Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Burial Board July

Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green

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Minutes of a Meeting held on Tuesday 17 July 2018 at St Mary’s Church 

Present:  Cllrs Mrs Susan Newsam (Chairman), Mrs Angela Broom, Antony Harris, Barry Noakes, Caroline Richards and Guy Sutton.  

Also Mr David Nichol (Adviser). 

Apologies were accepted from: Cllr Guy Sutton. 

Declarations of Interest.  There were none.

Prior to the start of the Meeting, Members and the Clerk carried out a walk round inspection of St Mary’s Churchyard, the Burial Grounds and the old Victorian Cemetery.

Churchyard and Burial Grounds Maintenance including matters arising during the walk round. 

West end Churchyard Gates into Goudhurst High Street.  It was noted that they are in a poor state of repair with some rot. However the gates are rarely shut and it was agreed to ask Mr Greenaway to rub them down and Danish Oil them.  The ironwork should be preserved.

Ashes Plots on the north side of St Mary’s Church.  Noted that our contractor had carried out the annual trim round.  Members expressed the view that the area looks well kept and smart.

Brick Footpath across St Mary’s Churchyard.  It was noted that Mr Tracey Smith has been awarded the contract for the re-laying of the path, both parts of which total 99 metres in length.  He will start work on 31 July.

The William Masters’ Headstone Memorial c1760.  There was a suggestion that it had been damaged by a contractor’s mower, but it was agreed on close inspection that this was not the case.  Members took the view that it was crumbling through age.  The Clerk reported that he had been in touch with St Mary’s PCC and they have submitted a Faculty to have the memorial removed.  It was agreed that the memorial at present is not in a dangerous condition.

Timber edging on the west side of the top Ashes Plots. It was noted that this has rotted away in places.

It was agreed that the Clerk will ask Mr Greenaway for a quote to remove the worn out edging together with the adjacent shingle.  The grass should cover the area right up to the western edge of the Ashes area.  

The bench seat in the area of the lower Ashes Plots by the Chequer Tree (Sorbus Torminalis).  The Clerk will ask Mr Greenaway to mend/replace some damaged slats and on Mr Greenaway’s advice ask him to give it a coat of Danish Oil.

Small gate at the bottom of the Burial Grounds.  The Clerk will put in hand the necessary repairs. 

Laurel Hedge between the Children’s Play Area and the Burial Grounds.  It was noted that during a Neighbourhood Development Plan field visit, the TWBC Landscape and Biodiversity Officer had recommended that the laurel hedge be grubbed out and replaced by a native species hedge.  Members agreed that the Clerk should follow up with a feasibility report and quotes.

The gates into the Burial Grounds. It was noted that they had been removed by Mr Greenaway to his workshop for a thorough renovation. ( note:  they were returned soon after this meeting much improved.

The Ridgway enclosure and the Pilbeam Headstone to the south of Ridgway.  Cllr Mrs Susan Newsam is still pursuing grant funding for the possible renovations of the Ridgway enclosure.  It was noted that the 4 tombstones on the Ridgway enclosure have been assessed as worthy of ‘listing’.   The Clerk reported that our grounds maintenance contractor had undertaken to restore the Pilbeam headstone to the upright position, although there is no suggestion that his employees had caused any damage.

Yew Trees in the Victorian Cemetery.  Members took the view that they need ‘topping’.  The Clerk will seek advice from our grands maintenance contractor.

Cherry Trees on the bank on the south side of St Mary’s Church along Back Lane.  The Clerk pointed out that a significant sized branch had fallen from one Cherry Tree onto a car parked in Back Lane. He had mobilised a work party to remove the branch from the car (no significant damage)  on a Sunday.  This will be part of the Tree Inspection of all trees under Parish Council responsibility to be undertaken in this financial year.

Hand rail from Back Lane to the west end of St Mary’s Church.  Noted that this has been repainted by Mr Greenaway and he had included the small area of railings adjacent to the Back Lane steps..


The figures for the 2017/18 budget against actual receipts and payments.  Members noted that there were no unexplained variances.   They also studied the 2018/19 budget which included the £18,000 cost of re-laying the brick path at St Mary’s.  It was noted that the Clerk has applied for grant funding.

Fees and Charges

After a full and detailed discussion it was agreed to recommend to Council these revised Fees and Charges from 01 September 2018 for a period of 1 year:

Graves: Exclusive right of burial in an earthen grave £500.00 to £600.00

Interment £175.00 to £200.00

Approval of Monuments £120.00 to £130.00

Additional inscription £120.00 to £130.00

Ashes: Exclusive right of burial in the ashes section £400.00 to £500.00

Interment £175.00 to £200.00

Approval of Memorial Tablets £120.00 to £130.00

Additional inscription £120.00 to £130.00

Registration of Change of Ownership no change at £30.00

There was a debate as to whether the fees and charges should be shown in this format with doubling when the deceased or the purchaser of an Exclusive Right of Burial has no local connection, or:

The figures here should be doubled and a 50% discount allowed if the deceased or the purchaser of an Exclusive Right of Burial does have a local connection.

The Clerk will produce both versions for Council to consider.

It was agreed to recommend to Council that there be no change to the text of the Regulations.  

Clean Up Day

Clean Up Day at St Mary’s and Christ Church.  It was agreed that this will be held on 13 October 2018.  The Clerk will inform both Christ Church PCC and the Friends of St Mary’s so that they can participate as they have done successful in previous years.

The meeting closed at  8.05 pm  

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