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


APOLOGIES: Cllrs. Fletcher 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.


120/23: 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.


121/23: Authorisation of payments made after the March meeting:

A list of payments totalling £18,587.99 made after the March meeting, is filed with these minutes. In response to a query from Cllr. Bunyan, the Clerk advised the payment to KCC totalling £434.52 was to cover emergency attendance in November 2023, to make streetlight column 96 on Golford Road safe, following a road traffic collision.


122/23: Transfers of monies between accounts, including savings accounts to maximise interest revenue:

No transfers had been necessary.


123/23: Invoices for Payment:

A list of payments to be made in April had been circulated, a copy of which is filed with these minutes.


These included:

Policy and Resources                         £7,205.13

Properties & Burial Grounds              £ 2,568.00

Environmental Management            £3,582.48


      Total       £13,355.61


Cllr. Pethurst proposed the payments be approved as presented, this was seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed.

Two members are required to log in to the account and authorise the payments, once ratified at Full Council. The Clerk asked if this could be completed before 3pm on Friday, thus avoiding any delay in our creditors receiving payment.


124/23: Year End Accounts:

Cllr. Pethurst informed the Committee he had attended some online training for Year End provided by Scribe, which he found very informative. The Year End Accounts had been produced, all Members are invited to go through them and ask the R.F.O any questions they may have. The Committee were advised that assets are recorded at acquisition cost, the value does not change from year to year as the concept of depreciation and impairment adjustments are not appropriate for local councils.

The Earmarked Reserves have been calculated and a copy is filed with these minutes. This will be circulated to all members along with details of the total funds held by the Council. All Members need to be aware of the financial position of the Council.


Cllr. Pethurst suggested we look at ways of improving the entrance to the allotments, as we have £2,000 that had previously been ringfenced for the allotments plus £1,500 in earmarked funds. The option of improving drainage and laying a water permeable surface at the entrance needs to be investigated. The developer of Wilkes Field could be asked for advice as they currently have groundworks being undertaken on their site.


125/23: Update on renewal of unmetered supply contract for streetlighting and metered supply for Sissinghurst Public Conveniences:

There was as yet no update on the unmetered supply contract for the streetlights.


The broker had provided price comparisons for the metered electricity supply at Sissinghurst toilets, based on the previous annual consumption. There was a considerable difference in the cost of contracts available. After a full discussion, Cllr. Pethurst proposed the Council opt for a one-year fixed contract with British Gas Lite, it has a standing charge of 40p per day and a cost per kilowatt of 25.22p. Based on the estimated annual usage, this would equate to a cost of approximately £310 per year, a considerable saving on the current out of contract prices. This was seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed.


126/23: Community Centre/Medical Centre:

Cllr. Gilbert advised that Jonathan White TWBC/KCC had updated the Business Plan detailing the new costs required to get to RIBA stage 4.  Cllr. Fletcher will be able to give a more in-depth update at Full Council on Thursday evening. It is envisaged the Annual Parish Meeting later this month, will be used to re-energise the project and reaffirm the need for a Community Centre.


127/23: Staffing:

It was noted that staff appraisals need to be scheduled in the near future.


128/23: IT Support

A specification for the service we require has been sent to five different companies. We are still in the process of collecting quotes and following up on references given by other parishes. The Clerk will prepare a report for Councillors to consider at the next meeting.


129/23: Grant Applications:

  1. a) Cranbrook Presents:

A request for £914 had been received to cover the cost of hiring toilets for the Cranbrook on the Green event, scheduled to be held on the Ball Field on 21st July 2024. It was proposed by Cllr. Fairweather, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed to award the grant as requested, subject to the parish council logo being included on advertising material, in recognition of the award.


130/23: Items For Information:

Cllr. Fairweather congratulated the owner of the Milkhouse for coming up with the idea, to allow the contractors working on the Fernham Homes site, to park in the pub car park whilst the pub was closed for refurbishment. This had alleviated the parking issue in Sissinghurst dramatically. As the pub has now reopened, a new agreement has been reached between the developer and the King George’s Field Trustees, to ensure off road parking remains available for the contractors.

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