PRESENT: Cllrs. Beck (in the Chair), 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.

Cllr. Kings declared a personal interest on item 98/21 (b) as his partner is a committee member of the organisation. 

87/21: Internal finance check:

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

88/21: Authorisation of payments made after the January meeting:

A list of payments totalling £16,170.91 made after the January meeting, is filed with these minutes.

89/21: Transfers of monies between accounts:

The Clerk confirmed no transfers had been made.

90/21: 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. It was proposed by Cllr. Beck, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed to approve the payments as presented.

These included:

Policy and Resources                          £7,462.61

Properties & Burial Grounds              £3,434.48

Environmental Management             £37,614.64

      Total       £48,511.73

Two members are required to log in to the account and authorise the payments following adoption of the minutes on Thursday evening.

91/21: Community Centres/Medical Centre:

Cllr. Gilbert reported that Jonathan White had confirmed the specification for the Medical Centre had been received from the GP’s and now just needs to be signed off by the relevant organisations involved. Hopefully, we are now in a position to move forward with the project.

92/21: Parish Cake Financial Position:

Cllr. Beck gave a precis of the magazine’s financial position and the amount of subsidy currently being provided. This had been partially due to a drop in advertising revenue resulting from the effects of the pandemic. The Committee all agreed the magazine should continue to be supported. Cllr. Fletcher reported that responsibility for delivery would revert back to Royal Mail.

93/21: Membership Renewal – Action with Communities in Rural Kent:

The Clerk advised we had received an invitation to renew our membership with the organisation at an annual cost of £115.00. Members discussed the benefits derived from being a member. Cllr. Gilbert proposed we accept the invitation to renew, this was seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed.

94/21: Renewal of British Gas Plan:

It was suggested that an exercise be undertaken calculating the costs of annual consumption based on the figures provided by British Gas for the option of a one, two or three year contract. The Committee could then make their recommendation to Full Council in March.

96/21: Staffing:

No issues were raised.

97/21: Business Continuity Plan:

The need for a business continuity plan had been raised as an issue by the internal auditor. Although the auditor could not provide a template or an example of what the plan should contain, the Deputy Clerk had completed extensive research and devised a draft plan for consideration. This had been circulated to committee members prior to the meeting, to allow for any suggested amendments or comments. It was agreed that a pandemic should be added to the list of risks. Cllr. Fletcher also felt a report should be written detailing how the Parish Council dealt with the Covid 19 outbreak for future reference and information.

It was suggested that each Committee could consider expanding the risks listed, that are associated to their responsibilities. It was agreed to add it as an agenda item to each committee meeting along with the revision of each committee’s Five Year Plan which also needs to have the format updated. It was proposed by Cllr. Hatcher, seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed to adopt this version, including the minor amendments already put forward, as a starting point with subsequent additions made, following consideration at committee level.  A copy of the plan will be circulated to all Members with these minutes.

98/21: Grant Applications:

a) Uplands Community College – 3G pitch.

A request had been received from the Principle of Uplands Community College for a contribution to develop a 3G pitch in Wadhurst, for use by the children who attend the college, some of which live in our parish and local football clubs from all over the area. They have secured pledges of £630,000 however, they still need to raise an additional £150,000. The Committee discussed the request but felt it was too far outside our parish and did not comply with our grant awarding policy. It was proposed by Cllr. Beck, seconded by Cllr. Kings and agreed that although Members wished the college well with their fundraising efforts, we were unable to allocate any grant funding to their project.

b) Cranbrook Goes Nuts in May:

A request for £700 had been received to help fund the event being held in May 2022. Cllr. Hatcher proposed the grant be awarded in full, this was seconded by Cllr. Beck and agreed.

86/21: Items for Information:

Cllr. Fletcher advised he would be looking for approval at Full Council on Thursday to purchase a field shelter for the Crane Valley. If successful he will consider submitting a bid to Kent County Cllr. Holden for money from his Member’s Covid Recovery Fund.

Cllr. Fletcher advised that a new Planning Enforcement Officer at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council had been appointed.

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