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Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on January 11th 2005
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 and 13 parishioners were also present.
1 There were no alterations to members Register of Interests.
2 Parishioners present raised three key issues currently concerning the parish,
A lively discussion took place highlighting the following issues.
Whilst it was generally agreed it was desirable to retain the Post Office facility there was some doubt as to whether the right location had been chosen in view of the reduction in car parking spaces that would result in what is already a fairly small car park. Cllr Mrs Scott said all reasonable alternatives had been examined before the proposed location was chosen and these had been discussed at previous Council meetings.
Concern was expressed about the final cost of the building and whether it would have a long term use if the Post Office ceased to exist some time in the future. Cllr Whapham felt the building would always be an asset to the village perhaps as a Youth Club, Parish Office or Internet Centre if the Post Office was ever closed.
There was also concern as to whether the cost of the facility was matched by the potential return (ie could the Post Office sustain the appropriate rent for such a building). Whilst it was appreciated that the financial situation of the current Postmistress was not public business it was necessary to establish (via an independent body like Post Office HQ) what a fair rent should be and whether the Parish Council would need to underwrite any shortfall.
Cllr Conway proposed that the Council prepare a business plan for the Post Office project within two months which would be tabled at the March 8th Council meeting. This was agreed by the Council and welcomed by the parishioners present.
It was questioned whether the Council was right to increase the precept to help pay for the new building. The Clerk explained that the Council was within its powers to increase the precept to pay for any appropriate village facility – there was no cap on the level of precept that a Parish Council could raise.
This issue was closely linked to the Post Office discussion and two suggestions were made. One that the alternative parking space in the Gordon Jones Field parking area be more clearly signed and secondly that the area of council land opposite the village hall be considered for car parking.
High Street (south side) pavement
Councillors explained that there had been a long standing desire to improve the surface of the south side pavement but that it would be a project for Ashford Borough Council. We would naturally have an input to any scheme that was developed for such an important “listed” item of the street scene. No action was anticipated in the immediate future because of the costs involved but the Parish Council keeps the issue alive at Borough level.
The Chairman thanked the parishioners for their keen interest and continued with the agenda items.
3 Minutes of the meeting held on December 14th 2004
These were approved and signed by the Chairman with one alteration:
Para 9 ref……….”help pay for a new Post Office” to read……….”help pay for a new building.”
4 Post Office update.
It was noted that the Planning Application for the new building was now with Ashford Borough Council awaiting a decision.
5 Speed cameras update.
Cllr Conway reported that the use of hand held cameras was still subject to a Police decision on the appropriate method of operation.
The planning consent for the Old Mill Corner development stipulated a flashing speed sign on the approach from Tenterden. Such positioning would not appear to meet highway criteria and the issue needed to be resolved between the Borough Planning and County Highway authorities. Cllr Bell agreed to follow this up.
6 Parish plan update.
The Chairman closed the meeting to allow Mr Greensted to report. He said that CASK funding towards the Plan expenses had been received and a cheque for £632.30 was handed to the Council. Two more explanatory public meetings were programmed and the Plan itself should be completed by April. The Chairman thanked all the Plan team for their work and reopened the meeting.
7 Village fete (June 4th)
Cllr Richards said a progress meeting was to be held on January 27th.
8 Report from Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council
Cllr Bell raised three points concerning the Mill Corner development that needed resolution. Easement for the drainage to the Millennium Field, funding from the developer to the Parish Council and the speed indicator (see 5 above). The drainage arrangements were being addressed and Cllr Conway had met the developers.
Cllr Conway raised a land ownership query concerning a strip of land between the Gordon Jones entrance road and the Mill Corner site. He felt this may belong to the Parish Council rather than the Mill Corner site and it was agreed that the Council solicitor should be asked to investigate in order to clarify ownership.
9 Reports from lead councillors
Cllr Mrs Ashcroft said the Youth Club would restart in the Village Hall from January 12th.
Cllr Rymer Jones reminded the meeting that the Silent Auction to raise money for the Tsunami appeal was being held in the Hall on the morning of Saturday 15th January.
There were no other reports.
Main items received were,
The meeting closed at 10.15pm
13 Next meeting.
February 8th 2005.
Graham Smith, Parish Clerk, January 12th 2005 01622 890596.
Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council:
04/01187 Honeybee Farm, Headcorn Road. Variation of permission 97/810 to allow sale of hot food. Permission granted.
04/01866 Standen Barn, Smarden Road. Single storey extension. Refused.
04/01889 & 90 Island Farm, High Halden Road. Single storey extension. Permission granted.
04/01901 Omenden, Cot Lane.Tractor shed & implement store. Permission granted.
04/01944 Chestnut Stables, Tenterden Road. Single storey extension.
04/01960 Cheveney Place, The Nightingales. Loft conversion and extension.
04/02045 Ashenden Farm, Bell Lane. Mobile poultry house.
Planning permission required.
The full council considered the following:
04/02147 Car park, High Street. New post office to replace temporary Post Office.
Parish Council not required to comment as it is a PC application.
04/02187 Green Acres, Sissinghurst Road. Fishing ponds, toilets, tearoom etc.
Resubmission. Object. Inadequate access and volume of traffic.
Inappropriate commercial development in residential area.
Cllr Rymer Jones declared an interest and did not vote.
04/02203 John Mayne School. New entrance lobby and offices etc.
04/02204 Land at rear of 65-67 Cheeselands. Erection of 22 (low cost) dwellings.
04/02218 Wynmere, Mockbeggar Lane. Conservatory, Detached garage.
04/02237 Oaklands Farm Holdings, Fosten Green. Stationing of mobile home.
Object. Inappropriate development in rural area.
04/02246 Lotland Farm, Biddenden Road, High Halden. Turkey brooder unit.
(Cllr Mrs Ashcroft declared an interest and did not vote.)
£368.00 S Keen, Lengthsman, Wages. (From January 25th the Council must pay Mr Keen £6.02 per calendar day Tax Credit in addition to his Council wages due to his low total income. This additional money is then reclaimed from the Inland Revenue by paying them less total tax.) 529
£432.03 G Smith, Clerk, Salary 530
£527.33 Inland Revenue. Tax and NI for Nov, Dec, 2004 and January 2005. 531
£3235.37 Public Works Loan Board. Six monthly direct debit for Millennium and Jubilee Fields purchase. (Payable on January 17th)
£300.00 Little Teds Nursery. Donation for special needs light sensory area.
(At its meeting on November 9th 2004 the Council agreed a donation of£250. Little Teds has now requested £300 to meet the necessary costs.) 532
£352.71 Mid Kent Water. Gordon Jones water bill to December 6th 2004. 533
£82.25 “Sota” Computer Club Broadband extension to 23.03.05. 534
£35.93 Staples. Stationery. 535
£228.00 Printing at New Romney. (Copying of Parish Plan inserts for Parish Magazine) 536
£35.00 Membership of “Action with Communities in Rural Kent” – previously KRCC. (Agreed at the December 14th 2004 meeting) 537
£100.00 Donation to Greenfield School. Agreed at December 14th meeting. 538
£250.00 Biddenden Club House. Hire of village hall. (£158 computer club,
£42 Parish Council meetings, £50 youth Club) 539
£219.00 G Smith, Clerk. Purchase of shed as store for parish council papers etc.
The following money has been received.
£1135.41 Customs and Excise. VAT refunds.