10 September 2007 – Parish Council Meeting

Minutes of a Meeting of the Parish Council held in the Linton Village Hall on Monday 10thSeptember 2007 commencing at 7.30pm.


 Cllr C.Baxter (Chairman) Cllrs. J.Bridle I Firmin,G. Harrison
Borough Councillors B.Mortimer and C Parr
Cty Cllr Mrs. P.Stockell
Speedwatch Co-Ordinator Dr.M.Coutts
PCSO Hannah Percival
M.D.Stevens    Parish Clerk
There were no members of the public in attendance
Apologies were received from Parish Cllrs MrsJ.Sawyer, Mrs.M.Price and J.Whitmarsh (on Holiday)                     
2   MINUTES of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 23rd July 2007
The Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 23rd July 2007 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
Before taking Matters Arising the Chairman invited PCSO Hannah Percival to give her report.
PCSO Percival advised the meeting that since the last meeting of the Parish Council there had been 7 Crimes reported in the Parish:-
1 theft of a Motor Vehicle
1 theft or attempted thefts from a Motor Vehicle
3 burglaries/attempted burglaries other than a dwelling with attempt to steal
1 burglary other than a dwelling …theft
1 criminal damage
She reminded members of the public to be vigilant and to report anything that they were suspicious about. Regular visits had been made to the Car Park and direct contact had been made with those who were causing the problems. She would continue to monitor the situation.
PCSO Percival sought further guidance on the “Partners and the Community Together” initiative, details
of which had bee circulated previously,and wondered if it was appropriate for Linton given the active Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, the seemingly well established networks in the village and the close liaison between Councillors and the Community Police Officer, PC Shaw.The general view was that as there was little to be gained in undertaking a Survey no further action should be taken for the time being and that Kent Police should be informed accordingly.
The Clerk agreed to circulate contact details for PCSO H.Percival
The Chairman thanked PCSO Percival for her contribution and she left the meeting for other duties
Neighbourhood Watch
In the absence of the Cllr Whitmarsh there was no Report available. The Clerk advised the meeting that regular ‘updates’ were placed on the Notice Board in Wheelers Lane. A Co-Ordinator was still being sought
3 MATTERS ARISING from the Minutes of 23rd July 2007
Car Park Security
The Clerk reported that this was continuing to cause difficulty as he could not get a response from MBC However in the last day or two he had been advised that a Contractor would ‘get in touch’ This was awaited!!
Adoption of Local Authorities Code of Conduct.
This process was now complete the; Public Notice appearing in The Downs Mail (South and Weald Edition) of August 2007
Kent International Gateway.
Action had been taken as identified in the Minutes of 23rd July 2007
Coxheath Traffic Caliming
Nothing further to report
Park and Ride     Coombe Quarry Park.
The Clerk reported that the Chairman had added his name to a letter from the South Maidstone Parishes expressing their concern at the loss of the Park and Ride at Coombe Quarry Park and the deplorable way the action had been taken by the members of the Borough Council.
Overgrown Hedges …. Westerhill and Wheelers Lane.
The Clerk reported that he had written to the occupiers of the premises drawing their attention to their overgrown hedges and appropriate action had been taken.
Web site address
The Clerk confirmed that Linton PC now owned the following address http://lintonkent.org qnd it is now operative. The Chairman thanked Cllr. Whitmarsh for making the necessary arrangements
Periwinkle Bank.
Cllr Firmin advised the meeting that he was working with Cllr.Whitmarsh ( with his Village Hall hat on) in seeking a grant from the Phillips Fund towards the cost of refurbishing Periwinklle Bank. The Phililips Fund was a charitable fund with the aim of protecting, conserving and enhancing the use and character of Kent’s rural landscape and communities. He would keep members advised of progress.
Bottle Bank
There was no further information available
The Clerk reported that Cllrs Mrs.Sawyer, I.Firmin and J.Whitmarsh had been granted dispensation in relation to their ongoing interest in the Allotment Gardens in Wheelers Lane.
In the absence of Cllr. Whitmarsh there was no formal report, however it had been confirmed that the Interactive Sign is to be included in the 2008/09 programme.
The outstanding work on the sign at Butt Green Lane re the warning is to be done. A detailed design for a roundabout at Linton Cross roads is to be prepared and the scheme will compete for funding from the 2008/09 LTP funds.
We have also been informed that the team dealing with Speed Limit Reviews is aware that LPC wish to be consulted and to provide an input
It was also understood that discussions were soon to take place about the developments at Cornwallis School and that the comments made by the LPC will be taken into account. It is likely that a Transport Assessment will be required.
Concern was expressed about the long delays being experienced at the top of Linton Hill due to the replacement of the Gas Main. There was a long single line working controlled by traffic lights which were NOT working in sequence with the lights at Linton Cross Roads. This regularly caused the junction to block causing a ‘knock on’ effect into the road works. The Clerk agreed to raise this with Kent Highways as a matter of urgency.
It was also pointed out that even though the A229 was a main arterial route there were long periods (week-ends etc) when no work was being undertaken. The Clerk agreed to raise this with Kent Highways.
Cllr Firmin advised that Westerhill was due to be resurfaced in November 2007.
The Clerk reported that in the Capital Works Programme it was being proposed to strengthen various sections of Loddington Lane at a cost of £75,750 and that Traffic Calming work in Coxheath would restart later this month.
The Clerk reported that following the last meeting there had been a discussion between Dr.Coutts and Cllr Whitmarsh and it had been agreed that the necessary equipment should be purchased which was subsequently done. The Linton Equipment was now fully operational and in use. The cost of renting the previous equipment from Staplehurst PC had been cleared.
Dr.Coutts gave a brief resume of the work that had already been undertaken and some indication of the results….. to date everything was going well and was proving successful. Time would however tell. He thanked those who had volunteered to undertake the work and sought further volunteers and was seeking further training sessions from the Police as and when they were available.
The Parish Council were thanked for purchasing the equipment. The Chairman thanked Dr.Coutts for his contribution and congratulated him on his success in getting ‘Speedwatch Linton’ underway
The Chairman adjourned the meeting to hear comments from the public
There were no comments by the public
There being NO further comments the Chairman resumed the Parish Council Meeting.
The Clerk reported that the District Audit had cleared the Accounts for year ended 31st March 2007. Details had been circulated. He wished to put on record his thanks to the external Auditor, Mr.S.Lowe.
Balance Brought Forward                             £13343.11
03.07.07 Notice Board Contribution                   150.00
30.07.07          Chippings   (Strimming)              92.50
                       J.Whitmarsh re Domaine             25.00
09.08.07          KPS (printing)                            50.92
                      UNIPAR (Soeedwatch)             2312.41
                      Staplehurst PC (Rent)                150.00
                      M,.D.Stevens (Ink)                      41.97
22.08.07          Downs Mail                               68.11
10.09.07          M.Brooker (Maintenance)          252.00
                      CAB (Donation)                          30.00
Balance Carried Forward                              10470.20 
It was agreed to make a donation of £30 to the Maidstone Citizens Advice Bureau.
4,Cornwallis Cottages,
Heath Road,
Erection of a two storey side and rear extension.
Not yet determined…. Recommendation by MBC Officers is to REFUSE
MA/07/0933 and 0944
The Bull Inn,
Linton Hill,
Application for the construction of a timber Framed garden Structure.
This Application has been APPROVED
Park Avenue,
Extension at first floor level to provide additional living accommodation
This Application has been APPROVED
Heath Road,
Construction of a two storey side extension
Not yet determined
Land Adj. to Stone House
Heath Road,
Change of use of land etc
Not yet determined. No further information available.
The meeting was advised that it was likely to be on the Agenda of the next Planning Committee.
The Clerk would advise members.
MA/07/1560    *****
Alan Firmin Ltd,
Wares Farm.
Redwall Lane,
Change of use of land for the stationing of seasonal and general agricultural workers caravans etc
The PC recommended to the MBC that this application be APPROVED
Not yet determined
MA/07/1613      *****
Alan Firmin Ltd.,
Wares Farm,
Redwall Lane,
Erection of permanent polytunnels for the provision of tabletop strawberry production.
Currently on Circulation. The Chairman had spoken to the Applicant and a Site Meeting was to be arranged
***** Cllr.I.Firmin was not consulted on either of these Applications
Copies of a letter from the CPRE Kent re the above Planning Applications have been circulated .
8b Local Development Framework.
The summary of All representations and Key Themes to the LDF Core Strategy Preferred Options Consultation had been received. MBC Members had however decided that the timetable for the preparation of the Core Strategy be extended to enable a further round of evidence gathering and public consultation with a view to submitting a Draft Core Strategy in December 2008
The evidence gathering and assessment for the Core Strategy to consider whether the land, the subject of the inter-modal freight depot proposal (KIG) is accommodated or not for that purpose.
The Clerk had written to the MBC seeking details of the further consultation process and enquiring if the Housing and Land Allocations Document would also be delayed. A response was awaited…. it was likely however that the Public Consultations would start in May 2008
8c Kent and Medway Structure Plan
Nothing further to report
8d South East Regional Plan
The Panel Report on the Regional Spatial Strategy for the South East (The South East Plan) had been received in CD Format which was available.
It was understood that some changes could be expected mainly moving more of the responsibility towards Central Government particularly in the areas of Planning.
8e Vicarage Field
The Chairman reported that a very useful Site Meeting had been held between the PC, Firmin’s and David Hicken, and although Cllrs Harrison and Bridle had not been present. E-mails had been received from Cllrs Sawyer and Whitmarsh asking for Vicarage Field not to be discussed. [NOTE: The Chairman has subsequently accepted that this minute is inaccurate. Cllrs Sawyer & Whitmarsh had in fact requested only that no committal decisions should be made in their absence. For an apology and correction, see minutes of meeting of 12 November 2007] The Chairman suggested that, as the site meeting concluded a public discussion should take place, that, if those not present at the site meeting agreed, the PC should do little that evening but set a date. A number of suggestions, that could be positive for Linton, were made at the Site Meeting which Mr Hicken agreed to consider and build into a revised proposal that he would send to the Chairman. This had now been received. The Chairman outlined briefly, some of the contents of the letter which spelt out what was possible and the constraints that needed to be acknowledged. It was a very helpful response incorporating the suggestions made at the Site Meeting. In keeping with the discussions at that meeting, to consult the Village on the possible development of Vicarage Field at a very early stage, he proposed that a Public Meeting should be held to explain and explore all the possibilities and to hear from the village their views. The Clerk pointed out that id a date was not set that evening it would not be practical to have a meeting until sometime in 2008. This was agreed.
It was also proposed, for practical reasons to hold the Public Meeting on the same day as, but before, he next Parish Council Meeting ie. MONDAY 12th November 2007 commencing at 7pm.
This was agreed. The Clerk was asked to take the necessary action.
8f. Appraisal of the Linton Conservation Area.
The Clerk reported that he had ‘picked up’ this Appraisal from a Report to the MBC Cabinet Member for Regeneration. The Parish Council had not and still has not been informed that the re-appraisal is to take place and assumes that it will be consulted. The actual reason for the Appraisal at this point in time is NOT known
Copies of the Report have been circulated to PC Members. Further details are awaited.
8g Letter from MBC re Development Control
Attention was drawn to the letter and the content of the letter from MBC dated 4th September 2007 circulated in full to Councillors and to the attached Press Cutting from the KM.
The letter was received , the Chairman indicating that the PC may well come back to its contents when members had had time to consider the implications.
There was no report from the Village Hall.
a) Allotment Gardens
The owners of problem plots 6 and 6a have been written to as discussed at the last PC Meeting. Neither tenant has complied with conditions within the period of notice so their tenancies will NOT be renewed. The Plots have been re-let.
The deadline on Plot 7 for putting it back in good order is 13th September 2007 so the outcome is not yet known. All the other plots are under cultivation and there is still a healthy waiting list. The Tenancy Agreements for the 2007/08 Season will be issued later this month reflecting the increase in costs to £2.50 per head
The OPEN AFTERNOON will be held between 3 and 5pm on SATURDAY 22nd September 2007. It has been widely advertised. Members of the Parish Council are very welcome to attend.
(Report presented in the absence of, but prepared by, Cllr .Mrs.Sawyer)
Parish Council News No.326 had been circulated.
Cllr.Mrs sawyer submitted the following Report.
“ I was unable to go to the last meeting in Maidstone which clashed with the PC Meeting on 23rd July 2007. No Minutes gave yet been received.
The KAPC held a Training Day on the Revised Code of Conduct which I attended on 28th July. The main focus was on the definitions of personal and prejudicial interest and how they differ. I have a print out of the power point presentation which members are welcome to copy. There was particular emphasis on the importance of Parishes adopting para 12(2)*. An interesting Training DVD was shown, highlighting the pitfalls of undeclared interests, bullying and the role of the Monitoring Officer.
The KAPG AGM will be on 10th November 2007”
c) Children’s Playground
The Clerk reported that he had still not had a response to his correspondence seeking what had happened to the Playground Funding for 2007/08. He was pressing for an answer.
It was now necessary to have some repairs undertaken as a matter of urgency and he had set the wheels in motion to get the work done. There would be a cost involved.
Cllr Bridle advised the meeting that at the last meeting of TRAMP the Speed Limit Review was discussed (details of which have been distributed0 and gave a brief resume of the meeting
e) Web Master
See earlier comments.
Nothing to report
The Clerk reported that he had received routine Committee Agendas and Minutes from the MBC together with the routine Press releases copies of which were available on request. Relevant documents and copies of correspondence had been circulated to Members as appropriate. Attention was drawn to the following:-
MBC   Details of the freighter service until December 2007   * circulated
         Review of Polling Districts Polling Places and Polling Stations   *response sent to MBC
         Annual Report
KCC   Annual Plan + DVD
         Explore Kent Guide *circulated
Kent Fire and Rescue    re Smoke Alarms *circulated
Kent Police    Policing in Kent *circulated
Environment Agency   a better place to be    Buelt Valley project
The Clerk advised members that he was in contact with the Land registry at Tunbridge Wells re the ownership of Perriwinkle Bank. He was now aware that the area was covered by three different freeholds the details of which he was seeking. There was a section of land to the south which was not registered and he was seeking the necessary documents to register it in the name of the PC. He would keep members advised
The next meeting of the Linton Parish Council would be held in the Linton Village Hall on Monday 12th November 2007 commencing at 7.30pm
There being no further business the Chairman thanked all those present for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9.10pm