PRESENT: Cllrs. Hatcher (Chair), Fletcher, Gilbert, Groome, Newman (in part), Pethurst and Selby (in part)

APOLOGIES: Cllr. Stone


Declaration of Interests, Dispensations, Predetermination or Lobbying:

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.


36/23: Budget:

The Clerk reported that the recently printed education posters and flyers had been paid for out of the Community Engagement/Posters cost code. There is £215.64 left in the budget for 23/24.


37/23: Five-year Plans:

  1. Develop effective liaison with outside bodies on car parking and traffic issues
    Selby advised that he had spoken with Cllr. Page who is co-ordinating the Highways Improvement Plan. Cllr. Page is liaising with KCC and the A262 group. Cllr. Selby will establish if there is anything that is not being covered by the HIP, and report back at the next meeting.
  2. Create and develop Parish Voluntary Organisation liaison
    Newman and Gilbert reported that they are making progress with the directory of community organisations. The list the council has is now in need of updating. There are plans to have an article in the next edition of The Cake inviting organisations to provide details for the listing and also to encourage formation of new groups.


Members discussed the website that was originally set up by a local person, but is no longer kept up to date. Cllr. Fletcher agreed to follow up on the status of the website.


The Clerk will create a shared folder for all Councillors to access and update as new information is received.

  1. Develop a public consultation policy

Cllr. Hatcher felt that the education consultation was a good template to use for future consultations. He planned to draw up a list of ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to have’ when organising future consultations.


The Members also discussed the TWBC planning portal. It is not user-friendly and is putting members of the public off commenting on planning applications. The validity of a petition as a submission to the planning portal was also discussed. Cllr. Hatcher agreed to contact TWBC Planning department for clarification.




38/23: Social Media Presence and Website:

Cllr. Hatcher summarised the Councils website, IT support and social media set up. The Clerk advised that a specification is being finalized that can be sent to prospective vendors for standalone IT support.


39/23: Events:

Upcoming events include:

  • Nuts in May
  • Cranbrook on the Green – July
  • Mayors Day – August


Cllr. Hatcher reminded the committee that there is an event planning toolkit on the website available for any organisations wishing to hold an event.


40/23: Business Links:

Cllr. Hatcher continues to attend the monthly Cranbrook business group meetings.


Shoplifting continues to be an issue in the shops. The owners have been sharing information with each other.


41/23: Tourism:

Cllr. Hatcher will be attending the Tourism group meeting. He anticipates being asked about funding for the tourism website. He will remind the group that a formal proposal needs to be provided before the Council can consider the request.


Cllr. Newman advised she is progressing with a footpath report.

42/23: Citizens Advice:

CA are planning to extend their time in Cranbrook by offering a Monday session.

Cllr. Hatcher will request updated flyers from CA.


43/23: Community Kitchen:

Soup and a roll continue to be served in Vestry Hall on a Tuesday at midday.


44/23: Community Engagement:

  1. Monthly Surgeries

Continue to be held monthly. Have been successful in answering queries or signposting to the relevant authority. Dates and times of the next quarters sessions will be advertised online and noticeboards.

  1. Highways Improvement Plan – see 37/23a

45/23: Items for Information:

Cllr. Pethurst – The museum will reopen its doors on April 1st.


Lots of feedback that The Cake has not being delivered to many addresses. The Clerk will send a Be in the Know with a link to the electronic version. It will also be shared via social media platforms.


Cllr. Fletcher – attended an interesting meeting with the new lead for the Independent Advisory Group for Kent Police. It was recognised that Cranbrook and Sissinghurst are facing unique challenges and had scope to propose a specific community policing trial tailored to the needs and characteristics of Cranbrook and Sissinghurst.


St. Dunstan’s and Wellbeing in the Weald have started discussion for launching a youth club in Cranbrook.


Cllr. Groome – attended the AGM of Food for Families. They are a foodbank based in Hawkhurst affiliated with the Trussel Trust. They support a number of families in Cranbrook. Although they are very busy, they are keen for more people in Cranbrook to know of their service.

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