"LEIGH PARISH COUNCIL"
LEIGH PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES OF THE LEIGH PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD IN THE SMALL HALL, TH HIGH STREET, LEIGH ON MONDAY 5 DECEMBER 2011 AT 8PM UNDER THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF CLLR. STRATTON-BROWN PRESENT: Cllr. C. Stratton-Brown (Chairman), Cllr B. Doherty, Cllr J. Knock, Cllr S. Smith and Cllr R. Swallow APOLOGIES: Cllr D. Bennie, Cllr P. Croft, Cllr A. Johnston and Cllr G. Marchant IN ATTENDANCE: Mrs L. Kleinschmidt (Clerk), District Cllr A. Cook and County Cllr P. Lake Open Session Report by County Cllr Peter Lake County Cllr Lake reported that he has submitted an application to bring down the speed limit on the dangerous bend of the Leigh/Hildenborough road. It has now been costed at £7,500, and hopefully will be signed off by the cabinet member for payment out of C.Cllr Lake’s member’s fund. If not, the funding will come from the crash remedial fund but this will take longer. There is a general recognition that something needs to be done, and C.Cllr Lake is continuing to keep up the pressure. The plans for any safety measures will be sent to the Parish Council in due course. KCC is still working on their budget for 2012-13 but it has been agreed that the KCC part of the council tax will not be raised. Members are trying to protect essential services but it will prove to be a difficult task. Luckily at the moment, there is still money available for schools, and the local primary schools are full to bursting. Developers need to understand that if they build new houses, they need to consider the impact on schools, doctors’ surgeries etc. Cllr Stratton-Brown asked C.Cllr Lake whether any progress has been made with the second 20mph sign at Coppings Lane, and the Clerk undertook to email information to C.Cllr Lake. Cllr Stratton-Brown also asked whether the new cycling strategy will include the proposed route from Greenview Avenue to the Tonbridge/Penshurst cycleway. Again, the Clerk to email details to both C.Cllr Lake and D.Cllr Mrs Cook. Report by District Cllr Alison Cook District Cllr Mrs Cook reported that SDC are also working on their 2012-13 budget, and the savings that the council needs to make have more-or-less been met, so long as there are no large unexpected items of expenditure. It is hoped that the Government does not reduce its grant to the district council. There is good news: the Government is proposing to increase support for the transport infrastructure, which could include the A21 widening proposals. The recent public sector workers’ strike had no impact on the local services that people receive from SDC. D.Cllr Mrs Cook has reminded the cricket club that applications are invited to the Big Community Fund, and applications need to show wide community involvement. Planning: it looks as though the application for a wire fence at Knotley Hall will go to committee as the planning officer will not accept D.Cllr Mrs Cook’s view that this type of fencing is acceptable in this location. D.Cllr Mrs Cook visited the Gaza trading estate to see what disruption is experienced when the Boxing Club is open, and she reported that you can hear some level of music in the two areas where she stood. Questions from members of the public – none. County Cllr Lake and District Cllr Mrs Cook left the meeting at 8.20pm. Closed Session 1. Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Bennie, Cllr Croft, Cllr Johnson and Cllr Marchant, and their reasons for absence were accepted by members of the Parish Council. 2. Declaration of personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters to be discussed – none. th 3. The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 7 November 2011 were approved and duly signed. Proposed by Cllr Knock, seconded by Cllr Doherty and all were in favour. 4. To report on matters arising from the minutes not otherwise on the agenda – none. 5. Planning i. to consider applications received – none. 1 ii. to review planning procedures Members agreed to adopt the following planning procedure: 1. Leigh Parish Council Clerk receives the planning applications from Sevenoaks District Council (SDC) and logs them on the Planning spreadsheet. 2. Leigh Parish Council Clerk emails all members of the Parish Council to inform them that a new planning application has been received. The email will contain the planning application number and the SDC website URL so that members can view the plans online if they wish. In addition the Clerk delivers hardcopy of the plans to the Chair of Planning Committee who will review and then circulate these to the Planning Committee members. 3. Leigh Parish Council Clerk will put a copy of the Planning spreadsheet on the Parish Council noticeboards before Planning Committee and Parish Council meetings, so that members of the public know what applications have been received by Leigh Parish Council. 4. The Parish Council will review planning applications during full Parish Council meetings or, if the planning application deadline is prior to the next Parish Council meeting, the Planning Committee will meet and review the applications, will send the response to SDC and advise the full Parish Council at their next meeting. 5. Planning applications will be on display at Parish Council meetings so that members of the Parish Council and the public can see them. Please note the following: (a) If Leigh Parish Council does not get its response in by the SDC deadline, the SDC Planning officer may still take Leigh Parish Council's comments into account (but they are not obliged to) and further a late response removes the Planning officer's requirement to contact the SDC member (currently Alison Cook) to discuss the application. (b) Leigh Parish Council's response will typically be either 'support' or 'object' with evidence relating to the local plan policies. Support If Leigh Parish Council submits a 'support' response that is contrary to the SDC Planning Officer’s recommendation, the SDC Planning Officer will contact the SDC Local Member who then has seven days to consider the matter and discuss with the SDC Planning Officer whether the planning application should be decided by committee or delegated powers. If Leigh Parish Council submits a ‘support’ response which is the same as the SDC Planning Officer’s recommendation, the SDC Planning Officer will not consult with the SDC Local Member and will make a decision by delegated powers. Object If Leigh Parish Council submits an 'object' response that is contrary to the SDC Planning Officer’s recommendation, the SDC Planning Officer will contact the SDC Local Member who then has seven days to consider the matter and discuss with the SDC Planning Officer whether the planning application should be decided by committee or delegated powers. If Leigh Parish Council submits an ‘object’ response which is the same as the SDC Planning Officer’s recommendation, the SDC Planning Officer will not consult with the SDC Local Member and will make a decision by delegated powers. If Leigh Parish Council puts in a 'no objection' response it would mean that the SDC Planning Officer will not consult the SDC Local Member and will make a decision by delegated powers. Please note that SDC do not take 'no objection' as support for the application. If Leigh Parish Council puts in a 'no comment' response, then this also means that the SDC Planning Officer will not consult the SDC Local Member and will make a decision by delegated powers . If Leigh Parish Council feels that another consultee, such as Highways, or the Conservation Officer, would have the best view on whether or not a planning application satisfies planning policy, instead of ‘no comment’ the SDC Planning Officer would prefer Leigh Parish Council to state this; for example the response might be ‘Leigh Parish Council supports the planning application providing there are no adverse comments from Highways/Conservation Officer’. Please note that all responses are logged on the SDC planning website as consultee comments. However Leigh Parish Council’s comments are not mentioned on the notification of planning decisions, just the reasons for approval or refusal along with any conditions. 2 Cllr Doherty reported that the Planning Committee met during the month, and had the following comments: i. SE/11/02722/CONVAR: Sevenoaks Boxing Club, Gaza Trading Estate, Scabharbour Road, Hildenborough: Vary condition 4 (hours of use of the building) to 08.30 to 21.30 on weekdays and Saturdays, and from 10.00 to 12.00 on Sundays, and the use of the building as an office from 08.00 to 17.30 on weekdays and Saturdays. The buildings will not be used at any other time, including bank holidays. Vary condition 6 (use of the building) to training of individuals for boxing or boxing related exercise classes. Vary condition 9 (no amplified music) to remove this condition of SE/05/00972/FUL. Members objected as it was understood that the Boxing Club has not yet adhered to the previously imposed conditions relating to the use of the property, as per the SDC Enforcement Notices. The Club has advised that they will make every effort to comply with these conditions and it is also making an application to regulate what it does. Members believe that, once the conditions have been fully complied with, SDC and the local residents must be given time to monitor the impact of the Club’s activities, and on the satisfactory conclusion of the monitoring the Parish Council would be prepared to consider a further application perhaps to extend the opening hours, the use of amplified music and change of use to fitness training. ii. SE/11/02870/FUL: The Cottage, Southwood, Scabharbour Road, Hildenborough TN11 8PJ: Erection of two storey rear extension and side hip-to-gable extension. Members supported this application. The Clerk reported the following notification of planning decisions: SE/11/02287/FUL: Agricultural dwelling, Coppings Farm, Leigh – agricultural dwelling renovation and amendments to external finish. Application approved. SE/11/02383/LBCALT: 3 Home Farm Close, Leigh – 2 roof windows. Approval for listed building consent. SE/11/02382/LBCALT: 3 Home Farm Close, Leigh – 3 roof windows. Refusal of listed building consent. 6. Environment The Clerk reported that she has purchased a new padlock for the gate by the pond, and will contact the Hildenborough Pond Warden again so that she can start to take samples of the pond water. Cllr Stratton- Brown asked that Bartletts include the trees in the old chapel churchyard in their annual tree survey, and the Clerk undertook to contact them in this regard. 7. Highways - to report any outstanding and new highway matters The Clerk reported that she has spoken to Allan Gibbons, who now says that the complete resurfacing of Greenview Avenue has been postponed due to lack of funding. The Clerk reported that she has received a call from Rachel Littlejohn, who lives on Powdermills Lane, opposite the footpath to Gibbs Field. Mrs Littlejohn said that she has had four cats killed on the road in the last six months due to speeding vehicles, and that a policeman carried out a speed check before but at 12.00 when the road is quieter. Mrs Littlejohn asked that speed strips are used or that the speed gun is used at busy times: 08.45-09.15, 14.30-16.00, 17.00-18.30. Clerk undertook to contact the police and also to enquire about mobile speed indication devices. Cllr Doherty reported that she has received an email from the headteacher who is concerned that vans are parking on the pavements which is a safety hazard as pedestrians are having to walk in the road to pass the vehicle. It was agreed that the headteacher should contact the police if this happens again, and Cllr Doherty to send the information to the Clerk who will ask the police to monitor the situation. 8. The Parish Council website th The Clerk reported that she met representatives from Vision at the SLCC regional conference on 30 November, and information has started to be loaded onto the website. It is not live yet, but hopefully it can coincide with the demise of the existing www.leighkent.org.uk site. i. To agree domain name: Members agreed that Leighkent.org.uk is the best domain name, and Clerk to advise Vision accordingly. ii. To approve the additional hours required to set up and maintain the website: The Clerk advised that she has been told that it would take about an hour a week to maintain the website going forward. She has put a figure equivalent to 20 hours to input as much information on the website as possible but this would be the maximum, it is likely to be less. Members agreed. 9. Village halls update Members asked the Clerk to write to Helen Everett to thank her and the management committee for all that they have done to the hall. 3 10. To receive update on Aged Persons Dwellings The Clerk reported that Mrs Fagg is back home, and had problems with locking her back door last week. This was fixed by Cllr Johnson. Members were grateful to Cllr Johnson for his assistance. 11. To discuss any public transport issues including the minibus scheme The Clerk reported that she has spoken to Stephen Elsden at Compaid and has advised him that she would recommend to the Parish Council that the minibus services of Compaid and the Stangrove Area Community Transport are advertised again in the parish to try and generate more uptake of the scheme. The usage will be reviewed again and then consideration could perhaps be given to grant funding. Members agreed. It might be possible that a flyer could be inserted in the parish magazine. 12. To report on correspondence received i. Item 3: Kent Police: New Kent Police telephone number: 101 is the new national non-emergency number to contact our local officer, make an enquiry and to report non-urgent crimes. The current non emergency number for Kent Police (01622 690 690) is being phased out. Examples are; If your car been stolen, if property has been damaged, if you suspect drug use or dealing, to report a minor traffic collision, to give the Police information about crime or criminals in the local area. Each call will never cost more than 15p. Callers will be put through to the Force Control Room in Kent, and not a national call centre. As always, dial 999 in an emergency - when life is in danger or crime is in progress. ii. Item 4: KHS survey ‘tell us what you think about the Highway Service’. iii. Item 6: SDC Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) and Countryside Assessment Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) iv. Item 12: KALC: the Localism Act received Royal Assent on 15 November 2011. This is a key piece of legislation which gives greater recognition and more power to local councils. The NALC Policy Briefing covers the key measures contained within the Act: - New Freedoms and flexibilities for local government – General Power of Competence, Standards, Pre-determination - New rights and powers for communities and individuals – Community Right to challenge, Community right to bid - Reform to make the planning system more democratic and more effective – Neighbourhood Planning, Community right to build, Community Infrastructure levy; and - Reform to ensure that decisions about housing are taken locally – Reform of council housing finance. The proposed reforms to parish poll legislation have not been enacted. These were part of a wider package of measures regarding referendums and were removed from the Bill prior to Royal Assent. The National Association will continue to press for reforms to the current rules. Further briefings from the National Association will be issued in due course. v. Item 19: Leigh Cricket Club – questionnaire on the possible re-development of the cricket pavilion. vi. Item 20: VAWK – Volunteer Centre, Tonbridge – requesting a grant towards running costs. They have regularly helped 25 Leigh residents in the past year. Members agreed to consider all grants at the May Parish Council meeting. vii. Item 21: KCC Landscape Services – quote for grounds maintenance 2012. Members agreed to consider this at the January Parish Council meeting. 13. Finance i. 2011/12 Accounts: Actual and Year End Forecast and Earmarked Reserves 2012/13 Budget and Precept Requirements and Budget Earmarked Reserves Cllr Knock reported that the Finance Committee has met to discuss the 2011-12 accounts and year- end forecast, and the 2012-13 budget and precept requirements. The Finance Committee wished to recommend that Earmarked Reserves are drawn up to save for unexpected expenditure / loss of income on the APD, and other contingencies. Members agreed to postpone Finance discussions and a decision on the precept until the January meeting when hopefully more members would be present. Members discussed the previously agreed grant to the school. Cllr Doherty declared a personal interest in this item and took no part in the discussion. It was agreed that the £5,000 promised to the school as a S.137 grant towards the building of the new classroom would be split and £2,500 would be paid in this financial year, and £2,500 would be paid in the next financial year. ii. To approve Clerk’s attendance at the SLCC Regional Conference: £32.50 + VAT Members agreed. iii. To approve payment of cheques Cllr Smith proposed that the list of cheques be signed, this was seconded by Cllr Knock and all were in favour. 4 chq. no. List of Cheques Details of payment Amount of which VAT 1232 Chiddingstone Parish Council Half-share costs SLCC Conference £32.50 1233 Bartlett Tree Experts Tree work small oak tree on Green £108.00 £18.00 1234 Getspatial LLP Subscription to Parish Online service £48.00 £8.00 1235 Clerk Salary £460.10 1236 Post Office Ltd PAYE £105.80 1237 Clerk Working from home/Mileage/petty cash £96.34 1238 KCC Clerk's pension contribution £143.74 Total: £986.48 £26.00 14. Items for reporting or inclusion in future agend i. Cllr Smith reported that garden waste is being dumped against the Hall Place fence on the Penshurst Road. It was agreed that Cllr Smith should report this to Cllr Croft. ii. Cllr Knock reported that Mr Ian Stevens has offered to be the press officer for Leigh and will submit a community report to the Courier. The meeting closed at 9.25pm. th The next meeting will be on Monday 9 January 2012 at 8.00pm in the Small Hall, High Street, Leigh. Signed …………………………….............. 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