Hothfield Parish Council

...in the rustic heart of Kent


2014 ANNUAL PARISH COUNCIL
MEETING MINUTES

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting, held in the Village Hall on

Friday, 9 May 2014, at 7.00 pm

 

The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed everyone.  There were 9 Members of the Public present, 3 parish Councillors, County Councillor, Mr C Simkins and  Mrs J Batt, Parish Clerk

 

1.   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:

An Apology for Absence was received from Parish Councillors, Mrs D Hogben, Mrs P Sutcliffe, Mr M Cook and Mr Peter Howard and Borough Councillor Mr D Robey

 

2.   TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE LAST PARISH MEETING

These were unanimously approved and signed by Mr Krause.

 

      Proposed  Mr Patten   Seconded  Mr Fletcher

 

3.     UPDATE OF PLAN-IT-ASHFORD

Mr Krause updated those present on Plan-It-Ashford.  The following, received from Mr Simon Cole, Policy Manager, Ashford Borough Council should be read in conjunction with the report submitted by Mr Krause and that by Borough Councillor Robey.

 

Further to Cllr Robey’s report, the preparation of the new Local Plan to 2030 is still in its early stages. We have been visiting many local communities around the borough in recent months to get some initial views on potential new development in their areas whilst officers have been assessing over 200 site submissions made to the council since last summer.

 

Officers will soon be sharing the outcomes of this with Members which will lead to the next stage of the process which is to narrow down the list of potential sites to those that worthy of further consideration and analysis. This will take place over the summer months and it is intended that there will be a further round of local consultation events in the autumn to look at the sites ‘shortlist’ in more detail. In Hothfield, this would be the anticipated timescale for a dedicated local event(s) to look at any emerging plans we have for the village.

 

Thereafter, we would expect to work up a final draft version of the whole Local Plan with the aim of carrying out formal consultation on it over 6-8 weeks during Summer 2015. During the formal consultation period, people have the opportunity to comment on any aspect of the Plan and those comments will be subsequently considered by the independent planning Inspector appointed to examine the soundness of the Local Plan.

 

4.     QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS ON REPORTS FROM VILLAGE ORGANISATIONS

Please see County Councillor Simkins report attached. 

  

5.     ANY OTHER MATTER RAISED BY AN ELECTOR THAT IS OF INTEREST OR

        CONCERN TO THE PARISH

There was concern at the lack of advertising for this meeting.   The date for next year’s meeting has been set at 24th April 2015.  Reports for the Hothfield Newsletter should be withMr Grenfell Banks by 1 March 2015.

 

It was also felt that the Parish Council does not keep residents informed of the outcome of meetings.  Mr Parker offered to write an article for the next 3 editions of the Newsletter.

 

A question was raised regarding the money earmarked to be spent on the youth of the parish.Mr Krause explained that the Parish Council would consider any sensible request that would benefit our young people, but the money should not be spent on activities for groups consisting of large numbers of non-residents of the parish.  Suggestions should be sent to the Parish Council via the Parish Clerk.

 

The reasons leading to the closure of the youth project were explained and the Clerk was asked to investigate the legalities of volunteers running a youth club.

 

Following questions about the Cades Road junction, the plans for this and the new Café/Visitor Centre were discussed.  The £2000 which was budgeted for this project last year has been transferred into the MUGA Fund.

 

All residents of Hothfield are very keen that our Community Warden, Beckley should continue to work in the parish.  County Councillor Simkins assured those present that he will do his best to ensure that we keep him.

 

Members of the Public asked for a meeting to discuss ways of improve broadband speed in the village. Mr Krause informed them that he was working with ABC and KCC to try and achieve this.

       

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.45 pm.

       

 

Signed …………………………………………………………………  Date ………………    

 

 

 

Charlie Simkins – KCC Councillor

Report for year to 30 April 2014

 

I have served exactly a year since being elected last May to succeed Richard King who stood down after 16 years.

 

At County Hall, I sit on six committees covering a broad spectrum spanning Planning, Environment and Transport, Scrutiny of the Budget, Regulation and Superannuation.  My role is therefore to balance these responsibilities with supporting my Constituents and responding to their problems.   In itself this is a challenging task, but it is helped by the support and professionalism of the officers with whom I come into contact at KCC.   They are the unsung heroes and it is right to acknowledge their dedication.

 

As is widely known the County council, along with all local authorities, is experiencing a serious reduction in funding from Central Government.   It is estimated that this will result in an annual shortfall of just over £80m for the next four years.   As a result KCC has instigated a project certified ‘transformation’ which is taking an in depth look at the structure and financing of all the major departments.   This is likely to result in a degree of outsourcing to commercial enterprises with the aim of retaining high quality front line services.   Clearly, this will result in a very different looking type of Council in the future with the emphasis on a greater degree of commerciality.

 

To conclude, after a year serving you as a Councillor I am fully aware of the scope of the role which I will do my best to fulfil.   I hope that if you have concerns you will reflect them either through the Parish Council or directly to me.  

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  16.04.2015 ~ Updated
 2014 Hothfield Parish Council