Minutes – 14th October 2013

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Minutes of Blean Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Hall, School Lane, Blean on Monday 14th October 2013


Those Present:    Cllrs: W. Leetham (Chairman); B. Flack (Vice-Chairman);

G King; C. Dunster; C. Sturgeon; P. Hutt; H. Samuelson.


Also present: Ward Cllr. J. Gilbey and three members of the public.


1. Apologies for absence:  – Cllr. C Goldstein; Ward Cllr. B. Fitter and County Cllr. J Simmonds.


2. Changes to Register of Declarations of Interest and DPI in Matters to be discussed.

1. Cllr. Sturgeon and Cllr. King declared an interest as Village Hall Management Committee members in matters to be discussed.


3. Matters raised by the public

3.1 Mrs Letts raised the matter that the footpaths she had reported to the Parish Council previously had still not been attended to and also that there is a tree completely blocking Byway 27 and the footpath from Chapel Lane to School Lane is blocked. All these issues will be reported again to PROW and County Cllr. Simmonds. Cllr. Flack suggested that a solution may be to look into contacting Helen Bennington to ask if the Community Payback scheme could be used to clear the footpaths. Cllr. Samuelson said that the path by the school has been cut by the University although Mrs Letts said that ivy has fallen over onto the footpath. Cllr. Samuelson said that he will check.

3.2 Mrs Kelk reported that the stile on footpath CB8 has still not been repaired, although it was reported to the PROWO after the last Parish Council meeting and the path is still very overgrown.

3.3 Mr Gammon reported that the potholes in Chapel Lane have still not been repaired although this was promised by KHS that the work would be done in August.


4. Reports from Ward and County Councillors

Ward Cllr. Gilbey reported that there had been 1200 responses to the Local Plan. The budget was covered for 2104/2015 and nearly covered for 2015/2016 but the future was uncertain after that. There is to be no downturn in level of services, however, the Council is being transformed with the cutting of staff. Everything is now becoming electronic. There are new Park and Ride buses. There will be a transformation of the Council with the new boundaries.

The next RAMP meeting is to be held at Kingston where issues that are important to Parish Councils will be discussed. The Locality Board has been withdrawn in Kent.

Cllr. Leetham asked Cllr. Gilbey to thank Serco who responded to a call for rubbish to be removed from the recycling area in School Lane. This was done within 30mins of the call being made by the clerk.



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5. Approval of the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 9th September 2013

The minutes of the 9th September 2013 meeting were approved and accepted as a true record of the meeting.

Proposed by Cllr. King, seconded by Cllr. Samuelson and all Cllrs. present AGREED.


Matters arising

5.1 It was agreed that Honey Hill Farm development was progressing well and looked brilliant.


6. N.H.W. Report

Cllr. King gave his report in which he said that there had been a number of thefts from sheds and garages in the village, resulting in the loss of a range of electrical equipment. He has placed a warning in the local press advising residents to ensure that their outbuildings are securely locked and preferably have an alarm fitted.

Telephone and email scams continue , one particularly devious one is when an email is received, allegedly from a local resident, claiming that he or she has been robbed while on holiday abroad and requesting that cash be sent to them in order to settle their hotel bill and replace lost airline tickets. I have received two such messages in the past few days, and know of others who have received similar. On no account respond to such requests or your bank account will be compromised.

A total of 48 messages have been received from Kent Police and Trading Standards which have been distributed through the usual network.

Matt Farley, our local PCSO, has confirmed that a number of speed checks have taken place with offending motorists issued with fixed penalty points or warned about their driving.


7. Village Hall Report

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

7.1 Following the report Mr Gammon asked whether Stage 2 of the hall building will be necessary. Cllr. Sturgeon said that it will be necessary in order to hold barn dances and play badminton etc.


8. Matters Arising including:

8.1 Public Paths & Rights of Way

As mentioned previously in the minutes, due to the growing concern of footpaths not being maintained, the Parish Council will contact Helen Bennington from CCC to enquire about the Community Payback scheme.


8.2 Recreation Ground inc. play equipment

Cllr. Flack reported that the competition by the children to name the fort was held at the last hall coffee morning and the winning name was Fort Cosmus.

A wooden plaque is to be erected on the fort shortly. The fort is well used as is the mound for which netting and pegs have been ordered to finish off the surface. Then grass seed is to be scattered on it by the children.


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A Capital Grant application has been submitted to CCC for £3,000, and, if successful, will be for the next phase of the new play equipment. A request is to be

made to County Cllr. Simmonds to see if he is willing to contribute a small amount from his Members Fund towards a picnic table.


8.3 Parish Plan meeting

This is to be held on Saturday 19th October in the village hall. Cllrs. Flack and Leetham will attend when it is hoped volunteers from the community will begin to prepare a village plan. It is important that this will be a village led project with a committee.

Ward Cllr. Ben Fitter is to attend to discuss an on-line questionnaire and to show how this can be implemented.


8.4 Highway Issues

Cllr. King reported that speed checks have been, and will continue to be, carried out and the results publicised.


8.5. Kevro Properties Correspondence

There has still been no response from the last letter sent on 24th September raising concern over the state of the garage site and the pathway by the shops.

Ward Cllr. Gilbey is to look into the matter.


8.6 New Minute Book

It was agreed unanimously to purchase a new minute book at a cost of £75.99 + vat.


8.7 Consideration by BVHMC to contribute 50% to BPC towards Serco bin collection

Cllr. Sturgeon, as Chairman of BVHMC, agreed that the hall committee would pay 50% of the cost of Serco emptying the green bin as the charges from Serco had now doubled due to the cessation of KCC paying the tipping costs.


9. Councillors’ Reports

9.1 Cllr. Samuelson asked if the signpost directing motorists to the University down Giles Lane could be removed as it causes a bottleneck. Cllr. Gilbey will contact the University

9.2 Cllr. Hutt reported that the pumping station at the bottom of Pean Hill had had an attemptied robbery. Cllr. Hutt heard the noise and disturbed them and they sped off. It was reported to the police and they had attended. The culprits were later apprehended.

9.3 Cllr. King asked if the bottle banks can now be removed as all properties have their new bins. Cllr. Gilbey offered to arrange it.

The clerk was asked to put notices on the bins advising that they will be removed shortly.

Cllr. Flack said that a decision would then be made on how the site will be used.

9.4 Cllr. Leetham reported on the following items:

Cllrs. Flack and Leetham had attended the Chairman’s Conference run by KALC.

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A meeting is to be held on 12th November with Gary Peskell from CCC regarding affordable housing in Blean.
The draft of the Parish Charter is going to be discussed at the RAMP meeting on 9th November.
He wished the parishes to be informed if there is to be a lifting of the HGV ban resulting from the Westgate Towers consultation. But Cllr. Gilbey said that he knew of no such plan to lift the ban.

Cllr. Leetham reported that at the recent KALC meeting The Kent Fire and Rescue Service had attended and given information on the installation of smoke alarms and safety cooker switches which they will install free to over 60’s and families with children under five. These are guaranteed for ten years when a free replacement will be installed. They are willing to give talks to Community groups. For free home safety visits and advice please phone: 0800 923 7000.


10. Correspondence

All correspondence (as previously circulated to members):

Street Monitors Minutes

The Good Councillor's Guide – copies on order for each Cllr.

Annual Return

Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty management plan 2014 – 2019

Letter to Mrs Letts from Chairman ref overgrown footpaths

ACRK – Notice of Annual Meeting – 17th October

ARCK – Oast to Coast – Autumn 2013

Letter from CCC – Parish Council Street Lighting

Notice of a community information evening for a proposed solar farm at Woodlands

Farm, Calcott, Sturry

DCLG Consultation – Greater Flexibilities for change of use


11. Planning Applications

The following applications have been received and circulated to all Cllrs. for comment.

1. CA/13/01725/FUL – Two-storey side extension – 20 Mount Pleasant – No objection by BPC

2. CA/13/01752/FUL – Proposed single-storey ‘Portakabin Limited’ building to be

hired by University of Kent for a period of five years and used as a study area by the

students – Parkwood Administration Building, Park Wood Road, Blean – No objection

although BPC has serious concerns over the amount of planning applications submitted

by UKC for temporary structures.

3. CA/13/01823/FUL – Single storey extension to provide an ensuite bathroom and

external toilet – 13 The Green – in circulation.

Following a discussion on 13 The Green planning application, it was agreed that BPC

had no objection to the proposal, but that it should be declared that the applicant is

an employee of the Parish Council.


Decision Notices

1. CA/13/01725/FUL – Two-storey side extension – 20 Mount Pleasant – GRANTED


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12. Approval for invoice payments and signing of cheques


Cheques for Approval and Signature

Chq. 002401 – Blean Machine Hire Ltd                                                       £750.00

Chq. 002402 – Canterbury City Council – Land Registry Fees                  £  70.00

Chq. 002403 – KALC – Chairman’s Conference                                         £144.00

Chq. 002404 – KALC – Good Cllrs Guide x 10                                           £  25.00

Chq. 002405 – Steve Cook – Re-imbursement for metal stakes                £  50.00

Chq. 002406 – Mr K Waddington – Handyman’s Wages Sept 2013           £121.27

Chq. 002407 – Mrs D Horswell – Clerks Salary Sept 2013             £668.56

Chq. 002408 – Mrs D Horswell – Petty Cash Sept 2013                             £  83.96

Chq. 002409 – PKF Littlejohn – External Audit                                           £120.00

Chq. 002410 – HMRC – PAYE & NIC Sept 2013                                       £  37.70

Chq. 002411 – BVHMC – Hall Hire Sept 2013                                           £  11.00

Chq. 002412 – Fibreweb Geosynthetics – Netting & pegs for mound        £720.24

Chq. 002413 – Mr W. Leetham – Re-imbursement for:grass seed –

£41.40 and mileage to KALC Chairman’s conference – £25.58                  £  66.98

Chq. 002414 – Zurich Municipal – Additional Premium for fort      £  97.83

                        and mound

DD – Serco Waste Collection – August                                                       £  34.80

DD – Serco – Waste Collection – September                                              £  67.20

DD – BT – Telephone and broadband                                                          £208.99


Total out        £3,277.53


Bank Statement as at 20th September 2013

Current Account – £2000

Business Reserve Account – £24,011.56

(Interest bearing account used to feed Current Account, when needed, to maintain a balance of £2000)


13. Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting is 11th November 2013


14. There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.00pm..




Date     _______________                 Signature     ______________________________









Report from BVHMC for BPC meeting 14th October 2013.


You'll all understand that Phase 1 project still remains much work in progress but the hall’s opening party on Saturday, last weekend, was a very happy occasion with 200 + people attending.  Thanks to everyone in the community and beyond who came along, and everyone who’s supported and helped to celebrate what is, this lovely refurbished and amazing hall.


The BVHMC would like to thank all the user groups who have been so patient and understanding since the re-opening in September for their tolerance toward the builders and volunteer working party who still need to undertake their the decorating and finishing off work at any time available for access.


There has been an increased interest in bookings as the community have discovered that the hall and new layout is able to accommodate and serve a wider range of user groups, private events and family occasions, 7 days a week over 3 sessions.  2 large christening parties have used the hall since opening. A children’s fitness group is hiring the hall daily over the half term holiday and many children’s parties are already booked in.


The first coffee morning on Sat 28th September was a great success and very well supported by all age groups and the inclusion of the name the fort competition was very popular with 15 names suggested by the children.  We very much look forward to collaborating with the BPC regarding children’s activities and ideas in the future at the coffee mornings.


The launch of the Blean Heritage Museum has been an unqualified success story – it has created even most interest and special site visits.  I’m pleased to tell you that at Saturday’s opening party the Hall Management Committee named this special archive the Godfrey King room in recognition of Godfrey’s collection and devotion, which has spanned half his life time in collecting and referencing memorabilia and unique photos of Blean families the environment, buildings and their history.


Steve Cook (builder) remains on site finishing his work and awaits CCC building inspector to sign the work off before the building is officially handed back to us.  The main toilet block was completed on Friday so all the facilities are up and running.


The main kitchen doesn’t have a cooker BVHMC have applied to CCC for a capital grant to assist with funding it and a ventilation system which is necessary. If successful we will be able to work with Age UK Canterbury and Blean Church volunteers to provide an inclusive to all lunch club in the hall to relieve loneliness and isolation, particularly through the winter months. The main hall kitchenette has a cooker which will continue to serve this hall, and needs to be shared in the interim. Mickelle Cordes CCC’s Community Officer visited the hall and environs last month to see for herself the impact that the Phase 1 refurbishment project has had on it, following the capital grant contribution of £5,000 from CCC last year.


Coffee morning:10 am + Quiz night 7pm Saturday 26th October + Christmas Fair on Saturday 16th November 9am – 3pm supporting Blean Village Hall.