Councillors Present

K Kelly

S Thredgle

L Canham

M Mitchell

J McQueen

J Fukes

J Hoadley

K Grehan

L Howes

 

Officers Present

 

J Thomas – Parish Clerk

Eudeen Shrubsole – RFO

Luke Mclean – Council Administrator

 

Vice Chairman Cllr S Thredgle began the meeting by asking those present to take a moment to remember everyone who was lost to the awful events of the Holocaust. Today was Holocaust Remembrance Day and a moment of silence was held in commemoration those lost to the atrocities.

32/01/21CL: To receive apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr C Pearce, Cllr J Burrell and Cllr P Cutler

33/01/21CL: To receive declarations of interest

There were no declarations of interest.

34/01/21CL: Questions from the public

 

A member of the public asked about the missing give way lines on Barley Close.

Kent County Council member, Cllr P Cole responded that it may be that the road has not yet been adopted and is still owned by the developer. It was agreed this would be confirmed, and the developer would be contacted if the road was still theirs.

 

The member of the public also asked if double yellow lines would be able to be put on St Mary’s Road. Cllr Cole responded that only part of St Mary’s Road is adopted so she would look into whether this was adopted or not.

 

Members resolved to inform the member of the public, once investigations had been carried out. The member of the public thanked the members for their time.

 

35/01/21CL: To approve the minutes of the meeting held Wednesday 18 November 2020

Members requested an amendment to the minutes in relation to item 22/11/20CL. That the purpose of the memorial bench be not just for those lost to Covid-19 but for all those lost during the pandemic.

Members resolved to approve the minutes with this amendment.

 

36/01/21CL: To receive reports from outside organisations and agencies

  1. Kent Police

A written report from PCSO J Smith was noted by the members. It was noted the majority of the incidents related to Covid-19 breaches.

  1. Kent County Councillor’s report

Cllr Cole provided a written report for members. This report outlined the biggest challenges for KCC over the recent months. The biggest of these, of course was Coronavirus. After the spike in cases in Kent, asymptomatic testing facilities were created. This has allowed anyone to get a test by using the link www.kent.gov.uk/symptomfreetest.

As of 17th January 2021 there have been 127,823 vaccines given in Kent and Medway. Work is now underway to open large vaccination centres in Kent and announcements will be following shortly. The majority of care homes in Kent have been vaccinated. The remaining few currently have cases of Covid and will be vaccinated as soon as possible.

The Brexit transition has been ongoing and plans have been going on for over a year. Despite a large publicity drive to ensure lorry drivers had applied for the Kent Access Permit, queues were anticipated. Unfortunately, the queues have been far more substantial than expected.

Members asked Cllr Cole about the lorries parking on London Road as this was causing an issue with them leaving refuse behind and taking up room on the busy road. Cllr Cole understood the issue and KCC are trying to resolve this by finding lorry parks in appropriate places. This is an ongoing issue and there is not funding available for lorry parks currently.

KCC offered vouchers to all children for free school meals last year and over 31,000 parents took up the scheme. Cllr Cole advised that the Kent Together helpline and webpage are still open for anyone in Kent struggling during the pandemic at www.kent.gov.uk/kenttogether.

The two-part consultation on the one-way system in Hill House Road has been completed. Works will be able to begin once a date is confirmed from the traffic engineer.

Cllr Cole advised that the Fleetdown Library is trying to inform more elderly residents of the home library service. Information will be provided to the Council staff who will be able to push this out on social media.

A consultation is planned to ask people about options for a Crossrail connection between Abbey Wood and Ebbsfleet. Cllr Cole confirmed she will provide us with the details so that Stone Parish Council can advertise this to residents too.

Members noted the report and thanked Cllr Cole for her time.

  1. Dartford Borough Councillor’s report

Dartford Borough Councillor T Oliver informed members of an increase of fly-tipping over the Christmas period.

Cllr Oliver informed members he had reported on the flooding on the access road to Stone Lodge School. This had been reported to the relevant authorities at Dartford Borough Council and to the school.

The parking issues at the Brent school are planned to be discussed at the next Joint Transport Board meeting. Cllr Oliver noted that the board would be discussing the issues and would be talking about the access points and staggered arrivals to attempt to ease it.

Members thanked Cllr Oliver for his report.

 

37/01/21CL: To receive an update on development at Ebbsfleet Garden City from Paul Boughen, Community Manager

Community Manager Paul Boughen provided members with an update on the development at Ebbsfleet Garden City. Plans for new community spaces had been created and noticeboards have been installed around the area by the newly created Community Board.

Mr Boughen has been involved with the local community, including putting on careers events at Ebbsfleet academy and working with tech companies and local schools to ask the children to build ideas for what they would like to see in the Garden City in a bespoke Minecraft game.

Members asked Mr Boughen about the plans for the proposed Paramount amusement park. Mr Boughen advised that a consultation had recently been completed and he would further information regarding this to members.

Members thanked Mr Boughen for his update.

38/01/21CL: Strategic Planning & Development

  1. To receive an update regarding the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan

Members were requested to note the proposed timeline for works on the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan. The planning application has been submitted with an expected timeframe for decision by the end of April, which will enable advertisement of tender for the scheme at this point.

Public consultation will be imminently undertaken to inform a separate tender brief for the new playground. Once a tender is awarded, detailed drawings can be submitted to the planning authority for a final sign off.

Commencement of new playground installation may be feasible from early June. A full project plan for the other elements of the Masterplan will be presented at the Council Meeting in March.

39/01/21CL: Services & Facilities

  1. To resolve options for the COVID memorial bench for Stone Recreation Ground

Members resolved to approve the memorial bench as proposed and that the engraving would commemorate all those lost during the Covid pandemic.

40/01/21CL: Finance & Audit

  1. To receive and consider the findings of the external audit report for 2019-20

PKF Littlejohn LLP performed an external audit for Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Return. There were no errors or causes for concern found.

Members were pleased to note the findings of the external audit.

 

  1. To note budget monitoring report

 

Members were provided with a budget monitoring report that set out projections for year end, following a series of revisions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

One member queried expenditure in relation to staff training costs and a breakdown of this was provided.

 

Members resolved to note the Budget Monitoring report and thanked the RFO for her efforts to both produce the report and maintain the budget.

 

  1. To consider grant applications from local groups and organisations

 

Members received three grant funding applications.

  1. The YMCA of Thames Gateway supports over 250 families who use their nurseries and after-school clubs as well as many other vulnerable members of the community. Over Christmas they sent out hampers to vulnerable families across the Dartford area. Due to the success of this, they are continuing to deliver these hampers to vulnerable people.

 

Members resolved to award £500 as requested.

 

  1. Stone Lodge School PTA are a group of parent volunteers who are fundraising and looking for ways to support the children at the school. To help set up a hardship fund for children affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, Stone Parish Council have agreed to grant £500. This fund will support the purchasing of essential school equipment and school clothing for those who have been financially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Members resolved to award £500 as requested.

 

  • The Brent Primary School currently only have 18 laptops to support 585 pupils and have therefore been struggling to provide the IT curriculum effectively. A grant of £2,500 was requested to purchase 96 laptops and 2 chromebooks to support children with additional needs.

 

Members resolved to award £2500 as requested.

 

With many children struggling currently to complete their schoolwork as they do not have access to the IT equipment required, the Council was keen to publish a call to action to aski anyone with laptops or tablets they are not using to provide these to one of the schools in the area for re-distribution.

 

  1. To resolve expenditure regarding a new tractor for the grounds department

 

Members were requested to resolve expenditure of up to £40k to enable the Council to advertise an opportunity to tender for provision of a new tractor for the grounds department, to increase capacity and efficiency and ensure the needs of the new public realm at Cotton Lane can be effectively managed.

 

The current tractor has been in use for over 15 years and is now in constant need of repair. Emissions from the current tractor are 80% worse than a new model, which does not align with the council’s environmental stance.

 

Members resolved to approve expenditure of up to £40,000 from CIL to enable advertisement of a tender opportunity for provision of a new tractor for the Grounds department.

 

  1. To authorise payments

Full details of payments are provided for member’s approval

Members resolved to authorise the payments provided.

 

41/01/21CL: Planning Applications

To consider new planning applications and prepare observation responses to the Local Planning Authority.

21/00014/PIP – Land Adjacent Orchard Terrace Elizabeth Street Stone Greenhithe Kent

Application for Permission in Principle for residential development of land for a minimum of 1 dwelling and maximum of 3 dwellings

 

Members had no objections to the application provided adequate off-road parking was provided to avoid exacerbating current parking issues in the area.

 

42/01/21CL: To confirm resolution of Local Council Award Scheme requirements

Members were requested to review a list of links and attachments to confirm certain requirements are in place to meet the criteria of the Local Council Award Scheme.

Accreditation via the scheme confirms the council operates at a high standard, with appropriate activity, policies and procedures in place to ensure effectiveness.

 

The list of evidence required to be resolved was as follows:

1 Its standing orders and
financial regulations

2 Its Code of Conduct and a
link to councillors’
registers of interests

3 Its last annual return

4 Transparent information
about council payments

5 Minutes for at least one
year of full council
meetings and (if relevant)
all committee and subcommittee meetings

6 Current agendas

7 Draft minutes of all
council and committee
meetings within four
weeks of the last meeting

8 The budget and precept
information for the
current or next financial
year

9 Its complaints procedure

10 A Health and Safety policy

11 Its policy on equality

12 Councillor profiles

13 A grant awarding policy

14 Contracts for all members
of staff

15 A scheme of delegation

16 Addressed complaints
received in the last year

17 At least two-thirds of its
councillors who stood for
election

 

Members reviewed the documentation provided and resolved the criteria identified was met.

43/01/21CL: Exclusion of Press & Public

Pursuant to section 1 (2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, members resolved that because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, the public and the press must leave the meeting during consideration of the following items.

44/01/21CL: To receive an update regarding proposals for a battery storage scheme at Cotton Lane and to resolve revised heads of agreement

Members were requested to review revised heads of agreement in relation to a proposed battery storage scheme at Cotton Lane. These had been revised to amend the proposed layout.

Members were advised that proposals were still subject to planning and legal agreements being obtained, which would inevitably produce requirements for further consideration.

Members resolved to approve the revised heads of agreement and await further progress.

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 20:15.