OPEN FORUM

The following matters were raised:
1. The Chairman informed the Council that she had received a letter from the Village Hall Management Committee stressing that nothing like disposable nappies should be put down the toilets in the hall.
2. Cllr Martin reported that the Sedlescombe Golf Club would like to become more involved with Sedlescombe Village.
3. Cllr Martin had removed lads from the garage from the tennis courts where they were playing football.
4. Cllr Mrs Mitchell reported that the hedge in Brede Lane opposite Blacklands and a bank near 1 Gorselands needs cutting. CLERK TO TAKE ACTION.
5. Cllr Mrs Glew reported that Fp 6 between Balcombe Green and Park Shaw needs clearing of nettles. CLERK TO TAKE ACTION.
6. The Chairman urged members to look at the new Sedlescombe Parish Council website where there is a lot of information. The questions often asked by the public are answered on the site.
7. District Cllr Wilson informed the Council that Rother DC has appointed a new waste contractor who will start next year. The Chairman said that she, and many she had spoken to, object to having microchips inserted into the new wheelie bins that are to be issued to Rother householders from next year. Cllr Wilson confirmed that householders would be given two wheelie bins and 2 recycling boxes. He has been Rother's representative on a committee set up to scrutinise a joint waste authority.
8. Cllr Cameron spoke again of the difficulty delivery companies have in finding his address. He would consider asking for permission to put up "Old Stables" signs at the two Oaklands Park entrances.
9. Cllr Mrs Irwin reported that the Compasses Lane road sign is overgrown. Cllr Foord offered to clear it.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF THE VILLAGE HALL ON TUESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2006, 19:15 TO 21:20

PRESENT:

Cllr Mrs Wright (Chairman of the Council), Cllrs W Cameron, N Foord, P Glew, M Irwin, P Martin, J Mitchell. Mrs P Raymond (Clerk/RFO)

C06/07.69 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE were received from Cllrs A Rand and R Dellow (on holiday).

C06/07.70 MINUTES. RESOLVED: THAT THE CHAIRMAN IS AUTHORISED TO SIGN THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD ON 4 JULY 2006 AS A CORRECT RECORD.

C06/07.71 INTERESTS. Members were reminded to disclose their personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the Member regarded the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct.

C06/07.72 COMMITTEES. RESOLVED: THAT THE MINUTES OF THE FOLLOWING COMMITTEE MEETINGS ARE RECEIVED:
72.1 Planning, 04/07/06, 11/07/06 and 08/08/06.
72.2 Crime & Safety, 15/08/06

C06/07.73 WORKING GROUPS. RESOLVED: THAT REPORTS FROM THE FOLLOWING WORKING GROUPS ARE RECEIVED:
73.1 Footpaths Working Group. Members have completed the following work - Fp 5d, clearance of some large apple tree branches and trimmed box hedge (remainder of apple tree to be cleared by ESCC). Fp 7b - repaired dog latch for second time at stile where it crosses Churchland Lane. Various footpath work is planned for the volunteers who will work closely with ESCC. Yellow waymarks have at last been delivered by ESCC.

73.2 Environment Working Group. Three out of the four of the "small change" groups have completed the course.

73.3 Emergency Working Group. Cllr Martin asked the Clerk to arrange a meeting of members soon. CLERK TO ACTION

73.4 Pavilion Working Group. The Sports Association is currently progressing the project.

C06/07.74 INFORMAL MEETINGS. RESOLVED THAT REPORTS OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMAL MEETINGS ARE RECEIVED:

74.1 Pavilion. Members of the Sports Association Committee and members and Clerk of the Parish Council met on 15/08/06 re the replacement of the sports pavilion. Planning permission has been obtained. However, before considering the possibility of grant aid, the Football Foundation required alterations to the interior design. They also require the Senior and Junior Football Clubs to merge. RESOLVED: THAT THE PARISH COUNCIL SHOULD OFFER TO PAY, AS PART OF ITS TOTAL £15,000 DONATION TO THE PROJECT, FOR THE PRELIMINARY WORK REQUIRED TO BUILD A NEW ENTRANCE FOR DELIVERIES AND DISABLED ACCESSTO THE SOUTH OF THE PROPOSED PAVILION,.

74.2 Pestalozzi International Village. CLLR CAMERON DECLARED HIS PERSONAL AND PREJUDICIAL INTEREST BY VIRTUE OF HIS LIVING CLOSE TO THE ESTATE AND BEING A CONTRIBUTOR TOWARDS MAINTENANCE OF THE PESTALOZZI ROAD. In accordance with the Code of Conduct he left the room for the duration of the discussions.

A meeting had been held on 04/09/06 with members of the Pestalozzi Trust and Architects etc. Some residents from Old Stables were also present.

After consideration, the Parish Council agreeed that, in general. the Parish Council welcomes Pestalozzi's vision for its future in Sedlescombe and that it considers the main issues from the local residents' perspective to be: Visual intrusion - attempts to "lose" buildings, particularly Sainsbury House, in the landscape are considered important; concerns that the proposed two-storey bunkhouse will be noticeable from parts of Cottae Lane; importance of not using any reflective materials; need to consider improving driveway junction with B2244 and Chapel Hill; questions about other entrance's future use; need for a safe pedestrian access; future maintenance arrangements of the driveway that involves the Parish Council; keeping lighting to a minimum; retention of existing trees and future planting and long-term preservation; archaeological investigations; welcoming of removal of PGL from the Estate and the formation of new partnerships with other more environmentally-friendly bodies; need for public meeting and offer to deliver "flyers". CLERK TO INFORM PESTALOZZI.

74.3 Chris Tweed, Parish and Volunteer Liaison Officer of ESCC. The Clerk had met Chris Tweed on 08/09/06 to discuss new arrangements for supporting volunteer footpath working groups. The meeting had been called at Chris's request in response to the Parish Council's critical reply to a questionnaire about previous arrangments. In future, footpath maintenance work would be monitored through computer software. Chris will be doing deliveries of materials himself using a land rover and all materials must be ordered through him; all external accounts have been closed. All volunteers' names must be listed so the ESCC insurance cover applies. Refresher first aid and other courses will be arranged. All volunteers will have a Rights of Way and Countryside Management Volunteer Handbook and Health information for countryside workers, be made aware of the Volunteer Incident Report Procedure and each group will be made aware of the ESCC Corporate Policy for carrying out Voluntary Work. Each job must have a pre-work report and a work report. CLERK TO ARRANGE WITH VOLUNTEERS AND CHRIS TWEED.

C06/07.75 CLERK'S REPORT. Members had received the Clerk's report. The Clerk report additional correspondence regarding: Consultation on the provision for gypsy and traveller caravan sites in South East England (Chairman to take), How Southern Water has been dealing with the drought and how customers are responding, Council newsletters, information from the School about events and comments from the headteacher about advertising the Parish News. The Clerk had just received a request from the PCSOs that the Parish Council pays for the hire of the village hall on a Saturday morning for a PCSO surgery (cost £22). The Council suggested that a more central position should be chosen or the CCTV vehicle used.

C06/07.76 REPRESENTATIVES' REPORTS

76.1 Trustee of village hall. Cllr Mrs Glew reported on the meeting held on 07/09/06 when it had been agreed to proceed with installation of a vehicle barrier at a total estimated cost of about £2500. Fund-raising events were arranged. Hall users will not be allowed to let off fireworks. The Garden Society is to update the wording and smarten up the garden bench in front of the hall.

C06/07.77 TREE WARDEN REPORT. Cllr Martin reported that arrangements had been made for trees to be attended to at the Riverside Playing Field to create a more open aspect for the refurbished playground.

C06/07.78 PLAYGROUND REPORTS

78.1 Official opening of Riverside refurbished playground. It was noted that Rother District Council had donated £4379 towards the project (reimbursing the amount the Parish Council had paid into the project). The Clerk reported on the opening on a perfect late summer afternoon attended by a good turnout of parents, grandparents and children who all seemed to enjoy playing on the new and refurbished equipment. Photos have been posted on the website www.sedlescombe.org.uk and sent to the press.

There are still some outstanding issues with RSS from the installation which Robert Dudman of the Sedlescombe Riverside Playground Regeneration Group is pursuing. It was agreed that the Council's appreciation of the work of Robert and his committee should be recorded and also the work done by Cllrs Martin and Rand and by John Cook to bring the old equipment up to standard. To date, the Council's financial contribution has been £1940 (out of the £2500 allocated).

Litter remains a big problem. RESOLVED: THAT A NEW TIDY BEAR BIN SHOULD BE PURCHASED TO ADD TO THE SMALL LITTER BIN ALREADY IN THE PLAY AREA. CLERK TO TAKE ACTION.

Prior to the opening, the grass had been cut twice with clippings removed. RESOLVED: THAT ROGER WOOD SHOULD BE ASKED TO COLLECT THE GRASS AT THE PLAY AREA ONLY TO THE END OF THE SEASON AT AN EXTRA COST OF £15/TIME. Best Value & Community Projects Committee to consider increasing next year's total number of cuts to 18 (from 16) with the clippings removed. CLERK TO TAKE ACTION

Small fires had recently been started at both playgrounds. Battle Fire Station crew had delivered anti-arson leaflets to the schoolchildren.

78.2 Amalgamated weekly inspection report for the Riverside and Kickabout Areas. Throughout the period, it had been the same story of litter, sweet papers, smoking rubbish, beer/soft drink bottles and cans. The East View Terrace Kickabout fence had been damaged again. Long grass had been reported throughout the season.

78.3 Revised Riverside inspection schedules. Following installation of new equipment, the Clerk had drawn up a new inspection schedule. Cllrs Mrs Wright and Mrs Glew had been guinea pigs along with John Cook. Subsequently, a brief one-page version of the report had been provided for John. Considering the increased amount of equipment and its relative complexity, members asked the Clerk to obtain quotes for a professional weekly/fortnightly inspection for 6 months/year for next year. CLERK TO TAKE ACTION.

78.4 Kickabout fence. The Council did not consider that raising the height of the fence at the Kickabout Area and locking it at night would solve the problem of access at night (as suggested by PCSO Peter Crotch) as the youngsters would just climb over.

C06/07.79 ATTENDANCE AT MEETINGS

79.1 SALC/AiRS AGMs. Thursday 12 October 2006 at the Norfolk Pavilion, South of England Showground, Ardingly. RESOLVED: THAT THE CHAIRMAN AND CLERK ARE AUTHORISED TO ATTEND THE AGMs AT ARDINGLY ON 12 OCTOBER AND THAT THEIR LUNCHES TOTALLING £31.00 AND TRAVELLING COSTS SHOULD BE PAID BY THE COUNCIL.  The Council congratulated the Clerk on the recent 2nd place award in the Annual Report of the Year Competition on the first attempt. The certificate is expected to be presented at the AGM.

79.2 National Association of Local Councils Annual Conference and Exhibition. 22-24 September 2006 at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool. Conference fee for weekend £261.11/person (inclusive of VAT), accommodation and conference dinner extra. No attendance.

79.3 Clerks' Course, 29/11/06. RESOLVED: THAT THE CLERK'S ATTENDANCE AT THE 2006 SUSSEX ASSOCIATION CLERKS' DAY IS AUTHORISED.

C06/07.80 BANK RECONCILIATIONS. RESOLVED: THAT BANK RECONCILIATION REPORTS AT THE END OF JULY AND AUGUST ARE RECEIVED (ATTACHED).

C06/07.81 CHEQUES. RESOLVED: THAT THE CHEQUE LIST AS ATTACHED IS RATIFIED OR PAID AS APPROPRIATE.

C06/07.82 HIGHWAYS

82.1 Sedlescombe Parish Maintenance Team. As part of this year's maintenance, the pathway on the bank in Stream Lane had been cleared. It has been established that this path should be cut by the ESCC mowing contractors each time they visit Sedlescombe.

82.2 Revised guidance for setting speed limits. A letter had been received from East Sussex County Council regarding the Government's announcement of revised guidance for setting speed limits. Speed limits should be evidence-led, self-explaining and seek to reinforce people’s assessment of what is a safe speed to travel.  They should encourage self-compliance and not be seen by drivers as being a target speed at which to drive in all circumstances.  Local authorities must review speed limits on all A and B roads by 2011.  The needs of vulnerable road users must be fully taken into account in order to further encourage pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.  Vehicle speeds are generally higher on rural roads and accident severity and risk to vulnerable road users is also greater.  Management strategies should seek to protect local community life.  Speed management on different types of roads is to be introduced.

82.3 New England Lane/A21 junction. Dr Stern had written to East Sussex County Council regarding the dangerous practice of school buses travelling along New England Lane and out onto the A21 where there is a junction with poor visibility on the brow of a hill. Dr Stern's concern had been looked at by the School Transport officers and the bus operator and it had been stated that any deviation from this route will "increase the journey time to such an extent as to prevent it being viable, as it would require the children utilising this service to be travelling for an unacceptable amount of time". Dr Stern had calculated the extra time would be about one minute. The Clerk was asked to refer this matter to County Councillor Peter Jones. CLERK TO TAKE ACTION.

82.4 SID arrangements, 22-28 September. Volunteers had been sent a timetable, guidelines for volunteer SID operations, safe working procedures and a statistic sheet. It was agreed that volunteers would be asked to complete the sheets re mobile phone use, non-wearing of seatbelts and lorries during their time with the machine. The Council's insurance cover had been extended. The Clerk would arrange collection and return of the SID. Operational tasks permitting, the Battle Fire Brigade would be in attendance on Monday and Wednesday focusing on road safety, for example, wearing of seat belts. PCSOs will be around during the week. (Members had not seen the PCSO in Sedlescombe recently and the Clerk was, therefore, instructed to ask Inspector Franklin to return the £500 given to the Police for PCSO overtime. The car had not been marked with Police markings.) CLERK AND CLLR MRS GLEW TO TAKE ACTION.

82.5 Proposed footway/road markings in front of Queen's Head (arising from C06/07.49.8). The Clerk had had a meeting with County Council Engineers to discuss ideas for improving road safety between Brede Lane and the shop. Road markings or a footway were considered necessary to stop parking outside the Queen's Head. According to the Engineers, the only parking restrictions that can be used are double yellow lines but these usually mean that a full yellow line scheme would have to be provided in the Village.  Yellow lines are urban in character and not appropriate.  Police are unlikely to support the scheme because they cannot or will not enforce, although PCSOs can enforce.  Without enforcement, drivers will still park on the lines.  It could take up to a year to go through the process of getting yellow lines.

In the opinion of the Engineers, the provision of a footway could help solve the problem by keeping vehicles away from the pedestrians.  Pedestrians come from Brede Lane and also the pub car park. There are some problems of levels, drainage and costs.  The cost would increase because a higher standard would be required in a Conservation Area.  The Parish Council would probably need to pay for most of the path.  Paul Haffenden will provide an estimate for a path across the frontage of the Queen’s Head and another across the portion of the frontage to the north of the front door.  A safety audit will be required if the Parish Council is willing to contribute. DEFERRED FOR COSTINGS.

82.6 Crazy Lane. The Council had contacted ESCC asking for a weight limit to be introduced on Crazy Lane because Satellite Navigation system are sending coaches down the lane. ESCC had replied that it would not be appropriate to use their very scarce resources to implement weight restrictions on roads such as Crazy Lane in an attempt to solve a problem created by a navigation system. The ESCC Transport Strategy Team is investigating a positive freight transport hierarchy for the county and will be liaising with Ordnance Survey regarding problems with Satellite Navigation systems.

82.7 Chapel Hill, dangers for pedestrians. A resident of Chapel Hill had written to the Council informing it that she considers the 30mph speed limit should be extended up Chapel Hill. She wishes to obtain statistics regarding traffic using Chapel Hill, the cost of speed monitoring strips being £300/week; the Parish Council's support for doing this was sought.  The Council was reminded that even the new Government guidelines stress that, before speed limits are set, road users must be travelling at about the speed of the speed limit and to do this some traffic calming would have to be introduced. A similar request for a 30mph speed limit extension had been received earlier this year from residents of Stream Lane. The Clerk was authorised to reply that, although the Paish Council will support the idea, it can do nothing to follow up on any statistics that are found and that the Council sees no practical solution to slowing the traffic in Chapel Hill. CLERK TO TAKE ACTION.

82.8 Brown tourist sign B2244. The Clerk had asked ESCC engineers whether it would be possible to have a brown tourist sign on the approach to the Village. Brian Banks would investigate although it seems unlikely to be approved. The Highways Agency, responsible for trunk roads such as the A21, are being much stricter regarding the 40,000 visitors a year that have to visit a site bfore there can be a brown tourist sign pointing towards it. Bypassed villages such as Robertsbridge are sometimes allowed them. Sites that do not meet the 40,000 visitors a year criterion will eventually have their brown signs removed. The Council discussed whether a "gateway" could be constructed at the entrance to the village to slow traffic but decided that there is insufficient room for the construction.

C06/07.83 FOCUS-ON PARISH COUNCIL CAMPAIGNS

Focus-On Road Safety. The Clerk suggested that the Council should run some "Focus-On" Campaigns in the Village. It was agreed that a Focus-On Road Safety campaign should take place between September and December 2006. This would highlight road safety issues and would naturally follow-on from the SID Iniative at the end of September. A public meeting would be arranged during this time to allow residents to highlight road safety issues that are of concern to them and for them to receive some answers from experts. CLERK TO TAKE ACTION.

The idea of running additional "Focus-On" campaigns on "Waste & Recycling" and "Elections" would be considered at the next meeting. DEFERRED UNTIL NOVEMBER 2006.

C06/07.84 GRANT REQUESTS

84.1 Victim Support Sussex. Request for a donation towards the Hastings & Rother branch. NO ACTION
84.2 Tree Warden Scheme. Request for contribution towards the cost of the Tree Warden Scheme. RESOLVED: THAT A DONATION OF £50 SHOULD BE MADE TOWARDS THE TREE WARDEN SCHEME. Cllr Martin would like to circulate the magazines.
84.3 Lockable barrier at Village Hall & Rack for leaflets in the foyer. CLLR MRS GLEW AND CLLR MRS IRWIN DECLARED THEIR PERSONAL & PREJUDICIAL INTERESTS BY VIRTUE OF THEIR BEING TRUSTEES OF THE VILLAGE HALL AND LEFT THE MEETING DURING DISCUSSIONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CODE OF CONDUCT.
It was noted that the barrier and the rack had been approved by the Village Hall Management Committee. The Parish Council had been asked to contribute towards the cost of these items. RESOLVED: THAT THE PARISH COUNCIL PAYS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION AND INSTALLATION OF THE RACK IN THE FOYER IN ACCORDANCE WITH JOHN COOK'S ESTIMATE OF TODAY'S DATE AND THAT THE COMMITTEE BE ASKED TO COME BACK TO THE COUNCIL IF IT HAS A SHORTFALL IN FUNDING THE BARRIER.
84.4 WRVS. Request for donation. It was noted that financial accounting is carried out centrally and it is not possible, therefore, to provide a specific set of audited accounts for any one area. NO ACTION.

C06/07.85 YOUTH

85.1 Letter from Rother District Councillor Bob White. A letter had been sent to all parish councils asking them to include young people in local issues in the community. The Council agreed that it would be a good idea to get young people involved in community matters but, without any focus on youth here, it was difficult. Young people are to be asked, through the Bulletin, to bring matters of concern to the next Open Forum.

85.2 Letter from NALC/The Local Government Association inviting quality councils to involve youngsters in the Local Democracy Week 16-20 October 2006.

85.3 Abusive letter. An abusive letter had been picked up by John Cook at the playground which requested a graffiti wall. It had been passed to the PCSO. Currently, the shelter appears to be being used as a graffiti wall.

C06/07.86 OLD MAP. A 25"/mile map of Sedlescombe on cloth and rollers was purchased by Sedlescombe Parish Council in 1934 and is now surplus to requirements having been displayed in the old village hall up to 2001. RESOLVED: THAT, AS LONG AS THE ITEM CONTINUES TO BE INCLUDED IN THE COUNCIL'S ASSET REGISTER, IT CAN BE GIVEN OUT ON LOAN LOCALLY. CLERK TO ACTION.

C06/07.87 ANNUAL INSPECTION. The Chairman and the Clerk had carried out their annual inspection recently and members were provided with a copy of their recommendations. RESOLVED: THAT THE RECOMMENDATIONS ARE PASSED TO THE BEST VALUE & COMMUNITY PROJECTS COMMITTEE FOR FURTHER CONSIDERATION. CLERK TO ACTION.

C06/07.88 PRE-BUDGET SURVEY. RESOLVED: THAT PRE-BUDGET SURVEY FORMS, AMENDED AS AGREED AT THE MEETING, SHOULD BE DISTRIBUTED WITH THE NEXT BULLETIN. CLERK TO ACTION.

C06/07.89 PARISH PLAN REVIEW. RESOLVED: THAT THE 2002-2007 SEDLESCOMBE PARISH PLAN REVIEW REPORT IS ADOPTED.

C06/07.90 GRASS CUTTING. An anonymous criticism of the Parish Council concerning grass cutting had been received and, also, included in the Parish News. The grass concerned was actually the responsibility of ESCC and not the Parish Council. A full answer had been included in the Council's website www.sedlescombe.org.uk bunder Questions and Answers.

C06/07.91 WELCOME PACKS. Members were reminded that Welcome Packs should be delivered to people moving into the parish. COUNCILLORS/CLERK TO ACTION.

C06/07.92 ABSENCE OF COUNCILLORS. The Chairman reminded councillors that it was most important to tell the Clerk if they are to be absent from home for any time because of the need to have a quorum at meetings and to have two councillors to sign cheques or bank transfer forms.

Chairman............................................................ Date.........................................................