Challock Parish Council Virtual Minutes
Memorial Hall, Audrey Allen room
Thursday, 16th July 2020, 7.32 pm
Members of public present: 2
Michael Fisher (Chairman), Russell Jaques (Vice Chair), John Ramsden, Tracy Brown, Max Thomas, Anthony Aitken, Duncan Hardie, ABC Downs West Ward Councillor Larry Krause & Di Sandy (Clerk).
Michael Fisher thanked everyone for attending.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors no new changes to the declarations of interest.
Minutes of Last Meeting
Proposed by Councillor Thomas and seconded by Councillor Ramsden.
Aaron Newell PCSO Monthly Report
I have continued to patrol the area and dealt with various reports and incidents. This month I also held my first online digital surgery. This is an opportunity for people to contact me via the Kent Police website ‘Live Chat’ portal to discuss policing matters in their communities. I will be holding these online digital surgeries again in future and these will be advertised in advance.
Challock – I have this month become aware of two reports possibly involving catapults in the village. One report of criminal damage to a vehicle, and one report of a metal ball bearing being found in a garden.
Please can I urge residents to report any catapult incidents to Kent Police. While it is not illegal to own or carry a catapult, and most people do use them safely, there is a small number of individuals that are using catapults illegally to cause offences, such as criminal damage and poaching, and are putting public safety at risk. Police officers have the powers to stop and search anyone who is believed to be carrying a catapult with the intention of using it to cause damage or harm. Anyone caught will risk prosecution.
This month Kent Police have continued to receive reports of nuisance and speeding vehicles in rural locations.
A Police Constable colleague from Ashford Community Safety Unit has conducted speed checks in suitable locations and these will continue and hopefully become wider spread and more often.
As a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) I am currently unable to use a speed gun. Hopefully in the coming months PCSOs will be trained to use the speed gun and I will then be able to use this to conduct speed checks in suitable areas. This will only be for educational and statistical purposes as PCSOs cannot stop vehicles or issue tickets. However, if it shows that there is a regular speeding problem in a particular area, I can ask for speed checks to be conducted by police colleagues and these would be enforceable. PCSOs can only conduct speed checks in suitable safe location on roads with a speed limit of 20, 30, or 40mph. This is the same for any Community Speed Watch scheme.
Most of the speeding reports received have related to 50/60mph roads which I am unable to deal with. I will also contact colleagues from the other departments, for example Special Constables, to ask if they are able to assist with speed checks.
I have recently seen an increase in reports of dog incidents, for example dog on dog attack.
Dog on dog incidents
- Not a police recordable offence
- Normally a civil issue
- Can be reported to the Ashford Borough Council dog warden.
Please make sure you always pick up after your dog.
I will continue to patrol the area as much as possible and deal with any incidents. As always, I would like to remind readers to report any incidents of crime, anti-social behaviour or nuisance vehicles either on 999/101 or on the Kent Police website. The more reports Kent Police receive the better we can deal with the incidents.
Clerk has sent letters to parishioners concerning overgrown hedges adjacent to their properties. This is along Church Lane foot path and Canterbury Road foot path.
PROW – Public Rights of Way
Clerk reported overgrown vegetation along foot path AE88 High Snoad Wood.
The grounds man has continued to water the tree saplings.
Grounds man received delivery of play bark and spread round the play park equipment.
Grounds man has pressure washed the equipment with disinfectant. Clerk has purchased a tank sprayer for future regular cleaning of the equipment in line with covid 19.
Grounds man has reinforced the climbing rope to cover the metal showing through.
Clerk has put up signs reminding parents of social distancing and attached hand sanitizer to fence adjacent to gate entrance.
Clerk to arrange for weekly sanitization of play park equipment and refill hand sanitizer pump.
Councillor Ramsden commented on whether the providing of hand sanitizer is compulsory. Clerk confirmed it is a voluntary deed and not compulsory.
Noted: Parishioner joined the meeting.
- Received correspondence from parishioner notifying the parish council of antisocial behaviour occurring in St Cosmas Close.
- Received documents for Plots 1 – 5 Lily Buds Easement to be signed.
- Received an email from parishioner from Hastingleigh offering to donate an A3 colour illustration of the mural Challock Church by Gordon Davies.
- Received an email from KALC - Following the Government announcement of further easing of Lockdown restrictions from the 4th July, both NALC and the Society of Local Council Clerks are strongly advising Councils to continue to meet remotely, without the need for face-to-face contact.
Matters arising from correspondence
- Clerk has emailed Sheila Davison Head of Welfare, Ashford Borough Council of our concern for the safety and welfare of all our parishioners in St Cosmas Close.
- Councillor Fisher and Aitken signed the Deed of Easement for Plots 1 – 5 Lily Buds. Clerk sent copy of Parish Council Bank Statement for bank details for proceeds to be submitted.
- Clerk has contacted Clare Hook Challock Church Secretary regarding the A3 illustration of mural. Arrangements are in place to collect the illustration and have it framed to be placed in Challock Church.
- Trees Driveway, Challock Lees – A letter has been sent from Girlings on behalf of the Parish Council to owners of Trees concerning the tarmac driveway and to either re-instate driveway to original state or to instruct a surveyor and solicitor for assessment of compensatory means for encroaching on common land due to tarmacking and widening of the driveway. Received an interim invoice from Girlings for £581.40 for charges.
Noted: Councillor Jaques joined the meeting.
A252 Safer Road Scheme Fund
Works are due to commence on the A252 during July & August. Works due to start at the roundabout at the Halfway House has been postponed until August and will be carried out overnight when the road will be closed. Clerk has submitted parish council comments on consultation of speed limit changes. Have requested for consideration for 30 mph throughout the village on the A252 and A251.
Clerk has tried to contact PSE Alan Watson to discuss program to commence speed watch in the village. Clerk will continue to pursue and hopefully be able to speak to Alan Watson.
Faversham Road Footpath
Clerk has received replies from all residents living along the A251 given permission for the topography survey to commence in August. Clerk has advised residents who requested consideration for the metre-high fence to be changed to 2 metre. Once the scheme is implemented, KCC would want to keep the new fence they put back consistent to keep costs down and for ease of construction, therefore sorry, KCC would not entertain individual requests. It may be possible to provide the fencing sub-contractors details to residents once KCC know who the main contractors have selected and they can make their own arrangements and pay for any changes required from the standard, but KCC can’t make any promises on this.
Noted: Councillor Brown joined the meeting.
The current account balance on 30th June 2020 is £9676.74
The NS&I account balance is £11,919.45
Easements Plots 1 – 5 Lilybuds
£6,000 easements from Plots 1, 2 & 5 have been lodged at the bank. A further £2,000 will be lodged once deeds have been signed. Parish Council has enquired when the final £2,000 will be lodged and receipt of completed deeds. Our solicitor has contacted grantees solicitor putting them on notice that any additional fees we incur we expect to be paid by them.
Parish Council to consider easement money to be designated funds for securing the Lees.
The Parish Council are awaiting on quotations for securing the Lees with either concrete bollards or wooden posts. Quotation for a raised bank along part of the Lees is also being considered.
The internal audit took place on Tuesday, 9th June 2020. The Auditor Lionel Robbins signed the AGAR with no concerns. Lionel Robbins reported, members will be pleased to know that I did not find anything major in my financial audit to report and that I found the record keeping to be of a good standard and the Parish Council’s approach to the management of risks to be sound. I discussed with the Clerk the future use of the William Oure Charity. It may be necessary to approach the Charity Commission for approval to change the objects of the charity so that use can be made of the accumulated funds.
The Council has adopted the NALC model Financial Regulations. These contain, among other things, several obsolete references to the Audit Commission and may also need a bit of tailoring to suit Challock PC’s needs more closely.
The Clerk’s contract of employment dates from 2007. There have been numerous legislative and best practice changes since then and the contract needs to be updated.
Noted: Chairman requested for the William Oure to be mentioned regularly at parish meetings, concerned parishioners are not aware of the William Oure Fund and that it is available to parishioners in the village experiencing hardship. Clerk to check the Forester to see if information on the William Oure are published.
Clerks Employment Contract
Clerk has updated employment contract using model employment contract provided by NALC.
Clerks’ employment contract was signed by Chairman and Clerk.
Proposed by Councillor Thomas and seconded by Councillor Ramsden.
Chairman advised Clerk to check home insurance regarding working from home.
Scribe Accounting Software Quotation
Clerk received a quotation for Scribe Accounting Software. Scribe Accounts 12 months license for income below 25K at £308.40 including VAT. Clerk received an online demonstration of accounts package, found it very comprehensive and would be suitable for larger parish councils. Clerk advises to remain using excel package.
The following cheques were signed by Councillor Fisher and Ramsden
Cheque No: 022070 J Sandy Play Park Bark Replenishment & Maintenance £493.88
Cheque No: 022071 Lionel Robbins Internal Audit £75.00
Cheque No: 022072 Bourne Amenity Play Bark £1920.00
Cheque No: 022073 Girling’s Solicitors re easement at Trees, The Lees £581.40
Councillors Brown, Aitken & Jaques are authorised cheque signatories. Maximum number of councillors authorised to sign cheques are 6.
19/01060/AS The Firs, Buck Street, Challock, Ashford, TN25 4AR
Construction of two detached dwellings and two detached garages
Comments: No appeal made on previous application and no mention of bungalow being demolished. Refused over cramped overdevelopment of the site that would detract from the visual amenity of the street scene and wider landscape, including the AONB, and result in an intrusive form of development.
Councillors to review previous comments sent and inform Clerk of any amendment’s changes to comments. To ratified at the next parish meeting.
20/00814/AS 8 Forest Cottages, Challock, Ashford, Kent, TN25 4AR
Proposed single storey rear extension and two storey side/rear extension
Comments: Take in neighbours views. Not considered an eyesore visually. The Juliet balcony would be overlooking. Other properties in forest cottages have had side and back extensions. Councillors support application providing neighbours views are taken into consideration.
It was agreed for Councillor Hardie & Jaques to request permission to visit no 8 & no 9 and report back to the parish council.
20/00184/AS High Tree Lodge, Buck Street TN25 4AT
Erection of 26 No. Dwellings with Associated Access, Parking and
Landscaping, following demolition of existing dwelling and outbuildings.
The Chairman expressed his disappointment in ABC and the course of changes to the local plan policy affecting Challock regarding the revised village boundary and the allocation of HOU5 and the omission site consultation for the inclusion of Clockhouse Green. The school is oversubscribed, no footpath and poor bus service. The A251 is dangerous stretch of road.
Discussion took place regarding recent surveys. It was agreed for Councillor Jaques to investigate surveys taken place so far and report back to the parish council his findings.
The Chairman proposed for £2,000 easement monies to be designated funds to hire a planning expert in fighting the High Tree Lodge planning application.
Seconded by Councillor Thomas
Councillor Hardie proposed launching the website before the 1st August to set up a call for action. Requesting parishioners to comment on the amendments to High Tree Lodge on the planning portal and village website.
Seconded by Councillor Jaques
Clerk to prepare statement to put on website and parish council Facebook page. Email proposed statement to Councillors for approval.
Clerk to make enquiries on hiring a local planning expert.
20/00855/AS Holly Bank House, Westwell Lane, Challock, Ashford, TN25 4FE
Erection of detached garage (revision to garage design/location as approved under 16/00267/AS)
Comments: Challock Parish Council supports this application.
Ratification of Planning Applications
20/00718/AS - The Barn Shop, Canterbury Road, Challock, TN25 4BJ
Installation of security fencing and gates
Comments: Challock Parish Council supports this application.
Received the following notification: -
TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (TREE PRESERVATION) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS
ASHFORD BOROUGH COUNCIL TREE PRESERVATION ORDER NO. 2, 2020
Pony Park, Canterbury Road, Challock, Ashford, Kent. TN25 4DL
Tree Preservation Order and Map relating to
G1 - 3 no Hazel
2 no Oak
4 no Birch
1 no Hornbeam
W1 Woodland comprised mainly of Hazel, Willow, Ash, Cherry and Birch
W2 Woodland comprised mainly of Birch, Oak, Hazel, Sweet Chestnut,
Elder and Ash
This is for information only and no comments are sought.
Play Park Pedalsan – Hand Sanitizer stand
Clerk received a quote for a pedalsan at £325. Currently using a hand sanitizer bottle zipped tied to the fence adjacent to gate. Initial cost of bottle £17.95 and will need to be replenished once a week.
Clerk to refill bottle rather than purchase a new bottle weekly. Clerk can purchase sanitizer liquid cheaper.
Items for Information
Clerk has received memorial plaques for Freda Cantle and Puff Miller. The plaque for Puff Miller has been added to the memorial bench. The Parish Council have received a letter from the family of Puff Miller thanking the Council for the memorial bench and plaque.
The Parish Council have now purchased ChallockParishCouncil.gov.uk domain and has been applied to new website. New email address for Clerk & Councillors have been set up on office 365. Clerk to issue new email addresses to Councillors with passwords. To launch new website and publicize in the Forester and Parish Council Facebook page.
Hand Sanitizers for Community Places
Clerk has taken delivery of 4 wall hand sanitizers and 5 litre bottles of anti-bacteria. These have been delivered to the Village Hall Committee, Cricket Club, Methodist Chapel and Challock Church.
Community snake trail on the Lees – Consideration for a permanent place or to donate to primary school. Mention in the forester for parishioners’ comments.
Non-contact rugby club for children – Councillor Jaques is considering forming a non-contact rugby club for children aged from 7 – 9 years. Would like to use the cricket ground on Sunday morning.
Councillor Aitken confirmed the cricket club have no problem whatsoever for the non-contact rugby club to have use of the cricket ground. The Cricket Club have not and could not object to any village organisation or club using the cricket field without the approval of the parish Council.
The cricket club are more than happy to liaise with Councillor Jaques with the club.
ABC Ward Councillor Krause informed Councillor Jaques of the community fund available to assist with non-contact rugby club.
Chairman requests Clerk makes enquiries concerning this year’s Remembrance Service in November and what plans are in place.
Zoom Parish Meetings
Councillors agree to continue with zoom parish meetings. Councillor Hardie commented the zoom meetings are working well.
Parishioner commented they are in full support of the parish council objection to High Tree Lodge application and to keep the pressure on. We do not need this development in the village.
The meeting closed at 8.44 pm
Parish Council Meeting Dates for 2020
Next Parish Meeting Thursday, 17th September 2020
Future Parish Meeting Dates:
Thursday 17th September
Thursday 15th October
Thursday 19th November