Challock Parish Council Meeting Minutes
Memorial Hall, Audrey Allen room
Thursday, 19th July 2018, 7.30pm
Members of public present: 10
Councillor Michael Fisher sends his apologies due to annual leave.
Councillor Emma Fox sends her apologies due to work commitments.
ABC Ward Councillor Larry Krause sends his apologies due to full council meeting.
Annabel Burden (Vice Chair), John Ramsden, Trevor Smith, Anthony Aitken, Max Thomas & Di Sandy (Clerk).
Annabel Burden thanked everyone for attending.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors Annabel Burden, Max Thomas, John Ramsden and Anthony Aitken had no new changes to the declarations of interest. Councillor Trevor Smith informed the parish council that a new planning application 18/01014/AS Land west to Paddock Rise for land he owns has been lodged on the planning portal by a prospective buyer.
Minutes of Last Meeting
Minutes of 24th May 2018 meeting were signed by Annabel Burden as an accurate record.
Grounds man has strimmed along foot paths adjacent to the Barn Shop and entrance to foot path at junction at Church Lane/Canterbury Road.
Clerk has reported to KCC Foot paths overgrown footpath at junction at Church Lane/Canterbury Road and Buck Street.
Grounds man has strimmed hedge adjacent to High Snoad Wood entrance.
Grounds man has filled the pot holes on the Lees tracks and strimmed area by trees at the Church Lane end of the Lees.
Grounds man has carried out a back-up of the Lees and strimmed the pathway at the top end of the Lees in the wooded area under the Lees contract.
A metal brace has been fitted to a split tree branch to one of the trees at the top end of the Lees.
A further tree has come down partially in the play park. Grounds man has cut back and carried out weeding around the perimeter of the play park.
Grounds man has tilled the play park.
The ROSPA Play Park Inspection has taken place.
- Email from Harry Kenton BTF re poor field lease agreement and is currently be checked by their legal department to ensure the lease compiles with regulations required for charities.
- An email from BDW Homes notifying us from 21st July to the 2nd September part of the A251 section of the Ashford Road, Faversham will be closed over the course of the summer holidays to accommodate highways improvements i.e. new roundabout, for the new Perry Court Development.
- An email from KCC re Big Conversation Rural Bus Scheme and public consultations. Parishioners can visit one of the seminars taking place or complete on-line questionnaire open until 8th August 2018. This is an opportunity for parishioners to have their say regarding rural bus services in particular our bus service 666 and 667.
- An email from England Highways notifying of listening exercise. The exercise is inviting feedback on the development of a lorry holding area. Also inviting views on the possible provision of 24-hour lorry parking facilities for everyday use by lorry drivers, which could help with lorry parking problems in Kent. The deadline for responding is 22nd July 2018.
- An email from KCC Footpaths regarding their annual vegetation clearance and have experienced problems and are working with the contractors to clear the outstanding works.
- An email from NALC (National Association of Local Councils) notifying of a revised Procurement which is the process local council’s use to award contracts to third parties, contractors.
- An email from ABC regarding their Housing Statement Consultation which runs from 18th June to 30th July 2018 inviting comments on 1) Our overarching priorities in our Housing Statement and 2) The subjects covered by the series of strategies
- An email from NALC requesting tighter laws on unauthorised encampments calling for principal authorities and the police to have more powers.
- An email from PCSO Lee Sinden informing the Parish Council he is no longer officer for Challock. PCSO Aarron Newell and Matthew Morgan will be covering Challock Parish.
- An email from Dave Beckley notifying of his retirement in August 2018 and thanking you all for your help and support during his time working within the villages.
- A letter from a parishioner Rita Elgar concerning the foot path adjacent to her property. The contractors have recently been out and strimmed along part of the foot path. However, there is a large chestnut tree with protruding roots above the ground along the foot path and potentially a trip hazard especially when covered over with leaves etc.
Matters Arising from Correspondence
Councillor Emma Fox to report back on the Parish Forum (Kent Association of Local Councils)
at the next parish meeting. Agenda items discussed was the local plan with Simon Cole in attendance and water and waste was also discussed at the meeting.
Regarding the protruding tree trunk along the foot path at High Snoad Wood; the Clerk has visited the site and the chestnut tree with visible tree roots. This particular foot path is strewn along with trees and visible roots. Not sure what action can be done to alleviate this however, the Clerk will check with Highways.
The current account balance on 30th June 2018 £12,522.89
The NS&I account balance is £11,739.71
Internal Audit Report
The Auditor did not find anything major in the financial audit to report and found the record keeping being of a good standard and the Parish Council’s approach to the management of risks to be sound. As a result of the audit and discussions with the Clerk was able to answer ‘YES’ to all the relevant questions contained in the AIAR for 2017-18.
The Auditor found all the financial records to be accurate and up to date. There were no unexplained entries in the bank reconciliations.
The recent unauthorized encampment on the Lees led to the use of Bailiffs who was able to move the encampment on within 24 hours. ABC has changed their bailiffs and finds Able Enforcement more effective in removal of encampments than previous enforcement companies. Therefore there was a significant increase in cost in using bailiffs on this occasion amounting to £2,500; during 2015 the Parish Council was charged £300 however, the encampment took longer to remove 7 days in total.
Under our budget the bailiff’s costs have been allocated under our contingency which is £1900. The remainder will come from legal costs which £1500 has been allocated.
The Clerk recommends reviewing the precept/budget in November; to revise the amount allocated under the contingency. This may require the precept for 2018/19 being increased to accommodate the possibility of future unauthorized encampments.
The Parish Council sent an email to Martin Hook thanking him for tidying up the area after the traveller’s left.
The following cheques were signed:
Cheque No: 102550 RSR Permeable Test £480
Cheque No: 102551 Axon Welding and Fabrication for tree brace £384.00
Cheque No: 102552 J Sandy Ground Works + Play Park Maintenance £228.10
Cheque No: 102553 D Sandy Stationary £35.54
Cheque No: 102554 Playsafety Ltd ROSPA £88.20
Noted: The tree brace cost comes out of the £1200 allocated for tree maintenance budget
Councillor Annabel Burden commented the estimate for the tree brace should have been relayed back to the Clerk and Councillors for decision and a tree survey should have been carried out prior to the brace being fitted.
The following applications were discussed:
18/00917/AS Green Lane Farmhouse, Green Lane, Challock, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4BL
Single storey rear extension, addition of partition walls at ground and first floor, reduction in width of window at first floor rear elevation, removal of window and door at ground floor rear elevation to facilitate extension
Decision: Challock Parish Council supports this application
18/00916/AS Green Lane Farmhouse, Green Lane, Challock, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4BL
Single storey rear extension
Decision: Challock Parish Council supports this application.
Ratification of Planning Applications
The following planning applications were ratified.
18/00856/AS - Green Lane Farmhouse, Green Lane, Challock, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4BL
Flue for new boiler
Challock Parish Council Supports this application.
18/00863/AS - Trevargee, Church Lane, Challock, Ashford, TN25 4BS
Single storey rear extension and loft conversion to include rear velux roof windows
Challock Parish Council Supports this application. Providing neighbours’ views are taken into consideration.
Post Office Car Park
A permeable test on the Lees has been carried out. The result show as inconclusive, but does show the soil has some permeability. RSR suggest if a storm water system is installed then it needs to be a large enough one, but state there are no guarantees how long it will last.
Clerk has commenced obtaining quotations for the tarmacking of the surface area which is badly damaged and would need doing as soon as possible after the drainage is completed.
Quotations received for the car park drainage are as follows:-
Landscape Services £4,435.72 + VAT
R Harvey £1500 + £300 VAT
RSR Drainage £8,630 + VAT
Trevor May Linear Drainage System £995 + VAT
In addition Wilson’s Tarmac have given a quotation for the drainage work as well as for tarmacking the surface:-
The drainage quote is £1795 + £359 VAT
The tarmacking the surface area is £2885 + £577 VAT.
Due to the unauthorised encampment the contingency budget has been absorbed and there are no funds available in the budget for the Parish Council to make a contribution to the post office car park drainage works and tarmacking and therefore the permeable test cost will come out of the play park equipment contingency budget of which £2800 has been allocated. However, there are possible savings on items within the budget and a VAT refund due that may be ring-fenced for contribution towards the car park works.
For an interim period the Parish Council could arrange for the surface to be filled temporary with macadam, however, the holes are quite big; not sure how effective this might be.
Councillors discussed the quotations. The general consensus was the quotations were quite varied in price and there were concerns regarding the drainage and the permeable test proved inconclusive. Councillor John Ramsden proposed an alternative drainage system by removing the existing drain system and replacing with a gully system and the surface water is via an outlet pipe onto the Lees. Councillors raised their concerns that this type of system would not be effective as the car park is not level but dips. There were concerns regarding the surface water on the Lees not soaking away leaving the area very wet and soggy.
It was agreed that further investigation is required. For the interim period it was agreed for the Clerk to arrange for the drain and pipe to be cleared of mud and stones and feasibility/costing of filling the large pot holes with macadam. It was agreed to wait until Councillor Michael Fisher returns from annual leave before any further decisions are made.
Faversham Road Footpath & Village Speeding
A letter sent to Damian Green concerning Faversham Road footpath and speeding through the village has produced a positive response/action. King & Johnson have agreed to give up 1.5 metres of land to allow for a footpath to be installed providing the Parish Council takes responsibility for the maintenance of the grass area. The next step is to draw up agreements with the residents and King & Johnson. The Clerk is liaising with KCC Highways with the process of drawing up agreements.
The Parish Council has received an email from Jason Atkinson Community Safety Inspector with the following response:-
The safety of the public and my members of staff are the primary concern but clearly the above comments are extremely limiting in terms of any Speed Watch deployments and I completely understand that local residents find it intimidating and unsafe which (may) account for the lack of volunteers. The education of motorists, the patience of your community along with the cooperation of KCC are all essential to improve this situation as well as the required agreement from the house builder. I have requested that PCSO Newell approach the owners of the private driveways / Help Hire which may offer some deployment options for the digital display (SID). I will update you further but hopefully this email reassures you that Kent Police take such enquiries seriously.
End of First World War Centenary
To mark this event the Parish Council are hoping to organize a film/presentation of anecdotes of village life during the First World War in the Audrey Allen room on the 11th November followed by a lantern parade by families and children to the Lees to light a beacon/bonfire at 7 pm. It is hoped that the school will assist with the children making the lanterns. Also if the Ladies Choir would be interested in singing some old songs that we could join in when on the Lees lighting the beacon. Clerk to liaise with the school and Ladies Choir.
Councillor Trevor Smith informed the Parish Council the presentation will consist of historical information of the airfields at Throwley, Charing & Wye, WW1 embroidery and a short film about WW1. Councillor Trevor Smith proposed in order to gauge how many people attending have a free ticket order system to decide whether to book the Audrey Allen Room or the main hall. All agreed for the Clerk to liaise with Kathy Stevens Village Hall Secretary.
The Clerk is making enquiries with local metal engineering company in the village in constructing a beacon. This may be cheaper than arranging for hire equipment to use to temporarily remove the grass and replace afterwards. There is funding available through ABC for First World War Commemorations which the Clerk can apply.
Clerk has applied for funding for the installation of First World War silhouettes to be placed in the village hall and on the Lees. The application criteria are based on the event we are holding to mark the commemorations and how it will bring the Armed Forces and Civilian Communities together? What other organisations are involved. The Clerk has responded based on the proposed event the Parish Council is organizing. Though the Parish doesn’t have an Armed Forces base nearby we do have parishioners who are retired veterans and RAF. Also one of our parishioners is a member of the RAF Association.
The Clerk requests to purchase a wreath for 11th November 2018. Over the past few years we have re-used 3 old wreaths. One of the wreaths is looking very shabby and therefore look to purchase a new one. There is a special First World War Centenary Wreath priced £18.99.
Councillors agreed for the Clerk to purchase the special First World War Centenary Wreath.
Play Park Inspection – ROSPA Report
The ROSPA Report has been received containing a number of tasks to action. Overall the majority of the play equipment is fairly low/medium risk. However, the Junior Swing posts are showing signs of rot and recommends monitor regularly and plan replacement. Overall risk of the trim trail is low; however the balance rope post is not in good condition and consider replacing post. The net rope is showing wire and recommends replacing rope when wire breaks. The concrete base of the Monkey Slider is exposed and recommends topping up with bark. The junior swing base potential trip hazard, topping of bark required. There is exposed geo-textile on part of the surface. The precept/budget 2018/19 has £2610 allocated for play park maintenance, bark top up. There is also £2800 allocated for contingency for replacement of play equipment.
The Parish Council agreed for the grounds man to spread the existing bark around the junior swing base, monkey slider base and cover geo textile and to replace the rope base.
The Parish Council agreed to look to replace the junior swing for the next financial year 2019/20. Clerk to commence obtaining prices for a replacement junior swing.
It is noted that a top up of bark will be required for the next financial year.
Items for Information
Adoption of new Standing Orders
Due to Chairman not present at July’s Parish Meeting the adoption of new standing orders will now take place at the next Parish Meeting on September 2018.
The Clerk will arrange for another defibrillator training session to take place in October 2018 and will be publicized on the village website, Challock Chatter and the Forester.
Highways Village Inspection
Highways Village Inspection is due to take place in September/October. Any queries relating to highway issues i.e. pot holes, overgrown vegetation etc. to notify Clerk who will pass it onto the Highways Inspector upon visit.
Church Lane Congestion
Further to request to Highways for a visit to Church Lane to assess the congestion problems during school drop off and pick up times. A new person is being appointed at KCC Highways commencing from the 30th July 2018 who will be getting in touch to arrange a meeting.
Councillor Anthony Aitken informed the Parish Council that the Cricket Club will be holding its annual Firework Display on the 2nd November 2018.
A parishioner enquired when the parish council will be carrying out a review of the village confines.
Councillor Trevor Smith said the review of the village confines is now due and there will be a meeting arranged in the near future with Ashford Borough Council to discuss the process. As Challock is the only parish to establish its own village confines; High Halden are currently working on theirs, there is no precedent of carrying out a review of this kind. Therefore the Parish Council will be arranging to meet with the relevant officers at ABC Planning to discuss the way forward.
Councillor Annabel Burden advised the parishioner if he wishes to put forward his land for a single house development to notify Challock Parish Council prior to their meeting with ABC.
Councillor Max Thomas commented that the general consensus from our parishioners is that Challock has had enough houses and do not wish to have further development. If ABC allows for building outside the confines could potentially open the floodgates for developers.
Councillor Trevor Smith commented that the new houses being built will eventually blend in.
A parishioner commented the parish council needs to be proactive in their discussions with ABC when reviewing the village confines as there is a national shortage in housing. Need to have a clear view with evidence based from the parishioners of Challock. It is important for questions to be checked and thought through.
Councillor Trevor Smith commented that the village confines/local plan is forever evolving with inclusion of omission sites of which Cox Development is one that is likely to be permitted. Challock Parish Council did not support this omission site as it is outside of our village confines.
Councillor Annabel Burden commented that the request for the review of the village confines came from us and not ABC.
It was agreed that the Parish Council would meet with ABC first.
Discussion took place regarding the speeding in the village. Parishioner commented that a fatality in the village would only then lead to action. Clerk to liaise with PCSO Matthew Morgan on speed monitoring.
The meeting closed at 9.03 pm
Parish Council Meeting Dates for 2018
Next Parish Meeting 20th September 2018