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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 8 MARCH 2011 19:00 to 21:30

 

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

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

 

County Councillor Peter Jones and District Councillor Tony Ganly attended the open forum at the first part of the meeting as did one member of the public. Ashley Davey, Secretary of Sedlescombe Sports Association, attended the open forum and The Council's consideration of C10/11.110.1.

1

The Chairman congratulated PCSO Demetrius Georghiou on his recent Police award and invited him to speak. Demi reported that:

  • Two major incidents in Hastings have taken Demi away for this area recently but he is now back.
  • An increase in recorded crimes in the Sedlescombe area was regretted.
  • Two incidents of fly-tipping in Cottage Lane are being investigated. Rother DC is considering taking one case to court.
  • Although parking in Brede Lane opposite the Brickwall Hotel entrance had improved after Demi issued warning letters, inconsiderate parking is now occurring again. Further letters are being issued, registration numbers are being noted and parking tickets may be issued.
  • A major incident had occurred at East View Terrace involving one person.
  • The idea of having a Panel Meeting for half an hour prior to Parish Council meetings had been suggested by PC Jayne Cleverley. Demi was asked to inform Jayne that this is not appropriate for Sedlescombe and that, if Panel Meetings are to be held, they should take place in the pub.
2

The Chairman invited County Councillor Jones to speak. Cllr Jones reported that:

  • The County Council part of the Council Tax will be frozen for 2011/12.
  • It is expected that savings of £100mn in the revenue budget will be made over the next four years.
  • On the capital budget side, as a result of a fairer division of resources across the country, an additional £60mn will be received and be divided between roads and schools. Three new Academies are to be formed and capital monies will be available for other school buildings. Roads are expected to be "rebuilt" rather than patched.
  • The County Council is giving work to local firms through a new "Build East Sussex" network. 450 local firms have signed up.
  • The County Council is working with neighbouring authorities to save money.

Cllr Glew thanked the County Council for replacement of a 30mph speed limit sign and other work within a reasonable period of time despite them having lots of other work.

 

Cllr Vine-Hall mentioned the unsympathetic replacement of a culvert in Hurst Lane using white bags.

3

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

  • He has "called in" Planning Application RR/2011/310/P, Spilstead Farm, Stream Lane, Sedlescombe.
  • Within the next few months, the Environmental Health Department at Rother DC is expected to take a case to court against the Budget Car Company for selling cars on the highway. Cllr Ganly reported that the case is excessively complex.
C10/11.98

Apologies and reasons for absence. None, all present.

C10/11.99

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 personal interests were declared by members:

 

Cllr A Rand C10/11.104.3 Parish Council's representative on Sedlescombe Sports Association
Cllr P Glew C10/11.104.5 Parish Council's representative on Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Watch


C10/11.100 Prejudiced members' participation. None.
C10/11.101 Public participation session. Ashley Davey gave notice that he wished to speak to the Council regarding Agenda item C10/11.110.1, Sedlescombe Sportsfield. The Chairman agreed and the Council approved bringing forward the relevant agenda item to follow C10/11.103.
C10/11.102
Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Council is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 18/01/11.
C10/11.103 Minutes of Meetings of Committees
  1. Planning Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 18/01/11 and 08/02/11 are received.
C10/11.110.1

Sportsfield

  1. A meeting of the Parish Council and Sports Association Committee members had been held on 08/02/11.
  2. Garage installation. Still to be moved.
  3. Fencing frontage of Sportsfield. Awaiting relocation of garage.
  4. Review of buildings left on Sportsfield car park. Although the Clerk had asked Fred Ham, Chairman of the Football Club, whether items currently stored in the blue container could be moved into shared use of the portacabin with the Societies Association, no reply had been received.
  5. Ditch clearance including work to repair the pipe under the car park entrance. Ashley's son had carried out work to manually clear a large part of the ditch starting at the river. According to Ashley, there is a large pile of concrete and spoil blocking the ditch in one corner and, unfortunately, the Sports Association has given away the piping that would have been suitable for repairing the culvert under the car park entrance.
  6. Field drainage. The Sports Association has made initial enquiries regarding installation of new field drainage but no action will be taken until the ditch has been cleared.
  7. Use of Pestalozzi field next to Sportsfield by Sports Association for football. Information e-mailed to parish councillors separately.
  8. Extension of Sportsfield car park. Part of the project described in 7 above and below.

    The Chairman invited Ashley Davey to explain what is proposed. Following a recent meeting between Pestalozzi International Village Trust (PIVT) and Sports Association Committee Members (SSA), SSA has been invited to submit a proposal for consideration at a PIVT Board Meeting on 28/03/11 for SSA to have use of the PIVT field next to the Sportsfield for a three-quarter size football pitch and another field for parking. Ashley suggested that the best option would be for the Parish Council to purchase the fields from PIVT.

    RESOLVED: That the Parish Council does not wish to be involved in obtaining the use of an additional two fields for football and parking, but suggests that either the Sports Association or the Football Club submits proposals to the Pestalozzi International Village Trust to purchase the fields, possibly over a number of years, or to take on a long lease.

  9. Demarcation of public footpath. A suggestion of marking the line of the public footpath through the Sportsfield on the ground was made.
  10. Dog leaflet/bag schedule. Pairs of councillors will arrange to give out leaflets and dog bags at the Sportsfield at a couple of times convenient to themselves.
C10/11.104 Reports from representatives. To receive reports as follows:
  1. Rother Association of Local Councils. No meeting.
  2. Village Hall Trust. No meeting.
  3. Sports Association. Cllr Rand had not attended any meetings.
  4. Tree Warden. It was noted that the County Council had discontinued support for the Parish Tree Warden Network.
  5. NHW representative. Cllr Glew declared her personal interest by virtue of her being the Parish Council's representative on the NHW Committee. She reported as follows:
    1. Land rovers have been damaged or stolen in the area.
    2. NHW co-ordinators are reporting unauthorised callers.
    3. The NHW Committee has agreed to fund some "door" locks to be used at the Youth Club at Pestalozzi if the Estate Manager approves.
    4. A meeting about a privilege card is to be arranged.
  6. Energy-saving Champion. No report from Ralph Dellow.
  7. Transport representative. Cllr Glew had attended the meeting of Rother Transport Action Group on 01/02/11. She reported:
    1. Concessionary Bus Pass Consultation. 0930 start time does not affect Sedlescombe users. (A councillor informed the meeting that, according to his own experience, bus passes are not now available as soon as the age of sixty is reached.)
    2. Local Transport Plan to be looked at in April.
    3. Battle Area Community Transport are finding it difficult to recruit voluntary driversto replace older people who are currently driving buses. Funds are difficult. Parishes were urged to give more funds by raising their precepts.
    4. ESCC wants the public to report potholes including preferably their area and depth. Temporary repairs are being undertaken.
    5. Cycling to be encouraged.
    6. Some parishes taking up grit bins and Hippo Bags.
    7. Rother DC still in favour of the Link Road.
    8. Rail passengers want publicity in advance of new timetables. More station parking needed and more bike racks on trains.

      Cllr Glew also reported that she had gathered information regarding the proposed bus timetable changes and had sent her comments to ESCC.

      The Clerk reported that Rother Voluntary Action had been awarded a small amount of funding by Rother DC to enable ongoing support to local communities to help implement Local Action Plans. Workshops will be held and the next one will focus on Community Transport. Free training of voluntary drivers is possible.

C10/11.

Clerk's Report. The followed items were noted:

  1. Qualified Registration of Sedlescombe Village Green completed. Registration at the Land Registry is complete for four portions of The Green ie the layout is different from that registered with East Sussex County Council as Sedlescombe Village Green under the Commons Registration Act.
  2. AiRS 80th Anniversary article. Councils with a long association with Sussex Rural Community Council, now known as Action in Rural Sussex, have been asked to submit articles. The Clerk had submitted an article and photographs based on Sedlescombe's success in the Best Kept Small Village in East Sussex Competitions in 1979 and 1985, the Best Kept Village in All Sussex Competition in 1980 and Village of the Year Competition in 2009. All the competitions were run by SRCC/AiRS.
  3. Rother DC e-Bulletin article. An article about the hedgerow planting in Red Barn Field Nature Park in February 2011 had been included in Rother's February e-Bulletin.
  4. Tree Guardian article. An article had been submitted to The Tree Council for inclusion in the Tree Guardian about the hedgerow planting in Red Barn Field Nature Park in February 2011.
  5. SE Farmer letter. A letter had been submitted to South East Farmer about the hedgerow planting in Red Barn Field Nature Park in February 2011.
  6. Parish Council quarterly deliveries. Two more volunteers have joined the list of people willing to deliver the quarterly bulletins/annual report on behalf of the Council.
  7. Highways Reports: reports have been made to the Highways Department:
    1. White line repainting Stream Lane. White lining done in the Village.
    2. Dislodged kerbstones at corner of Streetlands. Done.
    3. Broken hazard marker outside Queen's Head. Done.
    4. Deep hole in the edge of the carriageway in Crazy Lane and a broken drain cover also in Crazy Lane - reported this week.
  8. Distribution of Welcome packs. The Clerk had signed an agreement with Rother that the weekly list of new occupiers in the parish of Sedlescombe would only be used for the distribution of Welcome packs. With the receipt of a weekly list, the number of Welcome packs being sent out has increased to an average of two a week. In the past, the Council was usually unaware of occupants of rented houses changing or of people living in the more distant parts of the parish. These can now be identified.
  9. Information re the Parish Council elections. Nominations papers are available. Unfortunately, although Rother DC had asked for the completed forms to be returned to them "as soon as possible, but before 28/03/11", it should have been specified that they will not accept any forms sent to them before 10:00 on 21 March - they will send them back! Rother would like to receive forms before 28/03/11 although the absolute last time for Rother to receive nominations is noon on 04/04/11. The Clerk advised that Royal Mail should not be used but, rather, the forms should be returned to The Town Hall, Bexhill in person.
  10. Sedlescombe Annual Report and Directory 2011. The Annual Report and Directory has been printed and the advertising has covered the cost.
C10/11.106 Finance
  1. Bank Reconciliations. RESOLVED: That the bank reconciliations at the end of January and February 2011 are approved.
  2. Cheques. RESOLVED: That payment of the February cheque list is ratified and the March 2011 cheque list approved.
  3. Delegation and Devolution of Services by Rother District Council to parish and town councils. The Council was informed of a report by Rother's Director of Resources to the Cabinet meeting on 21/02/11 where an option to delegate or devolve services to parish/town councils and/or local community groups was considered in response to the £1.7 million reduction in funding. The Cabinet resolved that Rother officers should enter into discussions with parish/town councils and/or local community groups on devolvement/delegation opportunities. It was noted that, if a parish council or other group does not wish to take on the services, Rother could decided to delete the service altogether or to significantly reduce the quality. From Rother's viewpoint, all delegation or devolution must either save Rother money or at least add nothing to its expenditure. However, parishes will be at liberty to increase their precepts as a result of taking on service areas.

    Apart from the existing Service Level Agreement with Rother for maintaining the Brede Lane public car park, the Parish Council is not interested in taking on any Rother services. However, the Council will consider proposals that are received.
C10/11.107

Consultations

ESCC - Review of local town and rural bus services from July 2011. Closes 11/03/2011. The following changes are proposed:

Service 349 Sedlescombe to Hastings/Hawkhurst and return. Stagecoach willing to operate the main daytime service on a commercial basis. There will be no change to the timetable except that journeys will no longer go into the car park of Sainsburys (do not always go there currently), but will stop on Sedlescombe Road North. However, Stagecoach does not wish to operate the evening journey at 17:45 from Hastings to Staplecross; the County Council is seeking tenders for this journey, possibly using a non low-floor vehicle. In response to many requests, it is proposed to introduce a new service on Sundays and public holidays during the summer period.

RESOLVED: That the Parish Council does not object to the proposed changes to the Service 349 or its operation as a commercial service and welcomes the introduction of a new summer Sunday and public holiday service. However, it is concerned that the last journey from Hastings to Sedlescombe at 17:45 is under threat and hopes that a way will be found for this bus to continue to operate.

C10/11.108

Aim 1 To achieve an Informed and Participating Sedlescombe Community

  1. Review of latest arrangements for the 2011 Annual Assembly of the Parish Meeting to be held on Tuesday 26/04/11. Eleven tables have been booked. The coincidence of the Annual Assembly date in the week with Easter Bank Holiday Monday and the Royal Wedding additional Friday Bank Holiday may reduce the number of people able to attend the Assembly this year.
  2. Sedlescombe Survey 2011. Details e-mailed to parish councillors. The Clerk had included an initial report in the 2011 Annual Council Report currently being delivered to every home in the parish. In it is a warning to motorists that it will be a priority for the Police to deal with vehicles causing an obstruction and that parking tickets may be given.

    The overall response was that, out of 675 forms distributed, 69 were returned representing 138 residents, approximately 10% of the population of Sedlescombe. Members discussed the results which, although not entirely representative of Sedlescombe residents, do highlight matters which are of concern to some people.
  3. Road closures for street parties in celebration of Royal Wedding. Rother DC had waived the £100 fee for road closures for street parties in celebration of the Royal Wedding if received before 01/03/11.
  4. A letter from Orbit Housing Association in partnership with Southern Land Services had been sent to residents of East View Terrace regarding a community allotment. Orbit has had nine positive responses and would like to explore the best options to provide this type of facility. The letter had incorrectly stated that the "Parish Council may have some land available on East View Terrace that would be suitable as a growing area". According to Craig Atkins of Orbit HA this was the end of the Kickabout Area. It was RESOLVED: That the Parish Council is not interested in its land at East View Terrace being used as a community allotment.
  5. Interest in Pestalozzi students participating in Sedlescombe's clubs and organisations on a regular basis. Paul Evans, CEO at Pestalozzi, had asked Cllr Glew and the Clerk whether arrangements could be made for students to sign up to local clubs and organisations for a year. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports the idea of Pestalozzi students joining local clubs and organisations and would welcome a student attending Parish Council Meetings. Information regarding contact details can be found in the 2011 Directory.
C10/11.109

Aim 2 To achieve a Safe and Healthy Sedlescombe Community

  1. ESCC's offer of work by the Village Maintenance Team. Details e-mailed to parish councillors. A work programme would be drawn up by the Clerk using suggestions from councillors and forwarded to ESCC.
  2. Playgrounds.
    1. Inspection Reports.
      1. Riverside - Spring needed on gate 1 at Riverside and spring needs tightening on gate 2. Cllr Vine-Hall had found that a spring for the gate would cost £60.
      2. Riverside - Flooded area around first seat by tennis courts.
      3. Tennis - Top of netting at tennis courts needs some clips (AR to do - some clips provided).
      4. Tennis - Moss in corner of courts (Languard Ltd to do).
      5. EVT - No action re the mud ramps at East View Terrace Kickabout Area.
      6. EVT - Noted that the Kickabout fence repair undertaken by Cllr Vine-Hall is holding.
      7. EVT - Still to consider what should be done about the rubbish (some old) at EVT kickabout and Riverside.
    2. Damage to roadway at entrance to the Riverside Playground. Repaired by ESCC last week.
  3. Rother's Environmental Health Officer had visited Sedlescombe and agreed sitings for the dog exclusion, dogs on leads and clean it up signs.
  4. Crime and Safety Reports.
    1. Reports of Sedlescombe crimes on weekly Police reports. Mentioned by PCSO earlier.
    2. Crime Map website giving recorded crimes by street. The Clerk would contact PC Jayne Cleverley about the crimes shown for Sedlescombe in December and January which do not appear to match with details sent out by Sgt Russell.
  5. Chinese Lanterns. Local farmer Mrs Cole had asked the Council to consider what could be done locally to raise awareness of the danger to stock and property of Chinese lanterns. It appeared that although there is a danger of fire, it is probably minor. However, the wire frame of the lanterns can cause a major problem if ingested by animals. The use of a non-ferrous ring and frame would go some way to helping. It was suggested that an article might be included in Rother Views as well as in the next Sedlescombe Parish Council Bulletin.
  6. Sedlescombe Lift Scheme. A new list has been published by the Council recently with twelve drivers. The scheme is well used.
  7. Fly-tipping in Cottage Lane reported to the Police and Rother District Council. Mentioned by PCSO earlier.
C10/11.110

Aim 3 To help provide Amenities and Services in Sedlescombe

  1. Sportsfield. Moved to the early part of the agenda
  2. Pestalozzi International Village. The Open Afternoon on Monday 21 February was attended by Cllr Glew and the Clerk.
  3. Public Car Park Brede Lane
    1. 5-year maintenance agreement with Rother District Council being drawn up.
    2. Removal of graffiti, clearance of blocked drain and removal of tree still to be undertaken by Rother.
  4. Public Rights of Way.
    1. Online rights of way map now available.
    2. Re-arrangement of Rights of Way Department at the County Council undertaken. Matt Harper had reported:
      1. Path 34. New England Lane. Maintenance team to install signage and contact the landowner re clearance of the route.
      2. Bridleway 21. A letter had been sent to the owner of Spilstead Oast notifying of her responsibility towards the gate repairs, despite the footpath group's past assistance.
      3. The surface of path 6 should be repaired this financial year.
    3. Sedlescombe Footpath Group first aid training. Cllr Vine-Hall to attend.
  5. Village Green
    1. Installation of village sign and plaque. Cllr Vine-Hall was thanked for installing the sign. The Village of the Year plaque will be installed after the signpost has been painted.
    2. Other work at Pumphouse and damage to roof. There are still some small jobs to be done at the Pumphouse ie replacement of metal grill in roof and construction of framework around, cementing base of pump and, possibly, replacement of the metal drain cover.
    3. Demonstration pump. The Council recorded appreciation of Reg Glew who has built a demonstration pump kit for use at local events. It will be used at the May Fayre.
    4. May Fayre, 30/04/11, Theme: Royal Wedding. To be held on the Village Green. Although members of the May Fayre Committee have asked either for the Council to insure the event or for a donation towards it, no action will be taken.
  6. Budget Car Company site. See Clerk's Briefing Note dated 03/03/11. Following months of objection by the Parish Council to vehicles driving on and off the grass verge in front of the car lot, the County Council has "as a gesture of goodwill" agreed to licence and fund twenty plastic black and white Allegrini verge posts, 1300mm high, installed at this location. The importance was acknowledged of the posts being installed close enough together to stop vehicles being driven across the verge.
    RESOLVED (unanimous): That, in the interests of the safety of drivers using the B2244, Sedlescombe Parish Council accepts East Sussex County Council's offer to licence and fund the installation of twenty plastic verge posts on the highway verge in front of the Budget Car Company site in The Street, Sedlescombe, at the appropriate spacing to stop vehicles driving over the kerb and verge onto or off of the car lot site.
  7. Removal of trees in the Conservation Area. The removal of trees at the Budget Car Company site on 21/02/11 was reported to Rother DC on the day the work was being carried out. Being in the Conservation Area, Rother should have been given six weeks prior notice of this work. The Tree Officer had not visited the site by 03/03/11 but said she planned to do so the next day. She had telephoned the Clerk today and had said she had written to The Budget Car Company asking them for further information. After two weeks, if a satisfactory reply has not been received, further action will be taken.
C10/11.111

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

  1. Hedge Survey. Eleven people had put their names forward to do the parish-wide hedge survey. Arrangements have been made to meet Mr Challis of the Sussex Wildlife Trust on Friday 20 May at 10:00 at the village hall for training. Other residents are welcome to join in.
  2. Red Barn Field. It was noted that nine different owners surround the boundaries of Red Barn Field.
    1. Removal of Heras Fencing. Left by Phil Dann in the Field for the past year. Asked for it to be removed.
    2. Replacement of boundary fence/hedge in front of School House. The hedge in front of School House was removed a year ago and no attempt has been made for it to be replaced. School House therefore has complete freedom along their whole eastern boundary to access Red Barn Field. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council should ask the owner of School House to replace the boundary fence and hedge.
    3. Unauthorised access from house into Field. Letters have been written in the past to 1, 2, 3 Red Barn Cotts and Finch House reminding them they do not have legal access to Red Barn Field from their gardens. Recently the fence bordering Century House garden was cut and a similar letter to the owner of that property was sent by the Clerk. Blackthorn hedges have been placed in front of the gap and the cut fence has been propped back.

      The Clerk agreed to investigate Cllr Vine-Hall's suggestion that maps and statements should be deposited with the County Council under Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980, showing recognised public rights of way over Parish Council land. This prevents any additional public rights of way being established from the date the map and statement are deposited. The deposit is valid for ten years after which a further statutory declaration is needed.
    4. Wells. A year has gone by since it was decided to get the wells sorted out.
    5. Drainage. Although money is being held in the budget, the Council has still to decide what needs doing.
    6. Species Lists and new webpages. Thanks to Colin Boyd, it has been possible to produce species lists for creatures seen in Red Barn Field Nature Park. The lists have been put onto the website together with a series of Mr Boyd's excellent photos.
    7. Table at Annual Assembly and posters for display on site. RESOLVED: That the Clerk may use some of the funds being held for Red Barn Field Nature Park for printing colour photos for the Assembly table and for the noticeboards in the Field?
    8. Planting of Fruiting hedgerow courtesy of The Tree Council and volunteer labour, including schoolchildren. As part of the Hedge Tree Campaign, the Tree Council (UK's leading charity for trees) obtained funding from the Big Lottery for a local food project in the South East. Working with Tree Warden groups, the plan is to plant productive community hedges across the region. Sedlescombe's application to the Tree Council was successful and, led by Parish Tree Warden, Cllr Pat Martin, a small group spent a morning preparing the ground ready for the plants. Then, a few days later, the group was joined by an enthusiastic band of primary schoolchildren and other helpers for the actual planting and installation of tree stakes, ties and rabbit guards. Pre-school children came along to watch during the morning.
    9. Easter Egg Hunt. In connection with a Craft Fayre at the Village Hall on 23/04/11, the organisers have asked Cllr Mitchell for approval of an Easter Egg Hunt in Red Barn Field. RESOLVED: That Cllr Mitchell is authorised to grant approval for an Easter Egg Hunt in Red Barn Field on 23/04/11.

 

   
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