Minutes – 10th December 2012

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Minutes of Blean Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Hall, School Lane, Blean on Monday 10th December 2012.


Those Present:    Cllrs: W. Leetham (Chairman); H. Samuelson (Vice-Chairman); G King; C. Sturgeon; C. Harris; C. Dunster; B. Flack; P. Hutt; C Goldstein.


Also present: Ward Cllr B. Fitter; Ward Cllr. J. Gilbey and two members of the public.


The Chairman welcomed the Councillors and members of the public to the meeting and explained the fire drill and location of the toilets.


He also welcomed Carol Goldstein as a new Parish Councillor.


1. Apologies for absence:  – County Cllr. J Simmonds


2. Note Changes to the Register of Members’ Interests

No changes reported.


3. Declarations of Interest in Matters to be discussed.

The Chairman explained that due to adopting the new Kent Code of Conduct earlier in the year there is some confusion as to Members setting the precept in the parish where they reside.

Therefore it has been decided for Members to complete dispensation forms so as to allow them to vote on Agenda item 13.1. This dispensation will last until the next election.

Cllrs. Sturgeon and King will also add their interest as Village Hall management Committee members.

Cllrs. Flack and Samuelson do not need to complete the forms due to them living outside the parish.


4. Matters raised by the public

No matters were raised by the public.


5. Reports from Ward and County Councillors

5.1 Ward Cllr. John Gilbey reported that after the Autumn Statement CCC is now re-doing the Corporate Plan. He said that they will be able to balance the budget for 2013/2014 and partly balance 2014/2015. Next year will be another difficult year financially.

In April they will publish the structure of the plan with the public being given a chance to comment. The Local Plan will also be out in April.

He spoke of the Wittersham Report which is a pilot scheme where a number of parishes share a village caretaker and clerk. The email and attachment is to be resent to all Cllrs from the Chairman.

He spoke about the problems with 39 Blean Common development and that a CCC engineer had been to look at the site.


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Cllrs. Dunster and King said that the problem was much worse now with the ditches being filled with rubble and rubbish from the site.

Cllr. Gilbey said he will try and come to see the site and meet with Cllrs. Dunster and King so they can highlight the problems.


6. Approval of the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 12th November 2012

The minutes of 12th November 2012 were approved and accepted as a true record of the meeting.

Proposed by Cllr. King, Seconded by Cllr. Flack, Cllr. Goldstein abstained, as she had not been appointed as Cllr. at the last meeting, and all other Cllrs. present agreed.

Minutes signed by the Chairman.


Matters Arising from the Minutes

There were no matters arising from the minutes.


7. N.H.W. Report

Cllr. King gave his report in which he said that he had received only 37 reports from Kent Police since his last report, a drop of 15% in messages. A substantial number of these have been forwarded from Trading Standards regarding withdrawn goods, counterfeit Christmas toys and advice about not trading on the doorstep.

He has had no contact whatsoever with the PCSO nor has he seen any visible police presence in the village other than the occasional vehicle passing through on the A290.

He said it has been a bad month for local crime with burglaries on Whitstable Road, Tile Kiln Hill and Pean Hill together with vandalism to parked vehicles including a smashed windscreen near Blean Bottom.

He said that although he has no monitoring equipment to operate even the casual observer will support his view that speeding vehicles are definitely on the increase and he is seriously concerned that injuries or even fatalities to pedestrians or other road users is likely to occur if this continues.

He regretted having to present such a negative report but that the facts speak for themselves.

The clerk said that PCSO, Mike Bradbury, had called into the office last Friday and reported that he had walked around the village one evening in the week and had spoken to a few residents about any concerns.


8. Village Hall Report

Cllr. Sturgeon gave the BVHMC report (attached to these minutes).

Cllr. Flack asked what it meant having the Blean Initiative using the hall as its hub? Cllr. Sturgeon explained that it will just be an information centre as the hall is central to all the walks in the area and the Crab and Winkle Way etc.

Cllr. Leetham said that the next meeting of the Blean Initiative is on 12th December 2013. He said that all sorts of groups are involved and it is good that they have chosen the hall as their centre.

He also congratulated all the hall fundraisers and supporters.


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9. Matters Arising

9.1 Public Paths and Rights of Way

Cllr. Dunster reported that she had had a complaint from a resident about the footpath beside Badgers Farmhouse which has deep ruts in it due to heavy vehicles using the footpath. She had walked along it herself. This was noted but it was thought that as it was a track to the field, due to the bad weather, any agricultural equipment would make deep ruts.

It was also noted that CB9, as had been well publicised, was blocked with a fallen oak tree.

9.2 Recreation Ground including play equipment

Cllr. Flack reported that she is now preparing a further five bids for funds for new play equipment. These are to Roger De Hann, Blean Forest Rotary, Play UK, Education and Play Trust and re-submitting a bid to Awards for All.

The bids are for small amounts from each one rather that one large bid.

Clr. Leetham thanked Cllr. Flack.

9.3 Road Safety Measures

Cllr. Goldstein said that she had had lots of contact with the residents of Woodlands and a conversation with Mr Bentley about the road safety issues in Blean. She has been in touch with Cllr. Fitter and they are to meet to discuss the issue of residents crossing the road from Woodlands to the bus stop outside the Royal Oak.

Cllr. Fitter said he thought that the interactive sign that had been knocked down by the Royal Oak had made a difference with speeding and that both that one and an additional one at the other end of the village are on order.

There was a discussion about the possibility of a crossing by the Royal Oak but Cllr. Leetham said that when the zebra crossing by Tyler Hill Road was installed they looked at installing one by the Royal Oak but decided it wasn’t feasible. Cllr. Gilbey said that it was a difficult place to site a crossing as it was on a bend and on top of a hill.

Cllr. Fitter said that road safety issues are a problem in Tyler Hill also and he is to have a meeting with County Cllr. Simmonds and Kent Highways there on 18th December and he will raise the Blean issues with them at the same time.

Cllr. Goldstein also raised the matter of there being nowhere for the residents to sit at the bus stop at the Royal Oak but Cllr. Leetham explained about the offer of a shelter being given two years ago but there were difficulties with the siting of it.

Cllr.Golstein asked if it was possible to publish a report on the list of issues raised and which ones had already been addressed.

Cllr. King and the clerk are to discuss the list of actions that have been addressed.


10.  Councillors’ Reports

10.1 Cllr. King said that Canterbury City Council had granted the Heritage Museum £430 for computer equipment which can also be used for the hall.

Cllr. Leetham thanked Canterbury City Council.

10.2 Cllr. Samuelson said that he had flagged a thought to Cllr. Leetham about Twinning.  Cllr. Sturgeon said that the people from Romania were very impressed with Blean when they visited. She is to give the contact details of them to Cllr. Samuelson.


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10.3 Cllr. Dunster said that there was considerable less litter at the bus stops now that there were less bus tickets issued due to passes being used.

She also spoke of the rising problem of play equipment being stolen.

10.4 Cllr. Flack asked what was being done about the noticeboards in the village. Cllr. Samuelson said that a new noticeboard will be put in place at the school after a new fence has been installed.

Cllr. Leetham said that Tony Abbott is re-doing the one on The Green. Cllr. Flack will contact Peter Firmin about a new map.

10.5 Cllr. Leetham had noticed that the bus stop outside the school going to Whitstable had been moved a few yards.


11. Correspondence

11.1 The quote had been received from Landscape Services for the grass cutting next year. This was for £1576.36 which is an increase of £45.94 on last year’s price.

Proposed by Cllr. Samuelson, Seconded by Cllr. King, all present agreed.


11.2 A letter had been received from Mr Mooring (AM Designs) for the making and

installing of a bench for which he had suggested a budget of £1,500.

It was agreed for Cllr. Leetham to also contact Jon Shelton.


Other correspondence sent and received:


Email to Ryan Shiel, KHS, ref yellow lines at the top of Chapel Lane

Reply from Richard Jenkins – added to next review

Letter to CCC Planning Dept ref the new proposed student accommodation and

stating the need for affordable housing in the area

Letter to Tim Pomfret (Stagecoach) – Waiting buses at Tyler Hill Rd junction

CPRE – Kent Voice – Autumn/Winter 2012

Kent County Playing Fields Association newsletter

Rural News 123

CPRE – Countryside Voice – Winter 2012

Clerks & Councils Direct – November 2012

War Memorials Trust Bulletin – November 2012

Draft KALC response to DCLG Consultation: Technical Review of Planning Appeal


DCLG Consultation on Improving Local Government Transparency

KIACC – Public Meeting.at Manston Airport

Housing Allocation Policy review consultation

Kent Fire & Rescue Service – Fire Hydrants

Dispensations under the Localism Act

Precept Setting 2013/2014

South East Water’s plans to manage future water supplies up to 2040 – Invitation

to BPC Chairman to attend a briefing meeting

KCPFA Autumn Newsletter

Kent & Medway Safety Camera Partnership email from County Cllr. Simmonds




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12. Planning Applications – The following applications had been received and circulated to all Cllrs. for comment.

Planning Applications

1. CA/12/02012/FUL – Construction of a paved path in Blean churchyard – St Cosmos and St Damians church – No objection by PC

2. CA/12/02086/FUL – Erection detached of single storey dwelling – 120 Blean Common – in circulation. Cllr. Leetham had declared an interest and not commented.

3. CA/12/02087/FUL – Erection detached dwelling – 114 Blean Common – in circulation

4. CA/12/02088/FUL – Single storey entrance area – Jennison Building, UKC – in circulation

5. CA/12/02099/FUL – Erection of 2 Tree houses and 1 Zip Line – 8 Honey Hill – In circulation – in circulation


A discussion was had on all the building work being undertaken at the University.


Decision Notices
1. CA/12/01247/FUL – Revise siting and external changes to plots 1 and 4 and replacement of double garage by a single garage of planning permission CA/07/0014//BLE – 39 Blean Common – GRANTED

Proposed Works to Trees in a Conservation Area
St Cosmos & St Damian church
1. Fell a group of conifers to the side of the church, close to the black railing fence boundary
2. Re pollard to previous pruning points – 46 Mature Poplars situated approx. 300 metres past Blean Church adjacent to the cycle track heading towards the University

13. Approval for invoice payments and signing of cheques

Cheques for Approval and Signature

Chq. 002325 – SLCC Annual Membership – HPC to pay 50%=£72.50     £145.00

Chq. 002326 – BVHMC – Hall Rent – Nov 2012                                        £  11.00

Chq. 002327 – Mr K Waddington – Handyman’s Wages Nov 2012           £125.13

Chq. 002328 – Mrs D Horswell – Clerks Salary Nov 2012                        £661.20

Chq. 002329 – HMRC – PAYE & NIC Nov 2012                                       £  40.55         

Chq. 002330 – Mrs D Horswell – Petty Cash Nov 2012                             £  46.20         

Chq. 002331 – Open Spaces Society Annual Subscription              £  45.00

DD – Serco – Waste Collection  – November 2012                                     £  32.88



Total               £1106.96





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Bank Statement as at 23rd Nov 2012

Current Account – £2000

Business Reserve Account – £34,909.52

(Interest bearing account used to feed Current Account, when needed, to maintain a balance of £2000. Includes anticipated expenditure up to 31st March 2013

Reserves funds of £11,000 earmarked for the BVHMC)


13.1 It was agreed to set the Precept at no increase to £14,500 for 2013/2014

Proposed by Cllr. Flack, Seconded by Cllr. Samuelson, all present agreed.


14. Date of next meeting

There being no meeting in January the next meeting is on 11th February 2013 at 7.30pm.


15. Any other business

15.1 It was decided to invite Helen Bennington from CCC to the Annual meeting for a further talk on the new recycling scheme to be implemented in April 2013.


15.2 The Chairman thanked everyone for their hard work in the year and wished everyone a Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.


There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.45pm..





Date     _______________                 Signature     ______________________________






BVHMC report for the Blean Parish Council meeting 10th December 2012.


The transfer of the freehold of the hall from the Parish Council to BVHMC is on-going and I have no further information to offer at this stage from BVHMC Solicitor.


Jon Shelton from Blean Initiative confirmed that they will use the village hall as their hub, an official letter is being drawn up which will accompany future grant submissions as evidence of their commitment to Phase 1 project, to extend and refurbish the hall.


One of the new “smart” thermostats installed in this hall failed and has been returned under warranty; we’ve reverted to the old style hall thermostat in the interim, until the replacement is installed.  If anyone needs help in the meantime with the heating system please contact Richard Meadows (Hall Responsible Person) direct – details are in the hall foyer.


The John Graham Centre were delighted to accept their £50.00 share from the Romanian Judges Award prize money and have decided to buy a tree and place a bench underneath for their students to sit on.  They were equally pleased to accept the Romanian flag as a memento of their visit and made me very welcome at their coffee morning in November.


BVHMC are using their share of the prize money towards a village hall sign, as recommended by the architect. This will be installed at the large window end of the building on the external wall, over the Christmas holiday period by volunteers, who will be in the hall touching up internal paintwork and undertaking minor repairs.


Hall fund raising since last meeting.


We’ve had a range of very successful events over the past month with last Saturday our last monthly coffee morning.  A very special event to get together before Christmas, the hall was packed; the beautiful “star” handmade quilt raffle was drawn and won by a gentleman who lives in BLC.  Runners up won 5 “star” handmade cushions – congratulations to Denise who was a winner!


The last fund raising event for 2012 is next Saturday 15th Dec with a double film show in the hall: 4pm Kids film How the Grinch stole Christmas and 7.30pm Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – an absolute gem – with mulled wine and mince pies – entry by donation.  2013 Calendar of Social events is ready to circulate and publish.


The Village appeal has raised over £800 so far from local households, with personal donations given either by cheque, cash, standing order, or through the local giving site which matches donations of £10 or less.  Thank you letters are being sent to all who donated by letter or email via the local giving website.  Our Colyer-Fergusson bid was successful, they awarded us £25,000 which we’ve received and banked in our restricted building account.


The total awards and grants confirmed to date is £150,000, we continue to fund raise and await decisions on grant applications already submitted.  We also continue to submit further grant applications to secure the funding required to start in April 2013.  


I’d like to thank all of the BVHMC, who together with our very active volunteers and community supporters organise and come along to events and give so generously of their time, expertise and money.  The hall is so well used every day, overwhelmed at times – huge evidence of the great need to expand and refurbish it, for the greater good and future needs of all of Blean community.   Its expansion will offer a greater range of opportunities for local services, offering inclusive resources to strengthen and meet the needs of this growing community.


In conclusion, and on behalf of the Raise the Roofers, I wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and Healthy New Year.


Thank you

Carol Sturgeon