Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Council News February 2018

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL
Parish Council Logo

at The Jessel Room on Monday 12 February 2018 at 7.00 pm

PRESENT:  Councillors Antony Harris (Chairman), Alan Foster, Mrs Angela Broom, David Boniface, Chris Ditton, Mrs Susan Newsam, Barry Noakes and Stephen Wickham.

County Cllr Sean Holden until 7.45 pm.

1 Member of the public.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  

338/17 were accepted from Cllrs Phil Kirkby (delayed on M25), Mrs Caroline Richards (holiday) and Guy Sutton (holiday).

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

339/17 The Chairman reminded Members of their responsibility for any Disclosures of Interest on Agenda items for this meeting and for any changes to their Register of Interests.

340/17 Cllr Stephen Wickham declared an interest in item 357/17 as the contractor concerned rents one of his premises.

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

341/17 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 January 2018, 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

342/17 There were none.

REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

343/17 County Cllr Seán Holden reported that he had attended a KCC Highways & Transport Cabinet meeting with County Cllr Mike Whiting relating to HGV problems across Kent. The meeting was positive about planning to tackle HGVs transiting rural villages and HGV fly parking.  There is talk of following the Leicestershire model but there is a perceived  problem with enforcement due to a shortage of Police. Both Cllr Holden and the Clerk had appeared on BBC TV South East News to talk about the damage done by HGVs in the Villages.

GOUDHURST PARISH NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN (NDP)

344/17 Mr Colin Willis, Chairman of the NDP Steering Committee briefed Council on progress.  Work on writing the Plan is proceeding steadily and well.  The Goudhurst plan so far is generally in step with the Tunbridge Wells Borough Plan.  Information on the Goudhurst NDP can be seen on http://ndp.goudhurst.co.uk/

AMENITIES COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Amenities Committee reported:

345/17 Chequer Field.   Following Minute 317/17.   It was noted that Our Legal Adviser is still awaiting documents for signature from TWBC.

346/17 Glebe Fields. Following Minute 318/17.  It was noted that our Legal Adviser is awaiting a response from the Diocese on the question of the path around two sides of the Village Green.

347/17 Village Green Committee.  It was resolved that Cllr Mrs Angela Broom will represent Council on the Village Green Committee

348/17 Glebe Field Management Plan.  It was noted that Cllr Stephen Wickham has drawn up a Management Plan for the lower Glebe which is not in a good condition.  He has arranged a meeting on site on 02 March 2018 with representatives from the Kent High Weald Partnership to help with this.

349/17 Duck Feeding Signs for Goudhurst Pond.  It was noted that Cllr Stephen Wickham has had two robust but eye-catching signs made up offering guidance on what to feed and not to feed the ducks on the Pond.

350/17 No Dog Fouling Signs.  It was noted that Cllr Stephen Wickham has had a quantity (2 types) of No Dog Fouling signs made up to replace the old broken and weathered ones around the Parish. It was resolved to approve the cost of £375.00 net of VAT including the Duck signs.

351/17 The Parish Public Address equipment.  It was noted that this had been purchased by the Parish Council in May 2015 as a community asset. It is insured by the Parish Council and is kept in Goudhurst Parish Hall where it is mostly used.  The Parish Hall Trustees have indicated that they are happy to continue to keep it in the Parish Hall.  The Parish Council has no objection if the Trustees charge a reasonable fee for its use.  The Trustees have reported that an essential set of PA system cables has gone missing.  It was resolved that the Trustees should replace the missing cables and claim the cost from the Parish Council.

352/17 The Projector.  It was noted that Goudhurst Parish Council purchased an Epson projector in June 2017. It was to be used mainly by the Goudhurst Parish Council Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) steering committee and that has been the case.  It was resolved that it should be kept for safe keeping by the Parish Council in the Clerk’s office but other reputable parish organisations may be permitted to use it providing the NDP has priority.

353/17 The Annual Parish Litter Pick.  This ‘Love Where You Live’ event will be held over the weekend of 24 & 25 March 2018.  The Clerk reported that arrangements are in hand with TWBC and local volunteer litter-pickers.

354/17 Goudhurst Pond Fountain.  It was noted that this will be reinstated in the Pond shortly  following the successful de-silting of the Pond (Minute 279/17).  The Pond is refilling quite quickly following recent heavy rainfall.

355/17 Meet the Parish.  This is an event being organised by Goudhurst Parish Hall on 17 March.  It was agreed that the Parish Council will take a table at the cost of £10.00..

356/17 Goudhurst in Bloom. Cllr Mrs Angela Broom reported that she has arrangements well in hand for this year’s event.

BURIAL BOARD

The Chairman of the Burial Board reported:

357/17 Weed Control Contract.  It was resolved to accept a 12% increase in the contract price for 2018 due to an increase in the time that it is taking the contractor to complete ‘the second (follow up) application’  Council agreed that the reason given for the increase was justified.

358/17 Brick Footpath across St Mary’s Churchyard.  Following Minute 250/17.  It was noted that  the Burial Board now has two quotes for renovating the path.  Apart from the Parish Council, St Mary’s PCC, The Diocesan Advisory Board, the TWBC Conservation Officer and KCC Public Rights of Way are all involved.

HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Highways & Footpaths (H&F) Committee reported:

359/17 Traffic Regulation Order.  Following Minute 322/17.  After careful consideration of the points for and against, it was resolved that the Socium Consultants proposals dated 11 January and 16 January 2018 at a total cost of £11,720.00 be accepted with the priority being in this order:

  1. To proceed to obtain a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) which will prohibit the use of the A262 through Goudhurst Village by Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) except for access;
  2. To prepare a Technical Report to Kent County Council (KCC) that the A262 no longer meets the criteria for an ‘A’ road and that it should be classified as a ‘B’ road.

It was resolved that a third matter relating to a proposal to reduce the speed limit on the A262 east of Goudhurst and designation of Iden Green will not be included in the Socium Consultants contract at this stage but this Highways Committee will keep the matter on its agendas and continue to assemble evidence in readiness for future developments.

360/17 A21 Speed Restriction.  It was noted that a resident along the A21 Hastings Road has asked Council to apply for a reduction in the speed limit on the A21 between the roundabout at the southern end of the Lamberhurst bypass and the junction of the A21 and B2079 Lady Oak Lane.  The main reason is the number of accidents along this stretch of road.  Resolved: the Clerk will contact Highways England and/or Kent Highways with a view to making the necessary application.

361/17 Hop Pickers Line.  Following Minute 260/17.  It was resolved to approve expenditure of £350.00 for the making of two A0 size aluminium information signs printed in full colour with a gloss UV protective over laminate.

362/17 Electric Vehicles (EV) Charge Points.  Following Minute 256/17.  Cllr Mrs Susan Newsam reported on her research into establishing EV charge points in Goudhurst.  She has information on both the technical aspects as well as costs.  It was resolved that she will  arrange a meeting of  a group of Members who are available to consider the options available.  This will be held before she goes on leave and the purpose will be to bring forward recommendations to Council for approval of the next steps of this project.

POLICE & NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

363/17 CCTV.  Following Minute 321/17.  Due to this Committee’s Chairman being delayed, Council had no news of any progress on the replacement CCTV project. The Parish Council Chairman again expressed concern about this.  Some Members expressed the opinion that it is important that the failed camera in Goudhurst High Street should be replaced as soon as practicable.  Cllr Chris Ditton was asked and he agreed to investigate this point only and report back by e-mail if need be.

364/17 Removal of the defunct camera from The Vine wall.  It was noted that it appears that the camera in question has not been removed.  Cllr Chris Ditton agreed to take the necessary action.

PLANNING COMMITTEE   

It was resolved to note the following Decisions from TWBC published in January 2018:

365/17   DECISIONS

17/03171 Combwell Farm Bedgebury Road Goudhurst

Extension of poultry house and internal reconfiguration of outdoor paddock areas.

Granted permission

17/03828 Riseden House Riseden Goudhurst

Two-storey rear extension

Application refused

17/03991 Rear Shearnfold Oast Church Road Kilndown

Variation of Condition 2 (Approved plans) of 15/509892/FUL (amendments to planning permission 15/503275/FUL (Proposed new dwelling to form separate unit and shared cart lodge (amendment to plans previously approved under planning application reference 12/01997)) – Alteration to fenestration and glazed porch) – Alteration to front porch, slight increase in ridge and eaves height of whole building, various changes to sizes of windows, omit window to north elevation reposition Velux window from north elevation to south elevation and new Velux window to south east rear roof slope.

Granted permission

17/04048 Lower Crowbourne Farmhouse Station Road Goudhurst

Retrospective – Change of use of land to residential garden and laying of hardstanding

Granted permission

366/17   APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee on 23 January 2018 with representations here approved by Council:

17/03251 The Maples Clayhill Goudhurst

Single storey front extension

Recommend refusal

Whilst it would appear that the net increase in volume of this proposal would comply with policy, Goudhurst Parish Council finds that the design and appearance of the windows of the extension do not complement those of the main house

18/00039 10 Flimwell Close Flimwell

Erection of a two-storey extension and associated alterations

Recommend approval

Subject to officers confirming that the volume of the proposed extension complies with TWBC policy, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that approval is granted

18/00082 Land rear of 3 Bedgebury Cross Cottages Bedgebury Road Goudhurst

Charge of use of site for tourist accommodation (seasonal visitor accommodation); Installation of wooden platform, access track and extension to rear of existing field shelter, erection of yurt and provision of temporary huts for shower and toilet facilities

Recommend refusal

Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) believes that this application should be refused for the following reasons:

• The proposed track across the paddock will have an unacceptable impact on the AONB;

• The yurt is an alien structure which will have an unacceptable impact on the AONB (cf: 12/02947);

• The recreational use of the area by visitors and children will lead to noise which will damage the amenity of the neighbouring properties;

• The increased use of the access off the B2079 Bedgebury Road, by those not familiar with the road, will increase the likelihood of accidents at a point where there is a history of fatal accidents;

• There is no indication of how waste from the toilet and washing facilities will be managed.

(GPC understands that the access from Bedgebury Road is not in the ownership of the applicant, as  the plans indicate, but belongs to Bedgebury Estates, who have not sanctioned the proposed use).

TRAINING

367/17 Council noted that Cllr Mrs Caroline Richards had attended a KALC Dynamic Councillor course on 30 January 2018.  She had reported favourably to the Clerk.

GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS (GDPR)

368/17 It was noted that the Chairman and the Clerk had attended a KALC briefing on GDPR on 24 January 2018.  These Regulations come into force on 28 May 2018.  There is much preparation work to be done.  The Clerk is in touch with NALC, ICO, KALC, SLCC and other Clerks to understand what needs to be done to ensure compliance.

369/17 The TWBC Data Protection Officer (DPO) is to present a briefing to Clerks on 22 February 2018.

370/17 One major point to be resolved is who is to be the DPO for the Parish Councils.

371/17The Clerk informed Members that it will not be best practice, with the introduction of GDPR, to deal with Council business using their personal e-mail addresses.  All agreed to accept that each will have an @goudhurst.co.uk address and the Clerk will organise this through our webmaster.

COUNCILLOR VACANCY

372/17 The Clerk informed Council that Mrs Rachel Washbourn had offered her resignation as a Councillor due to ill health.  He has started the process to advise the Returning Officer and to advertise the vacancy locally.

CLERK’S ITEMS

373/17 Clerk’s Office Chair.  It was resolved to approve the cost of a good quality office chair for the Clerk at a cost of £807.50 net of VAT .  The previous one, over 20 years old, will no longer adjust,  and will be scrapped.

374/17 Council’s Policy on Training and Development.  It was resolved to adopt this Policy document.

375/17 Council’s Webmaster.  It was resolved to accept his proposal for a 2% uplift for his 2018/19 contract.

GOUDHURST PARISH HALL

376/17 Cllr Alan Foster, a Parish Councillor nominated to the Parish Hall Committee briefed Council on developments. At their AGM on 17 April they will be seeking volunteers to join the Hall Committee as there have been some resignations recently.  Bookings and revenue from lettings has improved but they do not have sufficient funds to carry out some urgently needed major maintenance on the building.

ACCOUNTS 

377/17 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

4276 AVB Farnfield January 18 salary and expenses £2,410.76

4277 HM Revenue & Customs Clerk PAYE & NI January 18 £905.65

4278 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field strim wildlife area £144.00

4279 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field etc grounds maint Jan £761.25

4280 Pearsons Landscapes The Plain and Pond maint etc January £103.20

4281 Tenterden Twilight Toilet Block cleaning Jan – 4 weeks £572.00

4282 Microshade Business Consult Citrix – Inv 10399 January £61.14

4283 PCC Goudhurst Meeting room hire Hop Pickers Group  £12.60

4284 Goudhurst Parish Hall Meeting Room hire 2nd half 2017-18 £375.00

4285 Goudhurst Parish Hall Meeting room hire NDP Oct 17 – Mar 18 £296.00

4286 Iden Signs Dog fouling & Duck feeding signs £450.00

4287 James Boot Neighbourhood Development Plan Consult £391.45

4288 24/7 Maintenance Unblock toilet drains Jan £174.00

4289 John Lewis (AVBF) Replace office chair £969.00

DDR Veolia Environmental Services Burial Ground bin January £144.54

378/17 Receipts in January 2018

NatWest interest £2.15

CCLA dividend £9.72

Goudhurst United FC £420.00

Burial Board £645.00

379/17  Bank reconciliationResolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the end of January 2018 and noted that Council’s cash book balance was:

Nat West Current a/c £8,540.20

Nat West Business Reserve £41,476.95

CCLA Public Sector Deposit Fund £35,191.75

£85,208.90

380/17 Internal Audit Check.  It was noted that Cllr Mrs Susan Newsam (not a cheque signatory) had carried out an Internal Audit Check on 29 January 2018 copies of which had been distributed to Members.   Cllr Mrs Newsam reported no matters of concern and that she had found the records to be immaculate.

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

381/17 12 March 2018.   The Jessel Room in Goudhurst Parish Hall at 7.30 pm.

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

382/17 It was noted that Cllr Guy Sutton had accepted the role of Chairman of the Trustees to the Tunbridge Wells Citizens Advice Bureau.  However he intends to continue as a Member of Goudhurst Parish Council until the next Elections in May 2019..

The Meeting closed at 9.20   pm.

Anthony Farnfield, Clerk

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

Clerk to the Parish Council

Anthony Farnfield MBE

copyright © 2017 Goudhurst Parish Council