Minutes of the 280th Executive Committee meeting held on Saturday 5 November 2016 at CPRE Protect Kent offices in Charing
Present: John Walker (Chairman) (JW), Jessamy Blanford (JB), Christine Furminger (CF), Philip Robinson (Hon Treasurer) (PR) and Alastair Todd (AT).
1 Apologies for absence were received from Crispin Davies (CD).
2 Minutes of previous Executive committee meeting on 3 September 2016
The minutes had been circulated with the agenda. They were agreed and signed by the Chairman.
3 Matters arising
There were none.
4 Chairman’s report
The Chairman, Jan Pahl and Alan Moss were Kent’s delegates at Civic Voice’s Annual Conference in October. It was noted that the organisation had done remarkably well and was performing effectively at national level. £150,000 had been raised annually from projects. Current market challenging and income from subscriptions provided only a third of running costs. The structural deficit must be addressed. While the largest number of members came from the south east, the new board was predominantly northern and there was concern it would focus on northern issues.
The President’s Lunch in Canterbury had proved a most successful event.
5 Events programme
Possible speakers, particularly for the Woolford Lecture, to accompany the AGM, were discussed. Bernard Gambrill would be requested to talk on HS1, although perhaps not available until autumn. He was at the forefront of this project and dealt with negotiations at the time. There had been much concern about the route and opposition - this topic of great interest in view of HS2.
An alternative topic might be Conservation Areas (CAs). Heritage was taking a much higher profile, Civic Voice and Historic England were working together and there was a role for civic societies in drawing attention to CAs. It was noted that a review had begun with a view to reduce CAs.
It was noted that the conversation regarding merging local authorities was proceeding apace and this could provide the subject for an interesting conference. KALC active in this area. Terry Martin keen and Ray Evison. Feasibility report on local partnerships commissioned; would focus on financial implications. Many issues. Report expected just after Christmas, with decision mid to end February. Ray Evison or Paul Carter, Head of Association of Local Councils? KCC being bypassed and unitary authorities a concern. Another suggestion was Richard King (CPRE and KALC)?
There could be a representative speaker from each of the various levels – how it all might work. Parish councils might take over local services. The role of district and county councils. West Kent appeared to be proceeding apace, whereas East Kent were taking a more democratic stance.
Invitations could go from KALC to towns and parishes, and from KFAS to societies and the conference run from 9.30 until 1.00, with a coffee break. To include a presentation on Civic Day?
The availability of Lenham Community Hall to be checked, and booked for 20 May if possible. CD would be consulted. JW agreed to consider speakers.
6 Secretary/Membership Secretary’s report
A membership list was being worked on when time permitted.
7 Treasurer’s report
The President’s lunch had proved quite expensive. There was currently a deficit.
It was noted that Becket and Bean Parish Council had become recent members of KFAS. Page 2 of 2 Executive committee minutes - 3 September 2016
8 Society issues
Tunbridge Wells. 98% of planning decisions taken by officers and in fact the remaining 2% taken by them too, resulting in the planning committee being redundant. There were no answers from individuals and 100% agreement with the officers’ advice.
Ashford. The Local Plan was out for consultation. Not enough allocation of sites for housing. Continued delay, say three to six months. The five-year housing supply was based on previous completion rates, market signals and assessed housing needs. Policy not working. New houses needed. As regards affordable housing, 40% of cost of construction is in the land. Developers try to overdevelop. The duty to co-operate does not work and it is left up to local people to work it out.
Canterbury. Adjoining authorities agree that housing needs to stop at the boundary.
Thanet. Workshops being held – airport is a problem. Craig Mackinley MP looking at mixed use development area, consultants appointed as to whether this is viable. Report adopted but real estate company making waves. The present marketing strategy is for "cargo hub". Developers have an application in.
Ramsgate. Discussion on permitted development taking place. Bretts concrete plant. Environment input.
9 Any other business
There was nothing further to report. Updates had been discussed during the meeting.
10 Date of next meeting
7 January 2017 at 10 a.m. in CPRE (Protect Kent) offices in Charing.
The meeting closed at 12.15 p.m.
Signed (Chairman)………………………………….…………………. Date: …………………….
Christine Furminger, Secretary, 14 The Close, Rye, East Sussex TN31 7BS
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