20th April 2021

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE BURIAL GROUNDS AND PROPERTIES COMMITTEE HELD REMOTELY ON TUESDAY 20th APRIL 2021

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

APOLOGIES: Cllr. Fairweather.

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.

30/20: St. Dunstan’s Churchyard:

a) Repointing repairs to west wall of Churchyard.

Cllr. Gilbert had inspected the wall and does not believe any immediate action is necessary. He will continue to monitor its condition. The Clerk advised she had spoken to the Grounds Contractors and asked them to ensure the area is thoroughly weeded as per their contract specification.

b) Creation of a separate circuit for lighting.

It was established when a problem was identified with one of the Vestry Hall boilers that the Churchyard floodlights share the same electrical circuit. A quote for £156 + VAT had been received to create a new separate circuit for these lights. Cllr. Gilbert proposed the quote be accepted as presented, this was seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed.

c) Column 74

The Clerk advised the lantern which is situated at the top of Jockey Lane Car Park, but lights the top of the Churchyard path has been vandalised again. It had only recently been repaired following a previous incident of damage. A quote of £325 + VAT to replace the lantern with a more vandal resistant type SL8 had been received. It was noted that as the current lantern is not of a heritage type, the SL8 would be considered an appropriate replacement. Cllr. Gilbert felt it very important that the area should be well lit and proposed the quote be accepted, this was seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed.

Cllr. Gilbert took the opportunity to update the Committee on the recent spate of vandalism. He had spoken to the local PSCO and was now in discussion with Insp. Ian Jones from Tunbridge Wells Community Safety Unit as to how we can help the police in tackling this. Insp Jones has reiterated the need to report all crime and advised that it can be done confidentially via Crimestoppers if people are concerned about repercussions. He had also offered to come and meet with us. The Clerk agreed to arrange a meeting with the local PCSO and Cllrs. Gilbert and Fletcher in the first instance.

31/20: Golford Cemetery:

Quotes for barriers and bollards on the turning circle.

Members discussed the various options for creating some form of verge protection which would prevent vehicles driving on the pedestrian paths and grassed areas which would mean the gates could be left open again. The Parish Warden had looked at the cost of wooden bollards and we had received a quote from Cranbrook Iron detailing two different options. Option 1 being 67 metres of post and chain around the turning circle at a cost of £2087 + VAT, not including installation. Option 2 being a post and rail of the same length, fully installed at a cost of £3461 + VAT. After a full discussion Cllr. Gilbert proposed to accept in principle the quote for Option 2, subject to approval of the final design and specification. This was seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed.

The Clerk advised that we may need to look at having an additional wheeled bin at the Cemetery. There is some confusion with the current refuse contractors as to the schedule of emptying, this needs to be clarified before a decision can be taken.

32/20: Sissinghurst Cemetery:

There were no issues to report.

33/20: Cranbrook & Sissinghurst War Memorials:

There were no issues to report

34/20: Angley Cottage:

Cllr. Bunyan advised she would be making an appointment to carry out the annual inspection with the tenants in due course.

35/20: Vestry Hall:

Cllr. Gilbert reported that we had been advised that the asymptomatic testing at the Vestry Hall would cease at the end of April. This was contrary to what KCC had previously confirmed. The Clerk had pointed out to them that we had received written confirmation that the hiring of the hall would be extended until 7th July and because if this we had turned down several bookings and relocated some regular users to other venues. She was yet to receive any response.

36/20: Vestry Hall Cottage:

Cllr. Gilbert referred to the annual inspection undertaken in February and the report which had been circulated to the Committee. He would be making a further appointment with the tenants to see if any of the issues he raised at the time, have been addressed.

The garden wall was in need of rebuilding. In response to Cllr. Bunyan, Cllr Gilbert confirmed that it should be done with existing bricks and lime mortar. He would take some photos which the Clerk could forward onto the Conservation Architect at TWBC to check if Listed Building Consent is required.

He would also like a roofer to access the roof space to check the timbers, as there is a slight dip in the roof line. This will be undertaken when the current lockdown restrictions are eased.

37/20: Information Centre:

a) Cleaning schedule and contract:

The Clerk advised three quotes had been sought for the cleaning contract of both The Information Centre and the Vestry Hall. KCC had been undertaking the cleaning of the hall during its use as a testing centre and the Clerks had been cleaning the offices between them. No cleaning costs had been incurred since lockdown in March 2020. Two responses were received, one from the previous company and one from another local company, that had been recommended.  After a debate it was proposed by Cllr. Gilbert, seconded by Cllr Bunyan and agreed to accept the quote from Regency Cleaners at £200 per month for the office and £500 per month for the Vestry Hall.

b) Electrical Installation Condition Report:

The Vestry Hall and Cottage has had regular electrical installation condition reports; however, the Information Centre has not been included. A quote of £320 + VAT to undertake this had been received. It was proposed by Cllr. Gilbert to accept the quote as presented, this was seconded by Cllr. Kings and agreed.

c) The Clerk reported that there was no hot water in the office kitchen and staff toilet. A heating engineer was attending tomorrow to see if the cause could be identified.

38/20: Noticeboards and Shelters:

A piece of the bottom sill of the Millennium noticeboard had broken off. Cllr. Gilbert would inspect the damage at the earliest opportunity to see what repairs are necessary

39/20: Benches and Cycle Racks:

There were no issues to report.

40/20: Red Telephone Kiosks:

The Clerk had been advised that two panes of the kiosk at Bakers Cross had been damaged. The police were aware of the incident and enquiries were ongoing. The Clerk would seek a quote for repair.

41/20: Items for Information:

No items were raised

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