MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS CRANBROOK ON THURSDAY 9th JUNE 2022
PRESENT: Cllr. Fletcher (Chairman), Cllrs. Beck, Bunyan, Fairweather, Gilbert, Hatcher, Kings, Pethurst, Tomlinson and Borough Cllr. Warne
APOLOGIES: Cllrs. Dyke, Hartley, Rampling and Simpson
Declaration of Interests, Dispensations and Predetermination:
The Chairman read out the following statement:
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. The meeting is routinely recorded as a clerk’s aid.
22/22: Minutes of the Previous Meeting to be confirmed:
The Chairman proposed the Minutes of the Meeting held on the 12th May 2022 be adopted as a true record, this was seconded by Cllr. Fairweather and agreed.
23/22: Approval of the Annual Governance Statement 2021/22:
The document had been circulated to all Members prior to the meeting so they would understand what they were approving. The Chairman reiterated the importance of the document which forms part of our Annual Return and is sent to the external auditor. Cllr. Fletcher proposed that the Annual Governance Statement be approved. This was seconded by Cllr. Beck and agreed.
Section 1 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2021/22 Part 3 was signed by the Chairman.
24/22: Approval of Accounting Statements 2021/22
The Chairman explained this document also formed part of our Annual Return; copies had been circulated to all Members prior to the meeting. The Chairman proposed that the Accounting Statement as presented to Members be approved, this was seconded by Cllr. Fairweather and agreed.
Section 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2021/22 Part 3 was signed by the Chairman.
25/22: Community Centre/Medical Centre:
Cllr. Gilbert reported that there have been some positive developments. The geotechnical report has been submitted and shows there are no major load bearing issues therefore traditional foundations should be possible, and there are no contamination issues.
In addition, the CCG have provided finalised specifications and the confirmed that they are able to increase the rental agreement, thus providing the council with a higher income.
Cllr. Pethurst enquired if a timeline would be available soon. Cllr. Gilbert responded that Jonathan White is now updating the business case with the new information provided and a time line will follow.
In a response from Cllr. Hatcher regarding revival of meetings, Cllr. Gilbert confirmed that regular meetings will restart and a board meeting is to be held imminently.
26/22: Chairman’s Report:
The Chairman advised that the latest edition of the Cake is printed and awaiting distribution. A few copies are available in the office. Search for a replacement editor is ongoing following Trisha Fermor’s resignation. He asked that any interested parties should be directed to him. He also asked that each Councillor think of potential content, stories, ideas, people with a local connection etc.
He referred to the latest KALC newsletter that introduces KCC’s new verge cutting strategy.
Communication with High Weald Academy regarding the use of the space that will become redundant from September is being hindered by the current head and the new head not responding to emails.
Community Kitchen plans are progressing well. There is real positive energy from the groups involved. A leaflet questionnaire is being drafted to distribute around the town gauging interest from potential users and volunteers. Cllr. Hatcher offered to produce the questionnaire electronically in Google Forms. Potential funding sources include grants, sponsorship and donations. A person to lead the project is required. Compliance with any regulations has been considered. Food safety is the main item that will need addressing. The Children’s Centre and School staff who will assist are already DBS checked.
A meeting with Inspector Ian Jones and a Police officer took place last week. There are concerns that the closure of High Weald Academy may increase truancy leading to increased antisocial behaviour in the town. Discussions took place on how the parish council can work together with the Police. There have been community requests in the past for a boxing club. This has been successful in Tunbridge Wells. This may be a potential use for the soon to be redundant buildings at the High Weald Academy site. Cllr. Pethurst pointed out that this ties in nicely with the community and culture project list in the NDP.
Reports from Committees:
27/22: Policy & Resources:
Cllr. Beck referred to the minutes of the meeting held on 7th June and invited questions. As none were raised, he proposed adoption of the minutes, this was seconded by Cllr. Kings and agreed.
28/22: Planning & Preservation:
Cllr. Bunyan referred to the minutes of the meetings held 17th May and 7th June. Following the resignation of several councillors the committee is now light on members. It was agreed the Clerk would circulate an email to all members of the parish council promoting the committee.
29/22: Properties & Burial Grounds:
Next meeting July 19th.
30/22: Economic & Community:
Cllr. Hatcher referred to the upcoming meeting on 21st June. He will be contacting members for agenda items.
31/22: Environmental Management:
The next meeting will be held on the 28th June. This will be a site meeting.
32/22: Neighbourhood Development Plan:
Cllr. Pethurst reported that a meeting with the consultant had taken place and it was agreed that the required documents would be returned to the council by the end of next week. With the intention to present to the council for approval at the July Full Council meeting. The plan needs to be in the required TWBC format, or it will be automatically rejected.
33/22: Delegate Reports:
a) Age Concern:
b) Tourism Group:
Next meeting w/c 13th June
c) Hop Picker’s Line Heritage Group:
Next meeting is 12th July, Goudhurst
Cllr. Bunyan referred to the minutes of the meeting held on the 25th May.
Concern regarding the trees in the Tanyard had been raised. The Clerk has responded to Cllr. Bunyan addressing the concerns. Cllr. Bunyan will ensure this is corrected with CCAAC.
e) Citizens Advice:
Cllr. Hatcher reported that the planned meeting with CA has not yet taken place. Cllr. Fletcher noted that Wellbeing in the Weald are keen for debt advice to be available locally. Paddock Wood Community Advice Centre had previously expressed an interest for a meeting space in Cranbrook.
Cllr. Pethurst was pleased to report that the museum had successfully secured funding from TWBC for the next 2-3 years. There are plans afoot to install CCTV.
34/22: Clerk’s Report:
The Clerk reported that the final internal audit report for the year 2021-22 has been received from KCC this morning and she was pleased to advise that no issues were raised. Following members approval of the annual Governance & Accounting Statements tonight, the Annual Return will be submitted to the external auditor, Littlejohns, tomorrow.
A notice of the causal vacancy for the Cranbrook Ward has been posted today inviting applicants to submit written expressions of interest by 1st July for a co-option to take place on the 14th July.
No correspondence had been received that required reporting.
36/22: Borough & County Councillor Reports:
Cllr. Fletcher congratulated Borough Councillor Warne on her new role as Deputy Leader of the Council and her executive post of Cabinet Member for Rural Communities.
a) Borough Cllr. Warne reported:
That the new administration has now been set up amongst the different groups. The focus of her new position as Member for Rural Communities is to get out and find out what is going on in the communities. She’d had the pleasure of attending jubilee celebrations at both Cranbrook and Hawkhurst with the new leader Ben Chapelard (councillor for St James’ ward).
The cabinet will be prioritising: waste contract, finance and engagement with residents.
She has been invited to join the Paddock Wood Community Centre Board, and will be attending the next Parish Chair meeting which is taking place on Tuesday in Goudhurst.
The next cabinet meeting taking place on the 23rd of June is to be held in the Vestry Hall, Cranbrook, at 6.30pm.
There are many applications from within to the borough for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
b) Borough Cllr. Fairweather had nothing else to add.
37/22: Items for Information:
a) Cllr. Pethurst reported that Cranbrook Goes Nuts in May had been an excellent success and congratulated the organisers.
19th June is the Cranbrook in Bloom Safari Day.
28th June is South East in Bloom judging day.
b) Cllr. Bunyan reminded members to take photos for the parish magazine of the various upcoming events, now that Trisha Fermor is no longer involved with The Cake.
Sissinghurst Flower Show is taking place at Sissinghurst Primary School on 18th June at 2.30pm.
c) Cllr Fairweather thanked the council for the grant that had been awarded for Sissinghurst’s Queens Jubilee celebrations that took place on Jubilee Field in Sissinghurst. It had been a well-attended event with music, games and races.
Friday night see’s the start of gig nights at The Queens Hall Theatre. A great forum for encouraging new musicians.
The Meeting was closed.