PRESENT: Cllr. Kings (in the Chair), Cllrs. Dyke, Fermor and Pethurst.

APOLOGIES: Cllrs. Fairweather and Smith.

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.

8/21: Issues from areas of responsibility:

a) Allotments:

Cllr. Pethurst advised he had received complaints that several of the plots were not being kept in good order. The Clerk was aware of at least two tenants that had health issues. It was agreed that tenants who had been unable to work their allotments due to poor health would be contacted to see if they would object to help from other willing tenants until their health improves sufficiently that they can keep their plot in good condition.

Cllr. Pethurst also raised concern that some bonfires had been left unattended. It was agreed the Clerks would reiterate that tenants must be present and in control of any bonfire whilst it remains alight, when they send out the annual invoices this month.

Cllr. Pethurst also asked the Clerk to remind the tenant of plot 3 that they were granted a dispensation on the understanding they would relocate their polytunnel to the edge of the plot at the end of the season.

b) Ball Field:

Cllr. Pethurst advised there were no issues to report.

c) Crane Valley:

No issues raised.

d) Jubilee Field:

Cllr. Fermor advised there were no issues to report.

9/21: Car Parks:

a) Regal:

Cllr. Kings advised we have received notification from Tunbridge Wells Borough Council regarding an area of car parking spaces to the left of the Co-Op store which had previously been leased to them. This lease has now come to an end and TWBC have made a decision that it will not be renewed, as it will save on rental, maintenance and lighting costs. Responsibility will revert to the Co-Op and will not affect our lease with TWBC.

b) Jockey Lane:

Cllr. Pethurst advised there were no issues to report.

c) Tanyard:

A quote had been received to remove the sycamore saplings affecting the wall behind the Kings Head Well. The Clerk advised that we had not yet identified or located the owner of the land the trees are growing on and until we have, we are not able to legally accept a quote to remove them.

10/21: Play Equipment Quotes:

We had received quotes to replace the large item of play equipment on the Ball Field which has come to the end of its life and is no longer economical or feasible to repair. Members studied the options suggested and the level of play value which each item provided. It was proposed by Cllr. Kings, seconded by Cllr. Fermor and agreed the quote from Proludic totalling £29,999 for the Biibox Tube Multiplay Unit including safety surfacing, be recommended to Full Council for acceptance. The Clerk explained that as the quote exceeds the levels that can be authorised at committee level, it must be a decision taken at Full Council. Members will also be advised that the equipment will be funded by £7,250 of earmarked funds, a £10,000 grant received by the Tomlin Murton Playing Fields Trust, the remaining £12,750 will need to be taken from cash reserves.

Quotes had also been received to replace the toddler play unit on the Jubilee Field. This would be funded from monies promised by the developer of Bramling Gardens, in lieu of a play area on their development. Again, Members studies the quotes and options suggested in detail. It was proposed by Cllr. Fermor, seconded by Cllr. Kings and agreed the quote from Wicksteed for a Georgie Porgie toddler unit and a swirl roundabout including all safety surfacing, totalling £13,241.13 be recommended for acceptance at the next Full Council meeting.  

11/21: Tree Surgery Quotes:

Quotes had been received for tree surgery at various locations around the Parish. It was proposed by Cllr. Kings, seconded by Cllr. Pethurst and agreed to accept the quote of £1,600 from Ben Hatcher to reduce the height of specified trees in the Tanyard to a maximum height of 2 metres, cutting both sides to create a manageable hedge. The Clerk would prepare an application for permission to carry out the work as the location is within the Conservation Area. This will need to be submitted to TWBC before work commences.

It was proposed by Cllr. Pethurst, seconded by Cllr. Fermor and agreed to accept a quote from Living Forest to fell a cherry tree hanging over allotment plot 32 and remove a beech tree limb protruding through a neighbours fence adjacent to allotment 1A, totalling £448. Vehicle access with a 4×4 had been requested to complete this work, as this is only possible up the main path as far the turning circle, the Clerk would confirm this is sufficient, prior to accepting the quote.

The remainder of the quotes involving work at Sissinghurst Cemetery and St. Dunstan’s Churchyard would be considered at the next Property and Burial Grounds Committee meeting.

12/21: Winter Strategy 2021-2022

The Clerk read out the current Winter Strategy, it was proposed by Cllr. Fermor, seconded by Cllr. Dyke and agreed to amend it slightly for the forthcoming year, to read as follows:

It is the individual responsibility of every parishioner to take due care and attention in adverse weather conditions.

The Cranbrook & Sissinghurst Parish Council have made no arrangements this winter for snow and ice clearance, salting or gritting of the Regal, Tanyard or Jockey Lane Car Parks.

Cranbrook & Sissinghurst Parish Council will not undertake clearance of pavements within the parish.  Residents and businesses are encouraged to clear the areas in front of their own property, although this will be entirely at their own risk.

There are salt and grit bins throughout the Cranbrook and Sissinghurst Parish for use by parishioners.  Spreaders are available by request to the Parish Office.

Throughout the winter season all residents and visitors to Cranbrook and Sissinghurst must use the roads, car parks and pavements with due care and attention.  It must be clearly understood that all users of the car parks do so at their own risk.

13/21: Highways Issues:

The Clerk was in the process of collecting the responses from councillors regarding a proposed change to the speed limit of Hartley Road. She would collate and submit the comments as was agreed at Full Council earlier this month.

Cllr. Fermor raised a query regarding noticeboards obstructing the pavement and was advised by the Clerk, that any issues can be reported direct to Kent County Council.

14/21: Any Other Environmental Management Issues:

No issues to report.

15/21: Litter Picks and Litter Bins:

Cranbrook School had been using equipment borrowed from the Parish Council last term to undertake litter picks. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact Christine Newman to see if the school intended to repeat the exercise this term. If they are not, Cllr. Kings will arrange a date for a Cranbrook litter pick next month. The Clerk will contact Cllrs. Fairweather and Smith to see if they are happy to arrange a similar event for Sissinghurst.  

16/21: Streetlighting:

There were no issues to report.

17/21: Items for Information:

None were raised.

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