Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

13th January 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 January 13th 2004


Cllr Mrs E Cansdale – Chairman                                               Cllr M Conway

Cllr Mrs U Ainscough                                                               Cllr H Richards

Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft                                                                   Cllr J Rymer Jones

Cllr Mrs R Ashton                                                                    Cllr Mrs B Swain

                                                                                                Cllr P Whapham


Apologies for absence from Cllr R Brown, Cllr Mrs G Scott and Cllr N Bell, ABC.


Two parishioners were present.


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


Comments raised by parishioners present.

Mr Carr drew attention to the planning process whereby objections raised by a Parish Council can be taken up by the Borough Planning Committee rather than just considered by the officers. He also spoke of the current enforcement regulations and the difficulties in achieving quick results. Mr Carr advised that Tony Jarvis and Lucy Northwood of ABC planning department would be happy to talk to the council at a future meeting. The Chairman asked that this be arranged by the clerk.


The minutes of the meeting held on December 9th 2003 were approved and signed by the Chairman. Mr Rymer Jones referred to item 4 of those minutes and was concerned that enough publicity was being given to the forthcoming Rural Housing Trust meeting – other councillors confirmed the event was widely publicised.


Matters arising.

The clerk reported that there was no progress on the provision of a Youth Club in the Village Hall as Mr Ian Brooks, the organiser, was on holiday. Cllr Whapham reported that the evening fee would be £10 which the Parish Council had agreed to pay if necessary. Mr Rymer Jones drew attention to the need for "police clearance" of any councillors involved in the Club in any way. The Clerk said Mr Brooks was aware of this and had the matter in hand. The clerk would check with the police details of the required procedures.

As regards the Tenterden Tigers proposal to create an enhanced football facility at Biddenden the clerk said that the matter of improved access to the field was still being discussed by the Tigers and ABC. Cllr Richards said he felt that ultimately the Tigers would choose Tenterden as their preferred site.

The clerk reported that the position of Village Lengthsman had been advertised and six expressions of interest had been received – he would be meeting applicants to show them the work involved on January 18th. Mr Beeken was happy to continue until a replacement was appointed.



Reports by lead councillors.


        ·        Cllr Mrs Ainscough had read a KCC brochure "Towards Kent’s second local PSA" which concerned agreements between KCC and central government to earn additional funding. It was felt this was an issue for the Borough council.


        ·        Cllr Mrs Ashcroft reported that the meeting with ABC on roads issues had been reconvened for January 27th and the Chairman would also be present. She asked that any road or pavement issues be brought to her attention before the meeting. A parishioners letter concerning improved lighting in the Cheeselands area was passed to Mrs Ashcroft.

        ·        Cllr Mrs Cansdale reported on a recent police liaison meeting where it had been stated that reported crime in Biddenden had fallen. Mobile speed cameras were now being tested but not yet in Biddenden. The current practice of "mooning" (indecent exposure) by some youths had been reported and the police had been alerted to the problem. Cllr Mrs Ashton also reported on the "mooning" issue.

        ·        Cllr Richards said he had investigated some new mobile speed indicators that are being trialled in the Bexley area. They are not enforcement devices but rather educational in drawing drivers attention to their excessive speed. They can be set for any speed band and easily moved from site to site. It was agreed that police advice should be sought and the possibility of the Borough council purchasing the device should be investigated. If necessary the parish could buy its own equipment at a cost of about £3500.

               Cllr Richards had attended a recent ABC Parish Forum at which some key  issues were discussed including,

                * setting of clear local housing need criteria

                * planning enforcement regulations now that two enforcement officers have been appointed (see also 2 above)

                * the annual ABC/ Parish Meeting must be improved as last years was seen as poorly organised

        * the confusion surrounding parish councillors allowances and expenses  needs urgent resolution especially in cases like Biddenden where                                    councillors do not wish to claim allowances but only legitimate expenses.

        ·        Cllr Rymer Jones had attended a recent KAPC meeting and one issue that may be of interest to the Millennium Field Committee was the availability of a task force of unemployed available for "good public works". Mr Peter Brander at KCC was the contact point.

        ·        Cllr Mrs Scott had left a note to say that there was nothing to report on the Post Office permanent site issue until after the Liaison Group meeting on January 20th.

        ·        Cllr Mrs Swain reported that the padlocks were now in place on the Gordon Jones car park drop posts. She also reported that there had been a problem with overflowing dog refuse bins but this had since been cleared by ABC after the Christmas break. Replacement of the damaged dog bin would take place shortly. It was noted that a new dog bin had been requested for Glebelands and the Chairman agreed to meet ABC to decide the location.

        ·        Cllr Whapham reported that the Village Hall Management Committee were aware of the heavy water usage in the Gordon Jones complex of clubs and it was for discussion who should pay for this – currently the Parish Council pay. Cllr Whapham was asked to consider the matter further with the VHMC and report back to the council.


Rural Housing Trust.

It was noted that the exhibition and meeting of the Cheeselands housing proposal was scheduled for the Village Hall on January 22nd from 3pm to 7pm. The Chairman asked that councillors come and support the meeting at various times.

Cllrs Mrs Ainscough, Mrs Ashton, Conway and Rymer Jones, as well as the Chairman, agreed to attend at some point.                                              


Parish Plan.

The clerk said that invitations had been sent to all those (about 25) who had expressed an interest in helping manage the plan process to attend the meeting in the Village Hall at 10 am on Saturday January 24th. Any other interested parishioners who would like to help would also be welcome.

The Chairman would open the meeting and Cllr Richards agreed to chair the proceedings. One thing that must emerge quickly from the meeting is our initial parish "wish list" to the Borough Council.

Cllr Richards also considered that we must try and get a youth input to the plan and also consider whether some joint thinking with Smarden and High Halden would be appropriate.


Planning – see attached.


Finance – the attached payments were approved.

Also the 2004/5 budget proposals and precept requirement circulated to all councillors at the December meeting were approved as recommended by the Finance Committee.

The 2004/5 Biddenden precept will be for £30,000.

Cllr Rymer Jones suggested that the council consider repaying a further tranche of the Public Works Loan Board debt on the field purchases if funds permit during the next financial year. This was agreed.


10  Quality Parish Council – developments.

This was postponed until the February meeting in the absence of the Vice Chairman.


11 Correspondence.  Items noted included,

      · A request from Biddenden Bowls Club for a donation towards the roof covering on their new club house. £340 was agreed.

      · A thank you from Mrs Wiles for our recommendation that she be considered for a KCC "Volunteering Excellence" award – now received.

      · Exchange of correspondence between Mr Dillon and the Department for Transport on free OAP travel concessions.

      · Request from CPRE to support changes to proposed national planning guidance – clerk to check whether the deadline for support has passed in view of legislative timetable.

      · Correspondence from the Biddenden Landowners Association suggesting substantial development north west of the village. It was noted the clerk had acknowledged this and invited them to present their case at the January 24th Parish Plan meeting.


12  Matters for future consideration.

Mr Rymer Jones asked that councillors themselves, and any contacts they can encourage, have input available by February 1st for the March 1st Parish magazine/newsletter. Details to John Betts, the editor please.


The Chairman said she would write to Cllr Bell specifically asking him to the February meeting as it was clear that councillors had several important issues they would like to discuss with him.

The meeting closed at 9.50pm


13  Next meeting.  February 10th 2004 


Graham Smith, Parish Clerk. January 14th 2004                                           




Planning items considered at the meeting on January 13th 2004


Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council


03/01607   Tate Door House, 7-9 High Street. Demolition of existing outbuildings and   erection of timber framed extension.  Permission granted.


03/01680   Little Hare Plain, Hareplain Road.  Removal of rear modern chimney.

                        Permission granted.


03/01816   72 North Street. Construction of double garage. Permission granted.


03/01826   Corran, Tenterden Road. Revision to garage roof. Permission granted.


03/01856  Garden Crafts, Sissinghurst Road.  Change of use to food retail.

            Permission granted – trading 08.00 to 18.00 only


03/01886   Bramble Cottage, Hareplain Road.  Erection of conservatory. Refused.


02/00881   Little Acres,  1a Woolpack Corner.  Stationing of 5 mobile homes. Informal hearing of appeal by Inspector at ABC on January 13th 2004.


02/01807  Fernwood, Cranbrook Road. Change of use to touring caravans etc.

Appeal dismissed and ABC refusal of permission stands.


02/01823   Summers Motors. Use of former agricultural yard as staff car park. Appeal allowed and planning permission granted by the Planning Inspectorate.


03/00390   Browns Yard, Smarden Rd. Retrospective planning permission required for unauthorised change of use from contracting yard to stone masonary.


Items to be considered by the full council.


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

            Slight amendements to that approved by BPC on December 9th 2003

            Planning permission since granted with conditions.


03/02133  The Mews, Tenterden Road. Replacement two storey oak framed dwelling.

            No objections.


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

            Cllr Richards abstained from voting. No objections but councillors would       like ABC Planning Committee to consider this case.


03/03881   Corran, Tenterden Road.  Two storey extension.  No objections.


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

            No objections.                                                                                  



   The Council approved the following payments at its meeting on January 13th 2004


£241.75           J Beeken, Lengthsman – Wages            426


£393.25           G Smith, Clerk – Salary                        427


£655.00           J Wheadon. Hedge laying at Millennium Field. (Variation on £750.00

                        queried at December 2003 meeting. Since paid)            156


£740.25           G Bridgland. Tree works. (Approved at December 2003 meeting.)  157


£35.00             Donation to Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group. (Approved at December 2003 meeting)         428


£3235.37         Direct Debit to Public Works Loan Board due 16th January 2004.

                        (Field loan repayments)


£45.86             Staples – stationery                   429


£18.00             Estate Publications – laminating parish map                    430


£507.14           Inland Revenue. Clerks & Lengthsmans tax for Oct. Nov. & Dec. 03                431


£533.92           Mid Kent Water. Metered charge for Gordon Jones Field June–Dec 03



£10.50             Mid Kent Water. Standing charge for land opposite village hall.

                        June – December 2003 432





£438.61 refund of VAT has been claimed until December 31st 2003.


£150.00 Biddenden Club House for maintenance charges


£175.00  Tenterden Tigers fee for use of pitches


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