The annual parish meeting took place in the Village Hall on Wednesday 4th May 2005. Those present listened to reports from clubs, organisations and the parish council on the main activities during the year. Full reports follow……..
Parish Council Chairmans report
During the past year the parish council held 12 regular meetings plus the Parish Council AGM. These meetings were held in the Village Hall on the first Wednesday of the month (March was postponed a week because of the snowfall).
Although Bobbing may not have a traditional ‘village centre’ as found in some of our neighbouring parishes the communities we serve (Bobbing Village, Bobbing Hill, The Grove, The Meads, Howt Green, Keycol plus the surrounding rural areas) are nevertheless just as historic. But more importantly the residents are just as interested and enthusiastic about their neighbourhood as anyone else. Because we have issues that are of importance and interest to our local communities our residents have the right to expect high standards of accountability from their representatives for the delivery of parish council services. The Parish Council endeavours to take as much care and pride in resolving parish matters as resources, bureaucracy and time will allow,
The year started with Elaine Nappey and Larry Major becoming parish councillors. The Key Street Heritage sign followed in late May and many people have commented and shown an interest in it. Later in the year the Council presented former Councillor Peter Judges a print of the Heritage sign in recognition of his services to the Council. Travellers have been evicted from the Meads and the Parish Council was invited and attended the KCC Structure Plan Examination in Public. Following a visit by the Chairman and the Clerk to Mr Haratbar at SBC he visited the Parish Council to discuss local issues the results of which still remain to be seen. After much research we produced a Memorial book to remember those who were killed in two world wars. We have also produced a ‘new residents’ information pamphlet. Councillors have attended meetings with Kent Police, KAPC, Chalkwell Coaches and made several site visits. Not forgetting Councillor training and the setting of the annual parish precept at the December meeting. In addition we have had to contend and comply with central government directives, which to volunteers on Parish Councils can appear to be daunting and obstructive rather than progressing issues, although the number of directives has slowed this year. All this represents just a flavour of what the Parish Council does and becomes involved with during the course of year.
The biggest disappointment during the year has been the non-attendance of Ward Councillors at Parish meetings, and the lack of action by SBC to make the traffic and highway improvements that are frequently discussed but rarely delivered.
However we must look forward. We have a Web Site under construction, plans to revive the parish newsletter, thanks to some willing volunteers. We also have the Swale Borough Local Plan to look forward to. Developers are showing an interest in obtaining planning permission for the Meads Business Park where we need to ensure our views are represented. We will also continue to help and support the village hall in its aim of providing disabled facilities and the parish council will generally consider and support any proposals that would further enhance Bobbing Parish and facilities that pull the community together (eg additional clubs, groups and organisations).
During the year the Parish council considered 39 planning applications, 8 more than last year (31). This in turn was 7 higher than 2002/03 (24). Most of these were for small householder extensions however there are two large sites on the Meads. The business park site south of Staplehurst Road and the Community services (local shops, mini supermarket etc) site north of Staplehurst Road which are attracting attention.
On behalf of Parish Council and myself in particular I would like to express our thanks to Sue our Parish Clerk for all the work she has undertaken throughout the past year on behalf of the parish council. She becomes involved in all the above plus undertaking some Parish Clerk training. Without her enthusiasm, determination and dedication I am sure very little progress would have been made. She has written, phoned, harried, text, emailed and chased not only Swale Borough Council, but just about everyone else (me included) you could possibly think of in order to get things done, once again thank you for all your endeavours.
- Key Street roundabout pedestrian safety/traffic speed.
- Key Street roundabout, badly sighted road signs.
- Key Street roundabout, White lining/repair of railings.
- Key Street, pedestrians crossing petrol station entrance.
- Bobbing Hill, extend yellow lines further up the hill.
- Bobbing Hill move speed limit signs to end of houses.
- Traffic calming, speed limit past village school.
- Keycol Hill, Traffic calming
- Keycol Hill, White lining.
- Car parking (Non residents) Bobbing Hill, Key Street, Keycol Hill.
- Car Parking Hilton Drive (Grove Park School pickup).
- Litter, Everywhere, including fly tipping, and wrappers by food shops.
- Bobbing Corner services, HGVs damaging verge.
Attendance at Council Meetings (May 2004 to April 2005)
Ken Bullen 11/12 Nil
John Butler (Vice Chairman) 7/12 Nil
Duncan Dewar-Whally 9/12 Nil
Gill Edwards 8/12 Nil
Nita Elbourn 10/12 Nil
Graham Herbert (Chairman) 12/12 Nil
Elaine Nappey 11/12 Nil
Larry Major 11/12 Nil
Bob Wileman 10/12 Nil
Ward Councillors attending Parish Council meetings during 2004/05:
Cllr Manning attended 0 meetings
Cllr Lowe attended 0 meetings
County Councillors attending Parish Council meetings during 2004/05
Cllr Morgan attended 0 meetings
Year Precept £ £ Band D (Annual per household)
1997/98 4,777 8.72
1998/99 4,833 8.73
1999/00 3,888 7.03
2000/01 2,944 7.03
2001/02 4,500 7.82
2002/03 4,500 6.61
2003/04 3,500 4.99
2004/05 3,900 5.56 (Lowest in Swale District)
2005/06 5,000 7.12 (2nd lowest in Swale District)
The last 12 months has seen a steady amount of bookings for the village hall. Although we lost the Salsa club another craft club has taken this regular slot – less noisy as well! 6 different people have enquired about using the hall as a playgroup for mornings during the week. This would be welcomed but lack of storage and gaining funding is an obstacle most have found. We await a regular booking. An after school club was suggested but after consulting with the local school found this not to be needed. Hiring rates have stayed the same this year as is the level of surety. New tables have been purchased which makes setting out the hall easier.
Disabled access is a problem so planning permission was applied for and granted. This next year will see Sue writing letters and filling in forms to try to gain funding for this extension. New licensing laws take effect from November which will reduce the amount of functions able to gain liquor licences to a total of 12 per year. The local authority will be responsible for this and after much advice we will fall into this category. This should cover hirer’s needs and will be operated on a first come first served basis.
The village hall committee would like to thank the continued support from the parish council (especially financial support). Also to Graham Herbert who works behind the scenes to alter and repair many items for which we are indebted. The committee is small but still strives to ensure the hall is available to Bobbing’s community.
Bobbing WI meets every 2nd Wednesday of each month (except August) at the Village Hall. At present there are 18 regular members.
Members have enjoyed a variety of speakers. Throughout the year we have heard about the exploits of a theatre manager who staged variety shows at the Lido in Margate; a make up artist who made monster faces for TV productions; listened to volunteer bureaux workers who work both both locally and in women’s prisons. Also not forgetting the speaker from Demelza House.
There has been lively debate on the WIs national resolutions – on GM food production and the upsetting practice of trafficking women and children for illegal purposes.
On a lighter note the WI has enjoyed regular contact with other WI in our area; with the general meeting held this year in Iwade. Plus we came second in the top team area quiz. A harvest supper and the Bobbing WIs birthday party proved to be a waist expanding experience and a delight for all members and friends who attended.
Finally the members would like to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to join Bobbing WI, feel free to contact Kath Hills, President, Sittingbourne 431663.
During the year the expansion to Grove Park Community Primary School commenced. In August we saw the long awaited demolition of the 5 mobile classrooms and toilet block. The expansion included a two storey building consisting of 11 new classrooms. With the loss of the inner courtyard they will have a new hall to cater for the increase of pupil intake. Another ICT suite plus a separate playground for KS2 children were also the benefits from these alterations.
Grove Park Community Primary School was very fortunate to win a competition in conjunction with Woolworths, receiving £10,000 towards the refurbishment of the current playground. The children from Reception up to Year 6 had to design and create what they would like to see in their own playground. From the results, an adventure playground has now been erected and further alterations to the KS2 playground are planned.
Bobbing Parish Council kindly donated £200 towards new books for the school.
The official opening of the new extension is scheduled for 16th June 2005 and invitations will be sent out accordingly.
Grove Park Community Primary School
Bobbing WI report – Annual Parish Meeting Wednesday 4th May 2005
Village Hall News 2005
Bobbing Parish Precept
Bobbing Parish Council Attendance Expenses
(9 Councillors) (12 meetings) £.p
Regular issues (Reminders to Swale Borough Council)
Bobbing Parish Council – Annual Parish Meeting Wednesday 4th May 2005