Minutes of Parish Council meeting held 22 November 2016





1.                  PRESENT: Chairman – Philip Olden (PO), Michael Bound (MB), Katherine Eykelenboom, Andrew Wells (AW),  KCC & TMBC Clr Matthew Balfour , 

Gill Kirby (Clerk),   no members of public


2.                  Apologies for absence –- Jon Regan (JR),  Jenny Thorogood (JT),

Stephen Reynolds (SR), TMBC Clr Mrs Ann Kemp, KCC & TMBC Clr Matthew Balfour, PCSO Toni Matthews,  PCSO Kim Hockey


3.                  Declarations of Interest   –  none


4.                   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)




5.                  Reports from County and Borough Councillors and Police

Police – crime figures had been provided for November – no reported crime and one call in relation to nuisance motorbikes.


6.                  Minutes

(a)    Minutes  of the Parish Council Meeting held 25 October 2016 -These were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman

(b)   Matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda – none


      7.           Finance

      (a)   Bank reconciliation and ratification of cheques for signing

       Bank reconciliation as at 30 October 2016 was approved and bank statements


       Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified and signed.

                                                                                                       Action Clerk

(b) Poppy Day Wreath Donation – It was proposed by (AW) , seconded by  (MB)  and

       unanimously agreed that a donation of £50  be made to The Poppy Appeal in respect

of  the Wreath laid by the Parish Council on Remembrance Day. (S137 LGA 1972)


(c)       Kent Street Land Sales –  Transfer Deeds had been received by the Clerk.  It was

agreed that Clerk be authorised to sign on behalf of the Parish Council. The deeds to be signed by Clerk in front of an independent witness.                  Action Clerk


Grateful thanks were expressed to Clerk for her work on this matter.


(d)   Interim Audit of Accounts 2016-7 – completed on 24 October 2016.  Letter from KCC Auditor recommended that a note of Clerk’s Annual Review of Salary should be included in the Minutes of Meetings in future and that one cheque stub had not been initialed. There were no further issues.   Noted.                                    Action Clerk


(e)    Clerks Interim Review – additional hours on MVH duties – Clerk had logged the number of additional hours taken up by MVH duties over the past 3 months.  It was agreed that an additional 5 hours per month be paid.                                                Action Clerk


(f)    Estimates and Precept requirements 2017-8  – Government Grants, Financial Arrangements with Parish Councils and Churchyard grants were all to be removed in the coming financial year  and Parish Councils would have to raise their Precept to cover this.  Work on Budgets and Estimates for 2017-8 had been undertaken by Clerk and (MB) and circulated.    Grateful thanks were expressed to (MB) and Clerk for their work on this.


To offset reductions in TBMC grants to parish councils, fulfil our obligations to provide services and amenities to the residents of Mereworth and to ensure that the Parish Council does not operate at a deficit, it was proposed by (MB), seconded by (AW) and agreed unanimously to set the precept at  £27,520 for the year 2017-18.                                                                                     Action Clerk


Grounds Maintenance Quotation for 2017-2019 had been received from Kent Landscapes.  This had increased by 2% over the four years from 2015.  It was proposed by (AW) and seconded by (KE) to accept this quotation.  Agreed unanimously.                                                                            Action Clerk


(g)    Proceeds of land sales and capital projects –  It was agreed that the proceeds of the land sales should be placed in the Reserve account and renamed ‘Capital projects’.            Agreed.                                                                                    Action Clerk


(MB) suggested some ideas that could be considered as Capital Projects..


8.           Updates on other issues

(a)     MVH Liaison –     Village Hall car park – It had been reported that, in heavy rainfall,  the recently constructed drainage gully did not fully prevent rainwater from flooding onto the Pre-school’s outdoor play area.  The neighbouring householder had been asked to repair the guttering as this was allowing drainage water to flood over the carpark, exacerbating the problem.


(b) PCC Liaison –    (i)  Church clock chimes – no further information from Environment


                                               (ii) Christmas lighting – no further information


(AW) reported that the Children’s Choir had produced a CD for sale.  Grant applications for  roof repairs were on-going.  A book was being published called ‘Director’s Choice – Churches and the Church of England’ – the author had chosen one church in each Diocese and had chosen Mereworth in the Rochester Diocese.  The book to be launched in January.           

                                    The Craft Fair held  on 12 November had made a good profit.


(c)     Highways –

(i)      No Parking signs – Kentish Stone had met with (AW) to agree the siting for the 4 ‘No Parking’ signs.  These  had now been installed on the verge at the south corner of The Street and Seven Mile Lane.

(ii)  White Lining on The Street – Kent Highways Officer had met with (AW) and agreed

      the project for white lining  on the north side of the street eastwards as far as and

      including no 59 Springfield with a continuous line between 57 and 59 and gateways

      either side of  numbers 69 and 71.  It was agreed to ask for the lines to be 

      continued even further to no. 61 The Street.  Kent Highways had indicated that this

      would have to be paid for by The Parish Council but Clerk had not had an estimate for

      these costs as yet.

      It was agreed to request  continuation of the lines across a further seven gateways up 

      to and including no 91 which would cover all gateways where the traffic problems arise.

     (AW) to speak to the residents involved.  Clerk to ask Kent Highways to continue the 

      lines.                                                                                        Action Clerk/(AW)


(d)     Allotments – Rental Invoices had been posted and payments were now being received.

                                                                                                            Action Clerk

(e)     Neighbourhood Watch –nothing to report


(f)      Childrens Play area/Recreation area/football pitches –nothing to report


(g)     Play area safety surfacing repairs –repair materials for the safety surfacing had been sourced and a test area tried and found to be acceptable.  Cost of repairs was to be £265.  It was agreed to go ahead with this.                                            Action Clerk.


(h)     Defibrillators – Clerk explained that she had received confirmation that both defibrillators were unaffected by the faults in some units


9.      Any other business and matters for future discussion

1.      Proposed dates for meetings in 2017 – these had been prepared by Clerk and circulated prior to the meeting.  It was agreed to have the Annual Parish Meeting on the same evening as the Parish Council meeting with a possible guest  speaker.  Other dates agreed.                                                                                        Action Clerk

2.      BT Telephone boxes – two boxes in Mereworth were to be removed as they had not been used in the last year.  There was an opportunity for the Parish Council to purchase a box.  It was agreed not to take up this offer.

3.      Volunteer Support Wardens –– information had been received from KCC which would incur a cost for the Parish Council .   It was agreed there was no interest in this scheme


10.  Date of next meeting – Tuesday 13 December at 7.30pm                                                    


                                                            Meeting closed  8.45p.m