2011 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PARISH MEETING OF SEDLESCOMBE MINUTES

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PARISH MEETING OF SEDLESCOMBE HELD ON TUESDAY 26 APRIL 2011 IN SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL, 1930 TO 2045

 

Total present: 85 persons including:

Cllr Valerie Wright (Chairman of Sedlescombe Parish Council) in the chair

Cllr Anthony Rand (Vice-Chairman of Sedlescombe Parish Council)

Parish Councillors Pauline Glew, Pat Martin, Jenny Mitchell, Jonathan Vine-Hall

Pauline Raymond (Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer of Sedlescombe Parish Council)

County Councillor Peter Jones

District Councillor Tony Ganly

 

ASS11.1

CHAIRMAN'S OPENING REMARKS. After welcoming those present, Cllr Wright gave the usual health and safety information and then thanked the following:

  • PCSO Demetrius Georghiou for his important work in the Village. The new Rother Police Sgt was also present. Sgt Paul Masterson had recently replaced Sgt Dan Russell who had moved to Bexhill.
  • John Bartholomew of Orchard Way for undertaking various small jobs around the village.
  • Reg Glew, particularly for designing and making the Council's demonstration pump.
  • Volunteers who deliver Bulletins and Annual Report/Directory.
  • Jonathan Vine-Hall for helping with taking down the old village sign and putting up the new one.
  • Councillors who had retired during the last four years - Robert Dudman, Bill Cameron, Ralph Dellow, Caitlin Wheatley, John Marland and Mary Irwin who had served as a parish councillor for 20 years.
  • Councillors Rand, Glew, Martin, Mitchell and Vine-Hall who will be remaining as councillors.
  • Colin Boyd for his work at Red Barn Field Nature Park including his excellent photographs which can be seen on the www.sedlescombe.org.uk website.
  • Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinators.
  • Judy Torrance who does the Village Voice
  • Editors of the Sedlescombe News.
  • Lift Scheme drivers where reimbursement has now increased to 50p/mile.
  • Library ladies.
  • Churchyard mowers, cleaners, flower arrangers.
  • Litter collectors including Pestalozzi students.
  • Local businesses whose adverts supported the printing of the Council's Annual Report and Directory.
  • Warr Partnership and Battle Partnership for their generous grants during the year. Battle Partnership had paid for the printing of a booklet by the Clerk entitled "Sedlescombe Pump and Pumphouse - a brief history" and the demonstration pump and trolley.

The Chairman asked for further volunteers to contact Cllr Vine-Hall. She reminded the meeting of the Spring Fayre on the Green on Saturday between 1 and 4pm.

 

The Chairman introduced Roy Chapman and John Reynolds to the meeting, who, together with Julian Heap will become Sedlescombe parish councillors on 09/05/11.

 

The Chairman then spoke of the wonderful contribution by Jenny and John Mainwood to local life in their running of the Village shop where a wide variety of services and goods are on offer. This was followed by the presentation of a framed Citizenship Award 2011 certificate to Jenny and John.

 

Display tables had been set up around the hall by:

  • Richard Jordan Plumbing
  • Haven Frames
  • Sedlescombe School - now have two walking buses.
  • Sedlescombe branch of the Royal British Legion. Member Martyn Compton will be attending the Royal Wedding this week.
  • Sedlescombe Parish Church
  • Sedlescombe WI
  • Sedlescombe Bowls Club - few vacancies
  • Pestalozzi International Village - holding a vintage agricultural weekend in August
  • Red Barn Field Nature Park and information from the Parish Council
ASS11.2 MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PARISH MEETING OF SEDLESCOMBE HELD ON 27/04/10. The Minutes which were part of the Parish Council's Annual Report 2011 and Directory had been delivered to each household in the Village. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Annual Assembly of the Parish Meeting of Sedlescombe held on 27/04/10 are approved.
ASS11.3

REPORT BY COUNTY COUNCILLOR PETER JONES. A printed report had been provided summarising the County Council achievements in 2010-11.

 

Cllr Jones began by congratulating Sedlescombe Parish Council on its work during the year.

 

East Sussex County Council is working hard through the South East Alliance with six other local authorities to find cuts in revenue spending for East Sussex equal to 27% over a four-year period. The aim is to maintain Council Tax at the same level and, at the same time, to preserve core services. Although, some difficult decisions have had to be taken, County Cllr Jones remains optimistic that some improvements can be made, especially if new ways of working can be adopted. He reported that he had recently met with Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, seeking his support for bringing super-fast broadband to East Sussex as soon as possible. Cllr Jones sees super-fast broadband as a vital way of encouraging businesses to come to the county.

 

Cllr Jones ended his report with the information that, although he will be remaining as Leader of the County Council for the next two years, he will not be standing for election in 2013.

ASS11.4

REPORT BY DISTRICT COUNCILLOR TONY GANLY. Councillor Ganly reported that Rother DC had been tasked with finding 29% cuts over the next two years. Work has been in hand for 18 months at resetting services ie finding ways to provide services differently. Staff had been assured that, up until May 2011, there would not be any compulsory redundancies, although to date there have been 32 requests for voluntary redundancy. Staff numbers are expected to be reduced to 230. The Beeching Road offices have been closed and the building will be relet. Joint working with other local authorities will provide savings. Economies of scale should provide savings of up to £1 million if a single joint waste collection authority involving Eastbourne, Hastings, Wealden and Rother can be set up.

 

Cllr Ganly explained the workings of the Planning system and said that he is always happy to help with planning applications but can only object if there are sound planning reasons for the objection.

 

Cllr Ganly ended his report by speaking of the Parish Council's interesting meetings and thanking members and the Clerk for their support.

ASS11.5

SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL REPORT. The Council's Report had been delivered to every household in the parish of Sedlescombe.

 

A financial statement for the Parish Council and the account for the Pump and Pumphouse Projects had been made available to those present. Pauline Raymond, the Council's Clerk/Financial Officer, gave a short report on the Council's finances. The main points were as follows:

  • Warr Partnership had provided 80% of the cost of the Pump and Pumphouse Project, the remaining 20% coming from local fundraising. There had been no direct cost to the Sedlescombe Council Taxpayer.
  • Battle Partnership had provided the entire funding for the booklet on the pump and pumphouse. There had been no direct cost to the Sedlescombe Council Taxpayer.
  • The Village Sign had been replaced using the original design but made out of polyurethane resin. There had been no direct cost to the Sedlescombe Council Taxpayer as prize money received from the 2009 Village of the Year Competition and money from a Quality Council grant had been used.
  • Some jobs remained outstanding at the end of 2010/11, namely replacement of the front Sportsfield fence and planting of a hedge, sorting out the ceiling at the pumphouse and cementing the base of the pump. These are expected to be completed in 2011.
  • A major cost for the Parish Council in the 2011/12 financial year is a contribution towards the repair of Ladybird Lane as far as the Sportsfield Car Park. £4,000 has been allocated in the budget.
  • The cost of training three new councillors and updates for the remaining councillors and the Clerk has been included in the budget.
  • £2,000 had been allocated for the Parish Council elections but, with just the right number of candidates, no election will be needed and the money can be used elsewhere.
  • Savings may be used to repair the bus shelter outside Pollards and a metal fence may replace the wooden one by the river in the children's playground.
  • What to do with the tennis courts, now that the surface is beginning to break down, is being considered.
  • Sponsorship is being sought for placing six flower troughs on the top parts of the Green in an attempt to stop vehicles driving over it or parking on it.
ASS11.6

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

 

QUESTIONS. The Chairman invited questions to the three local authorities represented on the stage. The following were asked and answered as appropriate:

  • Planning application to remove personal and temporary conditions relating to the Spilstead Airstrip. Cllr Ganly staid he was fully aware of the feelings of local people about this development. The decision on the application currently stands deferred for an inspection.
  • The Sedlescombe Youth Committee is concerned about how it will keep the Youth Club running after the Youth Development Service funding ends in May 2011. £14,000-£15,000 is currently being spent a year on wages and rent for a twice-weekly Youth Club for the Village held at Pestalozzi. Ralph Dellow is helping with fund-raising and a quiz is to be held on 20 May. More ideas of where funding can be obtained are needed. The Chairman congratulated the Committee on their running of the Club and thanked Pestalozzi for providing the accommodation.
  • The importance of retaining the public conveniences in the Brede Lane Car Park was highlighted. Cllr Ganly said he did not think they would be closed but that the Parish Council might be asked to look after them.
  • The importance of retaining free parking in the Brede Lane Car Park was highlighted. Cllr Ganly said he could not rule out the possibility of charging being introduced as a way of Rother raising finance. Local residents who were present were appalled at the suggestion fearing any introduction of charging would force car drivers to park in Village roads. Cllr Jones reminded the meeting that the Localism Bill gives greater powers to local authorities to do things differently and he feels that innovative ways of discouraging on-street parking may be found. He referred to parking problems near railway stations and suggested that councils should work with the railways, maybe even doubling their parking areas by building two-storey parking areas. In this way, with double the number of spaces, they might be able to reduce the cost of parking.
  • Cllr Jones agreed that, if multi-storey parking was introduced, the difficulties experienced by disabled drivers and others who have to use high vehicles will need to be addressed.
  • A request for greater subsidisation of public transport was made, rather than more cars parks and road improvements which only increase the amount of traffic. Cllr Jones spoke of the work being done with parish councils to introduce local transport schemes. This could involve community buses or even taxis. However, Cllr Jones said that the County Council is unashamedly pro-car and that, now that East Sussex is getting a fair share of the national capital budget according to its size (ie 1%), an extra £30 million has been received, of which £25 million is expected to be spent on road improvements in the county.
  • Endorsement of the need to increase broadband speed to a reasonable level. Cllr Jones commented that, with only eleven miles of dual carriageway, it is difficult to attract businesses to the county but, with the East Sussex education system encouraging maths and IT skills, and faster broadband, relevant businesses could be willing to move here.
  • The need to do something about the ever-expanding Budget Car Company was highlighted. Cllr Ganly informed the meeting that on-the-spot fines had been imposed for parking too many cars for sale on the highway and now the matter had been put in the hands of Rother's legal department.
  • The need for the introduction of yellow lines to stop inappropriate parking and last year's suggestion that it would take many years for East Sussex County Council to be able to undertake a full-village investigation prior to the introduction of a yellow-line scheme was mentioned. Cllr Jones informed the meeting that, with the extra capital money now being available, East Sussex County Council would be considering whether the introduction of yellow lines would be an appropriate use of the funds.
  • The abandonment of cars on The Green roadway by Budget Car Company. Could residents' parking be introduced? Cllr Jones agreed to investigate.
 

CLOSURE. The Chairman closed the meeting by thanking the Clerk and Councillors for their hard work for the Village. Cllr Rand thanked the Chairman for her leadership and inspiration.

 

 

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