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CLERK'S BRIEFING NOTE 22-12

VOLUNTEERS, NOVEMBER 2012

1. Following on from the Parish Council Finance Committee held on 16/10/12, Cllrs Vine-Hall, Chapman and the Clerk/RFO have considered the following:

  1. Work completed October 2012
    1. Cllr Chapman has made the following repairs:
      1. Riverside Playing Field (PF) - replaced one seat slat in playground.
      2. Riverside Playing Field (PF) - turned round steel gate next to public footpath to stop fingers from getting trapped between post and gate.
      3. Bus Shelter (BS) - screwed back 3 weatherboards on bottom left side.
      4. Village Green (VG) - glued and screwed bracket onto village pumphouse seat arm.
      5. Church Hill (CH) - fitted new timber back rail and painted same.

  2. Contracts to be let
    1. Tree surgery
      1. East View Kickabout Area - removal of dead wood from trees.
      2. Tree surgery as identified during annual inspections
      3. Emergency tree surgery
      4. 4VG Annual tree inspection
      5. 23PF Annual tree inspection
    2. Grass cutting and strimming at
      1. Village Green - Weekly using mulching mower - 26 cuts (1VG)
      2. Brede Lane Car Park - Every two weeks - 13 cuts (5CP and 6CP)
      3. East View Kickabout Area - 8 cuts (31EV)
      4. Riverside Playground - 16 cuts (10PF)
      5. Riverside Playing Field - 4 cuts (11PF)
      6. 26RB Strimming path edges 8 times March to October.
    3. Herbicide application
      1. 2VG Pumphouse paths - see 3.1.3 below
      2. 8CP car park path by surgery - see 3.2.2 below
      3. 13PF outside edges of MUGA - see 3.3.1 below
      4. 15PF moss treatment of MUGA - see 3.3.2 below
      5. 27RB treatment edges of RBF path - quote received
      6. 29SP herbicide treatment Sportsfield car park - see 3.7.1 below
    4. Riverside playing field - Giant hogweed monitoring along banks of river (14PF)
    5. Litter collection -
      1. Riverside playing field - Weekly litter collection and emptying of bins into large bin at entrance (17PF)
      2. East View playground - Weekly litter collection (33EV)
    6. Riverside playground - annual professional inspection (20PF) - contract awarded to Digley Associates (£45)
    7. Riverside playground - playground repairs to 2 pieces of equipment to raise cables (21PF)
    8. Red Barn Field - cut and bale (24RB) - might be able to be done by volunteer as previously - see 3.8.1 below
    9. Sportsfield Car Park - twice yearly cutting of edges of ditch (30SP)
    10. Dog bin emptying - weekly 3 bins at Playing Field driveway, Brede Lane car park and Sportsfield - arranged through Rother District Council and paid for annually by SPC
    11. Washing furniture and play equipment. Wash the following once asap:
      1. 3xSir John Keeling seats on top Green
      2. Wash wooden seat in Brede Lane on Gammons Hill
      3. Wash plastic seat and clear herbage from around halfway up Church Hill
      4. Wash 2 signs (one broken) on fence and 2 basketball units at East View Kickabout Area

  3. Jobs that could be undertaken on a voluntary basis.
    1. Village Green (VG) [SPC responsibility]
      1. 3VG Weekly sweeping Pumphouse - John Cook.
      2. As alternative to herbicide application (2VG) - Hand weeding around Pumphouse paths and steps from time to time.
      3. Maintenance of flower tubs - to be undertaken by Garden Society through John Parsons (Chair).
      4. Annual half-moon edging of path across Green
      5. Annual clearance of drain covers on and around Green
      6. Provision and maintenance of flower basket on village sign - Undertaken annually by Margaret Hudson of Forge Cottages
      7. Painting Pumphouse seats as required
    2. Brede Lane Public Car Park (CP) [Agency agreement with Rother DC]
      1. 7CP Annual or twice-yearly half moon edging ie cutting where grass meets hard surfacing.
      2. As alternative to herbicide application (8CP) - Twice-yearly hand weeding access path by surgery.
      3. 9CP Twice-yearly young tree maintenance by toilets including removal of dead trees or branches
      4. Washing outside dog bin
    3. Sedlescombe Playing Field ie tennis courts, playground, grass area [SPC responsibility under maintenance agreement with Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust]
      1. As an alternative to herbicide application (13PF) - Twice-yearly hand weeding around the outside edges of the MUGA
      2. 15PF Twice-yearly moss treatment of MUGA - JV to do
      3. 16PF Hedge cutting on northern edge of grass footpath adjacent to playground
      4. 18PF Annual sweeping tarmac areas and removal of leaves in playground
      5. 19PF Twice-yearly sweeping of tennis courts/MUGA and removal of leaves, March and November
      6. Weekly inspection of playground and tennis courts by councillors
      7. Washing play equipment
      8. Washing outside dog bin
      9. 22PF Riverside Playing Field - removal of nettles from entrance
      10. Riverside Playing Field - replace two planks on Klondike. (RC to do)
    4. Red Barn Field [SPC responsibility]
      1. 24RB Cut and bale field - Feb 13 and Sep 13
      2. 25RB Annual (July) bracken clearance - Hastings Conservation Volunteers will do but should not be needed in 2013
      3. 28RB Annual clearance around base of fruiting hedge on boundary with village hall and annual trimming. Working party being arranged by Pat Martin on Wed 14/11/12 starting at 0930.
      4. Wood preservative on two boards every two years
      5. Regular updating of information to place on the boards
      6. Annual tree inspection
    5. East View Kickabout Area (EV) [SPC responsibility]
      1. 32EV Annual cut of hedge along northern edge of area (RC suggesting twice yearly)
      2. 34EV Autumn clear up ie cut back grass from edges of tarmac, wash boards and basketball back boards, sweep tarmac and collect acorns and leaves
      3. Annual tree inspection
    6. Bus Shelter (BS) [SPC responsibility]
      1. Two-weekly collecting litter and sweeping bus shelter
    7. Sportfield Car Park (SP) [SPC responsibility]
      1. Twice-yearly weedkiller treatment (29SP)
    8. Washing furniture
      1. Wash outside of dog bin to remove lichen at Riverside
      2. Wash small children's slide and springer at Riverside
      3. Wash outside of dog bin to remove lichen at Brede Lane Car Park

  4. Litter collection along roads and lanes. Sedlescombe's litter collection scheme used to involve about 30 volunteers who regularly collected litter near where they live. This scheme was arranged through the Parish Council and arranged firstly by John Roberts of New England Lane and then, up to 2009, by Cllr Ralph Dellow. When he left the Council, Ralph continued to organise the scheme. Ralph has provided the list of volunteers previously used and some people may still be collecting litter in their allocated areas. His list, which was sent to volunteers, highlights the risks and care that needs to be taken.

  5. Public rights of way
    1. Maintenance of rights of way. Over many years, volunteers have been undertaking maintenance of Sedlescombe's rights of way. East Sussex County Council provides method statements and statements of safe working practices, especially the Hole Digging policy, which volunteers must adhere to Sedlescombe's volunteer group [Ralph Dellow (current group leader), Jonathan Vine-Hall, Jean Dellow, Reg Glew, Pauline Glew, Howard Dellow, Colin Raymond, Pauline Raymond] operates in association with ESCC. All members have undertaken tool training and had first aid certificates, now out of date. Currently the group only has one member who has a current first aid certificate and is cable locator tool trained (JV) and there should be at least two for each. The work undertaken is as follows:
      1. Surveying the rights of way in the parish, recording the condition and any works required.
      2. Liaison with local landowners to improve access by repairing or replacing stiles, installing gates and keeping hedges trimmed back.
      3. Waymarking - attaching information discs to fittings and installing waymark posts.
      4. Cutting the path's vegetation.
    2. Path Warden scheme. East Sussex County Council is looking to set up a "Path Warden" scheme. This will involve individual volunteers carrying out inspections in response to requests from ESCC's Rights of Way Access (RowA) Team. For example, following an initial letter to the landowner, the RoWA Team might ask a Path Warden volunteer to check if a stile has been repaired or an obstruction removed. A basic report form would need to be completed and photographs provided following the inspection. Training can be provided and mileage paid for travel to site up to a maximum of £4/journey.

  6. Sedlescombe Lift Scheme. The current Sedlescombe Lift Scheme has been operating successfully for the last six years transporting people for health appointments. It is a self-organising system whereby a patient telephones a driver on the published list and makes the arrangements directly. The driver is paid mileage by the patient @ 50p/mile. It is the driver's responsibility to check that his/her insurance company approves this use of their vehicle.

    There are currently thirteen drivers on the list.The Parish Council's role is to maintain the list of drivers and to publicise details. Cllr Glew is the lead councillor. The Council also organises parking permits for the Conquest Hospital for registered drivers.


    On 10 September 2012, changes were introduced when the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 came into force. The following is now "Regulated Activity relating to Adults" where these drivers will need a CRB check and a barred list check: - Conveying - A person who transports an adult because of their age, illness or disability either to or from their place of residence and place they have received, or will be receiving, health care, personal care or social care; or between places where they have received or will be receiving health care, personal care or social care. This will not include family and friends or taxi drivers.

    This appears to mean that Sedlescombe Lift Scheme drivers should have an enhanced CRB check and a barred list check every three years if the Council is to continue to advertise that anyone can apply for a lift. CRB Applications would need to be made through an umbrella body (eg ESCC). For volunteers, these are free of charge, although the umbrella body may make a charge of £20-£30. They take about 4 weeks to be processed.


  7. SID Volunteers. Names are being taken of volunteers for a Speed Indicator Device Scheme to be run in Sedlescombe under the guidance of PCSO Georghiou. Volunteers will receive training and will only be able to volunteer for the scheme if they are willing to operate on sites specified as safe by the Police. Hi-viz jackets should be worn. Derek Wright has agreed to assist with record-keeping at Battle Police Station and Cllr Parsons will liaise with SID volunteers and PCSO Demi.

  8. Delivery. About eighteen people deliver annual reports and bulletins in the parish on behalf of the Council.

  9. Volunteers that are willing to assist in undertaking minor maintenance jobs in the parish. Cllr Chapman is producing a list of volunteers who are willing to undertake minor grounds maintenance work.

  10. Use of volunteers
    1. Insurance. Sedlescombe Parish Council is insured with AVIVA through Came & Company. Insurance for Personal Accident £50,000 (Capital Benefit) or £200 (weekly sum), £10 mn public and employers' liability are extended to volunteers as well as for Employees and Councillors. Before asking volunteers to undertake work on behalf of the Parish Council, a risk assessment should be undertaken and maintained on record. The risk assessment is nothing more than a careful examination of what could cause harm to people. The following should be taken into account:
      1. Identification of the hazards in undertaking the work.
      2. Decide who might be harmed and how.
      3. Evaluate the risks and decide on precautions.
      4. Record the findings and implement them.
      5. Review the risk assessment from time to time and update if necessary.
    2. Induction. Volunteers should be given basic induction training to ensure that they are aware of what is required and should complete a simple health form.
    3. Type of work. In accordance with the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, hazardous manual lifting should be avoided.
    4. Tools. A check should be made of the tools that are needed for the work. Came & Company has confirmed that volunteers working for the benefit of the Parish Council may use their own tools but these must be in good working order. The Parish Council has a variety of manual tools which have been supplied by East Sussex County Council and will be available for volunteers. The Council should agree reimbursement of the cost of fuel for strimmers.
    5. First Aid. The Parish Council has several first aid kits.The County Council has specified that at least one member of each footpath work team should be trained in first aid.
    6. Rubbish. The Parish Council will need to consider how to deal with rubbish arising from work on behalf of the Parish Council. Litter collected can be placed in the large rubbish bin at the end of Powdermill driveway (next to Bridge Garage Antiques). Grass and other similar material should not be dumped on the riverbank.
    Clerk/RFO, Sedlescombe Parish Council, 08/11/12