Minutes of Parish Council meeting held 27 August 2019

MEREWORTH Parish Council
Minutes of the PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD in Mereworth Village Hall ON TUESDAY 27 August 2019

Present: Chairman – Jon Regan (JR), Andrew Wells (AW), Ted Murray (TM), Michael Bound (MB), Katherine Eykelenboom (KE), Gill Kirby – Clerk , TMBClr Mrs Ann Kemp, No members of public

1. Apologies for absence – received from Jenny Thorogood (JT), TMBClr Piers Montague

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 from County Borough Councillors and Police

Borough Council Report – Clr Mrs Ann Kemp reported that the new waste collection service was to start week commencing 30 September and the brown garden waste bins and waste food bins had been delivered to households. More information would be sent out soon. KCC has a new contractor for disposal, unfortunately it cannot take tetrapacks.

Clr Mrs Kemp also reported that the planning application for 9 Willow Wents had been called in to be discussed at Area 2 Planning Committee and that the 246 Butchers Lane application had been dismissed at Appeal by the Planning Inspector.

(JR) referred to the dangers of drivers travelling too fast on Seven Mile Lane and wondered if a ‘school’ sign might help slow drivers. Parish Council had requested the Police and Crime Commissioner in July to ask the Police what action was being taken to reduce speeding on this road. A reply was awaited and the request would be repeated.

Mrs Kemp asked whether the sink hole at Beaufighter Road had been repaired. It hadn’t and she offered to speak to Piers Montague in his capacity as Cabinet Member for Housing.
Action Mrs Kemp
Undergrowth from the woods encroaching onto the road at Beaufighter Road was reported . Residents had been trying to cut this back and had said that the council used to do this but not recently. Clerk reported that she had been informed that the roads on the Airfield Estate were all under the responsibility of Clarion Housing. Clr Mrs Kemp also agreed to chase this issue in general with Clarion and more specifically establish the responsibility for the encroaching undergrowth. Action Mrs Kemp

5. Vacancy on the Parish Council.
Bob Fearne had decided not to stand as a Parish Councillor at this time.
(Clerks Note: The vacancy now had to be advertised and a notice would be posted on the board and on the website. If no election was called within 2 weeks then the Parish Council could co-opt.) Action Clerk
6. Finance
(a) Bank reconciliation and ratification of cheques for signing – Bank reconciliation as at 30 July was approved and bank statements verified. Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified. Action Clerk
(b) Grounds Maintenance Contract 2019-20 – the current contract with Kent Landscapes Services was due to expire this season. Clerk would contact another contractor to ask for a quotation. The new contract from KLS had not yet been received. Action Clerk

(c) External Audit of accounts 2018-9 – Completed – Audit Report had no comments.

7. Update on other issues
(a) MVH Liaison – (i) Renewal of 5-year Lease from PC to MVH re: Pavilion – the five year
Lease of the pavilion grounds and buildings from the Parish Council to the MVH was due for renewal in August. Clerk had prepared the renewal letter indicating that the ground was now Queen Elizabeth Field formerly known as The Recreation Ground and it was signed by (JR). Action Clerk

(ii) Use of Village Hall for CAB ‘Help me Out’ sessions –Clerk had
contacted CAB to offer the use of the village hall for sessions. They had responded saying that they did not organise events but would be pleased to join any community event in the village (not Saturdays).
Action Clerk

(b) PCC Liaison – (AW) reported that the clocks were not working on any of the four sides of the tower but no one was allowed to access the tower due to safety restrictions. The free classical concert given recently had been a great success raising £400 for the church.

(c) Highways – (i) Response from Police & Crime Commissioner regarding speeding A228
and Seven Mile Lane – No further response had been received from the Professional Standards Caseworker. Clerk to chase this. Action Clerk

(ii) Closure of Butchers Lane in September 2019 – Both Kent Highways and SGN had responded to the email sent by Clerk as agreed at the last meeting. They had met on site and SGN had made alternative plans to try to alleviate the situation when they replaced the gas main. They had arranged a public meeting for 3 September at 6pm in the village hall and would be contacting residents.
It was agreed that Clerk would draft a letter from (JR) requesting to change the format of the meeting on 3 September to include a presentation around 7pm to explain the plans to those attending and asking for further information on where residents cars were going to be parked during the works and who was going to give the Presentation and attend the meeting? The letter would cover MPC and residents need to see definitive plans and to know exactly what the problem is and whether a significant number of residents are having low gas pressure trouble; Whether it is dangerous; Whether this is just the first phase of work all the way up Butchers Lane; Whether they have considered alternative routes for the whole main; How long the proposed improvements will last; Whether the main just feeds Butchers Lane and if not where else, and when other areas might be affected by similar work; Why they have planned this without local consultation (residents and MPC). How will Phase 2 work? Bell Equine and Moorcock’s are on opposite sides of the road so laying ‘a new gas main in the private land adjacent to’ the two sites doesn’t make sense. If access for traffic (including large horseboxes) to these sites is being maintained during all phases why can it not be maintained for the rest of Butchers Lane?

(iii) Bell Equine – response re: closure of Butchers Lane and signs for left turn only into The Street. Bell Equine were liaising with SGN to try to alleviate the problems of the Butchers Lane closure. They felt that they were doing as much as possible to get clients to turn left into The Street.
It was agreed that (JR) would contact the manager to ask them to put notices on the gate asking clients to turn left into The Street.
Action (JR)

(iv) School Parking – The School Headteacher was to arrange another meeting at the school when the term starts. (JR) to attend. Action (JR)

(d) Allotments – nothing to report

(e) Neighbourhood Watch – (TM) reported that he was in touch with Jim Tynan, Co-ordinator of Neighbourhood Watch and that he had put a notice in The Record asking for anyone interested in joining Neighbourhood Watch to contact him. Action (TM)

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

(g) Framing and display of old photographs in the village hall –Martin Willgoss dealing.

(h) Village Hall Car Park – no further information from Pre-School

(i) Airfield Estate – sink holes – already discussed with Clr Mrs Kemp

(j) Mereworth Pavilion Café – there had been no further request for events

8. Any other business and matters for future discussion – none

9. Date of next meeting – 24 September 2019, 7.00 pm in the Village Hall.

Meeting closed 7.56 p.m.