Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Council News December

GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL
Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL

at Goudhurst Parish Hall on Monday 12 December 2016 at 8.00 pm 

PRESENT:  Councillors Antony Harris (Chairman), Mrs Angela Broom, David Boniface, Alan Foster, Sean Gilder, Phil Kirkby, Barry Noakes, Susan Newsam, Guy Sutton and Stephen Wickham.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  

251/16 were accepted from Cllrs Mrs Carol Ash (unwell) and Tom Malt (away on business).

Also County Cllr Alex King.

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

252/16 The Chairman reminded Members of their responsibility for any Declarations of Interest on Agenda items for this meeting and any changes to their Register of Interest Declarations.

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

253/16 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 November 2016, copies of which had been previously distributed to Members, be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC

254/16 There were no questions from the press or public

REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

255/16 Cllr Noakes reported briefly on the proposed Council Tax Reduction Scheme.   It was noted that the scheme provides a mechanism to reduce the council tax liability for low income households, through a means tested process which varies the level of award dependent on income and household composition.

AMENITIES COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Amenities Committee reported:

256/16 Goudhurst Pond – De-silting.  Minute 228/16.  It was resolved to accept the Amenities Committee recommendation that the pond de-silting project should be postponed until the Autumn of 2017.  The delay is due to various unexpected delays in obtaining the necessary permits for depositing the silt on the selected farm land; the spring and summer months are not the best times to do it.

257/16 Goudhurst Pond Fence Posts.  Minute 229/16.  Since the desilting project has been delayed, it was resolved to go ahead as soon as practicable with the replacement of one key post which has been damaged by an unknown vehicle.

258/16 Glebe Field.  Following Minute 231/16.  It was noted that Council has still not received the promised draft lease documents from the Diocese and it seems likely that the target date of early January 2017 for the transfer is not likely to be met.  It was noted that the Clerk has reassured the Chairman of the Village Green Committee that the legalities of Village Green status will be safeguarded in the proposed lease.

259/16 Chequer Field.  It was noted that the Amenities Committee has met a representative of an alternative company who has suggested a solution with a quote to remedy the poor drainage at the south end of the pitch.  It was resolved that the Clerk will brief Buss Murton to approach TWBC once again (Minute 067/16 of 13 June 2016 and 146/16 of 15 August 2016) to propose negotiated solutions to the pitch drainage issues and the outstanding boundary matters.

260/16 Chequer Field – Steps on the south end bank.  It was resolved to accept a quote of £576.00 + VAT from Capel Groundcare to establish steps on the south end bank.  It was agreed this facility is necessary to assist football players to retrieve footballs from the bottom of this steep and often slippery bank.

261/16 Balcombes Hill Toilets.  Following Minute 230/16.  Because of budget restrictions, it was resolved  to replace only 1 of the units in the Ladies toilets now at a cost of no more than £3,000.00 with the possibility that more units will be replaced in 2017/18.  The Clerk will place the order.

262/16 Balcombes Hill Car Park.   It was resolved to approve a recommendation from Buss Murton to agree to a wayleave agreement for TWBC to access the car park to service the recycling bins which stand on ground under TWBC’s control. This is a technical legal matter raised by the Land Registry.

263/16 TWBC Amenity Lorry.  It was resolved to accept the proposal from TWBC that, since the Sunday Amenity Lorry service is not a statutory requirement, the rural parishes in the Borough should take 50% of the cost of providing the service.  The cost to Goudhurst Council in 2016/17 is £1,221.00 + VAT.

POLICE AND NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH COMMITTEE

264/16 CCTV.  It was resolved that the priority is to re-establish CCTV in Goudhurst High Street.  Also at The Old School, Goudhurst for which scheme local residents will pay.  The Clerk is to seek a detailed quote for equipment for these two sites.  Council will not seek to fund the project through financing, although grant funding will be explored.

PLANNING COMMITTEE   

It was resolved to note the following Decisions from TWBC published in November 2016:

265/16 DECISIONS

15/504550 Goudhurst Service Station Station Road Goudhurst

Demolition of existing service station, outbuildings and dwelling and erection of 7 no detached dwellings with associated access, parking and landscaping

Granted permission

Members were dismayed to note that TWBC had not advised the Parish Council of many significant changes to the original application nor sought further representations prior to the granting of permission.  It was resolved to raise this issue with the Town Hall under the Tunbridge Wells Agreement, paragraph 4.7 with the Clerk taking the necessary action..

16/06324 Rose Villa North Road Goudhurst

Two storey rear extension and associated works

Granted permission

16/06358 Triggs Oast Cranbrook Road Goudhurst

Application to reinstate access from Maypole Lane to Triggs Oast. Application to propose a new track encompassing altered domestic curtilage

Withdrawn by the applicant

16/06515 Pondside Cottage Church Road Kilndown

Elevation change at north east corner of building

Granted permission

16/06536 Torvalla North Road Goudhurst

Part retrospective – Rendered block work planters, timber decking, stone paving and water feature in garden

Granted permission

16/06602 The Barn Shear Farm North Road Goudhurst

Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of a new detached dwelling and detached garage occupying a similar position on site

Granted permission

16/06788 Stables 50M north of Finchcocks Goudhurst

Internal alterations, addition of a wood burner and flue, insertion of a double casement window and French doors, external works to include parking and fencing, installation of an underground LPG tank

Granted permission

16/06789 Stables 50M north of Finchcocks Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent: Internal alterations, addition of a wood burner and flue, insertion of a double casement window and French doors, external works to include parking and fencing, installation of an underground LPG tank

Granted permission

16/06797 West Gate Lodge London Road Flimwell

Construction of a two storey rear extension, internal alterations, demolish existing shed & garage and construct a new double garage and acoustic fence to road

Granted permission

16/06844 Kilnwood Church Road Kilndown

Two storey extension and alterations.

Granted permission

16/06874 Shepherds Lawn West Road Goudhurst

A1 (Birch) (T21 in Tree Survey) – Fell;  G2 (Ash) (T24 in Tree Survey) – Fell

Granted consent

16/07292 Rose Cottage Clayhill Goudhurst

G1 (Conifers) Reduce row by approx. 2m in height and trim the sides.

No objection

266/16 APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in November 2016 with representations approved by Council::

16/07034 Whites Farmhouse Bedgebury Road Goudhurst

Extension of existing 20th century two-storey rear (south) extension

Recommend approval

Subject to the views of the conservation officer, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that this proposal is approved, since it appears that the existing extension was built in 1990 (90/01796)

16/07035 Whites Farmhouse Bedgebury Road Goudhurst

LBC: Extension of existing 20th century two-storey rear (south) extension

Recommend approval

Subject to the views of the conservation officer, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that this proposal is approved, since it appears that the existing extension was built in 1990 (90/01796)

16/07052 Old Parsonage Cottage Back Lane Goudhurst

Demolition of existing entrance hallway and rear lean to extension, erection of proposed canopy over new entrance door, alterations to external fenestration, internal alterations to layout, enlargement of windows to south elevation, proposed attic conversion, proposed dormer windows, proposed window within gable end over new staircase, removal of redundant solar panels to south roof, proposed gates and fence to replace existing, double garage/ancillary building.

Recommend approval

This proposal entails no enlargement of the dwelling, only the re-configuring of internal parts.   There will thus be minimal impact on the locality, the conservation area or the AONB.   The proposed garage will have some impact, but it is a traditional rural structure.

16/07110 Payphone outside Chequers Cottages Chequers Road Goudhurst

Payphone kiosk removal

The formal notice states that the local authority should consult residents to ascertain local opinion on the removal of this facility, but it is not clear if that local authority should be TWBC or Goudhurst Parish Council.   Would officers please advise

16/07176 Etchinghill Farmyard Gore Lane Goudhurst

Minor material amendment to planning application 16/501852/ FUL – creation of basement living area, sunken basement courtyard area with perimeter balustrading and glazed canopy to rear elevation.  Timber decked area to rear elevation

Recommend approval

Since the proposed variation to the proposed scheme is mostly below ground level and on the east of the building, where it will have minimal impact on the locality, Goudhurst Parish Counsil is content that the application is approved.

16/07242 Five Ash Down Garage Ltd London Road Flimwell

Proposed valeting building

Recommend approval

Since the proposed building is almost entirely screened by the existing building, it will have minimal impact on the locality and the AONB.   GPC is content that approval is granted.

16/07292 Rose Cottage Clayhill Goudhurst

(G1) – Conifers Reduce row by approx. 2m in height and trim the sides.

Recommend approval

These trees are in urgent need of attention.   Goudhurst Parish Council questions whether 2m is sufficient reduction in height.

16/06374 Oakwater Farm North Road Goudhurst

Construction of a temporary dwelling for an initial period of three years on the site of previously demolished hopper huts

Recommend refusal

Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) believes that from the title of the proposal, it can be presumed that it is the intention of the applicant to secure a permission which will in due course become a permanent consent for a dwelling.   That being the case, GPC firmly believes that the application should include a full financial appraisal of the current business, in order that it can be shown that the business requires at least one full-time person.   In that regard, GPC believes that the submitted plans are very misleading in that they indicate a substantial area of orchard to the east of the holding, while perusal of Google earth images indicate this orchard was grubbed between 2003 and 2007.  The same source also reveals that the area laid down to vines is a mere 1500 SqM and that the remainder of the land is unmanaged grassland.   In order for the business to require one full-time equivalent, a proper business plan must be prepared and put in place, and only when it is demonstrated that the plan is being executed should the provision of the proposed accommodation be contemplated.

16/07276 Evanden Farm Church Road Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent – Internal alterations to the ground floor of the listed building and replacement windows (double glazed).

Recommend approval

The proposed alterations will update the form of the property to modern standards. Subject to the views of the conservation officer, GPC is content that this application is approved

16/07274 1 Lurkins Rise Goudhurst

Addition of porch, alteration to some fenestration, internal works, addition of dormer to west elevation

Recommend approval

These proposals will have minimal impact on the locality or the AONB.

16/07275 1 Lurkins Rise Goudhurst

2 storey extension and first floor extension to north elevation of property, with internal works, addition of rooflights and fenestration alterations.

Recommend approval

These proposals will improve the accommodation, while having an acceptable impact on the locality and the AONB

16/07296 Stone Villa Church Road Kilndown

2 storey rear extension with single storey element, internal alterations, barn alterations and detached garage with change of use of barn and surrounding land from agricultural to residential.

Recommend approval

This is a well-designed scheme which will update the property to modern standards whilst having minimal impact on the location and the AONB

16/07426 Shepherds Lawn West Road Goudhurst

Installation of solar panels on existing flat roof

Inadequate plans

From the submitted drawings, it is not possible to locate the sectional drawing on the ground plan.   Without clarification of this matter, it is not possible to judge the impact of the proposal on the location, in the Conservation Area, or the AONB.

267/16 PLANNING AND THE TUNBRIDGE WELLS AGREEMENT

15/504550 Goudhurst Service Station Station Road Goudhurst

Demolition of existing service station, outbuildings and dwelling and erection of 7 no detached dwellings with associated access, parking and landscaping

Granted permission

Members were dismayed to note that TWBC had not advised the Parish Council of significant changes to the original application nor sought further representations prior to the granting of permission.  It was resolved that the Clerk is to raise this issue with the Town Hall under the Tunbridge Wells Agreement, paragraph 4.7.

16/06425 Rose Cottage and Willow Lodge North Road Goudhurst

Demolition of two existing dwellings and erection of two pairs of semi-detached and one detached dwelling with associated landscaping works and relocation of access

Council had recommended refusal on 16 October 2016 with the request that the application should be referred to Committee if officers were minded to approve.  Members expressed concern that this application might be approved without reference to Committee or the Parish.  It was resolved that the Clerk will emphasise Members their concerns about this important application to the Town Hall and request assurance that the Parish Council will be kept informed.

NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN (NDP)

268/16 Following Minute 243/16.   The Chairman reported that the Steering Group as well as the various working groups are mostly making good progress.  They are receiving good support from Mr James Boot MSc, our consultant.  It was resolved to pay the Secretary to the NDP an annual stipend of £1,000.00 payable quarterly.  The Clerk will invite the Chairman and the Secretary to the next Council meeting on 09 January 2017 to brief Council on progress.

269/16 NDP Steering Group.  It was noted that Cllrs Antony Harris, Alan Foster and Mrs Susan Newsam represent Council on the NDP Steering Committee.  Should any of these Councillors be unavailable for a Steering Committee meeting, Cllrs Phil Kirkby will be asked to stand in as a substitute.

270/16 Housing Needs Survey.  It was noted that the present Goudhurst Parish Housing Needs Survey is now 5 years old and should be renewed.  It was resolved that the Clerk will initiate a new Survey through TWBC and Action with Communities in Rural Kent (AwCiRK).

TRAINING 

271/16 Cllr David Boniface will attend the KALC half day Dynamic Councillor Course at Selling on 07 January 2017.

272/16 Following Minute 307/15, it was noted that the Clerk will take some working time off to progress his Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA) training,

ACCOUNTS 

273/16 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

DDR Southern Electric Chequer Field pavilion energy £87.44

3958 AVB Farnfield November 16 pay and expenses £2,379.33

3959HM Revenue & CustomsClerk PAYE & NI Nov 16£883.82

3960 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field etc grounds maint contract Nov 16 £727.87

3961 Pearsons Landscapes The Plain and Pond maint Nov 16 £103.20

3962 Colin Langridge Hedge cutting and Station Rd verge £235.20

3963 1st Goudhurst Scout Group Grant – Scout Hut improvements £523.44

3964 John Fermor Landscapes Kilndown grounds maint Nov 16 £110.00

3965 Goudhurst Parish Hall NDP Group meetings £15.75

3966 S J Osborne & Son (AVB Farnfield) Extra keys Chequer Field shed £36.00

3967Richard GreenawayBurial Grounds gates repair£45.00

3968 Microshade Business Consultants Citrix Inv 9398 £54.30

3969 Soc Local Council Clerks Membership 2017 £225.00

3970 G M Monk Ltd Public toilet block maintenance £157.21

3971 Tate Fencing Ltd Materials notice board repair Kilndown 42.23

3972 Peter Watkins Footpaths maint Nov £115.50

3973 Colin Willis NDP:  printing documents £35.41

3974 Colin Willis NDP:  reimburse training session refreshments £38.10

3975 KALC Councillor Training 07 Jan 2017 £72.00

3976 Chata Hygiene Public toilet block service £19.76

3977 James Boot NDP:  Consultancy services £176.70

3978 Action in Rural Sussex NDP:  Community 21 software training £713.66

3979 Action in Rural Kent NDP:  Goudhurst Parish Profile £120.00

3980 Tenterden Twilight Cleaning Balcombes Hill public toilets contract Nov 16 £559.00

3981 AVB Farnfield Postage £64.00

3982 Craig Broom NDP:  Stipend Oct – Dec 2016 £250.00

DDR Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Civic Amenity Vehicle costs 2016-17 £1465.20

DDR Nat West Bank charges £40.00

DDR Veolia Environmental Services Burial Grounds bin November 16 £140.40

274/16 Receipts in November 2016

Burial Board£400.00

NatWest interest£0.70

CCLA interest£8.70

275/16  Bank reconciliationResolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the

end of November 2016 and noted that Council’s cash book balance was:

Nat West Current a/c£4,285.96

Nat West Business Reserve£36,829.63

CCLA Public Sector Deposit Fund£35,093.68

£76,209.27

POLICY AND STAFF COMMITTEE 

The Chairman presented the Minutes of the Policy and Staff Committee meeting held on 22 November 2016:

276/16 Insurance Cover – Zurich Municipal.  This was reviewed in some detail.  Members resolved that no changes to Council’s current policy is needed.  It was noted that Council has entered into a 5 year long term agreement effective from June 2016 and this reduces the premium

277/16 Asset Register. The current Asset Register to November 2016 was reviewed.  It was resolved that no changes are needed as it is clearly up to date.  The Clerk will update the CCTV listing when the planned replacement equipment is installed.

278/16 Risk Assessments. The current Risk Assessment to November 2016 was reviewed.  It was resolved that the Risk Assessment at November 2016 be approved since no changes are needed at present.

279/16 Banking Arrangements.  It was resolved that our current banking arrangements with NatWest should continue unchanged for 2017/18.   With regard to Councils funds with CCLA, the Clerk commented that he had heard from other Parishes that the external Auditors (Littlejohn) did not approve of the use of CCLA as it is technically an investment bank where funds are exposed to the possibility of both increasing and decreasing in value.  The Clerk will check further and report.

280/16 Bank Signatories.  It was resolved that Cllrs Noakes, Boniface, Kirkby and Wickham will continue to be Council’s bank signatories.

281/16 Audit.  It was resolved to appoint Mr David Buckett CPFA DMS  to carry out the internal audit of Council’s 2016/17 accounts.

282/16  Review of Standing Orders.  These were reviewed in detail and it was resolved that no changes need to be made.  With reference to Financial Regulations, Para 12.1 (h) it was resolved that the reference to £1,500 should be increased to £2,000.

Neighbourhood Development Plan.  It was resolved to adopt the Terms of Reference for the Steering Committee, to which some minor changes had been made from the original document.

Council’s Policies.  Documents relating to Grievance procedures, Internal Audit procedures, the Burial Board System Documentation and Policies relating to Awarding Grants, the Data Protection Act, Handling Complaints and Dealing with the Press and  Media were reviewed and it was resolved that no changes were required..

283/16 Annual Memberships, Subscriptions and Grants.  It was resolved that the following payments be made in principle in 2017/18, with actual sums being approved by Council at the time payments are made:

Memberships and Subscriptions:

Kent Association of Local Councils (KALC) membership

Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) membership

National Association of Local Councils (NALC) magazine

Ordnance Survey Mapping (Pear Technology)

Action with Communities in Rural Kent (AwCiRK) membership

Kent County Playing Fields Association membership

Clerks & Councils Direct magazine and Local Councils Update subscriptions

Data Protection Act Registration (direct debit £35.00 taken mid-July annually)

Grants:

Goudhurst Parish HallAnnual maintenance grant£1,750.00

Kilndown Village HallAnnual maintenance grant£500.00

Kilndown Quarry CentreAnnual maintenance grant£250.00

CAB Tunbridge WellsAnnual grant£400.00

G&K Parish MagazineAgreed cost of average pages used by GPC£450.00

Kilndown Village NewsletterAnnual contribution to costs£50.00

Goudhurst Parish HallAnnual est. of cost of energy used to run Pond pump£200.00

The Vine, High StAnnual grant for energy used/amenity CCTV camera£100.00

Goudhurst Parish HallAnnual grant for energy used and amenity of room

used for CCTV monitor£200.00

Goudhurst Parish HallAnnual grant for Xmas lights energy at the Plain£50.00

RBL Poppy Appeal (S137)2 x £25.00 wreaths for Remembrance (Goudhurst

and Kilndown)£50.00

The Goudhurst ClubAnnual grant for energy used for War Memorial lights£50.00

284/16 Committees and Responsibilities.  The membership of Council’s Committees and each Committee’s responsibilities was reviewed and it was resolved that the list dated December 2016 should be adopted with these changes incorporated:

a. Cllr Mrs Susan Newsam be appointed to the Highways & Footpaths Committee, the Youth Committee and the Burial Board.

b. All matters relating to Chequer Field be transferred from the Amenities Committee to the Youth Committee.

c. The Goudhurst Parish Neighbourhood Development Plan(NDP) project be included under ‘Other Committees and Appointments’ with Cllrs Antony Harris, Alan Foster and Mrs Susan Newsam appointed as Parish Council nominees to the NDP Steering Committee.

285/16 Budget and Precept 2017/18.  The draft Budget as submitted by each Committee Chairman was reviewed in detail.  It was unanimously resolved that Council’s Budget and Precept for 2017/18 should be set at £149,940.

As there is an increase in the Goudhurst Parish Tax Base, the Band D equivalent increase will be from £64.37 to £112.28 per annum for 2017/2018, an increase of £47.91or 74.4% in the Parish Council element of the total Council Tax charge.  It is an increase in the Parish Council element of a Band D total Council Tax Bill of £0.92 per week.  Cllrs noted that the increase in the Parish Council element of the total Council Tax bill will not exceed 5% of the total bill for each household.

(Minute 248/16 of  14 November 2016 refers).

286/16 Clerk’s Contract Terms and Conditions.   It was resolved that the Clerk’s rate of pay will be set at SCP37 on the NALC/SLCC agreed scale from 01 April 2017; the equivalent of £32,486 for a full time employee.  The Clerk’s Home Office Allowance at £250.00 a month remains unchanged.

The Clerk’s job description will be reviewed by Cllrs Kirkby, Foster and Sutton over the next 6 months.

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

287/16 09 January 2017.   Parish Council Meeting in the Jessel Room at 7.30 pm

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

288/16 – A further letter from Rt Hon Greg Clark MP in reply to Council’s letter about Council Tax referendum principles.

The Meeting closed at  9.07 pm  after which Members partook of some seasonal refreshments.

These Minutes are subject to approval at the next meeting of Council

Clerk to the Parish Council

Anthony Farnfield MBE

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