Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Amenities Committee January

Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green

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Minutes of a Meeting held on 22 January 2019 in the Jessel Room

Present: Cllrs Stephen Wickham (Chairman), David Boniface, Mrs Angela Broom and 

Alan Foster.  

Apologies were accepted from:  Cllr Alan Foster (unwell)  

Declarations of interest:  None declared.

Questions and Statements from the Public.  There were none.

Balcombes Hill Toilets – Wallgate Contract.    Members considered a quotation from Wallgate for the supply and installation of a new ‘thrii’ handwash unit in the gents side of the public toilets.

It was noted that in 2017 Wallgate provided one ‘thrii’ unit in the ladies side to replace 2 old Wallgate units that were at least 25 years old. This proposal is for one new ‘thrii’ unit to be installed in the Gents to replace 2 old units.  The cost is £3,470.80 + VAT to include the removal of old handwash units and blanking off existing apertures with 12mm think decorative laminate panels.  It was noted that there is a £2,800 budget provision for this project.  Amenities Committee recommends approval of this expenditure as well as the Service Contract for the ‘thrii’ unit in the ladies toilet for April 1919 to March 2020 at £426.00 + VAT.

Balcombes Hill Toilet block cleaning contract. Our cleaning contractor had proposed a 2.3% increase in their contract for April 2018 to 31 March 2019 and it was recommended to Council that this increase, off a low base financially, be approved. 

Chequer Field land.   It was noted that two local residents whose properties back onto Chequer Field have both submitted request to purchase the same parcel of Chequer Field to extend their gardens.   Amenities Committee recommends to Council that both requests be refused for two main reasons;  we should not set any precedents in the sale of Council’s land, nor should we get involved in a bidding war which will surely lead to friction 

Committee Structure.  Members considered an e-mail from the Chairman of the Parish Council relating to Committees and Responsibilities.   It was agreed that:

a. it is a good idea to appoint a deputy chairman to each committee;

b. there should be more delegation but it as observed hat some members are in full time employment and therefore have difficulty attending day time meetings;

c. Chairmen should not feel they have to take on all the work themselves;

d. more Members should take the lead on running projects that interest them e.g. one Cllr who is interested in defibrillators and electric vehicle recharging across committee boundaries;

e. more use could be made of advisers e.g. enthusiastic young mothers getting involved to play area renovations.

f. It was noted that a lot of issues are dealt with quickly without coming to committee e.g. the Clerk who deals with matters from e-mail and telephone enquiries on the spot within his delegated authority.

Back Lane Play Area.  It was noted that this is essentially a Youth Committee item.  Some quotes received for replacement swings were considered to be very high.  It was noted that further quotes are being sought.  Our advisers are doing a good job.

It was noted that the Goudhurst Village Pre-School wishes to replace the storage shed (on land that is part of the lease to the Parish Council from the Diocese of Canterbury) with a slightly larger one to include some seating.

The letter box that has been moved.   The Clerk reported that he had received 2 complaints about this.   The letter box that stood on the south side of Cranbrook Road opposite the Goudhurst Inn has been moved recently to the entrance to the Farm Shop some 250 yards to the east.  Whereas elderly people could walk with reasonable safety to the previous site of the letter box, it is clear that walking to the new position is dangerous.  There is no footway along the heavily trafficked Cranbrook Road.  The Clerk has asked the complainants to collect letters outlining the complaints so that Council can take up the matter with the Royal Mail.

Asbestos dumping.  Loads of asbestos were dumped at Balcombes Hill car park on both the nights of Friday 18 Jan and Saturday 19 Jan.   It has been reported to TWBC and via Country Eye.  The enforcement team is interested in seeing our CCTV footage from the toilet block cameras.

The Meeting closed at 8.15 pm.

Post Meeting items for the record.

The notice board by Kilndown Quarry Centre.  This fell recently due to its supporting legs being rotten.  It was fortunate that David Denton, attempting to put up notices at the time, just avoided being seriously hurt.  The Clerk has asked Richard Greenaway for a quote to replace the legs and, whilst about it, to sand it down for a coat of Danish oil.

The single bar gate to the Quarry Pond area by the Quarry Centre.  This is in very poor condition due to its age.  The Clerk is seeking advice on its replacement – with costs.

Red telephone ‘box’ for a Defibrillator.  Following Council Minute 346/18 of 14 January.  Cllr Mrs Susan Newsam has reported that the red telephone box, ex Dunnington, will be delivered to Goudhurst in the first week in February.  In the meantime BT has informed the Clerk that they have no plans to remove the ‘modern style’ phone box opposite Goudhurst War Memorial.  Cllr Mrs Newsam has investigated alternative sites where Council might establish the red phone box as a suitable defibrillator point in central Goudhurst.

Goudhurst Pond De-silting.  Following Minute 307/18.  To approve the final invoice for £3,000.00 + VAT from White Land Solutions Ltd for applying the silt at Broadoak Farm, Goudhurst.  (Late payment due to the invoice not being received by the Parish Council).

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