Minutes – 10th October 2011

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Minutes of the Blean Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Hall, School Lane, Blean on Monday 10th October 2011.
Those Present:    Cllrs: W. Leetham (Chairman); G King; C. Dunster; P. Hutt; C. Harris; G Tomaszek.
Ward Cllrs. Mrs H. McCabe; J. Gilbey; CountyCllr. J. Simmonds; K Waddington (Village Handyman) and 7 members of the public.
Apologies:      Cllrs. H. Samuelson (Vice-Chairman); C. Sturgeon; B. Flack.
The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to the meeting and, for the benefit of those not having attended a Parish Council meeting before, explained the location of the toilets and fire exits and the fire procedure.
1. Changes to the Register of Members’ Interests and Declarations of Interest in
Matters to be discussed.
No changes were declared and no Declarations of Interest were registered.
2. Matters raised by the public
a) Mr T. Donald Webb made a complaint regarding a neighbour of his causing excessive noise by carrying out continuous building work for the last five years. Cllr. Leetham explained that the Parish Council have very limited powers over such matters. Cllr. Gilbey said that he would get someone out to see Mr Webb the next day.
b) Mr Constable, resident of Woodland Way, raised the concern that he had spoken about previously, regarding an overhanging hedge in Woodland Way which obstructs the street light making it very dark and dangerous for pedestrians. The landlord of the property is an absentee landlord and Mr Constable has been in touch with the Parish Council and KHS before. He has sought legal advice and has been told that the Council has the powers to get the hedge cut. He said that he had contacted the Omnbudsman five years ago and the hedge had been cut in two days. He said that he will take legal action again to get it cut. Cllr. McCabe said that she had visited Mr Constable last year and consequently contacted KHS who said that the answer was to put in an extra street light which there is now no funds to do. She said that you used to be able to get KHS to cut down a hedge and bill the owners, Cllr. Simmonds said that if the hedge is a danger to residents KHS still has the right to cut the hedge down.
c) Handyman’s Report
Sign on the Green – Ken reported that the ‘40 years reign of Queen Elizabeth’ sign on the Green has rotted away and he has taken it down and stood it on the side. It was agreed to take it away. Cllr. Gilbey suggested that maybe it could be replaced with a ’Queen Elizabeth 60 years reign’ sign next year.
Village Sign -There was a discussion about the village sign and plinth being broken, Ken said that the plinth had been cracked for a few years and it is as a result of youngsters cracking conkers on it. Ken is to effect repairs.
Sign at the back of the hall – Ken has taken the sign down as requested at the last Parish Council meeting.
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Graffiti under the slide – It was agreed for Ken to paint under the slide black and, if need be, to re-paint it at regular intervals as it was less offensive for graffiti to be under the slide out of the way rather than elsewhere in the village.
Needles – Ken said that he has only collected two needles to put in the sharps box in three and a half years.
Rough Sleeper – Ken thinks that there may be someone sleeping rough in the recreation ground as he has had to clear up an unpleasant mess and food wrappers. Mr Gammon, a resident, said that he had heard of someone having a milk bottle stolen, so it was thought it could be the same person. Ken will keep an eye on the situation.
2.1 Reports from Ward and County Councillors
a) Ward Cllr. McCabe didn’t have anything to report only that she was waiting for a reply from PROW regarding a bridleway on Mr Atkin’s land.
b) Ward Cllr. Gilbey gave his report in which he said that the Corporate Plan is due to be released shortly but, unfortunately, any report on climate change is omitted.
He spoke of an extension in the Air Quality Area which is to be extended to the whole ring road in Canterbury. It was mentioned that motorists waiting at St Dunstan’s crossing don’t switch their engines off.
There is to be a one year trial starting soon when Westgate Towers will be closed to all traffic except buses and taxis. Alternative routes to be used.
There is good news in that at the end of October control of HMO’s will come into force. He spoke of the National Policy Planning Framework in which there are still many issues to pursue for which there has been an extra eighteen months given. Empty commercial property in Canterbury is the lowest in the country at only 5%.
Canterbury City Council has been mentioned as an Example of Best Practice due to the Parish Councils in the area producing Parish Plans and Village Design Statements.
Cllr. Dunster said that the Council should be congratulated on how Westgate Gardens looks.
Cllr. Leetham congratulated the City Council on the building of the new Marlowe Theatre and said it looked lovely all lit up at night.
c) Cllr. Simmonds gave his report in which he also congratulated his fellow City Cllrs. on the Marlowe.
Regarding planning he said that regulations need to be tightened up for developers and planning does need monitoring.
He said that KCC had had discussions with CCC regarding the youth section in the area and local government will go towards putting their resources together and working together.
He also explained the financial investments made by KCC to overseas banks and the likelihood of the amounts to be returned.
2.2 NHW Report
Cllr. King gave his report in which he said that there had been two reported incidents in the village since his last report. A padlock and chain securing a trailer to a vehicle parked on a driveway in Tyler Hill Road had been damaged and entry
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made to a white Peugeot parked on the drive of a property in Chestnut Avenue and a quantity of tools and other equipment stolen.
Metal and vehicle thefts continue throughout the district. Cllr. King has received 39 messages from Kent Police mostly of an advisory nature. Warnings have been issues of cold callers and doorstep callers.
He also raised concern over the lack of presence of the local PCSO, although it is understood that he has a vast area to cover, but the only contact Cllr. King has had with him was at the coffee morning held recently at Tyler Hill. Cllr. King believed that a uniformed presence in the village would be welcomed by many residents.
3. Minutes of the last Meeting – were approved and accepted as a true record of the meeting and signed as such by the Chairman.
Proposed by Cllr. King, seconded by Cllr. Harris, all present agreed.
4. Matters Arising
Cllr. King reported that Mrs Letts had seen a man cutting the hedge in Vicarage Lane, told him that it wasn’t cut back far enough so he then cut it back to her satisfaction.
Cllr. Simmonds and resident, Mr Gammon, had a discussion about the new footpath at the school, whether it was a different entrance and whether it was being used.
4.1 Public Paths and Rights of Way
No further reports.
4.2 Recreation Ground including repair of play equipment
Cllr. Dunster asked if the swings can be put back yet. It was explained to her that we are waiting for the inspector from Wicksteeds to inspect the new shims and if they are acceptable then the swings can go back up.
5. Reports including Village Hall
5.1 Cllr. Sturgeon had not been able to send a Village Hall report due to family illness.
Cllr. King had nothing further to report.
Cllr. Dunster reported an overgrown hedge at 18 Strayless Farm, Blean Hill – clerk to send letter to the occupiers.
Cllr. Harris had nothing further to report.
Cllr. Hutt had nothing further to report.
Cllr. Tomaszek had nothing further to report.
Cllr. Leetham reported that a serious crash had occurred on Honey Hill at 4pm that day in which a cyclist had been knocked off his bike by a car. The road had been closed for three quarters of an hour. The matter of using Speedwatch was discussed but, as Cllr. King pointed out, this had been carried out previously but motorists can only be logged if 4mph over the speed limit plus 2% of excess done and then they can’t be booked only the number collected and sent to the police. Cllr. McCabe suggested writing to the Police and asking them to operate the speed gun in Blean.
Cllr. Leetham referred to the reply received from KSCP regarding the pond being lined but as the cost was to be £3000 minimum it was agreed not to pursue the matter. Clerk to write to KSCP thanking them for the information.
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6. Correspondence
All correspondence had been previously circulated to all Cllrs.
Rural News 107
Water Resources Management Plan 2014
Email from Mr Whalley – re – meeting 20th Sept.
Email from Cllr. King – following letter from BPC – footway clear on Blean Common
– Mr Belsey
Email from BPC to Jon Shelton KSCP – Pond liner – subsequent email to Carol
Donaldson to request costings etc. & reply from Carol Donaldson – £3000 estimated
cost – 50% paid by KSCP.
Letter to Stagecoach – buses ‘waiting’ place & reply – forwarded letter to
operations manager who will look into the problem.
Garden Sharing – John Hill – 27 Mount Pleasant – 464047
Footpath Diversion – Part CB15
7. Planning
Planning Applications
1. Conversion of garage loft to habitable room with dormer in rear roof slope –
Dockers Field Farm, Pean Hill – No Objection
2. Two-storey side and single-storey rear extension to dwelling, front porch and
wall with railings to front boundary – 29 Whitstable Road, BleanCT2 9EA
No Objection – comments related to railings.
3. Ellenden Wood, Denstroude Lane, Blean – Details submitted relating of
woodland track.
For circulation
4. Removal of condition 05 of planning permission CA/04/01302/BLE relating to
temporary consent – The Markaz, Giles Lane.
5. CA/11/01594/FUL – Reconstruction of main roof and enlargement of second
floor front box room – Blean House, Whitstable Road, BleanCT2 9EA
Planning Decision Notices
6. Single-storey rear extension – 2 Mount Pleasant – GRANTED
7. First-floor side & rear extension – 128 Blean Common – GRANTED
8. Approval for invoice payments and signing of cheques
Chq. 002233 – Clearers South East Ltd – Concrete & Rubber mats         £ 240.00
Chq. 002234 – K Waddington – Handyman wages September 2011          £   97.13         
Chq. 002235 – Mrs D Horswell – Clerks salary September 2011 £ 649.16
Chq. 002236 – Petty Cash September 2011                                                 £   27.41
Chq. 002237 – HMRC – PAYE & NIC September 2011                            £   30.42
DD – BT – Telephone & Broadband                                                            £ 182.18                                 
Total                                                                                                               £1226.63
Bank Statement as at 10th October 2011
Current Account – £2000
Business Reserve Account £36,732.70
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9. Any other business           
a) Cllr. Gilbey said that the City Council continued to be involved in the leisure centres in Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay.
b) Cllr. Gilbey also referred to the change in constituencies with Blean becoming part of Herne Bay but this was only parliamentary and affected the MP’s.
c) Cllr. Simmonds said that he had attended the opening of Chartham’s new Childrens’ Centre. They are looking to set up other bases and maybe Blean could accommodate. Cllr. King will put it in the local news column.
d) Ken Waddington said that since all the shrubs and trees had been removed in the road opposite The Green, all the headlights of the traffic coming out of the road shine directly into his windows. This matter is as a result of 39 Blean Common site and Cllr. King said that in the planning application it showed all the trees as being left but it has been totally cleared of all trees and shrubs. Cllr. McCabe agreed that the planning conditions were that all trees were to be left. She thought that an Enforcement Officer should have a look.
Next meeting is on Monday 14th November 2011.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.45pm.
Date     _______________                 Signature     ______________________________