Minutes – 12th December 2011


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Minutes of the Blean Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Hall, School Lane, Blean on Monday 12th December 2011.
Those Present:    Cllrs: W. Leetham (Chairman); H. Samuelson (Vice-Chairman); G King; C. Sturgeon; C. Dunster; P. Hutt; C. Harris;
Ward Cllrs. Mrs H. McCabe and Mr K Waddington (Village Handyman)
Apologies: Cllr. B. Flack – Volunteer shift at Catching Lives night shelter; Ward Cllr. J Gilbey, County Cllr. J Simmonds and PCSO Chris Chapman – other commitments.
There were no members of the public present.
The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to the meeting.
1. Changes to the Register of Members’ Interests and Declarations of Interest in
Matters to be discussed.
There were no changes and no Declarations of Interest declared.
2. Matters raised by the public
No matters were raised as there were no members of the public present.
Handyman’s Report
Ken reported that the two flat swings are back up with new bolts and shackles.
Also, that Mr Mooring has offered to replace the wooden 40yr sign on the Green free of charge as a gift to the village. A space will be left for 60 years wording.
The Chairman said that the Parish Council are very grateful to Mr Mooring and thanks to Ken for sorting it out.
2.1 Reports from Ward and County Councillors
a) Ward Cllr. McCabe had nothing to report. She spoke of her work as Sheriff of Canterbury which involves a lot of work with youth groups, schools and residential homes.
Cllr. Dunster asked where homeless people sleep and Cllr. McCabe said that there are two charities where they can go – Porchlight and Catching Lives who use church halls.
Cllr. Sturgeon spoke to Cllr. McCabe over the concerns regarding the building at Seapier Morgan Stud in Denstroude Lane which appears to be a lot bigger than it was meant to be. Cllr. McCabe will speak to the CCC Enforcement Officer.
b) Ward Cllr. Gilbey had sent a report to the Chairman to read out in which he spoke of the summary of the Localism Bill. Also, regarding HMO’s which CCC have problems with in getting evidence so they are going for a licensing scheme and will liaise with the universities. On Thursday it is hoped the approval for the experimental traffic scheme at Westgate Towers will be granted.
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2.2 NHW Report
Cllr. King gave his report in which he said that there have been two thefts in the village since his last report. Some small trees were stolen from Meadow Grange nurseries by two persons known to the local police. The trees were subsequently recovered. A cycle and cycle lock were stolen from Tile Kiln Hill and a drainage pipe damaged.
He had received 36 messages from Kent Police, details of which have been promulgated through the NHW network and via notice boards and the Parish Council website, including further warnings about doorstep sellers purporting to be from the Probation Service. The Kentish Gazette continues to allow him to publicise NHW news in the weekly news columns which is very helpful. There will be no column for the weeks ending 31st December and 7th January after which normal service continues.
Cllr. King also spoke of a lady who had mentioned to him about having heard about elderly people having to give up their homes for families. A man had contacted her about selling her home and arranged an appointment with her but Cllr. King had contacted her daughter who was going to be present at the meeting.
The car that had been reported to the PCSO as not moving for five weeks in Bourne Lodge Close is taxed and insured and not an obstruction.
3. Minutes of the last Meeting – The minutes were approved and accepted as a true record of the meeting and signed as such by the Chairman.
Proposed by Cllr. Samuelson, seconded by Cllr. Hutt, all present agreed.
4. Matters Arising
4.1 Cllr. Samuelson asked when the 30mph signs were to be installed. He will contact County Cllr. Simmonds direct.
4.2 Cllr. Sturgeon said that she had completed and sent in the CIFT grant form.
4.3 Cllr. Leetham and Cllr. Flack had met with ladies from the Playgroup regarding setting up a working party for new play equipment on the Recreation Ground.
Cllr. Flack is looking into the matter of funding.
4.4 Cllr. King reported that C W Lyons had, also, offered to replace the village sign plinth free of charge. It will be a square one and suggests that it be done in the spring along with the repair of the concrete base.
The Chairman thanked both C W Lyons and Mr Mooring for their generous offers.
5. Reports including Village Hall
Cllr. Sturgeon gave the Village hall report – attached to these minutes.
Cllr. Sturgeon also spoke of the proposed Saturday morning pictures for children in the hall. Cllr. Leetham asked about licences and Cllr. Sturgeon replied that BVHMC have all the relevant required licences. Cllr. Leetham gave thanks for all the hard work.
There was a discussion on the electrical inspection to be done in the Parish Office. This is to be done in conjunction with work carried out by the electrical contractors in the Hall.
A report of a leak in the entrance of the Hall had been mentioned but it was not known where or by whom. Ken will let the clerk know if the leak is located.
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Cllr. Hutt reported that an accident had occurred on Pean Hill with a vehicle ending up upside down in the trees. He also raised concern over the two caravans which are on the land beside Hillside Farm. Mr Waddington said that there is sometimes a third one there as well. Ward Cllr. McCabe will ask CCC Enforcement Officer to have a look.
Cllr. Dunster reported that all the footways are ok.
Cllr. Leetham had received a letter from Mr Paul Lai regarding Hempshall Lodge, Honey Hill, asking the Parish Council for support regarding a replacement dwelling. Cllr. McCabe said that she had received a similar letter and had given it to a CCC planning officer. It was agreed that the Parish Council should not comment until the planning application comes in from CCC. Clerk to reply to Mr Lai stating as such and advising him to go to a planning consultant.
Cllr. Leetham also commented on his annoyance at the buses being delayed when roads are closed for a long length of time following road traffic accidents.
6. Correspondence
All correspondence and emails received previously circulated to Cllrs.
A number of letters had been received from Mrs Letts, and replied to by the Parish
Council, with reference to the cutting of the hedge in Vicarage Lane. It was noted
that Mrs Letts had stated in a letter ‘I had seen the contractor and indicated to him
the width of the highway’– the Parish Council noted that this is a modification to
October 2011 minute item 4 Matters Arising.
The clerk will write to Mrs Letts stating that this has been noted. It was also noted
that the letter that Mrs Letts sent dated 24th October 2011 asking for a response by
the Chairman was replied to by him dated 28th October 2011.
The Parish Council consider that both matters are now closed.
KHS – Highways & Transportation Tracker Survey 2011
KALC – Parish News – Issue 357
CPRE – Notice of AGM & lunch – 25th November – Lenham Community Centre
CPRE – Kent Voice – Autumn 2011
CPRE – Countryside Voice – Winter 2011
NALC – The Localism Act
Volunteers for Environmental Focus Group
Email to CCC Richard Moore supporting road layout change at Westgate
SLCC Membership Renewal – £110
Letter from Mr Laming, C W Lyons and Son re proposal for the Blean
Millennium Sign & reply from Cllr. King accepting the generous offer.
Letter from Mr Paul Lai – from Hitchen – requesting support from the PC for a
replacement dwelling planning permission for Hempshall Lodge, Honey Hill
7. Planning Applications
CA/11/01870/FUL/CA/11/01871/CAC – Demolition of existing side extension
and construction of new dwelling – Clovelly, 29 Tile Kiln Hill – No objections but
comments made on removal of front hedge for parking, all contractors’ vehicles
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and visitors to park on site and store for recyclables and waste.
CA/11/01780/FUL – Erection of conservatory to front elevation of dwelling – 34
Whitstable Road – No objections
Removal of condition 05 of planning permission CA/04/1302/BLE, relating to temporary consent – The Markaz, Giles Lane, Blean, CT2 7LT – GRANTED
Reconstruction of main roof and enlargement of second floor front box room – Blean House, Whitstable Road, Blean, CT2 9EA – GRANTED
Demolition of existing single?storey building and replacement with two?storey modular building and installation of covered bike shelter – Estates Office, Parkwood Road, University Of Kent, Blean, CT2 7NN – GRANTED
Demolition of existing side extension.- Clovelly, 29 Tile Kiln Hill, Blean, CT2 9EE – PERMISSION/CONSENT NOT REQUIRED
Work to trees in a Conservation Area
Remove all existing trees and vegetation within a 5 metre band of the security
fencing currently enclosing the northern portal of the Crab & Winkle line –
UKC Northern Portal of Crab & Winkle line
8. Approval for invoice payments and signing of cheques
Signed since last meeting
Chq. 002238 – Meadow Grange – Grass seed & top soil                            £   11.70         
Cheques to be signed
Chq. 002245 – Wicksteed – Bushes & Shackles for swings                       £   33.60
Chq. 002246 – SLCC Annual Membership Renewal                                £ 110.00
Chq. 002247 – K Waddington – Handyman wages Nov 2011                  £ 119.53
Chq. 002248 – Mrs D Horswell – Clerks salary Nov 2011                        £ 649.16
Chq. 002248 – Petty Cash Nov 2011                                                           £     2.56
Chq. 002249 – HMRC – PAYE & NIC Nov 2011                                                 £   56.02
Chq. 002250 – KCC – Grounds Maintenance 2nd payment                      £ 891.50
Chq. 002166 – BVHMC – Rent November 2011                                       £   10.00
Total                                                                                                               £1872.37
Bank Statement as at 12th December 2011
Current Account – £2000
Business Reserve Account £33,866.50
8.1 Propose and Agree Precept Bid for 2012/2013
The clerk had circulated to Cllrs. a breakdown of the Precept expenditure to date and predicted expenditure until 31st March 2012. After discussion it was agreed to set the Precept Bid at £14,500 which is a reduction of £500 on 2011/2012 being mindful of the present budget cuts.
Proposed by Cllr. Samuelson, Seconded by Cllr. Harris, all present agreed.
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9. Any other business
9.1 It was noted that Ken Waddington will be going into hospital in January for an operation and will be off work for at least three weeks. The Chairman told him to take as much time as he needs to recover. 
9.2 The Chairman wished everyone a Happy Christmas and New Year.
                              As there is no meeting in January the next meeting will be on Monday 13th February 2012
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.32pm.
Date     _______________                 Signature     ______________________________ 
BVHMC report for the Blean Parish Council meeting 12th December 2011.
Since our last report, on 16th November the application and plans to refurbish and extend the village hall were submitted to CCC via their online planning portal. The architect advises that information or a decision on this proposal is likely to be late January or early February 2012.
The CCC CIFT application form, together with the safeguarding children document, has been completed and sent electronically to Mella White. A copy has been sent to Denise for the Blean Parish Council’s records, with a copy of this report.
Thanks again to KCC Cllr John Simmonds for his grant contribution towards architect fees, these forms have been signed, copied and returned as instructed. The remaining part of the grant payment needs to go before the KCC Members Committee for approval of the grant.
The Hall Management Committee will discuss fully The Building & Research group’s comprehensive and detailed report regarding the Parish Council’s offer and option for us to take over the freehold of the hall. We meet in January 2012, after which, I will be in a better position to advise you of their opinion and decision when the Parish Council meet in February.
Two sessions in November were arranged in collaboration with the FOBC for ‘Knitting Together’, this has taken over the village, and remains a very sociable community based initiative, held in the hall, which brings people together to knit and natter, with tea and cakes. 
For those who don’t wish to help knit the scarf to keep the village hall warm, we welcome donations or sponsorship for those who do. Donations of wool, or the donation or loan or big needles is also welcomed. The scarf when completed will be transformed and used to make practical and very warm blankets for cold people both in this country and abroad, so please support this generous initiative and contact Liz or Barbara with your offer, please.
Sadly the Blean village annual barn dance booked for Saturday 26th November @ 7.30pm in the Blean School Hall was cancelled at 48 hrs. notice by the school, due to Health & Safety concerns about the state of their hall floor. This was a great disappointment for all concerned; however the musicians and guests are looking forward to holding the barn dance in February, next term, if the school hall floor has been repaired and is safe to use for dancing.
On Saturday 3rd December we held our Christmas based fair and coffee morning in both halls. It was a very busy time and we raised £420.00 for the building project. We were joined by Liz and Barbara and other members of FOBC and Raise the Roof volunteers who clicked and clacked away knitting in the refreshment corner. As always stunning cakes, tasty preserves, mulled wine, raffle prizes and side shows were on offer, and everything on offer had been donated by our very generous supporters. The Invicta Fellowship group also joined in by helping us out with refreshments, washing up and made their own generous donations to the morning with a Christmas cake, hand knits, sponsorship money towards the hall scarf and gave up their weekly session in the small hall to enable us to use both rooms. 
Stewart Ross has written a wonderful Blean village hall based children’s Christmas story, the illustrator also has a local connection with Blean. The hard back book will be launched this Friday 16th December @ £10.00 per copy in the Londis shop by Stewart who will sign this limited edition. A second launch will be held on Thursday 22nd December again in the village shop when Jennifer Strait (illustrator) will be flying in from the USA, to join Stewart in signing this very special and unique to Blean village hall book.
Books can be pre-ordered via me, direct from Stewart’s website www.bleanbasedbooks.com or via romat@talktalk.net or just call into the shop from Friday and you will see the finished product.
Friday film night in the hall is firmly established – ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ shown last Friday brought in an audience of 40 people, mulled wine and mince pies in the intermission, raised £135.00 in donations for the project.
Thanks to all our Trustees, community supporters and volunteers as without their enthusiasm and commitment we couldn’t continue to raise funds and interest for the future refurbishment and extension of this old hall. 
The most heartening aspect is that young families are moving back into the village, 4 couples signed up from the last two social events this month to become involved in the project, a young man seeking his Duke of Edinburgh award has joined us with the offer of 1 hr. volunteer time per week for the next year.   These people are our future, and will be the users and beneficiaries of the proposal to bring the hall into the 21st Century which is a huge affirmation of the proposal and community confidence, that we are on track.
I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a fulfilling 2012.
Carol Sturgeon – Chairman