Parish Council Meeting Minutes 04/09/17





4th September 2017 in the Village Hall, South Darenth at 7.30 pm


Present: Cllr I Blackamore

R House, Cllr D Mitchell, T Moyle, C Page, P Rushbrook, M Stead, J Stewart,

C Willson

Members of the public: Malcolm Dunn DRiPS, 7 members of public


In attendance: H Rohard, Parish Clerk

D McFall, Assistant Parish Clerk


Received from Cllr P McGarvey, District Councillor and Cllr R Gough, County Councillor


Cllr Blackamore declared a pecuniary interest in Agenda item 15 ‘Buildings Maintenance’


The Minutes of the last meetings held 3rd July 2017 were signed as a true record.



Arriva buses: correspondence has been received from Arriva buses.


All other action points had been completed.


64          POLICE MATTERS

The PCSO Tim Darling explained that he is now the local PCSO and covers Farningham, Crockenhill, & New Ash Green as well as this Parish. Having previously been the PCSO here he is familiar with the area and is having a handover period with Amy so he is aware of any local issues.

A member of the public highlighted the problem of young cyclists and quad bikers doing wheelies in the road and causing a danger to themselves and other road users. The PCSO said that ASBOs had been served on a group doing this in Sevenoaks and any local information on this behaviour should be passed to the police on 101. Cllr Mitchell asked for mobile phone contact details but the PCSO said all calls should be passed through 101.

Cllr Willson stated that recent burglaries seemed to have coincided with door to door sales, however the PCSO said investigations are still ongoing.



A resident commented on the parking in Paddock Close; the Chairman directed this to be borne in mind for item 14 ‘Request for Parking Restrictions in East Hill’


The resident also asked if entrance and exit signs could be installed to the Village Hall Car Park for safety of pedestrians; the Chairman directed that this be considered by the Halls Committee at its next meeting 19th Sept.

Malcolm Dunn asked whether the vegetation cut backs in Holmesdale Road would be extended to cutting the reeds in the river. The Clerk explained that only work to the banks were permitted and budgeted for and any work in the river itself should be either the landowner or the Environment Agency’s duty.

Cllr Rushbrook reiterated the perceived EA and NWKCP positions on balancing river health with flood prevention. Cllr Willson was still concerned that the Scout Hut could be flooded; the Clerk will forward any details of flood defence funding to him.



Mr Cockburn commented on the changes to Arriva’s time table which had been poorly advertised with incorrect information being circulated. A copy from Arriva’s Website had been provided by the Asssitant Parish Clerk and printed copies requested by the Clerk. The changes were modest however complaints were received that the route seems to have the oldest buses running, which keep breaking down, and the newer ‘named’ buses (from KCC subsidy in the past) are being used elsewhere. The Chairman read Cllr Gough’s response regarding the timetable changes that as a commercial, and no longer subsidised service by KCC, Arriva are at liberty to make changes in order to keep the route viable.


Cllr Mitchell asked if there was an update on the chimney ‘wrapping’; an email had been received 4th Sept from SDC Planning to confirm that the consent for the protective membrane is limited for a period of 9 months. Councillor expressed their concern that the wrapping is ripping from high winds and which could then cause a further hazard; ACTION: Clerk to report this to Crabtree for comment.


Cllr Mitchell requested that staff appraisal dates be arranged and for a copy of the Burial Ground map.


Cllr Willson reported that the Double Yellow Lines in New Road appeared to be ineffective as a vehicle had been parked on them for over a week and not received a ticket; he asked that this issue and the length of the lines (should be 10m and not 1m) be raised with Cllr McGarvey for investigation: ACTION: Clerk

Cllr Stead requested that the Interactive Speed Sign be sited at the entrance to the Scout Hut to slow down traffic where pedestrians cross. ACTION: Clerk



Complaint received from a resident regarding the Horse and trap ‘Drive’ from Oak View Stud Farm. 103 vehicles were reportedly involved this year an increase from 60 on the May Bank Holiday. The organisers had been in contact with the Police and SDC although at a very late stage. Complaints had also been received from Darenth & Sutton at Hone Parishioners. Feedback had been sought from Farningham, Eynsford and West Kingsdown Parishes.

Cllr Mitchell said that feedback via facebook had been positive this time and the advance warning given by the organisers appreciated.


DRiPS AGM would be held on 21st Sept and an Agenda was available for anyone who wished to attend.


Information was received from the Council for Kentish Archaeology which had reported in its Review No 204 of 10 more discoveries at Horton Kirby of Saxon Burials.


Letter from KCC: no volunteer had been found so far for the Volunteer Support Warden scheme to cover this area. KCC will continue to advertise.


SDC Local Plan Public consultation ends 5th October and Cllr House is attending the Local Plan Placemaking Workshop 5th Sept to participate.


66          PLANNING



3 Glebe Place Horton Kirby DA4 9DS

Erection of a single storey extension to the side and rear.





145 New Road South Darenth DA4 9AS

Minor Material amendment to application 16/03574/FUL for the raising of the rood to incorporate first floor, to facilitate the alterations to form a pair of semi detached chalet style bungalows to show they are not proceeding with the raising of the roof, only part of roof to be altered is over garage, the porch position to right hand of property has changed and also alteration to some window positions.





The latest approved Minutes of the committee were received for information



Cllr McGarvey was not able to attend this meeting.



Cllr Gough was also not able to attend this meeting.



3 quotes inc of Ins Premium Tax were received from Came and Co Insurance brokers with summary of cover and recommendation. Quotes are: Inspire (AXA) £6006.32, Hiscox £5488.00 and Ecclesiastical £5339.83.


Cllr Blackamore proposed that Ecclesiastical quote be accepted providing 2 errors did not significantly increase the premium; address of Pavilion is incorrect and the level of Play Equipment cover to include new Heathside Play area to be installed October. Seconded Cllr Willson and voted in favour unanimously.

As the 3 year cover brought the premium down for this year to £5072.84 this was also voted as the best course of action.




A report had been circulated of the Clerk’s meeting with Tom Billings, from Billings Group, new Landowners in Horton Kirby. The field adjacent to Westminster Field which is currently fallow has been offered as an overflow car park to the Parish Council subject to a Lease agreement being drawn up.


Cllr House commented that it would require much work to create a usable surface and significant cost. General discussion followed about the car parking pressures in Horton Kirby especially with visitors to the pubs as well as Westminster Field users.


The Chairman directed that the ROS Committee investigate what is needed to be done and costs for further discussion and consideration. ACTION: Clerk



A resident had requested that action be taken regarding parked cars at the junction of Bull Hill/School Lane/Forge Lane which, especially in the evenings are full with parked cars causing a hazard for vehicles entering or leaving the junctions.


Parking on a junction is illegal and as such it was felt that the Police should be asked to tackle this however if the vehicles are moved it was felt that the problem would then just be displaced to another road. Cllr Rushbrook stated that the school parking continues to be problematic and was more of a priority. Cllr Moyle reported that the school regularly sends out reminders to parents by Parent mail and newsletters to park considerately. Breakfast and after school clubs have now started and this may improve parking with staggered drop off and pick up times.


Cllr Mitchell proposed not to request parking restrictions at the Bull Hill/School Lane Junction but to ensure that Double Yellow Lines already in place in the Parish and enforced. Cllr House seconded the proposal and all voted in favour.




A resident requested that parking restrictions be introduced in East Hill following an incident where a fire appliance called to deal with a shed fire could not easily access the property due to parked cars.


A report had been requested from Kent Fire and Rescue Service for that incident; time from call to first attendance was 9 minutes and no report was made of any difficulty with being able to access the property.


The displacement of parked cars to other already congested roads by requesting double yellow lines, as indicated by the resident as being the answer, was discussed. The problem of existing DYL not being enforced was also discussed leading to Cllr Willson to propose that restrictions are not requested. Cllr Stewart seconded and voted in favour unanimously.



Cllr Blackamore left the meeting and Cllr Willson took the Chair.

A list of 5 contractors (listed anonymously as 1 -5) and prices for each of the 14 Pavilion, 11 Village Hall and 3 Jubilee Hall jobs were considered. The total quote for each ranged between £1514 (without materials) to £7481 (inc materials) + VAT. Contractor 3 provided the cheapest quote at £2230 + VAT including materials followed by Contractor 4 at £2470 + VAT. Both of these contractors carry out regular work for Parish Councils.


After discussion on the comments provided by contractors on the work to be undertaken Cllr Mitchell proposed that the quote from contractor 3 be accepted as the cheapest including materials and Cllr Moyle seconded; this was voted in favour unanimously. RESOLVED that maintenance work be carried out by Lothlorien Landscapes Ltd at cost of £2230 + VAT


Cllr Blackamore was recalled to the meeting and took the Chair.


75          GAZEBO OFFER

Cllr Mitchell had received a gazebo from CAB for use by the Parish Council which could be used to host a Parish Council stand for future events such as the St George’s Day; this would mean the marquee hire could be dispensed with saving £500 a year. There is limited storage under the Village Hall stage which could be utilised. Cllr Stewart proposed that the offer be accepted and seconded by Cllr Mitchell; voted in favour unanimously.



New Playground Installation: Cllr Stewart reported that a ‘start works’ meeting is arranged for the 11th Sept and work would be scheduled after that. He explained that the trim trail items would need to be removed prior to start of work that are on the left side of the field up to and including the wooden train. All these items have been reported on the Annual Play inspection reports as having a very short lifespan left and deteriorating rapidly.

Cllr Mitchell requested that the plaque from the train be kept as this recorded the gift that was made to install them by the ‘Sink the Link’ group.

Cllr House reported that there is a drive for more healthy living initiatives and that funding for adult trim trail/outdoor gym equipment would be a great addition in future and sit well where the remaining wooden trim trail is.


Potential Pavilion – research: A report from the meeting held with Kent Football Club and SDS Football Club had been circulated to members and discussed.


Cllr House expressed his concern that the Parish Council would not be able to solely make decisions about the use of a pavilion that it could be heavily investing in. With the FA match funding a 21 year lease would be taken to ensure that football continues at that site for that period. A football pavilion is already available in the Parish at Westminster Field and Cllr House suggested that this should be revamped and improved.


The needs and use of Heathside were discussed; members felt that this should be more of a community space than utilised solely as a sports field. Storage space is needed and public toilets.


Cllr Mitchell suggested portable or prefabricated buildings as a cheaper alternative.


The Chairman directed that an informal meeting for Councillors be arranged to discuss and identify the needs and usage of a building at Heathside, explore ideas and other funding sources. ACTION: Clerk



Schedule Of Accounts

The schedule of accounts and payments approved for cheques to be signed.


Financial report

The new style report using new software was received and explained. Councillors requested that a monthly report be sent by email for information and any queries could then be raised as an Agenda item for discussion.


Online Banking

The need for online is becoming more apparent as more businesses and individuals make online transfers. Members agreed that this should now be made a priority: Model Financial regulations to include Online Banking provision to be circulated ready for next meeting for adoption.


Card Payments/Credit/Debit card for office use

Introduction of card payment system would be possible with online banking and members agreed that this should also be explored whilst looking at online banking provision.


Salaries by Standing Order

This payment method would not be necessary once online banking system in place.



The broadband speed in the office is very slow and could be improved by moving to fibre and/or provider. Cllr Stead was asked to visit the office to investigate and report bank to members with his findings. ACTION: Cllr Stead


79          WEB DESIGN

Cllr House and Stead visited Ash cum Ridley Parish Office with the Clerk to look at their website and how it is managed; it is provided free of charge by Hugo Fox and is relatively straightforward to use. Cllr Stead recommended that to speed the change over up that the Parish Council pays for the new site to be populated first and offered to check with Hugo Fox if this is possible and costs.


Cllr Stewart proposed that costs be sought as suggested by Cllr Stead and Hugo Fox site acquired. Cllr Stead seconded. All voted in favour.

ACTION: Cllr Stead


The deadline for the November newsletter is 29th September.

Cllr Stewart would like to include another bulb planting date.

Cllr Rushbrook will be working on the Fireworks event advert and getting 1500 tickets printed ready to sell either in advance or on the gate.

Malcolm Dunn requested that a link to the new DRIPS website be advertised on facebook and on the new Council website.



2nd October 2017. A list of upcoming meetings in September was circulated to members for information/attendance as necessary.


Meeting ended at 9.41pm