Held on 10th April 2017



Present: Dave McCombe (DM), Geraldine McCombe (GM), Colin Manvell (CM) (LPC), Chris Barnett (CB) and Ray Dixon



Apologies:  Lorna Molton (LM), Joyce Knapton (JK), Karen Hickman (KH) and Judy Mutch



Welcome:  DM welcomed everyone to the meeting.



Minutes of the Last Meeting:  The Minutes of the last meeting were approved.



Matters Arising:


Bulb Planting:  The Committee would like to thank Hester Ethell for the wonderful display of bulbs this Spring following her hard work in planting the bulbs last Autumn.  


Bus Shelter:  The bus shelter has now been installed opposite Upton Cottages and our thanks to Cllr. Susan Carey for her funding of this project.


Speedwatch:  The second session of Speedwatch this Spring with the new equipment noted 37 motorists exceeding the speed limit.  The new equipment picks up motorists’ speed at 4 times the distance of the old equipment.  CM reported that volunteers will now have to register with Kent Speedwatch at Maidstone and he was currently arranging for this to be done.


Litter Pick:  The litter pick on 4 March was reasonably well attended by residents and a group from Romney Marsh and the litter around the village was found to be not too excessive, probably due in part to the regular Litter Picks.


Quiz:  DM confirmed that the Spring Quiz on 6 May will be run by the Guides and Youth as last year.  Advertising of the event has already been done and DM will arrange for posters to be put up on the notice boards.



Treasurer’s Report:  In the absence of JK GM reported that the balance of the accounts is £6813.42 and £263.86 with a debit of £44 still outstanding.   


PA System:  DM reported that a PA system for events like the Christmas Lighting Up would cost approximately £120 and all agreed that he should purchase the equipment.



Village Sign:   DM reported that the Village Sign is now complete and it was arranged that 4 committee members would visit the manufacturer next week to view the sign, arrange for delivery and pay the balance of £3192.  CB will contact Charlier Builders to arrange an installation date and contact the remaining donators for their donations.


Cinema Club:  Discussion took place about the falling numbers of attendees and the fact that our current licence was limiting what films we could show.  GM reported that for a refundable deposit of £150 plus £100 per film we would have access to a wider range of films and it was agreed that we would try this to see if we could generate the larger audience that would be needed to cover our costs.  CM reported that he would be arranging for better black out covers for the doors.


Befrienders:  LM sent a report that the DBS certificates for the Befrienders have been renewed but to date there have still been no takers for the service.


Christmas Tree Lights:  Terry Rawbone who maintains the lights and batteries for us with Ken Price has reported that one of the battery chargers has failed and would like a replacement plus a back up.  It was agreed we would purchase 2 battery chargers.


Potholes:   CM reported that Kent Highways have extra funding for road repairs and residents should report any potholes direct to Highways.


The meeting closed at 3.30 pm.



The next meeting will be arranged once we have a date for the installation of the Village Sign.





HELD ON SUNDAY, 4th DECEMBER 2016 @ 19.30 PM



The Chairman, David McCombe (DM), supported by 18 residents.


Welcome & Apologies: 

The Chairman welcomed everyone and received apologies from Colin Manvell, Pat Manvell and Terry Rawbone.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting:

The Minutes were distributed before the meeting.  John White proposed, Graham Barber seconded and the meeting agreed that the Minutes be recorded as a true record.


Matters Arising:

There were no matters arising.


Chairman’s Report: 

The Chairman thanked the Committee and all volunteers for their hard work throughout the year.  He also thanked Cllrs. Colin Manvell, Chris Barnett, Karen Hickman and Ann Baker for their support and help, Lynne Rogers for planting and maintaining the planter, Terry Rawbone for looking after the tree lights and batteries and all residents who have donated/helped during the year.


Achievements and Activities:

  • The New Year’s Eve Party was only attended by 17 people possibly due to The Gatekeeper Inn holding one for the first time since the new owners took over and there are no plans to run one with the Village Hall this year.
  • Clean for the Queen was held on the 5th March with plenty of residents joining in with the Litter Pick.
  • The Spring Quiz was run by the Youth Team with great success and was enjoyed by all who attended.  It is hoped that Ann Baker and the Youth Team will be able to run another quiz in 2017.
  • The Queen’s 90th Tea Party was held in place of The Big Lunch and was attended by 60+ people and, despite the inclement weather, was enjoyed by all.  The Big Lunch has had dwindling attendance in past few years and it may be that a themed event will prove more successful.
  • The Autumn litter-pick was also successful with 14 residents plus Giles Barnard (Shepway District Council) and Cllr. Susan Carey (Shepway and Kent County Council).  There was less litter than in the Spring but many residents are picking up litter as they find it on their walks around the village.  Thanks went to the Village Hall for the free use of the hall at both Clean-Ups.
  • The Fun Quiz in October was poorly attended with only 24 people.  The new committee will have to consider whether or not to hold a quiz in 2017 at that time of the year.   
  • The Christmas Tree Lighting-Up was well attended with Cllr. Susan Carey again switching on the lights for us.  Over 70 residents and children turned out, despite it being slightly damp, to enjoy the festivities and carol singing accompanied by Karen and Lauren Hickman on the tenor horn and trumpet.   A big thank you to both of them, all the volunteers for helping erect the shelters and John White who came to the chairman’s rescue the following morning when the shelters were being uprooted by the wind. 
  • Although the Befriending service is available for the residents of Etchinghill it is not being used and Lorna Molton will be speaking to Age UK to try to revive interest in this service.   
  • Hester Ethell has carried out the planting of 1500+ bulbs along the Canterbury Road and the corner of Meriden Park so there should be a wonderful display of flowers in the Spring.  As the chairman will be away when the bulbs are flowering he requested residents to take some pictures for the website.
  • Since obtaining planning permission, the village sign has now been ordered as we have sufficient funding to proceed and installation is planned for April 2017.  Searches have been carried out with the various utilities to establish that no services run under the site.  Special thanks go to Chris Barnett for her outstanding success in obtaining funding and donations and Geraldine McCombe for carrying out the searches and applying for grants.  Special thanks also to our youngest fund raiser, George Edwards, who raised money by selling unwanted items including fruit from the family fruit bowl!  We have volunteers to collect the sign and post (Jon Daughters) and move the planter (DM, Adrian Black and his wife’s relative).  Charlier Construction will be carrying out a CAT scan of the site, installing the sign and removing the spoil free of charge, saving the Residents’ Association approximately £1200.  An official press day will be held once the ground has been allowed to settle and the grass re-established.  DM has contacted Capel Groundworks to put a paved area around the post to finish it off but has had no reply to date.
  • Following the death of our committee member, Lorraine Rawbone, and the resignation of Terry Rawbone, we need new committee members to take over the running of the Cinema Club and volunteers to help with the running.  Ray Dixon has agreed to be a projectionist so together with DM, Ken Price and Joyce Knapton we now have 4 projectionists.  Lorraine will be sadly missed by us all as she did an excellent job for the Cinema Club and DM would also like to thank Terry Rawbone for his work over the past years.  Barbara Newing has agreed to co-ordinate the cinema club in January pending a replacement organiser.    


Support to Other Organisations:

  • DM will continue to update the web pages for the Village Hall and Neighbourhood Watch as and when required.
  • We support the Speedwatch Team.
  • Colin Manvell is our liaison with the Village Hall Committee and we help on the Maintenance Team when required.


Matters Arising:

1)      Terry Rawbone who looks after the batteries on our behalf has requested help with changing and charging of the batteries to allow the lights to be left on for a longer period and Ken Price agreed to help out.

2)      Rodney Watts reported that Age UK is actively working with local doctors to offer support to people in need of it and suggested it could worth exploring for the Befriending service.  Barbara Newing said that, when setting up the service, she had approached the surgeries and cards had been left for patients to take if they wish as the doctors have said that they are unable to make specific recommendations.

3)      Edna Marsh offered to pay the shortfall in the funding for the village sign in memory of her late husband Alan Marsh.  The Chairman thanked her for her kind offer.

4)      Barbara Newing thanked the Chairman and Secretary for stepping in and running the cinema club since April.


Treasurer’s Report:  

The Treasurer outlined the main points and the audited Report and Accounts are attached to these notes.  The Treasurer and Chairman thanked Graham Barber for auditing the accounts.  It was proposed by Rodney Watts and seconded by Chris Barnett that the accounts be accepted.  The meeting agreed.  The Treasurer also talked through the funding for the Village Sign which had been updated since 31st October following receipt of additional grants and donations.


Parish Councillor’s Report:

Councillor Chris Barnett’s report is attached.


Election of Officers: 

Chairman – David McCombe proposed by Karen Hickman and seconded by Graham Barber.

Secretary – Geraldine McCombe proposed by Graham Barber and seconded by Rodney Watts.

Treasurer – Joyce Knapton proposed by Chris Price and seconded by Barbara Newing.


There were no objections to the appointments.


Election of Committee Members: 

Chris Barnett - proposed by Edna Marsh and seconded by Joyce Knapton. 

Lorna Molton - proposed by Graham Barber and seconded by Karen Hickman.

Karen Hickman - proposed by Joyce Knapton and seconded by John White.

Ray Dixon – proposed by Joyce Knapton and seconded by Rodney Watts.

Judy Mutch – proposed by Chris Barnett and seconded by Rodney Watts.

Councillor Colin Manvell - proposed by Geraldine McCombe and seconded by Lorna Molton.


There were no objections to the appointments.


Any Other Business:

Barbara Newing requested that all items for the Etchinghill Update be sent to her by the 14th or 15th of the month at the latest.


Chris Barnett reminded residents that there is funding available for projects from Lyminge Parish Council.  Graham Barber said that the Village Hall Committee currently have no planned projects.  Rodney Watts asked whether circulating residents for ideas would be helpful.  Barbara Newing said that this had been tried in the past.


There being no other business the meeting closed at 9.00 pm.



Parish Council Report




Two new Parish Councillors have been co-opted to represent the Lyminge Ward - Gillian Heywood MBE and Paul Trayner who lives in Etchinghill.  We now have 5 parish councillors living in Etchinghill who are in a position to look after the interests of Etchinghill.


The live/work units in Westfield Heights have now had planning permission for change of use to residential homes.  The passing place installed as part of the planning permission for Westfield Heights is being used as a parking space and the Police Community Support will be checking it out.  The lighting out in Westfield Lane has been reported.


The cutting of hedgerows is continuing and any potholes should be reported on the Kent Highways website. 


The new Speedwatch equipment has been received and has already proved more effective on picking up motorists speeding in excess of 34 mph.


Shepway District Council are looking for pockets of land for development and  Etchinghill has the nursery site, land immediately to the right as you enter the Golf Club plus land on the far side of the surgery.  The possible development land has been put forward by the owners of the land and the Parish Council would seek improved access through to Lyminge and better traffic management and have made these views known to Shepway.


The order for a new bus shelter to be erected opposite Upstreet Cottages is due to be placed and Cllr. Susan Carey is paying for it from her allowance.


The trustees of the Village Hall will be asked to permit the siting of a defibrillator on the Village Hall wall and whether they will be prepared to apply for a grant from the British Heart Foundation who have 100% grants available.  They should follow this up from the minutes.


Councillor Barnett took questions from the floor:


Barbara Newing reported that the path across the golf club was in need of repair and not easily used by mobility scooters without using the grass verge.


The question of a footpath outside Broad Street House was raised but Lyminge Parish Council are still unable to obtain agreement.


Although residents have been reporting problems to Kent Highways they have been told that the problems are not bad enough to warrant repair.