Minutes of a Meeting of the Parish Council held in the Linton Village Hall on Monday 11th September 2006 commencing at 7.30pm.
Cllrs. Mrs M.Price, Mrs J.Sawyer, J.Bridle I Firmin and J.Whitmarsh.
Borough Councillors A.Brindle, B.Mortimer and J.Williams
M.D.Stevens Parish Clerk
There were 18 members of the public in attendance
In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman, Cllr J.Whitmarsh assumed the role of Chairman. He welcomed everybody to the meeting especially Mr.P.Firmin and Mr.D.Hicken who were to make a presentation to the Parish Council on the possibility of developing Vicarage Field.
Apologies had been received from Parish Cllrs. C.Baxter and Harrison together with Cty Cllr. Mrs P.Stockell
2(i) MINUTES of the Parish Council meeting held on Monday 10th July 2006
The Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 10th July 2006 with the attached appendix were approved and signed by the vice Chairman.
2(ii) MINUTES of the SPECIAL Meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 7th August 2006
The Minutes of the SPECIAL Meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 7th August 2006 with the attached appendix were approved and signed by the Vice Chairman
Before taking Matters Arising the Vice Chairman invited PC.G.Shaw to give his report.
PC Shaw advised the meeting that since the last meeting of the Parish Council there had been 7 Crimes reported in the Parish:
1 Burglary from a house in Heath Rd
1 damage to a vehicle in Vanity Lane
1 theft of a ‘wacker plate’
4 thefts of copper.
He reminded members of the public to be vigilant and to report anything that they were suspicious about.
Attention was drawn to the meeting on 12th September 2006 at the Police Training School on Sutton Road when the new Police arrangements for Parishes would be outlined. He hoped that somebody would be able to attend.
The Vice Chairman thanked PC Shaw for his report and commended him for the work he had and was undertaking.
PC Shaw left the meeting for other duties
In the absence of the Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator there was no report
Cllr.Bridle agreed to speak to Mr.Elson to enquire what was happening.
3(i) MATTERS ARISING from the Minutes of 10th July 2006
Police Community Support Officers
The Clerk confirmed that the Police had called a meeting for Tuesday 12th September 2006 to advise Parishes of the present and future arrangements etc. as outlined by PC Shaw. The Chairman had been given the details but it was unknown if he was attending. Cllr.Whitmarsh agreed to speak to the Chairman and to try to attend.
Car Park Security
Nothing further to report
Telephone Box outside Village Hall
Nothing further to report. The Clerk was asked to write to BT to find out the current position, and to inform them that as the box is listed, they must replace it or we will initiate enforcement action.
New Notice Board, Wheelers Lane
This had now been installed. The old Notice Board had been refurbished and was due to be installed on the Allotment Gardens
*All other Matters Arising would be dealt with under different Agenda items 6,8 and 9
3(ii) MATTER ARISING from the Minutes of the SPECIAL Meeting
The Clerk reported that copies of the Minutes etc had been distributed to Members and sent to Cty Cllr Roger Manning as requested. He had heard nothing further from Cllr.Manning
*All other Matters Arising would be dealt with under Agenda Item 6 A229 Traffic Management.
4. DECLARATION OF MEMBERS INTERESTS
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.
5. PRESENTATION to the PARISH COUNCIL
The Vice Chairman invited Mr.P.Firmin and Mr.D.Hicken to present to the Parish Council their proposals for the development of Vicarage Field. He indicated that after the presentation he would adjourn the Parish Council Meeting to hear any comments from the public.
(Cllr.I.Firmin declared an interest in this matter)
Mr Paul Firmin reminded the meeting of the previous unsuccessful Planning Application some years ago and said that he now felt, as time and circumstances had ‘moved on’ that it was perhaps an opportunity once again to make a Planning Application for Housing on Vicarage Field. He was well aware of the housing needs in Rural Areas and he would wish to work with the Parish Council to see what could be achieved. He felt that the Village should gain some benefit from any development and was open to suggestions as to the type and volume of housing. At this point in time there were no plans and no time table, him coming to the Parish Council was very much the first step in, what he hoped would be a consultative process.
David Hicken, from Hicken Associates, the Planning Advisor to Firmins, drew members attention to Planning Polices of the MBC and pointed out the Vicarage Field had been identified as a possible site for housing in the Borough Plan and he was very aware of the opposition to this at the time. The Borough was now in the process of producing a new Local Development Framework and was about to consult on the Core Strategy Document. It was important therefore, if the Village felt the need that there was a need for some housing in the village; a small scale development of say affordable homes this information needed to be ‘fed in’ by the Parish Council during the consultation period. He encouraged the PC to undertake a ‘Housing needs survey’ which would indicate need, type of housing, time scale, density etc and would confirm if there was a need for a development of a modest nature… houses for local people.
Planning rules had changed and communities were now able to share in any Planning Gain usually as a result of Section 106 agreements. A minimum density of 14 houses per acre was required. This could be achieved as the development process unfolded and he hoped that all concerned could share information and work together to achieve the best for Linton.
The Chairman thanked Mr.Firmin and Mr Hicken for their statements and adjourned the Parish Council meeting to hear comments from the public. A number of comments were made, both for and against. There was some support for the idea that the Village needed low cost housing to attract and keep young people and their families in the Village. (The area of land identified was about 1-2 acres which would support a development of affordable housing at between 10 to 15 dwellings per acre.)
Concern was expressed about any additional traffic generation especially if the exit was onto the A229 which, it was acknowledged, was the obvious place. This was noted, as was the request for traffic calming measures.
The meeting was reminded very firmly about the Conservation Area and the need to preserve it at all costs, equally concern was expressed about the effect of any development on the local environment. The meeting was also reminded about the Public Footpath running along the northern boundary of the area and the removal of trees on a previous occasion.
The ongoing development along the A229 was also a concern… it would not be long before Linton was ‘joined to Maidstone’ and hence would cease to be a village.
Timing and time scales were also raised. In response David Hicken suggested that once it was agreed to proceed and what was required had been identified it would take up to three months to work up a scheme prior to a Planning Application being submitted.
As there were no further questions from the Public the Vice Chairmanresumed the Parish Council meeting and sought the views of the Councillors
There ware no major objections at this stage as to what was generally proposed and the concept of full consultation with the Parish Council was warmly welcomed.
Cllr Bridle felt that it was difficult to comment without something specific to look at and to comment about.. one or two schemes, some housing designs etc. This view was generally supported. It was felt that once members got a real feel of what was possible, other things (eg. Housing needs survey) could follow if appropriate.
It was agreed to ask David Hicken to draw up two or three schemes which the PC could look at and on which they could comment. This was seen as the next stage in the process. A direct request to Mr Hicken from the Vice Chairman received a positive response. NO time scale was identified.
The Vice Chairman thanked Mr.Firmin and Mr Hicken for their presentation and for responding to questions. The Parish Council looked forward to receiving further information in due course.
6. A229 Traffic Management
The Vice Chairman updated the Parish Council on the current position and drew members’ attention to the document “A229 TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT” which had bee circulated and which would be attached to these minutes with a copy of the Accident Statistics for the A229 (2001 to 2005). He brought Members ‘up to date’ on what progress had been made and the response to action taken under Item * Next Steps.
Following some general discussion to clarify a number of points it was agreed that the Report should be ADOPTED by the Parish Council and that reports should be made on progress, or lack of, at subsequent Parish Council Meetings.
The Vice Chairman advised the meeting that Dr.Coutts had agreed to become the co-ordinator of the Speedwatch Scheme. He had prepared a letter to be circulated in the Village explaining the Scheme and seeking volunteers to operate the equipment etc.
Cllr.Bridle reported that he had been in contact with East Farleigh PC concerning the possibility of borrowing/hiring their equipment. He had been clearly advised that their equipment WAS NOT available …. this was for a variety of reasons and was not in line with what he had been lead to believe. The equipment had been purchased with the help of a Grant from TRAMP (£1500) . East Farleigh had agreed to run a Pilot Scheme and to advise TRAMP on feasibility and other operational problems etc. This was awaited. TRAMP would then decide whether to purchase equipment or to Grant Aid parishes to buy their own equipment.
He had also been advised that a minimum of 30 volunteers would be required in order to make any scheme viable.
Clearly this was disappointing and it was prudent to await the Report however in the mean time it was agreed that the Village should be circulated to see how many volunteers came forward. The letter to be amended accordingly.
It was also agreed that contact should be made with Coxheath and Boughton Monchelsea to see if they would be interested in sharing a set of equipment and that contact should be made with Parishes, already operating the scheme ,to check on Insurance cover etc. and any pitfalls they may have experienced.
KAPC to be advised that Dr. Coutts is the Parish Speedwatch Co-Ordinator.
7. COMMENTS by the PUBLIC
The Chairman adjourned the meeting to hear comments from the public
There were no comments about SPEEDWATCH
The replacement of the Telephone Box outside the Village Hall was raised. The Clerk brought the meeting up to date and explained the conversations he had had with BT. A decision was awaited. He would however write again….. he now had a name!!
There being NO further comments the Chairman resumed the Parish Council Meeting.
8. FINANCIAL MATTERS
The Clerk reported that the District Audit had cleared the Accounts for year ended 31st March 2006. Details had been circulated. He wished to put on record his thanks to the external Auditor, Mr.S.Lowe.
Balance Brought Forward £6825.92
21.08.06 Local Members Grant 600.00
25.08.06 KCC Members Grant 750.00
07.08.06 KCC Landscape Services 297.57
R.J.Adams (Strimming) 185.00
KPS (Printing) 14.10
11.09.06 BTCV (Donation) 75.00
KPS (Printing) 16.92
Balance Carried Forward 7587.33
It was agreed to make a donation of £75 to the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers Tree Warden Scheme for the support and help given to the Village Tree Warden.
A letter of thanks had been received from the Maidstone CAB for the donation from the Parish Council
9. PLANNING MATTERS
a) The Clerk reported that there were no outstanding Planning Applications
b) Local Development Framework
The adopted version of the Sustainable Construction Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) Introduction and Part 1 – Using Water, had been received.
The Core Strategy Document would be available for consultation in October.
The Parish Council would need to comment on this
c) Kent and Medway Structure Plan
Details of a public consultation on Kent Waste Development Framework (WDF) Spatial Options Consultation
Kent Joint Municipal Waste Management Strategy (JMWMS) headline Strategy, had been received. It was noted that Linton was within the potential areas of search for Landfill
d) SE Regional Plan
Provision for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites
A copy of the consultation document had been received
Members were advised that the Clerk had been informed that the MBC Officers were recommending to Members that the Conditions attached to MA/03/2198 Kent Potato Company, Wheelers Lane, Linton be modified. This follows concern expressed by the Local Government Ombudsman relating to this Application.
The Clerk was seeking guidance from the Planning Dept., as to whether, in the circumstances, the PC should be consulted as opposed to being informed of the modification. An answer was awaited.
10. VILLAGE HALL
Cllr.Whitmarsh reported that there had not been a meeting of the Management Committee since the last meeting. The Chairman of the Linton Village Hall Management Committee, who was present at the meeting, advised that the Secondary Glazing was due to be fitted within two weeks and that bookings for the use of the Hall continued to be positive.
11. MEMBERS REPORTS
a) Allotment Gardens
Cllr.Mrs Sawyer reported that a Grant of £600 had been received from the local MBC Councillors and an estimate for laying most of the new path had been accepted. A number of additional paving slabs had been donated which would enable the path to be laid from the gate to the compost area by the northern boundary. The ground was too hard to be dug out for laying the path.
Mid Kent Water has replaced the Water Meter and, at their request, the existing taps have been replaced with two bib taps with double check valves as a Health and Safety measure to prevent water contamination.
The Open Afternoon on Sunday 3rd September was well attended and enjoyed by all including a prospective plot holder. There are now two people on the waiting list.
Some allotments have recently become somewhat neglected so as the Allotments Manager she has been checking with the tenants to see if they wish to renew their tenancy agreements or reduce the size of their plots. A reply is awaited re Plot 13, which was rotavated in the spring and has not been cultivated since. All other plot holders approached wish to continue.
Attention was drawn to a photographic record of the Allotments Gardens being complied by David Sendles
The Vice Chairman thanked Cllr.Mrs Sawyer for her report.
Parish Council News No.318 had been circulated. Cllr Mrs Sawyer indicated that there had not been a meeting of the Maidstone Branch. The Clerk was asked to advise KAPC of the details of the SPEEDWATCH Co-ordinator.
c) Children’s Playground
The Clerk reported that the external inspections continued to show that the Playground was in good order.
Cllr Bridle advised the meeting that the next meeting of TRAMP was being held on Wednesday 13th September 2006. As he would be away he would not be able to attend. A meeting with KCC Officers and Cty.Cllr K Ferrin, to discuss Speed Limits and HGV Movements had been called for 20th September 2006.
e) Parish Lengthsman
Apart from the ongoing saga of ‘holes in Wheelers Lane’ Cllr.Firmin had nothing to report.
f) Web Master
Cllr. Whitmarsh reported that the Web Site was updated at regulat intervals and the Minutes and Agendas of PC meetings were placed on the site.
The Clerk reported that he had received routine Committee Agendaa 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 November 2006 had been circulated
A copy of the Town Centre Guide for Disabled people had been received
The MBC’s latest Flood Plan
A reminder about what action needed to be taken re road closures for
Review of the Parks and Open Spaces Byelaws. * action taken
KCC Clean Kent Campaign details
Youth Opportunities Fund
Youth Capital Fund
Details of the external funding team
Kent Trials *circulated
Rural Revival leaflet
Kent Police Merger update Newsletter *circulated
Policing in Kent 2006/2009
KCPlFAssn. Summer 2006 newsletter.
defra Rural services review *copies for members applied for
EnCams A guide for Parish Councils on the law relating to litter, dog fouling, waste, fly tipping, nuisance and abandoned vehicles, flyposting, graffiti and other relevant anti-social behaviour legislation.
13. ANY OTHER BUSINESS NOT REQUIRING NOTICE
Borough Councillor Brindle reminded the PC of the need to respond to the Local Development Framework Core strategy document when it was available for consultation in early October. This was a key document which would ‘set the scene’ for many years to come.
The MBC had just been given a new By-Law which covered a variety of matters from street vending to car sales. On a request from the Clerk he agreed to ask for the details to be circulated to Parishes.
14. TIME and DATE of NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Linton Parish Council would be held in the Linton Village Hall on Monday 13th November 2006 commencing at 7.30pm
There being no further business the Chairman thanked all those present for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9.25 pm