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downsmail.co.uk Broomfield and Kingswood


Lenham Road Residents on the Lenham Road will have superfast broadband in the new year. The 30mph speed limit will also be installed between the Sports Field and just beyond Wents Garage and down Ulcombe Hill.


Budget consultation Just under 2,500 responses had been received, exceeding the 1,300 received last year. Difficult decisions would have to be made. Dog mess Cllr Davies said this had been a problem in the sports field for many years. Only parts of the field, ie the current and former play areas, were included in the public spaces protection order. The parish council could put in place their own order covering the rest of the field, but the problem would be enforcement. It was agreed the clerk should advertise the details of the waste crime team officer in the Parish News and on the website. Pre-school Members considered the request from the Kingswood Pre-school Committee and staff for a contribution toward the annual rent for the village hall. It was agreed to contribute half of the cost (£3,300) out of parish council grants. Audit Cllr Pattison agreed to undertake a half-year internal audit and it was noted that this would need to take place once people are able to meet indoors. Community building The quote from Cotaplan for a community building and food outlet in the sports field was noted and it was agreed that Cllrs Pink, Pattison and Davies would jointly lead on this project. The clerk would chase Kingswell Buildings and ARCK and Cllr Pink would contact the university and ask them to come out and look at the grounds. CCTV Councillors were updated on the advice received from Maidstone Borough Council’s tree officer, namely that there is no law against digging a trench to bring services into the field, providing there are no protected trees in the way. Cllr Pink was asked to get final costs for bringing the services in. Handyman The handyman had replaced a missing bolt on the junior multi-play, and the steering wheel and dashboard on the fun buggy. He was still waiting for replacement seats for the cracked toddler swing and the de-laminating rubber matting under the roundabout was being monitored. Fencing Another quote had been sought for 70m of fencing at the Sports Field, rather than 140m. A further quote is still needed. It was noted that the work could not reasonably take place until the spring – the handyman would make good the broken fencing in the meantime. Crime figures In October, there had been two non-residential burglaries, two assaults and two cases of vandalism. Resignation Cllr Hoy’s resignation was accepted and it was noted with sincere regret that Cllr Hoy had subsequently


died. It was agreed to co-opt Katherine Ross onto the parish council. Litter competition The Rev Mark Pavey and Graffiti Kings (who did the mural on the house on the corner of Whitehall Drive) had both agreed to be judges.


Marden


Crime report Four crimes had been reported: one case of criminal damage; one theft from a vehicle; one theft and one case of interference with a vehicle. Five reports of antisocial behaviour had been received. The community policing team had been tasked to the area and an antisocial behaviour car had been in the village most evenings and this would continue throughout November. A local person had been arrested following an assault in the village. Community Payback The team was interested in coming to Marden to help with work around the village. A list of possible things to be undertaken was currently being put together. Allotments An email from Redrow had been circulated to members. Members reiterated that the car parking should not be taken on and to respond to this effect to Redrow. Councillors asked the clerk to update the Allotment Association accordingly. CCTV The clerk had spoken to the Golding Homes Officer about the installation of a CCTV camera on one of their properties overlooking the playing field. Golding Homes had agreed in principle, but the parish council would need to look into installing a separate meter/electricity supply. Cllr Barker asked if solar power could be used and the clerk would speak with the contractor. Fees The clerk requested that members consider keeping the fees the same for the cemetery, play scheme and open spaces. This was agreed. Access road The clerk reported to the meeting that contact had been made with Maidstone Borough Council enforcement team regarding the new access road between South Road and Russet Grove. Following receipt of photographs from Cllr Newton, this was now being investigated and contact would be made with the developers.


Staplehurst


Jubilee Playing Field The acting clerk had received a draft updated maintenance agreement from the solicitors, who would need to do some additional work to conclude the agreement. It was agreed to increase the budget from £500 to £750. Tree inspection It was agreed to spend £300 on a walk-over tree survey by an arboricultural consultant. Remembrance It was agreed to support a request for a “Lest we Forget” figure next to the commemorative bench in


Fitzgerald Close. An airman was suggested because Sgt Fitzgerald had served in the RAF. Bus shelter Regarding the proposal from Sainsbury’s to replace the parish council- owned bus shelter on the eastern side of Station Road, it was noted that the supermarket had suggested a specification which matched that of the bus shelter on the opposite side of Station Road, which is owned by Maidstone Borough Council. It was agreed that it would make sense for both the bus shelters to have the same owners and to propose that MBC take on responsibility for the new shelter. It was further agreed to ask that the shelter be equipped with side panels to offer protection from the weather. Wimpey Field After some discussion, it was agreed to leave the benches in situ and do as much as possible to secure them. CCTV The recorder at Surrenden Field needed to be replaced. The expenditure of £379.80, plus VAT, was agreed. Signs MBC had quoted a price of £961.25 to provide and install four signs at Ashdown’s Walk and Doutrepont’s Walk (higher than the initial estimate of £600). The acting clerk had sought an explanation. Chestnut Avenue BT Openreach wished to lay a duct under parish council-owned land between High Street and Chestnut Avenue and would make good any damage. The request was agreed. New clerk The acting clerk welcomed Alison Smith as the new parish clerk and thanked councillors and the parish office team for their support over the years. Community Payback Cllr Spearink reported that in recent weeks there had been fewer members in the visiting Community Payback teams, which he had taken up with the central office. For the latest visit, the numbers had returned to the normal level. Workshop facility Cllr Spearink said work on setting up and fitting out the workshop had been completed. Expenditure had amounted to £423. Chairman’s report The chairman welcomed clerk Alison Smith and thanked the retiring clerk Mick Westwood. The chairman had written to MP Helen Grant about the Planning White Paper and the Local Plan and he was seeking a meeting with her about drainage issues at Hen & Duckhurst Farm.


Surrenden Playing Field The community enhancement group was looking into laying a new path, replacing the pavilion and installing adult gym equipment. COVID-19 help team Cllr Castro said the team had contacted 64 residents who had received a number of support interventions during the first lockdown. Thirty residents needed help this time and they had been individually matched with a like number of volunteers. The main area of need was for collection of prescriptions.


37


Parish Councils


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