Biddenden Parish Council - Official Website

12th April 2005




Meetings 2005
11th January 2005
8th February 2005
21st March 2005
12th April 2005
Annual Parish Meeting
10th May 2005
14th June 2005
9th August 2005
13th September 2005
11th October 2005
8th November 2005
13th December 2005

These minutes are subject to approval at the Council meeting on May 10th 2005

 Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on

April 12th 2005


Cllr Mrs E Cansdale – Chairman                                               Cllr Mr M Conway

Cllr Mrs G Scott – Vice Chairman                                            Cllr Mrs B Swain

Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft                                                                   Cllr Mr J Rymer Jones

Cllr Mrs R Ashton                                                                    Cllr Mr P Whapham

Cllr Mr R Brown


Apologies for absence. Cllr Mrs U Ainscough, Cllr Mr H Richards and

Cllr N Bell (Ashford Borough Council)


Eight parishioners were present.


There were no alterations to members Register of Interests but Cllr Mrs G Scott wished to formally record that she is Chairman of the Post Office Liaison Committee.

 1        Items for discussion raised by parishioners.

Sue Boon queried whether there were funds in the coming year for planting of the flower beds on the Village Green. It was confirmed that the budget allowed for £300. She also suggested that the Council should thank those who voluntarily maintained the Green. The Clerk would arrange.

2        Approval of minutes.

The minutes of the ordinary meeting held on March 8th and Extraordinary meeting held on March 21st were approved.

3        Standards Board

The Clerk explained the current position and said the investigation had been delegated from the Standards Board for England to the Monitoring Officer of Ashford Borough Council to report. No further action was required by Councillors at present.

4        Post Office

Cllrs Mrs R Ashton and R Brown declared an interest but did not leave the meeting.

Cllr Mrs Scott tabled outline plans prepared by Mr Parsons of a possible conversion of the toilets to a Post Office and the provision of a new adjoining smaller toilet block. She emphasised that these were initial thoughts and the next move would be to discuss the plans informally with Ashford Borough Council with possible amendment prior to seeking planning permission. (Cllr Mrs Scott said she had received some objections to using Mr Parsons offer of preparing outline plans but she was satisfied the Council was acting correctly after receiving advice from KAPC.)

The following were also noted,                                                

·        A meeting with the Fundraiser had taken place but she could not progress the matter until planning permission was granted and the project would need to become a Registered Charity. More consideration needed to be given to this.

·        A Post Office grant had been applied for and a Defra grant was being investigated.

·        A draft lease between the Parish Council and the Post Office was being drawn up.

·        The Clerk would arrange an independent assessment of the amount the existing Postmistress could afford to pay in rent for the new premises.

·        Cllr Rymer Jones queried whether grants could be available for the new public toilet part of the conversion.


5        Parish Plan

The Chairman closed the meeting to allow Mr Greensted to report. He gave a copy of the Plan to each councillor and confirmed he would make a presentation at the Annual Parish Meeting on April 29th.


6        Millennium Field fete

Cllr Conway reported that arrangements were going well and 30 stall holders were expected so far. The Council agreed he could place adverts in the local press.

Cllr Conway explained that as no grants were available this year the total profit from the event was likely to be less that previously.


7        Cheeselands affordable housing proposals

Although Cllr Bell was absent he asked that it be noted that the Cheeselands proposals were “on hold” pending resolution of smell considerations from the nearby sewage treatment facility. Ashford BC has the matter in hand.


8        Reports from lead Councillors

Cllr Rymer Jones described redevelopment proposals for Ashford following his Parish Forum meeting on the “Local Development Framework”. Key points were housing expansion, redevelopment of the town centre, ring road proposals and rebuilding of the M20 junction 10.

He also reported on a KAPC meeting where major expansion (to jet standards) of Lydd Airport was explained. KCC supported this as it was envisaged that many job opportunities would be created.

Cllr Conway said various “tidying up” jobs were being undertaken on the Millennium Field and two new seats were being made as a result of funds from the Homemakers.

It was noted that one of the drop posts needs replacing.

The Millennium Field sign was in store at British Gates pending resolution of provision of “unbreakable glass”

Cllr Mrs Ashcroft reported on the new management structure of Kent Highways.

She would report again to Ashford BC the need for repair to the footpath by 9,       Glebelands.                                                                                         

Cllr Brown queried when drainage works on the football pitches would commence. Cllr Richards would be asked to report. The Clerk said an offer of £100 from Tenterden Tigers towards the work had been received.

Cllr Mrs Swain said urgent repairs to the fencing around the Gordon Jones childrens play area were required as well as repairs to three of the see saw seats. In view of the urgency and potential danger it was agreed repairs would be authorised up to a maximum sum of £1000.

Cllr Whapham reported that he had attended a very informative meeting on The South East Plan. It was worth noting that only on the “highest” of the three options does Ashford grow enormously and it was not yet certain which option would be adopted.

Cllr Conway also reported on the revised Weald Police Plan where Ashford parishes would be policed from a new (as yet undecided) location in the Ashford area. We would be separate from the Tunbridge Wells area.

The Clerk reported that Smarden were interested in the possibility of sharing a Community Warden with Biddenden. It was agreed we would follow this up.

Cllr Rymer Jones hoped parishioners could be encouraged to report more crime as without reports figures looked unrealistically low.


9        Planning. 

It was noted that the District Valuer has recommended a storm water drainage easement charge of £7,500 for the previously agreed pipe across the Millennium Field car park. The Councils solicitor suggested that we charge £37,500 to include the £30,000 developers contribution offered by the Mill Corner developers towards parish funds.

(The total offer to the parish was £50,000 but £12,500 is allocated to speed attenuation measures on the approach from Tenterden)

It was noted that the £37,500 would be tentatively allocated towards the Post Office scheme (£25,000) and pavement works (£12,500)  


10    Finance.  

Cllr Mrs Swain agreed to transfer the “old Youth Club” funds to the new Youth Club.


11    Correspondence.

The Clerk circulated a list of items received over the last month.

It was also noted that a request had been received to remove the “Gordon Jones”

sign from the Mill Corner redevelopment site. Cllr Conway would liaise with Mr Ashforth Corner.

A request had also been received from a parishioner in Glebelands about additional dog bins and signs. It was agreed locations would be settled and ABC be asked to progress.


12    Matters for future consideration.

Cllr Mrs Scott asked that we progress a plan of the village showing what lands are owned by the Parish and whether they are registered with the Land Registry.


13   Next meeting.  Annual Parish Meeting April 29th. Ordinary meeting May 10th.

Graham Smith, Parish Clerk      01622 890596