Minutes of a Meeting of the LINTON PARISH COUNCIL held at 7.30pm in the Linton Village Hall, Linton on Monday 8th January 2007
Cllr C Baxter (Chairman),Cllrs Mrs.J.Sawyer,I.Firmin, G.Harrison, and J.Whitmarsh (vice Chairman)
Borough Councillors A.Brindle, B.Mortmer and J Williams
M.D.Stevens Parish Clerk
There were 7 members of the public in attendance
The Chairman welcomed everybody to the meeting, the first of a new year.
Apologies were received from Cllr.Mrs M.Price and Cllr J.Bridle
2. MINUTES of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 13th November 2006
The Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 13th November 2006, which had been previously circulated to all Member were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman
Before Matters Arising were taken the Clerk advised the meeting that as a result of the new Policing arrangements it was unlikely that PC Shaw would be attending Parish Council Meetings in the future. Details of the crime statistics for Linton would however be forwarded to the Clerk before the meeting.
Since the last meeting of the Parish Council there had been one crime on the 4th January 2007
in Redwall Lane when copper was stolen from a mast belonging to the National Grid.
In the absence of the co-ordinator there was no report on the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
3. MATTERS ARISING from the MINUTES of the Meeting held on 13th November
CAR PARK SECURITY
The Clerk reported that he had nothing further to report on the replacement of the CCTV cameras. He had however been in touch with the Car Park Manager re the Barrier as it had become a Health and Safety matter. It was likely that the barrier would be removed.
TELEPHONE BOX outside the Village Hall
The Clerk reported that he had now had it confirmed from BT that the box was to be replaced with one of a similar design. He was awaiting a date.
A229 TRAFFIC SPEED
The Clerk reported that he had written to the Police following the last meeting re the above
A reply had been received (circulated to members) which indicated that Officers would not be available, as in the past, to check traffic speeds unless there was statistical data to support the time spent. The parish were encouraged to develop a Speedwatch Scheme which, via its recordings, would provide evidence of continual speeding.
Arrangements would be made for the APNR Unit to periodically monitor the road.
*All other Matters Arising would be dealt with under relevant Agenda Items
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.
The Clerk reminded the Councillors that it was their responsibility to notify MBC should their circumstances change.
5. A229 TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
Cllr Whitmarsh reminded the meeting that in a letter dated the 21st September 2006 the Kent Highway Services had agreed to undertake some improvement works which should be completed by the end of October 2006. NOTHING had been done.
There was considerable concern about this lack of action and it was agreed that the matter should be raised with the Highway Authority at the highest level and with the local County Councillor, the Leader of the KCC and other County Councillors as appropriate. The Clerk to arrange.
It was also agreed that the Highways Sub Group should meet to review the situation. This
Meeting to be held at the same time as the Budget Meeting.
There was then a general discussion about the condition of the roads in the parish and the lack
of any action by the Kent Highways to undertake any repairs even though pot holes etc were reported to them.
The roads were getting into an appalling state and were not being attended to. This was NOT acceptable. The Clerk drew attention to the correspondence from Boughton Monchelsea PC with the KCC Highways Dept re the condition of Butt Green Lane, especially in wet weather
After some further discussion during which additional problems were identified, it was agreed that the Clerk should write to the local County Councillor, the Leader of the Authority and the Kent Highways at the highest level expressing the concern of the Parish Council and reminding them of their responsibilities if vehicles were damaged due to the roads not being repaired.
Cllr Whitmarsh advised that he had been in contact with a number of Parishes re the possible loan of equipment and he was pleased to say that it would be possible to hire the equipment from Staplehurst PC. The cost would be £30 per day or £100 per week and there would be a refundable damage deposit of £125. He had a copy of the Hire Agreement which he had looked at . The PC would be responsible for Public Liability Insurance in respect of its own legal responsibilities and material damage cover for the Speedwatch Equipment on hire.
After a brief discussion, during which the Chairman thanked Cllr Whitmarsh for his diligence on this matter it was agreed to arrange with the Staplehurst PC to hire the equipment. The cost would be met by the Parish Council Cllr Whitmarsh was asked to contact the SPEEDWATCH Co-ordinator, Dr. Coutts, and to ask him to make the necessary arrangements with Staplehurst PC and to set up the necessary training. Cllr Williams offered to help with the training.
The Clerk was asked to make the necessary arrangements for the Insurance cover.
6. COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC
The Chairman formally adjourned the Parish Council Meeting to hear comments from the public
First checking that there were no general comments from the Public the Chairman advised the meeting that there were present representatives from the Medway Education Trust who had asked to speak to the Parish Council about their recent Planning Application. He explained that the PC had looked at the Application and expressed its views to the MBC in accordance with the normal procedures. The recommendation of the PC, which was unanimous was to recommend that the Application be REFUSED; he then went on to outline the reasons why (See Planning item)
Mr.J.Bruce, a Trustee of the Trust, thanked the PC for the opportunity to comment on the points made and explained in some detail the reasons why it had been necessary, in the light of experience elsewhere, to seek amendments to the original Application. A conscious decision had been taken to increase the footprint of the building rather that to increase its height. Changes would be made in how the children accessed the building which was a concern and he accepted that the multi-purpose pitch may not be adequate. It was proposed however to hire sports facilities away from the site and it may be possible to use other hard surfaces on the site for sports.
Neighbours adjacent to the site expressed their support for what was taking place and congratulated the Brethren for the considerate/professional way in which they had gone about the work…… which was most impressive and encouraging, particularly the landscaping.
A number of points of clarification were sought and answers received. It was clear that there was some uncertainty about whether the Trust would seek further amendments to the original Plans as the site developed and the school grew.
The Chairman raised the matter of the footway, that was one of the conditions laid down by the Parish Council. Some work had been undertaken along part of the site . Mr Bruce stated that the Highway Authority had advised that what had been undertaken was sufficient and therefore it was not proposed to do any more. Members were extremely concerned about this and asked Mr.Bruce to let the Clerk have a copy of the advice asap. The Parish Council would then take the matter up with the MBC Enforcement Officers and the Highway Authority. Given that it was now clear that the Students would be going ‘off site’ for some activities it was essential to have a safe and adequate footway to enable them to cross the road.
The meeting continued with:
8. PLANNING MATTERS
a) OUTSTANDING PLANNING APPLICATIONS
Full Planning Permission
Former Kent Fire Brigade Training Centre
There being no further comments the Chairman resumed the Parish Council meeting having pointed out that, as this was not an agenda item, the Parish Council were not compelled to discuss the matter further.
Having heard the discussion and the points made by Mr.Bruce, the Chairman asked the members of the Parish Council if they wished to change their recommendations to the MBC. The majority of the members present voted against any changes to the recommendation to the MBC
The Clerk was asked to advise MBC of the discussion and the decision NOT to change the recommendation of the Parish Council
Mr.Bruce and his colleagues together with the neighbours left the meeting.
Councillors expressed a general understanding that alterations do crop up after the initial planning process with such a large project however there is considerable concern about what was being proposed even before the school opened and wondered if this was the first of a series of Applications to expand and modify the buildings as the project develops. This is a very ‘sensitive site’ and it was only after much thought by the Parish Council and subject to certain conditions that the development of the site was originally approved.
Concern was expressed about the access for pupils via the Car Park used by visitors and for deliveries… the location of the classrooms was not thought to be suitable.
The multi purpose games pitch was not considered to be adequate for 100 pupils.
Whilst recommending the cycling and Travel Plan it does NOT take into account the additional traffic on Heath Road as a result of the development of the Linton Hospital Site or the proposed expansion at Cornwallis School
MBC were advised accordingly and all Parish Councillors advised
To date the Application had NOT been determined
Full Planning Permission
G& S Smallholding
The Linton Parish Council wished to see the Application APPROVED subject to the following CONDITIONS
The hours of work to be 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8.30am to 1.pm on Saturday
The premises to be closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays
There should be NO deliveries outside the above hours
The above conditions being essential in order the maintain the ‘quality of life’ of the residents in Wheelers Lane.
MBC were advised accordingly and Parish Councillors advised
To date the Application has NOT been determined.
Full Planning Permission
1, Davis Farm Cottages
Erection of a two storey side extension etc
It was agreed to recommend that the Application be APPROVED with the condition that the
windows on the front elevation match the windows on the other half of the semi. (Not as shown on the drawings)
MBC to be advised accordingly
b) FURTHER DEVELOPMENTS on VICARAGE FIELD
There was nothing further to report on this matter.
c) LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
Members were advised that the public consultation document had not been received. The Clerk understood that it would be available at the end of January when the Consultation Period would begin. He would keep members advised.
c) KENT and MEDWAY STRUCTURE PLAN
A copy of the report had been received which was available to Members. It could also be obtained by going to www.kmsp.org.uk
d) SE REGIONAL PLAN
Nothing further to report
7. FINANCIAL MATTERS
Balance Brought Forward £8736.79
29.12.06 Allotment Rents 33.00
03.01.07 Allotment Rents 25.00
24.11.06 Viking Direct 38.48
30.11.07 T.Gander (Allotments) 220.00
05.01.07 Chippings (Strimming) 92.50
KPS (Printing) 9.17
KCC (Landscape Services) 297.57
M.Stevens (Expenses) 62.59
M.Stevens (Salary + All) 862.62
MBC (Playground Lease) 25.00
D.Skinner (Strimming) 160.00
KCC (repayment of Grant) 750.00
Balance Carried Forward £6229.55
A letter of thanks had been received from the Yuletiders for the Donation from the Parish Council .
The Clerk advised the Parish Council that two bids had been made to the MBC for ‘One Off
Resources under Concurrent Functions; one for £5500 for the replacement of the CCTV cameras on the Car Park and one for £3000 for SPEEDWATCH Equipment.
b) Budget Preparation 2007/2008
The Clerk advised the Parish Council that, for a number of reasons the ’Budget Group’ had not been able to meet. He had however circulated to all Councillors some information that came in late December form the MBC re the Local Tax Base for 2007/2008 which was 256.7 equivalent Band D properties (258.3 in 2006/2007)
The population of the Village had increased from 434 to 440 (as at December 2006)
In 2006/2007 the Precept had been set at 19.5p. Early indications suggested that it may NOT be necessary to increase the Precept this year.
Details will be circulated to ALL members of the PC following the meeting of the Budget Group
9 VILLAGE HALL
Cllr.Whitmarsh reported that the LVHMC had met and that no significant issues had been raised.The Hall Curtains were to be replaced, repairs to the roof had been undertaken as had some other areas of general maintenance. A new table was to be purchased for the Committee Room and a new Notice Board to match the PC Board to be ordered. Bookings remained excellent.
The Chairman raised with Cllr. Whitmarsh the Insurance valuation on the Village hall which he felt appeared to be too high relative to other properties in Linton. After some discussion Cllr.Whitmarsh agreed to look into the matter and to report back
10 MEMBERS REPORTS
a) ALLOTMENT GARDENS
Cllr Mrs Sawyer reported that all the allotments were now let and that a copy of the ‘distribution of the lettings on the site’ had been posted in the Allotments Notice Board.
The Mid Kent Water Company had now given approval to the work undertaken on the taps and water supply to the Allotment Gardens
Cllr Mrs Sawyer reported that there had not been a meeting. Parish News 321 had been distributed to members
c) CHILDREN’S PLAYGROUND
The Clerk reported that at the request of the Borough he had sought, from the two Contractors contacted last year, a revised estimate of the work proposed under the unsuccessful Application for Outdoor Play Area Resources. A revised,(cost wise) Application is being submitted this year as requested.
The Clerk also advised the Council that a recent Inspection had shown that some work needed to be undertaken on the Roundabout and that one of the gates needed attention. It was agreed that arrangements should be made to undertake the repairs and a risk assessment undertaken
The Chairman reported that there had not been able to attend a meeting of TRAMP but he was now more comfortable with the consultation process before letters and e-mails were sent of in TRAMP’s name
The Clerk drew attention to the documentation, which had been circulated, from the Chairman of Tramp ,who is also the Chairman of East Farleigh PC, on the implications of the drastic cut back in the funding for PCSOs and the request for Councillors to take action by lobbying MP’s for their support etc.
e) SOUTH MAIDSTONE PARISHES GROUP
The Clerk reported that the Group had received a reply from the Chief Executive with regards to the general points they had made about the Local Development Framework …. A reply which did not really address the points raised!! The Group would not be meeting again until the Consultation Document on the Local Development Framework was available, thought to be at the end of January, when the response would be discussed.
The Clerk reported that he had received routine Committee Agendas and Minutes from the MBC together with 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 Guidelines for the disposal of TV Sets *circulated
St.George’s Day Parade Sunday 22nd April 2007
Changes in the Management of the Planning Service
Explanatory Document on the Planning Enforcement Process
County Funding fair on 1st February 2007
KCC Inside Track Issues 88,89 & 90
Correspondence re ownership of footpath at the top of Cornwallis Ave
Kent Police Details on Operation Cubit
Neighbourhood Watch Point of Contact
Kent Fire and Rescue Service Update
English Rural Housing Assn…. Bulletin
12. ANY OTHER BUSINESS NOT REQUIRING NOTICE
ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
The Clerk reminded members that the Annual Parish Meeting had been called for TUESDAY 3rd April 2007 and that it was necessary for a decision to be taken on the format for the meeting as, if speakers were to be invited to attend dates needed to be put in diaries etc.
There followed some discussion on what might be done and a number of ideas were floated. It was agreed to consider the situation and to make a final decision at the February meeting of the Parish Council.
13. TIME and DATE of NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Linton Parish Council will be held in the Linton Village Hall on Monday 26th February 2007 commencing at 7.30pm.Details of any additional meetings would be circulated as soon as they became available.
There being no further business the Chairman thanked all those present for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9.35pm