Minutes – 14th November 2011

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Minutes of the Blean Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Hall, School Lane, Blean on Monday 14th November 2011.
Those Present:    Cllrs: W. Leetham (Chairman); H. Samuelson (Vice-Chairman); G King; C. Sturgeon; C. Dunster; P. Hutt; C. Harris; B. Flack.
Ward Cllrs. Mrs H. McCabe; J. Gilbey; CountyCllr. J. Simmonds; K Waddington (Village Handyman) and 2 members of the public.
Apologies: There were no apologies received.       
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.
Cllr. King declared that he is now Secretary of the newly formed Blean Village Heritage Museum and Cllr. Sturgeon declared that she will have an interest in the Capital Grants Bid 2012/2013 (Item 7 on the agenda) discussion.
2. Adopt ‘Nolan’ The Seven Principles of Public Life
The Chairman read out the Seven Principles of Public Life paper as circulated to all Councillors and explained that this would be adopted now and then re-adopted again at the Annual meeting next year.
Proposed Cllr. King, Seconded Cllr. Sturgeon All present agreed.
3. Matters raised by the public
a) Mr Rivers, 1 Tyler Hill Road, spoke of his concern regarding the proposed planning application at 5A Tyler Hill Road. He explained that the access to this property runs across his property and has been for the last twenty years. Cllr. King said that Mr Durrant, 3 Tyler Hill Road, had also spoken to him with concerns about this application. The Chairman advised Mr Rivers that he should contact CCC planning department in writing explaining the situation and also get legal advice regarding the access.
b) Handyman’s Report
Graffiti – Ken reported on the increase in graffiti in the village. He has had to remove it from the back of the kicking wall, back of the 30mph signs, wall at the back of the hall and repaint under the slide. More graffiti removing spray has had to be ordered. Clerk to report this increase in graffiti to the police so as to make them aware of the situation.
The new grass, on the area where the climber has been removed, is growing well.
Sign on the Green – It was agreed to replace the rotted 40 years reign sign.
Village Sign –It was agreed that the plinth needs replacing and the plaque can’t be repaired so a new one will have to be erected. Cllr. King to look into this matter.
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3.1 Reports from Ward and County Councillors
a) Ward Cllr. McCabe reported that she was looking into a number of planning issues. She is concerned over properties being turned into larger properties with car parking spaces in the back garden. The Chairman expressed his concern that the Planning Officers do not take notice of recommendations by Parish Councils who have a greater knowledge of their local areas.
b) Ward Cllr. Gilbey gave his report in which he said that the Localism Bill is out of the House of Lords and should be signed off by the end of the year. He said that basically they had got what they wanted. The referendum on Council Tax has been retained although there is still more work to be done. He said there have been 16,000 objections on the Planning Policy Framework, probably all on the same issues.
CCC are working with all three universities to establish criteria for certain areas. The good news is that the number of students has peaked. Canterbury is the worst area in the country for the number of students and that it is not a question of limiting them but spreading them out more. There is an incredible shortage of family homes in the area.
He said that the Annual Budget consultation is out on Friday. CCC have had luck with money being retrieved from Iceland but they can only meet the requirements of the budget by redundancies, of which, will have to be paid out of the Icelandic money. They have cut costs by £3million in 2 years but there is still another £3million to be reduced.
He reported that Parish Councils will, hopefully, receive 100% of core funding applied for in their Concurrent Funding bids.
Cllr. Sturgeon spoke of concerns over whether Parish Councils will be able to pass the grant over to Village Hall Committees in the future.
c) Cllr. Simmonds gave his report in which he said that the County Council have cut their spending down by £340million over a 4 year period. They have lost 600 staff so far but there will be 1500 redundancies in all. Money for highways and education cannot be cut.
He said that, although, KCC do the same work in Social Services as DWP and NHS they won’t share the information with KCC. He asked Parish Councils to report any elderly or vulnerable people to KCC as soon as possible as they want to sustain people in their own homes for as long as possible.
He spoke of the Regeneration Fund of which there is £40million for East Kent and the LEP which consists of Essex, Kent and East Sussex for which there is £13.5million.
He said that KCC and CCC work well together in partnership although the downside is that less people will be employed in the future.
Cllr. Leetham asked Cllr. Simmonds about the cost of the new 30mph signs on the A290 which the Cllrs. had seen on a plan sent by Cllr. Simmonds which seemed to be resulting in a change to the village gateway. Cllr. Simmonds explained that his Members Fund was bearing the cost of the signs which were going right through to the roundabout at Rough Common and that the village gateway would, if possible, be kept where it is now.
Ken Waddington remarked about the marvellous new equipment being used recently along Tyler Hill Road by KHS to repair the potholes.
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3.2 NHW Report
Cllr. King gave his report in which he said that local residents have been warned about young men selling dusters and other household items in the village, primarily targeting elderly residents on Woodlands Estate. The local PCSO had liaised with Cllr. King in order to publicise the problem. The men pose as persons on probation claiming that their activities are part of their rehabilitation programme. The site owner has been advised of the situation.
Theft has occurred of a large mechanical digger and other transport from a site on Honey Hill as has theft of metal throughout the district, including copper piping and cables. Cllr. King has received 67 messages from Kent Police which have been promulgated through the NHW network and other means.
Kent Police have now established the telephone number 101 to be used for all non-urgent matters 24 hours per day replacing the somewhat cumbersome 01622 690690. It is hoped that 101 will become as well known as the 999 emergency number.
4. Minutes of the last Meeting – ref 2.1 b) Ward Cllr. Gilbey said that although he had said control of HMO’s will come into force at the end of October it is, in fact, 9th December.
This being noted the minutes were approved and accepted as a true record of the meeting and signed as such by the Chairman.
Proposed by Cllr. Flack, seconded by Cllr. Hutt, all present agreed.
5. Matters Arising
5.1 There had been nothing reported on public paths or Rights of Way.
5.2 Recreation Ground including repair of play equipment
Cllr. Flack reported on her findings regarding funding and sources of new play equipment.
She proposed that a working party should be set up which should consist of two Parish Cllrs. and two members of the public. The clerk should assist in the administration. She suggested contacting other parishes who have recently received funding and supplied new play equipment to get ideas from them. She thought that, although it was too late to acquire quotes in time for the 14th December deadline for a CCC Capital Grant, other grant bids can be completed by the start of the new financial year. The decision needed to be made whether the whole play equipment will be replaced or just one or two new pieces. A suggestion of adult gym equipment will be considered also.
Cllr. Leetham was happy to be part of the working party and Cllr. Sturgeon said that she would be happy to work with Cllr. Flack, although she hasn’t a lot of spare time to give, as maybe, VHC could provide earth from the proposed hall development for tunnels etc.
Proposal – Establish a Committee to develop leisure/play equipment
Proposed by Cllr. Flack, seconded by Cllr. Sturgeon, all present agreed.
Cllr. Flack thanked everyone and left the meeting at 8.25pm.
Following the recent re-inspection by Wicksteeds to examine that the new shims are acceptable it was agreed to order the bushes, shackles, bolts and pins to enable Ken to be able to replace the two flat swings.
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5.3 The annual quote had been received from KCC Grounds Maintenance Department for the cutting of the Recreation Ground and other grass areas in the village. This was for £1530.42, an increase of approx 3% on this year, which was thought to be very good.
Proposed by Cllr. King, seconded by Cllr. Samuelson, all present agreed.
6. Reports including Village Hall
Cllr. Harris reported that cars continue to park on the corner of Bourne Lodge Close and School Lane. Also the resident in Chapel Lane who had pigeons, whose neighbour had complained about, has moved and the pigeons have gone also.
Cllr. Sturgeon gave the Village hall report – attached to these minutes.
With reference to the knitting project Cllr. Samuelson thought that it would be a good opportunity to get children at the school involved.
With reference to the Hall plans Cllr. Leetham asked how they had been altered. Cllr. Sturgeon replied that the roof mass had been reduced to be lowered and broader. She said that whatever the CCC Planning Officer had recommended the architect had altered accordingly and re-submitted the plans.
As the Capital Fund bid is not to be applied for by the Parish Council for new play equipment Cllr. Sturgeon asked if the VHC can use it to apply for help towards the building costs for the hall.
Cllr. Hutt – nothing further to report.
Cllr. Samuelson – nothing further to report.
Cllr. King – reported on the recent award of ‘Retailer – Newcomer of the Year’ National Award won by Binny and staff of the local Londis shop. There had been over 3.000 applicants. They were congratulated and Cllr. Leetham said that the modernisation of the shop makes a great improvement and Cllr. Sturgeon said that the recent three awards received in the ‘Village of the Year’ competition which were for Environment, Economy and Social Action were partly due to the input of the shop.
Cllr. Dunster – nothing further to report.
7. Correspondence
All correspondence had been previously circulated to all Cllrs.
Agenda – Development Management Committee – Tuesday 18th October.
Notice of 8 Honey Hill application being heard at above meeting.
ACRK – Rural News 108
Capital Grant 2012/2013 Application Form – (discussed Minute Ref 6)
Canterbury District Parish Forum Minutes
Rural Settlement Hierarchy Study
Shared Planning Training – Chartham Village Hall – 5th Nov – 9.30 – 1.30
Email to Rural Policing Team – lack of uniformed presence in Blean.
Email from KHS – Woodland Way – hedge & street light – inspection
BTCV – Pond & Tree Warden Scheme
ACRK – Rural News 109
Clerks & Councils Direct – November 2011
Agenda – Joint meeting of the N & S Rural Area member Panel
CCC Parish News Newsletter
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John Simmonds – new traffic signs on A290
8. Planning
Planning Applications
CA/11/01642/VAR – Removal of condition 05 of planning permission
CA/04/01302/BLE relating to temporary consent – The Markaz, Giles Lane. –
No objection
CA/11/01594/FUL/CA/11/01595/LB – Reconstruction of main roof and enlargement
of second floor front box room – Blean House, Whitstable Road, BleanCT2 9EA
No objection – will enhance appearance.
CA/11/01463/FUL – Two-storey side and single-storey rear extension and front
porch – 29 Whitstable RoadFor information only – Revised Plans –
No boundary wall or gates.
CA/11/01671/FUL – 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 CT2 7NN – No objection
CA/11/01632/FUL – Erection of self-contained two-storey annexe, replacement garage
and roof alterations including balcony to rear – 5A Tyler Hill Roadin circulation
Planning Decision Notices
CA/11/00964/FUL/CA/11/01047/LB – Demolition of car port and erection of triple
garage and store – The Oast House, Pean Hill – GRANTED
CA/11/01463/FUL – Two-storey side and single-storey rear extension and front porch
29 Whitstable Road – GRANTED
Conversion of garage loft to habitable room with dormer in rear roof slope. – Dockers Field
Farm, Pean Hill – GRANTED
Erection of a terrace of three dwellings and a block of 2 flats. (Outline application).
Land rear of shops, Tyler Hill Road – WITHDRAWN
Erection of Office Block (class B1 use) – Pean Hill Park, Pean Hill – GRANTED
Work to trees in a Conservation Area
Remove twin-stemmed walnut tree in front garden with cavity at 7ft in stem
overhanging the road. Trim 3 limes and cut back overhanging over the road –
Peacock Cottage, 29a Tyler Hill Road
Reduce crown of tree on far right boundary line by approx. 25%, and remove all
dead wood. Remove dead wood from poplar tree in far right corner of rear garden
The Vicarage, 24 Tyler Hill Road
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Remove all leylandi trees that surround the rear garden – 29 Whitstable Road
9. 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. 002239 – CCC – Fees for uncontested election                                  £ 163.65
Chq. 002240 – K Waddington – Handyman wages October 2011   £ 152.93         
Chq. 002240 – K Waddington – Plants                                                          £   22.50
Chq. 002241 – Mrs D Horswell – Clerks salary October 2011                  £ 649.16
Chq. 002241 – Petty Cash October 2011                                                      £   71.31
Chq. 002242 – HMRC – PAYE & NIC October 2011                                 £   64.62
Chq. 002243 – Serco – Waste Clearance July/Aug/Sept/Oct 2011             £ 118.36
Chq. 002244 – BVHMC – Hall Hire July/Sept/Oct 2011                            £   30.00
Total                                                                                                               £1284.23
Bank Interest Received                                                                                £    4.86
Bank Statement as at 14th November 2011
Current Account – £2000
Business Reserve Account £35,195.73
10. Any other business         
Next meeting is on Monday 12th December 2011.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.05pm.
Date     _______________                 Signature     ______________________________  
BVHMC report for the Blean Parish Council meeting 14th November 2011.
Since our last report we held our AGM on 17th October in the village hall. At this meeting the Raise the Roof rep was appointed as Treasurer and she took over responsibility for our accounts from 1st October 2011, the start of our financial year.
The account’s audit from 1st Oct 2010 to July 2011, prepared by our Hon auditor for the benefit of the CCC concurrent funding application, was agreed. The review of the year was very positive as real progress with the building project has been made with the support and help from volunteers, our community base and, above all, the hard work and commitment undertaken by the hall management committee. Many more people are offering their help and ideas which gives us confidence that we’re on the right track for the future of the village hall, as expressed by the public consultation over the last year and according to the consensus in the 2009 Parish Appraisal.
The final version of the proposed plans and montage (created by a member of the B&RG) to refurbish and extend the hall, together with the Design and Access statement, are ready for submission by the architect. These drawings reflect the advice and guidance given by the Planning Officer at pre-planning consultation stage. They are to be submitted to the local authority this week, together with the application fee. The planning officers, committee and public opinion will consider them at consultation level regarding planning consent.
The architect advises that it is likely to be at the end of January or beginning of February 2012 before any information or decision is available.
I’d like to thank KCC Cllr John Simmonds for his generous offer to reserve a £5,000/grant towards our architect’s fees. I’ve just applied for this grant and completed the forms with the help of Jo Pannell – Community Engagement Manager. This amount has made a huge difference to our project and we are very grateful, we can look forward with confidence towards the next stages.
The Building & Research group (B&RG) delivered their comprehensive and detailed report regarding the Parish Council’s offer for the BVHMC to take over the freehold of the hall. The BVHMC met last week (on 7th November), sadly many people were unable to attend due to ill health therefore no decision or full discussion of the report could be undertaken. The report has since been circulated to Trustees for their consideration and we will discuss the information in full when we meet in January 2012. On first reading it is likely that we’ll need to ask the B&RG for further advice, based on their expertise and findings, on some points. It’s important to state that the report was written as information only for the BVHMC, based on the research undertaken of the Parish Council offer and of Mr John Letts’ paper. Any decision about the hall and freehold will be made by the BVHMC as Trustees, and not the volunteers who contributed to the report.
We continue to concentrate on fund raising and the coffee morning, photo exhibitions and bric a brac sale in September and October raised over £500 for the building project. The separate Blean Heritage Museum headed up by Godfrey and his committee over the past 2 months, which is part of the integrated overall project, has managed to raise not only great interest, but over £500.00 in fund raising towards their costs. They have their own allocated Funding Buddy who will advise them regarding specific grants focussed on heritage and historical interest groups.
We are currently collaborating with the FOBC who suggested both groups undertake a Knitting Together community based initiative which has taken over the village. The idea is for the community to knit a scarf to keep the village hall warm, the longest length to wrap around the hall as a public display which will publicise, promote and benefit this old hall. For those who don’t wish to knit we would welcome donations or sponsorship for those who do. Donations of wool, or the donation or loan or big needles is also welcomed. The emphasis as ever is on our community to meet up socially together in the hall, (Knit & Natter -Tuesday 22nd @ 2pm). For the fellas and their teachers a special evening event on Friday 25th Nov @ 7.30pm in the hall has been arranged for them to learn to knit, pizza and beer on offer.
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.
Saturday 26th November @ 7.30pm in the Blean School Hall, our annual barn dance with the Deal Hoodeners and guests – fun filled musical entertainment and exercise which costs a fiver (£5.00). Posters are up with further details – bring your own food and drink – tickets available on the door on the night.
The final fund raiser for the hall project is on Saturday 3rd December when we hold a Christmas based fair and coffee morning in both halls during the morning, starting about 9.30am. Stewart Ross has written a wonderful Blean based children’s Christmas story as a fund raiser for the hall; the illustrator also has a local connection. The book will be launched as soon as it’s printed and before Christmas. Official signing by the author and illustrator will take place in the Londis shop, which will hold stocks of this very special book, date still to be confirmed.   
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.
Finally, capital grant funding currently on offer from CCC and from KCC with imminent deadlines, need to be explored to support the hall project and cost of the proposal. I hope you will offer your support on this matter, to enable the BVHMC to make progress with grant funding, in building confidence with our community’s benefit and future in mind, to complete the project by 2015.
Carol Sturgeon – Chairman