Rusthall Village Association

DATE: Wednesday 21st March 2018
VENUE: Rusthall Village Club
TIME: 1930 hours

Committee members present: Chair: Alex Britcher, Secretary: Sue White, Nigel Suckling, Chris Perry

Apologies received from Vice Chair, Beryl Woodall; Treasurer, Hazel Duncombe

1. Alex Britcher welcomed everyone to the meeting and said that subscriptions of £3 per person were due and would be collected during the meeting.

2. GUEST SPEAKER – Michael Coggles, Chair of the Tunbridge Wells Access Group.

Michael explained that the Tunbridge Wells Access group is an independent voluntary organisation working for better access and better information for the temporarily or permanently disabled. It now forms part of the Disability Rights UK. However it is not just about access, as the group tries to find employment for disabled people. By joining an access group a person's chances to gain full time employment can be enhanced.

Access groups also do a lot for the general community, not just disabled people – for example The Gateway has lots of tactile things, primarily for blind people, but also help others. Pedestrian crossings have knurled knobs which rotate when it is safe to cross.

The UN Convention on the rights of disabled people was adopted in the UK in 2000 and ratified by parliament in 2009, leading to the creation of the legally binding UK Disability Strategy 2012 and Action Plan to meeting total compliance with all the articles of the Convention by 2025.

For more information on the Tunbridge Wells Access group, see


A date has been agreed for the start of the Big Garden Dig. On Saturday 5th May 2018 a meeting will take place in the URC, starting at 11am. Nigel Stapple and David Thorpe will give a talk about how to go about digging a test pit and what to expect. This will be followed by a test pit being dug in Alex Britcher's garden, next door to the URC. Anyone interested who has not already given their contact details should email the RVA on


The next village litter pick will take place on Saturday 21st April with an 11am start. This will concentrate on the south side of the High Street up to Common View. The social will take place after the litter pick at the Rusthall Club from 12.30pm. Hi Viz jackets branded with the RVA logo have been ordered. As usual Sodexo will provide the litter picking sticks, black sacks etc and take away the rubbish. Alex will have a Health and Safety briefing sheet. Anyone interested who has not already given their contact details should email the RVA on


Jenny Blackburn (Parish Council)

• The Parish Council had 3 vacancies occur recently. 4 people are being interviewed for the posts next week.

• Parish Councils are elected on a 4 year cycle, so next year the whole council will be up for re-election

• Shepherd Neame is proposing to develop the land at the rear of the Red Lion. They have leased the pub and a small parcel of land to the new landlords, but plan to build 3 houses on the rest of the land. There is a planning meeting on Monday 26th March at which everyone is welcome.

• The High Street was not gritted during the recent heavy snow. It has now been emphasised that this is a primary route and so should not happen again.

• The proposed crossing on the Langton Road has run into problems with regard to electricity and service pipes in the area. A new plan is now to reduce the speed limit from 40 – 30mph from Langton Green to the Spa, so allowing a different type of crossing.

• The parish precept has increased slightly, in view of the possibility of the council having to take over the management of the Mary Caley playground. This will have an effect on the Council Tax.

• The parish council annual meeting will take place on 18th April. An Inspector of Police will be speaking at this event.


Village Fete – This will take place on Saturday 30th June this year.

Rusthall Community Arts

Beryl Woodall, chair of the RCA, had sent an update to the meeting, as she was unable to attend. At the AGM on 3rd March, a number of people came forward to form a new committee, as most of the old committee had resigned, thus saving the association from dissolution.

Rusthall Cinema

• The new season's films have now been agreed, and will be shown every other Saturday evening

• A family matinee will take place on Saturday 5th May – Paddington 2 will be shown

• A new brochure has been produced, funded by advertisers on the High Street. The film Florence Foster Jenkins will be shown on Saturday 24th March.

• Any film suggestions for the next season should be given to Eugene by 11th August

Gardening Club – this has now been set up and the next meeting will take place on Thursday 29th March at 2.30pm in the library

Family History – meetings are taking place in the library on the 3rd Thursday in each month at 10.30am

History Society – Rusthall Lodge celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. There will be a display by the history society in the Lodge for the public to view.

Fair Trade Cafe - This takes place on the last Saturday in every month at 10.30am in the URC Church Hall.

St Paul's Church Hall – the scaffolding is now up and work is taking place, but is not expected to be completed until September

7. AOB

The next RVA meeting is on 16th May and this will be the AGM. All the current committee is willing to stand for re-election apart from the Treasurer, Hazel Duncombe. Anyone who is interested in joining the committee please let Sue White, the secretary, know.

The raffle raised £13
Meeting closed at 21.15
The next meeting will be on 16th May 2018

Chair – Alex Britcher
Vice Chair: Tel: 01892 540018
Website editor Nigel Suckling
Secretary: Sue White
General contact: