12th July P&R

MINUTES OF THE POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 12th JULY 2022

PRESENT: Cllr. Beck (in the Chair), Cllrs. Bunyan, Fletcher, Gilbert, Hatcher, Kings and Pethurst.

Declaration of Interests, Dispensations and Predetermination:

Members are required to declare any interests, dispensations or predetermination on items on this agenda in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct. Members are reminded that changes to the Register of Interests should be notified to the Clerk.

13/22: Internal finance check:

Cllr. Beck confirmed that the internal finance check had been completed and everything was in order.

14/22: Authorisation of payments made after the June meeting:

A list of payments totalling £15,431.21made after the June meeting, is filed with these minutes.

15/22: Transfers of monies between accounts:

The Clerk confirmed none had been made this month, although a transfer would almost certainly be necessary next month to keep the Unity Trust cash flow at an acceptable level.

16/22: Invoices for Payment:

A list of payments to be made in July had been circulated for approval, a copy of which is filed with these minutes. Cllr. Bunyan queried the Vestry Hall British Gas invoice which still seemed high for the time of year. The Clerk explained the invoice also covered the heating and hot water for the office. It was suggested the thermostat be turned down to 16 degrees during the summer months. It was proposed by Cllr. Beck seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed to approve the payments as presented.

These included:

            Policy and Resources                          £7,977.00

Properties & Burial Grounds              £2,203.51     

Environmental Management               £   965.49

      Total        £11,146.00

Two members are required to log in to the account and authorise the payments following adoption of the minutes on Thursday evening.

17/22: Replacement Defibrillator Pads:

The Clerk advised Members that 3 sets of pads were required to replace pads that had exceeded their expiry date. The cost fluctuates but is anticipated to be around £100 per set + VAT. Replacement batteries for the Sissinghurst device had already been purchased from petty cash.

Cllr. Gilbert approved the purchase of 3 sets of pads, this was seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed.

18/22: Public Toilet Cleaning Contract:

The Clerk reported we had received an email from Twilight Cleaning, the current contractors stating they would not be able to continue cleaning the public toilets in Crane Lane after the end of July. We had received one quote that was an extra £4 per week. As we have very little time to secure additional quotes Cllr. Gilbert proposed the quote of £150 per week + VAT plus any consumables, from F & C Cleaning Services Ltd be accepted. This was seconded by Cllr. Kings and agreed.

Cllrs Bunyan and Fletcher both advised they had received positive comments from members of the community regarding the reopening and servicing of the public conveniences in the Town.

19/22: Editor Vacancy The Cake – Update:

Cllr. Fletcher advised he had attended several meetings with Coffee Shop Media and their team. Although Mrs Fermor had resigned as Editor of the magazine, she was still happy to sub edit some of the articles for the magazine. Cllr. Fletcher reported he had a list of the content for the next edition and he was happy to chase contributions, until a new editor could be found. Cllr. Gilbert felt it important that all content should be submitted via the office until an editor was appointed.

20/22: Discussion on a revision of Action/Five Year Plans:

Cllr. Fletcher had circulated his ideas to the Committee, on how the format of Parish Council meetings could be changed. He hoped this would involve more discussion on plans for future projects with all members of the Council. There is a great deal of experience and knowledge within the Council which he believes we need to utilise more effectively. Our current Five-Year Plans are more of a maintenance schedule than an ‘action plan’. We need to be looking at what we want to achieve in the next five years and then decide which Committee would be most appropriate to explore the project. Most committee meetings are held quarterly, however working party meetings could be held more frequently. Currently, Full Council meetings are mostly used to ratify decisions made at committee level, whereas he would like to see more discussion take place during the monthly meeting.

21/22: Community Centres/Medical Centre:

Cllr. Gilbert advised a board meeting for the Community Centre/Medical Centre on Wilkes Field was scheduled for next Monday.

Cllr. Bunyan advised the Planning & Preservation Committee has considered the revised application submitted for the new village hall in Sissinghurst and had recommended approval. Cllr. Fletcher applauded Cllr. Bunyan’s knowledge of design, as many of the suggestions she had previously made, had been incorporated in the revised designs submitted to the Planning Authority. He also reported a new right of way had been negotiated for a resident who’s right of access would be altered.  

22/22: Staffing:

The Clerk reminded the committee that the office would be reduced by one full time head count for the remainder of the month and into August.

Cllr. Beck declared a personal interest in the next item as he is involved with the Cranbrook Town Market team, who are the applicants for the grant. He did not participate in the voting.

23/22: Grant Applications:

(a) Cranbrook on the Green:

An application had been received for £1,500 of financial support for the event. Members agreed it had been an extremely successful event last year. A full discussion ensued on the Council’s Grant Awarding Policy and how it could be improved to ensure the community events became self-funding in the future. It was agreed that our processes of allocation and monitoring of grants, required some re-examination. Cllr. Hatcher agreed this would be an ideal project for the Economic & Community Committee to explore. 

Cllr. Hatcher proposed the grant be awarded in full, this was seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed.

24/22: Items for Information:

a) Cllr. Fletcher advised he was arranging a visit to Tenterden Boxing Club in the near future to see how much space was required if a club were to be launched in Cranbrook. If anyone wanted to accompany him, please let him know.

b) A flyer had been created asking for suggestions on how the community could come together this winter to help with the cost-of-living crisis. Cllr. Fletcher was intending to distribute to as many areas as possible in the Town. Cllr Hatcher was preparing a ‘google’ form which would be posted on our website and Facebook page.

c) Cllr. Hatcher advised the Economic & Community Working Party meeting was scheduled for 5pm in the Council Chamber on 26th July. All members are invited to attend.

d) Cllr Hatcher advised his meeting with Liz Taylor from Strategic Leisure who are advising TWBC on their Leisure Investment Strategy had been postponed, a new date has yet to be set.

e) The Clerk reported we had received correspondence from Lloyds Bank stating the open credit facility was being withdrawn. It is used for the Clerks to cash cheques pre signed by two signatories to replenish petty cash. After 2nd September a signatory on the account would have to attend in person to cash a cheque.

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