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Swingfield Parish Council appointments - May 2007

Contributed by editor on May 18, 2007 - 09:13 AM

Parish Council

Cllr. ColinTearle

Vice Chairman
Cllr. Steve Godden

Cllr. Harry O'Grady
Cllr. Victor Harmer
Cllr. Alan Nichol
Cllr. Scott Lee
Cllr. Robin Hoult-Lukey
Cllr. Ann Harmer

(One vacancy)

Kent Association of Parish Councils

Cllr. Colin Tearle
Cllr. Steve Godden

Affordable Housing Committee

Cllr. Colin Tearle
Cllr. Steve Godden
Cllr. Harry O`Grady

Swingfield Village Hall

Cllr. Alan Nichol
Mr. George Preston

Post Office Advisory Council

Cllr. Ann Harmer

Swingfield Parish Council minutes 30 May 2006

Contributed by editor on Jul 20, 2006 - 06:50 PM


Minutes of a meeting of Swingfield Parish Council held at
Swingfield Village Hall, o­n Tuesday 30 May 2006

PRESENT:  Councillor C D Tearle (in the Chair), Councillors R D Curd,   S Lee and A Nichol
Apologies for absence:  Councillors Mrs A Harmer, V Harmer and H O’Grady

        Officer in Attendance:  Mrs T Wiles, Clerk and Treasurer


There were no declarations of interest.

Proposed by Councillor R D Curd

Seconded by Councillor   A Nichol and

RESOLVED:  To appoint Councillor C D Tearle as Chairman of the Parish Council for 2006/07.


It was agreed to defer this item to the next meeting of the Parish Council. 

   The minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held o­n 25 April 2006 were submitted, approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.  

5047.  A260 PROBLEMS

   The Chairman introduced the background to this item and referred to complaints and letters which had been made to the police in respect of the many problems mainly relating to speeding o­n the A260.

   PC Graves was in attendance and introduced himself by advising that he was responsible for traffic management issues and County Councillor Susan Carey was also in attendance.  P C Graves spoke to the Parish Council asking what the police can do to assist it.  He went o­n to explain that hand held devices were used in 30/40 mph speed restricted areas and that static cameras were limited as to where they can go and were operated centrally.  The placing of these static cameras was dependent o­n accident statistics for the past 3-5 years. He went o­n to say that it was expected that the relief road running through Hawkinge currently under construction would have a significant impact o­n the A260 and any proposed actions relating to the A260 could be premature. 

   Questions from Councillors were then invited. These related to motorcyclists using the A260 o­n Sundays mornings as a race track, and speeding in general being a major issue. PC Graves responded that his role was a monitoring role and the problem was policing the speed limits that were in place.  He explained that the accident statistics were made up of o­nly those which involved injury.

County Councillor Susan Carey advised that Kent County Highways had confirmed that the right speed limits were in place and that any review should be undertaken after the impact of the new road had been assessed to ensure that appropriate adjustments are made.

The Parish Council asked that a school sign be put in place o­n the A260 by Kent Highways and Susan Carey agreed to assist with this.

PC Graves advised that the police would undertake the following actions:
To continue to carry out speeding checks, to enquire about the relocation of the speed camera at White Horse Hill Hawkinge and to undertake speed checks over the weekends for a period of two or three months and to let the Parish Council have an update o­n the data collected.

The Chairman thanked PC Graves and County Councillor Susan Carey for attending.

   Proposed by Councillor C D Tearle
 Seconded by Councillor A Nichol and

 RESOLVED:  To write to Kent Highways requesting a school sign be placed o­n the A260 in the vicinity of Stockham Lane.

The Chairman introduced the item and invited County Councillor Susan Carey to join in.  The debate was opened Councillor Curd who gave a resume of the strength of feeling that prevailed at the Public Meeting held o­n 22 May 2006.  Overwhelming support was given by over 120 people attending, that the school should remain open, o­ne of the main reasons being the school’s high achievement in the area of special needs. 

County Councillor Susan Carey advised that at this stage the County Council was listening to consultees before reaching a decision o­n the closure of the school.  Dwindling numbers of pupils meant that the school’s budget would perhaps be too small to offer the full range of services to its pupils.

   Proposed by Councillor C D Tearle
 Seconded by Councillor R D Curd and

 RESOLVED:  To close the meeting to allow members of the public to speak. 

   After members of the public had put forward their points of view the Parish Council resumed it meeting.

  Proposed by Councillor R D Curd 
  Seconded by Councillor S Lee and

1. To vigorously support Selsted School and the Action Group to ensure the Schools remains open.
2. The Chairman of the Parish Council to attend the meeting o­n 28 June 2006 as the Parish Council’s representative and to authorise him to take any action as appropriate to pursue the Parish Council’s policy. 


 Councillors considered the Financial Report and Accounts for Payment, which was circulated at the meeting. The Clerk and Treasurer presented the Parish Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2006 for approval to be submitted to the Audit Commission.
Proposed by councillor A Nichol
Seconded by councillor S Lee and 


1. To approve the accounts a copy of which is attached to these minutes as Appendix 1, and to make the payments due.
2.  To approve the Parish Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2006 for submission to the Audit Commission.


A schedule of representatives o­n Outside Bodies was considered.

Proposed by Councillor A Nichol
Seconded by Councillor S Lee and


To approve the schedule of representatives o­n outside bodies for 2006/07 which is attached to these minutes as Appendix 2.


A schedule of meeting dates circulated for 2006/07 was considered and approved and is attached as appendix 3.


 The Chairman reported that o­ne planning application had been received since the last meeting of the Parish Council and two further applications were considered at the meeting. Details of the applications are included o­n Appendix 4.

The Clerk reported a letter which had been received regarding proposals for the development St Peters Church, Swingfield from the redundant Churches Uses Committee.

It was agreed to write to the Committee supporting the proposed action to be taken.


No issues apart from the School sign were raised. 


No issues were raised. 


Correspondence which had been received since the last meeting would be circulated to all members.  Details are contained in Appendix 5 to these minutes.

Swingfield annual parish meeting 25 April 2006 - Chairman's report

Contributed by editor on Apr 30, 2006 - 09:12 AM


People often remark to me of how quickly we get through our meetings. My answer is always, `Well that’s because usually our Councillors usually know what they are doing, don’t keep repeating themselves, keep to the subject and we have an efficient Clerk`.

I recently had to attend another Parish Council Meeting, and after 2½hrs. of incoherent wrangling, another observer and myself were at a loss as to what had been achieved or the perpose of what had been discussed.

The reason I am recounting this tale is to say, `Thank-you to the Councillors and the Clerk for making the job of Chairman a pleasure.

For me nothing more typifies what I have just said than how you dealt with the highly controversial planning application for the Black-horse meadow, and o­n top of that, got Shepway`s Cabinet to remove some of the permitted development rights, thus for the time being, effectively blocking any development o­n this land. Seven minutes those decisions took, in front of 75 parishioners. And our electors left that meeting with the knowledge that those they had entrusted to be Councillors knew what they were doing.

At this time may I take the opportunity to o­nce again record the Councils` thanks to Cllr.R.Curd, the previous Chairman for all the work he had done over the last 5½ years.

Last year saw the unfortunate spoiling of part of the village green, which was quickly repaired with no long-lasting damage, when necessary works were being carried out to the church and church-yard to try and give it a long term future, rather than watch it fall down. For many years we have maintained the church-yard with the assistance of the concurrent services grant from SDC, however since its removal, with the advent of The Friends of Swingfield Church and with the fact that this is now administered by an other PPC(Acrise) I feel the time should be taken between now and the next budget to carefully review the situation. The new PPC has contacted me and when I have something to report, I will do so. Incidentally we did get £2000 for an Easement across the Village Green for the laying o­n of essential services which was most welcome to the Council coffers.

Although it is like watching paint dry, progress is being made o­n the Council`s Affordable Housing Scheme with negotiations currently o­ngoing with the landowner and a site investigation shortly to be done. Last January I attended a seminar in Newchurch organized by the Rural housing Trust in the presence of HRH Princess Anne. It was refreshing to note Shepway`s new co-operative stance o­n this issue especially in the light of hurdles put in our way last year.

The A260 is as always a problem with regards to the speed of the traffic and its associated footpath problems between the Selsted bends and Densole. Nothing as usual has happened. Even in January as Councillors are aware, we received an offer of co-operation from the Chairman of Hawkinge PC, but as yet nothing has materialized from Hawkinge.

In the past the KAPC has always been good for a yawn. I don’t believe that is true anymore. More and more I begin to see how by co-operating we can begin to have an effect o­n Shepway Council policy and indeed o­n policies elsewhere in the county.

When not a single member of the Cabinet showed up at the Joint Consultative Meeting for the second time last December, such was the strength of the letter that was sent to them ,it produced a very quick apology from both the Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council, and the Deputy Leader was given the task of always attending.

Anyway, what has been discussed and progressed?

Shepway will resume the collection of refuse from Village halls again after it was terminated by an Officer without the authority to do so.

Parish/Town Councils will have a greater say in the selection of their Standards Board Representatives, or so we thought and with good reason, because both Cllr. Monk and Mr. Wignal indicated that they thought their would be NO problems. However last Wednesday their was, because the proposals where voted down.

The inequity of Sandgate PC contributing equally per household to the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Ground Charity has been aired and hopefully will be resolved by 2008.

More clarity to be given to Planning Applicants o­n ALL the procedures.

The larger Authorities like Folkestone are to pay more for membership of the KAPC rather than be subsidized by the smaller Authorities like Swingfield.

I believe that due to continual pressure over the last 3 years. The standard of the reports written by the Planning Officers has dramatically improved. o­n top of that, the public are now getting responses to telephone calls and enquires. However we have recently discovered  that Planning Authorities are supposed to give Parish Councils 21 days to respond to Planning Applications, and not the current 14, and that where the District council makes a decision contrary to the wishes of the Parish Council it `SHALL NOTIFY THE `PARISH` COUNCIL OF THE TERMS OF THE DECISION`.

It has now been fairly well established that Planning Officers do not have the right to refer any application to GOSE if granted by the Development Control Committee.

As Members will recall last year I was elected to the KAPC Executive. It turns out to be a very useful source of information about changes to legislation and regulations, which eventually will eventually have an impact o­n our own Council. It is also a place where o­ne can learn how other Council’s (District and Parish) conduct themselves. Let’s just say, it has its advantages.

A Council can be as proactive as it likes and to this end we decided back in1997 to twin with Aviron, France. To this end it set up a twinning committee to administer its policy.

Last year there were 4 main areas of activity.

Last summer pupils and staff from our school spent 5 days o­n an exchange visit to Aviron Primary School. By any criteria all judged it to be a resounding success. This year pupils from Aviron are scheduled to come to Swingfield.

July saw us pay host to a party from Aviron, whilst in September a 20+ party went to Aviron, Saturday being spent in Amblois, and o­n the Sunday English culture was seen at their village fete in the form of a light hearted cricket match.

In November I attended their Armistice Day commemorations at the invitation of the Major of Aviron, deputising for Cllr R.Curd.

This year plans are already in hand for them to attend our Remembrance services, as well as us spending 3 days in Aviron in June, whilst they will visit us in September.

Last year financially the Village Hall held its own, leaving it with reserves of about £2K.A far cry from the days when it was dependant o­n a subsidy from this Council, or indeed in receipt of loans. The Trustees had hoped to be able to replace the  windows with the help of a KCC grant thanks to our County Councillor. That unfortunately fell through as. But very recently we have just been asked to apply for funds through the KCC Second Homes Community Charge Scheme. this we will be doing, again my thanks to Cllr. Carey.

Cllr Colin Tearle - Chairman Swingfield Parish Council

Swingfield annual parish meeting 25 April 2006 - KCC report

Contributed by editor on Apr 30, 2006 - 09:12 AM


I am very sorry to miss the Swingfield Annual Meeting which took precedence in my diary for the evening of the 25th April.  Unfortunately a family emergency has arisen and I cannot be with you.

I start my report to you with a thank you for electing me.  Turnout in the Elham Valley Division was 75.6% which is exceptionally high and my share of vote was 60%.  This gave me a vote of nearly 6,000 and a majority of nearly 4,000.  As you can imagine, this sort of thing gets you noticed at County Hall and it means that people listen to what I had to say o­n your behalf.

Elham Valley is a special place which is still largely rural in its character and much of it lies in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  In an increasingly urbanised world there is a real need to speak up for rural areas and to strike the right balance between economic growth and protecting the countryside.  I have been very encouraged by the policies and projects that KCC have in place to help rural regeneration and Kent’s farmers such as Produced in Kent, Farmers Markets and the biofuel trials.

The state of our roads and the speed of the traffic o­n them was a big concern to the electorate and I was therefore very pleased to be appointed to the Highways Advisory Board and the Strategic Planning Policy Overview Committee which dealt with transport matters.  In October I was appointed Lead Member for Education supporting the Cabinet Member for Education.  This brought with it appointments to the Schools Organisation Advisory Board, Kent Schools Organisation Committee, SACRE (overviewing Religious Education) and the Walking Bus project.

I have now visited about 30 of Kent’s 615 schools including both Hawkinge schools and Selsted as well as three of the new children’s centres which deal with 0 to 4 year old children and their parents.  I have planted trees and cut ribbons and sat in o­n classes and taken part in all sorts of school activities.  I have been impressed with the work that is being done in the schools by teachers, pupils and governors.

The big drop in the number of children means that there are around 14,000 empty desks in primary schools across the County.  As schools are funded per pupil this is a major problem for them and the more vacancies they have the less they have to spend o­n children’s education.  Kent County Council is therefore reviewing all areas to merge and close schools so that the number of empty places is reduced.  Schools are merged, closed and opened all the time and this is part of the normal work of the Schools Organisation Advisory Board but the scale of the surplus places is such that we have doubled the number of meetings for the next 6 months and will be looking at two to three areas every meeting.  By merging or closing a few schools in each area the remaining schools will o­nce more be viable.

The Shepway area will also be reviewed but does not have quite such a problem as other areas because the Ghurkha soldiers are being allowed to have their families with them and this is expected to bring around 400 children into Shepway’s schools. 

Shepway has also done very well in securing two of the five new Academies planned for Kent with o­ne in Folkestone sponsored by Roger de Hahn and o­ne o­n the Romney Marsh sponsored by Microsoft.  And the George Spurgeon Primary School in Folkestone is to benefit from £3.5 million capital and over £½ million in extra revenue when it is closed at the end of this year to re-open as a ‘Fresh Start’.

I have spoken at County Hall about the problems caused to our area by Operation Stack, I have secured funding for a pilot study o­n removing sign clutter from our roads and I have assisted individuals with various problems concerning Highways, Schools and Social Services.

Council tax has risen sharply in the last few years.  Kent County Council has argued that Kent’s share of grant from central government is too low particularly compared with the level of grant paid to councils in the Midlands and the North.  This year the increase in grant for schools was a generous 6.9% but for all other services just 0.3%.  We already know that next year’s settlement from central government will be even lower.  We at KCC will continue to do our best to put the case for fairer funding for Kent and to look to deliver services more efficiently.

Despite the financial pressures, Kent County Council is rated 4 stars (the top mark) and ‘improving strongly’ by the Audit Commission.  o­nly three county councils in the country were awarded 4 stars and of these KCC had the lowest B and D council tax for 2005/06.

It is a great privilege to be the County representative for Elham Valley and I look forward to working with your parish council in the year ahead.

Susan Carey
Member for Elham Valley, Kent County Council

Swingfield Twinning Association newsletter February 2006

Contributed by editor on Feb 11, 2006 - 07:37 PM
Swingfield Twinning Association

NEWSLETTER No 5 February 2006

Colin Tearle (Chairman) 01303 892621

David Bateman (Vice-chairman)

Karen Tatt (Secretary) 01303 893724

Paul Tatt (Treasurer)

Harry O`Grady - Andrew Barchi

Yvonne Parry - Heather Bateman - Peter Brocklebank

Linda Tearle - Graham Truss

Dear Member,

Another year has come and gone in the life of the Association. It only seemed yesterday that we were sitting down and planning with our friends from Aviron last year's programme, and so it was that the annual meeting of the two Committees recently took place in Swingfield to agree a programme of events for 2006.

Following the success of last year experiment to extend the annual visits to 3 days/2 nights it has been decided to continue with this arrangement. Listed below is the agreed programme of events with the final details being circulated later.

Late June - Swingfield to visit Aviron

Early September - Aviron to visit Swingfield

First week of July - Selsted School to receive pupils from Aviron Primary School for 5 days

12th November - Mayor of Aviron to attend the Remembrance Day Commemorations.


On Saturday 25th February in the new Community hall at Selsted School we will be holding a joint fund raising venture with the Friends of Selsted School. This will be a Race-Nite/American Supper starting at 7pm, entry free. 

Further details can be obtained from C. Tearle on 01303 892621.

Swingfield Parish Council has decided to continue its financial support to the Association with a most welcome grant of £350.00.

Finally, new members and ideas are always most welcome - we are generally surprised at how relaxed our twice-yearly visits with the people from Aviron really are and just how many private friendships and subsequent visits are now a feature of twinning


Swingfield Parish Council minutes 29 November 2005

Contributed by editor on Feb 05, 2006 - 09:26 PM


Minutes of a meeting of Swingfield Parish Council held at Swingfield Village Hall, on Tuesdav 29 November 2005

PRESENT: Councillor R D Curd (in the Chair), Councillors Mrs A Hanner, V Hamler R Hoult-Lukey, S Lee, A Nichol, H O'Grady and C D Tearle.

Apologies for absence: Councillor P Major.

Officer in Attendance: Mrs T Wiles, Clerk and Treasurer


Councillor V Hamler and Mrs A Hamler declared a prejudicial interest in minute 5014.4 (Parish Council Budget 2006/07 - the item which related directly to Parish Maintenance only) and would only leave the meeting if this item was discussed.

Councillor R D Curd declared a prejudicial interest in Minute 5013 
Planning Application -- Reference Y05/1472/SH - 385 Canterbury Road, Densole and was absent ITom the meeting during discussion and voting on this item.

The Clerk and Treasurer declared a prejudicial interest in Minute 5014.3 -: Financial Matters review of Clerk's salary and was absent ITom the meeting during discussion and voting on this item.


The minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on 25 October 2005 were submitted, approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


The Chairman reported that two planning applications had been received since the last meeting of the Parish Council.

Note: At this point the Chairman left the meeting and the Vice-Chairman took the Chair

Application reference Y05/1472/SH Land Adjoining 385 Canterbury Road, Densole (Black Horse Meadow) was ,?onsidered at the meeting. This application was for 98 dwellings. The issue of requesting an Article 4 Notice to remove all permitted development rights was also considered.


1. To strongly object to planning application reference Y05/1472/SH. The grounds for refusal to include being contrary to the Local Plan, highway related issues, no recreation area, infrastructure issues, size and density of the application insidious creeping urbanisation, domino effect.

(Voting for 7; Against 0; Ab 0)


2. To request that an Article 4 Notice be served on the site removing all permitted development rights.

(Voting for 7 Against 0 Ab 0)

The Chairman then resumed the Chair.

The response of the Parish Council to the other application is attached at Appendix 2.


Councillors considered the Financial Report and Accounts for Payment, which was circulated at the meeting.


1. To approve the accounts a copy of which is attached to these minutes as Appendix 1, and to make the payments due.


2. To exclude the public from the meeting for the following item of business on the ground that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.

Parish Councillors reviewed the salary of the Clerk and Treasurer in accordance with the National Pay Scales.



3. To increase the salary of the Clerk and Treasurer to point 6 on the National Pay Scales with effect from 1 January 2006.

The Clerk and public were then invited back into the meeting.
Councillors considered the draft budget and precept for 2006/07 presented by the Clerk and Treasurer. Councillors noted that the income to the Parish Council in respect of the granting of the easement at St Peter's Church has been included in the budget. Parish Councillors then asked questions and the Chairman and Clerk and Treasurer responded. It was also agreed that the Clerk should write the Twinning Association requesting a breakdown of how the donation made by Parish Council had been spent during the year.

A copy of the budget is attached to these minutes.


4. To receive and approve the Budget for 2006/07.

5. To precept the District Council for the sum of £5500


The Kent County Councillor and District Councillor were not in attendance.


It was reported that the drain repairs in Pay Street carried out in October 2005 has caused the road surface to shrink in the area surrounding the repair.
The works requested in Boyington Lane had still not been undertaken.

The Clerk reported that the operations manager at Kent Highways had advised that he was not prepared to take any further action regarding the fence at 1 Pay Street. He had referred the Parish Council to the Planning Department.



To take no further action regarding the fence at 1 Pay Street.


Green moss was reported on the pavement in Densole Way. No other maintenance issues were raised.


The Parish Council representative gave a resume of the matters discussed which included the following:
Planning User Group - The planning procedure had again been discussed, particularly how the call-in procedure works. The District Council were also to consider this as part of a communications strategy.


The Clerk reported on correspondence which had been received since the last meeting and which would be circulated to all members. Details are contained in Appendix 3 to these minutes.

NOTE: At the conclusion of the meeting the Chairman announced that he was stepping down as Chairman with immediate effect. He thanked the Parish Councillors for their hard work and support over the years he had been Chairman. The Vice Chairman would act as Chairman until the Parish Council Meeting in January 2006, when a Chairman would be elected