MEETING ON TUESDAY 08/01/13 IN ROOM 2 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL, 19:00 TO 20:45
Chairman - Cllr J Vine-Hall, Vice-Chairman- Cllr P Glew
Councillors Anson, Chapman, Eldridge, Parsons, Reynolds
Clerk/Responsible Officer - Pauline J Raymond
District Councillor - Tony Ganly (part)
Public - 4 present
REPORTS. The Chairman informed the meeting that County Councillor Peter Jones had recently been awarded the CBE for his services to local government. He went on to allow the following to make reports to the Council.
- District Councillor Tony Ganly spoke of the deep financial problems at Rother DC which could result in front line services being affected. He expects Rother's Council Tax to be raised by 2%.
- Marian Ham, headteacher, Sedlescombe School, provided a resume of School activities leading up to Christmas and plans for the coming term. She has been told that Sedlescombe School Swimming Pool Project is one of the three winners in the Courier Competition where the public voted for school projects. The target is £30,000 and £5,100 has been raised so far. The FAST - Families and Schools Together - Project has just started with training of the six volunteers and will be followed by 8 sessions for the chosen families. Children at the School will be taking part in various festivals over the coming months.
- Sue Walton, Chief Executive, Pestalozzi reported the commencement of fund-raising for the Pestalozzi Centre which has to be built under a Section 106 Agreement and was pleased that this was featured on the front page of last week's Battle Observer. The Grieg Foundation, a major funder of Pestalozzi, has offered an interest-free loan so the work can be started. She mentioned the Tibetan Evening and International Day Celebrations.
- PCSO Demi reported the continuance of anti-social behaviour at East View Terrace. Also vandalism at the toilets, drug dealing, attempted theft of scrap metal or diesel, flooding, trees, potholes and a burglary. He has invited the person running the SID scheme in Rother to the Parish Council's next Parking & Traffic Advisory Committee and has given a letter to the School warning parents where not to park and threatening £30 tickets. He would like to get more permanent no parking signs at the corner in Brede Lane. He will contact Hams Travel about the problems their vehicles can cause in Brede Lane if parked on the pavement or road as they were before Christmas.
109 APOLOGY from Cllr Mitchell (holiday).
110 INTERESTS. None disclosed.
111 FINANCIAL INTERESTS OF MEMBERS. The Clerk informed the Council about Rother incorrectly stating in the Minutes of the Standards Committee that Sedlescombe parish councillors' interests had not been submitted to Rother. All councillors had received a letter of apology from Rother.
112 DISPENSATION. No requests received.
113 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. None.
114 MINUTES. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Council is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 20/11/12.
115 MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS
- Planning Executive Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 20/11/12 and 11/12/12 are received.
- Finance Executive Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Finance Committee held on 04/11/12 and 11/12/12 are received.
116 REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES. Members had been e-mailed the December 2012 Councillor Newsletter containing the following:
- Letter from Katy Bourne, Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner
- RALC Meeting, 10/10/12
- RTAG Meeting 27/11/12
- Parish Meeting re proposed Brede Lane development 30/11/12
- Sports Association Committee Meeting December 2012
- Core Strategy Site Meeting 04/12/12
- Meeting with Pre-School Chairman 10/12/12
- Meeting with Transport Development Control, ESCC 18/12/12
117 CASUAL VACANCY. One application to fill the vacancy had been received. Notices had been sent to people living in the vicinity of The Street.
118 CLERK'S REPORT
- Water main replacement in Battle Road, Staplecross. Details on agenda.
- Temporary closure of Poppinghole Lane. Details on agenda.
- Home Works. Details on agenda.
- Travellers on Village Greens. Travellers had taken up residence on Findon Village Green but, because no damage had been caused, the Police had refused to evict them despite them having trespassed. The Parish Council had to spend £850 getting them removed. The lack of transit sites for travellers means there is nowhere for them to be moved on to.
- Warmer Homes. Leaflets being made available throughout the parish.
- Defibrillator. David Betts will embark on fund-raising of £1,200 to buy a defibrillator which, when obtained, will be located at the Hotel.
- BANK RECONCILIATION. RESOLVED: That Bank Reconciliations at the end of November and December are received.
- DONATION TO BATTLE AREA COMMUNITY TRANSPORT. RESOLVED: That the donation of £150 to BACT should be used for the purchase of fuel.
- CHEQUES. RESOLVED: That, apart from the cheque to D&B Fencing, payment of the following cheques are approved.
102975 P J Raymond - Various £1367.84
102976 Society of Local Council Clerks - Subscription £145.00
102977 P J Raymond - Clerk's Salary £1028.38
102978 HMRC - Quarterly payover of tax and national insurance £573.29
102979 Bibby Factors Manchester Limited - weedkilling £1176.00
102980 Sedlescombe Village Hall - hall hire November 2012 £57.50
102981 P J Raymond - petty cash £14.18
102982 Roger's Gardening Services - various £280.00
Transfer of funds from West Bromwich Building Society £23,000
102983 Rother District Council - 50% planning fee, flagpole on Green £97.50
102984 Battle Area Community Transport - grant £150.00
102985 D&B Fencing - new MUGA fence £13,400.00 - see 123.2.2 below
102986 P J Raymond - 50% broadband £12.76
102987 P J Raymond - Clerk's Salary, January 2013 £1028.58
102988 P J Raymond - petty cash £30.00
102989 Sedlescombe Village hall - hall hire December 2012 £28.00
Transfer Public Works Loan Board - half-yearly loan repayment £2,321.62
- BUDGET AND PRECEPT. The Council noted that although it is usual for the Council to agree the precept for the following financial year at the January meeting, this year approval has been delayed because of recent Central Government amendments to the way the Council Tax Base is calculated with regard to Housing Benefit. Parish councils have been advised not to set the precept before the District Council has set the Council Tax Base and agreed grants to parishes. Rother will meet on 21/01/13 for this purpose. An emergency meeting of the Parish Council will be held on Monday 18 February to agree the budget and set the precept.
On 19/12/12, the Government announced that, for 2013/14, parish councils will not have to hold a referendum if they want to raise their Band D Council Tax over 2%, although this might be extended to parishes in 2014/15.
120 TRAINING. See agenda for list of training opportunities. The Clerk said she intends to discuss arranging local training sessions at the forthcoming clerks' meeting on Monday.
121 EMERGING LOCAL PLAN
- PARISH MEETING HELD ON 30/11/12. The parish meeting had voted unanimously against changing the development boundary at the Street Farm, Brede Lane, site.
- SUBSEQUENT SITE MEETING. Members of the Sedlescombe Core Strategy Working Group and Roger Comerford, Principal Planning Officer at Rother DC met on 04/12/12 to inspect sites in Sedlescombe that had been rejected as unsuitable for inclusion in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment. Details in the December 2012 Councillor Newsletter. Unfortunately, Mr Comerford and the Sedlescombe representatives had not reached agreement.
- ROTHER LOCAL PLAN STRATEGY (LPS) 2011-2028. The Inspector had published Preliminary Conclusions on 13/12/12 that Rother should reconsider housing numbers and increase them to the number shown in the South East Regional Plan. Rother is not expected to adjust the number shown in the draft Core Strategy for rural areas.
- MEETING WITH PLANNERS. Cllrs Vine-Hall, Reynolds and the Clerk, together with District Cllr Ganly, had met Rother Planners Tim Hickling and David Marlow at Bexhill Town Hall on Monday 07/01/13 to discuss the meeting between Mr Comerford and Sedlescombe representatives on 04/12/12, the way forward and Neighbourhood Plans. Rother DC hopes to reach agreement on possible building sites in villages with parish councils so that they can go out to consultation in May/June of this year with recommended sites and rejected sites.
122 NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING. Rother DC will not provide any finance for parishes to produce their own Neighbourhood Plans as any grants they obtain will be needed to arrange the referendum and examination of the Plan. They will, as required in the Localism Act 2011, assist parishes.
All councillors had been given booklets on Neighbourhood Plans and, in general, they were inclined to support the idea of Sedlescombe producing its own Neighbourhood Plan. Most had some reservations regarding the cost and wanted to know more about the process. The Chairman agreed to contact Slaugham Parish Council to arrange a meeting with them. Slaugham is in Mid-Sussex District where the District Council is encouraging parish councils to do their own plans and is about a year into the process.
123 PUBLIC PLAYING FIELD & RECRATION GROUND
- PLAYGROUND REPORTS. Cllr Chapman offered to concrete the steel ladder of Eagles Nest in the Riverside Playground.
- The problems being experienced by the fencing contractor reported to the Finance Committee on 11/12/12 had been resolved.
- On completion of the sports fencing installation, it was inspected by Cllr Chapman and various matters were subsequently attend to. However, he is still not entirely satisfied and agreed to meet with the contractor. RESOLVED: That an interim payment of £9,800 should be made to D&B Fencing pending resolution of outstanding problems.
- Following the closure of the company that was to undertake the surfacing, a revised quotation from another company had been obtained. The Clerk had arranged to meet their representative on site on Tuesday 15 January. RESOLVED: That, if the proposed work appears to be satisfactory, the Clerk is authorised to accept the quote of £16,640 for work as described in the quote dated 12/12/12 to be carried out as soon as ground conditions allow. The shortfall in funding of £807 to be taken from general reserves.
- The problems being experienced by the fencing contractor reported to the Finance Committee on 11/12/12 had been resolved.
124 EAST VIEW KICKABOUT AREA. Tree surgery expected to be done this coming Thursday. The contractor has said he will give the neighbours notice that the work is to be carried out.
125 VILLAGE GREEN
- DAMAGE TO VILLAGE GREEN BY VEHICLES. The Council received complaints about the edge of the Village Green being damaged by large vehicles taking roofing timber to the EVT building site. A complaint was made to AmicusHorizon and compensation requested. A meeting will be arranged.
- FLAGPOLE PLANNING APPLICATION. Submitted to Rother Planning by Pumphouse Designs.
- SPEED LIMIT for heavy goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes on single carriageway roads. The maximum speed limit for HGVs over 7.5 tonnes on single carriageway roads is 40 miles per hour. For smaller HGVs (between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes) it is 50mph. Stakeholders have said that the 40mph speed limit causes unnecessary cost to vehicle operators, congestion, avoidable overtaking accidents and creates an uneven playing field for businesses. However, there are consequences of greater speed both in terms of the environmental impacts and potential effects on road safety. The Government is currently consulting. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports retention of the existing speed limits for HGVs on single carriageway roads.
- DETERIORATION OF ROADS AND LANES. Although some minor work on a few potholes has been done this week, large ones remain. The Chairman has arranged a meeting on 11/01/13 with Karl Taylor of ESCC to discuss the delay in getting deep holes filled in this part of East Sussex.
- DANGER TO SCHOOLCHILDREN from vehicles emerging from Pumphouse Yard reported by headteacher on 13/12/12. There are no restrictions on vehicles using Gammons Way exit from Pumphouse Yard at school arriving or leaving times. If dangerous driving is witnessed, the Police and the company involved should be told.
- PARKING IN BREDE LANE. Hams Travel coaches were seen parked in Brede Lane and on the footway on 04/12/12 for a prolonged period while its passengers were dining in the Hotel. PCSO Demi has agreed to contact the company.
- ACCIDENT. Notice of an accident on 02/12/12 has been given to the Parish Council. A car containing a driver and 3 children travelling south on the B2244 crashed into the back of a stationery car parked outside Century House, The Street. The informant said that traffic continues to speed in both directions on Church hill and through the village, despite the speed limit and Speed Activated warning signs.
- VILLAGE SHOP SIGN. Request from John Mainwood, Director of Sedlescombe Village Stores Ltd for a "Village Shop" sign on the A21. Council is being asked to support.
127 BREDE LANE CAR PARK. The public conveniences and the trees outside have recently been vandalised.
128 SPORTSFIELD. Cllr Anson handed the Clerk confirmation that the gas boiler safety check has been done at the pavilion and a gas safety certificate issued.
129 EAST SUSSEX LOCAL FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGY 2013-2016. By April 2013, ESCC will have taken over as Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) for East Sussex managing local flood risk. Local flood risk is the risk of flooding to land or property from surface water run-off, groundwater and from smaller watercourses such as streams, ditches, small reservoirs and canals. Flooding from main rivers, the sea and large reservoirs is the responsibility of the Environment Agency. The Clerk reminded the Council that, as riparian owners of land, it is responsible for keeping parts of the Rivers Line and Brede free from obstructions.