Challock Parish Council Annual Meeting Minutes
Tuesday 13th June 2017, 7.30pm
Members of public present: approximately 20
Annabel Burden (Vice Chairman), Dianne Sandy (Clerk), Trevor Smith, John Ramsden, Max Thomas, Emma Fox & Anthony Aitken.
Community Warden Dave Beckley
KCC Ward Councillor Charlie Simkins & Michael Fisher (Chairman)
The Vice-Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and the Parish Councillors introduced themselves.
Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting 14th June 2016
The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting 14th June 2016 signed by the Vice-Chairman Annabel Burden as accurate and correct.
Cllr Annabel Burden reported on the following:
On behalf of the 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 have been a particular concern in the Village. Our efforts to date have including encouraging the Police to be active in speed monitoring. Charlie Simkins KCC Ward Councillor has also been very supportive and organized speed monitoring survey. Recently I attended a meeting with Damian Green MP regarding a new footpath along Buck Street/Faversham Road and speeding through the village; Damian was very encouraging and said he can’t promise anything but will be take it up with KCC Highways after the general election.
The Parish Council have purchased and installed an additional salt bin located at the top of the Lees at the junction Church Lane and Blind Lane. A salt spreader has also been purchased to salt the paths along Church Lane and Cosmos Close during icy conditions. The cost was met through funding obtained from KCC Ward Councillor Charlie Simkins.
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.
An annual safety inspection of the play equipment is undertaken for the Parish Council. Some of the play equipment in particular slide and assault activity were in need of repair and showing signs of ‘wear and tear’. The toddler slide has now been replaced and the assault activity has had replacement parts. 22 bulk bags of play bark was added to the play area and a further 12 bags will be topped up this month.
Overall the village is kept clean and tidy and the grounds man continues to do a splendid job in maintaining the Lees track and pathways. Clerk has recently requested a dog bin to be installed at the Beech Court gardens end of the Lees. However, it is anticipated due to ABC financial restrictions that funding will need to be sought.
In April the village litter pick was organized in conjunction with ABC Kent Clean Campaign.
11 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 Goose Fair has been a great success over the years and a lot of community groups have benefited from the proceeds. Understandably the committee and organisers wanted to step down and have a break. The Parish Council has over the past year still received a number of enquiries about the Goose Fair and why it is not continuing. We have had offers of help from outside the village to operate a Goose Fair. The Parish Council have declined these offers as it was felt that event such as the Goose Fair should be run by the village itself and all proceeds to benefit the village. January of this year Sue & Mick Maidens offered to look to restarting the goose fair and commenced a couple of meetings to gauge support and help.
Last year the Parish Council held a family picnic on the Lees to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday. Commemorative coins were issued to children of the parish and senior citizens who were in their ninetieth year.
Challock Parish Council has organized a poetry competition in centenary celebration of Good Old Challock poem by Leonard Winter.
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 2017 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. 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. It is expected a total of 71 properties will be built in the village in the coming years. The majority of these dwellings are 4 bedrooms. Currently 9 houses have been completed and 26 houses are under construction.
Last year a court case led to the S106 developer contributions only being applied to 6 – 10 properties and not individual dwellings which meant we had lost funding for the play park upgrade. 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 2017. Going forward with the play park upgrade the Clerk will endeavor to secure funding through other avenues. The Parish Council would welcome comments regarding outdoor play space and in particular the play area upgrade.
Last October the Parish Council held an Omissions Site Meeting to gauge parishioner’s opinions on the inclusion of proposed omission sites to the Local Plan. Sites included land at Squids Gate Lane, Pony Park and Orchard Lane. The outcome of the meeting was that the Parish Council would not support applications for further developments and felt Challock had contributed enough through the village confines.
Ashford Borough Council have approached Challock Parish Council and explained that due to a new update on projected population figures and unsuccessful planning applications for developments at Tenterden, Smarden and Brabourne means they have had to consider other options including the Omission Sites added to the Local Plan. Ashford Borough Council intends to 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. Under the Open Forum the Parish Council wishes to discuss this with parishioners to gauge opinion.
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.
Village Broadband Service
At last the village has now got improved broadband service with the introduction of new cabinet and equipment upgrade of existing cabinet. Parishioners can now access faster broadband.
Village Telephone Box
The village telephone box was adopted by the Parish Council and is currently being renovated to hold a defibrillator and should be completed by the end of June. It is hoped to hold a training session on using a defibrillator in the near future.
- Skate Park with the expected target date of installation commencing autumn 2017.
- To continue to identify Outdoor Play Space Projects, including further upgrade of the play park and secure funding
- Top up of play Park Bark to commence June 2017
- Set up a community speed watch group
- To review the footways in the village and to look to continue campaigning for new footways to be added in particular Faversham Road.
- To consider having a memorial garden installed on the section of the Lees.
- To commence planning for the commemorative of the end of the First World War 2018. Parish Council is considering lighting a bonfire on the Lees to mark the event.
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.
Poetry Competition Announcement of Winners
Vice Chairman Annabel announced the poetry competition winners:
Liz Pape Challock Primary Teacher judged the poems. All poems were exceptional and thank you to all for entering the competition.
Winner under 11 years – Lila Edmed “The Colours of Challock”
Winner over 18 years – T Marshall “Challock Life”
The winners each receive a book token and their poem will be printed in the Forester.
Clerk will make arrangements with the school to present prize to Lila Edmed.
Report from Charlie Simkins KCC Councillor for Ashford Rural for the year to May 2017
Councillor Emma Fox read out report on KCC’s current activities.
Over the past year I have divided my time between looking after the interests of my constituents in Ashford Rural West which has covered 11 Parish Councils ranging from Challock to High Halden and serving on five committees at County Hall. I also serve on the Kent Fire and Rescue Committee and have been appointed as the KCC representative for the Chilmington Green development where building is expected to commence in 2018.
The County Council continues to face a headwind of rising costs and a reduction in financial support from central government but despite this it passed a balanced budget in February. It has been necessary to raise Council Tax by 3.99%, which includes a 2% rise for social care. The increasing cost of adult social care is of high concern and is provoking considerable debate both nationally and within the county. Thus the Government’s announcement of allocating an additional £2Bn to adult social care over the next two years is extremely welcome and it is expected that KCC will receive approximately an additional £27m over this period specifically for this.
I continue to receive a large postbag about a wide range of highways concerns, particularly potholes which we all know are spreading like a rash! The good news is that the Government has allocated additional funds to KCC for this and KCC itself has dedicated a further £300,000 (in addition to its normal expenditure) with the result that there is a pothole blitz this spring. I would encourage you all to take advantage of these extra funds by reporting problems to the KCC dedicated line. The Highways department has also undertaken a ‘clean up’ including hedges, verges and village signs which I hope will be a noticeable improvement.
As you will know I have recently been reflected to serve as your member for another four years during which I shall do my best to serve all your interests. I shall no longer be representing High Halden as the Boundary Commission ruled that with effect from this election High Halden will fall within the Tenterden division which is represented by Mike Hill. With regard to Members Grants the resolution permitting members to award grants was passed at the council meeting on 25 May following which I are now responsive to funding as many projects across the division as I can.
Open Forum Omission Sites Update
Challock Parish Council had a meeting with Ian Grundy ABC regarding the local plan update. It was a short meeting which Ian explained that they had received 3,000 representations last year regarding the consultation on the local plan. There are 2 main issues, a revised set of population projections and therefore the need for more sites for housing in the borough and secondly ABC have lost an appeal on application on 400 houses in Tenterden and other pockets of housing i.e. Brabourne and Smarden. ABC has had to look at other possible housing sites. They admit they have had to make quite difficult decisions. One of which affects Challock. ABC are proposing for potential housing of 15 units at Clockhouse, the field where Trevor May’s unit is; the land belonging to Cox Property Developers. There are no other sites in Challock for consideration. ABC is proposing the Clockhouse site to the Cabinet Meeting on the 15th June 2017. The Parish Council will have the opportunity to comment at some stage of the process.
Our response at the last Omission Sites meeting in October 2016 was that Challock has more than contributed to the Local Plan objectives; 18% increase in housing and any development proposals coming forward that are outside of the village confines should be refused on this basis. Full details of our response are displayed on the wall.
The Parish Council welcomes comments regarding the proposed Clockhouse development.
Parishioner Andrew Puxted said he had spoken to all residents living at Orchard Lane regarding the proposed development and all are against it and are willing to sign a petition. Andrew commented that his 2 bedroom part ownership property in Orchard Lane has been on the market for some time and has had no viewings since March. Andrew stated the price for his 2 bedroom property; people can buy 3 -4 bedroom properties at the same price in Ashford.
Councillor Annabel Burden commented that she understands parishioner’s feelings about the housing in the village and that we have done our bit. However, ABC has come to us and we will need to make a decision. Under the Local Plan planning has to be reviewed every 5 years.
Councillor Trevor Smith commented that increased housing will require investment in local school, roads and footways infrastructure. The Clockhouse development would incur s106 infrastructure contributions.
Discussion took place regarding Trevor May’s business located in the same area and how this would affect them and the new home owners. Lorries going through the estate; would raise concerns with its residents. This could lead to Trevor May’s business relocating out of the village.
Vice Chair Annabel Burden proposed to the parishioners to consider accepting the development as it is the best option compared to the other omission sites put forward. ABC stated that they are not looking at the other Omission Sites in Challock to be included in the Local Plan.
We should be mindful that the other proposed omission sites the developers may seek to challenge their case if Clockhouse is included in the Local Plan.
Councillor Annabel Burden added that if the Clockhouse development is added to the Local Plan; ABC advised the Parish Council that the confines should be amended to include this development.
According to ABC the type of housing is likely to be 4/5 bedroom family sized homes with approximately 4 properties 3 bedroom.
Outcome: The overall consensus of those in attendance was to object to the Clockhouse site as the village has more than contributed to the Local Plan.
ABC has informed the Parish Council there will be a six week consultation commencing in July for us to comment.
Parishioners will have the opportunity to give their comments at the Parish Meeting on 20th July 2017.
Open Forum for Village Clubs & Organisations
Ray Loftus from the Challock & Molash Gardeners Society are looking for new members and would be most welcome to join. The 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 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. There are also visits to RHS Wisley and Chartwell. During the winter months the Gardeners Society hold talks on interesting topics; Richard Goodenough from Chartham Vineyards gives a great presentation. 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.
Wealden Wheels is your village community not-for-profit transport initiative and is supported by Kent County Council, Ashford Borough Council and the Parish Councils of Challock, Charing, Chilham, Egerton, Pluckley and Smarden. Provides appropriate and affordable travel solutions either on a self-drive basis or with one of our reliable, friendly volunteer drivers. At its heart, community transport is all about people, improving well-being, health and happiness. It meets the needs of people who do not have access to cars, taxis or buses, and provides a lifeline in both rural and urban areas. It takes disabled people to work, children to school, sick people to healthcare and older people to the shops. It runs local bus routes and provides transport for a wide range of clubs, voluntary bodies and care homes. People shape the services they want and community transport makes it happen. For membership details contact www.wealdenwheels.co.uk
Country Dancing Club – Country dancing every other Tuesday in the village hall, great exercise, fun and sociable evening. New members welcome. For further details contact John Ramsden and Angela Puxted Village Post Office.
Challock Youth Club – Louise Barton-Spiers, Stephanie Constance and Di Sandy took over the running of the Youth Club 2 years ago. We have 60 young people from the age of 10 to 17 years attending. Very successful, can be stressful and young people generally all well behaved. The sessions consist of sporting activities, i.e. tennis, volleyball, dodgeball and bulldog, cooking activities and occasional craft. The Youth Club gives the young people to meet up with their friends. Anyone who has a skill they would like to share with the young people i.e. cooking, craft knitting, crochet etc. would be most welcome. We would also welcome table tennis, badminton and cricket club to come along and offer a session! The Youth Club would be able to make a donation to their funds. For further details contact Louise on 01233 740345 or Di Sandy on 07548215716.
Cricket Club – will be holding their annual Spice of Bengal v Challock Cricket Club friendly open day 16th July. All welcome to attend. The cricket club hopes to hold the firework event on the 3rd November subject to no objections. Funds raised from both of these events will go towards the pavilion extension.
Goosefair Committee Update - a committee has been formed Mick Maidens is Chair, Gill Prince is Treasurer and Sue Maidens is Secretary. The next step is to open a bank account, this will happen in the next 2-3 weeks and we can then reapply for charity status. We can apply for an ‘Awards for All’ Grant from the ‘Big Lottery’ for up to £10,000 to resurrect the event but in order to be successful we need to show sustainability. There have been very few volunteers come forward and without them we will not get the event off the ground. A recent poll of Challock Chatter showed 70+ members/villagers were in favour of having a country fair type of event.
The plan is to hold a fundraising event, possibly a boot fair; this will also help with a grant application to ‘Awards for All’. There then needs to be a push on volunteer recruitment. If enough people come forward we can start to plan the Challock Country Fair to be hosted in September 2018.
Without the full support of the village any new event would not be a success. It is the ideal time come together again as a community.
Any Other Business
Jubilee Tree -The jubilee tree will be replaced in early autumn. The Challock & Molash Gardeners Society have kindly offered to replace the tree. The Parish Council will arrange for a fence to be put round it to prevent it getting damaged.
Louise Barton-Spiers commented she in favour of having a dog bin installed at the Beech Court Gardens end of the Lees.
Vice-Chair thanked everyone
Meeting closed at 9.15pm.
Next Annual Parish Meeting to take place 2017 date to be confirmed.