PADDOCK WOOD TOWN COUNCIL
The Podmore Building, St Andrews Field, St Andrews Road
Paddock Wood, Kent, TN12 6HT
Telephone: 01892 837373
MINUTES OF A MEETING OF PADDOCK WOOD TOWN COUNCIL HELD ON Monday 20th February 2023 at 7.45 pm in The Day Centre, Commercial Road, Paddock Wood
PRESENT: Cllr M Flashman, in the Chair
Cllrs H Atkins, R. Atkins, (TWBC) D. Boyle, D. Kent, A. Mackie, RMoon, (TWBC) M Ridger, C. Williams
IN ATTENDANCE: Borough Cllr M Bailey, 1 resident
APOLOGIES: Cllr S Hamilton,(KCC) R Turk, Carol Williams
The Chairman made the following statement: Notes of the meeting will be taken by Cllr Boyle and that he will also be speaking and voting on agenda items. The meeting will also be recorded purely for the purpose of helping with the minutes. Cllr Boyle was thanked for his assistance.
QUESTIONS FROM RESIDENTS (15 minutes)
Two questions from a member of the public
- Will Paddock Wood town Council be relisting the Wesley Centre as an Asset of Community Value?
- Will Paddock Wood Town Council consider a review of all of its premises to see if any will become a surplus asset in view of the new community centre opening in 2023?
BOROUGH & COUNTY COUNCILLORS UPDATE (10 minutes)
Town Councillors should submit questions a week in advance, if possible, to the Borough/County Councillor concerned (copied to the Town Clerk).
C117 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
C118 MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING.
Copies of draft minutes can be found on the Town Council website.
- The minutes from the meeting held on 16th January 2023 were APPROVED subject to minor amendment to the spelling of February in C114
(b) The minutes from the Planning & Environment Committee meeting held on 16th January 2023 and 6th February 2023 were NOTED speech marks around chairman were asked to be removed on p127
(c) The minutes from the Finance Committee held on 9th January 2023 were NOTED.
(d) The minutes from the Governance Committee meeting held on 23rd January 2023 were NOTED.
C119 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE PREVIOUS MINUTES NOT INCLUDED ELSEWHERE ON THE AGENDA
- Wesley Centre:
TWBC Cabinet has recommended that Tunbridge Wells Borough Council adopts the Asset Management Plan 2023/24 as the Plan supports the Council’s Corporate Priorities in the Five-Year Plan. Three of the Paddock Wood Borough Councillors spoke at the cabinet meeting as well as representatives from Heritage Paddock Wood. Cllr Flashman was unable to attend. A letter was submitted to all cabinet members and a comment was submitted on the consultation portal. Over 100 local people had written in to defend the Wesley Centre. There were many sympathetic comments made by the cabinet members about the Wesley Centre.
- Highways Improvement Plan.
Cllr Mackie had resigned as Chairman of this group and had been replaced by Cllr Atkins
- A letter of thanks from the King had been received following the TC’s letter of condolence sent following the death of Queen Elizabeth.
- Feedback from meeting with TWBC re Paddock Wood car parks.
Cllr Flashman and Cllr Moon met with the leader and Lee Collyer to discuss this issue. They were informed that due to enforcement issues it was not feasible to consider PWTC taking over the running of the carparks. However, TWBC reiterated that they needed to make a profit from the carparks and that in the long run the only practical way was to remove the free parking.
It was noted that the parking charges were increased in the car parks.
The chairman proposed suspending standing orders, this was seconded and agreed by unanimous vote.
Borough Councillor Bailey was invited to speak.
During the discussion it was noted that the promised maintenance work that was due when the 2 hour free parking was reduced to 1 hour had not taken place.
The chairman proposed reinstating standing orders, this was seconded and agreed by unanimous vote
a. Payments list voucher nos: 926-1001
A query was raised about payment voucher 945 as this related to a previous grant application that had not been paid and this has been rectified.
Meryl Flashman proposed, Cllr Boyle seconded, Seconded Derek Boyle
That payment of Voucher nos 926 -1001 should be APPROVED.
b. The receipts list 236-247 was NOTED.
c. A grant request had been received from the Samaritans for £250
Members were advised that there was £2000 left in the grant budget for this financial year.
The RFO had advised that although there is money left in this cost code many of the other cost codes are already significantly overspent.
Cllr Sargison proposed, Cllr Moon seconded:
That a grant of £250 should be made.
a) Email Usage Policy
This is to come back to the next meeting as the amendments had not been reflected in the papers presented.
b) Procedure for managing questions to Borough and County Councillors at Town Council No changes were made.
c) Protocol for attending meetings
The alterations were noted.
d) Town Council Public Participation Policy
Minor changes to one sentence and were noted.
Members were asked to approve a new policy.
Cllr H Atkins withdrew this item.
NOTE this must be approved by full council before the next town council elections in May.
C122 COMMUNITY CENTRE
a. Members are asked to agree that the lease can be signed between the Town Council and Paddock Wood Community Centre Operations ltd as soon as the Town Council takes ownership of the building which is now anticipated to be on 3rd March
b. PWTC was advised that the lease also needs to be dated from 3rd March for VAT purposes.
At 4:30pm on 20th February PWTC was notified that Minerva were not aware of the tennis courts being part of the project for VAT purposes so at the moment if PWTC retained the Tennis courts there would be a VAT liability for the cost of their construction to be paid.
Proposed by Meryl Flashman, Seconded by Derek Boyle
The signing of the lease can that take place on the basis that the documents will be amended to include other elements of the site so far as necessary to align with relevant desired VAT outcomes.
7 for, 3 against
The proposal was carried.
- In response to questions from Cllr Mackie, the following answers were provided:
- The car park is being retained under the ownership of PWTC and the EV chargers will also be retained by PWTC. The management of the EV chargers and revenues/costs are being investigated at the moment.
- The ownership boundary on the most recent plans does reflect the position and ownership of the plant room correctly.
- The sub-station does not need to be shown on the ownership plan.
- The nursery cannot be managed by PWTC because of VAT implications.
- The closing and securing of gates is being considered at the moment and will be discussed at the next Directors meeting. There are bollards installed, but the security of the vehicle and pedestrian gates need to be considered carefully and discussed with PWTC.
c. Centre Manager.
Eight applications were received and four met the required criteria. All four were invited for interview and accepted. The interviews take place on Friday 24th February at the Podmore Building.
d. The Board minutes from January 2023 have been posted on the Town Council
e. Any other information
At the March full council meeting, the financial figures relating to the Community Centre project will be provided for councillors as previously promised.
No minutes have been posted from the working group meeting since October, but this is because those meetings have focused on the fit out of the community centre.
Minutes will be made available asap.
C123 NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
Following the submission of the answers to questions submitted by the Inspector to TWBC and PWTC a response from the Inspector is awaited. All documents can be found on the TWBC website.
No further information was available from the inspector or a date for the referendum.
C124 ANNUAL TOWN MEETING
This is scheduled for Wednesday 5th April
Members were asked for suggestions about a speaker.
Local groups who have received grants from the Council over the last year will receive an invitation to attend and update everyone on what they have spent the funds on.
The meeting coincides with a TWBC meeting so Ray Moon and Rodney Atkins would not be able to attend the Annual Town meeting
Suggestions for speakers to be approached:
- Community Storehouse
- Community Advice Centre
- Paddock Wood Business Association
- Foal Hurst Wood
- Representatives from the local Hong Kong community centred on St. Andrews Church
- Heritage Paddock Wood
C125 REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES
(a) Chairman’s meeting; no meeting has taken place
(b) Paddock Wood Business Association; meeting scheduled for 16th February
Economic Development Officer, Hilary Smith from TWBC attended.
(c) Bereko Committee; soup and a roll 10th February 2023
(d) KALC – no meeting has taken place
(e) Medway Valley Line
(f) Hop Pickers Line
The following bids have been submitted:
- Improved signage from the station to the John Brunt and for planters for the ground where the pub sign is.
- Interpretation Board for the redundant platform at the station
(g) Youth Council
Andrew Mackie attended the meeting, and the youth council are keen on an event for the King’s Coronation
(h) Putlands Leisure Centre – No meeting has taken place
(i) Royal British Legion
Nothing to report.
C126 MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION IN PRIVATE:
Members to consider whether to pass a resolution under Section 100(A) (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting on the grounds that consideration of the items of business is likely to involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A, Access to Information: Exempt Information to the Act (as amended).
The chairman proposed that the public should be excluded from the remainder of the meeting on the grounds of staff and resident confidentiality, this was seconded and agreed by unanimous vote
a. Staffing Issues: To receive information.
It was noted that the Town Clerk is making a phased return to work over a period of one month starting on the 20th of February. The chairman proposed that the Clerk be allowed to carry forward one week’s leave into the next financial year. This was seconded and unanimously agreed.
b. Complaint received: To receive information.
A formal complaint against both the Clerk and the Council was submitted on 26th October 2022. This was dealt with in accordance with the Council’s Complaints Policy and responded to by Cllr Turk in his role as Chairman of the Personnel Committee outlining the actions the Council was taking as a result of the complaint. An enquiry from Greg Clarke’s Office was received on 11th January which was responded to by the locum Clerk. On 18th January the locum Clerk wrote to the complainant stating that if she wished to trigger the second stage of the Council’s complaints policy she had 20 working days in which to do so. No response has been received therefore the Council can consider that the matter is closed.
This was noted
C127 DATE OF NEXT MEETING:
The next meeting will take place on Monday 20th March at 7.45 pm in The Day Centre, Commercial Road.