PRESENT Cllr. R Greenwood, Chairman presiding.
Cllrs. M Ballard, M Cockett, P Culver, M Michaelas,
N Osborne, J Smith-Essex, P Scrivens & A Walmsley.
Cllr. J Sams representing Harrietsham Parish Council.
5 Members of the public.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION (7.30pm – 7.50pm)
Concerns were raised that the forthcoming closure of Maidstone Road would affect the Sunday market on 13th November. It was noted that the contractors would need to provide diversion signs on the main A20 at the top of Maidstone Road and the access to the long-term Car Park. (approaching from the square)
It was noted that there were no locks on the gent’s toilet cubicle doors Cllr. Greenwood to confirm.
The question of street lights not working near the Cherry Estate Playpark was noted. Cllr. Sams stated that she had reported 8 lights to MBC after having carried out an inspection.
The speed-watch coordinator reported that the team was down to 3 members and that more volunteers would be required if speed-watch was to continue. This will be included in the next Focus article. If volunteers are forthcoming there would be a requirement to upgrade the equipment.
It was reported that the Lenham Enhancement Society had now been wound up and the balance of funds distributed to local charities. Cllr Greenwood was meeting with a potential coordinator to try to organize the volunteers who had so kindly agreed to take over individual planters. (there were still however some unallocated planters).
It was noted by the Community Warden that the village had experienced a spate of outbuilding break-ins and that the proposed CCTV might have helped identify the culprit had it been available.
In addition there had been 2 instances of fly tipping – MBC had removed the second instance within hours and were investigating the source. LPC asked to be kept in the picture.
E Gee presented herself for co-option to the Council as a resident of Lenham Heath.
The Chairman welcomed Cllr. J Sams from Harrietsham Parish Council & opened the meeting at 8.00pm.
16/71 APOLOGIES & APPROVAL OF ABSENCES
The Council accepted the reason for apology for absence from:
PCSO J Boyd. M McFarlane. (unwell)
Cllrs. K Lapwood & J Nye (family commitment) (received by email)
16/72 TO RECEIVE DECLARATIONS
Declarations to changes to the Register of Interests. No declarations received.
Declarations of Interest on Agenda items. No declarations.
Requests for dispensations. No requests received.
16/73 TO REQUEST NOTIFICATION
The Chairman requested notification of intention to film, photograph or record any items.
No notifications received.
16/74 COUNCILLOR CO-OPTION
Cllr. Greenwood proposed, Cllr. Walmsley seconded and it was RESOLVED to invite
Mrs. Eleanor Gee to join the council. Cllr. Gee signed the declaration of acceptance.
This brings the number of Cllrs. to twelve, with one vacancy remaining for the south ward.
16/75 TO RECEIVE MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING 5th OCTOBER
Cllr. Greenwood proposed, Cllr. Ballard seconded and it was RESOLVED that minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on the 5th October 2016 are a true record and were approved and adopted.
16/76 PROGRESS OF RESOLUTIONS (For information purposes only)
All items were covered by the agenda except for the Maidstone Road to Ham Lane footpath.
The Planning Committee had noted the proposed change of fence-line at the Maidstone Road Housing development. This would leave a 2m or so strip of land between the fencing for the new housing and the Council footpath. The title deeds for the footpath confirmed this.
In places this strip constituted a slope with a drop of 1m or so. It was to be planted by the contractor to strengthen the bank but this would still leave a hazard at the edge of the footpath – and who anyway would be ultimately responsible for trimming any bushes /trees growing in the strip? Cllr Greenwood agreed to discuss this with the developer with a view to him providing a fencing support rail along the edge of the footpath – it was thought that if this suggestion was not accepted that the MBC planning case officer might have to be involved.
16/77 HAM LANE ALLOTMENTS
It was reported that the solicitors for St John ambulance service were at last progressing their end and that Cllrs Greenwood and Ballard would be meeting at the site when the land area was being measured out. It was noted that the question of joint access to the site for both the new residents and the Allotment Society members was still unresolved.
16/78 LENBUS REPORT
Cllr Osborne outlined the now defunct Lenbus arrangements, where residents of Lenham Heath were transported into Maidstone. With dwindling numbers this eventually became transport into Lenham. After the accident on the Marley Tile garaging site it had not been possible to replace the vehicle. The Insurance Company had paid out some monies but £10k of this had to be given to KCC who had part funded the vehicle. This left £5,5k with Lenbus which on winding up the separate Company at year end would be transferred to the LPC. Cllr. Osborne, asked however that on receipt, the LPC forward this money on to the Hatch charity who also carried out transport work on behalf of the elderly in the Parish. This was unanimously agreed and RESOLVED subject to final details being agreed.
16/79 TO RECEIVE MINUTES OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES MEETING 19TH OCTOBER
Cllr. Greenwood proposed, Cllr. Cockett seconded and it was RESOLVED that the recommendations contained in the report of the meeting of the 19th October 2016 be approved and adopted, including the level of grants to be made to local organizations.
16/80 TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE MEETINGS 19TH & 31ST OCTOBER
Cllr. Osborne reported that the meeting of 31st October did not have a quorum and therefore the proposals from that meeting would have to be revisited at the next November meeting. One item of interest (to be revisited) was the proposed change to a footpath at Sandway. Cllr. Gee agreed to join the planning committee and will be co-opted at the 17th November meeting. There remains one vacancy on the committee.
Cllr. Osborne proposed, Cllr. Cockett seconded and it was RESOLVED that the recommendations contained in the report of the meeting on the 19th October 2016 be approved and adopted.
16/81 TO RECEIVE ORAL REPORTS FROM COUNCIL SPOKEPERSONS HIGHWAYS
The speed-watch team had already been discussed.
Cllr. Walmsley reported that as instructed at the last meeting he and Cllr. Scrivens had met with an approved KCC Highways Consultant who was prepared to generate an initial assessment in respect of the Ham Lane High Street junction to improve it from the viewpoint of pedestrians crossing the High Street near the junction, to slow traffic down at this point and to improve the sight lines as best possible. He said that the Consultant would prepare a report for the next LPC meeting (having first taken measurements) for a cost of approx. £750. Obviously, any proposed changes to the junction would need to be the subject of a leaflet drop to residents in the immediate vicinity to gain their acceptance. If we were to go ahead it would have to be funded by LPC (either via the precept or 106 monies) – Highways had already said that not enough people had been killed at the junction to warrant expenditure by themselves.
It was agreed (Cllr. Ballard abstaining Cllr. Culver against) to fund the Consultant to prepare the initial assessment report. Cllr. Sams asked to be kept informed of any developments as this would tie in with her attempt as Lenham Borough Councillor to get Highways to limit traffic speeds near the square to 20mph.
Cllr. Scrivens reported that nothing yet was forthcoming from the Boughton Malherbe Parish Council in respect of the lorry weight restriction signs on the Lenham / Headcorn Road (already approved by LPC). He said he would chase up.
Cllrs. Osborne and Smith-Essex commented that hedge and tree growth at Sandway and Lenham Heath were reducing sight lines at corners and covering signs. They both agreed to prepare a list of instances so that a solid case could be made to Highways to do more. It was thought that some of the problems could be from non- Highways responsibility in which case the LPC could inform the owners in question that the foliage would need to be cut back with the threat that the Council would do this and invoice them accordingly. All “missing” signs are to be reported to Cllr. Scrivens and if possible directly on to the Highways website.
Cllr. Culver reported that the CCTV system installed at the William Pit field seemed to be working well and he was now confident that we should continue with the other areas in the village using the same Company. He was asked to do so as quickly as possible – see Community Warden report above and the continuing disturbances late at night at the Ham Lane playpark.
PARISH PLAY FACILITIES
Cllr. Walmsley reported that neighbours of the Ham Lane playpark were still complaining about older youths still using the Playpark at night causing nuisance, this despite the efforts of the PCSO and Community Warden. Cllr. Gee stated that the photograph of several 11+children on the basket swing had caused a Facebook storm with parents stating that photographs should not be taken of their children. Cllr. Walmsley stressed that the design age of the basket swing was 16 years of age and that there was no need to photograph young children. He said however that in the absence of CCTV coverage it was difficult to see how the 16+ youths could be identified other than by photography. The equipment was in danger of being irreparably damaged if the 16+ game of trying to find out “how many could get on at the same time and how high” was allowed to continue.
Cllr. Greenwood noted that the MBC road sweeper had been around the square and past the schools sweeping leaves from the gutters. He said that it was wrong that this had not been announced in advance to enable cones to be put out to stop parking. The village square sweep had been ineffective because of this. It was noted that the ankle-deep leaves on the pavement and leaves still on the trees would soon re-fill the gutters.
The tree cutting in the Cemetery and Ham Lane as costed and recommended by the Finance and General Purposes Committee was approved.
TOURISM & BUSINESS ASSOCIATION
Cllr. Nye was not present to give us an update regarding the tourism website. Cllr. Michaelas agreed to take up a project to liaise with the business’s in the square to co-ordinate improvements to the frontages in the square.
LENHAM COMMUNITY CENTRE
Cllr. Osborne said that he thought it a pity that the LPC had not taken up its option of appointing a trustee to the Centre. Cllr. Greenwood agreed that this should be considered in more detail at the next meeting.
It was reported that the lights were now being installed and the project was well in hand. Cllr. Osborne stated that the flood lights for the Church were not working and that as well as new bulbs he thought that a new fuse / control panel was needed. The cost of this (approx. £250) was approved.
Cllr. Greenwood stated that midnight oil had been burnt when finalizing the submissions to the MBC Local Plan Inspector. He said that thanks were due to Valerie Woollven and Jill Hatcher as well as the Neighbourhood plan Chairman and committee in general. It was agreed that this should be mentioned in a short paragraph in the Focus. It was also agreed that if copy submission dates allowed that a few lines about the meeting with the Inspector would also be incorporated e.g. thanks for individuals coming to the meeting to show support.
16/82 REPORTS FROM OUTSIDE MEETINGS
There were no reports and it was noted that now nobody was attending KALC. Cllrs. Cockett and Greenwood agreed that one of them would attend the next meeting and report on activity. The next meeting included a talk on Local Affordable Housing needs in Rural areas.
16/83 KALC & CPRE
The CPRE AGM will be held 18th November at 12.30pm at the Community Centre.
To authorize payments (Details of payments to be tabled) Cheque no: Amount
Loxton Installations. Car park light timer. 4665 283.20
Made by Falcon Ltd. Web-site services. 4666 50.00
Lenham Community Centre. Room hire. Jul -Sept. 4667 192.00
PKF Littlejohn LLP. External audit. 4668 480.00
Jen Contractors. October Litter/WCs 4669 720.00
Lenham Wanderers FC Under 18s grant 4670 500.00
Len Valley Community Hub grant 4671 300.00
Lenham Bowling Club grant 4672 500.00
60+ Club – Young at Heart grant 4673 300.00
Lenham Baby and Toddler Group grant 4674 250.00
Southern Water WCs wastewater March – September. 4675 131.27
Direct Debit Maidstone BC Cemetery rates 91.00
Direct Debit South East Water Cemetery water supply 1.00
Direct Debit Scottish Power WCs power supply 21.00
Direct Debit EDF Energy pop up power supply 15.00
Direct Debit EDF Energy Street Lighting 122.83
Salaries & expenses detailed as Appendix A and filed with a signed copy of these minutes.
- To note receipt of income (Details of income to be tabled)
Maidstone Borough Council Parish Service Scheme 2nd payment. 4089.00
Cllr. Greenwood proposed, Cllr. Walmsley seconded and it was RESOLVED to make the payments. Cllrs. Cockett and Osborne signed the cheques on behalf of LPC.
16/85 CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED (For information only)
No correspondence received.
The meeting closed at 10.10pm 4