Minutes of Parish Council meeting held 25 September 2018



PRESENT – Jon Regan (JR) Chairman – Philip Olden (PO), Michael Bound (MB),
Jenny Thorogood (JT), Andrew Wells (AW), Katherine Eykelenboom (KE), KCClr Matthew Balfour, Gill Kirby – Clerk, 1 member of public

1. Apologies for absence – received from TMBClr Mrs Anne Kemp, Alastair Pullen (AP),

2. Declarations of Interest – none

3. Questions from members of the Public – none
(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 of County and Borough Councillors and Police
Police report –Jack Bridger was no longer the PCSO and had been replaced by Dylan Mcelligot, however he was not in attendance

Borough Council Report – Clr Balfour reported that the Local Plan was now available for consultation and would then go to the Government. It was hoped that it would change the requirement to build the original number of houses and reduce the proposed large developments north of Kings Hill and at East Malling.
The new Waste Contract had been agreed. This would involve collections from doorsteps of plastics and glass, however there would be a charge for green garden waste if this was required. The weekend bulky waste collections and fortnightly collections would continue.
Clr Balfour explained that he had attended a meeting regarding Blaise Farm and the reports of fly infestations. The flies were due to climatic conditions during the summer and had been a problem all over the South East of England.

(MB) referred to the planning application for Tathams in WillowWents and his concerns that TMBC had not taken into account the issues raised by Mereworth Parish Council regarding access and traffic. Clr Balfour confirmed that the planning permission had been refused and the applicant could take the application to Planning Appeal or submit a new application.

County Council report – Clr Balfour referred to budget discussions and that huge decisions must be made as Government money would not be forthcoming and services would have to be cut. This would have a bearing on residents.

(PO) reported that the Parish Council had a very positive meeting with representatives of Mereworth School regarding the parking issues and it had been agreed that they wished to progress the drop-off zone in the layby outside the school – the cost of which was over £4K. He would be very grateful for Clr Balfour’s support if an application for grant funded were to be submitted. Clr Balfour indicated that he would be happy to help with some of the costs.

5. Minutes
(a) Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 28 August 2018 – These
were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman
(b) Matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda – none
6. Finance
(a) Bank reconciliation and ratification of cheques for signing
Bank reconciliation as at 30 August 2018 was approved and bank statements
verified. Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified. Action Clerk

(b) Repairs/repainting of seats/signs – Clerk had asked Kentish Stone to quote for
various repairs and repainting and had received estimates as follows:

Church bench – Pressure washing – £75-£90 – It was agreed to accept this quotation
and to ask that the seat be oiled afterwards. Action Clerk
Seat at bus stop opposite school gates – repair supports, replace slats and bolts and
repaint £200-£225 – Agreed, however, it was thought that this seat may belong to a resident. (AW) to contact him to ask for permission to repair the seat.
Action (AW)
Wooden gates on The Street at school and church – sand and repaint £375-£400
Agreed Action Clerk

(c) Poppy Appeal – It was unanimously agreed to make a donation of £50 towards the
wreath – (s.137 LGA 1972)

7. Update on other issues
(a) MVH Liaison –Change of start time of Parish Council meetings to 7pm to enable quarterly MVH meetings to take place afterwards. MVH had agreed that meetings could take place quarterly after the Parish Council meetings but no later than 8.15. It was agreed that Parish Council meeting start at 7pm in future. Action Clerk

(b) PCC Liaison – Ownership of lay-by in front of church- Kent Highways had confirmed that they maintained the lay-by but did not own it. The land was not registered with the Land Registry. It was not possible for the PCC or the church to own any land but the Church of England could.
(JR) felt that if the Parish Council or the Church owned the land then no parking notices could be installed and enforced. Clerk advised that this might require a Traffic Regulation Order. There was concern that, if ownership was taken then Kent Highways might not take responsibility for maintenance.
(JT) explained that some residents were unable to walk up Butcher’s Lane and so they parked outside the church when taking the bus.
(AW) felt that the parking bollards were a poor way of preventing parking and that the use of the pavilion car park was a help with parking during church events but it required supervision. He suggested that temporary signs could be hung on the church-wall to ask drivers not to park when events were taking place. (JT) asked that these be put out the evening before an event so that drivers knew not to park there early in the morning.

(c) Highways – (i) Request for SID or VAS signage – Information from Clr Balfour
indicated that these could only be used for 30mph roads. As Seven
Mile Lane is 50mph and A228 is 40mph these would not be suitable.
(ii) Parking outside Mereworth School – A report of the meeting on 4 September with school representatives had been circulated. It had been agreed to progress the installation of a drop-off zone in the lay-by outside the school and to move the bus stop further along The Street. Clerk had contacted the bus company and gained their approval. Clerk had contacted Kent Highways to ask that the project be progressed. A Traffic Regulation Order would be required. Information and application form for this had been received however the payment was required when the application was submitted .
The Traffic Regulation Order would cost £2385 for the informal consultation (Police, Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Road Haulage Association, Freight Transport Authority, Local Authority, neighbours and businesses who were directly affected, bus company, School) –Clerk had contacted all of these bodies. If more than 5 objections were received then this would have to be referred to the Joint Transportation Board incurring a further cost of £570. This did not include linage and signage and moving of the bus stop , which would be a further £1300. Total either £3685 or £4255 should 5 objections be received.

Clerk had completed the Application Form for a KCC Combined Members Grant. It was agreed to submit this application and await the outcome before considering the application for the TRO. Action Clerk

(d) Allotments –Allotments Committee to meet in October and November.

(e) Neighbourhood Watch (JT) reported that some copper wire had been stolen from a house in Butchers Lane. She would encourage the resident to report this to the police.
Action (JT)
(f) Childrens play area/Recreation area/Football pitches – (MB) reported that the grass had been cut except for within the Play area and strimming had not been done around it. Clerk to report this to Kent Landscapes. Action Clerk

(g) Framing and display of old photographs in the Village Hall – (AP) to contact Martin Willgoss regarding the old photographs . Action (AP)

(h) Battle’s Over celebrations – 11 November 2018. (PO) had prepared a notice for The Record asking residents to apply for free tickets by email to Clerk or by telephone to (JT). (PO) had also designed a meal voucher. Clerk to keep a record of the number of vouchers sent out. Action Clerk
Clerk had completed a Risk Assessment and everyone had received a copy of this.
(JR) to arrange for a first-aider to be in attendance and would set the bonfire immediately before the event and open the gate to the Great Herne Field for parking. He would arrange for a tractor to be on site should any drivers need help. Action (JR)
(JT) to post advertising notices around the village Action (JT)

(i) Flooding issues at rear of village hall – A report of meeting with Pre School on 4 September 2018 had been circulated. There was no further information from Pre-school

(j) Annual Village Fete 2019 – organisers required – (AW) agreed to contact some possible candidates. It was felt that as the Church and MVH were the main recipients of the funds raised by the Fete, they should arrange organisers. It was agreed to remove this item from the agenda in future Action Clerk

8. Any other business and matters for future discussion
1. (AW) had asked the receptionist at Bell Equine to ask drivers to turn left from Butchers
Lane into The Street when leaving their premises as horsebox vehicles were being
driven along The Street. It was agreed that Clerk contact Bell Equine management. Action Clerk
2. JPCTCG meeting – 26 September 2018 – It was agreed that (PO) and (JT) attend this
meeting. Action (PO)(JT)
3. Local Plan Meeting – 3 October 2018 – It was agreed that (MB) and (AW) attend
this meeting Action (MB)(AW)
9. Date of next meeting – 23 October 2018 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall –note new start time. Meeting closed 9.05pm