MINUTES OF THE POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 11th APRIL 2023
PRESENT: Cllr. Pethurst (in the Chair), Cllrs. Bunyan, Fletcher, Gilbert and Kings.
APOLOGIES: Cllr. 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.
Cllr. Kings declared a personal interest in the application for Home-Start South West Kent, as his partner works for the Charity. He declined to take part in the vote.
129/22: Internal finance check:
Cllr. Pethurst confirmed that the internal finance check had been completed and everything was in order.
130/22: Authorisation of payments made after the March meeting:
A list of payments totalling £28,064.70 made after the March meeting, is filed with these minutes.
131/22: Transfers of monies between accounts:
No transfers had been necessary.
132/22: Invoices for Payment:
A list of payments to be made in April 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.
Policy and Resources £9,787.86
Properties & Burial Grounds £ 895.00
Environmental Management £ 462.82
General Funding £ 72.00
Two members are required to log in to the account and authorise the payments following adoption of the minutes on Thursday evening.
The Clerk advised that an increase in the cost of cleaning the public toilets in Crane Lane was expected due to the vile conditions the cleaners are having to deal with.
133/22: King Charles III Coronation:
The Parish Council have received a request to support an event being organised by Larkin’s Alehouse and The George on Sunday 7th May. It was agreed the organisers could borrow tables and chairs from The Vestry Hall. The Council could also help in printing promotional posters if they are required.
Cranbrook in Bloom and Wellbeing in the Weald continue to promote the ‘The Big Help Out’ day on Monday 8th May.
134/22: Request to use Jockey Lane Car Park for a food and drinks market:
The Council had received a request to hold a food and drinks market in Jockey Lane Car Park four times a year on a Friday between the hours of 10am and 1pm. Profits raised would subsidise the annual events organised by Cranbrook Presents.
Members discussed the request, however felt that closing the car park, albeit only four times a year to facilitate the market, would cause too many issues. Regrettably, no alternative public space could be offered at the present time.
135/22: Utility Aid Complaint – Update:
The Clerk advised that Utility Aid refused to uphold the complaint we had submitted, so she had now referred it to the Energy Ombudsman and they were in the process of collating the information and investigating the complaint.
136/22: Renewal of Aquaid Contract:
The Clerk explained that when we originally entered into the contract, the annual hire fee for the equipment was waivered. This no longer happens. Regular charges for a sanitation clean and environmental charges are also applied, along with the cost of the water bottles. The Committee discussed the increasing costs against the benefits gained. Cllr. Pethurst proposed the 3 months’ notice to terminate the contract be served. This was seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed.
137/22: E.V Charge Points – Update: Decision to charge £0.85/kwh.
Following in depth discussions with BP Pulse, the Council have had to increase the charge per kilowatt hour to £0.85. Any less and the Council would be subsidising the use of the points. We have not received much feedback regarding the price increase, although it is early days and at least we understand the process and are now in control of the costs involved in providing the facility.
138/22: Council Strategy for making a Complaint:
Cllr. Gilbert requested this item be deferred to the next meeting to give him time to confer with the Clerks before devising the flowchart. The Clerk advised that during her enquires amongst the clerking community, she did not find any other parishes that had a strategy for making a complaint.
139/22: Community Centres/Medical Centre:
The Committee Members discussed the failure of the merger between The Old School Surgery and The Crane Surgery. It was agreed to place pressure on the Integrated Care Board to identify the space required for a medical centre.
No issues were raised.
141/22: Grant Applications:
- a) KSS Air Ambulance:
We had received a request for £300 to cover the fuel cost of an average mission. Members agreed the vital service should be supported. Cllr. Bunyan proposed a grant of £300 be awarded, this was seconded by Cllr. Kings and agreed.
- b) Home-Start South West Kent:
A request for financial aid had been received from the Charity, which aims to support families with children up to five years old and who live in the districts of Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge & Malling and Sevenoaks. In the last twelve months, three families in Cranbrook & Sissinghurst have been supported at a cost to the Charity of £3,891.
Cllr. Pethurst proposed we support the work of the Charity with a nominal grant of £300, which is £100 per family currently being supported in the parish. This was seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed.
142/22: Items for Information:
- a) Cllr. Fletcher reported that the Conservation Architect at TWBC had been approached in regard to the suitability of the secondary double glazing proposed for the Vestry Hall, which is to be discussed at Full Council on Thursday. He also advised the new curtains were scheduled to be hung on Thursday 20th It is hoped that both projects would lead to a substantial reduction in energy costs for the Vestry Hall.
- b) Cllr. Fletcher also reported a meeting had taken place with Mrs Egan’s Estate Surveyor, Chris Loughead of Fernham Homes and Cllrs. Fletcher and Bunyan regarding Mrs Egan’s Right of Way across Jubilee Field. The alternative proposed, which had been agreed at a previous meeting was now being reviewed by the Estate Surveyor.
Next meeting date: The next meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee would be held on 2nd May to ensure current Committee Members, approve draft payments, prior to the election on 4th May.