Challock Parish Council Annual Meeting Minutes
Tuesday 19th June 2018, 7.30pm
Members of public present: approximately 18
Michael Fisher (Chair) Annabel Burden (Vice Chair), Dianne Sandy (Clerk), Trevor Smith, John Ramsden, Max Thomas & Emma Fox.
KCC Ward Councillor Charlie Simkins & ABC Ward Councillor Larry Krause
Cllr Michael Fisher welcomed everyone to the meeting and the Parish Councillors introduced themselves.
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting 13th June 2017
The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting 13th June 2017 signed by the Chairman Michael Fisher as accurate and correct.
Cllr Michael Fisher reported on the following:
As Chairman I am pleased to report on the highlights of the activities of Challock Parish Council during the past year. I am privileged to have a hardworking committed team of Parish Councillors and to report on the considerable work carried out by them. My thanks to you all for your support during the past year. There have been no changes to the board of Councillors.
Finances have maintained good order however; all levels of local government have to operate under severe financial constraints and Challock Parish Council need to be mindful of this. The Parish Council continues to look at maintaining costs to a minimum. The Parish Council need to be cautious with our future spending and projects and cannot rely on grants we have traditionally received.
Speeding issues continue to be a particular concern in the Village. Our efforts to date have included encouraging the Police to be active in speed monitoring. Further correspondence with Damian Green MP regarding a new footpath along Buck Street/Faversham Road and speeding through the village; Damian has offered his support on the new footpath and will be taking the speeding up with KCC Highways. A request has been made to Highways for a Highways Inspector to carry out an assessment of the traffic in Church Lane during the school drop off and pick up times and look at ways this problem could be alleviated.
The pot holes on the Lees track have been maintained regularly as well as the odd fallen trees/shrub by the grounds man. Aspire are contracted to carry out the grass cutting as per schedule. The smaller areas are carried out by the grounds man. The Parish Council will continue to preserve the Lees and its amenities.
Post Office Car Park
Due to the deterioration of the post office car park the Parish Council are in the process of obtaining quotes for a new drainage system to be installed. A permeable test has been recently carried out and now awaiting the results to determine what type of drainage system would be most effective. Upon installation of the new drainage system the repair to the car park surface will be carried out. Funding will be sought to assist with the costs along with a request to the post office and local residents for a donation.
An annual safety inspection of the play equipment is undertaken for the Parish Council.
Overall the village is kept clean and tidy and the grounds man continues to do an excellent job in maintaining the Lees track and pathways. A dog bin is due to be installed at the Beech Court gardens end of the Lees this summer.
In April the village litter pick was organized in conjunction with ABC Kent Clean Campaign.
17 adults and children picked litter around the village; the recreation ground, Blind Lane, Church Lane and the Lees. The Parish Council wishes to thank those who took part. The Parish Council also wishes to thank parishioners ‘unsung heroes’ who take it upon themselves to do the occasional litter pick, trim and tidy areas around the village and to thank volunteers who distribute and deliver the Forester Magazines.
Publicity & Community Events
Community events in the village have notably declined with the absence of the Challock Goose Fair.
The Methodist Chapel has held their annual boot fair. There are 2 spaces available for community groups in the village who wish to hold a boot fair to raise funds.
The Primary School, Methodist Chapel and Challock Church all make a real difference to the community we have. The Church is still looking to fill 2 vacancies for Church Warden.
Publicity is circulated via Notice Boards, KM Roundabout, Forester, Challock Website and Challock Chatter. Challock Parish Council will continue and endeavor to improve communications via these forms of media.
William Oure Trust
This trust originates from William Oure whose 2 acres of land in Pested Lane known as the Poor Field and its annual rent, the proceeds of which would be distributed by the church at Christmas time to the poor people of the Parish. The trust operates differently in these times and is registered with the Charity Commission. From time to time a request is made to the Parish Council to assist a parishioner who is in need. The funds in the trust stand as of May 2018 at £3,614.91. Mr Peter Nightingale has recently informed the parish council he wishes to no longer continue to rent the poor field; the Parish Council has received an offer from a local farmer to rent the poor field. Currently a new agreement is being drawn up. The poor field operates as an apple orchard.
The confines project took place during 2012/13 and in 2014 Ashford Borough Council gave its approval for the boundary changes to take place. A number of planning applications have come forward during 2015. The majority of these dwellings are 4 bedrooms. Currently to date 19 houses have been completed and 22 houses are under construction.
My last Chairman report stated expected total of 71 properties will be built in the village in the coming years; this has now increased to100 to include the potential Cox Development at Old Clockhouse Green. Due to a new update on projected population figures and unsuccessful planning applications for developments at Tenterden, Smarden and Brabourne, Ashford Borough Council put forward to ABC Cabinet Committee for the inclusion of Omission Site at Orchard Lane for the development of 15 dwellings to the Local Plan. At the last Annual Meeting and Local Plan Consultation which took place in July 2017 with the inclusion of proposed omission sites to the Local Plan.
The outcome was the Parish Council would not support applications for further developments and felt Challock had contributed enough through the village confines.
The village confines are now due for a review. As Challock Parish Council are considered pioneers with High Halden currently working on their village confines. A meeting will be taking place with the planning department at ABC to discuss and establish the process of carrying out a review of the village confines for Challock.
The Skate Park is still at the forefront as funding is almost complete and will be looking to move forward with this project commencing autumn 2018/19. Going forward with the play park upgrade the Clerk will endeavor to secure funding through other avenues.
During April 2017 Challock Parish Council received a scoping opinion Hegdale Quarry application on proposals to change use of inert waste to asbestos type materials. This has received an enormous amount of opposition and a Scoping Opinion Hegdale Quarry Sub-Committee was formed to assist the Parish Council in commenting on the Scoping Opinion. A campaign group has also been established. No further update as yet but it is anticipated that Ovenden’s will at some stage put in a planning application.
Village Telephone Box
The village telephone box was adopted by the Parish Council and renovated to hold a defibrillator which was installed last September. A successful training session on using a defibrillator was given by Craig Bickers (BM Ambulance Service) which was held at their base in Little Chart. A further training session will be arranged for this October.
First World War Commemorative 2018
To commemorate the end of the First World War it is hoped to mark it by holding an event in the village hall which Councillor Trevor Smith is organizing; to follow afterwards on the Lees the lighting of the beacon (bonfire) on the 11th November 2018. The Parish Council is currently applying for Armed Forces funding to have installed a number of silhouettes to be on display around the village.
- Skate Park with the expected target date of installation commencing autumn 2019.
- To continue to identify Outdoor Play Space Projects, including further upgrade of the play park and secure funding
- Set up a community speed watch group and continue to campaign for reduce speed limit and road safety measures around the village.
- To review the footways in the village and to look to continue campaigning for new footways to be added in particular Faversham Road.
- To install a memory garden on the section of the Lees.
- To commence planning for the commemorative of the end of the First World War 2018. Parish Council is planning to light a bonfire on the Lees to mark the event.
Councillor Trevor Smith is organizing a commemorative event in the village hall on the 11th November prior to the bonfire being lit on the Lees.
The Parish Council are keen to know the projects residents would like to see the Council working on along with dealing with issues, requests for grants and support. Residents are welcomed to attend Parish Meetings, contact through email or mail to c/o Post Office.
Thank you for coming to this evening’s Annual Parish Meeting and thank you all for your support.
Report from Charlie Simkins KCC Councillor for Ashford Rural for the year to May 2018
KCC Ward Councillor reported the following:-
Over the past year I have divided my time between looking after the interests of my constituents in Ashford Rural West. I’m being kept informed of the progress of the footway in Faversham Road that currently has reached an impasse. However, I’m keen for the footway to proceed and recognize the need. The request for congestion survey for Church Lane has been logged; please keep me updated. Regarding the post office car park I’m happy to fund this.
There are three main matters I wish to bring to your attention:-
Buses: A report last December on a propose 2 million cut created a howl of protest. Kent County Council has launched its Big Conversation programme which aims to find potential new opportunities in providing rural transport services.
Over the next few months KCC will be running engagement in the form of public meetings and parish seminars. Extremely important for parishioners to express very strongly about their bus service specific.
Pothole Blitz: I accept the potholes around the county are bad the ‘Beast from the East’ exasperated the problem. 8 million has been allocated to the Pothole Blitz Campaign and I would encourage you all to take advantage of these extra funds by reporting problems to the KCC dedicated line.
Education: With Kent’s growing population there were 17,500 increase in secondary school places. Out of the County applying for a place at secondary school 80% achieved first preference, 90% going to 1 in 3 choice of school. 90% of schools in Kent received good and outstanding OSTED reports and can be congratulated.
The County Council continues to face a headwind of rising costs and a reduction in financial support from central government keep going on levelling out by 2020. Council Tax increase of 5% to balance 2018/19 Budget this includes 2% for social care and maintaining front line services.
I enjoy working for you and continue to support you.
ABC Ward Councillor Larry Krause
Councillor Larry Krause referred to Damian Green MP recent correspondence offering support to the Faversham Road footway and that it is not forgotten and will continue to raise this. It is a pleasure to work with Challock Parish Council and parishioners and wish to continue after the elections in May 2019. Changes to the ward will consist of Challock, Westwell and Boughton Aluph
Thank you for your support and continued good relations.
Open Forum for Village Clubs & Organisations
Ray Loftus from the Challock & Molash Gardeners Society is made up of members living in Challock or Molash and is run in an informal manner. We hold shows in Spring & Summer & Autumn in Molash village hall where members and friends enter their flowers, shrubs, herbs etc. that have been grown in their gardens. The evenings are designed to be fun and sociable and helped along by our famous raffle, yummy food and the obligatory glass of wine! The gardeners’ society meets in Molash Village Hall. They are affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society and Kent Federation Horticultural Society. There are currently 50 plus members. Membership costs £4 per annum. There are a number of organized events throughout the year which includes a spring, summer & autumn shows, curry evening and wine tasting evening. During 2018 so far there have been visits to gardens Great Comp and Elham with a planned visit to Hyde Hall Essex in September. During 2017 able to raise £1,000 through Molash Open Gardens event for Ellenor Hospice and holding a Macmillan coffee morning. For more details visit website at www.molashpc.kentparishes.gov.uk.
Diana Sawyer gave a presentation on Friends of Kings Wood was formed because of concerns that the local community was not being kept informed of developments being made in King's Wood. Friends now enjoy a happy and co-operative liaison with the King's Wood management and key user groups, acting as a consultative. The Friends organize a full programme of guided walks throughout the year. The Friends also fund the building of ponds, the buying of nest boxes for birds and mammals and the creation of glades and rides from our own money and through grant applications. Through ‘Awards for All’ able to print leaflets of maps of walks in Kings Wood and can download these on www.friendsofkingswood website.
Tudor Williams gave a presentation on Kent Gliding Club formed during 1930’s and is one of the oldest clubs. 200+ acre airfield in beautiful countryside on top of the North Downs in 1961 the land at Challock was purchased but it was another two years of preparation before the field could be used for gliding. The club now operates 7 days a week from 1 April to 31 October and on Wednesdays and at weekends during the rest of the year. The club consists of 120 members plus and is a non-profitable organization run by volunteers. As well as learning to fly Kent Gliding Club is involved in community flying for disabled and disadvantage young people. Kent Gliding Club would like to invite parishioners from Challock the opportunity to have a free flying lesson and barbecue evening event. This is limited to 10 places. It was agreed for the Gliding Club to liaise with the Clerk for details to be promoted in July’s Forester.
For more information please visit website: www.kent-gliding-club.co.uk.
Sue Starkings gave a presentation on Challock Church part of Kingswood Benefice consisting of 5 churches (Challock, Molash, Chilham, Godmersham, Crundale). Kingswood Benefice is administered by Reverend Paul Ratcliff (Rector) and Reverend Sue Starkings (Associate Priest); next year there will be a reduction in ministry but this will not affect the services at Challock Church. Challock Church will remain open and fully operational. Friends of Challock Church are very active and have held a number of events during the year with Snowdrop Teas, Daffodil Teas and recently John Ward Art all have been very successful raising much needed funds. Up and coming events for the rest of the year are the Invicta Choir, Flower Festival and Christmas Fayre. Keys to the Church are kept at the Post Office if anyone wishes to visit the Church.
Thanking parishioners for their support.
Footpath High Snoad Wood – Parishioner commented on the footpath adjacent to their property which is very overgrown and no maintenance has been carried.
Parish Clerk commented that due to problems with contractors KCC have said they are working with appointed contractor to remedy this and have called in back up personnel to assist. Parish Clerk will report foot path overgrowth to KCC.
William Oure Charity – Parishioner asked if the environmental issues concerning the apple orchard is being addressed. Councillor Trevor Smith said a new lease is currently being drawn up and waiting to hear from BLF for the Parish Council to approve.
Michael Fisher Chair thanked everyone.
Meeting closed at 8.45 pm.
Next Annual Parish Meeting to take place 2019 date to be confirmed.