MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE RECREATION AND OPEN SPACES COMMITTEE held on Monday, 1st August 2016 in the Parish Room, South Darenth at 7.30 pm.
PRESENT: Cllrs James Stewart (Chairman)
I Blackamore, R House
T May, M Burroughs (SD Football Club)
IN ATTENDANCE: H Rohard, Parish Clerk
109 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Received from Cllrs C Willson, M Stead, C Page and from M Mason
110 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
I Blackamore declared a pecuniary interest in Burial Grounds
111 MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the last meeting held on 27th June 2016 be approved and signed as a correct record.
112 MATTERS ARISING
List of assets and maintenance schedule to be drawn up: this is in progress
Garden of remembrance letters to relatives: ref items being left at the wall; to be completed.
Tree stumps 100 Year wood: Clerk to now refer to tree surgeon.
Saxon Place Play area gate: this is on order and will be fitted once received.
Franks Lane River bank new plans: new drawings have been ordered and awaited
Avenue House Invoice: still outstanding despite 2 reminders being sent by email and post. Members requested that a letter before action be sent. Outstanding.
New alarm system at Pavilion: had been fitted in July; Mick confirmed that it was being used by the Football club and much easier to set, without nuisance to neighbours.
New Dog bin East Hill: awaiting permission from KCC to install.
River Path Maintenance Work: Volunteer days have been difficult to arrange and need further discussion/work on this.
Allotment Inspection: Letters to plot holders regarding trees to be sent out.
113 DARENT VALLEY LANDSCAPE PARTERSHIP
The committee received written information from Rick Bayne confirming which local projects would fall under the scheme planned for delivery over the next 5 years; these included:
· Path surfacing and drainage between Station Road and Westminster Field
· Interpretation boards for this stretch of path and at Westminster Fields
· PROW improvement and signage
· Hedgerow restoration
The Committee considered his request to offer match funding of £1,000 for the duration of the scheme. Given the benefits being brought to the local area the committee RESOLVED to commit £1000 per year for the next 5 years from the ROS Budget to the DVLP.
114 100 YEAR WOOD
Dates were received from NWKCP for the next Friends of 100 Year Wood volunteer days.
The last volunteer day on 20th July was spent in the picnic area weeding between the new saplings, due to 20 students from Dartford Tech College coming along with teachers who unfortunately would have been ill equipped for dealing with cutting back branches etc in the woodland. The cost of the day to the Parish Council was £220 which may have been more productively used by hiring a contractor in to do the work (some of the weeding was still left to do).
ACTION: further discussion on this issue at Budget setting Oct 2016
115 WESTMINSTER FIELD
Byelaws: Cllr Stewart will be bringing these to the next ROS committee meeting in October.
Replacement Bins near Car Park: Cllr Moyle had expressed his view that the bins near the car park were very untidy looking and could new ones be purchased. Members agreed to look at this at Budget Setting in October.
Car Parking Issues: Keith attended the meeting and explained the problems he has been having in locking the gate in the evening when there are so many cars left in the car park, particularly when the weather is nice. He suggested that the signs should be replaced to draw attention to the car park closing times. Cllr Blackamore will order new signs for the entrance and install. Cllr House suggested that new signage be included when the Byelaws are ready to be displayed and could be incorporated into the DVLP scheme to install interpretation boards.
Pic nic area inspection: The Clerk reported on her site visit with the Council’s Insurers Came & Co representative.
The area adjacent to Court Lodge garden gave cause for concern, where there is a fence across the river due to the barbed wire that had been entwined around it. The river at this point can also become quite deep so the snagging risk and speed of the water could be dangerous.
Advised that Court Lodge be asked to remove the barbed wire and that the Parish Council have brambles/nettles planted to create a natural deterrent to accessing the river at this point.
Advised that a weekly visual safety check be made given that it is a popular location for visitors with children.
ACTION: Clerk to liaise with Court Lodge
RESOLVED: a weekly inspection be carried out by Lothlorien
SDC have confirmed that a Certificate of Lawful development will be needed for the lighting project. A budget for the project was approved at £2000.
117 TOP and LOWER PADDOCKS
The small area between the Lower Paddock and Holmesdale Road had been missed from the Contract tendering packs and had not been cut since April. Richard Able Landscapes will cut it for £ 12.50 per visit (the whole Lower Paddock costs £35 per cut). Members thought this was expensive and asked that he reconsider this quote. ACTION: Clerk to liaise
118 PLAY AREAS
Weekly play reports were received.
The Annual Play inspection stated signs in the Play grounds needed to be changed to comply with BS EN 1176: Advice would be sought from the Play Inspection Company and correct signs ordered and installed .ACTION Clerk
Quote from Playdale to replace rotten timbers was approved to enable works to be completed as soon as possible. The parts were free however the spares delivery and installation would be £495 +VAT RESOLVED that Playdale be instructed to complete the work for £495 + VAT
Horton Kirby School Play Area: There had been no further contact with the school regarding this. The lease needs to be checked as to what the Parish Council’s responsibility is with removing the old playground from the school grounds. ACTION. Clerk
119 BURIAL GROUND
Cllr Blackamore left the meeting.
The Clerk reported on the meeting had with Sevenoaks Asset Manager who explained that it would not be possible to schedule in SDC’s 6 cuts to the burial grounds as there is no schedule – their work is carried out on a cyclical basis which can take longer or shorter than planned. Without dates Lothlorien could not schedule their work or run the risk of duplicating the cuts, which would be a waste of resources and time.
The committee agreed that SDC should be asked to refrain from cutting the Burial Ground at all and allow Lothlorien to solely maintain the grounds as per Contract 1 April 2016 – March 2018.
120 ANNUAL TREE SURVEY
The following proposed works were discussed and approved as listed:
Heathside: 4 trees to have Ivy severed: £80
Lower Paddock: 4 sycamores on boundary, sever ivy £40
The Tree Surgeon’s options/quotes for these trees were discussed with reference Mr Barnett’s request (neighbour in Paddock Close) that the trees be removed or reduced to increase light to his property.
The committee agreed that it was reluctant to have any mature trees felled and suggested that once the Ivy had been severed to improve the outlook to Mr Barnett’s property, if this did not prove to be sufficient, 3 Sycamore trees could be reduced by 35% (£480) and an Ash tree to be reduced by 35% (£80) and for the cost to be split between the Parish Council and the resident.
ACTION: Clerk to liaise with Mr Barnett.
Papermill Green: Sycamore remove deadwood and sever ivy £180
Allotment: cost to reduce hedge to 1.8-2m £480 for information pending purchase of Allotments.
Heathside: Dead Hawthorne fell £20, Birch, remove deadwood £80, Horse chestnut reduce weight in branches overhanging play equipment £140, Ash, sever ivy £20
Westminster Field: Leaning willow from adjacent property overhanging river £360
Maple, remove deadwood £80, Poplar x 2 sever ivy £40 Poplar adjacent to footpath entrance, remove broken branch and sever ivy £140, Maple opposite side of field, fell (dead)£ 240, Maple, tree appears tobe in decline remove deadwood £80
RESOLVED works to be completed at a cost of £1520
121 STREET FURNITURE & BUS SHELTER
The bus shelter opposite the Village Hall had sustained damage to it causing it to lean to one side; Cllr Blackamore and Rushbrook checked the shelter as soon as it was reported as damaged and made sure that it was safe; the shelter was straightened and securely anchored back into place.
Initial enquiries into the possibility of having to replace the shelter found that it would cost in the region of £6500 without installation costs. The clerk had received a grant application from KCC and suggested that this be applied for to renovate the existing shelter and give it a new lease of life. The Committee agreed on this course of action and suggested that Wilmington Parish Council be contacted for advice, as their 3 shelters had recently been refurbished.
122 DATE OF NEXT COMMITTEE
24th October 2016 (since moved to 31st October)
Meeting ended at 9.50pm Chairman