PADDOCKWOOD 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 November 2023 at 7.45 pm in The Day Centre, Commercial Road, Paddock Wood
PRESENT: Cllr H Atkins, in the Chair
Cllrs R. Atkins, (TWBC) D. Dray, S. Hamilton (KCC), D. Kent, N. Maari, A. Mackie, T. Mobbs, R. Moon (TWBC) M. Munday, (TWBC)
D. Sargison, J. Thompson, C. Williams.
IN ATTENDANCE: Mrs Nichola Reay, Clerk to the Council
APOLOGIES: Cllr N Maari, T. Mobbs
Borough Cllr Warne was scheduled to attend the meeting to discuss the future of the public toilets in Paddock Wood. However, she was unable to attend and sent her apologies.
BOROUGH & COUNTY COUNCILLORS UPDATE (10 minutes)
The Borough Councillors drew members attention the following.
Finance & Performance – the sale of Calverley Terrace
Housing & Planning – How homelessness is measured and reviewed
Finance & governance – fees and charges. It was noted that there did not appear to be an increase in the fees for the Wesley Centre in the coming year. The fees had previously been discussed by the Finance Cabinet Advisory Board.
The Parking charges were kept high for all day parking to prevent rail users from parking all day in the town centre carparks.
C84 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Cllr Williams declared that she was a director of the PWCCO Ltd.
C85 MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING.
a) Minutes of the meeting held on 16th October 2023.
Cllr Moon proposed, Cllr Williams seconded:
That the minutes did not reflect his reasons for leaving the meeting.
Voting 5 in favour, 6 against the motion. The motion was therefore lost.
Cllr H Atkins proposed, Cllr Hamilton seconded:
That the minutes were an accurate record of the meeting.
Carried 8 in favour, 2 against (Cllrs Moon & Sargison) 1 abstention.
The chairman signed the minutes of the previous meeting
b) The minutes of the Personnel Meeting held on 30th October 2023 were NOTED.
c) The minutes of the P & E Committee held on 16th October 2023 & 6th November 2023 were NOTED.
C86 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE PREVIOUS MINUTES NOT COVERED ELSEWHERE
The first Councillor Surgery had taken place on the 28th October 2023, outside the library and the next one will take place outside of the Podmore building on 25th November 2023.
C87 PUBLIC TOILETS
The Chairman and Clerk had met with Borough Cllr Nancy Warne along with officers from TWBC to discuss the future of the public toilets. During the meeting it was confirmed that the Borough Council would not allow the Town Council to take over the freehold of the building. Following the meeting 4 options were taken back to the Borough Council senior management team for consideration:
- The Town Council takes over the running costs, with the Borough Council responsible for the building maintenance.
- Increase the Town Council’s contribution to £10k with an agreed increase rate going forward.
- The Town Council ceases it contribution and the Borough Council determines whether to keep them open.
- The Borough Council closes the toilets.
Cllr Williams proposed, Cllr Moon seconded:
That no decision should be made until a discussion has taken place with the borough councillor.
The Borough Councillors were asked to support the Town Council. They advised that they needed to know which option the Town Council would prefer.
Cllr Kent proposed, Cllr Hamilton seconded:
That the preferred option was number 1.
VOTING 2 in favour, 8 against 1 abstention. The motion was therefore lost.
Cllr Thompson proposed, Cllr Williams seconded:
That the preferred option was number 2 with an annual increase by CPI.
CARRIED with 1 abstention.
a) Cllr Williams proposed, Cllr H Atkins seconded:
That the payments list voucher nos:425 – 487 be APPROVED.
b) The receipts list voucher nos:185 – 191is NOTED.
c) Grant applications:
(i) PW Litter pickers
The clerk advised that whilst an application had been received from the PW Litter Pickers as they did not have a bank account the council could not make a grant available to them. It could however purchase items from its litter picking fund and donate it to the group.
Cllr Thompson proposed, Cllr Hamilton seconded:
That the Council spends £150 on equipment for the group from the litter pick fund.
(ii) Hi Kent
Cllr Moon proposed, Cllr Williams seconded:
That a grant of £480 should be made to Hi Kent
d) Appointment of Planning Consultant – the Planning and Finance Committee have recommended that the Council should re-appoint its consultant to respond to the proposed changes to the Local Plan that would go out for consultation in the new year. The Council has budgeted £5000 for Planning advice this year. The consultant has quoted £4600 for the work. This will include the following work:
1)reviewing the Committee Papers that TWBC publishes in November
2) listening to the November and December Committee Meetings; and
3) preparing a response to the consultation that TWBC states will take place for six weeks commencing after the 13th December Committee meeting.
Cllr Williams proposed, Cllr Munday seconded:
That Troy Hayes should be appointed to respond on behalf of the Town Council to the proposed changes to the Local Plan.
C89 LOCAL PLAN UPDATE
To receive an update on the current position. Standing Orders may be suspended to allow the Borough Councillors to update members.
C90 GARDEN THERAPY
To receive an update from Cllr Munday.
C91 FOAL HURST WOOD 25TH ANNIVERSARY
Foal Hurst Wood was opened in May 1999 with a country fair. The Estates Committee has agreed that the event should be marked in some way.
Members are asked to consider how the anniversary should be marked. See attached suggestions.
To approve the following documents as recommended by the Personnel Committee.
a) Scheme of Delegation
b) Dignity at Work Policy
C93 CLIMATE CHANGE WORKING GROUP
Cllr Thompson will be attending a meeting of the U3A Climate Change Group on the 14th November 2023. The Clerk will be attending a Carbon Literacy Course on the 4th December 2023 arranged by KALC. This is an all-day online course if any members wish to attend.
C94 STANDING ORDERS
C95 REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES
To receive updates from representatives
(a) Chairman’s meeting.
(b) Paddock Wood Business Association
(c) Bereko Committee
(d) KALC –
(e) Medway Valley Line
(f) Hop Pickers Line
(g) Youth Council
(h) Putlands Leisure Centre – meeting scheduled for 13th December 2023
(i) Highway Improvement Plan
(k) Reports from meetings which members have attended on behalf of the Town Council.
C96 PADDOCK WOOD COMMUNITY CENTRE
a) The lease between PWTC and PWCCO Ltd have now been exchanged, as has the lease between PWCCO Ltd and the nursery operator.
b) To NOTE the directors report – if available.
c) Memorial Car Park – the Town Council has been approached by the Athletics Club seeking permission to use the car park for the ½ marathon in April 2024. The Club would provide marshals for the event. Members are asked to permit the use of the car park for the event.
Under section 1 (2) of the Public Bodies (admission to meetings) Act 1960 the following items may be exempt from the press and public.
d) Finances & FM contract for the community centre
To consider the attached report.
C97 STAFF SALARIES
a) To APPROVE the recommendation from the Personnel Committee for the RFO’s salary.
b) To NOTE the 2023/24 salary increases which have just been approved by the National Joint Council. These will be back dated to the 1st April 2023.
C98 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting will take place on Monday 18th December 2023 at 7.45 in the Day Centre.
CLERK TO THE COUNCIL
14th November 2023