Minutes of Parish Council meeting held 28 August 2018


PRESENT – Jon Regan (JR) Chairman – Philip Olden (PO), Michael Bound (MB),
Jenny Thorogood (JT), Andrew Wells (AW),
KCClr Matthew Balfour, Gill Kirby – Clerk, 3 members of public

1. Apologies for absence – received from PSCO Jack Bridger, Alastair Pullen (AP), Katherine Eykelenboom (KE)

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. Pre-School – Car Park flooding issues – A meeting with Pre-School has been arranged for 4 September at 10am. To be attended by (PO), (MB), (AW) and Clerk.

2. Dennis Styles referred to the worsening situation caused by school parents parking in The Street. He felt that the situation had worsened. Church Close was unadopted and cars were being turned around and breaking up the road surface. There was also a problem with cars being parked at school times on Mereworth Road towards West Peckham with children being taken across the busy and dangerous Seven Mile Lane.

(PO) explained that the Parish Council had been consulting with the school, TMBC, Kent Highways, and the bus operator. Approval had been given to turn the lay-by outside the school into a ‘drop-off only’ zone and the school had been giving out leaflets to persistent offenders. The cost of changing the layby into a drop off zone was £2-3K. The Parish Council had offered use of the pavilion and car park for a coffee club to try to reduce the number of cars being parked outside the school, but this had been rejected by the school.
A meeting with the school had been arranged for 4 September and (PO) would report back at the next Parish Council meeting.

3. Dennis Styles reported that there had been a big improvement in the parking situation
since the pavilion had been made available for parking during church special events.

4. Andrew Hall was concerned at parents parking west of Seven Mile Lane and allowing children to cross the busy road. He also felt that moving the bus stop would
give the bus company an excuse not to stop and Mereworth would lose this
part of the bus route. He felt that the school were not doing enough to find car
parking spaces within school grounds; perhaps this could be paid for by parents’
’crowd funding’.
Mr Hall also reported that the bridle path running north from Mereworth Road had been repaired very well.

(PO) explained that the ‘drop off only’ zone would be limited to peak times and moving of the bus stop had been agreed with the bus company. Mr Hall felt that this would rapidly deteriorate to parents parking there and clogging up The Street. (JT) felt that the school had plenty of grounds and could put in a loop of gravel to provide a drop-off and pick-up area. (PO) would put these concerns to the school at the meeting on 4 September.

5. Dennis Styles was pleased that Community Resilience had been discussed at length by
the Parish Council. He felt that litter picking in the village was well under control, the triangle around the village sign was always well looked after; grass cut and flowers planted at all times. He suggested that working parties might be formed to deal with the verges on the south side of The Street. He also asked if the coffee shop idea for the pavilion might be pursued for older people. Clls asked if he would be prepared to organise this.

4. Reports of County and Borough Councillors and Police
Police report – PCSO Jack Bridger was on restricted duties due to an injury and was hoping to attend the next meeting

Borough and County Councillors Report – Clr Balfour referred to TMBC’s refusal of planning permission for the proposed development at Tathams in Willow Wents and felt this was a good decision. The Local Plan was still awaited.
With regards to SID or VAS signage, Clr Balfour did not think this could be used on A228 but he would chase KCC Officers for a response. Action Clr.Balfour
(PO) reported that the patio improvements and seating at the pavilion had been completed in time for the Village Fete and thanked Clr Balfour for the grant.

5. Minutes
(a) Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 26 June 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 July 2018 was approved and bank statements
verified. Reconciliation and cheque payments as listed were ratified. Action Clerk

7. Update on other issues
(a) MVH Liaison –a Mereworth Parish Councillor was required to be co-opted onto the MVH Committee. It was agreed that all Parish Councillors would serve on the Committee but that they did not all need to attend every meeting. (PO), (KE), (AW), and (JT) were to be regular attendees. Action All Cllrs/Clerk
It was agreed to request that quarterly MVH meetings be held following the Parish Council and Planning meetings.
In order to comply with rules relating to charities, (MB) agreed to review the internal financial controls of the MVH Charity for the next financial year. Action (MB)

(b) PCC Liaison (i) Churchyard – designated as a Kent Local Wildlife Site – noted.
(AW) reported that the mowing contractors had done a good job recently though they did need regular chasing for lack of activity
(ii) War Memorial designated a Grade II Listed Building – noted
Clerk to ask Caretaker to clean War Memorial before 11 November Action Clerk
(iii) (AW) reported that there were to be special themed Church Services at 6.30am and 7.30pm on 24-28 September and refreshments would be provided. Bishop of Tonbridge to attend a Q & A panel on 27th at 7.30pm

(c) Highways – (i) Request for SID or VAS signage – Awaiting forms/ information
(ii) Parking restrictions in lay-by outside Mereworth School –
A meeting to discuss this is arranged for 11.30am on 4 September at the school

(d) Allotments – Quarterly invoice to Allotments Committee to cover costs – the
Allotments Committee did not yet have their bank accounts set up, so Clerk was still dealing with payments and invoicing
Nessie Brooks of the Allotments Committee asked for clarity on the responsibility for the Recreation Area gate. Clerk explained that the gate was used by others on occasion, e.g. during the Fete, so the gate and padlock were the responsibility of the Parish Council but the keys for Allotment holders were the responsibility of the Allotments Committee.
Mrs Brooks reported that there had been thefts from the allotments which had been reported to the police and these appeared to have stopped.
There were currently two vacant plots. The repair of the fencing had been delayed due to the ground being too hard but this could now go ahead. It was confirmed that the Parish Council would pay for the fence posts as previously agreed. Bank accounts had been applied for.
(MB) asked if the Committee were satisfied that plots were being properly maintained. Mrs Brooks replied that several tenants had been spoken to about their plots but the dry weather had made things difficult. They were now hoping to start clearing. Some plots had improved. The Allotments Committee would next meet in November.

(e) Neighbourhood Watch –nothing to report

(f) Childrens play area/Recreation area/Football pitches – all in good order
(Clerks note: Following the Annual Play Equipment Report, the play equipment had been repainted and minor repairs undertaken. Dog fouling notices had been received from TMBC, which would be posted around the village).

(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 – The beacon would be lit in the field to the east of Butchers Lane. Refreshments would be provided by (JT). In order to ascertain numbers attending, (PO) to put notice in The Record asking residents to apply for free tickets by email to Clerk or by telephone to (JT). (PO) to co-ordinate with Rev Pat Dickin regarding times. (PO) to design a ticket. Action (JT)(PO)Clerk

8. Any other business and matters for future discussion
1) Flytipping reports to TMBC – these should now be reported direct on-line by the person who sees the flytipping. This is because TMBC cannot pursue fines/prosecutions if the report is done by the Clerk as it needs to be first hand.
To report visit www.TMBC.gov.uk and click on flytipping.
Clerk to ensure that this information is included in The Record Action Clerk

2) Village Fete – Funds had been distributed as agreed. New organisers would be required for next year as (JT) and Helen Card had resigned. To be discussed at next meeting

3) (AW) reported that a new business had started in the village – production of Mead at Brewers Hall. Information had been sent to The Record
He also reported that a resident, Mrs Rustrick, had saved the life of a young mother who had collapsed during a netball match – information also sent to The Record.

4) (MB) referred to the monies held in the capital account. He and (JT) felt that any spending should be on the Village Hall, which was the Parish Councils responsibility, rather than on the school, who had their own finances and parents could take more action. All Agreed.

9. Date of next meeting – 25 September 2018 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall
Meeting closed 9.26pm