Hothfield Parish Council the rustic heart of Kent


Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting

held at The Village Hall, Hothfield,

on Monday 13 November 2006 at 7.00 pm

PRESENT: Mrs S Whittington (Chair), Mr J Collins, Mr P Howard, Mr L Krause, Mr P Patten, Mr R Pitt
After co-option, Mr P Holloway
Sgt Lawrence, Neighbourhood Sgt, Ashford Borough
PC Smith



MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC: There were 2 Members of the Public present

Apologies for Absence were received from Mr L Hughes and Mr A Rawlins.

Mrs Whittington reported that Mr Fletcher resigned from the Council after the last meeting.
She proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Fletcher, in his absence, on behalf of the Council.
Mr Patten proposed Mr Philip Holloway, seconded by Mr John Collins. Unanimous.
Mr Holloway joined councillors at the table and completed his Declaration of Acceptance of

There were no Declarations of Interest

Updating of Declarations of Interest for the Code of Conduct
The Clerk reminded Councillors that they should update their Declarations of Interest
with the Monitoring Officer if necessary.

Mr Krause sent his apologies to the Clerk for the last meeting, but unfortunately used the wrong email address, so she did not receive them.
Minutes 49 were accepted and it was unanimously agreed that Mrs Whittington should sign them.
Proposed Mr Howard Seconded Mr Pitt

The meeting was opened from 7.10 to 7.35 for questions and comments from Members of
the Public.

Sgt Lawrence and PC Smith discussed the problems being experienced within the
Parish of Hothfield with Councillors.

Sgt Lawrence explained that there is now huge emphasis on Community Policing and that the Police work as part of the Community Safety Unit, along with the Fire Service, and all departments of ABC. They also work closely with the Rural Wardens.

The Local Beat Officers are in the process of starting up Partners and Communities Together.
This is an initiative whereby members of the community join together to identify their
priorities and work with the police and other agencies to eliminate problems.

PC Smith is hoping to start a surgery in the School in the New Year and he will write an
article for the newsletter, updating residents on police issues.

Sgt Lawrence told Councillors that if they were unsuccessful with any attempts to make
improvements within the village, to contact him and he will try to help, as he has various
resources at his disposal.

The main areas of concern within the Parish at the moment are as follows:-

1. The activities of homosexuals in the toilets on the Common

It was suggested that we try and change the way this area looks. The area needs to
be cleared of trees and vegetation and the possibility of demolishing the toilets considered,
although it was noted that these toilets are used by drivers who stop for a rest in the lay
by. Sgt Lawrence said he would discuss this issue with the Community Safety Unit.

2. The Antisocial Behaviour of a number of the youths in the Village

Many of the residents of Hothfield know the identity of these youths, but will not report
them for fear of retribution. The Police will offer support but they can only take action if they know who the culprits are. Once they have names of persistent offenders, they will

  1. Ensure that the parents are aware of their children’s behaviour.
  2. Endeavour to get Acceptable Behaviour Contracts signed by those concerned.
  3. If it becomes absolutely necessary they will apply for ASBO’s.
  4. In the very worst cases, they may apply to have the family evicted, if they are in rented accommodation, as they have strong links with the housing department at ABC and with landlords.

Sgt Lawrence and PC Smith stressed that all information can be given either anonymously
or in strict confidence. If it is given in confidence, PC Smith can write a Third Party Statement.

Action to be taken:-

Item 1
Mrs Whittington will write to the Kent Wildlife Trust and Mr David Lloyd, Community
Safety Officer and ask them to clear the trees and vegetation in the area of the toilets and
consider the possibility of demolishing the building.

Local residents should report incidents to the police and ask for a police car to visit on a
regular basis.

Item 2
It is essential that residents have the confidence to report all instances of Anti Social
Behaviour to PC Smith, to enable him to follow up and deal with the offenders.

Contact numbers:

PC Smith: 07980 770 577

Sgt Lawrence: 01233 896333 – Office
07980 770 558 – Mobile

Community Safety Unit: 01233.660747

Mrs Whittington thanked Sgt Lawrence and PC Smith for attending the meeting.

Mrs Whittington urged councillors to be very proactive over the next few weeks, prior to
The Joint Transportation Board setting their budget, in an attempt to get the traffic calming measures that we have been promised. All councillors need to lobby our County Councillor
Richard King, either by telephone or Email and ask him to push the case for Hothfield.

Mr Holloway said he would let councillors know who else is on the Joint Transportation
Board so that they can contact them as well if they so wish. Mr Krause is to put a paragraph
in the Roundabout section of the Kentish Express informing residents of the situation.

There were no Matters Arising.

Mr Patten reported that the Village Appraisal is progressing with 2 more meetings and
Focus Group meetings arranged between now and Christmas. Ashford Borough Council
has promised further funding if required.

Mr Patten needed to leave the meeting at this point but before he left he informed
Councillors that the Planning Application for the MUGA has been submitted.
We have been promised £15,000 from the Youth Capital Fund, £10,000 from the Community
Grant Fund and £10,000 from the Kent Community Safety Partnership.

Village Hall Accounts
These were also discussed prior to Mr Patten’s departure.

The Village Hall is running at a loss. Members of the Committee are working hard to
organise events that generate income, although they are not receiving any help with
the organisation from parishioners.

In future the Parish Council are happy to receive the accounts in the previous format.

KCC Promoting Kentcarshare Scheme
ABC What Matters Youth Strategy and Implementation Plan
KCC Minutes of Meeting held 04.10.06
KCC Towards 2010
Stour View
Kent Highways
Local Council Review
ABC Towards a Play Strategy for the borough of Ashford
KAPC Parish News etc
ABC Report on the Parish Forum held 27.09.06
ABC Supplier Records
ABC Copy of Planning Application for MUGA
Countryside Alliance
Victim Support
Clerks and Councils Direct
ABC Supplier Records
S & C Slatter Play Equipment
Southern Water
ABC Housing Dept – Private Sector Housing
ABC LDFNotice of Publication of Core Strategy – Submitted Version
Record Product Range

Mr Krause reported that he had read through the documents on waste and tourism.

He noted that landfill sites should not be surrounded by schools, houses or rural roads.

The tourism document prepared by ABC did not mention Hothfield Common.

The documents were added to the Round Robin.

Accounts to be paid

LaMis 3 Year Subscription £201.19 £35.21 £236.40
Mrs J Batt Salary and Expenses £384.75 £4.80 £389.55
Mr P Patten Photocopying V H Accounts £8.23 £1.44 £9.67

Accounts proposed by Mr Pitt Seconded by Mr Collins

Resolution: Councillors unanimously agreed to pay the above accounts.

Bank Balance
The account balance stands at £7490.48 actual.

The Village Appraisal Account stands at £1500 and this amount shows in the
Reserve Account balance.

Freedom of Information Act/Web Site
Mr Stanley, the Webmaster, will be invited to attend the February meeting.

Councillor List
This was circulated and details from it will be added to the website.

Budget Preparation
After a very lively discussion, it was agreed to set the precept for next year at £9000.
The budget is attached and available to anyone who wishes to see it.

Parish Council Monitoring of the Play Area
Following on from Mr Fletcher’s resignation, it was agreed to ask Mr Hughes to monitor
the play equipment, as he walks his dog in the area.

Tenders for repairs to Play Equipment
Only one reply was received to our invitations to tender, and this company declined our offer
as the equipment was not manufactured by them.

It was suggested that we might be able to obtain grant funding to replace the equipment
and Mr Pitt agreed to look into the cost and report back.

Mr Howard offered to visit the play area and check that all the items shown as being
in need of repair have either been dealt with or are in hand.

See attached list.

Formation of Planning Committee
Mr Boorman has agreed to join the Planning Committee as a Non Voting Member.
Mr Krause offered to stand as the second ex officio member.
The Terms of Reference will be signed at the next meeting.

Tidying Village/Litter Control
Michelle Gooding, from Community Payback has been very helpful. She is working in
partnership with Chris Fry from ABC.


There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.30 pm.

Signed …………………………………………………………. Dated …….............................
Mrs S Whittington, Chairman



10 OCTOBER 2006 – 13 NOVEMBER 2006

Planning Applications Received

Full Planning Permission requested – Delegated to Officers unless otherwise stated:-

06/01869/AS Mr and Mrs Leggatt, 6 West Street, Hothfield, Ashford, Kent TN26 1ET
Proposed minor alterations to existing single storey extension to the rear of
property with insertion of roof light to match existing
Parish Council: Support

The following applications have been granted:-
06/01201/AS Hothfield Manor Ltd, re Hothfield Manor, Bethersden Road, Ashford, Kent TN26 1EL
Extension of existing manor house to provide additional 20 bedrooms
together with treatment and therapy facilities to be provided in two-
storeys and single storey construction
06/01777/AS Mr and Mrs Jeffeys, High Ridge, Pluckley Road, Hothfield, Ashford, Kent TN26 1ER
Rear Extension – To renew Planning Consent 02/00042/AS

Last Update  20.11.2006
 2006 Hothfield Parish Council