Environmental Management Minutes 22.09.2020

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE HELD ON TUESDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER 2020

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

APOLOGIES: Cllr. 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.

8/20: Issues from areas of responsibility:

a) Allotments:

Cllr. Pethurst had nothing to report. He did ask the Clerk for clarification on the rules for having a bonfire on a Saturday, which had been referred to, in the invoices sent out today. She agreed to look at the wording to make sure it was clear to everyone.

b) Ball Field:

Cllr. Pethurst reported that the dog waste dispensers had been well received. Cllr. Fletcher advised that he had been approached by Stuart Cleary seeking permission to host a couple of events on the Field next year. Members agreed in principle to support the idea; however, Mr. Cleary should be advised to write to the Clerk with all the relevant details so she could check it did not contravene any of the byelaws or covenants on the field.     

c) Crane Valley:

Cllr. Fletcher reported that the information board for the nature reserve had been badly damaged by vandals, so had been removed from site. The bridge had also been rebuilt.

d) Jubilee Field:        

Cllr. Fermor had nothing to report.   

9/20: Car Parks:

a) Winter Strategy:

The Clerk read out the current Winter Strategy. Cllr. Fermor proposed it should remain the same for the forthcoming year, this was seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed. The Clerk agreed to send a copy to Cllr. Fermor for inclusion in the next edition of Parish Cake.

b) Residents permits:

The Clerk had received a request from a parishioner that the Committee consider residents parking permits for the Tanyard Car Park. Members discussed the request at length and although sympathetic to the issues encountered by residents that do not have a dedicated space, they felt providing specific spaces would be too difficult to manage. Cllr. Fletcher was aware that Cranbrook School offers parking spaces in the old gas works for around £50 per year and asked the Clerk to signpost residents requiring a space to Karen Radford at the School.

c) Regal

Quote for pothole repair:

The Clerk advised she had received a quote of £845 + VAT to repair the potholes by the crossing and in the exit road. It was proposed by Cllr. Fairweather, seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed to accept the quote and schedule the work as soon as possible.          

Cllr. Pethurst reported that a parishioner had been in touch regarding the grounds maintenance of the Car Park. They would like to see the verge cutting reduced to encourage the creation of a ‘beeline’, a pollen friendly corridor for wildlife. The issue with reducing mowing is that the area can begin to look untidy and then the Parish Council will undoubtedly receive complaints. Cllr. Smith felt that if we choose to support the project, the areas designated would have to be clearly identified as wildlife areas. Cllr. Fermor suggested that the ‘blue heart’ signage could be used to identify the selected areas. It was agreed that Cllr. Pethust and Fermor would decide on a couple of areas and would conduct a brief site visit with the contractors to discuss how these areas could be managed.

d) Jockey Lane:        

Quote for maintenance schedule for EV points

The Clerk had received a quote for ongoing maintenance of the EV points, as had been requested at the previous meeting. The cost would be £249 + VAT per unit per year. It was not clear from the quote whether this included the cost of any parts needed for repair and if there was a specific timeframe for an engineer to respond to a call out request? The Clerk would seek a response to these queries before the Committee can decide whether to commit to the maintenance contract. Cllr. Fletcher stated that the points were not generating the income he had hoped and suggested removing one or two until usage increases. Cllr. Smith thought this could be quite a costly exercise and suggested the usage be reviewed again in twelve months.

e) Tanyard: 

Cllr. Smith had nothing to report.                  

10/20: Highways Issues:

The Clerk advised there were no issues to report

11/20: Any Other Environmental Management Issues:

a) Tree planting programme:

Cllr. Fletcher reported that he had spoken to Linda Page and Marian Cumberland regarding the new spinney on the Ball Field. They have been given Cllr. Fermor’s list of suggested trees and are looking to procure and plant bareroot trees in the autumn, funded by the £1000 member’s grant from Cllr. Holden. They are also looking to create a wild meadow strip. They will need the use of a stone burier and the seed for the four metre strip, so it may be cost prohibitive this year.

b) ROSPA Reports:

The Clerk advised the ROSPA reports had been received today. It has advised that the large multiplay piece of equipment on the Ball Field is nearing the end of its life, so we need to start considering a replacement. The Clerks had briefly looked today and to replace a large piece of equipment and provide the necessary safety surface would far exceed any earmarked funds put aside for play equipment. Cllr. Fletcher offered to write, as Chairman of the Parish Council, to a local egg production company, seeking a donation towards the cost.

12/20: Litter Picks and Litter Bins:

a) Parishioner request for additional bins on the Ball Field.

Cllr. Fairweather reported that during a site visit with the Parish Warden to discuss the location of the dog waste dispensers he had looked at the quantity and location of the bins on the Ball Field and is satisfied we have sufficient in situ, at the current time. This will of course remain under constant review.

b) Members discussed the possibility of the autumn litter picks, however because of government guidance and current restrictions, they felt it was not an appropriate time to be organising a group event. As an alternative, parishioners could be encouraged to borrow the necessary equipment from the Parish Council and undertake them individually. Cllr. Fairweather agreed to write a short article for the Sissinghurst parish magazine and Parish Cake advising residents where they can go to borrow the equipment. The Clerk agreed it could also go on the website and be circulated via Be in The Know.

Street Lighting:

The Clerk advised there were no issues to report.

Tree Report and quotes:

The Clerk had circulated the report to all Members of the Committee. It had advised that t some of the work should be carried out imminently. The Clerk had applied and received permission from the TWBC Tree Officer for any necessary work on trees in the Conservation Area to be carried out. We had received one quote for the work, but were still awaiting another. It was proposed by Cllr. Fairweather that, on receipt of the second quote that both he and Cllr. Fletcher review them and decide which to accept. This was seconded by Cllr. Smith and agreed.

Items for Information:

Cllr. Fermor had received a request for some notices to remind people to pick up after their dog. The Clerk advised we have a small stock in the office. Cllr. Smith was happy to deliver them to the parishioner who had made the enquiry.

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