Date 03/11/2021
Time 19:00 – 21:00
Location Castle Hall, Stone Pavilion
Present Councillor Paul Cutler, Councillor Lesley Howes, Councillor John Burrell, Councillor Stephanie Thredgle, Councillor Jeanne Hoadley, Councillor Lucy Canham, Councillor Jessica McQueen, Councillor Margaret Mitchell

 

J Thomas (Parish Clerk), E Shrubsole (RFO),

 

Councillor P Cole, PCSO Keers, PCSO McIlravey and Community Warden Supervisor Steve Taylor.

 

 

61/11/21CL: Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors K Kelly, K Grehan, and C Pearce.

62/11/21CL: Disclosure of Pecuniary Interests

No disclosures of interests were made.

 

63/11/21CL: Public Participation

No members of the public were present.

 

64/11/21CL: Approval of Minutes

The council resolved to approve the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on Wednesday 22 September 2021.

 

65/11/21CL: Reports from other authorities and agencies

To receive reports from representatives of other authorities and agencies

  1. Kent Police

Members were provided with a report of the monthly crime statistics for Stone Castle and Stone House wards. Car crimes appear to be the focus of activity with thefts from and of motor vehicles.

Recent incidents of large groups of vehicles causing noise and safety nuisance at Crossways and Bluewater was contained in the report. PCSO Keers also referred to noise complaints from house parties.

Members thanked PCSO Keers and resolved to note his report.

  1. Kent County Council

Councillor Cole picked up on the issue of car meets at Crossways Boulevard and confirmed she and Cllr Harman from Swanscombe and Greenhithe had been liaising with agents for the Crossways business estate, environmental health, community safety and Kent Police to establish the most appropriate remedial action. This may be supported through use of noise meters to record when nuisances occur to enable enforcement action to be taken in response to that.

Councillor Cole also referred to proposals for a health hub in the Stone/Greenhithe area, currently being pursued on the site at Kind Edward Road. Kent County Council members are scheduled to consider disposal of the land for this purpose at a forthcoming meeting. This resolution would precipitate submission of a planning application for the scheme, along with environmental investigations to confirm suitability.

Finally, Councillor Cole confirmed an award by the government to KCC of £9.5m to enable the Fastrack service to become fully electric. This objective will be achieved earlier than expected because of the grant.

Members thanked Councillor Cole and resolved to note her report.

  1. Dartford Borough Council

No report was provided.

 

66/11/21CL: Clerk’s Report

Members were provided with a written report providing an update on the Claire Tiltman Centre, Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan and the Stone Parish Neighbourhood Plan.

 

Final negotiations are taking place to complete the Claire Tiltman Centre development to enable occupation by the council and Brent 6th Scout group. This awaits the discharge of a final planning condition to enable the certificate of practical completion to be issued, which is expected imminently. External landscaping works will continue to be completed by the developer after occupation, along with installation of acoustic treatments.

 

A formal decision is still awaited on the planning application for the Recreation Ground Masterplan following a requirement to re-submit layout plans due to the footprint of the playground changing during installation due to the position of the Esso pipeline. This resulted in the need to provide statutory consultees with a second consultation period to seek views on the amendments, which has delayed the determination date to 10th December 2021.

The Stone Parish Neighbourhood Plan is currently undergoing examination and further information is awaited regarding anticipated timeframes for completion.

 

Members resolved to note the Clerk’s Report.

 

67/11/21CL: Public Realm Report

Members were provided with a report of recent public realm activity by the Grounds Manager.

 

Members were pleased to receive this information and resolved to note the report.

 

68/11/21CL: Facilities Report

Members were provided with a report of recent public realm activity by the Grounds Manager.

 

Members were pleased to receive this information and resolved to note the report.

 

69/11/21CL: Events

Members were provided with details of the upcoming Remembrance Service, Christmas Lights switch-on, and Seniors Christmas lunch events, which have been modified in response to rising Covid rates and requirements to hold Covid-safe events.

 

The Remembrance Service will proceed as usual, but without the refreshments service at Stone Pavilion to avoid indoor congregation of attendees. Refreshments will instead be available from Lizzie’s Café, with a proceed of the profits being donated to the Poppy Appeal.

 

As limiting attendance at free outdoor events is a challenge to manage while Covid is an issue, it is proposed that the Christmas Light switch-on is live-streamed for a second year, with a series of smaller activities, such as workshops and a Santa tour, where numbers can be controlled to provide further Christmas activities to parish residents.

 

The seniors of Stone Christmas lunch will proceed with limited numbers and in a covid-safe manner. It is proposed the school choir performance is streamed rather than the children attend in a physical capacity to reduce risk.

 

70/11/21CL: To receive and consider the findings of the external audit report for 2020-21

Members were presented with the conclusion of the external audit for 2020-21 which confirmed that information was in accordance with proper practices and were pleased to note that no matters had come to the attention of the auditor giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory practices have not been met.

 

71/11/21CL: To note the budget monitoring report

Members were requested to note the budget monitoring report, which provided details of the financial half-year position, bank reconciliation, summary of café income and expenditure, and balance sheet.

 

Members queried some items in the report and enquired regarding expenditure expected from CIL and the council’s revenue budget. Members also discussed the current reserves balance and queried whether this was becoming too low. Guidance advises between three- and six-months cash flow, with the council’s current balance nearer to three months than six. The Clerk and RFO both confirmed the likelihood of an increase to the reserves balance at year end due to covid still impacting delivery of some services likely to realize an underspend.

 

The Clerk also confirmed that the agenda for December will include an overview of CIL, including criteria for use, balances, forecast of future receipts, and the planned strategic use of these funds to support investment in the local infrastructure.

 

Members resolved to note the budget monitoring report.

 

72/11/21CL: To resolve application for the Capacity Building Fund

Members were requested to resolve the council’s application for the Capacity Building Fund Grant from Dartford Borough Council.

It was proposed that a bid is made to enable production of required audits, action plans, monitoring and parish-wide education in support of the council’s commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030.

 

Members resolved to apply to the Capacity Building Fund as outlined in the report.

 

 

73/11/21CL: Authorisation of Payments

A schedule of supplier payments was presented for council resolution to authorise payment.

 

Members resolved to authorize payments as outlined in the report.

 

74/11/21CL: Consultations

  1. To form Council response to the Kent Police and crime plan survey
    2. To form Council response to the KCC Community Warden Service Review

    Members discussed current services and noted the change in approach from the community warden service initially being focused on community safety and more recently encompassing support for both Trading Standards and Adult Social Care.

Mr. S Taylor, Community Warden Supervisor, attended the meeting to answer any questions and provide information regarding community warden cover for Stone Parish, which had not had a dedicated warden for a significant time.

He explained that despite carrying out annual recruitment, wardens appointed to cover Stone Parish had not resulted in permanent placement. This has meant that cover has been provided by other wardens but at the loss of establishing an effective working relationship or presence in the area.

Mr. Taylor was asked to provided details of the strategic remit of community wardens as this was still not fully clear, particularly as they have been given additional duties in support of other directorates. He provided an overview of recent activity and confirmed the wardens are regarded as more of a referral service to appropriate agencies/services than expected to resolve issues directly.

He confirmed he was expecting another round of recruitment, in which securing a warden for Stone Parish would be prioritized.

Members thanked Mr. Taylor for attending the meeting and look forward to the appointment of a new warden for Stone.

A council response to the consultations will be formulated and submitted by the Clerk.

75/11/21CL: Planning Applications

  1. To resolve representations to Major Planning Applications affecting the parish

21/01461/COU – Rear Of 82 London Road Stone Kent DA2 6AN

Change of use of storage buildings associated with 82 London Road to a tyre repair and garage business with ancillary storage (Class E(g)(iii) Industrial processes) (retrospective application)

 

Members discussed the application, which they noted was retrospective, and were advised that over 40 objections had already been lodged by members of the public in respect of the noise, nuisance and impact on traffic and parking in Invicta Road.

 

Members agreed that the proposed use was considered inappropriate in such a high-density residential area and noted the already tight parking provision, for which any exacerbation from a commercial activity would inevitably be problematic.

 

Members resolved to object to the application on the grounds of inappropriate overdevelopment, noise and impact on parking and highway safety.

2. To note representations by officers made under the council’s scheme of delegation

Members resolved to note recent representations by officers.

 

There being no further business, the Chair closed the meeting at 21:10pm