MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE PROPERTIES & BURIAL GROUNDS COMMITTEE HELD ON TUESDAY 18th APRIL 2023

PRESENT: Cllr. Gilbert (in the Chair), Cllrs. Bunyan, Fletcher, Kings and Mills.

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.

36/22: Five Year Plan/Action Plan:

Members discussed the projects suggested for the Five Year/Action Plan that had been circulated prior to the meeting. It was agreed Cllr. Gilbert and the Clerks would look at the existing chairs in the Chamber to see if refurbishment could be a viable option. Costs would be presented to the Committee at the next meeting. Cllr. Fletcher suggested speaking to the Southborough Clerk as the chairs they have in their Conference Room are extremely comfortable. Cllr. Gilbert proposed the Plan be accepted as presented with new projects being added as and when necessary. This was seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed, a copy of the plan is filed with these minutes.

37/22: St. Dunstan’s Churchyard:

A quote to supply and install the streetlight in St. Dunstan’s Churchyard with a heritage type Windsor LED lantern costing £3,250 had been received. A quote from UKPN to disconnect the old column and reconnect the new would be an additional £2,261. Members agreed that without the streetlight, the Churchyard was very dark. Cllr. Gilbert proposed the quote be accepted; this was seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed. Cllr. Bunyan queried if the old lantern would be of any historical interest to the Museum, the Clerk offered to contact them to ascertain if it would be.

 38/22: Golford Cemetery

  1. a) Chapel Organ:

The Clerk advised that the parishioner who had originally donated the organ, had moved away shortly after the bequest and is now believed to have died. No surviving family members have been identified, to ask if they have any objection to the organ being sold. The Parish Warden would be asked to establish if there was a model or serial number on the item that may be of use when advertising the item.

  1. b) Path repairs:

It was agreed to defer this item to the July site meeting to allow Members to see for themselves what repairs are necessary.

  1. c) Chapel Heating:

The heating had been left on at a minimal temperature throughout the winter, to help protect the fabric of the building. The Chapel is now being opened on request and every Wednesday, which will help in keeping the building ventilated.

39/22: Sissinghurst Cemetery:

No issues were raised.

40/22: Cranbrook & Sissinghurst War Memorials:

No issues were raised.

 41/22: Public Toilet Building – Crane Lane & Sissinghurst:

The Clerk advised we were still awaiting a response from TWBC on the current costs of running the Sissinghurst public toilets and which contractors they currently use. We will need to look at all the figures to ensure we will be in a position to keep them open when the lease with TWBC is terminated in September.

 The costs involved in cleaning the toilets in Crane Lane have increased due to the disgusting condition the cleaners are having to face on a daily basis. Members felt the cleaners should be congratulated and thanked for their continual efforts to keep them clean, despite the anti social behaviour taking place within.

42/22: Angley Cottage:

No issues to raise.

 43/22: Vestry Hall

  1. a) Alternative and replacement heating options:

An investigation into alternative heating options was ongoing. It may be that we need to consider a combination of different options. Cllr. Gilbert is hoping to draw on the expertise of a heating consultant.

  1. b) Council Chamber guttering:

A decorator appointed by the Caretakers to decorate the cottage interior, had identified some broken and missing sections of guttering on the Council Chamber part of the building. He had submitted a quote to us for consideration. It was agreed that Cllr. Gilbert would meet with the contractor to discuss the quote in depth and if necessary further quotes would be sought.

44/22: Vestry Hall Cottage:

  1. a) Repairs:

As with the guttering on the Council Chamber, Cllr. Gilbert would meet with the contractor to discuss the repairs on the exterior of the cottage, that he had identified as necessary.

  1. b) Inspection report:

Cllr. Gilbert had prepared the report and it had been circulated to all the Committee Members. It was noted that very little changed with each annual inspection report. The loft has not been examined recently so Cllr. Gilbert offered to undertake an inspection of the loft space in the near future.

45/22: Information Centre:

Cllr. Gilbert asked if this regular agenda item could be renamed as Parish Office, as the building had ceased to be an information centre some years ago. The Clerk would be happy to make the change and also to look into amending cost codes and descriptions to reflect the name change.

 46/22: Noticeboards and Shelters:

The noticeboards in the parish were in need of reoiling. It was hoped that students from Belle Vue School maybe able to help, gaining valuable work experience in the process.

One of the panels on the bus shelter next to Hartley Court Gardens had been smashed, there is no evidence to assume it was intentional. We had received two quotes to replace with a polycarbonate panel, one from the original manufacturer GW Shelter Solutions for £240.52 + VAT, the other from Externiture for £445.20 + VAT. It was proposed by Cllr. Gilbert, seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed to accept the quote from GW Shelter Solutions.

Cllr. Fletcher was concerned about the lack of shelters now more children were having to use public transport to get to school. It was agreed the Committee could look for suitable new locations for shelters, the Clerk would also look into any grants that may be available from KCC, for the provision of new shelters.

 47/22: Benches & Cycle Racks:

Cllr. Fletcher had been approached by a parishioner regarding the lack of bicycle racks in Cranbrook. The Committee agreed to look at the current provision of cycle racks in the Town to consider if more should be provided.

Cllr. Fletcher reported he was submitting a bid for grant funding of £3K to supply 2 benches in Sissinghurst and 3 in Cranbrook to commemorate the King’s Coronation.

48/22: Red Telephone Kiosks:

Nothing to report.

 49/22: Items for Information:

No items were raised.

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