Rusthall Village Association

DATE: Wednesday 15th March 2017
VENUE: Rusthall Village Club
TIME: 1930 hours

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

Apologies received from the following committee members: Beryl Woodall, Ann Tyler

1. Chair's Report:

Alex Britcher welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Jon Weller from IMAGO

Jon introduced himself as the Director of Commercial Services. Imago is a social action charity, previously called VAWK (Voluntary Action within Kent). The name was changed as the charity now includes areas outside Kent. Imago deal with vulnerable and disadvantaged people of all ages, and their services include a range of projects to promote independence and growth. (The name Imago means a butterfly emerging from a cocoon.)

Jon had brought a number of leaflets with him which illustrate some of the services offered. These include:

Kent Care Navigators – for anyone who needs help within own home, this could be advice, help with transport etc. This is a free service to help people get the community support services they need.

Community Transport – for anyone who is unable to access public transport due to older age, illness, or disability. There are currently 84 volunteer drivers in the scheme, but more are always required – expenses are reimbursed. To access the scheme, there is a £20 membership fee, then 65p per mile.

Young Carers Service - this scheme identifies young carers between the ages of 5 – 18, and gives them the opportunity to 'be a child', minimising the negative impact of their caring role and increasing their wellbeing. This service is free of charge.

Short Break Service – offers a respite for children with disabilities

Council for Voluntary Service – If a voluntary organisation needs to raise funds, Imago can help identify the top funding schemes. It can also give advice for bids supporting voluntary organisations.


Funding – Imago is a charity and has a broad range of funding schemes, including KCC Social Services, trusts, self funding through charity shops (Monson Road and Crescent Road in T Wells), and working with local businesses.

When was Imago set up? - It was set up as the Council for Voluntary Service for Tunbridge Wells in 1964.

Any restrictions on type of car used by volunteers? Not really, but people need to be able to self transfer into the car used. Imago provide Public Liability insurance, but drivers have to have their own insurance.

Jon encouraged people to contact Imago for any advice. He also stressed that the organisation was dependent on volunteers, so if anyone can help, please contact him.


The date for this event has been set as Saturday 22nd April from 11am to 1pm. This will be followed by a buffet lunch and social from 1 – 3pm, and will hopefully include some musical entertainment. The litter picking area will be around theToad Rock, extending out as necessary onto the Rusthall Road. The social will take place at the Toad Rock Retreat. Meet there at 11am. Sodexo will be supporting the event, and will provide litter picking sticks, bin bags etc. They will also remove the litter at the end of the day.

Please let the RVA committee know if you intend to come, so we can arrange enough free food, but you will have to purchase your own drinks. Contact

* Break for Raffle ticket sales and socialising *


Headway Court will be holding a Table Top sale on Saturday 20th May from 9am – 11.30pm at St Paul's Church Centre. All are welcome

Rusthall Community Cinema – Eugene kindly donated 2 tickets for the cinema to the raffle. The cinema has now been granted charitable status. If anyone is unable to attend the screenings due to infirmity or nervousness on venturing out at night, they can have free transportation to and from the cinema – email or phone 07762 218646. As well as the main film there is a support film, a bar selling wine, beer, soft drinks, tea, coffee and snacks, and after the film there is a discussion group. You can see what is coming up by visiting the website at

Rusthall Community Arts

The Quirky Tree event held on 25th February was very successful, with over 100 people attending throughout the day. It is hoped that we can revisit it on our Festival weekend in September, which will take place on 16th and 17th . Saturday's events will take place on the Common (subject to approval from the Conservators), around the Quirky Tree and other events will take place in various venues in the village on the Sunday. Further details will be publicised on the Community Arts website at As always, volunteers will be needed on the day, particularly on the Saturday to help erect the marquees.

In the meantime, workshops are being planned and will be ongoing prior to the Festival weekend. The RCA AGM is on Tuesday 21st March at the Rusthall Club at 7.30pm.


The following committee members were re-appointed:

Position Nominee Proposer Seconder
Chair Alex Britcher Maggie Fraser John Barber
Vice Chair Beryl Woodall John Barber Thelma Huggett
Secretary Sue White John Barber Thelma Huggett
Treasurer Hazel Duncombe John Barber Thelma Huggett
Web Master Nigel Suckling John Barber Thelma Huggett


Borough Councillor reports

Thelma Huggett

• Councillor Huggett informed the meeting that The Times of T Wells published a report from a Lib Democrat saying the new Theatre hub would cost more in council tax. This is not the case, as the funding for the repayment of the loan would take many years and would not affect council tax.

• A member of the public asked TH if anything could be done about the bird droppings on the benches in the precinct outside M&S. The answer from Councillor Huggett was no, but maybe the rubbish collectors could be asked to wash down the benches each morning.

Rusthall Parish Council Reports

Barry Edwards

• BE has been in touch with KCC Highways dept about the disabled bays on the High Street

• The parish council have agreed to fund the painting of double yellow lines on the corner from Common View to the bus stop. This is ongoing.

• A member of the public asked if anything could be done about people parking on the kerbs by Headway Court, especially at night. Emergency vehicles would not be able to get through. BE said there would be no chance of getting double yellow lines painted, but that leaflets on parked cars might be effective. All parish councillors have been issued with leaflets for this type of issue. Alex Britcher said that there is now a Highways Committee on the Parish Council.

Maggie Fraser

• There have been a series of break-ins at the allotments. CCTV is being tested at the Rackliff Centre, and if successful will be installed at the allotments as well.

• There are several groups in the area (T Wells, Speldhurst etc) that are lobbying for the cessation or reduction of night flights from and to Gatwick. If anyone is affected, they should continue to make their voice heard.

• The new community warden, which Rusthall shares with Sherwood, has started her role, but she does not walk around the streets, so does not get to know the residents..

• In her capacity as a school governor, Maggie said that the school continues to improve. It is, however, let down by a few pupils' low attendance. (Jon Weller said that this could be raised with the Borough Council perhaps)

• The sign for the school at the bottom of Longmeads was removed some time ago. This is now to be replaced and should be done within 60 days.

7. A.O.B

• Alex Britcher said that the crossing at Langton Road, which KCC had promised to install, has run into problems due to the refuges at each side of the road.

The raffle raised £22
Meeting closed at 21.15
The next meeting will be on 17th May 2017

Chair – Alex Britcher 07967 011 467
Website editor Nigel Suckling 01892 544345
Secretary: Sue White

Minutes: Sue White