Thursday 28th November 2013
28 November 2013 @ 7:30 pm
Members of public present: 8
Nicholas Fox (holiday)
Roger Spicer, Stephen Brandon, John Ramsden, Akile Clinton, Michael Fisher, Diane Ashworth, Kirstie Wooltorton (Clerk), Diane Sandy (Assistant Clerk)
Minutes of Last Meeting
Minutes of 19th September 2013 meeting were signed by Roger Spicer as an accurate record.
David informed that the village confines pilot report will hopefully be submitted to Ashford Borough Council’s Cabinet on 16th January 2014.
He confirmed that no other villages have started this scheme as yet. He recognized the amount of work that the workgroup had done and believes other villages will want to learn from our exercise.
The village confines pilot report has now been completed.
Parish Councillors approved and endorsed the report. The report will now be submitted to Ashford Borough Council for Cabinet approval.
Storage for Goose Fair
Clerk has received a request for a metal storage container to be sited to the rear of the cricket pavilion to store all of the Goose Fair fencing, flags etc.
At present all of the equipment has been stored at different locations and it is difficult to keep track of the equipment.
The Village Fund has requested that the Parish Council purchase and install a 40 foot storage container and is providing funding towards this.
The container will be sited behind the cricket pavilion.
The Groundsman removed turf for the village bonfire, raked and removed the ash/debris and then replaced the turf.
The Groundsman installed the concrete base for the war memorial.
The Groundsman has filled potholes on all three Lees tracks
Salt bag from Kent Highways has been delivered to the verge at St Cosmas Close
Nothing to report
Nothing to report
The Groundsman has rotavated the bark surfacing in the play area
The Groundsman has removed the shade canopy for the winter
Letter from Village Fund Trustees confirming award of grants meeting to be held on 27th November. Noted
Email from ABC regarding Christmas and New Year recycling and refuse collection. This information has already been put in the Forester and on the notice boards
Letter from Envirocology Ltd, tree care specialists, regarding trees in public areas and offering free hazard assessment of trees. Councillors agreed for Clerk to request free assessment of trees on the Lees
Email from ABC regarding the superfast Broadband programme for Kent. Noted
Email from KALC regarding the 2 signature rule. Noted
Email from Colin Batt regarding the future of the Goose Fair. Councillors agreed with the Goose Fair Committee that the Goose Fair should have a break in 2014
Email from KALC regarding reduction in the funding received from Ashford Borough Council. Noted
Email from Barbara Down regarding Goose Raffle registration. This has been renewed. Clerk explained the potential for another village club/society to use the raffle
Email from Kent Highways regarding winter maintenance period 2013/14. Noted
Letter from Ashford Borough Council regarding site submissions for Core Strategy Review. Clerk read out the letter to the meeting.
Finance update for September and October 2013 given to Councillors
Planning application update given to Councillors
1 Chestnut Cottage, Buck Street, Challock, Ashford, TN25 4AT
Two storey side and rear extension with dormer windows. Roof alterations to existing single storey rear addition
The applicant confirmed that the garage is not going to be demolished.
All Councillors supported this application as long as neighbours views are taken into consideration.
Items for Information
The war memorial has now been installed and looks very smart. Cllr Fisher advised that he has some paving slabs that he is happy to give to the village so a row of slabs can be put around the war memorial.
Councillors agreed to go ahead but want to find out how much this will cost. Clerk will obtain quote from Groundsman.
Village Bonfire and Fireworks
The village bonfire and fireworks were held on Saturday 2nd November and was a great success. Thank you to the Spicer and Ovenden families and all who helped. It is greatly appreciated.
Chairman informed that the small profit made will be split between the Cricket Club and Football Club.
Parish Council Budget 2014-2015
The Parish Council budget for 2014-2015 needs to be submitted to Ashford Borough Council by the end of January 2014.
The proposed cuts, explained below, will leave approximately a £4,000 hole in the budget by 2015.
The £1,000 increase last year will help soften these cuts and when the recycling credit is stopped in 2015, £1,260 per annum will not be paid to the village hall in rent which will help offset the cut but obviously the village hall is not receiving the money.
So we will need to increase the Precept by £2,000 over the next two years to stay where we are now. A £1,000 increase represents @ 7% increase which means about a 5p per week increase per household for the Parish Precept.
The Clerk will prepare and circulate proposed budget by Christmas for approval at January’s Parish Council meeting.
Summary of proposed cuts that will affect Parish Council budget:
Tax Base Support Grant
25% cut next financial year and 34% cut the following financial year
Concurrent Functions Grant
Approximately 16.5% cut for each of the next three financial years
Will cease from March 2015
Ward Member Grant
Cllr Ashworth requested that an explanation is put into the Forester so that all villagers are aware that a 7% increase in the Parish Precept would be approximately £2.50 per year to each household.
Village Hall extension
Planning permission has been granted for the village hall extension. The estimated build cost is £34k.
The Village Hall Committee has requested that the Parish Council, as owner of the village hall, administer contract payments and reclaim the VAT element. Clerk has checked this with the Parish Council auditor.
The Village Hall Committee has also asked for a £3,000 donation from the Parish Council this financial year.
There will be a surplus this financial year which could cover this but this would obviously impact on delivery of the skate/ball park. Councillors confirmed they are happy to have this project in house.
Cllr Ramsden asked if the Parish Council is underwriting the project. Chairman confirmed no, just running the project and if it goes over budget then the Village Hall Committee will be responsible for finding further funding.
All Councillors agreed that the skate park should also still proceed and the Parish Council savings can be used for this project. Clerk confirmed that the skate/ball park design still needs to be agreed and relevant permissions obtained.
Parish Council meeting dates for 2014
Thursday 16th January
Thursday 20th March
Thursday 29th May
Thursday 24th July
Thursday 18th September
Thursday 27th November
The meeting closed at 8.25pm
The next Parish Council meeting is on Thursday 16th January 2014