MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE HELD ON TUESDAY 19th SEPTEMBER 2023
PRESENT: Cllr. Fairweather (in the Chair), Cllrs. Fletcher, Kings, Mills, Page, Pethurst and Stone.
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.
28/22: Five Year Plan/Action Plan:
A new format for the Five Year Plan had been circulated to the Committee Members. It included details such as project name, priority and timeframe, finance options and or constraints and who would lead on each project. It also included notes from each of the areas of responsibility. The Chairman invited comments. When looking at the Crane Valley Nature Reserve, it was agreed, we should be looking at protecting all green spaces identified in the emerging Neighbourhood Plan. It was agreed to add the Car Park leases to the plan, as and when they needed to be reviewed and also to add the Orange Land when the plans for the Community/Medical Centre have been finalised. Cllr. Pethurst proposed the new format, with the additions above included, be accepted as the Five Year Plan for the Environmental Management Committee. This was seconded by Cllr. Simpson and agreed. A copy is filed with these minutes.
29/22: Play Equipment:
Replacement safety surface under swings:
We had received two quotes for safety surfacing under the swings in the Jubilee Field and the Ball Field. Both areas were mentioned in the ROSPA report and although not high risk it had been suggested we look at a replacement surface. RTC Safety Surfaces Limited had suggested using the current tiles as the base for wetpour. Members were not in favour of this approach. The other quote from Soft Surfaces Limited required ground and edge preparation, however it was not clear if we are to undertake the preparation or what specification is required? The Clerk would seek clarification on the latter. It was also agreed not to commit to any new surfacing until we have received the results of the playground survey.
Cllr. Simpson suggested we approach Troy Scott Smith, the Head Gardener at Sissinghurst to see if he would be prepared to judge the allotments this year.
The Clerk advised that we would be sending out a newsletter again, reminding tenants of the rules and the need to be tolerant with neighbouring tenants who prefer using alternative methods to manage their allotment.
31/22: Highways Issues:
Cllr. Fletcher had been approached by several residents regarding the damage outside the White Horse Public House, which had been caused by a vehicle. The Clerk has already raised the issue with Kent County Councillor Seán Holden and is awaiting a response.
32/22: Car Parks:
a) E.V. Charge points update:
The online meeting with BP Pulse originally scheduled for Wednesday 14th had now moved to Thursday 15th March, after which the way forward, can be considered.
b) Request to replace a bench:
We had received a request from the daughter of Violet Taylor for permission to replace the memorial bench dedicated to her mother and sited in the Regal Car Park, which has fallen into disrepair. She would like to replace it with a British made bench, made from recycled plastic. Members agreed that subject to approval of the design, we would have no objection to the bench being replaced.
c) Pothole repairs – Regal Car Park.
We had received a quote of £1,100 + VAT from Mayell Groundworks Ltd to repair the potholes on the exit road of the Regal Car Park. Cllr. Pethurst proposed the quote be accepted as presented, this was seconded by Cllr. Stone and agreed. As the Parish Council has responsibility for maintaining the exit road, the Committee agreed we may need to consider introducing a weight restriction on vehicles. The Clerk would seek advice from Mayell Groundworks to see if they could make a recommendation on what the weight restriction should be?
33/22: Litter Picks and Litter Bins:
Schedule dates for litterpicks in Cranbrook & Sissinghurst:
Members agreed that the dates needed to be scheduled to tie in with Keep Britain Tidy Spring Clean 2023.
34/22: Street Lighting:
a) Quote to replace column 130 Waterloo Road:
We had been informed by Kent County Council that column 130 in Waterloo Road was leaning and it had possibly been hit by a vehicle travelling at some speed. The Clerk had contacted Kent Police but they had not received any reports of an accident in that area. We had been advised by our streetlight contractor that although currently stable, the column needed to be replaced as soon as possible. We had been quoted a total of £2,301 + VAT which included UKPN disconnecting and reconnecting the mains supply, although we would need confirmation of the cost from UKPN before proceeding. Cllr. Pethurst proposed the quote be accepted, this was seconded by Cllr. Simpson and agreed.
b) Column 71 St. Dunstan’s Churchyard:
There has been an issue with column 72 as it had not been working for some time. Columns 71,72 and 73 are all fed from a KCC column in the High Street. UKPN may want to run a new supply or they may feel the current cable is sufficiently robust enough to make a permanent connection to the feed from the KCC column? In terms of overall cost of a replacement and permanent connection, this will not be known until a formal quote is obtained from UKPN.
Members agreed to defer a decision until all the costs can be considered.
35/22: Any Other Environmental Management Issues:
Memorial Tree Planting Requests:
Cllr. Fletcher suggested that the owner of Great Swifts may allow some memorial trees to be planted on his land, but as private land, it could not be guaranteed if the land was sold on.
It was also suggested that the owner of Forge Orchard could be approached, providing the trees selected would be suitable for the orchard. Cllr. Pethurst agree to approach the owner.
36/22: Items for Information:
Cllr. Pethurst advised that he was not intending to enter the Ball field in the South East in Bloom competition this year. However, if anyone else wanted to lead on it, he would be happy to support them.