Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

10th June 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 at 7.30pm on Tuesday June 10th 2003




Cllr Mrs G Scott Vice Chairman acting as Chairman   Cllr M Conway

Cllr Mrs U Ainscough                                                               Cllr H Richards

Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft                                                                   Cllr J Rymer Jones

Cllr Mrs Rona Ashton                                                               Cllr P Whapham

Cllr R Brown


Apologies for absence from Cllrs Mrs E Cansdale (Chairman) and Cllr Mrs B Swain

Cllr N Bell (Ashford Borough Council) attended for item 6.

Two parishioners were present.

1   There were no comments from parishioners concerning non agenda items.

2   There were no alterations to Members Register of Interests

3   The minutes of the meeting held on May 13th were signed by the Chairman with two alterations noted.:

 Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft NOT Cllr Mrs U Ainscough is the lead councillor for roads, pavements etc.

Cllr Rymer Jones wished it to be recorded that he "was in favour of contacts with Buchy, France, but against the expenditure of any Council money on these arrangements" (See para. 7 of previous minutes)

  Although not a specific minute item Cllr Whapham wished councillors to note his telephone number is 01580 291597 and not as shown on the recently distributed information sheet.


4   Arising from the last minutes Cllr Mrs Swain would be asked to organise a date for the buffet lunch arrangements for Mr and Mrs Richards.

5   Reports from lead Councillors.

 Post Office Cllr Mrs Scott.

Cllr Mrs Scott reported that the temporary Portacabin Post Office would arrive in the car park on June 12th and after the installation of all the necessary electrical and security connections would open for business on June 26th. Post Office services would only be unavailable for the morning of June 25th due to transfer from the existing Post Office.


Gordon Jones Playing Field Cllr Brown for Cllr Mrs Swain.

Cllr Brown advised that a Report Book had now been started for noting defects at the playing field, on the play equipment and in the surrounding area. The Chairman welcomed this positive move but emphasised that as soon as defects were noted, especially if they were potentially dangerous, steps must be taken by the appropriate lead councillors to address the problem. Cllr Brown said he would action the items noted, especially the repairs required to one swing and would liaise with Cllr Richards about suitable posts for keeping cars from driving from the car park area onto the field. He would also contact a colleague with regard to them taking on other remedial work. Cllr Mrs Ashcroft and the clerk would action the overhanging hedge/tree problem at the entrance to the Playing field.


Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow Cllr Richards

Cllr Richards reported on various fencing, piping and new gate work that had been completed. The bills would be submitted for Council approval at the July meeting but would be covered by the annual DEFRA grant.

The Chairman asked that the Millennium Field Advisory Committee (which also covers the Jubilee Meadow) produce a brief income and expenditure update for noting by the Council.

The arrangements for the "Grand Fete" on June 14th were in place except that the booked Morris Dancers had cancelled due to disbandment of the group!

Cllr Rymer-Jones queried the limited public access to the Jubilee Meadow but was reminded that at the public meeting on September 18th last the parishioners present voted to accept the DEFRA grant and with it the requirements to keep the meadow in its basic agricultural form with limited access. It was noted that the meadow was already a key part of the outdoor environmental  activities of the village school children and was greatly appreciated.


Roads, pavements etc. Cllr Mrs Ashcroft

Cllr Mrs Ashcroft said the Borough Council had completed its recent speed check recordings and results were awaited. It was noted Cllr Ashcroft had been appointed the Parish Council liaison councillor with the Borough Council Highways Department.

The clerk would take up with the Borough Council items including an overgrown hedge, poor pavement by Mansion House Close, poor sightlines at Castletons Oak crossroads and the poor condition of the play area at the rear of The Meadows (raised by Cllr Brown)


Footpaths Cllr Whapham

Cllr Whapham had nothing to report. It was noted however that Peter Whitestone had completed much footpath maintenance work and the Council recorded its thanks.


KAPC, Design Statement, Parish Plan Cllr Rymer Jones.

Cllr Rymer Jones had not attended the KAPC meeting but understood from the KAPC clerk that the main issue discussed was the poor state of the roads in the Borough area and the general dissatisfaction by Parish Councils of the service received.

Mr Carr would report on the Design Statement (see below                                                                                      


Youth issues Cllr Mrs Ashton

Cllr Mrs Ashton said she would be meeting with Messrs Finnan and Tester to formulate some youth initiatives and would report to the August meeting. The Chairman said the Council would offer financial and practical help to well thought out schemes where the potential users were involved in the development and practical work with, of course, appropriate supervision.


Police Forum Cllr Mrs Cansdale

Cllr Mrs Cansdale reported (in writing) that in the past quarter local crime was down with most burglaries being to garden equipment from sheds etc. Police advice on how to prevent this is available.

A new Neighbourhood Watch officer, Paul Bronson, has been appointed.


It was noted that there was an abandoned car in the Millennium Field car park the clerk was asked to arrange removal.


6   Ashford Borough Council report Cllr N Bell

Cllr Bell repeated the concern noted above about the poor performance of the local roads unit and the action being taken at Borough level.

He reported that the "flashing speed indicator" for the Sissinghurst Road had been approved and he was hopeful it would be installed this year.

Cllr Bell asked if the Council could support the drive for BT Broadband connection in the village. The Chairman said we would and asked for details of how we would do this apart from advertising on the village notice boards (Cllr Bell provided some notices)

Cllr Bell also asked the Council to support rejection of the appeal concerning the caravan site at Fernwood.


7   Planning see attached


8   Finance see attached

Discussion took place on the donation request from the Winged Fellowship Trust. Cllr Rymer Jones felt all donation requests should be dealt with at the end of the financial year when it would be clear if the council had any "spare funds".

Cllr Conway confirmed that various requests were received throughout the year and he did not feel it was reasonable to "save them all up". He suggested that the Council could agree to various requests up to a combined total of 100 and then if "spare funds" were available at the end of the year they could be donated to a worthy cause if the Council so decided. (Currently the Council budget allows 200 for donations)

The two suggestions were put to the vote, Cllr Rymer Jones seconded by Cllr Mrs Ainscough and Cllr Conway seconded by Cllr Mrs Ashcroft.

Cllr Conways suggestion was adopted by 6 votes to 2.

It was agreed to donate 25 to the Winged Fellowship Trust.

It was noted that in future the Council cheque signatories would be Cllr Mrs Cansdale (the Chairman), Cllr Mrs Scott (the Vice Chairman)  and Cllrs Mrs Ainscough and Mr Conway.


 Design Statement.

Mr Carr reported that Ashford Borough Council had now broadly accepted the final draft and had only made a few final suggested alterations. Mr Carr hoped the document would be finished in July.                                                              


10   Letter from Cllr Rymer Jones and the clerks response. (Circulated with the agenda)

The Chairman said she felt the clerks response had helped to clarify the position for the benefit of all councillors.

The "Youth Issues" have been referred to above. 1000 could be made available if justified. It was agreed that the value of the assets was simply in the ownership although Cllr Conway reminded the Council that a Valuers Report existed for the recent purchases of land.

It was agreed that the clerk be asked to prepare a plan (shown on a Land Registry map) of the Parish Council owned land.

The 2002/3 and 2003/4 rents from the Football and Cricket clubs would be requested with a 3% inflation increase amounting to 175 and 200 respectively. The VHMC annual payment would be requested at 300 which allows for inflation on 288.


11  Correspondence

Little had been received but the following were noted,

          Two highway matters already covered above

          Acknowledgements had been received to the Council comments on proposed parliamentary boundary alterations

          Invitation for councillors to attend KAPC training days on June 25th, July 19th or July 26th. The Chairman felt all councillors could benefit from attendance, especially the new ones, and asked that they arrange to do this via the clerk.


12  Matters for future consideration.

          Cllr Brown queried why he and Cllr Rona Ashton were asked to leave a meeting if Post Office issues were discussed. The clerk explained that his advice was that if Post Office financial matters were discussed (eg possible Parish Council grants) then they should leave as they had prejudicial interests in the matter. If Cllrs Brown and Ashton were unhappy with this local decision the correct procedure would be for them to take up the issue with the Borough Council Monitoring Officer.

          Cllr Rymer Jones considered it would be beneficial if there was a quarterly or six monthly Parish Council newsletter distributed, ideally, to all households as this would keep parishioners abreast of local developments. It was explained that current news was available via the minutes which were on two notice boards, in the local paper, the church magazine and on the village web site. The Chairman asked Cllr Rymer Jones to present his developed ideas for consideration at a subsequent meeting.

          The Chairman outlined KCC information supplied concerning Rural Community Wardens. It was agreed that we follow up this initiative and the clerk would seek further information and apply as necessary.


13   Next meeting.

July 8th and if required a Planning meeting on June 24th with Councillors Ainscough, Ashcroft and Ashton. (Additional planning meetings are for all councillors in rotation)






Planning items to be considered at the meeting on June 10th 2003


The following decisions have been received from Ashford Borough Council

03/00334  Vane Court, Smarden Rd. Reconstruction of chimneys. Permission granted.

03/00529  31b North Street. Conversion of garage to study room.  Permission granted.

03/00541   60 Headcorn Road. Front, rear and side extension. Permission granted.

03/00550   2 Little Mannerings, Benenden Road. Double garage with roof space.

                        Refused. (Too big and inadequate turning space)

03/00634   Caravan Park, Woodlands Park, Tenterden Road. Replacement office/shop

                        Permission granted.

02/00922   Oaklands Farm Holdings, Fosten Green. Renewal of mobile home on         

                        agricultural holding. Appeal to be held at Ashford on 7 Oct. 2003

02/01807  Fernwood. Change of use from caravan storage to use for 50 touring caravans.                         Appeal to be undertaken by exchange of correspondence and inspectors site visit.


The following are to be considered by the Council.


03/00751  Ashenden Farm, Bell Lane. Temporary stationing of mobile home. At its meeting on May 13th the Council requested a site inspection. Following this inspection the Council has "Objected" to the proposal. A further letter from the applicant is attached for information, also a letter from the Weald of Kent P S

03/00811  Little Whatmans, Gribble Bridge Lane. Single storey extension and moving entrance gate. No objections.*

03/00819  Priory Wood, Tenterden Road. Change of use to caravan site for one gypsy family. Letter from Weald of Kent P S attached. Object.

03/00827   Rats Castle, Cranbrook Road. Visitor car parking area. No objections.*

03/00857  Tree Tops, Mockbeggar Lane. Two storey addition. No objections.*

03/00869  Lashenden Farm, Headcorn Road. Renewal of 1997 application and conversion of existing agricultural buildings. (This application has 16 large plans which are too big to consider at the normal meeting so a site visit took place on June 10th by Councillors Mrs Aincough, Mrs Ashcroft and Mr Brown) No objections

03/00890  Laurenden, Cranbrook Rd.  Proposed pool room extension. No objections

03/00897  Vane Court, Smarden Road.  Extensions and alterations. Clearer plans requested

03/00904  Omenden, Cot Lane.  Proposed tractor shed and implement store. No objections

* Decision taken by committee of councillors to meet ABC timescale. Applications available for full council scrutiny if required. (The full Council agreed the decisions made.)


The council approved the following payments.


241.20           J Beeken, Lengthsman, Wages  368

393.39           G Smith, Clerk, Salary              369

15.28             Oastland Nurseries 2 trees                 370

50.40             JC Excavations Work at Jubilee Meadow                  371

25.00             Donation to Winged Fellowship Trust                372

11.00             KAPC Good Councillors Guide copy for each councillor.   373

55.00             Impact. This is the support package for the Council computerised accounts.                   374

59.34             Wealden Advertiser. Advertisements for Millennium Field event,  June 14th                         375                       

82.13             Staples. (Stationery, ink cartridges, copy paper)            376



The councils accounts are on a computerised Parish Council accounts package called "Impact". This fully meets the Audit requirements.

Our package is the 1999 version and it has been modified twice since then (we do not have these modifications) and "Impact" suggest we update to the 2003 version as this has further accounting benefits and it is now more difficult to service the original package.

The 2003 version can be installed online. The cost is 80 - 90. Council is asked to approve this updating.

The Council approved putting this in hand

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