MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE LINTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE LINTON VILLAGE HALL, LINTON, ON MONDAY 19th JUNE 2006 COMMENCING AT 7.30pm
Councillor C. Baxter (Chairman), Councillors Mrs.M.Price, Mrs J.Sawyer, I.Firmin,G.Harrison and J.Whitmarsh
and Borough Councillor B.Mortimer and J.Williams
M.D.Stevens Parish Clerk
There were 6 members of the public in attendance
Apologies were received from Cty and Borough Councillors Mrs.P.Stockell and Borough Councillor A.Brindle and Parish Councillor J.Bridle.
2. MINUTES of the ANNUAL MEETING of the PARISH COUNCIL held on Monday
8th May 2006
The Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council were APPROVED and signed as a correct record by the Chairman.
MINUTES of the PARISH COUNCIL MEETING held on MONDAY 8th May 2006
The Clerk advised the meeting that an Item had been omitted in error from the Minutes. It related to Vicarage Field and should now be added as Item 11. A copy of the proposed wording had been circulated to all members
The Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 98h May 2006 with the addition of the above Item at appendix were APPROVED and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
3. MATTERS ARISING from the MINUTES of BOTH the above Meetings
Before taking the above item the Chairman invited PC Shaw to present his report. PC Shaw reported that since the Parish Council last met a car had been stolen form Linton Hill and there had recently been a theft of strawberries and damage to ‘poly tunnels’
He asked members of the public to be vigilant and to report anything unusual.
The Chairman asked PC Shaw to comment on the position of Police Community Support Officers as the Parish Council had now been circulated with further details including costs. PC Shaw indicated that he was aware of the correspondence that had recently been circulate from Insp Pankhurst and the earlier letter from Insp.Sandwell on the above and he knew that the recently letter was causing some concern. As the public was aware the Police Service in Kent was having to restructure and it was possible that the Community Police Officers as we now know them would be replaced by Police Community Support Officers They would work in each neighbourhood to a dedicated uniformed officer. He was unable to comment further or to throw any light on a number of questions, particularly related to how the PCO’s were to be funded.
There followed a general discussion on the whole issue which culminated in a decision that further information should be sought before the Parish Council would commit itself . The Chairman agreed to write to Inspector Pankhurst and to report back.
The Chairman thanked PC Shaw for his Report who left the meeting for other duties.
In the absence of Mr.S.Ellson, the Neighbourhood Watch Co-Ordinator there was no Neighbourhood Watch Report
There were no matters arising from the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council that were NOT covered elsewhere
The Clerk drew Members attention to the correspondence to and from Kent Highways re a number of Highway Matters which arose at the Annual Parish Meeting. A second response had not yet been received.
Members expressed their concern about the continued lack of progress and suggested that the Ann Widdecombe, the local Member of Parliament, should be sent the correspondence and her support sought.
Cllr Whitmarsh wondered if there was not a better approach to getting some action and agreed to draw up a detailed list of
‘jobs to be undertaken’ and to put them in some form of priority order which could the be approved and submitted to the KCC for action. The Chairman thanked Cllr.Whitmarsh and looked forward to seeing the list
The Clerk reported that he had been advised that there had been some vandalism on the Playground, a gate had been removed (now replaced) and some graffiti had been sprayed on the waste bin. The matter was being kept under review. A latch on one of the gates needed some attention and he would take appropriate action.
CAR PARK SECURITY
The Clerk advised the meeting that he had made application under the KCC Capital Fund and the KCC Members Community Grant for funding for a new CCTV System and the applications had been acknowledged. 100% funding had been applied for.
The Parish had also been advised that the new system could be linked to the MBC CCTV Control System via Broadband. Action was being taken concerning the installation of the Broadband Link the cost of which had been included in the bid. The running costs would probably have to be met by the Parish Council
Nothing further to report although it was known that TRAMP were taking some action. Borough Cllr.Williams advised that the order for the equipment had “now been placed” and that once it had arrived East Farleigh Parish Council would be arranging demonstrations and training for other Parishes.
GARAGES CORNWALLIS AVENUE
This matter was now in the hands of the Maidstone Housing Trust , Borough Cllr. Mortimer advised the meeting that he had recently been told that demolition of some of the garages would take place within 4 to 6 weeks.
4. DECLARATION OF MEMBERS INTERESTS
Cllr Mrs.Sawyer,I.Firmin and J.Whitmarsh declared an ongoing interest in the allotment gardens and stated that they had been granted dispensation. Cllr Whitmarsh advised that the dispensation had ‘run out of time’ and that it would be necessary to apply to MBC for renewal. The Clerk advised that it was the individual responsibility of those Councillors involved to make application for renewal.
5. COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC
The Chairman formally adjourned the meeting to hear comments from the public
Attention was again drawn to the hole in the footpath linking Cornwallis Avenue to the A229 , to various holes Wheelers Lane and the damage to the road sign and Waste Paper Bin at the top of Linton Hill. Cllr.Firmin was able to state that all matters had been reported and action was awaited.
Mrs Holt drew attention to need for the bank around the Playground to be strimmed more regularly as it was now getting overgrown. Recognising that there would be additional costs incurred the Parish Council asked the Clerk to arrange for additional cuts.
Mrs Holt also drew attention to a bank of nettles in the corner of the Playground and the Pear Orchard and the condition of the fence/hedge along the footway to the Playground. Cllr Firmin agreed to look into both matters and to deal as appropriate.
The Clerk also agreed to purchase new Signage for the Playground to replace the signs that had been damaged.
Mr.T.Figgins, Chairman of the Linton Village Hall Management Committee expressed his concern about the length of time it was taking to replace the telephone box outside the Village Hall. His concern was two fold, a) that it was the means by which users of the Village Hall contacted the Emergency Services and b) it was the only public telephone box in the Village.
He had been in contact with BT who were ‘looking into the matter’ rof replacement. The meeting was advised that the previous, now demolished box, was listed and would have to be replaced by one of a similar design.
Mr.Figgins agreed to let the Clerk have a BT contact number and he would try establish the current position.
There being no further comments from the public the Chairman resumed the Parish Council Meeting
6. FINANCIAL MATTERS
The Clerk advised the meeting that he had received the accounts back from the external auditor, Mr.S.Lowe and the Statement of Accounts and the Balance Sheet for the year ended 31st March 2006 had been circulated. Together with a breakdown of the General Administrative Costs, the monies spent on the Allotment Gardens and the Bank reconciliation at 31st March 2006 .The Clerk drew attention to the fact that there had been a surplus of £1333.99 on the year ..A balance of £3613 was being carried forward.
It was unanimously agreed that the accounts for the year ended 31st March 2006, as presented, should be APPROVED together with a vote of thanks to the External Auditor and the Responsible Finance Officer.
The Chairman signed the Accounts and the Annual Return for the District Audit which had also been previously circulated.
The Clerk reported that since the last meeting NO payments had been made.
Balance Brought Forward £7385.93
25.05.06 VAT Repayment 563.70
19.06.06 KPS Photocopying £19.98
KCPFAssn (Donation) 20.00
Kenward Trust 30.00
A.Firmin ( re Trees) 535.80
Viking (Office Supplies) 136.56
Stebbing (Notice Board) 1503.18
Balance Carried Forward £5704.11
Following a request made by Cllr.Mrs Sawyer Allotments Manager, for financial support towards the cost of laying additional slabs on the pathway at the Allotment Gardens it was agreed that a quote should be obtained and the matter brought to the next meeting of the Parish Council
Borough Councilor Mortimer advised the meeting that the Local Borough Members had a sum of money for distribution to help with ‘community projects’. He looked forward to receiving requests for consideration
7. PLANNING MATTERS
J.Baxter and Son, Westerhill Farm. Westerhill Road, Linton
Erection of a replacement of traditional barn destroyed by fire.
This application has been APPROVED
Southl;ands, Wheelers Lane. LINTON
Erection of a conservatory to the rear of the property
This application has been APPROVED
Northenden Cottages, 23. Linton Hill. LINTON
Erection of a two storey rear extension and conservatory storey side extension
This Application has been APPROVED
Toke Farm Egg Distribution
The Enforcement Officer has advised that following another site visit to Toke Farm there is no evidence of any egg packing business remaining. There was no a activity at all. The case is therefore closed.
Copies of the PLANNING ENFORCEMENT (The process explained) had been received from the MBC
The Clerk also advised the meeting that the “To Let” Board on the corner of Wheelers Lane had been reported to the MBC and was being investigated.
KENT AND MEDWAY STRUCTURE PLAN
Notice of intention to ADOPT the Kent and Medway Structure Plan had been received. The proposals will be adopted after 29th June 2006
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Copies of ‘Maidstone Planning Viewpoint’ ,issue dated 3rd May 2006, had been circulated. This newsletter is designed to keep members up-to-date on the Local Development Framework preparation.
SE REGIONAL PLAN
The Clerk drew members attention to the document prepared by Mrs.Randall-Webb which had been circulated and asked for comments. Members were very grateful for the document but felt that they required more time to consider the points made. It was agreed that the Chairman should arrange to meet Mrs.Randall-Webb on her return from holiday to discuss a possible way forward. Other members would be invited to join the meeting.
The matter would again be discussed at the July meeting of the Parish Council
The Clerk was asked to contact MBC for a copy of their response to the document
8. VILLAGE HALL
Cllr.Whitmarsh advised the meeting that a Grant had now been given for the double glazing of the windows on the eastern side of the Hall..Action would soon be taken to have the glazing fitted.
There had been NO meeting of the LVHMC since the last Parish Council Meeting
Attention was drawn to the doors at the entrance of the Hall which required attention.
Cllr Baxter stated that for a number of reasons he had taken NO action on the construction of a questionnaire on the Village Hall. He was however very aware of the comments in the press and the expectations that a questionnaire would be circulated
Mr.Figgins, Chairman of the LVHMC , in answer to a direct question, could see little point in the questionnaire and indicated that his committee did not wish to be consulted on the format of the questionnaire.
After a brief discussion Cllr Baxter agreed to draw up a questionnaire and to circulate it for discussion/comment at the next meeting of the Parish Council
9. MEMBERS REPORTS
No member had been able to attend the meeting which was again on the same night as the Parish Council Meeting.
Apologies had been sent
All the allotments were now full and there was a waiting list. The Allotment Rents were due for their annual review at the July meeting of the Parish Council
The Allotments Manager reported that one tenant was not using their Allotment Garden in keeping with the general understanding of what should be cultivated on an allotment garden. (eg vegetables, fruit, flowers etc). It was agreed that contact should be made with the tenant and the concern expressed together with a warning that the Tenancy Agreement, due for renewal in the autumn, may NOT be renewed.
Mrs Holt advised the meeting that the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme had set up a number of sub Committees to monitor particular areas. One had been set up for Play Areas and that she was a member.
There was nothing further to report.
Cllr. Firmin confirmed that he continued to be kept busy reporting a variety of problems to Kent Highways. The scheme continued to work well.
Cllr. Whitmarsh confirmed that the Parish Web Site was working well and had received a considerable amount of praise for its content and construction. He asked to be kept advised of events and activities in the Village which he would place on the Web Site.
The Clerk reported that he had received routine Committee Agendas and Minutes from the MBC with a series of 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 HOTFOOT summer 2006 Programme *received and distributed
KCC Information circulated on Kent Highway Services particularly the ‘report fault number’ 084582478000
Kent Highway Services Parish and Town Council briefing * Cllr. Firmin attending
Towards 2010 Consultation Document
Information about Doorstep Criminals Operation in your area…..* passed to Neighbourhood watch Co-Ordinator
Kent Police …… document from Chief Constable ; “Working with YOU to keep Kent safe” *copied and circulated
13. ANY OTHER BUSINESS NOT REQUIRING NOTICE
Correspondence had been received from TRAMP requesting Parish Councils to discuss speed restrictions in their own area and to inform Peter Rosevear at the KCC (copy to TRAMP) on the outcome of their discussion.
Copies of the TRAMP request together with details of the speed restriction, (Map and diagram) had been circulated to all members.
In opening the discussion the Chairman outlined his views and was concerned about the effect that the alteration of any speed restricted area might have. In his view there were wide implications. There then followed a lengthy discussion during which a number of options were explored relating to the extending of the 30mph zone on the A229/Linton Hill. On a proposition from Cllr Mrs Sawyer, seconded by Cllr Mrs Price there was general agreement that the Parish Council should advise Peter Rosevear that the 30mph zone be extended from Linton X Roads to just beyond Wheelers Lane and should include Wheelers Lane to a point just beyond Cornwallis Avenue.
Whilst agreeing in general there were strong concerns expressed by some members about the wider implications of the above decision and a recognition that a good argument could be made to extend a 30mph limit throughout any area which might be seen as ‘ribbon development.
The Clerk was asked to take the necessary action to inform the KCC and TRAMP
Letter from Boughton Monchelsea PC re speed limit on the B2163 Heath Road through the Village.
The Clerk advised the meeting that he had received a letter from Boughton Monchelsea PC requesting the support of the Linton PC for their campaign to obtain a 30mph speed limit for a section of the B2163 from Tilts House (nr Marlpit) to Linton X Road
At a meeting of the Joint Transportation Board in April it was agreed that KCC be instructed to promote a 30mph speed limit on the B2163 through the built up area of the Parish.. The Order is due to be advertised in August. Boughton Monchelsea PC have been arguing that the limit should commence at Linton X Roads to incorporate that section of the B2163 jointly in Loose and Linton Parishes which passes Cornwallis School and the new independent school so that they may derive benefit also from any reduced limit.
The Clerk advised members that as the request to restrict traffic speed on the B2163 was totally consistent with the views previously expressed by the Linton Parish Council in its responses to the agreed planning development at Cornwallis School and on the Fire Camp Site and views express through the South Maidstone Parishes Group on traffic speed on the B2163. He had written to Boughton Monchelsea PC indicating the Linton Parish Council would support the new limit when the Order is published.
In the light of the earlier discussion on the request from TRAMP the wisdom of the action taken by the Clerk was questioned by the Chairman, however it was recognised, and accepted, that with or without the support of the Linton PC the Order was likely to be accepted.
14. TIME AN DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Linton Village Hall on Monday 10th July 2006 commencing at 7.30pm
There being no further business the Chairman thanked all those present for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9.40 pm
Item 12 Any Other Business NOT requiring Notice
The Chairman advised the Parish Council that he had recently had an informal discussion with Mr.P.Firmin, who had advised him that consideration was again being given to the development of Vicarage Field. At this stage there were no plans drawn up nor was a Planning Application being considered in the near future; he was however advising the Parish Council of the position and had agreed to consult the Parish Council at an early stage prior to the submission of any Planning Applicatrion.
It was agreed to invite Mr.P.Firmin to make a presentation to the Parish Council when further detailed information was available.
Item 12 should now become Item 13