Estates Minutes – 27th September 2021

Minutes Uploaded on October 5, 2021


The Podmore Building, St Andrews Road, Paddock Wood

Tonbridge, Kent, TN12 6HT

Telephone:  01892 837373


MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE ESTATES COMMITTEE held on Monday 27th September 2021 at 8 pm in the Day Centre, Commercial Road.



PRESENT:                Cllr D Boyle, in the Chair

Cllr H. Atkins, R Atkins, M Flashman, R. Moon, D. Sargison,


IN ATTENDANCE:   Mrs N Reay, Town Clerk

Mr K Butler, Estates Manager


APOLOGY:               Cllr R. Turk



                        There were no declarations of interest.



The minutes of the meeting held on 23rd August 2021 were APPROVED with one abstention



(a)                   Paddock Wood Cemetery ES9 a -There has been correspondence with the contractor following the site meeting. The Estates Manager reported that the contractor was proposing to remove the damaged bricks, approximately 400, and replace them.  The surface would then be sealed.

(b)                   Paddock Wood Cemetery – ES9 b- The drainage work is complete.

(c)                   ES12- There have been difficulties sourcing the e van.  One had been sourced but was not available on finance and would cost £33,000 to buy outright.

Members discussed whether to continue trying to source an e-van or revert to a diesel/petrol one.  The council is currently hiring a van.  Members agreed that they would prefer to wait until an e van was available.

Cllr Boyle proposed, Cllr Atkins seconded:

That the council should continue to explore options for an e-van, including a hybrid.

                        Other councils should be consulted regarding funding.

CARRIED unanimously


(d)                   ES10  Brown moths- various locations. Following advice, a quotation was obtained and accepted for removal instead of spraying. The company in question failed to attend or schedule the work so it was cancelled. A contractor was asked to quote based on spraying with a pesticide that does not persist in the environment and is harmless to other wildlife such as hedgehogs which might eat the dead caterpillars. This work has now been carried out and the cutting of the hedges started w/c 6th September 2021.



Members considered a request from the Hurricane Baseball Club to use St Andrews Field.

Whilst supportive, and keen to encourage a new sport in Paddock Wood members did not feel that St Andrews Field was a suitable location

The Estates Manager was asked to meet with representatives from the club to see if there were any other suitable sites available.



Cllr Turk had visited the site, along with a flood warden and met with residents.

A discussion had been had as to whether building a French drain and bund along the hedge line would be suitable.  However, this could divert the water elsewhere.  Southern Water have refused permission to drain the water into the road drains.  A bund has been built on the resident side of the of the hedge line in some areas.

The site is complex with several issues causing the flooding problems.

It was agreed that Cllr Turk should give a report at the next meeting.



Several plumbing contractors were approached to carry out the work required by the survey. Only one was willing to survey and quote. This quotation is attached for members only. Members discussed whether to accept this as legionella is a safety issue and failing to do the recommended work will have liability implications.  The quote would need reviewing as it was only fixed for 30 days.

Cllr Boyle proposed, Cllr H Atkins seconded:

That the quote should be accepted, subject to a no more than 5% increase.

CARRIED unanimously.



  1. a) Tree safety inspection – the work from last year’s inspection has been completed over the summer. The original report had recommended felling a tree at Fuggles Close, however the tree surgeon has suggested that the tree could be saved by bracing.  Advise is being sought from the tree inspector as to whether this would be acceptable.

Cllr Boyle proposed, Cllr Moon seconded:

That the tree should be braced if the safety inspector accepts the recommendation.

CARRIED unanimously.


  1. b) The playground inspections have been completed and the Estates Manager will arrange for remedial work to be carried out as required. It was recommended that the stage at St Andrews should be removed for safety reasons.  It is currently fenced off and will be removed during the autumn.



                        As phones are to go cloud based by December 2025, the office has been looking into changing the phone systems to comply with this. Over the summer the phones in the office developed significant faults which could not be corrected by BT.

Quotations have been obtained and the office phone system will shortly be upgraded.

The quotation received is only marginally more expensive than what is currently in place which is outdated and not operating properly. It also has additional features that will enable staff to divert calls to facilitate home working if that becomes necessary.


The Council has also been seeking to have WIFI installed in the Day Centre. Most providers have advised that the Wi-Fi signal in the area is too weak.  BT may be able to overcome this, and discussions are continuing to try to resolve the problems.


ES26              BUDGET 2022/2023

Members are asked to consider any projects they would like to put forward for next year.  These can be discussed at the October meeting and put to the Finance meeting in November.



The work had been completed over the weekend.  The re-seeded areas would remain fenced off until the grass starts to grow.


ES28              FOAL HURST WOOD

The bench by the dipping pond has been damaged beyond repair.  Members were asked to approve a replacement bench.  Details of a suitable replacement were circulated to members.  There is currently £3000 in the reserve fund.

Cllr Boyle proposed, Cllr Moon seconded:

That the Glasdon Lowther seat should be ordered.

CARRIED 5 in favour 1 abstention



The Estates manager reported that the estates team had had a difficult summer, however work was being caught up on.

There were currently problems with the mowing of the fields.  Due to the conditions the grass was growing so fast, that when it was cut it was leaving a mess and the footballers had complained.  After cutting the Estates staff were using the council’s ride on mower to clear the pitches.  However, this was time consuming.  There was also currently a fuel shortage and work would be restricted if fuel could not be purchased.                     

Cllr Boyle proposed, Cllr Atkins seconded:


Under section 1 (2) of the Public Bodies (admission to meetings) Act 1960 the following items should be exempt from the press and public.


CARRIED unanimously


ES30              PITCH FEES

                        Members considered the clerk’s report and agreed that discussions should be entered into for a fixed fee.  Disputed invoices should be written off.



                        Cllr Boyle Proposed, Cllr R Atkins seconded:

That the council should pursue legal action against the householder and instruct solicitors.

CARRIED unanimously


ES32              BOWLS CLUB LEASE

Cllr Moon declared that he was a member of the Bowls Club and abstained from voting.


                        Cllr Boyle proposed, Cllr H Atkins seconded:

That the lease should be accepted

CARRIED 5 in favour, 1 abstention


ES33              DATE OF NEXT MEETING

                        The next meeting will be held on Monday 11th October 2021.


The meeting closed at 9.30 pm


Paddock Wood Town Council