Rusthall Village Association

DATE: Wednesday 16th January 2019
VENUE: Rusthall club
TIME: 1930 hours

Committee members present: Vice Chair: Beryl Woodall, Secretary: Sue White, Treasurer: Chris Perry, Website: Nigel Suckling, Bjorn Simpole


Apologies were received from the following committee members: Alex Britcher (Chair)

2. GUEST SPEAKER – Gary Stevenson TWBC.

Gary is head of Housing, Health and Environment at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and came to speak to the meeting about recycling. He explained that currently the Borough Council work with KCC, - the BC pick up the waste and KCC are responsible for recycling. A new service will start in September/October with a change of contractor.

Currently we have a fortnightly system, alternating between green bin and brown (recyclable).

•   Paper and card goes to a local paper mill. Ideally this should be kept dry. Wrapping paper and greetings cards with any sparkly parts should go in the green bin as general waste.

•   Plastics and cans are kept separate from paper and they go to a sorting plant in Crayford. All plastics, including tetrapacks can be recycled apart from black plastic as the plant can't deal with this colour. Brown plastic is OK. Foil is OK.

•   Flowerpots are not recycled, but some garden centres take them.

•   Once processed, the waste goes to places that want it. This is tracked by KCC.

•   Garden waste from the brown bin goes to North Farm and then to Blaise Farm quarry in West Malling, which has an industrial composting facility in enclosed plants. The composted material is then sold to local farmers as ground improver.

•   Only approx 1% of green rubbish ends in landfill at Allington

New contract: This has been awarded to Urbaser, and TWBC will be working with Tonbridge and Malling BC. The current refuse operatives will have the option to transfer to the new company, but the management structure will change. The new contract starts on 30th March and they will run the current service to facilitate the handover. The new service will start at the beginning of October with new vehicles and containers. The following will apply:

•   Green bin – will remain the same – collected fortnightly

•   Green box for paper will remain the same – collected fortnightly

•   Food waste will be collected separately every week. There will be 2 containers – a kitchen caddy and a larger lockable food waste bin for outside. This will go to be anaerobically digested.

•   There will be an opt in garden waste service – collected fortnightly. It will be necessary to register for the new black bin – if done prior to 2nd August the bin should be delivered before the new service starts. See website information for details.

•   The brown bin will become a recycling bin for all plastics, cans and glass (no need to separate different coloured glass) – collected fortnightly.

•   The remaining green box can be kept for own use

•   Textiles and batteries will also be collected (details about this will follow). There may also be a facility to collect small electrical appliances.

Questions brought about the following answers:

•   The council are looking into the possibility of providing community bins for blocks of flats

•   Bins should be put on boundary of property or just pulled out onto pavement

•   It was pointed out that a garden waste charge may impact on where people put this waste.

•   Days of collections may change – leaflets and website information will keep people informed.

•   Paper should be clean – a tip to stop paper blowing away is to stack it vertically in the box.

Further information can be found at Leaflets will be sent out to all residents in February.


1.   Bonfire and Fete Committee. Lisa Lindfield told the meeting that there will be 4 main events throughout the year:

- Burns Night Quiz on 26th January. Teams of 6. £8 pp to include haggis, neeps and tatties, or other alternatives. Bring own drinks

- Fete 29th June. Free stalls for local groups or to advertise local businesses. No political stalls are allowed. Business stalls £30 – no duplication. Any offers for donations for the bric a brac stall, raffle, cakes etc. The fete has been running for 9 years and the funds raised provide money for the bonfire.The committee keep enough money to run the next 3 bonfires, and any surplus after that is given back to the community.

- Bonfire is last Saturday in October. The shorter route used for the last 2 years will be used this year.

- Christmas tree lighting 6th December

•   The Bonfire and Fete committee AGM is on 21st March. All welcome

•   Equipment – tables, chairs, electrical equipment etc can be lent out for village events at no charge.

•   Lisa also informed the meeting that she is working with Tunbridge Wells churches to run shelters for homeless until the end of February. Can provide shelter for 12 people. Luckily not full. If anyone knows of someone in need, they should register at the Gateway by 12 noon.

2.   Friends of St Paul's church. This is a new initiative with the aim of raising funds for the church. Details on the website: Rusthall people are invited to the official re-opening of St. Paul’s Church Centre by the Bishop of Tonbridge this coming Saturday of 19th January at 3pm at which free refreshments will be served.

3.   Local History Society. Local History Society forthcoming events at United Reformed Church Centre in Rusthall: Curiosities of the City of London – an illustrated presentation by Stuart Robinson on Monday 28th January from 7pm. Monday 25th February The Women’s Land Army –WW2 – an illustrated presentation by Ian Everest. Mon. 25th March – Doing Our Bit – presentation by Steve Hookins in character as “Mr. Foreman” of Emergency Road Repair Services – to include a talk about some of Home Front unsung heroes of WW2.

The theme at this year's fete will be Denny Bottom.

4.   Toad Rock Retreat: quiz on the 1st Wednesday of every month. Funds raised go to the Pickering Drop in Centre. There is a regular blues night every second Tuesdays with live music. The next session is Tuesday 22nd January 7 pm Bagge & Armer Blues Night – a big helping of country, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll – Nigel Bagge providing smoky vocals and classic acoustic guitar is accompanied by Eddie Armer playing harmonica and mandolin. Tues. 26th February from 7pm Rick Mead Band – blues, jazz and rock. Rick Mead is a singer, songwriter and guitar virtuoso who has gained solid experience from the late 1960s playing alongside Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Annie Lennox, Alison Moyet amongst others. Official Blues Nights fall monthly on a Tuesday nights but most Tuesday evenings sees some form of live music, and a pizza van is stationed in the pub parking area routinely on those evenings for customers to eat their pizza in the pub.

5.   Rusthall Community Cinema. Update from Eugene Gardner: I am writing this the day after we screened Goodbye Christopher Robin to a full house of 100. As usual the pre film 20 minutes was themed to compliment main film and this time we used the opportunity to inform ourselves with two documentary films about shell shock (now called post traumatic stress disorder) in our armed forces, and the challenges that sufferers experience in their post-military life; then and indeed now.

For our next film: Sully: Miracle on the Hudson to be shown on 26th January, we are trying to get a pilot to speak to us to set the context for a water landing of a modern jet liner. Clint Eastwood directs this drama based on the autobiography of Chelsey 'Sully' Sullenberger with Tom Hanks taking the leading role. Sully was at the helm of a flight when shortly after take-off the plane hit a large flock of birds which disabled both engines. In the face of immediate danger, Sully took the decision to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River in New York and successfully saved the lives of everyone on board.

We are coming to the end of the current season and so are now inviting suggestions for films we can screen in the coming 6 month period. Those received before 10th February will be put to a public vote to select the next dozen films that will take us to September this year. Everyone on the email distribution list is encouraged to vote. Further details from Michael & Sonia Lawrence or

6.   Rusthall Community Arts (RCA): Beryl, as chair of the RCA reported that this year there will be a Festival running from 18th - 21st July in collaboration with the Claque Theatre. The main focus will be on the natural Rusthall heritage and workshops will be taking place from February. Amongst other events, the workshops will culminate in a community play at the Toad Rock area with the theme of the Legend of the Rock. Further details will be issued in due course and up to date information can be found on the website


Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Councillor Thelma Huggett told the meeting that this would be the last time she would be attending as she is stepping down from the council. She said how much she would miss Rusthall and that she has enjoyed the meetings and events that she has been involved with over the years.

She reported that Lynne Lane is organising Forest Schools on the Common in conjunction with the Friends of the Commons. Cllr Huggett has pledged her council allowance of £200 to this project.

Litter picks have been organised by the RVA on a twice yearly basis. These are followed by a social to thank those involved. Cllr Huggett personally will donate £50 of her own money for the next social.

The RVA thanked Thelma for all her hard work while she has been a councillor for Rusthall.

Parish Council

Councillor Jenny Blackburn raised the following points:

•   The damaged bench at the junction of Bretland Road and Rusthall Road will be replaced. The parish council has agreed to fund its replacement.

•   The council is in the process of changing its website.

•   The council precept will not be increased this year

•   The pothole on the junction of Coach Road and Rusthall Road, which is leaking again has been reported.

•   4 parish councillors will be standing down in May. Anyone interested in becoming a councillor should contact the clerk

•   he elections this year will take place in the Rackliff Centre rather than the URC.

•   The parish council will be organising 2 litter picks this year to run in between the ones organised by the RVA.

Councillor Hazel Duncombe told the meeting that the date for the public inquiry to consider Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s compulsory purchase of land and acquisition of rights over land for its Calverley Square development has been announced. The inquiry will begin on Tuesday 12 February 2019 and will be held at the Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel, Pembury, TN2 4QL. Anyone can attend to hear what is said. There is no need to book. The right to speak is limited to those whose land would be needed for the scheme and who have made a formal written objection to the CPO.

5. AOB

•   All are encouraged to attend the next meeting of the RVA on 20th March when there will be more information on a Good Neighbours scheme based on that of Rotherfield and Mayfield. Cllr Huggett mentioned that she is a trustee of the Thomas Smyth foundation who have funds available for individual people in need in T Wells area

•   Citizens Advice Bureau are now running a weekly session on Thursday mornings in the medical centre, from 8.30 – 12.30

•   A blood pressure monitor has now been installed in the medical centre for anyone to use

•   The Garden Club is in need of more members if it is to continue. Celia Gordon is moving away from the area and will no longer be able to organise the club. The next meeting is on Thursday 31st January at 2.30pm in the library

•   Tunbridge Wells Golf Club. Target Follow have renewed their option to purchase the club and land. The golf club is due to close in October.

The raffle raised £31
Meeting closed at 21.30
The next meeting will be on Wednesday 20th March 2019

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