MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE PROPERTIES & BURIAL GROUNDS COMMITTEE HELD ON TUESDAY 26th APRIL 2022
PRESENT: Cllr. Gilbert (in the Chair), Cllrs. Bunyan, Kings, Rampling and Waters.
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.
35/21: St. Dunstan’s Churchyard:
No issues were reported or raised.
36/21: Golford Cemetery:
No issues were raised. It was noted that the metal rail and bollards now it situ, had successfully prevented vehicles gaining unauthorised access to certain areas of the cemetery.
37/21: Sissinghurst Cemetery:
Storm Eunice had brought down a large fir tree on the eastern boundary of the Cemetery. This had been successfully removed. However, the exposed roots had caused considerable damage to the adjacent path. A quote had been received from Mayell Groundworks to remove and reinstate the damaged area. Cllr. Kings had been very impressed with the repairs the contractor had carried out on the exit road of the Regal Car Park and proposed the quote of £775.00 + VAT be accepted. This was seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed. Normally a decision would need to be ratified at Full Council but as this is a health and safety issue, the Clerk was asked to accept the quote and schedule the repair as soon as possible.
38/21: Cranbrook & Sissinghurst War Memorials:
Members noted the vegetation growing between the howitzer and the plough had now been removed.
39/21: Public Toilet Building – Crane Lane:
As the refurbishment had now been completed, it was expected the toilets would be open to the public from Monday 2nd May. A bin still had to be sourced for the unisex toilets. Cllr. Waters offer of a hoop bin, originally purchased for the Cranbrook on the Green event held last year, was gratefully accepted. It was hoped that as a field shelter was now in situ in the Crane Valley, damage to the toilets would cease. If this proves not be the case the Parish Council may need to look into the possibility of CCTV, although this would be expensive and would have its own challenges. Cllr. Waters advised her husband had experience of installing CCTV and she was sure he would be prepared to advise the Council on this.
40/21: Angley Cottage:
Cllr. Bunyan reported she had completed the annual inspection of the property. She congratulated the tenants on the exemplary condition of both the house and garden.
41/21: Vestry Hall:
Cllr. Gilbert advised that although the gas boilers are still working, they are coming to the end of their life span. He would like to consider all the options available to heat the Vestry Hall as economically as possible. He would like to identify and seek professional advice from a company who can offer a total energy assessment.
In response to Cllr. Bunyan, the Clerk advised that as far as she was aware the museum cabinet had not been updated recently. This would be raised with Cllr. Pethurst as our museum representative and with the Curator Mike Huxley.
In the light of increasing fuel costs, it was agreed that unless there is a dramatic drop in temperatures the heating should no longer be on, or at least the thermostat turned down considerably.
42/21: Vestry Hall Cottage:
Cllr. Gilbert was aware the annual inspection is outstanding and assured the Committee it will be undertaken as soon as possible. He is hoping to access the roof space to check the condition of the timbers. The boiler service is due in June. A quote for £85 + VAT had been received, an additional £10 + VAT is charged for the provision of gas safety certificate. It was proposed by Cllr. Bunyan that the quote from Marshall Heating be accepted as presented, this was seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed.
43/21: Information Centre:
The boiler service is due now and needs to be scheduled as soon as possible, as it is a condition of the appliance warranty. The cost was the same as for the cottage. Cllr. Bunyan proposed the quote be accepted, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed. The Clerk agreed to arrange for Marshalls Heating to undertake the work as soon as possible.
Members agreed that as the office is no longer an ‘Information Centre’ the agenda description and cost codes should be amended to ‘Parish Office’. The Clerk would also try and ascertain who is responsible for the finger posts in the High Street, as one of the posts will also need to be removed.
44/21: Noticeboards and Shelters:
a) Penny Farthing refurbishment costs:
The Clerk had not received any response to the request for an itemised quote and answers to the queries raised at the last meeting. She is aware that Cranbrook Iron is extremely busy but will continue to chase for a quote for Members to consider.
b) Belle Vue School pupils had offered to treat our noticeboards with a preservative as part of their work experience in the community. Cllr. Bunyan suggested a good oil such as Osmo should be used.
45/21: Benches and Cycle Racks:
a) Request for permission site a memorial bench on the Ball Field:
The Clerk advised we had received a request to site a memorial bench on the Ball Field in memory of a Cranbrook resident that enjoyed walking her dog there. It was proposed by Cllr. Kings, seconded by Cllr. Rampling and agreed to approve the request. The Parish Warden had identified a suitable location as between the trees on the Waterloo Road side of the field. Installation costs would also need to be met. The Clerk would provide details of both British Gates and Memorial Benches UK as companies that can provide a good standard of product to anyone wishing to donate a bench.
Anyone donating a bench should be made aware that although the parish would be responsible for cleaning and general maintenance of benches, the cost of any professional repairs required would need to be met by the original purchaser. They should also be advised that should any bench donated fall into significant disrepair, the council reserves the right to remove and dispose of the bench.
b) Request for permission to site a bench in St. Dunstan’s Churchyard:
A request had been received to site a bench in St. Dunstan’s Churchyard in memory of two Cranbrook residents that had recently passed away and who had been regular attendees at the Church. It was proposed by Cllr. Rampling, seconded by Cllr. Waters and agreed to approve the request in principle. The Clerk would liaise with the Parish Warden and the family to identify a suitable location.
46/21: Red Telephone Kiosks:
Cllr. Waters is still looking into all the options on how to best utilise these assets.
47/21: Items for Information:
Cllr. Gilbert advised he would remind the Chairman to pursue a response from TWBC regarding the demolition of the Tanyard Dental Surgery. We were still awaiting advice on how much would need to be retained, to be considered as part of the building footprint of the new Community/Medical Centre for planning purposes.