MINUTES OF A GENERAL MEETING HELD AT THE BOWLS CLUB ON MONDAY 11th FEBRUARY 2019 AT 7.15PM.
Ray Taylor (chair), twenty one members, TDC Cllr Carol Messenger and WTC Cllrs Joanna Cornford and Matthew Scott.
The chairman initiated a few moments of silence in memory of Ruth Shilling a member who had recently died following a difficult illness, at all times remaining brave and positive.
Apologies had been received from Pat Sawyer-Jones, Stephanie Sutton and TDC Cllr Sam Bambridge.
MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
The minutes of the last meeting, (14/01/19), which had been circulated, were agreed as a correct record on a prop. by James Brazier sec. by Tony Snow, and adopted, and signed.
1) There were no matters arising.
REPORTS: Councillors-KCC, TDC, WTC. PCSOs and Wardens.
TDC Cllr Carol Messenger:
1) Lymington Road Crossing. There has been a report concerning safety at this site, and as a result new more visible lights will shortly be installed. Cllr Messenger has also asked for a sign to be put up.
2) Ramsgate Port. The ferry contract offer to Seaborne Freight has been withdrawn, but the Port is still being looked at to offer Brexit resilience. Some dredging had been carried out, and it was hoped a ferry service might bridge a budget gap, the government had asked TDC to wait before a decision is made to decide the budget. TDC did not want the expense to fall on council tax payers.
3) Camping/The Homeless. Cllr Messenger is looking to have the bye-law reinstated concerning no camping allowed on the sea front. A TDC sweep showed that those in tents and homeless had been reduced by 50%, temporary accommodation had been offered, but some would not accept help. Any new homeless people turning up should be reported to TDC for help.
Questions: James Brazier expressed concern about the possibility of part of Hartsdown Park, a public open space, being used for a hotel. It was thought that this is proposed to be built in the Football Club grounds.
WTC Cllr Matthew Scott:
1) Ruth Shilling. The WTC had acknowledged the recent death of “local hero” Ruth.
2) Precept. A full WTC meeting had set the precept, which is an increase of 3%, and for band D is now £55.80.
3) Speedwatch. There are more sessions to follow.
4) WTC Surgeries. These are held on the third Saturday of the month, at the library, the next one being the 16th February, when Matt and Robert Micallef will be in attendance.
5) Pancake Race. This will be held on Tuesday 5th March, 10.00am to 11.00am.
6) Westgate in Bloom. The group will give the type of work a trial, the cost will be almost nil as many plants have been donated. Thanks are due to Cllr Robert Micallef for kindly sourcing three hundred trees, free of charge, for planting in and around Westgate.
Questions/Comments: James Brazier noted that when the precept was put with the whole council tax the increase would be approximately 1.5%.
Julian Smith expressed concern at the amount of rubbish weeds and dog mess around the streets of Westgate and Westbrook.
KCC Warden Laura Bungard:
Laura has been busy with the usual ongoing items, litter, dumped rubbish, potholes, drains, parking, untaxed vehicles etc., neighbourhood disputes and reports of pot smoking in residential areas have also been dealt with.
Laura has also been in touch with KCC re plans for Brexit and Manston and Dover Docks, should any problem arise in this area.
The Elderly and Vulnerable. We are asked to keep an eye out for these especially during cold weather.
Laura's contact: tel 07969583922, and email email@example.com
The chairman thanked the Bake and Alehouse for installing a defibrillator, and also thanked Westgate Town Council for publishing a list of locations of defibrillators in Westgate.
Concerning the Bake House, there had been changes in terms and conditions which had caused issues. Financial analysis showed that at the new hourly rental, a two hour coffee morning would be £17, during which takings might be about £5, and if open for the five mornings each week would create a loss of £3,000 per year. During the four months closure of the Bake House many of the members had come to enjoy coffee mornings at several different venues, and the committee had suggested trying Wednesday mornings at the Bake House for a trial period, and the alternate monthly general meetings on the second Monday evenings which would reduce outgoings. The W&WRA would have to remove their furniture, papers and records, and photo albums etc.
It is hoped that we could concentrate on a wider age group and families in the community, by putting on events such as an Easter Egg hunt, a Beach Party, and joining up with Westgate in Bloom.
The Chairman expressed concern at the option offered by the Landlords that the W&WRA should promote and seek other renters for the Bake House, things can go wrong with sub renters and the W&WRA are not qualified as letting agents, and who would manage and facilitate such bookings?
Don Eacott had always thought that the Bake House was a white elephant, with the large number of members subsidising the few who use it.
A vote was taken on the chairman's proposal to request use of the Bake House for Wednesday mornings for coffee, and the alternate monthly general meetings on the second Monday evenings for a trial period. This was passed by 15 votes to 3 with a few abstentions.
1) From the Police by E-mail. Residents are advised to be very aware of scam emails purporting to come from BT and offering refunds.
2) A member had been approached by two supposed roofers about tiles on the roof, the advice is not to become involved.
1) United Services Club, Westgate. Application for installation of solar panels.
2) 315, Canterbury Road. Application for erection of single storey side extension with increase in height of garage.
3) 16, Seymour Avenue. Application for erection of first floor side extension over existing garage conversion.
4) 7, Hundreds Farm Stables, Canterbury Road. Application for conversion og garages into habitable rooms.
5) 5, Harold Avenue. Application for single storey side extension. REFUSED.
6) 30, Argyle Avenue. Application for front and rear dormer windows to facilitate loft conversion. GRANTED.
7) 174A, Linksfield Road. Application for single storey side extension to create annexe following demolition of existing garage. GRANTED.
The bank balance stands at £5,775. There is a bill of £239 outstanding for buildings insurance up to the end of September, and the treasurer is writing to Westgate Investment Co requesting a refund on the £260 for each of October November and December when access was denied.
Ray Taylor informed the meeting that the next magazine, due out in March was well under way.
Mavis reported that six cards had been sent this month.
Christina reported that the files were being prepared for the new association year.
Westgate Heritage Centre: Saturday 2nd March at 10.30am at St Saviour's Church, The AGM will be held, followed by a short talk by Dr Dawn Crouch on “Objects we have been given in the past year”. The objects will be available for viewing.
Civic Society: Thursday 7th March at the Walpole Bay Hotel at 7.30pm, a talk “A Schoolgirl's War”, storey of a Kent schoolgirl during WWII by Mary Smith.
Pat Castle had sent the press a report on the new year lunch, thanking all for their work in organising the event.
1) Easter Egg Hunt. This will take place in Westgate, and be a good way to engage with the children and community.
2) Beach Party West Bay. Sunday 9th June in conjunction with West Bay Cafe.
3) Next social lunch at The Swan will be 17th February.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
1) Drug Dealing in Westbrook? Concern was expressed by a member following observations. Cllr Scott, who had attended the recent NEM meeting had learned that dealers were coming off trains at Westgate Station instead of Margate as there were fewer police searches. It was hoped to improve the situation, and have CCTV at Westgate Station, and Cllr Scott had spoken to the local PCSO and Neighbourhood Watch. Literature is available at the council offices.
It was thought to be a good idea to invite the local PCSO to one of the general meetings, (there is a PCSO surgery at the library on the first Wednesday of the month).
Monday 11th March, Venue TBA.
There being no other business the meeting concluded at 8.40pm.