MEREWORTH PARISH COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD IN MEREWORTH VILLAGE HALL ON TUESDAY 27 September 2016
1. PRESENT: Chairman – Jon Regan (JR), Philip Olden (PO), Michael Bound (MB), Katherine Eykelenboom (KE), Stephen Reynolds (SR), Jenny Thorogood (JT),
Andrew Wells (AW), KCC & TMBC Clr Matthew Balfour , TMBC Clr Mrs Ann Kemp,
PCSO Toni Matthews (TM), Gill Kirby (Clerk) One member of public
2. Apologies for absence – PCSO Kim Hockey
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 explained her objections to the planning application for 222 Butchers Lane. This application to be discussed in the planning meeting.
5. Reports from County and Borough Councillors and Police
Police – crime figures had been provided for September – these included 2x Theft of motor vehicle, 1x Theft from vehicle , 1x Burglary, 1x Burglary other than dwelling.
Borough Councillors Report – Clr Mrs Kemp referred to the Local Development Plan which was now out for consultation. She explained that the Cabinet had approved the discontinuation of Financial Arrangements with Parish Councils except for the details relating to Closed Churchyards. Because the Cemetary at Tonbridge will be paid for by TMBC, Open Churchyards will also continue to be financed by TMBC. Parish Precepts will need to be raised to cover the loss of this finance. Parishes would be notified of the details of these arrangements in good time to arrange their Precept.
(PO) felt that the resultant rise in the Parish Precept must be clearly explained to residents – however, a reduction in TMBC rates should mean there was little overall difference in rates for residents. It was thought that it might be worth co-ordinating the wording of this explanation to residents with other parishes and KALC.
County Councillors Report – Clr Matthew Balfour felt that, in future, more responsibilities may be devolved to parishes so they will have a greater say in what their residents want. It was important that residents understood the role of the Parish Council.
Clr Balfour referred to the delay in the widening of A228 in Mereworth. This was due to lack of information regarding the location of BT cables and land acquisition. It would be done as soon as possible.
With regard to Operation Stack, there was no further information.
Announcements were expected soon on the Lower Thames Crossing.
(a) Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held 23 August 2016 -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 31 August 2016 was approved and bank statements verified.
Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified and signed.
(b) Kent Street Land Sales – Update
Following a request from the purchasers to increase the size of the permitted shed/summerhouse, it had been agreed to allow a wooden structure of 9ft x 9ft maximum size with felt roof. The draft Transfers to be amended by the Solicitors.
(c) Council Tax reductions and Parish Council Precept – Discussed under Borough Councillor’s report. (PO) suggested that given the high percentage increase required in the coming financial year, the opportunity could be taken to balance the expenditure/income. Agreed
(d) Grounds Maintenance for 2017-8 season – Quotation had been requested from All Seasons but this had not yet been received. Kent Landscapes usually quote around January.
(e) Village Caretaker – Mr Berwick had closed his business and no longer had insurance. Clerk has asked the Parish Council’s insurers to cover him, but they can only cover volunteers and employees under the policy. Mr Berwick had, therefore, retired as Village caretaker. He had recommended Kentish Stone Ltd and Clerk had contacted them. They had already undertaken several works for the Parish Council recently ; roofing repairs to Village Hall, gully works to car park and re-painting benches. They had agreed to take on the ticklist and minor works from 1 October 2106, working one day per month at £155 per day. Any larger works to be quoted for. It was proposed by Chairman and unanimously agreed that Clerk be given delegated powers to approve any extra expenditure up to £100. Action Clerk
8. Updates on other issues
(a) MVH Liaison –
(PO) reported that MVH had been investigating quotations for rewiring/replacement of circuit board. These had been circulated to committee members and it had been agreed to accept one of the quotations. Works to be undertaken on 24 October during half term.
It was agreed to note at the next MVH meeting that any quotations over £500 should have three quotations.
(b) PCC Liaison – (AW) reported that the concert on 17 September had been a great success
raising £500 and the dog trials had raised approximately £400. There was to be a Victoria Cross Commemorative Service on Sunday 2 October which The Royal Naval Association and the Sea Cadets would attend.
(c) Highways – (SR) to attend the next JPCTCG meeting on 29 September.
It was agreed to purchase 4 ‘No Parking’ signs to be installed on the Seven Mile Lane verge.
(KE) reported that she had recently seen several examples of parents with children crossing Seven Mile Lane in a dangerous manner. (JR) to contact School Governors and Head Teacher Action (JR) Clerk
(d) Allotments – The Lease had been received for Great Fowle Meadow. It was agreed to sign.
Clerk to point out the errors in the lease. Action Clerk
It was noted that most of the allotments were full of weeds. It was agreed that this had been a difficult year but Clerk was asked to write to Allotment Holders asking them to make an effort to keep plots weed-free next year. Clerk to add a note to the invoices in November. Action Clerk
(e) Neighbourhood Watch – (KE) reported that there had been fruit stolen from local trees. (JR) also reported fruit stolen from his fields.
(f) Childrens Play area/Recreation area/football pitches –
(i) Play area safety surfacing repairs – The RoSPA report had highlighted that repairs were required to fill in gaps around the swings and spring toys. It was agreed that the Village Caretaker could undertake these repairs
(ii) Play area signage – The report had also indicated that the temporary laminated signs were inadequate and permanent signage was required. Clerk had made some enquiries and it seemed that the cost would be around £50 for a bespoke aluminium sign. It was agreed to accept this. Action Clerk
(iii) Recreation area/Butchers Lane – overgrown vegetation. Letter had been received from KCC requiring that the hedge be cut back. Clerk had asked Kentish Stone Ltd but they could not undertake this work as a tractor cutter was required. Clerk had obtained a quotation from Kent Landscapes @ £150 plus VAT. It had been agreed to accept this quotation. Action Clerk
(g) Boundary changes – It was agreed that (JR) write on behalf of the Parish Council objecting to the changes – comments to be circulated before being sent. All Councillors were encouraged to write individually to object. Action (JR)
9. Any other business and matters for future discussion
1. Pre-School had requested permission to hold a Christmas Market on 4 December in the Village Hall and car park. It was agreed to give permission. Also agreed use of pavilion car park providing there were no football matches booked. Action Clerk
2. Clerk reported that there had been a request for a Vegan Fair at the pavilion and car park in June 2017. It was agreed that this could go ahead using published rates for the pavilion and usual football rates should they need to use the football fields.
3. Christmas Lighting – (JT) reported that she had spoken to Carly and Adam, who would like to install lighting but were not sure at this stage what they would do. Adam will meet with (JT) and Members of the Parochial Church Council and Councillors to discuss first.
10. Date of next meeting – Tuesday 25 October at 7.30pm – please note there will be an MVH meeting prior to this at 6.30pm
Meeting closed 9 p.m
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