The monthly meeting of the Council took place on 30th September.
Apologies for absence had been received from Mrs Geliot, Mrs Martin, Mr Elliott and Mr Bobbin. Present were the Chairman, with Mrs Taylor, Mr Chapman, Mr Morsman, Mr Bowles, two members of the public and the Clerk.
The minutes of the monthly meeting were signed as a true record.
Matters arising: the unsafe state of the footpath in the Fostall area is in hand. One member of the public present considered that the builder’s spoil piled alongside the path could become dangerous in winter. The lady was assured that this had been reported to the Footpaths Officer of the County. Regarding the dog faeces bin, rather than wait for Swale Borough Council to relocate it, the Parish Council had overseen the task of putting it on the village playing field. The Clerk said that he had informed the owners of potentially dangerous trees adjacent to the Bull Lane crossroads and Mr Morsman confirmed that remedial work had started on them. It now transpires that the land in question is within the Boughton boundary, as is all of the land on the road from the crossroads to the Duke of Kent. This also affects another item from the August agenda pertaining to noise emanating from Farming World. Enquiries made of the Boughton Parish Council Clerk reveal that all of the Farming World complex is within Boughton’s boundaries. Any further complaints as to noise from the site should be directed to them. Boughton’s Clerk said no complaints had ever been made by Boughton residents about Farming World, but they did complain about noise from Mount Ephraim’s musical concerts and fireworks displays.
Reports: Mr Morsman said that he was prepared to undertake a survey of the village’s roads, to determine where signage is missing or damaged. Mr Chapman said that car parking in the old school area was still a huge problem, with farmers and fruit wholesalers unable to negotiate the parked cars. The Chairman said that the police were practically powerless to intervene, but she has obtained a telephone number – 01795 433004 – where two Police Support Officers may be able to help. It was also reported that there appeared to be a hairdressing business operating from a private house in the old school building complex. This would be reported.
The Clerk said that the latest bank statement of the Council’s assets agreed with the cash book records. The Audit Commission had at last released the final papers, and the Commission had suggested that the Council’s Fidelity Assurance Guarantee should be increased and that the Precept shows that year end balances appear to be low. Research shows that year end bank balances over the past five years represent an average of 12 per cent over balances at the beginning of the year. The Council’s balances are kept in a current account; obviously gaining no interest; to increase this sum further would represent financial folly. Hernhill’s Councillors are careful, and frugal, in spending Council Tax payers’ money, a worthwhile attitude which could well be followed nationally. The Clerk is to write a suitable letter.
A letter has been received from Bill Ronan, Community Liaison Officer for Mr Bowles, asking for all Parish Councils to send delegates to a meeting to be arranged in October or November. Such meetings are useful for discussing a wide range of subjects, and at least one Councillor from Hernhill will attend.
Planning applications: no adverse comments were made on an application for a rear extension at Pear Tree Cottage, Dargate. Mr Bowles will make enquiries re plans for alterations at Belvedere Farm, where an application has been made for a garage, and for conversions from a storeroom to a bathroom and bedrooms.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.00pm.
Read the whole Hernhill News for September here