Minutes Tuesday 1st September 2020


A Virtual Zoom Meeting of Bishopsbourne Parish Council was held on Tuesday, 1stSeptember 2020 at 7.30pm. Present:  Cllr R Prestige – Chairman, Cllr K Martin, Cllr H Andrews, Cllr B Dutta & Mrs V McWilliams – Clerk.

The Clerk confirmed that it was legal to record Zoom meetings,the legal department at KALC advised that it would be good practice for the Council to set a retention scheme policy. It was agreed by all that the tape would be destroyed once the minutes recorded had been approved at the next meeting. Proposed by Cllr Martin; seconded by Cllr Prestige.


There were 5 members of the public who tuned in.

One member of the public stated that she was speaking on behalf of neighbours concerned with planning application CA/0/01745 for 3 single-storey terraced holiday lets on Land adjoining Gorseley Cottage, Pett Bottom. They felt the plans were too big particularly in an AONB. There were already problems with the water supply and the roads are single track; any extra traffic would put an already stretched volume of traffic on to the roads. Some residents were worried about additional noise. The chairman thanked her for her attendance and advised her that residents should write to the Planning Department expressing their views.


City Cllr Mike Solesubmitted the following report:

Canterbury City Council has agreed to disband the Covid-19 Emergency Committee and start to move back to a more normal committee structure. However, this will only be for the decision-making committees and meeting will continue to be held online.

In addition, there will be a “Special Meeting” of parish representatives and rural councillors convened so that feedback can be gathered and fed to the Community Committee on the future of Concurrent Funding. I think that my views are well known on concurrent funding and I shall continue to oppose cuts and fight for the best possible deal for the parishes.

I am however not happy that in the new council meetings the ability of councillors to ask questions or raise motions will not currently be restored. This restricts what I can do to get items on the agenda and raise formal questions on behalf of residents.

The waste collection service by Serco is approaching the end of contract, and never have I known the service to be so appalling in this area. Bins are left unemptied for weeks, the missed bin reporting system is not fit for purposes and automatically closes open cases, glass is left on the road, bins are broken, clinical waste and food waste is left for days in the hot weather. As Serco’s vehicles reach the end of their lives, they are regularly breaking down and the City Council appear unable to enforce a better service. I am spending hours every week chasing up unemptied bins and I have ask the leader of the council to carry out an urgent performance review and do all that can be done to improve the service before it is taken over by the City Council next year.

County Cllr Michael Northey was unable to attend but indicated that there was not a lot to report after the summer of lockdown. On the KCC website there is full guidance about the arrangements for getting children back to school. Go to the KCC website, Children and School, School Transport. There is a helpful short video. Basically, all buses are running, extra buses will be provided as necessary, the usual distancing and face covering rules apply. As KCC is not a bus operator, any problems should be reported to the companies to get their help.


Apologies were received from City Cllr Mike Sole, County Cllr Michael Northey and Cllr Tapley; all had previous engagements.


The minutes of the Virtual meeting held on Tuesday 7thJuly 2020 were approved and signed by the Chairman. Proposed by Cllr Martin; seconded by Cllr Prestige


No notification by members was given of any pecuniary or personal interest in items


There were no matters arising from the minutes not on the Agenda


Lloyds Bank£17,690.74 (July 21)

Monies out

Cheques to be signed

Val McWilliams Clerks Salary (2 months July/August 26 hrs at £10.50 = £273.00 + 0ffice maintenance £80 Stamps 1x First class 2 x Second class £24.72

Total £377.72

AJL Garden Services £240

Total £617.72

Approval for payment was proposed by Cllr Prestige; seconded by Cllr Dutta.

The Clerk stated that there was still no news about the future of the Concurrent Financial Funding from Canterbury City Council. It was to be finalised at the Rural Forum Meeting which has now been cancelled.


CA/20/01745 03 no. single-storey terraced holiday lets with associated storage, landscaping, access and parking. Land adjoining Gorseley Cottage, Pett Bottom Road, Lynsore Bottom, Bishopsbourne. The Council considered the application. Although the plans are not of an unattractive design, they are much too big, for the area particularly as it falls in an Area of Natural Outstanding Beauty. The surrounding roads are single track and very narrow. With space for 6 car parking spaces this would add to the already congested roads. There will then be an increase of delivery vans. The road is on a National Cycle Route which is already very busy with groups of all ages using it. The Council has heard from local residents that they are concerned about the amount of noise holiday tenants would produce in a tranquil area which the Council is sympathetic to. The water supply is already difficult for local residents connecting to the main water supply due to very low pressure and a shortage of water. A previous planning application for a single dwelling was refused on these grounds in 2024/15

Although the Council is not against any future development on the site in this case it feels that the plans are of too high density for the size of the plot. The environmental issues that would be involved were the plans to go ahead have not been considered. It is for these reasons that the Council feels the application should be refused

CA/ 19/01398 Land at Middle Pett Farm, Pett Bottom Road, Bishopsbourne. Retention of existing polytunnels. An Appeal has been lodged with The Planning Inspectoratethe Clerk has written to them stating that the Council was all in favour of retaining the polytunnels.

CA/20/01036 Court Lodge Farm change of use of agricultural building to craft workshop Granted

 CA/19/10371 Proposed sliding gate and support arches to rear of existing “five-barred”

entry gate from Woodgate, Mill House, The Old Saw Mill, Woodgate, Refused. The Application has now gone to Planning Inspectorate for Appeal against the decision.


The drains at the bottom of Frog Lane and Crows Camp Road need clearing again. The Clerk will contact the KCC requesting for them to be cleaned.


The annual Playground Inspection has now taken place. The clerk will check the findings of the report and let members know of any repairs that need doing. She will contact Jamie Cole to see if he has any of the wet pour left to redo some of the surfaces under the equipment. 


There has been no response from Southern Water since the pumping was stopped with regard to the problems recurring. Jill Thomas from the River Group has asked if we could arrange a meeting with the group to discuss a way forward in preventing the same problems occurring again. A suggested date is Tuesday 22ndDecember in the Conrad Hall at 10.30am. It was agreed to ask Roger Martin our Flood Warden to attend. The Clerk will make the arrangements.


The Clerk has still not been able to arrange for the black bin to be place outside the Tadpole Tearoom. She will try again to get City Council to arrange it.


Cllr Dutta attended the recent KALC Website workshop. She thanked the Council for sending her on the course and reported that it had been very worthwhile. She confirmed to the Council that the new website was now fully compliant with the new rules regarding parish websites.


All correspondence has been circulated to the Councillors


Cllr Prestige – Environmental Issues -Waiting for the footpaths 374 to be cut back which is due in September

Cllr Andrews – KALC-   Nothing to report

Cllr Tapley. – Footpaths, Village Hall Representative. Nothing to report

Cllr DuttaWebsite This is now up to date and fully operational


Following the departure of the previous tenants of the Mermaid Cllr Prestige reported that the new landlady was now fully installed, and the pub was now open. Local residents are delighted that they still have a pub that they can continue to enjoy, and they wish her every success in her new venture.

It is  hoped to run a “pop up kitchen” evening along with chef William Burnett about once a month. It is proposed to park the van outside the Mermaid, people will then get their food from the van and eat it inside the Mermaid. There were mixed feelings amongst councillors about the idea. It was felt that it would be too noisy for the neighbours. There were already complaints about noise going on until late at the moment particularly as so many young people had become attracted to the pub. Immediate neighbours were not happy about the van being parked outside the Mermaid.

The Chairman felt the scheme should be given a chance as it was early days. He suggested that if residents had any complaints or concerns, they should speak directly to the organisers.  It was agreed to give it a try and see what sort of reaction it gets before making any firm decision.

Councillors were worried about the parking as this could attract many visitors to the area. The suggestion is that the Council will allow parking on Neame Meadow provided that it was not wet or raining at the time. They will be directed to park at the far end of the meadow nearest to the Mermaid. The Clerk will check with our insurance that we are covered to allow it and to let them know that the organisers will be responsible for their own liability.

A new keep fit club has opened on the Neame Meadow. It will be held on each Tuesday. Rachel the lady running the class will use all her own equipment and be responsible for her own insurance and liability.

Cllr Prestige reported sadly that Malcolm & Judith Mitchell who have been in the village for 50 years hope to be moving shortly to pastures new. They have both done sterling work for the village over this time. Malcolm had been Chairman of the Council for many years as well as being involved with the Conrad Hall and the Church. Both are members of the Parochial Church Council Judith having been secretary for about 30 plus years. Both have been at the forefront of money-raising activities having secured grants of more than £100,000 for repairs to St Mary’s Church and forming The Friends of St Mary’s as well many thousands for the Conrad Hall, of which Judith was bookings manager. They were both involved in the organising of the very successful harvest suppers every year. The village cannot thank them enough for all they have done for the community. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude. The Chairman on behalf of the Council wished them well and every happiness in in their new venture. They will be greatly and sadly missed.


Will be a Virtual Meeting on Tuesday 3rdNovember 2020 at 7.30pm

The meeting closed at 8.25pm.

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