Minutes of Mereworth Parish Council meeting held 23 August 2016

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PRESENT: Chairman – Philip Olden (PO), Michael Bound (MB), Katherine Eykelenboom (KE), Stephen Reynolds (SR), Jenny Thorogood (JT),  Andrew Wells (AW),  

PCSO Kim Hockey,  Gill Kirby (Clerk)    No members of public


1.               Apologies for absence –   Jon Regan (JR),  KCC & TMBC Clr Matthew Balfour ,       TMBC Clr Mrs Ann Kemp


2.               Declarations of Interest   –  none


3.                 Questions from members of the Public – (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) – none


4.               Reports from County and Borough Councillors and Police

Police – PCSO’s – crime figures had been provided for August – these included 5 non domestic burglaries.

(PO) explained that the Parish Council’s correspondence with Tom Tugendhat MP and Police Commissioner  Matthew Scott regarding the recent arson attacks had resulted in a response and house to house enquiries had taken place.  Evidence had been collected and was being investigated.  It was hoped that the resident who had attended the meeting last month would feel that the Parish Council had done as much as possible.


5.               Minutes

(a)    Minutes  of the Parish Council Meeting held 26 July 2016 -These were agreed as

a true record and signed by the Chairman

(b)   Matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda –

1.       (SR) reported that several large vehicles thought to be delivering from Travis Perkins to the Queens Head site had been seen trying to drive up Butchers Lane to Beaufighter Road rather than turning around at the site and returning down Butchers Lane.  It was agreed that Clerk contact the contractor to ask that smaller vehicles be used for deliveries and to ask the drivers not to drive up Butchers Lane.                                                                               Action Clerk

2.      (AW) explained that he had not yet spoken to the school caretaker about the 

no parking signs but would wait until the school was due to recommence after the summer holidays.                                                                      Action (AW)


      6.           Finance

      (a)   Bank reconciliation and ratification of cheques for signing

       Bank reconciliation as at 31 July 2016 was approved and bank statements verified.    

       Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified and signed.

                                                                                                      Action Clerk     

(b)  Audit of Accounts 2015-6 – These had now been satisfactorily completed by External

      Auditor.  Notices would be posted on the boards.                        Action Clerk


(c)    Kent Street Land Sales –   Update

The draft Transfers had been drawn up by the Solicitors with the addition of a restriction on any building to a maximum size and materials.  Land Registry compliant plans had been received. The boundary lines had been pegged out and copies of the transfers and plans had been forwarded to all councillors.

(d)   Council Tax reductions and Parish Council Precept – There was no further information on this.  It was agreed that Clerk request that Borough Councillors  Mrs Ann Kemp and Matthew Balfour attend the next meeting to update members as it was felt to be important that information was available by the next meeting so that Precept requirements could be discussed.                                               Action Clerk


7.           Updates on other issues

(a)    MVH Liaison –CCTV system of 4 cameras and DVR had been installed on 4 August 2016.  One of the cameras had failed initially and this had been restored on 15 August.  The cameras were angled as the previous system but (PO) would ask Tony Bassett to alter one of the cameras to a slightly different angle when he was next in the area.  Action (PO)


Fete Bank Accounts – information from MVH regarding bank charges was discussed.  It was agreed that there was no requirement to change the accounts.


Electrical re-wiring – quotations were being sought by MVH for rewiring/replacement of circuit board.  This to be discussed at the next MVH meeting.


Update on changes of MVH duties as agreed at the last meeting:–

Clerk was now liaising with bookings secretary with regards to cleaning of pavilion and purchasing of cleaning materials.

All pavilion bookings now being dealt with by Clerk and a children’s party and new band booking had been taken.

Fire equipment testing had been successfully undertaken on 4 August 2016 and certificates issued

Annual Deep Cleaning of Village Hall had been arranged for 31 August 2016

PAT testing had been arranged for 23 February 2017

Boiler Service still to be arranged – contractor on holiday


It was agreed that Clerk keep a record of the time taken on MVH duties over the next three months.                                                                                             Action Clerk


(b) PCC Liaison –    (AW) reported that the Kent Churches Bike Ride is to take place on 10  


There is to be a concert by Sarah Hughes in the church on 17 September at 7pm  – tickets £10 available from Andrew Wells. 

The Cream Teas were proving to be extremely successful.

It was noted that the organist and choirmaster Derek Wallis was retiring after 16 years on 4 September.  The church was looking for a new organist and choir volunteers since the choir was likely to reduce in the absence of a choirmaster.  The children's choir would continue to sing under their choirmaster Stephen Thomas on fourth Sundays in term time.  They were performing Oliver in the church on 18 September. 

All main Sunday services would start at 9.30am from 11 September.


(JT) was hoping to contact Adam Baker soon regarding the village Christmas lighting.  Past discussions were noted of the PCC’s wish to have the permanent means to light the church on special occasions.                                                                              Action (JT)


There was some discussion regarding the use of the proceeds of the land sales for the church lighting.  This to be discussed at the next meeting.


(c)    Highways –

(i) Seven Mile Lane –   It had been agreed that (AW) would contact the school in August to offer use of the pavilion car park once again for special occasions and to ask for additional ‘no parking’ signs to be erected on the B2016 verge.                                     Action (AW)

(ii)  White lining  -The Street – (KE) reported that further white lining had been completed in The Street


(d)   Allotments – All plots were now taken                                                        Action Clerk


(e)    Neighbourhood Watch – (KE) Nothing further to report other than the break-ins already discussed.  (KE) had also been informed that a person suspected of arson attacks had been  assaulted.


(e)    Childrens Play area/Recreation area/football pitches – The Annual Play Area Inspection report had been received and circulated.  Ray to be asked to undertake the minor repairs outlined on the report.                                                                    Action Clerk

The football pitches had been marked out ready for the coming season. 


Clerk was in the process of obtaining an alternative quotation for Grounds Maintenance for the 2017 season, when the current contract ends.                                   Action Clerk


(f)    Correspondence to Police and MP re: arson attacks.  Already discussed under police matters.  It was reported that Tom Tugendhat MP had offered to supply a monthly report for the Parish Magazine.  It was agreed to accept this offer.                          Action Clerk



8.      Any other business and matters for future discussion

1.       Fete 2017 – (JT) reported that the theme for the was ‘DANCE’ and that all bookings had been made – including Ice-cream man, doughnuts van, Prof. RegEMental.  (JT) was investigating whether the fete could be held on the field in front of Mereworth Castle.

(AW) to ask for a fire engine to attend and to arrange with a dance group to put on a display.                                                                                     Action (JT) (AW)


9.      Date of next meeting – Tuesday 27 September at 7.30pm  



                                                            Meeting closed 8.40 p.m




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