HEVER PARISH COUNCIL
THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF HEVER PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT
HEVER VILLAGE HALL,
ON MONDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER 2012 AT 7.30PM
Present: Cllr Hodson (Chairman), Leslie, Nightingale, Roundhill, Sebastian, Southworth, Thompson, Wade and Ward.
Also in attendance: Sarah Codling (Clerk)
1. To receive apologies and reason for absence
Apologies were received from Bonnie White (holiday) and County Councillor Lake (illness). Joanna Wade also sent apologies for late arrival. All apologies were accepted.
2. To receive declarations of interest in respect of items on the Agenda
3. Public Forum – time limit 10 minutes.
4. To receive reports of County and District Councillors
The Clerk is to contact Chris Neal as we have had little contact from him since his election. The Council was disappointed that Cllr Neal does not attend our meetings.
5. To approve the Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held 16th July 2012.
The minutes of the meeting held 16th July 2012 were signed as a true and accurate record.
It was noted that a report in the press stated that County Councillor Lake will not stand at the next election. The Clerk is to contact Peter Lake thanking him for all his work. The Clerk will also find out when the next election is due to be held.
6. To determine matters arising from the previous Minutes for updating and noting.
• Clerk to request further information regarding the Broadband project. A questionnaire has been received from Sevenoaks District Copy. A PDF copy has been emailed in an e-newsletter and added to the www.hever.org website.
• Clerk to apply to District Cllr Neal for funding, however, the August deadline was missed as no project was underway. Cllr Neal has since advised that a playground project would be ideal for the Big Community Fund.
• Clerk to book bulk refuse freighter. SDC have advised the freighter is available 10th and 17th November 2012.
• Bonnie White to research the Princes Countryside Fund – to be carried forward.
• Peter Lake to obtain historic maps of the parish – carried forward.
• Peter Lake to investigate the traffic on Five Fields Lane – carried forward.
• All Councillors to advise the Clerk if they are opting out of receiving the Members Allowance. Response received from most Councillors.
• Clerk to liaise with Peter Lake if he has used the information from the Parish Plan for the broadband bid. Awaiting response.
• Christine Thompson has visited Edenbridge Town Council to review allotments. This project would not be straight forward owing to allotment law. More research is needed.
• Christine Thompson to compile a list of groups and clubs within parish
• The Clerk has advised PCSO Sue Harwood regarding fly tipping. Sue is investigating.
• Clerk to contact Highways as the ‘stop’ sign on Bough Beech Road is bent. Completed.
• Clerk to contact Highways as the junction of Five Fields Land and Four Elms Lane needs clearing. Completed.
• John Hodson has asked Peter Lake whether funding is available for the hard standing outside Four Elms Church. No funding is available owing to the investment for Four Elms crossroads.
7. To adopt Code of Conduct and discuss signing of Register of Interest forms.
We have been advised that a large number of Councils are not fully compliant with this issue. However, it is understood that the primary concern is for every Parish Council to adopt a Code of Conduct. Sevenoaks District Council have adopted a code which they are recommending each parish to adopt. An alternative was also distributed to Councillors which has originated from the National Association of Local Councils.
John Hodson proposed to adopt the Code, recommended by Sevenoaks District Council, seconded by John Southworth. All Councillors approved.
The Clerk is to email the Register of Interest forms to Councillors as there was some confusion as to which form should be completed. However, concern was raised regarding the level of information requested.
Councillors were advised that only ‘pecuniary’ interests (those of financial gain) need to be disclosed. Owing to the Code of Conduct adopted, ‘non-pecuniary’ interests can be disclosed at a meeting as necessary.
Councillors felt uncomfortable about the extent and nature of information to be disclosed. The Clerk is to contact Sevenoaks District Council for further clarification and advice as to the course of action if a Councillor does not feel able to sign this form but, of course, pledges to declare any possible conflict of interest as and when appropriate at a Council meeting.
8. To review 6 month budget
The Clerk presented the 6 month budget. The budget also detailed committed spends.
It was proposed and agreed that the budget for grants to local churches should be distributed. The Clerk is to contact the churches. The village halls are also to be informed that money is available should there be a project needing funding.
Four Elms Primary School have submitted a request for funding for their building works. A grant of £2,000 was approved.
9. To discuss outputs from the Parish Plan – footpaths and allotments
Allotments were covered under matters arising. The discussion for footpaths was deferred until Joanna Wade arrived.
10.1 To approve accounts payable.
Councillors agreed that a rubbish bin and dog bin should be provided near the school, currently where the builders yard is. The Clerk is to investigate.
11. To discuss litter issues.
The Clerk has found a supplier for a temporary ‘man in the road’ sign. The signs cost £30.35 and it was proposed that two are purchased. Councillors approved the purchase.
John Roundhill has secured the purchase of a loop to hold open bin bags and a grabber. John Roundhill is detailed as the contact on the CPRE website for the litter picking group ‘Love Hever’. Prospective litter pickers should contact Mr Roundhill for access to the necessary equipment.
12. To discuss issues within Hever Central – lavatories, car parking and village hall
This item is to be discussed in more detail when Joanna Wade arrives. However, there have been discussions within Hever about the lack of toilet facilities for members of the public, either walking in the area or visiting the church.
A toilet block is located behind the Henry VIII pub and is plumbed into the pub’s cesspit. However, the pub would not wish to maintain these facilities. The Clerk is to research available grants for providing public facilities.
Another option is to possibly make toilets at the village halls accessible to the public by external access, ie. not through the hall. This should certainly be possible in Four Elms.
The Parish Council felt that there is a need within the parish for extra facilities. However, it was also felt that, should the church wish to proceed with this project, the Parish Council may be able to provide a small amount of funding.
Another problem in the centre of Hever is the lack of car parking. The Castle has kindly agreed to allow parents to park sensibly during the school run. However, this facility will be removed if it is abused.
13. To discuss the Four Elms cross roads
A report has been distributed from Kent Highways. A meeting between Kent Highways and the Parish Council is to be organised by the Clerk.
14. To discuss six monthly community meeting to raise the profile of the Parish Council
It is proposed that the Council offers a community meeting one Saturday. Coffee and cake will be provided and the public will have the opportunity to pose questions to Councillors. The first meeting will take place in Four Elms. John Hodson to organise the date.
15. To discuss updating/creating a recreation ground within the Parish
The Clerk has liaised with Edenbridge Town Council and other local parishes to gain information about how to run a project to create a recreation ground.
Councillors wish there to be a recreation ground in both Four Elms and Hever. It was also proposed to investigate ‘gym’ facilities for the older generations.
Joanna Wade arrived 9pm
Following the arrival of Joanna Wade, some items were revisited.
Outputs from the Parish Plan
Linda Griffin has been recruited as ‘Footpath Tsar’. Linda will organise getting people to police small sections of the footpaths.
Christine Thompson is reviewing allotments.
Joanna Wade has contacted District Cllr Chris Neal who is fairly confident that a grant will be obtained to improve broadband within the parish. Chris Neal has been asked to organise a meeting with the relevant people at Sevenoaks District Council. Andy Sloman has volunteered to run the broadband initiative within the parish and to provide the relevant support. As under matters arising, Peter Lake is being approached to confirm that the information from the parish plan is being utilised in the bid for improved broadband.
Joanna is happy to provide a further update regarding the parish plan at the 6 monthly community meeting.
Recruitment for someone to write the parish plan is currently underway. Reports have been generated but it is hoped that it will be written by Christmas. A launch event is planned for Spring. A budget is needed to produce a leaflet for every household publishing the ‘headline news’ from the parish plan. The Clerk is to investigate funding as this has not been achieved from Action in Rural Communities in Kent.
Issues within Hever Central
Joanna explained that there is a universal consensus that much could be achieved if the car park by the Parish Field is reconfigured. Christine Thompson is liaising with Sevenoaks District Council Planning Department regarding potential plans. General feeling is that the car park does not need to be bigger but ‘smarter’. Councillors approved the pre-application planning cost of £100+VAT.
The Parish Plan supports a move of the village hall. One idea currently being considered is the proposal of a meeting room with toilet and kitchen facilities. This would be similar to the parish rooms in Chiddingstone.
16. To discuss the Olympic Legacy
The Council wish to provide something as an Olympic Legacy. However, no ideas are prevalent at present. An article is to go in The Link magazine requesting ideas from residents.
17. Correspondence for noting
The Clerk is to liaise with Edenbridge Town Council regarding any current Gatwick consultations. It was also noted that Gatwick are donating money to those under the flight path. The Clerk is to investigate.
18. Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.
Anita Sebastian has been researching picnic benches for Hever field. Simon Scott has offered to create the benches at a cost of £1,800 for 3 benches, one of which will be donated by Simon. It is hoped they will be paid for by Peter Lake from his grant funding. However, the Council approved the spend should the grant not come to fruition.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9:44pm