C10/11. C10/11.
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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 6 JULY 2010, 19:00 to 20:50

 

PARISH COUNCILLORS PRESENT: Cllr Wright (Chairman), Cllr A Rand (Vice-Chairman), Cllrs Glew, Marland, Martin, Mitchell, Wheatley

 

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

 

ALSO PRESENT:

  • Local resident - Mr Martin Hall (all the meeting)
  • District Cllr Tony Ganly (to give his report only)
  • Mr Mark Haskell, Chair of Rother Standards Committee and Mrs Mary Varrall, Town and Parish Council representative on the Rother Standards Committee (at the start of the meeting to give a presentation to the Council on the work of their Committee. Ms Suzanne Grisbrook, Rother Monitoring Officer - as an observer during the Standards presentation
1

The Chairman invited District Councillor Ganly to speak. Cllr Ganly reported that:

  • Rother District Council Officers have visited the Budget Car Company site several times, the latest on 21/06/10, when it was found that breaches continue. A planning enforcement notice is to be served soon. Cllr Ganly also reported that a County Council officer has visited the site five times.
  • An organic apple-growing business at Cripps Corner, partially in the parish of Sedlescombe, has been targeted several times by thieves and had, recently, suffered a loss of goods and crops to the value of £30,000. Cllr Ganly had involved 1066 Enterprise, where he is a Board member, in helping to draw up a Business Plan which will support a forthcoming planning application for a caravan to guard the farm site.
2 The Chairman introduced Mr Hake and Mrs Varrall who reminded councillors of the role and work of the Standards Committee and the main points of the Code. Notes provided by Rother DC can be viewed here.
C10/11.22

Apologies and reasons for absence: Cllr Mary Irwin - illness.

C10/11.23 Interests. Declarations of existence and nature of councillor's interests, whether personal/prejudicial, in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct 2007, were received with regard to items on the agenda. The following interests were declared:

Minute
Name
Interest
C10/11.29.2 Cllr Glew Personal interest by virtue of being the Council's Trustee of the Village Hall
C10/11.20.1 Cllr Glew Personal interest by virtue of being one of the Council's representatives on the Rother Association of Local Councils
C10/11.29.6 Cllr Glew Personal interest by virtue of being a member of Sedlescombe's Neighbourhood Watch Committee
C10/11.29.2 Cllr Mitchell Personal interest by virtue of being a Trustee of the Village Hall
C10/11.29.3 Cllr Rand Personal interest by virtue of being the Council's representative on the Sports Association Committee.
C10/11.36.3 All councillors Personal/prejudicial interests by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Sedlescombe Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. Dispensation granted by Rother DC.
C10/11.25 Public Participation Session. Mr Hall was allowed to make representation regarding the situation at the Budget Car Company car sales site in The Street, adjacent to his property. Of particular concern is the obstruction of his driveway which consequently produces hold-ups on the B2244 and dangerous road traffic situations. He had been in communication with Rother District, East Sussex County Council, the Police and the Clerk but, so far, little improvement had been noted. He thanked the Council, particularly the Clerk, for the continuing work to improve the situation. He would continue to inform the PCSO regarding out of date tax discs on cars parked on the roadside in the Village.
C10/11.37.2

Budget Car Company. The Chairman agreed to bring the Budget Car Company agenda item forward. Members spoke generally about the situation on the site and around the Village. The Clerk explained the law regarding "exposing vehicles for sale on the highway" where not more than one vehicle can be exposed for sale within 500 metres and the problems with knowing whether this includes vehicles on the roadside and for sale on websites, but not displaying "for sale" signs. (See Clerk's Briefing Note "Vehicle Sales on a Road" for further information.) There was a discussion regarding the water company's access road and the importance of them having 24 hours/day easy access, especially at times of heavy rain when the pumping station sometimes ceases to work, causing nearby cottages to be affected by raw sewage in their gardens. Access is often denied by cars parked in the access road.

There was some discussion on the owners' liability in this situation.

The Chairman suggested that the time might come when a petition should be prepared for people in the Village to sign.

C10/11.26

Casual Vacancy. It was noted that, following the resignation of Ralph Dellow on 16 May 2010, the vacancy on the Council was advertised in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972, s 87(2)(a). No election was demanded by the due date.The Parish Council will now have to fill the vacancy within a reasonable time. In accordance with the Parish Council's adopted Casual Vacancy Policy, the vacancy has been advertised in the July Bulletin and applicants asked to reply by Friday 23/07/10. It had been suggested that it would be best practice to interview applicants and it was RESOLVED: That the Parish Council amends its Casual Vacancy Policy with immediate effect to allow for an interview procedure to be included.

During the discussion on this subject, it was mentioned that applicants should be asked whether they are willing to undertake voluntary work on behalf of the Council, such as playground inspections.

C10/11.27
Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Council is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 11/05/10.
C10/11.28 Minutes of Meetings of Committees
  1. Planning Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Planning Committee held on 01/06/10 are received.
  2. Heritage Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Heritage Committee held on 22/06/10 are approved.
  3. Finance Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Finance Committee held on 29/06/10 are received.
C10/11.29 Reports from representatives. Reports were received as follows:
  1. Rother Association of Local Councils. Cllr Glew declared her personal interest as the Parish Council's representative on RALC. Cllr Glew was asked to raise a question at the meeting to be held the next day regarding the need for councils to pay a subscription of £35 when the Association has nearly £2,500 in the bank and is not undertaking any training and has no other use for the money.
  2. Village Hall Trust. Cllr Glew declared her personal interest as the Parish Council's Village Hall Trustee. Cllr Mitchell declared her personal interest at a Village Hall Trustee. Cllr Glew (Chairman of the Village Hall Committee) reported that: bookings were going well, quotations were awaited for floor-sanding etc. and, also maybe, a false ceiling; and that there is a very small team working on the gardens. All users are to be reminded that they should not go into the hall ahead of their booked time. The next meeting will be on Thursday 23/09/10.
  3. Sports Association. Cllr Rand declared his personal interest as the Parish Council's representative on the Sports Association. Cllr Rand reported that he would try to attend future meetings of the Sports Association Committee. All councillors were invited to attend a meeting on Monday 19 July 2010 at 18:00 in the pavilion with members of the Sports Association Committee. This was at the request of the Sports Association and would be about public liability insurance cover and the proposed extension of the car park. The manhole in the car park was due to be repaired the following day. Further enquiries will be made about the need for this manhole which appears to come from the direction of the pavilion.
  4. Environment Officer. This post was vacant, due to the resignation of Ralph Dellow. It was agreed that, for the time being, no action would be taken to fill the post.
  5. Tree Warden. Cllr Martin had been asked to check the tree outside the public conveniences. He had attended a recent meeting of Tree Wardens and had given a talk on what he had done in Sedlescombe to encourage the planting of horse chestnut trees. Information had been given on Tree Preservation Orders and there had been a discussion about the problems of stopping developers cutting down trees which ought to be retained according to submitted plans.
  6. Neighbourhood Watch. This post was vacant, due to the resignation of Ralph Dellow. RESOLVED: That Cllr Glew should be the Council's Neighbourhood Watch representative. Cllr Glew reported that the NHW group had recently fitted a key box and was paying for one installation/1 month's rent of Lifeline for a lady who had had a fall. The financial help which the NHW group give for Lifeline initial costs has been advertised.
  7. Energy-saving champion. Ralph Dellow has received training from Rother DC and is willing to continue in this role. RESOLVED: That Ralph Dellow should continue as Sedlescombe's Energy-Saving Champion.
  8. Transport representative. The Parish Council has been asked by BACT to appoint a Transport representative. Cllr Glew appeared to be ideal as she is a bus user and also co-ordinates the Sedlescombe Lift Scheme. RESOLVED: That Cllr Glew should be Sedlescombe's Transport Representative.
C10/11.30

Clerk's Report. The followed items were noted:

  1. Su Reece has been appointed the Volunteering Support Officer for Hastings and Rother.
  2. New footpath book for 1066 Country to be published by Nick Brown of Westfield. Flyer available.
  3. Bexhill to Hastings link road under review. See Times newspaper report.
  4. Welcome Packs available.
  5. July 2010 Sedlescombe Parish Council Bulletin delivered.
  6. Footpath 6, Brede Lane to Gorselands. Noted that letters have been sent to neighbours re hedges encroaching onto the public footpath. A complaint had been received from one owner about the Council's letter as, she says, the hedge is always cut when the birds have finished nesting and, therefore, the letter was unnecessary..
  7. Footpath 6 between Orchard Way/Park Shaw. Noted that the broken handrail has been reported to ESCC.
  8. Footpath 6. Noted that ESCC still plan to replenish the stones on the path between Balcombe Green and the rear of Park Shaw in July/August. It is likely that they will simply channel the flow of water under the path rather than re-direct it anywhere. There is some concern that if they tried to direct it to the shallow ditch, it would potentially cause a problem for the adjoining garden. The Clerk reported that the owner was not altogether satisfied with this reply from the County Council.
  9. Footpath 29. Noted that Ralph Dellow has replaced the fingerpost on this path.
  10. Noted that the School has purchased a second-hand mini-bus for £10,000. The School Capital Grant paid £5,000 and the PTA £5,000. It will be available to the Village.
  11. Noted that the way Sussex Police Force operates is to be redesigned to save at least £34m over four years.
  12. Noted that some of the potholes in East View Terrace reported to be in need of repair have been fixed.
  13. Noted that markings around the area for repair in Gammons Hill have appeared today.
  14. Noted that subsidence in Hurst Lane will be repaired by ESCC, probably with a road closure.
The last three items were reported to the Parish Council and/or the County Council by Ken Sutton of East View Terrace.
C10/11.31 Finance
  1. Bank Reconciliations. RESOLVED: That the bank reconciliations at the end of May and June 2010 are approved.
  2. Cheques. RESOLVED: That payment of the June cheque list is ratified and the July cheque list approved.
    102736 Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground, donation £1,000
    102737 P Raymond, website domain name, broadband, phone £120.96
    102738 Petty cash £13.75
    102739 R Dellow, reimbursement third refreshments £30.00
    102740 The Information Commissioner, Data Protection Act, £35.00
    102741 P Raymond, June salary £967.18
    102742 Roger's Gardening Services, various £285.00
    June total £2,451.89
    102751 Mrs V Bennett, internal audit £85.00
    102752 Post Office Ltd., Income Tax and National Insurance £798.22
    102753 Sedlescombe Village Hall, hall hire, May and June £42.00
    102743 Roger's Gardening Services, various £285.00
    102744 Sussex Association of Local Council, Legal & Finance Day £42.25
    102745 P Raymond, July salary £967.18
    102746 Petty Cash £40.78
    102747 P Raymond, Broadband, 12.50
    Direct Debit Public Works Loan Board, instalment of loan repayment £2,321.62
    July total £4,594.55
    Transfer from Barclays Saver Account to Barclays Current Account £10,000.
  3. 2009-10 Annual Return. The Annual Return has been returnedto the Clerk/Financial Officer to delete the half precept received in advance and to amend the total. The amendments were initialled by the Clerk/Finance Officer and the Chairman. Mazars will charge £20 administration fee.
  4. External Audit. The Annual Return and other returns have been forwarded to Mazars.
C10/11.32

Training/Meetings

  1. Public Transport. Report of the Community Transport Meeting held at Darvell, Robertsbridge on 12/05/10 which was attended by Cllr Glew and the Clerk. Web notes here.
    At the meeting at Darvell, Cllr Glew gave a report on the public transport situation in Sedlescombe and, also, our Lift Scheme. She said that, if the scheduled 349 bus is late reaching Hawkhurst, the connecting bus to Tunbridge Wells can be missed. The two-hourly service during the day from Sedlescombe to Hastings is not ideal, but is acceptable. Other parish councils reported on their public transport.
    Cllr Glew reported to the Council that the Battle Area Community Transport (BACT) buses are available for hire. Volunteer drivers are needed and training will be given. The community bus is well used for trips into Battle, mainly by Sedlescombe elderly,. The public can go to other destinations ie Eastbourne, Rye and Tunbridge Wells as long as they book. Bus passes can be used. The BACT Office is staffed part-time with one paid worker and three main volunteers in the office and a Financial Team.
    The Clerk reported that there is still some money available for project work between parish councils and Community Transport Schemes and the meeting was partly to focus on potential partners who would suggest new routes for their parishes. The ESCC Transport Officer had expressed the view that hard decisions will have to be made in view of likely cuts in future funding to ESCC. This could mean more expected of Community Transport, as commercial subsidies may be cut back.
  2. Energy Saving and Fuel Poverty. Sedlescombe Parish Council Energy Saving and Fuel Poverty Meeting in the Brickwall Hotel on 18/05/10. The Chairman reported that the meeting in the Brickwall arranged by Cllr Dellow and the Clerk had been poorly attended (24 people including organisers). She suggested that the presentations by representatives of Rother DC and East Sussex Healthy Homes had focussed too heavily on facts and figures rather than just providing genuine help to elderly people. Unfortunately, the acoustics were also poor. Ex-councillor Ralph Dellow had agreed to be an energy-saving champion for Sedlescombe and had had some training.
    The Clerk reported a new webpage on the Sedlescombe Parish Council website which gives straightforward advice on grant aid.
  3. Winter Maintenance. An ESCC Committee meeting on 16/06/10 considered improvements to the winter maintenance scheme. Notes are available and an update is expected to be provided at the ESCC Annual Parish and Town Council Meeting on 23/07/10 at Uckfield (see C10/11.32.2 above).
  4. Invitation to East Sussex County Council Annual Parish and Town Council Meeting, 23/07/10, Uckfield Civic Centre. Cllrs Wright and Glew to attend.
  5. Report of Rother Clerks' Meeting held on 07/06/10. Gina Sanderson from Rother Voluntary Action was the speaker.
  6. The Clerk/Finance Officer attended the Legal and Finance Day on 22/06/10 arranged by SALC.
  7. Clerks' Networking Day at Leeford Place on 20/10/10. The Clerk will attend.
C10/11.33

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

  1. Water Resources Update in the South East, Spring 2010.
  2. Southern Water Performance, 2009-10.
  3. SALC Bulletin June 2010.
C10/11.34

Consultations

  1. Rother District Council Draft Youth Strategy. The Council is aware that a youth club is taking place at Pestalozzi twice a week but, unfortunately, receives absolutely no feedback from the Youth Development Service. A website, supported by the County Council, called 360 connexions shows the meeting place as East View Terrace Kickabout Area where youngsters between 11 and 19 years of age are invited to either pre-book or just turn up. Anyone who tried to turn up at the Kickabout Area would be in the wrong venue. It is not clear why Rother District Council is drawing up a youth strategy when the Youth Development Service comes under East Sussex County Council.
  2. Waste and Minerals Core Strategy consultation - results expected in late summer. Interim summary "What will we do with waste in East Sussex?" has been published by the County Council. Copies given to councillors.
  3. On 25/05/10, the Woodland Trust consulted on the design of proposed signage in Brede High Woods. The Parish Council did not send in comments.
  4. On 25/05/10, Rother District Council consulted on De La Warr Pavilion in preparation of Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee of 07/06/10. The Parish Council did not send in comments.
C10/11.35

Aim 1 To achieve an Informed and Participating Sedlescombe Community

  1. Action Plans. Members considered what should be done about the "not tackled" actions listed in Minute C10/11.18.1.2 (see previous Minutes). RESOLVED: That the following actions should be taken:
    1. Creating more jobs in caring for the sick and elderly. ABANDON
    2. Transport to village hall for elderly or infirm. ABANDON as provided by neighbours and friends.
    3. Street lighting. ABANDON as too expensive and not wanted by everyone.
    4. Designate new path along River Brede to Rye. ABANDON as very difficult and expensive.
    5. Cover for Sedlescombe school pool. ABANDON as too expensive for the Council to be involved with.
    6. Introduction of quiet lanes in Sedlescombe. ABANDON as ESCC did not introduce in this county.
    7. Film club in village hall. ABANDON as considered by Village Hall Committee. Problem with technicalities and too expensive.
    8. Station parking problems - buses to link with trains. ABANDON as a new bus service to Battle or Robertsbridge station to meet every train is not likely to be introduced at this difficult financial time. It is currently cheaper than previously to park at Battle Station because a new car park has been opened costing £2/day. It was reported that it is often difficult to get a taxi when returning by train from London.
    9. Extension of mains drainage throughout the parish. ABANDON as it is very unlikely for mains drainage to be installed along all the small lanes in the parish at this difficult financial time.
    10. Enhancement of bridleway network. Two new areas are possibly to be opened up for horse riding. These are in Brede High Woods and at Pestalozzi International Village. IN PROGRESS
    11. Extension of gas supply throughout the parish. ABANDON as it is very unlikely for mains gas to be installed along all the small lanes in the parish at this difficult financial time.
    12. 1066 Country Walk to Lower Marley Farm. ABANDON as not necessary as Lower Marley Farm no longer provides bed and breakfast.
    13. Financial support for library. The Chairman had spoken to the ladies running the one-afternoon- a-week village library. They had sad they would like some petrol money to help with their frequent changes of books. The Chairman had suggested applying to Sedlescombe Societies Association for help. IN PROGRESS
  2. Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour Meetings. RESOLVED: That Cllr Wheatley should replace Ralph Dellow at the Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour Meetings. Cllr Glew to continue to attend.
C10/11.36

Aim 2 To achieve a Safe and Healthy Sedlescombe Community

  1. To receive and comment on PCSO/Police reports. The Chairman reported that Demi had recently received a second commendation for saving a lady that had been missing in woods. Although he was not present at the meeting, the Council wanted to congratulate Demi and to record Sedlescombe's thanks for his dedication to the community. His dedication was especially noticeable a couple of weeks ago when there were three events taking place at the same time in the Village and he attended them all.
  2. Jean Dellow's report of anti-social behaviour at the back of EVT garages, ie the playing of loud music, on 14/05/10 was noted. Cllr Mitchell confirmed that there had been a huge reduction in anti-social behaviour at East View Terrace in the past few months.
  3. Playground reports. All councillors reported personal/prejudicial interests by virtue of the Parish Council being the sole trustee of the Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. Dispensation had been granted by Rother DC. The Clerk mentioned that several playground inspections had not been carried out during 2010. The inspection report timetable will need amendment after Ralph Dellow's resignation. The professional inspection of the Riverside Playground by ROSPA should have been completed in June. The gate at Riverside has been a long-term problem. Cllrs Marland and Martin to repair. Cllr Rand to have another look at the ropes which have stretched again. Councillors have been reporting litter at the playgrounds and a full bin at East View Terrace Kickabout Area. Clerk to speak with contractor.
  4. Use of Stream Lane as a rat run made worse by the installation of derestriction signs now that a new 50mph speed limit has been introduced in Hawkhurst Road. The installation of derestriction signs in Stream Lane seem to encourage drivers to go faster. The edges of the Lane are becoming more and more eroded. The Clerk was asked to write to ESCC asking whether there is any way of encouraging drivers to drive slowly down the lane rather than to speed. Cllr Wheatley suggested that she could encourage all the homeowners in Stream Lane to write to ESCC themselves as well.
    The Clerk reported receipts of an e-mail from a local resident who said that she and many others did use Stream Lane as a rat run. She wished to see something done about those who use the B2244 for this purpose.
  The Chairman reported receipt of a letter of thanks from Ralph Dellow for the card and voucher that she had given him from the Council. She had also given flowers and a card to Cllr Irwin during her illness.
  Chairman.......................................... Date.................................................................