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MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE PROPERTIES & BURIAL GROUNDS COMMITTEE HELD ON TUESDAY 24th JANUARY 2023

PRESENT: Cllr. Gilbert (in the Chair), Cllrs. Bunyan, Kings, Mills and Rampling.

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.

22/22: Review Committee Aims and Objective:

The aims and objectives of the Committee as stated on the Parish Council website, was circulated to the Committee Members prior to the meeting. Members decided it remains appropriate and no changes were necessary.

23/22: St. Dunstan’s Churchyard:

Replacement LED Church Floodlight:

We have received a quote to replace the floodlight in the Churchyard. The current fitting has a sodium bulb, which is no longer working. The fitting is at least 35 years old and will also need to be replaced. The quote to supply and install a 300W LED floodlight is £460 + VAT. Members were surprised at the wattage suggested, as they believed wattage is normally reduced considerably, when changing to an LED bulb.  It was proposed by Cllr. Gilbert, seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed to accept the quote subject to confirmation the wattage is suitable.

 

The Clerk advised that a drain cover in the Churchyard had been reported missing. Cllr. Gilbert would check the sizing, before looking into seeking a replacement.

 24/22: Golford Cemetery

a) Chapel Organ:

The Parish Warden had raised concern that the organ in the Chapel was sometimes temperamental and had not been regularly tuned. He has known organists arrive to play at a service and they were not able to, as the instrument is a theatre organ which played differently to a church organ. Music for most services is normally brought in and played. If we were to consider selling the organ, it would also allow space for more seats in the Chapel. The organ was originally donated to us, so Members were keen to ensure no offence is caused by selling it. The Clerk would look through the files to see if we have any details of the original donation.

b) Chapel Heating:

Cllr. Gilbert reported the heating is turned off unless the Chapel is being used. He is keen to keep the heating on very low to protect the fabric of the building. Cllr. Rampling suggested using a dehumidifier to reduce any dampness that may occur. Cllr. Gilbert pointed out that it would need emptying regularly and, in his experience, it costs as much to run as keeping the heating on at a low temperature. Cllr. Gilbert would speak to the Parish Warden to see if he has any suggestions to help increase ventilation inside the Chapel.

25/22: Sissinghurst Cemetery:

No issues were raised.

26/22: Cranbrook & Sissinghurst War Memorials:

Hedge quote for Cranbrook:

A quote for £375 had been received to cut the Parish side of the boundary hedge and the top. It was last cut back at the end of 2020.

Cllr. Gilbert proposed the quote be accepted in full, this was seconded by Cllr. Kings and agreed.

 27/22: Public Toilet Building – Crane Lane:

No further issues had been reported.

 28/22: Angley Cottage:

No issues were raised. Cllr. Bunyan congratulated the tenants on how well they look after the cottage.

 29/22: Vestry Hall

a) Report from Energy Consultant:

Cllr. Gilbert had been a little disappointed with the contents of the report. He had hoped it would cover all areas of energy saving improvements, however it entirely concentrated on supplying and installing all light fittings, with LED replacements at a cost of c.£16K. Cllr. Gilbert volunteered to speak to Project Manager Jonathan White, to see if he can suggest any other companies, we can approach for a comprehensive energy survey.

b) Secondary Double Glazing Quotes:

The Clerk reported we were still awaiting a quote from Storm Windows. They had been recommended to us by the TWBC Conservation Architect, as having experience of working on listed buildings. We had received two quotes for temporary double glazing the widows with Perspex attached to a wooden frame and secured over the windows. It would need to taken down and stored during the summer months. Members were not keen on this idea, as it was not a permanent solution and was still costly. The Clerk agreed to chase the quote from Storm Windows.

c) External Vestry Hall light fitting replacement:

The external light fitting over the Vestry Hall fire exit was no longer working. A quote for £305 + VAT to replace it with a more energy efficient LED version, had been received. Cllr. Gilbert proposed the quote be accepted, subject to the design of the replacement being approved. This was seconded by Cllr. Rampling and agreed.

30/22: Vestry Hall Cottage:

Inspection report:

Cllr. Gilbert had prepared the report and would circulate to all the Committee Members as soon as possible.

31/22: Information Centre:

The Clerk showed Members the results of having the cabling tidied in the Comms cupboard, by MPR Solutions this week. Members were impressed with the results.

32/22: Noticeboards and Shelters:

Penny Farthing painting costs:

Some Sissinghurst residents had raised a concern that we did not intend to paint the Penny Farthing black. A verbal estimate to have it powdered coated black had been c.£800. Cllr. Gilbert reiterated that we had the structure galvanised to futureproof it so it would require less maintenance. It had also had a mordant solution applied to dull down the finish. Painting it now would defeat the initial reason for galvanising. It has recently been returned to its original location and should not be painted during the cold weather. Members agreed to review their decision on painting it, until the annual site meeting.

33/22: Benches & Cycle Racks:

No issues were raised.

34/22: Red Telephone Kiosks:

The Clerk reported the red telephone box at Bakers Cross had been refurbished by retired decorator Paul Archbold, entirely at his own expense. It is hoped an article and photographs will appear in the next edition of The Cake, thanking Paul for his efforts.

 35/22: Items for Information:

Cllr. Gilbert informed the Committee that work to site the shed donated to Cranbrook Men’s Shed will begin tomorrow, when the area behind the Ambulance Service portacabin will be pegged out. The number of people joining the organisation is growing stead

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