The Chairman opened the
meeting and welcomed everyone. There were 8 Members of the Public
present, 8 Parish Councillors, County Councillor Richard King and
Borough Councillor Neil Wallace.
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:
Were received from Rev Hammond and Mr John Ford, Headmaster, Hothfield
2. TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
These were unanimously approved and signed by Mrs Whittington.
Proposed Mr Patten Seconded Mr Rawlins
3. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
Mrs Whittington started her report by thanking all the people who
spend time trying to improve life for the villagers of Hothfield.
With a population of 900, there are a lot of people who we do not
know and never see. It is always the same people who volunteer to
help with events etc.
Communication is a problem within the village but we are trying
to improve this. We hold a Public Interval during every Parish Council
meeting, during which time any Members of the Public present are
invited to ask questions or make comments on any issue related to
Hothfield. Sometimes we are able to help and sometimes we are not.
A web site was set up last summer and the Parish Council agendas
and minutes are posted. We hope to make more use of the site over
the coming months.
We have a village newsletter and the Parish Council sends a monthly
report for inclusion.
One of our Councillors is the Correspondent for the Kentish Express
and a report of meetings is also included in this column.
We do wonder whether people read the above and are looking into
other methods of communicating with our parishioners.
Mrs Whittington was concerned to see, when looking back over past
minutes, that the same issues are discussed month after month. We
are working on these issues and sometimes we achieve a successful
result and sometimes we do not.
Issues that Mrs Whittington feels are important are:-
Crime and Disorder – Some members of the community have problems
with graffiti being painted on their property and their cars being
vandalised. We have recently observed that more people seem to be
prepared to report such incidents to the Rural Warden or Police.
The Crime Figures for the village have soared recently, but this
could be due to the fact that more crimes are being reported.
Keeping the Village Tidy – We need to clean off the graffiti
and clear up the litter. A lot of the litter is thrown from the
cars of motorists passing through.
Traffic Calming – this continues to be an issue. We also have
problems with large lorries coming into Hothfield and in a recent
incident damage was caused to the School Road sign and the fence.
The issue was discussed in greater detail with Councillor King –
please see his report.
The speed watch scheme which was run a few months ago showed that
motorists slow down when they see some sort of speed camera in operation.
We increased our precept this year to ensure that we have the recommended
balance in hand at the end of the year.
Sadly the school is to close in July. Mrs Whittington thanked Mr
Holloway for all in efforts to keep it open.
There is a spirit of community in Hothfield and we need to try and
tap into it. We hope that the school building will be put to good
use and with the MUGA and the possibility of funding for a new play
ground we can hopefully work together to provide a better future
4. REPORTS FROM COUNTY COUNCILLOR, BOROUGH COUNCILLOR AND
Copies of written reports, where submitted, are only attached to
the file copy of the minutes.
They are all available for inspection if requested. Please contact
the Parish Clerk.
County Councillor Richard King
Councillor King apologised for the fact that various issues were
still outstanding in the Village. He said he was sorry that he had
not been able to do more to keep the school open and thanked Mr
Wallace and Mr Holloway for their efforts.
With regard to traffic calming, he explained that Hothfield should
have been included in the work to be undertaken this year but that
due to a series of accidents at Kempes Corner, Wye, a scheme has
been included there and Hothfield has once again slipped down the
list. The closure of the school meant that the Hothfield scheme
is not considered as important any more by KCC. There is only a
limited amount of money available to fund the Traffic Calming Schemes.
Councillors and Members of the Public took issue with this. The
children will have to cross the road to get to the school bus, the
play area and by the end of the summer the MUGA.
The problems with lorries driving through the village and with the
street lights were also discussed and after a very lively discussion,
it was agreed that Councillor King would go back to KCC and ask
both Councillor Ferrin , the Cabinet Member with responsibility
for transport and the Paul Carter, the Leader of the Council to
attend a meeting in the village to discuss their budget and to look
at the whole issue of Hothfield.
With regard to the lorries, now that they use satellite navigation,
they are directed through Hothfield as it shows this as being the
shortest way to Ford Mill, but does not show that the roads are
Borough Councillor Neil Wallace
ABC settled on 4.9%. Pensions are forcing budget issues.
Councillor Wallace pointed out that Councillors are facilitators.
Outside agencies all undertake work in their area of expertise and
the council tries to pull it all together.
He said he was very disappointed that, once again, we are not on
the list to have the Traffic Management Scheme for the coming year.
With regard to communication, Councillor Wallace said he felt that
communication within Hothfield is much better than it was last year.
There is an acute shortage of housing ant the moment. ABC are planning
to spend money on Some of the houses in Hothfield in consultation
with the tenants.
Councillor Wallace feels that the “noise” that Hothfield
made regarding the closure of the school has put the village on
With regard to the street lights, at the moment no one seems to
know who is responsible for their maintenance.
PC Phil Smith
PC Smith reported that the crime figures for the year March 06 –
February 07 had increased from 113 to 120. We must take into account
however, that approximately 30% of the figures each month relate
to motorists driving away from Hothfield Service Station without
paying for petrol and domestic incidents are also included in this
figure so we only need to be particularly worried about 2-3 crimes
With regard to the recent spate of thefts of lead, copper and aluminium,
these are being dealt with.
PC Smith said he is keen for Operation Cubit to target the village
for a couple of weeks to deal with untaxed cars and lorries. The
police have new powers which enable them to seize unlicensed and
uninsured vehicles, which are parked on the roads.
ABC housing is trying to deal with the problems caused by cars parked
on the roads.
Lynn Marshall reported that she is hoping that Charlton Football
Team will continue training sessions in the village. Funding is
almost guaranteed by ABC. She is also trying to arrange inter village
Lynn said that she is working with ABC to try and get a youth forum
up and running. She has got 5 youngsters willing to go to the Civic
Centre and talk about the needs of the youth of the village. It
is felt that the youth of Hothfield need structured input from trained
Hothfield has a high instance of older people with serious illnesses.
Social Services would like some of them to live in sheltered accommodation.
At the moment Lynn is the first port of call if there is a problem,
for example, if they do not turn up for an doctors appointment the
surgery contact her and she calls round to see them and find out
what the problem is.
With regard to parking on the pavement, ABC is looking at installing
wooden bollards to stop this.
The Housing Department have funds available to regenerate some of
the houses in the village.
Some tenants have had their tenancies terminated for various reasons.
The possibility of some form of Neighbourhood Watch Scheme is still
The hall needs more bookings. At the present moment in time the
committee are just managing financially.
Short Mat Bowls
Mr Collins reported that the Bowls Club is down to 6 members. Two
members from outside the Village play for us in County Matches.
Please see attached.
Friends of St Margaret’s
Please see attached.
There is now money available to allow work to be undertaken on the
Common but Mr Oliver reported that everything has changed. We used
to have some control over what went on but it is now quite difficult
to even persuade ABC to hold a meeting to discuss any issues.
Hothfield Education Foundation
During the last year, 5 individual grants were given for £300
each. The fund is not made full use of. When the plans for the future
of the school building are finalised, the members of the Foundation
will speak to the Charity Commission to see what happens to the
Hothfield History Society
The Society has recently held 2-3 exhibitions with photographs.
The stories of the figures around the Tufton tomb have been added
to the tomb. Research is being carried out into the Tufton Family.
The Society has just started voice recordings of the experiences
of people who have lived in the village for some time.
Twelve copies of a History of Hothfield were printed this year.
Six went to local people and 6 went out of the village to destinations
as far away as Canada.
The Reverend Russell’s transcript is being proof read at the
moment and will hopefully be printed during the autumn or winter.
Both books will be transferred to CD eventually.
Please see attached.
Please see attached.
Parochial Church Council
Please see attached.
Please see attached.
The charity was originally set up to help the needy of the village
and the money which now comes from investments and rents is given
in the form of pensions to needy villagers. If anyone knows of anyone
in need then they can approach the charity. The annual income at
the moment is between £3000 and £4000, expected to rise
to between £5000 and £6000.
There is not going to be a fair this year due to lack of support.
The committee may attempt to organise one next year provided they
get the necessary volunteers to help.
The Committee were congratulated for their work on the past two
fairs and it was agreed that it is a shame that it has had to be
cancelled this year.
Mr Patten attended a meeting on Wednesday with the contractors who
are installing the MUGA.
It should take about 10 weeks and be completed by the end of the
first fortnight in September.
Mr Patten thanked Mr Rivers for all his help with applying for Grant
money and Mrs Logan from ABC for her help with the project.
The project has been funded by grants and Biffa and KCC have been
5. VILLAGE APPRAISAL
After a slow start this is progressing. The committee have had a
number of meetings and submitted a questionnaire to AwCRK for their
comments. They have now responded and the questionnaire will be
taken to every household and if necessary a member of the committee
will offer to help the occupier to fill it in. The next step is
to try and arrange Focus Group meetings in houses in different areas
of the village. Hopefully things will really start to move
forward by the end of this month.
6. ANY OTHER MATTER RAISED BY AN ELECTOR THAT IS OF INTEREST OF
CONCERN TO THE PARISH
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.57 pm.