Parish Council - Official Website
Cllr Mrs E Cansdale - Chairman Cllr H Richards
Cllr Mrs G Scott – Vice Chairman Cllr J Rymer Jones
Cllr Mrs U Ainscough Cllr Mrs B Swain
Cllr Mrs R Ashton Cllr P Whapham
Cllr R Brown Apology for absence Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft
Cllr M Conway
Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council, was present from 9pm.
19 parishioners were present for agenda items 1 to 3 then six thereafter.
1 There were no alterations to Members Register of Interests.
2 The Chairman invited Mr Ian Brooks of the Tenterden & District Detached Youth Project to address the meeting on the activities he had organised for Biddenden youth, over the last six months, in the playing field car park area.
Mr Brooks introduced his various colleagues and gave a programme of activities he had organised, on a weekly basis, over the summer and currently fortnightly during the winter months.
He explained that the hub of his work was based on Homewood School and then youth was attracted by word of mouth from those who had attended the activities.
Mr Brooks said he felt the village youth were a responsible group and should be supported – he would like a permanent youth facility in the village.
Anthony Hadfield, one of the youth group, said how much they appreciated the good work done by Mr Brooks and his team and agreed that a permanent base would be a real benefit.
It was agreed that Mr Brooks would canvass his youth group as to what they would like from the parish and pass the results to the clerk for consideration at the next council meeting.
The Council said they would basically support a youth group meeting in the village hall and Cllr Whapham agreed to establish which evenings were available and at what cost. It was noted that any group would be supported by Mr Brooks and his team and/or Council members or appointees.
3 There were no items for discussion by parishioners present - but see 5 below.
4 The minutes of the meeting held on October 14th were approved but Cllr Bell requested that under item 10 of those minutes his strong support for the Tenterden Tigers proposal to develop at Biddenden should be noted.
5 Matters arising:
Cllr Bell said the Ashford "blue box" recycling scheme was being re evaluated along with other recycling proposals and until this work was completed no extensions to the scheme would be made. He reported that Ashford Council was very close to meeting its statutory recycling targets.
It was noted that Mr L Keeler of Chulkhurst had been appointed the village "odd job" man on a trial basis. He had already carried out several jobs and the clerk maintained a record of the work. All councillors requests for work to be done should be processed via the clerk.
The Chairman said she had received outline plans from the Rural Housing Trust for an extension of 20 homes to the Cheeselands estate. There would be a public exhibition in the New Year to explain the proposals which at present included 10x3 bedroom houses, 8x2 bedroom houses and 2 bungalows. 14 would be for rent and 6 shared equity. The meeting was temporarily closed to allow parishioners to comment and the main point made was that there was a demand for some 4 bedroom properties. The Chairman said this would be considered as the scheme developed.
Cllr Richards reminded the council that he was attending the parliamentary Boundary Commission inquiry at Ashford on November 20th when the proposal to transfer Biddenden from Ashford to Maidstone would be examined. The view of the parish council was that they would wish to stay with the Ashford constituency and Cllr Richards said he would make this plea.
Cllr Whapham reported on his attendance at the KAPC AGM on November 8th. The two main speakers had covered local government issues and rural policing. On local government John Findlay, Chief Executive of NALC, explained that in his view the policy of central government was to ultimately move to Regional Government, Unitary Authorities and Parish Councils. It was therefore clear that Parish Councils had an important ongoing role and the move towards Quality Parish Council status would underline this importance. Quality councils would be able to take on greater responsibilities, and receive greater funds to manage these responsibilities, but it was probable that any consequential greater staff resources would have to be met from local funding. On policing Supt. Pankhurst of Kent County Constabulary explained that the policy of the last decade or so to concentrate on "intelligence led" policing had led to a dramatic reduction in serious crime in the county but he accepted that the lack of a visible police presence had given the impression that local policing did not matter. This was now being addressed with the appointment of KCC wardens (who are not uniformed nor police) and Community Support Officers (who are uniformed police). The latter would grow quickly to some 100 officers throughout the county.
The clerk reported that today he had spoken to Mr Croucher of Tenterden Tigers Football Club and he had said their plans for new facilities at Biddenden were developing. They would hope to come to the December council meeting to give firmer information.
6 Reports from lead councillors.
Mrs Ainscough had studied the Regional Minerals Strategy and the SE Kent Community Health Council report. There were no specific issues concerning Biddenden.
Cllr Mrs Scott circulated new Terms of Reference for the Biddenden Post
Office Liaison Group. Cllr Conway proposed, and Cllr Mrs Ainscough seconded, that these Terms be accepted by the council. This was unanimously agreed. The Council was fully supportive of the newly formed Group and would look forward to reports of progress. Any requests for funding would be sympathetically considered at the time.
Mrs Ashton said that if the youth group (see 2 above) developed then perhaps Messrs Finnan and Tester would like to assist on behalf of the village. She would establish their views.
Cllr Whapham reported that he was trying to establish costs for replacing some of the footpath signs with more attractive wooden ones that were evident in some parishes.
Cllr Richards said the October 21st Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow Committee minutes would be distributed with these minutes. (enclosed)
He said a "Teachers Pack" for use by children studying the fields was being prepared by the school and it was agreed that £100 would be paid to the school for this work. (This sum would be drawn from the DEFRA funding the council receives for stewardship of the Jubilee Meadow)
If the council decides to renovate the derelict building (old duck shed) in the Jubilee Meadow for educational purposes DEFRA would support this.
It was noted that the "no dog fouling" notices had been positioned.
7 Parish Open Meeting on November 22nd.
Subsequent to the KRCC information evening on November 3rd the clerk had circulated a proposal for the structure of the Open Meeting. Councillors accepted this structure as appropriate and the following councillors agreed to manage the focus groups as under.
Housing and development – Cllr Mrs Cansdale
Roads, transport and speed issues – Cllr Mrs Ashcroft
Shopping and retail issues – Cllr Rymer Jones
Leisure activities – Cllr Richards
The perspective for elderly residents – Cllr Mrs Ainscough
The perspective for youth – Cllr P Whapham
A meeting of the Finance Committee was arranged for 6pm on December 1st.
Cllrs Mrs Ainscough, Cansdale, Scott and Mr Whapham to attend – plus the clerk.
Any other councillor would be welcome.
The following matters were noted,
Recommendation from "Friends of War Memorials" that granite memorials should not be cleaned –Biddenden is granite.
Mrs Ashcroft and the Chairman would partake in a village "roads tour" with the KCC Highways Unit to discuss our priorities.
Mid Kent Water advise that the Castletons Oak to Tenterden road will be closed in various places for up to 24 weeks for water main works commencing on November 24th.
Alterations to the 523 local bus route to serve Headcorn station.
11 Next meeting. December 9th 2003
The meeting closed at 9.30pm.
Graham Smith, Parish Clerk, November 13th 2003
£241.75 J Beeken, Lengthsman, wages. 408
£393.49 G Smith, Clerk – salary 409
£100.00 G Smith, Clerk – Imprest account (ie petty cash) 410
£116.19 Mr Keeler. "Odd job person" 14 hours at £4.50 per hour plus £53.19 for plants for War Memorial. (Clerk has a list of work completed) 414
£45.00 Fee to society of Local Council Clerks for Quality Council Conference on December 8th. Clerk and Vice Chairman to attend. 407
£8.36 Chairmans expenses to November 3rd. 411
£47.75 Staples – print cartridges 412
£102.75 Estate Publications. Two large scale copies of parish map. 413
£45.00 BEST –Advert in the Blaze programme 415
The Council has received the following monies.
£200.00 Fee for use of pitch from Biddenden Cricket Club
£250.00 From Biddenden Design Statement – refund of temporary loan granted on September 27th pending their receipt of grant from ABC.
Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council
03/00036 Nimrod Hall Farm, Sissinghurst Road. Addition of two dormer windows.
Withdrawn at applicants request.
03/00896 & 7 Vane Court, Smarden Road. Extension and alterations.
03/01157 & 58 11 High Street. Oak framed addition to the rear.
03/01256 Great Batchelors, Sissinghurst Rd. New double garage, conservatory etc.
Withdrawn at applicants request.
03/01476 Hawthorn, Sissinghurst Road. Provision of conservatory.
03/01559 Ashenden Farm, Bell Lane. New bulk feed silo.
Ashford Boro. Council is content for the development to proceed.
03/01608 Tate Door House, 7-9 High Street. New rear timber framed extension.
03/01617 15, Chulkhurst, Biddenden. Two storey rear extension.
03/00819 Priory Wood, Tenterden Rd. Change of use to caravan site for one gypsy family. Appeal against refusal by ABC to be heard.
03/01095 Frogs Hole Farm, Sissinghurst Road. New farmhouse.
ABC Planning Committee granted permission 5.11.03
02/00922 Oaklands Farm Holdings, Fosten Green. Renewal of permission for a mobile home. Appeal against refusal by ABC dismissed.
To be considered at the meeting.
03/01680 Little Hare Plain, Hareplain Road. Removal of rear modern chimney.
03/01816 72 North Street. Construction of double garage/wood store.
03/01819 Garage Block, The Meadows. Replacement of unsound garages and additional garages.
No objections but Chairman requests site visit with ABC to discuss possible amendments.
03/01856 Garden Crafts, Sissinghurst Road. Change of use of existing building from furniture to food retail.
Object. Insufficient detail.
03/01886 Bramble Cottage, Hareplain Road. Erection of conservatory.