MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN MEREWORTH VILLAGE HALL ON TUESDAY 27 June 2017
PRESENT – Jon Regan (JR), Michael Bound (MB), Philip Olden (PO),
Andrew Wells (AW), Gill Kirby (Clerk), 1 member of public
- Apologies for absence –
TMBC, KCC & TMBC Clr Matthew Balfour, TMBC Clr Mrs Ann Kemp,
Katherine Eykelenboom (KE), Jenny Thorogood (JT), PCSO’s Toni Matthews and Kim Hockey
- Declarations of Acceptance of Office Vice Chair – (PO) signed the declaration.
- Declarations of Interest – none
- Co-Option of member to fill Vacancy on the Parish Council
As no election had been called, the Parish Council could co-opt a new member. It was agreed to discuss this at the next meeting when more councillors would be in attendance. Flyers to be delivered along with The Record asking for anyone interested in standing to contact the Clerk.
- 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)
- A resident raised concerns regarding the height of the Beech trees on the border of the Recreation Ground and Butchers Lane and the hedge on the border of the Recreation Area. These were blocking out the light across Butchers Lane and into her garden. It was agreed that (JR) would look at the trees and, if necessary, the Parish Council would consider cutting them back in the autumn. The resident also referred to trees on private land and was advised to write to the landowner to ask that these be cut back. Action (JR)
- Reports from County and Borough Councillors and Police
Police – PCSO’s crime figures had been provided for June – these included1 x
Burglary other than dwelling – shed on the allotments and 1 x Theft of tractor
- Representation – groups and local organisations
- Joint Parish Councils Traffic Liaison Group – to be discussed at next meeting
- PCC – (AW) to continue to represent the Parish Council on the PCC
- Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held 23 May 2017 -These were agreed as
a true record and signed by the Chairman
(b) Matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda – none
(a) Bank reconciliation and ratification of cheques for signing
Bank reconciliation as at 30 May 2017 was approved and bank statements verified.
Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified and signed. Action Clerk
Clerk reported that the defibrillator at the Pavilion was showing low battery status and a
new battery pack was required. This was likely to cost over £100 as both battery pack
and pads must be changed at the same time. Agreed
(b) Future Management of Pavilion
The next meeting of the MVH would be held on 4 July. (PO) to contact the Chairman
of MVH prior to this meeting regarding future roles on the Committee and to ask that
quarterly meetings of MVH continue to be held on the same evening as Parish Council
meetings. Action (PO)
- War Memorial Cleaning– The War Memorials Trust had now responded to advise that
they recommend using water and a natural bristle brush with no chemicals except PH
neutral detergent. They also recommended steam cleaning.
Clerk had contacted Kentish Stone who were prepared to do a test area, with the
assistance of Dennis Styles, to see if the first option would be suitable. This to be done
after 20 July.
Mr Styles had also suggested a pent roof over the War Memorial to protect it from the
tree but this idea was not supported.
(d) Possible purchase of allotments site – (JR) to contact Anthony Frampton of Tregothnan
Estates regarding this matter Action (JR)
There was some discussion on the ideas of having an Allotment of the Year competition or
a prize for the Most Improved Allotment
(e) Possible upgrading of children’s play area – Replacement of the safety surface was
It was reported that the play equipment was in need of cleaning. Clerk to ask Kentish Stone
to undertake this. Also some rubbish which may have been from allotments had been left
near the gate. Clerk to ask Kentish Stone to remove this. Action Clerk
- Updates on other issues
- MVH Liaison – nothing further to report
- PCC Liaison – (AW) reported that the mowing of the churchyard was poor. The church roof repairs had been completed with £30,000 raised from charities. The roof of the shed used to store equipment for the Cream Teas had been blown off but would have to be replaced by PCC members as it had not been properly installed in the first place. Members of the Parish Council offered to help. The Cream Teas would start in July
- Highways –(i) The Street white lining –The lines were now being installed. The Parish
Council to be responsible for the cost of repainting the additional lines in the
(ii) Beech Road hedges and road signage – Clerk reported that the Highways Steward had confirmed that letters had been sent to landowners The hedges had now been cut back. Vegetation around road signs also cut back, roundels on road signs had been refreshed. The damaged Beech Road nameplate will be replaced by TMBC in the next tranche of orders – around August or September.
- Allotments – There had been several changes of tenants. All allotments were now taken and there were two people on the waiting list.
Fencing repairs – (JR) to arrange to meet with Kentish Stone Ltd. to discuss fencing requirements. Action (JR)
Plot Deposits– At the last meeting it had been agreed that all existing tenants should be asked for a plot deposit – new tenants were already required to pay £100. This had resulted in several concerns from existing tenants. Several ideas had been put forward – (KE) had suggested that tenants with half plots should be asked for £50 deposit, full plots £100, and those with multiple plots £100 for the first plot, then £25 for each additional plot. (JT) suggested that tenants be charged £100 for full plot, £50 for half plot.
(MB) felt that new tenants should be charged £100 for full plot, £50 for half plot irrespective of the number of plots rented. He felt that for existing tenants, £100 for the first plot and a reduced amount for additional plots had merit.
One tenant stated that any changes to allotment agreements and rentals must have 12 month’s notice but Clerk had checked the legislation and the 12 month’s notice was only to evict tenants (unless they had not fulfilled the conditions of the agreement) – 1950 Allotments Act. The Act also allowed rentals to be increased but must be reasonable (s.10).
Six months notice of the increase in rentals had been given to tenants.
The Parish Council reviewed the policy and agreed unanimously that existing long-standing tenants who had signed the original agreement prior to the new policy did not need to pay a deposit. All new tenants to continue to be asked for £100 plot deposit irrespective of plot size. Action Clerk
- Neighbourhood Watch – nothing to report
- Childrens Play area/Recreation area/football pitches – Householders had reported that trees on the land between the allotments and the homes were causing damage to the building and required cutting back. This matter had already been discussed under public session. (JR) to look at the trees and report back. Action (JR)
- Village seat – (JT) wished this item to be discussed at the next meeting. Agreed
- Any other business and matters for future discussion –
- Aims and Objectives of the Parish Council
(PO) felt that the Parish Council should agree its objectives for the year and report on what had been achieved at the APM.
- Village Fete – held on 17 June. It was agreed that this had been very successful and raised more than the previous year. The Parish Council wished to thank the Fete Committee, in particular the Chair, Jenny Thorogood and Helen Card.
- Date of next meeting – it was agreed that the next meeting would take place on 22 August. There would be no Parish Council meeting in July. The Clerk to arrange for an informal meeting of two cheque signatories to ensure regular monthly payments are maintained.
Meeting closed 8.25pm