GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL
Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL
at The Jessel Room, Goudhurst Parish Hall on Monday 13 October 2014 at 7.30 pm
WAR MEMORIALS COMMTTEE MEETING NOTES
PRESENT: Councillors Antony Harris (Chairman), Ed Bates, David Boniface, Alan Foster, Philip Kirkby, Barry Noakes, Tony Richards, Clive Roberts, Guy Sutton, John Ward and Stephen Wickham.
Borough Cllr Edmund Hastie (from 7.55 to 8.10 pm). 1 Member of the Public.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
224/14 There were no apologies for non attendance.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
225/14 None declared.
MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETINGS
226/14 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 08 September 2014, copies of which had been previously distributed to Members, be signed as a correct record.
QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC
227/14 There were no questions from the public.
ELECTORAL VACANCY AND COMMITTEE APPOINTMENTS
228/14 New Member on Council. Council welcomed Mr Alan Foster to his first meeting as a Member. Cllr Foster signed a Written Undertaking which was witnessed by the Clerk and he completed a Notification of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests.
229/14 Committee Appointments. Resolved: following Minute 206/14, Cllr Foster was appointed to join the Youth Committee.
230/14 Vacancy on Council. The Clerk announced that Cllr Ms Amy Kneller had, on the afternoon of this meeting, submitted her resignation. She had explained that she was not able to devote sufficient time to Council work whilst coping with a young family and her job. Resolved: that the Clerk will inform the Returning Officer at TWBC and advertise the vacancy.
REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS
231/14 Cllr Noakes reported that TWBC is looking at all Town Hall functions to see where savings can be made. The Town Hall building needs to be bought up to date to meet Health & Safety standards.
232/14 KCC Budget Consultation. The Clerk informed Council that he had received a consultation document relating to KCC’s Budget for 2015/16. He will forward this to Members.
The Chairman of the Amenities Committee presented the Minutes of a Meeting held on 23 September 2014.:
233/14 Additional Bench at The Plain. Following Minute 208/14. It was noted that Mr Dennis Knight had raised sufficient money by public subscription to have specially made an oak picnic table dedicated to Bill Musgrave MBE to be situated on the Plain. It was resolved by a majority vote that Council would accept the cost of £395.00 for a concrete slab base for the table since it is on Council’s land.
234/13 Tree Work at Kilndown Quarry Pond. Following Minute 156/14. It was noted that planning permission has not yet been granted for this tree work. In the meantime it was noted that the contractor who will do the job has advised by his insurance company that he has to have a minimum of three men on the job and that will increase the cost by £80.00.
235/14 Glebe Field. It was noted that Mr Nick Seymour had done a good job in repairing the goal cross bar at the west end of the Glebe Field. The Clerk will write to Mr Seymour.
236/14 Chequer Field; GUFC footballs going onto adjacent land. It was noted that Council had received a complaint from a local resident whose garden is adjacent to Chequer Field. A football had landed in his garden and a player had climbed over a 2 metre close boarded fence to retrieve the ball. The fence had been damaged. The land owner has paid for the repair but has asked Council to inform Goudhurst United FC to tell their players not to climb over the fence but to approach his residence from the road. Resolved: that the Clerk is to contact the landowner to offer to send the invoice to GUFC for reimbursement. Resolved: that Council will, with the local resident’s permission, affix an appropriate ‘No climbing on this fence’ notice to the fence as well as a similar notice in the pavilion. Resolved: that the Clerk writes to GUFC management asking them to ensure footballs are not kicked onto private property.
237/14 Chequer Field Pavilion. It was noted that 3 Members of the Amenities Committee (Cllrs Bates, Richards and Wickham) and the Clerk had met with Mr Keith Delves MRICS, the Facilities Management Surveyor, TWBC on 12 September 2014. Subsequently, Mr Delves had provided Council with an abbreviated list of the most important points that Council needs to attend to in providing proper management of the Chequer Field Pavilion. The detailed and lengthy Health & Safety and Operating Manuals relating to the property have been retrieved from Council’s archive and the requirements detailed there are being considered. The 3 main areas of risk that Council needs to consider are: Water Hygiene, Electrical Safety and Fire Safety.
Chairman Amenities Committee emphasised that these are matters that Council must address; Council as a whole and individuals could be held to account in the event of court action following an incident where we were shown to have failed to maintain the required standards. Council noted that the Amenities Committee will evaluate the necessary and relevant requirements further with suitable urgency. They are likely to start the implementation process with risk assessments. It is likely that Council will need to appoint a Health & Safety Officer. It was noted that the Pavilion electrical systems have a safety certificate valid until October 2015.
238/14 Chequer Field Pavilion Storage. Chairman Amenities Committee briefed Council on this matter. It is evident that the pavilion has been built without adequate storage space despite, allegedly, being a standard Football Association design. GUFC stores a range of their paraphernalia (footballs, cones, a white-lining machine and goal posts etc) in the utilities room. This is not at all desirable; it is evident that careless handling of a goal post has lead to the breaking of a cover on one of the hot water cylinders, leaving wires exposed. Furthermore plastic chairs are being stacked in the disabled toilet thus restricting access. Mr Keith Delves (see Minute 237/14) has indicated to Council that this is unacceptable Health & Safety practice. There is, however, nowhere else in the building to store these items. It was noted that the Amenities Committee has made some initial enquiries and evaluation of (a) introducing a shipping container to a position on the south side of the pavilion at a cost around £3,500 delivered, and/or (b) building a brick and timber extension to the pavilion which may cost £7,000 to £8,000. Amenities Committee will bring more detailed proposals to Council.
The Chairman of the Amenities Committee was thanked by Council for the considerable work he has undertaken regarding Council’s responsibility for H&S requirements.
BUSINESS and COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE
The Chairman of the Business and Communications Committee reported:
239/14 Call Flow Solutions. Following Minute 209/14. The Business and Communications Committee had met on 10 October 2014. It was noted that:
Phase 1, being the setting up of the 4 Call Flow cabinets with fibre cable in the Parish, is complete.
Phase 2 is the radio overlay. This is largely complete on St Mary’s Church tower but there has been some delays; for instance the need for the Church to obtain the necessary Faculties from the Diocese.
Phase 3 is the radio fill in. This will mainly involve Christ Church Kilndown and installing Call Flow equipment on the spire or elsewhere on the Church premises there. We understand there has been no significant discussion between Christ Church PCC and Call Flow about this, but the Clerk will check with Rev Hugh Nelson on that point.
It was noted that Mr Rolington is keen to see improved broadband through Call Flow at Kilndown for a proposed CCTV scheme which may well be supported financially by Kent Police. He sees the end of March 2015 as a crucial date as that will be when the Police budget will be closed for such a scheme. The Clerk will contact Call Flow with a request to move Kilndown up the list of priorities because of this.
It was noted that in the KCC/GPC Agreement there is a clause that states that the two parties will work towards establishing high-speed Broadband at Kilndown Village Hall.
At Kilndown, Call Flow is not able to use existing telegraph poles as they carry power cables.
Phase 4 is the fibre cable being laid underground across fields from the Station Road cabinet to Swift Alarms premises near Marlingate on the Bedgebury Road. It was noted that if this initial underground fibre scheme is successful, Call Flow might well expand it further across the Parish – costs permitting.
The Clerk will obtain a copy of the KCC/Call Flow Agreement from George Chandler at KCC.
Mr Lorne Mitchell will send the Clerk a copy of the KCC/GPC Agreement for the Parish Council archive.
The meeting expressed some concerns that the scheme out turn is not going to meet the contract specification. That is 90% superfast (24mbps) and 10% basic (as high a speed that is possible for the remainder with a minimum of 2Mbps).
HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE
240/14 Forward Plans. Minute 211/14. It was noted that Chairman of the Highways & Footpaths Committee had drawn up several drafts of a 3 year plan of projects to include costs to be carried out in the Parish. Council awaits specific proposals before taking any decisions as to which items to send to Kent Highways for evaluation and costing.
WAR MEMORIALS COMMITTEE
241/14 Goudhurst War Memorial Refurbishment Fund. It was resolved to accept the final statement of account as presented by The Clerk. Receipts totalled £12,026.10 and Payments £12,023.28. As a result it was agreed that there is no need to seek a grant from the TWBC Members’ Discretionary Fund.
242/14 Goudhurst War Memorials Committee. It was resolved to wind up this Committee and responsibility for War Memorials matters in the Parish will revert to the responsibility of the Amenities Committee.
It was resolved to note the following Decisions from TWBC and agree the Representations:
None received. The Clerk understands that it is now TWBC policy not to advise the Parish Council of decisions on planning applications. However, no formal advice has been received and Borough Cllr Barry Noakes will check on this.
14/501496 Whites Bedgebury Road Goudhurst
Listed Building Consent – Replace dilapidated stable block, yard and ménage;
divert footpath; install automatic gates/security lighting and associated improvements.
Goudhurst Parish Council is in favour of this change and feels it will improve the current dilapidated appearance of the stable block especially for those using the adjacent public footpath. The site is not overlooked by any other property and although is increased in size this appears to have been done to house machinery and feed store which will improve the surrounding area. Subject to conservation/landscape officers review.
14/502123 The Mobile Home at Crowbourne Orchard Smiths Lane Goudhurst
To renew permission on a temporary basis for any Traveller, or with a personal condition in the alternative
The description as issued by TWBC is incorrect as the application is for a PERMANENT site for any Traveller.
This site has been the subject of three previous appeals (2001450/2001560 by Rusdale in Nov 2005, 2023638 by Campbell in Aug 2007 and 2152 of Sep 2011 by Marshall). The Decisions have been clearly stated that this is an unsuitable location for the use applied for. The Agent has argued that the ANOB does not prohibit this location as being a suitable site by referring to two appeals that allow such a site within an ANOB. Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) refers TWBC to the Appeal Decision APP/M2270/A/14/2214551 Plum Orchard Fairmans Lane Brenchley which rules that the ANOB does take precedent in these cases and the appeal was dismissed. This appeal is more recent than either of those quoted by the Agent.
Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) submits that on these grounds alone the site should not be renewed on either a temporary or permanent basis and especially not for ‘Any Traveller’. This application should be viewed only on the basis of the applicant, Mr George Smith.
Local opinion continues to show that the occupier is only present at this site occasionally. This would appear to demonstrate that there is in fact not a need for the applicant to live at this location on a permanent basis. By requesting a change to ‘Any Traveller’ also indicates that the applicant does not now need this site.
It is GPC’s understanding that one of the reasons for the granting a temporary licence was due to the poor health of the applicant. We have been informed that a local resident met the applicant recently and he appeared to be in excellent health and was very active indicating his wellbeing.
It has been reported to GPC that the burning of material has continued on site on occasions contrary to previous appeal decisions.
Officers should take immediate steps to discuss with the applicant his current health, his needs for a permanent location and what steps he is or has taken to find a more suitable location. The Agent’s letter was silent with regard to these questions and we can only assume that no action has been taken. If, as it would appear, he has been unable to find a more suitable site then TWBC must take steps to identify such a suitable site. The Agent’s letter appears to imply that TWBC has made no attempt to find such a site.
GPC requests Officers confirmation that all conditions imposed by the most recent appeal decision have been effected. The Agent’s letter would imply that these have not yet to be met and if this is the case it must be argued that failure to complete the works in the last three years would show the site at this location is in fact not required.
GPC urges TWBC to identify a suitable site, as a matter of urgency, and arrange for the relocation of the applicant to such site without delay. In all likelihood this will have to entail a temporary extension to the current permission. If this is the case such extension should be for a minimal period and should be conditioned that the applicant meets with TWBC to move forward with identifying a more suitable location. The extension would also benefit with a timetable setting out the responsibilities of all parties, including TWBC, as to the finalising of this continuing situation which causes problems for all involved including the applicant.
14/502448 Chequer Tree Farm House Mile Lane Goudhurst
Alteration works to existing garage/outhouse to provide a ‘Granny Flat’ ancillary
to the main dwelling
Goudhurst Parish Council feels that there is very little external change to the existing garage and it is not overlooked. The creating of the Granny annex, if approved, should be made a residential annex of the main house.
14/502449 Chequer Tree Farm House Mile Lane Goudhurst
Listed Building Consent - Alteration works to existing garage/outhouse to
provide a ‘Granny Flat’ ancillary to the main dwelling
Goudhurst Parish Council feels that there is very little external change to the existing garage and it is not overlooked. The creating of the Granny annex, if approved, should be made a residential annex of the main house.
14/500760 3 Bedgebury Cross Cottages Bedgebury Road Goudhurst
Retrospective – Open field shelter
Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) is concerned that this structure is sited away from any other buildings, and cannot see that there is any reason for this. It would appear that it could be sited just outside the residential curtilage, but close to the existing outbuilding. GPC considers that the Landscape officer should advise.
14/503242 The Old Smithy The Plain Goudhurst
Reduce Horse Chestnut by approx. 25% with a proportional width reduction
cutting back to approximate branch axles. Lightly thin the crown and removed
deadwood. Raise the crown to approx. 16 ft in accordance with Highway requirement
Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) considers that it is reasonable to lift the crown of this tree, in order to facilitate the passage of high vehicles as they turn onto Balcombes Hill and for improved road sign visibility, but it has serious reservations regarding the extent of the overall reduction of the tree as indicated in the application illustration, This would appear to be excessive and unnecessary.
In summary, GPC recommends approval of raising the crown, but recommends refusal of the other work which appears to be too drastic in the conservation area.
Tree Officer to advise.
14/502829 Bedgebury Visitor Centre Bedgebury Road Goudhurst
Erection of a temporary marquee as a replacement café facility from 22 September
2014 to 30 April 2015
This would appear to be a sensible arrangement, while works are carried out to the Visitor Centre.
14/503284 Lamberts Church Road Goudhurst
Trees: 1 - Bay Tree trim 30-40%, 2 - Lamberts cobnut trim, 3- Beech trim,
4 - Horse Chestnut fell and plant replacement, 5 - Horse Chestnut reduce by 50%,
6 - Oak trim, 7 - Horse Chestnut remove lower limb and tidy, 8 - Horse Chestnut
Reduce lower limb, 9 - House Chestnut tidy.
Subject to the advice of the Tree Officer, GPC is content that this application is approved.
245/14 DCLG Consultation on Planning and Travellers. A copy of this Consultation dated September 2014 was included with the Agenda papers for this meeting but Council was not minded to respond at present.
CIVIC AMENITY VEHICLE
246/14 Following Minute 218/14. Cllr Stephen Wickham presented the Minutes of a consultation meeting held at the Town Hall on 02 October 2014. He had attended this meeting with The Clerk. The objective was for TWBC to hear the opinions of the Parish Councils concerning the future of the Civil Amenity Vehicle (CAV) (the refuse lorry that visits the Parishes variously on Saturdays and Sundays). TWBC’s position on this is that it is a ‘discretionary’ service and could therefore be withdrawn by TWBC as a cost saving measure. Apart from the cost of providing the service, it is not helping TWBC or KCC meet the County or Borough Council’s “recycle, reuse, compost” policy or targets as none of the waste collected by the CAV is segregated and therefore goes to landfill at considerable, and increasing, cost. Subsequent discussion raised many varying points of view but (probably) the majority of Parishes wanted the CAV service to continue. Some expressed the view that TWBC could refine the service by offering means to segregate the waste before it goes into the CAV. More publicity by TWBC on recycling would help.
Members agreed with the view put by GPC at the consultation meeting which was “Goudhurst would not want the CAV service to be withdrawn and would consider making a financial contribution towards the costs.”
247/14 Advertising Posters and Banners on Council’s Land. The Clerk presented a proposal outlining current practice on this matter. Generally, in consultation with the Chairman of the Amenities Committee, Council allows a maximum of 2 large posters or banners at The Plain at any time. No display should be put up more than 10 days before an event and must be removed immediately after. Local organisations have priority over those from outside the Parish . There is a restriction on numbers as otherwise the Plain can look ‘untidy’ in the conservation area. Posters and signs that are not temporary are subject to planning permission. Council will use discretion on posters and banners at land that is not ours e.g. Tattlebury Triangle which belongs to Kent Highways. Resolved: to accept the proposal as a Policy with the Clerk and Chairman Amenities Committee taking a sensible and flexible approach.
248/14 Parish Council Meeting Dates 2015. Noted by Members without comment.
249/14 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:
DDR BT CCTV & Broadband at Goudhurst High St 180.03
3483 AVB Farnfield September 14 pay and expenses £1,135.42
3484 HM Revenue & Customs September 14 PAYE and NI £365.54
3485 Grounds Care and General St Mary’s mowing contract September 14 £1147.20
3486 Pearson’s Landscapes The Plain etc maint – September 14 £81.90
3487 Peter Watkins PROW maint & Christ Church mowing £218.50
3488 Paul & Eileen Landon War Memorial garden maint September 14 £30.00
3489 Microshade Business Consultants Citrix Server inv 7836 £51.60
3490 David Denton Christ Church mowing (Muggridge) £357.00
3491 St Mary’s PCC Hire of Children’s Chapel x 3 times £39.00
3492 Goudhurst Parish Hall Meeting room hire Oct 14 – Mar 15 £375.00
3493 PKF Littlejohn LLP Audit Council’s Accounts 2013/14 £360.00
3494 Kent County Playing Fields Assoc Annual subscription 2014/15 £20.00
3495 B&K Electrical Contractors Chequer Field pavilion electrics maint £114.71
3496 KALC Clerk’s training – Finance day £72.00
3497 Complete Weed Control Weed control at St Mary’s £270.00
3498 Complete Weed Control Weed Control Christ Church £171.00
3499 Chroma Vision Replacement CCTV camera at The Vine £714.00
3500 Chroma Vision Replacement CCTV monitor £1054.80
3501 ATG Richards Postage £62.00
3502 Notcutts Garden Centre Planting Chequer Field £19.99
3503 Capel Cottage Garden Centre Planting Chequer Field £46.50
3504 Mrs A Broom Chequer Field planting £25.00
3505 Mrs A Broom Goudhurst in Bloom rosettes £14.55
3506 AVB Farnfield Goudhurst in Bloom awards expenses £47.45
3507 JK Business Machines Photocopier maint £132.00
DDR E-on Energy The Plain light and Kilndown kiosk £11.40
DDR Veolia Burial Grounds bin Sep 14 £136.80
250/14 Receipts in September 14
Burial Board £460.00
TWBC: Precept 2nd half 2014/15 £25,890.00
NatWest: Interest July – September 214 £6.03
251/14 Bank reconciliation to end September 14. Noted that Council’s cash book balances total £78.352.54
War Memorial Refurbishment Fund: see Minute 241/14
252/13 Statement of expenditure and receipts against budget for April to September 2014. Members noted
that there are no significant unexplained variations from Budget.
ANNUAL ACCOUNTS 2013/2014 and AUDIT
253/13 Following Minute 106/14. Members noted that the Annual Return for 2013/14 had been signed off by the Audit Commission (PKF Littlejohn LLP) on 21 September 2014 with a minor comment which does not affect either the Accounting or Annual Governance statements . The Clerk has posted the relevant notices on the notice board.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
254/14 Monday 10 November 2014. Parish Council Open Meeting. 7.45 pm in the Parish Hall.
ITEMS FOR INFORMATION
255/14 The following items were noted:
- Letter dated 08 October 2014 from Kent Police & Crime Commissioner seeking comment on the new local policing model.
- Local, the TWBC Autumn edition news magazine
The Meeting closed at 9.34 pm.
WAR MEMORIALS COMMITTEE
Notes of a Meeting held on Thursday 11 September 2014 at the Jessel Room
Present: Cllrs Tony Richards
Mr Peter Rolington and Mr Richard Dixon as advisers.
Anthony Farnfield as Clerk.
Apologies: Cllrs Phil Kirkby and Clive Roberts. Mr Roger Joye
It was noted that the Meeting was not quorate but it was agreed to proceed since no decisions were to be made, only recommendations to the Parish Council.
Finance. It was noted that receipts amounted to a total of £12,026.10 whilst payments totalled £12,023.28. That was considered satisfactory and the account was considered closed. It was agreed to recommend to Council that the possibility of obtaining a £200.00 grant under the TWBC Member Community Grants Programme was not necessary and should not proceed.
Review of the events on 2nd and 4th August. It was noted that the unveiling on 02 August and the evening ceremony on 04 August to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI had been a great success. Significant numbers had attended both events. The weather had been good. The elderly had enjoyed their lunch in the Parish Hall and this had led to several joining the Lunch Club. The Ex-Servicemen’s Club reported that they had run out of membership application forms but thy had nevertheless recruited several new members. The projection of photos of the Goudhurst fallen on to the white wall of the Vine had been well received. Peter Rolington showed a selection of photos taken on both occasions that he had uploaded to Flickr.
TWBC Magazine ‘Local.’ Mr Joye and Mr Rolington are writing and article with a selection of photos for ‘Local’ the TWBC quarterly magazine which is delivered to all households in the Borough.
War Memorial Committee to be wound up. It was agreed to recommend to the Parish Council that the Committee be would up with any residual responsibilities being passed to the Parish Council Amenities Committee.
Freedom of Information policy: download policy document (Microsoft Word®)
Clerk to the Parish Council
Anthony Farnfield MBE
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