27 February 2006 – PC Minutes

MINUTES of a Meeting of the LINTON PARISH COUNCIL held in the LINTON VILLAGE HALL on MONDAY 27th February 2006 commencing at 7.30pm

  

PRESENT

                                                                                                   

Cllr.C.Baxter (Chairman) Cllrs. Mrs M.Price, J.Bridle, G.Harrison. I Firmin and J Whitmarsh

Cllr Mrs.Sawyer on behalf of the Parish Council, was in attendance at a meeting with the Borough Council on Planning Matters and joined the meeting later.

 

Borough Councillors B.Mortimer and J.Williams

Borough and Cty Cllr Mrs P.Stockell

 

There were 5 members of the public in attendance.

 

1.    APOLOGIES

 

Apologies were received from PC.Shaw and S.Elson, Neighbourhood Watch Co-Ordinator

 

2.    MINUTES of the PARISH COUNCIL MEETING held on 9th January 2006

 

The Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 9th January 2006 (Previously circulated) were APPROVED and signed by the Chairman.

 

 

3.     MATTERS ARISING from the MINUTES

 

The Clerk reported that PC Shaw had asked him to advise the PC that since the last meeting there had been a car stolen from Vanity Lane in late January (found burnt out in Leeds) and

Domestic Incidents in Cornwallis Avenue. There was nothing further to report.

 

The Chairman advised the meeting that Kent Peg Tiles were being stolen from off the roofs of  isolated buildings and asked people to be aware.

 

The Clerk, in the absence of Mr.Elson,presented his Report which is attached to these Minutes

 

A letter of thanks for the condolences sent by the Parish Council to the Firmin family on the death of Mr.Alan Firmin had been received.

 

Traffic Monitoring Device   LINTON HILL

Following a request from Cllr.Mrs Sawyer the Clerk had sought information from Kent Highways on the above.The Automatic Traffic Count was in relation to the Maidstone Urban Cordon Survey 2005/2006 Details had been circulated to members

 

MBC Highways Works programme

Details  of the work proposed  in Linton, together with costs had been circulated. Concern was expressed by Councillors at the costs identified

 

Garage Site, Cornwallis Avenue

The Clerk reported that action had been taken to make some of the Garages safe and it was likely that some would be demolished in the near future. The Maidstone Housing Trust were still debating what to do with the site. The Clerk had suggested that it should be cleared and turned into a hard standing area for the youngsters to play on. The possibility of housing was being considered. A decision was awaited from the Maidstone Housing Trust

 

The Parish Council had NOT been represented at the meeting on ‘Housing Development and its effect on the infrastructure of neighbouring parishes, organised by East Farleigh PC on 21st February 2006

 

The Secretary reported that he had, on behalf of the Parish Council, attended the KCC Local Board Meeting on 7th February 2006

 

A full list of e-mail addresses re  Tramp had been received.

 

Car Park Security

The Clerk reported that he had written to Mr.Kitson, Car Park Manager, about this outstanding item on 5th February 2006 and , following a telephone conversation, during which a number of options for the barrier were discussed, he had received a copy of an e-mail from Mr.Kitson to Chris Steward the MBC Security Officer who subsequently telephoned indicating that there was, on the surface, nothing he could do.

There the matter rests….. he was concerned however about the £1000 Grant for improving security which remained unspent and sought the guidance of the Parish Council. After some debate it was agreed that the Clerk would contact Chris Stewart (MBC) to see if it was possible to have a temporary camera  installed ( as per Coxheath) and pay for the installation out of the £1000. A request would also be made for a fully costed CCTV Scheme for the Car Park with a view to making Application for funding during the next financial year.

 

There were no other matters arising from the Minutes. The Clerk reported however that there remained a number of matters about which he was holding a ‘watching brief’ and would report to the PC in due course.

 

 

4.    DECLARATION of MEMBERS INTERESTS

 

Cllr.Mrs Sawyer, Cllrs Firmin and J Whitmarsh declared that they had an ongoing interest in the Allotment Gardens in Wheelers Lane and that they had been granted the necessary dispensation.

 

 

5.    COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC

 

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

 

Mrs Holt drew the PC’s attention to the chain link fencing around the garages, in particular the supports, which were in a dangerous condition. The Clerk agreed to speak to Maidstone Housing Trust.

 

A question on a number of ‘road and footpath’ issues previously raised was asked particularly in relation to any progress which had or had not, being made. Cllr.Firmin replied that they had been reported and he would follow up….. he was aware that some had been attended to.

 

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

6.    FINANCE 

GENERAL FINANCIAL POSITION  

 

Opening Balance                                                             £8683.02

24.01.06   HMCustom and Excise (VAT)                              206.99

26.01.06   Allotment Rent                                                    17.00

                                                                                    ————-

                                                                                       8907.01

 

Payments Made.

10.02.06   R.J.Adams (Strimming)              92.50

                KPS (Photocopying)                  16.22

                M.D.Stevens (printing inks)        20.50

27.02.06    Stebbing (Notice Board)          905.10

                                                            ———-

                                                                                       1034.32

                                                                                    ————-

Balance Carried Forward                                                 £7872.69

                                                                                    =======         

 

  

BUDGET 2006/2007

The Clerk reported that the Finance Group had met And prepared the Budget  for 2006/2007 which was circulated.  A copy is attached to these Minutes

 

After a brief discussion the Budget was APPROVED.

 

PARISH PRECEPT 2006/2007

Resultant on the Budget the Parish Precept had been set at 19.5p based on a local tax base of 258.3 equivalent to Band D properties and would raise £5037

 

ADDITIONAL BID GRANT APPLICATIONS 2006/2007

The Clerk reported that  the MBC had granted the Parish Council:

 

a. Grant up to a limit of £1000 for improved Village Signage*

b. Grant up to £375 for Native Tree Planting

 

The Grants would become available after 1st April 2006

 

* It was agreed that the Clerk should place the order for the new Notice Board in Wheelers lane with  ‘harry stebbing workshop’  asap with an anticipated delivery date of June/July 2006.The estimated cost was £1200 + VAT which was recoverable

  

ADDITIONAL GRANTS FROM LOCAL MEMBERS

In addition to monies already received two additional bids had been made. Allotments (£100) and for a Waste Bin at the A229/Heath Road Junction (£200). The actual funding was awaited.

 

7.    PLANNING

 

MA/05/0914

The Forge ,Wheelers Lane, LINTON.

 

The Clerk outlined the latest position. He had nothing further to report.

 

MA/05/1845

Former Linton Hospital Site, Heath Road ,Coxheath

 

Nothing further to report

 

There was nothing further to report re the two matters in the hands of the MBC Enforcement Officers. The Clerk was requested to contact the Enforcement Officers to ascertain the current position of their enquiries.

 

Cllr Baxter left the meeting at this point

 

MA/06/0199

J.Baxter and Son, Westerhill Farm, Westerhill Road, LINTON, Maidstone, Kent ME17 4BS

 

Extensions to existing cottage, conversion of 3 redundant agricultural buildings to holiday accommodation  and class B1 © light industrial use (including extension to unit 3), construction of a tennis court, landscaping and ancillary works.

 

**This application was NOT circulated to Cllr Baxter

 

Based on the responses from Parish Councillors the following statement had been forwarded to the MBC Planning Officers.

 

“The Linton Parish Council would wish to see the application APPROVED. The sympathetic conversion of the buildings is generally APPROVED. Strict conditions should be applied to unit 3B re hours of work and delivery times as it is underneath living accommodation. Is there adequate parking for Horse Trailers?

Westerhill Road is unsuitable for HGV’s —– please note sign at the top of the hill”

 

This action was approved.

 

Cllr Baxter was invited to return to the meeting

 

Local Development Framework

Nothing to report

 

Kent and Medway Structure Plan

Nothing further to report

SE Regional Plan

Nothing further to report

 

 8.    VILLAGE HALL

 

Cllr. Whitmarsh advised the meeting that the LVHMC Committee had NOT met and therefore he had nothing to report.

 

9.    MEMBERS REPORTS

 

Allotment Gardens

It was reported that all the Allotment Gardens had been rented and that Tenants were busy preparing for the growing season. An additional £100 had been received from the Local Members . This would be put to good use to improve the pathway and to secure some parts of the rabbit fencing  which had been damaged.

 

Children’s Playground

The Clerk reported that in conjunction with Mrs Holt he had submitted a Capital Bid to the MBC for a sum in the order of £20,000 for the development of the playground during 2006/2007. The result of the bid was awaited.

 

Estimates had also been received for the urgent essential work that needed to be undertaken on the playground following the Safety Inspection Report. One was for £734 and the other for £2587. The Clerk, in explaining the reason for the big difference between the two estimates, sought guidance from the Members. It was agreed after a brief discussion that the lower estimate should be accepted.

 

Parish Lenghtsman

Cllr Firmin reported that the arrangements ware  working and that he had a regular contact with Kent Highways.

 

KAPC

There had not been a meeting since the PC Last met .PC News 314 had been circulated as had details of two Course being run by KAPC

 

10.    CORRESPONDENCE

 

The Clerk reported that he had received routine Committee Agendas and Minutes together with other administrative documents from the MBC which were available on request. Relevant documents and copies of correspondence had been circulated as appropriate. Attention was drawn to the following:

 

MBC   Details of St.George’s Day Celebrations  23rd April 2006

          * negative response to be sent

          ‘Make Maidstone Happy’ details circulated

          Local Development Framework   Consultation evenings

          Free Bus Passes    Notices

          Freighter Service  Times and dates

Mid Kent Water  various letters and posters re water conservation

KCC   Explore Kent Newsletter    *circulated

Kent Police    Newsletter  January/February   *circulated

                    Police Community Support Officers…. Engaging Partner Funding

Kent County Playing Field Assn.    Newsletter

Kenward House    Newsletter

  

The Chairman drew Councillors attention to a thanksgiving Service to be held in Rochester Cathedral on 21st March 2006 being organised by the Lord Lieutenants. Unfortunately he was not able to attend . No other Councillor was available to represent him.

  

11.    ANY OTHER BUSINESS not requiring NOTICE

 

a)   Car Park Security…… see earlier reference

 

b) ‘Clean up LINTON’

The Clerk reported that this Grant was still underspent and he was proposing to use some of it for the balance on the new Waste Bin. This was agreed. There were still some outstanding invoices for grass and hedge cutting.

 

c)  Annual Parish Meeting    4th April 2006

The Clerk reminded members of the above and sought guidance as to the programme.

 

The Chairman advised the meeting that the Clerk had produced a questionnaire for circulation round the Village however, he had decided that in the circumstances it would be more appropriate to have a “Brain Storming” session on the Village Hall at the Annual Parish Meeting. He outlined his reasoning for this and received the approval of the Parish Council. Attangements would now be put in hand for that to take place

 

d) MBC Recycling Calendar

The Clerk reported that he had written to MBC and asked that Linton be re circulated.

 

e) PC Notepaper

This had now been updated

 

f) Feasibility study into a new walking route along the River Beult

The Clerk collected members response to this enquiry and read some very positive comments from Mr.D.Martin the Foothpaths Officer and Cllr Whitmarsh. It was agreed that the Clerk should draw up a response and reply to the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership.

 

g) Linton Parish WEBSITE

A report from the Webmaster, Cllr Whitmarsh, is attached as an appendix to these minutes

 

Cty Cllr Mrs Stockell in giving a brief, but informative resume of the County Councils Budgetary process indicated that it was very difficult to meet all the statutory requirements and to keep within the Government’s  Financial Guidelines ….  for a variety of reasons it had become increasingly difficult ‘ to balance the budget’ and inevitably there would be an increase in Community Charge .She made mention of other major issues affecting the KCC over the next few months as a result of proposed Government Legislation, and express both her personal concerns and those of the KCC.

 

Borough Cllr Williams advised the meeting that the MBC had not yet finalised their Budget but he anticipated that it would also show the need for an increase in the Community Charge of app 4.5% in addition to that of the KCC

 

Cllr Mrs Sawyer having now returned from her Planning Meeting at the Town Hall reported that it had been an interesting well supported meeting out of which had come some useful information on Planning matters.

 

12.    TIME and DATE of NEXT MEETING

 

The next meeting of the Linton Parish Council will be held in the Linton Village Hall on Monday 

8th May 2006 commencing at 7.30pm.

 

There being no further business the Chairman thanked all those present for their attendance and contributions made to the meeting. He reminded them of the Annual Parish Meeting to be held on TUESDAY 4th April 2006 details of which would soon be available for circulation to ALL households in the Village and formally closed the meeting at  9.10pm