Minutes of Parish Council meeting held 25 October 2016





1.                  PRESENT: Chairman – Jon Regan (JR),  Philip Olden (PO), Michael Bound (MB), Stephen Reynolds (SR), Jenny Thorogood (JT),

Andrew Wells (AW),  KCC & TMBC Clr Matthew Balfour ,   Gill Kirby (Clerk)   

1 member of public


2.                  Apologies for absence – TMBC Clr Mrs Ann Kemp, PCSO Toni Matthews,  PCSO Kim Hockey, Katherine Eykelenboom


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)


1.       A resident referred to the request for donation from Music@malling.  This to be discussed under Finance

2.       Resident referred to the proposed homes suggested for inclusion in the Local Plan and asked whether Mereworth Parish Council had informed residents.  (PO) explained that reports had been included in Minutes which were available on website and in The Record.

(PO) and (AW) had attended the Local Plan meetings and explained that the Local Plan was still at the Strategic stage.  Information would be publicised via website, minutes, The Record and notice boards.


5.                  Reports from County and Borough Councillors and Police

Police – crime figures had been provided for October – these included one burglary and one criminal damage.


Borough and County Councillors Report – Clr Balfour explained that the Local Plan was publicised in the press and available on the website.  (PO) referred to the Local Plan questionnaire and Traffic Proposals to be discussed at the Planning meeting.

Clr Balfour explained that the Integrated Transport Strategy goes with the Local Plan and the Parish Council should comment on this as the A228 was a problem and would continue to be so.  The Lower Thames Crossing will increase traffic.  Clr Balfour felt that the new Junction 4 bridge would help the traffic situation in Mereworth and this should be finished by Christmas.

So far as Budget Consultation was concerned he felt there may be more cuts to Local Government funding.

The pot hole blitz had been successful and KCC had undertaken an extra weed spray this year due to the weeds growing quickly in the mild weather.

KCC salt trucks were ready for the winter weather.

There had been a fire at Tunbridge Wells Waste Collection Tip and this may cause problems with waste collections.

The likelihood of problems at Calais if there was a blockade, would create problems with lorries and Operation Stack may be re-introduced.

The Cabinet had recommended that the new runway be built at Heathrow rather than Gatwick and compensation was being recommended for householders under compulsory purchase.  It was hoped that this would become a benchmark for future projects.  The recommendation was also for a guaranteed 6.5 hours without flights during the night – unlike Gatwick which has night flights.



6.                  Minutes

(a)    Minutes  of the Parish Council Meeting held 27 September 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 September 2016 was approved and bank statements


       Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified and signed.

                                                                                                       Action Clerk


(b)  Kent Street Land Sales –   Update – Clerk reported that one of the Transfer Deeds had

been signed by the purchaser.  The other had asked for a clause to be amended.  It was

agreed not to change the clause.                                                            Action Clerk


(c)    Direct Debit Mandate for NEST (National Employment Savings Trust) – Pension

Clerk explained that every employer has to register and set up a DD regardless of whether the employee intends to join the scheme.  It was agreed to sign the DD

                                                                                                            Action Clerk


(d)   Donation request 2017 – Music@Malling

This was discussed fully.  (AW) indicated that the School, Church and Village Hall were all available for functions by Music@Malling.  It was proposed by (MB), seconded by (SR) that a donation of £50 be given in 2017 with the hope that Mereworth would be involved again.            Agreed                                                  Action Clerk


(e)     Precept 2017-8 – It was agreed to discuss the Precept requirements at the next meeting.

Clerk to ascertain exactly what the loss of TMBC/government grants would mean and produce estimates for 2017-8 in advance of the next meeting.     Action Clerk


8.           Updates on other issues

(a)     MVH Liaison – (i)  Unauthorised parking at the Village Hall.  A complaint had been received that residents not using the hall were parking in the car park and taking up spaces reserved for hall users.   Noted.


Village Hall car park – Kentish Stone had reported that 2 manhole covers needed rebedding.  One was full of rubbish/debris.  Clerk had contacted MVH to find out if the recent drainage report indicated that this one was redundant.  There was no information on this.  Clerk had asked Kentish Stone to undertake tests out of hours and repair manhole covers as required.

                                                                                                      Action Clerk


(b) PCC Liaison –    (i)  Church clock chimes.  A complaint had been received by the TMBC

Environmental Health Officer regarding the chimes.  These were quarter hourly from 8am to 8pm.   A meeting had been held with the Officer attended by Revd Pat Dickin and Jon Regan and the outcome awaited.   

       (ii)  Remembrance Sunday – 13 November.  It was agreed (AW) would read

a lesson and (JR) would lay a wreath.

                   (AW) reported that there was to be a Comfort Memorial Service at West Peckham on 6

       November at 5pm.  The Mereworth Craft Fair would take place on 12 November from 12-

       3pm in church.

       The Childrens Choir were selling a CD of Choral music

       The Churchyard grass cutting had been done better than ever earlier this month as it had 

       been strimmed up to the gravestones.

The PCC were considering the Quinquennial Report – which indicated that work was required on roof and gutters and the PCC were investigating grants.

No further information on the Christmas lighting


Grateful thanks were expressed to Steve Card and Dennis Styles for their hard work on the churchyard, which was looking very good.


(c)     Highways –

4 ‘No Parking’ signs had been purchased.  These to be installed on the verge at the south corner of The Street and Seven Mile Lane. Clerk to ask Caretaker to contact (AW) for exact siting of the signs.                                                                                        Action Clerk/ (AW)


(d)     Allotments – The Lease had been returned to the solicitors having been scanned and circulated to all councilors.

(MB) felt that the allotments were looking rather untidy.  Clerk explained that the invoices for rentals were due to be posted this week and she would add a note asking all allotment holders to please keep their plots free of weeds.                               Action Clerk


(e)     Neighbourhood Watch –nothing to report


(f)      Childrens Play area/Recreation area/football pitches –

(i)                 Play area safety surfacing repairs –repair materials for the safety surfacing had been sourced and a test area tried to see if this worked.  An estimate for repairs to remainder or to supply and lay new strip of matting would be issued.

(ii)               Play area signage – The permanent sign had now been installed

(iii)             Defibrillator in Pavilion – Clerk explained that there had been a report that there was a fault with some LIFEPACK units.  She had contacted KALC, through which the units had been purchased, and they were investigating.  The unit purchased for the Village Hall was not affected but information on the Pavilion one was still awaited.

(iv)             Dog Fouling – signs and bin.  There had been a complaint from the football teams that they had to clean up dog-mess before their match could be played.  Chairman had contacted the Dog Warden and she had supplied more signs.  She had also recommended installing an additional bin at the northern end of the Recreation Ground.  The cost of this from TMBC was approx £300 and it was understood that TMBC would add this to the emptying schedule.  Should a bin be sourced from other suppliers, then the cost of emptying would be an additional cost to the Parish Council.

It was agreed not to purchase another bin at the moment.  

(JT) to put a notice in The Record  regarding dog fouling.                        Action (JT)


(v)               Goal Post – Kentish Stone had reported that the post stanchion on the Butchers Lane end of the goalpost was only attached by top weld.  The cost for rewelding was estimated at £100-£150 though he reported that the goal was perfectly useable without.  (JR) offered to get his workman to make the repair.        Agreed.Action (JR)


9.      Any other business and matters for future discussion

1.          (MB) felt that consideration should be given to the proceeds of the landsales and

    capital projects at the next meeting.  Agreed

2.          (PO) asked permission to miss meetings in Jan, Feb and March 2017 as he

     would be attending a course.  Agreed


10.  Date of next meeting – Tuesday 22 November at 7.30pm                                                    


                                                            Meeting closed  9.02p.m