EAST FARLEIGH PARISH COUNCIL
The Pump House Riverside Park, East Farleigh,
Maidstone ME16 9ND
T: 07999 414712
Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Tuesday 17th January 2023 @ 7.00pm
In The Old School Hall, Lower Road, East Farleigh
Present: Cllrs Alex Fullwood (AF)(Chair), Steve Shearman (SS) (Vice-Chair), Adam Palmer (AP), Barry Older (BO), Deborah Abbott (DA), Paul Billanie (PB), Pauline Tranter (PT), Cllr Simon Webb (SW) arrived late.
In attendance: Desiree Home (Clerk), 5 members of the public & no members of the press.
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Cllr David Hussein, (DH), Cllr Gina Webb (GA), Cllr Lottie Parfitt-Reid (LPR), PCSO Nicola Morris, KCC Community Warden. Apologies were accepted for the given reasons.
- RECORDING OF PROCEEDINGS
The Clerk was recording the meeting on behalf of the Parish Council.
- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST AND LOBBYING;
Cllr SS declared an interest in East Farleigh Pre-School
- EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
Cllrs agreed that members of the public should retire whilst Cllrs considered their vote on Co-option of two new members. No other items require this and are not relevant.
- MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 6th December 2022
169.1 The Minutes of the Meeting were APPROVED as a true and accurate record.
169.2 Matters arising from the minutes not otherwise covered in the agenda: None.
- PLANNING; Note – Councillors and members of the public can view all Planning matters on the MBC Planning Portal https://pa.midkent.gov.uk/
170.1 To consider any notified Planning Applications since the last meeting;
- 22/505677/FULL Horseshoe House Dean Street – Erection of two storey rear extension, single storey rear extension, loft conversion, front porch extension and detached two bay car port with attached storage. Time extension to comment granted. EFPC considered this application at the meeting. There were no objections. Recommend approval with a note to the planning officer regards consideration to neighbour comments.
- 22/505691/FULL Domus Corrodian Priory Close – Erection of attached double garage. EFPC Recommend approval.
- 22/505946/FULL Stone Cottage Stockett Lane – Erection of a single storey side extension to annex. EFPC recommend approval.
- 22/505948/FULL Stone Cottage Stockett Lane – Demolition of existing garage & Chicken coop, erection of replacement pitched roof garden building with solar panels. EFPC recommend approval.
- 22/505726/TPOA 1 Priory House The Priory – TPO to reduce tree crown yew trees plus chestnut tree & epicormic growth. EFPC are happy to leave the decision to the Tree Officer.
- To receive notifications of any planning decisions made by MBC since the last meeting:
- 22/504159/SUB Hazeldene Nursery Dean Street – Approved.
- 22/504898/FULL Bridge House Station Hill – Refused.
- 22/505081/FULL Pear Tree Cottage St. Helens Lane – Granted.
- 22/504979/FULL Grey Walls Forge Lane – Granted.
- 22/502359/SUB Horseshoes Riding School – Approved.
- 22/504920/LAWPRO Glen Lodge Priory Close – Approved.
- 22/504900/FULL Pear Tree Cottage 9 New Villas Forge Lane – Granted.
- To note any information reported to/received from MBC on planning enforcement issues:
- Any other planning matters, including late planning applications:
- PARISH COUNCILLORS/PARISHIONERS
171.1 To report on any events (ON-LINE seminars etc.) attended on behalf of the Council, including the Clerk:
Cllr DA attended the KALC Dynamic Councillor webinar. She reported that the course is highly recommended, and that other Cllrs (especially new Cllrs) take the training.
171.2 To raise matters reported to them by parishioners: None.
171.3 Any other IMPORTANT/URGENT matters Councillors wish to raise NOT otherwise covered in the agenda;
- The Bull Inn – The “Right to Bid” paperwork has been completed and submitted to the relevant authority. Council members wished to thank Cllr DH for his work in this regard.
- KCC bus funding – The bus service in question does not cover East Farleigh. However, should any future bus cuts affect the village, then EFPC will investigate and take action as appropriate.
- EF Pre-School/Old School Hall: It was reported that the OSH is under offer and the EF Pre-School is now seeking alternative accommodation. This matter was discussed at length during the Public Forum session.
Initial attempts to find another venue have been in vain and the Pre-School have urgently requested help, support or advice in finding a suitable venue. Please contact the Pre-School direct – 07586 439018 or email email@example.com.
172.1 To ratify payments made since the last meeting:
- Direct Debit BC&E People’s Pension £ 81
- Direct Debit Lloyd (EFPC Multipay Card) £ 98
- SO Clerks salary December 2022 £ 00
- SO L Owen (car park attendant) salary December 2022 £ 20
To Ratify the following BACS transfer payments which have been authorised (Cllrs DH & SS) under delegated powers because the January meeting was delayed:
03012301 L Owen Time Sheet December 2022 £ 436.00
03012302 Clerk’s Time Sheet & Expenses December 2022 £ 448.14
03012303 AcuIT – monthly maintenance & back-up £ 78.56 03012304 Pearsons monthly invoice £1,830.36
03012305 Play Inspections Co. Annual Play Area insp. £ 87.54
03012306 HMRC Clerk’s/Employers Quarterly PAYE/NIC £ 133.78
03012307 Land Registry Fee reimbursement – Cllr DH £ 19.95 03012308 Kent Police & Crime Commissioner (Op Scarecrow) £1,141.40
172.2 The following BACS transfer payments are to be authorised on Unity Trust Internet Banking
by 2 signatories following the meeting: None.
It was approved that Cllr DA be removed as a signatory for the EFPC bank account with UTB. It was further approved that Cllr PB will be the fourth signatory (alongside Cllrs SS, DH, AP). This is deferred until Cllr PB obtains a new laptop.
Action: Clerk/Cllr PB
172.3 Financial Statements
Financial Statements for the period up to 31st December 2022 were received which represent the state of play at the end of PAYE week 39, 2022/2023
172.4 Any Other Financial Matters:
- Budget 2023/2024
- It was agreed that the Precept request is to remain at £75,000. The Cash precept is unchanged, but as the tax base has increased slightly, the burden on Band D has decreased by just over half percent.
- Highways Maintenance EMR: It was confirmed by all present that EFPC do not wish to renew the traffic calming scheme. However, it was proposed and agreed that the 2022/3 EMR should remain as contingency.
- Highways Improvements; All EFPC Cllrs present approved EMR £3,000 (£17k already earmarked).
- Tree Fund: EMR to remain at £1,000 – approved.
- Legal & Professional; EFPC approved the removal of the budgeted increase and agreed to put the budgeted funds into Contingency.
- Play Area; EFPC approved Play Area maintenance EMR £2,000. Subject to the village approving the playground renewal project, it was agreed to utilise the excess general provisions (excess over the 50% guideline) towards funding planned work.
- Op Scarecrow; No EMR required – budgeted expense line/code only.
- Budget line 4401 dog bins; It was approved that the code and funds remain. The money was a grant from MBC to install 3 dog bins. One bin has been installed and if the remaining bins are installed too, MBC intend to charge for emptying.
- SE Water Community Chest Payment; Councillors approved utilizing these funds towards the Play Area project. Cllr SW stated that the Members Grants budget has been cut but will guarantee a members grant of £1,000 towards the EF play area project. It was further suggested that Gallagher may contribute to local initiatives in their areas of operation. It was suggested that Cllr GA investigate.
Action: Clerk/Cllr GA
- Clerk/RFO: It was agreed not to advertise at further cost in the local press but agreed to interview the suitable applicants who have already submitted their CV’s.
Action: Clerk/Cllr AF/Cllr SS
- Noted: New External Auditors appointed – MAZARS instead of PKF Littlejohn
- DEFIBRILLATORS: deferred until next meeting as Cllr DH absent.
Action: Cllr DH
- The Clerk reported that the date for the Play Area Inspection Course has now been set – Tuesday 14th February 2023. All arrangements have been confirmed and the course/exam costs split between the attending Parish Councils in proportion to number of delegates attending.
- Next KALC Dynamic Councillor course date is 23rd March 2023 and it was recommended that any Cllr who hasn’t undertaken this course, do so. Please contact the Clerk.
- FLOOD PLAN (Flood Pod): Nothing to report.
- VILLAGE CAR PARK/REC GROUND/PLAY AREA Vicarage Lane
176.1 Car Park: Weekly Health & Safety reports received.
176.2 Recreation Ground:
- Weekly Health & Safety reports received.
- Cllr SS reported receiving a quote from Landscape Services to renew the goal posts on the football pitch. It was agreed that Cllr SS should investigate at least two more quotes. The Clerk confirmed that WF Football Club and EF Primary School would, in principle, be prepared to contribute towards the cost as they use the rec ground more than most. Further, Cllrs wished it noted that this community facility is receiving a major overhaul with the “MBC Tree planting” initiative and the Play Area refurbishment alongside the renewal of the Football Pitch. The Clerk is to write to EF Primary School and WFFC for written confirmation.
Action: Clerk/Cllr SS
176.3 Play Area:
- Weekly Health & Safety reports received.
- It was unanimously agreed that there will not be a “leaflet drop” regards the Public Consultation. Although the on-line response was disappointedly low, the majority of comments (written and verbal) were in favour of refurbishing the play area.
- EFPC acknowledged and accepted with thanks the kind confirmed offer of £1,000 towards the EFPC play area project from the 2023/24 Members Grant by County/Borough Cllr Simon Webb.
- It was agreed that the surface repair under the “igloo” is to be included in the planned refurbishment works.
176.4 Other Matters:
- It was reported that quotes for refurbishing the Play Area have been received from Kompan, idverde, Playforce and Play Cubed. Cllrs agreed unanimously to go with the best quote in relation to cost and equipment supplied.
- Councillors questioned the life expectancy of equipment as quoted in the Play Area Operational Report and request confirmation as to whether it is “from installation” or from “date of report. Councillors agreed that play equipment reported with issues (albeit low risk) should be taped off until play area project is completed.
Action: Cllr AF/Cllr GA/EFPC Maintenance Man
- Monthly worksheets and checks were received.
178.1 Highways Working Group (HWG):
- The monthly HWG report was received, and it was reported that EFPC HWG is actively engaging with KCC on all issues. In particular, drains & gullies and the very many roadworks/closures alongside other matters.
- The HWG obtained info on a “30mph Toolkit” which offers advice and supports local and parish councils in addressing speed issues.
178.2 Highways: Other Matters:
- KCC Pavements/paths (not PROW): Nothing to report.
- The Parish Fault Report was received.
- It was reported that the laurel bush on private land is encroaching the highway at the bottom of Gallants Lane.
The Clerk is to contact Highways, Claire Chewter, to get the hedge cut back.
- SPEEDWATCH/OPERATION SCARECROW:
- The monthly report was received from Peter Beasley. Police Checks are ongoing, and the Speed Indicator Devices (SID’s) continue to operate satisfactorily. They were redeployed to another site on Thursday 12th January.
- PUBLIC FOOT PATHS/RIGHTS OF WAY (PROW): nothing to report.
- FETE COMMITTEE:
- Cllr AP reported that the Carols around the Christmas Tree event was well attended.
- The committee are considering a Summer Fete and will be discussing EF Primary School involvement with the new Headteacher.
- COMMUNICATIONS: Nothing to report.
- CORRESPONDENCE: none.
- ABSENCES: To note forthcoming absences of Councillors and Clerk.
- DATE OF NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING;
There is no meeting in February. The next EFPC meeting is on Tuesday 7th March 2023 at 7pm in the OSH, Lower Road.
The meeting closed at 9.15pm