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The Community Centre, High Street, Lower Halling, Rochester, Kent ME2 1BS
Telephone & Fax (01634) 241551 Clerk: Mr W R Swan Assistant: Trudi Smith
Halling Parish Council
[ DRAFT MINUTES - to be confirmed at next meeting ]
Minutes of Halling Parish Council held on 10th July 2013 at the Community Centre
Norman Godding (NG), Daryl Palmer (DP), Sally Brady (SB), Richard Thorne (RT) and Kevyn Wightman (KW)
Bill Swan - Clerk (WS), 8 members of the public. Sgt Henshaw and PCSO Alan Hunter.
The meeting started with Parishioners’ Questions at 7.30 pm.
Among the points raised were:
Bishops Palace and anti-social behaviour
State of Halling Cemetery.
Consultation of residents regarding purchase by HPC of old fire station.
The disarray in HPC and its communication with residents
Trevor Reynolds – on holiday. Approved.
2. Minutes of the last meeting
It was proposed by DP that the Minutes of the June meeting be accepted subject to the following amendment: item 14 – that HPC be deleted from line 1 of the second paragraph. This was seconded by HW and agreed unanimously. The Chairman duly signed them as amended.
3. Matters Arising
MJ – item 9. Reminded that the cost of adverts in Halling View must be reviewed by TR, LH and the Clerk as agreed.
4. Notification of Any Other Business (exchange of information)
NG – 1 item: WS – 1 item; DP – 1 item; MJ – 5 items.
5. Co-option of new Member - held over
Sgt Andy Henshaw and PCSO Alan Hunter attended.
PCSO Hunter gave an update on the gray van parked on the pavement in Kent Road. He has spoken to the owner and it has been moved. He also said that an application fro more yellow lines in that area has been taken on board by the authorities.
He has spoken to residents about the anti-social behaviour at Bishops Palace. He asked for the Parish Council’s support in requesting that the tunnel be bricked up by Medway Council as he considered that this would reduce the problems by 50% in reply to a question by MJ. There was unanimous support for the tunnel to be bricked up.
Sgt Henshaw gave out details of crimes in the locality and said that 2 lads had been arrested in Maidstone regarding recent burglaries and there had been none since.
7. Disclosure of Pecuniary and/or Prejudicial interests
The Clerk handed round the NALC notes pointing out the obligations of Members under the Localism Act 2011. No interest was declared by any Members present. CH said that HPC members who sit on the Fun Weekend Committee have a prejudicial interest and cannot vote on any resolution concerning the FW committee in Council. CH further said that it should be best practice for these Members to declare an interest. DP, RT, HW and NG then declared a DPI as regarding the FW Committee.
8. Obligations under Code of Conduct and Standing Orders.
The Clerk draw Members’ attention to the Code of Conduct and Standing Orders which had previously been sent to Members.
9. Responsibility for personal emails as regard defamation and slander.
The Clerk said that the Insurance companies covering Parish Councils have become very concerned about this and have paying out large sums of money in claims. The Insurance companies do not always meet the claims in full which means that Parish Councils have to increase their precepts to cover this.
10. Request by Councillor Palmer for statement from the Chairman with regards to his actions and the press statement following the last meeting, and the Parish Council to discuss this and item 11 – response by Chairman with regard to recent emails by HW, DP and TR.
The Chairman said that he will deal with these 2 items together as follows:
After the last meeting, there were complaints from residents. MJ tipped off the press as he wished to highlight the interest of the public in HPC and particularly in regards to meetings not being open to the public. On the back of this the Vice-Chair resigned. At no time did he coerce the Vice Chair into issuing the statement. MJ does try to examine himself as suggested by another Councillor. DP thanked MJ for his statement. He feels that these meetings should continue and that is why he voted against the motion. CH again said that all meetings should be in public as per Standing Orders. This should include Strategy Meetings.
12. Proposal to make a donation to the School Council fundraising for Gambia.
MJ declared a prejudicial interest as a school governor. He did not leave the meeting due to a broken leg.
DP proposed that a donation of £50 be made by HPC, seconded by KW. All agreed apart from MJ who took no part.
13. Halling Fire Station – to receive the draft business plan and consider the purchase.
DP read out his feasibility study which had been sent to Members in advance. MJ then asked Members if they had any questions:
CH said he wanted time to study this but raised the following questions at the meeting:
It is a very big project and he wishes HPC to be fair to the public.
There is no independent valuation
There are no insurance figures
There are no maintenance costs
There are no wages costs for caretakers, cleaners etc
There are no costs for the actual purchase
There are no costs for altering the building for use as envisaged in the feasibility study.
What would be the impact on the Community Centre and Jubilee Hall if this goes ahead.
SB said she backed up CH on this and said that HPC needs a proper business plan. CH said that HPC must consult the Village and pointed out that a property should never be bought based on emotion bearing in mind the closure of the Fire Station last year. It needs to be proved that the project is viable.
DP said that he could not commit HPC money on a survey.
MJ asked if DP could get an idea of how long KF&RS is prepared to wait. WS to write
MJ asked if anyone could help DP, SB said that she is prepared to help.
14 FW13 – report on progress. No report
15 FW11 and FW12 presentation of reports to HPC
DP said that because of the time spent on HFS feasibility study he had not been able to do these.
16. Proposal that HPC request in writing to the Fun Weekend Committee the FW11 and FW12
are audited by registered FCCA accountants
DP, RT, HW and NG left the meeting.
It was proposed by MJ, seconded by SB that this be approved. All agreed.
17. Proposal to hold Fun Weekend Committee to their own written constitution
DP, RT, HW and NG left the meeting.
It was proposed by MJ, seconded by CH, that this be adopted. All agreed.
18. Proposal that unless Fun Weekend Committee present their accounts to HPC by the end of December of the year to which they pertain, HPC will allocate no funds in the following year.
DP, RT, HW and NG left the meeting.
It was proposed by MJ, seconded by SB, that this be adopted. All agreed.
DP, RT, HW and NG then re-entered the meeting.
19. Proposal that HPC invites the Monitoring Officer to attend consultation in light of recent events.
There was no seconder so motion lost.
20. Proposal that HPC write to Medway Council regarding the deplorable record of breakdowns on Arriva route 653
The Clerk was instructed to send an appropriate letter to both Medway Council and Arriva.
21. Planning and Development – report by NG
NG that he has visited 79 Essex Road and will visit 1 Hostier Close and report back.
The Clerk passed round the spreadsheet and it was noted that the claim by HPC against Quadron for the damage to the bench in the Lower Rec had been met.
It was proposed by CH, seconded by HW, that the payments as listed be ratified. All agreed.
24. Any Other Business
The Clerk asked if consideration could be given to he and the Assistant Clerk being reimbursed
their fees to join the Society of Local Council Clerks amounting to £176 in total. 90% of Parish Councils agree to this.
NG – he has received a complaint that trees in the Lower rec are pushing over fencing.
RT – raised the question of the Clerk’s appraisal. MJ said that this has been completed but he was taking advice if it is necessary to let all Members have a copy.
MJ has received a letter from the Medway Valley Rail Partnership re a Music Train coming from Maidstone West to Strood on 4th August.
He read out a letter from a resident in Upper Halling concerning the missing seat in Chapel Lane and a litter bin at the end of Meadow Crescent wher it meets Chapel Lane
The Life Buoy at the River Front has disappeared. The Clerk has reported this and will chase up
MJ then brought up the statement to the press by TR. He draw HPC’s attention to TR’s email of 31st August 2012. TR blatantly lied to the press in saying that ”there is no way that the parish Council will be taking decisions behind the public’s back. We never have done and we never will.” DP said that this should have not been brought up as TR is not at the meeting.
TR, LH, WS
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12 September, 2013
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