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6th January 2015



7.30 pm, 6 JANUARY 2015

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

Apologies for absence: Katie Bennett; Kate Linforth; Charlie Kirby; Rosie/Kim Sharrock

1 Minutes of November Meeting and Matters Arising [numbers refer to November minutes]

1.1 The minutes of November’s meeting were agreed. They have been posted on the website. A summary has appeared in the Parish Magazine and is on display at the Red Lion and in the bus shelter. Paper copies will be sent to those who request them.

1.2  RB found that an accountant would be costly. It was decided that the treasurer of this committee, like others locally, will do the accounts and that they will be internally audited annually, published on the website every calendar year and made public at the AGM.

1.3 IE learned from Strutt and Parker that the Sondes Estate does not own the Village Hall, but owns the ground. We pay a peppercorn rent of £10 per annum.

2.2  IE has not yet looked into finding trustees.

3.1 RB and IE will soon have access to the various bank accounts. JG will continue to pay money from The Badlesmere Lees 100 Club into the bank herself.

3.3 Dave Austin is no longer a committee member, but will continue to take charge of the website.

4.1 IE and DW are to compile a list of works that need doing. Currently the lavatories are being refurbished (DW and CK) and the guttering repaired or replaced (IE).

4.2 IE, CK and DW have trimmed the branches of the Leylandii that were touching the roof and Mark Taylor has scheduled further trimming of the trees.

5.1  Despite the rain, the tidying of the Lees got off to a good start on 23 November. About 100m from the Hall to the Rectory was cleared.

6.1 BP ordered and received planings and some of the bigger potholes have been filled in the North track but the ground is too wet for further work. AA and BP have the matter in hand. It was agreed that the sycamore trees by the Hall need to be cut back and IE has already approached Strutt and Parker since these are on Estate land.

6.5 IE has taken photographs of the southern lay-by on the A251 in order to show the awkward sightlines.

6.6 RB volunteered to be responsible for filling the potholes in the lay-bys.

9.1  MW has so far been unable to contact the relevant person at the gas board with regard to the surprise bill, but is hoping to do so on 9 January.

2 Winter Clear-up No 2

2.1 It was agreed that low branches should not be chopped off trees on the Lees unless they are touching the ground. Where mowing beneath trees is difficult, the grass should be left to grow. AA agreed to be in charge of general maintenance of the Lees and will coordinate help when it is needed.

2.2 The next clear-up has been arranged for 2.00pm Saturday, 31 January. [This was amended, before the minutes were published, to 11.00am Sunday, 1 February.]

3 Cutting of the Lees

3.1  AA is to continue cutting the Lees, and will be paid £600. He explained that grass on the Lees grows unevenly and that it is important to get the timing right for mowing such as when the ground is not too soft. Cutting will not be limited to four times a year and others will help by sharing the tractor driving. It was agreed that the grass should be remain rough (in contrast to Sheldwich and Challock) but mown relatively short.

3.2 It was agreed that a wildflower meadow will not be planted this year as it would take a lot of maintenance and that one planted in the past was eaten by rabbits.

4 Posts around the Lees

4.1 It was felt that, due to the poor condition of the posts around the Lees, they should be replaced with a low barrier, such as a post and single rail, along the side of the A251 in order to make it difficult for people to drive onto the Lees. IE will approach the Sondes Estate to ask for permission and a contribution towards the cost. IE said he would also seek the views of other residents as this would be a significant change to the appearance of the Lees.

5 Village Signs

5.1 It was agreed that an attractive village sign would add to the charm of the village. FG designed one a few years ago and was quoted £1000 to have it made. FG and IE will look into this again.

5.2 It was also agreed that narrow gates beneath the speed limit/Village signs at the village entrances would be attractive and require little maintenance.

5.3 It was decided that the triangle area at the entrance to the North track needs attention. JG said she would be willing to create a flowerbed in that location. IE said that, again, permission from the Estate would be needed if it proved to be Estate land.

5.4 BP wondered if twinning with a village in another European country would be possible and is to look into it.

6 Tree planting

6.1 Dave Austin has been given £25 by The Kent Men of the Trees for a new tree. It was agreed that the new tree should be an indigenous apple variety planted near the Village Hall. The Amalanchier and Checker Tree outside the Hall were also gifts from The Kent Men of the Trees. These may be moved to a more appropriate place which is to be decided.

6.2 The tree that fell during a storm recently will be dealt with by the Estate.

7 Future Fund-raising

7.1  JG said that the 100 Club is continuing and that she and FG were willing to organise the next Wine and Wisdom evening. The date for this was set for 28 November.

7.2 It was agreed that if the Medieval Fayre were to take place this year, it should be for one day only. MW will contact Badger Rampant to discuss this. If the Fayre does not take place, there will be another summer event, such as a picnic.

7.3  JA is to organise a summer quiz.

8 Any Other Business

8.1 AA reminded the Committee that funds from the Parish Council may be available for costed items or work on the Hall every year.

8.2 FG commented that the screws in the corrugated roof are coming loose, but IE thought they simply need banging in again.

The meeting closed at 8.45pm. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, 3 March at 7.30pm.