Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Council News May

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

Parish Council Logo

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL

at The Jessel Room in Goudhurst Parish Hall on Monday 13 May 2019 at 7.30 pm

PRESENT:  Councillors Antony Harris (Chairman), David Boniface, Christopher Ditton, Alan Foster, Philip Kirkby, David Knight, Mrs Caroline Richards, Mrs Jayne Russell, Guy Sutton and Peter Wood

County Cllr Seán Holden until 7.40 pm.   Borough Cllr Barry Noakes. 

ELECTION OF A CHAIRMAN

034/19 Cllr Antony Harris was elected nem con.

DECLARATION AND UNDERTAKING OF LOCAL OFFICE

035/19 Those Parish Councillors present signed their Declaration of Acceptance of Office in the presence of the Clerk.  It was resolved that the Clerk will ensure that Mr Craig Broom signs his Declaration of Acceptance of Office on his return from holiday and before the next Council meeting. 

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  

036/19 were accepted from Mr Craig Broom (on holiday overseas) and Borough Cllr Linda Hall (commitment elsewhere.).           

 DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

037/19 None were declared. 

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

038/19 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meeting held on 08 April 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

039/19 County Cllr Seán Holden briefed Council on KCC’s work in seeking authority from the Secretary of State to enforce HGV routes across Kent. 

Borough Cllr Barry Noakes observed that the Conservatives had lost 13 seats in the recent elections, mostly to the TW Alliance Party that opposed the proposed scheme for a new Town Hall.

COUNCILLOR VACANCY

040/19 It was noted that, while there had been May 2019 elections in both the Curtisden Green and Kilndown Parish Wards, there had been only 7 candidates for 8 seats in the Goudhurst Parish Ward.  Thus there is a Vacancy.  It was resolved that the Clerk will notify the Returning Officer and start the process to advertise the Vacancy.  Council will consider the candidates for co-option at the next Parish Council meeting.

APPOINTMENTS TO COMMITTEES AND OTHER APPOINTMENTS

041/19 It was resolved to appoint Cllrs Philip Kirkby and Mrs Caroline Richards as joint Vice Chairmen of the Council.

042/19 It was resolved to postpone the Appointments to Committees and Other Appointments until the next Parish Council meeting so that Members have time to consider which Committees they would like to join.

043/19 Following Minute 425/18 it was further resolved to establish the Goudhurst High Street (Traffic and Parking) Committee with the responsibility of focussing on solutions to parking arrangements in central Goudhurst

HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Amenities Committee reported on the Committee meeting held on 24 April 2019:

044/19 Cllr Charles Mackonachie of Capel PC and KALC Representative on the TWBC Highways Forum had attended as an adviser.   

045/19 A21 Speed Reduction.  It was noted that Mr Ted Bennett the leader of the campaign for the reduction of the speed limit on that stretch of the A21 through Goudhurst Parish had received what was an unsatisfactory letter from Highways England (HE).  HE has expressed the view that a lower speed limit on this part of the A21 would not mitigate the crashes resulting in deaths and injuries.  It has been suggested that Council should follow up with a request to Kent Police to carry out a formal assessment of the appropriate speed limit using the process outlined in the DfT 2013 Circular ‘Setting Local Speed Limits’. No resolution for action was proposed on this matter.

046/19 A262 Downgrade. Following the meeting held on 27 February 2019 with Mr Neil Edwards, Traffic Manager Kent Highways, the two reasons given by KCC for rejecting our application to reclassify the A262 as a B class road: 

a. A Primary Route between major towns cannot incorporate stretches of motorway.  This means that signage on an A-road can indicate the route to a motorway, but cannot indicate the places the motorway can take you to.  For the residents of Goudhurst this means that the A228 followed by the M20 cannot be signed as the best route from Tunbridge Wells to Dover and the Channel Ports.  The A262 through Goudhurst looks like the shortest route on the map even though, for a large HGV, it will take just as long and will probably consume more diesel fuel due to the repeated need to stop and start.

b. County Cllr Sean Holden, our KCC elected member, is chairman of a Working Group of KCC members supported by Neil Edwards and Tim Read (Head of Transportation, Kent Highways) looking into the possibility of setting up an arrangement similar to that currently operating in Leicestershire which specifies particular roads as Lorry Routes and has powers of enforcement to prevent large HGVs using other roads.  This scheme would cover the whole of Kent.  Cllr Sean Holden and Traffic Manager Kent Highways do not want to agree a scheme to protect Goudhurst before their Report and proposal for a Kent-wide scheme is published.  It was noted that there is a lack of East/West roads in West Kent that could serve as alternatives to the A262. There is also an anticipated problem around enforcement.

047/19 Local Traffic Measures in Goudhurst.  Proposed parking restrictions on High St and West Rd: 

Following Council’s Meeting with Kent Highways Officers on 18 December 2018:  Council has received a letter of 15 March 2019 from Fiona Paine, Schemes Project Manager, Kent Highways, with various proposals.  It was agreed that Council will respond with these points: 

a. Confirmation that due to our Conservation Area status we were entitled to use single yellow lines of only 50mm width rather than 100mm for 8am to 6pm limits.  

b. Clarification regarding parking within the dashed white line in front of the Social Club.

c.  Ideas regarding current pavement parking by residents of Clay Cottages on Clayhill. 

d.  The possible need for separate plaques for each section of yellow lines.

e.  The purpose of the two 19m gaps which separate the proposed restricted sections. 

f.Advice regarding shared “pavement” areas on the High Street as vehicles displaced by the restrictions referred to in her plan were likely to add to the parking on the shared pavement areas. The letter to mention GPC interest in KCC advice on how to limit parking to a single period of up to two hours in any one day on the shared pavements while minimising need for yellow lines and signage in this wholly medieval section of the village.

048/19 Lorry Watch.  It was noted that the Highways & Footpaths Committee is keen to accept the advice from KCC on setting up Lorry Watch in association with KCC and Kent Police to gather information on HGV driver bad behaviour.  It will aim to establish a scheme to identify owners of vehicles of HGVs where drivers regularly exhibit bad behaviour by ignoring the long length HGV warning signs and nonetheless travel via Goudhurst. It is hoped that Colin Wilson (Traffic Action Goudhurst) could encourage his 40+ Facebook followers to take part in such a scheme possibly supported by CCTV or other technology.  No specific follow up action was agreed.

049/19 A262 Speed Limit reductions.  It was agreed to recommend to Council that traffic speed surveys should be carried at:

a. On the A262 Cranbrook Road through Iden Green (east of Goudhurst), and 

b. On the A262 Station Road in the Green Cross Inn area.  Highways & Footpaths Committee has suggested using the same company as in June 2016 [trafficsurveypartners.co.uk] having first sought advice offered from Schemes Project Manager, Kent Highways regarding the exact location of the surveys. No action was agreed on this point.

050/19 Iden Green (in the Parish of Goudhurst).  Mr Peter Wood agreed to research the procedure involved in establishing Iden Green (east of Goudhurst on the A262 Cranbrook Road) to be formally identified as a village in its own right in order to qualify for a reduced speed limit.  

051/19 Kent Highways recommended traffic consultants.  It was agreed that the Clerk will request a list of KCC recommended consultants from Schemes Project Manager, Kent Highways. 

052/19 Electric Vehicle Charging Points.  It was noted that these were now installed and working. It was agreed to obtain new signage indicating that the two EV charging parking places be left free for those needing charging top up when other parking places are available. Chairman, Highways & Footpaths Committee will action this point.

053/19 Speed Indicator Device –SID.   It was noted that the results were very positive. On Cranbrook Road, the SID appears to reduce the average speed and the 85% speed by about 2.5 miles per hour compared to June 2016.  

The new information in this analysis showed the percentage of vehicles that exceed 35mph: 

  1. this is around 12% on Cranbrook Road east and west bound; 
  2. 7% on North Road northbound and 3% on North Road southbound, 
  3. 0.8% on Balcombes Hill southbound.  

Council noted the good work by Mr Donald Sargeant in volunteering to manage the SID equipment every week. 

054/19 Extra SID pole for B2084 Chequers Rd:  It was noted that the Clerk has written to Kent Highways requesting a SID pole on Chequers Road but as yet no response obtained. (Post meeting note:  Kent Highways declined Council’s request on the grounds that there is no suitable site on which to establish the requested pole).

Footpaths 

055/19 The Millennium Walk Route.  It was noted that Mr Kevin Cockram has arranged a walk of the Millennium Walk route together with Mr Nayland Smith and with Mr Richard Hillier (the originator of the walk in 2000). The aim of this group walk is to check the condition of the paths that make up the route, recommend repair and/or upgrading of the signage and the funding implications for carrying out this work. 

056/19 The KCC response to a landowner’s enquiry re stiles.  Useful information on the responsibilities of landowners who have PROW stiles on their land and the support available from KCC was noted. 

057/19 The KCC document Ploughing crops and paths – A Practical Guide for Landowners.   This was welcomed by Members. It was noted that the document sets out the responsibility of landowners to maintain footpaths in good condition at all times. 

Link: https://www.kent.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/6469/Ploughing,-crops-and-paths-leaflet.pdf

A more complete account of landowner responsibilities is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/public-rights-of-way-landowner-responsibilities

Footways

058/19 A262 Station Road verge: The Clerk has asked our contractor to carry out the necessary work during the summer of 2019 as in previous years  

059/19 The proposed Swale path at the junction of A262 Station Road and Blue Coat Lane.  Following Minute 099/18. The project remains on hold pending Council’s budget and increased funding being negotiated with the developers at The Market Place.

Hop Pickers Line Heritage Group (HPLHG)

060/19 Information Panel near Goudhurst Station Site.  It was noted that two local landowners are concerned that the wording on the information panel would encourage trespass on their land.  Chairman Highways & Footpaths Committee is to provide printers a pdf of replacement image of wording for small section of panel.  He will also procure appropriate signs for “no parking” and “no access” agreed to be installed by Goudhurst Parish Council to help prevent trespassing.

It was noted that Council wrote on 09 April 2019 to the Land Agent of the landowner who claims ownership of the ground on which the notice board stands for permission to use the notice board for HPLHG information.  There has been no reply so far.

PLANNING COMMITTEE   

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

061/19 DECISIONS

18/03975 1 Welches, Ladham Road Goudhurst

Demolition of existing rear extension and replacement of a new single storey rear extension

Granted permission

19/00394 1 Grand View North Road Goudhurst

Erection of a single storey conservatory to rear

Granted permission

19/00414 Crowbourne Farm Smiths Lane Goudhurst

Proposed replacement of three windows to Crowbourne Farmhouse & detached bothy. Replacement of existing roof lantern.

Granted permission

062/19 APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in April 2019 with representations here approved by Council:

18/03367 Dunwurkin Rogers Rough Road Kilndown

Demolition of existing double garage and erection of new double garage with ancillary accommodation on first floor with front and rear dormers in roof slope

Recommend approval

On the understanding that this scheme satisfies the reservations which the Conservation Officer expressed on 18/01902, Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) considers that consent may be granted. GPC asks if this scheme is compliant with the advice in the TWBC Design Guide, para 5.8 on page 14.

19/00351 Wagtail Farm Jarvis Lane Goudhurst

Change of use of agricultural building to form a single dwelling with temporary retention of a mobile home and timber clad store as accommodation for contractors during construction period only (amended scheme to that approved under 17/03813/FUL being changes to the fenestration

Recommend refusal

The description of this application are not compatible with the submitted drawings. The building which was subject of 17/03813 is to the north of the holding and is outside the redline shown for this application, as is the ‘timber clad store’ which is to the west of the mobile home.  If Goudhurst Parish Council has correctly interpreted the applicant’s intention, refusal is recommended on the basis that the plans appear to show that the replacement home is more than twice the size of the mobile home and will have a much larger impact on the location and the AONB..

19/00394 1 Grand View North Road Goudhurst

Erection of a single storey conservatory to rear

Recommend approval

Subject to the proposed solid north brick wall causing no more shading to the neighbour’s garden than the existing fence, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that this proposal is approved 

19/00414 Crowbourne Farm Smiths Lane Goudhurst

Proposed replacement of three windows to Crowbourne Farmhouse & detached bothy

Recommend approval

Subject to the scheme being considered satisfactory by the Conservation Officer, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that this application is approved

19/00422 Dunley Cottage Ballards Hill Goudhurst

Removal of existing conservatory and erection of new conservatory

Recommend approval

This proposal will considerably improve the appearance of the cottage

19/00441 Taywell Farm Shop Cranbrook Road Goudhurst

Change of use from shooting lodge to a combined shooting lodge and farm shop (retrospective)

Recommend approval

Subject to careful conditioning to limit the sourcing of goods principally to the nearby locality, Goudhurst Parish Council is content that approval is granted

19/00458 Land North of Peasley Lane Goudhurst

Conversion of hopper hut to holiday let

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council agrees with the Conservation Officer that this building is worthy of restoration as a reminder of the times when Goudhurst was the most important hop-growing parish in the UK

19/00464 Three Chimneys Oast Bedgebury Road Goudhurst

Construction of three bay garage/store

Recommend approval

This is an appropriate building for a rural locality such as this.

19/00195 Summerhill Barn Summerhill Goudhurst

Erection of annexe building

Recommend refusal

For the following reasons:

i) The proposed annexe is a substantial building, and where sited could readily be occupied by a third party family;

ii)  More than half of the building is outside the established residential curtilage of the holding;

iii) The northern end of the proposed building will encroach on the root zone of a fine specimen tree (? Oak)

GOUDHURST PARISH NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN

063/19 Update on the proposed timetable for 2019.  Mr Colin Willis, Chairman of the NDP, had submitted a written report to Council:

May 2019: Finalise Consultation & Basic Conditions Statements and update Draft plan.

           Draft TWBC Local Plan out on website         

June: Issue Consultation Document to respondents for information

  Health Check on Plan & related documents by IPE

            Steering & GPC clear updated draft for submission to TWBC

July-Aug: Submit to TWBC for their ‘Reg 15’ 6 week statutory consultation

Incorporate any required amendments.

05 Aug  – 27 Sep:  Formal 8 week consultation on Draft Preferred TWBC Local Plan

October: TWBC appoint Independent Examiner

November: Examination

Dec- Jan 2020:  Referendum.  If passed, Plan made!

ACCOUNTS 

063/19 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

4649 RJ&L Hillier The Hop Bine rent May 19 £400.00

DD TWBC NNDR Public Conveniences May £104.00

4650 AVB Farnfield Clerk’s Pay & expenses Apr 19 £2,338.43

4651 HM Revenue & Customs Clerk PAYE & NI Apr 19 £852.67

4652 Groundscare & General Services St Mary’s maint contract Apr 19 £1,325.28

4653 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field etc grounds maint Apr 19 £1,326.96

4654 John Fermor Landscapes Kilndown Christ Church & Quarry Pond £400.00

4655 Pearsons Landscapes The Pond & Plain grounds maint Apr £111.60

4656 Tenterden Twilight Premises Cleaning contracts Apr £662.00

4657 Microshade Business Consult Citrix Inv 11796 £61.14

4658 Infinity Technology Solutions Office communications Inv 357856 £235.99

4659 JK Business Machines Moving photocopier new office £114.00

4660 Goudhurst Parish Hall Meeting Room hire Apr – Sep 19 £375.00

4661 Complete Weed Control Weed Control St Mary’s/Christ Church £612.00

4662 Stationery Express (A Broom) Goudhurst in Bloom material £20.00

4663 Ryal Media Group Clerk vacancy adverts £480.00

4664 Crown Decorating (GR-C Paint for red phone kiosk £100.69

4665 Community Heartbeat Trust Defibrillator pads x 2 £84.00

4666 ComminiCorp Clerk & Councils Direct £12.00

4667 TWBC Amenity Vehicle cost 2019 £1552.68

4668 Richard Greenaway Burial Grounds extra turfing £105.00

4669 Infinity Technology Solutions Office communications Inv 358883 £133.80

4670 The Wealden Group Clerk Vacancy adverts £480.00

4671 Zurich Municipal Council’s Insurance 2019/20 £1198.70

4672 Craig Broom NDP Consultancy Jan – Mar 19 £250.00

4673 John Fermor Landscapes Play Area rough ground clearance £1,400.00

DD Veolia Environmental Services Burial Grounds bin Apr 19 £147.96

DD BT End contract Office phone + Bband 367.44                   

064/19 Receipts in April 2019      

Burial Board £1,400.00

NatWest Business Reserve interest £1.69

CCLA dividend£12.80

TWBC Precept 1st half 2019/20 90,814.50

065/19  Bank reconciliation.  Resolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the end of April 2019 and noted that Council’s cash book balance was:

Nat West Current a/c £6,284.34

Nat West Business Reserve £93,594.42

CCLA Public Sector Deposit Fund £20.393.88

£120,272.64

AUDIT

066/19 Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) 2018/19.

It was resolved to approve: 

The Accounting Statements 2018/19 checked by Mr David Buckett our Internal Auditor copies of which had been distributed to Members prior to the meeting:

The internal control Governance statements which had been signed off by Mr David Buckett on 12 April 2019 and which were read out by the Clerk at this meeting.

POLICY and STAFF COMMITTEE

067/19 Clerk’s Remuneration.  Following Minute 334/18.  Council resolved to confirm the Clerk’s salary for April 2019 to March 2020 at point SCP31 on the approved NALC scales. 

068/19 Recruitment of a Clerk (designate) in a part time role.   It was noted that Council has received 19 applications.  Now that the elections are over and the new Council is established, the selection process will start in June.

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

069/19 10 June 2019.   Parish Council Meeting in the Jessel Room, Goudhurst Parish Hall.  7.30 pm.  

The meeting closed at 9.30 pm

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