Present: Mark Joy (MJ) in Chair, Chris Herbert (CH), Richard Thorne (RT), Trevor Reynolds (TR), Daryl Palmer (DP) and Norman Godding (NG).
Bill Swan Clerk (WS), 22 members of the public
Sally Brady, Kevyn Wightman and Les Hitchcock.
2. Minutes of last meeting
It was proposed by MJ, seconded by RT that the minutes of the meetings on 10th July, 31st July and 14th August 2013 should be adopted. All agreed and MJ duly signed them.
3. Matters Arising
RT said that on 14th August he queried the validity of Sally Brady voting for herself as Vice- Chair and the Clerk’s response was that this was in order.
4. Disclosure of Pecuniary and/or Prejudicial Interests
CH declared a DPI in item 10. RT declared a PI in items 13 & 16; DP declared a PI in items 13 & 17; TR declared an interest in items 13 & 17 and NG declared a PI in items 13 & 14.
5. Any Other Business
TR’s proposal that Councillors must give details of items being raised under AOB so that the Council may rule on their inclusion. This was seconded by DP and carried with 2 abstentions.
Clerk – 1 item on Bishops Palace and 1 on Assistant Clerk’s apologies.
6. Co-option of new Member for North Ward
MJ said that as there was only one applicant, Matthew Fearn, for the vacancy the Parish Council is obliged to accept it. MF took his place and signed the Declaration book.
7. Co-option of new Member for Upper Ward
The Parish Council has had two applications, one from Jim Sutherland and the other from Jenny Robinson. On a show of hands Jenny Robinson was elected, took her place and signed the declaration book.
8. Appointment of Councillors to outside bodies
It was agreed that SB as Vice-Chair should join the Chairman on Halling Association and JR volunteered to act as Representative on the Rural Liaison Committee. Nobody was appointed to the KALC Local Group.
9. To confirm the office opening hours at Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings from 9.30 to 12 noon.
Proposed by TR that this be accepted, seconded by CH. Agreed unanimously.
10. Proposal by Sally Brady to move Clerks to NJC pay scales in line with advice from NALC
CH left the room. MJ proposed this, seconded by TR, provided that it did not have too great an effect on the wages budget. Agreed unanimously.
11. Halling Fire Station – to decided subject to contract, structural survey and valuation, whether to purchase the former Fire Station and site
DP proposed that this be investigated further and TR said that there are stringent provisions pertaining to any purchase. MF asked where the business plan is. MJ said that KFRS want an answer by 30th September 2013 so a decision must be made. MF asked what the valuation is. CH said that he cannot support any purchase without a proper business plan being presented to HPC first and he has been asking for one for over a year. MF said why has no business plan been done.
It was then proposed by DP, seconded by TR, that HPC go ahead with the purchase. A vote was taken with DP, TR and RT in favour and MF, CH and NG against. JR and MJ abstained. MJ stated that as Chairman he would not use his casting vote and would adjourn item for at least two weeks. JR said that if HPC said no to the purchase KFRS would have to take time to look for another buyer so it might be possible to ask KFRS for another extension. Agreed that the Clerk will approach KFRS accordingly. CH said that he has been in contact with Hicks of Snodland to arrange the necessary survey .
12. Recreation Ground - proposal by Daryl Palmer for Clerks to apply for funding and gain support from local groups/schools for the application, to provide gym equipment in the Recreation Ground as displayed at the Funday. Also Richard Thorne proposed a vote of thanks to the Assistant Clerk, Trudi Smith, for organising the use of the equipment to coincide with the Funday.
This was seconded by TR and all agreed.
13. To receive and vote upon the acceptability of FW11 and FW12 accounts. Failing the accounts being acceptable or they are not received, discuss and decide upon the action to be taken by the Council.
TR, RT and DP left the room. MJ read out a statement by DP giving reasons why the accounts were not still forthcoming. MJ said that as the Committee has had public money, he proposed that the accounts be audited by HPC’s internal auditor. If they refuse or anything untoward is found, it will be passed on to the relevant authorities and that no funds be allowed to be drawn by Fun Committee until further notice. This was seconded by CH and agreed unanimously.
13. FW13 – Proposal by Trevor Reynolds that Hayley Winter and her team be congratulated and thanked on behalf of the Parish for another excellent FW celebration.
14. Procedure for making payments from the Parish Council. Accountability of Councillors with regards to financial issues of the Parish Council without approval at full Parish Council meetings.
MJ introduced this item and stated that he has been advised that Councillors who promise payments that are not approved, become personally liable for any financial loss to the Council.
16. Planning & Development – report by Portfolio Holder Norman Godding on applications for the following: MC/13/1531–114 High Street; MC/13/1527–210 High Street; MC/13/2080 – 15 Vicarage Road single storey side extension MC/13/1774 – land between 47 & 51 Rochester Road – erection of 4 bed house.
RT declared an interest in MC/13/1527.
There were no objections to MC/13/1527; MC/13/2080 and MC/13/1527. HPC would have objected to MC/13/1531 but has been informed that the application has now been withdrawn.
17. To discuss and agree on future arrangements for the print setting and printing of the Parish Magazine. Also to discuss and agree upon the structure of a committee to manage and edit the Parish Magazine. Also to rename the Parish Magazine.
TR and DP left the room.
CH introduced this item as follows:
1. He has obtained a quote for printing which is 31% less than currently paid out and considers that 3 quotes should be obtained in future.
2. Editorial – a committee of HPC is needed to do the magazine. MJ suggested setting up a sub-committee of the Parish Council involving people from outside HPC. It should include the Clerk.
It was proposed by CH, seconded by JR, to go ahead with this. All agreed. JR proposed, seconded by CH, that the school be asked to come up with a new logo and name. DP asked why a new name was needed as it had been set up by Bob Smith and should remain so. All agreed with RT abstaining.
17. To discuss means of communication to parishioners and approve methods of doing so
MJ said that although notice boards are good for pedestrians, there are now more modern methods of communicating with the public. It was proposed by MJ, seconded by CH, that HPC have a dedicated official Facebook page and to send emails to residents who give their names to HPC through the website. All agreed.
It was proposed by DP, seconded by CH, that the payments as listed be approved.
20. Any Other Business
The Clerk reminded Members of the working day on the Bishops Palace on 21st September as organised by Kevyn Wightman.
The Clerk then read out a letter from the Assistant Clerk giving her reasons why she feels unable to attend Parish Council meetings.
MJ apologised to Jackie Tickner for the way he dealt with her at the HFS public meeting. He also apologised to the Assistant Clerk for not stopping the allegations made against her at the same meeting.
Among the questions raised were the following:
Cars parked at top of Howlesmere Close.
Bus shelter at Walnut Tree flats
Seat in Chapel Lane
Pedestrian Crossings in High Street.
Vans parked in Vicarage Road
Are all meetings of HPC held in public.
Complacency of HPC in purchasing HFS
Confidence in HPC.