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GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL
Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green

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MINUTES OF A MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL

at The Jessel Room, Goudhurst Parish Hall on Monday 14 March 2016 at 7.30 pm 

PRESENT:  Councillors Philip Kirkby (Acting Chairman), Mrs Angela Broom, David Boniface, Alan Foster,  Tom Malt, Barry Noakes,  Guy Sutton and Stephen Wickham.

1 Members of the Public who left after Item 400/15.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

397/15 were accepted from Cllrs Antony Harris (overseas), Mrs Carol Ash (travelling), Sean Gilder (family commitment) and Mrs Georgia Read-Cutting (family commitment). Also County Cllr Alex King.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

398/15 The Chairman reminded Members of their responsibility to any Declarations of Interest on Agenda items for this meeting and any changes to their Register of Interest Declarations.

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

399/15 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 08 February 2016, copies of which had been previously distributed to Members, be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC

400/15 Mrs Barbara Stafford read out a prepared statement covering ‘Beware Pedestrians’ signs on the Bedgebury Road,  a suggested ‘See and be Seen’ campaign aimed at pedestrians wearing dark clothing and walking on the wrong side of Bedgebury Road in darkness, and Speedwatch.

REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

401/15 County Cllr Alex King reported by e-mail.    He hopes the B2079 Bedgebury Road/Lady Oak Lane reduced speed limits will be implemented this month.  If the Parish Council decides to hold an event to mark the Queen’s birthday this year he is willing to contribute £250 from his Member Fund.   If the Parish Council decides to go ahead with a Speed Indicator Device he will make a contribution of £500.

Noted that the KCC budget for 2016/17 was agreed last month at 1.99% increase plus 2% Social Care premium.

AMENITIES COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Amenities Committee presented the Minutes of an extra meeting held on 07 March 2016:

402/15 Balcombes Hill Car Park and Public Toilet:  Transfer of Titles.  Noted that Council had signed the Agreements on 01 March 2016 and Buss Murton Law confirmed that they had passed the documents to TWBC on the following day.  Council has asked for completion on or about 01 April 2016.

403/15 Balcombes Hill Toilet Block cleaning.  Noted that invitations to bid had been sent to 5 contractors.

Resolved to accept the Amenities Committee recommendation  that Tenterden Twilight be appointed on a 12 months initial contract.

404/15 Balcombes Hill Toilets – PHS Washrooms.  Noted that they provide services not provided by cleaning contractors.  Resolved to accept the Amenities Committee recommendation that PHS Washrooms be contracted at a cost of £249.04 annum to provide Sanitary Disposal Units, Airscent Bursts, Flow Saver and Autosan.  This cost is the same as TWBC’s contract with PHS.

405/15 Balcombes Hill Toilet Block – Hand washing facilities.  Noted that Wallgate & Co has 4 units in the toilets.  It was resolved to accept the Wallgate charge of  £816.00 annum.   Members noted that Wallgate is a leading provider of these facilities and that their charge is reasonable; Council resolved not to seek further quotes for 2016/17 for this service.  The Clerk will ask Wallgate to provide 4 new units with the start of this new contract.

406/15 Balcombes Hill Toilet Block fabric maintenance.   It was resolved to appoint Hurstway to carry out any  ad-hoc maintenance tasks as and when required.  Noted that if Hurstway is unable to provide 24/7 plumbing assistance, Council will make a suitable arrangement with an alternative company that provides plumbing services.

407/15 Balcombes Hill Toilet Block Roof.  Following on Minute 357/15, it was noted that the Clerk has briefed Ashford & Cranbrook Roofing to go ahead with the necessary repairs.

408/15 Balcombes Hill Toilet Block – Electrical Systems.  Following on Minute 360/15, it was noted that the Clerk has appointed  GM Monk accordingly.

409/15 Car Park Regulation Orders.  Noted that the Clerk has made initial contact with the KCC Solicitor who handles these matters.  Council needs to decide which items we wish to include bearing in mind we will provide minimal enforcement.  The Clerk is to follow up with KCC.

410/15 Chequer Field and Pavilion; Transfer of Title.  Following Minute 368/15.  Noted that the Clerk had written to the Chief Executive TWBC to draw his attention that has been no further progress on resolving the legal issues relating to the transfer of the Chequer Field title to the Parish Council.  The Chief Executive had replied on 11 March 2016 indicating TWBC Legal Department is working on a solution to the problems that have arisen.

411/15 Chequer Field – Condition of the Pitch. Following Minute 369/15It was noted that the Clerk had written to the Chief Executive TWBC to draw his attention to the poor condition of the pitch which had become, in effect, unfit for purpose.  The Chief Executive had replied on 11 March 2016 indicating TWBC Legal Department is working on a solution to the problem.

412/15 Chequer Field Grounds Maintenance Contract.  Resolved  that the Capel Groundcare contract should be renewed with a 3% increase for 2016/17 over the 2015/16 rate and additionally a further 3% increase for each of the years 2017/18 and 2018/19.  Under Financial Regulations 12.1 (c) Council resolved that this contractor’s charges are good value and the standard of work is excellent.  No further bids will be sought.

413/15 The Plain and Goudhurst Pond area Grounds Maintenance Project.  Resolved that the contract with our current contractor should be renewed at a cost of £86.00 per month for 2016/17, £88.58 for 2017/18 and £93.00 for 2018/19.  Under Financial Regulations 12.1 (c) Council resolved that this contractor’s charges are good value and the standard of work is excellent.  No further bids will be sought.

414/15 Tattlebury Triangle seasonal leaf removal.  Resolved  that the contract with our current contractor for the autumn leaf removal (to control leaf miner disease) be renewed at £154.00 for 2016/17, £158.62 for 2017/18 and £166.55 for 2018/19.

416/15 Goudhurst War Memorial: Flag Pole.  It was noted that The Royal British Legion, Goudhurst Branch (RBL), had approached Council with the proposal that the flag pole, presently established on the Goudhurst Ex-Servicemen’s Club (Social Club) land, should be moved to a point within the War Memorial curtilage (Parish Council land).  Resolved to respond to the RBL that to move the flag pole as suggested would place it too close to the War Memorial; it “would then not look quite right.”  It should stay in its present position close to, but not within, the curtilage of the Memorial.   Resolved that under the power of the Highways Act 1980 s144, Council will purchase a suitable replacement flagpole and cover the cost of its future maintenance since the present one is in a very fragile condition.  The flag pole will become Council’s property for insurance purposes but  RBL will continue to manage the use of the flag pole e.g. the rota for raising and lowering of the flag.  RBL will also reconfirm with the Ex-Servicemen’s Club that they are content that the flag pole should continue to be situated on their land.

417/15 Goudhurst Social Club Car Park.  It was noted that the Social Club Committee had declined Council’s proposal that for an annual fee from the Council they should allow limited parking on the Social Club’s car park.

HIGHWAYS and FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Highways and Footpaths Committee presented the Minutes of a Highways & Footpaths Committee held on 23 February 2016:

418/15 HGV Traffic Survey on A262.   Resolved  to commission Kent Highways to carry out a survey in June 2016  similar to that carried out in June 2009.

419/15 Speed Indicator Device (SID).  Noted that by Minute 118/15 expenditure of £5,000 has been approved for this project.  Resolved to approve expenditure of up to a further £1,375 to purchase a Mini SID to include 5 poles at sites to be agreed on which the Mini SID can be activated from time to time.  The Clerk will place this order with Kent Highways.

PLANNING COMMITTEE   

It was resolved to note the following Decisions from TWBC and agree the Representations:

420/15 DECISIONS

15/501243 Monks Summerhill Goudhurst

Demolition of garage and bedroom accommodation above together with removal of porch to dwelling. Construction of single storey extension to accommodate garden room to main house and ancillary accommodation for use by elderly, disable relatives

Application permitted

15/510244 Monks Summerhill Goudhurst

Listed building consent – demolition of garage and bedroom accommodation above together with removal of porch to dwelling. Construction of single storey extension to accommodate garden room to main house and ancillary accommodation for use by elderly, disabled relatives

Application permitted

15/509194 Brandfold The Pumphouse North Road Goudhurst

Conversion of Pumphouse building into gymnasium / Games room and guest accommodation

Application permitted

421/15 APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in February 2015:

16/500322 Zion Cottages 1 Ranters Lane Goudhurst

Listed Building application for internal alterations

Recommend approval

These proposals would appear to be required to bring the cottage up to modern standards, which Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) supports.   Subject to the views of the Conservation Officer on matters of detail, GPC is content that the application is approved.

15/501216 Land off Chequers Road Goudhurst

Outline application for a residential development for older residents with all matters to be reserved for future consideration – additional information received

Recommend refusal

• Whilst noting that Highways have not strongly opposed this proposal, they clearly have doubts about elderly pedestrians crossing Chequers Road at this point.

• This site is some 900 m from the village centre which is a long walk for elderly residents, particularly as they may have mobility problems;

• Whilst Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) considers that the new statement produced is helpful, GPC would point out that elderly residents down-sizing are unlikely to be needing a discounted property;

• The case in Dartmoor which is cited in support of the application is addressing the needs of tenants moving to property ownership.   The application does not clearly indicate that this is what is proposed in this case.

Refer to Committee if officers are minded to approve

16/501027 Brandfold Cottages North Road Goudhurst

Proposed first floor rear extension and ground floor single storey rear extension

Recommend approval

This proposal will have very limited impact on the location or the AONB.   On the assumption that the proposed additional accommodation does not go beyond TWBC’s policy limit, GPC is content that approval is granted.

TRAINING

422/15 KALC Dynamic Councillor at Kings Hill on 14 April 2016.  It was noted that Cllrs Tom Malt and Phil Kirkby will attend.

423/15 KALC Health and Safety Accreditation Training at Sevenoaks on 09 June 2016Noted that the Clerk will attend.

424/15 The Good Councillors Guide 2016 Edition was distributed to Members.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETINGS

425/15 It was noted that the Goudhurst Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Tuesday 19 April.  However the date of the Kilndown Annual Parish meeting has been changed from 21 April to Thursday, 28 April so as to avoid celebrations to mark HM The Queen’s birthday on the evening of 21 April.

ACCOUNTS 

425/15 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

3757 AVB Farnfield Feb 16 pay and expenses £2,262.46

3758 HM Revenue & Customs Feb 16 PAYE and NI £794.99

3759 Capel Groundcare Grounds maint contract Feb 16 £856.50

3760 Pearsons Landscapes The Plain maint Jan 16 Inv 223 £69.90

3761 Pearsons Landscapes The Plain maint Feb 16 Inv 243 £69.90

3762 Viking Statioinery £8.84

3763 KALC Good Councillors Guides £28.00

3764 David Windsor Tree at Chequer Field £50.00

3765 C B Noakes Christmas Tree Goudhurst High St £60.00

3766 Peter Watkins PROW maint and bollards at Curtisden Green £210.00

3767 AVB Farnfield Casual labour to re-stain Burial Grounds gates £30.00

3768 PCC Goudhurst Replace lost cheque 3740 stopped £14.00

3769 Tate Fencing PROW maintenance materials £181.38

3770 Microshade Citrix Inv 8808 £54.30

3771 The Helping Hand Co Litter picking equipment £222.00

DDR Southern Electric Energy Chequer Field Pavilion £96.10

DDR Veolia Burial Grounds bin February 16 £136.26

426/15 Receipts in February 2016

Burial Board £590.00

Defibrillator fund£100.00

NatWest interest£3.20

Goudhurst United FC£600.00

427/15  Bank reconciliationResolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the end of February 2016 and noted that Council’s cash at bank was  £95,522.59

AUDIT

428/15 Noted that Mr David Buckett will be visiting to carry out the annual internal audit of Council’s accounts and procedures on Thursday 07 April 2016.

The Meeting closed at  9.00 pm

Anthony Farnfield, Clerk

These Minutes are subject to approval at the next meeting of Council

Clerk to the Parish Council

Anthony Farnfield MBE

copyright © 2016 Goudhurst Parish Council