Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

8th June 2004




Meetings 2004
13th January 2004
10th February 2004
9th March 2004
13th April 2004
11th May 2004
8th June 2004
13th July 2004
10th August 2004
14th September 2004
12th October 2004
9th November 2004
14th December 2004

 These minutes are subject to approval on July 8th 2004

Minutes of the meeting held on June 8th 2004  in the Old Village Hall


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

 Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council, attended for most of the meeting.

Nine parishioners were present.

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

 2   There were no items for discussion raised by parishioners present.

 3   The minutes of the council meeting held on May 11th and the Annual Parish Meeting held on May 18th were approved and signed by the Chairman.

 4  Matters arising from the May 11th meeting,

Youth Club.     Cllrs Mrs Ashcroft and Mrs Ashton reported that the club was going well and would continue in the Village Hall until July 21st when it would meet outside for the remainder of the summer. They emphasised the need for parents to help in the coming winter season as it was not the responsibility of councillors to run the club on a permanent basis. The clerk said he would print “flyers” for parents on request.

It was noted that Cllrs Mrs Ashcroft and Conway would oversee the July 7th meeting.

Speed signs.   It was noted that the sign on the Sissinghurst Road should be working within the next two to three weeks. Analysis of the speed recordings taken by the Borough Council about a year ago showed that Biddenden had a bad record for speeding in excess of the limits – generally limits were exceeded by about 10 mph.

It was repeated that the Sissinghurst Road type of sign is not “legal” for the Headcorn and Tenterden Roads but a different type may be acceptable subject to KCC approval. Cllr Richards is following this up.

Monitoring by volunteers using hand held recorders may also be effective and Cllrs Conway and Bell favoured this idea. It was agreed that Cllr Bell would ask the Borough expert on speed issues to attend a future Parish Council meeting to clarify matters. The Chairman said she would involve the Police at such a meeting.

Newsletters.   It was noted that for the Council to attain Quality status it must produce a number of newsletters each year for distribution to all parishioners. So far the Council had co operated with the Church Magazine for a council insert in some issues and it now needs to be decided what future arrangements should be. It was agreed Cllr Rymer Jones would meet with Cllrs Mrs Ainscough and Conway (and the PCC) to bring a recommendation to the July or August council meeting.

Village Gateways.      Cllr Conway was working on this issue and was awaiting details from a manufacturer. He agreed to approach Hawkhurst council to establish who produced their gateways which were seen as excellent.


5   Ashford Borough Council Report.

Cllr Bell was pleased to report that Ashford had recently met its recycling target and was now recycling some 14% of waste. Central government pressure to increase these targets was ongoing but Cllr Bell felt Ashford had made a good start.

David Hill, Chief Executive ABC, will be coming to the June 16th Parish Plan meeting and this will be a good opportunity to “show him the village” and highlight any problems we have.

6   Post Office relocation.

Cllr Mrs Scott referred to the public meeting on May 6th when possible sites in the car park were unanimously agreed upon as practical permanent future locations for the Post Office. She would like Council support for developing  these options and explained that although the final cost of a building was not yet known, without some start up funding it would be impossible to attract any of the possible grants available.

She drew attention to the established fact that any council funds held in excess of “an emergency reserve” should be allocated to possible projects and in this case she suggested that £10,000 be allocated to “kick start” the Post Office project.

For clarification she explained that the Biddenden Post Office Liaison Group were of the view that the Parish Council would fund a building (not specifically a Post Office) and the building could then be used as a Post Office until such time as the requirement ceased and the building would then be available for other parish use. The use as a Post Office would be subject to the Postmaster/mistress paying agreed rental terms which have yet to be established. Councillors were invited to give their views.

Cllr Rymer Jones supported the proposal and felt it was time the Council recognised the importance of a Post Office as a focus for village life and how essential it was to some sections of the community. If the council had surplus funds this is how they should be allocated.

Cllr Mrs Ainscough and Whapham agreed with Cllr Rymer Jones views with Cllr Whapham stressing the strength of village feeling shown at the May meeting.

Cllrs Mrs Ashcroft and Mrs Swain supported the need for a village Post Office but were concerned that £10,000 being allocated to one business may set a precedent.

Cllr Richards agreed the need for a village Post Office but considered it wrong to allocate £10,000 of parish money to the proposal without a lot more “facts and figures” to clarify the viability of the project ie produce a Business Plan.

Cllr Conway shared Cllr Richards views and queried whether it was “legal” for the council to support a commercial business in this way.

Cllr Mrs Ashton declared an interest and did not express any views or subsequently vote.

Cllr Brown declined to declare an interest contrary to the Chairmans view that he should and was therefore asked to leave the meeting. This he did.

The Chairman closed the meeting at this point (20.25) to allow parishioners to speak.

Mr Raffe emphasised how essential the Post Office was to village life.

Cllr Bell reminded the meeting that the temporary Post office had already been in situ for over a year (out of three) and time was running out to plan and build a

replacement. It was clear from the May 6th meeting that the village wanted a Post Office and at this stage all that was being requested was an allocation of funds – not actually spending any money.

There was further discussion on the issues already covered and the Chairman then reopened the meeting at 20.45.

 Cllr Mrs Scott then proposed the following resolution,

“That £10,000 of the Parish Council reserves are allocated for a period of 18 months for use by the Biddenden Post Office Liaison Group towards the financing of a building to house a Post Office”

This was seconded by Cllr Mrs Ainscough. The resolution was carried.

Votes for, Cllrs Mrs Ainscough, Mrs Cansdale, Rymer Jones, Mrs Scott, Whapham.

Votes against, Cllrs Mrs Ashcroft, Conway, Mrs Swain.     Abstention, Cllr Richards

 7   Parish Plan.

The Chairman closed the meeting to allow Richard Greensted to update the Plan position. Mr Greensted said the next event was the gathering of village businesses and organisations on June 16th to be followed by a village Open Meeting on June 24th to inform and answer villagers questions.

Questionnaires would be delivered from June 28th and collected over the following week. As soon as the results were analysed findings would be passed to the Borough Council for inclusion, as appropriate, in the Local Development Framework.

8   Finance.

The cheques listed below were approved.

The list of donations and subscriptions attached to the agenda were noted.

The budget outturn to date was noted.

9   Planning.    See below.

It was agreed that the Chairman would be a permanent member of a four councillor Planning Committee to ensure the consideration of Planning Applications met ABC timescales. The other three members would rotate amongst councillors. For the following month Cllrs Mrs Ainscough, Mrs Ashcroft and Mrs Ashton would assist the Chairman.

 10   Correspondence.

  • It was noted that the Parliamentary Boundary Commission proposals had been amended to leave Biddenden as part of the Ashford constituency (rather than transfer it to Maidstone). The Council had spoken for this at the enquiry and were pleased with the result.
  • Proposed amendments to the Kent Structure Plan were passed to Cllr Mrs Ainscough for consideration.
  • The offer by a firm to produce a village guide (free of charge) was passed to Cllr Mrs Ainscough to follow up and report back.
  • The Mayor of Ashford would be invited to the Biddenden Blaze on November 5th as part of his tour of the Borough parishes.

 11   Other items.

Millennium Field.       Cllr Conway reported that the Headcorn Air Cadets had provided a very valuable working party – he spoke very highly of them. He reminded the council that the next MF meeting would elect the new committee for 2004/5.

Cllr Richards also said that he was working with youth club members as to the possibility of providing a “meeting point” facility, perhaps near the tennis courts.

Gordon Jones Field.   Cllr Conway said the standard of mowing was still unsatisfactory. Also could the Squash Club replace their worn out dustbins?

Village Hall.   Cllr Whapham said some new “comfortable” chairs may be ordered!


12    Next meeting – July 8th

Graham Smith, Parish Clerk. June 9th 2004                  


The Council approved the following payments at its meeting on June 8th 2004

£291.65           J Mannouch, Lengthsman, Wages         463

£412.24           G Smith, Clerk, Salary              464

£30.00             Kent County Training Partnership – “Quality” course for clerk 465

£64.63             Wilson Tarmac – Gordon Jones car park repairs           466

£20.00             Ashford Boro Council – removal of litter from G Jones car park  467

£37.99             Mrs Cansdale – plants for war memorial and litter grippers        468

£35.00             Kent Rural Community Council subscription (agreed at 11.05.04 meeting)                               469

 £31.79             Staples – stationery       470

 £254.42           British Gates – gate and fittings  163

 £55.00             Impact – technical support for Council computer system            471

 £91.77             Printing at New Romney. Invitations to Parish Plan meeting. 472

 £1506.49 has been received from Ashford Borough Council for recycling credits


Planning items considered at the meeting on June 8th 2004

The following decisions have been received from Ashford Borough Council:

03/00857  Treetops, Mockbeggar Lane. Two storey addition. Appeal against ABCs            refusal. Appeal dismissed.

03/02133  The Mews, Tenterden Rd. Replacement oak framed dwelling.
Withdrawn at applicants request.

04/00429/32  Stede Court, High Halden Rd., Conversion of outbuildings to living          accommodation. Permission granted.

04/00495  Oaklands Farm, Fosten Green. Erection of farm bungalow. Refused.

04/00520  Omenden, Cot Lane. New tennis court and shed. (Renewal of 1999  application) Permission granted.

04/00538  24 High Street. Remove ground floor partition. Consent granted.

04/00771  Townland Farm, Townland Close. Use of land as part of residential curtilage in association with 04/00176. Permission granted.

04/00789  Corran, Tenterden Road. Annex to existing garage. Refused

The following were considered by Cllrs Mrs Ainscough, Cansdale and Scott on May 15th to meet ABC timescales:

04/00789  Corran, Tenterden Rd., Single storey annex to garage. Object. Garage is being developed as a dwelling house.

04/00816/7  Weeksland Farmhouse, Weeks Lane. Replacement conservatory.
No objection.

The following are for consideration by the full council:

 04/00956  Rogley Lodge, Cranbrook Road. Two storey side extension.            No objections.

04/00981  Chart Hills Golf Club. Erection of 3 flag poles.          No objections.


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