2nd February 2021

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE BURIAL GROUNDS AND PROPERTIES COMMITTEE HELD REMOTELY ON TUESDAY 2nd FEBRUARY 2021

PRESENT: Cllr. Gilbert (in the Chair), Cllrs. Fairweather, Fermor and Fletcher.

APOLOGIES: Cllrs. Bunyan, Kings and Waters.

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.

18/20: Golford Cemetery:

Cllr. Gilbert advised there were no new issues to report. The decision for the vehicular gates to remain locked, to prevent visitors driving over the grassed area, would be kept under constant review.

19/20: St. Dunstan’s Churchyard:

Cllr. Fermor reported that the Wilding Area continues to flourish and some snowdrops have been ordered for planting in the Spring.

Cllr. Gilbert advised he would be inspecting the west wall of the Churchyard which boundaries with the Carriers Road parking spaces to see if any repointing of the wall is required. Quotes will be obtained if repairs are necessary. He will also liaise with the ground’s contractors in regard to spraying weeds at the base of the wall as the Clerk confirmed this was in their specification.

Cllr. Fletcher reported that the gullies along the path in the Churchyard also need to be cleared properly, as when the water fails to drain, the path becomes very wet and slippery. The Clerk would raise this with the contractors.

20/20: Sissinghurst Cemetery:

Cllr. Fairweather had been informed by the Parish Warden that some young people had been gathering in the Cemetery, they had been spoken to and no recent incidents had been reported.

The Parish Warden had also reported an issue with dog walkers taking a short cut through the Cemetery from the adjacent farmer’s field and was concerned that the boundary fence would become damaged. This appears to have now ceased as the farmer has blocked up the entrance that had been created. The Parish Warden had agreed to monitor the situation.

The Clerk reported that Cllr. Bunyan had advised that work on the lychgate had started.

21/20: Cranbrook & Sissinghurst War Memorials:

Cllr. Fairweather reported that the work on the hedge at Cranbrook War Memorial had been completed and it was looking very good.

22/20: Angley Cottage:

There were no issues to report. Cllr. Gilbert would liaise with Cllr. Bunyan regarding undertaking the annual inspection.

23/20: Vestry Hall:

Cllr. Gilbert reported on the use of the Vestry Hall as a symptom free Covid test centre. The army were handing it over to civilian supervision at the end of the week.

There are a few repairs outstanding which the Clerk will chase when KCC vacate the hall.

Cllr. Gilbert confirmed that an asbestos report and water risk assessment had now been completed at the request of KCC. A minor leak in the gent’s toilet had been identified and would be monitored by the Caretakers.

Cllr. Gilbert advised that use of the Tower Room will require some more thought as to a possible use.

24/20: Vestry Hall Cottage:

Cllr. Gilbert is liaising with the tenants for a mutually convenient date to undertake the annual inspection. He would also like to inspect the roof space, but will postpone this until after lockdown restrictions are lifted. It has been clarified that the garden wall is the responsibility of the Parish Council, so quotes for repair will need to be obtained.

25/20: Information Centre:

The staff toilet had been successfully repaired by replacing the antiquated cistern.

26/20: Noticeboards and Shelters:

The Clerk advised she had received quotes for replacement panels on two of the bus shelters. Despite constant chasing, she had yet to receive the technical specification that will enable Councillors to decide if they wish to upgrade the glass to polycarbonate, which is considerably more expensive, but possibly more cost effective. She had also been advised that a further panel had been damaged at the Hartley shelter recently, which would also require repair.

27/20: Benches and Cycle Racks:

The Clerk advised there had been a slight delay in production at British Gates, the new bench for Sissinghurst Cemetery was expected to be ready for collection at the end of February.

28/20: Red Telephone Kiosks:

No issues were raised.

29/20: Items for Information:

Cllr. Gilbert commented on the sad death of Sir Captain Tom Moore, who had passed away today.

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