Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Burial Board March

Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green

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Minutes of a Meeting held on Tuesday 19 March 2019 at The Jessel Room 

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

Also Mr David Nichol (Adviser). 

Apologies were accepted from: Cllrs Mrs Caroline Richards. 

Declarations of Interest.  There were none.

Prior to the start of the Meeting, Members and the Clerk carried out a walk round inspection of Christ Church Churchyard at 6.30 pm.  There were no matters needing attention.

Churchyard and Burial Grounds Maintenance. 

The Clerk reported:

Path at St Mary’s leading from Back Lane.  It was noted that a broken slab which was becoming a trip risk has been replaced at a cost of £100.00.  Mr Tracey Smith will be introducing a small land drain alongside this path on the west side to relieve a puddle that form during the rainy season near the Bathurst enclosure. Council Minute 408/18 refers.

Chequer Tree in the Burial Grounds.  This is to be pruned and reshaped by The Living Forest at a cost of £121.50 + VAT.  It is vey ‘wind blown.’

The Yews in the Victorian cemetery.  The Living Forest is to carry out pruning to restore the shape and structure to the eastern end Yew in the old cemetery at the cost of £238.00 + VAT (Minute 272/18 refers).  The work will be carried out in May 2019 being ‘the right time of year’. Note:  if the result of this trial is to Council’s liking, a budget provision will need to be made for the work on the rest of the Yews in May 2020.

The laurel hedge on the north side of the Burial Grounds.  The 50% reduction in height has been generally applauded with only one negative comment.  It had been suggested that Council should grub out the laurel and replace it with a native species hedge.  However the Burial Board recommends to Council that this hedge should be left as is to green up during the summer of 2019 with consideration for additional work or replacement perhaps in 2020/21.  It was noted that  John Fermor, Contractor of Curtisden Green, has done an excellent job of tidying up along the area of this hedge.

Mechanical digging of graves.  Members debated this matter following an unexpected mechanical dig recently at the Burial Grounds.  It was recommended to Council that mechanical digging not be permitted at Goudhurst due to the fact that there are many vacant grave spaces yet to be used which are not reasonably accessible to mechanical diggers.

Request for lighting at the foot gate on the north wall of St Mary’s Churchyard (opposite the Weavers Cottages).   Members noted that there is a safety problem at this point due to a step close to the gate.  However there is no power source nearby and to trench a cable in would be prohibitably expensive.  The Clerk will check if something like white luminous tape could be laid on the step perhaps with a warning notice.

Request for an additional bench in the Burial Grounds.  Council has received such a request.  It was decided to recommend to Council that the request be refused, the reason being that there are already 5 benches in the Burial Grounds.  Further additions lead to extra cost of repairs and maintenance.


2018/19 Budget.  It was noted that expenditure was largely in line with the Budget except for the unbudgeted expenditure on the relaying of the St Mary’s Churchyard brick path.  However grant funding of £6,000 from KCC and £1,000 from St Mary’s PCC had been received.  Burial Board fees were £1,000 in excess of budget.  

Clean Up Day

Clean Up Day at St Mary’s.  It was agreed that this will be held on 19 October 2019.  

Next Meetings.

16 July 2019 at St Mary’s Church

22 October 2019 at Kilndown Quarry Centre

The meeting closed at  8.20 pm

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