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Hartley Parish Council Meetings 2017

Parish Council Meeting 9 January 2017

Parish Council: Attendance
9 councillors were present (all except Cllrs Alford, Graeme, Rogers and Sewell). Also present was Mrs Gilder (clerk), Cllrs Brazier (KCC), Kelly (SDC) and 7 members of the public

Roads: Ash Road
Cllr Brazier said the traffic count at Hoselands Green will be done in 14 days from the 10th. Pedestrian count will be done by camera on Wednesday.

Roads: Wellfield
Cllr Kelly reported that the problem parking at the Ash Road junction is continuing. Sometimes the buses can't get round and have had to take passengers up to New Ash Green and back. The owner of the dentist's surgery was there, he said he has spoken to the parkers who say they won't pay for the car park at Longfield. He is concerned though that parking restrictions for his patients, it would be better if there is a restriction early in the morning only before the surgery is open. Cllr Ramsay said early restrictions work in Longfield. Dr Roberts said there was a successful scheme in Sole Street where the yellow lines only apply from 12 - 12.30 pm which is enough to stop commuters.

Communications: Telephone
Mr Mayer asked whether the council had a view on the proposed closure of Hartley's two phone boxes. Cllr Ramsay said they had no objection. Mr Mayer said that the usage stats may have been affected by the fact that the phone didn't work when he tried to use it. Council have accepted new tariff from BT which will reduce monthly cost from £69 to £61.

Amenities: Football
Council had wanted to increase fee for De Sales FC by £50 to £1,850. However club said they were fielding 2 fewer teams (4) so council agreed 8-0 to reduce fee to £1,500 if they do the marking of the pitches themselves.

Amenities: Manor Field Pavilion
The committee agreed to pay CACHES £470 to service the boilers and water heater; Hartley Electricians £250 to carry out electrical installation report; Sixpence Co £99 to repair door of Gents.

Amenities: Hoselands Green
A resident had asked for a dog bin at Hoselands Green, because the ordinary bin is overflowing. Committee refused because no-one else had asked. The rubbish bin is emptied on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Committee also agreed not to ask Sevenoaks to add to the 17 rubbish bins in Hartley

Amenities: Manor Field
The council has been left £2,000 to the council. Committee agreed with family's wishes to erect a bench on Manor Field, with the rest being held for maintenance.

Amenities: Woodland Avenue
They agreed to pay Sixpence Co £350 to repair surface around top entrance gate

Amenities: Gorsewood
The owner of Strawberry Lodge had reported trees overhanging the track there. Tree surgeon told council trees were safe but council to inform UK Power Networks they are overhanging power lines.

Parish Council: Council Tax
Council agreed 9-0 to freeze the precept at £52.32 for a Band D property, but this will still mean their income will increase by nearly £1,000 because the "Council Tax Base" has increased.

Parish Council: Donations
Council agreed 9-0 not to donate any money to the Open Spaces Society, Cllr Bennett said they had enough of their own open spaces.

Councillors at Sevenoaks have voted against proposal for electronic notification of planning applications to parish councils

Community Wardens: Volunteer Support Warden
Council rejected request to participate in Volunteer Support Warden Scheme. Cllrs Oxtoby and Abraham said it would cost the parish money. The idea of the scheme is to provide support to the paid Community Wardens

Roads: Speeding
The council considered a letter about the Parish SID scheme from the county council. They cost about £6,000 to install and can be moved between sites. They indicate speed when it is above the limit. Cllr Brazier thought the council should share one with Ash and he offered to use his member's budget to pay half. A previous sign at the bus stop in New Ash Green had worked well. Cllr Abraham asked if they could flash as well. Cllr Brazier said that would be deceitful and is not allowed. Council voted 8-1 in favour, Cllr Vesey voted against only because she felt they needed more information first.

Parish Council: Payments
Payments of £10,672 for January were agreed. This included £3,323 to Commercial Services for a half year's ground mainenance.

Parish Council Meeting 13 February 2017

Parish Council: Attendance
8 members attended the meeting (Cllrs Abraham, Alford, Bennett, Burchell, Oxtoby, Ramsay, Sewell and Tremain) as well as Mrs Gilder (clerk), cllr Brazier (KCC) and 3 members of the public

Sevenoaks Council: Finance
Cllr Abraham said they have bought shop/offices in Sevenoaks High Street for £4m.

Northfield: Electricity Cables
Dr Roberts said years ago their removal was discussed, why are they still there? Cllr Oxtoby said she would ask Ash Parish Council.

Roads: Ash Road
(1) The council had been told children had been involved in accidents crossing at Hoselands Green and there had been requests for a crossing there. KCC had done a survey which found 13,239 vehicles pass there each day but it had only recorded 4 pedestrians of school age. They unanimously agreed to ask KCC for money and pay the reset themselves. Cllr Ramsay said there may be costs of moving the bus stop. Cllr Brazier said that, if reelected, he would use the member's grant money to pay towards the crossing. (2) Cllr Oxtoby said Ash are keen to go ahead with the mobile speed indicator device and want a permanent site at Millfield, they will buy the smaller, lighter box, which can collect road data, Cllr Sewell asked how effective it would be, Cllr Ramsay said it would be better than a metal sign. (3) Council also agreed to install entrance gates like at Sutton at Hone. Cllr Oxtoby said they looked nice but had little other purpose. Cllr Ramsay said instead of wasting money on this they should install yellow lines at the St Johns Lane / Ash Road junction, council agreed 5-2 to add this to the list of future projects.

Roads: Wellfield
A meeting of interested parties had taken place on 26 January about the problem of parking at the Wellfield/Ash Road junction. Arriva buses said it was a problem for them, buses had been damaged and they may have to reroute buses if it continued. SDC reps were sympathetic. At the meeting Cllr Brazier said double yellow lines is a function devolved to Sevenoaks Council, but they don't want to get involved. Cllr Kelly (SDC) said he will make sure they do. Cllr Burchell pointed out yellow lines are no good if they are not enforced.

Parish Council: Communications
They agreed 8-0 to not put supporting documents to agendas on the website but members of the public could ask for them to be emailed to them. The council doesn't want their newsletter to be put inside other leaflets but found all companies will charge more for this, so decided to rely on the assurance from their current deliverer that they will ask people not to put the newsletter inside other leaflets.

Youth Services: Woodland Avenue
Council agreed unanimously to pay Playplace £2,355 to provide 22 weekly youth sessions from April to September at Woodland Avenue, but rejected a quote for an additional 5 monthly sessions of £1,705. Cllr Burchell noted attendance was poor last year, Cllr Oxtoby put that down to some late starts.

Youth Services: Football
They agreed 7-0 (1 abstention) to commission Sport Health and Fitness Limited to provide 16 weekly football/multi-sport/kidfit sessions at Woodland Avenue form May to August at £35 per session.

Youth Services: Family Fun Days
Council agreed unanimously to pay Playplace £800 to run fun days on 30/5/17 at Chantry Avenue and 1/8/17 at Woodland Avenue. Sevenoaks will run their event at Woodland Avenue on 15/8/17 and council agreed to pay £100 for a mobile toilet.

Longfield: Parking
Council welcomed the fact Waitrose had extended the free parking period to 2 hours but were cross they hadn't replied to their letter.

Events: Hartley Village Fete
The council had wanted Fawkham and Hartley Church Fete to alternate between Fawkham and Manor Field. The churchwarden had said that wasn't possible but they would be happy to explore the possibility of being involved in another event. The General Purposes Committee had recommended that the council see if anyone else would run a fete in Hartley, but this was unanimously lost after it was put out to debate.

Events: The Battle's Over
Council wants to have one of the 1,000 beacons to be lit to commemorate the end of WW1. Would be at Manor Field.

Parish Council: Finance
Invoices of £11,144 were agreed for February, including £3,226 for acer trees at the new burial ground

Parish Council Meeting 13 March 2017

Parish Council: Attendance
9 councillors were present at the meeting. Apologies were received from Cllrs Tremain, Mrs Cole, Graeme, Mrs Rogers. No interests were declared

Health: Social Care
Cllr Brazier (KCC) said social care had been ignored by the government but now they realise it is a problem. Kent will get over the next 3 years £27m, £16m, £10m which will revolutionise care as their current budget is £65m. They are much more confident they can provide care

Sevenoaks Council:
Cllr Abraham said the district council had won the council of the year award from the Local Government Association

Roads: Ash Road
Dr Roberts asked the council would would pay for maintenance if one were built at Hoselands Green. Cllr Brazier said this is always a problem for community assets paid for by 3rd parties such as bus shelters. But with zebra crossings, KCC acknowledge they can't be neglected.

Burial Grounds: New Burial Ground
Committee call for additional £10,000 for completing the works (on top of the £44,000 already agreed). Cllrs Bennett and Ramsay said there was not enough idea what the money would be used for, council voted 8-0 to refer matter to Finance Committee. Council voted 9-0 to accept quotation of £13,200 from Jade Construction to build a lychgate, and to pay Pear Technology £375 for a digital map of the ground. They will plant 6 acer trees along either side of the route of the water main.

Burial Grounds: Burial Ground
Council agreed to pay G & J Surfacing £4,550 to repair the tarmac path, as this is more than the committee have they have requested the council allocate more money.

Burial Grounds: Old Garden of Remembrance
A resident had written to complain about the state of garden. Committee agreed to jet wash and repoint the path when the weather is better. They rejected a proposed bronxe plaque for too many letters, but allowed an appeal against a treble non-resident interrment fee because the person was a resident who only had to leave Hartley to enter a residential home.

Burial Grounds: War Grave
Committee said CWGC had put the sign in the wrong place and asked Mr Munday to move it to the Church entrance gate.

Parish Council: Finance
The committee had reviewed a number of policies. Council agreed to amend the policy on reserves so there would be no limit on how much the council can keep. Previously the policy had said an ideal upper limit would be 6 months' expenditure. Cllr Bennett said the current level of reserves was too high. Council also agreed 9-0 to move £30,000 from the general reserve to a highways reserve to pay for the zebra crossing, yellow lines and the speed sign. A £15,609 bill for the new burial ground had been wrongly allocated to the General Reserve, so they have moved that sum from the New Burial Ground to the General Reserve.

Parish Council: Subscriptions
Finance committee recommended dropping the Open Spaces Society from the list of bodies the PC subscribes to. Council agreed 7-0 with 2 abstentions.

Parish Council Meeting 10 April 2017

Parish Council: Attendance
11 councillors were present. Those not in attendence were Cllrs Mrs Cole and Mrs Rogers. Also present were Mrs Gilder (clerk), Cllr David Brazier (KCC), Cllr John Kelley (SDC) and 4 members of the public

Roads: Parking
Cllr Kelly said the problem of commuter parking is also an issue for Longfield. Cllr Brazier has promised to do something about it.

Transport: Railway
Mr Mayer asked whether the council planned to respond to the South Eastern Franchise consultation. He said they appeared to want to reduce the number of trains calling at Longfield and remove the Blackfriars peak hours trains. Cllr Brazier said South Eastern had no plans to do this, but Mr Mayer said the consultation is about the successor to South Eastern. Cllr Ramsay said the MP will campaign against this.

Sevenoaks Council:
Cllr Abraham said they have bought an investment property in Sevenoaks on a yield of 6%.

Amenities: Cricket
The committee agreed to the New Ash Green and Hartley Cricket Club putting up a sign at the entrance to Manor Field. The council need to prepare a memorandum to record the increase in rent at Longfield Hill from £550 to £650 pa. Their solicitors have quoted £200 to do this. Council would like them to do this for free as they did in 2012 when the rent was increased from £480 to £550.

Amenities: Trees
The committee decided to reappoint Duramen Consulting Ltd for the next tree risk assessment which is now due, provided their quote is reasonable. A possibly unsafe tree at the boundary with Patches, Gorsewood Road, will be looked into.

Amenities: Manor Field Pavilion
They agreed to accept quote of £170 from Hartley Electricians to remedy the problems identified in a recent Electrical Installation Consition report. A boiler maintenance report also resulted in some work. It had criticised items in the Calor Gas Compound (Mr Munday to remove), refit draft diverter on LPG water heater (quote of £84 from CACHES Ltd accepted) and that the water heater be left on frost setting (council agreed to do this). The committee rejected a request to hold a school prom here.

Amenities: Rectory Meadow
Currently the grass is cue in April, June and September. The NW Kent Countryside Project said it would be better to drop the June one to encourage wild flower growth. The committee agreed and as they are not happy with the current contractor they have written out to ask for suggestions. The owner of Glebe House has agreed to move their new fence back which had encroached on the PC land.

Amenities: Playgrounds
New equipment now installed, contractor has promised to resolve snagging issues. Council to clean safety surfacing and cut back conifers that made it hard for the contractors to access the site.

Amenities: Church Road Pond
Several residents have complained about the state of the pond, which was last restored by Adam Osborn and the Community Wardens Team in 2009. Council don't own the pond and claim they don't have the power to improve it.

Amenities: Benches
Council has been left £2,000 in a will for a bench to be chosen by the family

Amenities: Allotments
Committee permitted one of the allotment holders to put up a noticeboard. They involve pre-school children as part of the HRS School Gardening scheme and want the board to show them what they have achieved.

Parish Council: Staff
Owing to concerns about the workload on staff and the need for the assistant clerk to spend time on getting a local government qualification, they agreed to increase the assistant clerk's hours by 8 per month, and to close the office from 8.30 - 10.30 on Tuesdays. They also wanted to change the clerk's hours on a Friday to 8.30am - 3.30pm without a break, but a councillor queried whether 7 hours without a lunch break was allowed in law.

The committee agreed bills of £1,288 including £855 for cutting of play areas and paths, and £240 for 3 month's weekly visual inspections, and £79 for three month's emptying of dog bins. The annual contribution from Hartley Parish Council for 2017/18 will be £100. The committee agreed not to pursue a trim trail there after receiving 2 replies, 1 for 1 against. Fee for new memberships of horse riding route to be increased to £20.

Parish Council: Payments
Payments of £84,392 for April were agreed. £75,000 of that was a transfer of money to a new bank account.

Annual Parish Meeting 12 May 2017

Parish Council:
This year's meeting was at the Church Hall and ran from 7.45 - 9.30 pm. All councillors except Cllr Rogers were in attendance along with Cllr Brazier (KCC), Cllrs Gaywood & Kelly (SDC) and 29 members of the public. Gareth Johnson was billed to attend, but the chairman Cllr Oxtoby, said that as a general election has been called he is no longer an MP and she didn't want to invite all the candidates.

Planning: House building
Cllr Robert Piper, the cabinet member at Sevenoaks District Council spoke about future housing provision. He said up until now Sevenoaks had got away with murder because their current target is only 165 houses per year. The government has ordered them to produce a new plan with a target of 12,400 hourse in 20 years - 620 per year, and will take over if the council doesn't produce a plan. This has involved a lot of evidence based work which will lead to a public consultation in the summer, then a first draft and then final submission to the planning inspectorate in late 2018, who has the final decision.

He outlined some of the background. Sevenoaks has 49,400 houses and zero net migration but the population of the UK is rising and there is internal migration to the south-east. 93% of the district is green belt land, and most of the site nominations they have received to meet this target are from developers wanting to build in the Green Belt. Another problem is that developers do not build all the sites they have now, London has outstanding planning permissions for 250,000 homes.

As for the target he says the council will propose 8-9,000 and hope the inspector accepts this. This is made up of existing known sites, brownfield greenbelt sites and exceptional sites such as quarries. In Hartley the sites that will go forward are Chapelwood Enterprises (20), Rear of Olinda Ash Road (30), Park House Church Road (10), Grosvenor Church Road (25).

He said their target of an extra 51 gypsy site pitches can be easily met within existing sites without planning for more.

Audience members raised concerns about other sites known to have been nominated, but he said they would not go forward. Concerns were also raised about infrastructure effects in particular doctors' surgeries. He said it was an issue for the county council, but unfortunately in the UK we have a tradition of building first and then thinking about the infrastructure. Cllr Gaywood said later in the meeting that he felt he was elected to protect the green belt and didn't think they should be forced to do the government's bidding.

Crime: Policing
PCSO Peter Jones spoke about the fall in the number of PCSOs in recent years. Once Sevenoaks district had 25, now it is 15, 3 office based and 12 operational. The reduction in numbers has led to New Ash Green being added to his Hartley area. A spike in crime and anti-social behaviour in NAG has meant he has had to spend a lot of his time there. Crime levels in Hartley are broadly static. There were no questions for him from the audience.

Jackie West, the Community Warden for Hartley and West Kingsdown gave a report of the work of wardens in general and herself in the last year.

Parish Council: Annual Report
Cllr Oxtoby (chairman) said she wasn't going to repeat what was in the printed report given to everyone at the meeting. She mentioned that Cllr Brian Ramsay had resigned and thanked him for all the work he had done for the council and village.

Parish Council: Finance
The chairman of the Finance Committee, Cllr Bennett, gave a report to the meeting. She said she had just taken on the role but does have a background in accountancy, although she is still learning the intricacies of local government finance. She reported a surplus of £17,000 after additional expenditure this year of £17,000 on Chantry Avenue play equipment. She said the general reserve was unchanged.

Mr Senneck asked whether they were going to spend money on the village hall, he was told that they did need to spend money on it but because the parish council does not run it directly, the hall trustees would have to apply to the Parish Council for a grant. Mr Mayer referred to the fact that the money reserves had been rising rapidly in recent years, it had gone up £80,000 in 3 years and had risen from £242,000 to £259,000 in the last year. Might some people think the council tax is too high? Cllr Bennett said they would look at the precept later in the year. Cllr Oxtoby said the precept had been unchanged this year, Mr Mayer replied that it went up a lot recently when the council feared it would be rate capped.

Kent County Council: Annual Report
Cllr Brazier joked that he had just scraped through at the election (He got 78% of the vote!). He said Kent County Council want to be a mainly commissioning authority, although some in house bids have been won. He regretted they have lost thousands of good and loyal staff to meet government targets. They have set up arms length companies to run education and legal services, and in spite of the drive for academies they have schools like New Ash Green Primary that are determined to remain local authority run. On a better note the financial settlement from the government this year has been the best for years, with an extra £56m for social care.

On highways he said when he tries to get things done they have to go through the highways manager and be scheduled in; this can lead to delays. Cllr Brazier said there are 1.6 million residents in Kent and everyone is a highways engineer.All councillors get a budget to spend on local projects; he is often under pressure to use his for routine road maintenance, but he will not do that as that is the job of the Highways Department. He has spent money on the Speed Indicator Display Unit and a traffic survey at Wellfield, and will part pay for a crossing at Wellfield. He said speed surveys show it is only a serious problem at the Black Lion on Ash Road. A resident of Billings Hill Shaw said local road surfaces were terrible and cited the example of St John's Lane. Although it was due to be closed for repairs, he was concerned that KCC only do bodge repairs. Cllr Brazier also referred to fly tipping which they believe is mainly household not commercial waste.

He also said Kent County Council were worried about the possible end of the Le Touquet agreement which would bring border controls back to Kent. If this happens the government has said they will reimburse the additional costs, but their experience that it is paid late and never completely.

Sevenoaks Council: Annual Report
Cllr Abraham is to be chairman of the council next year. Cllr Gaywood said it was better when he was chairman, as then they were transported in a chauffeur driven limousine. The council has won an award for Council of the Year for financial innovation, and also one for dementia services. To questions from the public Cllr Kelly said there was no plan to change from sacks to bins for rubbish collection. Mr Mayer referred to a recent article in the Kent Messenger that found Sevenoaks had one of the lowest recycling rates in Kent - why would that be? Cllr Abraham said it was the fault of householders, but some members of the audience said they had seen clear recycling sacks being put with black sacks. Cllr Kelly thought they were sorted at the Dunbrick depot.

Parish Council: Question Time
In the general question time, Mr Glander asked who would enforce the new yellow lines proposed for Wellfield? Cllr Kelly said the parking enforcement officers would be told to do so. However some in the audience were skeptical that they would come out this far very often. Residents from the Parkfield Estate were present, and they said the parking problem had spread to their roads too.

Mr Gibbons asked about the Parliamentary Boundary Review, which threatened a move for Hartley from Dartford to Sevenoaks Constituencies. Cllr Alford said there had been representationst to remain in Dartford Constituency but a decision was not due until next year.

Parish Council Meeting 12 June 2017

Parish Council: Attendance
9 councillors were present. There were apologies from Cllrs Tremain, and Mrs Rogers, while Cllr Mrs Cole was not present. Also present were Mrs Gilder (clerk), Cllr Brazier (KCC), Cllr Kelly (SDC) and 5 members of the public. Since the last meeting Cllr Ramsay had resigned and the council were going to ask Mrs Rogers if she planned to resign too.

Amenities: Cricket
The NAG & Hartley Cricket Club sign has been erected at the entrance to Manor Field. Cllr Graeme thought it should not have had a white background (Subsequent to the meeting the clerk confirmed that was what the council had agreed).

Amenities: Trees
Duramen Consulting to carry out tree risk assessment on council's land from 18/5/17. The owner of Patches, Gorsewood Road reported an unsafe tree on the council's land at the back of their house. Council's tree surgeon said it was leaning but not an immediate risk.

Amenities: Manor Field
The council decided to buy 2 Greendine Benches and a Greendine Picnic Table in memory of Neal and Ricky Warner who left £2,000 to the council. Total cost about £1,570.

Users of the field had complained the collapsable bollard was difficult to use. Council told they need to replace lock and buy 20 keys for £150.

They have been told to clear items out of Calor Gas Compound, Mr Munday has told them he was asked to put the items there but may be able to put some in a skip if space after an event at Manor Field.

Amenities: Manor Field Pavilion
Repairs authorised to the referee's changing room (£33), and boiler (£162).

They agreed to a request to let the pavilion and allow a bouncy castle on the field for a children's party subject to conditions.

Amenities: Rectory Meadow
Council have no quotes to cut the field because of problems in removing the hay. They are going to ask if they have to keep it as meadow in future, as well as casting their net wider.

The neighbouring owner of Glebe House has agreed to move back a new fence that had been erected in the wrong place.

Amenities: Chantry Avenue
New playground inspected and contractor corrected one moderate risk item (edges of rubber mulch too steep and constituted a trip hazard).

Amenities: Pond
The state of the pond at Manor Field has been complained about by local residents, but ownership is unclear. Council to find out whether they can claim it and what their powers are to maintain it if they don't own it. They will also contact the pond warden for advice.

Amenities: Allotments
They allow an allotment owner to keep apple and pear trees in pots on their plots 29 and 38.

Following a fault with the water supply which the council couldn't quickly rectify, one allotment owner got the problem fixed for £48. Council agreed to pay but say they must give permission in future.

Amenities: Dog bins
Bin at bottom of Gorsewood Road has been burnt out, council agree to replace it with a metal one for £181.

Site meeting held at Wellfield on 26/1/17 Bus company said their buses had been damaged trying to pass the parked cars and they may alter the route if nothing is done. Sevenoaks Council reps were happy with double yellow lines and other restrictions further down the road. Matter referred back to Kent County Council. Cllr Brazier said he will use his members fund to finance this, however subsequently he found that the grant scheme doesn't cover parking restrictions because of the trouble involved. He thinks officers at KCC are unwilling but has spoken to the cabinet member. There will need to be a consultation. Parish Council can fund it if they want but KCC won't if officers or police object. Council don't want more parking restrictions at Quakers Close but are concerned about on street parking in the roads closest to Longfield Station. They want more yellow lines at the St Johns Lane / Ash Road junction.

Ash Road: Crossing
Council wants to go ahead with scheme for a crossing between Parkfield and Larksfield. They agreed to pay Kent highways £9,000 to design it.

Roads: Speeding
The poles for the speed indicator device are being erected. Ash PC's insurers say this should be on one council's policy.

Youth Services:
Playplace's first session at Woodland Avenue Park was on 24/5/17 but feedback was that it was poorly attended. Council cancelled plans for sessions by Sport Health and Fitness because they have difficulty with Mondays which is what the council wanted.

See Planning index

Telephones: Cherry Trees Mast
The council has received notice of a planning application to erect a 15m mast at Cherry Trees near the bus stop. Some councillors thought it was difficult to object to now, and people are more relaxed about health issues. Others were for telling local people so they can object.

Committee approved payments of £934 including: Inspections £240, Clear brambles £125, Insurance £288, dog bin emptying £79, audit £50.

Caling Croft gate damaged beyond repair, replaced with old Hartley PC gate, police informed.

Hay cutting contract for 2017/19 awarded at cost of 50p.

Horse riding route has 18 members this year.

Parish Council: Payments
Payments of £20,728 for June were agreed. Nearly £16,000 was a transfer from one account to another.

Sevenoaks Council:
Cllr Kelly said the council will be buying more investment property, but turned one down recently because the return wasn't good enough

Parish Council Meeting 10 July 2017

Parish Council: Attendance
Only 6 councillors were present for the July meeting, apologies had been received by Cllrs Alford, Burchell, Graeme, Vesey. Also present was Mrs Tyrrell (deputy clerk), Cllr Brazier (KCC) and a few members of the public.

Parish Council: Councillors
They have 2 applicants for the vacancy and will decide at the September meeting.

Telephones: Cherry Trees Mast
Cllr Brazier (KCC) said he has received a lot of emails but it was a district council matter. Utilities have permitted rights so there are limited grounds for district councils to object. Cllr Abraham said they must decide within 56 days, and thought it would go to the committee rather than be decided by officers. (In the event it was decided by officers)

Amenities: Cricket
NAG & Hartley Cricket Club are struggling for members on Sundays and will have to advertise. They also reported that a recent music festival at Manor Field had damaged the cricket square.

Amenities: Trees
2 Hawthorns and a maple tree belonging to the council are overhanging 72A Caxton Close. Tree surgeon said they are a "tolerable risk". Owner of property told they can cut the trees back to their boundary.

Amenities: Manor Field
The new lock for the entrance gate will not be ordered until council hears back from Marshalls to confirm that this is the cause of the problems in opening the gate.

Some items have been cleared from the Calor Gas compound but council agree to leave a seat, tree shelters and posts there.

Amenities: Manor Field Pavilion
Batteries to be replaced in alarm (£106). Bayly Environmental Services Ltd have written, recommending they update their legionella risk assessment which was last done in 2005. Council to write to insurers to see if that is necessary.

Amenities: Cherry Trees Shops
A letter had been received about the state of the shops, the council claimed there was little they could do, other than writing to the shop owners to tell them not to but trade waste in the litter bins there.

Amenities: Woodland Avenue
The fence around the playground has had to be repaired at a cost of £320, following vandalism

Amenities: Allotments
Council agreed to raise prices by 5% in October 2018, having increased them by 5% in 2017. Currently rents range from £9.04 to £29.52 depending on size, total income from the 41 plots is £844.75 with 4 on the waiting list. Owners of 4 plots requiring attention to be written to asking what their intentions are.

Burial Grounds: New Burial Ground
They plan to get quotations for tarmacing the base of the fence on the path and for a new beech hedge along the path leading to the burial ground. They deferred decision on the design of the garden of remembrance until councillors could see how other places do it. They will seek advice about location of a spoil heap.

Burial Grounds: Old Garden of Remembrance
Following visual inspection the council will get the area weeded.

Burial Grounds: Memorial testing
3 graves failed tests, none so bad to require laying flat or cordoning off, but one requires a warning sign. Two of them have known owners and they will be written to by the council to ask what they intend to do about it.

See Planning index

Parish Council Meeting 5 September 2017

Parish Council: Attendance
All councillors were present with the exception of Cllr Vesey and Cllr Alford. Also present were Mrs Gilder (clerk), Cllr Brazier (KCC) and 4 members of the public

Parish Council: Councillors
Cllr Mrs Rogers has resigned from the council. No-one has called a by-election so the vacancy can be filled by co-option. Following Cllr Ramsay's resignation, they had 2 applications, but one withdrew, so they appointed Mrs Annette Ewing as the new councillor. She joined the Amenities and Planning committees

Cherry Trees: Phone Mast
Dr Cramp raised a number of concerns about the proposed mast and the difficulty of reading comments on the council's website

Sevenoaks Council: District Plan
Cllr Abraham said a consultation on the draft district plan has been published. Dr Cramp expressed concerns about some of the proposals

See Planning index

Parish Council: Payments
Payments of £23,811 for September were agreed

Court: New Ash Green
Woman from Ayelands fined £220 for driving while using mobile phone, another woman from Knights Croft fined £80 for speeding

Crime: New Ash Green
Police dog tracks down suspects in connection with suspected burglary of shop in NAG

Parish Council Meeting 9 October 2017

Parish Council: Attendance
All of the current 12 councillors were present with the exception of Cllr Alford (apologies)

Amenities: Cricket
Hartley and NAG CC say they had a good season this year but occasionally struggled for players. HPC to advertise in their newsletter

Amenities: Football
Hartley De Sales said the goal mouths had not been dressed, HPC said they had reported it too late for this season. The council discussed the annual fee for the football club, the committee had recommended an increase from £1,500 to £1,800 the fee for 2015/16 season. This was reduced to £1,600 by a 7-4 vote at full council. Cllr Tremain said they had fewer teams than expected and a truncated season.

Amenities: Manor Field Pavilion
They agree to pay Bayly Environmental Services £350 for a legionella risk assessment. The company said risk assessments had changed since 2005, but the council was a bit unsure whether one was needed since the equipment is the same now as then. Council also agreed to quotation by Sebias Cleaning of £2,374 to clean the pavilion (for one year?). They also needed to pay South East Plumbers £150 to clear a blocked drain.

Amenities: Manor Field
Marshalls, the maker of the collapsable bollard said the problems with it had been caused by a "rogue key" not obtained from them. Council agreed to pay £294 for new lock and 20 keys.

Amenities: Rectory Meadow
Council agree to pay Medway Valley/NW Kent Countryside Partnership up to £500 to cut meadow. The meadow may be eligible for a Lottery "Magnificent Meadows" grant from 2019-2023.

Amenities: Woodland Avenue
Repairs to vandalism of scramble net to cost £267.

Amenities: Pond
Council want to try and take ownership of pond. Local pond wardens say they would work on it if locals could be found for regular working parties.

Amenities: Dog bins
Committee agree dog bins are needed at Woodland Avenue Park by Wellfield entrance and at the junction of Manor Drive and Church Road; they ask council to approve £550 cost and Kent CC to agree to their siting on highway land.

Burial Grounds: Fees
Most fees increased by £10 (6-11%). A standard grave will now cost £450 (right of burial £160, interment (£165), approval of memorial (£125). Additional carpark fees to remain unchanged

Burial Grounds: New Burial Ground
The lychgate is now in place. They plan to buy bolts for it. They are trying, so far without success, to get quotations for fence and hedge works along the access path

Burial Grounds: Safety tests
Three graves failed inspection, and as the owners could not be contacted, the council is to pay Stephen Gay Memorials £200 to lay them flat.

Roads: Hartley Primary
Still problems with parking at dropping off times. Council to ask Sevenoaks to repaint safety markings and repair bollard at Fairby Lane/Chantry Avenue Junction

Roads: Wellfield
Sevenoaks Council will only agree to putting double yellow lines just on the junction to help access for the bus. They have been told the rest of the road is too narrow for parking restrictions. Kent County Council will make a decision on this next financial year. Council disappointed with decision

Roads: St Johns Lane
They were told that any parking restrictions on the Ash Road junction would require KCC agreement and will need to be funded. Council decided 6 votes to 3 to fund it themselves if no grant money forthcoming.

Roads: Castle Hill
Following complaints about unsuitable vehicles using Castle Hill, council to get quotes for "unsuitable for large vehicle" signs at either end. Apparently similar signs have helped a bit in Stone.

Roads: Ash Road
The proposed pedestrian crossing at Hoselands Green has failed a KCC safety audit, because the site is too dangerous and vehicle speeds on the approach too high, in addition the numbers crossing there were low. They were told they could pay for an independent consultant to find another site but decided not to take the matter further.

Roads: Speeding
Installation delayed because the post in New Ash Green has gone missing. Considerable correspondence between Hartley, Ash and Insurers about how this will be insured.

Youth Services: Playplace
Council agrees for Playplace provision to be included with statistics for Dartford Borough which Playplace also work for. Playplace thinks this may help to extend the project longer

Youth Services: Family Fun Days
Council still awaiting report on recent events at Woodland Avenue and Chantry Avenue but believed they were well attended.

See Planning index