PRESENT: Cllrs. Fletcher (Chair), Bunyan, Dyke, Fairweather, Gilbert, Hartley (in part), Hatcher, Pethurst, Rampling, Simpson, Somers and Tomlinson.
APOLOGIES: Cllr. Kings
Declaration of Interests, Dispensations and Predetermination:
The Chairman read out the following statement:
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. The meeting is routinely recorded as a clerk’s aid.
81/22: Minutes of the Previous Meeting to be confirmed:
The Chairman proposed the Minutes of the Meeting held on the 8th September 2022 be adopted as a true record, this was seconded by Cllr. Tomlinson and agreed.
82/22: Co-Option of Councillors for the Cranbrook Ward:
The Chairman advised we had two vacancies on the Parish Council and had received two expressions of interest, the details of which had been circulated to all Members. No ballot was necessary, therefore he proposed that Sylvia Stone and Claire Mills be co-opted as members of Cranbrook & Sissinghurst Parish Council. This was seconded by Cllr. Hatcher and agreed. Neither of the candidates could attend the meeting this evening, but would be invited to sign the Declaration of Acceptance of Office at their earliest convenience.
83/22: Community Kitchen – UK Shared Prosperity Fund:
The Chairman advised that the Community Kitchen was being run by Age Concern. It comprises of soup and a roll and follows on from their Tuesday morning coffee morning. Different organisations such as the Men’s Shed and Larkins, volunteer to help each week. Wellbeing in the Weald are also providing volunteers.
The donations are being collected by Age Concern to allow for match funding to be sought. He had applied to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for funding to help with the project. He was seeking approval from the Parish Council to accept any monies awarded from the fund; the Parish Council will then be responsible for any related invoices.
In response to Cllr. Rampling, the Chairman stated that in accepting the grant, it did not mean we were inheriting liability for the project, when funds are exhausted the project will cease.
Cllr. Fairweather advised that due to the successful promotion of the project, a donation has been pledged by an anonymous donor.
The Chairman also advised he would be making two further bids for funding from alternative sources.
Approval of Committee Reports as detailed below:
84/22: Policy & Resources:
Cllr. Pethurst referred to the minutes of the meeting held on the 11th October and highlighted the discussion on the celebration for the coronation of King Charles III. Members had felt it was important for the community to come up with ideas on how to celebrate the occasion. Cllr. Pethurst proposed the minutes be adopted, this was seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed.
85/22: Planning & Preservation:
Cllr. Bunyan referred to the minutes of the meetings held 27th September and 4th October and invited questions; none were raised.
86/22: Economic & Community:
The Clerk advised that in adopting the minutes of the meeting held on 27th September, Members were ratifying the decision to change the name of the Committee, it’s aims and objectives. The Committee would now be known as the Community Development Committee. Cllr. Fletcher proposed adoption of the minutes, this was seconded by Cllr. Hatcher and agreed.
87/22: Environmental Management:
Cllr. Fletcher proposed adoption of the minutes of the meeting held on 26th September, this was seconded by Cllr. Hatcher and agreed.
88/22: Neighbourhood Plan:
No report was given.
89/22 Chairmen’s report:
The Chairman reported we had received an invitation to respond to a consultation being conducted by TWBC on the Electoral System. The Parish Council had voted in August 2021 for elections by thirds to continue, although the impact of this decision had not been clear. Many parishes were unhappy with the effect this had on the size of their wards. Borough Cllr. Dawlings had put forward a motion at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Borough Council to reconsider an earlier decision to continue with the current system and move to all-out elections. It was decided that a further consultation would take place, closing on November 23rd. Cllr. Fairweather felt that it was clear from the borough’s extraordinary meeting that there was no definitive answer, as it was not known that if elections by thirds were replaced with all out elections, that ward boundaries would be reconsidered? The Chairman wanted to know if councillors would like to make their own individual response to the consultation or whether they would like to debate the subject and enter a response on behalf of the Parish Council? The majority of Members wanted to debate a response, with only two voting against further debate, therefore the Chairman agreed the item should go on the agenda for Full Council next month.
The Chairman reported he had attended a very interesting talk in the Vestry Hall, on the conservation of the local swift population. All new developments will be asked to include swift nesting boxes to add ecological value to their development.
The Music Festival and Apple Fair had both been a huge success bringing many people into the town.
Dominos has now opened and the initial tide of litter has receded.
The Chairman also reported that Cllr. Somers would be the new editor of The Cake and he would be helping her put together the next issue. He reiterated his plea for copy to be provided by Members.
90/22: Delegate Reports:
a) Tunbridge Wells & District Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
Cllr. Hatcher had met with the organisation recently. They are considering several options for premises in the Town. Good internet connection will be an essential consideration when deciding on the most appropriate premises.
Cllr. Bunyan reported that Cllr. Hatcher had been appointed as Secretary. She also highlighted the discussion on listing the three Victorian letterboxes in Cranbrook on the Local Heritage Asset List. A review of the organisation’s Terms of Reference will be discussed at their next meeting.
c) The Tourism Group:
Cllr. Hatcher reported it had been necessary to cancel the last meeting, it was hoped it could be rescheduled for later this month.
d) Cranbrook Museum and Local History C.I.O.
Cllr. Pethurst reminded those present that the museum closes at the end of October, so there is only a couple of weeks left to view the exhibition on Hops and Hop Picking.
91/22: Clerk’s Report:
The Clerk congratulated the Deputy Clerk on achieving her CiLCA qualification. It had taken a great deal of time and effort to overcome the lack of support from SLCC. Members added their congratulations and gave a round of applause.
No correspondence had been received that required reporting.
93/22: Borough & County Councillor Reports:
a) Cllr. Warne reported that TWBC are still awaiting recommendations from the Planning Inspectorate following the examination that took place over the summer on the Tunbridge Wells Local Plan. The Borough is keen to get it adopted by next spring. The planning department has had a few people leave and are now down to only one enforcement officer, so recruitment for new staff is underway.
She had asked the Head of Planning to investigate the problem of vehicles involved with the Brick Kiln development, parking too close to the junction at the top of the High Street.
Cllr. Warne expressed her delight at being on the judging panel of the Love Where We Live Awards 2022, which takes place on 24th November in the Assembly Hall Theatre. She was also very pleased to report that in the category of Sportsperson/team of the year, the Cranbrook Junior Football Team coached by Cllr. Tomlinson, had been shortlisted.
Cllr. Warne also reported that it had been announced that TWBC had been awarded £443K over three years, from the Rural England Prosperity Fund. Its aim is to fund capital projects for small businesses and community infrastructure, its objectives sit within the UKSPF investment priorities for Supporting Local Business and Community & Place. The Borough are inviting applications to be submitted up until 30th November.
In response to Cllr. Bunyan, Cllr. Warne stated she was not aware of any grants available to help communities celebrate the King’s coronation next year.
b) Cllr. Fairweather had nothing further to add.
94/22: Items for Information:
a) Cllr. Hatcher reminded everyone present that Priscilla Queen of the Desert opens at the Queen’s Hall Theatre on 26th October.
b) Cllr. Gilbert reported that members of the Men’s Shed are now offering to undertake small domestic repairs.
c) Cllr. Simpson encouraged everyone to spread the word on the Community Kitchen. The Chairman reiterated it is not a soup kitchen for the elderly, anyone of any age is welcome to attend. It is not charity but a community event where parishioners can get together in a warm place and chat whilst enjoying a bowl of homemade soup.
d) The Chairman thanked Cllr. Hartley for the article he circulated on adapting church spaces as community space. He was also pleased to report St. Dunstan’s had raised sufficient funds to appoint a vicar. Hopefully an incumbent will be in place before Easter.
The Chairman also reported the Porchlight Big Sleep Out event last weekend had been a great success.
He also reported speaking to a local estate agent who had their first house sale fall through due to the loss of the High Weald Academy and a lack of local non-selective secondary education.
The Meeting was closed.