January 2015 Minutes




Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 19th January 2015                                                                 

at 7.30pm in the Church Room, St John the Baptist Church , Mersham


The Chairman welcomed Mr Brendan Chilton, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Ashford, who had kindly offered to speak about the development proposals for Sevington. Mr Chilton set out his thoughts about the current proposals and his view of the scale and type of developments he felt appropriate for Ashford. There was a general discussion and a question and answer session. The meeting thanked Mr Chilton for attending the meeting


Action by


Present:                Cllrs Fletcher (in the Chair), Hanson, Murphy, Oakley-Hills, Smithers, Stewart, Turley, Wells & Whitehead


In attendance:     Mr G Eaton, Clerk to the Council, ABC Cllr Bartlett and one member of the public


1. Apologies for absence

Apologies were received from Cllr Phelan, ABC Cllr Davey, PCSO Huckstepp and Community Warden G Kingston


2. Declarations of Councillor’s interests regarding items on the Agenda

There were no declaration of Cllrs interests regarding items on the Agenda


3. ABC Cllrs Reports & PCSO & Community Warden’s Report

The Clerk read a brief report from PCSO Huckstepp stating that there had been two reported crimes

ABC Cllr Bartlett spoke about the Local Needs Housing application, the Finberry development and the Boundary Commission Review.



4. Public discussion

Mr Padraig Herlihy, Chairman of Mersham Community Fund, gave an interesting presentation regarding the Mersham Community Fund which runs the Village Fete and henceforth will run other community events to fundraise





Action by

5. To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 17th November 2014

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 17th November 2014 were approved and signed


6. Matters arising

Cllr Fletcher reported that contracts relating to the ‘Behind the Hedge Footpath’ in Mersham had been exchanged and contractors appointed. Cllr Fletcher also reported that he had made a grant application of £7500 to KCC for funding towards the footpath

Cllr Fletcher provided a brief update on the Village Handyman scheme – the scheme was still being worked up and whilst Mersham & Sevington Parish Council had expressed an interest no firm commitments had been given

After a discussion it was agreed that Cllrs Stewart, Hanson and Turley would kindly liaise and set up the speed sign


7. To discuss correspondence received

Letter received from Local Government Boundary Commission re Electoral Review of KCC – Clerk to write to ABC suggesting that the Finberry development is within one Parish Council only – either Mersham & Sevington or Kingsnorth (not split between both Parishes)


Agenda received from KALC re Ashford Area Committee meeting to be held on 21st January 2015

Email received from ABC re Street Cleansing Grant – Clerk to supply the information required


Minutes received from KALC re Ashford Area Committee Meeting held on 19th November 2014

Email received from ABC Leader re Ashford Town Centre Vitality

Emails re possible breaches of planning regulations in Blind Lane, Mersham

Hiring agreement for Church Room received from Mersham PCC

Latest news from ABC received from ABC Cllr Bartlett

Email received from ABC re Rest Centre (Mersham Village Hall) – Cllr Wells kindly offered to check information and liaise with the Clerk

Cllr Wells & Clerk

Letter received from ABC re Parish Forum to be held on 28th January 2015

Letter received from Lord Lieutenant of Kent re Civic Service on 10th March 2015


8. To consider Finance Matters:

A. Accounts for Payment

The Following accounts were approved for payment:

Cheque No 501638, Mr. B Branson, Jan salary                                                          100.88

Cheque No 501639, Mr. I King, Jan salary                                                                     83.85

Cheque No 501636, Mr. G Eaton, Jan salary                                                              369.96


Action by

Cheque No 501637, Countrywide Grounds Maintenance                                       280.00

Cheque No 501640, Inland Revenue, Clerks tax                                                        471.60


B Finance Report

The Clerk circulated the Finance Report for the period 1st April – 31st Dec 2014 which was considered and discussed. The Report was approved


C Precept Requirement 2015-2016

The Clerk circulated draft figures relating to the Precept Requirement for 2015-2016. The figures were considered and discussed. It was agreed to increase the Precept by 6% (from £15000 to £15900). Clerk to notify ABC



9. To consider Planning Matters

A To consider new planning applications

14/01543                                                                         Change of use from Sui Generis to Class B8 (Storage)

                                                                                           Unit 7 Ashford Trade Centre, Orbital Park

There was no objection to this application


15/00029                                                                          Local Needs Housing

                                                                                            Bower Farm, Bower Road, Mersham

There was no objection to this application


B Planning Application Refused

12/00834/835                                                                Ransley House, Kingsford Street

                                                                                          2 storey extension


C Local Needs Housing

After a brief discussion about the planning application the Clerk was asked to write to Alison Thompson, English Rural Housing, about the allocation of housing and to ask if applicants need to be on the Council’s housing waiting list


D Sevington Development and J10

Cllr Fletcher and Turley reported on a recent meeting with ABC Leader G Clarkson and officers about development issues and as pilot scheme with a Planning Consultant. It was agreed that these meetings were useful as ABC were listening to the concerns of Mersham residents



Action by

10. To consider Highway and footpath matters

There were no further matters to discuss


11. Article for Villager Magazine

The following were proposed for the next edition – Village Sign and its design, the new footpath, speed sign, forthcoming elections. Clerk to submit as usual


12. To consider Reports

A  Village Hall

There were no developments of note

B  Sevington North

Cllr Whitehead raised the issue of lorries parking around the Barrey Road area – to be raised at the meeting with Jennie Wickenden, Highways

C  Sevington South

There were no developments of note


There were no developments of note

E  Trees / JPF

There were no developments of note


13. Any Other Business

After a discussion it was agreed to make a donation of £250 towards the cost of insurance for the Village Fete


14. Dates of Parish Council Meetings in 2015

The next Meeting will be held on 16th February 2015 at 7.30pm in the Church Room, St John the Baptist Church

The Meeting closed at 9.45pm