Ordinary Meeting Minutes 5/10/2009

Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Penshurst Parish Council held on Monday 5 October 2009 in Penshurst Village Hall at 7.30 pm.
1.            PRESENT: Cllrs R Sellings (Chairman), Mrs D Broad, A Campbell, M Gilbert, Mrs A Hill, R Horsford
APOLOGIES:    Cllr Viccars & Geal.    These were approved.
2.            MINUTES OF MEETING HELD ON 7 September, having been circulated, were approved and signed by the Chairman.
Declarations of Interest in Agenda Items
If a Member has a prejudicial interest, this should be declared at the start of the meeting.
Personal interests may be declared at this point or alternatively can be declared at the time when the specific item is being discussed, if a Member wishes to speak on an item in which s/he has a personal interest.     None
3.            MATTERS ARISING:
a.            Fordcombe Hospital Bus Stop:    Speldhurst clerk advises county will provide bus shelter on opposite side of road.   Clerk explained that danger occurs when passengers leave the bus, not whilst waiting.   County advise verge too narrow to facilitate standing area.    Cllr Lake advised he would approach the member with responsibility for Speldhurst to discuss options open, he considered the job should be done properly to ensure safety of bus passengers leaving buses at this point.
b.         Public Toilets:     Approaches made to Penshurst Place and Tourism Board for financial assistance in maintaining the provision of public toilets in parish.   Further contact provided by British Tourism, clerk contacted but this was only an information service with no funding available.   Clerk had spoken with Richard Wilson at SDC with regarding to the level of contribution required to ensure the maintenance of the facility, it was anticipated an offer of £3K for the year would mean the unit would be kept open.   SDCllr Cooke felt that the PC would need to make a good case for retention of the facility, possibly a petition to substantiate its usage and therefore prove a need.
c.            Penshurst Bus Shelter Roof: This had been completed.                     
d.         Village Seat – Fordcombe Green:   Cllr Viccars to report on return.                                
e.         BT Payphone: Cllr Gilbert advised that the landlord of the Chafford Arms was happy for the telephone box to remain on site, preferably as a working unit and he would also arrange for it to be kept clean. Cllr Gilbert requested that the clerk write to BT requesting the box be left as it was, Cllr Lake pointed out that mobile reception in the area was sporadic and that a telephone box was therefore an asset to the villages.
4.            REPORTS:
a.            Swaylands:   Cllr Sellings reported that there would be an open day on the 17/18 October.   Installation of a sewerage system from Swaylands down to the bottom of Rogues Hill had started. 
b.         Kent County Councillor:     Cllr Lake had checked the highways report for the parish and found that many items had not changed for two years, he would be passing this to the Cabinet Member. He reminded members that £25K was available across the parishes for projects to benefit the villages ie bus shelters, illuminated signs etc.   Cllr Lake was concerned at the current tendering process for bus services covering the Edenbridge/Tunbridge Wells; Penhurst/Hildenborough and Chiddingstone/Edenbridge services from March 2010 onwards and what affect this might have on current level of services.   The PC supported any initiatives undertaken to ensure the current level was maintained. 
c.            Sevenoaks District Councillor:     Cllr Cooke had received a letter of complaint from a parishioners regarding skips operating out of Sandfield Road , he was investigating this currently; members reported that the speed of some skip lorries through the villages was unacceptable.   The drainage project at Poundsbridge had been completed, he asked the PC to contact highways with regard to the work, it was hoped it would prove to be efficient.    Cllr Cooke advised that the planning application procedures had altered, applications could now be referred either by the Director of Planning or the local member who had 21 days to register his wish to speak for or against an application. Should the PC response differ from the officer there was a seven day period to register.   The PC was asked to relate any objections to specific planning policies in future responses.
d.         KALC:    Cllr Mrs Hill reported that the recent meeting had been on the topic of railways, particularly the Uckfield line.   The provision of a Hastings/Wealden line link would save congestion and bus use when rail works occurred on the respective lines.   The Tunbridge Wells/Tonbridge/Sevenoaks line was now at capacity.   The next meetings were scheduled for 13 and 14 November.   
e.         Community Officer :      No Report
5.            HIGHWAYS:
Rectory Hedge:   Recently cut back for the second time in two years, members noted that further cutting was required to ensure the full area of the road was exposed, Cllr Sellings had been advised by the tree surgeon that a further cut would be made next year.
Slippery Pavement Surface: KCC advised sand blasting would cause severe damage to brickwork, county to meet with specialists to investigate adding thin surfacing to pavement. Footway placed on top five footways to be resurfaced during next financial year.
Longbridge:   Repair work to the bridge was complete, KCC advised matching bricks had been used and would blend in after weathering.   Clerk to check position with regard to introduction of white line on bridge.
Potholes: Allan Gibbons had been on sick leave for a few weeks, other Inspectors covering his area may use white lines to denote to Ringway the areas to be patched. This may be done well in advance as programmed jobs are done on a 6 week turnaround. 
Highway Inspector:   Ordering system showed that 70 orders had been raised within the Penshurst area by the Inspector, not including any additional orders raised by the Engineer or orders raised whilst Inspector absent.   County satisfied that the level of orders raised indicates that enquiries and inspections are being carried out.    County state that Allan Gibbons is an experienced and knowledgeable Inspector and they have never had cause for concern regarding his ability or attention to detail. They are happy to receive any specific concerns to investigate.   Members felt the problem was primarily one of lack of communication and that it would be advantageous to meet with the inspector during one of his scheduled inspections to discuss current issues, clerk to make request to Sue Ireland.
White Lining:   PC will need to log a call with the Contact Centre for this – called a dogbone, clerk to arrange.
River Medway Bridleway Bridge:     Highways advise that the bridge will be closed for up to six months, Jacobs will be replacing it with a single span bridge.   Clerk to advise that area will become impassable for construction machinery during the forthcoming poor autumn/winter weather.
Resurfacing:   Clerk to check whether the lay by opposite Penshurst Place will be resurfaced at the same time as the road is done.
Verge Mowing:    Cllrs Mrs Hill and Gilbert to liaise regarding article for the parish magazines relating to verge mowing.    Clerk to write a letter of thanks to Mr B Richardson of Hartlands Farm regarding work recently undertaken to clear trees from bridge at bottom off hill in Fordcombe.
Parishioner invited Cllr Cooke to visit site regarding identifying trees worthy of TPOs.
Problems with youngsters gaining unauthorised access to the PORC site had resulted in damage and thefts, attempts had been made to make access more difficult to deter these activities.   Landowner had not found the police to be supportive in this instance.    Cllr Cooke would provide contact number for organisation who might be able to assist.   Landowner planning to install CCTV.
No official crimes had been reported during the preceding month although three residences occupied by elderly members of the parish had been targeted by a caller asking if they had any pictures for sale.
There had been no further information with regard to the planning application relating to the New Road site.
Cllr Gilbert had received information relating to hedgecutting for landowners with land adjacent to the highway.
6.            PLANNING:
SE/09/01511: Land South of Stackyard, The Lane, Fordcombe: Change of use from agricultural land to keep horses for recreational use. Erection of 2 stables, tack room, hay store and hardstanding. No Comment
SE/09/02005: Chafford House, Spring Hill, Fordcombe: Replacement garage with increased footprint, incorporating summerhouse and tractor shed. All relocated to minimise disturbance to badger set.   No Comment
SE/09/01985: The Oast, Spring Hill, Fordcombe: Erection of single storey extension with eight roof lights, internal alterations to improve layout. No Comment
SE/09/01888: The Barn, The Vineyard, Grove Road, Penshurst: Complete conversion of barn into a house and reconstruct the collapsed part of the aisle (to the north of the porch) No Comment
SE/09/02042: Daneby Hall, The Lane, Fordcombe: Sub division of Daneby Hall into two dwelling houses.     No Objections
SE/09/01564: The Spotted Dog, Smarts Hill, Penshurst: To confirm lawful use for the community farm shop on The Spotted Dog pub site.    Certificate of Lawful Existing Use/Development Granted
SE/09/01330/01332LBC: 1 Rectory Cottages, High Street, Penshurst: Enclose cart shed to form garden room. GRANTED   Members had been concerned at the amount of glass in the design, clerk to down load decision.
7.            CORRESPONDENCE:
a.         KALC:   Newsletter and attachments
b.            Parishioner: Information regarding growth of Japanese Knotweed.   Clerk advised this was the             responsibility of the landowner to remove same, not the Parish Council.
c.         SDC Arts Council:   Meeting agenda
d.         SDC: Information on show at The Stag Theatre- One Vision on 30 October 2009
e.         Action with Communities in Rural Kent: Introductory letter from Rural Officer for ACRK             advising of benefits of Parish Plan
f.          SDC: Notices for display giving details of Community Grants
g.         Kent Highways Services: Sevenoaks District Strategy for Transport 2009-2026 public consultation.   Document available on www.kent.gov.uk/publications/transport-and-streets/sevenoaks-transport-strategy.htm, submission to be sent by email to SDST@kent.gov.uk or in writing to Sevenoaks Transport Strategy Consultation, Doubleday House, St. Michael’s Close, Aylesford, Kent ME20 7BU
h.         KCC:   Advice that in future it is proposed that mobile libraries will be run by a single member of staff to reduce costs., final decision to be taken by Cabinet Member in December 2009.
8.            FINANCE:
The following accounts were presented and approved for payment:        
Mr I Streeter                                          Lengthsman                                                        78.00
South East Water                           Warren Lane Allotment Supply                            32.56
a.   Penshurst Churchyard:   Problems with a centuries old grave were rectified free of charge by Mr David Johnston of H J Johnston and Son of Chiddingstone Causeway.    Under legislation the parish is responsible for the upkeep of closed churchyards with costs being borne by the parishioners.   The PC had written to Mr Johnston recording their thanks for his help and contribution to the parish.    Clerk to ask Mr Johnston if he would undertake inspection of the churchyard, for a fee, and provide report of any work deemed necessary.
b.   Quarterly Accounts:   Clerk tabled these for members, these were noted.
c.   Precept 2010/2011:   Clerk had drafted figures for consideration, members to contact clerk with any queries or requests relating to projects for inclusion in the figures.   Precept to be agenda item for November meeting.
a.            Allotments:   Cllr Sellings, Campbell and the clerk to arrange inspection of allotment sites.
b.            Almshouses: Cllr Mrs Hill had been asked to act as a Trustee for the charity and liaise with the PC.
c.         Trees:   Members were advised that a tree, known to be on highways land, had fallen on Spring Hill blocking it, this had been removed by Cllr Horsford’s family.   Clerk confirmed that incidents such as these would be dealt with on an emergency basis by Kent Highways if report on the contact line – 0845 824 7800.
A number of chestnut trees on Spring Hill needed attention, Cllr Gilbert to discuss with landowner.
d.         Speed Signs:   Members agreed to put forward a request for the provision of speed indicator signs in Fordcombe and Penshurst from the funding available via Cllr Lake.   Clerk to action.
e.         Village Name Signs:   Clerk to report poor condition of road signs near Penshurst Place and Glebelands.

Meeting concluded 9.45 pm                                               Next Meeting 2 November 2009 – Fordcombe