Parish Council Meeting Minutes 06/03/17




6th March 2017 in the Village Hall, South Darenth at 7.30 pm


Present: Cllr I Blackamore (Chairman) C Wilson (Vice Chairman)

R House, D Mitchell, T Moyle, C Page,

P Rushbrook, M Stead, J Stewart.


Cllr P McGarvey, District Councillor

Cllr R Gough, County Councillor


Members of the public: M Ellis, D Hollands, S Dove, R Fournel, Malcolm Dunn (DRiPS), and 1 member of public.

PCSO S Douse, S Madden (KCC), H Troup and L Wilson from Carbon Smart


In attendance: H Rohard, Parish Clerk, Dawn McFall Assistant Parish Clerk



Received from Cllr I Tennessee, District Councillor






The minutes from the Parish Council meeting 6th February 2017 were confirmed and signed as a true record.



Silting in River Darent: Cllr Rushbrook will be meeting with Mark Gallant from NWKCP to assess and discuss areas of the river that are silting and narrowing the channel.

Buildings Maintenance: ongoing

Flying club issues: Mr Fitzpatrick who raised concern at last meeting has been liaising with the Clerk, Darent Cllr I Armitt, Concord Club, BMA and KCC – will update conclusion at next meeting.

Flytipping: signs had been received from SDC

LED Streetlights: Eynsford had recently opted for 2 different types of LED lights and the Clerk advised that this may be preferable to the 1 offered; more information to follow. Cllr McGarvey reported that Farningham has also opted for 2 types of LED lighting.

Youth meeting: to take place on 27th March with NAG group of Parish Clerks and WK Communities Project manager Kate Craib.

KCC Verges Grass Cutting: Eynsford and Farningham Clerks are co-ordinating with HKSD Clerk joint and separate tenders for grass cutting to see whether savings can be made as a joint venture.

Neighbourhood Planning Training: Cllr House attended this on 22nd Feb and will be reporting on this at April’s meeting.


All other actions points had been completed.


173         POLICE MATTERS

PCSO Douse reported that a motorbike had been stolen from Esparto Way. A motorbike stolen from Dartford was tracked to a container at Oak View Stud Farm along which was found to contain stolen car and bike parts. More cars have been earmarked for removal from Lombard Street which were found to be without tax or insurance; this is part of a regular check on the area.

New power to issue parking fines will be coming into force shortly and will be implemented particularly around schools.

Several members of the same family from the area has been arrested in respect of stolen vehicles.

Swanley Police have been working with the DVLA to pull over vehicles to check documents which should also act as a flytipping deterent.

Sarah will be leaving on the 21st March; with changes in the Police more roles will be office based to offer community support – PCSOs will have a larger area to cover.



Sharry Madden had been overseeing the vehicle crossover installation at Saxon Place; she praised the Parish Council for their support with this long process. West Kent Housing residents have approached Sharry to ask for vehicle crossovers even though WKH had not included them on the list of properties to have the facility; Sharry has taken this up with WKH directly. 2 of the residents were disabled.

Sharry looked at where pedestrian dropped kerbs could now be installed with Dave Hollands assistance. She recommends that a slope and dropped kerbs could be installed at the footpath entrance at PROW SD157 with a possible zebra crossing to facilitate easier pedestrian access to and from Saxon Place. She would also request that Eglantine Villa move fencing that is too close to the footpath. Cllr Gough intimated his support for this scheme.


M Ellis asked if the edge of the step on the pavement leaving the village hall entrance towards South Darenth could be painted white as it was difficult to see in the dark and requested a salt bin for Paddock Close. Cllr Gough stated that this could be looked at.


Correspondence received:

Email correspondence from Ms Hollister to MP Michael Fallon concerning the bus service 414 was copied to the Parish Council.


Mr Moore had complained about the siting of the newly arrived salt bin at Glebe Place; Cllr Blackamore and Cllr Gough had spoken with him about the matter.


Mr Pollard Headteacher, Horton Kirby School had expressed interest in a ‘Safer Schools Parking Zone’ following a press release from SDC about the scheme in Swanley. Cllr McGarvey and Cllr Tennessee had registered the Parish Council’s interest in the scheme with the Parking Management at SDC; the Swanley scheme is a trial and feedback is awaited. In the meantime parking issues could be tackled by using single yellow lines.


Letter received from SDC to acknowledge complaint raised concerning Plot 5, Horton Road as an untidy site and rubbish being dumped. This has been raised several times before in recent years by the Clerk.


Cllr McGarvey had emailed a table of Town and Parish Precepts which showed HKSD has the lowest % increase at -1.16% in the 31 Parishes in the District.



Helen Troup and Laura Wilson from Carbon Smart provided information about the Government Rural Community Energy Fund which funds feasibility studies on Council or community owned buildings, providing the Parish Council were willing to co-ordinate with Community organisations.

Any projects that could show as having a community investment and sustainability could then benefit from a loan of up to £130K from DEFRA


Cllr House expressed concern at committing to a loan would have a negative impact on finance available for the proposed Heathside improvements.

Discussion followed on the sort of projects could be included and other community buildings in the villages that could benefit. Streetlighting could also be included.


Cllr Stead proposed that the feasibility study grant should be taken up with Carbon Smart Cllr Willson seconded and all voted in favour.

RESOLVED to request Carbon Smart to instigate Rural Community Energy Fund application.



Cllr McGarvey reiterated the Parish Council’s Precept saving which was achieved by changes in the Tax Base ie more homes paying Council Tax, however he did recognise that the Precept amount itself had not increased and this was to be commended.



Cllr Gough reported that he had been in contact with Mr Moore concerning the salt bin at Glebe Place and would be arranging to have it moved shortly.


The HGV signs have been installed in Station Road.


Cllr Gough confirmed that the Arriva 414 service is not subsidised by KCC and so there is little he can do except to feed back to Arriva. However matters can be raised to the Traffic Commissioner if there is enough evidence to warrant this.


The Interactive Speed Device is still being looked into.


Franks Lane signage; improvements can be made and this is now in process of being arranged.


Traffic Survey had been completed on the A225 near Franks Lane entrance and this showed an average speed of 48mph which means that the speed limit could be reduced but would it make a difference? In the meantime improved signage will be installed to see if this make a difference to traffic behaviour around this junction.


Cllr Gough will be meeting with Millen Court residents later in March.

Cllr Rushbrook mentioned that the bridge chevron signs had been damaged; Cllr McGarvey said that the Clerk could report them to Highways. ACTION: Clerk






Cllr Page reported on her visit to the Dartford Fire Station 1st February briefing from KFRS about this project. Parishes are being encouraged to have volunteers who periodically check the hydrants in the Parish (49 in HKSD) to check they are in good condition, not overgrown and not being used illegally.

Cllr Page volunteered to undertake this role and would liaise with KFRS on behalf of the Parish Council.


179         STREETLIGHTS

Energy costs for Streetlights are currently being compared by a third party on behalf of the Parish Council however figures were not received in time for this meeting. Renewal date for energy contract is 1st April so any necessary information will be disseminated by email to Parish Councillors.



A bin next to the bench nearest to Paper Mill Green in Horton Road has received numerous complaints in recent years as it is in maintained by Crabtree (Esparto Way management company) and emptied just once a fortnight. SDC bins are in close proximity and are emptied 3 times a week. The Clerk requested that the Parish Council consider the solution that the bin be removed and the SDC bin be requested to be moved into its place. After discussion this was thought to be the best course of action. ACTION: Clerk to liaise with Crabtree and SDC


181         DRIPS REPORT

Malcolm Dunn shared a monthly water report from the Environment Agency from December which was a drier than average with river levels in the South East lower that average for the time of year. The River Darent however is in good shape.

Kent reservoirs are also performing well but Bewlwater will need to be replenished above its current 71% capacity. Water providers have concerns that demand will outstrip supply in the future; rain would be welcomed to ensure supplies are sufficient.


182         SPEEDWATCH

The Clerk reported that from the initial 5 volunteers 2 had shown interest in signing up; the Group has been registered with Kent Police who have offered £1000 match funding to buy own Speedwatch equipment however with the group slow to develop the deadline for this funding will be passed.


Cllr Mitchell suggested that a recruitment drive could help at St Georges Day and asked if equipment could be brought along on the day and sign up taken. PCSO advocated the Speedwatch as a great initiative that does have an impact on local behaviour.


183         FIREWORKS

Pheonix Fireworks have advised that the cost of fireworks has rocketed by 10% following Brexit and changes to production plants in China. The cost of a like for like display this year will be £1375 against £1250.


Cllr Moyle proposed that the increase in cost be paid as this is a very popular local event Cllr House seconded and all voted unanimously in favour.




184         OFFICE IT

With 2 members of staff in the office a lap top computer would ensure that both can work at the same time; it would also be an asset to be able to use for presentations or in meetings. Outline costs had been received however Cllr House, Stead and Rushbrook will look into what is available and advise the Clerk accordingly.

Cllr Mitchell proposed a budget of £750 Cllr Blackamore seconded and this was voted in favour unanimously.


185         DISPLAY SYSTEM

The ROS Committee had discussed how to present Heathside and Playground proposals at St Georges Day and requested a small budget for printing etc. Cllr Stewart has been able to borrow a display system from his workplace; Cllr House suggested that cartridge roller banners could be purchased for around £35 each.


Cllr Mitchell suggested that this be covered by the Office Supplies budget which the Clerk agreed would be adequate.


186         BANKING

Following issues with customer service at the current bank, the Assistant Clerk had investigated other banking options, however after discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of several competitors the preference was to stay with the current bank.


With the Assistant Clerk taking on financial admin duties it was suggested that she is also added as a signatory for admin purposes the same as the Clerk. Cllr Wilson proposed this and Cllr House seconded; all voted in favour.

RESOLVED that Dawn McFall be added as a signatory to the Parish Council’s Bank mandate for administration purposes.



Schedule Of Accounts

RESOLVED that the schedule of accounts, as submitted, be approved and payments made accordingly.


Cllr McGarvey advised that the spend limit under sec137 has been set at £7.47 per elector in the Parish.


188      PLANNING


Old Dean Bottom Farm

Dean Bottom

South Darenth DA4 9JX

Erection of a detached oak-framed 2 bay carport structure with log store





Garden Cottage

Franks Hall, Franks Lane

Horton Kirby DA4 9JJ

Minor Material Amendment to SE/15/01525/FUL for the proposed demolition of existing Gardeners Cottage and two outbuildings and replacement with a new Gardeners Cottage including a subterranean basement to show replacement of the timber cladding with stone cladding, alterations to fenestration, removal of the PV tiles from South Elevation.


OBJECTION: Material change to the external cladding and removal of PV tiles; the previous design was preferred as more in keeping with the setting and stronger green credentials were preferred as mitigating impact on environment. By changing these elements the basis of the original planning permission is being eroded.



Cllr Willson reported activity on villages facebook. Cllr Stewart had reported the successful Litter Pick held on 5th March as receiving positive response.

Cllr Moyle reported that Westminster field is being kept free of litter by the football club.

Cllr House said that flytipping was covered on Radio Kent by KALC.

Cllr Stead has the log in details for website and will look at updating it.



Monday 3rd April 2017


The meeting closed at 9.20pm