MEREWORTH PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN MEREWORTH VILLAGE HALL ON TUESDAY 13 December 2016
PRESENT: Chairman – Jon Regan (JR), Jenny Thorogood (JT), Stephen Reynolds (SR), Philip Olden (PO), Michael Bound (MB), Katherine Eykelenboom (KE),
Andrew Wells (AW). TMBC Clr Mrs Ann Kemp, PCSO Kim Hockey,
Gill Kirby (Clerk), no members of public
1. Apologies for absence –- PCSO Toni Matthews ,
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) –
4. Reports from County and Borough Councillors and Police
Police – One reported crime – a burglary other than dwelling where power tools were stolen
Borough Councillor – Clr Mrs Kemp reported that there were to be some changes to the schedule for the Saturday Bulky Waste collections but the service would continue. Clerk advised that the new schedule had been received and was on the website.
Clr Mrs Kemp said that the Local Plan was progressing and the public meetings held recently had been well attended.
(JT) asked whether Parish Councils were to be banned from attending Planning site meetings in future as there had been a Facebook report circulated by email regarding this. Mrs Kemp explained that this would not happen and the meeting to discuss new guidelines would not be held until the first week of January 2017. Mrs Kemp felt that some members of public had been using site meetings to lobby members when it should be for planners to meet and view sites. She said that Parish Councils would always be able to speak at Planning meetings.
It was agreed that the Parish Council supported this situation and asked that members continue to be allowed to attend site meetings and be heard if they wished to do so. (AW) suggested MPC confirm this view in writing to TMBC – agreed Action Clerk
(PO) explained that to offset loss of grants and eliminate deficits, the Parish Council had taken the opportunity to increase the precept. He asked when the TMBC Council Tax calculations would be made so that the Parish Council could tell parishioners what they will pay. Mrs Kemp said that this would not be until next year as TMBC were still awaiting government information. However, it was understood that TMBC tax would reduce, so the Parish Council hopes that the impact on the total council tax bill to parishioners will be minimal, or nil.
(a) Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held 22 November 2016 -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 30 November 2016 was approved and bank statements
Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified and signed.
(b) Completion of Kent Street Land Sales – The land sales had now been completed and
the money paid into the Parish Council’s Capital Projects account. A vote of thanks was recorded to the Clerk for her work on this.
(c) Renewal of rental – grazing land Kent Street. The current rental agreement was due to end in December 2016. It was proposed by (JT), seconded by (SR) and unanimously agreed to renew this for a further year at the rental of £1000.
7. Updates on other issues
(a) MVH Liaison – (i) Grant application for electrical works – to be discussed at next
(PO) reported that he had installed a timer on the Christmas lights at the pavilion so that they were on from 3-11pm
(b) PCC Liaison – (i) Church clock repair – a bill for £150 + VAT had been received from
Smiths of Derby for clock repairs. Clerk had checked with the Treasurer of the PCC, and it
had been confirmed that the repairs had been undertaken to his satisfaction. It was agreed to
pay this invoice. Action Clerk
(AW) reported that a car in poor condition had been parked on the verge outside the church
for some weeks, taking up valuable parking space for churchgoers. Clerk had reported this
to TMBC as an abandoned car but it had now been taxed and MOT’d so could not
be classed as ‘abandoned’. It was agreed that (JR) put a polite notice on the car asking that
it be moved. Action (JR)
(AW) reported that parking during the wedding on 11 December had not been too
problematic. Clerk reported that she had been in contact with Rev. Pat Dickin and most
Christmas services were to be held at times when the pavilion was not in use, therefore the
pavilion car-park could be used if needed.
(c) Highways –
(i) White Lining on The Street – Clerk had asked Kent Highways for the project plans for confirmation and for the estimate of costings which the Parish Council would be expected to pay, but these had still not been received.
(ii) Seven Mile Lane road markings – It was reported that a letter had been received from a resident stating that she ‘remained totally unimpressed’ with KCC’s lack of progress on the ‘SLOW’ road markings requested for before and after Willowwents.
(d) Allotments – Rental Invoices had been posted and payments were still being received.
(e) Neighbourhood Watch –nothing to report
(f) Childrens Play area/Recreation area/football pitches – repairs to the safety surfacing will be carried out when the weather conditions allow.
8. Any other business and matters for future discussion
1. A resident had requested street lighting on Butchers Lane – Kent Highways Street lighting Strategy for Kent is trying to reduce street lighting. Butchers Lane would be defined in that Strategy as a minor road in a non-built up area, whereby lighting is considered inappropriate. The Parish Council supports this. Action Clerk
2. (MB) referred to the broken overflow pipe at the pavilion. Clerk reported that Kentish Stone had inspected and it was not leaking. However the plumber would be asked to repair it on his next visit.
3. (MB) reported that there were shopping trolleys abandoned at the top of Horns Lane. (JR) to arrange for these to be removed. Action (JR)
4. (MB) offered to investigate interest rates for the ‘Capital Projects’ account at other financial institutions such as CCLA who deal with charities, religious organisations and the public sector,. Agreed Action (MB)
Clerk to find out if Parish Councils finances were protected by Financial Services Compensation Scheme for up to £75,000 Action Clerk
It was agreed that a separate meeting be arranged in the new year to discuss Capital Projects.
9. Date of next meeting – Tuesday 24 January 2017 at 7.30pm
Meeting closed 8.20p.m