation of £35 to the Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group - this was agreed.

Cllr Mrs Scott advised the council of the meeting of the Finance Committee on December 1st and the clerk tabled the proposed 2004/5 budget arising from that meeting. Cllr Mrs Scott said the Finance Committee hoped to finalise the budget at a further meeting on December 15th and asked that any comments be phoned to her by that date.

 9  Correspondence.

·        The clerk gave a resume of the conference on Quality Parish Councils he had attended at Reigate on December 8th. One item of interest that arose from a personal discussion with the clerk from Sandhurst was their production and distribution (via the Royal Mail) of a quarterly parish newsletter to all homes in their parish. Allowing for the smaller size of Sandhurst it would appear Biddenden could achieve this for about £1000 per annum. A newsletter is one pre requisite of becoming a Quality council. This and other “Quality” items would be discussed at the January PC meeting.

·        A briefing on the revised allowances and expenses regime for councillors was given by the clerk. Councillors confirmed that they did NOT wish to claim attendance allowances but would claim appropriate expenses.

·        Details of a sponsored abseil for the Royal National Institute for the Blind at Ashford on March 21st next were outlined. Cllr Richards said he would love to do it and all councillors agreed to sponsor him ! (The clerks wife also agreed to take part!!)

·        The Chairman said she had received several complaints and comments concerning advertising on the Village Green. After discussion councillors agreed by 7 votes to 3 that no further advertising by any parties would be permitted on the Green. An alternative site would be investigated on the verge by the car park.


10    The meeting closed at 9.35pm and the Chairman wished all councillors a Happy Christmas


Next meeting January 13th  2004


Graham Smith, Parish Clerk.    01622 890596

The council approved the following payments on December 9th 2003


£241.75           J Beeken, Lengthsman, wages   416

£393.49           G Smith, Clerk, salary                           417

£178.50           Biddenden Club House. Hires of village hall. Includes £130.50 for eight computer course sessions         422 

£49.35             Iden Signs. Three dog fouling signs        421

 £57.75             Solution Provider. Rent for our Web site space 420

 £411.25           Audit Commission. 2002/3 audit fee      419

 £31.30             Mrs Cansdale - Refreshments for Open Meeting 22.11.03        418

 £200.00           Parish Church. Contribution towards churchyard upkeep           425

 £33.43             Staples – stationery       423

 £750.00           J Wheadon – hedge laying between Millennium Field & Jubilee Meadow – labour and equipment.

                        Payment cancelled for re evaluation.

 £1468.75         G Brightling. Car park posts for playing field. (inc.£218.75 VAT)


The following has been received.


£116.00           E Pawlik for seats on the Millennium Field.



Planning items considered at the meeting on December 9th 2003


Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council:

 03/01255  Great Batchelors, Sissinghurst Road. New double garage and conversion of existing garage to gym/studio.  Permission granted.

 03/01639  High Brooms, Sissinghurst Road. Single storey extension etc.

            Permission granted but balcony disallowed.

 03/01689  Golden Fleece Farm, Tenterden Road. Replacement garage & new car port.

            Permission granted.

 03/01819  Replacement garages, the Meadows.  Permission granted.

 Recommendation of Cllrs Mrs Ashton, Mrs Cansdale and Mrs Scott for approval.

 03/01826  Corran, Tenterden Road. Revision to roof of already approved garage.

            No Objections.           (Approved by full council)

 To be considered at the meeting.

 03/01878  Court Reed Farmhouse, High Halden Road. Single storey extension etc.

            No objections.

 03/01913  Green Acres, Sissinghurst Rd. First floor extension with dormer windows.

            No objections.

 03/02011  The Pines, Tenterden Road. Replacement dwelling & separate garage

            (amended scheme)        No objections.

 03/02056  70 North Street, Biddenden. Internal alterations and rear entrance door etc.

            No objections.


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