Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Amenities Committee March 2017

Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green


Minutes of a Meeting held on 28 March 2017 at the Jessel Room at 7.30 pm

Present:   Cllrs Stephen Wickham (Chairman), David Boniface, Mrs Angela Broom, Chris Ditton, Alan Foster, Antony Harris and Phil Kirkby.  The Clerk.

Mrs Jo Hinde for the first item on the Agenda only.

Cllr Antony Harris left the meeting after the first item.

Apologies: None.

Little Squirrels Pre-School, Kilndown.

Mrs Hinde had asked to attend the meeting to brief Members on the situation at Kilndown Village Hall, the Millennium Green and Little Squirrels.  She had recently taken over the Chairmanship of the Little Squirrels Pre-School – and the Management.  Little Squirrels is facing a challenging situation currently due to fewer children attending than hoped and planned.  They are short of funds despite having a 50% rebate on the cost of using Kilndown Village Hall. Apart from that, Government support funding is being reduced.

Little Squirrels has a problem in that there is a shortage of space in the Hall for storing their equipment; they hope to be able to take over a shed adjacent to the Hall for that purpose but it is occupied by machinery used for Millennium Green maintenance.  She hoped that the volunteer who mows the Green will retire and remove the equipment in the shed.  That would mean that the mowing and other aspects of the grounds maintenance would be taken over by a contractor whose cost would be covered by the Parish Council.  The Amenities Committee explained that it understands that the volunteer has no intention of giving up his role and in any event the Parish Council has no intention at this stage of taking on the cost of the grounds maintenance.  That responsibility would fall to the Millennium Green Trust, the owners of the land.

Balcombes Hill Toilets.

Tenterden Twilight Cleaning Co.  Mrs Laura Napper has completed the first year of her company’s cleaning contract.  It was agreed to recommend to Council that, in view of their very successful performance, they will be granted a 3 year contract to cover 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/2020.

The company will be granted an uplift in their contract price effective from 01 April annually at a rate equal to the then current published Retail Price Index (RPI).  Council will continue to cover the cost of consumables.

Wallgate handwash unit.  It was noted that one replacement handwash unit has been installed in the ‘Ladies’.  It looks very good and is performing well.

New external door to the ‘Mens’.  The order has been placed with Poyntell to replace the vandalised wooden door with a steel one.  Council Minute 355/16 refers.

Kilndown Fishing Club.

It was noted that Mr Graham Booth had agreed to draft a set of Fishing Club Rules and a risk assessment for Council’s approval but it has not been received yet.  GPC, in consultation with Graham Booth, will then draw up a draft agreement.

Goudhurst in Bloom 2017.

Cllr Mrs Broom reported that arrangements are well in hand.  Applications close at the end of June and judging will be in early July.  This year will be the first time we have had a Community Award.

Litter Pick 2017.

The Clerk reported that around 40 local volunteers were out and about on the weekend of 25/26 March.  He mentioned the good work by Ed Bates in getting the warning signs out on the approach roads to the Parish using his Land Rover and trailer.   It was evident that the pile of plastic bags awaiting collection at Balcombes Hill were evidence of a successful campaign.

Balcombes Hill Car Park – Parking Places Order.

The Clerk reported that he is in touch with Kent Legal Services (KCC). See the attacged e-mails.  Option 1 is to simply put up a sign with the Regulations listed.  Option 2 is to make a Traffic Regulation under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984.  That would give Council ‘teeth’ to enforce the Regulation Order.  Amenities Committee recommends Council approves Option 2.  The cost will be about 20 hours legal work @ £90 an hour = £1,800 plus some items such as newspaper ads and the making of a new sign.  Total cost is estimated to be no more than £3,000.00.

Chequer Field

Meeting with TWBC.  It was noted that the Clerk is negotiating a date for GPC representatives with Mrs Corinne Brown to meet TWBC with the aim of settling the outstanding disputes. (Post meeting note:  the meeting will be on 18 May).

Car Parking for Goudhurst Fete 10 June.  Because the field opposite Tattlebury Triangle is not available this year, it has been suggested that Chequer Field should be made available.  However, since the field has recently been ‘earthquaked’ to negate the compacted soil at some cost, allowing 150 or so cars to park on it is not going to improve the ground.  Council to establish a Policy on this matter.

Dogs on Chequer Field

A local resident has observed dogs being brought onto the Chequer Field and being allowed to run freely when the field is being used by Goudhurst United FC and the Dynamos. These dogs may be fouling when they are on the site. Recommend to Council to re-enforce the no dog policy by placing the ‘no dog’ sign in a more prominent position at the field entrance, and also to write to the football clubs and ask them to enforce the ‘no dog’ rule to home and away teams and supporters. Dog fouling and sports pitches are not compatible.

Glebe Field

Council had received the draft lease from the Diocese on 14 March.  A letter from our legal adviser Mrs Corinne Browne commenting on it was received on 28 March and has yet to be considered.

The meeting closed at 8.35 pm.

These Minutes are subject to approval at the next meeting of Council

Clerk to the Parish Council

Anthony Farnfield MBE

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