Annual Parish Assembly Minutes – 11th April 2011

Minutes of the Annual Parish Assembly Meeting for the Parish Council of Blean which was held at the Village Hall, School Lane, Blean at 7.30pm on Monday 11th April 2011
Present:   Cllrs: W Leetham (Chairman); C Harris; C Dunster; C Sturgeon; G King; A Cover and P Hutt.
There were five members of the public present also Ward Cllrs: Mrs H McCabe and J. Gilbey and County Cllr. J. Simmonds.
1.         Apologies received:  Cllr. H Samuelson (Vice-Chairman); PCSO Chris Chapman and village handyman Ken Waddington.
The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming the public to the meeting and explaining the location of the fire exits and toilets.
2.         Minutes of the 2010 Meeting – were distributed to attendees.
The minutes were approved as a true record of the meeting. Proposed by Cllr. Sturgeon and seconded by Cllr. Cover. All agreed.
3.         Matters Arising 
There were no matters arising from the minutes.
4.         Chairman’s Report
4.1       The chairman referred to the Blean Parish News April 2011 giving a précis of the work of the Parish Council throughout the year, and this will form part of these minutes. The newsletter was available for everyone attending the meeting.
Acceptance of Chairman’s Report was proposed by Cllr. Cover and seconded by Cllr. Harris. All agreed.
5.         NHW Report
5.1.      Godfrey King, NHW co-ordinator, gave his report in which he said that liaisons with Kent Police have been successful throughout the year with PCSO Chris Chapman remaining in close contact. Kent Police and Trading Standards have been in contact on 560 occasions during the year, sometimes with advisory notices, but frequently with warnings of committed or potential crimes in the area. Telephone, mail and computer scams and frauds are on the increase whereas burglaries and damage are rare in the village. Fuel, lead and other metal thefts have occurred and damage to the memorial plaques erected in honour of Blean men who lost their lives in the Great War and other conflicts.
During the year Cllr. King has recruited volunteers from Tile Kiln Hill, Woodlands Residential Estate, Vicarage Lane and Chestnut Avenue thus expanding the area which he is responsible for. Cllr. King expressed his thanks to the 17 street contact persons who make the scheme work by passing on information to their neighbours and also to the parish clerk who publicises NHW information on the parish council website.
Funds are still sufficient to carry out the necessary duties by Cllr. King and he is willing to continue as co-ordinator if so wished by the incoming parish Council. Full report in the parish office.
6.         Planning
6.1       The clerk reported that there had been 32 planning applications received in the last year of which 22 have been granted, 6 refused and 1 withdrawn.
5 proposed works to trees have been received.
The 6 planning applications refused are;
Valley View Farm – partial use of existing tack/feed room for daytime living accommodation, including occasional necessary overnight accommodation
27 School Lanesingle-storey side extension to dwelling
Seapier Morgan Stud – replacement roof cover (retrospective application)
36 Tile Kiln Hill – erection of detached dwelling and garage
Land adjoining 29 Tile Kiln Hilldemolition of existing side extension and construction of new dwelling
Land at 120A Blean Commonerection of detached dwelling
Applications awaiting decision are:
Variation of Condition 09 – Disposal of surface water – 39 Blean Common which was withdrawn at the last Development Control meeting, letters of objection have been sent by the parish council.
7.         Charity Report from the Chairman
7.1.      Cllr. Leetham reported on the Leggett Charity (number 214061).   Total value of assets in the account as at the end of February 2011 stood at £1936.89 following an income of £68.58.
Resident, Mrs Swain, asked what the charity is and what it is for.
Cllr. Leetham explained that the charity was set up in the 1800’s to help the residents of Blean who may fall on hard times. A payment was last paid out by the charity last year.
8.         Financial Report
8.1.      The clerk reported that the Precept received for 2010/2011 was £15,500 of which the expenditure for the year was £11,391.16.
The Concurrent Funding received for the same period was £11,908 of which expenditure for the Recreation Ground, waste clearance, hedge cutting etc. was
£8588.68 and hall repairs £3022.49 making a total of £11,611.17.
The Precept bid for 2011/2012 had been set by the Parish Council at £15,000, a reduction of £500 on the previous year.
The Concurrent Funding received for 2011/2012 was £4239 due to an underspend in 2009/2010.
The Annual Return for 2009/2010 was approved by Blean Parish Council on 14th June 2010 with the certificate being issued from the Audit Commission on 24th June 2010.
9.         Hall Management Committee Report
9.1.      Cllr. Carol Sturgeon as Chairman of the Village Hall Management Committee gave her report (attached to the minutes).
Cllr. Gilbey said that the committee will have an opportunity to have discussions with the City Council’s planning officers before plans for the village hall are put in place.
10.       Any Other Business
10.1     Mrs H Letts commented on the pavement parking which occurs on a regular basis on the pavement opposite the parade of shops and had asked for bollards to be put on the pavement in 2006 but nothing had happened. County Cllr. Simmonds said that lack of funds was an issue and that the resurfacing of the A290 had cost £700,000 and it is a matter of priorities. The remainder of the grant money has paid for the footpath to the school.
Mrs Letts also spoke of a number of footpaths in Blean that she said were either impassable or substandard.
Mrs Letts is to let the clerk have a list of the footpaths who, in turn, will pass it on to Cllr. Simmonds and PROWO.
There were no other matters to discuss and the meeting closed at 8.05pm.
Date     ______________________   Signed_______________________________
Blean Parish Council News
April 2011

Chairman’s annual report
You will have recently received your annual council tax demand. I am pleased to report that this year the precept for Blean Parish Council has been modestly decreased for the second consecutive year.
Early in 2009 we published The Blean Village Survey and Action Plan 2009/2014. In the action plan we promised to provide an annual newsletter and this is the latest edition
As part of our action plan a housing needs survey was produced for affordable housing in 2010. This indicated a need for this type of housing in the village. We are continuing to work closely with Canterbury City Council to find a suitable site.
All residents are encouraged to maintain their hedges so as not to cause a hindrance to passers by.
Kent Highways conducted a review of the speed limits in the village, but due to the spending cuts no further action has been taken.  However the Parish Council has been pressing for the 30 mph speed limit along Whitstable Road to be extended northwards, past the school to the top of Tile Kiln Hill.
The village hall management committee have produced preliminary plans for a hall extension. Detailed plans will follow in due course. However increased car parking that will be needed remains to be resolved. The village hall has had two separate thefts of lead flashing from the roof causing water infiltration. The flashing has been replaced with a non lead alternative. The corrugated metal roof over the kitchen has been replaced. An insurance claim was made which covered part of the cost.
Funding is now in place for a new pavement from the footpath from Moat Road to the school crossing point. This will be installed in the near future. Children approaching school from Rough Common will be able to cross the main road safely. 
The ditches around the recreation ground continue to receive attention. The play equipment is subject to a safety inspection every year and the next inspection will be
undertaken in the near future. Recently the chains on the children’s swings have been replaced. Last year some of the safety matting was replaced. The wooden covering around the slide has been repaired.
The trees and shrubs planted in Keir’s Meadow nature reserve are now well established.   The meadow grass is cut after the flowers have seeded and the resulting hay is taken away at no cost to the council.
We continue to support the Neighbourhood Watch scheme in the village. In general we are fortunate in that we have relatively little crime in the village. How ever we must all continue to be vigilant.
This year we have seen Godfrey King rejoin the council and we have been operating with one councillor vacancy during the year. On the 5th May 2011 elections will take place for the Parish Council and also for the City Council. Would anyone who is interested in becoming a parish councillor please contact the elections officer at Canterbury City Council.
Our village handyman has been busy during the year keeping the village clean and tidy. He also does some minor maintenance jobs on the recreation ground including repainting the rocket slide and varnishing the seats. He has also been looking after the borders near the shop. We are especially grateful for the snow clearance work he undertook during the severe weather in December.
The village shop had a make over during the year with a new entrance and now has a modern look with an excellent variety of products.
The Parish Council received an invitation to be consulted on a possible co-operative housing development under the new coalition government’s localism vision. A majority of councillors voted against becoming involved.
The Crab & Winkle way from the Church to Blean bottom received a hard tarmac surface during 2010, which is a great improvement for the school walking bus.
The A290 has been resurfaced from Blean Common towards Whitstable. The new smooth quiet surface is a very welcome improvement.
The Parish Council is putting forward the recreation ground for registration as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations in 2012. This could lead to special funding opportunities.
During the year we obtained a grant to fund a bus shelter on Whitstable Road opposite Tyler Hill Road. Reluctantly this project could not proceed due to objections from the frontagers.
Two plaques have been placed at the entrance to the recreation ground dedicated in memory of those who lost their lives in the two world wars and other recent conflicts. Our grateful thanks to C W Lyons for donating these plaques.
A new interpretation panel will be installed shortly on the Green at no cost to the council. This will detail information on Blean Woods.
Since last October we have benefited from an increased frequency of the bus service through the village of 6 per hour in each direction Mondays to Saturdays day time. On Sundays there are four per hour. All bus stops now have a printed timetable.
Our City Councillors John Gilbey and Hazel McCabe both regularly attend our parish council meetings and are supportive of the work we undertake. They also actively pursue any problems we highlight that are within their sphere of influence. John Simmonds, councillor for Kent County Council for our area also attends our meetings whenever possible, and likewise is very supportive.
Denise our parish clerk has settled well into her new role, and I am grateful for all her efforts.
The parish council meets 10 times a year normally on the second Monday of each month (except January and August) commencing at 19.30. Members of the public are welcome. Prior to the official business commencing members of the public have the opportunity to ask questions, or make statements, with a 3 minute limit. The minutes of each meeting are displayed on the web page after approval. The date of our next meeting is the 11th April and this will double as our annual parish meeting.
William Leetham – chairman
Members of the Parish Council:
William Leetham – chairman
Hugh Samuelson– vice chairperson
Annie Cover
Christine Dunster
Charles Harris
Phil Hutt
Godfret King
Carol Sturgeon
Clerk to the Parish Council:
Mrs Denise Horswell
Parish Council Office
4 School Lane
Blean Canterbury CT2 9JA
Telephone: 01227 470200
The office is normally staffed on Tuesday and Friday mornings.
Blean Parish Council web site:
Should you need to contact the police on a non emergency matter please phone: 868253 or
Please report any potholes or any other matters that require the attention of the highways department: telephone 08458 247 800.
When parking in the small car park outside the Parish Office please park parallel to the highway and leave the access to the gate free. 
Village Fete
The fete will take place on the afternoon of Saturday 25th June. More details will be published prior to the event.
Affordable housing
Should anyone be interested in affordable housing in Blean please contact the parish clerk for an application form
Dog fouling
Would dog owners kindly ensure that all dog fouling is cleared up and that dogs are kept on the lead whilst on the recreation ground especially as this is a play area for children.
This newsletter has been printed for, and published by Blean Parish Council 4 School Lane Blean Canterbury CT2 9JA. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained herein is correct, the Parish Council cannot accept any responsibility for any inaccuracies. Hard copies are available from the Parish Office and will be available at the annual parish meeting.

BVHMC report for the Annual Parish Assembly on Monday 11th April 11.
I am pleased to report that the Hall Management Committee continues to work together with the hall users and our working party volunteers to ensure that the hall meets their needs.
Hall project Since May 2010 the volunteer Building & Research group have consulted openly with the users and community by carrying out a series of questionnaires and research. The information from the responses received was collated by them and the evidence translated into preliminary ideas and sketches by an Architect. These sketches were circulated to the Parish Council members and shown on two occasions to the public at open coffee morning events during January 2011.
A professional structural engineer undertook a structural survey on the hall last year. The report concluded that the hall was at a stage of “equilibrium” the fabric of the hall hadn’t changed much since the last survey, and was fit for extension and refurbishment. This option was the wish of the majority of our community following the lengthy consultation exercise.
The phased options (Phase 1 and Phase 2 option 2) were approved by 96% of our community, who visited the exhibitions; formal approval was granted by the Parish Council (as Landlords) after discussion at their meeting in February 2011, to develop these into Architect plans. When completed, Hall Management will arrange for the Building & Research group to show the Architect’s plans to the Parish Council members for their consideration and approval. They will then be shown at an open viewing event for hall users, our community supporters and interested parties for viewing and comment, before submission to CCC as a formal planning application.
The positive outcome for a collaborative working relationship from last year with the R+R volunteers, Parish Council and Hall Management has been sustained and has increased the number of locally based people wanting information and who are willing to support us to over 80, on our e-mail list.
Fund Raising The fund raising group continues to work very hard to offer an annual programme and calendar of inclusive to all community events which are very popular and attract much interest. Godfrey, although involved in fund raising, also manages the press, publicity and promotion of these events, with the assistance of our individual volunteers who produce posters, flyers and much valued ideas.
To everyone and all of those involved in this marathon effort, including Hall Management Committee Trustees and our working party volunteers, I would like to offer my sincere thanks for their loyal enthusiasm, huge effort and stamina on behalf of our community. Your commitment will, I hope, enable the Parish Council and Hall Management to take our village hall into the 21st Century, by addressing the needs of the current and future users, with the proposed building project over the next 5 years.
Hall Management continue to ask for and receive advice from Jenny Bradbury, the Village Hall Advisor from ACRE and her colleagues who will offer guidance and support through the long process of grant applications, and resources to access, during the building project and process.
Regular information about progress of the village hall project is circulated to the community via our regular newsletters. The official web site: contains Blean Parish Hall history, R+R news, information and pictures of social events. It also incorporates news from FOBC and Church events to support their fund raising appeal and we are mutually supportive. I’d like to thank Denise for putting our events (and links) onto the Blean and Tyler Hill Parish Council websites as information.
The youth group, as well as others, are still engaged to advise the Committee of their particular needs; their opinion about Phase 2 option 2 to be big enough to house an element of interior based, all year round social and recreational use and sporting facilities, was welcomed. However, I was reminded by a gentleman at the last coffee morning when I was mentioning the ideas, that it’s not only the youth of the village who would appreciate these internal recreational facilities!
Imminent events I am pleased to report that Hall Management with our Raise the Roof volunteers are organising the annual village fete and music festival on Saturday 25th June to benefit the hall building project. Before that we have a community street party on the recreation ground to celebrate the royal wedding on Saturday 29th April 2-4pm. All are welcome to join us, bring a picnic or call in for afternoon teas and home-made cakes, with rubbish rounder’s games for all to play, depending on the weather.
Our first anniversary event as R+R fund raisers will be repeated, by kind invitation of Cllr Hazel McCabe with an apple blossom walk and afternoon teas with homemade cakes, at Little Well Farm, Tyler Hill on Sunday 15th May 2pm-4pm, please come and join us at this very special and lovely event.
Hall use The Hall continues to be heavily used daily all week, by regular groups and organisations, and private hires (bookings for 2012 being taken), which provides essential income for its upkeep and reveals the urgent need for more recreational space, as we have to turn hirers away due to over subscription of lettings made.
The external and internal maintenance, repair cost(s) are funded by the Parish Council and the Hall Management Committee, to ensure that the hall remains safe and financially viable for the benefits of the users and community. Hall Management was successful in our bid to Grassroots and received a grant last year to entirely replace the kitchen units and redesign and refurbish the layout with new ones, the grant also included the purchase of electrical equipment for social and group use. Cllr John Simmonds kindly gave us a grant from his community chest towards the cost of a new boiler, for which we were most grateful.
Other major internal works have been: the complete re-decoration of the kitchen and repair to the kitchen ceiling, plus the replacement of the table racking system in the hall store room, to provide a safer storage arrangement.
I would like to give special thanks to Sheila and Ken Waddington for keeping the hall in such spick and span order and equally to Matthew Williams for his sterling effort in maintaining the effective and constant letting to hirers. I would like to remind all regular users, groups and organisations that they are welcome to appoint their own representative as a member of the Hall Management Committee. We currently have 20 named users who use this hall regularly. This would enable them to attend the regular bi-monthly meetings, contribute their thoughts and ideas, and above all, take part in the planning and future of our village hall by working together with the Blean Parish Council, us, our community volunteer group in the exciting building and development project that lies ahead of us.
Finance Our building fund reserve account total is £30,000, evidence of the financial support shown by our community, by the Londis shop and other locally based organisations, companies and individuals who have generously made a financial commitment to donate to the Charity. Our annual audited accounts for 2009-10 can be viewed on the Charity Commission website.
The Charity has been accepted and is now registered for HMR&C Gift Aid so please consider this option if you wish to make a donation as Blean Parish Hall would benefit from a further 20% in reclaimed tax. I’d like to thank Hugh Samuelson for agreeing to be our honorary nominee for this purpose.
Carol Sturgeon Chairman BVHMC 11th April 2011