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COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON TUESDAY 9 SEPTEMBER 2008 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL, 19:00 TO 20:55

 

PRESENT: Cllr Wright (Chairman of the Council), Cllr Rand (Vice-Chairman of the Council), Cllrs Martin, Irwin, Wheatley, Glew, Mitchell. Mrs P Raymond: Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer

 

Also present: District Cllr Ganly. No public present

 

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District Cllr Ganly gave the following information to the Council:

1. Kay MacMullan of Sedlescombe has been awarded first prize in the Prose Fiction category of a Rother based Spoken and Written Word Competition entitled "All Rather Rother".

2. District Councillors have been asked to survey their wards for issues such as graffiti, dog fouling, street furniture, fly-tipping during the week commencing 14/09/09. Cllr Wright offered to help in Sedlescombe.

 

The Chairman thanked Cllr Ganly for his help in ensuring that officers and members at Rother District Council are aware of the urgent need for additional funds for the Sedlescombe sports pavilion.

 

C08/09.49 Apologies and reasons for absence. Cllr Dellow (holiday). Cllr Cameron (ill).
C08/09.50

Interests. Declarations of existence and nature of councillor's interests, whether personal or personal/prejudicial, with regard to items on the agenda. The following personal/prejudicial interests were declared by Cllr Mitchell by virtue of her being the Secretary of Sedlescombe Sports Association:

  • Sedlescombe Sportsfield. Agenda items C08/09.62.2.3 and 4; C08/09.62.6.1 and 2. In accordance with the Parish Council's Code of Conduct, Cllr Mitchell left the room during these items.
C08/09.51 Public participation session. No public present.
C08/09.52Minutes Emergency Council Meeting 29/07/08 Minutes. It was RESOLVED:: That the Chairman of the Council is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Emergency Meeting of the Council held on 29 July 2008.
C08/09.53

Planning Minutes 08/07/08Planning Minutes 29/07/08Planning Minutes 26/08/08

Crime & Safety Minutes 02/09/08

Pavilion Fund-Raising Committee Minutes 04/08/08Pavilion Fund-Raising Committee Minutes 26/08/08

Minutes of Meetings of Committees
  1. Planning Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 08/07/08, 29/07/08 and 26/08/08 are received.
  2. Crime & Safety Advisory Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Crime & Safety Advisory Committee held on 02/09/08 are received, information is noted and recommendations approved.
  3. Pavilion Fund-Raising Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Pavilion Fund-Raising Committee held on 04/08/08 and 26/08/08 are received and approved.
C08/09.54 Reports from representatives. The following reports were received from representatives
  1. Rother Association of Local Councils. Cllr Irwin attended the meeting on 09/07/08 where officers were re-elected. Meeting attended by 1) Inspector Mark Bright who outlined plans for policing in Rother. He is very keen to help young people; 2) Graham Furness, Network Manager, Highways Department - there are plans to put down a quiet surface through the Village after "filling-in" has been completed. Potholes should be repaired within 24 hours of being reported. 3) Trevor Leggo - information given regarding raising funds from developers through Section 106 agreements; training courses to be arranged. Next meeting 08/10/08.
  2. Village Hall Trust. No report, next meeting 25/09/08.
  3. Tree Warden. Cllr Martin reported that he will be involved with planting horse chestnut trees on the Pestalozzi Estate with the help of students.
  4. Environment Officer. No report.
C08/09.55 Clerk's Report
  1. Good practice for the selection of candidates for co-option to parish councils. NALC has issued a good practice guide. Members were surprised to see the example provided of a "person specification" which listed as desirable "A levels/Degree and or Vocation or professional qualification (eg accountant, teacher, policeman)".
  2. Terms of reference and annual schedule of meetings. Members were provided with a revised schedule.
  3. SALC and AiRS AGMs, Ardingly South of England showground, Friday 07/11/08. If you are attending, lunch needs to be booked.
  4. Quality Council Re-accreditation. Nothing to report.
  5. 30mph roundels to be painted on the B2244 as soon as possible.
  6. East View Terrace Playground. The awful state of the playground with litter, dangerous items, broken fences etc. has been reported to Orbit Housing Association.
  7. Village Hall replacement signs. The signs have been replaced by the Village Hall Management Committee. Although the accident occurred in May, the Police have still not been able to obtain details of the driver's insurance company so that a claim can be made.
  8. Wasp nest. The Clerk was informed about a large wasp nest adjacent to the public footpath in Balcombe Green. She alerted the householder.

C08/09.56

Bank Reconciliation end July 2008August 2008 cheque list
Bank Reconciliation at end August 2008
September 2008 cheque list

Finance

  1. Bank Reconciliations at the end of July and August 2008 were received.
  2. Cheques. RESOLVED: That the August cheque list is ratified and the September cheque list approved
  3. It was noted that the one-year bond for the Clerk's Gratuity Fund expires on 20/10/08. RESOLVED: That re-investment is delegated to Cllr Glew and the Clerk/RFO.
C08/09.57 Training
  1. Funding and Action Planning Workshop and Networking Event. Beckley Village Centre, Beckley TN31 6RL, Saturday 4 October, 0930 to 1400. Techniques of basic fundraising. Lunch and refreshments included and it is free.
C08/09.58 Magazines/newsletters. To note receipt of the following magazines/newsletters:
  1. Rother Voluntary Action E-Bulletin (by e-mail).
  2. Rother District Council Bulletin (by e-mail).
  3. Business News Online June 2008 (by e-mail).
C08/09.59 Conferences. None.
C08/09.60

 


September 2008 Bulletin

Aim 1 To achieve an Informed and Participating Sedlescombe Community
  1. Welcome Packs available from the Clerk.
  2. Parish Plan 2008 Report. Members had been provided with copies. It was agreed that, rather than sending to every household, a few copies should be placed in the Post Office.
  3. September 2008 Bulletin. Members had been provided with copies.
  4. Consideration of the services the Parish Council provides and how to promote them. The Council is satisfied with the promotion of its services through the website, Directory/Annual Report, Annual Assembly, Bulletin, Sedlescombe News and Welcome Packs.
  5. Consideration of whether the Council should try to extend the services it provides either by itself or in collaboration with others. It was suggested that councillors from neighbouring parish councils could be invited to one of our meetings.
C08/09.61































































Link to Dr Stern's appeal for support regarding the Government's Pharmacy White Paper

Aim 2 To achieve a Safe and Healthy Sedlescombe Community
  1. Repair/replacement of bollards on B2244 at its junction with the A21. It was noted that the County Council has now agreed, for the time being, to repair/replace the four bollards on the islands at the end of Tollgate Road (B2244) at its junction with the A21. This is pending resolution of a boundary dispute with the Inter-route.
  2. Hedge and vegetation cutting report.
    1. West Lodge, Pestalozzi. Done
    2. Old Orchard, Chapel Hill. Done to a limited extent. Further cutting back requested.
    3. Red Barn Field Nature Park. Meeting of councillors held at the Park. Cllr Dellow has agreed to cut the hedge at the rear of the four properties in the winter.
    4. 30mph speed signs at both ends of the Village and Bend sign in Sandrocks/Church Hill. The County Council has been requested to cut back the vegetation from road signs around the Village. The County Council has confirmed that this work is being done throughout the county and will be done in Sedlescombe in due course.
    5. Hedge junction Chapel Hill and B2244. A resident had reported receiving a letter from the County Council stating that an enforcement notice has been served on the owner of the hedge requiring it to be cut within two weeks or the Council will cut it and reclaim the cost from the owner.
  3. Dog Control Orders. Dogs on Leads Controls and Limiting the number of dogs. It was noted that it may be some time before Rother is able to consider whether any other areas in the District should be subject to similar controls to those requested by SPC.
  4. Provision of footway at Sandrocks. It was noted that following investigation, Cllr Jones had reported that, since the recent quotation, contract prices have risen considerably, mainly due to the increase in oil prices. Even with some change to the proposed footway design, the cost would be "well in excess of £20,000". The County Council has to prioritise requests for footways "to ensure that those with the greatest benefit to the network are considered first". There is a two-part prioritisation. The first regarding the volume of traffic on the road and the buildings which would cause a pedestrian to walk the route (eg a school or village hall) and then a more detailed assessment for those that achieve a threshold score. The Sandrocks path does not achieve the minimum score and the footway will, therefore, "not be constructed at County Council expense in the foreseeable future".
  5. Speed limit in Hawkhurst Road. It was noted that a resident had written to the Parish Council seeking a reduced speed limit in Hawkhurst Road because 1) she does not have a car and often has to walk to the Village from her home and 2) visitors to her home find it very difficult to exit her property. She will write to County Councillor Jones as she does not want to wait until the limits on A & B roads are reviewed in Sedlescombe in 2009/10.
  6. Alterations to footway outside Queen's Head. It was noted that the County Council is still to make adjustments to the footway to aid those with limited mobility.
  7. A new Community Safety Partnership Grant is being trialled by East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. The community safety objectives that are to be met by applications for this grant involve reducing fires, traffic accidents, malicious calls for fire and rescue services and other fire-related crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour. The closing date for applications is 26/09/08 and the one-off grants should be within the range of £1,000 to £2,000. RESOLVED:That an application is made for grant aid towards repair/replacement of the fence at the Kickabout Area to stop youngsters bringing hay into the area where, this year, the Fire and Rescue Service was called out to extinguish a fire which had been lit in the hay. This is the second year hay has been taken from the field into the Kickabout Area.
  8. Public rights of way.
    1. Footpaths 5a and 5b, drainage problems. Residents of Long Lane (part of Balcombe Green) had written to the Parish Council to try to find a solution to the problem of water gushing down Long Lane from the top end of Balcombe Green, making the footpath's surface uneven and, in their opinion, hazardous for walkers and cyclists. Cyclists are not permitted to use footpaths and, therefore, if one was to have an accident, it would be his or her fault. It was noted that 1) the County Council is monitoring the state of the footpath and will undertake repairs as necessary; 2) the owner of the top part of Balcombe Green has been asked to construct a tarmac berm to divert water down Short Hill into the County Council drain. Residents' other concerns that, because of the state of the footpath, across which they have access to their properties, the post delivery and rubbish collection might be curtailed, are private matters for them to address. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council will support residents if any services are threatened but will not get involved further in the drainage problems which are a private matter. The Clerk mentioned her concerns about water being diverted from the top end of Balcombe Green into Red Barn Field which could lead to flooding of gardens and properties in The Street.
  9. Fears that the implementation of proposals in the Government Pharmacy White Paper will seriously affect our dispensing GP practice in Sedlescombe. Dr Stern is appealing for support for the local dispensing practice following the Pharmacy White Paper. It was agreed that the community is very well served by the local doctors' practice and that the current dispensing arrangements work well and do not need changing. The White Paper will be studied further to see whether the Parish Council should make any other comments.
C08/09.62

2008 Annual Inspection Report

Aim 3 To help provide Amenities and Services in Sedlescombe
  1. Annual Inspection Report. Members had been provided with the report of the inspection carried out by Cllr Glew and the Clerk on 01/09/08 when a list of jobs that need to be done were identified. The Chairman thanked Cllr Glew and the Clerk for doing the inspection and for their report. RESOLVED: That implementation of the listed work is delegated to the Finance Committee.
  2. Current and future uses of Parish Council's landholdings.
    1. Red Barn Field Nature Park. It was agreed that Red Barn Field needs attention. Following topping at this time of the year, more sheep for part of the year are required in order to restrict the growth of the grass, bracken and thistles. The necessary work will be considered by Cllrs Rand and Martin. It was suggested that, maybe, the field should be cut and let for grazing a donkey or pony, although sheep are preferred.
    2. East View Terrace Kickabout Area. Uses to remain as currently.
    3. Sportsfield car park. Cllr Mitchell left the meeting after declaration of her personal/prejudicial interest. Uses to remain as currently.
    4. Sportsfield (leased to Sports Association until 2035). Cllr Mitchell remained outside the meeting. The Parish Council had agreed that, on completion of the new pavilion, it should be passed to the Sports Association free of charge. The Parish Council will need to have a meeting with the Sports Association to discuss arrangements and the Association's plans for raising the necessary finance.
    5. Village Hall car park (leased to Sedlescombe Village Hall charity). Cllr Glew was asked to mention to the Village Hall Committee that the garden areas should be tidied.
  3. Advertising signs on A21. Cllr Rand reported that he had had a meeting recently with District Cllrs Ganly and Maynard regarding the Parish Council's wish that a sign is placed on the A21 to promote the small local businesses in the Village. Cllr Rand is objecting to the requirement for a petrol station to be in a village before one of these signs can be erected as virtually all petrol stations off main roads have been closed. The owner of the Brickwall Hotel is willing to meet the other requirement for a tourist information outlet to be included. The other Brickwall Hotel signs which do not have planning approval can then be removed from the A21. The Parish Council is aware that there are many signs in front of the Blackbrooks Garden Centre but whether they should have planning permission is not known.
  4. Youth service provision. A recent e-mail from Angela Sharman, Community Development Co-ordinator of Rother Homes, states that Rother Homes' "Chief Executive has been in contact with the YDS (Youth Development Service) to reassure them that the lease for the scout hut land is to go ahead with immediate effect".
  5. Playground inspection reports. Reports made by councillors have been included in the Annual Inspection Report. The Clerk was authorised to get the fences repaired at the Riverside and to ask for advice about the fencing surrounding the tennis courts which appears to be rusting through after only eight years. One of the tennis nets has not been properly replaced by the Netball Club who have now finished using the courts for Monday practice sessions. Cllr Rand will inspect and will try to sort out the ropes in the playground in order to lift them off the ground.
  6. Sedlescombe pavilion. Cllr Mitchell left the meeting after declaration of her personal/prejudicial interest.
    1. Risk assessment for the Village Fayre to be arranged by the Parish Council on the Village Green on 27/09/08. RESOLVED: That the Risk Assessment including ways of reducing the risks at the Fayre as prepared by Cllr Dellow is approved.
    2. Update on the building. Cllr Rand reported that
      1. Abbey Pynford's work is complete. It has cost £37,968.95 including VAT.
      2. Steed Construction has begun the building work.
      3. The Cricket Club has provided a clock which will be installed by Steed Construction.
      4. The Planning Officer will not agree to the pavilion windows being changed to plastic.
    3. The Clerk reported that
      1. In August transfers were made into the Barclays Community Account of £8,000 from the West Bromwich Building Society, of £10,971.67 from the Alliance Leicester Commercial Bank account (closure of account) and of £35,000 from the Barclays Business Bonus Account. RESOLVED: That the transfers carried out in August are ratified. It was further RESOLVED: £25,000 is transferred from the Community Account to the Barclays Business Bonus Account with immediate effect and transferred back to the Community Account in mid-October.
      2. A schedule of payments has been drawn up with a quarter of the total each being due to Steed Construction Limited in mid-October, end-November and end-January 2009. Completion expected 25/03/09 with payment due of a quarter less 2.5%. Final payment due 25/09/09. The Parish Council has sufficient funds in hand to meet the expected October bill but a decision will need to be made at the November Council Meeting re the amount of loan to be obtained to cover the end-November payment. Borrowing approval expires on 25/12/08. New borrowing approval will be necessary if more than one loan is obtained and it goes into 2009.
      3. Income to the Fund has increased to £78,291 with receipts from local businesses, fund-raising in the Village and other bodies. The Sussex County Playing Fields Association has promised a donation of £2,000 to the Sports Association. Other applications in the pipeline are Battle Partnership grant of £2,000, Awards for All grant towards toilets and showers of £10,000 and Rother District Council new community grant which is due to go to Cabinet on 06/10/08. It was reported by councillors that the applications to the Football Association Changing Rooms scheme and the Spen Cama Cricket Foundation have been refused. Further fund-raising events are proposed locally and, in due course, the portacabin and security fencing will be able to be sold.
      4. Confirmations are required from Steed Construction Limited. Cllr Rand will arrange.
      5. Not included in the quotes from Steed Construction or Abbey Pynford are works required in accordance with planning approval:
        1. Parking/turning area completion.
        2. Kerb and footway crossover in accordance with drawing attached to approval (through ESCC).
        3. Stopping up of existing vehicular access near the bridge.
        Also, other work that could be desirable:
        1. Replacement of fencing along front of Sportsfield.
        2. Replacement of two garages.
        3. Landscaping to finish area.
        A new grant scheme has been announced called "Sussex Grassroots Grants" and it might be possible for the Sports Association to apply for a £5,000 grant to cover some of this work. RESOLVED: That the Finance Committee is authorised to draw up a scheme and seek tenders for the work in association with the Sports Association.
  7. Councillors' Street Sign Survey. The survey has been completed by councillors. RESOLVED: That the Clerk is authorised to contact Rother District Council regarding the necessary repairs/replacements.
  8. Launch of the Rother District Council Contact Centre at the Brede Lane Car Park on Tuesday 23 September 2008 from 10:00 to 1200. Councillors were encouraged to attend. There will be one Rother District Council telephone number for everyone to contact. The Clerk commented on the possibility of a revenue-sharing 0845 number, similar to that used by the County Council. These numbers attract a higher tariff and produce funds for the body being phoned. It was noted that more and more bodies have higher tariff revenue-sharing 08 telephone numbers including the Police. The Clerk also mentioned preferring to speak to an individual officer rather than having to go through the central point which is often not answered or is engaged or cannot help with the query. However, she also said that improvements may have been introduced and that most of her queries are now dealt with by e-mail so that she rarely needs to telephone.
C08/09.63 Aim 4 To support business and rural employment in Sedlescombe
  1. Services offered by Business Link Sussex. The Council had been informed that free business advice is available through Business Link Sussex. Further information is available from www.edeal.org.uk.
C08/09.64 Aim 5 To protect and enhance Sedlescombe's built and natural environment
  1. Fly-tipping. In order to discourage fly-tipping, there is a new household responsibility for ensuring that any person removing rubbish from a property should have a waste carrier registration number. Councillors commented that fly-tipping is an increasing problem around the parish with particular problems at the recycling centre in the car park and by the East View garages. Cllr Mitchell was invited to attend the next Crime & Safety Advisory Committee Meeting on 28/10/08 when representatives of Orbit and Rother Homes are expected to attend for a discussion on the garage area.
  Chairman........................................ Date...............................................