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COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL ON TUESDAY 10 MARCH 2009, 19:00 TO 21:00

 

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

 

CLERK/RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL OFFICER, SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL: Mrs P Raymond

 

ALSO PRESENT FOR ALL OR PART OF THE MEETING:

2 members of the public (1 all)

PCSO Demi Georghiou (all)

 

 

C08/09.96 Apologies and reasons for absence. None, all present.
C08/09.97 Interests. Councillors made the following Declarations of existence and nature of their interests, whether personal/prejudicial, in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct 2007, with regard to items on the agenda. Members were reminded to repeat the declarations when the items were announced by the Chairman. The following interests were declared:

Minute
Name
Interest
C08/09.108.1 V Wright Personal & prejudicial interest by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. Dispensation granted by Rother District Council.
C08/09.108.1 A Rand Personal & prejudicial interest by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. Dispensation granted by Rother District Council.
C08/09.108.1 W Cameron Personal & prejudicial interest by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. Dispensation granted by Rother District Council.
C08/09.108.1 R Dellow Personal & prejudicial interest by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. Dispensation granted by Rother District Council.
C08/09.108.1 C Wheatley Personal & prejudicial interest by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. Dispensation granted by Rother District Council.
C08/09.108.1 P Martin Personal & prejudicial interest by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. Dispensation granted by Rother District Council.

C08/09.108.1

C08/09.103.4

M Irwin

Personal & prejudicial interest by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. Dispensation granted by Rother District Council.

Personal interest by virtue of her being a Governor of the School.

C08/09.108.1

C08/09/101.1

P Glew

Personal & prejudicial interest by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. Dispensation granted by Rother District Council.

Personal interest by virtue of her being one of the Council's representative on RALC

C08/09.108.1 J Mitchell

Personal & prejudicial interest by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust

 

Cllr Mitchell reported that, as she is now the Village Hall Booking Clerk, she is once again a Trustee of the Hall and will need to complete an interest form.

C08/09.98

Public Participation Session.

  1. Mrs Eileen Bullen spoke on Agenda Item C08/09.104.4 ESCC Transport Seminar. She asked that a plea be made for a more frequent bus service for Sedlescombe. People without transport are isolated as there is no Sunday or evening service and only a two-hourly service during the rest of the week. Trips to Tunbridge Wells, with a change at Hawkhurst, which were possible when there was an hourly-service, cannot be attempted now because of fears of being stranded in Hawkhurst. She reminded the Council that the government is committed to helping residents travel where they want to.
  2. PCSO Demi spoke on Agenda Item C08/09.111.
    1. A further episode of fly-tipping in the parish, in Cottage Lane, had been investigated by Demi. Although he believes he knows who did it, no legal action can be taken by the Police because the person will not admit the offence and there were no witnesses. He has discussed the matter with Rother DC.
    2. Further trouble has been caused by local youths and he has discussed the matter with Sue Manwaring, Youth Development Officer.
    3. The Chairman spoke about a man she saw letting his dog off the lead foul the sportsfield. Unfortunately, at the moment PCSOs in Sussex have not been granted the power to give on-the-spot fines.
    4. The next Neighbourhood Panel meeting will be held at St Marks, Staplecross on 25/03/09 for further discussion on three chosen Policing priorities.
C08/09.99
Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Council is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 13/01/09.
C08/09.100 Minutes of Meetings of Committees
  1. Planning Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 13/01/09, 27/01/09 and 17/02/09 are received.
C08/09.101 Reports from representatives. To receive reports as follows:
  1. Rother Association of Local Councils. Cllr Glew reported that
    1. Funds of £2412.60 are in hand.
    2. Parish Plans could be reviewed at Annual Parish Meetings.
    3. No attendance by Sussex Police, although on agenda.
    4. A schedule of dog bins will be drawn up. Rother had stated previously that it will not empty new dog bins and thought that some parishes might be prepared to pay for a collection service.
    5. Suggestion that the writing of "cancelled" on fly posters can be effective and parishes can remove unauthorised posters.
    6. SALC working behind the scenes to address concerns relating to NALC's performance.
    7. Clustering was mentioned again. Relatively few examples nationwide although there are three in Sussex with parishes sharing grass cutting and minor highway maintenance. Another form of clustering is whereby groups of clerks take it in turns to read documents and produce summaries. However, it is recognised that some parishes view clustering as a threat to their independence.
    8. Parish Conference - Thursday 09/04/09 at Brede Village Hall.
    9. Next RALC meeting - 22/04/09, 14:30 at Watch Oak, Battle.
  2. Village Hall Trust. Cllr Glew reported that the next meeting is the AGM on 19/03/09.
  3. Tree Warden. Cllr Martin reported that he had found someone cutting trees in the Village without planning permission. He had advised them of their responsibilities.
  4. Environment Officer. Cllr Dellow reported considerable problems with people throwing bags of dog waste in the hedges, especially near Balcombe Green, with the waste being preserved for a long time, remaining very unsightly. It was agreed that this matter should be put in the next edition of the Bulletin.
C08/09.102 Clerk's Report. Nothing to report that is not on the agenda.
C08/09.103 Finance
  1. Bank Reconciliations. RESOLVED: That the bank reconciliations at the end of January and February 2009 are approved.
  2. Cheques. RESOLVED:
    1. That the February 2009 cheque list is ratified.
    2. That it is agreed that the additional November 2008 cheque list that was approved at the November 2008 Council Meeting, but which failed to be included in the November signed Minutes, is now attached to these Minutes in the Minute Book. NB The full list for November 2008 can be seen attached to the online November 2008 Minutes.
    3. That the March 2009 cheque list is approved.
  3. Victim Support. Victim Support had requested a grant for 2009/10. Although the importance of Victim Support is acknowledged, Sedlescombe is fortunate in having its own scheme run by Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Watch.
  4. School's application for grant aid. Cllr Irwin had declared her personal interest by virtue of her being a Governor of the School. She remained in the meeting. Headteacher, Mrs Ham, had written to the Chairman informing her of Sedlescombe School's success in winning a position in the Creative Partnerships 'Change Schools' programme, one of only fifteen in the country. This gives the School £9,000 p.a. for three years but is only 75% of the annual grant and a commitment has had to be made by the School to find the other 25%, £3,000, each year for the three years. Mrs Ham is asking for financial support for this and also for replacement of the School minibus. RESOLVED: That, because of the Parish Council's current major financial commitments, Mrs Ham should be told that the Council is, unfortunately, unable to contribute towards the Creative Partnership 'Change Schools' Three-year programme or towards the replacement of the School minibus. However, Cllr Wright will help look for grand aid on behalf of the School.
C08/09.104

Training

  1. Report on the training session at Catsfield on 26/01/09 attended by Councillors Wright, Rand, Glew, Cameron and Mitchell. Councillors were unanimous in the opinion that this was an excellent course, well worth attending.
  2. Report on Clerks' exchange of information meeting held on 28/01/09. The Clerk reported that there had been a talk and discussion on business continuity plans following a disaster befalling either the clerk or her property. Attempts are being made to consider such a plan for Sedlescombe.
  3. Future - Legal and Finance Day run by Four Counties Forum. 24/03/09, 1000-1600, Tenterden (London Beach Country Hotel). £60. Booking through the Clerk by 16/03/09. Agenda can be seen by clicking here. RESOLVED: That the Clerk's attendance at the Legal and Finance Day on 24/03/09 at Tenterden is approved, as are travelling expenses.
  4. Future - Transport Seminar run by East Sussex County Council. 24/03/09, 1000-1630, Uckfield Civic Centre. Lunch will be provided. Two representatives of SPC invited. Information and engagement on key transportation issues and strategies, such as the development of the next Local Transport Plan and Speed Management Strategy. ESCC is also working on a new Bus Strategy and a Community Transport Strategy to build upon current transport links and to ensure that residents can access what they need.

    Unfortunately, no member is able to attend this Seminar, neither is the Clerk who will be attending the Legal and Finance Day. The problems around the poor local public transport system, highlighted by Mrs Bullen earlier, were considered by the Council and it was RESOLVED: That representation should be made to the County Council about Sedlescombe's poor public transport system and the isolation it creates for those without their own transport. It was noted that trips to Tunbridge Wells appeared to be wanted and it was agreed that this might be something that the Friendship Club could get involved with, particularly if they are successful in obtaining an Age Concern "Fit as a Fiddle" grant. Transport could be arranged using the Battle Community Bus which, according to Cllr Dellow, costs £85/day to hire, including a volunteer driver.
  5. Future - Clerk's networking day run by SALC, SCAPTC. 31/03/09, East Grinstead. £45. RESOLVED: That the Clerk's attendance at the Networking Day on 31/03/09 is approved, as are travelling expenses.
  6. Future - Annual Parish Conference run by Rother District Council/RALC. 09/04/09, 1345-1645. Brede Village Hall. 2 sessions on participatory budgets and shared space. RESOLVED: That 3 councillors' attendance at the RALC Annual Parish Conference is approved, as are travelling expenses.
  7. Future - Councillor Briefing and Update run by Three Counties Training. 25 & 26/04/09, 0930-1700, Leeford Place Hotel, Whatlington. There is the opportunity to attend on the Saturday or Sunday only (£75 excl.VAT) or the the whole weekend, Saturday 0930 to 1700 and Sunday 0930 to 1700 (£135 excl.VAT non-residential). Agenda can be seen by clicking here. Councillors were asked to contact the Clerk by 13/04/09 if they wish to attend.
  8. Future - Chairmanship Course run by Three Counties Training, Saturday 25/04/09, 0930-1630, Leeford Place Hotel, Whatlington. (£75 excl.VAT). Agenda can be seen by clicking here. Councillors were asked to contact the Clerk by 13/04/09 if they wish to attend.
C08/09.105

Magazines/newsletters. Receipt of the following magazines/newsletters was noted. Contact the Clerk to borrow.

  1. SALC Newsletter containing information on Power of Wellbeing implementation, Update on meeting with Sussex Chief Constable, NALC Review etc.
  2. Local Council Review, March 2009.
  3. Campaign to Protect Rural England (Sussex) - Sussex Review, Spring 2009.
  4. Clerks and Councils Direct.
  5. The Clerk.
  6. AiRS Action February 2009.
  7. Getting Rother Active.
C08/09.106

Consultations

  1. Seera's consultation regarding Gypsy, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople. A letter had been received from Seera rejecting the Parish Council's submission re the Gypsy,Travellers and Travelling Showpeople consultation because comments were regarded as discriminatory.
C08/09.107

Aim 1 To achieve an Informed and Participating Sedlescombe Community

  1. Annual Assembly of the Parish Meeting and Citizenship Award. Two candidates who were put forward by parish councillors for the 2009 citizenship award were considered by the Council. RESOLVED: That awards will be made at the Assembly to both persons put forward for the 2009 Citizenship Award , the awards to take the form of engraved gardening trowels, if these can be obtained. Cllr Dellow agreed to look for funding for the awards. The Chairman will investigate getting a banner to advertise the Assembly.
  2. Quality Council Re-accreditation result. The Chairman reported that confirmation has been received today that Sedlescombe Parish Council's Quality Council status has been re-accredited until 2013.
  3. Sedlescombe Parish Council Policy for filling casual vacancies on the Council. RESOLVED: That the Policy for Filling Casual Vacancies is adopted by Sedlescombe Parish Council.
  4. Sedlescombe Parish Council Policy for dealing with notification to it concerning complaints about parish councillors under the 2007 Parish Councils (Model Code of Conduct) (England). Members had considered the Clerk's Briefing Note on the subject. RESOLVED: That the Policy for dealing with Notifications concerning Complaints about Parish Councillors is adopted by Sedlescombe Parish Council.
  5. To consider entering AiRS Village of the Year Competition. RESOLVED: That the Clerk is authorised to submit her completed form as the Parish Council's entry for Sedlescombe to the Village of the Year Competition.
C08/09.108

Aim 2 To achieve a Safe and Healthy Sedlescombe Community

  1. Playgrounds. All councillors declared their personal & prejudicial interests by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust (Riverside). Dispensation has been granted to all councillors by Rother District Council allowing them to take part in the agenda item. The Clerk reported completed inspections for six of the eight weeks since the last meeting. During that time, there had been snow and floods. RESOLVED: That the following matters should be deferred for consideration at the next meeting of the Finance Committee:
    1. Riverside - Gate, moles, table, post by drive.
    2. Tennis courts - flooded, moss on corner.
    3. Kickabout - damaged chainlink fence, bike in tree, ramp, holes in grass, litter (but cleared next week).
  2. It was noted that the Sanctuary Scheme is being funded by Rother District Council. Through "In Touch". It offers improved security measures to enable a victim of domestic violence to feel secure in their own home.
  3. It was noted that CRI is an organisation providing support for victims of domestic violence, families and young people throughout East Sussex. They give support to reduce homelessness among 16-25 year olds, helping them to explore housing options. They also support 13-16 year olds to overcome difficulties at home in order to prevent them becoming homeless in the future. There is a Young Person's Housing Helpline on 0800 121 4414, Mon-Fri until 7pm.
  4. Leisure facilities
    1. It was noted that free swimming for over 60s and serving military personnel begins in Rother on 01/04/09.
    2. It was noted that, according to an e-mail from Head of Amenities at Rother DC, a joint Hastings and Rother Leisure Services Report will be open for consultation in due course. Cllr Kathryn Field had contacted the Clerk to seek support for a new swimming pool for Battle. However, as the Parish Council had not had the opportunity to consider the Report, no comment had been made.
  5. PCSO Reports January and February 2009 were noted.
  6. Roads. Information supplied by Rupert Clubb, Director of Transport and Environment, East Sussex County Council re the road network and problems arising from winter weather was noted on Gritting and Potholes. The Chairman informed the meeting that now potholes have to be reported on the County Council website rather than by telephone .
  7. New road layout A21/B2244 junction. A new road layout giving changed priorities had recently been introduced at the junction. Members reported complaints from residents who believe the new layout is dangerous. RESOLVED: That the Clerk should ask the Highways Agency for an urgent meeting with councillors to discuss the changed priorities at the junction of the A21/B2244.
C08/09.109

Aim 3 To help provide Amenities and Services in Sedlescombe

  1. Sportsfield
    1. Pavilion hand-over to Sports Association. Cllr Rand reported that the building will probably be ready for snagging at the end of next week. Arrangements will be made for members of the Sports Association and the Parish Council to meet on site. Once everyone is happy, the contractor will pass the building to the Parish Council who will immediately pass it to the lessee, Sedlescombe Sports Association. Cllr Rand will check that insurance arrangements can quickly be made by the Association. The Clerk reported that, on completion, the pavilion will automatically be part of the property leased by Sedlescombe Parish Council to the Sports Association.
    2. Uses of the pavilion to be arranged by the Sports Association. The Clerk confirmed that the Parish Council will have no say on to whom the pavilion is let.
    3. Disabled Parking Area. In accordance with Standing Orders, three councillors - V Wright, A Rand and P Glew had given notice of a rescinding resolution. It was RESOLVED: That the resolution at C08/09.94.1 is rescinded and the disabled car park constructed as an extension of the Steed Construction Ltd. contract to build the pavilion at the cost of between £6,100 and £6,200.
    4. Opening of Pavilion. Cllr Rand reported receipt of a letter from the Sports Association seeking the Council's approval for the pavilion to be opened officially on 11/07/09 by David Mitchell. RESOLVED: That the Council approves the choice of David Mitchell as the person to officially open the new sports pavilion. The Sports Association is arranging a nice event with a cricket match, bbq and beer tent. The Council has been asked to draw up a list of people who should be invited.
    5. Sub-letting of sportsfield by Sports Association. The Clerk reported on the need for official agreements if the Sports Association lets the portacabin to the Sedlescombe Youth Project. She has asked the Youth Project to provide a copy of its constitution.
    6. Planning application for youth use of portacabins, demolition of garages and contribution of replacement garage. The Parish Council has submitted the planning application and is awaiting the result. The Clerk reported letters on the planning website from The Environment Agency and the Romney Marshes Internal Drainage Board which raise issues that will have to be addressed.
    7. Drainage. Cllr Rand will investigate the drainage situation in the south western corner of the field.
    8. Pavilion Funding. Members were provided with a statement of budgeted income and expenditure for the pavilion dated 10/03/09. The cost for the disabled car park was amended to £6,150.
      1. Report on completion of funding arrangements by the Sports Pavilion Fund. Cllr Dellow reported that the Dinner on 21/03/09 will be the final event, apart from helping with the May Fayre, a 2010 calendar (to be costed) and receipts from a local lady doing the Seven Sisters Marathon. It is expected that total receipts of £14,000 will be raised by this Group plus funds obtained through the Group from other bodies.
      2. May Fayre. The closure of the Queen's Head has left the May Fayre without a venue and a request has been received for the Council to run the event on The Village Green. The Fayre will be held on 2 May 2009. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council agrees to run the 2009 May Fayre on the Village Green and accepts the risk assessment for the event which has been drawn up by Cllr Dellow. A meeting of the Council's Pavilion Fund-Raising Committee (appointed C08/09.40) will be held.
    9. Water supply pipe on south side of the Sportsfield. Cllr Dellow offered to arrange for the edge of the sportsfield to be CAT scanned in order to ascertain the exact route of the pipe before the Summer Fayre is held at the field. This will enable the water pipe to be avoided when spikes are inserted to hold up the marquees that are planned.
  2. Village Green
    1. May Fayre 2010 onwards. Cllr Dellow suggested that, in future years, the May Fayre should continue to be run by the Parish Council on The Green not only to raise funds but also for tradition. The money raised could be used for funding a named project eg refurbishment of the pumphouse, etc. RESOLVED: That a decision on whether the Parish Council should be responsible for putting on a traditional May Fayre in future years is deferred until the Council has renewed its insurance cover on 01/06/09.
    2. Pump and Pumphouse - the Clerk informed the Council that advice had been received from the Heritage Lottery Fund during the grant pre-application stage. Further information will be given to the Finance Committee in due course.
  3. Public footpaths
    1. Easy-access paths. Cllr Dellow reported that last week, the footpaths group had installed another gate and there are now just two more to be installed for the easy-access path to be complete.
    2. Parish Council complaint to East Sussex County Council. The Clerk reported that she had received an apology from Simon Fathers, Team Manager Countryside East re the lack of co-operation that the Sedlescombe footpaths group had received from his team recently. It was noted that Jonathon Vine-Hall has attended a CAT scanner course at Maidstone which will allow the team to dig holes.
    3. Additional help on the Sedlescombe footpath working group. The County Council had suggested that, maybe, there should be more volunteers found in Sedlescombe. Reg Glew, a member of the team, believes that this is not necessary and the Council agreed to take no action.
    4. Sedlescombe Footpath 37/Battle 52
      1. Alternative route of path where proper route is impassable. The Clerk had reported severe problems in the Battle part of this path. A reply from Matt Harper, ESCC had been received. The landowner is willing to agree to a diversion of the path because of serious flooding problems but has asked for compensation. For the time being, an alternative route can be used while the County Council sorts out the problems.
      2. Stile at A21 end of path. This stile in Sedlescombe parish has disintegrated and is covered in barbed wire. The Clerk has reported this to ESCC.
    5. Sedlescombe Footpath 23, A21 end, flooding. The Clerk reported that the landowner is having problems with water being let on to her land from a neighbouring garden at the A21 end of Footpath 23.
    6. Sedlescombe Footpath 31 (across Sportsfield) - The Clerk reported an accident on the Pestalozzi side of the stile at the north eastern corner of the sportsfield which had resulted in a lady sustaining a broken ankle. It had been reported that the accident had occurred because of the extremely muddy conditions near the stile. Pestalozzi had been asked to put some chippings over the mud and the Footpaths Group would be replacing the stile with a gate which would be a great advantage to the many walkers using this path.
    7. Deposition of a statement and plan relating to land at Hurst House Estate and Great Sanders Estate. It was noted that a deposition had been made under section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 which enables landowners to show those ways across their land which they recognise as being public rights of way, but to state that no additional ways have been dedicated. These will be sufficient, in the absence of proof to the contrary, to establish that no further ways have been dedicated. The landowner may deposit a statutory declaration at intervals of ten years or fewer, with the same effect.
  4. Post Office Closure Programme. It was noted that a briefing pack regarding post office closures for local campaigners has been issued by Help the Aged.
  5. Silver Cups. Cllr Cameron had made enquiries about the current price of two silver cups which belonged to the Council. They had been given as prizes in Sedlescombe Horse Shows many years ago. Some councillors thought they should be sold but others wished to retain them as historical items or to give them to a modern Sedlescombe society. At the Clerk's suggestion, it was agreed that the cups would be displayed at the Annual Parish Assembly and those attending asked what they would like done with them. In the meantime, Cllr Cameron would take the cups into a jewellers for a valuation.
C08/09.110

Aim 4 To support business and rural employment in Sedlescombe

  1. Directory advertising by local businesses. The Clerk reported the sale of 32 advertising spaces in the 2009 Annual Report and Directory. This has raised sufficient funds to pay for the printing and postage.
C08/09.111

Aim 5 To protect and enhance Sedlescombe's built and natural environment

  1. Stop the Drop Anti-litter campaign. Matters arising from previous Minutes
    1. Demi and litter dropping. It was noted that Sussex PCSO powers re on-the spot fines for littering and dog fouling are on hold because of new powers that could be introduced in addition.
    2. Litter collection in the Village. Deferred to next meeting.
    3. Rubbish East View Terrace estate including on perimeter of garage area. The litter situation at East View Terrace has deteriorated with more being added all the time. The Chairman said she would like to see the young people picking up the rubbish around the estate. The dumping of pet litter and burning of rubbish continues in and around the garage area. RESOLVED: That the Clerk is authorised to report the dumped rubbish near the East View garages to Rother's Environment Department as a health hazard.
    4. Publicising litter dropping problems. RESOLVED: That Councillor Dellow's suggestion regarding a school anti-litter poster campaign should be adopted with a separate section for adults to produce anti-litter posters.
      Cllr Dellow reported that the Re-think Rubbish van has been booked for the July Fayre and the Societies Association is looking into separating waste at that event.
  2. Fly-tipping incident outside sportsfield car park gate. A large quantity of building materials was dumped outside the sportsfield car park at the end of January. Working with PC Simon Knight, PCSO Demi carried out investigations and located the builders responsible for the fly-tipping. The builders, who were local to the Hastings area, were given a warning and notice to clear the rubbish which was done the following day. The Clerk issued a press release which was published in the Rye & Battle Observer on 12/02/09.
  3. Poaching in Sedlescombe. PCSO Demi believes he has identified who has been poaching in Sedlescombe but has yet to catch him red-handed. Anyone seeing a red 4x4 with lights on the top in an unusual place are asked to inform the Police.
  4. Maintenance of Red Barn Field Nature Park. A neighbour has offered to do some maintenance work at the Nature Park. Cllr Dellow and the Clerk will take a walk around the Park soon to identify jobs that are required.
   
  Chairman.......................................... Date.................................................................