Environment Management 22nd March 2022

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE HELD ON TUESDAY 22nd MARCH 2022

PRESENT: Cllr. Pethurst (in the Chair), Cllrs. Dyke, Fletcher and Gilbert.

APOLOGIES: Cllrs. Fairweather and Kings.

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.

None received.

27/21:  Play Equipment:

  1. The Clerk reported that whilst replacing support blocks, guards and kick boards, the Parish Warden discovered that some of the bearings are missing at the rear of the rocking horse, and possiblly at the front also. Contact has been made with Wicksteed to establish what parts are available, and prices.

It was previously suggested that the spoil generated from the creation of the wildflower area in the Ball Field could be used for an embankment slide. However, there is less soil than had originally been originally expected.

28/21: Allotments

  1.  Request to install a shed
    The tenant of plot 15a has written to request permission to install a shed, same dimensions as those already in situ. The Clerks have visited the allotment site, and there is an empty base along the back hedge next to the shed of plot 15b.

The committee agreed to grant permission for a shed on the empty base.

  • Rules and Regulations

The allotment rules were last amended in 2015. It was decided that the committee members would review the rules with a view to discussing any proposed amendments at the next meeting.

29/21: Highway Issues:

Residents of Stone Street have raised safety concerns caused by cars mounting the pavement along the narrow section of Stone Street. The members requested that the Clerk write to KCC Highways to request a feasibility study for traffic lights. Copy to be sent to KCC Cllr. Sean Holden.

30/21: Car Parks:

  1. E.V. Charging Points:

The Clerk reported that an email had been received from a member of the public who uses the points frequently to advise us that they had contacted BP Pulse to notify them that some of the points have been out of use for several weeks. BP Pulse implied that his was because the units were out of warranty. Cllr. Dyke confirmed that several of the units had been out of action. She has also contacted BP Pulse and they had instructed her that an engineer would visit on Friday 25th March.

The Clerk will investigate the status of the maintenance contract.

Cllr. Dyke will investigate with BP Pulse the costs of a rapid charging unit, to supplement the faster chargers. She has investigated grants from Office for Low Emission Vehicles and KCC. The KCC grants are currently aimed at areas where provision is poor, and areas with no facilities at all are being invited to apply first.

  • Regal Car Park Pot Hole Update

Still awaiting a quote from the contractor. If no quote is received, names of alternative contractors will be sought.

31/21: Litter picks and Litterbins

The committee discussed arranging a date for a litter pick in both Cranbrook and Sissinghurst. The 9th of April was suggested to fit in with this years’ ‘Keep Britain Tidy Great British Spring Clean are 25th March-10th April.

The issue of collecting and disposing of the filled rubbish bags was discussed. Cllr. Fletcher offered to enquire with Urbaser if they could collect.

The Clerk will contact Cllr. Fairweather regarding organisation of the Sissinghurst pick.  

32/21: Streetlighting

Cllr. Pethurst reported that Cranbrook in Bloom had arranged stress tests on the lamp posts in the high street with the intention of installing hanging baskets. Unfortunately, the lamp posts failed the test. Concerns were raised about the posts being replaced with models that are unsuitable for the conservation areas. Clerk was tasked with asking if Cranbrook in Bloom would share the stress test report, and to contact KCC for an update on type of replacements and timeline.

33/21: Other Environmental Management Items:

  1. Ball Field South East in Bloom Entry 2022
    Cllr. Pethurst confirmed that he has submitted the South East in Bloom entry application. Awaiting date for the judging. Belle Vue school have very kindly designed and installed two scarecrows for the wildflower area.
  2. Management and Responsibility of Spinney

Cllr. Pethurst reported that Cranbrook in Bloom were keen to establish the correct management schedule for the wildflower area. The Clerk will check Kent Grasslands contract to ensure that the appropriate details for cutting are included.

He also mentioned that two trees had been planted in the ballfield either side of a bench. An article in the Cake would be useful to communicate that anyone wishing to plant any trees should contact the parish council who can advise on the best location for a new tree. Any trees that are planted without permission will be relocated. Cllr. Fletcher raised the point that there are several dead ash trees in the Crane Valley and some other trees were felled in the wind. Crane Valley could be a suitable location for new trees. The Clerk will liaise with High Weald Partnership to ascertain some suitable sites in the valley and the types of trees best suited to the location.

34/21: Items for information
Cllr. Pethurst reported that the holly tree that had fallen into the Ball Field from Cranbrook School has been cleared by the school. However, there are several large branches which need removing before the grounds contractors can cut the grass. Clerk to contact Cranbrook School.

Cllr. Gilbert suggested that some wooden stepping logs might be a welcome addition in the Ball Field play area following removal of the toadstools. Clerks to obtain quotes.

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