Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

9th March 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

Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on March 9th 2004


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 Swain

Cllrs Mrs R Ashton                                                                   Cllr P Whapham

Cllr R Brown

 Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council attended to give his report.

 Two parishioners were present

There were no alterations to members Register of Interests

There were no items raised by parishioners present for immediate discussion but Mr R Carr passed the Clerk a cheque for £214.94 representing the surplus funds on closing the Design Statement accounts now that the work of the Steering Group was complete. 

Mr B Wingham queried the position of the new Post Office development proposals and the Chairman said this would be discussed later in the meeting.

At this point the Chairman closed the meeting to the public so that the minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting held on March 4th could be discussed and agreed. They were agreed and are published separately.


1  Minutes of the meeting held on February 10th 2004

These were approved subject to clarification that,

        Any planning application that the Council objects to will be copied to Cllr Bell with the       reasons for the Councils objections.

        The Councils thanks to Mr Hewitt and his gardener be recorded for their excellent work on maintaining the attractive flower beds on the Village Green.

On this point Cllr Conway queried whether the £200 available for 2004 planting was sufficient. Councillors considered it appropriate.

On the subject of the Village Green Cllr Richards said that he had in hand renovation of the paintwork on the village sign.


2  Matters arising.

Youth Club.     The first of, at least, two sessions would be held in the Old Village Hall on Thursday March 11th under the leadership of I Brooks, KCC Detached Youth Worker. Cllr Mrs Ashcroft confirmed she had bought “tuck” for the occasion and if costs were not covered by sales she would advise the council. The Chairman said she would be present on the evening and Cllr Whapham said he felt a roster of councillors to be present be prepared once the club became established.

Tenterden Tigers.  The Clerk reported that he understood the Tigers had offered to purchase land for improved access to the proposed facilities and were awaiting a reply from the current owner.

Cllrs Brown, Conway and Richards expressed various concerns about ownership of access and the development in general. It was agreed that the clerk would write to the Tigers and invite them to explain their current proposals in more detail to the Council.

 Speed signs.  It was noted the “flashing sign” on the Sissinghurst Road was still not in place although the actual road signs were. Cllr Mrs Ashcroft would check the position with ABC and also establish whether the current large signs could be replaced by smaller “camera” signs.

Cllr Rymer Jones queried whether the Parish Council could fund its own speed indicators on the other approaches to the village and Cllr Richards reported that he had obtained details of a suitable mobile system. The Clerk was asked to see if the firm concerned could do a presentation at the Annual Parish Meeting on April 28th.

Gordon Jones Field – water charges.  It was agreed that Cllr Whapham try to establish exactly what the lease arrangements with the VHMC state. If the Parish Council are not responsible for the water rates then the matter of any support will be considered at a later meeting.

 3  Reports from lead councillors.

 Cllr Mrs Ainscough reported she had read the South East Minerals Strategy and there was nothing of concern to Biddenden. She had also read the Ashford Community Partnership document and this was handed to Cllr Richards as the contents seemed relevant to the Parish Plan studies.

 Cllr Mrs Ashcroft reported that ABC were currently undertaking minor road repairs at various locations around the parish.

 Cllr Mrs Cansdale reported on a Police liaison meeting when the “Country Eye” initiative was explained. (A copy of the recent KAPC minutes which explains this scheme is attached for councillors.)

Cllr H Richards tabled the minutes of the first Parish Plan Steering Group (March 4th) and a copy is attached for councillors. On the specific point of the publication of the finished Plan he sought guidance as to whether this should be all colour or just a colour cover in view if the cost difference.  Council agreed colour cover only.

It was also noted that about £10,000 of volunteer time would be put into the Plan to help attract match funding.

 As regards the Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow he said the “Grand Fayre” would not be taking place this year but there would be displays at the Church fete and at a Field Open Day.

Field Working Parties would soon recommence.

Cllr Rymer Jones referred to the KAPC minutes mentioned above concerning the Country Eye and Allowances issues.                                                                                                            

Cllr Mrs Scott said she had studied a government report on the disciplinary aspects of the Standards Board and felt the Council did not need to respond.

As regards the Post Office she confirmed that “Hairways” are intending to move to the old Post Office premises but a move by the Post Office to the current “Hairways” premises is unlikely due to Post Office HQ concerns about potential alterations to a listed building and other suitability issues.

There would be a public meeting in the Village Hall on the evening of  May 6th to consider the future location of the Post Office (Post Office HQ officers would attend) and three key items would need to be resolved,

    Confirmation that the village as a whole wanted a Post Office retained

    That a revised Post Office Liaison Group be agreed to take the project forward

    Review of all the possible sites identified

Cllr Mrs Scott said the Group currently felt a new build Post Office was the likely outcome and outline costs were being sought.

It was agreed the Parish Council would meet hall hire costs for the May 6th meeting.

Cllr Mrs Swain had nothing to report.

Cllr P Whapham highlighted a problem with 4 wheel drive vehicles using the “green lane” from Woolpack Corner to Fosten Lane. He understood a Traffic Regulation Order was being sought to prevent this.

Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council, reported on three main points:

    Biddenden has now passed the threshold for Broadband connection

    The Strategic Rail Authority consultation document on the Kent Integrated Franchise is being considered by the Borough and he would ensure the services at Headcorn and Staplehurst, which served the parish, were not overlooked.

    The Borough Council Tax rise was 5.5%, this was the lowest rise in Kent and he was pleased with the efficiency the Borough was displaying.

 At this point the Chairman allowed Mr Wingham to raise a point with Cllr Bell.

Mr Wingham said he felt the Borough Council was allowing the 28 day consultation period for planning applications to start before the actual plans were available for public inspection. Cllr Bell said he would follow this up.

4  Planning – see below

5  Finance – see below

The minutes of the February 18th Finance Committee (already circulated) were approved.

Cllr Rymer Jones asked that a print out of the current position re the Council finances be provided. It was agreed this would be attached to these minutes. (To avoid delay to the minutes it will follow no later than the agenda for the next meeting.)                                                                                                   

6  Annual Parish Meeting April 28th.

The following items were suggested for the agenda:

    Provision of flashing speed signs (see 2 above)

    Neighbourhood Watch (see KAPC attachment)

    Parish Plan

    CASK funding

A draft agenda would be available for the April 13th meeting.

7  Quality Parish Council status

It was confirmed that the Council would seek this status. The Clerk advised that he would attend the necessary courses over the next 12 months (approx) and the Council confirmed it would pay the necessary fees of about £200.

One requirement for Quality status is the provision of regular newsletters to the Parish. The current Council supplement to the Parish Magazine was not necessarily the right long term answer and the Chairman asked Cllr Rymer Jones to consider alternatives and report back.

8  Correspondence.

The Clerk read out various items most of which have been referred to above but in addition:

    Cllr M Hill, KCC, apologises that he cannot attend the Annual Meeting

    Tenterden Tigers confirm a football tournament on 15th & 16th May

    The Bowls Club thank the Council for its £340 donation. On May 22nd the Club has Singles Tournament to which councillors are invited for light refreshments

    The displacement of the commemorative stone on the village green (by a lorry) had been noted by at least two witnesses and the police had the matter in hand.

    Cllr Conway said he would think through the organisation of a convivial meeting of all the village organisations to “network” the variety of skills available in the community for developing village plans and activities

    Cllr Rymer Jones mentioned the car service being organised in the village to assist people with hospital or doctor visits. The Chairman said the Council would be happy to help when approached.

9  Next meeting.

 April 13th.         Annual Parish Meeting April 28th.

 The meeting closed at 9.35pm

 Graham Smith, Parish Clerk March 10th 2004



Planning items considered at the meeting on March 9th 2004

 Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council

LE/DS/26/0477            Tree preservation order given at 7 High Street (birch tree)

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

03/02056         70 North Street. Internal alterations and new rear entrance.

                        Permission granted.

03/03867         Thousand Acre Farm, Dashmonden Road. New farm building.

                        Permission granted. (Existing temporary building to be removed.)

03/03881         Corran, Tenterden Road. Two storey extension.

                        Permission granted.

03/03884         21 Mansion House Close. Single storey extension house to garage.

                        Permission granted.

03/03900         The Oak House (Shorts Wood) Development of roof space.

                        Lawful Development Certificate granted.

04/00142         Ashenden Farm, Bell Lane. Replace existing building with a larger one   Advice to applicant that Planning Permission is required.

The following decisions were made by members at a meeting of the Finance Committee on February 18th

T151/42/01      The Mews, Brogues Wood. Forestry Commission coppice and thinning work. No objections

TC 04/00026   Field Cottage, Tenterden Rd. Tree works to ash tree. No objections.

04/00064         Eaton Lodge, Bell Lane. Replacement extension. No objections.

04/00138         Weeks Land Farm, Standen Area. Structure repairs. No objections.

The following decisions were made by the Council at a special meeting on March 4th

04/00234         Hare Plain Farm, Hareplain Rd. Construction of sand riding school.

                        No objections.

04/00248         Great Batchelors, Sissinghurst Rd. Raise a portion of roof height for office space and dormer window.  No objections.

04/00255         Weeksland Farmhouse, Weeks Lane. Garage drive and access.

                        No objections.

04/00256 & 263  Weeksland  Farmhouse, Weeks Lane. Replacement conservatory.

                        No objections.

04/00257         Weeksland Farmhouse, weeks Lane. Dormer window and alterations.

                        No objections.

04/00264 & 289  Weeksland Farmhouse, Weeks Lane. Extension and internal alterations. No objections.

04/00266         Park Farm Oast, Cranbrook Rd, Fosten Green. Extension and garage

                        No objections.

04/00274         Pond View, Tenterden Rd. Extension and conservatory.

                        No objections.

04/00286 & 312  Yew Trees Cottage, Fosten Green. Double garage and log store.

                        No objections.

04/00330         Ashenden Farm, Bell Lane. Replacement of poultry building.

                        No objections but check location re neighbouring housing.

The following are for approval at the council meeting on March 9th

04/00336         3 Chulkhurst. Two storey rear and side extension.

04/00324         Summers Motors, Headcorn Rd. First floor addition to office

04/00359         Weeksland Farmhouse, Weeks Lane. Dormer window and alterations

No objections to the above three applications.                                      


The Council approved the following payments at its meeting on March 9th 2004

 £345.00           J Mannouch, Lengthsman, Wages from 2nd February to March 7th 2004

                        This represents 5 weeks work at 12 hours per week = 60 hours at £5.75 per hour. Mr Mannouch overlapped J Beeken for one weeks learning.

                        Mr Mannouch is being paid gross in this tax year but will (subject to Inland Revenue advice) be subject to tax in the next tax year. The cost  to the council is unchanged.

 £48.47             J Mannouch, Wellington boots, gloves, HV Jacket

 £393.25           G Smith, Clerk, salary


£100.00           G Smith, Clerk, Imprest account (ie petty cash)

 £27.87             Staples, stationery

 £163.20           Ashford Borough Council. Replacement dog bins.

 £100.00           John Mayne school. Grant towards Teachers Pack for field study.

                        (Agreed by the Council November 11th 2003)

 £25.00             Donation to Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). This is an annual grant we usually make.

 £37.99             Brass plaque and engraving – Jack Griggs seat. (cheque to Clerk as he paid)

 £44.38             Chairmans expenses – phone calls, postage, black sacks for litter pick.

 £300.00           Retirement grant to J Beeken. Paid on February 18th following clarification of the sum agreed at the Council meeting on Febuary 10th

 The Council has received £150.00 from the VHMC as the second tranche of annual maintenance fees.

 Also received is £214.94 from the Design Statement Steering Group as return of surplus funds on winding up of the Group following completion of its work.

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