25 June 2007 – Parish Council Meeting

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE LINTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE LINTON  VILLAGE  HALL, LINTON, ON MONDAY 25th June 2007  COMMENCING AT 7.30pm

PRESENT

Councillor C Baxter (Chairman), Councillors Mrs M Price, Mrs J Sawyer, J Bridle, I Firmin and J.Whitmarsh

Borough Councillors A Brindle, C Parr  and  Cty Cllr Mrs P Stockell

M.D.Stevens   Parish Clerk  There were 4 members of the public in attendance

1.   APOLOGIES

Apologies were received from Cllr G Harrison and Borough Councillor B Mortimer.

Before opening the Meeting the Chairman signed his DECLARATION of OFFICE
The Chairman thanked Cllr. Whitmarsh,( vice Chairman), for Chairing the last meeting in his unavoidable absence.

2.   MINUTES of the ANNUAL MEETING of the PARISH COUNCIL held on Monday
14th May 2007

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 14th May 2007

The Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 14th may 2007were 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 welcomed Police Community Support Officer Hannah Percival to her first meeting and wished her well in her new role. PCSO Percival thanked the Chairmen for his warm welcome and reported that there had been no crimes reported in Linton since the last meeting. She hoped to establish a good working relationship with the Parish Council and with Linton generally and hoped that people would contact her if there were problems. She was aware of the difficulties being experienced on the Car Park and indicated that she would ‘see what could be done’. The Chairman thanked PCSO Percival who left the meeting for other duties.
It was agreed to make a recommendation re PC.Shaw. (Chairman to deal)

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
Cllr Whitmarsh reported that he had still not been able to find a volunteer to act as co-ordinator  and currently he was covering the duties. The Notice Board in Wheelers Lane had been updated with the latest news
He again asked if anybody was prepared to undertake the duties of the co-ordinator for the Village to contact him.

CAR PARK
The Clerk reported that he had been in touch with the Maidstone CCTV Co-ordinator and was awaiting a reply from the Contractor. He would follow this up over the next few weeks. lthough there was still a problem on the Car Park it seemed to have lessened.

COXHEATH TRAFFIC CALMING
The Chairman advised the meeting that he had received a response from the Chairman at Coxheath  in response to his letter. To say the least the response was disappointing and did not fully address the matters raise in his letter.

There then followed a general discussion on the Scheme which clearly indicated a considerable amount of dissatisfaction on what had already been implemented and what was proposed. There was a delay in completing the Scheme due to the need for the Water Board to install a new main into the Hospital Development. Cllr Parr, who is also a Coxheath Parish Councillor, explained the background to and  reasoning behind the Scheme and acknowledged that there were problems and things had not gone as well as anticipated. Following a number of clearly expressed concerns a site meeting with KCC Road Engineers had taken place as a result of which some minor changes might be undertaken …. The Scheme however would NOT be stopped and would be fully implemented asap. Once fully operational a review would take place at about 4 to 6 weeks and a Report prepared.
It had been reported that there was an increasing amount of traffic using the ‘feeder lanes’ onto Heath Road in order to avoid the Traffic Calming measures in Coxheath. To check this out a Traffic Census was to take place.

The Chairman thanked Cllr. Parr for his helpful contribution and expressed the view that, unfortunately there seemed little could be done until the Scheme was fully implemented.
There were those who were not convinced with what they had seen ‘so far’ as they considered it to be dangerous and would be watching carefully to see what happened when the Scheme was fully implemented.

BOTTLE BANK
It was understood that  the Landlord at the Bull Inn had indicated informally that he would consider a Bottle Bank on the Car Park. The Clerk was asked to advise the MBC

PARISH BOUNDARY MARKERS
Cllr Whitmarsh reported that following the publicity on the above he now had the names of several volunteers who wished to help with the project. He would get underway over the next few weeks and keep the Parish Council advised on progress.

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.

5.  A229 TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

Cllr. Whitmarsh reported that he had now ‘taken stock’ on progress etc that had been made;

The following had been achieved:
a)  new illuminated 30mph signs and ‘Please Drive Carefully’ signs
b) 30mph and 40mph repeater signs at regular intervals
c) refurbishment of red rumble strips at 30mph limit gateways.
d) speed limit roundels, 30mph and 40mph painted on road
e) six yellow ’Bus Stop’ markings painted on road
f) Speedwatch Scheme …. Co-ordinator appointed, equipment located and volunteers found

The following were still in progress:
a) install and additional interactive sign at the northern end of the 30mph limit area (Committed)
b) relocate junction sign at But Green Lane Junction and cut back foliage  (Committed)
c) case in favour of a roundabout at Linton Crossroads to be re-evaluated
d) extend 30mph limit area on A229 and Wheelers Lane – to be evaluated.

Recently Rejected
Double white lining in 30mph areas
Lighting Wheelers Lane junction
“Hidden Junction” sign at Butt Green Lane junction.

It was disappointing that the above had been rejected particularly the lighting of the Junction at Wheelers Lane  however  a lot of progress had been made and it was  now necessary to monitor the situation and keep up the pressure.

The Chairman thanked Cllr.Whitmarsh for all his hard work on this matter, considerable progress had been made and the Parish Council must not let the outstanding issues disappear.

ii) SPEEDWATCH
The Clerk reported that he had now Insured any equipment that might be borrowed from Staplehurst to a value of £2000 as requested. The Insurance Policy had been endorsed accordingly.

He had also obtained the cost of purchasing the necessary equipment which was in the order of £2000 and was readily available. Members were reminded that the Parish Council had
Secured a Grant of £2000 towards the cost of the equipment.

Arrangements had now been made to borrow the necessary equipment from Staplehurst Parish Council for use on a number of occasions in July and early August.
03.06.07
Dr Coutts , the Speedwatch Co-ordinator, had made the necessary arrangements and arranged the programme of action. A report would be made to a later meeting of the Parish Council and a decision taken on whether to purchase the equipment. The rent of £30 per session for  hiring  the equipment from Staplehurst PC  was agreed.

6   ADOPTION of the LOCAL AUTHORITIES (Model Code of Conduct) Order 2007 for Parish and Town Councils

Parish Councillors were reminded of the details sent to them under a separate cover and the requirement to ADOPT the new Code of Conduct as soon as possible including paragraph 12(2) which would allow those with prejudicial interests to address meetings of the Council before withdrawing.
On a proposal from Cllr.J.Bridle  seconded by Cllr. Mrs J.Sawyer  it was AGREED to adopt the new Code of Conduct including paragraph 12(2) with immediate effect. The Clerk to advise the MBC and the Standards Board.

REGISTER of Members’ Personal Interests
Councillors were reminded that the Registration Form had to be returned to the Monitoring Officer within 28 days of adopting the new Code of Conduct. Councillors had been sent the necessary forms and could either be returned via the Clerk or directly to the Monitoring Officer at the MBC. It was individual Councillors responsibility to do this.

7.   COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC

The Chairman formally adjourned the meeting to hear comments from the public;

Mr Sawyer informed the meeting that he had visited site on Heath Road and could not find the Statutory Notices re the Planning Application which had either been removed or not put up in the first place . He had written to the MBC to advise them of this and had sought an explanation. The Clerk reported that he had also been advised of the missing notices and had contacted MBC Planners by e-mail  and could report that a new set of notices were put in place within about 48 hours. Mr Sawyer  then advised the meeting that the consultation period was extended as a result of the above.

There followed a general discussion on the Planning Application, members of the public
expressing their concern. Cllr Parr noted what had been said and indicated that he had been lobbied by a number of people who had indicated their concern.

The dreadful condition of Westerhill  and Barnes Lane was again raised. Cllr Firmin stated that he had , on more that one occasion, alerted the Highways Dept. to the condition of both lanes and was hoping to see some action in the very near future. Finance was a problem.

Cllr Brindle reminded everybody of the Tour de France and the various activities that had been arranged in the Borough.
The Local Members Devolved Budget Scheme was now “up and running” again and requests were awaited

Some 1670 representations had been received to the Consultation Document on the Local Development Framework. There was clearly a wide range of responses which currently were being analysed. It was hoped to have a response in late July early August

There being no further comments from the public the Chairman resumed the Parish Council Meeting

8.  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 2007 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 £2933 on the year which was larger than expected and mainly due to unspent Grants which were received at the end of the Financial year. ..A balance of £7028 was being carried forward.

It was unanimously agreed  that the accounts for the year ended 31st March 2007, 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 there were however several outstanding Invoices.

Balance  Brought Forward                                                                           £10800.34
30.05.07                   VAT Repayment                                                                 76.66
22.06.07                  50% Concurrent Functions                                              5148.33
_________
16025.33
Payments Made
25.06.07    KPS Photocopying                                         21.99
.   KPS Photocopying                                           9.87
KCPFAssn   (Donation)                                 15.00
Kenward Trust                                               30.00
Chippings (Strimming)                                  92.50
Allianz (Speedwatch Insurance)                    26.67
Clerks Salary + Allowance                          867.62
Clerks Expenses                                           106.94
KAPC Training Course                                  10.00
Craigdene Ltd                                                 58.75
_______
1239.34
========
Balance Carried Forward                                                                             £14785.99

The Clerk reported that the first instalment of the £2000 Grant  towards the cost of Speedwatch Training and Equipment together with the first instalment of the £4000 Grant for the replacement of the CCTV Equipment had been received

9.  PLANNING MATTERS

MA/07/0753  Three Chimneys, Wheelers Lane, LINTON
Erection of two bay garage with store/facility
This application has been APPROVED

MA/07/0848  1,Cornwallis Avenue LINTON
Erection of a single detached garage
This application as been APPROVED

MA/07/0911  Southwards, Vanity Lane, LINTON
Demolition of existing garage and utility room and erection of two storey side extension
Not yet  determined.  **This has now been APPROVED**

MA/07/1050  4 Cornwallis Cottages,  heath Road,  LINTON
Erection of two story side and rear extension etc
PC Recommended APPROVAL to MBC subject to materials matching current building. Not yet determined

MA/07/0933 and MA/07/0944  The Bull Inn,  Linton Hill,  LINTON
Application for listed building consent for demolition of existing garage
Application for construction of Timber Framed garden structure
PC Recommended APPROVAL to MBC subject to materials used for building and a ‘time frame, re the lighting (light pollution) in order to cause minimum disturbance to neighbours etc
Not yet determined

MA/07/1246  Barrabool  Park Avenue,  LINTON
Extension at first floor level to provide additional living accommodation
Currently on CIRCULATION

MA/06/2263  Davis Farm Cottages,  Redwall Lane,  LINTON
Erection of two storey side extension etc.
The Parish Council was advised that the Applicant had appealed to the Secretary of State for the Environment against the decision taken by the MBC to refuse Planning permission

MA/07/1087  Land Adj to Stone House, Heath Road,  LINTON
Change of use of land to use as a residential caravan site for a gypsy family including improvement of existing access, laying of hard standings and landscaping
The Clerk advised the Parish Council that this application was causing great concern and that he had received a number of letters from local residents expressing their wish to see it rejected; he also advise the meeting that he had recently attended a seminar on the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment Survey which raised a whole number of questions  as clearly the Borough had done little over the last few years to address the problem of suitable sites for Gypsy and Travelling families.
The issue was to be addressed through the Land Allocations and Implementation Development Plan as part of the LDF process; that could however be too late as there was a statutory requirement to provide suitable sites by 2011.To date apart from the findings of the Survey no work had been done on this ; given that suitable sites had to be identified and that there would have to be an extensive consultation period with ALL parties 2011 was optimistic to say the least. Cllr Parr shared this concern and explained the difficulties faced by the Borough and the Planning Inspectorate if an Application went to Appeal

All Parish Councillors had seen the Application and had expressed their views quite clearly however ,in the light of  the concerns about the Application, the Clerk was asking the PC to confirm their strong views that a recommendation should be made to the MBC that it be rejected. It was agreed that MBC be informed that:

“The Linton Parish Council recommends to the MBC that the Application is REFUSED on the grounds that under the present planning policies the Borough Council deem the area to be of considerable landscape significance, worthy of strong protection from inappropriate development (Kent and Medway Structure Plan 2006,Policies EN1,EN5 and SS8 with HP5;Maidstone Borough Wide Local Plan 2000 Policies ENV 19(iv), EN34, and H29)This is an environmentally sensitive site and any development of this nature would be inappropriate.”

KENT AND MEDWAY STRUCTURE PLAN
Nothing further to report

LOCAL DEVELOPMENT  FRAMEWORK
Response to the Consultation still awaited
.
SE  REGIONAL
Nothing further to report

VICARAGE FIELD
The Chairman advised the meeting that he had spoken to Mr Paul Firmin and a Site Meeting was to be held on a date to be arranged. Councillors to be circulated.

10.  VILLAGE HALL
There was nothing to report under this item

11.   MEMBERS REPORTS

KAPC
It was agreed that Cllr Sawyer should attend the KAPC Training Morning on the new Code of Conduct to be held on 28th July 2007
Parish Council news No 325 had been circulated as had details of various Information Days

ALLOTMENTS
The Allotment Rents were due for their annual review at the July meeting of the Parish Council details would be available at the meeting.
Cllr Mrs Sawyer reported that an increasing number of rabbits had been seen on the allotment gardens . The rabbit fence had been checked and it was clear that some of the posts needed to be replaced. It was agreed to purchase 12 x  4’ fencing posts . Clerk to organise.

PLAYGROUND
The Clerk reported that he had now received the Report on the Playground from Craigdene Ltd following a recent Inspection

The play area is in generally fair condition. The roundabout is dated and decaying and there are a number of minor safety issues associated with it. It would be uneconomic to repair these things and it is recommended that the PC considers replacement. There are a number of maintenance items (eg gate closure failure) which need attention and there is some chain wear on the Swings.

The report was noted and it was agreed to get the remedial work completed as soon as possible. A decision on the roundabout would be taken at a later date.

TRAMP
The Clerk reported that the agenda for the meeting on 20th June had been received
Cllr Bridle had been in attendance and indicated that the main item of business had been HGV Management

WEBMASTER
Cllr Whitmarsh (Web Master) circulated a discussion document on the possibility of Linton Parish Council having its own Domain Address.
He explained the possibilities and advantages of this and suggested that the matter was discussed in greater detail at the next meeting.

SMPG
Nothing to report

12.    CORRESPONDENCE

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 2007 Programme
Information on Lockmeadow Market
Summer Arts  2007
Freighter dates and locations   * circulated
Information re SMOKEFREE Maidston4
Information re road the Tour de France
KCC    Kent Minerals Development framework
Kent Police   Various e-mails from PC Shaw re vehicles etc. *circulated
Neighbourhood Policing Special
Kent Police Authority  Safer Kent Awards
Action with Communities in Rural Kent       Funding for new Parish Plans
South East Regional Assembly    Explanatory leaflets
Details of Kent Volunteers AWARDS 2007

13.   ANY OTHER BUSINESS NOT REQUIRING NOTICE

Governor  Coxheath Primary School
Cllr Mrs Sawyer enquired from the members of the Parish Council if there was anybody prepared to serve, as a Governor, on the Governing Body of Coxheath Primary School.
There were no volunteers.

Cllr Whitmarsh reminded the meeting of the ‘Strawberry Cream Teas’ being served in Linton Church on the 30th June and 1st July 2007 The event being organised by the Friends of Linton Church to raise funds for the fabric and contents of the church

14.  TIME AND DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Linton Village Hall on Monday 23rd July 2007 commencing at 7.30pm

There being no further business the Chairman thanked all those present for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9.45 pm

Chairman