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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 12 MAY 2009, 19:00 TO 21:20

 

PARISH COUNCILLORS PRESENT: Cllr Wright (in the chair), Cllrs Dellow, Wheatley, Martin, Irwin, Glew, Mitchell, Marland

 

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

 

ALSO PRESENT FOR MOST OF THE MEETING: 1 member of the public

 

As he had to leave to attend the Ewhurst Annual Assembly, the Chairman allowed PCSO Demi to give his report at the start of the meeting. Demi spoke of the substantial increase in incidents of anti-social behaviour in Sedlescombe in April. This had led to multi-agency meetings being held to discuss how this should be handled and a meeting with local young people themselves at which it was realised that the future of the youth centre was in jeopardy. Arrangements are now in place encouraging people to report incidents to the Police with full details of anyone involved following which Demi will issue stop forms. These will be retained in Orbit Housing Association tenant records. The Police will support the provision of the youth centre but only if these incidents of anti-social behaviour cease.

 

Demi reported two road traffic accidents in Sedlescombe in May in which no-one was hurt. A Neighbourhood Policing Team Officer now accompanies Demi when he carries out speeding checks. The NPT Officer has the power to stop and give fines on the spot.

 

Demi reminded those present of the need (Government imposed) to arrange Panel Meetings. The Chairman advised him that it had been agreed that the Parish Council should not be involved and, therefore, it would be up to those attending the meetings to make the necessary arrangements. Demi will put items in the Sedlescombe News.

The Chairman welcomed John Marland who had been co-opted to the Parish Council. John had signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office Form.
C09/10.16 Election of Chairman. RESOLVED: That Valerie Wright should continue as Chairman of Sedlescombe Parish Council for the ensuing year. Cllr Wright signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office.
C09/10.17 Vice-Chairman. RESOLVED: That Anthony Rand should continue as Vice-Chairman of Sedlescombe Parish Council for the ensuing year.
C09/10.18

Committees for 2009/10

  1. The annual report of the work of the Committees during the past year Annual Committee Report was received.
  2. RESOLVED: That the following committees should be constituted for the ensuing year with membership as stated (NB The Chairman and Vice-Chairman are ex-officio members of every committee):
    1. Planning. Terms of reference as provided in the Terms of Reference and Annual Schedule leaflet. Membership: Cllrs Martin, Mitchell, Wheatley, Marland. It was agreed that Planning Meetings should, in future, be held at 18:00 unless following Council meetings.
    2. Finance. Terms of reference as provided in the Terms of Reference and Annual Schedule leaflet. Membership: Cllrs Martin, Mitchell, Irwin, Glew
    3. Crime & Safety Advisory Committee. Terms of reference as provided in the Terms of Reference and Annual Schedule leaflet. Membership: Cllrs Dellow, Irwin, Glew, Wheatley
    4. Heritage. The following terms of reference were approved -
      1. To decide what future maintenance/repair should be undertaken of the Grade II listed Pumphouse, its lead pump and oak seats.
      2. To recommend to the Finance Committee how future maintenance should be paid for and what grant aid applications should be made.
      3. To make the necessary arrangements as required by the funders including ways of involving the local community.
      Membership: Cllrs Dellow, Martin, Mitchell, Irwin. Co-options, if required, to be arranged by Committee.
    5. Emergency. Terms of reference as previously. Membership: Cllrs Martin, Mitchell, Marland. Co-options to be arranged by Committee.

NB Link to 2008-9 list of Council resolutions

C09/10.19

Representatives. RESOLVED: That the following representatives of the Council are appointed for the ensuing year:

  1. Rother Association of Local Councils - Cllrs Glew and Irwin
  2. Village Hall Trustee - Cllr Glew
  3. Sedlescombe Sports Association - Cllr Rand (if he does not wish to be the representative, Cllr Mitchell will take on this role)
  4. Environment Officer - Cllr Dellow
  5. Tree Warden - Cllr Martin
  6. Neighbourhood Watch representative - Cllr Dellow
  7. Youth Representatives - Cllrs Glew and Wright
C09/10.20

Subscriptions. RESOLVED: That payment of the following subscriptions is authorised as they fall due

  1. Sussex Association of Local Councils + 1 copy of The Review. SALC £254.38, NALC £56.85 (plus £56.85 VAT), 4 copies of The Review £13.50). Total of £324.73 excluding VAT.
  2. Rother Association of Local Councils. £35.
  3. Society of Local Council Clerks (£133 last year)
  4. Sussex County Playing Fields Association (£15 last year)

Membership of Action in rural Sussex will be reviewed in due course.

C09/10.21 Power of Well-Being. Members considered whether the Parish Council should take action to qualify as a parish council eligible to exercise the power of well-being. This would require the Clerk completing the well-being module and for 80% of councillors to undertake the relevant training. RESOLVED: That action towards obtaining the Power of Well-Being should be deferred until after the 2011 elections.
C09/10.22 Dispensation, Sedlescombe Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. RESOLVED: That dispensation for Cllr Marland to allow him to discuss matters relating to the Sedlescombe Playing Field and Recreation Ground Trust that would normally require him to declare a personal/prejudicial interest should be applied for.
   
C09/10.23 Apologies and reasons for absence. Cllr Rand (holiday)
C09/10.24 Interests. Declarations of existence and nature of councillor's 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
C08/09.28.1.1 Pauline Glew Personal interest as the Council's representative on RALC.
C08/09.28.1.2 Mary Irwin Personal interest as the Council's representative on RALC.
C08/09.28.2 Pauline Glew Personal interest as the Council's Village Hall Trustee.
C08/09.28.2 Mary Irwin Personal interest as Village Hall Trustee.
C08/09.28.2 Caitlin Wheatley Personal interest as Village Hall Trustee.
C08/09.28.2 Jenny Mitchell Personal interest as Village Hall Trustee
C09/10.25 Public Participation Session. None.
C09/10.26
Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Council is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held 5 May 2009.
C09/10.27 Minutes of Meetings of Committees
  1. Planning Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 10 March and 7 April are received.
  2. Finance Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Finance Committee held on 31 March are received.
C09/10.28 Reports from representatives. The following reports were received::
  1. Rother Association of Local Councils.
    1. Cllr Glew (declared personal interest) reported on her attendance at the Rother Parish Conference on 09/10/2009 where County Cllr Peter Jones spoke about the County Council's work in the transport/speed areas. Passenger transport will be a top priority in the next few years. Education is the other priority.
      Cllr Gadd, Chairman of Rother District Council spoke about grants that had been provided by Rother DC.
      Malcolm Johnston and Suzanne Grisbrook, Rother officers, led a session on participatory budgeting which relates to local people having a real say in the way parish budgets are worked out.
      Rupert Clubb, Director of Transport & Environment at ESCC, led a session on Shared Space where all highway space is shared by cars and pedestrians.
    2. Cllr Irwin (declared personal interest) reported on her attendance at the RALC meeting on 22/04/09 where the draft 2009-10 budget was approved. Ian Coleman spoke on Local Action Plans. The Police reported making changes regarding speeding and parking. Other matters raised were: Rother DC receiving petitions; Hastings & Rother Leisure Strategy Consultations; poor uptake on training days recently - Trevor Leggo is concerned about next year's funding for training; Power of Well-Being; BACT has received funds to upgrade its buses. Next meeting 08/07/09, 14:30 to 16:30.
  2. Village Hall Trust. Personal interest declared by Cllr Glew by virtue of her appointment as the Parish Council Village Hall Trustee. Personal interests also declared by Cllrs Wheatley, Irwin and Mitchell by virtue of their being Village Hall Trustees also. Cllr Glew reported that a fire door had been installed between Committee Room 2 and the kitchen. Officers are: Jenny Mitchell - Bookings Secretary; Alan Smytherman - Hall Manager, Reg Glew - Secretary; David Torrance - Treasurer; Pauline Glew - Acting Chair. Other matters - boilers have been serviced, gardens to be tidied, fire extinguishers have been checked, new steps to the stage have still to be completed, the WI and Flower Club storage has been sorted and groups have been reminded about fire regulations. Next Meeting 18/06/09.
  3. Sports Association. Report later in Agenda.
  4. Environment Officer. Cllr Dellow reported that he has asked for Stop the Drop campaign posters from CPRE in the hope of raising awareness of the problems of litter at the Summer Fayre in July. Probably best way forward is to work alongside the Rethink Rubbish bus. The Council was disappointed to hear that the work undertaken by volunteers in the churchyard over the last few years on the wildflower area has not been successful due to the mowing regime of cutting the grass during the summer a number of times. The green winged orchids, which had been doing well, have been reduced in number to one, probably due to not allowing them to set seed as in previous years. Cllr Dellow has arranged protection of the area this year.
  5. Tree Warden. Nothing to report.
  6. NHW representative. Cllr Dellow gave a report.
C09/10.29

Clerk's Report. The followed items were noted:

  1. "Celebrate Spring in Sedlescombe" week, Friday 24 April to Saturday 2 May had been successful including: Village of the Year Judging, Bluebell Walk, Flower Princess Competition, Annual Parish Assembly, May Fayre.
  2. Complaint regarding hedge-cutting in Balcombe Green. The Clerk read a statement to the Council regarding the complaint from the owner of Balcombe Green concerning the cutting of the hedge using a tractor and her replies to the complainant.
  3. Receipt of a complaint was noted that drivers are ignoring the 30mph speed limit when approaching Sedlescombe from the A21 and that Spar lorries are using B2244 as a 'rat run'.
  4. It was noted that temporary speed restrictions are to be imposed during road surface dressing. Road surfacing work is planned throughout the county between 18/05/09 and 31/07/09. Prior notice of the works will be placed on each road. Notification has been received that Hawkhurst Road between the B2244 junction with the B2165 Staplecross Road in a southerly direction to the entrance of the Village Hall has been included in the surface dressing programme and will have a 40mph speed limit and a 10mph speed limit over the length of the actual roadworks.
  5. It was noted that Sedlescombe should be receiving a pay out in connection with its Quality Council accreditation. The amount and purpose has not yet been announced.
C09/10.30 Finance
  1. Final Accounts for 2008-9. RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Annual Return to the Auditors (details included in the Final Accounts).
  2. Bank Reconciliations. RESOLVED: That the bank reconciliations at the end of March and April 2009 are received.
  3. RESOLVED: That the Data Protection Register Entry £35 is approved.
  4. Insurance cover 2009-10 from 1 June 2009. Two quotations had been received 1) from Aon through Allianz and 2) from Norwich Union through Came & Company. RESOLVED: That the Council should accept the quotation from Came & Company at the reduced rate for three years' insurance cover of £1,135 including Insurance Purchase Tax. It was noted that the cover value of the Pumphouse and Pump would be increased to £150,000. It was also noted that although the rate would be held at £1,135, less no claims bonuses, the property sums insured are index-linked and, therefore, are expected to increase. The insurance cost should also be reduced when the portacabin is sold.
  5. Clerk's Maintenance of Offices payment (budget figure £200). RESOLVED: That the Council approves payment of £200 to the Clerk for maintenance of offices 2009/10.
  6. Cost of refreshments at Parish Assembly. RESOLVED: That the Council approves payment of £14.75 to Cllr Irwin to reimburse her for expenses in connection with the Annual Assembly refreshments.
  7. Cheques. RESOLVED: That the April cheque list is ratified and the May 2009 cheque list approved. April and May cheque list
C09/10.31

Training

  1. Clerk's attendance at the Legal and Finance Update Day at Tenterden on 24/03/09. The Clerk highlighted the importance of all correspondence by the Council being conducted through the Clerk. If letters are written to the Press and the writer is identified as a councillor, the letter should make it clear whether it is written in a personal capacity or on behalf of the Council. The Standards Board takes the view that in any circumstance where a person identifies himself as a councillor, he is acting in a public capacity and subject to the provisions of the Code of Conduct. Other matters discussed were registration of Village Greens including new ones and the legal definition of a Village Green.
  2. Clerk's attendance at the Clerks' Networking Day at East Grinstead on 31/03/09. The Clerk highlighted the problems being experienced currently by other councils regarding provision of allotments where no suitable land is available. It was noted that Sedlescombe's private allotments are now all in cultivation for the first time for a long while.
  3. It was noted that the Council's Training Strategy needs updating. Future training needs were considered. The following SALC courses are available:
    1. Generic Councillor Course Friday 11 & Saturday 12 September 2009, Highley Manor Hotel, Crawley Lane, Balcombe, W Sussex RH17 6LA - suitable for new and experienced councillors. Friday & Saturday Residential £175; Friday & Saturday Non-residential £135; Friday or Saturday only, dinner not included £75.
    2. Chairmanship course 12 September 2009, Highley Manor Hotel, Crawley Lane, Balcombe, W Sussex RH17 6LA - suitable for anyone currently chairing or aspiring to chair a council or committee meeting. Need to be prepared to speak to and engage with other Chairmen. Presented by Linda Butcher, Town Clerk of Crowborough Town Council. £75
    3. Clerk's Networking Day, 28 September 2009, 0930 to 1530, Lodge Hill Centre, Watersfield, Pulborough, W Sussex RH20 1LZ. £45
    4. Bespoke training for this council to include surrounding councils if you wish. Fee includes presenters and information packs. Organising council to arrange venue, refreshments and attendance of sufficient numbers to make the course viable. Fee to be agreed in advance.
    5. Power of well being training - localised events can be arranged to cover presenters and information. Organising council to make arrangements as in 4 above.
    In accordance with the adopted Training Strategy, it was RESOLVED: That Cllr Marland should attend a new councillors' course as soon as practicable. Further investigations would be made into the usefulness of him attending one of the days of the September course. RESOLVED: That the Clerk's attendance at the Networking Clerks' Day on 28/09/09 is approved.
C09/10.32

Magazines/newsletters. Receipt of the following magazines/newsletters was noted.

  1. Southern Water Business Plan 2010-2015.
  2. Clerks and Councils Direct.
  3. The Clerk.
C9/10.33

Consultations

  1. Hastings & Rother Leisure Facilities Strategy Consultation. Replies by 22/05/09. RESOLVED: That the following information should be added to the Leisure Facilities Questionnaire - "Provision of Multi-Use Games Areas - Sedlescombe Parish Council will consider whether its two hard tennis courts should be turned into a MUGA in the next five years". Several members would support installation of equipment in the Village which might appeal to older people.
C09/10.34

Standing Orders & Financial Regulations Annual Review.

  1. Standing Orders. RESOLVED: That the following amendments to the Standing Orders last amended on 11/09/07 are authorised:
    1. Paragraph 8.4 Appointment of school managers - delete and renumber remaining paragraphs
    2. Paragraph 44 Open Forum - delete and renumber remaining paragraphs
    3. Paragraph 46 Code of Conduct on Complaints - delete existing details and replace with "Complaints from the public or referred back from other bodies will be dealt with under the Parish Council's Complaints Procedure 2008".
  2. Financial Regulations. RESOLVED: That the following amendments to the Financial Regulations are authorised:
    1. Paragraph 6 - add the following approved under Minute F08/09.47
    • The RFO may approve minor grounds maintenance expenses up to £75/month.
    • The RFO may approve purchase of stationery, including copier toner, up to the annual budget figure.
    • The RFO may book training for councillors and the Clerk/RFO up to the annual budget figure.
C09/10.35

Aim 1 To achieve an Informed and Participating Sedlescombe Community

  1. Welcome Packs. Members were reminded to ask the Clerk for Welcome Packs for new residents.
  2. Village of the Year Competition. Report on judging. The VOY judges said the presentation to them had been impressive.
  3. AiRS Fuel Poverty Leaflet. Received. On website.
  4. Equality and Human Rights Commission - Public Sector Equality Duties. Leaflet received, also on website. In the planned Equality Bill, the three duties of race, disability and gender are due to be harmonised into one new duty, which will cover all seven equality strands: age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. The changes will come into full force at the end of 2011. The letter from the Equality and Human Rights Commission states - "... this means that we are expecting public bodies like yours to be clear about what the significant issues for race, disability and gender equality are in relation to your core business and taking appropriate and proportionate action to deliver better equality outcomes".
  5. Cllr Ganly's request for cost-saving ideas for Rother DC. Cllr Ganly, at the Annual Assembly, had invited the public to forward ideas for cost-saving at Rother. It was agreed that, obviously, without more details of costs and current ways of providing these services, meaningful comments are difficult to make. RESOLVED: That Cllr Ganly should be asked to enquire whether the Recycling Newsletter in its current form is worth sending out to residents, most of whom immediately throw it away.
C09/10.36

Aim 2 To achieve a Safe and Healthy Sedlescombe Community

  1. Fy-tipping in the parish. It was noted that the incidents of fly-tipping in the parish since October 2007 had been dealt with by PCSO Demi. He is to be congratulated on his successful in getting people to return to collect their dumped goods.
    1. In entrance to Sedlescombe Sportsfield Car Park.
    2. B2244 close to the "Sedlescombe" sign near A21 junction.
    3. Brede Lane car park.
    4. Cottage Lane on land belonging to the Pestalozzi International Village.
  2. Report on parking problems in the Village:
    1. On B2244 near junction with Short Hill, Balcombe Green - restricts view when emerging from Balcombe Green
    2. On B2244 between Kester House and Riverbridge Cottages - restricts visibility when emerging onto B2244 from Kester House and some residents claim that these parked vehicles make the road dangerous.
    3. Parking in The Green opposite the entrance to Pumphouse Yard despite the white line restricting parking.
    The issue of parking is of particular concern to people living locally and, although the above-mentioned problems have been forwarded to the PCSO, no improvement has been noted. Cllr Dellow agreed to contact Demi again about these matters in an attempt to obtain some improvement of the situation.
  3. It was noted that the Highways Agency is to carry out a safety audit at the end of May and report back to the Parish Council at the beginning of June re the revised junction of the A21 and B2244.
  4. Complaint referred to ESCC Rights of Way regarding courier vehicles using Long Lane (a public footpath) guided by sat-nav. It appears that, although the Lane is unmade and is a public footpath, it is increasingly being used by Courier services. According to the complainant, damage is being caused to the surface and the banks and verges which belong to the four properties in the Lane. As requested by ESCC, the Parish Council considered the problem and the principle of high visibility signs being installed and considered the wording that could be provided on a sign but all of them appeared to have the potential of creating another problem. It was generally agreed that a high visibility sign is not appropriate for this location. DEFERRED until the July meeting for further discussions.
  5. To receive PCSO Reports. Members were provided with copies of Demi's April 2009 report which detailed the long list of anti-social behaviour that he had alluded to at the start of the meeting. The list will be added to the website and posted on the noticeboard. The NHW group is to arrange distribution of printed copies to NHW Co-ordinators.
C09/10.37

Aim 3 To help provide Amenities and Services in Sedlescombe

  1. Public footpaths and bridleways
    1. Completion of replacement of stiles with gates on easy access footpath. It was noted that: The 'easy' footpath required 11 stiles to be removed and replaced by wooden kissing gates, wooden gates or metal gates. Thanks are due to Jonathan Vine-Hall, Reg Glew and Ralph Dellow for their huge unstinting efforts over the months. a number of finger posts had to be replaced and a latch fitted, thanks are due to Jean Dellow for help on these. In addition to the above, two stiles were replaced with metal kissing gates at the far end of Gorselands which Howard Dellow carried out almost single-handed. The Clerk provided a series of before and after photographs showing the difficult stiles and their replacement by metal kissing gates, metal hand gates and wooden hand gates.
    2. Bridleway 21a, access from Stream Lane. (Complaint received about signing). Cllr Dellow and the Clerk had met on site with Matt Harper of ESCC. The bridleway was diverted in 1992. Although the plan is poor, according to ESCC, it appears to show the bridleway leaving the drive pretty much where the gate is currently positioned. The bank appears to have been part of the existing route. As horses do not appear to use this path and the slope is probably more dangerous for cyclists than steps, ESCC is proposing putting in steps. It was agreed that it is is unnecessary to re-instate a footpath along the verge to the driveway from the old start point of the bridleway prior to diversion. Cllr Dellow to signpost the path on the current line.
    3. Footpath 22, broken bridge and County Council notice to "Use alternative route". (Complaint received from elderly walker). The County Council reply had been that the broken bridge has been on the list for a while and isn't as urgent as others because it can be used with care and there is no drop to speak of. The Council disputed this statement believing that this bridge is difficult to use for many and that arriving at this bridge, where there are no alternative paths, after a long walk, could present difficulties for the elderly. Clerk asked to write to ESCC again.
    4. Footpath 28a, Collapsed brick arch bridge. (Complaint received from landowners). ESCC would not go to the expense of repairing the brick structure but, in principal, would offer the amount a replacement footbridge would cost as a contribution to any repairs. Although Mr Anson and Mr Betts appear willing to repair the existing bridge because of its historical value, they will not necessarily be able to do so immediately. In order for a decision to be made, a meeting has been arranged with ESCC and Mr Betts on Wed 27 May at 10:30. Cllr Dellow and the Clerk to attend.
    5. Public Rights of Way Network survey. Letter received from East Sussex County Council. The letter refers to the moving on the ROW survey to the next phase when information on parishes' paths will be provided by ESCC.
  2. Drainage from Chapel Hill into Sportsfield ditch. DEFERRED to allow Cllr Rand to report after his meeting with ESCC.
  3. Community Transport. Letter received from East Sussex County Council. Following the community transport workshop session on 24/03/09, work is well underway to produce a draft community transport strategy. In addition, funding has been secured to support the development of community transport in 2009/10 and 2010/11. Pilot projects that meet local communities' transport needs and contribute towards ESCC's accessibility objectives are being sought. The Parish Council is aware that there are people (for example, Eileen Bullen and Frederick Pooke) in the parish who have knowledge of local transport needs and might be able to help identify sustainable projects.
  4. Playground inspections. Cllr Marland was provided with playground inspection details. Members' reports since the last meeting had focused on the problem of litter at both play areas, longish grass, fire damage at the Riverside and work needed on the Riverside fence.
  5. New pavilion. It was noted that the Council is still awaiting legal advice on amendment of the existing Sports Association lease. The Chairman and Clerk have attended a meeting with officers of the Sports Association regarding the official opening of the pavilion which is being planned for Saturday 11 July starting at 13:30 with a cricket match and ending with an evening barn dance. All will be open to the public.
  6. Portacabins. The following report was made:
    1. In November 2008, the Parish Council supported the idea of a youth centre in the portacabin at the Sportsfield. This was also supported by the Sports Association. Pestalozzi subsequently gave its approval as required by the covenant on the land.
    2. In March 2009, the Parish Council obtained planning permission for the youth centre on a slightly different spot and, also replacement of the garages at the Sportsfield.
    3. In April 2009, the Parish Council sought legal advice from Hedleys about the lease.
    4. In April 2009, the Parish Council agreed to the Youth Project's request to lower the price of the portacabin to £3,500.
    5. During April 2009, a long list of anti-social behaviour incidents were recorded at East View and the Village generally.
    6. During April 2009, Orbit HA sent a letter to East View tenants re the anti-social behaviour (also fly-tipping, untaxed motor vehicles, noise nuisance). One paragraph relates entirely to the Youth Club Project, threatening cancellation of the Youth project by the Housing Association and the Parish Council and also threatening loss of tenancies. The Chairman of the Parish Council had agreed to wait a month, expiring at the end of May, to see whether there is any improvement in behaviour. There have been no recorded incidents for the last two weeks.
    7. On 5 May 2009, there was a meeting of the Youth Development Service, Orbit, the Police, the youngsters and some of their parents who complained of Police harassment.
    8. May 2009. Currently, the Sports Association is taking no action regarding the sub-letting because of the bad behaviour recorded in April.
    Members considered how the problem of bad behaviour could be dealt with and whether some of the youngsters could be made "responsible". The difficulty was acknowledged in identifying what is "bad behaviour" and in deciding what to do if bad behaviour comes from someone only loosely connected with the project. Cllr Irwin reminded the Council how well the youth club had been run many years ago by PC Bryan Graves. The following bodies are involved in the current project:
    • The body responsible for subletting the land to the Youth Project is the Sports Association and its members are insistent that safeguards must be introduced in order to be able to have the centre closed down if behaviour is a problem.
    • The body which has agreed to provide funding for the youth worker for three years is Orbit South who, while continuing to support the project at the Sportsfield, agrees that the centre should be closed down if behaviour is a problem.
    • The Parish Council's involvement is 1) the sale of the larger portacabin to the Youth Project which has been agreed at £3,500 and 2) approval of the Sports Association's sub-letting arrangements (not to be unreasonably withheld).
    • The Senior Football Club intends to sell the small portacabin to the Youth Project for £400.
    • The Youth Development Service requires a relatively-long-term agreement because of the amount of money that is to be spent on altering the portacabin, ie moving it, cladding it with timber and completely refitting it. A minimum of three years has been mentioned.

Although not at the meeting, Cllr Rand had suggested that he would like to see the matter of the portacabin(s) settled by the beginning June, otherwise they will deteriorate and detract from the excellent pavilion that has been provided. It is also not possible to finish off the pavilion project and close off the existing entrance etc. as required in the planning permission.

 

RESOLVED: That the Parish Council will continue to actively support the idea of a youth centre at the sportsfield and will also support the Sports Association in any decisions that it makes regarding the sub-letting agreement.

 

9. Legal Advice re Lease of Sedlescombe Sportsfield and possible Deed of Variation regarding 1) additional responsibilities of the lessees; 2) proposed sub-let by Sports Association to the Youth projects group. Council awaiting advice from Hedleys.

C09/10.38

Aim 4 To support business and rural employment in Sedlescombe

  1. Working from home. It was noted that Action in rural Sussex is campaigning for support for home businesses.
C09/10.39

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

  1. Maintenance of Red Barn Field Nature Park. A report of work carried out at the Nature Park since the last report was provided as follows:
    1. On 18/03/09, a meeting was held at the site of Cllr Dellow, the Clerk and local resident, Colin Boyd following which a maintenance regime was drawn up in accordance with existing Parish Council plans maximising opportunities for wildflowers to flourish in the grassland and insects to be supported. RESOLVED: That the following maintenance regime for Red Barn Field Nature Park is approved:
      1. Use of sheep from Mrs Cole
      2. 2 grass cuts (annual cut usually undertaken by Holford Pitcher. Cllr Marland offered to cut field twice a year free of charge)
      3. Bracken control by Conservation Volunteers
      4. Control of some nettles by Colin Boyd
      5. Control of some brambles around information board by Colin Boyd but retention of remainder
      6. Control of thistles - a spot treatment by Languard agreed at meeting
      7. Minor clearance of pond by Colin Boyd
      8. New damp habitat in naturally wet area of field dug out by Colin Boyd
      9. Herbicide treatment of path and strimming of path edges by contractors (Languard and Roger Wood - already approved)
      10. Possible planting - still to be considered
      11. Surveys of flora and fauna including by Colin Boyd. Mr Boyd's first report dated 06/05/09 has been included on the website and on Village noticeboards
      12. Application for grant aid of £200 from Sedlescombe Societies Association by Cllr Dellow.
  2. Maintenance of grass verges to safeguard wildflowers. Cllr Dellow wished to see some Sedlescombe grass verges left uncut until the wildflowers had seeded. Of particular interest are the grass verge on the north side of Brede Lane close to its junction with Gorselands where ox-eye daisies proliferate (urban area, see below) and the bank in Tollgate Road (rural area, see below) where it is lady's smock flowers that grow in profusion. The Gorselands' verge also has a variety of the more unusual wildflowers for this area. ESCC's Team Manager for Reactive Maintenance replied to the Clerk's enquiry regarding whether the cutting regime could be altered to account for the flowers with the following information:
    1. Outside the central areas of the Village, which are called rural grass verges, ESCC cuts the verges one swathe width (about a metre) only twice a year. The first cut is started in the second week of May to allow the wildflower display to continue as long as is practicable. For the last twenty years, the County Council has supported a conservation wildlife verge policy marking them with posts with a yellow flower symbol. These verges have their own cutting programme to take account of the wildflowers and wildlife.
    2. Within towns and villages, verges are cut five times a year, which occurs at Gorselands. ESCC finds it extremely difficult to accommodate special verges as the vast majority of complaints are regarding the lack of grass cutting in villages and towns when compared with those requesting that the grass is left uncut. In order for the contractor to work efficiently, the urban grass cutting is organised in such a manner as to progress through the eastern part of the county. If they were to try to manage individual verges, such as Gorselands, in a different manner, inefficiencies and increased costs would be introduced. The County Ecologist will consider applications to designate certain grass verges and it is possible for a parish council to approach ESCC to obtain a licence to cultivate and maintain a verge itself. RESOLVED: That the County Ecologist should be asked to designate the grass verges with ox-eye daises and lady's smock flowers as special.
  3. Hogweed on banks of River Line and River Brede. A local landowner had contacted the Clerk asking if the giant hogweed plants growing in the Mill Pond could be treated as in the past. The Clerk had replied that the Council has spent £3,400 in the last three years, with a further £400 planned for this year, treating giant hogweed and, if the plants in the Mill Pond are to be treated this year, the owner would need to make a contribution or contact Languard directly himself. The contractor had visited the area at the beginning of May and had treated several plants in the river at the Sportsfield and also some close to the Riverside Playground as well as some others further up river. It was agreed that the Council should consider only treating plants near the Sportsfield and Riverside Playground next season.
  4. American Signal Crayfish in the River Brede. A lady living in Norfolk had contacted the Clerk regarding the Council's policy to fish for American Signal Crayfish in the River Brede at Sedlescombe. An expert in the field, she had proposed a revised policy which would change the emphasis from only allowing four traps to be set to encouraging as many traps as possible. Details had been sent to the Environment Agency (who had been happy with the Council's original policy) for comment.
  5. Waste leaflet revision. It was noted that the leaflet has been revised and will be included in Welcome Packs.
  6. Butterfly Conservation Project as part of the Rother Woods Project. So far this this year, five butterfly identification workshops and three events for local schools have been held. Fifty local people are now involved in the Rother butterfly surveys, covering over 8,000 acres of Rother District. The Project has made contact with 130 landowners and managers and has found three previously unknown colonies of UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority butterflies. The Manager, Steve Wheatley, had offered to come to speak to the Council about the Project. However, Mr Wheatley is planning to speak to groups in the Village or in Beckley Woods which was considered sufficient.
  7. Brede High Woods - National Family Week - Half term free event on May 29th 2009, 10:00 to 12:30 meet at main car park - Discover the Amazing History of Brede High Woods. Places to be reserved. Notice on board outside Sedlescombe Stores. Also councillors and families invited to BBQ.

 

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