Environmental Management 26th November 2019

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE HELD ON TUESDAY 26th NOVEMBER 2019

PRESENT: Cllr. Fairweather (in the Chair), Cllrs. Beck, Fletcher, Kings, and Smith.

APOLOGIES: Cllrs. Fermor and Pethurst.

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Declaration of Interests, Dispensations, Predetermination or Lobbying:

Members are required to declare any interests, dispensations, predetermination or lobbying on items on this agenda. Members are reminded that changes to the Register of Interests should be notified to the Clerk.

17/19: Play Equipment:

Replacement of Toddler Multiplay equipment – Ball Field

Members discussed the quotes that had been received from three different providers. It was proposed by Cllr. Fairweather, seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed to accept the quote of £5,410.48 excluding VAT from Wicksteed.

18/19: Issues from Inspection of Grounds:

a) Allotments: Cllr. Pethurst

A request had been received from the tenant of plot 9A to erect a small tool shed on the boundary of his plot. Cllr. Pethurst had advised the Clerk that he recommended the request be granted.

b) Ball Field :  Cllr. Pethurst.

A parishioner had requested the Committee consider placing an additional litter bin in the Ball Field close to the steps down to Waterloo Road. Members agreed there was no demonstrable need for an additional bin at the current time. No other issues were raised.

c) Crane Valley: Cllr. Fletcher

Cllr. Fletcher stated that several of the litter bins were missing from the Crane Valley. The Clerk was aware that at least one had been temporarily removed by the Parish Warden as he had been constantly retrieving it from the stream. The Clerk would check the location of the other bins with the Parish Warden. Cllr. Fairweather advised he had inspected the recent drainage work completed on the skate park and was delighted to report it appears to have been successful.

d) Jubilee Field: Cllr. Fermor

Members were not aware of any issues that required reporting. Cllr. Smith did update the Committee in his role as Chairman of St. George’s Institute on the current position in respect of the transfer of land from the Jubilee Field Trust to St. Georges, to facilitate the building of a new village hall. He will be circulating a detailed map to all councilors and although approval has been given in principle, a meeting of the Jubilee Field Trustees will be called so final approval of the details can be agreed.

19/19: Car Parks:

Issues from Inspection of Car Parks:

a) Regal

Cllr. Smith volunteered to take responsibility for the Regal Car park, following Cllr. Veitch’s resignation.            

b) Jockey Lane – Cllr. Pethurst

Cllr. Fairweather advised that he would be contacting Cranbrook School to reiterate that only electric vehicles should be parked in the bays reserved specifically for that purpose.

c) Tanyard – Cllr. Fletcher

Cllr. Fairweather advised the Committee that the owner of a property bordering the car park had been in touch with the office because her tenant had been advised by the Parish Warden to cease cutting the beech hedge, as he thought it was the responsibility of our ground’s contractors. This was found to be incorrect. As it was initially our error and as a goodwill gesture, it was agreed that our contractors would cut the hedge back to a manageable condition. However, the owner remained unsatisfied and felt more should be removed. Cllr. Fairweather had visited the location and looked at several photographs of the hedge taken at the time the tenant had been asked to stop cutting it and was of the opinion that we had more than compensated for our error and had cut back in excess of what was necessary. The owner would be contacted and advised of our decision.

20/19: Highways Issues:

Cllr. Fletcher advised that during discussions on the NDP and Draft Local Plan, it had been noted that car parking in the town was already at full capacity and would only become worse with the addition of new housing. With this in mind he had contacted the Cranbrook Sports Club, they were expecting to provide a new car park with 220 spaces to accompany their new pavilion. Using the current footpath that runs from Quaker Lane through to the Primary School, the centre of Cranbrook can reached within seven minutes. It was suggested that the current footpath could be improved and developed using S106 monies. The Sports Club were supportive of the idea and it was agreed that it would alleviate the parking situation in town. The Committee agreed the idea was worthy of further exploration. 

Cllr. Fairweather reported his disappointment on the lack of consideration given by some parents picking up children from Cranbrook School, causing an obstruction to other road users in the area. He would contact the school in his capacity as a borough and parish councillor and ask for the issue to be addressed.

21/19: Any Other Environmental Management Issues:

a) Winter Strategy

It was proposed by Cllr. Smith, seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed that the winter strategy for 2019/20 would remain unchanged. The Parish Council would advise residents of their individual responsibility to take due care and attention in adverse weather conditions. No arrangements would be made for snow and ice clearance, salting or gritting of the Regal, Tanyard or Jockey Lane Car Parks. We would not undertake clearance of pavements within the parish. Residents and businesses are encouraged to clear the areas in front of their own property, although this will be entirely at their own risk. There are salt and grit bins throughout the Cranbrook and Sissinghurst parish for use by parishioners, we will ensure these are topped up appropriately. Throughout the winter season all residents and visitors to Cranbrook and Sissinghurst must use the roads, car parks and pavements with due care and attention.  It must be clearly understood that all users of the car parks do so at their own risk. This advice will be available on the parish website.

b) Gully Clearance:

It was reported that several highway gullies in Chapel Lane and The Street in Sissinghurst are blocked. Cllr. Smith agreed to report this direct to KCC. Cllr. Fletcher would similarly advise KCC regarding a blocked gully by Rammell Field. It was noted that residents have been advised that they are responsible for clearing gullies on their own land.  

c) Pollution Monitoring

In response to a query from Cllr. Smith, Cllr. Fairweather agreed to investigate whether any pollution monitoring is carried out by the Borough Council, in the Parish.

22/19: Litter Picks and Litter Bins:

Request from Parishioner for additional litter bin in the Ball Field.

This request had been dealt with under item 18/19 (b).

23/19: Street Lighting:

No issues were raised.

24/19: Public Rights of Way:

Following our objection to a planned diversion of WC108, the Parish Council had been invited to make representation to a Regulation Committee Panel. The issue had initially been discussed at a planning meeting, however Cllr. Bunyan, Chairman of that committee, felt she was not sufficiently informed on the subject to speak and had suggested someone else with better understanding of the issue should undertake the task. It was proposed by Cllr. Fairweather, seconded by Cllr. Kings and agreed, to accept the offer from ex-councilor Brian Swann to represent the Parish Council’s views. It was thought that with more than twenty years’ experience in monitoring the Parish’s footpaths and bridleways he had the knowledge and expertise required. 

25/19: Budget & Five Year Plan

All Committee Members had been given copies of a proposed budget and the current Five Year Plan. It was noted that a safety inspection of the trees in the Parish was due. It was proposed by Cllr. Fairweather, seconded by Cllr. Smith and agreed that the Clerk would contact Living Trees to request a report for consideration.  There was discussion around whether the budget for new play equipment should be increased however it was felt that our processes of requesting S106 monies could be improved which would help fund new playground projects. Cllr. Fairweather agreed to follow up the contribution to new play equipment that had been offered from the developer of the Common Road site and had yet to be received.   

It was proposed by Cllr. Fairweather, seconded by Cllr. Smith and agreed to accept the budget as presented, a copy of which is attached to these minutes. The Committee thanked Mr. Swann and Cllr. Beck for their help in preparing the figures.

26/19: Items for Information:

Cllr. Fletcher advised he was still working on the idea of a tree nursery in the Parish.

The meeting was closed.

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