Minutes of Parish Council meeting held 21 March 2017



MINUTES OF THE  MEETING HELD IN the Offices of Hugh Lowe Farms, MEREWORTH ON TUESDAY 21 March 2017


(Unfortunately due to the usual hirer forgetting that they had agreed to change their booking and had already set up in the pavilion, the Parish Council agreed to move their meeting to an alternative venue)


  1. PRESENT: Chairman – Jon Regan (JR), Philip Olden (PO), Michael Bound (MB),

Stephen Reynolds (SR), Andrew Wells (AW), Jenny Thorogood (JT), 

Katherine Eykelenboom (KE),  TMBC Clr Mrs Ann Kemp, PCSO Toni Matthews,

Gill Kirby (Clerk),  no members of public


  1. Apologies for absence – none


  1. Declarations of Interest  –  none


  1. 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


  1. Reports from County and Borough Councillors and Police

Police – there had been no crimes reported since the last meeting


Borough and County Councillor’s report – Clr Mrs Ann Kemp  reported that Council Tax bills had now been issued.  Mereworth’s Precept had increased but it was still below average for parishes.  There was a good deal of information included in the bill.


  1. Minutes
  • Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held 28 February 2017 -These were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman
  • Matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda – none


  1.          Finance

(a)   Bank reconciliation and ratification of cheques for signing –

Bank reconciliation as at 28 February 2017 was approved and bank statements

verified.    Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified and signed.

Action Clerk

(b) Fees for renewal of Lease  – Great Fowle Meadow

Clerk had received an email from the solicitors explaining that only Falmouth Estate could issue an  invoice for fees.  Clerk had already requested the invoice from the Estate but had not received it as yet .                                                  Action Clerk


  • Capital Projects – seat for Butchers Lane –It was agreed to install a seat on Butchers

Lane.  Clerk to write to landowner to ask permission to install it at the entrance to the Equine Clinic.  If permission was not given, then the seat would be installed outside the Village Hall.  Design to be similar to those on the Recreation area. Action Clerk


  1.     Updates on other issues
  • MVH Liaison –    The next MVH meeting will be held on 28 March in the Village Hall.                                             Cables at the pavilion car park – The electrician had attended and ensured that the cables were safe.  A request had been received from MVH for the Parish Council to pay the electrician’s costs relating to the cables – £136 plus VAT £27.20.  It was proposed by (PO) and unanimously agreed to pay this.                                                          Action Clerk
  • PCC Liaison – (AW) reported that the church clock had caused problems recently but was working now.  The Vision Morning on 4 March and had been attended by 15 people who had discussed proposals relating to the future functions and activities of the church.  The retiring Archdeacon, Ven Clive Mansell, had preached on 19 March.  After the service Janet Gough spoke about her recent book  ‘Churches of the Church of England’ and more copies of the book had been sold .

(AW) requested that the mowing of the churchyard should begin soon and members of the PCC wished to meet with Kent Landscapes before work started.  Clerk to contact Kent Landscapes.                                                                         Action Clerk

War Memorial – (JT) suggested planting more poppy seeds as the first planting had not been successful.  Agreed.                                                                  Action (JT)

It had been reported that a wooden post and chain fencing around the War Memorial were broken.  It was agreed that Kentish Stone replace these.                Action Clerk

It was agreed that (AW) and Clerk try to get a grant to cover the costs of having the War Memorial professionally cleaned.                                                      Action Clerk/(AW)


  • Highways – White Lining on The Street –  (AW) to  confirm with Clerk the exact siting

for additional gateway entrance white lines to be installed.   Clerk to arrange with Kent

Highways once the exact siting had been received.                       Action Clerk  (AW)


  • Allotments – Fencing repair/reinstatement. It had been reported that the fencing was in a poor state of repair.  Clerk had asked Kentish Stone to quote for undertaking repairs and two options had been received.  It was unanimously agreed to accept the cheaper option to renew the badly damaged posts and rails, tighten and repair existing wire, cut back growth – i.e. One days labour plus materials.                                                    Action Clerk


  • Neighbourhood Watch –(KE) nothing to report


  • Childrens’ Play area/Recreation area/football pitches – A bag and flag day had taken place on 3 March and the Dog Warden had advised that an additional bin be installed in the Recreation area.   This had been agreed and the bin had been installed.  (JR) to meet with Dog Warden to discuss further ideas.                                 Action (JR)


  • Future plans for Christmas lighting in the village – (JT) reported that she had tried several times to contact Adam and Carly to ask if they would be prepared to sell the equipment to the parish council and to install it again this year. However, she had not had any response.   (JT) to try to contact them again in August.   (PO) felt that if they were unwilling to carry out the work then alternative quotations should be sought.   (MB) felt that the parish council should discuss how much they would pay for the equipment and installation.    It was felt that there were two separate issues – the lighting of the Church spire and decorations on The Street.  (JR) suggested that funding could be met jointly by Parish Council, PCC and villagers.  This matter to be discussed at a future meeting


  1. Any other business and matters for future discussion
  2. Annual Parish Meeting – 25 April 2017 – Guest speaker – (JR) reported that he had not yet obtained a guest speaker but would speak to a vineyard manager or try to get someone to speak about Modern Day Biological Pest Controls in Farming           Action (JR)


  1. Village Pound land had become churned up by vehicles. It was thought that the building works were almost complete and that the land would recover once builders’ vehicles had gone.


  1. (JR) reported that Falmouth Estates had asked if the stored materials in the barn at Brewers Hall could be disposed of.  It was thought that this material belonged either to the Fete Committee or the Scouts.  (JR) to contact Scouts, (PO) and (JT) to look on behalf of Fete Committee.                                                                                      Action (JR)(JT)(PO)
  2. (KE) reported that she had met with the organiser of Rural Kent Coffee and Information Project to look for a venue in Mereworth. It was felt that the church lay-by was too narrow but they would like to set up on the Airfield Estate in the summer.  Clerk explained that permission would need to be sought by the project from Circle Housing.


  1. Date of next meeting –Annual Parish Meeting – Tuesday 25 April, 2017 at 7.30pm  in the Village Hall.

                                                Meeting closed   8.35p.m