2010 January Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held at the Village Hall,

Acol on 4th January 2010 at 2.00p.m.
 
Present: Councillors Miss Bransfield (Chairman), B Hall, J Inchley, Dr H Mitchell and Mrs E O’Reilly
 
Also present: Cllr Charles Hibberd and Roy Wade (Clerk to the Council)
 
49.  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
No apologies for absence were received.
 
50.   MINUTES AND MATTERS ARISING
The Minutes of the meeting held on 23rd November 2009 were approved and signed by the Chairman.
Matters arising
There were no matters arising.
 
51.  MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
Cllrs Miss Bransfield and B Hall disclosed an interest in the planning application relating to Egerton Manor and took no part in the discussion.
 
52.  REPORT OF THE POLICE
The Police were not in attendance to report.
 
53.  CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
i) Working Party held on 21st December – The Chairman reported that those matters considered at the Working Party were included within the agenda.
ii) Crown and Sceptre P.H. – Jonathan Neame of Shepherd Neame had confirmed that although many public houses were closing it was the brewer’s intention to re-let the Crown and Sceptre.
iii) Meeting Times for commencement of Council Meetings – the Chairman reported that the Clerk had received an email from Tony Burgess requesting that meetings of the Parish Council begin at 7.30pm. Members were of the view that holding meetings earlier in the day was the safer option for villagers walking to and from the village hall in the dark winter months. The existing arrangements will continue until they are reconsidered at the AGM in May 2010.
iv) Christmas Waste Collections – The Chairman reported that TDC would resume normal collection of waste materials from 11 January 2010.
v) SWA letters to Homeowners- The Chairman reported on the letter from Southern Water, which confirmed that the underground pipe work from the property boundary across a private property is the responsibility of the homeowner. OFWAT have recommended that homeowners first check their insurance policies before considering additional insurance as this may already be covered. They pointed out that all water utility companies offer a free leak detection service and some also give a free first leak repair or a subsidy towards the cost of the repair.
 
54.  CLERK’S REPORT
The Clerk reported that District Audit had appointed Wayne Rickard as the Council’s appointed auditor with effect from January 2010.
 
55.  CORRESPONDENCE FROM W.R.NORRIS
The Chairman reported upon receipt of a further letter from Mr Norris repeating questions concerning the time for the commencement of council meetings and the felling of the tree in front of the Village Hall. Members were reminded that these questions had been raised and dealt with at the previous meeting.
He also asked why the November Minutes did not appear in the December Village Voice. They were not completed in time and could not have been published if we had no Village Voice.
 
56.  PLANNING APPLICATION/PLANNING MATTERS
The Chairman and Cllr Hall disclosed an interest in this application and took no part in the discussion.
Egerton Manor – The Clerk confirmed that the development proposals at this property had been approved by TDC. The item withdrawn was a surplus application for demolition that had been included in the final approved version.
 
57.  RECREATION GROUND PLAY EQUIPMENT
The Chairman reported that the playground equipment had been inspected by Chris Tull (TDC) and a representative from Park Leisure and they had highlighted some problems with deteriorating timbers that could potentially become hazardous. The Chairman also reported upon the recent RoSPA Report indicating that the equipment fails to meet criteria contained within new EU Regulations.
RESOLVED: (A) that the relevant apparatus be removed as soon as possible; (B) that three quotations be obtained for replacement playground equipment to facilitate an application being submitted to Cllrs Charles Hibberd and Mike Roberts for funding to be set aside to cover the costs of this project; and (C) that the Clerk prepare and display laminated signs (at the main entrance and the stile) informing the public that the only play equipment available for children to play on will be the adventure frame, until replacements are in place.
 
58.  SCHEDULE OF PAYMENTS
RESOLVED: That the under-mentioned payment be made
Cheque no.        Payee and details                       Amount
355         R.Wade – proportion of annual salary      £500.00
The Clerk also reported on the bank balance for the period to 1 December 2009 in the sum of £3857.37.
 
59.  PARISH COUNCIL BUDGET FOR 2010/11
The Clerk submitted a draft budget for the year 2010/11 and Members noted that the amount being requested from the District Council was less than for the year 2009/10.
RESOLVED: That the draft budget as submitted in the sum of £3942 be approved and submitted to Thanet District Council.
 
60.  REPORT OF COUNTY COUNCILLOR CHARLES HIBBERD
Cllr Hibberd reported on:
(i) KCC Budget for 2010/11 and on discussions with the Government who had indicated that the rate support grant allocated to KCC would be probably reduced in real terms for the next 2/3 years.
(ii) Community Grants £1000 was still available for Acol and this could go to either the Parish Council or the Village Hall Management Committee
(iii) The freezing weather – Cllr Hibberd undertook to discuss the siting of salt/grit bins in Acol and the Clerk to ascertain whether a bin/bins could be sited at strategic points in Acol village.
(iv) Deposits with Icelandic Banks – Central Government were discussing with the consortium of Icelandic Banks the procedure for the recovery of the £50m deposit made by KCC.
 
61.  MATTERS OF REPORTS BY MEMBERS
(i)   Cllr Mrs O’Reilly reported that the tops of the hedges in Plumstone Road needed cutting back once the inclement weather had improved.
(ii)  Cllr Inchley had no report in respect of Manston airport. He reported upon the next phase of improvements for the Village Hall, which included proposals to replace the ceiling.
(iii) Cllr Dr Mitchell asked whether the letter to the residents of Dilnot Lane, regarding parking in passing places, had been sent and the Clerk responded that this would be done in the next few days. Dr Mitchell also asked about the preparation of the highway priority list and the Chairman indicated that this was being prepared.
 
62.   DATE OF NEXT MEETING
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on 22 March 2010 at 2pm.
 
Time concluded: 2.50 p.m.