Minutes of the meeting of the Acol Parish Council held on 31 July 2006 at 7.30 p.m.
Present: Councillors Miss Bransfield (Chairman), Burgess, and Mrs. O’Reilly
Also Present: Roy Wade (Clerk to the Council)
The minutes of the meeting held on 10 July 2006, subject to an amendment, were approved and signed by the Chairman.
16. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
17. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
No declarations of interest were made.
18. WELCOME TO NEW COUNCILLOR
The Chairman welcomed the new Councillor to the Council and to her full first meeting.
The Clerk reported that all correspondence received since the last meeting would be reported upon during the course of the meeting.
20. TRAFFIC MATTERS/TRAFFIC CALMING
The Chairman reported that the KCC were to hold a meeting on 24 August 2006 and that Cllr. Charles Hibberd would represent the interests of the Village.
Members made reference to a “green footpath” and the 30mph interactive sign which was not operating properly and was partly hidden by vegetation.
It was Agreed that
A) a report be made to the next meeting on traffic calming proposals following the meeting on 24 August; and
B) the Clerk refer to County Highways the problems in respect of the interactive sign.
Speedwatch – The Chairman reported that at both the TAPC and Rural Regeneration meetings there had been discussions on the need to attract further volunteers. It was suggested that a letter be placed in the Village Voice.
Mrs Iris Osbourne spoke on the subject and it was Agreed that she would draft an article for the Village Voice and that the Chairman would send in a letter to support the article.
General Traffic Matters – Cllr Liz O’Reilly reported upon disturbances in Plumstone Road created by motorcyclists speeding in the road particularly in the periods 11pm to 1am and 7am to 7.30am. Mrs Osbourne indicated that she would refer the matter to Ian Biggs, the Co-ordinator.
A) The Cummins Development
The Chairman reported that the steel erection at the factory was required to be undertaken Monday to Friday between 8am to 5.30pm and she expressed her concern at the possible affect on trees. The Chairman reported also on a slight humming noise coming from the factory but thought that this noise may not be heard when additional tree planting had taken place.
Resolved: The Clerk contact Messrs Cummins to see whether they would contribute to further trees being planted and to make them aware of the humming noise.
B) Westwood Cross Development
The Chairman reported upon a series of meetings to be held to discuss residential development proposals at Westwood Cross and that if any Member or Group had observations to make on the scheme they should submit them to Doug Brown (TDC Planning).
Roxanne reported upon the meeting that she had attended and that it had been indicated that the lack of and adequate water supply could create severe problems resulting in the use of standpipes. She also expressed a widely held view that development may not be viable and could be detrimental to Thanet especially if the Government’s target of providing 4200 additional homes by 2012 is met. Finally Roxanne referred to the affect the proposals were having on property prices within the area and the difficulty being experienced by people trying to sell their homes.
C) Monkton Development
The Chairman reported that the plans were available for inspection and although nothing could be done to restrict the development there may be problems with putting funding in place. Members expressed concern at the possible increase of traffic through the Village and noise from generators.
The Clerk was instructed to make enquiries to TDC about those issues.
D) East Kent Access Phase 11
The Chairman reported that funding had now been approved for the development and that it could result in greater traffic volume through the Village and would highlight even more the need for traffic calming.
Further concerns were expressed and requests were made that representations be made to CPRE about the need to provide footpaths in the Village.
E) The Old Forge
The Chairman reported that works had now been started and on the upheaval that this was causing.
F) The Floodlit Factory
The Clerk to try to establish ownership of the factory.
G) Hedges in Plumstone Road
The Clerk reported that he had spoken to Einar Willett and that Einar had agreed to cut back the hedges in Plumstone road.
H) St Mildred’s Church
The Chairman undertook to establish whether the land at the rear of the Church was to be sold at auction and report back to Council.
I) Acol Farm Development
It was agreed to consider this matter at the next meeting.
J) Further Development in Columbus Avenue
The Chairman reported that she believed there may be proposals for further development in Columbus Avenue and Members expressed the view that if this were so it would be better for that development to located on the opposite side of the avenue from the existing factory.
The Chairman undertook to express these views to the developer and report back.
K) Manston Court Garage (Site of)
Council was advised that planning permission had been granted for the construction of a 120-bed hotel.
22. RECREATION FIELD
The Chairman circulated a rota to ensure that the recreation Ground is inspected regularly and that any defects/faults are recorded.
23. COUNCILLOR HIBBERD
The Chairman reported that she had discussed funding with Cllr Hibberd and he had indicated that the Parish Council would receive at least £600 and that possibly funding of between £1500 and £2000 would be made available to Acol.
24. PAYMENTS SCHEDULE
That the under-mentioned payments be made:
266 R Wade – July salary & expenses £167.64
267 Thanet Regeneration Forum £10.00
268 E Fewkes – Audit Fee £50.00
269 KAPC subscription £117.00
25. COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS
The Clerk sought Members’ views on individual Members being responsible for specific areas of the council’s responsibilities and it was agreed that the duties would be as follows
Member Areas of Responsibility
Miss Bransfield – Policy/highways
New Councillor – Planning/conservation/legal matters
Mrs O’Reilly – Environment/waste/village organisations
Matters raised by Members
Cllr Burgess – A) had visited the factory to discuss the undue use of lights and would report further to the next meeting
B) offered to computerise the Recreation Ground’s inspection records; and C) requested that consideration be given to rebuilding the seats outside the Village Hall.
Roxanne had pursued with the publishers of the free papers the reason why deliveries were not made to Acol. To date the responses had been unsatisfactory and Roxanne undertook to make further enquiries and report back to Council.
The Clerk to make enquiries of the other villages to ascertain whether the free newspapers are delivered to those areas
Cllr. Mrs O’Reilly – additional volunteers required to deliver the Village Voice
Cllr Burgess – computerise recreation ground inspection records
The Chairman submitted the following reports and apologised for the length of them but reminded members that many were a carry over from the previous Clerk.
1. Acol Fete – It was reported in the ‘Village Voice’ that the Village Hall Committee had a success, despite World Cup, tennis and Power Boats.
2. Acol Safari (Open Gardens) – Acol Horticultural Society also reported a success in the ‘Village Voice’ and raised £1,200 for the RNLI.
3. At a meeting of the Thanet Rural Regeneration Group on 25th July posters were issued with a telephone number and website address to report anti-social behaviour, which can be anonymous. The poster is displayed in Village Hall and the telephone number will appear in the ‘Village Voice’ Speedwatch and Westwood were also discussed.
4. The Chairman announced that she had been elected Chairman of the Thanet Area Parishes Committee on 27th July.
5. The Chairman reported on the reason the phone box was cordoned off with police tape – the coin box had been broken into. The investigation unit did not attend to examine the scene of the crime and the police removed the tape. Members were unaware if it had been repaired and the Chairman agreed to check.
6. Interactive speed sign is too dim and needs attention. The Chairman cannot find the original documents to find out whom to contact and will email Highways for their advice.
7. The Chairman was amazed that Thanet Council had posted 125 “Thanet Matters” for distribution with the ‘Village Voice’ at a cost of £8.74. She has sent an email requesting they are delivered or we will arrange collection.
8. For some time we have not received the “Beat News” from the police and the Chairman will send an enquiry by email to Kent Police.
9. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has issued a Discussion Paper covering Local Authority Byelaws which is with the Chairman for all to see.
10. The Chairman has received an update from Chris Tull on the new Athletics facility. Marlowe Academy will be operational from September when old school will be demolished and construction begun. It will consist of a full eight-lane practice track catering for all field and track events and it should be complete some time next year. The Chairman also checked with him about football nets that Recreation Department had donated to us in 2002 and have never been seen. Members wondered if they could have been stowed in the Village Hall loft and the Chairman will ask the Village Hall Management Committee.
11. Domestic Rates / Community Charge. (Mentioned on 10th July minutes, but not included on Agenda). The factory estate has seriously lowered the tone of the area and the Chairman intends to apply for a reduction. If successful, everyone in the vicinity will be entitled to the same reduction.
12. The Chairman has written again to Cleansing Department to request we have a regular four-weekly street sweep, as originally scheduled, and that the day is changed from Monday to Tuesday.
13. DEFRA has announced some new legislation and the Clerk will write to request a Guide.
14. The Parish Council had intended entering the County Lengthsman scheme, but TRRG reported that the funding has been withdrawn, after just one year!
15. The matter of free newspapers is being dealt with by Cllr Chesher-Brazier.
16. The Chairman has located the Fixed Assets list, which should have been checked at the Annual Meeting. Members agreed that the Chairman and Clerk will check the items and report to the next meeting.
17. KAPC have advised that all Parish meetings should include public sessions and it was agreed to adopt, from the next meeting, a public session half way through Parish Council meetings. KAPC also advised that members’ apologies for absence should include reasons for absence.
18. A new KCC Community Warden, Alan MacDonald, has been appointed in place of Corinne Eldridge, who has moved. He was unable to attend this meeting but hopes to be present next time.
19. It was reported at the Thanet Rural Regeneration Meeting that formation of a new Manston Airport Consultative Committee has not yet been decided. It seems the villages will be allowed only one representative. Details will be brought to the Parish Council meeting as soon as they are available.