Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Council News March

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

Parish Council Logo
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL

at The Jessel Room in Goudhurst Parish Hall on Monday 11 March 2019 at 7.30 pm

PRESENT:  Councillors Antony Harris (Chairman), Mrs Angela Broom, Christopher Ditton, Alan Foster, David Boniface, Philip Kirkby, Susan Newsam, Barry Noakes, Mrs Caroline Richards, Guy Sutton and Stephen Wickham.  County Cllr Seán Holden until 7.40 pm.     

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  

401/18 There were none.           

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

402/18 Cllr Stephen Wickham declared an interest in the item relating to the Weed Control contract and Cllr Phil Kirkby declared an interest in Council’s proposed lease on new offices at the Hop Bine. 

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

403/18 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2019, copies of which had been previously distributed to Members, be signed by the Chairman as a correct record. 

QUESTIONS AND STATEMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC AND THE PRESS

There were none.

REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

404/18 County Cllr Seán Holden briefed Council on his work relating to the A262 and the matter of HGVs parking in lay-bys overnight. It may be that clamping in such cases will be introduced in Kent.

AMENITIES COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Amenities Committee reported:

405/18 Red telephone ‘box’ for a Defibrillator.  Following Minute 384/18.  The phone kiosk is safely in store. It is to be shot blasted and will then be repainted.  Cllr Mrs Susan Newsam is to investigate how to provide energy to the kiosk if it is to be installed in an area close to The Plain in Goudhurst.

406/18 Litter Bin in Back Lane Goudhurst near the gates to the Burial Grounds. It was resolved to agree expenditure of £417.90 + VAT for a larger bin to replace the current undersized one.

407/18 Annual Litter Pick.  It was noted that the Annual Parish Litter Pick will take place on the weekend of 23/24 March 2019.  The Clerk is in touch with TWBC about borrowing kit for the weekend.

BURIAL BOARD

The Chairman of the Burial Board reported:

408/18 St Mary’s Churchyard.  It was resolved to agree expenditure of £100.00 to replace a large concrete slab on the path adjacent to Back Lane steps and £300.00 for providing a small land drain to disperse a puddle that forms near the Bathurst enclosure in the rainy season.

HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Highways & Footpaths Committee presented the Minutes of a committee meeting held on 26 February 2019:

409/18 The A21: Application to reduce the speed limit.  It was noted that local resident Mr Ted Bennett had written to the Kent Police & Crime Commissioner on 19 January 2019 and had received a reply on 15 February.  Highways England had written to Council on 07 January with general comments about the procedures and parameters for setting speed limits.  Rt Hon Greg Clark MP had sent an e-mail on 11 February 2019 to inform Council that he is in touch with both Highways England and Kent Police and that both are not currently supportive of a speed reduction.  Kent Police Inspector Rhiannan Pepper had informed Mr Bennett that the DfT Circular 01/2013 (Setting Local Speed Limits) is followed by the Police in evaluating the merit of a speed limit reduction. Council expressed disappointment that insufficient progress has been made in obtaining the requested speed limit reduction although it is encouraging to be aware of DfT Circular 01/2013 on which our case can be built..

410/18 A262 Reclassification to a B class road.  Following Council Minute 389/18.  Council expressed disappointment that Traffic Manager KCC had rejected the Parish Council’s application.  The main reason is that it is not possible to designate the M20 as part of the Kent Primary Route Network between Tunbridge Wells and Ashford.  In addition a KCC working group has been set up to study the problem of HGV traffic routes across Kent.  KCC do not want to make any changes until the conclusion of the working group’s review. County Cllr Seán had made known his dissatisfaction at the Traffic Manager’s decision.  It was noted that a meeting between Goudhurst Parish Council and KCC Traffic Manager has been arranged for 27 February 2019.

411/18 Highways Committee Meeting with Schemes Project Manager and Schemes Programmes Manager (west) Kent Highways 18 December 2018.  Following Minute 308/18.  Progress on projects arising from that meeting were reviewed:

1. HGVs.  KCC had suggested Council should set up Lorry Watch, a programme which had had success in other Parishes.  No decision was taken on this point.

2. Parking.  KCC will review the possibility of parking in Goudhurst High Street and West Road.  Reliable data is required on how long cars are parking and ‘where drivers are going’.  No decision was taken on Highways committee recommendation to Council that students be paid to collect the required information.

3. SID:  The possibility of establishing a SID pole in Chequers Road.  Resolved that the Clerk will contact the Traffic & Network Solutions Asset Manager, Kent Highways for a quotation for this project. Highways will also have to agree the positioning of the proposed extra pole.

4. Speed Limit Reductions on A262 at the Green Cross area on Station Road and at Iden Green at the east side of the Parish.  The DfT Circular 01/2013 refers.  Council needs automatic traffic count data.  It was noted that Kent Highways will assist in identifying suitable sites.  No decision was taken on the Highways committee recommendation to Council that quotations for this project be obtained.

5. Signage.  Highways Officers had noted that there is no double bend warning sign for vehicles travelling east on Goudhurst High Street.  It was noted that they will investigate the viability of introducing such a sign and additional road marking in the High Street.

6. Kent Highways Consultants.  It was noted that the Kent Highways Officers will obtain for Council a list of recommended consultants to assist with the Goudhurst Parish highways projects.

412/18 Meeting between Goudhurst Parish Council and Traffic Manager Kent Highways 27 February 2019.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the reasons why the Traffic Manager had rejected the Parish Council’s application for the downgrading of the A262 to a B class road. It was noted that traffic volumes through Goudhurst have now reached 12,000 a day.  Of these, 2,300 are ‘vans’. The Traffic Manager pointed out that a downgrading of the A262 will not change the traffic numbers.  The problem of traffic congestion is the same all over Kent.  The suggestion that traffic from say Tunbridge Wells to Ashford and vice versa should route via the A228 to the A20/M20 is not acceptable as KCC can not reroute traffic onto Highways England roads or the Motorway network.  It was agreed that the Parish Council should send the Traffic Manager a list of features that Goudhurst would like to introduce that are not normally allowed on A class roads e.g. a ‘cushion’ in Goudhurst High St to enable pedestrians to cross the road more safely and easily. KCC may be able to allow certain dispensations.  In the meantime KCC will look into the possibility of introducing better HGV signs on the approach roads to Goudhurst.

413/18 Parking in Goudhurst Village.  Following the item in Minute 410/18 on Parking.  It was noted that the Goudhurst Social Club has recently closed their car park completely.  Members expressed the opinion that this is going to increase the number of vehicles parked during the day on roads in and near the centre of the Village thereby increasing traffic congestion.  It was resolved that the Chairman of the Parish Council will meet the Chairman of the Social Club to discuss the issues and to see if a solution can be found.

414/18 Proposed new Garden Village in Marden.  Members expressed the view that if Maidstone Borough Council goes ahead with granting permission for approximately 2,000  new homes in Marden, then this will surely have ramifications for Goudhurst Parish, particularly traffic volumes.  It was resolved that the Clerk will contact his counterpart in Marden to establish the latest news on this and particularly on parking facilities for Goudhurst commuters travelling to London etc.

415/18 Electronic vehicle charging points.  Following Minute 389/18.   It was noted that work will start soon (Conetics) to trench the power cable from the Parish Hall.  Tesla will be sending the vehicle charging cables and ancillary equipment to Council before the end of March 2019..  Council’s legal adviser is progressing the wayleave documentation.

YOUTH COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Youth Committee reported:

416/18 Back Lane Play Area.  It was noted that some informal meetings had been held on-site to take in the views of stakeholders as to how the Play Area might be re-equipped.  It was resolved to expand the parking area by moving the western boundary of the Play Area 5 metres to the east.  

417/18 Shelter at the Village Green.  It was resolved to defer a committee proposal to introduce a recreational shelter for general use due to budgetary constraints relating to the Play Area..

PLANNING COMMITTEE   

Council noted the following Decisions from TWBC published in February 2019:  

418/18 DECISIONS

18/03520 Land North of Peasley Lane Goudhurst

Conversion of an outbuilding into a holiday let and change of use of land for the stationing of two glamping pods (for two self-contained holiday lets).

Application withdrawn

18/03547 Riseden House Riseden Goudhurst

Proposed two storey rear extension (Roof alterations to approved scheme 18/02382/FUL)

Refused permission

18/03617 Brandfold Barn Cottage North Road Goudhurst

Single storey rear extension and alterations including insertion of two south facing french windows

Granted permission

18/03776 Barns at New Finchurst Farm Summerhill Goudhurst

Retrospective application for alteration of ground levels to land west of Barns at New Finchurst Farm

Granted permission

18/03874 Quince Cottage Church Road Kilndown

Proposed demolition, replacement and conversion of existing outbuildings

Granted permission

419/18 APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in February 2019 with representations here approved by Council:

18/03613    The mobile home at Crowbourne Orchard, Smith’s Lane, Goudhurst

 Provision of permanent static caravan plus alterations to utility block

Recommend refusal

There have been 3 appeals against refusal of the establishment of a mobile home on this site.   The inspectors in all cases have consistently ruled that such development is not appropriate on this AONB site but have granted temporary personal permission to Mr Smith only.   It is therefore, without question, not appropriate for a permanent permission to be  granted.   It is also not appropriate for the proposed extension to the utility block to be allowed, as a ‘day room’, when the existing mobile home is a very spacious facility.   GPC therefore firmly requests TWBC to refuse this application.   If, however, officers feel that, since the new gypsy policy has not as yet been fully developed, and that a further temporary permission is appropriate, GPC suggests that consent should only be granted for 1 year.

Officers should note that local residents who pass the site on a regular basis believe that Mr Smith is only very rarely in occupation of the site, and therefore has no real need for it.

19/00045    Glendoon, Colliers Green Road, Cranbrook

Demolition of stable building and outbuilding plus the erection of an annex, stable and associated minor landscaping.

Defer

No plans available on website.

19/00129    Little Bewl Bridge Farm, Hastings Road, Lamberhurst

Front entrance porch

Neutral

 Goudhurst Parish Council has concerns regarding the scale of this proposal, but is content that the conservation officer should determine the application.

19/00130    Little Bewl Bridge Farm, Hastings Road, Lamberhurst

Listed Building Consent:  Front entrance porch

Neutral

Goudhurst Parish Council has concerns regarding the scale of this proposal, but is content that the Conservation Officer should determine the application.

18/03321    The Old Vicarage Rogers Rough Road Kilndown

Installation of solar panels on south facing roof of the dwelling

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council has no objection

18/03519 Mount House Ranters Lane Goudhurst

Installation of outdoor heated swimming pool with safety cover with associated landscaping and erection of outbuilding/summerhouse

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council considers that the proposal has minimal impact on the local area since the grounds of Mount House are well screened

19/00045a   Glendoon, Colliers Green Road, Cranbrook

 Demolition of stable building and outbuilding plus the erection of an annex and stable block and associated minor landscaping.

Recommend refusal

Although the plans supporting the application are reasonably comprehensive, there is a lack of other information.   A simple Design and Access Statement would be useful.

Goudhurst Parish Council noted that Q17 on the Application indicates No to the question ‘Does your proposal include the gain, loss or change of use of residential units’.  However the plans indicate the introduction of a new annexe which appears from the plans to be a dwelling.  For what purpose is it to be used?   

The floor area of the new stable block is significantly greater than the existing.   

19/00072    Stream Farm House Summerhill Goudhurst  Conversion of detached office building to single Dwellinghouse

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council has no objection to this application. Converting the office building to a dwelling has minimal impact on the local area.

ACCOUNTS 

420/18 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

4584 Tenterden Twilight Toilet block cleaning Feb £585.16

4585 AVB Farnfield Clerk’s Pay & expenses Feb 19 £2,450.13

4586 HM Revenue & Customs Clerk PAYE & NI Feb 19 £921.09

4587 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field etc grounds maint Feb 19 £1,187.86

4588 Pearsons Landscapes The Pond & Plain grounds maint Feb £111.60

4589 John Fermor Landscapes Clear excess earth at Play Area hedge £350.00

4590 Microshade Business Consult Citrix Inv 11575 £61.14

4591 Chata Hygiene Ltd Toilet Block sanitary bin service £19.76

4592 Ryman Stationery (AVBF) Stationery £101.10

4593 PCC Goudhurst Room hire Hop Pickers Line meetings £31.50

4594 JK Business Machines Photocopier maintenance contract £132.00

4595 HP Inc UK (AVBF) Printer cartridges £111.39

4596 Wallgate Ltd Handwash unit mens public lavatories £4,165.07

4597 Butler House Carpets Floor tiles new office £940.00

4598 Tracey Smith Repairs St Mary’s footpath £100.00

4599 B&K Electrical Electrical installations new office £2,235.00

4600 PHS Group Public lavatories maint 2019/20 £328.37

4601 Southern Electric cheque cancelled

4602 James Boot NDP Consultant Dec 18 – Mar 19 £256.50

4603 Southern Electric Energy Balcombes Hill toilet block Q4 £352.68

4604 Colin Willis Willis NDP Meetings expenses £51.53

4605 Astra Cleaning Lavatory block supplies £109.80

4606 Aviva Wrap UK Ltd Clerk’s retirement investment plan £5,000.00

4607 County Associates (UK) LLP Clerk’s investment advice & admin £500.00

4608 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field hedge cut £537.00

4609 Glasdon UK Ltd Replacement litter bin £501.48

4610 Infinity Technology Solutions New communications system GPC office £242.01

4611 KG Heating & Plumbing Chequer Field pavilion showers maint £132.00

4612 Iden Signs Sign for new office £24.00

4613 Iden Signs Sign for new office £66.00

4614 Care Signs £142.80

DD BT Office phone & Broadband Feb – Apr 19 £228.82

DD BT Energy Chequer Field pavilion Nov – Feb £79.67

DD Veolia Environmental Services Burial Grounds bin Feb 19 £139.18                   

420/18 Receipts in February 2019      

Burial Board£850.00

Goudhurst United FC – use of Chequer Field £360.00

Contribution to the refurbish of a bench – Moon £45.00

NatWest Business Reserve interest £7.04

CCLA dividend £13.33

421/18  Bank reconciliation.  Resolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the end of February 2019 and noted that Council’s cash book balance was:

Nat West Current a/c £6,898.95

Nat West Business Reserve £40,773.33

CCLA Public Sector Deposit Fund £20.368.72

£68,041.00

UNITY TRUST BANK

422/18 Goudhurst Parish Council to open a current account at Unity Trust Bank (UTB). 

Following Minute 397/18.  The Clerk reported that the application to Unity Trust Bank to open a current account is proceeding slowly but steadily.

POLICY and STAFF COMMITTEE

423/18 New Office Accommodation.  Following Minute 398/18. The Clerk reported that the plan is still to move to The Hop Bine at Risebridge Farm, Goudhurst in the second half of March. 

424/18 Clerk’s Retirement Scheme.  Following Minute 335/18.  It was unanimously resolved to approve that the Clerk, having taken advice, has set up a suitable ‘retirement fund’ through Aviva Wrap and a cheque for £5,000.00 has been deposited.  It was resolved to approve payment of £500.00 to a Financial Adviser for assistance in advising on the selection of an appropriate fund and the setting up administration.

425/18 Review of Council’s Organisation. In an open discussion it was agreed that:

  • The committee system is best;
  • Council should appoint a vice-chairman to each committee; 
  • Committee Chairmen should not have to do all the work. There should be more delegation of work within committees;
  • Council as a whole is working effectively and well;
  • Council should set priorities when appropriate
  • Newly appointed Councillors should attend all Committee meetings at least once;
  • More use should be made of ‘Advisers’ e.g. the Back Lane Play Area project.
  • The Highways & Footpaths with Public Transport committee should be split;
  • The Police & Neighbourhood Watch and Housing Committees should be combined.
  • The Parish Community Centre Committee should be closed;
  • Council should be more active in the Business and Communications activities in the Parish;
  • Council should be more active in Social Media so as to communicate to a wider audience.

ELECTIONS

426/18 The Chairman reminded the meeting that Elections for 1 Borough Cllr and the whole of Goudhurst Parish Council will be held on 02 May 2019.  It was noted that 2 Cllrs from Goudhurst Parish Ward and 1 from Kilndown will not be seeking re-election.  The Clerk is in touch with a number of local residents who have made enquiries. He will be attending a briefing session by the Returning Officer on 13 March at the Town Hall.  Cllrs were asked to inform either the Chairman or the Clerk if they know of anyone who has shown an interest in putting their names forward as a candidate. Nomination papers have to be delivered to the Returning Officer no later than Wednesday 03 April at 4.00 pm. 

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

427/18 08 April 2019.    Jessel Room, Goudhurst Parish Hall.  7.30 pm.  

428/18 The Goudhurst Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Wednesday 17 April 2019 in Goudhurst Parish Hall from 7.30 pm.

The meeting closed at 9.10 pm

  Anthony Farnfield, Clerk

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

Clerk to the Parish Council

Anthony Farnfield MBE

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