Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Virtual Meeting Via Skype. View directions
Declarations of Interest
Councillors should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves or their spouse, civil partner or person with whom they are living with as a spouse or civil partner. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships. The Chairman will ask Members if they have any interests to declare in respect of items on this agenda, under the following headings:
(a) Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI) under the Localism Act 2011. The nature as well as the existence of any such interest must be declared. After declaring a DPI, the Member must leave the meeting and not take part in the discussion or vote. This applies even if there is provision for public speaking.
(b) Disclosable Non Pecuniary (DNPI) under the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council in May 2012. The nature as well as the existence of any such interest must be declared. After declaring a DNPI interest, the Member may stay, speak and vote on the matter.
(c) Where it is possible that a fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts would conclude that there was a real possibility that the Member might be predetermined or biased the Member should declare their predetermination or bias and then leave the meeting while that item is considered.
Advice to Members: If any Councillor has any doubt about the existence or nature of any DPI or DNPI which he/she may have in any item on this agenda, he/she should seek advice from the Monitoring Officer, the Head of Legal or from other Solicitors in Legal Services as early as possible, and in advance of the Meeting.
Councillor Mike Baldock disclosed a non-pecuniary interest as he sat on Borden Parish Council.
Councillor Monique Bonney disclosed a non-pecuniary interest as she sat on Rodmersham Parish Council.
Councillor Richard Palmer disclosed a non-pecuniary interest as he sat on Newington Parish Council.
Councillor Sarah Stephen disclosed a non-pecuniary interest as she sat on Tunstall Parish Council.
Councillor Alan Horton disclosed a non-pecuniary interest as he sat on Upchurch Parish Council.
To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 1 December 2020 (Minute No. 289 - 297) subject to a an amendment at Minute No. 295 that the request for £4,655 was a contribution towards payment for the fencing around the recreation ground, not the adult play equipment.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 1 December 2020 (Minute No. 289- 297) were taken as read, signed and approved subject to the following amendment to Minute No. 295:
“that the request for £4, 655 was a contribution towards payment for the fencing around the recreation ground, not the adult play equipment”
And that the following paragraph be added to Minute No. 291 Matters Arising:
“Members agreed that a report would be considered at a future meeting and that funding should be considered for a woodland management plan at The Meads Community Woodland and Rose Hill Wood.”
To consider matters arising from the last meeting held on 1 December 2020.
Tabled paper – Proposed Walking and Cycling Routes Project added 2 March 2021.
Members noted the progress on actions.
Referring to the tabled paper on Brown tourism signs, a Member suggested a sign at the roundabout at The Meads on the Grove Park side for The Henge and another near MacDonalds directing to Bobbing Church. A Parish Councillor said that a sign for Bredgar Railway could be considered in the future. In the discussion that followed, Members spoke about the process for installing signs.
A Member spoke on the tabled paper – Proposed Walking and Cycling Routes Project which centred on routes in South Sittingbourne. Previous work had focused on routes in Faversham, Swale East and Sheppey.
A Member gave a presentation on Friends Groups which included contacts for sources of funding. In the discussion that followed, Members asked questions and gave their experiences of setting up of similar groups. Democratic Services agreed to research the creation of groups and to circulate the power point presentation to Parish Councils.
The purpose of this item is to enable members of the public to direct questions to the Chairman or suggestion agenda items for future meetings.
No issues were raised.
No issues were raised.
Nomination for Area Committee Review Working Group
Nominations for a representative to sit on the Area Committee Review Working Group.
It was agreed Councillor Corrie Woodford and Councillor Paul Stephen would sit on the Area Committee Working Group.
The Chairman explained that out of the £40,000 allocated to the Western Committee for 2020-21, £14,925 had been allocated previously which left a balance of £25,075.
Two bids for funding had been received, the details of which were in the report.
Parish Councillor Graham Addicott from Hartlip Parish Council spoke in support of the application to purchase a kissing gate for erection on The Parkland, Lower Hartlip Road, Hartlip. Members spoke in support.
Members spoke in support of the request from Sittingbourne in Bloom to allocate funding towards the refurbishment of the Sensory Garden at King George V Playing Fields.
There was a discussion on the proposed funding for the walking and cycling routes project, as detailed in the tabled update. Members raised points including:
· there were few routes in the area;
· Visit Swale had seen an upturn, it was a good time to expand on what Swale had to offer;
· how would the work integrate with work carried out in 2018?;
· more details needed on the £13k costs required and on the whole project;
· was £13k enough?;
· promotion was needed and knowledge was scattered;
· was the project bigger than the Area Committee should consider?;
· needed a list of routes in the Western area;
· trails already published could be included; and
· information from local groups was vital.
Councillor Bonney directed Members to information on the Visit Swale website: www.visit-swale.co.uk/see-and-do/healthy-and-active-swale/sports-and-activities-in-swale/cycling-and-walking
In addition to the bids in the report, Members discussed funding for Brown Signs and the woodland management plan for The Meads and Rose Hill woodlands which had been discussed at previous meetings. The Chairman advised that the cost to purchase and install a brown sign was approximately £300.
Councillor Baldock proposed and Councillor Palmer seconded a proposal that the following funding be allocated to each project:
Refurbishment of Sensory Garden King George V Playing Fields - £7,085.41
Walking and Cycling Routes Project - £13,000
Brown Tourist Signs - £1,200
Woodland Management Plan - £1558.79
On being put the vote Members agreed.
That the £25,075 balance be awarded to projects in the following proportions:
(a) Kissing Gate at Lower Hartlip Road - £1,030.80
(b) Refurbishment of Sensory Garden King George V Playing Fields - £7,085.41
(c) Walking and Cycling Routes Project - £13,000
(d) Brown Tourist Signs - £1,200
(e) Woodland Management Plan at The Meads and Rose Hill - £1558.79
Matters referred to the Committee by Cabinet
No issues were raised.
Matters referred to Cabinet by Committee
A Member raised concern at the current general rundown state of the area and highlighted footpaths, litter in hedgerows and road signs as particular issues. She suggested Cabinet could address the issues with KCC. In the discussion that followed Members raised points including:
· there was already a well-established process to report issues on KCC website;
· member grants could be used to fund new street nameplates;
· suggested a village clean;
· the preparation for recent snow did not work and there was a lack of coordination; and
· budget constraints meant issues had to be prioritised.
In response to a Member’s suggestion to respond to the Waste Contract consultation, the Chief Executive advised that the consultation was suspended and would be circulated to Members before being launched.
The Chairman said that KCC and SBC could coordinate litter picking and cleaning more effectively and general maintenance of paths and roads was required. He drew attention to the litter issue at A249 roundabout which was the responsibility of Highways England and these issues should be referred to Cabinet.