Agenda and minutes

Parish Partnership Panel - Thursday, 30th May, 2024 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Gibson Drive, Kings Hill

Contact: Democratic Services  Email:

Link: View Meeting

No. Item

Part 1 - Public

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Appointment of Chair and Vice-Chairs

To confirm Borough Council appointments and to seek nominations for vice-chair from the parish/town council representatives


Appointments of the Chair and Vice-Chair were confirmed to be Cllr R Dalton and Cllr Mrs M Tatton respectively.  The appointment of the second Vice-Chair from Parish and Town Councils was confirmed to be Cllr  S Butterfill  from  Borough Green  Parish Council.

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Notification of Substitute Members pdf icon PDF 87 KB


There were no substitute members.

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Minutes pdf icon PDF 223 KB

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Partnership Panel held on 9 November 2024


RESOLVED:   That the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 November 2023 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.


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Update on action identified in the last Minutes


There were no matters required to be updated.

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Election Update pdf icon PDF 216 KB


Following the announcement that the General Election would be held on Thursday 4 July 2024, the Head of Elections provided an update on key issues for parish/town councils to consider. 


Particular reference was made to the importance of adhering to legislation in parish/town council elections as the same legal procedures and consequences applied as for Borough Council and General Elections.


The most common issues that parish councillors and clerks needed to be aware of related to the submission of expense returns following an election, even if there was a ‘nil’ return, as newly elected councillors were not able to serve until this had been received and confirmed by the Electoral Officers. 


There were also issues around notification of vacancies and there was a set procedure to be followed.  The rules around notifying of vacancies had been circulated previously and would be attached to the Notes for convenience (at Annex 1).  The Kent Association of Local Councils were also able to assist parish clerks if they required assistance.


All were reminded that assistance was available via the Elections Team.


With regard to the General Election, the Head of Elections encouraged anyone interested in working on a polling station, at the count or in another role to contact the Elections Team as soon as possible.  Details would be shared as soon as possible and all were encouraged to share this information wider as the Borough Council would be grateful of any assistance that could be offered.


All parish/town councils would be asked to display the Notice of Election on Tuesday 4 June 2024 which started the timetable for the General Election.



Matters raised in Advance of the meeting

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Making Space for Nature (MS4N) pdf icon PDF 376 KB

An update to be provided by the Chair of Kent Association of Local Councils (KALC)(Tonbridge and Malling) following attendance at the KALC Planning Conference and discussion with KCC MS4N officers.



In the absence of the Chair of the Kent Association of Local Councils (Tonbridge and Malling) who had submitted apologies, Dr T Shelley of Aylesford Parish Council provided an update on the Making Space for Nature (MS4N) initiative following attendance at the KALC Planning Conference.   His summary report would be attached as an Annex to the Notes (attached at Annex 2).


Making Space for Nature in Kent and Medway was working with partners and stakeholders to collaboratively establish shared priorities for the delivery of nature recovery and environmental improvements in order to create a network of wildlife-rich places across the county.  This local nature recovery strategy would be one of 48 – together these would cover the whole of England, with no gaps or overlaps, to deliver the Government’s commitment to ending the decline of nature and supporting its recovery.


More information was available via the MS4N website


Members recognised the importance of improving biodiversity, connecting habitats and creating wildlife corridors and also recognised the difficult balance between protecting nature and providing housing. 

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Climate Change

At the request of the Chair, the Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Regeneration and Property is invited to update on climate change initiatives within the Borough Council.


The Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Regeneration and Property (Cllr R Betts) provided updates on the climate change initiatives being undertaken by the Borough Council. 


These included:


·        Providing infrastructure for electric vehicles.  Phase 1 had seen 36 charging stations installed around Tonbridge and Malling, all in Borough Council owned car parks.  A further 60+ charging stations were being installed as part of Phase 2.


·        Leybourne Lakes Country Park.  The eco-café was an exemplar of renewable energy and used energy created from the lake using ground source heat pumps.  The County Park also had a wildflower meadow which had recently been extended.


·        The Borough Council had emphasised  its commitment to climate change by creating a Cabinet portfolio for Climate Change, Regeneration and Property and engaging a Climate Change Officer.


·        There were a number of rewilding projects throughout the Borough including one at River Lawn, in Tonbridge and these required assistance to get established and better signage to educate on the aim of rewilding. 


·        Undertaking a survey to understand the Borough Councils carbon footprint which illustrated that 70% of CO2 emissions came from the Leisure Centres, 28% from the waste service collection vehicles and the remainder from the organisations own estate, including buildings and staff commuting.  The Borough Council planned to migrate staff from the inefficient Gibson East building into the newer Gibson West. This proposal also included plans for installing photovoltaic panels (PVP) to generate power using green energy sources and would result in the Borough Council ‘headquarters’ being carbon neutral.


·        Successfully bid for grant funding to assist with decarbonisation projects and been awarded approximately £1.5M from Sports England and Public Sector Decarbonisation. This funding will be used over the next 2 years to install more solar PV panels and an air source heat pump at Larkfield Leisure Centre.


·        Successful completion of solar PV panel installation at Tonbridge Swimming Pool in March.


·        Established a scheme to plant 1000 trees per year.


·        Achieved 50% of all waste recycled which made Tonbridge and Malling one of the top achievers in the country.  This was thanks to the excellent contribution of residents.


·        £40,000 of Green Business Grants had been awarded and a further round of the West Kent Rural Grant was available until September if parish/town councils wished to apply.


Reference was also made to the anaerobic digester plant at Blaise Farm Quarry which produced gas from food waste and could supply 5-6,000 homes in Kings Hill; and the Allington Quarry Waste Management which incinerated waste to produce electricity.  The use of both of these facilities meant than less than 1% of waste produced in the Borough went to landfill.


Members welcomed the update on the initiatives being undertaken which demonstrated the good work being taken by the Borough Council in meeting green objectives and of which the wider community were unaware.  It was suggested that a regular newsletter be provided to inform parish/town councils.  The Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Regeneration and Property offered to provide regular updates at future meetings of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item PPP 24/7

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Green Flag Awards - How to Apply

At the request of the Communities and Environment Scrutiny Select Committee, Parish/Town Councils to be advised how to apply for the Green Flag Award.


The Green Flag Award® scheme recognised and rewarded well managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world:


·       To ensure that everybody has access to quality green and other open spaces, irrespective of where they live.

·       To ensure that these spaces are appropriately managed and meet the needs of the communities that they serve.

·       To establish standards of good management.

·       To promote and share good practice amongst the green space sector.

·       To recognise and reward the hard work of managers, staff and volunteers.


More information on how to apply for  Green Flag Awards  was available on their website:   Although, the application period for 2024/25 was now closed it wasn’t too soon to start thinking about applications for the next period.


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Any Other Business pdf icon PDF 165 KB

To consider any other issues raised at the meeting.  Any answers, actions and/or outcomes may be provided at the next meeting of the Parish Partnership Panel.


(1)             Local Plan


In response to a question from Birling Council about whether the calling of the General Election had implications for the Local Plan timetable, the Cabinet Member for Planning (Cllr M Taylor) advised that the Regulation 18b Consultation had been delayed.  However, it was hoped that further updates could be provided in July.


(2)             Community Wardens


Aylesford Parish Council asked whether there were any measures that could be taken to reinstate Community Wardens.  Members were reminded of the significant budget pressures faced by all local authorities and the costs related to Adult and Childrens Social Care were an additional pressure for the County Council.  Unfortunately, these budgetary pressures had led to reduced funding in other areas, such as community wardens.