The meeting was held remotely using Zoom software.

PRESENT: Cllr. Beck (in the Chair), Fairweather (in part), Fletcher, Gilbert, Smith and Warne.

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.

30/20: Internal finance check:

Cllr. Beck confirmed that the internal finance check has been completed and everything was in order.

31/20: Authorisation of payments made after the August meeting:

A list of payments totalling £12,320.51 made after the August meeting is filed with these minutes.

32/20: Transfers of monies between accounts:

The Clerk confirmed no transfers between accounts had been necessary.

33/20: Invoices for Payment:

A list of payments to be made in September had been circulated for approval, a copy of which is filed with these minutes. It was proposed by Cllr. Beck, seconded by Cllr. Warne and agreed to authorise the payments. Two members are required to logon onto the account and authorise the payments.

These included:

            Policy and Resources                          £14,263.90

Burial and Properties                          £     462.53

Environmental Management               £  5,918.39

      Total         £20,644.82

At Cllr. Warne’s suggestion, Members agreed to look at the budget for the Neighbourhood Plan and to consider using some of the allocated funds to offset the cost of the NDP Special edition of Parish Cake.

34/20: Staffing:

a) Local Government Service’s Pay agreement 2020-2021.

Members of the Committee had been sent details of the recent pay agreement from the National Joint Council. The Clerk explained this was a cost of living rise, backdated to 1st April. The agreement also included a change to leave entitlement for employees.

The change in leave entitlement would only affect the contract for the newly appointed additional Deputy Clerk, which would be amended accordingly. Members noted and approved the annual increase in the salary scales.

b) New Office Equipment:

A quote of £1,200 + VAT had been received for an additional computer and screens for the new member of staff. A quote of £120 + VAT had also been received for an additional telephone handset which included installation and programming. It was proposed by Cllr. Beck, seconded by Cllr. Smith and agreed to accept both quotes.

The Clerk advised that a new phone line and number had been installed which would cost £39.95 per month, this had been authorised by the Chairman to avoid any unnecessary delays.

c) Email Hosting:

 The Clerk explained that Dewar Green Ltd had continued to manage the hosting of the Council’s email accounts. As their business had changed direction, we needed to move the hosting over to our current website provider, IT Planning. They do not use G-suite tools however they can provide us with Microsoft 365 emails as an alternative, the monthly cost is similar, although there will be a one-off fee of £98 to migrate all the Clerks emails over to the new system. Cllr. Beck proposed that the email accounts be moved to Microsoft and any associated costs be approved, this was seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed.

d) Additional NDP Administration Support:

Committee members had received a copy of the Proposed Scope of Work for additional NDP administration support, which had recently been revised by members of the Steering Group. The Clerk voiced concern that even with a new member of staff there may not be sufficient capacity to take on the extra workload. Members agreed it was necessary that someone with experience in the processes would need to undertake this task. Cllr. Fletcher proposed that this additional work could be funded from the NDP budget, seeking a candidate from current Steering Group members, if possible. This was seconded by Cllr. Warne and agreed.

35/20: Tennis Club:

Cllr. Beck was still awaiting contact from the new Chairman of the Tennis Club, David Leckie, he suggested the item be deferred until such time as he has any information to report.

36/20: Info Centre:

Request from Kent Police:

Cllr. Fletcher advised that we had been approached by Kent Police to use of the Addison Room as a One Stop Shop for victims of certain crimes. It was agreed to approve the request, as and when the office is reopened to the public on a daily basis.

37/20: Highways Traffic Calming:

Cllr. Fletcher advised he had received an email from Professor Robert Woolley requesting the Parish Council support a project to extend the 20mph limit further up the High Street. Kent County Councillor Seán Holden had already indicated he would not support this, as he felt the volume of parked cars in the area already provided a sufficient traffic calming measure. Members discussed the request at length, however, they decided that enforcement of the current speed limit would be more beneficial. It was delegated to Cllr. Fletcher to respond to Professor Woolley.

38/20: Grant Applications:

a) A grant application from The Farmer’s Market which had previously been deferred was discussed. It was unanimously agreed, that on this occasion the grant could not be awarded, however the Committee did wish the applicant well, in sourcing alternative funding.

b) An application had been received from Cranbrook in Bloom requesting £2,600 for plants, compost, watering, insurance and associated costs. Members discussed the application at length. Cllr. Beck proposed the organisation be offered a grant of £1,500. This was seconded by Cllr. Smith and agreed.

39/20: Items for Information:

a) Cllr. Warne advised she had received an email from Katie McFloyd at TWBC who had stated that we do not require a Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Neighbourhood Plan. She had received all three responses from Statutory Environmental Bodies and none had felt that a full SEA was warranted for the new version of the NDP.

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