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PRESENT: Cllr. Pethurst (in the Chair), Cllrs. Bunyan, Fletcher, Gilbert, Hatcher and Kings.

 

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.

 

Cllrs. Kings and Pethurst declared a personal interest in item 113/22 (b) as their partners are both committee members of the organistion applying for the grant.

 

99/22: Internal finance check:

Cllr. Pethurst confirmed that the internal finance check had been completed and everything was in order.

 

100/22: Authorisation of payments made after the January meeting:

A list of payments totalling £18,363.41 made after the January meeting, is filed with these minutes.

 

101/22: Transfers of monies between accounts:

It was proposed by Cllr. Pethurst seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed to transfer £125,000 to the Unity Trust account to bolster the funds available to pay invoices online.

 

102/22: Invoices for Payment:

A list of payments to be made in February had been circulated for approval, a copy of which is filed with these minutes. Cllr. Pethurst proposed the payments be approved as presented, this was seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed.

 

These included:

 

Policy and Resources                          £9,840.60

Properties & Burial Grounds              £3,797.23

Environmental Management               £1,666.08  

 

Total        £15,303.91

 

Two members are required to log in to the account and authorise the payments following adoption of the minutes on Thursday evening. An invoice had been received for the final instalment for the new website. The Clerk advised the migration was not complete. Essential information had not been migrated from the old website to the new one. With this mind it was agreed to hold the payment until the project had been completed, although Members did agree to pay on completion, out of committee if necessary, to avoid the contractor having to wait another month for payment.

 

103/22: Quotes to demolish Tanyard Dental Surgery:

We had been advised that we needed to complete a Demolition Notice and submit it to Building Control at TWBC. On the form we need to identify who will be undertaking the work. Quotes from 3 companies had been received and circulated to the Committee with the agenda. All three quotes were discussed in detail and ranged from £7,000 to £8,450 + VAT. Cllr. Gilbert

proposed the quote from Harbour Demolition Ltd of £7,680 be accepted subject to receipt of an acceptable method statement, risk assessment and waste management plan. This was seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed.

We had been advised that the quote excludes removal and disposal of asbestos if any is discovered. Cllr. Bunyan had drawn up a scaled drawing of the property which is also required by Building Control. Cllr. Gilbert would advise the Clerks on the disconnection of services to the building.

 

104/22: King Charles III Coronation:

Information on events planned was still coming in. Cranbrook Primary School are holding a celebration the day before the Coronation. Cranbrook in Bloom are organising an event based on the Bear Grylls ‘Big Help Out’ the aim being to use volunteering to bring communities together and create a lasting volunteering legacy from the Coronation. There are plans underway for St. Dunstan’s Church to live stream the Coronation. Cllr. Fletcher is still looking at providing a seating area as a permanent memorial to mark the event.

 

105/22: Fixed rate energy contracts from Utility Aid – Update:

We had been advised the new contract from EDF are locked in and cannot be withdrawn. There is no cooling off period with business contracts. The Clerk is still awaiting a response in from Utility Aid to confirm that only one meter for the Vestry Hall is taken into account. Historically the account had fed 2 meters, Utility Aid seem to be reluctant to confirm in writing that only one will be used in the future, although all their quotes only refer to the one meter.

 

106/22: E.V Charge Points – The way forward:

We have been offered a refund of £4,042.01 to redress the issues that we have encountered in receiving reimbursements from BP Pulse. We also need to decide whether we opt for the ‘Private Public’ scheme or the alternative’ Public Post’ scheme? Emails with more detailed information had been circulated to the Committee before the meeting, to allow for an informed decision. Cllr. Pethurst proposed we accept the refund ‘without prejudice’. This was seconded by Cllr. Kings and agreed. A decision on which scheme the Council opts for, requires more information and an answer to the repeated question posed, of the rate of reimbursement we should be now receiving, before any decision can be made. To date no figure has been put on this and we need to be assured the rate will cover the cost of the service.

 

107/22: Council Strategy for making a Complaint:

Cllr. Gilbert was concerned at the amount of Clerks time being spent sorting out issues arising from poor service, we have received. He believes we should be raising more formal complaints and receiving recompense for the time spent. The Clerk agreed to email the TWBC Clerks to see how they deal with this issue. Cllr. Gilbert offered to devise a flow chart with input from the Clerks on how it could be managed.

 

108/22: Community Centres/Medical Centre:

There is a meeting with the CCG and the Doctors scheduled for next week to obtain the final sign off on the specification required for the Medical Centre.

 

109/22: Review of Aims and Objectives of Policy & Resources:

The current aims and objectives of this Committee are as follows:

Aim: To promote best value policies and to deliver a professional approach for all council contracts.
To strive for continuous improvement in the way the council exercises its functions and to promote the aims and objectives of the Parish Council. The purpose of this Committee is simply to oversee the activities and expenditure of the Parish Council; including finances, staffing and administration. This committee is comprised of the chairpersons of the other committees.

  • Budget Planning – Budget Monitoring. Creating a budget programme that ensures clarity of accounts, budgeted expenditure and draft the annual precept for agreement by Full Council.
    • Five Year Plan.
    • Responsibility for all financial matters including banking.
    • Responsibility for Annual Audit.
    • Create, manage and maintain all Parish Council Policies including Health & Safety.
    • Review all procedures, statutory instruments, policies and insurance premiums annually.
    • Ensure the retention of the Quality Parish Council status.
    • Grants Management.
    • Create and maintain information flow on available grants.
    • Responsibility for Parish Council Staff, Pensions, Salaries and National Insurance Contributions.
    • Member and Staff training and development.
    • Responsibility for Parish Council contracts.
    • Manage Parish Warden role and duties.
    • Develop positive relationships with surrounding Parishes/TWBC/KCC/KALC/etc.
    • Emergency Planning.
    • Promotion of the Parish Council.
    • Duties as a Landlord.
    • Responsibility for Parish Council as Trustees.

Members agreed that the aims and objectives remain relevant and fit for purpose.

110/22: Receiving a grant for a third party – A Walk through Time:

We had been approached by Cranbrook Tourism Group to receive monies from a Members Grant on behalf of the Group, to facilitate the reprint of the A Walk through Time  maps. The Clerk had raised several concerns and had sought clarification from Kent County Council on their grant process. It had been confirmed that payment can only be made to the applicant therefore the Parish Council would need to be the organisation that applies. Members agreed to submitting the grant, which the Tourism Group would need to complete ready for us to submit. The invoice will need to be made out to the Parish Council.

 

Cllr. Fletcher reported he had received an email from James Read at TWBC advising that there are grants available up to the value of £3,500. This is being provided by Central Government’s UKSPF and must be applied for by parish councils. He has spoken to Linda Page and they have put together a bid for Cranbrook in Bloom to replace the planters.

 

111/22: Copyright infringement – The Cake

Cllr. Pethurst reported this was an unfortunate oversight. The NDP had produced a document containing a photograph that had not been licensed. If the fee is not paid by the end of this week, further charges will be incurred. Cllr. Pethurst proposed the fee of £440 be paid as soon as possible, this was seconded by Cllr. Kings and agreed

 

112/22: Staffing:

IT Support:

The Clerks had been tasked with finding out what MPR Solutions Ltd suggested for the next upgrade of the current IT system would be required. They had advised the next piece of equipment to replace would be a more secure firewall router. These range in price considerably; the Clerk tabled the costs for options suggested. Cllr. Hatcher was not entirely sure that a physical firewall router was necessary. The Clerk was asked to contact our IT support providers Uprise Digital to obtain their advice and if deemed necessary, a quote for comparison.

 

The Clerks also remain disappointed with the support being offered by Uprise Digital. The migration of the old website to the new had been subject to several issues, which had resulted in verbal complaints from a few parishioners.

 

The Clerks were awaiting a quote from MPR Solutions to see how much they would charge for ongoing IT support.

 

113/22: Grant Applications:

  1. a) Cranbrook Voluntary Car Service:

An application had been received requesting £250. The organisation is designed for local people needing transport to and from doctors or hospital appointments. Local doctors circulate the number to patients that may require the service and it is advertised in the Parish. It differs from the service provided by the NHS transport service, which has an eligibility criteria, they will only transport to hospitals not doctors, so anyone with mobility issues cannot receive assistance to get to their GP’s. The NHS service will not allow other passengers to accompany the patient and will not wait until the patient’s appointment is finished so are available to bring them straight home.  The funds are required to cover telephone expenses for the person who liaises between the volunteer drivers and the patients. It was proposed by Cllr. Gilbert, seconded by Cllr. Hatcher and agreed to award the grant in full.

 

  1. b) Cranbrook Goes Nuts in May:

An application had been received requesting £700 to help advertise the event being held in May. It was proposed by Cllr. Hatcher, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed to award the grant in full. Members did think organisations needed to be aware that only one grant per year will normally be considered.

 

The Clerk pointed out that the meeting had exceeded the two hour limit specified in our Standing Orders, therefore a resolution was necessary for the meeting to continue. Cllr. Pethurst proposed the meeting continue until all items on the agenda had been dealt with, this was seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed.

 

  1. c) Cranbrook Presents:

An application had been received requesting £3,000 to help ensure that both the Cranbrook on the Green Event and Cranbrook Town Music Festival are able to come to fruition, in the biggest and best possible manner. Members discussed the application thoroughly. They felt the Music Festival should be self-funded e.g. venues should be paying the artists fees, as they will benefit from the increased income generated. Cllr. Fletcher proposed that the Parish Council offer to pay for the provision of portable event toilets for the Cranbrook on the Green event. There would be no grant awarded, we would liaise with the event organisers to provide the facility and be invoiced direct by the supplier. This was seconded by Cllr. Pethurst and agreed.

 

  1. d) Sissinghurst Scout Group:

An application had been received from Sissinghurst Scout Group, requesting £1000 to set up a hardship fund to support scout members whose parents are struggling with the current cost of living and to enable the young person to continue scouting. Members discussed the application but could not reconcile the amount being requested to the amount of subscriptions paid; they also raised concern that a proportion of the subscriptions collected, go the district’s funds. Members agreed that the Scouts Group should be asked to identify a specific item that we could finance that would benefit the Sissinghurst Scout Group as a whole, which may free up some funds that had been allocated elsewhere, to set up their hardship fund.

 

114/22: Items for Information:

No items were raised.

 

 

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