MEREWORTH PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN MEREWORTH VILLAGE HALL ON TUESDAY 26 September 2017
PRESENT – Jon Regan (JR), Andrew Wells (AW), Michael Bound (MB
Katherine Eykelenboom (KE), Jenny Thorogood (JT), Gill Kirby (Clerk), no members of public
- Apologies for absence – Philip Olden (PO), TMBC Clr Mrs Ann Kemp
- Declarations of Interest – none
- Co-Option of member to fill Vacancy on the Parish Council – This matter was discussed fully and it was agreed that it was important to have a representative of the Airfield Estate for the vacancy on the Airfield Ward.
- Questions from members of the Public – none
(This is a concessionary short session and limited to 30 minutes. Five minutes per person will be allowed initially and only if time permits will further comments be heard. This session is for information only and no action need be taken upon items raised)
- Reports from County and Borough Councillors and Police – none in attendance. It was agreed that (JR) would contact Borough and County Councillors to ask that one of them try to attend every meeting. Action (JR)
- Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held 22 August 2017 -These were agreed as
a true record and signed by the Chairman
(b) Matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda – none
(a) Bank reconciliation and ratification of cheques for signing
Bank reconciliation as at 31 August 2017 was approved and bank statements verified.
Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified and signed. Action Clerk
(JR) queried whether a better interest rate could be achieved from the Capital Projects account. (MB) explained that he had investigated this and found that other accounts could only achieve a minimal return and there was a risk. It was agreed to leave the accounts as they were.
(b) Possible purchase of allotments site – There was no further information on this but (JR)
would continue to investigate. Action (JR)
(c) Quotations for patio improvements at pavilion – Quotation had been received from
Kentish Stone, Clerk had requested a quotation from Ray Berwick but he was
unable to quote and had recommended another contractor – a quote was awaited from
this contractor. Clerk explained that all contractors had indicated that they could not do
the work right away and it would be best to wait until the spring. It was agreed that three
quotes were required. (JT) and (JR) to contact alternative contractors to ask for quotes.
- Updates on other issues
- MVH Liaison – Clerk reported that, during the summer break, CCTV system had been repaired, hedges cut outside village hall, porch repainted and roof repaired. Doors and locks repaired, deep cleaning undertaken, boilers and heaters serviced and fire equipment serviced. Pavilion locks had been changed on changing rooms as no keys were available, so that football groups can have a key to lock them whilst on the pitch. A key to referees room had now been found and Clerk would arrange for keys to be cut for football club and MVH.
- PCC Liaison – (AW) and (JT) reported that the Flower Festival had been a great success raising in excess of £1800 and a related book had been published @ £2.50 each. The Dog Trials had gone well and raised £489. A Pet Service, a new initiative, had taken place.
(i) Kent Street improvements – update and plans – Matthew Balfour had provided an update and plans and these had been put onto the Parish Council website. The plans would now go forward to the Joint Transportation Board for approval.
(ii) Patching works, resurfacing and repairs were currently ongoing on Kent Street
(iii) White lining on The Street was still to be fully completed.
- Allotments –Fencing repairs – (JR) was still to arrange to meet with Kentish Stone Ltd. to discuss fencing requirements. Kentish Stone had reported that the fencing was in a very poor state. Action (JR)
Allotment plots – Clerk had written to all tenants at the end of August asking them to keep their plots tended. The condition of all allotments had been noted and, if there was no improvement, Clerk would write to ask those tenants who had not improved their plots again. Further complaints had been received from tenants regarding untended plots and a tree growing in one plot. Clerk had suggested that this tenant vacate his plot as he had stated that was unable to attend to it at the moment. He could be placed at the top of the waiting list for when he was able to resume. The tenant had agreed to this and Clerk had offered the plot to a new tenant, however they had refused it as it was in such a poor state . Clerk had asked Kentish Stone to remove/prune the tree on the plot and it was agreed to also ask Kentish Stone to spray and rotivate the plot if possible. Action Clerk
(KE) had surveyed all the allotment plots in August and Clerk had written to all tenants asking that they keep their plots tidy. (KE) to undertake a follow up survey to ascertain whether any plots had been worked on. Action (KE)
- Neighbourhood Watch – nothing to report
- Childrens Play area/Recreation area/football pitches – Trees on border – A survey of the trees on the border of the Recreation area and the gardens on Butchers Lane had taken place. There were two Copper Beech trees, one was not causing any problems the other was overhanging one of the gardens and a Fir tree in the resident’s garden was adjoining it. Clerk had written to the resident asking if this was the tree that was blocking the light. There had been no response. (AW) had visited the resident and she had indicated that she would be willing to pay for the Fir tree in her garden to be removed. Clerk had obtained a quotation for the tree works and had asked the resident if she wished to go ahead and, if so, to forward a cheque for the cost of removal of the fir tree. No response had been received and so (AW) had called on the resident again and it had been confirmed that they were not prepared to pay for the fir tree to be cut. A letter from the resident had since been received and this was circulated to all councilors and discussed at the meeting. There had been further requests from other residents to remove branches overhanging gardens on the boundary. It was felt that the Parish Council should find out the legal position regarding responsibility for cutting the trees. (JR) to investigate. Action (JR)
- War Memorial – this had been cleaned by Kentish Stone on 30 August 2017 and was felt to be improved. Kentish Stone had agreed to clean the Memorial every six months to keep it looking in good condition. Agreed Action Clerk
- Any other business and matters for future discussion –
- (AW) reported on his attendance at the recent Parish Partnership Panel – where there had been a long talk from the police regarding crime.
- (MB) referred to the flytipping problem in the Airfield Estate woods north of North Star Farm despite signs indicating “flytipping prohibited, area under surveillance” and “CCTV may be in operation here”, these were clearly not working. This underlined the importance of having a councilor from the Airfield Estate to represent the Airfield Ward.
It was thought that the woods were owned by Tregothnan Estate, however the footpaths were thought to be public rights of way. Clerk to report to TMBC Action Clerk
- (KE) reported that hedges in Willow Wents had been cut on the north side but not on the south side where ’30 mph’ and’ bend’ signs were obscured. Clerk had already reported these to Kent Highways who had written to the landowners.
- (JR) reported that, following a Health and Safety Inspection at the school, there had been an issue with signs blocking visibility into the school. Further information on this was awaited.
- Date of next meeting – 24 October 2017 – 7.30 in the Village Hall
Meeting closed 8.30pm