CLERK'S BRIEFING NOTE

ANNUAL INSPECTION OF THE VILLAGE

PART I

1. Part 1 of the 2010 Annual Inspection of Sedlescombe took place on Tuesday 24 August 2010 between 0930 and 12 noon carried out by Cllr Pauline Glew (Chairman of Sedlescombe Parish Council Finance Committee), Cllr Jonathan Vine-Hall (new parish councillor) and Pauline Raymond (Clerk/Financial Officer of the Council). The Report was updated after the Council Meeting held on 14/08/10 when it was adopted.

 

2. BREDE LANE CAR PARK

  1. Car park owned by Rother District Council.
  2. Grounds maintenance agreement, Sedlescombe Parish Council/Rother District Council due for renewal for 01/04/2011. Agreement involves the Parish Council undertaking application of herbicide once annually, grass cutting every two weeks, half moon edging once annually and maintenance of 11 trees once annually in exchange for a twice yearly payment from Rother DC.
  3. Grass cutting included in Parish Council's annual mowing contract (20 cuts February to November).
  4. Herbicide application included in annual herbicide contract (treatments in February, July and October).
  5. All 11 trees are in good order, although the trees which border Brede Lane are growing large and into one another. Cllr Martin advises that the centre of the three large trees should be removed.
  6. Tourist information board owned by Sedlescombe Parish Council on and, by agreement dated 28/05/02 with Rother District Council, on wall of public conveniences. Board now badly faded but still legible. Frame could do with decoration.
  7. The Fouling of Land by Dogs (Rother District Council) Order 2007 applies to this land making it an offence for anyone not to clear up faeces after their dog. £75 FPN applies.
  8. Dog bin owned by Sedlescombe Parish Council (Rother/SPC agreement from March 1998). The Parish Council pays £2/week for Rother District Council to empty the bin. Bin generally in good order but needs a new sign on the front of the bin.
  9. Recycling bins owned and emptied by Rother District Council. Flooding of land close to the bins was noted by a local resident during a heavy shower of rain in August 2010. Reported by Clerk to Rother District Council.
  10. Public conveniences owned and maintained by Rother District Council.
  11. Dip in grass on land in front of public conveniences noticed and will be reported to Rother District Council.

3. SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE GREEN

  1. Parish Council registered owner of Sedlescombe Village Green.
  2. Sir John Keeling three memorial seats on top Green need power washing.
  3. Plaque re tree in good order.
  4. Area around and under seats needs cleaning of general tree debris.
  5. Land around concrete base to seats needs some soil added to remove trip hazard.
  6. Bird box installed on tree by unknown person broken and removed.
  7. Oak on top Green had general tree maintenance by P J Chaffin Ltd. in January 2010.
  8. Horse Chestnut tree on top Green in good order.
  9. Grass in good order on top Green apart from edges which have been damaged by vehicles. Probably not worth doing anything about this.
  10. Paths on top Green (ESCC responsibility) in good order.
  11. Edge of top end of the lower Green being damaged by vehicles and people getting out of their cars. One place in particular is worse and the installation of matting before reseeding should be considered. The area would need protection until the seed has taken.
  12. Parish Council three-section noticeboard on southern wall of Post Office in reasonable condition but could do with a repaint and replacement of one handle.
  13. BEM Builders Ltd. continuing their maintenance work to the Pumphouse involving replacing any damaged or missing peg tiles and loose or missing hip tiles, making good and decorating the four gables, making good any damage or wear and tear to the two oak benches and decorating, making good any defects to the timber ceiling and decorating, repointing flagstone floor. Grant aid obtained to cover this work.
  14. Pump casing currently being refurbished in Rye. To be replaced in September.
  15. New protective railings currently being made in Westfield. To be replaced in September.
  16. Pathways and steps around Pumphouse in good order.
  17. Litter cleared and area swept fortnightly under Parish Council contract. Litter also collected regularly by volunteers.
  18. Herbicide application around Pumphouse included in annual herbicide contract (treatments in February, July and October).
  19. Mountain ash tree in good order but post needs removal.
  20. Oak tree on lower Green growing into overhead telephone cables which were installed after the tree was planted.
  21. Order given for replacement Village Sign from Signs of the Times.
  22. Post for Village Sign needs cleaning and probably repainting. Top black wrought iron bracket needs repainting.
  23. Suggestion by a member of the public that there should be a sign on the Green to commemorate the Parish Council's Village of the Year 2009 success.
  24. Edge of Green at bottom in poor condition following parking of trades vehicles over the summer months.
  25. The Fouling of Land by Dogs (Rother District Council) Order 2007 applies to this land making it an offence for anyone not to clear up faeces after their dog. £75 FPN applies.

4. BUS SHELTER

  1. Bus shelter and land owned by Sedlescombe Parish Council.
  2. Bus shelter in poor condition awaiting replacement in connection with proposed Park View development. Roof deteriorating further.
  3. Litter bin in good order.
  4. Litter cleared and area swept fortnightly under Parish Council contract.
  5. There is a smoking ban in this shelter.

5. LITTER BIN OUTSIDE OLD CHAPEL

  1. In good order.

6. BUDGET CARS SITE

  1. In order to stop cars being driven across the grass verge (property of ESCC), the County Council has said that it will allow the Parish Council to place posts on the boundary of the highway land. Twenty posts are needed which will cost (including installation by ESCC) £2,000 for plastic posts with reflectors or £3,000 for oak posts with reflectors. The highway land is 2 metres wide at the Bridge Garage end and 1.5 metres wide at the bridge end. The Parish Council has objected to this cost and has suggested to ESCC that it is its responsibility to ensure, however it can, that cars do not cross highway land without a licence to do so. The correct width of verge should also be maintained. The Parish Council's view is supported by County Cllr Peter Jones, Leader of ESCC.

7. LADYBIRD LANE & SEDLESCOMBE SPORTSFIELD

  1. Freehold of sportsfield owned by Sedlescombe Parish Council.
  2. Cllr Anthony Rand is Parish Council Sports Association representative.
  3. Leased from 2005 to Sedlescombe Sports Association for 30 years at a peppercorn rent of £1/p.a.
  4. Sports Association responsible for maintenance/running costs of all land and buildings apart from car park which remains with the Parish Council. Insurance costs also rest with the Sports Association although the large portacabin has been insured by the Parish Council (insurance to be cancelled following 14/09/10 meeting).
  5. Ladybird Lane belongs to the Pestalozzi International Village.
  6. Under a covenant on the Sportsfield, the Parish Council is responsible for contributing towards maintenance of the part of Ladybird Lane as far as the Car Park entrance "according to user". The Parish Council has already agreed, as its contribution, to pay, on or after 02/04/11, for tarmacing the entrance to the Sportsfield Car Park (approximate cost £3,700). This area is to be used as a passing place during proposed construction work.
  7. Under a drainage scheme in 2002, ESCC installed a 6" pipe to take water from a gully at the bottom of Chapel Hill into a manhole on the northern side of Ladybird Lane and then across into the Sportsfield ditch.
  8. As part of the approved redevelopment of Pestalozzi International Village, highway improvements at the junction of Ladybird Lane, Chapel Hill and the B2244 must be installed to separate the entrance to Chapel Hill and Pestalozzi and this could affect the pipe mentioned in 5.7 above.
  9. The Parish Council has agreed with Paul Evans, Director of Pestalozzi International Village, that Pestalozzi can cut additional grips in the grass verge adjoining Ladybird Lane to allow water to enter the Sportsfield ditch in accordance with the Parish Council's obligation in the Title Deeds of the Sportsfield and that the Council will not object to the proposed reprofiling of the road to encourage water to enter the Sportsfield ditch. This should keep the road surface in good order for longer.
  10. The ditch along the southern edge of the field, which is the responsibility of the Sports Association, may need attention.
  11. The culvert across the entrance of the Sportsfield Car Park (responsibility of the Parish Council) is probably broken and it has been suggested that repair work should be undertaken at the same time as the work planned for the Sportsfield Car Park entrance. However, the work to the road has been delayed and probably will not take place until mid-2011. Pestalozzi International Village has been told that the Parish Council would like to give the order for this limited area of work so that VAT can be reclaimed.
  12. The ditch bordering the Car Park is the responsibility of the Parish Council and needs attention.
  13. The ditch leading to the River is the responsibility of the Pestalozzi International Village.
  14. Maintaining the pavilion in good order is the responsibility of the Sports Association. Unfortunately, the pavilion kitchen is not being kept clean and damage caused to the verandah railings by balls being kicked against them has not been repaired.
  15. The garage has been demolished but the materials are still to be cleared up.
  16. The area next to the old garage is uncut.
  17. The fence at the front of the site is in poor condition but is to be replaced by the Parish Council with money from the Pavilion Fund. The Sports Association has asked that this is delayed until the new garage is built. The base of the new garage cannot be built by the Sports Association until the portacabins have been removed.
  18. The kissing gate into the Sportsfield needs attention. Cllr Vine-Hall to deal.
  19. The Council Chairman has recently arranged for the garage and the large 40'x10' portacabin belonging to the Parish Council to be moved temporarily to the Sportsfield Car Park. This is pending consideration by the Council of the future use of the large portacabin as the Sedlescombe Societies Association and the Sedlescombe Garden Society would like to use it for storage purposes although roof damage may change this.The situation at the Sportsfield Car Park is to be reviewed by the Parish Council in consultation with the Sports Association.
  20. The Sports Association would like to extend the car parking area to ensure that no cars are parked in Ladybird Lane. This is a covenant in the Title Deeds of the Lane.
  21. Four recycled plastic seats are in good order.
  22. One large plastic litter bin, new 2003, (emptied by Rother DC) is in good order.
  23. The dog bin top is rusted and needs replacement. The dog bin is emptied by Rother DC at a cost of £2/week.
  24. The Fouling of Land by Dogs (Rother District Council) Order 2007 applies to this land and, from 01/09/10, The Dogs on Leads (Rother District) Order 2010. Fixed penalty notices of £75 can be imposed by the PCSO for an offence against either Order. No fouling and Dogs on Leads metal signs needed for all four entrances as well as one metal pole - Rother DC to supply.
  25. Leaflets to be given out to dog walkers by parish councillors.
  26. Environment Agency warning signs at three entrances to the Sportsfield in good order..
  27. Metal Sedlescombe Sportsfield sign on tree at rear of pavilion in reasonable order..

8. SEDLESCOMBE PUBLIC PLAYING FIELD & RECREATION GROUND

  1. Sedlescombe Parish Council is the sole trustee of the Sedlescombe Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground. The land and everything on it belongs to the Charity.
  2. The Parish Council has agreed to undertake general maintenance of the land on behalf of the charity.
  3. A vehicular/pedestrian right of way exists along the roadway to Powdermills and Millstones Cottage. The trustee is obliged to contribute towards the maintenance of this road. Currently, the road is in good order.
  4. A large litter bin (new November 2004) is installed just inside the entrance (emptied by Rother DC). Because of water getting inside the bins, a plastic tarpaulin has been fitted over the top. This now requires replacement as well as wood preservative applied to the boards on the bin.
  5. Some white plastic posts need replacing (four in hand with Clerk).
  6. A dog bin is in good order apart from needing a powerwash to remove lichen from the outside. The Parish Council pays £2/week for Rother District Council to empty the bin.
  7. The oak tree had tree surgery by P J Chaffin Ltd. in January 2010 and appears in reasonably good order, although a bit one-sided.
  8. The two signs on the tree need attention and rescrewing to the tree.
  9. The tennis court netting needs minor attention to reconnect the fence to wires.
  10. The surface of the courts is reasonably good for its age (resurfaced in March 2000) although the surface is beginning to loosen. The acrylic surface is virtually gone.
  11. The courts are available for public use for tennis free of charge.
  12. The courts are used by the Sedlescombe Netball Club every week, weather permitting, during the summer months. A fee is paid to the Trust.
  13. Eventually, the Trust would like to use the area for a multi-use games area, although grant aid would be required because of the costs. There could also be problems with this use because of the close proximity of neighbouring properties.
  14. Herbicide is applied three times a year, in February, July and October around the outside edges of the courts under a contract.
  15. Recycled plastic picnic table on west side of the courts has two badly-damaged slats which, if possible, should be replaced. A local resident has offered to try to turn the slats over.
  16. The recycled plastic seat with the broken back slat adjacent to the path is now in good order as is the seat on the eastern side of the courts.
  17. A professional inspection of the playground was carried out by ROSPA on 24/06/10 and the following items were noted by the Inspector:
    1. Self closer spring missing from double gates. Low/medium risk.
    2. Gate closer needs adjustment (to be undertaken by Cllrs Marland and Martin). Low/medium risk.
    3. Latch bar on gate has projecting pins. Low risk.
    4. Movement clash across junior swings. Barriers required if problem found with collisions. Low risk.
    5. Fence palings missing at riverside edge. Replace. Medium risk.
    6. Fence palings missing from path side fence. Medium risk.
    7. Wobble boards (2) in good order.
    8. 20 rubber bollards - some are becoming loose. Low risk.
    9. Horizontal rope ladder - some rungs on ground. Low risk but not useful for balance. Cllrs Martin and Marland to raise.
    10. Balance ropes - lower rope on ground. Low risk but not useful for balance. Cllrs Martin and Marland to raise.
    11. Swinging steps in good order.
    12. Hanging balance ropes in good order.
    13. Rope bridge - lower rope slack. Low risk but not useful for balance. Cllrs Martin and Marland to raise.
    14. Sharp edges at one end of log on rope bridge. Low/medium risk.
    15. Junior swings - one swing seat damaged but does not need immediate replacement. Needs monitoring and replaced when hard material is exposed.
    16. Junior swings - 'D' shackles jammed at anti-wrap bearings and need lubrication and adjustment. Checked on 24/08/10 during Parish Council inspection and appears in good order.
    17. Spring cat - considerable movement of spring base in ground. Medium risk. Checked on 24/08/10 during Parish Council inspection and, although the concrete at the base does move, it does not appear to be a significant risk.
    18. Toddler slide - steering wheel missing from infill panel. Low risk but hole could be filled.
    19. Toddler slide - some making up of ground and reseeding required at foot of steps and slide. Low risk.
    20. Cradle swings - one seat has only one link through "key" link top joint. Manufacturer recommends at least two links. Low/medium risk. Have tried to do this but not possible.
    21. Roundabout in good order.
    22. Large Slide and Play Tower. Emerging rust on supports for slide. Low/medium risk.
    23. Large Slide and Play Tower. Some movement at base of fireman's ladder. Medium risk. Needs securing.
    24. NB According to ROSPA
      1. The HSE and the Courts state that where practical risks should be reduced to "an acceptable level".
      2. Successful litigation depends upon being able to prove negligence on behalf of the operator.
      3. There is no such thing as "no risk". There is a risk associated with everything we do and low risk is as low as you can get.
      4. Items marked "low risk", with some remedial action suggested, should only be undertaken when resources are available. Very low cost work is recommended to be completed within 12 months. Otherwise a longer timescale is acceptable and, if equipment is nearing the end of its useful life, no action may be considered.
      5. Minimum £5 mn. public liability insurance cover is recommended. Sedlescombe PC carries £10 mn.
    25. Wooden picnic table in play area - top scratched, burned. Will need replacement with recycled plastic table in due course.
    26. Old wooden seat in play area - needs replacement with recycled plastic seat in due course.
    27. New recycled plastic seat near River in good order.
    28. The Fouling of Land by Dogs (Rother District Council) Order 2007 applies to the land making it an offence for anyone not to clear up faeces after their dog. Fixed penalty notices of £75 can be imposed by the PCSO. No fouling sign needed for at the entrance to the playing field. Could be attached to oak tree on driveway. Rother DC to supply.
    29. The Exclusion of Dogs from Land (Rother District Council) Order 2008 applies to the fenced-off play area making it an offence for anyone to allow their dog to enter the play area.Fixed penalty notices of £75 can be imposed by the PCSO. Dog exclusion signs and metal posts needed at both gates to the play area - Rother DC to supply.

9. DATE OF RESUMPTION OF INSPECTION.Thursday 9 September 2010, 1430 by Cllr Glew and Pauline Raymond.

 

 

 

Pauline J Raymond
Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer
Sedlescombe Parish Council
14 September 2010