Rusthall Village Association

DATE: Wednesday 18th May 2016
VENUE: Rusthall Village Club
TIME: 1930 hours

Committee members present: Alex Britcher: Chair, Sue White, Hazel Duncombe, Beryl Woodall, Nigel Suckling

Apologies received from the following committee member: Ann Tyler

1. Alex Britcher welcomed everyone to the meeting. She advised that maps for the Rusthall Arts Festival were available for everyone and also T-shirts were available to buy for £10.


Adrian Berendt

Adrian spoke to the meeting on '20's Plenty' which is a national campaign to reduce the speed limit to 20mph in urban residential areas. Evidence shows that 20mph speed restrictions make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and also encourages people to walk and cycle instead of driving. It also makes the environment quieter, and at a steady speed of 20mph, improves pollution. Just putting a 20mph speed limit outside schools does not help, as people speed up once away from this zone. A person hit by a car travelling at 30mph is 30% more likely to be killed than if the car was travelling at 20mph.

Costs for implementing a new 20mph speed limit would be approx £3 per head of population, but this would be offset by the savings in the reduction of the numbers of casualties. Adrian had brought along leaflets with more information. The scheme has already been implemented in Bristol, Brighton and Portsmouth.

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has approved the strategy for 20mph. The more people who sign up to the campaign, the more pressure can be put on KCC to implement it in Kent. An online petition can be accessed HERE. There is also a letter template at this website.


1. What is the view of the police? They are in favour and will enforce a 20mph zone as they would enforce 30mph. They will set up hot spot speed enforcement areas.

2. Can we use some of this information in Rusthall Life? Yes, and a '20's Plenty' campaign can be set up for Rusthall. The parish council will need to pass a resolution about this. The parish council should write to the Borough Council and to KCC asking for it to be implemented.

3. Councillor Joy Podbury said this was on her agenda and speed restrictions is one of her most popular questions asked.

It was agreed that Adrian Berendt would forward information for Rusthall to start a campaign. A template can be used for a petition, or individuals can write to Matthew Balfour, the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport at KCC. The more people act the more pressure we can put on KCC.

Eugene Gardner

Update on the Rusthall Community Cinema.

The film 'Joy' will be shown on Saturday 28th May in Sunnyside Hall as part of the Rusthall Arts Festival. This will be a free film for all to enjoy, but will be limited to 80 seats, half of which have already been reserved. Thereafter, films will be shown on a monthly basis. Membership is £36 per year, and each film will cost members £2. The next films will be:

Pride 17th June; The Station Agent 15th July; The Cook, the Thief, his wife and her lover August.

Doors open at 6.45pm. A short film or documentary at 7pm followed by the main film at 7.30pm. The bar will be open after the film and there will be the opportunity for discussion. Refreshments will also be available before the film.

A summary will be put on the RVA website.
Click HERE to view a PDF presentation of progress with the Community Cinema so far.

Annie Softley

Annie gave an update on the Rusthall Fete, which will take place on Saturday 16th July. Set up will start on Friday from 4pm, and help will be appreciated on both the Friday and the Saturday after the fete closes at 5pm. If anyone has a van and can spare some time to transport equipment from Jockey Farm they will be most welcome.

The chair of the Rusthall School PTA (Alison McKenzie) offered to promote the fete at the school.

It was also agreed that we could have a '20's Plenty' stall at the fete, and Alison suggested they should have one at the school as well.

* Break for Raffle ticket sales and socialising *

3. Treasurer's Report

Hazel Duncombe had prepared the accounts for 2015/16 and copies were available for inspection. The balance at 31st March 2015 was £1,081.96. The committee has donated £200 to the Rusthall Arts Festival. The bank account has now been sorted out and new signatories added as the committee membership has changed.


RPC Cllr Jenny Blackburn:

Jenny reported that the new chair of the parish council is Barry Edwards, with Alex Britcher as Vice Chair. The council has 4 committees: finance, allotments, planning and the Rackliff centre – each will have its own chair.

Jenny had been approached by Emma Tamkin who lives in Rusthall and offers mobile foot care services. Business cards were available and Nigel will put her information on the RVA website.

RPC Councillor Maggie Fraser

Maggie, as a governor of the Rusthall Primary School, reported that the school is now doing very well and is exceeding the national average in many areas. An Ofsted inspection is due shortly. Alex suggested that the headmistress could come and speak at a future RVA meeting.

Borough Councillor Thelma Huggett

Thelma reported that Joy Podbury had been relected at the local elections. The current Mayor is leaving next week and the new Mayor is Liberal Democrat.

A new Events location at the back of the Longfield Industrial Estate has applied for a full licence for entertainment. Thelma has been to look at the site, which is down the road by John Lewis.

The Borough Council supports the '20's Plenty' campaign. Matthew Balfour's email address is

6. A.O.B

1. Jenny Blackburn reported that the parish council owns speedwatch equipment, which was purchased with funding granted by Borough Councillor John Davis. This is currently on loan to another parish council, but a request is being made for its return. This equipment will need a team of about 6-8 volunteers to use it, and who will need to be trained.

2. Alex Britcher said that a defibrillator has now been installed at the URC by the main door. It has a flashing beacon which makes it easy to locate. This is for public use, the instructions for use are very clear and no training is needed. It is alarmed so it will be clear if it is inappropriately accessed. It is hoped to have another at the Rackliff Centre, and if possible one should be acquired for Denny Bottom. It will be necessary to raise funds for this, and it was suggested that the landlord of the Toad Rock could be approached with suggestions for fund raising and also for location of the defibrillator when purchased.

3. Dennis Penfold said that the history society will have a display each day of the Arts Festival at the Rackliff Centre from 11-1 and 2-4. It will feature local arts and artists. There will also be a display at the Rusthall Fete on 16th July.

The organiser for the Heritage Open Days in September is no longer available, so it looks as though no pamphlet will be produced this year. However, it will still be possible to register direct and the History society will have its usual display in the parish church.

4. Jenny reminded people that the cut off date for articles for Rusthall Life is the first week in June.

She also said she has replanted the trough with plants kindly donated by Alex for The Venture. If anyone sees any damage please report it to Jenny.

The raffle raised £15

Meeting closed at 21.05

The next meeting will be on 20th July

Chair – Alex Britcher 07967 011 467
Website editor Nigel Suckling 01892 544345

Minutes: Sue White