Minutes of Annual Parish Council meeting held 22 May 2018



PRESENT – Philip Olden (PO), Jenny Thorogood (JT), Andrew Wells (AW), Alastair Pullen (AP), Jon Regan (JR) (part-time), KCClr Matthew Balfour, Gill Kirby – Clerk

1. Apologies for absence – received from Michael Bound (MB), Katherine Eykelenboom (KE)

2. Election of Chairman and |Vice-Chairman –It was proposed by (PO) and seconded by (JT) that Jon Regan be re-elected Chairman and proposed by (AP), seconded by (JT) that Philip Olden be elected Vice Chairman. Agreed unanimously

3. Declarations of Acceptance of Office – (JR) and (PO) signed Declarations.

4. Declarations of Interest – none

5. Questions from members of the Public – none in attendance
(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.)

6. Reports of County and Borough Councillors and Police

Borough Councillors Report – Matthew Balfour reported that the Local Plan was progressing and it was hoped that TMBC would not have to comply with providing extra number of houses.

County Councillors Report – Matthew Balfour reported that there was a delay in the money to provide SID’s and he hoped to get the forms soon and would forward these to Clerk. There was a question over whether the A26 would be suitable for a SID but he would see what could be done to accomplish it.
There was a shortage of secondary school places and questionable whether KCC would be able to supply enough places. This was mainly due to population increase. New secondary schools were needed and he was pushing for one for Kings Hill.
Potholes were being filled but the government were unsympathetic about providing further money. He felt that Kent was good compared with other areas.
West Peckham Parish Council were concerned by cars parking at school times. (PO) explained that a number of proposals were being discussed with the school and these would be pursued when the Headteacher returns from maternity leave. Clr Balfour offered any help he could give.

Police Report – There were no PCSO’s in attendance

7. Representation – Groups and Organisations
1. Joint Parish Councils Traffic Liaison Group – It was agreed that (PO) and (AP) would attend these meetings. Next meetings 26 Sept 2018 then 26 November 2018
2. Parochial Church Council – (AW) to continue to represent the Parish Council
3. Neighbourhood Watch – (KE) to continue to represent the Parish Council

8. Minutes
(a) Minutes of the Annual Parish Council meeting held on 24 April 2018 – These
were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman
(b) Matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda – none

9. Finance
(a) Bank reconciliation and ratification of cheques for signing
Bank reconciliation as at 31 April 2018 was approved and bank statements
verified. Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified. Action Clerk

(b) Internal Audit of Accounts 2017-18 – this had taken place on 21 May 2018. There
were no issues to report. The papers will now be sent to the External Auditor.
Thanks were recorded to Clerk for her work on the Audit

(c) Annual review of rentals/fees
(i) Sports Ground – Cricket pitch hire fees already agreed to remain as last year at £300 for the season for Cricket Club or £50 for adults and £25 for juniors per ad hoc match.
(PO) reported that he had met with the Cricket Club and heard their concerns about risks of hiring out the cricket pitch to ad-hoc hirers due to the amount of work required to prepare the pitch. Clerk reported that three of the bookings for the cricket pitch had been cancelled. The first because the ground was too wet, the second because the cricket square was not prepared despite the Clerk having arranged that the hirers should do this themselves. The third booking was cancelled because they found another venue.
It was felt that the Cricket Club was the only Mereworth Sports Club and should be supported. It was agreed that the pitch would not be hired out to ad-hoc hirers in future. There was only one other match booked to an outside club in September and it was agreed that Clerk cancel this booking. Action Clerk

Football pitch hire is currently £50 adults, £25 juniors per match. It was agreed
that football fees remain at same rate. Action Clerk

(ii) Allotments – full plot currently £40 for parishioners, £60 for non-parishioners, £30 for half plot. Rent renewals due end of November.
It was agreed that the Allotments Committee were now responsible for fees in future.
Clerk to pass all rents and deposits to Allotments Committee and invoice them for
costs (to be agreed at next meeting) once their bank account had been set up.

(iii) Land rental Kent Street – currently £1,000 pa – Renewal due end December.
Clerk reported that current hirer was leaving and lease was to be passed to new hirer
from next invoice date in December. It was unanimously agreed that rental would
remain at £1000 pa. for next year. Action Clerk

(d) Donation requests (i) Air Ambulance – it was unanimously agreed that under (s.173
LGA 1972) a donation of £50 be made.
(ii) Citizens Advice – it was unanimously agreed that under (s.173
LGA 1972) a donation of £50 be made. Action Clerk

(e) Financial Regulations and Risk Assessment. Clerk had made minor amendments to
reflect GDPR 2018 and changes in Allotments Committee administration. It was
agreed to adopt both documents .

10. Update on other issues
(a) MVH Liaison – (JR) reported that his contractor had visited the car park to look at the flooding problem and reported that the cost of any drainage/pumping would be very expensive at approx.. £190 per metre – 10 metres would be required, plus installation costs. Also the water could not be pumped into the road.

(b) PCC Liaison – (AW) referred to the celebrations for the Battles Over on 11 November 2018. There was to be a service in West Peckham church at 6pm and Clerk was asked to contact West Peckham Parish Council to ask if they intended lighting a beacon or bonfire and if not, to invite them to the Mereworth bonfire. It was agreed that simple food might be provided at the event, depending on final arrangements and likely attendance . (JT) would arrange food. Tickets prior to the event in order to ascertain numbers. Action Clerk/(JT)

(AW) reported that there was to be a Concert in Church on 9 June at 7.30pm (Royal Tonbridge Wells Orpheus Male Voice Choir which had given excellent performances in the past); tickets £10 from Andrews Wells and PCC members

The mowing of the churchyard had been unsatisfactory and (AW) was in contact with Kent Landscapes on this matter.

(c) Highways – (i) Request to Matthew Balfour for SID or VAS signage – Already
discussed with Matthew Balfour under County Councillors Report
(ii) Parking restrictions in lay-by outside Mereworth School –Following
requests by Clerk and (PO), Kent Highways had indicated that they would support yellow lines restricting parking to two minutes from 8-9am and 3-4pm Monday to Friday. However the costs – £2,000 to £3,000 – would have to be found by the school and/or Parish Council. This information had been forwarded to the school and the response of the Headteacher on return from leave was awaited..

(d) Allotments – Cut branches left by gate. These had been cut from trees on the recreation area which overhang a resident’s garden and the cuttings left at the allotments gate. Information indicated that householders may cut branches from overhanging trees but these should either be burned or taken to recycling. Dumping them on land may be deemed flytipping of garden waste. It was agreed that, in this instance, (JR) would arrange for the cuttings to be collected Action (JR)

Clerk reported that the roller on the recreation area belonged to the Cricket Club, though they had indicated that they no longer used it, as they had a new one. (AP) to see if it had a value. Action (AP)

(e) Neighbourhood Watch – (KE) had reported that a known sex offender had been seen at the childrens Play Area. It was agreed this information be passed to the PCSO.
Action Clerk

(f) Childrens play area/Recreation area/Football pitches – The re-concreting of the patio at the pavilion had been completed. Delivery of the seats was awaited and these would be installed as soon as they arrived. Action Clerk

11. Any other business and matters for future discussion
1. General Data Protection Regulation – effective 25 May 2018. Amendment to bill to exempt Parish Councils from appointing a Data Protection Officer had been tabled by the government. Clerk had already been appointed Data Controller.
Clerk had contacted those who were regularly emailed with a Consent Form, however only a small number of these had been returned. All members present gave their consent to remain on the data base. Action Clerk

2. Suggestions raised at APM
(i) Framing and display of old photographs in the Village Hall – It was agreed that (AP)
liaise with Martin Willgoss for permission to use his photographs. (AP) to scan these and arrange framing for display in the village hall. Action (AP)

(ii) Future self-sufficiency in the village – This was discussed at length. It was felt that a
good example was the setting up of the new Allotment Committee to manage the

3. Village Fete – (JT) reported on the progress of the Fete and that it was going well with
compere, childrens games, BBQ, music, flyers, and clown all arranged. Attractions already organised were strawberries, ice-cream, doughnuts, raffle, crazy golf, beer tent, and classic cars. Raffle was arranged with 10 prizes collected so far. A donation of £650 had been gratefully received from Bell Equine. The Licence from the previous year was still valid.

12. Date of next meeting – 26 June 2018 – 7.30 pm in the Village Hall. Please note there will not be a Parish Council meeting in July.

There is an MVH Committee meeting on 29 May at 6.30pm

Meeting closed 9.25pm