Minutes – 11th June 2012

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Minutes of Blean Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Hall, School Lane, Blean on Monday 11th June 2012.
 
Those Present:    Cllrs: W. Leetham (Chairman); H. Samuelson (Vice-Chairman); G King; C. Sturgeon; C. Dunster; C. Harris; B. Flack
 
Also present: Ward Cllr. J Gilbey, County Cllr. J Simmonds and three members of the public.
 
Apologies:  Cllr. P. Hutt; Ward Cllr. Mrs H. McCabe
 
The Chairman welcomed the Councillors and members of the public to the meeting.
 
1. Changes to the Register of Members’ Interests
No changes were reported.
 
2. Declarations of Interest in Matters to be discussed.
Cllrs. Sturgeon and King reaffirmed their interest as Hall Management Committee members. Cllr. Flack registered her interest in agenda item 7.6 as a member of Friends of Blean Church.
 
3. Matters raised by the public
3.1 A resident said that motorists were not aware of the new extended 30mph speed limit from the village gateway past the school.
County Cllr. Simmonds asked what had happened and Cllr. Samuelson explained that the old speed limit signs had been taken down but no new ones put up. Cllr. Leetham said that he thought that normally the practice is that a red board is put up advising of different speed limits being in place. Cllr. Simmonds will investigate.
3.2 A resident reported that footpath CB8 from the wood up to twenty yards is overgrown. Cllr. King will have a look.
 
4. Reports from Ward and County Councillors
4.1 County Cllr. Simmonds gave his report in which he said that KCC are wrestling with their budget. It is the seventh year in succession that there has been less money. KCC have taken over Council Tax benefit from CCC. Working closer together has resulted in KCC and CCC having good discussions. School placements continue to be a problem with the population explosion.
4.2 Ward Cllr. Gilbey spoke on a series of issues concerning the City Council. These were:
Waste Contracts
Icelandic Bank – they have received almost all of the money back.
Local Plan – The first draft will be in November and will be along the lines of the Local Development Framework but will be more inclusive and complete than before. It is expected to be completed in 2014.
C.I.L – must be in place by 2014.
HMO’s – Article 4 – There have been interesting results coming out of a survey completed by residents in which the majority said that the students were not a  
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problem. The universities work well together to alleviate any problems. The problems identified will be put into the Local Plan.
Kingsmead issue – Accepted tender for sale. Cllr. Gilbey explained why the whole area needed to have the new development and the improvements this could implement although there has recently been a petition circulated opposing the scheme which has attracted 1800 signatures.
Westgate Towers – Cllr. Gilbey acknowledged that there has been a lot of chaos at the beginning of the trial but people are finding other routes to get into Canterbury.
 
5. N.H.W. Report
Cllr. King gave his report in which he said that although he has received 43 messages from Kent Police or Trading Standards, he is pleased to say that they have been alerts about crimes in other areas, or advisory notices concerning product standards. Metal and fuel thefts continue to occur throughout Kent but he has not received any details of any in our area. There remain ample funds to continue to administer the Blean scheme.
 
6. Approval of the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 14th May 2012
The minutes of 14th May 2012 were approved and accepted as a true record of the meeting.
Proposed by Cllr. King, Seconded by Cllr. Samuelson, all present agreed.
Signed by the Chairman.
 
7. Matters Arising from the Minutes
7.1 Public Paths and Rights of Way Ref 7.2 Cllr. King confirmed that CB18A and CB26 are overgrown. The clerk had reported to the P.R.O.W.O. and had had an email back to say that CB19 is on the vegetation clearance contract but not CB18A and CB26.
Ref 9.1 Cllr. Dunster asked about the cutting back of the vegetation on the A290 and it was noted that this has been cut back by the KCC Highway Gang.
Ref 9.5 Cllr. Sturgeon referred to agenda item 8.1 when BVHMC’s responsible person, Richard Meadows, will speak about the Risk Assessments, regulations and compliance.
Ref 10.6 Cllr. Sturgeon said that a formal reply had been sent to the Parish Council.
Ref 9.6 A letter from Mr Bentley regarding the safety issues on Blean Common had been passed onto County Cllr. Simmonds who will respond. The Chairman had acknowledged the letter from Mr Bentley.
7.2 Recreation Ground including repair of play equipment
Quote from Wicksteeds of £793 64 + vat for the repair of the play equipment as identified by the recent inspection.
Proposed by Cllr. Samuelson, seconded by Cllr. Sturgeon, all present agreed.
7.3 Receive report of Homefront play equipment visit
Designs showing a half fort or whole fort with specifications and costings had been circulated to all members previous to the meeting. Cllr. Flack explained that the company specialises in wooden play equipment which has a lifetime guarantee. She explained about the cost of removing and making good the area where the roundabout used to be and how it had been suggested by the representative that maybe a better site would be at the top of the recreation ground near the hedge
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where the ground is more stable. Planners would need to be consulted regarding the height. Cllr. Flack suggested that an ideal way to utilise the old roundabout site would be to put a round picnic table and seating there at a cost of approx. £300-£400. The idea of a youth shelter was also suggested at a cost of approx. £2,500. The matter of goal posts was also discussed but Cllr. Flack said that the issue was negative rather than positive because of Health and Safety issues but it was important that the lads of the village knew the reasons why.
A separate source of equipment for disabled persons would also be ideal as a statutory requirement by DDA.
Cllr. Flack is to arrange a display board at the next coffee morning on 28th July showing the details of the play equipment. Cllr. Flack will liaise with Cllr. Sturgeon.
Cllr. Flack and the clerk are to source funding.
7.4 Receive report of tree inspection on recreation ground
The clerk gave details of the quote which had been received from Tree Surgeon, Stuart Buchan, which was for £250. This was thought to be very good.
No other tenders had been received.
Proposed by Cllr. King, seconded by Cllr. Sturgeon, all present agreed.
7.5 Review of Handyman’s hours
It was agreed to continue with the present arrangement of any additional duties carried out to be paid accordingly.
7.6 To consider dedication of plaques on The Green
The new 60 year plaque has been put in place, and Mr Mooring has been thanked for the lovely workmanship, at the Jubilee celebration. A formal letter of thanks is to be sent.
Ken, the handyman, is to be asked if he can put new legs on the old ‘40 year’ plaque and put it back in its original place.
Paul Wells is to be asked for a quote to repair the base of the village sign in readiness for the new plaque commemorating the settlement of Blean.
7.7 To consider offer of funding of Memorial Plaque
Cllr. Flack had been empowered by The Friends of Blean Church to offer the funding of a marble memorial plaque to replace the plaques vandalised recently.
Thanks were given to The Friends of Blean Church for their generous offer.
7.8 To consider a monthly surgery
Cllr. Flack suggested that a monthly surgery was held by any Parish Councillor who wanted to so that any members of the public could come forward with any concerns without attending a Parish Council meeting. After discussion it was decided there was sufficient opportunity for residents to contact the clerk or email or phone Councillors direct.
 
8. Reports including Village Hall
Cllr. Sturgeon gave the BVHMC report (attached to the minutes).
 
Due to the time it was proposed to set aside the Standing Orders so as to be able to continue with the business of the meeting.
Proposed by Cllr. King, seconded by Cllr. Samuelson, all present agreed.
 
 
 
 
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8.1 Risk assessment, regulations and compliance as advised by Richard Meadows (BVHMC Health and Safety Responsible Person)
Richard spoke of the matter of the wooden disabled access ramp which had been identified as ‘not fit for purpose’ and it was agreed should be removed from the store-room and destroyed.
He also spoke of the steep step at the back exit and the need for emergency lighting.
A quote had been obtained from Southgate Electricals Co. Ltd for £628 + vat to install the necessary emergency lighting. It was agreed to go ahead with the dearer option which incorporated the emergency lighting with a normal light at all four exits.
Proposed by Cllr. King, seconded by Cllr. Flack, all present agreed.
A visit by the Fire Safety Officer was scheduled for the next day when all fire exits and safety issues would be looked at. Cllr. Flack, Jenny Samuel (BVHMC) and the clerk to attend.
 
Cllrs. Gilbey and Simmonds left the meeting at 9.25pm.
 
Richard had also identified that the smoking receptacle was in the wrong position and should be re-positioned on the South wall away from the emergency exit.
He offered to advise on the reviewing of the Parish Council’s Risk Assessment which the Chairman thanked him for and said he would like to take him up on his offer.
Richard thought a good practice would be to incorporate both BVHMC and PC’s documents.
Cllr. Flack asked if it is the responsibility of all hirers that they keep fire exits clear at all times and is it in the hiring document. Richard said that he does do spot checks.
 
8.2 Cllr. Sturgeon reported that a letter had been sent from BVHMC in reply to BPC’s letter of 17th February, regarding the transfer of the freehold, which had been circulated to all members.
It was agreed to set up a sub-committee formed from both parties to discuss the way forward.
Cllr. Sturgeon said that one of the supporters had offered to provide a Blean Village Hall sign.
 
9. Correspondence
All correspondence and emails received and circulated
These included:
Letter from BVHMC – Transfer of Village Hall Freehold
Letter from Planning Inspectorate – Kentish Flats Wind Farm Extension
Canterbury College – Course Guide 2012-2013
SE Water – Current Water Resources Situation
Southern Water – Current Water Resources Situation
Audit Commission – Consultation on appointment of External Auditor for 2012/2013 and future years for small bodies – Littlejohn LLP from September 2012
CPRE – Countryside Voice – Spring 2012 & Members Guide
CCC – Programme of meetings 2012/2013
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Kent Voice Spring/Summer 2012
Emails as circulated
 
10. Planning Applications – The following applications had been received and circulated to all Cllrs. for comment.
1. CA/12/00735/LUP – Certificate of proposed development for a single-storey rear extension – Gorsefield, Giles Lane – No objection
2. CA/12/00532/FUL – Erection of detached dwelling – Land adjacent to 120 Blean Common – No objection
 
Decision Notices
1. CA/12/00496/FUL – First-floor side extension – 9 Mount Pleasant – GRANTED
2. CA/12/00591/FUL – Demolition of existing side extension and construction of new
dwelling – Land adjacent to 29 Tile Kiln Hill – GRANTED
 
Proposed Works to Trees in a Conservation Area
Remove a Silver Birch tree from the front garden on the left boundary – 16 School Lane
 
11. Approval for invoice payments and signing of cheques
Banking details for May 2012
           
Cheques signed
Chq. 002270 – Tyler Hill Community Magazine – Sailing Week             £100.00
Chq. 002271 – Mr K Waddington – Handyman’s Wages May 2012       £144.53
Chq. 002272 – Mrs D Horswell – Clerks Salary May 2012                       £661.20
Chq. 002273 – Mrs D Horswell – Petty Cash May 2012                           £ 87.98
Chq. 002274 – HMRC – PAYE & NIC May 2012                                    £ 39.15
Chq. 002275 – BVHMC – Hall Rent May 2012                                         £ 11.00
Chq. 002276 – A J Welch – Internal Audit                                                            £198.00
Chq. 002277 – S Buchan – Tree Surgeon                                                   £ 55.00
Chq. 002278 – Meadow Grange Nurseries – Gloves, Ant Spray/Powder£ 29.33
Chq. 002279 – BVHMC – grant money for Jubilee Activities                  £434.00
 
DD – Serco – Waste Collection – May 2012                                               £ 26.30
                                                                                               
Total               £1786.49
 
Money Received in    CCC – Jubilee Activities                                           £ 434.00
 
Bank Statement as at 24th May 2012
Current Account – £2000
Business Reserve Account £45,675.70
 
11.1 To Receive and Approve the Annual Return
Following the accounts being returned from the Internal Auditor the Annual Return was presented for approval prior to being sent to the Audit Commission.
Proposed by Cllr. Leetham, seconded by Cllr. King, all present agreed.
 
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11.2 To Receive and Approve the Annual Governance Statement
The Annual Governance Statement was presented to be approved prior to sending to the Audit Commission.
Proposed by Cllr. Leetham, seconded by Cllr. King, all present agreed.
Chairman and clerk signed both documents.
11.3 In view of the continuous upgrades from Sage accounts it was agreed for the clerk to do the accounts on a spreadsheet in future
 
12. Any other business
12.1 Cllr. King commented on how much better the hedge is now at 23 Tyler Hill Road.
12.2 Cllr. Flack is to attend CCC Planning and Development meeting on Monday 18th June.
12.3 The Chairman handed out a Terms of Reference of Council Membership form to all members for inclusion on the agenda of the next meeting.
 
Next meeting is on 9th July 2012.
 
There being no further business the meeting closed at 10.00pm.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Date     _______________                 Signature     ______________________________ 
 
BVHMC report for the Blean Parish Council meeting 11th June 2012.
On 18th May I met KCC Partnership Development Manager for Business and Local Engagement Co-ordinator for Canterbury and Shepway, Adult Education services, here in the hall to discuss their interest in the Phase 1 project, following a presentation given at a Parish Forum recently.
They are very interested in linking with BVHMC when the project is built to offer training opportunities for, NEETS, community residents in need of help, others to commence, upgrade and/or enhance any NVQ or similar qualifications they hold, or need. They offer basic literacy, numeracy or alternative courses either here in the hall if enough interest was received, or at the Canterbury High School where they’re based. A taster session is already booked for the Blean community to discover what they have on offer, here in the hall on 29th August 11.30-2.30pm. Their team will leaflet residents with relevant courses/information beforehand.
The Business Development Manager was equally interested in the proposed new café area and kitchen as this could provide real opportunities for NVQ students’ placements here in the future to learn about food hygiene, first aid training and other skills, to NVQ level: this would be mutually beneficial for them, and for the community. The BVHMC will remain in touch to develop and maintain links for the future.
Links have also been established with Jon Shelton – @ KCC – on behalf of   the BVHMC and Blean Initiative group who have expressed interest in having a display board with leaflets to promote “the Blean area” sited inside the hall with RSPB – as part of their visitor trails and promotion. The facilities on offer with café, toilets, local history museum would benefit both the hall and many visitors to this area.
Digital UK are coming to film video shots on Wednesday 13th of our DOE Gold Award student volunteers, for a press release/Case Study, with cascading information about digital television switchover and support for local people. This will take the form of a chat with Godfrey and Dorothy King to capture a short video, discussion and photographs with them and the lads while they digitally retune their TV set, in their home. Digital UK wish to highlight the unique inter-generational benefit and nature of the Raise the Roof community support work and service offered to older residents who came along to the special coffee morning about Digital retuning when Al and Rural Kent came to visit Blean, with the DOE student’s help. 
On June 3rd the village community celebrated H M the Queens Diamond Jubilee at a Raise the Roof organised community lunch on the recreation ground, over 300 people came, and did just that. Thankfully we had a marquee to accommodate almost everyone who came along, sadly some people couldn’t get in as space was limited, due to poor weather conditions.
 
Huge thanks are given to all the volunteers & hall management committee, who arrived at 8am to shift furniture, decorate and set up the marquee, an enormous undertaking to get it ready for noon. Most were still on site clearing up at 6pm, followed by another long session on Monday within the hall to return furniture, clean up the kitchen and inside the marquee, to litter pick. We are very grateful to Blean School, Meadow Grange and others who kindly loaned us their furniture, without which we couldn’t have accommodated the numbers attending. 
 
The event was an unqualified success, with live and inter-active music from the audience, red/white/blue Britannia colours, traditional flags and decorations, good humour and celebration for all, having fun – what Blean does best. For those who missed it or want a reminder go to the bleanvillagehall.co.uk website for a blast of videos and still photos that will bring tears to your eyes, through laughter and sheer amazement.
 
The beautiful hand-made quilt and cushions raised £760 in the raffle and was won by a little girl in the audience, 6 lucky winners won a cushion. The beer tent, puddings and cakes, various competitions all raised additional money; the total raised for the event was approx. £1100 profit. 150 commemorative H. M. the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee mugs were handed out to all children who attended which included community based, Blean Primary School and Blean Pre-School children. The community grant that Cllr Hazel McCabe told us about at the last P C meeting was well and truly spent on this wonderful event.
 
On Friday, I had a message from the Judges from the Rural Kent Village of the Year competition, entered on 4th February 2012, that Blean is to be judged by them and a party of Romanian visitors who are planning to come over to Blean next Monday 18th June and spend 2 hours in the village looking around, talking to residents, businesses and others about village life.
 
They have asked me to meet them at 2pm and show them around which I’ve agreed to do. They are particularly interested in the following areas:
1. Community – A better place to live       2. Sustainability – A better future
3. Business – A better place to work                  4. Communications – Being in contact
The judge has expressed a particular interest in local facilities provided for young people and for the community in general, he wishes to elicit views from the local residents and businesses about Blean village life.
 
Our DOE award student contacted me: he is currently earning his FA Level I certificate in coaching football with Whitstable Town Juniors Football club. He wishes to run a weekly training session involving basic fitness and ball skills for children 8 – 15 from Blean and surrounding areas.
 
Running over the summer holidays on the recreation ground during a weekday evening, next week he’ll be CRB checked which Whitstable Town FC have paid for. This is just what Blean needs for the children to be active and I hope that the Parish Council will permit Jordan to do this additional voluntary work with Chris. He will contact Alex from Tyler Hill Youth Football Club regarding current interest and potential collaboration.
Carol Sturgeon 14.05.2012