OPEN FORUM

The only member of the public to attend the Open Forum was Peter Scott of CCM, Agent for the Park View developer. He gave members a resume of the current detailed planning application which is reported in more detail in the Planning Committee Minutes of 11/09/07, Minute P07/08.49.2. The Chairman suggested that the Parish Council would like to be involved with choosing the replacement bus shelter as required by ESCC. It was also noted that the kerb on both sides of the B2244 will need lowering. Mr Scott asked the Clerk to send him details of the Parish Council's bus shelter requirements.

Cllr Mrs Irwin expressed her appreciation of the work being carried out to the layby in Hawkhurst Road.

SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL

COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON TUESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2007 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL, 1900 TO 2100

PRESENT: Cllr V Wright (Chairman of the Council), Cllrs R Dudman, C Wheatley, M Irwin, W Cameron, P Martin
Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer: Mrs P Raymond

**************************************

C07/08.38 Apologies for absence were received from Cllr P Glew (holiday), Cllr A Rand (away), Cllr R Dellow (holiday). The Chairman reported that Cllr Dellow had been taken ill whilst on holiday in Northumberland and had recently been admitted to hospital. The Council agreed that the Crime & Safety Committee Meeting planned for Tuesday 18 September should be postponed until further notice.

C07/08.39 Interests. Members made the following declarations of interests with regard to items on the agenda.

Agenda Cllr Reason Type of interest
43.4 & 51.2 Wright Parish Council's representative on the Youth Forum Personal
43.4 & 51.2 Dudman Parish Council's representative on the Youth Forum Personal
51.1 Dudman Parish Council's representative on the Sedlescombe Sports Association Personal
43.1 Wheatley Parish Council's representative on the Rother Association of Local Councils Personal
50.3 All Sedlescombe Parish Council is the sole Trustee of the Sedlescombe Playing Field Trust Personal

C07/08.40 Public participation session with respect to items on the agenda. No public present.

C07/08.41 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Council authorises the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 10/07/07. Cllr Cameron expressed doubt on the statement recorded in the last Minutes regarding future flooding near the River Brede that had been made by the Environment Agency (C07/08.28.3).

C07/08.42 Minutes of Committees and Reports of Working Groups

  1. Planning. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Planning Committee Meetings held on 10 and 24 July and 4 September 2007 are received.
  2. Crime & Safety. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Crime & Safety Committee Meeting held on 17 July 2007 are received.
  3. Sports Pavilion Working Group. RESOLVED: That the Notes of the Sports Pavilion Working Group held on 16 July 2007 are received and approved.
  4. Finance. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Finance Committee held on 28 August 2007 are received. The Clerk reported and the Council agreed that, on the advice of the Barclays Local Business Manager, a Business Bonus Account should be opened instead of the Everyday Saver Account. The criteria for the 2.2% bonus, is for a deposit to be made of at least £25 for ten months of the year and only four withdrawals to be made from the account in a year. A standing order to transfer £25 a month from the Council's community account to the new Business Bonus Account from 01/10/07 was approved. The account will be for the Sports Pavilion Fund. Cllr Irwin suggested that money should be deposited in it from the Sports Association.
  5. Pavilion Funding Working Group. RESOLVED: That the Notes of the Pavilion Funding Working Group Meeting held on 14 August 2007 are received and approved. Cllr Cameron reported that, as instructed, he had spoken to Estate Agent Chris Campbell about producing a barometer for the Sportsfield Fund. Chris Campbell had agreed to send a mock-up of what is proposed to Cllr Cameron. Cllr Cameron was thanked by the Chairman.

The meeting was suspended to allow District Cllr Tony Ganly, who had arrived late, to report on his current investigations into anti-social behaviour at East View Terrace. Cllr Ganly was invited to attend the youth meeting to be held on 17 September in the Queen's Head at 1800.

The meeting was reconvened and Cllr Ganly left.

C07/08.43 Reports from Representatives as follows:

  1. Rother Association of Local Councils. Cllr Wheatley declared her personal interest by virtue of her being the Parish Council's representative on RALC. In accordance with the Code of Conduct, she remained in the room. Cllr Wheatley reported as follows on the last RALC Meeting held on 11 July. 1) The seating arrangements were insufficient for the number of people attending; 2) Cllr David Young was declared Chairman with Cllr Varrall Vice Chairman; 3) The suggestion that councils need not be members of SALC to belong to RALC was not supported; 4) The remainder of the meeting was mainly devoted to problems with waste/recycling collection. The Clerk was asked to provide a website link to the RALC Minutes.
  2. Sports Association Committee. See C07/08.51 below for details of pavilion update.
  3. Tree Warden. No report.
  4. Youth Forum. Cllrs Wright and Dudman declared their personal interests by virtue of them being two of the three Parish Council representatives on the Youth Forum. In accordance with the Code of Conduct, they remained in the room. Various meetings had been attended. Cllr Wright reported that the youth group wishes to use the old Scout Hut for a youth club. Grants were being sought with the help of the youth workers who were congratulated on their work. Unfortunately, their work is not always rewarded with good behaviour from the youngsters. See agenda item C07/08.51.2 below.

C07/08.44 Clerk's Report

  1. Street nameplate, Church Hill. Previously highlighted by the Council for replacement. Local resident has asked that Church Hill is provided with a nameplate. Cllr Cameron reported that his property and others are now in "Oaklands Lane" (Pestalozzi road). Clerk will write to Pestalozzi seeking their approval for installation of a nameplate.
  2. Sewage problems. A local resident in The Street had asked the Clerk to inform the Council about two problems at the rear of The Street in the last couple of weeks. Both are on public footpath 1. The problems are of sewage overflowing from a manhole cover (regular occurrence) and a polluted ditch. Southern Water and the Environment Agency have investigated and Southern Water is satisfied that its drains are satisfactory. The Environment Agency is currently checking where the pollution is coming from. Members were able to see an old drainage map from the Council's records which shows two main sewer lines at the rear of The Street.
  3. Making the most of the 2012 Olympics. Clerks have been invited to a meeting in Battle on 30/10/07 to discuss how Rother can benefit from the Olympics.
  4. De La Warr Pavilion. The Parish Council has been asked to comment on Rother's involvement with the De La Warr Pavilion. DELEGATED TO THE FINANCE COMMITTEE.

C07/08.45 Finance

  1. Bank reconciliation at end of July and August 2007. RESOLVED: That the Council receives the bank reconciliations at the end of July and August 2007.
  2. Cheque list August 2007. RESOLVED: That the Council ratifies the payment of cheques in August 2007.
  3. Cheque list September 2007. RESOLVED: That the Council authorises the payment of cheques in September 2007.
  4. SALC Subscriptions
    1. SALC budget. Trevor Leggo had sent details of the SALC budget.
    2. Quality Council resolution to SALC AGM. The Parish Council had proposed to submit a resolution to the AGM regarding the introduction of a reduced subscription for Quality Councils. Rye Town Council had voted to support Sedlescombe. The subject was, however, expected to be considered at a forthcoming meeting of the SALC Executive Committees at the end of September. Cllr Wheatley reported that the this subject was expected to be on the agenda of the next meeting of RALC to be held in January. RESOLVED: That the Clerk submits the "reduced subscriptions for quality councils" question to the SALC AGM dependent upon the SALC Committee outcome.
  5. Inspection Report. Cllr Glew and the Clerk had carried out the annual village inspection in preparation for the 2008/9 budget. RESOLVED: That the Council approves in principle the work specified in the 2007 Inspection Report, details to be determined by the Finance Committee.
  6. Rural Rother Trust. A request had been received for a donation towards the Rural Rother Trust. In 2006, Sedlescombe Parish Council made a £50 donation to the Trust funds. RESOLVED: That the Council approves in principle a donation to the Rural Rother Trust in 2007, details to be determined by the Finance Committee after receipt of a copy of the latest Trust accounts.

C07/08.46 Policies and Strategies. Members were reminded that copies of the existing documents are available in the May 2007 Sedlescombe Parish Council Handbook.

  1. Sedlescombe Parish Council Training Strategy. Members were provided with copies of the new draft Training Strategy. RESOLVED: That the Council adopts the "Training Strategy for Sedlescombe Parish Council September 2007". Members were asked to retain the document for future use.
  2. Standing Orders. The Council had been informed that NALC intends to issue revised model Standing Orders later in the year. In the meantime, NALC had issued a few revised standing orders for adoption by parish councils. RESOLVED: That the Council adopts the following amended Standing Order/Standing Orders for all its Council and Committee Meetings:
    1. No.31, amend to read "A member must observe the Code of Conduct for Members regarding interests as adopted by Sedlescombe Parish Council on 15 May 2007.
    2. No.24a, insert new standing order "At all meetings of the Council, the Chairman may at his/her discretion, and at a convenient time in the transaction of business, allow any members of the public to address the meeting in relation to the business to be transacted. Such sessions form part of the Council meeting in law and shall be duly minuted. The Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 15.05.07 shall apply to members of the Council in respect of the entire meeting.. Where, however, members of the Council exercise their rights pursuant to standing order 24b below, members of the public shall be allowed to attend the meeting to (a) make representations, (b) answer questions or (c) give evidence relating to the business to be transacted."
    3. No 24b, insert new standing order "At all meetings of the Council, the Chairman may permit members of the Council (including co-opted members as defined by s.49(7) Local Government Act 2000) who have a prejudicial interest in relation to any item of business to be transacted at that meeting to (a) make representations, (b) answer questions or (c) give evidence relating to the business to be transacted. Such sessions form part of the Council meeting in law and shall be duly minuted. The Code of Conduct which was adopted by the Council on 15/05/07 shall apply to members of the Council in respect of the entire meeting."
  3. Child/Young Person Protection Policy . The Council reviewed the Policy adopted on 05/05/06 and RESOLVED: That the Council approves amendment to the Child/Young Person Protection Policy by deletion of paragraph 3 and substitution of: "The Council recognises that it must, as far as practicable, create and sustain a safe environment for children and young people that use services or facilities provided by Sedlescombe Parish Council or engage with staff, elected Members and volunteers." Members were requested to amend their copies of the 2007 Handbook in line with the resolution above.
  4. Biodiversity Strategy and Policy document (fulfils Aim No.5 - to protect and enheance Sedlescombe's Built and Natural Environment). In the absence of the Environment Officer, DEFERRED TO NOVEMBER MEETING. Details would be included in due course in the Bulletin.

C07/08.47 Code of Conduct

  1. Sedlescombe Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. The Clerk reported that Rother District Council Standards Committee was that evening considering the Parish Council's application for dispensation for all nine parish councillors.
  2. Registration of gifts or hospitality. A letter had been received from Trevor Elliott, Rother Monitoring Officer. Members were asked to note that they should declare offers of gifts or hospitality over £25, even if they decide not to accept.
  3. Personal Interests Update. Members were reminded to provide updates to their personal interests forms as appropriate.

C07/08.48 NALC Conference and Exhibition, Bournemouth International Centre, 5-7 October 2007. Members were invited to attend.

C07/08.49 Sedlescombe Parish Plan Aim No.1 - To achieve an Informed and Participating Sedlescombe Community

  1. Welcome Packs. Packs were available. They will be delivered to new residents on request.
  2. September Draft Bulletin. RESOLVED: That the September 2007 Bulletin, as amended, is approved and distributed throughout the parish by volunteers.
  3. Parish Plan form. RESOLVED: That the form provided is approved and distributed throughout the parish by volunteers.
  4. Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2008. A letter had been received from the Lord Lieutenant together with Guidance Notes.

C07/08.50 Sedlescombe Parish Plan Aim No.2 - To achieve a Safe and Healthy Sedlescombe Community

  1. Speed and Traffic Calming. A briefing note had been provided by the Clerk. RESOLVED: 1) That the Parish Council approves the siting of two vehicle-activated signs as detailed on the ESCC plan dated 20/08/07 with the smaller face design as detailed on drawing number ENQ3415 02 of 30/08/07. 2) That, in addition to earlier requests, ESCC is asked to investigate a lower speed limit for Crazy Lane which has tortuous bends, is narrow and is used by a lot of drivers accessing the A21 from Westfield and, also cars and coaches visiting Carr Taylor Vineyards. Towards the bottom of Crazy Lane, the Whydown Farm Caravan Park has its entrance.
  2. "No Smoking in Public Places".
    1. Bus shelter. Although the Clerk had pinned three notices (one a month) to the bus shelter, all had been removed in a very short while. It was hoped that a permanent notice could be included if the shelter is replaced.
    2. Queen's Head Smoking Shelter. The new landlord of the Queen's Head had built a free-standing smoking shelter to the south of the pub. It is possible that, because the building is listed and within the Sedlescombe Conservation Area, the development will need planning approval. Rother's Enforcement Officer is investigating. The new pavement outside the Queen's Head had been constructed and was being appreciated by residents.
  3. Playground Inspection Reports. All councillors declared their personal interests by virtue of the Parish Council being the sole trustee of the Sedlescombe Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. In accordance with the Code of Conduct they remained in the meeting. Members were reminded to ask someone else to do their inspection if they are not able to do it. Cllr Martin agreed to undertake Cllr Dellow's inspection this week. Since the last meeting, there had been a lot of damage perpetrated at the Riverside Playground. This involved the heavy metal entrance gate (hinges broken twice), the Orbiter roundabout (bearing wrecked requiring replacement), the rope ladder on the Eagles Nest where two cuts had been made in the cable, removal and loss of one of the bollards, removal of fencing and damage to the wooden picnic table with scratching, burning and paint. There has been a large amount of litter both in and out of the bins with Roger Wood taking away eight black bags full on one occasion. There had been problems getting Verdant to empty the large bin next to the entrance. The problem with the posts moving inwards had been reported to Record RSS and an inspector had quickly been sent to investigate. Cllr Rand had met him on site and had been told how to make the necessary adjustments.
  4. "Operation Crackdown". It was noted that Sussex Police is encouraging anyone to report speeding, thoughtless driving, underage drivers, drink/drug driving, mobile phone use when driving, untaxed vehicles, abandoned cars and unsafe vehicles through a website, or telephone number.

C07/08.51 Sedlescombe Parish Plan Aim No.3 - To help provide Amenities and Services in Sedlescombe

  1. Sports Pavilion. Cllr Dudman declared his personal interest by virtue of him being the Parish Council's representative on the Sedlescombe Sports Association. In accordance with the Code of Conduct, he remained in the room. Cllr Rand had attended the Sports Association Meeting the previous evening and had reported to the Clerk that work to the portakabin interior to divide it into rooms is nearly complete and members of the Sports Association Committee have undertaken to arrange connection to the services. It is hoped that the work will be completed in a couple of weeks. Cllr Rand's attempt to get answers from the Football Foundation to several questions is ongoing. RESOLVED: That, if confirmation can be obtained from the Football Foundation that the Council's claim for funding will not be prejudiced, the Parish Council authorises demolition of the existing sports pavilion as soon as possible at the best price available.
  2. Scout Hut. Cllrs Wright and Dudman declared their personal interests by virtue of them being two of the three Parish Council's representatives on the Youth Forum. In accordance with the Code of Conduct, they remained in the room. The young people, working with the youth workers, have been trying to find funding so that the Scout Hut can be used for a youth club and for other purposes in the Village. Although the youth workers and some parents wished the Parish Council to take the Scout Hut over, this had always been resisted by representatives. Another meeting was planned for next Monday. Cllrs Wright and Rand planned to attend. It had, unfortunately, been arranged too early for Cllr Dudman to attend. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council should not get involved with the running of the Scout Hut but would sympathetically consider applications for grant aid from a properly-formed group.
  3. Local Transport - accessibility. Information available through a weblink and hard copy available at the meeting.
  4. Affordable Rural Housing in Rother. Cllr Cameron may be able to attend an Information day at Battle Memorial Hall on Tuesday 16 October, 1000 to 1300.

C07/08.52 Sedlescombe Parish Plan Aim No.4 - To help support business and rural employment in Sedlescombe

  1. Post Office closures. According to Postwatch, there will be an announcement in November concerning the plan of post office closures across Sussex, following which there will be a 6-week consultation period. Parish councils are expected to be contacted direct. Objections will only be accepted on the basis of:
    1. Distance to remaining post offices in the area
    2. Local factors such as the age of the population or other demographic issues
    3. Inadequacy of transport links
    4. Any effect on the local economy.

C07/08.54 Sedlescombe Parish Plan Aim No.5 - To protect and enhance Sedlescombe's Built and Natural Environment

  1. Litter/dog bins/bus shelter and Pumphouse sweeping. Since Verdant took over from Serco, the emptying of litter bins (should be twice weekly for all bins on the highway), the emptying of dog bins (should be once weekly for the three bins) and bus shelter and Pumphouse sweeping have been extremely unsatisfactory. The Clerk has sent many e-mails to Rother and had telephone conversations. With the intervention of District Cllr Ganly, the matter appears to be slowly improving. It has been suggested by Rother to Cllr Ganly, that the parish councils will need to take back the dog waste bin emptying. The Parish Council would, no doubt, accept this return to the previous situation but there appeared to be no contractor who could do the work. The Clerk advised the Council that, if a contractor could not be found, the bins should be removed. This was not altogether supported by members because they feared that bags of dog excrement would be left all over the Village. DELEGATED TO FINANCE COMMITTEE.
  2. Brede High Woods purchase. Brede High Woods, which is ancient woodland and home to many rare species, is being sold off by Southern Water. The Woodland Trust is attempting to raise the money to buy the wood and keep it open for the public to enjoy. The wood covering 649 acres stretches from Broad Oak to Sedlescombe and Cripps Corner. The cost is £1.8 million to secure the future of the wood and £100,000 needs to be raised locally by the end of September. If the Woodland Trust is successful, it will be its largest site in England. RESOLVED: That Sedlescombe Parish Council, using its powers under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, s.19, should pledge £100 towards the purchase of Brede High Woods.