Tim Prater

Sandgate Library temporary closure: September 2022

Sandgate Library temporary closure: September 2022

Sandgate Library will be temporarily closing for refurbishment work. The library will be closed from Monday 5 September 2022 for 3 weeks, re-opening on Monday 26 September.

Alternative local libraries include Hythe Library, Cheriton Library and Folkestone Library. We also have a number of mobile library stops in the local area including Golden Valley (Digby Road) and Seabrook (Seabrook Court).

Mobile library services can be found at www.kent.gov.uk/libs via a postcode search.

If you have any questions, please do contact Sandgate Parish Council (who run Sandgate Library).

Posted by Tim Prater in News

Sandgate Community Garden: Update 14 August 2022

Sandgate Community Garden Team Diary Entry for 14th August: Great weather for growing figs, and amaranth amongst the asparagus.

The decision to start planting again last week was a good one at the time but we had to work pretty hard to keep the seedlings alive, watering every other day for the week until they started to get a few roots into the ground and stand upright for more time than they flopped over.  However, with the return of the higher temperatures at the weekend, planting was put off again until next week with the promise of it being cooler, and even dare we say, rain, although we know those promises often mean nothing when it comes to Sandgate.

We sowed both flat and curled parsley, mizuna mustard, and pak choi.  The dill, coriander, Florence fennel and Chinese cabbages got planted on into larger modules.  The tomato plants were checked again for side shoots and the tops pinched out.  There will not be enough time left in the season for any new flowers and then tomatoes to mature, so might as well limit the stress on the plants, and also cut off more of the lower leaves to expose the fruits and allow the air and sunshine to get around them.  Some of our outdoor tomato plants are growing some massive beefsteak tomatoes; the weight of the fruits has snapped or bent some of the canes supporting them so we have had to add extra stakes to help hold them upright.  We are removing tomatoes as soon as they are starting to turn colour and ripening them at home, also to help out the tomato plant, which is fine as long as you can realise what colour the tomato should be when it is ripe.  This year has been a master class in the study of all the different tomato colours, shapes and sizes to ascertain mostly by observation and squeeze test where it is in the ripening process, and that there is little point in waiting for a yellow tomato to turn red if it was never meant to in the first place.  Quite often the yellow or orange tomatoes get left on the vine when they are ripe.

It has to be said that not everything is suffering in this drought.  We have been watching closely the development of the figs on the fig tree which has performed very well this year with plenty of fruits.  Unfortunately we are not the only ones keeping an eye on them as the birds soon found the ripe fruits followed by the ants, but we have to remember that their need is always greater than our own.  We also have some randomly grown amaranth which just appears around the plot, taking up splendid residence with the asparagus,

Happily, the hop plants in the Sandgate Community Garden are established enough to be surviving, although we are not expecting a great harvest.  The results so far in the Hythe Hop scheme are very mixed with some plants having expired whilst others are thriving, most it seems will probably not do as well as previous years.  We have started to water them now as the cones, or fruits have started to appear and need to be able to swell and mature.  The word is that the first harvest date could be 11th September but we are waiting for confirmation on this.  All plants will need to be stripped of their hops on the harvest first or second dates so that they are presented to the breweries in as fresh a state as possible.

We are now starting to turn our thoughts to our great fundraising event of the year, the Sandgate Sea Festival where we will be with our stall on Sunday 28th August, ready to persuade you to buy a plant from us or simply part with some cash to help us keep planting and looking after various parts of Sandgate.  We have been nurturing as many plants as we can for the occasion which you can imagine, under the circumstances, has not been too easy, and invite you to get in contact if you have any plants you might care to donate to the cause – all will be gratefully received and can be collected and looked after until the event.  Make sure to put the date in your diary and to come along and chat to us at the stall, we are looking forward to seeing you there.

What’s next?

  • Keep watering the brassicas in particular
  • Sow more winter mustards
  • Keep an eye on the winter radish plants and the cabbage white butterfly situation
  • Sort out more plants for the plant sale

This weeks update from the Sandgate Community Garden Diary.

Posted by Tim Prater in Sandgate Community Garden
Planning Minutes 2-08-2022

Planning Minutes 2-08-2022

The minutes of Sandgate’s Parish Council Planning meeting, held on 2nd August 2022, in Sandgate Library.

Planning-Minutes-02-08-2022

You can find previous Sandgate Parish Planning Agendas and Minutes on this website. We publish agendas a few days before a meeting. The Clerk then posts draft minutes in the week after a meeting.

We broadcast our meetings live on our Facebook page. Those meeting recordings are then left live for a few months after the meeting, giving you the chance to watch it back later!

The next suitable meeting will formally approve the draft minutes of this meeting. When approved, the Chairman of that meeting then signs them.

The signed minutes of the meeting serve as the legal record of what has taken place at the meeting. Before a meeting approves the draft minutes of a preceding meeting, the meeting may, by resolution, correct any inaccuracies in the draft minutes. The attendance (or otherwise) of the Chairman or those voting in favour to amend or approve of the minutes is irrelevant.

Only if meeting minutes are found to be inaccurate after they have been signed can they then be altered. Inaccuracies in signed minutes can only be amended by resolution at a subsequent meeting.

Posted by Tim Prater in Minutes, Planning
Planning Committee Agenda 16-08-2022

Planning Committee Agenda 16-08-2022

The agenda of Sandgate’s Parish Council Planning Committee meeting. The meeting will be on 16th August 2022, at 6.30pm. It will be held in Sandgate Library.

Planning-Agenda-16.-08.22-doc

The Planning Committee meeting is open to press and public. If any member of the public wishes to attend, please can they notify clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk in advance. This allows us to ensure we have sufficient seats and allow reasonable spacing.

Previous Sandgate Parish Council Planning Committee Agenda and Minutes. We publish agendas a few days before a meeting. We then post draft minutes in the week after a meeting.

Most of our meetings will be broadcast live on our Facebook page. Recordings of the meetings will be left on Facebook for a few months after the meeting so they can be watched back later. Comments left on Facebook broadcasts during the meeting are not be monitored and are not a way of feeding back to the Council.

Minimum Notice

We issue agendas at least three clear days before a meeting. We display them on the noticeboard in the library, Parish noticeboards on the Village Green and by Enbrook Valley shops, and on our website.

The minimum three clear days for notice of a meeting does not include:

  • the day of issue of the agenda, or;
  • the day of the meeting, or;
  • a Sunday, or;
  • a day of the Christmas break, or;
  • a day of the Easter break, or;
  • of a bank holiday, or;
  • a day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.

Meeting in Public

All meetings of our Council are open to the public, except in limited defined circumstances. We can only decide, by resolution, to meet in private when discussing confidential business or for other special reasons where publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest.

Those reasons might include, for example, discussing the conduct of employees, negotiations of contracts or terms of tender, or the early stages of a legal dispute.

Posted by Tim Prater in Agenda, Planning

Sandgate Community Garden: Update 8 August 2022

Sandgate Community Garden Team Diary Entry for 8th August: sometimes, you just can’t hold back any more.

Crikey!  It is August already!  We are into the summer holiday period with some of our volunteers going away, and new volunteers turning up whilst they are holidaying in Sandgate.  We are getting reports of how much greener parts of the country are looking compared with scorched earth Sandgate, and accounts of rain falling when there is none here.  On the last day of July up to about 10pm, the rainfall for all of July was just 2.1mm in Sandgate.  However it then started to rain, and by midnight the gauge had jumped to 4.9mm.  Well, not enough to solve all the problems caused by the drought, but enough to freshen things up a little.  It was interesting to read on social media that we are not to have a hosepipe ban inflicted upon us contrary to what we keep seeing on the news.  It seems that Affinity Water does not rely on reservoirs but on groundwater aquifers and supply should not be a problem this year, subject to there being enough rain later. Parts of Kent not covered by Affinity Water will be under a hosepipe ban.  However many people wisely continue to be most careful with using water, and have taken to collecting bath and even shower water to use in the garden as plants do not mind soapy water.

The strawberry farm has released their spent grow bags for the season, and left them to be taken free of charge to be used as a soil improver.  Happy to oblige we made a few journeys and collected as much as possible.  Where new areas have been mulched, the lack of rain has meant that where the cardboard layer is under the compost, some of it has remained dry and not therefore been able to start decomposing, and then in places starts to become exposed.  This has happened in a few places at Fremantle Park, so with the help of some volunteers from Napier Barracks, some of the foraged/recycled fruit farm compost was used to cover the gaps and generally add a deeper layer around the trees.  Some of the strawberry grow bags smell quite strongly of strawberries, attracting many wasps and making it hazardous to collect more compost, however we shall persevere!

There comes a point where we just have to plant some things in the ground and not hold them back any longer, in the hope that there may surely be some rain as we get nearer to September.  The executive decision was taken to plant the beetroot, and other things will have to follow as they outgrow the larger pots.  The sweet peas struggled this year and we have decided to stop watering them and let finish flowering and go to seed as the flower stems are so short they are difficult to pick and make into bunches; so we shall just have to enjoy them for this final week before they get pulled up.

The lettuce seedlings got pricked out into single modules to grow on, dill and coriander got sown but the parsley forgotten.  The chard moved on into larger modules.  The alleyway in Meadowbrook had a cut back and tidy.  It has produced many artichokes this year, and continues to bring a smile to travellers as they pass through.

This year we have been feeling quite smug that we had not allowed the tomato plants to run away from us, producing side shoots and flopping over – oh no!  This year we have been in control studiously pinching out the unwanted growth and making sure the plants are properly staked.  However a new phenomenon has been noticed which I certainly had not seen before, where some tomato plants not only send out side shoots between the joint where a leaf meets the main stem but also from the leaves themselves as shown in a photo below.  My goodness, as if the task was not already tough enough! 

What’s next?

  • Sow trays of flat and curled parsley
  • Keep up the watering, but only the plants that need it
  • Repot purple sprouting and Chinese cabbages
  • Probably a good idea to pinch out all tomato tops now if not done already
  • Check on the plants for the plant sale at the Sea Festival end of this month

This weeks update from the Sandgate Community Garden Diary.

Posted by Tim Prater in Sandgate Community Garden
PWLB Loan Reserve Report July 2022

PWLB Loan Reserve Report July 2022

Updated PWLB Loan Reserve report for Sandgate Parish Council to July 2022.

Loan Reserve Report

PWLB_tracker_2018_2022-x1-002

We have previously issued PWLB Reports quarterly alongside committee reports. We will aim to do so from now using this standalone format.

The PWLB loan reserve was formed following our receipt of a loan of £500,000 from the Public Works Loan Board in August 2018 for the purchase of land which then fell through. Despite lobbying Government, the PWLB (a branch of the Treasury) refused to cancel the loan and take the money back from us without requiring a six figure penalty fee. They did, however, confirm the money could be retained and invested by the Council.

The Council has committed that the costs of the loan will not fall on taxpayers through increased Council Tax without a consultation on doing so. We have held no such consultation to date.

As such, we placed the full loan amount in a defined PWLB Loan Reserve.

  • All payments for that loan (capital repayments, interest payments) come out of that reserve.
  • All income from that loan (currently interest payments on the loan amount) we put into that reserve. The value of the reserve is published regularly (quarterly).

At this time, while the costs of the loan exceed the income (due to historically low interest rates), the value of our PWLB Loan Reserve is dropping. Although we seek investments with the best return, we want security for the money (so it is all currently in accounts backed by guarantee up to £85,000 per account) and some investments are not open to local authorities, so there are limits on what we can do.

Financial Reporting

Previous Sandgate Parish Council Resources Committee Agendas, Minutes and Financial Reports.

Sandgate Parish Council uses (the excellent) Scribe Accounts to manage our Council accounts and generate reports.

Sandgate Parish Council’s finances are governed by our Financial Regulations and Standing Orders. Every Town and Parish Council has similar rules. Because those rules govern our financial management, we can only amend or vary them by a Council resolution.

Our Council’s Standing Orders require quarterly reporting of receipts, payments and balances. For instance, they say at 17.c:

The Responsible Financial Officer shall supply to each councillor as soon as practicable after 30 June, 30 September and 31 December in each year a statement to summarise:

i. the council’s receipts and payments for each quarter;

ii. the council’s aggregate receipts and payments for the year to date;

iii. the balances held at the end of the quarter being reported

and which includes a comparison with the budget for the financial year and highlights any actual or potential overspends.

Posted by Tim Prater in Agenda, Resources
Financial Reports July 2022

Financial Reports July 2022

Updated financial reports for Sandgate Parish Council for July 2022, and the financial year 2022-23 to date.

Payment and Receipts Summary

Summary-of-payments-and-receipts-Aug-22

Receipts in Month

Receipts-list-Aug-22

Payments in Month

Payments-list-Aug-22

Reserve Balances

Reserves-August-22

VAT Summary

VAT-summary-Aug-22

Bank Reconciliation

Bank-rec-all-Aug-22

Previous Sandgate Parish Council Resources Committee Agendas, Minutes and Financial Reports.

Sandgate Parish Council uses (the excellent) Scribe Accounts to manage our Council accounts and generate reports.

Sandgate Parish Council’s finances are governed by our Financial Regulations and Standing Orders. Every Town and Parish Council has similar rules. Those rules govern our financial management, and we can only amend or vary them by a Council resolution.

The Council’s Standing Orders require that we report quarterly on receipts, payments and balances. For instance, they say at 17.c:

The Responsible Financial Officer shall supply to each councillor as soon as practicable after 30 June, 30 September and 31 December in each year a statement to summarise:

i. the council’s receipts and payments for each quarter;

ii. the council’s aggregate receipts and payments for the year to date;

iii. the balances held at the end of the quarter being reported

and which includes a comparison with the budget for the financial year and highlights any actual or potential overspends.

We are now publishing our reports monthly to exceed that requirement. We then consider those reports at the next Parish Council Resources Committee meeting.

Posted by Tim Prater in Agenda, Resources
Parish Council Meeting Minutes 19-07-2022

Parish Council Meeting Minutes 19-07-2022

The minutes of Sandgate’s Parish Council meeting, held on 19th July 2022, in Sandgate Library.

Minutes-council-meeting-19-07-22-full

Previous Sandgate Parish Council Meeting Agendas and Minutes. We publish agendas a few days before a meeting. We then post draft minutes in the week after a meeting.

Most of our meetings are also broadcast live on our Facebook page. Those recordings are left on Facebook for a few months after the meeting so can be watched back later.

We broadcast our meetings live on our Facebook page (although we’re sorry: this one was not). Those meeting recordings are then left live for a few months after the meeting, giving you the chance to watch it back later!

The next suitable meeting will formally approve the draft minutes of this meeting. When approved, the Chairman of that meeting then signs them.

The signed minutes of the meeting serve as the legal record of what has taken place at the meeting. Before a meeting approves the draft minutes of a preceding meeting, the meeting may, by resolution, correct any inaccuracies in the draft minutes. The attendance (or otherwise) of the Chairman or those voting in favour to amend or approve of the minutes is irrelevant.

Only if meeting minutes are found to be inaccurate after they have been signed can they then be altered. Inaccuracies in signed minutes can only be amended by resolution at a subsequent meeting.

Posted by Tim Prater in Council, Minutes
Planning Minutes 19-07-2022

Planning Minutes 19-07-2022

The minutes of Sandgate’s Parish Council Planning meeting, held on 19th July 2022, in Sandgate Library.

Planning-Minutes-19th-July-2022

You can find previous Sandgate Parish Planning Agendas and Minutes on this website. We publish agendas a few days before a meeting. The Clerk then posts draft minutes in the week after a meeting.

We broadcast our meetings live on our Facebook page. Those meeting recordings are then left live for a few months after the meeting, giving you the chance to watch it back later!

The next suitable meeting will formally approve the draft minutes of this meeting. When approved, the Chairman of that meeting then signs them.

The signed minutes of the meeting serve as the legal record of what has taken place at the meeting. Before a meeting approves the draft minutes of a preceding meeting, the meeting may, by resolution, correct any inaccuracies in the draft minutes. The attendance (or otherwise) of the Chairman or those voting in favour to amend or approve of the minutes is irrelevant.

Only if meeting minutes are found to be inaccurate after they have been signed can they then be altered. Inaccuracies in signed minutes can only be amended by resolution at a subsequent meeting.

Posted by Tim Prater in Minutes, Planning
Planning Committee Agenda 2-08-2022

Planning Committee Agenda 2-08-2022

The agenda of Sandgate’s Parish Council Planning Committee meeting. The meeting will be on 2nd August 2022, at 6.30pm. It will be held in Sandgate Library.

Planning-Agenda-02-08.22-doc-1

The Planning Committee meeting is open to press and public. If any member of the public wishes to attend, please can they notify clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk in advance. This allows us to ensure we have sufficient seats and allow reasonable spacing.

Previous Sandgate Parish Council Planning Committee Agenda and Minutes. We publish agendas a few days before a meeting. We then post draft minutes in the week after a meeting.

Most of our meetings will be broadcast live on our Facebook page. Recordings of the meetings will be left on Facebook for a few months after the meeting so they can be watched back later. Comments left on Facebook broadcasts during the meeting are not be monitored and are not a way of feeding back to the Council.

Minimum Notice

We issue agendas at least three clear days before a meeting. We display them on the noticeboard in the library, Parish noticeboards on the Village Green and by Enbrook Valley shops, and on our website.

The minimum three clear days for notice of a meeting does not include:

  • the day of issue of the agenda, or;
  • the day of the meeting, or;
  • a Sunday, or;
  • a day of the Christmas break, or;
  • a day of the Easter break, or;
  • of a bank holiday, or;
  • a day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.

Meeting in Public

All meetings of our Council are open to the public, except in limited defined circumstances. We can only decide, by resolution, to meet in private when discussing confidential business or for other special reasons where publicity would be prejudicial to the public interest.

Those reasons might include, for example, discussing the conduct of employees, negotiations of contracts or terms of tender, or the early stages of a legal dispute.

Posted by Tim Prater in Agenda, Planning