1 – Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Burrell, Councillor Canham and Kent County Councillor Cole

 

2 – Disclosure of Pecuniary Interests

There were no disclosures of pecuniary interest.

 

3 – Public Participation

There were no members of the public present.

 

4 – Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of the Council held on Wednesday 24 January ​2024 and the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council held Wednesday 21 February 2024 were approved.

5 – Presentation of Award for Exceptional Public Service

Former Asda Community Champion Bridget Sparks was in attendance to receive the Parish Council Award for Exceptional Public Service.

The Chairperson thanked Bridget for her service having attended events and the monthly senior’s group, providing help and support. The Chairperson mentioned that all Councillors have worked with Bridget over the years on various projects and felt that it was important to mark the service she has given to the Parish.

Members presented Bridget with a £50 Bluewater voucher and wished her all the best in her retirement.

 

6 – Reports from outside organisations

  1. Kent Police
    Stone House Crime Map

    Stone Castle Crime Map

Members discussed the crime maps on the Kent Police website and commented that it gave a very misleading impression of the area, due to the inclusion of Bluewater statistics. For this reason, the statistics do not provide much benefit.

The Council Administrator had spoken with a member of Kent Police who advised that the information is provided by a third party company who gather their data from all sorts of providers. It was suggested that we ask if they could consider splitting Stone data from Bluewater, but felt that this was unlikely as it falls under Stone’s administrative boundaries.

Members requested that a blurb could be prepared explaining how the statistics are misleading and having this accompany the links to the maps on the council’s website.

 

Members resolved to note the report from Kent Police.

  1. Kent County Council

Kent County Councillor Penny Cole sent apologies for the meeting.

3. Dartford Borough Council

Councillor Mote informed members that Dartford Borough Council’s budget had been passed and the level of increases across the board had been kept as low as possible.

Many events for the spring and summer have been planned and more information on these would follow.

Members thanked Councillor Mote and resolved to note his report.

 

7 – Lads of the Village

Members were informed that Dartford Borough Council had reached a decision on the nomination of The Lads of the Village Public House as a community asset and would be informing Stone Parish Council and the owners of this decision within the week.

Members commented that the delays from Dartford Borough Council on this nomination were frustrating and unnecessary but hoped that the result would be confirmed soon.

Members resolved to note the update on the Community Asset nomination.

 

8 – Review of Internal Controls

The system of internal controls was inspected by the Responsible Finance Officer and members were presented with the internal controls document for council review.

Members were requested to review the scope of internal controls contained on the Risk Register and resolve approval of the procedures. It was confirmed by the RFO that this was a live document that the Council reviews each year.

Members resolved to note the annual review of internal controls and approve the document as presented.

 

9 – Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan

  1. To note the final Funding Agreement with Dartford Borough Council for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan.

Members were presented with the most recent version of the Funding Agreement which was awaiting a final review by Dartford before resolution.

Members resolved to note the Funding Agreement with Dartford Borough Council for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan.

2. To note the approval of Planning Permission for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan.

Members were presented with the confirmation of Planning Permission given for the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan.

Members were informed that construction works were planned to start in April.

Members noted that the Masterplan project represented a huge amount of work over a long period of time and that it was great to see that work will begin on a project that will see massive improvements and infrastructure that will serve an increased number of residents in the area.

Members congratulated the Clerk on the work done to reach this milestone.

Members resolved to note the approval of Planning Permission for the Phase one works of the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan.

 

10 – Clerk’s Report

​To ​note an update on Council services and news by the Parish Clerk.

The Clerk provided members with an update on several items affecting the Parish.

Members were informed that the management of the St Mary’s preschool was currently being carried out by Stone St Mary’s primary school and this was likely to become a permanent linking of the nursery to the primary school.

Members discussed the plans for the Medical Centre on Steele Avenue and that the planning application was no closer to being considered by Dartford Borough Council.

There was discussion around the bureaucratic issues blocking other options for a medical centre, in particular the refusal of the ICB to investigate other options concurrently. Members echoed these frustrations and were keen to communicate with the ICB to encourage consideration of other options to protect and relieve the mounting pressure on GP provision in Stone and the surrounding areas.

Members also noted that the London Road Corridor plans, being designed as part of the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans, are scheduled to be presented at Annual Council meeting in May.

Members thanked the Clerk and resolved to note her update.

 

There being no further business, the chairperson closed the meeting at 20:12.