Minutes of Parish Council meeting held 27 March 2018

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN MEREWORTH VILLAGE HALL ON TUESDAY 27 March 2018

PRESENT – Jon Regan (JR) – Chairman, Katherine Eykelenboom (KE),
Jenny Thorogood (JT), Alastair Pullen (AP), Andrew Wells (AW), Philip Olden (PO), Michael Bound (MB), Gill Kirby – Clerk

1. Apologies for absence – TMBClr Mrs Ann Kemp.

2. Declarations of Interest – none

3. 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. Members of Mereworth and Telston Cricket Club asked permission to erect a more substantial boundary to protect the pitch over the winter months. It was agreed that this was a good idea. Following playing of football on the pitch, it was in need of some attention but the club had taken advice on this and were confident they would be able to repair it. (JR) would ensure that those under his employ understood that they must not play football on the cricket pitch area. Action (JR)
2. The Cricket Club members were also concerned that cricket teams who had booked to play on some Saturdays in the coming season would be unaware that they would need to prepare the playing area themselves. Clerk had explained to them that the grass would be cut but they would have to mark out themselves. Clerk would also explain that they should do any close-cutting of the playing area themselves as well. Action Clerk

4. Reports from County and Borough Councillors and Police – none

5. Village Hall Car Park – proposed solutions to flooding – (JR) had arranged to attend with a contractor to look at the car park. Action (JR)

6. Minutes
(a) Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held 27 February 2018 -These were agreed as a true record and signed by the Chairman
(b) Matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda –
(i) School parking issues – (PO) and Clerk had spoken with TMBC and Kent Highways regarding parking. The idea of the one-way system at school times was not possible. TMBC were not supportive of any parking restrictions in the lay-by outside the school as these would be unenforceable and could encourage people to park on yellow lines. Kent Highways have agreed to look into the possibility of putting markings on the road indicating – ‘Drop off Only’. (PO) to speak to the acting Headteacher to confirm again that the pavilion was available for use and to explain what the Parish Council had done. It was thought that the bus stop could be re-drawn immediately to the east of the school gateway to try to get more traffic in and out of the lay-by. (KE) said that the parking issues had been discussed with the Police Commissioner at the meeting held today and the Commissioner had suggested that the Parish Council invite Inspector Maxine Martin – (Inspector in charge of Community Safety) to meet with the Parish Council along with Chloe Champion, (PCSO in charge of school safety). Clerk to invite both to the Annual Parish Meeting on 24 April 2018. Action Clerk
With regards to a letter received from a resident opposing the suggestion of a one-way system, (PO) had spoken to him assuring him that this could not be pursued, and encouraging him to support the Parish Council by attending Parish Council meetings.
7. Finance
(a) Bank reconciliation and ratification of cheques for signing
Bank reconciliation as at 28 February 2018 was approved and bank statements
verified. Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified
Action Clerk

(b) Patio improvements at pavilion – Quotation for works had been accepted – seats will be ordered once contractor has confirmed he is ready for delivery. Works will start when weather conditions allow.
(Clerks note: Contractor had assured that works should be complete by the Village Fete on 16 June)

(c) Fees for Cricket pitch hire 2018 season
(i) Mereworth & Telston CC – currently paying £300 per Season.
(ii) One-off hirers – currently paying £25 for juniors per match, £50 for adults per match. It was proposed by (PO) seconded by (AP) that fees should remain the same for the coming season. Agreed unanimously. Action Clerk
8. Updates on other issues
(a) MVH Liaison – (PO) asked members to please confirm to Rene Bennet that they wished to continue as MVH Committee members. (PO) agreed to stand as Vice Chairman on MVH Committee . (JR) to remain as a MVH Committee member. Next MVH meeting 29 May 2018

(b) PCC Liaison – (AW) reported that the details of Easter Services were available in The Record and on-line. The Deanery Synod had made proposals for discussion by PCC’s in its area to resolve various parochial problems in anticipation of any changes the Diocese might propose. Rural parishes were suffering from reducing clergy numbers (retirements and fewer ordinands), falling congregation numbers and a drop in regular financial giving. One solution may be to amalgamate with Wateringbury. There was concern that The Rectory may be sold and the site developed, though this was unlikely given the planning protections in force outside the village envelope and within the Green Belt.

(c) Highways – Report of meeting with Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott on 27 March 2018 attended by (MB) and (AW). This was felt to be a very helpful meeting at which many issues had been discussed. Names of useful contacts were obtained. Issues discussed were –
Rural Crime – break in’s, hare-coursing (the code when ringing 101 to report this is ‘Op Salmon’), general theft, elderly people‘s concern about door knockers, (there was also a PCSO specific to vulnerable adults).
Speed of vehicles – Inspector to be invited to attend the APM, Commissioner to arrange for speed guns to be used on Seven Mile Lane and A228. It was hoped that police presence would increase and noted that Parish Councillors can volunteer to put ‘please park carefully’ notices on inconsiderately parked cars.
The Commissioner had suggested campaigning for a 40mph speed limit on Seven Mile Lane.
The suspension and subsequent exoneration of Mereworth’s PCSO for 2-3 months was also discussed with the Commissioner and the fact that no one was sent in her place nor any information given to the Parish Council.
Councillors felt that permanent speed signs and mobile speed cameras were needed. It was suggested that yellow metal camera boxes in the hedge – even without cameras inside – may help reduce speeding.

(d) Allotments – Keep Kent Clean event – 24-25 March 2018. This took place and was very successful with almost all allotment holders taking part. Unfortunately TMBC did not remove the rubbish on 26 March as arranged, as they said there was too much. This was despite TMBC having assured the Clerk on two separate occasions that it was within the criteria and that they would send a large vehicle to collect larger items of rubbish. This had been disappointing for the allotment holders who had worked so hard over the weekend. As it was urgent that the rubbish was collected before it could blow around the site, Clerk had liaised further with TMBC who had now agreed to collect the rubbish and would give advance notice so that Clerk could arrange for the gates could be opened.
Next Allotment Committee meeting – 12 April 2018 at 6.45pm venue to be confirmed.
Committee had requested that a member of the Parish Council attend. Action Clerk

(e) Neighbourhood Watch – It was reported that there had been a burglary on Seven Mile where a garage was broken into and power tools stolen.

(f) Children’s Play area/Recreation area/football pitches – no further reports

9. Any other business and matters for future discussion –
1. General Data Protection Regulation –this will become effective 25 May 2018
1. Adoption of new Data Protection Policy – A Draft policy had been drawn up by
Clerk and distributed.
Privacy notice had been posted onto the website Home Page.
Consent forms would be sent out to all on the database. Action Clerk

2. Annual Parish Meeting – 24 April 2018 – Report of the Parish Council’s activities
over the past year had been drawn up by Clerk. Letters inviting groups and
organisations to attend had been sent out. Clerk to organise refreshments
Action Clerk

10. Date of next meeting – 24 April 2018 – 7.30 pm in the Village Hall

Meeting closed 8.57 pm