MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE RECREATION AND OPEN SPACES COMMITTEE held on Monday, 27 June 2016 in the Parish Room, South Darenth at 7.30 pm.
PRESENT: Cllrs James Stewart (Chairman)
M Stead (Vice Chair), I Blackamore, C Page,
IN ATTENDANCE: H Rohard, Parish Clerk
95 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Received from Cllrs R House & C Willson, M Burroughs (SDFC), T May and M Mason
96 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
97 MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the last meeting held on 25th April 2016 be approved and signed as a correct record.
98 MATTERS ARISING
List of assets and maintenance schedule to be drawn up: to be actioned
DVLP projects: meeting with Rick Bayne to progress any projects for the parish. The Clerk was waiting for Rick to respond.
Garden of remembrance letters to relatives: ref items being left at the wall; to be completed when the vases are in situ.
Tree stumps 100 Year wood: reported to NWKCP for action; Cllr Stead will be meeting Mark Gallant 20th July to identify where the stumps are.
Saxon Place Play area gate: this is now on order and will be fitted once received.
Franks Lane River bank new plans: new drawings have been ordered.
Avenue House Invoice: still outstanding despite 2 reminders being sent by email and post. Members requested that a letter before action be sent.
Memorial bench and tree at Heathside: the family have been contacted and will start fundraising. Cllr Page offered to find out costs of a suitable tree.
99 100 YEAR WOOD
20 students will be attending the next Friends of 100 Year Wood day supervised by NWKCP.
100 WESTMINSTER FIELD
Pavilion: Following visits to the Pavilion with alarm companies the Clerk reported that the inside of the Pavilion was dirty and appeared not to have been cleaned for some time. The village hall cleaning contractors would be able to do a deep clean for £200 if the Club is not able to arrange its own cleaning with any costs being passed to the Football Club. The Clerk was asked to make quarterly checks to ensure that the inside was being maintained properly.
The Clerk also reported that a section of guttering needed fixing, weeds around the building needed spraying/removing and the windows cleaning. The Committee agreed that these routine maintenance items should be attended to.
Alarm system: 3 quotes were received to install a new alarm system at the Pavilion which was quiet to set to avoid disturbance to neighbours. Kevin Bromley £386.47, MT Security £1170.95, Prism Alarms £630.
RESOLVED that Kevin Bromley quote be accepted to install alarm system at a cost of £386.47 plus VAT
Byelaws: Cllr Stewart had conducted considerable research on byelaws and had found a suitable model which was discussed with members. There were a number of alterations which Cllr Stewart would incorporate and bring back to the next meeting.
The use of the picnic area was discussed; restricting dogs to this area is a problem when the gate is often left open or dogs taken into the area deliberately. A sign ‘Please close the gate’ was suggested.
The need for life saving equipment was also discussed next to the river; the Clerk will check with Insurers on this matter.
The ‘trap’ at the Court Lodge Farm boundary in the river was discussed; the Environment Agency have asked for this to be removed. The Clerk will find out what the outcome of this request has been.
Cllr Blackamore will collect the Oak Tree from Mrs Cannell and plant in Westminster Field.
Camping was reported by the grass cutting contractor; the number plate of the vehicle was passed to the PCSO as a BBQ used by the family had been placed on the resin bench causing a large melted area
ACTION: Clerk to contact insurers & EA
Lighting Proposal: Cllr Rushbrook had found information of suitable lights which was passed to the Clerk to check with SDC Planning for any restrictions to their use.
Uneven entrance: The Bowls Club had reported to the Clerk that the shared entrance was uneven and wondered if the Parish Council has any plans to rectify this. The ownership of this area is unclear and a proposal from the Bowls Club would be welcomed. The surface does not seem to be hazardous. ACTION: Clerk to liaise with Bowls Club
102 TOP and LOWER PADDOCKS
The Committee considered a request from a resident whose property backs onto the Lower Paddock to remove or reduce trees that are blocking light from his garden and living room. The Clerk had taken photos for the Committee and it was agreed that the trees were overbearing.
It was agreed that the tree surgeon would be asked for advice and quotes for reducing/removal of the trees when conducting the annual tree survey in July and the findings would be considered at the next meeting. ACTION: clerk to liaise with tree surgeon and resident
103 PLAY AREAS
Weekly play reports were received.
St Georges Day Survey results: These showed that Heathside would be a popular placement for new play equipment and to appeal to a wider age group. The suggestions made by residents will be useful when considering the purchase of new equipment. CIL funds being held by SDC (Sec 106 monies from underspend on the Jubilee Hall) could potentially be used for play equipment at Heathside as it was within the specified distance.
Horton Kirby School Play Area: a letter to the Headteacher had been delivered which outlined the Parish Council’s intention not to renew the lease on the land within the school grounds nor to replace the play equipment. The letter explained that the committee wished to explore other sites that would be more accessible to the wider community and without the restriction of school hours. No response had been received.
104 BURIAL GROUND
A date was arranged for the Annual Health and Safety inspection of the Burial Ground with Cllr Page, Stewart and Blackamore attending with the Clerk; this will be 8th September at 10am. Notices will be displayed as set out in the policy. ACTION: Clerk
105 PARISH COUNCIL OWNED/MANAGED HEDGES, VERGES & PATHS
Hedge cutting: The Clerk queried when the hedges should be scheduled for cutting and Cllr Blackamore offered to check this with the Environment Agency.
Dog waste bins: Cllr Stewart requested that a dog bin be installed in East Hill on the wide verge, at the junction with Montgomery Road as this seemed a popular place for dog walkers and a main thoroughfare between the village centre and fields where walkers may be using a circular route.
The Costs of purchase, installation and emptying was considered and the current positions and conditions of all the Parish dog bins.
With other dog bins in Westminster Field needing replacing there was further discussion about how best to place them so that one less bin there could allow a new bin in East Hill without increase to emptying costs.
The dog bin by the board walk in Westminster Field be replaced with the dog bin by the car park/picnic area gate
The dog bin by the car park railing at Westminster Field be replaced with a new bin
A new dog bin be purchased and installed at East Hill with permission from KCC being sought.
106 RIVER PATH MAINTENANCE WORK
Following on from the St Georges Day survey results and referral from the full Parish Council, further river path maintenance work was considered.
The Himalayan Balsam is now more easily identified now it is starting to flower; Cllr Blackamore advised that it could still be removed before July before it sets seed.
The unregistered land along Holmesdale Road is looking very untidy and overgrown so this area was also suggested as another target for the Volunteer group.
RESOLVED that £440 be used to book 2 further River Maintenance days with NWKCP.
Map correction for lease: A new map for inclusion with the lease from Court Lodge Farm was received with very minor alteration.
Offer to purchase Allotment site: The Parish Council has been offered to purchase the site together with the smaller fallow piece of land between the track and the hop garden, currently leased to Wide Horizon Environmental School for £45,000.
The Clerk had spoken to Caxton Surveyors who confirmed the asking price was reasonable and in keeping with current prices.
Members discussed the idea of the smaller parcel of land being held in hand for a future Burial Ground; the current Burial Ground has around 75 grave spaces left which are being used at a rate of 3 to 5 per year. In the meantime the lease to Wide Horizons could be continued.
Members agreed unanimously that the purchase would be prudent and would recommend to the Parish Council at its next meeting that the land be purchased. The clerk was asked to obtain legal fee quotes for the Parish Council to consider
Allotment inspection: Cllr Page, Stead and Stewart inspected the site on 20th May and provided a plan of the site with plots highlighted that were in poor condition. A number of plots had trees growing and members queried whether they had been given permission in the first place. Members requested that the affected plot holders be written to with instructions that trees should be kept to a height of no more than 6ft.
108 DATE OF NEXT COMMITTEE
1st August 2016
Meeting ended at 9.45pm Chairman