Westwell Parish Council
Minutes of a Meeting of the Parish Council
Held on Monday, 24 January 2011 at 7.30pm in the Parish Hall
1. Open Forum
There were no members of the public present.
Cllr Lawrence (Chairman), Cllrs Mrs Drury (Vice-chairman), Miss Davidson, Dr Muir, Butcher,
Hollis, Richards and Mrs S Wood (clerk).
Apologies were received from Cllr Mrs Wyatt and Cllr Hotchkiss (illness).
4. Declaration of Interest
The Chairman, re planning application 10/01491/AS, personal.
Cllr Miss Davidson, re planning application 10/01716/AS, personal.
That the Minutes of the Meetings of Westwell Parish Council held on 6 December 2010 and
10 January 2011 be approved and confirmed as true records.
6. Matters Arising
LDF (Core Strategy) – The Vice-chairman reported that revision of the Core Strategy is
beginning, although it is not yet clear from whom or what form representation will take.
Advice will be sought from Cllr Clarkson.
Comments will be submitted on the Urban Sites and Infrastructure DPD. The Vice-
chairman’s paper will be circulated and comments from councillors collated by the Clerk
for submission. It was noted that the DPD does not include proposals for Kennington
Sandyhurst Lane – problems re use as a rat run and speeding – Dates for training of
volunteers are awaited from Kent Police. Cllr Dr Muir noted that she had been informed
by Pc Miller that this would begin ‘shortly’.
Potters Corner bus shelter – Repair of the shelter was discussed at a Council meeting on
10 January, but found not to be a viable option and a replacement shelter has
therefore been ordered from Queensbury Shelters. A breakdown of costs was
presented. Grants have been obtained from Cllr King and the KCC Rural Bus Shelter
Grant scheme towards the cost of the replacement. Installation must be completed by
25 March, this being a criterion for payment of the RBSG grant. An application has
been submitted for planning permission.
In answer to a question from Cllr Richards, it was stated that the stop is well used and
there have been no reported problems recently of buses failing to stop.
A site meeting is to be arranged with Kent Highway Services to discuss clearance of the
verge. It was noted that responsibility for bus shelters had been unilaterally devolved to
the parishes by ABC, and therefore a decision as to refurbishment or replacement lay
with the Parish Council. Payment of the balance of the cost of the shelter was discussed,
and it was noted that the invoice for grass cutting in 2010 had been approx £1500 lower
That the balance of the cost of the shelter be met from reserves.
Insurance would be approx £30 pa. A timber shelter had been considered but ruled out
on grounds of cost and a history of theft of such shelters.
The list of Correspondence had been circulated to councillors prior to the meeting,
Comments will be submitted on the Draft Landscape Character SPD by the Clerk.
The Parish Council’s views have been sought by ABC on the local name for Watery Lane, as the
mid-section has been wrongly called ‘Station Road’ by the National Gazetteer and Electoral
Services. ABC has been asked that this be corrected.
8. Financial report.
That the following payments be agreed in accordance with the Budget.
S Wood (salary July) 386.51
S Wood (salary August) 386.51
S Wood (use of home allowance July/Aug) 12.38
Landscape Services (grass cutting) 463.83
ABC (application fee for planning permission – Potters Corner 85.00
S Wood (Getmapping – block plan) 10.80
Lloyds TSB interest 0.97
Balance (cheque and deposit accounts): £ 10080.53
Balance (No. 2 account): £820.00
9. To consider planning applications received
Land west of Thimble Hall between CTRL and M20, Leacon Lane, Charing
Renewable energy unit facility which will comprise of plant and structures for the storage of
material for production of biogas, together with ancillary structures and buildings
It was noted that vehicle movements have been underestimated, which would impact on
adjacent properties. Concern was expressed at the proposed use of verges for passing and that
the development would be on a greenfield site . Details of plant were lacking. The technology
has been proved in Germany and maize and green waste would be used.
That the Parish Council submit comments that active consultation and further information are
required on the application.
Sycamores, The Street, Westwell TN25 4LQ
Alterations to roof to include raise in ridge and change in form to pitched roof and associated
external alterations including new windows at first floor level and creation of a balcony at first
floor to front elevation
That the Parish Council supports the application.
Two Chimneys, 28 Sandyhurst Lane, Ashford TN25 4NS
Proposed single storey rear extension
That the Parish Council supports the application.
10 Sandyhurst Lane, Ashford TN25 4NS
Erection of one 3 bedroom house
Concerns were expressed re road safety, and surprise at the opinion of KHS.
That the Parish Council objects to the application.
10. Report from NALC/KALC and ACRK representative
The Chairman congratulated Cllr Butcher on his election as Chairman at the Executive Meeting,
and thanked him for his reports.
NALC/ACRK: See Cllr Butcher’s report. KALC is to publish Parish News electronically, but hard
copy will continue to be available during the transition phase. Training will be carried out in
module form at a time to suit councils, and trainers will travel to the Council.
ACRK: See Cllr Butcher’s report.
11. Report from Parish Forum representative
The meeting on 6 December was cancelled and the next meeting is on 26 January.
12. Report from Police Forum representative
Cllr Dr Muir reported that the December meeting had been cancelled and she had been unable to
attend the January meeting. Minutes showed that crime in the area is decreasing.
13. Report from Parish Hall Committee representative
There has been no meeting since the Parish Council meeting of 6 December, the next meeting is
14. Report from Highways representative
Cllr Richards advised that there are again large potholes near Nash Court, and there may be a
blocked drain which contributes to the continued failure of repairs. The culverts in Watery Lane
near Parsonage Farm may be blocked/inadequate. It is thought that the balancing pond is not
fulfilling its purpose and may be leaking.
These issues have already been reported to KHS by the Clerk, with a recommendation that an
investigation be carried out at Nash Court into the repeated emergence of potholes. Repairs are
urgently needed as this is on the route of the Ashford and District 10k Road Race, to be run on 6
February. KHS will again be pressed for action. The Vice-chairman recommended that help be
sought from Cllr Clarkson.
KHS were thanked for clearing the drain in Sandyhurst Lane, near the Potters Corner junction, but
several potholes remain. Repairs are scheduled for 25 – 27 January.
15. Report from Tree Warden
A reply has been received to the Parish Council’s letter of complaint at the failure by KHS to
progress the promised replacement tree on the green by The Wheel. An apology was given and
assurances that the tree would be planted in autumn 2011.
16. Report from Chairman of the Playing Field Association
See Cllr Butcher’s report.
Photographs of outdoor gym equipment were circulated. Cllr Butcher asked for a letter of
support from the Parish Council for a grant application for this equipment which he could take
before the Grant Panel. Although letters of support from some of the village organisations have
been sent to the Playing Field Association, Councillors noted mixed views from residents. Cllr
Butcher was asked if, were this grant money forthcoming, it could be used for other purposes.
Cllr Butcher will seek advice.
After debate it was agreed that if money were available it would be better spent on other uses,
such as hall improvements.
17. Speaker for the Annual Parish Meeting
The Chairman asked for nominations for a speaker for the Annual Parish Meeting, and it was
agreed to invite Mr N Sandford to speak on renewable energy.
18. Any other business
The Vice-chairman asked for information on the mechanisms for the forthcoming Parish
Council elections. On its arrival from ABC, this will be circulated by the Clerk.
The Vice-chairman noted that several Parish Councils were of the view that membership
of CPRE may not be appropriate, given its stance as a campaigning organisation. This is
to be discussed at the meeting on 28 March.
Cllr Miss Davidson asked if the Parish Council was a consultee on the planning
application for the incinerator in Pett Lane, Charing, but was advised that it was not.
Cllr Richards asked about a timetable for Beechbrook properties, following the auction.
The Vice-chairman stated that all had been completed, and the tenant at Beechbrook
Farm had left in September on the expiration of the lease.
The Parish Council has been asked to publicise the 90 anniversary of the Royal British
Legion – ‘Poppy parties’ are encouraged.
The Chairman thanked Mr N Cackett and Cllr Hotchkiss for decorating the magnolia on
the green for Christmas, and Cllr Hollis was thanked for allowing the use of his electricity
for the lights.
19. Dates for future meetings
Wednesday, 18 May (Annual Meeting of the Parish Council). A date for the July meeting will be
set in May by the new Council.
20. Resolution to exclude the public and press
It is proposed that, under Section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960,
that, because of the confidential nature of the business to be dealt with, the Public and Press
leave the meeting during the following item, namely to discuss the Citizenship Award.
That the Public and Press be excluded during discussion of Agenda item 21.
21. Citizenship Award
Nominations received were discussed. The presentation will be made at the Annual Parish
22. Date of next meetings
th th th
Monday 7 March (Annual Parish Meeting), Monday 28 March and Wednesday 18 May.
The meeting closed at 9.15pm.
Reports for Parish Council Meeting 24 January 2011
Agenda Item 10: Reports on KALC & AWCRK:
(i) Executive Meeting: A meeting was held at Lenham on 15 January. A major part of this meeting was to
debate and elect a new Chairman, the incumbent, Richard Parry, having served the 3 year term. Resulting
from this I have been elected, not only to represent Kent at NALC as at present, but also to represent
KALC on the AWCRK Management Committee in place of Peter Mummery (Dover) who has resigned. (As
an aside, this means I have 2 votes at the management meetings!)
There were several papers debated, but of special interest was the latest Govt. Briefing on the Localism
Bill. This has a great many proposals that will affect all Parish Councils directly, so I am proposing to
produce a Paper in which these proposals will be enumerated and possible effects laid out. (The Briefing
is 12 sides of A4 and the accompanying explanation by NALC is a further 10 sides, hence I am not including
this for our meeting.)
Other items included NALC’s assessment of the need for funding for “The Big Society” if this initiative is to
succeed at local level; a report on the AGM; a paper on the Kent Revised Community Safety Partnership
and the need to review costings for training courses. St Nicholas at Wade & Sarre Parish Council has
gained Quality Council status and Cranbrook, Folkestone Town and Sissinghurst Parish Councils have been
(ii) Area Committee: Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 2nd February, when the guest speaker will
be Ian Learmonth, Kent’s Chief Constable. He will present his views on policing in Kent, with emphasis on
Ashford’s policing. There will be the usual reports from our representatives to other bodies.
(i) Audit Committee 11th January. Major items included vetting for prospective tenants for the Manor
Road premises; the state of the 2010/11 Budget and the provisional 2011/12 budget. It appears that 3 or
4 Rural Housing Associations are refusing to pay for the work done by the organisation on their behalf,
although commissioned to do so. This may well mean drawing on Reserves due to the large sums
involved. For the next financial year our Core Work budget may be the lowest for several years, so there
are likely to be redundancies. This is due to cuts to and by our funders and the prospect of the loss of all
Colyer-Fergusson funding. (As an example, the Grass Roots funding has been totally withdrawn by HM Go
(ii) Management Committee 17 January. Items debated included the financial implications of the drop
in revenue, arrangements for redundancy and a replacement for our Representative on the KALC
Executive. In addition, a possible replacement for the present IT contract and that for the photocopier
were to be investigated. Our applications for funding were reported together with ACRE’s response to
Govt. funding cuts.
Agenda Item 16: Report of Playing Field & YPA.
Following the article & photograph of the outdoor exercise equipment in the “Westwell Eye” we have
received phone calls and letters of support for the Project. These include the Westwell Extend Group and
the Westwell Women’s Institute. We have sent letters to the Players and Hall Committee and already
have confirmation of the support of the G7 group of parishes and especially from many of the
congregation of St Mary’s. In addition we have received confirmation from Aldington Parish Council that
the insurance premium for their 12 items of equipment comes to £89 per annum. We have also obtained
the maintenance schedule from the manufacturer, who provides a five year guarantee, during which
period the equipment will undergo an annual inspection and report issued foc. From the maintenance
schedule there appears to be no reason why members of the Association (such as Derek Warner and I)
could not carry this out, since it is minimal as a result of the high standards of manufacture. (This policy is
followed by many Parish Councils and Associations.) We have also been in contact with “Funding
Buddies” and are pursuing various sources. These include several with whom the manufacturer has an
The Association feels that with the support shown to us (greater than that for the Shelter) and the fact
that no other projects have been suggested, we have answered all the questions posed at the last Council
meeting and therefore respectfully request that a letter of support be provided to the Grant Panel,
meeting at the end of this week. We would also wish to remind the Council that the funding would not
come from Precept monies.