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Vikki Stancombe, the previous clerk. Footpath and hedge The vegetation along the permissive footpath had grown. KCC would not maintain the hedge so the parish council needed to buy a strimmer or have a maintenance contract. Itwas agreed to seek a quotation for maintenance.


Staplehurst


Chairman Cllr John Perry advised that due to his Maidstone Council responsibilities including his role as a cabinet member, he felt itwould be prudent to stand down as chairman of the parish council and from its planning commiee aer the end of August. Street lights Several residents spoke about the importance of two lights to users of Chapel Lane and lack of consultation by the parish council when it decided to decommission them. Some councillors expressed views about the lights and regrets for failings in consultation. Itwas agreed to halt the decommissioning of the two lights in Chapel Lane while other optionswere investigated. Library surgery Two residents had discussed solar farms. Parish electionsAcourse of action ahead of the parish council elections in 2015was discussed to encourage interest in serving as a member.An information eveningwas suggested. Street cleaning The chairman had received a number of comments about rubbish on rural roads. Other parisheswould be approached to ascertain what, if anything, they did about the problem. Parking Posts had been installed on Bell Lane verges by Maidstone Council parking operations. Sign Councillors noted the request from Kent Highways to a resident to cut back a tree obscuring a road sign on High Street opposite the end of Chapel Lane. They felt that the sign had been poorly located and served no useful purpose and agreed to ask Kent Highways to reconsider its request and the signs in the vicinity. Sainsbury’sAresident asked about progress on the Sainsbury’s projects and was advised that the factory and petrol stationwere targeted for completion this year. The factory must be finished before the mainwork on the supermarket could begin.


Suon Valence


Neighbourhood plan Itwas agreed that the clerk’s hours be increased to cover the hours spent on the neighbourhood plan, funded by the neighbourhood plan budget. The clerkwould liaise between the steering group and the parish council. Local planArecorded delivery leer had been sent to Maidstone Council chief executive Alison Broom regarding the plan to designate Suon Valence as a larger village. War memorial play area The monthly check had shown everything satisfactory or low risk. The clerk had met with the handyman to discuss small repairs. Cllr Colemanwas progressingweekly checks. Sports field There had been a request from a nine-a-side team to play on Sunday mornings. The Star reserveswere leaving and the groundsman believed therewas room for the new team. Thiswas


approved.Akickfit group had asked to use the field on a Thursday evening for eight weeks. Thiswas also approved. Tennis hut Cllr Gordon Dentwas to carry out a risk assessment. Harbour play area The monthly check had shown everything to be satisfactory or low risk. Peter Colemanwas carrying out the weekly checks. The handymanwas to look at the pole at the entrance to the field. The estimate for repairs following the annual report was £3,592 plus VAT. Roads Patching was being carried out along Chartway Street. Patching at the junction with the A274was still to be completed. Vegetation Suon Valence Hill had been cut back and cleared, as had the vegetation outside the school. An order had been raised regarding the brambles along South Lane and the natural spring on Rectory Lane.


Drainage Gullieswere blocked on Suon Road outside Rectory Farm, which had been reported.Adrainage engineer was on the case at PloughWents Road. Speedwatch Training was needed for five volunteers. Lighting Cllr Armstrongwas to report on street lighting charges. Summer fair The Jubilee commiee raised £202. The chairman said that without more help next year the parish councilwould not be able to run a fete. Grass cuing Figures had been received from PWaring for 2014/15 and showed an increase of 2.04%. The sundialwas said to be overgrown at Bowhalls. AllotmentsAdog had been caught in a snare at Bowhalls allotments. Some allotment holders responded that the dog should have been on a lead. Allotment holderswere told to remove snares.A leaking tap had been repaired. Crime report There had been a burglary and a case of criminal damage in North Street.


West Farleigh


Speed limitAresident spoke of concerns about the speed limit along Lower Road. This had resulted in theWest Farleigh Road Action Group being reformed and it had obtained 300 signatures on a petition. Borough Cllr Brian Mortimer and KCC Cllr Paulina Stockell expressed support and MP Helen Grant would be asking the county council to look into the issues fully. The petition would be presented to the Joint Transportation Board in September. Police maers There had been one crime reported – an assault. Highways Flooding issues in Teston Lane had been investigated and it was due to be resurfaced by September. The camber in Lower Roadwas within acceptable limits and the main problemwas due to driver behaviour. It might be possible to add a Slow/Camber warning sign. Bulbs Five hundred daffodil bulbs up to a cost of £100would be purchased to plant under the trees on the village green. Posts Cllr Stockellwould fund the installation of the posts outside the Thatched Coage in Heath Road. Teston Bridge The width restrictionwas discussed as Cllr Martin had witnessed 37 lorries driving over the bridge in 2.5 hours. Itwas suggested that Kent Highways be invited to aend the police forum to clarify


who is responsible for enforcement of the restriction. Fly-posting Cllr Merri asked that a leer be sent to farms in the area about the PYO signs whichwere being stuck on pallets and that Dandelion Time be asked to remove signs from around the village whichwere advertising an event in June. Clerk’s report The clerk reported on issues relating toWyngarth Farm and the response received from the landowners. Cllr Merri requested the owner be informed that a gun had been seen and pellets had been found in a garden. Nuisance noise diaries had been circulated for residents to complete if they made a noise-related complaint. Hours Itwas agreed to increase the clerk’s hours by three to 15 aweek.


Yalding


Police maers PCSO Nicola Morris reported a repeat crime venue in Medway View, Smithers Lane, involving damage and burglary. Investigationwas ongoing and a man had been arrested. FootpathAbudget of £5,000 had been agreed to improve the Kintons footpath to the High Street.Atarget date of the start of the new school year in Septemberwas set. Lees pony fieldAcale grid and height restrictionwould be fied at the entrance/exit to the car park aswell as a grid at the village end of The Lees, with a budget of up to £5,000. Website Photographs of councillorswould be put on the website. Lier bin The lier bin at The Anchor opposite the car park had been resited. Maidstone Council had advised that a dual bin had been designed and a prototype was being made. Thiswould then be shown to four parishes including Yalding for comment. Lees car park The tenant had asked permission to replace one of thewooden benches with a recycled plastic bench. Councillors said only awooden bench would be acceptable, but in a different location. The existing benches had been placed to form a paern with the tree planting. The tenant aended the meeting to appeal this and the itemwould be placed on the next meeting agenda.Aleer would be sent to tenants reiterating their responsibilities. Christmas tree The electricity supply to Laddingford Christmas treewas damaged in the flood.Aquote to repair itwould be sought. Flooding Thewelcome packwould be updated to include flood information. The chairmanwould ask Maidstone Council for an assurance that all flood risk assessments accompanying planning applications took into account the winter floods. The Fen Three cale had been purchased and another one or twowere needed. ScoutsAtwo-seat canoe costing £758 would be donated to the Scout group in thanks for its support during the floods. BollardAresident of Maidstone who commutes to TunbridgeWells via Yalding had asked for the bollard outside the library to be removed. The clerkwould reply stating that it was there to protect pedestrians from the large volume of commuters who pass through daily and to suggest that an alternative route via the A26 might be more appropriate for her.


Maidstone South August 2014 47


Parish Councils


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