Hothfield Parish Council

...in the rustic heart of Kent



 
 DECEMBER 2015 PARISH COUNCIL
MEETING MINUTES
   

MINUTES 147                                                    Page 666
 

Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting

held at The Bluebell Centre Hothfield,

on Wednesday 2 December 2015 at 7.00 pm

PRESENT:  

Mr L Krause (Chair), Mrs P Sutcliffe, Mr P Howard, Mr R Libbeter
and Mr D Parker

PARISH CLERK: Mrs J Batt
BOROUGH COUNCILLOR: Mr L Krause
COUNTY COUNCILLOR: --
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:

There were 8 Members of the Public present.

1.   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 An Apology for Absence was received from Mr M Cook (prior commitment).

2.   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Declarations of Pecuniary Interest

 Mr Howard declared a Pecuniary Interest in Planning Application No 15/01360/AS as the Solar Park is on his land.

 

Declarations of Significant Interest

 Mr Parker declared a Significant Interest in Planning Application No 15/01453/AS as he is a neighbour of the applicant.

 

 Mr Howard declared a Significant Interest in Planning Application No 15/01468/AS as he is a neighbour of the applicant.

 

3.    MOTION TO PASS A VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN THE CHAIRMAN OF  

 HOTHFIELD PARISH COUNCIL

 Due to an error on the website, the Chairman had downloaded an old set of Standing Orders which stated that such a motion should be discussed under item 7 and as a result requested that this item be discussed under item 7.  Councillors agreed to this request.

 

4.  PUBLIC INTERVAL

The meeting was opened to the Members of the Public present from 7.10 – 7.33 pm for questions and comment.

 

5.  ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

Minutes 146 of the meeting held on 4 November 2015 were accepted and it was unanimously agreed that Mr Krause should sign them.

 

 Proposed:  Mr Libbeter         Seconded:  Mrs Sutcliffe

 

6.   MATTERS FOR REPORT ARISING FROM THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

There were no Matters Arising that were no covered on the agenda.

 

7.   CORRESPONDENCE AND OTHER GENERAL COUNCIL BUSINESS

Mr D Parker

EDF

Air Ambulance

ABC Notes of the Parish Forum held 28.10.15

Clerk and Councils Direct

 

Plan it Ashford Consultation

Mr Parker requested that Item 3 be discussed at this point.

 

MOTION TO PASS A VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN THE CHAIRMAN OF HOTHFIELD PARISH COUNCIL

Following the recent Public Meeting regarding a proposed site for development in the village, under the Plan-It-Ashford 2030 initiative, councillors expressed concern about the fact that the ABC proposal had not been presented for discussion prior to the public meeting, despite the fact that the Chairman had suggested at the August meeting that this would be arranged and as such, they had little or no information at their disposal. 

 

Councillors expressed the view that in the interests of transparency, the Parish Council should have been given a presentation by ABC as soon as the proposal was available and then the details should have been published on the Hothfield Parish website and in the Hothfield News, before the public meeting, so that all residents would have access to the information prior to attending the public meeting.

 

It was considered the Chairman had not chosen to act in a transparent manner.

 

Councillors then expressed serious concerns over the Chairman’s involvement at the public meeting, where he did not introduce himself to the audience or mention his positions as Hothfield Parish Council Chairman and ABC Ward Member for Downs West and proceeded, for its duration, to chair the meeting and be involved in the presentation of the ABC proposal, whilst clearly supporting it at the same time and making a number of misleading statements.

 

Councillors felt very strongly that this was a presentation that was solely ABC’s Planning Policy Manager’s to make and there was no role for the Chairman to play in it beyond introducing ABC’s Planning Policy Manager to the audience.  As such Councillors were very concerned that residents thought that the Chairman was speaking on behalf of Hothfield Parish Council, when he was not and that it was extremely inappropriate for him to place himself at the heart of the meeting, where he effectively used the platform to pitch what were his personal views at Hothfield residents for the length of the meeting.

 

Councillors were also concerned at the veracity of comments the Chairman had made in a letter that was published in the December edition of Hothfield News.

 

Councillors considered Hothfield residents had not received a full and transparent account of the impact of the suggested development on the village and therefore the meeting had not served its intended purpose.

 

A frank and forthright discussion between councillors and the chairman took place at the end of which the following motion was carried by a majority vote of 4:1.

 

Resolution:  That the members of Hothfield Parish Council have no confidence in the Chairman.

 

Proposed  Mr Parker             Seconded  Mr Libbeter

 

It was agreed that Mr Parker should produce a letter for circulation to all residents of the parish, via the Hothfield News, communicating the basics of this meeting and explaining that we wish to re-engage with Mr Cole, ABC’s Planning Policy Manager, who will be invited to the next Parish Council meeting to discuss the proposal with a view to holding another public meeting in the New Year.

 

It was also agreed that the council should be represented on the KALC Planning Working Group.  Mrs Sutcliffe, Mr Howard or Mr Parker will attend.

 

Installation of Bench in The Street

Mr Krause obtained verbal permission from Councillor Clarkson to install the bench, but Mr Howard was informed that the piece of land in question is the responsibility of the Borough Council Housing Department and as such the Parish Council should seek permission from the relevant officer in that department.  He has written requesting permission and is awaiting a reply.  He is also looking into the cost of wooden and metal benches.
 

Risk Assessment

The following items were brought to the attention of the council by the play inspection co, following their annual inspection:-
 

YOUTH SHELTER

Evidence of fire damage – Monitor for any further deterioration and repair as necessary

General Damage – Repair damaged areas

MUGA

A number of fixings have worked loose – Secure

There are fixings missing – Replace

Basket Ball net is missing – Replace – There has never been a net in place

There are a number of loose posts around the fence – Monitor and reset as required

 

Mr Parker took a copy of the report and will pass it to Mr Cook for action.

 

Sector Led Body to procure Audit for small councils – Introduction Letter and Factsheet from NALC/SLCC/Association of Drainage Authorities

Deferred to next meeting.

8.   FINANCE

Balance per Cash Book       

Parish Council Opening Balance    

28367.87

PC Reserve Account

26170.45

Plus Receipts

14009.78

Less u/c cheques

  9303.51

 

42377.65

 

16866.94

Less Payments

21113.96

PC Current a/c

    100.00

 

21263.69

Y Current a/c

  1029.99

 

 

Y Reserve a/c

  3266.76

 

 

 

21263.69

Less Earmarked Funds

10069.07

 

10069.07

AVAILABLE FUNDS

11194.62

 

11194.62

 

            Accounts to be Paid                   

PAYEE

CHQ

NO

DETAILS

NET

£

VAT

£

GROSS

£

Mrs J Batt

 

Salary

Expenses

General Admin

213.43

  12.06

  20.44

 

 

 

  245.93

Mr K Marden

 

Salary

  77.60

 

    77.60

The Post Office

 

Income Tax

200.40

 

  200.40

Mr K Marden

 

Jan Salary on account

  75.00

 

    75.00

 

            Resolution:  Councillors unanimously agreed to pay the above accounts and

            noted the Direct Debit Payment to EDF for the electricity for the MUGA, taken on

            the 1st of each month for £20.00.

 

            Proposed Mr Parker          Seconded  Mr Libbeter    

 

               Earmarked Funds                     

 

O Balance

+/- Dec

C Balance

MUGA

EDF Dec

       1979.52

 

 

   20.00

 

    1959.52

Road Sweeping

Salary Dec

Income Tax

         977.94

 

   77.60

   40.20

 

 

    2860.14

Bus Shelter

         251.60

 

      251.60

Garden Competition

         177.40

 

      177.40

Village Projects

       2400.00

 

    2400.00

Village Fete

       1720.41

 

    1720.41

Salt Bin

         700.00

 

      700.00

TOTAL

     10206.87

137.80

  10069.07

            

Budget Preparation in preparation for Setting of Precept 2016-2017

The Finance and Policy Group will meet to prepare the budget before the next meeting.

 

Bank Mandate

Mr Libbeter reported that the Bank Mandate has been returned to NatWest and all is in order.

9.       PLANNING

Please see attached list.

 

10.    FORUM FOR EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION BETWEEN COUNCILLORS

Mrs Sutcliffe reminded everyone present that we currently have 3 vacancies for Parish Councillors.

 

Mr Howard reported that the Teddy Bear Bin has been installed and Mr Krause will follow up with ABC to ensure that Biffa empty it.

 

The Clerk will contact our Highway Steward and give him Mr Howard’s number so that they can arrange to meet and discuss highway issues.

 

One of the lights on the MUGA is out.  Mr Howard will replace it and purchase 2 more bulbs to keep as spares.

 

The Clerk was asked to report the drain outside of 10 West Street again. 

 


HOTHFIELD PARISH COUNCIL

 

PLANNING APPLICATION RECORD

 

2015

DECEMBER 2015

 

15/01360/AS     Solar Panels at Oaklands Farm, Pluckley Road, Hothfield, Ashford, Kent TN26 1ER

Construction of a solar park to include the installation of solar panels, transformer

 housings, security fencing and cameras, landscaping and other associated works

 and cable route trench. Amended scheme to that approved under 14/00326/AS to

 include minor changes to overall site layout, change to dimensions of buildings

 and erection of 3 x stand-alone weather stations.

 Parish Council:  Support

                           

 

15/01468/AS     Units 1 - 3 Paddocks Farm, Bethersden Road, Hothfield, Kent  

                          Erection of building for steel fabrication and associated parking area 

Parish Council:  Support with the caveat that there should be no noise from the site between 7pm and 7am

 

                           

15/01453/AS     Waterfall Barn, Water Fall Road, Hothfield, Ashford, Kent TN26 1HX

                            Demolition and levelling of breeze block agricultural building lying within a

                            conservation area

Parish Council:  Support

 

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Last published ~ 2-02-2016  
 2015 Hothfield Parish Council