Minutes of Blean Parish Council Meeting held at the Village Hall, School Lane, Blean on Monday 8th September 2014
Those Present: Cllrs: B. Flack (Chairman); W. Leetham (Vice-Chairman); G King; C. Dunster; H. Samuelson; P. Hutt; H Cole; Clerk D. Horswell.
Also present: Four members of the public.
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.
1. Apologies for absence: – Cllr. C. Sturgeon – family Commitments; Ward Cllr. J. Gilbey; Ward Cllr. B. Fitter; County Cllr. J Simmonds – City and County meetings.
2. Changes to Register of Declarations of Interest and DPI in Matters to be discussed:
Cllr. King declared an interest as a Village Hall Management Committee member in any matters to do with the village hall.
Cllr. Leetham declared an interest as a cyclist in agenda item 8.2
3. To Discuss and Adopt: (Papers circulated to Cllrs prior to meeting)
Amendment to NALC’s 2013 Model Standing Orders (England).
Councils Powers to Discharge their Functions” (LTN 1)
Parish and Community Council Meetings” (LTN 5)
All Cllrs. had received and read the papers prior to the meeting and it was proposed to adopt a resolution as stated in the papers by N.A.L.C.
Proposed by Cllr. Flack, seconded by Cllr. Leetham and all present agreed.
4. Matters raised by the public:
4.1. Mrs Kelk thanked the person who had mended the stile on CB8 and she said that people from the John Graham centre had chopped down the vegetation along part of the footpath.
4.2. Mrs Letts reported a number of overgrown and impassable footpaths:
Byway 27 has a fallen tree – this has already been reported to P.R.O.W. by the clerk
Bridleway 24 impassable as it has not been re-instated
CB 18A, 26, and 19 impassable as they have not been re-instated
CB19 – a tree down at the A290 end
CB17A – School Lane to Chapel Lane – overgrown
CB 12A – Oak tree blocking the footpath – footpath needs re-routing.
CB 23 off CB20A through a wood – lots of trees down.
Mrs Letts also raised the matter on whether the recent planning application for the University affects CB13 as it runs through the University.
Cllr. Fitter has been asked to check.
4.3 Mr Gammon raised the matter again of the manhole at 16 Bourne Lodge Close. It was suggested that it maybe needed a site visit by Southern Water and KHS.
An email will be sent to Cllr. Fitter to see if he can arrange anything.
4.4 Miss Finch, of Woodlands Estate, spoke of her concerns regarding the Honey Hill Farm planning application for a pair of semi-detached houses on the land between No 2 Woodlands and the main road.
It was decided for the Parish Council planning sub-committee to have a site visit to assess the problems.
5. Reports from Ward and County Councillors:
Ward Cllr. Gilbey, in his absence, had sent in a report:
‘This has been a relatively quiet summer but we have managed to secure the BID for the city centre which should result in some dramatic changes, including the reinstallation of Christmas lights. We will also see a new level of control of the environment and street scene. We have already introduced units targeting litterbugs on our streets and this has been successful to date with cost recovery of the extra personnel.
Westgate is to be refurbished and repaired, starting soon, while the Westgate Park work is proceeding rapidly thanks to local residents and the Heritage Lottery funds, the Gaol Café recovery programme is underway, the Lower St. Dunstan’s work will get underway soon and Tower House is being restructured and reinvigorated to make it more sustainable’.
6. Approval of the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 14th July 2014:
The minutes of the 14th July 2014 meeting were approved and accepted as a true record of the meeting.
Proposed by Cllr. Hutt, seconded by Cllr. King and all Cllrs. present AGREED.
7. Reports and Updates: (Reports circulated to Cllrs prior to meeting and attached to these minutes)
7.1 Questions re: N.H.W. Report:
It was agreed to grant £200 annual for the administration costs
Proposed: Cllr. Leetham
Seconded: Cllr. Hutt
All present agreed.
7.2 Questions re: Village Hall Report: – no report given due to Cllr. Sturgeon’s absence.
Cllr. Flack reported that she had attended the Hall Users’ Group meeting and found it very useful and included the following items for discussion:
Rent increase – reasons given
Time switches on the lights in the toilets
List where to find things and check list
It had been agreed that as the Parish Council already have a list of attendees at their meetings there would be no need for people to sign in but would have to if it was a larger public meeting.
7.3 Questions re: Chairman’s update
Cllr. King asked what DBS meant? Cllr Flack explained that it was the old CRB check. We are endeavouring to find an umbrella group to obtain a form for Ken.
8. Matters Arising including:
8.1 Public Paths & Rights of Way:
This had already been covered in Items 4.1 and 4.2.
8.2 For Discussion: Memorial Gates and Cycle Racks:
Cllr. Flack had written to the Chairman of BVHMC asking if the Memorial Gates could be kept clear at all times in case of emergencies on the Memorial Ground.
Cllr. King said that it was a sensible idea and would be marked out when the other marking is done. A polite notice would also be put up.
Cllr. Leetham is sourcing information about the cycle racks and explained that Canterbury City Council are offering two cycle racks which will be ground fitted. Permission will need to be sought from BVHMC as they own the land. Cllr. King said that the dimensions are needed, Cllr. Leetham said when he has found them out he will email the Chairman and Clerk. It was suggested that maybe they could be fitted at the parish office end of the hall. Cllr. Flack will email Steve Reith and Andy Burgis.
8.3 For Discussion: Defibrillator:
Information had been circulated to the Councillors which included a document from Community Heart Stop charity which deals with the training and siting etc.
Cllr. Flack proposed that a public meeting is held and invite the charity to speak then the whole community can decide.
8.4 For Discussion: Leggett Charity – The Future:
Cllr. Leetham explained that the charity was set up well over a hundred years ago with a sum of money from Mrs Leggett for the ‘relief of the poor’ with monies being paid out each February. It has been used a couple of times in the past few years with the last time being about four years ago. Cllr. Flack asked the Members to consider winding up the Charity and using the funds of approx. £2,500 in an appropriate manner. Cllr. Flack had been in touch with the Charity Commission who were quite happy for this to happen as long as the two trustees were in agreement. And the funds were used for the benefit of the parish. It was suggested that the money could be divided between the Village Hall, Memorial Ground and the Nature Reserve.
The proposal was made that ‘The Trustees and Blean Parish Council would apply to the Charity Commission to dissolve the Leggett Charity’.
Proposed by Cllr. Hutt
Seconded by Cllr. Cole
Agreed by all Councillors present, with Cllrs Leetham and Samuelson abstaining as they are Trustees of the Charity.
8.5 RAMP and Capital Grants – suggestions:
After discussion it was agreed to apply to R.A.M.P. for a youth shelter for the Memorial Ground, new computer for the parish office from Cllr. Simmonds
Member’s Grant and the continuing refurbishment of the play equipment on the recreation ground from CCC Capital Grant.
8.6 For Discussion: Interpretation Panel:
Cllr. Flack explained that the map of Blean was weather-damaged and has offered it to Cllr. King for the museum or for it to hang in the Hall. An arial photo of Blean with the history of the village in text was passed to the Cllrs for their approval.
All agreed and prices will be sought to have it laminated.
It had been agreed to give the old notice-board to Blean church but Cllr. Flack has spoken to the Friends of Blean Church and it has now been decided to give it to the school and F.O.B.C. will buy a new noticeboard for the church.
8.7 To Approve: Purchase of flip chart for meeting room:
BVHMC would like one for the meeting room and will pay for one. Cllr. Samuelson will look into it.
9. Councillors’ Reports
9.1 Cllr. Dunster reported that the pavement at Hillside Paddock is overgrown with brambles. The clerk will write to the occupiers.
10. Approval for invoice payments and signing of cheques:
Banking details for July 2014 (cheques signed)
Chq. 002499 – Zurich Insurance – additional premium –Gym Equip £ 64.36
Chq. 002500 – Commercial Services – 1st Payment grass cutting £ 969.43
Chq. 002501 – Viking Payments – Shredder £ 86.24
Chq. 002502 – Blean Machine Hire Ltd – Installation of gym equip £ 739.28
Chq. 002503 – BVHMC – PC meeting and Parish Plan meeting £ 24.00
Chq. 002504 – Mr K Waddington – Handyman’s Wages July 2014 £ 153.60
Chq. 002505 – Mrs D Horswell – Clerks Salary July 2014 £ 670.60
Chq. 002506 – HMRC – PAYE & NIC July 2014 £ 40.62
Total paid out £2748.13
Banking details for August 2014 (cheques to be signed)
Chq. 002507 – Ms B Flack – Re-imbursement for Hedge Trimmer £ 155.35
Chq. 002508 – Ms B Flack – Re-imbursement for Christmas Tree £ 15.00
Chq. 002509 – Ms B Flack – Re-imbursement for planters £ 71.50
Chq. 002510 – PKF Littlejohn – External Audit 2013/2014 £ 240.00
This is double on the previous year’s invoice as BPC’s expenditure went into the next payment band due to the extra expenditure ref transfer etc
Chq. 002511 – Cutters – 3 x footways & hedging strimmed £ 80.00
Chq. 002512 – BVHMC – 6.4% portion of Utilities Bill £ 22.57
Chq. 002513 – Meadow Grange – Plants £ 20.00
Chq. 002514 – Viking – Office stationary £ 101.41
Chq. 002515 – NHW Annual Expenses £ 200.00
Chq. 002516 – Mr K Waddington – Handyman’s Wages Aug 2014 £ 153.60
Chq. 002517 – Mrs D Horswell – Clerks Salary Aug 2014 £ 670.60
Chq. 002518 – HMRC – PAYE & NIC Aug 2014 £ 40.62
DD – Serco – Waste Collection May 2014 £ 58.27
DD – Serco – Waste Collection – June 2014 £ 72.84
Total paid out £1901.76
Bacs – BVHMC – 50% portion – Waste Collection – May 2014 £ 24.28
Bacs – BVHMC – 50% portion – Waste Collection – June 2014 £ 30.35
HMRC – Vat Refund £2271.54
Total paid in £2326.17
Bank Statement as at 22nd August 2014
Current Account – £2000
Business Reserve Account – £24,969.91
(July & Aug payments (- £4649.89 + £2326.17 unreconcilled)) = £22,646.19
(Interest bearing account used to feed Current Account, when needed, to maintain a balance of £2000)
10.1 To receive: Certificate of Annual Return 31st March 2014:
The clerk reported that the External Auditor Certificate had been received with the comment ‘on the basis of our review, in our opinion the information in the annual return is in accordance with proper practices and no matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met’.
The notice of conclusion will be published on the noticeboard and on the Parish Council website.
10.2 To Approve: Concurrent Funding bid for 2015/2016:
The Chairman and clerk had worked on the Concurrent Bid together and based on last year’s expenditure and allowing for inflation suggested that a bid of £9225 was submitted.
All Cllrs. present agreed.
11. Planning Applications (as previously circulated)
The following applications had been received and circulated to all Cllrs. for comment.
1. CA/14/01455/FUL – Erection of detached annexe – 31 Tile Kiln Hill – no objection by BPC but comments that there should be a ‘change of use’ application when the annexe is no longer used for this application’s purpose.
2. CA/14/01494/FUL – Demolition of existing two bay garage and car port and construction of new three bay garage – 42 Whitstable Road – No objection by BPC
3. CA/14/01323/FUL – Two-storey rear extension – 23 Blean Common – No objection by BPC. It is declared that the applicant is known to all members of BPC both professionally and personally.
4. CA/14/01514/FUL – Overcladding and window replacement to existing building – Ingram Building, UKC – No objection by BPC
5. CA/14/01820/FUL – Erection of two semi-detached dwellings within the cartilage of a listed building – Honey Hill Farm, 11 Honey Hill – Just received – in circulation
11.1 Decision Notices:
1. Variation of condition 06 of planning permission CA/14/00094/FUL to reduce the required level of the Code for Sustainable Homes from Level 4 to Level 3 with certain aspects achieving Level 4 – 114 Blean Common, Blean – GRANTED
2. Certificate of proposed lawful development in respect of a single-storey side extension – 27 Chestnut Avenue, Blean – WOULD BE LAWFUL
3. Revision to planning permission CA/10/00211/FUL – 62 and 64 Blean Common – GRANTED
4. Demolition of existing garage and erection of a side extension – 88 Blean Common – GRANTED
5. Erection of detached annexe – 31 Tile Kiln Hill – GRANTED
6. Demolition of existing two bay garage and car port and construction of new three bay garage – 42 Whitstable Road – GRANTED
7. Two-storey rear extension – 23 Blean Common – GRANTED
11.2 Work to Trees in a Conservation Area:
1. The Fir Trees, School Lane
Front garden: 3 Fir trees and 1 Birch (approx 65 ft in height) — removal of one tree and remaining three to be topped out. Rear garden: removal of two branches of Ash tree; removal of 2 Larches.
2. Badgers Hill, 22 Blean Hill -Re-coppice two Ash trees to approx 1 metre high.
11.3 To discuss: correspondence from Mr Keane, 12 School Lane re: topping of trees on recreation ground:
A polite request had been received from Mr Keane asking whether he could have the conifers topped that are in the recreation ground and border his property as they are affecting his television arial. He is offering to pay 50/50 with the Parish Council for the work to be done.
All present agreed and tenders will be sought.
12. Date of next meeting:
The date of the next meeting is 13th October at 7.30pm.
Cllr. Cole gave her apologies in advance.
13 Any Other Business:
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.05pm.
Date _______________ Signature ______________________________
Report from NHW to BPC meeting 8th September 2014 – Godfrey King
Since my report on July 14, I have received 69 messages from Kent Police and Trading Standards, relevant ones of which have been promulgated via the website or through the NHW network and notice boards. Scam callers continue to target residents, one of particular interest is where the caller tells the recipient that they have been selected for financial support. As ever, the advice is to hang up and report the matter to 101.
One serious incident has occurred, when a building stabling horses at Seapier Arabian Stud was the subject of an overnight arson attack, with damage to the building. The fire was extinguished before substantial damage happened, and is the subject of a police investigation.
The annual grant from the parish council, amounting to £240, is now due, to meet the costs of the Blean NHW scheme. However, there still are some funds in the account, and I estimate that a grant of only £200 will be sufficient for the next year, and I request that councillors agree to this amount. It is interesting to note that BPC agreed to meet the running costs at £240 per annum at their meeting on December 11, 2000. Should councillors wish, I am willing to continue as co-ordinator for the foreseeable future.
UPDATE REPORT FROM THE CHAIRMAN
Since our last meeting in July various actions have been completed and undertaken;
The new outdoor gym equipment which was funded by a Capital Grant of £3000 from CCC, is now in full use. There have been a number of positive comments about the equipment and it appears to be well used. The costs were met by the Capital Grant and funds from the VAT return.
Cllr. W Leetham kindly donated two metal benches which have now been sited in the recreation ground and the concrete planter area. Two matching wooden planters have been purchased and are at present being stained and planted out by Ken. These will sit either side of the bench on the recreation ground, brightening up the area. One rubbish bin has been re-sited near to the picnic table and we are about to re- site the other to near the new bench.
A new battery operated hedge trimmer has been purchased and Ken has found this excellent. He has also been given appropriate safety equipment i.e. goggles, gloves etc. with instructions on their use etc. The hedge trimmer has enabled him to do more work with regard to tidying up some of the hedges and also tackle the brambles etc. in the recreation ground.
The new notice board has been installed and is a great improvement, the associated interpretation panel is at present empty and councillors will be asked to make a decision about this at the meeting. The old map has been cleaned and is in a poor condition, however it has been offered to Godfrey for the museum as it is part of the history of Blean and completed by Peter Firmin.
The Parish Plan group have met and have almost completed the initial task of putting together the survey questionnaire. The questionnaire will cover the following areas; Housing, Amenities and Facilities, Appearance of the Village, Crime and Policing and lastly
Roads and Pavements. The group will meet again on Friday 12th September to tweak and play with the survey on-line. The target date for the survey's launch is SATURDAY 27th September at the Raise the Roof Coffee Morning.
During July and August, Denise and I have met regularly. We have reviewed the accounts together ensuring we remain on target financially. Denise will be preparing the half-yearly accounts for councillors for our October meeting. We have also calculated our bid for the Concurrent Funding which is on the Sept. agenda. The question of further funding for any new projects has been looked at and RAMP, Capital Grant and also War Memorial Trust have been identified as possibilities. Together we have discussed all planning applications and made appropriate response in the light of Councillors' comments. We also met with Ben Fitter, our Ward Councillor and raised with him our difficulties in communication with CCC following the reduction in staff and many changes of responsibilities. We also raised with
Cllr Fitter the Disclosure Barring Service and how to move forward with completing this task for Ken Waddington. Helpful responses have been received and a new booklet of contacts at CCC will shortly become available plus a suitable organisation has been sourced to complete the disclosure paperwork.
BARBARA A. FLACK
Chair of Blean Parish Council