Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Amenities Committee July

Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green


Minutes of a Meeting held on 25 July 2017 in the Jessel Room

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

Chris Ditton, Alan Foster and Antony Harris.

Cllrs Mrs Rachel Washbourn also attended.

Apologies:  None were received

Declarations of Interest:  None declared.

Glebe Field.  Following Council Minute 110/17.  It was noted that Council and the Diocese of Canterbury seem now to be close to agreement on the proposed lease.  However, we await clarification as to whether the ownership of the Glebe Fields rests with the Diocese or with St Mary’s Parochial Church Council.

It was noted that the Vicarage cesspit cover was damaged during the mowing of the overgrown lower Glebe in preparation for car parking at the time of the Goudhurst Fete. Recommend to Council that the £600.00 cost of the repair be approved.   It was noted that the Diocese needs to empty and clean the cesspit before the repairs can be carried out and the Clerk will raise the matter with the Vicar.

Chequer Field.  Following Minute 111/17.  It was noted that, following an exchange of e-mails between Buss Murton and TWBC Legal,  indications are that TWBC is close to making an offer that could be acceptable to Council to settle outstanding Chequer Field boundary and pitch drainage issues.  It was recommended to Council that any money received from TWBC will be ring fenced and taken into consideration following the coming winter’s football season with the assessment of the 2018/19 budget.

It was noted that Capel Groundcare have been instructed to remark the football pitches and re-position the southern end goal according to the requirements of both the senior and junior GUFC teams.

Post Meeting note:  Capel Groundcare has taken delivery of an ‘earthquake’ machine for aerating the pitches and the cost to Council will be an extra £637 annum.  This is good value as hiring in an aerator ad-hoc from another contractor was costing £400.00 each time.

Goudhurst Pond De-silting.  It was noted that White Land Solutions and Hawkhurst Fish Farm are working together to drain the Pond and remove the fish.  Information signs have been placed around the Pond with details of the de-silting project. There has been a news item in the Courier, on the Goudhurst Website and in the Parish Magazine.  Post Meeting note:  Pond drainage commenced on 26 July and by 01 August 80% of the water had been pumped out.

Balcombes Hill Toilets.  The annual Wallgate Service contract for the hand wash units at £687.00 + VAT was recommended for approval by Council.  It was noted that significant maintenance  savings will be made if the remaining 25 year old handwash unites are replaced as budgeted in 2018/19.

Balcombes Hill Car Park.  It was noted that a Chairman Amenities Committee and the Clerk have arranged a date to meet KCC Legal to progress the legal aspects of the proposed Car Park Order.

Lurkins Rise Recreation Area: Fly Grazing Horse.  The Chairman reported on a  fly-grazing horse which has been in the Lurkins Rise area since 05 July.  It was noted that the horse has now moved out of the recreation area which has now been secured from re-entry.  Council has contacted the Police Liaison Officer with GRTPA who advises that if a person is concerned about the welfare of the horse, then they, as witness, should contact the RSPCA.  Amenities recommends to Council that KCC Highways be informed that there is a horse tethered and grazing on the verge at Station Road, Goudhurst opposite Smith’s Lane.

Lurkins Rise Recreation Area:  Dog Fouling. To note that dog fouling has been reported around the Lurkins Rise Play Area and that a large, prominent   ‘No fouling bag it and bin it’ signs have been erected.

Goudhurst in Bloom 2017.   Cllr Mrs Angela Broom reported that judging has been completed and a provisional date of Monday 04 September 2017 has been arranged for the awards ceremony at The Star and Eagle.

Date of next Amenities Committee meeting:    Tues 26 September in The Jessel Room. 7.30 pm.

Post meeting:

Facebook.  Cllr Mrs Rachel Washbourn led a discussion on the pros and cons of Council using Facebook. It was agreed that this would be a good idea as a noticeboard for official Council information and a way of reaching a wider audience as well as a link to other websites.   However Council will not be prepared to be involved in extensive exchanges to and fro.  With Council’s agreement, Cllr Mrs Washbourn will monitor the Parish Council Facebook page appropriately.  Serious matters will be passed to the Clerk for appropriate action and responses.

Kilndown Fishing Club.  Mr Graham Booth from KFC has advised GPC that he believes fish are being stolen from the pond resulting in declining fish numbers and poorer fishing. A suspicious white van has been seen in the area.  KFC is asking for extra vigilance by members and Kilndown residents and to report anything suspicious. Council is to advise PCSO Dave Jenkins.

Goudhurst Pond De-silting.  The Clerk understands that the Goudhurst Parish Hall Trust intends to ask Council to recompense them for lost revenue during the week that the Parish Hall will be closed for business due to the silt being dug from the Pond.  This applies to hirers who have a regular weekly ‘slot’ for their activities.

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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