Agenda and minutes

Sheppey Local Engagement Forum - Tuesday, 26th January, 2010 6.30 pm

Venue: Eastchurch Village Hall

Contact: Bill Ronan  01622 696889 or 07710 339894

No. Item


Apologies for Absence





MINUTES of the Meeting held at Eastchurch Village Hall, Warden Road, Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey on Tuesday 26th January 2010 from 7:00 pm to 9:23 pm.




PRESENT: Swale Borough Councillors: Councillor John Morris (Vice-Chairman), Councillors Mick Constable, Mark Ellen, David Garside, Harrison, Paul Hayes, Lesley Ingham, Pat Sandle and Worrall. Kent County Councillors: Mr Kenneth Pugh (Chairman). Kent Association of Local Councils: Mr Ingleton (Minster Parish Council).




OFFICERS PRESENT: Martin Goodhew, Abdool Kara, Kellie Mackenzie, Bob Pullen and Jean Wood (Swale Borough Council) and Bill Ronan (Kent County Council).




ALSO IN ATTENDANCE: John Griffin (DMC Healthcare), Sabina Ggrzeola (DMC Healthcare), Iain Maxstead (WHLC Leysdown), Mick Durkan (Kent Fire Brigade), Mr Galvin (Local Resident), Mr Walker (Swale CVS), Bob Webster (Local Resident), Sue Mitchel (Swale CVS), Ms Heather Knowler (KCC), Mr Purssord (Leysdown Parish Council), Mr Fisher (NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent), Mr Stef Martin (Swale Police), Mr David Applegate (Swale Police), Mrs Parks (Local Resident), Mrs E Smith and Mrs Eileen Martin (AmicusHorizon), Mr Peter MacDonald (Minster Parish Council), Mr Peter Keariyls (Local Resident), Mr Reeves (Local Resident), Mrs Jenny Hurkett (Local Resident), Mrs Julia McDougall (Local Resident), Mr Cameron Beart (Local Resident), Mrs Pam Pomeroy (Local Resident), Mrs Kathleen Carter (Local Resident), Mrs Easterbrook (Local Resident) and Mr Austin Clays (Queenborough and Rushenden Regeneration).




APOLOGIES: Swale Borough Councillors Andy Booth and David Sargent and Mr Adrian Crowther (Kent County Councillor).






663    MINUTES


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 20th October 2009 (Minute Nos. 430 – 438) were taken as read, approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record, subject to an amendment to reflect that Councillor Gerry Lewin was in attendance and was invited by the Chairman to speak on the Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club presentation (Minute No. 434) and Councillor Mick Constable also attended the meeting.


Road Surface in Sheerness


A Member advised that he had still not received a response with regard to lack of progress to repairs to the road surface from the Clock Tower to Millennium Way, Sheerness. The Chairman advised that he was aware that Kent Highway Services (KHS) were looking into the matter. He asked the Member to forward him details of the precise location of the problem.


War Memorial, Sheerness


Mr Macdonald, speaking as a local resident, drew attention to the lack of floral colour around the war memorial in Sheerness and asked whether it could be improved. These comments were forwarded to the Greenspaces Officer for a response.


Swale Borough Council Broadband Survey


The Policy and Performance Officer provided an update on the recent Broadband Survey for Leysdown, Warden and Eastchurch. He thanked Parish Council’s for their assistance in distributing the forms. He advised that approximately 250 responses had been received. Results would be made available at the next Local Engagement Forum on 25th May.


Mike Brown, a local resident, welcomed the survey, but raised concern about the Equalities Monitoring Form attached to it. He considered it was an imposition for Swale Borough Council (SBC) to ask such personal questions.


The Chief Executive explained that Swale had a statutory duty to ensure equal opportunities and responses to the form were useful to understand which communities were not accessing services or were less satisfied with them. There was no requirement on individuals to complete any sections of the form that they were uncomfortable with.


Signs in Bluetown


Martin Goodhew, (Project Officer for Sheerness), explained that the signs were now classified as street furniture and therefore met KHS criteria. A tender for the works had been distributed and it was hoped that the works would be commissioned shortly with completion by the end of March 2010.



Declarations of Interest




No interests were declared.



Public Session








A local resident raised concern that completion of repairs to potholes was not being supervised.


The Chairman advised that Kent Highway Services (KHS) were aware of the problem and were seeking to address the situation.


Salting and Clearing of Roads


Mr Webster, local resident, raised concern that roads and pavements at the eastern end of the Isle of Sheppey had not been cleared during the recent heavy snow. He added there were no salt bins at either end of Eastchurch village.


A representative of Eastchurch Parish Council raised concern that they had forwarded KHS a list of bins that needed replacing and had been assured action would be taken. They had also asked KHS for salt bins to be filled five times and still no salt arrived. She considered it unacceptable that KHS were not able to provide them with the basics.


A Member advised Sheerness had experienced similar problems. A proposition that KCC be informed that in future roads on the Isle of Sheppey be salted (including pavements and sideways) was made and seconded, but no vote was taken.


Mr Purssord, Leysdown Parish Council advised that Leysdown had their own contract and arranged their own salt. He thanked the Police for their assistance during the bad snow when motorists had become stuck at Jenkins Hill.


A Member raised concern that the Sheppey Bridge had been closed for two days, and there appeared to be no attempts to clear it.


A Member advised that she was aware that KCC would pay farmers to attach ploughs to tractors to clear roads. She requested that a report raising the concerns in respect of the lack of salting and clearing of roads during the recent heavy snowfall on the Isle of Sheppey be included on the agenda for the next Swale Joint Transportation Board meeting.


The Chief Executive advised that nationally there had been a shortage of salt and that lessons needed to be learned to ensure it did not happen again.


Coastal erosion


Mr Peter MacDonald drew attention to the concerns of Mr Tim Bell regarding coastal erosion at Pelicans Wall, Sheerness since the removal of the groynes.


A Member advised that Mr Bell had spoken to the Member of Parliament who would raise the issue with the relevant Government Minister.


Proposed gypsy site at Leysdown


Mr Purssord, Vice-Chairman of Leysdown Parish Council, asked for the Forum’s views on the proposed gypsy site at Leysdown and asked whether it should have been considered bearing in mind the proposals for the regeneration of Leysdown.


A response from Development Services was read out at the meeting.


Leysdown Parish Council - Aid for Haiti


Mr Purssord, Leysdown Parish Council, advised that Leysdown Parish Council wished to raise funds for the earthquake victims in Haiti, but had been advised that Parish Councils did not have the necessary powers to enable them to do so. He asked  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Update from Partners






Chief Inspector Tony Henley drew attention to a letter which had recently appeared in the Sheppey Gazette regarding Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) and the fact that Sheerness did not have a 24 hour Police Station. He advised that the PCSOs provided a visible and reassuring presence on the streets and those on the Isle of Sheppey were outstanding. With regard to not having a 24 hour station he advised that they needed to make the best use of resources.


Chief Inspector Henley introduced Sergeant Stefan Martin from the Neighbourhood Policing Team, who had joined the team in November 2009. He advised that Stefan had recently been involved in delivering milk, bread etc. to elderly and disabled residents across the Isle of Sheppey during the recent heavy snowfall.


Chief Inspector Henley advised that Inspector Dave Applegate was leaving his post after 30 years to start a new job. He reported that the people of the Isle of Sheppey had been well served by Inspector Applegate and wished him well for the future.


Inspector Applegate updated the Forum on Police matters on the Isle of Sheppey. He advised that crime statistics could also be found on the Kent Police website.


Mr Purssord requested information on the role the Parish Council funded CCTV camera in Leysdown had played in convicting criminals and reducing crime in the area.


Inspector Applegate agreed to forward the information.


Chief Inspector Henley drew attention to the Swale Safe radio network for businesses. He advised that Leysdown and Warden would be included in the scheme this Summer.


Fire Service


Mick Durkin, Sheerness Fire Station, reported that since April 2009 Kent Fire and Rescue Services (KFRS) had attended 316 calls on Sheppey, an increase on the three year average of 247. He provided the following statistics:


91 “primary fires†(houses, cars etc.)

12 accidental dwelling fires

202 deliberate fires

30 deliberate vehicle fires

42 deliberate rubbish fires

1 commercial premises fire


Mr Durkin advised it was pleasing to note the number of accidental dwelling fires was down. He stated that KFRS worked hard to educate the public about fire safety in homes through their “Home Safety Visits†and the fitting of free smoke alarms. He explained that the increase in deliberate fires was mainly due to the number of grass fires during the summer period.


In response to a query, Mr Durkin reported that they had attended 11 road traffic accidents on Sheppey since April 2009.




Mrs Smith, AmicusHorizon provided an update on the Foyer, Sheerness which was being upgraded. She confirmed the site would be reduced but would become more sustainable. It was hoped that works would be concluded within a year and another provider could be sought for the bistro.


NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent


Neil Fisher (Senior Locality Lead, Canterbury and Swale) advised that £340,000 had been invested for a new dental surgery in Eastchurch. The facility could accommodate 5,000 patients, which it was hoped would free-up over-subscribed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Dulwich Medical Centre - Healthcare at Sheppey Hospital




The Chairman welcomed John Griffin, Centre Director of Dulwich Medical Centre (DMC) Healthcare at Sheppey Community Hospital.


Mr Griffin gave a presentation on the services offered by DMC Healtcare at Sheppey Community Hospital. He explained that DMC was a GP led organisation which had been established at the hospital since March 2009. They served 6,000 registered patients plus walk-in patients. In addition to the site at the community hospital there was a mobile unit that visited sites around the Isle of Sheppey which were available from 8am until 8pm everyday.


Mr Griffin outlined the Core Values and key operating principles of DMC Healthcare which included improving access to medical treatment on Sheppey. He explained that as well as GPs their team also included nurse practitioners, nurse leads, nurse managers, practice nurses and health care assistants. Their services were open to both registered and unregistered patients and they offered a whole range of services.


Mr Griffin advised that their key players included Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), health trusts and KCC, they also worked with local health services, voluntary groups and the local community and held patient participation groups. He explained that community involvement was required to enable an ‘Integrated Model of Care’ to be established.


Discussions ensued and Mr Griffin and Neil Fisher from the Eastern and Coastal Kent NHS clarified and responded to the following queries: would there be continuity of GPs; concern that unregistered patients would be able to access the service; would a persons own GP need to be informed if that person had used the service and concern that there were no bus services after 6.30pm on the eastern end of the Island to access the facilities.



Progress Update on New School at Warden / Leysdown




The Chairman welcomed Heather Knowler (Capital Projects Development Manager, KCC) to the meeting.


Heather gave a presentation on the proposed school provision for Warden and Leysdown. She gave some background information on the expansion of Eastchurch CEPS to the new site in Warden and Leysdown and why it was required. She confirmed that the site had now been purchased and the school would be located in Warden Bay Road next to the proposed Children’s Centre. Heather advised that with regard to the Children’s Centre the sale of land had not yet been finalised. Heather outlined progress to-date and that Hartwells were the chosen Architects. KCC archaeology were currently at the site where they had made some interesting finds.


A representative of the Architects explained that following extensive consultations with Eastchurch CEPS two themes had emerged: the aviation history of the area and sustainability and ecology. Therefore the building had been designed in the shape of an aeroplane and sustainable building materials would be used.


In response to a query, the Architect advised that KCC would make the decision on the planning application but Swale Borough Council’s Planning Committee would be consulted. It was hoped the school would be open in September 2011. He confirmed that a full traffic assessment would be carried out to establish the projective movements for the school and appropriate measures put in place.



Funding for Community Projects




The Policy and Performance Officer drew attention to the tabled report which updated Members on funding for community projects to-date. He thanked Members for their positive approach to the funding scheme and reminded them that monies needed to be paid by 31st March 2010.




(1) That the report be noted.



Venue for Next Meeting






(1) That the Old School, Queenborough be explored as a possible venue for the meeting on 25th May 2010.


Democratic Services Officer