PRESENT: Cllr. Pethurst (in the Chair), Cllrs. Bunyan, Fairweather, Fletcher, Gilbert and Hatcher.


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.


96/23: Internal finance check:

Cllr. Pethurst confirmed that the internal finance check had been completed and everything was in order, all paperwork had been signed and initialled.


97/23: Authorisation of payments made after the January meeting:

A list of payments totalling £16,823.19 made after the January meeting, is filed with these minutes.

In response to a query from Cllr. Bunyan, the Clerk explained that Zoom had managed to take their annual subscription payment even though the payment card details they held had expired. Zoom had since refunded the money. The Clerk raised a complaint with the bank as to how Zoom had managed to take the payment. Apparently in the case of subscription renewals, debit card payments are treated much the same as a direct debit and the supplier can take payment, even if they are not in possession of the new card details. The bank will confirm this in a letter for the benefit of members, which the Clerk would forward on upon receipt.


98/23: Transfers of monies between accounts, including savings accounts to maximise interest revenue:

A list of all transfers made in January is filed with these minutes.

It was proposed by Cllr. Pethurst, seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed to transfer £150K from the Lloyds current account to Unity Trust Bank, we would also look to open a savings account with Unity Trust to act as a feed for the current account.


99/23: Invoices for Payment:

A list of payments to be made in February had been circulated, a copy of which is filed with these minutes. Cllr. Pethurst proposed the payments be approved as presented, this was seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed.


These included:

Policy and Resources                         £8,971.73

Properties & Burial Grounds              £1,245.50

Environmental Management            £7,213.60


      Total       £17,430.83


The Clerk advised that we had received an invoice for a further interim payment for the double glazing in the Vestry Hall. This would be queried with Storm Windows as their terms of payment indicate a final payment is not required until completion, which is not scheduled until mid-March.


Two members are required to log in to the account and authorise the payments. The Clerk asked if this could be completed after the meeting Thursday evening and before 3pm on Friday, thus avoiding any delay in our creditors receiving payment.



100/23: UKPN Quote (Hawkhurst Road).

The Clerk explained a quote had been received to reinstall a streetlight that had been removed following an RTC close to the junction of Glassenbury Road. Cllr. Pethurst proposed the quote from UKPN of £1,362 + VAT be accepted as presented; this was seconded by Cllr. Fairweather and agreed. Cllr. Gilbert asked the Clerks to create a spreadsheet detailing all the outstanding issues with UKPN that have accumulated. He can use the information in a complaint he intends to raise with them.


101/23: D-Day 80th Anniversary Celebration:

Members discussed the D-Day 80-year Anniversary Guide that was circulated by KALC. Although Members would be keen to support any events to celebrate the anniversary, we did not have sufficient resources to organise an event. A brief article was to be included in the next edition of The Cake, Cllr. Hatcher would also see if the guide could be circulated on the Council’s Facebook page.


102/23: Renewal of unmetered supply contract for streetlighting.

The current contract with Npower for the unmetered supply for the streetlights was ending on 1st March 2024. Clearsight Energy brokers had supplied quotes from several different suppliers, which had been circulated to the Committee before the meeting. Cllr. Pethurst proposed the quote from British Gas Lite for a 12-month term be accepted, this was seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed.


103/23: Community Centres/Medical Centre:

Cllr. Fletcher advised that we should hear by 21st February if the OPE grant of £150K has been successful. This would enable us to get to RIBA 4 stage of the project on Wilkes Field. Cllr. Hatcher felt we should be communicating with parishioners more effectively, on the progress and options open to us. Cllr. Fairweather felt we should be looking at suitable ways to maximise the audience we reach when updating parishioners.


104/23: Staffing:

No issues were raised.


105/23: IT Support:

The Clerk reported we were still having some issues with the support we receive from Uprise Digital and would like to investigate other suppliers. When we took out the current contract, we had thought that combining IT support and maintenance of the website was a good idea. Unfortunately, we now realise they are two very different specialities and we may have more success in finding individual providers for each of them. Cllr. Hatcher agreed to provide the specification sent to providers last time, the Clerks can use this to assist when seeking quotes from alternative providers.


106/23: Grant Applications:

None received.


107/23: Items for Information:

Cllr. Fletcher asked the Committee members to forward any snippets of information that would serve as ‘cup cakes’ for the next edition of the magazine.


Cllr. Bunyan advised that she and Cllr. Fletcher had visited the Hartley Lands Farm as the owners were hoping to transfer the land into employee ownership in order to develop the land.


Cllr. Bunyan also advised that we had received excellent feedback from Richard Hawkes an architect from Staplehurst who had been sent our ECO Design Guide. He had offered to come and talk to the Council and provide examples of how his company has been applying Passive House standards since 2008.


Cllr. Gilbert reported that the Howitzer gun at the Cranbrook War Memorial was in need of repair. This may prove to be costly as the repairs required are significant. If repaired, we also need to consider if it could be located in a better position, possibly in the Museum if they are amenable.


Cllr. Pethurst reported that a letter from DLUHC dated February 2nd 2024 inviting further comments in response to Berkeley Homes planning application at Land Adjacent to Turnden (Turnden 2), had been received and shared with councillors. He also reported that, Borough Cllr. Warne had suggested we consider sending a letter to the Secretary of State/DLUHC to make them aware Berkeley’s latest representation does not acknowledge the NDP policies.

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