All councillors except Cllrs Burchell and Fernley (apologies), Cllr Brazier (KCC), the clerk and 6 members of the public. One councillor was late to arrive because they thought the meeting still started at the old time of 8pm.
3. Minutes of meeting of 12 December 2011
4. Public Questions
Cllr Brazier reported that the highway lengthsmen pilot scheme has started in Ashford. They are likely to be called "Parish Handymen" and will be responsible for possibly, litter picking, cutting vegetation, painting and cleaning street furniture and sweeping. To a question he said Kent Highways would still be responsible for the potholes.
Cllr Oxtoby asked about the new Locality Boards. Cllr Ramsay said they mustn't be pessimistic and that they will make a contribution to the KCC committee structure.
Mr Mayer asked why the council had not replied to the consultation on the new New Ash Green fire station? Cllr Oxtoby said they hadn't been invited, to which Mr Mayer said it wouldn't have stopped them replying.
The committee met on 21 December 2011 and discussed:
(a) Precept - council agreed 11-0 to receive payments from Sevenoaks Council on 31 July and 31 December. Delay means they can receive interest.
(b) Statement of Internal Control - this was agreed 11-0 by councillors.
(c) Payments 2011/12 financial year - they have reviewed them and had no concerns.
(d) Accounts software - council decided 11-0 to switch to Alpha FM software which including licences and 1st year support is £634 + £50 for Northfield committee. They will keep the existing package for another year at a cost of £245. Mrs Hoad said other councils had bought Alpha. Cllr Ramsay said existing package was old.
See Planning Page
for planning applications.
The committee meeting of 21 December also discussed:
(a) Neighbourhood Plans - they will reply to the consultation that they don't think parish councils will have the means to do this without funding. At full council Cllr Graeme asked what will become of the Village Design Statement and Parish Plan? Cllr Ramsay said they go by the board but was told if you have them then you are halfway there. He thought they were expensive and bureaucratic.
(b) Community Infrastructure Levy - the council has replied to the consultation. Cllr Ramsay says parish councils might get some money from developers that previously went to KCC, for example Dunton Green is to get £1 million.
The committee met on 14 December and discussed:
(a) Finance - invoices of £1,301 were agreed, £1,205 of this was for grass cutting.
(b) Land maintenance - wildflower and grass seed received for bund by Milestone School entrance; 75 hedging plants will strengthen hedge by Milestone School.
(c) New House Shaw - 9 trees require felling, they will look at coppicing it next year.
8. HAWK Youth Committee
The committee met on 8 December and discussed the following:
(a) Kent Youth Service - they require groups to submit funding bids in future, but this is not thought to apply to HAWK as they have a pre-existing contract.
(b) 8-12 events - two to be provided in summer by Hartley PC at a cost of £500.
(c) Youth worker's report - numbers attending events at Hartley has tailed off a bit after the summer. They hope to revive the Youth Forum to hear opinions of young people.
9. Community Governance Review
This is a review by Sevenoaks council of the boundaries and voting arrangements of parish councils.
At the meeting a number of the members of the public spoke in favour of warding in Hartley, for areas persistently under-represented on the council. Councillors were against, some of the views expressed appeared to relate to difficulty to find candidates for wards. It was pointed out to them that you don't need to live in a ward to represent it.
No-one objected to Ash Council's request to move the Sports Centre and Milestone School to their parish.
Cllr Alford said there was a case for joining Fawkham to Hartley as they are the same ecclesiastical parish. Cllr Ramsay said Sevenoaks would like a lot of the smaller parishes to merge and a merger of Fawkham and West Kingsdown has already been suggested. Cllr Oxtoby said warding would be needed if that happened.
10. Consultation on Household Waste Recycling Centres
This is a consultation by KCC relating to the 26% of waste received at waste recycling centres (other 70% collected by roadside collections, and 4% at bottle banks, charity recycling). They propose the following:
(a) Ban deposit of tyres, gas bottles and asbestos
(b) Limit construction waste to 2 x 30 litre sacks
(c) Measures to stop commercial vehicles and trailers using centres
(d) Permit scheme for Dartford site to stop people from London using it
(e) Possible efficiency changes to network.
Many councillors were very critical of this, suggesting that it would encourage fly tipping. Cllr Ramsay said 30 litres is nothing - the standard compost sack is 70 litres. Cllr Burns said a lot of people prefer to put garden waste in a trailer than inside their car and that the Dartford site already requires proof you live in Kent.
Cllr Sewell said businesses pay a lot in rates and get very little. Cllr Graeme could see an argument in favour in that shouldn't a householder who fits a new bathroom pay for disposal of the old one rather than it being a charge on everyone?
They agreed council will write to oppose.
Payments of £7,260 for January were agreed.
Meeting closed at 8.43pm