Date 21/07/2021
Time 19:00 – 21:03
Location Castle Hall, Stone Pavilion, Hayes Road, Stone DA9 9DS
Present Councillor Lucy Canham,  Councillor John Burrell, Councillor Margaret Mitchell, Councillor Jeanne Hoadley, Councillor Julie Fukes, Councillor Jessica McQueen, Councillor Kelly Grehan,

 

J Thomas (Parish Clerk), E Shrubsole (RFO), L McLean (Council Administrator)

 

PCSO Steve Keers,

 

Apologies Councillor Keith Kelly, Councillor Stephanie Thredgle, Councillor Paul Cutler, Councillor Lesley Howes, Councillor Claire Pearce.

Councillor Penny Cole (KCC), Councillor Tom Oliver (DBC)

21/07/21CL: Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were noted for Councillor Councillor Keith Kelly, Councillor Stephanie Thredgle, Councillor Paul Cutler, Councillor Lesley Howes, Councillor Claire Pearce, Councillor Penny Cole (KCC) and Councillor Tom Oliver (DBC)

22/07/21CL: Disclosure of Pecuniary Interests

No disclosures of interests were made.

 

23/07/21CL: Public Participation

No members of the public were present.

24/07/21CL: Approval of Minutes

The council resolved to approve the minutes of the Annual meeting of the Council held on Wednesday 23 June 2021.

 

25/07/21CL: Reports from other authorities and agencies

To receive reports from representatives of other authorities and agencies

  1. Kent Police

A report was presented by PCSO S Keers regarding recent area activity. PCSO Keers provided members with statistics of the crimes dealt with in the area. The hot weather recently has meant that youths have continued to frequent the lake at St Clements Lakes. The use of a dye in the water had been suggested but this was no longer an option due to health and safety concerns.

 

PCSO Keers confirmed robberies from some local buidling sites. The Clerk highlighted that a new playground is being installed at Stone Recreation Ground, with plant machinery and equipment would present on site. PCSO Keers advised that he would raise this with his superiors to add the Recreation Ground to the round of regular patrols.

 

Members also noted that Stone is still without a permanent Community Warden. It was resolved that members would continue to lobby for a warden to be assigned to Stone and in the meantime, a schedule be obtained to help members contact any warden temporarily assigned to cover the area.

Members thanked PCSO Keers and resolved to note his report.

 

  1. Kent County Councillor’s Report

 

Councillor Penny Cole provided members with a written report.

 

Kent County Council has received funding to spend on reconnecting children with some of the activities that were popular prior to the effects of Covid-19. The Reconnect Programme will run from April 2021 to August 2022. The activities will be for children of all ages and will be diverse and accessible.

 

Kent Highways has developed a new five-year strategy to improve the highways assets of the County. The plan for the next five years will deliver a more efficient highway maintenance service with better outcomes. This is highly necessary as Kent is the busiest County for traffic in the country.

The programme of works was provided for members along with a list of schemes for the Stone area.

 

KCC is looking to organize a meeting with the CCG and Parish Council to discuss issues regarding the land at Kind Edward Road and a potential health hub. As the Neighbourhood Plan supports a health hub at Atlas Park, clarification is required as to the Clinical Commissioning Group and KCC’s plans.

 

Councillor Cole referred again to the issues of anti-social behaviour at St Clements Lakes confirming that the police actioned a Section 34 dispersal order, making it easier for police to move groups on.

 

Following the accident in Watling Street, residents are very concerned over the amount and speed of traffic on the road. Councillor Cole confirmed that t the police need to undertake an investigation before deciding on the best way to proceed.

 

Councillor K Grehan provided members with a report regarding the fatality on Watling Street, confirming that residents are putting butterflies in their windows for the life that was lost.

 

Members discussed looking at speed signs with a sensor to bring attention to drivers and the speed they are driving. It was confirmed that the cost for this and any funding available would be researched for future Council discussion.

 

Members resolved to note Cllr Cole’s report.

 

26/07/21CL: Clerk’s Report

A report was presented to members providing an update on the following projects; new playground at Stone Recreation Ground, Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan, Claire Tiltman Centre and the Neighbourhood Plan.

Resolved: To note the Parish Clerk’s Report.

 

27/07/21CL: To note the outline proposals for the playground launch event at Stone Recreation Ground

Members were presented with an outline plan for the launch event of the new playground at Stone Recreation Ground. Chairman Councillor Lucy Canham thanked members who had provided ideas for the event. Members felt the occasion needed to be marked as the playground would be a great attraction to children from all over the Parish.

Resolved: To note the playground launch event proposals.

 

28/07/21CL: To resolve declaration of a Climate Emergency in line with Strategic Plan objectives

Members were presented with a report concerning climate change and action being taken by the Government and other councils to address this. Members agreed that action needed to be taken. Carbon emissions in the Stone area are very high, with the proximity of the bridge being a significant factor, as well as the presence of Bluewater and Crossways Business Park. The Council’s Strategic Plan seeks to focus on creating a Safe and Healthy Community and a Protected and Enhanced Environment and will take action to improve the local environment.

The Clerk confirmed that an audit will be commissioned to provide baseline data for the Council’s carbon emissions to enable targets to be set to effectively reduce this over time.

 

Resolved: To declare a Climate Emergency and seek to reduce Council’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.

 

29/07/21CL: To note Strategic Plan KPI’s and Action Plan for 2021/22

Members were presented with an Action Plan for 2021/22 including the KPI’s for each part of the Strategic Plan. The report sets out measurable targets for ongoing projects and the officers responsible for each action.

Resolved: To note the strategic plan KPI’s and Action Plan for 2021/22

 

30/07/21CL: To resolve application to the public works loan board for £1,300,000

Members were presented with a report from the Responsible Finance Officer setting out a proposal for an application the Public Work Loan Board. This would be to fund the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan Scheme.

Members discussed current low interest rates making this an ideal time to borrow. Anticipation of the application had previously been agreed as part of the formulation of the three-year budget.

The Clerk confirmed the borrowing formed part of the overall financial strategy to support the strategic plan, and that decisions will be made as appropriate going forward regarding partial repayment of loans to reduce balances as CIL income is received.

Resolved: To apply to the Public Work Load Board for £1,300,000 to fund the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan Scheme.

 

31/07/21CL: To receive and note the Budget Monitoring Report for the first quarter

Members were presented with a Budget Monitoring report up to the end of June 2021. The report included the Income and Expenditure, balance sheet, bank reconciliation and Community Infrastructure Levy analysis.

Members discussed the increase in income thanks to the Pavilion being able to take bookings again and thanked the RFO for her detailed report.

Resolved: To note the budget monitoring report.

 

32/07/21CL: Authorisation of Payments

Members were provided with a schedule of supplier invoices due for payment.

Resolved: The Council authorized the list of payments as outlined.

 

33/07/21CL: Consultations

1. Kent Bus Service Improvement Plan

Members noted that many buses use the roads in Stone but there are relatively few that stop within the Parish. It was also noted that not all buses are able to use the bus lanes in parts of the Parish which causes more unnecessary traffic.

Discussion followed regarding the Arriva Click bus service, which provides a bus which will cater to individuals via an app rather than following a set route.

Resolved: The Parish Clerk to draft a response on behalf of the Council.

2. Lower Thames Crossing – Community Impacts Consultation

 

Members felt that as the Lower Thames Crossing was no longer set to be in the Dartford Area, community impacts were no longer relevant. Due to the traffic issues caused by the single crossing currently available, members are keen for another crossing to be installed as soon as possible.

Resolved: The Council would provide no response.

 

34/07/21CL: Planning Applications

 

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

21/01045/FUL – St Marys Church Hall Church Hill Stone Kent DA9 9YU
Erection of a block of 8 No. 1 & 2 bed apartments. Provision of parking, storage and amenity spaces. Alterations including tree works, provision of retained wall and vehicular access

Members discussed the proposed application and raised concerns over the over-development of the site and loss of trees. There were also concerns over access to the site.

Resolved: To object to the planning application on the grounds of over-development, loss of trees and concerns over access arrangements.

 

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

Members were presented with a list of representations made by officers on behalf of the Council.

Resolved: To note the representations made under the scheme of delegation

 

35/07/21CL: Exclusion of Press & Public

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

There were no members of the press or public present.

 

36/07/21CL: To resolve continued operations of Recreation Ground Cafe

Members were provided with a report regarding the former Two Trees Tea Room located on Stone Recreation Ground. As the current owners are no longer able to run this business, it is proposed that the Council purchase the building and partial contents, to provide an interim provision of refreshments prior to the installation of a permanent Café as part of the Stone Recreation Ground Masterplan.

A grant of £2,000 had already been indicated by Councillor P Cole from the Covid recovery fund to support a Community Café.

Members discussed the viability of the business and the Council’s ability to effectively staff and run the café. Members suggested the possibility of having someone buy it on a lease and run it independently from the Council.

It was agreed that with the new playground set to open, visitors would expect to be able to purchase refreshments while children were playing.

Members were keen on the idea of using the space to provide free community library provision of donated books and enhancing the community feel of the service.

It was agreed that the provision was an important one to trial in the interim the viability of a Council run café.

Resolved: To resolve purchase of the Two Trees Tea Room building and partial contents. To hire a member of staff to run the café and to provide provision of a Community Café at Stone Recreation Ground.

 

17 – 37/07/21CL: To resolve approval of the Lease agreement with Brent 6th Scout Group for the Claire Tiltman Centre

Members were presented with a lease agreement document produced by T.G. Baynes to enable implementation of scout use by the Brent 6th Scout Group at the Claire Tiltman Centre from September 2021.

Resolved: To resolve approval of the lease agreement with Brent 6th Scout Group for the Claire Tiltman Centre.

 

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9:03pm.