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downsmail.co.uk Downswood


Community picnic It was agreed that arrangements for a bouncy castle at the event could not go ahead. Due to Covid-19, contact details would have to be taken from one member from each party to allow ‘track and trace’. The event would not have sporting activities, but a treasure hunt with prizes was agreed. A budget of £500 was agreed for the event in its entirety. First aid kit and sanitising products would be made available. Water would not be provided this year. The clerk would ask MBC for the key to the main gate. Risk assessment to be updated to include current risks. Mallards Way In response to concerns regarding the amount of litter left at Mallards Way Park, it was agreed to buy two vinyl banners stating “Please take your litter home” for the fence by the play area and Spot Lane entrance. MBC conrmed that if they were able to deploy more bins they would do so, but they were already collecting about twice as much per week than their previous normal. The clerk would ask the litter picker to extend his route to include Mallards Park for one hour on both a Monday and Friday. If this was not possible, it was agreed that a second litter picker will be employed specically for that area. Trees A Longham Copse resident was very concerned that trees were being cut down in the eld next to her property. The clerk conrmed this was part of a request that was submitted by Savills and approved by MBC to remove diseased trees. Gazebos Cllr Cheesman’s request to borrow three parish council gazebos for an event was agreed.


East Sutton


Finger post The nger post in the verge at the junction of Brick Kiln Lane and East Sutton Road was discussed. The sign and delivery would cost £182.60. It was agreed to accept this quote. Graveyard The clerk has contacted MBC parks to ask when work would commence. Website Quotes for a new website were discussed and it was agreed to go with Hugo Fox. Verge The overgrown verge outside the church was being investigated by Kent County Council. Play areas The risk assessment and signage were approved. It was agreed to re-open the play area once signs were in place.


Langley


PCSO report The PCSO said the village hall car park was being monitored to minimise incidences of dealing and taking drugs. Abbey Woods is being monitored to minimise incidences of nuisance motorbikes. Play area Cllr Woodcock and Cllr Wright were undertaking weekly inspections of the area and it was noted that the slats on one of the benches needed attention. The service was due on the gym equipment.


Otham


Council vacancies Vicky Parker and Clint Hickmott had registered their interest in the vacancies. Ms Parker’s application was left pending, as she had stated she would not b.e present at the meeting. Following a discussion with Mr Hickmott, it was agreed to proceed with his co-option. Crime report Roof tiles and lead were taken from a property in Otham Street. After reports of off-road bikes, a police operation was set up and the issue would be monitored. Damage had been caused to a communal door in Cobnut Avenue, a window in Green Hill and a car in White Horse Lane. Antisocial behaviour had been reported in Bicknor Woods, and extra patrols of the area would be carried out. Covid-19 The meeting heard that Otham had a good community spirit with neighbours supporting each other. As far as the council was aware, everyone that needed help received it. It was decided to re-open the play area in accordance with government guidelines. Annual subscriptions It was agreed to renew the subscriptions to KALC (£347.28) and the CPRE (£36). Insurance policy It was agreed to renew the policy Came & Co on a three-year basis at £313.84 per year. Annual meeting The parish council was not required to hold an AGM this year. Councillors conrmed they were happy to remain as appointed in 2019 and, therefore, an AGM would not be held until May 2021. Football club The sensor at the Football Club had been reset and the lights were no longer on all night. Highways The proposal from KCC’s schemes project manager for a gateway in Green Hill was circulated and agreed. Neighbourhood plan The plan was almost ready to submit, but was waiting for MBC to review the new draft Built Environment policies in advance of the formal submission. Cllr Trench suggested that following recent developments, a section should be included for Bicknor Wood and this would be discussed with Cllr Gray. Village green The consultation on the play equipment was discussed. From the 20 responses received, 13 residents were in favour, six were against and one was undecided. The concerns of the six residents all living near the green were discussed. Some of the issues did not relate directly to the play equipment and there were concerns about parking on the private road and the green. However, with regard to the war memorial and views from the green, it was explained that the equipment would be far enough away from the memorial so as not to detract from such an important monument. The position had also been selected to ensure it did not change the view over the valley and the elds. It was agreed that the play equipment would proceed. Regarding parking, it was agreed that the existing sign warning that Stoneacre Lane is a private road was too small. The National Trust would be asked to install a larger sign. The


removable bollard on the green would be reinstalled and the damaged bollards. repaired. A budget of £350 was agreed. Parish walk Due to the current pandemic, it was agreed to defer the parish walk.


Sutton Valence


Resignation Cllr Maurice Stancombe had resigned from the parish council. MBC had been informed and a vacancy notice placed on the notice boards. Covid-19 The clerk had purchased a dispenser and hand gel for people entering the parish office. After consultation with the chair and vice-chair, the clerk cancelled the monthly Zoom charge of £11.99 and signed up for the annual reduced cost of £90.04. Southeld Stables The contract had been sent but no response had been received. The clerk had chased this. Website Having discussed the proposals, it was agreed to go with Hugo Fox. War Memorial play area An updated risk assessment on play areas had been approved. Once signage was in place, the play area could be opened. The vandalised fence had been temporarily repaired. The clerk would get quotes for a permanent repair and the village hall committee if the parish council could pay for the spare CCTV camera to be used for the play area and pavilion. Car park A quote had been received for solar lights and it was agreed to proceed. Pavilion A risk assessment was circulated and it was agreed to keep the pavilion closed. The clerk would ensure that power in the pavilion was turned off. Harbour play area A risk assessment was approved and it was agreed to re-open the area once signage was in place. Allotments The allotment holder at Bowhalls – number 5 – would like the allotment split. This was agreed, with the new tenant paying for the fencing. Bonres were banned during to the warm weather. Village Hall A risk assessment on the toilets was approved. The clerk had received a quote for £195 to repair the door and put in place a metal angle at the lock point. It was agreed to go ahead.


Yalding


Play areas Both play areas were open, based on Maidstone Borough Council’s risk assessment. Feedback on the new equipment at Jubilee Field was positive. It had been part-funded by MBC and opened by Maidstone mayor, Cllr Marion Ring. Lees picnic area This was open, along with the toilets. The barrier was working well with one or two teething issues. Covid-19 It was agreed to cancel the parish picnic and the Yuletide market in light of Covid-19 advice. Remembrance Day It was agreed to hold a virtual meeting with the church to put in place contingency measures, should Government advice be that gatherings of over 30 are still banned.


33


Parish Councils


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