Tuesday 17th September 2019 at 7.30PM.  Held at Markbeech Village hall.

There was no planning meeting due to lack of applications within the timetable.

Present:  Cllrs., John Hodson (JH) (Chair), Angela Haydon (AH) Bonnie White (BW), Christine Thompson (CT), Anita Sebastian (AS), Rick Brookes-Smith (RBS), Stephen Lark (SL), Stephen Sadler (SS)

Also in attendance: Charlotte Cole (CC, Clerk) and 2 members of the public. The meeting commenced at 7.30pm.


1.To receive apologies – Joanna Wade (JW) working, Matthew Dickins (MD) Sevenoaks District Councillor working at SDC.  These apologies were accepted and noted.

To receive declarations of interest in respect of items on the Agenda. To be specified per item.

  1. To approve accuracy of minutes from the previous meetings (Minutes from 16.07.19). Previously circulated draft minutes approved by all and signed by JH.
  2. Public Forum.
  • Four Elms resident JS attended to express concern regarding rumble strips (previously installed

safety measure) on roads leading out of village from the crossroads and the reported noise and vibration impact.  Has independently completed survey of residents to share with HPC and KCC.  KCC have already responded that if / when surface renewed (next financial year at earliest) then will review.  HPC have already completed their Highway improvement plan (HIP) to KCC for 2020 – 21 with item #2 being renewal of red friction surface. At that time, all the options for surfacing can be considered.  The reasons for the installation of the rumble strips discussed.

  • Another resident (JP) expressed concern at the speed of drivers through the village and lack of

police speed checks.

  • Four Elms resident Dave de Waal was unable to attend the meeting as planned and sent apologies

and notes for the Clerk to read out with more details of his proposed school holiday sports camp, with possible use of Four Elms recreation field.  Requesting access to ground for 2 days in October half term, ~ 3 hours a day, ~ 15 children, bring all own equipment, local children and employment, mindful of total public access and use at all times, insurance details submitted.  This was discussed at length – maintenance of grass (is by gardeners contracted by school) and playground / goal (HPC maintain), access for locals etc. whilst supporting local families who require childcare, local business and a healthy activity.  It was agreed that HPC would allow and support the 2 days in October half term, with a local Cllr. visiting the site and review future requests at the Nov. Mtg.

Noting MD apologies for this and Nov mtg. and his new position within SDC of Cabinet member and portfolio holder for Finance and Investments, Cllrs. requested that CC try to co-ordinate 2020 dates that may be convenient for MD.

  1. Co – option of Duncan Leslie (DL) to post of Councillor, Hever ward.

4i.        DL confirmed qualified to hold office

4ii.       Signed the declaration of acceptance of office in the presence of the Clerk.

4iii.      Received HPC Code of Conduct (2019).

4iii.      Will complete, register and declare pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests (within 28 days).

Will be added to HPC Cllr. email communication list.

5.  2020 – 2021 budget.  Peter Lake (PL), KCC arrived 8.05pm.  Finance update and options for HPC  2020 – 21021 budget considered.  Discussions around need of halls, schools and Churches for assistance.  Options for increased litter picking, renovation of signposts, more frequent bulk refuse freighter visits etc.  Finance committee meeting (JH, HW, CC, AH) to be held in October and will consider further, with proposals at the next mtg. (21.11.19).  Draft leaflet to be hand delivered to every household discussed and approved.

PL updated on KCC topics – Brexit, approved of HPC HIP, noted that damaged signposts to be reported online, willing to support FE village hall grant application for sit on mower from Members fund next year, school bus issues, will commence campaign for secondary school in Edenbridge, note Paul Carter (Leader of KCC) to stand down. KCC finances of ~£1bn borrowing and note Woodford fund / KCC Pension.  Noted the new 20mph sign in Langton Green and whether it would be appropriate for Four Elms, from Members Fund for next financial year?

JH thanked PL for his update and offer of Members Fund.  PL left at 8.30pm.

AH noted that Tom Tugendhat MP had initiated a survey monkey survey online regarding school transport.

6.  Retirement of Dr. Morrison, Edenbridge medical centre.  Decided not to contribute towards, as a Council.

7.  Local Councils and climate change.  Decided not to formulate a strategy at this time.

8. The Four Elms playground annual safety inspection report and 11 minor measures required / taken noted (combination of HPC and installers duties).

9. Update on Footpath diversions –per Agenda.  Discussions around whether these is a water extraction license on this site.  DL reported that the Bough Beech reservoir has the appropriate water license and was historical concern regarding slug pellets / chemical levels.

10.  Bus shelter grants from KCC noted (for work at Markbeech – roof boarded, new noticeboard and Four Elms

– repair works, new noticeboard and bench).

11i. Annual external audit (PKF Littlejohn) completed successfully, without matters arising.

11ii.  Hever station.  To note the report; and subsequent discussions between HPC, HRA and Southern Community Rail

Partnership regarding possible improvements to; Rail

replacement bus service, cycle racks, possible coffee vending outlet, walking routes, water fountain etc.

The Council supported the Clerk’s involvement in these issues.  Footpath and signage from Hever station to

Hever Castle needed further work on.

12.Gatwick update (SL, RBS, DL).  HPC are members and represented on HWCAAG, the Council did not wish to join further groups.  DL shared that he is of the opinion that the solution is a narrower approach by planes, which is not the view of HWCAAG.

13.  Grant applications received.   Four Elms village hall £1,000 for contribution to sit on mower.  AH declared

Conflict of Interest (married to applicant (on behalf of village hall committee) and would have left the meeting

if discussed.  Noted that PL offered to support next financial year.  Failing that, HPC will accept reapplication.

14.  CONSULTATIONS; SDC completing obligatory polling station consultation. HPC did not wish to participate in this, noting the good wheelchair access.

Kent County Council is taking part in the NHT Public Satisfaction Survey on highways and transport services.  Clerk to do.

15.  To determine matters arising from the previous minutes for updating / noting (Chair).  From July mtg. CC updated on; item 6 – no response from Hever school PTA re; use of parish field for possible circus.  Item 8 – HPC offer to support grant applications from landowners to replace worn /inaccessible stiles with gates circulated via The Link magazine, Eden valley footpaths group, Public Rights of Way officer (KCC), PL and MD.  Note that due to hard ground, in another part of Kent, The Ramblers were charged £400 for installation.  Item 9 – HIP submitted to KCC.  Item 16 – schools were written to (by post) offering support with grants.

16. GDPR – No update or actions required.

17.  Planning; applications responded to and outcomes – attached to agenda and minutes.  The Council noted severe frustration with SDC enforcement manpower and legal restrictions on halting work.  Noted the ongoing investigations into Hever hotel, now also with generator installed.

18.  as per item 5.

19.  No urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.

20.  Other correspondence for noting.  See Agenda (SDC Local Plan, SDC Community Infrastructure Levy fund, bulk refuse freighter).CC reported that awaiting SDC planning first assessment of affordable housing shortlist, delayed to end of September.  Council wished to hold annual social in January in Kentish Horse.

21.  AOB – BW asked about shopping / Café movements in Four Elms.  JH reported that the café from Chartwell nursery moving to the garage and a cafe / bistro opening at the extended Chartwell Barns.

Meeting ended 9.08pm

NEXT MEETING  Thursday 21st November Hever village hall