8 May 2006 – Parish Council Minutes

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE LINTON PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE LINTON VILLAGE HALL ON MONDAY 8TH MAY 2006 C0MMENCING AT 8.15PM

PRESENT: Councillor C.Baxter (Chairman), Councillors Mrs.Sawyer, Mrs Price, J.Bridle, I Firmin, G.Harrison, J.Whitmarsh

Borough Councillors A.Brindle. J.Williams and Cty.and Bor.Councillor Mrs.P.Stockell

PC Shaw

M.D.Stevens Parish Clerk

There were 2 members of the public in attendance.

The Chairman welcomed all present to the first meeting of the new Parish Year.

1. APOLOGIES
Apologies were received from Cllr.B.Mortimer,Mrs.Randall-Webb, Mr.D.Sawyer, Mr.S.Elson (Neighbourhood Watch Co-Ordinator) and Mrs.Whitmarsh

2. MINUTES of the PARISH COUNCIL MEETING held on 27th FEBRUARY 2006
The Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 27th February 2006 were approved and signed as a correct record.

2a MINUTES of the ANNUAL PARISH MEETING held on 4th APRIL 2006
The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Tuesday 4th April 2006 were received.

3 MATTERS ARISING from the MINUTES of the PARISH COUNCIL MEETING held on 27th February 2006

Before taking the Matters Arising the Chairman invited PC Shaw to give his report. PC Shaw reported that since the last meeting there had been a small number of car related incidents including theft and damage. The Chairman thanked PC Shaw who left the meeting for other duties

In the absence of the Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator the Clerk read his report in which he thanked the PC and the residents for their continued support. Alerts had been sent out via e-mail and phone a friend. The next meeting of the NHW Volunteers will be on 17th May in the Bull Inn when it will be addressed by the Coxheath Community Warden.

A meeting is to be held with Cllr Whitmarsh to discuss the positioning of NHW Street Signage, the PC will be kept informed. Further developments will be to restructure the NHW into teams to work on specific activities and to improve communication channels A Neighbourhood Watch newsletter will be distributed to every household after the 17th May meeting

The Clerk drew attention to the Crime Statistics in Coxheath and Hunton’ which had been circulated together with other information on the area which had also been circulated. He also drew attention to a request from the police for them to be notified of any Events planned for 2006/2006 which the police need to be aware of and may require policing (eg Armistice Day).He had details of who should be contacted.

Playground
The Clerk reported that the repair work on the Playground had now been completed and the area had been given a ‘clean bill of health’ following a recent inspection. Details had now been received from the MBC indicating that the Capital Bid for Play Area Improvements in 2006/2007 had NOT been successful but it would be considered again in 2007/2008. The Clerk was asked to thank Mrs.A.Holt for the work she had done on this matter. Cllr Williams suggested that a close eye should be kept on this as other sources of funding may become available

Members were advised that the Clerk had again been informed in confidence that a local resident was riding a miniature motor-cycle(s) around the Play Area .There had been serious concerned expressed about reporting the matter in fear of reprisals hence the anonymity of the informant(s). In the circumstances, the Police had again been advised. The Clerk asked Members to report any problems directly to him and he would deal.

Garages. Cornwallis Avenue
Action was still awaited from the Maidstone Housing Trust

Car Park Security
Discussions have continued with the MBC and action taken to put £1005, ‘on deposit’ with the MBC against the cost of future work. A detailed estimate of costs for a new system, thought to be in the order of £5k was awaited. Action had been taken to make application for a Grant from the Members Community Grants Scheme

Speedwatch
Nothing further to report

Feasibility Study into a new walking route on the River Beult
The Clerk thanked the members for their response to the questionnaire and stated that a positive response had been sent based on the responses.

The Chief Constable had sent a letter of thanks to the Parish for their support re the recent debate on a single strategic police force which had proved to be successful

3a. MATTERS ARISING form the MINUTES of the ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

Members were reminded that decisions taken or suggestions made at the Annual Parish Meeting were NOT mandatory on the Parish Council

Village Hall
The Chairman indicated that he would take this item as a later agenda item

Traffic Issues
The Clerk reported that he had written to the Highways Manager following the points raised at the Annual Parish Meeting and a reply was awaited.
Cllr Mrs.Sawyer stated that she had received a personal letter from Mrs.Randall-Webb in which she had expressed her concerns about the traffic issues and had suggested a course of action which the PC and other local PC’s might consider in relation to making representation to the KCC on this matter.

There followed a brief discussion mainly concerning ‘traffic speed’ and the possibility of introducing “Speedwatch” on the A229. The real practical issues this would raise were discussed. It was finally agreed to take no action until a response was received to the letter from the Clerk

4. DECLARATION of MEMBERS INTERESTS
Cllrs.Mrs Sawyer,I,Firmin and J,Whitmarsh declared an ongoing interest in the Allotment Gardens and stated that they had been granted dispensation. Members were ask to check the date to which their dispensation was given and to see if it needed to be renewed.

5. COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC
The Chairman formally adjourned the meeting to hear comments from the public.

The road surface in Wheelers Lane and Vanity Lane was raised together with the condition of the footpath between Cornwallis Avenue and the A229. The Parish Lengthsman agreed to follow up with the Highways Dept..

Concern was also expressed about the condition of the road gullies on the A229. This again would be followed up.

There being no further comments the Chairman thanke those present for their contributions and resumed the Parish Council Meeting.

6. FINANCIAL MATTERS
The Clerk reported that the Precept had been received from the MBC, and reminded Councillors that they had been allocated a Grants towards ”Tree Planting” and “Improving Linton” which would become available later in the year. A start had already been made on the Tree Planting and a new Notice Board for Wheelers Lane had been ordered.

The Insurance documents had been received from the insurers and authority was sought to pay the premium of £525.This was agreed.

The following donations were agreed.
Kent County Playing Fields Assn £20
Kenward Trust £30

Balance Brought Forward £7872.69

19.04.05 MBC Precept 5037.00
———
12909.69

Payments Made
17.03.05 KPS Printing 33.14
Street Lighting 201.40
Glasdon (waste Bin) 533.83
M.Brooker (electrician) 142.00

04.05.06
21.03.06 Rent 70.00
29.03.06 Allotment Slabs 117.50
30.03.04 Clerks Ex 86.64
Clerks Salary 641.10
Skinner (strimming etc) 772.00
MBC/CCTV 1180.88
31.03.06 Safeplay (playground) 863.04
05.04.06 KAPC (subscription) 215.73
17.04.06 AGM Refreshments 24.00
04.05.06 MDS (printing inks) 41.00
Insurance 523.70
KPS (printing) 39.02
Mid Kent Water 38.78
_______
5523.76
________

BALANCE CARRIED FORWARD £7385.93
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The Clerk advised the meeting that the Annual Accounts were with the Auditor and were not ready for presentation. They would be circulated when they became available later in the month

7. PLANNING MATTERS

MA/05/1845
Former Hospital Site, Heath Road, Coxheath
This application had now been APPROVED with conditions.

MA/06/0199
J.Baxter and Son, Westerhill Farm, Westerhill Road, Linton.
Not yet determined.

MA/06/0547
Southlands, Wheelers Lane, LINTON,Maidstone
Erection of a conservatory to the rear of the property
Following the circulation of the Application the Members had indicated that they wished to see it APPROVED. MBC had been advised

MA/06/0557
Northended Cottage, 23, Linton Hill, Linton
Erection of a two storey rear extension and rear conservatory
Following the circulation of the Application Members had indicated that they had NO objection to the application in principle but had great concern about the balcony which was NOT in keeping with the style and period of the property. It might also be intrusive to the neighbours’ property. MBC had been advised

The Clerk drew attention to a Press Release entitled “Maidstone at the top of the list for Planning” The MBC had been granted £675,816 from the government to improve efficiency and performance further…..this was an increase of £400,000 from last year!

Cllr Mrs Sawyer had attended the KAPC Planning Seminar and had found it useful

8. KENT AND MEDWAY STRUCTURE PLAN
Nothing further to report

LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN
Attention was drawn to the circulated documents and the latest news
Sheet which had also been circulated.

SOUTH EAST PLAN
The Clerk reported that he had received a copy of the SE Regional
Plan and had circulated a copy of the Executive Summary.
He had asked Mrs.Randall-Webb to look at the document in the
light of her previous knowledge and experience. A full report would
be available for the next meeting.

9. VILLAGE HALL
Cllr Whitmarsh reported that the AGM of the Village Hall Management Committee had taken place Mr.T.Figgins had been re-elected as Chairman and all the other officers had also been re-elected.

A ‘Working Party’ had been arranged on a date to be decided and action had been taken to arrange for the Windows on the eastern side of the building to be replaced. A grant had been obtained from the Members Community Grant Fund.
A new matching Village Hall Notice Board was to be purchased and action had also been taken to increase the letting rates.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING VILLAGE HALL
The Chairman reminded the Parish Councillors of the reason for this item and gave a brief resume of the discussion at the Annual Parish Meeting. He expressed his concern at the size of the Insurance valuation of the property as against the valuations (with and without Planning Permission) that had been given on the property. His assumption was that as the building was mainly built in ‘ragstone’ the rebuild costs would be considerable, hence the major difference. It may well however be sensible to take advice on this.

There were also questions about the mid and long term financial viability of the Village Hall particularly if the major user, the Cherubs, pulled out. It had to be assumed that if the LVHMC got into financial difficulties they would turn to the Parish Council for help.

In his view therefore there were three options:
a) to keep the current Village Hall
b) to do away with the current Village Hall and not to have one.
c) to build a new Village Hall and sell the old one.

Each of the above raised a number of fundamental questions to which there were a wide range of answers as was demonstrated by the discussion that followed.

The Clerk reminded the Parish Council about the limit of its responsibilities in contrast to those of the LVHMC and that some of the answers to the questions were not in the remit of the Parish Council (eg.selling the building)

After some further discussion the Chairman sought the views of the Members as to how they would wish to move forward/or not. After some further discussion it was decided to circulate every household in the Village with a Questionnaire which would be supported by an informative document on the Village Hall. There would be a limited number of pertinent questions.
The Questionnaire would be drawn up in consultation with the LVHMC

The Chairman agreed to draw up the Questionnaire and to take the lead on this matter. He asked for support and assistance from other members.

10. CORRESPONDENCE

The Clerk reported that he had received routine Committee Agendas and Minutes from the MBC together 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 Civic Parade and Service Sunday 22nd May 2005
Details of the Freighter Service *circulated
Information on the ‘Overview and Scrutiny Committee’
Standards Committee representation
Statement of Community Involvement
Statements referring to the Affordable Housing Development Plan
Maidstone Local development Framework Consultation papers
Refuse and Recycling Questionnaire
Information on Community Sports Camp Grants
Graffiti Removal Service
Kent Parish Council NEWS * praise for Linton web site
KCC Highway services Liaison officer Contact
New Details relating to Kent Highway Services
Highway Improvements A229
Changes in various Speed limits
Kent Police Newsletters
Medway Valley Country Partnership Newsletter
Marden Community Action Plan Open Days
Boxley Parish Council Notes of M20 Corridor Group
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Local Authority Byelaws in England
Consultation Document
Correspondence from the Coxheath Community Warden

11. MEMBERS REPORTS

KAPC
Cllr Mrs Sawyer had nothing to report
The Clerk advised the meeting that Parish News 315 and 316 had been circulated.

Allotments Manager.
Cllr Mrs Sawyer reported that all the allotments were now let and that there was a waiting list.
A very successful ‘Plant and Seed Swop’ afternoon had been held and that things were progressing very successfully
It was agreed that a small plastic greenhouse could be erected by one of the Tenants but that this should NOT set a precident
E-mail addresses of Tenants were being collected.

Parish Lengthsman
Councillor Firmin reported that he continued to be busy and that the system seemed to be working.

Cllr Whitmarsh advised the meeting that the third Boundary Walk will take place on Sunday 21st May 2006 and that the Annual Meeting of the Friends of Linton Church would take place in the Church on 9th May

12. TIME and DATE of NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held in the Village Hall on Monday 19th June 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

Chairman