MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF OTHAM PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON MONDAY 11TH SEPTEMBER 2006 AT 7.45 P.M. IN THE VILLAGE HALL PRESENT: Cllrs Thompson (Chairman); Leeds (Vice Chairman); Gwinnett; Marchant; Thomas; Mrs Irving (Clerk), PC Billy Marley (part), Mr. Michael Bottle. 1. APOLOGIES: Cllr Page – Work Commitment; Cllr Baxter – Holiday; Cllr Middleton – Work Commitment. APPROVE & SIGN MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING HELD ON 3RD JULY 2006. The minutes were agreed as a true and accurate record of proceedings. DECLARATION OF INTEREST – None. QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC - None RESIGNATION OF COUNCILLOR/COUNCILLOR VACANCY. Cllr Shipp has resigned from the council due to moving from the village. MBC advised an election was not required; vacancy to be filled by cooption. Following a résumé of his life, Mr. Michael Bottle was co-opted to the council & invited to join the meeting. Cllr Thomas informed the meeting she was unable to continue as a councillor due to changes in her work circumstances. The council thank Cllr Shipp & Cllr Thomas for their contributions. 6. POLICE MATTERS 6.1 Report. PC Billy Marley reported 6 crimes over the past two months. Crimes which had not been reported were also noted: Destruction of stile by 4 x 4 vehicle. Fly tipping on village green. Fences pulled down/horses chased. Cllrs Marchant & Thompson hope to be able to attend the presentation on 12th September at Sutton Road. This will include information on the future structure of neighbourhood policing in the area. 6.2 NPO Attendance – To be addressed at above presentation. 7.  URGENT MATTERS A local farmer has enquired whether a restrictor could be fitted in place of the existing stile by the ‘T’ junction of footpaths KM80/86.


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It was noted the restrictor on KM 87 (junction with White Horse/Gore Court Rd) has been damaged by vandals. ACTION: Clerk to request meeting with Footpaths Officer.  It was noted a fence had been erected on the field between Caring Road and Otham Street. Cllr Marchant advised MBC had given the new owners 28 days (expiring on 23rd September) to remove the fencing. Restrictions do not allow for erection/replacement fencing except on a ‘like for like’ basis. Clerk to write to the Housing Trust enquiring whether they are aware two vehicles may have been abandoned on their land. Cllr Marchant to provide Clerk with vehicle details.


8. MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES 8.1 Hedgerow (Trojan Meadows) opposite side to houses requires cutting back. ACTION: Clerk to check whether Cllr Page has managed to determine who is responsible for hedgerow. Clerk to write to farmer re. hedges in Gore Court Rd, White Horse Lane & Church Rd (some cut on the inside only; not on the outside or top). ACTION: Cllr Leeds to provide map of relevant hedges. Clerk to request urgent meeting with RBH/DM/JL & JT. Hedges in Honey Lane require cutting – Clerk to contact KHS. 8.2 Village Green – Trees. Cllr Thompson reported the horse chestnut tree is diseased. Clerk to request MBC inspect. Work has been completed re. trees on the north corner of the village green. Another bonfire has been held on the green; ashes, cans/litter etc require clearing. Clerk to obtain quotation for approx 10 further verge posts on north-west corner of green (some to be sleeved to allow for tractor access). Hit squad to be requested to clear rubbish. In an attempt to prevent further damage to fencing on the village green, a quotation for screwing the fence top and bottom was requested from Helping Hands: One side only - £80 to £90 Complete fence - £140. Cllr Thompson proposed the quotation for screwing one side only (4 screws per panel) is accepted as this is the side most frequently damaged, seconded by Cllr Leeds. The Clerk advised the meeting it had been necessary to have repairs carried out to the tiles in the playground during August; tiles that were lifting have now been stuck down. Gaps between tiles have also been filled. Similar repairs are likely to be necessary on an ongoing basis.

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8.4 8.5


8.7 8.8

8.9 9.

Footpaths/Stiles. Cllr Thompson to check situation with farmer re. the planting on footpath which runs past Synyards to KM77. Cllr Thompson also to arrange to have stile on this footpath cleared for a small fee of approx £20 (three ash trees growing by war memorial to be included in this fee & cleared at the same time). Village Welcome Pack. Cllr Gwinnett to provide details of updates - Clerk to retype as necessary. Notice Boards. Due to the high cost of new notice boards, Cllr Marchant to contact a joiner to see whether it would be possible to have the existing doors modified to open outwards, not lifted up. Football Ground (update). DM advised enforcement action is now being taken. Cllr Leeds to prepare a form & circulate to residents living nearby requesting dates/times are noted when the changing rooms are being used. Clerk to write to MBC to enquire what is happening with the planning application re. the floodlights Memorial Tree – Jeannie Pitt. Cllr Marchant reported no response from Jeannie Pitt’s family to date. Village Plan – Date for Steering Meeting. At the meeting held on Monday 24 July a steering group was formed, with Graham Fraser of Stoneacre appointed chairman. Nothing further heard at present. Ward Walk (update). Cllr Leeds to request update from MBC. BOUNDARY WITH STONEACRE – R. Baxter. Cllrs Leeds & Marchant to provide a small map with the boundary clearly marked. Clerk to write to Graham Fraser with a copy of the map & request he contacts the council if he believes there is a problem. MOBILE CCTV – D. Marchant. In response to an email from a resident, Cllr Marchant discussed the deployment of a mobile CCTV camera in the village. Unfortunately, this would not be possible in Otham as streetlights (or a suitable alternative) are required for their power. FINANCE. Statement of Account – See attached appendix. Otham Parish Council confirms approval of all payments – proposed by Cllr Marchant, seconded Cllr Gwinnett. Account Closure. The Deposit Account has now been closed with the proceeds of £24.49 transferred to the Capital Reserve. Cheque Signatories. Cllrs Gwinnett and Baxter are now signatories. Annual Audit. The Audit Commission have now completed the 2005/06 audit and the appropriate notices have been displayed. PLANNING. A full report was not available due to the absence of Cllr Baxter. Clerk to check with Cllr Baxter what recommendation had been made to application MA/06/1300 – Wardes Nursery site - conversion to holiday homes. It was noted - subject to the agreement of the planning committee - the council has no objection to Application MA/06/1642 – Whitecroft, Simmonds Lane.


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CORRESPONDENCE. Cllr Marchant provided the meeting with an email received from a resident (see 10 above) commenting on the increase of criminal activity in the village. Police records were checked but there was no report on file regarding the car chase mentioned. A copy of the email has been forwarded to MBC’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team. Land between Primrose Cottages & 1 Cable Cottage. Cllr Thompson has been advised by one of the new owners that plans are in hand to clear the land, replant fruit trees & return the land to the orchard it once was. ACTION: Clerk to reply to owner advising them the PC is pleased to hear of their acquisition & wish them all the best with their plans. Letter received from the owners of Watts Cottage thanking the Parish Council for their support re. their recent planning application. Cllr Thompson received a postcard from Aimee Capon thanking the PC for their contribution.

14. REPORTS FROM SEMINARS ATTENDED – None. 15. ADDITIONAL MATTERS TO BE DISCUSSED AT NEXT MEETING.  Precept (Finance Committee).  Field at end of Caring Road. 16. DATE OF NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING – 7th November 2006.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.45 p.m.


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