Goudhurst, Kent. A Wealden hill village

Council News August

GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL
Local Government for Goudhurst, Kilndown and Curtisden Green

Parish Council LogoMINUTES OF A MEETING OF GOUDHURST PARISH COUNCIL

at The Quarry Centre, Kilndown on Monday 13 August 2018 at 7.00 pm

PRESENT:  Councillors Antony Harris (Chairman), Alan Foster, Mrs Angela Broom, David Boniface, Chris Ditton, Philip Kirkby, Susan Newsam, Mrs Caroline Richards, Guy Sutton and Stephen Wickham.   

Borough Cllr Edmund Hastie for Item 152/18.

1 Member of the public for Questions from the public. 

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE  

148/18 were accepted from Cllr Barry Noakes (holiday) and County Cllr Seán Holden..    

DISCLOSURES OF INTEREST

149/18 The Chairman reminded Members of their responsibility for any Disclosures of Interest on Agenda items for this meeting and for any changes to their Register of Interests. 

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

150/18 It was resolved that the Minutes of the meetings held on 11 June and 09 July 2018, copies of which had been previously distributed to Members, be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

QESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC

151/18   Mrs Barbara Stafford read a prepared statement in which she again presented a reasoned request that the Goudhurst History Board be returned to its original position by the Pond along the A262 from its current position in front of the Parish Hall.  The Chairman of the Amenities Committee observed that Council’s position on this matter remains unchanged.  That is to say Council believes that it is in the public interest to be able to take control of the text so that it can consider and plan to update the way the information on the board is presented.  Council noted that a proposal put at the Amenities Committee meeting on 24 July 2018 ‘that that the existing board be left at its present position by the Parish Hall until such time as a decision is made as to what to be done’ had been supported by Members.   An informal offer to take the project of creating an updated History and Information board by a Parish Council working group led by Cllr Chris Ditton over the next 6 months with input from Mrs Stafford was also supported by Members. 

REPORTS FROM COUNTY AND BOROUGH COUNCILLORS

152/18 Borough Cllr Edmund Hastie reported.  The claim for Judicial Review against the Borough Council against the decision to proceed with the new town hall and theatre complex has been dismissed as frivolous and the claimant is required to pay costs.

The new town hall and theatre complex will be called Calverley Square and a contractor, Mace, has been appointed.

Cllr Hastie reported that his charity bike ride this year will raise funds for a new defibrillator in Goudhurst and new doors for the Lamberhurst Memorial Hall. £700 has been pledged thus far.

AMENITIES COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Amenities Committee presented the Minutes of a Committee meeting held on 24 July 2018:

153/18 Chequer Field Transfer of the Title.  Following Minute 120/18.  It was noted that there has been no further progress on finalising the transfer from TWBC to Goudhurst Parish Council although Council’s legal adviser is in correspondence with TWBC..

154/18 The Glebe Field lease.  Following Minute 121/18, it was noted that no further progress has been made on finalising the lease agreement.  However Council had taken delegated action to agree a minor change by the Diocese to the wording of Clause 4.2 of the lease agreement (removal of the words ‘from time to time’) on the advice of our legal adviser.  

155/18 The Friends of Goudhurst Village Green (FGVG).  A representative of FGVG expressed concern about the frequency and  amount of car parking on the Village Green relating to events at St Mary’s Church.  A Church Warden and the organiser of St Mary’s youth activities both spoke of the negative effect restrictions on parking could have both on Church attendances and the wider community.  Banning parking will risk the Church’s good work in the wider community.  There is little alternative parking available in Goudhurst.  Council has noted the legal status of parking on the Village Green but considers that Community is everything.  A compromise needs to be found.  Council understands that the Friends of Goudhurst Village Green is concerned that the Diocese of Canterbury may seek to reverse the Village Green status over car parking issues.  It was agreed that a liaison working group between the Friends and the Parish Council will be set up in September 2018.  Terms of Reference for this group will be established.

156/18 Play Area in Back Lane.  Following Minute 123/18.  It was noted that Chairman Amenities Committee intends to establish a working group to plan the refurbishment of this facility once the lease from the Diocese is finalised.  Council will invite Mrs Laura Freear and Mr Brian Ferdinando to participate as part of this group.  

157/18 Kilndown Fishing Club.  Following Minute 122/18.  It was noted that Cllr Chris Ditton is setting up the administrative arrangements to get the Club running again.  This includes the insurance arrangements. 

158/18 Kilndown Quarry Pond Area.  It was resolved to accept the quote of £990.00 from John Fermor Landscapes for various grounds maintenance items at the Quarry Pond up to November 2018.  

159/18 Lower Glebe Field – Kent High Weald Habitat Survey.  It was agreed that Cllr Alan Foster will take the lead in developing this project through the Amenities Committee.

160/18 Goudhurst in Bloom 2018.  Noted that the prize giving event will be held on 30 August at 6.30 for 7.00 pm in the Star and Eagle.

BURIAL BOARD

The Chairman of the Burial Board presented the Minutes of the Burial Board meeting held on 17 July 2018.

161/18 St Mary’s 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 the Clerk will ask Mr Greenaway to carry out some basic maintenance to extend their life.  The ironwork should be preserved.

162/18 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.

163/18 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 started work on 31 July 2018 and finished on 10 August.  He had subsequently explained in writing that he had, as the project was under way, found that he had to purchase extra salvaged bricks costing £1,350.00. On the recommendation of the Burial Board, Council resolved to agree the extra unforeseen expenditure providing Mr Smith produced an invoice reflecting this purchase.  

164/18 The William Masters’ Headstone Memorial c1760.  It was noted that 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 who had inspected the memorial 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.

165/18 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.  

166/18 The bench seat in the area of the lower Ashes Plots by the Chequer Tree (Sorbus Torminalis).  It was agreed that the Clerk will ask Mr Greenaway to mend/replace some damaged slats and on Mr Greenaway’s advice ask him to give the bench a coat of Danish Oil.

167/18 Small gate at the bottom of the Burial Grounds.  It was agreed that the Clerk will put in hand the necessary repairs. 

168/18 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 lower height native species hedge.  Members agreed that the Clerk should follow up with a feasibility report and quotes.  He will also liaise with St Mary’s PCC.

169/18 The gates into the Burial Grounds. It was noted that they had been removed by Mr Greenaway to his workshop for a thorough renovation. They were returned soon after much improved and the Clerk reported that several members of the public had remarked on this positively.

170/18 The Ridgway enclosure and the Pilbeam Headstone to the south of Ridgway.  It was noted that 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.

171/18 Yew Trees in the Victorian Cemetery.  Members took the view that they need ‘topping’ and that over a period they should be trimmed to create a feature. The Clerk will seek advice from our grounds maintenance contractor.

172/18 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 recently 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.  It was noted that these Cherry Trees will be part of the Tree Inspection of all trees under Parish Council responsibility to be undertaken in this financial year.

173/18 Hand rail from Back Lane to the west end of St Mary’s Church.  Noted that this has been repainted (Hammerite) by Mr Greenaway and he had included the small area of railings adjacent to the Back Lane steps..

174/18 Finance: The figures for the 2017/18 Burial Board budget against actual receipts and payments were reviewed.  Members noted that there were no unexplained variances and expressed the view that Council should continue to work towards a ‘break even’ on Burial Board accounts.  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 for this project..

175/18 Fees and Charges.  After a full and detailed discussion Council agreed 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 > £1,200.00

Interment£175.00to£200.00>£400.00

Approval of Monuments£120.00at£130.00>£260.00

Additional inscription£120.00at£130.00>£260.00

Ashes: Exclusive right of burial in the ashes section £400.00 to £500.00 > £1,000.00

Interment£175.00to £200.00>£400.00

Approval of Memorial Tablets£120.00at £130.00>£260.00

Additional inscription£120.00at £130.00>£260.00

Registration of Change of Ownershipno change at£30.00

It was resolved to accept the Burial Board’s recommendation that the figures in the first column (2017/18 fees) should be increased as shown in the second column (2018/19 fees).  

However, when published, the figures in the second column will be doubled as shown in the third column.  This reflects a change of policy.  Whereas previously the published fees were doubled for an interment of a person without a Goudhurst Parish connection, now the published fee will be halved on application for the interment of a person with a Goudhurst Parish connection. 

It was resolved that there be no change to the text of the Burial Board Regulations.  

176/18 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.

HIGHWAYS & FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE

The Chairman of the Highways & Footpaths Committee presented the Minutes of a meeting of this committee with Mr Paul Lulham, Consultant, held on 23 July 2018.:

177/18 Downgrading A262 to a B class road.  It was noted that Mr Lulham had produced the updated and final version of the proposal that will go to Kent County Council.  He believes that Council is submitting a strong case.  The proposal highlights the advantages for traffic flows between Tunbridge Wells and Ashford to be routed via the A228 and M20 which is understood to be KCC policy anyway.

178/18 HGVs.  Mr Lulham suggested that applying for a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for HGVs at Goudhurst is more challenging than the proposal to downgrade the A262.  To be considered are factors such as restricting vehicles by their length or by weight.   Whilst length may be critical at Goudhurst, the weight of a vehicle serves as to the general key to the classification of a vehicle.  The cost of implementing any restriction may be significant.

179/18 Project budget and expenditure.  It was noted that Mr Lulham had clarified his invoicing schedule to Council in a letter on 16 January 2018.

Other Highways and Footpaths Committee matters:

180/18 Speed Indicator Device (SID).  This portable device has been in use on Cranbrook Road, North Road and Balcombes Hill, Goudhurst in turn since 06 July 2018.  Members reported that, subjectively, it seems to be helping to slow the traffic.  Download data from the SID has yet to be analysed.

181/18 Electronic Vehicle Charging Points (EV).  Following Minute 135/18.  Cllr Mrs Newsam reported that the first choice site for an installation is likely to be not feasible due to power supply issues and she is now investigating an alternative site.

POLICE & NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

182/18 CCTV.  Following Minute 137/18.  The Chairman of the Police & Neighbourhood Watch Committee reported that there has been a disappointing performance by the camera in Goudhurst High St.  The supplier of the equipment says the dense leaves on trees are causing the problem.  The Chairman will ask the supplier/installer to rectify the situation soonest. 

PLANNING COMMITTEE   

Council noted the following Decisions from TWBC published in July 2018:  

183/18 DECISIONS

18/01463 2 Combourne Cottages Jarvis Lane Goudhurst 

Retrospective:  Erection of a rear porch 

Refused permission

18/01464 2 Combourne Cottages Jarvis Lane Goudhurst 

Listed Building Consent:  Erection of a rear porch (Work Commenced) 

Refused permission

18/01470 Little Barden North Road Goudhurst

Proposed installation of second Velux skylight in roof

Granted permission

18/01611 Woodfield House Jarvis Lane Goudhurst

Construction of an outdoor swimming pool, pool house and associated hard standing

Granted permission139/18   

184/18   APPLICATIONS considered by the Parish Council Planning Committee in July 2018 with representations here approved by Council:

18/01675 Home Farm Bedgebury Road  Goudhurst

Reconfiguration, change of use and extension of redundant farm buildings and 4no. dwellings to form 5no. dwellings and associated garaging

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council believes that this is a satisfactory scheme but suggests conditioning to ensure that the proposed garaging is not put to alternative uses.

18/01872 Manor House High Street Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent – To investigate and carry out essential roof repairs (to prevent ingress of rainwater) including any necessary attention to chimney stacks, valley and parapet gutters

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council is surprised that this proposal requires Listed Building consent, since it appears that the proposed works are essential to remedy various leaks which threaten the integrity and longevity of this important building.

18/01902 Dunwurkin Rogers Rough Road Kilndown

Demolition of existing double garage and erection of new double garage with ancillary accommodation on first floor with front and rear dormers in roof slope

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council (GPC) believes that since the proposed new garage building is set on lower ground, its ridge line will be lower than that of the bungalow which it serves.   On that basis GPC is content that approval is granted.   Suggest conditioning to ensure that the building remains ancillary to the host dwelling.

18/02028 Home Farm Bedgebury Road Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent:  Reconfiguration, change of use and extension of redundant farm buildings and 4no. dwellings to form 5no. dwellings and associated garaging

Recommend approval

Goudhurst Parish Council believes that this is a satisfactory scheme but suggests conditioning to ensure that the proposed garaging is not put to alternative uses.

18/02032 Etchinghill Farmyard Gore Lane Goudhurst

Conversion of building from use for storage of vehicles (Class B8 of Schedule of Use Classes Order) to a dwelling, and demolition of redundant buildings

Recommend approval

This revised scheme which deletes the lower ground floor, would appear to address the reservations expressed on the earlier scheme.   There are sound reasons for the inclusion of the additional glazing, but Goudhurst Parish Council suggests that this should be conditioned to be non-reflective.

18/02026 The Barn Flimwell House Farm London Road Flimwell

Change of use to mixed use of micro-brewery including tap room

Recommend approval

An enterprising proposal, which should have only a limited impact on the locality at this very well screened location.

18/02028 Home Farm Bedgebury Road  Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent – Reconfiguration, change of use and extension of redundant farm buildings and 4no. dwellings to form 5no. dwellings and associated garaging

Goudhurst Parish Council believes that this is a satisfactory scheme but suggests conditioning to ensure that the proposed garaging is not put to alternative uses.

18/02127 Springwood Fisheries Rosemary Lane Flimwell 

Construction of a new log cabin to provide additional short-term holiday family letting accommodation 

Recommend approval

This revised scheme appears to address the concerns which officers identified with the earlier proposal and contributes to the unsatisfied demand for holiday-let accommodation.   Officers should consider conditioning to limit length of stays.

18/02069 Rose Villa North Road Goudhurst

Two-storey rear extension and associated works including replacement garage door, porch and alterations to fenestration including new windows to each side elevation (Part Retrospective – resubmission of 16/06324/FULL).

Recommend approval

As the proposed extension is to the rear of the dwelling it will have minimal impact on the locality, the AONB and the Conservation Area

18/02082 Mount House Ranters Lane Goudhurst

Amendments to approved scheme 17/01505/FUL and17/01506/LBC.  Amendments include gable end on approved rear extension and increase in length; replacement of approved rear porch with extension; additional roof lights on extension and external door on outbuilding lean-to porch.

Recommend approval

This proposal will have limited impact on the locality and will improve the connection to the outbuilding.   Subject to the views of the conservation officer, GPC is content that the application is approved

18/02083 Mount House Ranters Lane Goudhurst

Listed Building Consent:  Amendments to approved scheme 17/01505/FUL and17/01506/LBC.  Amendments include gable end on approved rear extension and increase in length; replacement of approved rear porch with extension; additional roof lights on extension and external door on outbuilding lean-to porch.

Recommend approval

This proposal will have limited impact on the locality and will improve the connection to the outbuilding.   Subject to the views of the conservation officer, GPC is content that the application is approved

NEIGHBOURHOOD DEVELOPMENT PLAN

185/18 Goudhurst Parish NDP Steering Committee.  Following Minute 140/18.  Cllr Antony Harris reported briefly.  Generally there is good progress.  Cllrs were urged to attend a joint Parish Council/NDP meeting at Kilndown on 21 August where the NDP team will be seeking agreement on the draft Policies.

GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS (GDPR)

186/18 The Clerk reported that our Data Protection Officer (DPO) from GDPR-info Ltd visited us on 23 July 2018 to carry out an Audit and to give advice on procedures.  His report (already seen by the Chairman) was largely positive but there are areas where Council needs to change procedures.  The Clerk will make time to work on these requirements with a view to minimalizing on-going extra workload whilst being compliant with the Regulations.  He will also involve our Webmaster.

ACCOUNTS 

187/18 It was resolved unanimously that the following payments be made:

DDR TWBC NNDR Balcombes Hill toilets £102.00

BACS Tracey Smith Brick Path contract. Stage payment £7,370.00

4418 Cancelled cheque

4419 Tracey Smith Brick Path contract. Final payment £7,750.00

4420 AVB Farnfield July 18 salary and expenses £2,440.17

4421 HM Revenue & Customs Clerk PAYE & NI July 18 £921.09

4422 Grounds Care & General Services Grounds maintenance St Mary’s July £2,383.20

4423 Capel Groundcare Chequer Field etc grounds maint July £1,139.86

4424 Capel Groundcare Village Green extra hedge cut £129.00

4425 John Fermor Landscapes Christ Church & Quarry Pond maint July £300.00

4426 Pearsons Landscapes The Pond & Plain grounds maint July £111.60

4427 Tenterden Twilight Toilet Block cleaning July £731.45

4428 Microshade Business Consult Citrix Inv 10922 £61.14

4429 Hurstway Construction Kilndown Fishing Club signs £38.77

4430 GM Monk Ltd Toilet block electrics maint Oct 17 £260.51

4431 GM Monk Ltd Toilet block electrics maint Jan 18 £117.60

4432 GM Monk Ltd Toilet block electrics maint Apr 18 £182.40

4433 GM Monk Ltd Toilet block electrics maint Jul 18 £117.60

4434 Merit Thornton Planning NDP consultancy services Apr – Jul 18 £3,249.52

4435 PCC Goudhurst St Mary’s meeting room hire £12.60

4436 HP Inc UK (reimburse Clerk) Printer cartridges £135.58

4437 Viking payments Stationery £60.50

4438 James Boot NDP consultancy services £436.80

4439 Richard Greenaway Burial Grounds gates maintenance £376.79

4440 Poyntell Ltd (reimburse Wickham) Padlock Village Green gate £78.74

4441 Paulo & Eileen Landon War Memorial Garden & Trough maint £32.30

4442 Colin Willis NDP expenses Jun – Jul 18 £238.07

4443 AVB Farnfield Reimburse Fete expenses £120.00

4444 Rialtas Business Solutions Alpha Accounts Software support 18/19 £142.80

4445 Buss Murton Law Legal Advice Glebe lease £2694.00

4446 Tracey Smith Brick Path contract – extra bricks £1,350.00

DDR Veolia Environmental Services Burial Grounds bin Jul 18 £144.64

188/18 Receipts in July 2018      

Burial Board£2,045.00

Locality Groundwork NDP grant£8,000.00

NatWest Business Reserve£1,66

CCLA dividend£15.15

189/18  Bank reconciliation.  Resolved to accept the Clerk’s explanation of the reconciliation of accounts to the end of July 2018 and noted that Council’s cash book balance was:

Nat West Current a/c£5890.99

Nat West Business Reserve£33,669.73

CCLA Public Sector Deposit Fund£35,273.41

£74,834.13

190/18 Irregular BACS Transfer from Council’s account 59012935. On 06 August 2018, cheque No 4418 for £7,370.00 had been correctly approved and signed off by Council.  The Clerk gave it to the contractor on time as a stage payment agreed in the payment schedule for the St Mary’s Path re-laying.  The contractor had taken it to NatWest hoping for a quick clearance of the cheque.  The bank informed him that the cheque would take 5 days minimum to clear (contrary to his previous experience).  The contractor returned the cheque to the Clerk explaining that he needed cash urgently so as to be able to purchase material (salvaged bricks mainly) for which he was required to pay cash.  He did not have sufficient cash available so he could not proceed with the project work.  The Clerk phoned NatWest to check on the situation and to enquire whether something could be done since both the contractor and the Parish Council have accounts at the same NatWest branch.  Staff at the NatWest call centre indicated that they could do nothing to alter the cheque clearance procedures.   However, NatWest noted that the Clerk is a signatory to the account and is authorised for telephone banking.  That being so they would be happy, if the Clerk could answer certain questions for identification, to make an immediate transfer of funds.  Clerk passed the identification test and the electronic transfer was made.

At the time the Clerk took the view that this was a sensible decision and expedient in the circumstances.  To delay the relaying of the path by a week was in nobody’s interest.

However the Clerk is well aware of Financial Regulation 6.7. which prohibits the Clerk from making such a payment.

The Clerk informed the Chairman by telephone after the payment had been made.

It was resolved to sanction the electronic payment made by the Clerk given the circumstances on this occasion and it was noted by members that the Clerk is well aware of Financial Regulation 6.7. 

NEXT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING

191/18 10 September 2018.    Jessel Room, Goudhurst Parish Hall at 7.30 pm.  

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

The Meeting closed at  9.30   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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