Cllr Gaywood was reelected as chairman and Mrs Oxtoby as vice-chairman. Most committee places to remain the same. Cllr Gaywood said the death of the footpaths representative was very sad and that he had been good for the council. The new rep will be Jackie Rye.Public Questions
Cllr Brazier had nothing to report from Kent County Council.
(a) Brambledown - Cllr Gaywood said councillors had been due to meet the West Kent Housing Association about their plans to reduce the age for the sheltered housing there, but WKHA couldn't make it. He was asked by one of the audience about the meeting between Sevenoaks Council and WKHA on 23 April, but he said the officers had told him to speak to the WKHA first.
(b) London Golf Club - they were questioned why they were opposed to a hotel there. Councillors said it was due to Green Belt and traffic considerations if it exited along South Ash Road. They were reminded that in the past the council has praised the Golf Club for its traffic management, but they said it was a one off. They were also asked if they considered the positive benefits for employment in the area. Councillors said the Green Belt doesn't consider this, and they thought there wouldn't be much.
(c) Bramblefield - Mrs Sharp asked why the council are opposed to holding a referendum on which parish they wish to be in, as recommended by the parish plan. Cllr Gaywood claimed the council are not in a position to do anything. He told Dr Roberts they couldn't request the Local Government Boundary Commission to change the boundaries. He said the fact was the council disagreed.Amenities and Open Spaces
The meeting of 27 April 2010 discussed:
(a) Cricket - New Ash Green and Hartley CC are having difficulties in getting planning permission for practice nets at Manor Field. They plan to field 2 youth teams. At Longfield Hill Meopham CC are applying to put up 2 storage containers for which they have grant money of £4,000. They plan to play 3rd team and 4 youth teams there.
(b) Manor Field - EDF are going to do their work in relation to the relocation of the electricity box on 27 May. The storage container is to be repainted at a cost of £675. The poor state of the grass on the field and rabbit and mole infestation were also discussed.
(c) Billings Hill Shaw - they agreed to grant a licence to the owners of 50 Billings Hill Shaw to sued land there.
(d) Longfield Hill - mole infestation reported. The neighbouring landowner has complained that dogs are entering their land from the council's land. The council believe they are responsible for fencing and means of doing this were discussed.
(e) Rectory Meadow - they accepted a quote from Garry Hawkins for grass cutting at £275 per occasion. Clerk to arrange for netting cutting at entrance to Banckside.
(f) Routine Maintenance Contract - they accepted the quotation of Mr Munday for £6,832 for the year 2010-11. This is up from £6,036 for the previous year due to inflation and the council's acquistion of Hoselands Green. Cllr Barnett described it as "an incredible deal".Finance and General Purposes
The two meetings of 21 April and 5 May discussed:
(a) Accounts - the final accounts for the year 2009/10 were agreed. Income was £119,000 and expenditure £116,000. Regarding the 2008/9 accounts the council has received a letter from the Audit Commission concerning expenditure on publicity, to which the council has written back.
(b) Insurance - they recommended to insure with AON for £2,840 this year council agreed 10-0)
(c) Gorsewood and Youth Shelter - local neighbourhood watch coordinator claimed there had been an increase in anti-social behaviour. A fire in the wood had been reported on 18 March. They advised the youth worker and Community warden of this.
(d) WI Hall - they discussed the continuing legal issues concerning their acquisition of the hall and paid solicitors another £860.
(e) Parish Office - council agreed to new lease with 6 years left to run and to pay legal and survey costs of £2,550 to Kent County Council. Cllr Sewell asked whether it might prevent the library closing. Cllr Ramsay said it might help.
(f) Donations - they agreed to donate £250 to Rural Age Concern Darent Valley.
(g) Brambledown - West Kent Housing Association want to change their letting policy there from sheltered housing for the over 55s to "general needs" housing for over 45s. Council agreed to object.
(h) Youth - Sevenoaks had axed Youth Zone Family Fun Days this year but a grant from KCC has meant they can be reinstated, but extra activities will cost extra, which the parish council decided not to pay for. The council agreed to pay £596 for 6 weeks coaching by Charlton FC. Cllr Sewell said they were very popular when word got around and that the youth worker was organising follow up sessions.
(i) Parish Plan - they have reviewed some of the recommendations. They rejected several proposals, including those to find out whether residents of Bramblefield wished to be in Hartley or Longfield parishes, also proposals to make developers contribute to infrastructure costs.
(j) New Burial Ground - they are going to consult their solicitor on legal issues regarding the release of covenants and amended access rights to allow use as a burial ground. They agreed to defer works until this is resolved. Cllr Minns asked whether they would begin before the next election.Highways
The meeting of 15 April 2010 discussed:
(a) Street Lighting - Kent County Council want to turn off the streetlights on Hoselands Hill to save costs. The committee were in favour in principle of switching off the lights, subject to risk assessments, safety audits and consultation. At council Cllr Granger said he thought the committee only agreed to consider the proposal, not that they were in favour. Both Cllrs Ramsay and Abraham were concerned that KCC will find in KCC's favour. Previous audits have always found what KCC wanted eg.
Wellfield Roundabout and Salt Bins. Cllr Abraham was wholly against turning off the lights, saying Hartley has few enough anyway. The proposal was changed from "favours" to "prepared to consider" the proposals, this was passed 8 votes to 2 with Cllrs Ramsay and Abraham voting against.
(b) Northfield Soakaway - the works have not yet been started on a soakaway to prevent flooding in Church Road.
(c) Springcroft - works on the soakaway are complete and it appears to be working.
(d) Buses - they called for replacement bus stops at Hartley Green and Cherry Trees.
(e) Winter contingencies - they were told that a local farmer and the New Ash Green Village Association have snow ploughs but no grit. They are paid an hourly rate to clear minor roads where they think it necessary.Planning
See Planning List.Northfield
The committee met on 23 April 2010 and discussed the following:
(a) Access at Milestone School - they require a grant of a right of way by Kent County Council and agreed to apply up to a cost of £1,000.
(b) Horseriding - reopened for 2010 with 11 members.
(c) Football - an unauthorised pitch has been marked out. They will inform their insurers that they have no responsibility for unauthorised use.
(d) Unauthorised access - Quad Bikes are getting onto the field by breaking down the boundary at Caling Croft, repairs to fence authorised. Also a consignment of manure for the allotments has gained access via Church Road. Letter to be written to the Allotments Chairman to remind them that permission is required.