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12th May 2015



7.30 pm, 12 MAY 2015

Those present: Ian Earl (Chair); Jane Austin (Secretary); Rick Blackman (Treasurer); Adrian Atkins; Fred Gregory; Ben Pullen

Apologies for absence: Katie Bennett; Jane Gregory; Charlie Kirby; Kate Linforth; Kim Sharrock; Madelene Wilkinson

1 Minutes of March Meeting and Matters Arising

1.1.1 There is £5172.51 in the accounts. Yoshi Euridge is to meet RB re auditing the accounts, after which they will be published on the website. There is a direct debit of £22 per month for the electricity bill, and the account is in credit.

1.1.2 The £858 bill for British Gas has been wiped but charges will recommence from 4 May 2015. There is a standing charge for the meter, even though it has been capped off. RB is to look in to the cost of removing the meter. AA will forward information on alternative infra-heating for the Hall.

1.1.3 Following discussions with Liz Roberts and the Lees Court Estate arboriculturist, it has been agreed that the fallen tree (now removed) will be replaced by the Checker tree – one   of the two trees which were donated by the Kent Men of the Trees and which are currently outside the Hall. The sick tree near the A251 is to be examined. The Sycamore trees which overhang the boundaries will be cut back, subject to there being no relevant Tree Preservation Orders. The Estate has requested a costing of post and rail fencing for the Lees and lay-by.

2 Dates of Future Meetings

2.1 Committee meetings will now take place on the second Tuesday of every month so that the Parish Council can meet in the Hall on the first Tuesday and there is no clash for committee members who are also parish councillors. The PC will be given a key. AA is to get one cut.

3 Constitution/Terms of Reference

3.1 Following IE’s visit to the Village Hall Convention, he will be making changes to the constitution he recently wrote. The Hall does not currently have charitable status. The Community Halls Advisor from Action with Communities in Rural Kent will be invited to talk to the Committee on all matters pertaining to running a village hall, and whether we should become a Community Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and whether to register as a charity (wherein the constitution would be determined by the Charities Commission).

3.2 BP pointed out that the currently proposed constitution states that the Committee can be disbanded if two thirds of members present at a meeting choose to do so. It was agreed that changes to the constitution need to be made so to emphasize that any discussion of major topics must be put on the agenda for the next meeting.

3.3 The Hall needs to have trustees, not least to satisfy the terms of the lease. In the event of an insurance claim, Committee members are liable for any costs not covered by insurance. Being a CIO would mean we would have limited liability.

4 Village Hall Convention Follow-up (see also item 3 above)

4.1 IE would like the Committee to enter the Hallmark Scheme, of which there are three levels. This would mean insurance payments could be reduced. There is no cost.

5 Village Signs Update

5.1 KCC Highways Department have given permission for us to have a village sign on the triangle, but it must be erected by a KCC accredited company. The location of the sign was reviewed, as it was felt that situating it on the triangle might make it hard to see from the road because of the bend to the north, and recent events have shown that the sign would be vulnerable to lorries turning around the triangle. IE is to ask the Lees Court Estate if Lady Sondes would have any objection to its being put on the Lees about midway along the A251 frontage.

5.2 IE suggested we join the Village Signs Society, membership of which is £8.00, from which he has already acquired a (free, but they wish to be kept informed of our progress) document giving guidance to obtaining a village sign. It was agreed that the Committee would choose one from three signs and present it to the village for consideration. The overall cost will be in the region of £2000 excluding the erecting. BP said that it would be fitting for all elements of the sign to be made as locally as possible. IE, BP, FG will form a working party to organise the design of the three signs and the erection of the sign.

5.3 IE will ask the Highways Department for advice on how best to protect the triangle from damage from traffic.

6 Summer Quiz

6.1 JA is organising the Summer Quiz (27 June) and will be asking JG for advice.

7 Village Hall Maintenance (item deferred)

8 Defibrillator and Resilience

8.1 JA reported that Dave Austin will be arranging a meeting for villagers to discuss ways of responding in the event of a crisis, including ways of helping the emergency services. First Responders will be invited in order to show villagers how to operate the village defibrillator.

8.2 The defibrillator (see Parish Council minutes for further information)is currently with AA. It was agreed that it should be housed in the Hall for the time being, with its location to be reviewed; it needs to be kept above 15°C. AA is to buy a key locker with a combination in which to put the Hall key. The location of the defibrillator and the combination for the key locker will be known by the emergency services control centre.  


9.1 BP is to form a working party to maintain the North track alongside the Lees.

9.2 The 100 Club winners are as follows: March: £15 Rosie Sharrock, £10 Arthur Skinner; April: £15 Sam Treasure, £10 Yoshi Euridge.

9.3 Thanks were given to Rosie Sharrock for her help in over the years. She has now left the Committee.

9.4 The Committee would like to offer its condolences to the family of Andy Vant, village character and entrepreneur, and a past member of the Committee.

The meeting closed at 9.10pm.