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Minutes of the Annual Statutory meeting held in the Old Village Hall on
May 16th 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 M Conway                                                        Cllr Mrs G Scott
Apology received from Cllr Mrs B Swain (in hospital)
Cllr R Brown is suspended from the Council until June 11th
Cllr Mrs Ashton resigned from the Council on April 23rd and Ashford Borough Council is establishing whether an election will be called for (deadline May 19th) or whether the Council can co opt a new member to fill the vacancy.
Also present – Cllr N Bell, Ashford Borough Council and 23 parishioners.
1  Election of Chairman for 2006-7 year
Cllr Mrs Cansdale proposed and Cllr Friend seconded the nomination of
Cllr P Whapham. This was unanimously approved.
2 Speed monitoring – presentation by PC Sharp (Contact phone 01233 896338)
The Chairman closed the meeting and welcomed PC Sharp, the Ashford District Roads Policing Officer, to speak on local speed monitoring. PC Sharp demonstrated the mobile flashing speed indicator and made the following points,
· Nationally roads policing has a lower priority than in the past and there are no police resources for general traffic and speed monitoring
·The mobile indicator is intended for use by local volunteers after police training
· Ideally between 6 and 10 volunteers are necessary with at least 2 working the equipment at any one time
·   The equipment displayed would cost about £1850 to purchase but PC Sharp said he has two sets available for loan for up to three months
PC Sharp answered a number of questions from the audience and the Chairman   thanked him for a very useful presentation.
3   Chairman’s comments
The Chairman reopened the meeting.
Councillors agreed a further letter to Cllr Mrs Swain to wish her a good recovery and it was noted Cllr Richards had already written earlier on behalf of the Council. Whilst Mrs Ashton had resigned from the Council the Chairman said he would like to record his thanks for her work over the past three years.
The Chairman reported on the vandalism to Cllr Scott’s garden and proposed the following resolution “ This Council deplores the vicious and criminal vandalism in Cllr Scott’s garden at Henden Hall on April 13th resulting in the destruction of some 34 trees and shrubs and other structural damage”. This was seconded by Cllr Rymer Jones. The Council supported the resolution. (Cllr Richards abstained as he was affronted by being questioned by the police over the incident.)
4   Register of Interests. There were no alterations declared.
5 Parishioners questions and comments. (The Chairman closed the meeting.)
Gillian Clarke said she thought the Post Office news in the Parish Magazine and  the recent Post Office newsletter distributed to all households was misleading. She felt all parishioners wanted a Post Office but the right solution had to be found which was notnecessarily the current proposal. She asked three specific questions which the Chairman said he would address, namely,
·          What rates will ABC charge for the new toilets, Post Office and car park?
What is the current annual cost to
Cllr Conway thanked Gillian Clarke for her comments as he felt they well          expressed his own views.
Mrs Hewitt, Miss Swain, Ms Clayden and Mr Kingston all said they felt the recent Post Office publicity had been misleading and had not helped the situation.
Cllr Bell said the Parish Magazine article was based on the Council minutes and  the newsletter was in response to public request for current information.
6   Election of officers and lead councillors. (The Chairman reopened the meeting)
Cllr Mrs Cansdale was proposed as Vice Chairman by Cllr Rymer Jones and     seconded by Cllr Mrs Ashcroft. All councillors agreed.
Councillors agreed to serve as follows,
Finance Committee*                                     Cllr Mrs Scott
Post Office Liaison Committee*                              Cllr Mrs Scott
Millennium Field &  Jubilee Meadow Committee*         Cllr H Richards
Traffic &  Pedestrians Committee*                       Cllr C Friend
Gordon Jones Field and play area                           Cllrs Mrs Cansdale &  Swain
Highway &  Pavement matters                           Cllr Mrs Ashcroft
Police matters                                         Cllrs Conway &  Mrs Cansdale
Local Housing matters                                     Cllr Mrs Cansdale
Youth matters                                         Cllrs Mrs Ashcroft &  Richards
KAPC &  Parish Forum                                 Cllr Rymer Jones
Local Development Framework                              Cllr Rymer Jones
Recycling                                                Cllr Rymer Jones
Village Hall Trustee &  countryside matters             Cllr Whapham
* Chairman of these Committees to be elected by the Committees.
7  Minutes of the meeting held on April 11th 2006
These were approved and signed by the Chairman except that it was noted that Mrs Stokes had written to say she did not make the comments reported under item 2.
8   Post Office/toilets update
Cllr Mrs Scott said she had stood down as Chairman of the Post Office Committee and asked if Cllr Bell (a member of the Committee) could explain the current position.
Cllr Bell said all work on the scheme had been stopped by Mr Greensted’s        proposed Judicial Review as Ashford BC could not progress the car park/toilet lease until the Review was settled. Now that it had been withdrawn by Mr Greensted work was progressing between ABC’s and the Parish Council’s solicitors. Due to the delay the original builder had withdrawn and our Architects were selecting another, but the cost was likely to be in the order £4400 more. This would be covered by the contingency  allowed for in the costings.
Cllr Conway said he strongly objected to the repeated reference to “objectors” to the Post Office proposals. His (and others) objections was not to the retention of a Post Office but rather this particular scheme over which he had long standing legal doubts.
9   Millennium Field &  Jubilee Meadow
Cllr Richards said the new car park – school footpath would be formally opened on the 17th May.   All the promised “scrapes” had been completed. The 2006 Stewardship claims to DeFRA had been sent in.
Cllr Conway said he had planted some trees along the new outfall weir.
10   Traffic and Pedestrians Committee
Cllr Friends report of May 4th was circulated to all councillors.
The Clerk was asked to see if weed killing could be undertaken on the High Street pavements.
Cllr Friend agreed to contact C Cowan about “give way” priorities at the entrance to the Mill Corner development.
11   Ashford Borough Council report
Cllr Bell said that as part of the Ashford development target of 1000 homes per annum some would be programmed for the villages - perhaps 25-50 for    Biddenden.
It is important that the village views are known by ABC. The Clerk
confirmed the Council had written with its views on April 21st.
12  Other reports
Cllr Richards said he had “walked” a possible path around the Gordon Jones Field  with Mr Sowery (who built the school footpath) and a rough estimate of cost was £20,000 for the 500 metre length. The Council would continue investigations into this project.
Cllr Richards also reported that there were various ruts that needed filling in the playing field area and our “odd job man” would be asked to consider the work.
Some of these ruts had perhaps been caused as a result of car movements during the recent Tenterden Tigers football event which all agreed had been well done, however the Clerk was asked to contact the Tigers to see if car movements could be restricted on a future occasion.
Cllr Rymer Jones reported the retirement of the Rector and said a new “Priest in Charge” should be appointed in July with a view to being in post by November.
Cllr Mrs Cansdale said she would check whether the original donors of the now worn out seat by the Weavers wished to be associated with a replacement.
The Chairman noted that the Audit Commission report into the Mill Corner drainage  easement had been received, which exonerated the Council, and whilst Cllr Richards  (who had instigated the investigation) accepted the report he nevertheless felt that lessons should be learnt for future occasions when the Council should seek best value for its assets.
15 Items for future consideration
·          Possible presentation by Mr Hewitt re the War Memorial
·          Speedwatch monitoring – next steps for the council
·          A “Youth” slot in the parish council agenda
16  Next meeting
June 13th   (Cllr Mrs Cansdale apologised for her absence)
Graham Smith, Parish Clerk 01622 890596
Decisions received from Ashford Borough Council
05/01879     Bargate Farm, Cranbrook Road. Replacement garage. Permission granted.
05/02046     Old Beer Garden &  Cellars. 30 High St. Change of use to offices. Perm. Granted.
06/00404     Car Park, High St. Demolition of wall fronting toilet. Consent granted.
06/00406     Midwood, Benenden Rd. New conservatory. Permission granted.
06/00417     Pedlars Farm, Mockbeggar Lane. New 3 bay garage &  storage.Permission Granted.
06/00424     Cranbrook Rd/Fosten Lane. Reconductor overhead line. No objection.
06/00427     New House Farm, Sissinghurst Rd. Removal of internal wall etc. Consent granted.
06/00457     Spill Land caravan park, Benenden Rd. Variation of planning condition to extend occupancy to 10 ¼ months. Permission granted.
06/00589     Old Royal George, Cot Lane. Application for lawful development certificate for existing conservatory. Lawful – Planning Permission not required.
Items considered by the Councils Planning Group
06/00529     Frogs Hole Farm, Sissinghurst Rd. Change of use of land for keeping horses and erection of stables.                                                   No objections.
06/00622     Heartsay Garage, Headcorn Rd. Erection of two pairs of semi detached houses
(Weald of Kent Protection Soc. has commented)                         No Comments
06/00683     Frogs Hole Farm, Sissinghurst Rd. Erection of garage.     No objections.
KCC item.   John Mayne School. Erection of timber pavilion.       No objections.
Item to be considered by the whole Council
06/00838     Fernwood, Cranbrook Road. Variation of 1983 planning permission to permit storage of 140 caravans.                                                Object
£368.00       S Keen, Lengthsman. Wages (Paid 09.05.06)               1675
£444.67       G Smith, Clerk, Salary (Paid 09.05.06)                  1676
£ 67.88         R King, Odd job man. Various works and materials.                      1677
£16.54           R Ashton. Attending Standards Committee, Ashford. Mileage.   1678
£60.00           R Brown. Attending Standards Committee, Ashford. Taxi fare.   1679
£6.55               Mrs Cansdale. Refreshments at Council Annual Parish      Meeting.         1680
£30.00           Kent Wildlife Trust. Donation. (Agreed 11.04.06)                       1681
£102.76       H Richards. (Padlocks &  chains for MF-School path gates)              1682
£56.40           Cyma Architects. Post Office work.          1683
£1850.63          Thomson, Snell &  Passmore. Judicial Review work.                 1684
£3313.51          Wicksteed Leisure. Swings &  Sputnik works (Budget £4000)     1685
£229.00       A J Sowery. Mowing.                                                   1686
£290.53       Staples. Stationery and new printer.                                     1687
£438.42       Inland Revenue (Tax and NI )                               1688
The Audit Commission has advised that their investigation into the Mill Corner easement agreement should cost £1500 but they will be billing us for £1000 + VAT.
£2141.06      Ashford BC. Recycling Credits
£175.00       Tenterden Tigers. Use of football pitches in 2005
Correspondence received to 16th May 2006
Copy of letter from Cllr Conway to Chairman and Parish Magazine re Post
Letter from Mr/Mrs Hewitt re state of High St. pavements. (Copied to
Cllrs Whapham and Friend)
8                  KCC. Trading Standards newsletter.
9                  Wicksteed Leisure. Guide to inspection and maintenance of Play Areas
Action with Communities in Rural Kent. Newsletter.
12          Ashford Rural Trust. Spring newsletter and AGM (8th June)
Passed to Cllr Conway
13        Kent Playing Fields Association. Annual Report for 2005
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