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Minutes of the meeting held in the Old Village Hall on February 14th 2006
Cllr P Whapham - Chairman Cllr C Friend
Cllr Mrs E Cansdale – Vice Chairman Cllr H Richards
Cllr Mrs J Ashcroft Cllr J Rymer Jones
Cllr Mrs R Ashton Cllr Mrs G Scott
Cllr R Brown Cllr Mrs B Swain
Cllr M Conway
Also present Cllr N Bell, Ashford BC and 18 parishioners
1 There were no alterations to members Register of Interests
2 Items for discussion raised by parishioners present.
The Chairman closed the formal council meeting at this point.
(There is no requirement for this part of the meeting to be minuted however the following items were discussed)
· Some comments and views on the previous evenings Parish Meeting
· Richard Greensted asked what progress has been made on the Parish Plan
· Two parishioners asked whether the Council could pursue the possibility of the parish sharing the services of a Community Warden
· Could Tenterden Tigers FC be encouraged to recruit some Biddenden players
3 Minutes of the January 10th meeting.
(The Chairman reopened the formal council meeting)
Cllr Richards raised the following points he would like corrected,
· Min 4. The meeting had been closed to allow Cllr Bell to speak
· Min 7. Cllr Richards had been asked to leave the meeting for the phone mast item.
· Min 10. Cllr Richards thought the rise in precept was for 2005/6 only.
With these amendments agreed the Chairman signed the minutes.
4 Report on the Special Parish Meeting February 13th 2006
Cllrs Mrs Ashton and Brown declared an interest and left the meeting.
(The Chairman closed the formal council meeting at this point)
Cllr Whapham apologised to Richard Greensted for altering the agenda and to Neil Bell for not allowing him to speak fully.
Cllrs Mrs Ashcroft and H Richards said that information had been made available that they had never seen before.
Cllr Rymer Jones said councillors had a personal responsibility to clarify any information (or lack of) that caused them concern.
Cllr Conway said he wished to repeat his long held concern that the council was improperly supporting a commercial business (ie the Post Office)
Cllr Mrs Scott asked if any councillor had ever been unclear when they voted?
Cllr Richards said it was unfortunate that Cllr Bell, and not a parish councillor, answered questions about the Post Office. The Chairman reminded him that Cllr Bell was a member of the Post Office Committee and was familiar with the facts.
Cllr Conway said he thought the minutes (actually not labelled “minutes”) of the meeting that the clerk had already circulated to councillors (only) were inaccurate. The clerk responded that he was sure all 130 present would have had a slightly different interpretation of the volatile meeting but if his alterations were submitted he would be happy to incorporate the revisions when minutes were prepared.
Cllr Conway said he was unhappy to see a copy of the letter Richard Greensted had written personally to the Chairman and his reply – he would like to have been consulted on this as he felt the whole council should have been. The Chairman said he felt it deserved a prompt reply but reiterated that in future all correspondence should be addressed to the clerk and not individual councillors.
Cllr Rymer Jones wondered where all this argument was leading – what was the real alternative to the agreed council proposal? Cllr Conway said he was clear that the project should now go ahead as agreed at the January meeting.
(The Chairman then reopened the meeting for formal council business only.)
5 Post Office/new toilets progress report.
Cllr Mrs Scott said the £20,000 Post Office and £17,000 Action with Communities in Rural Kent grants had been approved subject to the project going ahead. She was hopeful that some additional grants may be obtained.
The draft 999 year lease with Ashford Borough Council was being progressed.
Physical work on the project should start in March and be completed by May.
6 Traffic and Pedestrians Committee
(Cllr Mrs Scott declared an interest in the “Pedestrians” section and left the meeting for this item)
Cllr Friend’s report had been circulated to all councillors and the Chairman thanked him for a good start on a challenging agenda reminding the meeting that this was a key part of the Parish Plan aspirations. The following topics were discussed in more detail,
· Could the 30mph signs be moved further out from the village centre?
· Car parking needs special attention if we take over the village car park
· N Bell would clarify with ABC the status of the grass area outside The Weavers – is it available for parking?
· An audit of (unnecessary)village signs is taking place
· B Wingham will check listed status of south side pavement and stretch outside Henden Hall before progressing possible improvements.
· The clerk would check with ABC who owned which street lights (it was noted that one needs a new bulb)
· PC Sharp to be invited to the annual Parish Meeting to explain mobile speed camera operations
· Cllr Richards said the safety improvements at Castletons Oak were still not satisfactory
7 Millennium Field and Jubilee Meadow Committee
Cllr Richards said the council part of the new footpath from the MF car park to the school had been completed – the school part had not yet been started. The clerk was asked to write to the Headmistress to confirm we had made £2000 available for their part of the path.
Two “scrapes” had recently been created in the fields.
The rough surface entrance between the Gordon Jones and MF car parks should be remedied soon
Cllr Richards proposed and Cllr Mrs Cansdale seconded that no commercial advertisements should be allowed in the Jubilee Meadow henceforth (it advertised Christmas trees last year). All councillors agreed
8 Report from Cllr Bell, Ashford BC
He said that ABC’s council tax will rise less than 5% in the next fiscal year and will be the lowest in Kent.
The clerk mentioned that he had been advised that the proposed telecomms mast at Olivers Foods was actually in Frittenden. Would Mr Bell check that ABC were aware of this for planning consent reasons.
9 Gordon Jones play area report
The report by Cllrs Mrs Cansdale and Mrs Swain had been circulated to all councillors.
Cllr Conway proposed and Cllr Mrs Ashcroft seconded that the recommended work be put in hand as we had already made adequate budget provision.
(Work involves repairs to swings and moving the “Sputnik”)
All councillors agreed.
10 Other councillors reports
Cllr Mrs Ashton and Mrs Cansdale agreed to visit Headcorn air cadets to see whether the youth activities could be attractive to some Biddenden youngsters.
The council could support transport if necessary.
Cllr Richards said in view of BEST’s excellent fundraising at the last Bonfire we should write and thank them for all their hard work. All agreed
14 Items for future consideration
The clerk would,
· Obtain further estimates for repairs to The Weavers bus shelter
· Write to the person dumping domestic rubbish in the car park
15 Next meeting - March 14th
This meeting would include a closed session for discussion of the council’s views on ABC’s Local Development Framework housing proposals.
The meeting closed at 10.10 pm. (Graham Smith, Parish Clerk. 01622 890596)
Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council
05/00337 Woodlands caravan park. Appeal against refusal of ABC for permanent holiday use. Appeal allowed
05/01910 Chart Hills Golf Club. Extension of function room. Granted
05/01912 31 TheMeadows. Two storey extension. Granted
05/02082&3 41 North Street. Extension and alterations Refused
05/02110&1 Bettmans Oast, Hareplain Rd. New Conservatory Refused
TC/06/00004 Biddenden Place. Various tree works Granted
The council’s Planning Group made the following decisions.
05/02071 Elmstone House, North Street. New access from public highway.
06/00007&8 Hales Place, Cranbrook Road. Extension and alterations.
06/00067 Pell House Farm, Sissinghurst Road. Rear extension & garage alterations.
TC06/00004 Biddenden Place. Various tree works.
05/01879 Bargate Farm, Cranbrook Rd. Demolition of garage, erection of new garage and change of use of land.
06/00017 Birchdene, Benenden Road. Erection of a car port.
06/00096 The Oak House, Tenterden Road. Demolition of old and construction of
06/00158 Boundary Farm, Cranbrook Rd. Rear extension.
06/00159 Pell House Farm, Sissinghurst Road. Rear extension etc. Listed building consent as per 06/00067 above.
FC 06/00017 Beale Lands Farmhouse, Shawlands Lane, High Halden. Coppicing.
This location is in High Halden but fronts our boundary
The council had “No objections” to any of the above 6 items
£368.00 S Keen, Lengthsman, Wages. (Tax Credit no longer paid) 1644
£444.67 G Smith, Clerk, Salary 1645
£81.43 R King (Odd job man) £45 Wages and £36.43 materials. 1646
£100.00 G Smith. Imprest (expenses) account. (August 2005 – February 2006) 1647
£553.91 G Smith, Clerk, 70 extra hours for Quality portfolio 1648
£424.15 British Gates. Gates and fittings for new school path gates 1649
£2162.00 Thomson, Snell & Passmore. Legal advice for Post Office project 1650
£52.88 KAPC – Chairman’s course fee 1651
The following monies have been received,
£3.10 Miss G Clarke. Photocopies of requested documents.
£1632.38 VAT refund
2 Ashford BC Housing Lettings Policy.
Draft for comments by March 6th. Important! (Passed to Mrs Cansdale)
3 Tunbridge Wells BC. Consultation on new Primary School at Benenden.
4 KAPC Training – “Chairmanship” 29th March (Chairman to attend)
5 KAPC Training – “Planning” 18th March (Passed to Mrs Ashcroft)
6 KCC “Preserving water supplies” report
Mid Kent Water – hosepipe ban leaflet
9 ABC Standards Committee meeting 20th February, Ashford
10 KCC Kent area “Early years and childcare” winter edition.
11 Consumer Council for Water – meeting, Ashford 10th February. Clerk attended.
12 Environment Agency. Nuclear power consultation (Dungeness). Clerk sent for papers
13 From Mr/Mrs Hill- copy letter to ABC about “Jungalow”, Bell Lane, refusal
14 Kent Police – Appointment six area chief officers. (Passed to Mrs Cansdale)
15 Kent Police – Speedwatch update (copied to Cllrs Cansdale, Friend, Whapham)
16 ABC – Progress report on Local Dev. Framework. (Copied to Cllr R Jones)
17 T Wells BC. Local Dev. Framework. Consultation
18 “Working with Young People” – ABC information pack.