MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD ON TUESDAY 19 MARCH 2013, COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF VILLAGE HALL FROM 19:00 to 21:00
Chair - Cllr Jonathan Vine-Hall
Vice-Chair - Cllr Pauline Glew
Councillors Anson, Chapman, Eldridge, Lawrence, Mitchell, Parsons, Reynolds
Clerk/RFO - Pauline J Raymond
District Cllr Ganly and Mrs Walton attended the whole of the meeting. Five other members of the public attended the first part of the meeting.
REPORTS. Before allowing reports to be made to the Council, the Chairman congratulated Cllr Ganly, who was chair of the Joint Waste Contract Working Group, on the recent Silver Award.
The Chairman allowed the following people to address the Council.
- District Councillor Ganly reported that Rother, who is under a legal obligation to find gypsy and traveller sites, has been considering various sites across the District. Three have been approved by Cabinet this week at Beeches Brook, Green Acres Farm and Coldhabour Farm. Charges for Rother services are set to rise and Cabinet is looking to remove subsidies from allotments that they presently support.
- Demetrius Georghiou (Police Community Support Officer) reported recent incidents in Sedlescombe including a large number of domestic disputes. Parking remains a problem around the School and Demi has contacted Highways again for a review of the situation. He is also planning a public awareness initiative. He praised the excellent volunteers from Sedlescombe who have spent time being trained to operate the speed cameras. He has managed to obtain £250 for the School Swimming Pool Fund. His partnership with the Housing Association is proving very useful. Priorities for Sedlescombe to remain parking and speeding.
- Mrs Sue Walton (Pestalozzi International Village Chief Executive) reported that Pestalozzi has recently experienced extreme difficulty following the accidental removal of a length of BT cable resulting in the loss of telephone and electronic communication and website access. A temporary repair has now been made but communication is still a bit wobbly at times. The International Day celebration had been very successful raising over £900. No further events are planned for the Estate apart from Rural Pastimes on 10/11 August. She has encouraged the organisers to contact the Parish Council with information about the event.
138 APOLOGIES. None, all present.
139 INTERESTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE 2012 CODE OF CONDUCT
Cllrs Glew, Parsons and Mitchell declared their interest in Agenda item 156 by virtue of them being trustees of the village hall. They remained in the meeting.
140 WRITTEN REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION. None received.
141 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION RE MATTERS ON THE AGENDA AT THE CHAIRMAN'S DISCRETION. Representations were received from Mr Weston, Mr Page and Mr Morton-King supporting the proposed erection of a flagpole on the Village Green. Item 152 was taken next.
152 PROPOSED FLAGPOLE ON VILLAGE GREEN. Despite the Parish Council having obtained planning permission for the installation of the flagpole on the Green, legal advice is that the installation of a permanent flagpole on the Village Green has no obvious connection with public recreation, and it would therefore contravene s29 of the Commons Act 1876. Individual parishioners are able to institute proceedings. The Clerk read the legal opinion from Hedleys and the two letters from residents which urged the Parish Council not to allow the flagpole to be erected.
Members decided that, despite flagpoles being erected on other village greens, the legal advice should not be ignored by the Parish Council, and that no further approval should be given to the Royal British Legion to install the flagpole. Mr Weston from the British Legion suggested that the Legion might pursue the matter further.
142 MINUTES. RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 18/02/13.
143 MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS
- Planning Executive Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Planning Committee held on 08/01/13 and 12/02/13 are received.
- Parking & Traffic Advisory Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Parking & Traffic Advisory Committee held on 29/01/13 are approved.
144 REPRESENTATIVES. Members had been sent details of the meetings attended by councillors in the January 2013 Councillor Newsletter.
145 CLERK'S REPORT
- Delivery of Annual Reports and Directories. Copies were ready for delivery but members were asked to wait until a Neighbourhood Plan leaflet had been approved so that it could be included.
- School/Church Easter Pageant on Village Green. The School had sent details of its public liability insurance cover for the event to be held on 28/03/13 at 09:45.
- Waste and Minerals Plan. Notice had been received that, on 19/02/13, East Sussex County Council, South Downs National Park Authority and Brighton & Hove City Council formally adopted the Waste and Minerals Plan. The Plan in available online and will, in due course, be available in hard copy at various libraries & offices. The Authorities will now start work on preparing a Waste & Minerals Sites Plan which will allocate land for waste and minerals development.
- Highways. A local resident had complained to the Highways Agency about the state the layby at the A21/B2244 junction was left in following recent resurfacing work on the A21.
Road problems reported to ESCC ie breaking tarmac surrounding manhole at bottom of Church Hill and water seeping through the tarmac at the bottom of Chapel Hill. The latter is resulting in the ground sinking and cracking.
- Superfast Broadband. An ESCC news release dated 12/03/13 had been received. Businesses and residents of East Sussex are asked to urgently register their support for better broadband through the "Go e-sussex" campaign. ESCC's project to provide faster, more reliable, broadband in the county is moving into the procurement stage. A private sector partner will soon be selected to install the infrastructure. It is expected that a contract will be in place by late spring, with work beginning sometime at the end of the year.
- Warr Partnership. The Rural Development Programme for England is coming to an end in July this year. Sedlescombe was fortunate to be granted funding for work to restore the exterior of the old village pump and also the Pumphouse through this funding stream. Warr is considering holding a Final Event to celebrate the Partnership's achievements over the past 5 years which could be held at the end of June or early in July and which would include a buffet lunch and displays relating to the projects. It was agreed that, depending on the date chosen, Sedlescombe will be represented at the event by Cllr Mitchell and the Clerk.
- Approval of bank reconciliation for the end of January and February 2013. Members were provided with copies. RESOLVED: That the January and February 2013 bank reconciliations are approved.
- Ratification of the February 2013 cheques and approval of March cheques. Members were provided with copies. RESOLVED: That payment of the February cheques is ratified and payment of the March cheques is approved.
- Request for funding received from Hastings and Rother Mediation Service. No action.
147 FOOTPATH REPORT
The Chairman reported that a number of footpath wardens have been appointed and are checking paths a couple of times a year. Cllr Vine-Hall is planning to arrange for several waymarks to be erected on the paths.
148 TRAINING & OTHER MEETINGS
- Chairman Training attended by Cllrs Vine-Hall and Reynolds on 06/03/13 at Seaford. Cllr Reynolds reported that this was a useful and informative session.
- Forthcoming Councillor Training Session in Sedlescombe to be attended by Cllrs Anson, Eldridge, Lawrence and Parsons on 21/03/13. This course is being arranged by the Clerk in The Peace Room at Pestalozzi.
- Other requests for training. None received.
149 NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING
- FUNDING. Cllr Vine-Hall reported that Rother is about to advertise Sedlescombe's Neighbourhood Plan area (objections can be sent up to 10/05/13). A £7,000 DCLG grant for the Parish Council can be expected which, together with other possible grant aid and money budgeted by the Parish Council, should be sufficient. Rother DC is currently not willing to pass over any of the £30,000 grant aid it will receive from DCLG for providing help and advice to Sedlescombe.
- MANAGEMENT OF FINANCING OF THE NH PLAN. RESOLVED: That the management of the financing of the Neighbourhood Plan should be delegated to the Finance Committee. This will include employment of outside consultants.
- CONSTITUTION OF SEDLESCOMBE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN PROJECT GROUP. RESOLVED: THAT THE SEDLESCOMBE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN PROJECT GROUP SHOULD BE CONSTITUTED WITH THE TERMS OF REFERENCE AS DRAFTED.
150 COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY (CIL). The CIL was mentioned at the last Parish Council Meeting. Further details of the CIL can be found in the Clerk's Briefing Note 4-13 CIL.
151 COMMUNITY RIGHT TO NOMINATE AND BID FOR ASSETS OF COMMUNITY VALUE AND THE AVAILABILITY OF THE ROTHER COMMUNITY ASSET REGISTER. This scheme is intended to assist communities to preserve buildings or land whose main use they consider important to their social wellbeing. It effectively "stops the clock" on the sale of assets for a time to allow community groups to make a bid to purchase the asset and so preserve its social value. No preferential right is given to community groups to acquire the asset and the landowner is free to sell (or not) to any bidder. Parish Councils can make nominations and other groups but not individuals. Various categories of property are exempt and cannot be listed including residential property (unless the asset includes integral residential quarters, such as accommodation as part of a pub), caravan sites and property owned and used by statutory undertakers such as utility companies.
A nomination form has to be completed for each asset and maps and drawings and other information provided. Each asset should have a current (or recent past) and main use that furthers the social wellbeing or cultural, recreation or sporting interests of the local community. Nominations will be assessed within 8 weeks from the date of receipt at Rother; applicants will be notified of the outcome within 9 weeks of receipt. The owner of the land and other interested parties (if known) will be notified and a List of Assets of Community Value will be maintained by Rother District Council and made available on the website. Each listing lasts 5 years. Unsuccessful applications will also be made public. Landowners are entitled to request a listing review within 8 weeks of the decision and applicants can challenge a decision not to list a nominated property. Landowners can also claim compensation from the District Council if their property is listed.
When the owner of a listed asset puts the asset up for sale, Rother has to be notified and in turn notifies the nominator.
RESOLVED: THAT THE QUEEN'S HEAD SHOULD BE NOMINATED BY THE PARISH COUNCIL AS AN ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE AND THAT THE CLERK SHOULD PREPARE THE NECESSARY PAPERWORK.
152 FLAGPOLE - Considered near the start of the meeting.
153 PLAYGROUND REPORTS
- Moles. Cllr Eldridge had reported problems with moles at the playground resulting in an uneven surface which could be a trip hazard. This time last year, a meeting with a local mole catcher was held. The advice given was that the Council would be wasting its money if he was to be employed to catch the moles as, within a short time, others would come in to take their place. No current action to be taken.
- Trees at Kickabout Area. Work completed and cheque paid.
- Report of dog faeces being spread on children's slide. Resident and councillor cleared up the mess.
154 ALTERNATIVE NAMES FOR PARISH COUNCILS. The Council considered whether the name of Sedlescombe Parish Council should be changed as allowed under Section 75 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 which amended various sections of the Local Government Act 1972. The options that can be adopted are: Sedlescombe Community Council, Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Council or Sedlescombe Village Council. No action to be taken.
155 NAMES OF NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN SEDLESCOMBE. Rother District Council adopted a policy for street naming in 2009 to guide them in approving names for new developments but, in the Clerk's opinion, did not following it when approving names for two new Sedlescombe development. The following points were noted:
Policy No.2.1.2 "The Council attaches considerable importance to the views of Parish and Town Councils and will seek their views on the suggested names" (ie names suggested by the developers or owners).
Rother did not seek the Parish Council's views on the proposed name for either the development at Pestalozzi or at East View Terrace and, indeed, informed the Parish Council on 15/01/13 that the East View development was going to be called East View Park. Subsequently, on 13/03/13, the Clerk was informed the official name had been confirmed as Park Farm View. The Council is not aware of anywhere called Park Farm that will be viewed from these properties and believes it is, therefore, an inappropriate name for this development.
Policy 2.2.2 "Wherever possible a street name should have a proven historical connection to the land intended for development....." Park Farm View has no local connection whatsoever.
Policy 2.2.4 "New street names should try to avoid duplicating any similar name already in use in a town/village or in the same postcode area. A variation in the terminal word, for example, "street", "road", "avenue" will not be accepted as sufficient reason to duplicate a name as this repetition can delay the attendance of the emergency services."
OAKLANDS PARK as approved for the development at Pestalozzi is the old name for the whole of the land attached to what is now the Pestalozzi International Village. The Parish Council has had this name on a board at the Sportsfield since 1984 when the Sportsfield was purchased. BRABAZON PARK as proposed by the Parish Council gave the opportunity for commemorating a family who owned this land during most of the 19th century and into the 20th century and who provided jobs and housing for a large majority of the Village.
The Clerk will write to object.
156 SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL CAR PARK
- Use for cars other than users of the village hall. Letter received from a resident of Eaton Walk suggesting that public parking should be allowed in the village hall car park. By the Parish Council's lease of the land to the trustees of the village hall,the trustees must use the land as a car park, driveway and gardens ancillary to the village hall or other use as may be agreed with the Parish Council for the general benefit of the inhabitants of Sedlescombe and its surrounding area.
Cllr Glew, Chair of the Village Hall Management Committee, had explained to the complainant that the barrier is put in place at Easter and Christmas when the hall is not in use in order to ensure no-one tries to set up residence in the car park. The subject had been discussed by the Village Hall Committee last week and it had been agreed that no change should be made to the policy of allowing the use of the car park on request for special occasions but not to open it as a general public car park. No further action by the Council.
- Planting of tree in grounds of village hall. A request had been received for permission to plant a tree in the grounds of the hall in celebration of Ron Sunderland's 80th birthday. By the Parish Council's lease of the land to the trustees of the village hall, the Parish Council's consent in writing must be obtained before alterations or additions are made to the demised land. This consent cannot be unreasonably withheld or delayed. The Village Hall Committee which is in agreement with the request should write to the Council seeking consent. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council does not object to the planting of a tree in celebration of Ron Sunderland's birthday on Parish Council land in the grounds. However, Cllr Glew will carefully consider the actual siting of the tree to ensure that not only will it not cause any danger to users of the car park but that it will not prejudice any future use that the Parish Council's might wish for Red Barn Field. Mr Sunderland will consult the Tree Warden, Pat Martin, concerning the species of tree that should be chosen. Cllr Glew reiterated that the Village Hall Committee is in urgent need of a Chairman and Secretary as both Cllr Glew and her husband wish to retire after a long period of service on the Hall Committee.
157 SEDLESCOMBE SPORTSFIELD
- Insurance. Cllr Anson reported that he had calculated that the sports pavilion is currently under-insured. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council should write to the Treasurer of the Sports Association informing him that the sports pavilion property insurance should be increased to the amount recommended by Cllr Anson.
- Lease. Cllr Anson is currently negotiating with the Sports Association and is confident that progress is being made.
- Willow planting. It had been suggested that consideration should be given to planting willows at the sportsfield to help with the drainage. Schemes are arranged by cricket bat makers. The owner pays for the whips and receives money from the cricket bat maker when the trees are mature.
After further discussion, members decided no action should be taken because of the additional difficulties that might occur.
- Letter from Football Club. The Football Club had written a letter of thanks for the Parish Council's financial support towards the extended car park.
- Request for funding. The Sports Association/Football Club had written asking that financial assistance is granted by the Parish Council towards the cost (total cost £500 + VAT) of landscaping the grass verge of Ladybird Lane. Pestalozzi are removing scrub. No action by the Parish Council.
- Removal of small trees in and on the side of the ditch. Cllr Anson will attend a site meeting proposed for Friday with Mr Davey and Pestalozzi representatives, including Sue Walton, Chief Executive, to discuss whether the trees can be removed or whether they were planted as part of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme.
- Proposed agreement with Pestalozzi re clearance of Sporstfield ditches and spreading of spoil. This subject will also be discussed at the site meeting on Friday.
- Proposed mole draining of areas of the Sportsfield. Danny Mayell might be able to help.
- Physical barrier in the disabled car park by the pavilion. A proposal to shut off the disabled car park using scaffold boards was not supported by the Parish Council. Cllr Anson said that the Sports Association would also like to put them around the main sportsfield car park but this was not supported either because of the need to gain vehicular access to the field in times of an emergency.
158 SEDLESCOMBE COMMUNITY SPEEDWATCH. Cllr Eldridge provided an update that several volunteers had undertaken training at the Police Station for operation of the speed camera. Cllr Parsons will be Co-ordinator and Cllr Eldridge will be his Deputy. The trained volunteers will take part in recording cars being driven too fast and this will be transferred to a database. It is expected that this scheme will be spread to other areas giving the opportunity for repeat offenders to be identified. Hopefully, seeing the volunteers by the roadside at varying times and days will act as a speed deterrent.
RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports the setting up of a Sedlescombe Community Speedwatch Initiative with Cllrs Parsons and Eldridge being the main co-ordinators.
A letter had recently been received from a resident of The Street to inform the Council that he has had two cars written off valued at £38,000 and other damage, all caused by speeding vehicles. The complainant would like to see traffic calming installed. Cllr Eldridge will make contact and invite him to help with the speed checking of vehicles through the Village.
159 FINAL ARRANGEMENTS FOR SEDLESCOMBE ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY. Final details were discussed.
Chairman & Date