Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Amenities Committee 27 September 2016

Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green


Minutes of a Meeting held on 27 September 2016 at the Jessel Room at 7.30 pm

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

Apologies: Cllrs Tom Malt (business).

Goudhurst Pond de-silting. It was noted that the start of the project may be delayed.  There is a problem with the soil analysis of the farm land on which the silt is to be spread.  Cllr Stephen Wickham is consulting with the contractor and others.  Meanwhile Kent Highways have indicated that they will assist with the draining of the pond into their highway drains.

Goudhurst Pond Fence Posts.   There are 61 of them and whilst some are rotten and need to be replaced, all are in need of repainting.  Amenities Committee consider it sensible to carry out this work as soon as possible after the de-silting. It has proved difficult to obtain quotations for this work; contractors can either replace posts but not repaint them or they can paint them but not replace them.  However Hurstway has submitted a quote (see attached) to do the complete job.  The average cost is £74.00 per post and this quotation is for approval by Council.  In addition, Amenities Committee recommends approval of expenditure of £475.00 + VAT in total for each post to be fitted with aluminium strimmer guards.

The Glebe Field.  The committee was pleased to note that Council has received a written proposal from the Diocesan Land Agent offering a 30 year lease.  Members to please note the attached notes from a meeting held on 23 September between The Chairman of the Amenities Committee and the Clerk with Mr Graham Boulden, the Diocesan Land Agent.  The terms are straightforward.  Recommend to Council that Buss Murton be briefed to deal with the formal lease.  Council needs clarification on the matter of closing the path around the west and north sides of the ‘top’ Glebe for 2 days a year as it has Village Green Status.  Council to approve in principle that a short length of fencing be established across the play are to facilitate those walking between the ‘top’ glebe and the Church Room.  Council to agree that a simple agreement be drawn up between Council and the Goudhurst Village Pre-School that their shed on what is to become land leased to the Council will be their full responsibility.

Goudhurst in Bloom.  Cllr Mrs Angela Broom reported on a successful event this year.  The number of entries had grown considerably.  It was noted that she is considering introducing an additional category: a local community/neighbourhood award.

Goudhurst Christmas Shopping Event 2016.   Council to note that this will take place on Friday 25 November together with The Friends of St Mary’s Christmas Fair.

Christmas Lights.  It was noted that some Members are keen that the Goudhurst High St Christmas lights should be left on and working well after Christmas so as to highlight to people passing through the good range of shops we have.

Kilndown Defibrillator.  It was noted that the defibrillator has been established in the red phone kiosk and the well attended official opening was carried out by the Chairman of Goudhurst Parish Council on Saturday 17 September 2016.  Much credit is due to Mrs Georgia Read-Cutting for her work in fundraising and seeing the project through.  Training sessions are to be held soon.

Balcombes Hill Toilet Block.  It was noted that the number of incidents of petty vandalism and unacceptable behaviour has been much reduced by the vigilance of Mrs Laura Napper, whose company has the cleaning contract, and PCSO Dave Jenkins.  It was noted that Hurstway has recently finished maintenance work to bring the facility up to a high standard.

Business Plan.  It was noted that work on preparing the 2017/18 Budget will start soon.  Members to consider any projects that they believe should be undertaken.  One such project is the lighting at St Mary’s Churchyard.

The meeting closed at 8.40 pm.

Post meeting item:

Kilndown Fishing Club.  The Clerk has been approached by Mr Graham Booth, a keen fisherman.  He lives in Cranbrook but has strong family connections with Kilndown.  Mr Booth is keen to re-start Kilndown Fishing Club.

For many years this was run by David Denton.  However David wound it up within the past year because the membership had dwindled to the point, it was said, that the subscriptions did not cover the insurance costs.   Mr Booth has said that he is willing to tackle the invasive pond weed – a job that Council has tried to ignore for sometime.  Mr Booth says he has discussed the re-start with David Denton who he has known for many years and David has no objection.  David referred Mr Booth to the Clerk who  has asked Mr Booth to submit a written application.  For approval by Council in principle.  If approved, clearly Council will need to draw up an Agreement with Mr Booth, and to consider insurance, health & safety, a risk assessment, access, parking, hours permitted for fishing, littering, access, supervision of youngsters etc.

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

Clerk to the Parish Council

Anthony Farnfield MBE

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