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COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON TUESDAY 8 JULY 2008 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL, 19:00 TO 21:30

PRESENT:Councillor Wright (Chairman of the Council), Councillor Rand (Vice-Chairman of the Council)
Cllrs Cameron, Dellow, Glew, Irwin, Martin, Mitchell, Wheatley

Mrs P Raymond (Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer)

Also present: District Cllr Tony Ganly (part) and four members of the public (up to end of C08/09.29 only)

 

OPEN FORUM
District Cllr Ganly commented that

  1. Tony Leonard, Rother District Council Director of Services, had been surprised to hear that the Parish Council had already been informed about the proposed promotion of the Contact Centre and Web Services (see C08/09.39.3) in Sedlescombe in September.
  2. He had "called in" planning application RR/2008/893/P Pestalozzi Village, placement of a temporary scaffolding tower to be used to run climbing and abseil sessions for children staying at the village as the Planning Officer was going to refuse it.
  3. He would like to see the old red telephone boxes that will no longer include phones retained in some way as he believes them to be an important part of English life, known the world over.
C08/09.27 Apologies and reasons for absence. None. All present.
C08/09.28 Interests. Declarations of existence and nature of councillor's interests. The following interests were disclosed:
  1. Cllr Dellow - C08/09.41.8 & 9 - Personal interest by virtue of his membership of the Pavilion Fund-raising committee.
  2. Cllr Glew - C08/09.32.2 - Personal interest by virtue of her being the Parish Council's representative on the Village Hall Committee.
  3. Cllrs Irwin, Dellow, Wheatley - C08/09.32.2 - Personal interest by virtue of them being Trustees of the Village Hall.
  4. Cllr Mitchell - C08/09.41.8 & 9 - Personal and prejudicial interests by virtue of her being the Secretary of the Sports Association.
  5. All Councillors - C08/09.41.7 - Personal and prejudicial interests by virtue of the Council being the sole Trustee of the Sedlescombe Playing Field and Recreation Ground Trust. However, dispensation has been granted to all to allow them to speak and act.

Cllr Mitchell did not wish to comment on the pavilion.

C08/09.29 Public participation session, 19:05 to 19:55. The public participation session was attended by Colin Boyd, John Mainwood, Grant Burberry and Peter Anson. Peter Anson was given leave by the Chairman to speak about the proposed pavilion.

Cllr Mitchell left the meeting during the public participation session in accordance with the Code of Conduct 2007 and the declaration of her personal and prejudicial interest in the pavilion.

Peter Anson, a local resident, informed the Council that he had been asked by Cllr Wheatley to see whether the favoured quotation for construction of the pavilion would give good value for money. He had seen the approved plan, the construction notes and quote from Abbey Pynford (already accepted). He was not, however, able to check the value because details of the favoured quote had not been provided.

Mr Anson raised queries about the quality and type of all the materials that are to be used, about the wooden cladding, about maintenance costs, about the form and running costs of heating, about the lack of ventilation in and the size of the tea-making area, about the type and height of the windows, about the difficulty in changing the time on the clock, about general layout and access issues, about users of the social area only having access to a disabled toilet, about the gap between the slab and the building, about guarantees from the contractors and about VAT recovery. He agreed that the proposed size of the building is about right but thought that the layout needs adjusting to make a really good pavilion, fit for the future.

Grant Burberry (Chairman of the Sports Association) acknowledged that he realised that the Sports Association would be responsible for future maintenance and running costs under the terms of the Parish Council/Sports Association Lease.

The Clerk/RFO confirmed that Customs & Excise had agreed that VAT costs can be recovered by the Parish Council.

Both the Chairman of the Council and Cllr Rand (Project Manager) thanked Mr Anson for his helpful suggestions which would be given further consideration.    

C08/09.30Link to Minutes of 11/06/08 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Council is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 11/06//08.
C08/09.31 Minutes of Meetings of Committees
  1. Planning Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 13 May, 3 June, 11 June 2008 are received.
  2. Finance Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Finance Committee held on 13 May and 1 July 2008 are received..
  3. Crime & Safety Advisory Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Crime & Safety Advisory Committee held on 1 July 2008 are received, information is noted and recommendations approved.
C08/09.32 Reports from representatives
  1. Rother Association of Local Councils. No report.
  2. Village Hall Trust. Cllr Glew declared her personal interest by virtue of her being the Council's representative on the Village Hall Committee. Cllrs Dellow, Irwin and Wheatley declared their personal interests by being Village Hall Trustees. Cllr Glew reported that at the last meeting obtaining a further quote for construction of a door from the kitchen to committee room 2 was approved. Adjustments and checks are being made to see whether water costs can be lowered. A key to the height barrier for emergency use only is now in the foyer in a glass-fronted box. The replacement of village hall direction signs was approved. Mrs Raymond was thanked for her help. Consideration is being given to getting some lighter steps for accessing the stage from the hall. Next meeting 25/09/08.
  3. Tree Warden. Cllr Martin reported his involvement with the school in planting horse chestnut trees not only in the School but also an additional twenty trees had been planted at Lower Marley Farm and nine at Lower Jacobs Farm. The landowners and Mr Hall of Powdermills had been very helpful. There had been newspaper reports in the Rye & Battle Observer and The Courier. Cllr Martin's photos were circulated around the Council. Unfortunately, the leaf miner that is attacking horse chestnut trees has reached the tree outside the Doctors' Surgery in Brede Lane.
  4. Environment Officer. Cllr Dellow reported that
    1. The Spanish chestnuts in the churchyard had been registered with the Woodland Trust Ancient Tree Hunt.
    2. The School wildlife poster competition had been judged by Pauline Raymond last Friday. The aims of this were to encourage children to become more environmentally aware and to fill the noticeboards at Red Barn Field Nature Park.
    3. The work on the Village Hall garden had been carried out by Reg Glew and Cllr Dellow and paid for from Village Hall funds. A considerable amount of weeds had been removed from the site. The aim was not only to provide an attractive garden but also to encourage insects such as butterflies and moths. About 36 shrubs had been planted including Rosa Rugosa, Mahonia and Heathers.
    4. Despite previous efforts to kill off the many rhododendrons in the churchyard, they continue to grow. They will be cut back during the winter.
    5. There have been complaints about the litter in the Village. Cllr Dellow is updating the litter picker list which is still thirty strong. Attempts will be made to get more recruits.
    6. The cutting of wildflowers on the bank in Brede Lane by the County Council contractor when the ox-eye daisies were in full flower had been an act of carelessness. When the Clerk had complained to the County Council she had been told that the cutting had to take place because the grass was overhanging the footway. She had strongly disputed that it was necessary to cut back the whole of the bank rather than just a small strip. Councillors queried whether a notice put on the bank next season asking that it is cut late March and after late September would survive. It was suggested that the County Council should be asked to let the Clerk know when the cutting is likely to take place so the notice can be put up at that time to remind the mowing contractor.
C08/09.33 Clerk's Report. The Clerk reported as follows:
  1. The School is proposing an additional mobile classroom. Further details would be provided at the School tomorrow afternoon at 14:45.
  2. Members are invited to the Deputy Head's (Valerie Richardson) leaving party at the School on Monday 21 July 15:45 to 17:15.
  3. Mr Alan Denny had died last Saturday in his sleep. Alan was remembered for his contribution to Sedlescombe's community by his involvement in the Parish Council and as Chairman of the Village Hall Management Committee.

C08/09.34

 

June 2008 cheque listJuly 2008 cheque list

Finance
  1. Bank reconciliations. RESOLVED: That bank reconciliations at the end of May 2008 and June 2008 are approved.
  2. Cheques. RESOLVED: That June cheques are ratified and the July cheque list is approved.
C08/09.35 Training. Chairmanship Training Day at Leeford Place. The course had been attended by Cllrs Wright, Rand, Wheatley and Mitchell. All had found it a useful course and agreed that Tim Ricketts was a good speaker. After correspondence with Tim Ricketts, the Clerk had written a briefing note about comments made at the course.
C08/09.36 Quality Council Re-Accreditation. Sedlescombe Parish Council was one of the first councils to obtain quality status soon after the announcement of this scheme and, therefore, the four-year term expires this month. The Council agreed that it should be left to the Clerk to consider whether re-accreditation should be applied for. It had been confirmed that all parish councils applying for re-accreditation have to submit a full portfolio of evidence for all of the quality tests, as they would at initial accreditation, for assessment by Accreditation Panels. DEFERRED TO SEPTEMBER COUNCIL MEETING
C08/09.37 Receipt of the following magazines/newsletters was noted:
  1. Local Council Review.
  2. The Clerk (Society of Local Council Clerks).
  3. Clerks & Councils Direct.
  4. Rother Voluntary Action E-Bulletin (by e-mail).
  5. Battle Area Community Transport Summer 2008 Newsletter (by e-mail).
  6. Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee Newsletter (by e-mail).
  7. CPRE Sussex Review and Countryside Voice.
C08/09.38 Conferences
  1. AirS Rural Affording Housing Conference. 25/09/08 at The Adastra Hall, Hassocks, 0930 to 1300 (following by local produce organic lunch). There will be speakers and workshops on the following subjects: 1) Community Land Trusts; 2) Rural Housing: Delivering through Local Planning Policy; 3) Sustainable Rural Affordable Housing: How best practice can persuade the sceptics. 3 concurrent workshops will also take place on these subjects.
  2. Emergency Planning Conference. 28/10/08, East Sussex National Golf Course, 1800 to 2100. Cllrs Martin and Mitchell to attend on behalf of Sedlescombe. RESOLVED: That travelling expenses are approved.
C08/09.39

 

Aim 1 To achieve an Informed and Participating Sedlescombe Community
  1. Welcome Packs. Welcome packs are available.
  2. Parish Plan Survey of autumn 2007. Members had been provided with a Clerk's Briefing Note on the actions to date following last year's survey. RESOLVED: That the Clerk is authorised to produce a document based on her report to be distributed with the September Bulletin.
  3. It was noted that Rother District Council is planning to visit Sedlescombe during the week beginning 22/09/08 to promote its Contact Centre and Web Services.
  4. It was noted that nominations are invited for "The 2009 Queen's Award for Voluntary Service". These should recognise an excellent and dedicated group that is making a difference to people's lives in this community.
  5. Advertising village events. The Clerk reminded members that special arrangements are required for advertising any charitable event in the Village. Applications for signs on the the Village Green should be made to the Parish Council (details available on the website). Two direction signs are allowed on the day of the event only and size restrictions apply. Applications for any other advertising should be made to East Sussex Highways at Sidley on 0845 60 80 193. Plenty of time should be allowed. Two signs of a specified size are allowed on each approach road/highway verge. Various other conditions apply.
C08/09.40 Aim 2 To achieve a Safe and Healthy Sedlescombe Community
  1. Repair/replacement of bollards B2244 at its junction with the A21. Following complaints from a local resident in the early part of the year of the need for repairs to the bollards in Tollgate Road, the Clerk had alerted the Highways Agency after being told by ESCC that it was not their responsibility. However, although recently the County Council has carried out temporary repairs, responsibility is still disputed.
  2. It was noted that East Sussex Highways is carrying out patching on the B2244 Compasses, Hawkhurst Road, The Street together with essential Microasphalt Application (Gripfibre) on various roads in the eastern area of East Sussex. Due to the nature of the road layout and size of the plant required to carry out the the works, temporary road closures and temporary speed restrictions have been approved between 14 July and 13 August 2008. It is expected that the B2244 from the village hall entrance to Cripps Corner will be closed from this week for about twelve days. Problems with events at the Church and Village Hall were envisaged.
  3. To receive a report on hedge-cutting adjacent to roads and footways:
    1. Chapel Hill, Sedlescombe - Old Orchard. The Clerk had written to the owner and some minor clipping had taken place.
    2. B2244 - opposite junction with Chapel Hill. The Clerk had written to the owner, who lives in Croydon. No action had been taken. The height of the hedge is a particular nuisance because it restricts the view for drivers turning right into Ladybird Lane or Chapel Hill. Unfortunately, the County Council can only take action to get the sides of the hedge trimmed when it overlaps the carriageway.
    3. Twitten between Brede Lane and Gorselands - hedge on both sides of this tarmac path which is a part of public footpath 6. The Clerk had written to the owners of the hedges either side of the path. Cllr Dellow thought it had been cut.
  4. Dogs.
    1. Further distribution of a "What you need to know as a Dog Walker in Sedlescombe" Leaflet. The Clerk's leaflet had been distributed with the July Bulletin. It was agreed that copies should be given to the Hotel, Caravan Park, Cafe and to those with dogs at the Garage.
    2. Introduction of a dog control order by Rother to replicate or alter the existing "Dogs on Leads" controls (currently in place on part of Bexhill Promenade for part of the year and also in Sedlescombe Sportsfield). The Council considered whether to ask for an order in Sedlescombe and it was RESOLVED: That, as a Dog Control Order can be enforced by on the spot fines, one should be requested for the Sedlescombe Sportsfield.
    3. Introduction of a dog control order limiting the number of a dogs which a person may take onto any land. RESOLVED: That, Rother District Council should be requested to limit the number of a dogs which a person may take onto any land to a maximum of four.
C08/09.41 Aim 3 To help provide Amenities and Services in Sedlescombe
  1. Sedlescombe Lift Scheme. Arrangements for free parking for voluntary car scheme drivers had been made.
  2. Street signs. RESOLVED: That councillors would undertake a further survey of street name signs.
  3. Public rights of way.
    1. Footpath 5d - Flooded path caused by overflow from neighbouring pond making public footpath impassable. Adjacent landowner to install an overflow from pond in July/August.
    2. Footpath 1 - Garden fence at new property has narrowed the footpath to an unacceptable extent. No recorded width so little that can be done.
    3. Rights of Way Network Survey. Chris Tweed (formerly Rights of Way Volunteer Officer) has been appointed Survey Manager. A replacement for his ROW Volunteer Officer is to be sought.
    4. Replacement of stiles with gates to make easy-access footpaths.
  4. Youth service provision. The County Council is proposing sweeping changes to youth development provision. The consultation time was very short and had expired; it was not altogether clear what the proposals would mean locally.
  5. Provision of footway at Sandrocks. The cost of providing this footway had risen steeply with a quote of more than £26,000 being received from the County Council this year. The Parish Council would be required to provide much of this money if the work was to be undertaken. Cllr Dellow, who had supported the idea of the footway on behalf of the local residents, was concerned that the specification was an urban solution to a rural problem and one which could not be afforded by a small parish. RESOLVED: That the Clerk should tell County Councillor Jones that, although the Parish Council supports this path, the rising costs are prohibitive and that it should be provided by East Sussex County Council.
  6. It was noted that Rother District Council had forwarded comments made by parishes on the removal of payphones to BT.
  7. Playground inspection reports and to approve any action necessary. Members had made the usual comments about the playgrounds including further removal of spiles from the fences at the Riverside. Cllr Glew reported that an oval hole had been cut in the tennis court fencing.
  8. Sedlescombe pavilion. Cllr Mitchell declared her personal and prejudicial interest in this item and the next by virtue of her being the Sports Association Secretary. She left the meeting during discussions on these items.
    1. Borrowing approval for a loan of up to £90,800 to be repaid over a period up to 50 years had been received from the Department of Communities and Local Government. This borrowing approval expires on 25/12/08.
    2. The Chairman reported that fund-raising continues and applications are being made to various bodies for grant aid.
    3. Abbey Pynford had been appointed to install the piling and slab and it had been agreed that Steed Construction should put in the drainage.
    4. RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That, subject to Cllr Rand obtaining a satisfactory outcome following further discussions concerning the points raised by Peter Anson, Steed Construction Ltd. be appointed as the Principal Contractor for the construction of the Sedlescombe Sports Pavilion and the quotation of 14/02/08 be accepted.
  9. Use of Village Green for fund-raising activities and consideration of whether the Parish Council should run a fund-raising Fayre on the Village Green on Saturday 27 September to raise money for the pavilion. The Clerk/RFO reported receipt of a reply from Allianz Insurance plc dated 07/07/08 regarding events on the Village Green. The existing £10,000,000 Public Liability Section of the policy does extend to include the legal liabilities of the Parish Council arising from accidents causing bodily injury to third parties or damage to their property arising from the ownership of the land and the sole organisation of an event or activity managed by the Parish Council or one of its Committees or Sub-Committees. For a claim to be successful, a claimant would need to prove negligence against the Parish Council. Sole organisation of the event means that the Minutes must form part of the Council Minutes, the meetings must be open to the public in the normal way and any accounts must be included in the Council's accounts.
    If events/activities take place place on the Green and these are not under the control of the Parish Council, and an injury or damage arises from the negligence of person/s other than the Parish Council, these person/s could be held personally responsible for such injury or damage.
    The Clerk/RFO had also written to the Insurance Company about the embarrassment of having to tell the local shopkeeper that he could not arrange a tea afternoon on the Village Green unless he had the necessary insurance cover. Allianz Insurance plc had commented that it is possible that the shopkeeper would have had Public Liability insurance included in their business policy. However, this did not appear to be the case and the event was held in the pub garden.
    Having heard the advice from the Insurance Company, it was obvious that any event arranged by the Pavilion Fund-Raising Group on the Village Green or the Sportsfield would not be covered by the Parish Council's Public Liability Insurance Cover. Cllr Dellow agreed to give this information to the Fund-Raising Group at its next meeting. 
C08/09.42 Aim 5 To Protect and Enhance Sedlescombe's Built and Natural Environment
  1. Biodiversity Action Plan update: RESOLVED: That the following should be added to to Council's Biodiversity Action Plan - 2. Work with the school to encourage knowledge of and care for trees.
    Highlight importance of trees through regular entries in Sedlescombe News.
  2. Archaeological remains at Park View. It was noted that, according to the County Archaeologist, there are archaeological remains on the site and that, in due course, the Parish Council would be fully informed of all discoveries and new information about the site.
  3. Rother and Romney Draft Catchment Flood Management Plan. It was noted that the draft policy for rural Rother is to "Take action to increase the frequency of flooding to deliver benefits locally or elsewhere". The text further explains that it will ensure that any action taken does not increase the risk of flooding to people or infrastructure. There are opportunities to set back flood banks on the rivers Brede, Tillingham and Rother to return to a more natural flood mechanism and for environment enhancement.
  4. County Council reaction to the complaint about cutting of wildflowers on the grass bank in Brede Lane. See C08/09.32.4 above.
  5. Hogweed treatment. It was noted that the weedkilling contractor had carried out treatments in Sedlescombe in June. The normal treatment had worked well. However, it had been reported that, although the banks behind the children's play areas were clear, there were four plants growing along the banks of the sportsfield and about twenty plants in the horse field on the north bank west of the bridge. There was a significant reduction in the number of plants found compared to last year; the Company will return in several weeks to monitor the situation. The Clerk was authorised to write, in due course, to the owners of the horse field.
  6. A resident's complaint regarding the untidy state of the RN French site in The Street was noted. The site had been visited by an Enforcement Officer who had decided that the site is not sufficiently bad to take any action.
   
 

 

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