MINUTES 166 Page 762
Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting
held at The Bluebell Centre, Hothfield,
on Wednesday 5 July 2017 at 7.00 pm
Mr D Parker, Mrs S Parker, Mrs P Sutcliffe, Mr M Cook, Mr P Fothergill, Mr P Howard and Mr R Libbeter
|PARISH CLERK:||Mrs J Batt|
|BOROUGH COUNCILLOR:||Mr L Krause for part of the meeting|
|MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC:
There was one Member of the Public present.
1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
An Apology for Absence was received from Mr I Lloyd (previous commitment).
2. DECLARATIONS OF PECUNIARY AND SIGNIFICANT INTEREST
Declarations of Pecuniary Interest
There were no Declarations of Pecuniary Interest.
Declarations of Significant Interest.
There were no Declarations of Significant Interest.
To note the granting of any Requests for Dispensations and the decision
No such applications received.
i) Updating of Declarations of Interest
Councillors were reminded to update their Declarations of Interest with the Monitoring Officer if necessary.
3. PUBLIC INTERVAL
The meeting was opened to the members of the Public present from 7.03 – 7.05 during which time various issues relating to the parish were discussed.
4. ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
Prior to Acceptance of the Minutes, Councillor Krause, who did not attend the June 2017 meeting, said he had a number of questions to raise about the June minutes.
Firstly, he said he was offended by the fact that under the “Apologies for Absence” heading, even though he had not sent apologies in advance of the meeting, the minutes stated an apology for his absence had not been received. Cllr Krause also complained that he had received the agenda/ date for the June meeting a week prior to the meeting.
The Chairman dismissed his objections and added that dates for all parish council meetings in 2017 were set out in January 2017 and with the exception of January itself, have been set for the first Wednesday of each month at 7pm and have been shown on the parish website since January 2017, the existence of which Cllr Krause should have been aware.
Cllr Krause then asked to know what were the details under the heading “ABC re Parking in Chapel Row”, which related to a letter the parish clerk received towards the end of May 2017 from ABC about its intentions to restrict parking on the corners of this road with Maidstone Road and seeking very short notice feedback from the parish council. The Chairman reminded Cllr Krause he had sent an email to all parish councillors, including Cllr Krause about this matter on 29th May 2017.
Following this, Cllr Krause then asked about the heading “ABC Open Space Strategy – Update of Parishes Public Open Space Information”. This was another short notice letter from ABC at the end of May asking for confirmation of Hothfield’s existing open spaces and simply required the parish council to confirm the details provided were correct. Again, the Chairman reminded Cllr Krause he had sent an email to all parish councillors, including him, about this matter on 29th May 2017.
Cllr Krause then opined that Hothfield parish council was failing to meet Transparency requirements by not placing ABC’s Open Space Strategy on the parish website and similarly not placing the documentation received from ABC about the Chapel Row parking restrictions and Open Space questionnaire on the parish website. The Chairman pointed out to Cllr Krause that the Open Space Strategy belongs to ABC and is posted on ABC’s own website, which is the appropriate place for it and there is no requirement to place correspondence or questionnaires on parish websites, (which is corroborated by the Department for Communities & Local Government December 2014 “Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities” document, which was issued to all parish councillors, including Cllr Krause, earlier this year and which has also been subsequently confirmed by the Ashford Secretary of the Kent Association of Local Councils).
Next, Cllr Krause said under the heading “Update following Annual Residents Meeting”, he had received a query from a resident asking why the Chairman was threatening to cancel the 2018 Annual Parish Meeting? The Chairman informed Cllr Krause that self-evidently, his comments related to the Annual Residents Meeting and not the Annual Parish Meeting.
Cllr Krause seemed reluctant to accept this answer, so the Chairman pointed out the differences between the two meetings and also reminded Cllr Krause that in the May Hothfield Newsletter, he wrote a lengthy article about the differences of the three meetings held in May (Annual Parish Meeting, Annual Parish Council Meeting and Annual Residents Meeting).
Having addressed Cllr Krause’s issues, Minutes 165 of the meeting held on 7 June 2017
were accepted and it was unanimously agreed that Mr Parker should sign them.
Proposed: Mr Cook Seconded: Mr Libbeter
Councillors took Mr Krause’s Borough Councillor’s report at this point, after which he left the meeting. Minuted under item 7 to correspond with the agenda.
5. MATTERS FOR REPORT ARISING FROM THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
The Clerk will email Lisa Willoughby regarding the repairs needed to the fence.
Mr Parker is due to meet with officers from Kent Highways Department, Mrs Drury, Chair of Westwell Parish Council, our KCC Councillor, Mr Simkins and our ABC Ward Member, Larry Krause, on 17 July to discuss lorry parking along the A20 from Charing to Ashford.
Bank Balance per Cash Book Balance at Bank
Accounts to be Paid
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 £9.00.
Proposed Mr Libbeter Seconded Mr Howard
Refund of VAT from Broadband Project
HMRC has written and said that we can either reduce the amount of our next claim by £2960 or alternatively we can send a cheque for the overpayment.
Councillors agreed to pay the cheque from Openreach into the account and draw a cheque in favour of HMRC.
Nothing new to discuss.
Additional Agenda item – Squad 26
Councillors unanimously ratified the following:-
Young Kent’s supporting role with the club
Councillors unanimously agreed to transfer £465.19 from the Youth Account into the
Parish Council’s account to cover the start-up costs of the club.
An error has been noted in the Financial Regulations. It should read
Under £3000 one quote to be invited
£3000 - £4000 two quotes to be invited
Over £4000 Three quotes to be invited
CORRESPONDENCE AND GENERAL COUNCIL BUSINESS
The Local Government Boundary Commission for England
Clerk and Councils Direct
ABC Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee
KALC re meeting to discuss Open Letter to Secretary of State for Housing
Memorial Post Box
Mr Krause will speak to officers at ABC to try and establish ownership of this piece of land.
Draft Local Plan
ABC is currently consulting on a number of ‘Main Changes’ to the Draft Local Plan for Ashford Borough, which sets out the land that needs to be provided to accommodate new homes and jobs up to 2030. The changes include new and amended housing site allocations.
A Public Exhibition is being held by ABC on 21 July between 4pm and 7pm in the Village Hall at which officers from ABC will be available to discuss the plan. This is to be shared with Westwell and councillors would like to collaborate with Westwell regarding certain areas of the plan.
Mr Parker asked as many councillors as possible to attend, and reiterated that they will not be able to discuss any sites that they have an interest in. He also asked them to start to form a view as to the council’s response in respect of the A20 Corridor site near the Holiday Inn Hotel, which will be formulated at the August meeting. Although Hothfield is likely to have new housing built, the council would like to be able to be involved in determining the mix of housing in the village.
The consultation portal is due to go live on 7 July to enable members of the public to submit their comments and will close on 31 August 2017.
Mr Parker will ask the officers from ABC to provide forms for residents, who may not have internet access, to fill in and to take the comment box back to the Civic Centre with them at the end of the evening.
Interactive Speed Signs
Mrs Sutcliffe reported that she had spoken to an officer from KHS regarding the fact that the price of the signs provided by them is considerably higher than those of outside companies.
The officer from KHS said that, although this appeared to be the case, in his experience these prices are only for the sign and do not include delivery and installation etc. KHS’s contract price estimate includes all costs plus ongoing maintenance.
If the Parish Council installs a sign which is not approved by KHS it will be removed.
This will be discussed again at the August meeting once councillors have had chance to review our finances and enquiries have been made regarding possible grant funding.
The Fete made a profit of £517 which will be donated to the Kent and Sussex Air Ambulance.
Mr Cook thanked the Mayor, on behalf of the Parish Council, for opening the Fete.
Update on Drainage Issues in the Village
An officer from KHS reported that someone has carried out some patching work which has damaged the surface water pipe. KHS currently investigating who has done this and will get it repaired. The underground pipe is now working.
The Water coming from the bank of Thanet Terrace is due to a buried, unrecorded, manhole cover which sits on the surface water carrier line and was full of spoil and therefore blocked. KHS has cleaned and jetted the whole carrier line and the gully that connects to it and hope that the problem has now been solved.
The water leak outside High House has still not been attended to and will be reported again.
7. BOROUGH COUNCILLORS REPORT – GIVEN AFTER ITEM 4
Cllr Krause referred to the comments in the June minutes which stated the parish council wanted him to take up the issue of parking difficulties with ABC Parking Services (and where the original request to do so was recorded in the February 2017 minutes.
Cllr Krause did not comment on whether he had, in fact, held any discussions with ABC Parking Services since the original request by the parish council back in February 2017. However, he did repeat the view he expressed at the Annual Residents Meeting on 6th May, that Hothfield Parish Council should consider paying for residents’ kerbs to be dropped, so they may park in their front gardens and alleviate the parking problems in the roads. The Chairman responded this was a completely unrealistic suggestion and financially impossible and something that Cllr Krause must appreciate, given he has been a Hothfield parish councillor for many years and also a recent Chairman of Hothfield Parish Council.
Please see attached list.
FORUM FOR EXCHANGE BETWEEN COUNCILLORS
Sk8side are now working with young people in Hothfield on Tuesday evenings.
The Village Hall Committee needs new members.
The road in Plantation Close is subsiding. This will be reported to KHS.
The warning sign on the double bend just before Rippers Cross is facing the wrong way.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.05 pm.
PLANNING APPLICATION RECORD
17/00898/AS Land rear of 25 The Street, Hothfield, Ashford, Kent
Construction of a new single dwelling, garage and associated landscaping
(revision to relocation of dwelling by 1.5m as approved under 16/00458/AS)
Parish Council: Support
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