2010 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PARISH MEETING OF SEDLESCOMBE

A Meeting of the Annual Assembly of the Parish Meeting of Sedlescombe was held on Tuesday 27 April 2010 in Sedlescombe Village Hall between 1930 and 2030

PRESENT: The meeting was attended by Cllr V Wright (Chairman of the Parish Council), Cllr A Rand (Vice-Chairman of the Council), seven other parish councillors, Mrs P J Raymond (Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer of Sedlescombe Parish Council), County Councillor Peter Jones, District Councillor Tony Ganly and 96 members of the public.

1. CHAIRMAN'S OPENING REMARKS.The usual health and safety information was given and Cllr Wright started the meeting by thanking our Police Community Support Officer, Demi, who has recently received a commendation for his work locally. She went on to mention the many volunteers working in the Village. These include the library ladies, the litter pickers, Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators (looking for people to cover Gregory Walk and Orchard Way), the Churchyard mowers (looking for one person to cut the Churchyard for two hours twice a month, the Sedlescombe News editors (other editors needed), Reg and Pauline Glew and Alan Smytherman who had made a special effort to get the hall ready for the Assembly and the whole community which was the reason that Sedlescombe was chosen as the 2009 Village of the Year National Community Award.

Cllr Wright introduced those who had set up display tables around the hall. These were as follows:

  • Pestalozzi International Village with Paul Evans, Chief Executive. Seeking to improve relationships with the rest of the Village. A successful youth club for the whole Village is currently being run at Pestalozzi.
  • Sedlescombe School whose School Choir won the Hastings Festival this year. In September/October 2010, the School will be have celebrations to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the School being in Brede Lane. Helpers are always welcome in the School.
  • Parish Council with details of its current Pump and Pumphouse Project and its Energy Saving Project. A copy was also available of Rother's Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment which was recently published.
  • Royal British Legion. Anyone, over the age of 16, whether connected with the Services or not, are welcome to join.
  • Rother District Council's Becky Anderson with information about energy saving and grants available. Becky was also taking a note of people interested in having a Home Energy Check. The Parish Council is arranging an informal public Fuel Poverty and Energy Saving meeting to be held in the Brickwall Hotel on Tuesday 18 May at 3pm. A pink flyer was available and, in order to arrange refreshments, people who planned to attend should return the tear-off slip to the Parish Council.
  • Sedlescombe Bowls Club.
  • Haven Frames - a local Village business offering a picture framing service.
  • Pumphouse Designs which has been nominated for the "Best Domestic Extension in the South East" at the "Local Authority Building Control Awards 2010". To celebrate this, there is currently a special offer for anyone instructing them before 28 May 2010.
  • Matthew Pitts from the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Office. He would like to help landowners with landscaping.
  • John & Jenny Mainwood from Sedlescombe Stores. They were thanked for the help they always give to villagers especially during the bad weather in the winter.
  • Cutting Edges Mower Services which has special offers on mowers.
  • Sedlescombe Green WI with an excellent display of craft items.
  • The Garden Society with some plants for sale.
  • Richard Jordan Limited which has recently started providing heating and plumbing services locally.
  • Sedlescombe WI with its "Owl & the Pussy Cat" display.
  • Sedlescombe Parish Church advertising an Open Weekend on 26-27 June. Lots of attractions available.
  • Parish Council with details of the current Pump and Pumphouse Project and raffle tickets on sale. Also a copy of the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA).

2. MINUTES. It was moved by June Roberts, seconded by Sally Martin and RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Annual Assembly of the Parish Meeting of Sedlescombe held on 29/04/09 are approved and signed as a correct record.

 

3. REPORT BY COUNTY COUNCILLOR PETER JONES. Cllr Jones was re-elected to the County Council last June. He congratulated the Parish Council, its Chairman and Clerk for serving the Sedlescombe community very well.Two papers - "2010/11 Budget Briefing" and "Summary of County Council achievements 2009/10" were available in the hall.

 

The horrendous winter weather has caused lots of highway problems and many potholes have been filled. Further surfacing work will be undertaken in the better weather. Cllr Jones reported that he hoped to improve the underlying quality of our roads. A team will be looking at keeping more smaller roads open in snowy and icy weather maybe using farmers. The County Council is negotiating with insurers re farmers' public liability insurance cover.

 

Policies are being introduced to aim at no increases in Council Tax. No matter which Government is elected in May, stringent cuts will have to be faced. The County Council needs to save £60 million over the next 4-5 years and Cllr Jones believes this can be achieved working with a newly-appointed Chief Executive. Various joint contracts with neighbouring counties are being considered which should save a great deal of money. Other ideas to save money are squeezing all suppliers and taking over the running of several public sector services.

 

4. REPORT BY DISTRICT COUNCILLOR TONY GANLY. Our Rother District Councillor's Annual Report was available in the hall. Cllr Ganly asked people to write to the Highways Agency regarding the changed layout at the junction of the B2244 and the A21.

 

The following questions from the floor were answered by County Councillor Jones, District Councillor Ganly, Parish Council Chairman Wright and PCSO Demetrius Georghiou:

  • Concerns about the speed of traffic through the Village and the problem of heavy lorries in The Street. Request for 20mph speed limit. County Cllr Jones explained that 20mph speed limits are not generally respected by motorists whereas 30-40 mph speed limits usually are. Our PCSO does regular speed checks including some starting at 0600 in the morning. Many people that are caught are regular drivers on the B2244 and, in time, they should take more notice of the 30mph speed limit through the Village.
  • Objections to the Council Tax and Services 2010/11 Leaflet produced by Rother District Council and distributed with Council Tax papers which, it was suggested, gives insufficient information regarding Rother's accounts. The availability of information in Rother's accounts was compared unfavourably with those produced by the Fire & Rescue Service. District Cllr Ganly agreed to get further information and to contact the complainant in due course. Rother has set up a small group of five councillors to look carefully at all expenses and to compare them with other similar districts. County Cllr Jones explained that ESCC sends out detailed information in a paper called "Your County".
  • Considerable concern about the parking of cars at the bottom of the Village. Waiting restrictions were requested. Cllr Wright explained that yellow lines can only be painted in a few instances and that the County Council currently has a long backlog of requests from towns and villages which could take up to 25 years to consider and complete. Cllr Wright explained that the Parish Council would be giving further consideration to the planning aspects of the use of land by the Budget Car Company at a Parish Council Planning Committee Meeting next Tuesday.
  • Request made for a flood warning sign to be removed from the B2244 not far from its junction with the A21. County Cllr Jones to arrange.
  • Concerns that traffic lights on the B2244 have been there a long time. County Cllr Jones explained this is to do with subsidence which will be sorted out soon now that the weather is improving.
  • Question regarding whether neighbours are consulted before flashing signs are installed. County Cllr Jones said they are.
  • Question regarding whether Rother District Council is under pressure to squeeze in development on very small areas of land in the Village. Cllr Ganly explained that Rother is under pressure from the Government to build more housing and the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment is currently being considered at Rother. This is a very long-term plan to consider whether land is or is not suitable for housing in all Rother's towns and villages. Unfortunately, Rother does need more affordable housing as there are 1900 homeless people. Cllr Jones mentioned the importance of the link road going ahead which should relieve housing development pressure in the villages and allow 1200 homes to be built in Bexhill. A complaint was made about the houses in Brede Lane that have been allowed to be built so close to the doctors' surgery that the surgery windows cannot be opened because of confidentiality concerns. Cllr Ganly invited people to contact him if they have planning concerns.

5. SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL REPORT.The Parish Council's Annual Report has been circulated to every home in the parish. The Clerk/Financial Officer gave an additional report. This included information that the first two loan repayments have been made and the capital amount outstanding has dropped below £50,000. The Parish Council has been able to hold the precept for 2010/11 at last year's level and Sedlescombe has maintained its 16th position in the Council Tax Table of 32 Rother District parishes. It might not always be possible, however, to keep the precept at a low level because of Parish Council legal obligations. An example is the need for a contribution towards the maintenance of the first part of Ladybird Lane required since the Sportsfield was bought by the Parish Council from the Pestalozzi Village in 1985. The Lane is in a very poor state of repair and a reasonable contribution will have to be made sometime soon. Grants are expected to help pay for the cost of refurbishing the village pump, its railings and the pumphouse.

 

Cllr Wright spoke of the contribution made to Sedlescombe's community life by three people who had died in 2009. These were:

  1. John Kemp who was a good friend and neighbour and had been awarded the 2009 Parish Council Citizenship Award not long before his death. Gardening was a passion of John's which led him to dedicated involvement with the Sedlescombe Garden Society for many years. His move into Park Shaw was a return to his old haunts as this is where he used to have his allotment.
  2. Pamela Corbett moved into Horsmans in 1936 at the age of 11. From her early years, Pamela played an active part in village life as a Sunday School teacher, as a Girl Guide and member of the Village drama group. In the 1950s, Pamela and her husband John were well known locally as they employed lots of Village people on their fruit farm. In the early 1970s, they took a complete change of direction when they both trained as teachers. Pamela was a very keen local historian up to her death, was involved in the preservation of the Roman Bath-house just up the road at Beauport and recorded many of the older villagers' memories.
  3. Marjorie Lister who was a very good friend and neighbour. She also was an historian and was involved with the Beauport Bath-house. She was an author of children's books, an artist and embroiderer. She embroidered an altar cloth for the Parish Church and two panels of the Sedlescombe Tapestry in the hall. Marjorie also was involved in the regular Parish Church mini-market where she encouraged others to give surplus vegetables to be sold.

The excellent way Sedlescombe footpaths are kept was mentioned from the floor. The business part of the meeting ended with a series of thanks to the Council, the Clerk and the Chairman. Thanks to members of Sedlescombe Green WI, refreshments were available, Attendees were able to spend more time browsing the tables.

 

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