Present - Cllrs Gaywood (chairman), Granger, Sewell, Mrs Oxtoby, Ramsay, Alford, Minns, Coates, Barnett, Abraham, Mrs Cole. Also Mrs Hoad (clerk), KCC Cllr Brazier, 6 members of the public.
Cllr Abraham (payment to self)
Cllr Cole (son in Scouts, lives opposite Youth Shelter)
2. Minutes of meeting of 9.11.09 - approved 10-0.
Cllr Brazier said (a) new asseessment from Audit Commission had rated KCC as the top performing English County Council. They said council had been responsible for creating 3,700 jobs and had led to fewer homeless, less crime and less youth unemployment. (b) Highways - still problems getting things done.
Cllr Ramsay said Sevenoaks Council need to save nearly £1 million due to fall in investment income (£650K), less grant for concessionary fares (£120K) and 3% cap on council tax increase (£180K)
4. Amenities (3 December 2009)
(a) Football - Hartley De Sales objected to Longfield Tigers using Manor Field, but Longfield did not persue their enquiry.
(b) Scouts - the committee had proposed waiving £56 fee for using Manor Field while Scout Hut was out of use. Cllr Gaywood questioned whether it should be part of the Scout's insurance claim. Another councillor said the Scouts had charged them for work in the past. In the end as they were uncertain whether it was an insurance matter, they agreed to defer the matter (9-2)
(c) Electricity Box - they agreed to pay legal costs up to £750 for easement to use electric box on Manor Field. Since then it has collapsed and had to be repaired. Clerk is meeting EDF on 11 January to see if it can be relocated on council land.
(d) Billings Hill Shaw - tree owned by council has fallen onto parked car. Council's insurance details given to owner's insurers. They agreed to pay £2,100 to Trojan Tree Care for tree work on 5 ash trees there that show signs of disease or damage.
(e) Hartley Wood - the council have now applied to make their land there a village green.
(f) Foxborough Wood - council to spend £495 to mark out their land there.
(g) Allotments - council agreed to allow one allotment holder, who is a manager of a local Community Mental Health Team, to use it for a weekly activity for 3-4 people.
(h) Hoselands Green - they can't put a hard standing for a speed camera there because it is a registered village green.
5 Burial Ground (24 November 2009)
(a) Photo on memorial - the council deferred decision on the memorial pending legal advice. It had been suggested to them that prohibiting such monuments is discriminatory under the Race Relatiion Legislation.
(b) Memorial testing - they intend to saftey test all gravestones and publicise this to interested parties. Contract to do this awarded to Memsafe for £580
6 Finance (16 November 2009)
(a) Youth Shelter - the consultation by the council had found that young people wanted it to stay where it is, the neighbours in Gorsewood Road wanted it moved. A log kept by residents had only found an average of 1 case of anti-social behaviour per month. The Youth Workers said they had only just been informed of any issues and needed time to talk to the young people. Cllr Sewell was concerned that the proposal in the minutes was not what he said at the meeting. Council agreed 9-0 to allow time for youth workers to speak to young people and assess problem and for other information such as neighbour log to be maintained.
(b) 2010/11 budget and precept - they plan to increase precept by £4,500 to £108,500. Cllr Ramsay said another £5,000 would come from reserves.
(c) WI Hall - council has written to Charity Commission because they appear to have a problem with voting rights at the annual meeting (under the draft trust deed any Hartley resident could vote).
(d) Bulky Waste - they rejected 10-0 a proposal from Swanley Council to fund a replacement for the service axed by Sevenoaks Council.
(e) War Memorial - they agreed 10-0 to insure the monument, but one councillor raised concerns as to whether they really own it, and therefore whether insurance would be effective.
6 Highways (12 November 2009)
(a) Northfield Soakaway - there was debate at some length over whether the council needed to ask for more assurances from Kent Highways over liabilities for construction and maintenance. They agreed 10-0 to approve construction on that basis, and to send a long list of proposed specifications to the Northfield Committee. One councillor said they didn't want the same situation as the proposed access to Milestone School, which fell through because of what the council asked for. Cllr Gaywood said he was glad KCC were doing the work as he had confidence in them.
(b) Post Office - the barrier will be deferred because the PO plans to put in a wheelchair ramp.
(c) Most other items were ongoing with little to report.
7. Planning - see Planning List
Council agreed 10-0 to fund (£86) youth project to use pool table at Social Club for 6 weeks. Idea is to get youth involved with tournament with winners playing the police. Council praised Cllr Sewell for the idea and the Social Club for hosting it.
Payments of £8,297 for December were approved.
Meeting closed 9.05 pm