SPC logoAnnual Meeting Minutes

ANNUAL MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 14 MAY 2013 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL, 19:00 TO 21:50

County Councillor Angharad Davies. Cllr Vine-Hall welcomed County Councillor Angharad Davies to her first meeting in Sedlescombe since her election. She thanked those who had voted for her and mentioned that the most important matter raised on the doorstep was potholes. The County Council has a large pot of money to spend on patching and resurfacing. She understands that the patching material used has been poor but that the future surfacing material should be much better.

Angharad Davies is also a Rother District Councillor and has been Chair of that Council's Devolution Committee. She updated the Council regarding Rother's requests for town and parish councils to take over local amenities on a peppercorn rent through a 99-year lease and answered members' questions relevant to Sedlescombe's car park and public conveniences. She advised inviting Malcolm Johnston, Director of Resources at Rother, to a meeting to discuss the situation.

Mrs Sue Walton, Chief Executive, Pestalozzi International Village, had sent her apology. She had asked the Clerk to mention a fund-raising talk for Pestalozzi at Rye Methodist Church on Friday 31/05/13 where Sir Sherrard Cowper-Coles will give a talk entitled "What Arabs Really Want". Also the Leaver's Ceremony which will be held at St Mary in the Castle on Monday 17 June 2013.

PCSO Demetrius Georghiou informed the Council about his recent night-time operations whereby all cars in the area were stopped following a series of burglaries and thefts. During the operation, none of the thefts were reported overnight in the Rother area.

Demi went on to report incidents of anti-social behaviour, work to reduce speeds within the Village, and also to encourage sensible parking in Brede Lane. He plans a further Road Safety Week, hopefully to include the Fire Service and will liaise with the Parish Council. He is planning to work with the School on a sign project.

1 CHAIRMAN. Proposed by Cllr Glew and RESOLVED: THAT CLLR VINE-HALL IS ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL FOR THE ENSUING YEAR. Cllr Vine-Hall signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

2 VICE-CHAIRMAN. Proposed by Cllr Vine-Hall and RESOLVED: THAT CLLR GLEW IS ELECTED VICE-CHAIRMAN OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL FOR THE ENSUING YEAR.

3 APOLOGIES. Cllr Lawrence.

4 INTERESTS. None declared.

5. DISPENSATION. The Clerk reported receipts in writing of requests for dispensation. While the Council considered 1 and 2 below, Cllrs Glew and Eldridge left the room.

  1. Cllr Pauline Glew requested dispensation to speak and vote on matters considering the suitability of allotment land for housing development because of her husband's tenancy of an allotment which is included in Appendix A of her registered Interests Form under the Code of Conduct for Sedlescombe 2012.RESOLVED: THAT CLLR GLEW IS GRANTED DISPENSATION UP TO MAY 2015 TO ALLOW HER TO SPEAK AND VOTE ON MATTERS CONSIDERING THE SUITABILITY OF ALLOTMENT LAND FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT, DESPITE HER HUSBAND'S TENANCY OF AN ALLOTMENT. The Council agreed that it was appropriate to grant dispensation under 33(2)(e) as she is a member of the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan Project Group which is considering various sites in Sedlescombe which might be suitable for development. She believes it is appropriate for members to be able to consider all the sites without her being excluded from consideration of the allotment site.

  2. Cllr Roderick Eldridge requested dispensation to speak and vote on matters considering the suitability of allotment land for housing development because of his tenancy which is included in Appendix A of his registered Interests Form under the Code of Conduct for Sedlescombe 2012. RESOLVED: THAT CLLR ELDRIDGE IS GRANTED DISPENSATION UP TO MAY 2015 TO ALLOW HIM TO SPEAK AND VOTE ON MATTERS CONSIDERING THE SUITABILITY OF ALLOTMENT LAND FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT, DESPITE HIS TENANCY OF AN ALLOTMENT. The Council agreed that it was appropriate to grant dispensation under 33(2)(e) as he is a member of the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan Project Group which is considering various sites in Sedlescombe which might be suitable for development. He believes it is appropriate for members to be able to consider all the sites without him being excluded from consideration of the allotment site.

    While the Council considered 3 below, Cllr Vine-Hall left the room. Cllr Glew in the chair.

  3. Cllr Jonathan Vine-Hall requested dispensation to speak and vote on matters considering the suitability of land at Dell View, Hawkhurst Road, for housing development because of his ownership of neighbouring land which is included in Appendix A of his amended registered Interests Form under the Code of Conduct for Sedlescombe 2012. RESOLVED: THAT CLLR VINE-HALL IS GRANTED DISPENSATION TO ALLOW HIM TO SPEAK AND VOTE UP TO MAY 2015 ON MATTERS CONSIDERING THE SUITABILITY OF LAND AT DELL VIEW NEXT TO BEECH FARM FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT, DESPITE HIS OWNERSHIP OF LAND AT BEECH FARM. The Council agreed that it was appropriate to grant dispensation under 33(2)(e) as he is a member of the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan Project Group which is considering various sites in Sedlescombe which might be suitable for development. He believes it is appropriate for members to be able to consider all the sites without him being excluded from consideration of the Dell View site.

Cllr Vine-Hall returned to the chair.

6 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. None.

7 COMMITTEES

  1. RESOLVED: THAT THE FOLLOWING COMMITTEES ARE CONSTITUTED FOR THE YEAR AHEAD IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS OF REFERENCE AS DETAILED FOR COUNCILLORS:
    1. Planning Executive Committee
    2. Finance Executive Committee
    3. Emergency Advisory Committee
    4. Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee
    5. Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan Project Group

  2. RESOLVED: THAT MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEES SHOULD BE AS FOLLOWS:
    1. Planning Executive Committee. Cllrs Chapman, Mitchell, Parsons, Reynolds plus Chair and Vice Chair of the Council as ex-officio members.
    2. Finance Executive Committee. Cllr Anson, Chapman, Eldridge, Glew, Lawrence plus Chair of the Council as ex-officio member.
    3. Emergency Advisory Committee. Cllrs Chapman, Mitchell, Reynolds plus Pat Martin (ex-parish councillor)
    4. Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee. Cllrs Chapman, Eldridge, Glew plus Derek Wright, PCSO Demi as co-opted members and Chair of the Council as ex-officio member.
    5. Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan Project Group. Cllrs Chapman, Eldridge, Glew, Lawrence, Mitchell, Parsons, Reynolds, Vine-Hall and Lindsay Fraser, a co-opted member. It was agreed that, although Cllr Anson is unable to attend the meetings of the SNPPG, he will be able to comment as appropriate.

8 REPRESENTATIVES OF THE COUNCIL

RESOLVED: That the following are appointed to represent the Council as stated and, where appropriate, are expected to provide regular reports to Clerk for inclusion in a monthly newsletter to councillors. Members were reminded to pass details of the meetings they attend to the Clerk for inclusion in the monthly Parish Councillors' Newsletter.

  1. Rother Association of Local Councils - two councillors with one vote between them. The Clerk may attend meetings but does not have a vote. RESOLVED: THAT CLLRS GLEW AND PARSONS SHOULD CONTINUE AS SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL'S REPRESENTATIVES ON THE ROTHER ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL COUNCILS FOR THE ENSUING YEAR.

  2. Village Hall Trustee - one councillor to become a Village Hall Trustee and to join the Village Hall Management Committee as a voting member. RESOLVED: THAT CLLR GLEW SHOULD CONTINUE AS SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL'S APPOINTED TRUSTEE OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL AND SHOULD CONTINUE ON THE VILLAGE HALL MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE.

  3. Sedlescombe Sports Association Committee - one councillor to join the Sports Association Committee as a voting member. RESOLVED: THAT CLLR ANSON SHOULD CONTINUE AS SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL'S REPRESENTATIVE ON THE SEDLESCOMBE SPORTS ASSOCIATION COMMITTEE.

  4. Tree Warden - one person. RESOLVED: THAT PAT MARTIN SHOULD CONTINUE AS SEDLESCOMBE'S TREE WARDEN.

  5. Neighbourhood Watch representative - one councillor to report on Neighbourhood Watch matters. RESOLVED: THAT CLLR GLEW SHOULD CONTINUE AS SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL'S REPRESENTATIVE ON THE SEDLESCOMBE NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

  6. Transport representative - one councillor to report on transport matters of special interest to Sedlescombe residents. RESOLVED: THAT CLLR GLEW SHOULD CONTINUE AS SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL'S TRANSPORT REPRESENTATIVE

9 POLICY DOCUMENTS. The following documents were considered but no amendments were proposed.

  1. Standing Orders, 16/11/10
  2. Financial Regulations, 16/11/10
  3. Parish Council Policies
    1. Biodiversity Strategy, 2007
    2. Casual Vacancies policy, 14/09/10
    3. Child Protection Policy, 03/07/09
    4. Complaints Code, March 2009
    5. Crayfishing policy, 11/11/08
    6. Equal Opportunities Policy, May 2012
    7. Health & Safety policy, 16/11/10
    8. Making decisions policy, 11/11/08
    9. Management of Information policy, 2009
    10. Publicity & press policy, 16/11/10
    11. Race Relations policy
    12. Code of Conduct 2012

ADVERTISING ON SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE GREEN. Members considered the adopted policy controlling advertising on Sedlescombe Village Green. RESOLVED: THAT IN ORDER TO CONTROL ADVERTISING ON SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE GREEN, NO ADVERTISING WILL BE ALLOWED BY ANY BODY ON THE GREEN, APART FROM SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL.

10 MEMBERSHIP OF OTHER BODIES. RESOLVED: THAT THE PARISH COUNCIL SHOULD SUBSCRIBE TO THE FOLLOWING BODIES IN THE 2013-14 FINANCIAL YEAR:

  1. Sussex Association of Local Councils
  2. Rother Association of Local Councils
  3. Society of Local Council Clerks

11 PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING REQUESTS MADE UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 AND THE DATA PROTECTION ACT 1998. The procedures are in accordance with Standing Orders and are detailed in the Clerk's Briefing Note entitled "Requests for Information". No amendments proposed.

12 DATES, TIMES AND PLACE OF ORDINARY MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE YEAR AHEAD. The following dates for future meetings of the Council were approved:
already arranged
09/07/13
10/09/13
12/11/13
to be arranged:
14/01/14
11/03/14
13/05/14

It was agreed that the date for the 2014 Annual Assembly of the Parish Meeting of Sedlescombe should be the last Tuesday in April 2014 ie 29/04/14.

Cllr Mitchell, booking clerk of the hall, was asked to note the dates and book the hall appropriately.

13 MINUTES. RESOLVED: THAT THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL IS AUTHORISED TO SIGN THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD ON 19/03/13.

14 MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS

  1. Finance Committee. RESOLVED: THAT THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE HELD ON 26/03/13 ARE RECEIVED.

  2. Planning Committee. RESOLVED: THAT THE MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE HELD ON 26/03/13 AND 07/05/13 ARE RECEIVED.

  3. SEDLESCOMBE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN PROJECT GROUP. RESOLVED: THAT THE MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS OF THE SNPPG HELD ON 19/03/13 AND 09/04/13 ARE APPROVED.

    Regarding the Minutes of the Meeting of the SNPPG held on 07/05/13, it was noted that a request had been received to amend the second and third paragraphs of Minute 23 of the Minutes of that meeting. Although the Council agreed that the Minutes should be amended to make them more clear, members did not agree to adopt the terminology requested by Norman Kwan, Principal Planning Officer at Rother DC. RESOLVED: THAT THE AMENDED MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE SNPPG HELD ON 07/05/13 ARE APPROVED.

15 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PARISH MEETING OF SEDLESCOMBE

  1. RESOLVED: THAT THE MINUTES OF THE 2013 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PARISH OF SEDLESCOMBE ARE RECEIVED.

  2. REVIEW OF THE SUCCESS OF THE NEW ARRANGEMENTS. It was reported that more than 130 people attended the Assembly, although not all were residents of Sedlescombe. There were 28 new e-mail distribution list registrations and 19 new volunteers (17 at the meeting and 2 in the days following).
    1. Music. The reaction to the music on stage as people arrived at the meeting was generally favourable.
    2. Parish Councillors sitting on the floor of the hall rather than on stage. Although councillors preferred not to be on the stage, it was agreed that, next year, they should be introduced to the meeting so that local people know who they are.
    3. Sedlescombe Schoolchildren's presentation. Good, but could have been reduced in length.
    4. Pestalozzi International Village students' presentation. Excellent. The students' presentations were very well received. The Council had been sent a thank you card written by the students.
    5. Electors' Question and Answer Session instead of District Councillor and County Councillor presentations. This year, both the District and County Councillor were offered an A5 page in the Annual Report & Directory. The change to the electors' question and answer session was supported.
    6. Prize draws. A good method of encouraging attendance.
    7. Questions to parish councillors during refreshments. Some councillors had notices on long canes detailing the subjects they were willing to talk about during refreshments. This was not supported by councillors. Cllr Chapman commented that he should have been at the back of the hall to catch people as they went out rather than at the front.

  3. MATTERS RAISED AT THE ASSEMBLY. It was agreed that the Parish Council should use the list of matters raised the Assembly as the basis for its work in the coming year so that results can be reported to next year's Assembly.

    1. Volunteers. For the most part, those who volunteered did not specify what they would be willing to do. Roy had already spoken to some of the people who had volunteered regarding minor maintenance work in the Village. It was agreed that the Clerk should produce a list of possible voluntary work and send it out to those on the list. Cllr Eldridge has asked that this should include a request for people to man the vehicle counts between 10 and 14 June for one-hour slots between 07:00 and 19:00. Cllr Glew to ask Ralph Dellow if he knows where the Council's litter-picker tools are.
    2. Highways matters - potholes, gritting, yellow lines, size of vehicles through the village, speed of traffic through the village and the need for speed restrictions along country lanes such as Stream Lane, Community Speedwatch, speed cameras or speed reactive signs, parking in Brede Lane. Cllr Eldridge will be including some of these matters in his Parking & Traffic Presentation to the Council, planned for the next meeting.
    3. Police - Operation Crackdown
    4. Housing - Neighbourhood Plan
    5. Grass cutting at Red Barn Field picnic area - Volunteer found to do.
    6. Litter and dog fouling
    7. Superfast Broadband availability in Sedlescombe. Cllr Jones said that, because of Sedlescombe' efforts to get registrations, he expected it to be one of the first to get Superfast Broadband availability.
    8. Spilstead Airstrip remodelling.
    9. Fly-tipping.

16 FINANCE

  1. Bank Reconciliations. RESOLVED: That the bank reconciliations for 2012-13 and for April 2013 (hard copy given to councillors) are approved.

    The RFO reported that the Co-op Bank was downgraded by Moody's last week and could require taxpayer support to stay afloat. It had been downgraded because Moody's thinks the bank is no longer protected against potential financial losses. SPC has £21,500 in a 6-month Bond with the Co-op which should mature on 05/09/13. The Bank's Fixed Rate Deposit Account Terms & Conditions do not allow the Account to be closed unless there are exceptional circumstances for the holder. Most investors are covered by the £85,000 Financial Services Compensation Scheme but this does not include local authorities. After discussion, it was RESOLVED: THAT THE CLERK IS AUTHORISED TO ATTEMPT TO CLOSE THE ACCOUNT AND IF, AS SEEMS LIKELY, THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE, TO CLOSE IT AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY IE 05/09/13.

  2. Cheques. RESOLVED: That payment of the April 2013 cheque list is ratified and the May 2013 cheque list approved (hard copy given to councillors).

  3. Final Accounts 2012-13. RESOLVED: That the Final Accounts 2012-13 are received (hard copy given to councillors).

  4. 2012-13 Annual Return. RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the 2012-13 Annual Return following completion of the internal audit of accounts by Angela Alexander. (Details included in Final Accounts 2012-13)

  5. Littlejohns. Members confirmed hat none of them personally employ Littlejohns.

17 TRAINING. No new training requested.

18 CLERK'S REPORT

  1. Battle & Brede Landscape Scheme. The High Weald AONB Unit is currently working on a consultation protect as part of a submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund for developing the Battle and Brede Landscape Partnership Scheme. They have been successful in developing a £2.8 million Weald Forest Ridge Landscape Partnership in the north-west of the High Weald AONB and now want to do the same in this area. The area goes from Rye in the east to Netherfield in the west, Ore in the south to Broad Oak in the north. These are large-scale, landscape focused partnership schemes that achieve:
    1. conservation and restoration of the landscape's built and natural heritage features
    2. increased community participation in local heritage
    3. increased access to and learning about the landscape and its heritage
    4. increased training opportunities in local heritage skills.

  2. Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group (HAARG) - Stream Farm Field Magnetometer report. Two members of the Hastings Area Archaeological Research Group carried out a geophysical survey at Stream Farm Field, Stream Lane, Sedlescombe in October and November 2012 and the Group has recently forwarded its survey details to the Parish Council for information. According to the summary "the survey combined with others revealed the Roman Road between Sedlescombe Church and Compasses Lane, Cripps Corner and the remains of an undated field system." The field investigated lies 700 metres south-south-east of the large Romano-British iron working site on Footlands Farm, Sedlescombe at TQ 772 200, first identified by Ernest Straker in 1924 and looked at subsequently by a number of local groups including, in 1951, the Battle and District Historical Society who found a well cambered road surface consisting of iron cinder 14ft8in wide and up to 28 inches thick in Aldershaw Wood at TQ773 193. This was confirmed as a local Roman road to the ironworks in 1951 by historian Ivan Margary.

  3. Brede High Woods Archaeological Work. Under the auspices of the Woodland Trust, various archaeological investigations have been carried out over the past year. A table display was set up at the Sedlescombe Annual Assembly on 30 April. Remains of property demolished in the 1930s when the Powdermill reservoir was being built were found together with pottery, glass and metal, mostly from the late 19th and early 20th centuries although some may be earlier. Oral, documentary and historical research is being continued. Details of the first year's report are included on the history/places webpage of the Parish Council's website. Cllr Vine-Hall reported more recent finds.

  4. "Working together to strengthen local communities workshop". 2 reps from each organisation are being invited to attend one of five workshops organised by ESCC Adult Social Care, HVA and RVA. This is an opportunity to be briefed about some of the key changes that are happening over the next three years. Closest is at The Rother one is at Cooden Beach Hotel on 25/06/13, 09:30 to 13:00. The same day has been chosen as the Rother Annual Conference.

19 PUBLIC PLAYING FIELD & RECREATION GROUND

  1. MUGA. Still waiting for dry weather before the go-ahead is given for the MUGA'S surfacing. Martin Hall of Powdermills has spoken with ETC Sports Surfaces and they have agreed to repair any potholes in the drive with "leftover" tarmac at the time of the MUGA surfacing.

  2. Playground inspection by councillors.
    18/03/13 - Cllr Eldridge reported: Back of the court needs sweeping - not doing anything because of imminent work ; Evidence of new mole hills adjacent tennis courts on main road side; Niagara Falls rope touching the ground

    25/03 - Cllr Anson reported: striking post loose on gate 2; some litter bins half full; grass will need a cut soon; slight split to right hand seat of junior swings

    22/04/13 - Cllr Glew reported cradle swing at an angle; 3 palings along river not secure; litter bins need emptying; litter, Grand Canyon middle cable low; Niagara Falls rope low; remaining tennis net not great.

    28/04/13 - Cllr Chapman reported problem with Niagara Falls. Padlock cut off double gate to allow entry for mowing.

    Cllrs Chapman, Vine-Hall and Anson will make arrangements to undertake some of the work at the playground.

  3. Professional playground inspection for 2013. Digley Associates, which was appointed to do the professional playground inspection this year, is no longer trading after Came & Company wrote saying they could no longer recommend this company. RESOLVED: THAT THE CLERK IS AUTHORISED TO NEGOTIATE WITH LANDSCAPE SERVICES RE THE PRICE QUOTED AND TO ARRANGE FOR THAT COMPANY TO CARRY OUT THE ANNUAL INSPECTION.

  4. Litter and rubbish. Appeared from councillors' inspection that there was a lot of litter lying about and bins were often half full. Raised this matter with Landscape Services who started doing weekly litter clearance of the playgrounds at the beginning of January. Informed that the usual rubbish clearance day is Wednesday.

  5. Mowing. Cllr Chapman thanked for cutting off the padlock from the double gate at the playground so that the mowing machine could gain access. Cut well the first time it was done including trimming around all the equipment.

20 EAST VIEW TERRACE KICKABOUT AREA

  1. Litter.
    09/04/13 - Cllr Vine-Hall reported lots of litter at East View Kickabout Area which he cleaned up.
    22/04/13 - Cllr Glew reported quite a lot of litter at East View Kickabout Area 28/04/13 - Cllr Chapman reported no litter at East View Kickabout Area.
  2. Mowing.
    25/03 - Cllr Anson reported: grass growing at edges of Kickabout Area. To be added to the volunteer's list of work.

21 SPORTSFIELD

  1. Ditch Management Advice from Environment Agency following environmental survey by Dr Patrick Roper. In late March, Dr Patrick Roper was asked by Ashley Davey of Sedlescombe Sports Association to give a broad-brush assessment of the ecological factors in relation to works adjacent to the newly extended car park and Ladybird Lane on the southern boundary of the Sedlescombe Sportsfield. It was noted that the whole of the sportsfield is in the Brede Valley Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI). Dr Roper suggested that the Environment Agency should be asked for advice about ongoing management of the ditch to safeguard the interests of legally protected or other important species. In terms of safety, he mentioned the growing risk that some of the trees at the eastern end could fall into the car park (by far the majority of these trees are on Pestalozzi land, outside the Parish Council's ownership).

    On 01/05/13, Ashley Davey called a site meeting to get advice from the Environment Agency as suggested by Dr Roper. The meeting was attended not only by Ashley Davey and Emma Ventham, Technical Officer, and Myles Robinson (Fisheries) from the Environment Agency, but also Alex Whittington, Facilities Manager at Pestalozzi, and Cllr Peter Anson and Pauline Raymond from the Parish Council. Points to note are as follows:
    1. Bottom of the ditch may be cleared out as long as the sides are not scraped.
    2. Work should take place outside the bird breeding season in late summer of early autumn.
    3. Work to take place from one bank only using the appropriate sized machinery for the channel.
    4. Strip of emergent vegetation should be left on the bank toe to allow for continuity of habitat.
    5. Spoil from the management should be placed away from the top of the bank and not on ecologically sensitive areas.
    6. Work should not be undertaken on hot days to avoid raising dissolved oxygen levels and impacting fish species if present although, because of the shallowness of the water in the ditch, it was confirmed that this was unlikely to be a chosen habitat for a fish or eel as soon as temperatures begin to rise.
    7. The Sports Association and Pestalozzi are still in discussion concerning future disposal of dredgings from the ditch.
    8. The Sports Association and Pestalozzi have agreed to level the grass verge next to Ladybird Lane but the work is still to be undertaken. The Environment Agency have no objections.
    9. The ditch belonging to Pestalozzi at the eastern end of the field needs to be cleared at the same time as the remainder of the sportsfield ditch. Willows and other small trees may be removed from this part of the ditch and it may be re-profiled. The Football Club have volunteers to do this. RESOLVED: THAT THE PARISH COUNCIL AGREES THAT THE SPORTS ASSOCIATION MAY TEMPORARILY REMOVE THE SPORTSFIELD BOUNDARY FENCE AT THE EASTERN END OF THE FIELD BEFORE DOING THE AGREED WORK AND REPLACING THE FENCING.
    10. The Environment Agency will consider whether safety fencing is required around the Valve on the southern bank of the River Brede.

  2. Insurance.
    1. 29/01/13, Cllr Anson provided a revaluation of the pavilion for insurance purposes of £292,000 including VAT against the existing £220,000 insurance value.
    2. 08/04/13, Clerk wrote to David Torrance (Sports Association Treasurer) asking that the Sports Association increases the insurance value of the pavilion to £292,000 including VAT and to include the Parish Council's name on the policy. The renewal date is 14/06/13.
    3. 09/04/13, David Torrance replied that he assumed that this is for the pavilion building and not the contents and included a query about other Sports Association buildings. The valuation does not include other buildings belonging to the Sports Association.
    4. Cllr Anson agreed he would chase David Torrance about the revised insurance cover on 01/06/13.

  3. Lease. Cllr Anson reported his discussions with Derek Wright, Secretary of the Sedlescombe Sports Association, regarding the lease. Mr Wright has suggested that, instead of a lease, the Sports Association should have a Management Agreement although no draft has been produced by the Association as requested. Cllr Anson will continue to negotiate with Mr Wright regarding a revised lease.

    Cllr Mitchell informed the meeting that her husband had written to the Sports Association asking for his name to be removed from the lease as one of the three Trustees.

  4. Request for permission to retain and alter the portacabin/ metal container for use at the main car park end of the field. Cllr Anson explained the proposal put forward by Ashley Davey to keep the Parish Council's portacabin and associate the metal container with it at the car park under the Parish Council's delegated powers, to refurbish it and to clad it to match the pavilion. Although it is fitted out with a toilet and kitchen, there is currently no water and no electricity. RESOLVED: THAT THE PARISH COUNCIL, ALTHOUGH CONCERNED HOW LONG THE WORK WOULD TAKE TO COMPLETE, DOES NOT OBJECT IN PRINCIPLE TO THE SCHEME. HOWEVER, FULL DETAILS AND TIMESCALES, INCLUDING PLANS FOR BUILDING REGULATION APPROVAL REGARDING TOILET FACILITIES, MUST BE SUBMITTED TO THE PARISH COUNCIL FOR APPROVAL AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY.

  5. Request for permission to take action to stop egress onto the sportsfield by cars and motorcycles.
  6. Request for permission to use scaffold poles at both car parks to deter entry by vehicles, especially cars. Gates to be included.

    Members considered the subjects at 5 and 6 above again but still could not agree to the use of scaffold poles. Cllr Anson will tell the Sports Association Committee that, if they want to deter entry by vehicles to the field, they should arrange for proper post and rail fences to be erected, together with the gates necessary to allow emergency and disabled access.

  7. Break-in to Societies Association shed. Noted.

  8. Other. Use of Gammons's Field as a football field. The owner of Gammon's Field between Kester House and Riverbridge Cottages had offered his field as a football field. Planning permission would be needed and there could be possible problems regarding parking. RESOLVED: THAT THE PARISH COUNCIL DOES NOT OBJECT TO THE USE OF GAMMON'S FIELD FOR FOOTBALL, PROVIDED THE NECESSARY APPROVALS ARE OBTAINED.

22 VILLAGE GREEN

  1. Flagpole. At the last Parish Council meeting on 19/03/13 when the Council decided that, because of the legal advice it had obtained, it could not allow a permanent flagpole to be erected on the Village Green. In order to try to find a compromise solution, the Chairman visited one of the opponents to the installation of a permanent flagpole on the Green. An e-mail from the opponent explains the situation and asks the Council to consider:
    1. whether another location could be found for a permanent flag or
    2. alternatively, a shortish temporary pole is allowed to be erected on 18 days a year. A permanent socket could be installed in The Green and the pole brought to the Green on "flying days". This would also prevent the problem of SPC liability for the pole should the local British legion disband or become disinterested in the pole in the future. It is suggested that the Parish Council would need to consult near neighbours about the location, perhaps at the southern end of The Green.

      Unfortunately, Sedlescombe Branch Royal British Legion members would not accept this compromise, believing that they should be allowed to put up a permanent flagpole on The Green as requested and had, therefore, decided to write to Greg Barker MP, Eric Pickles and another organisation to get their support.

  2. Buses reversing into Brede Lane and running over the edge of the Village Green. A local resident phoned the Clerk in April to complain that the 08:00 349 Bus is reversing into Brede Lane in order to turn round and in doing so is running over the edge of The Green. A reply was received from the Acting Operations Manager of Stagecoach South East (e-mail of 24/04/13) who explained that the route that the vehicle should take is around The Green so there is no need to reverse. Unfortunately, often cars are parked on both sides outside the Post Office which means there is insufficient room for buses to pass the shop. He states that safety is Stagecoach's number one priority and reversing is an absolute last resort and so, he says, the manoeuvre is very rarely carried out. Drivers have been asked to take extra care of The Green.

  3. Flower tubs. The tubs, which were planted up by Valerie Wright in the autumn have been very attractive this spring. They will soon need to be planted up again. Cllr Chapman and Cllr Anson reported that a group of ladies living in Stream Lane, to be known as the "Northern Group", have agreed to plant up the three tubs at their own expense. Cllr Eldridge is trying to find a "Southern Group" to do the other three tubs and, maybe, a competition will be held.

  4. Litter. Not so good around Pumphouse recently. Broken bag of cement has been under one of the seats for several weeks.

  5. Mowing. Satisfactory.

  6. Review of policy for allowing advertising on the Village Green. Considered under Minute 9 above.

23 RED BARN FIELD NATURE PARK. The Parish Council is the freeholder of land at Red Barn Field Nature Park. In connection with the emerging Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan, the Council considered whether Red Barn Field Nature Park (or part) should be considered as a housing development site. The following points were made:

  1. PLUS - Site is outside the current development boundary but is adjacent to it and therefore could be a candidate for amending the development boundary to include it.
  2. PLUS - SPC is the freehold owner and, therefore, money raised from the sale of the land would considerably help towards other capital projects. Land value between 15% and 30% of final selling price of a house. 6 houses sold at £200,000 each could make £185,000 to £320,000 for the Parish Council.
  3. PLUS - Could build affordable housing where land value is less but could get an ongoing income from rental. There could be an opportunity for the Parish Council to retain 2-3 units to be let by the Parish Council to needy people who live in Sedlescombe. It might be possible to acquire another piece of land as a replacement for the Red Barn Field Nature Park.
  4. PLUS - Village hall maybe could be extended with some of the money to encourage the pre-school to stay in the hall rather than considering going elsewhere?
  5. PLUS - If Red Barn Field were developed, the sewerage system at the village hall could be improved.

  6. MINUS - Village Hall car park is likely to be used by house owners in Red Barn Field which would reduce the amount of parking space available for hall users.
  7. MINUS - need to retain all the Village Hall car park and, even maybe extend it into Red Barn Field.
  8. MINUS - The owner of land to the north of the field has a 14' right of way through the top part of the field.
  9. MINUS - School House has a right to the well at the top of the field.
  10. MINUS - Possible increased risk of vandalism at the village hall.
  11. MINUS Colin Boyd, who has "managed" RBF for several years has written urging the Parish Council to "champion the cause of Red Barn Field as a small gem of natural bio-diversity in the Village. It is a wonderful resource for the whole village and a valuable example of a declining habitat on the Weald." It also comments that it essentially looks after itself with a little volunteer help. Although last year the grass was not cut at the end of the summer because of the very wet weather, David Blowey has agreed to do it this year, all being well with the weather.
    Species List:
    149 species of flower have been identified by the Hastings Botany Group
    9 species of bee
    39 species of birds including 15 breeding species
    20 species of butterfly
    9 species of Dragonflies and Damselflies including 2 breeding species
    32 species of flies, bugs, beetles and wasps
    8 species of grasshoppers and crickets
    56 species of moths
    47 species of hoverfly.
  12. MINUS - The access through the village hall car park is not ideal and the access to the field at the south eastern corner of the field is probably not available. Consideration should be given to building an access on the northern part of the car park into Red Barn Field.
  13. MINUS - Older residents would say they had been proved right in the long run.

  14. NB - The path through the field is not a public right of way and walkers have no right to use it although they are currently allow to.
  15. NB - Best possible price must be obtained for the land.
  16. NB - SPC also owns the village hall car park through which they have access rights to Red Barn Field. The car park land is leased to the Sedlescombe Village Hall Charity with 13 years more to run.
  17. NB - Parish councils are restricted in the use of capital funds. Have to pay off £60,000 debts and then use the rest for capital purposes or place it in a capital fund. Cannot use capital income to support the precept.
  18. NB - Even if the site went into the Plan, some councillors would want to see it being given less priority than other sites. It was noted that the development could be delayed until later in the Plan period (up to 2028).
    RESOLVED: THAT THE PARISH COUNCIL AGREES TO INCLUDE THE DEVELOPMENT OF RED BARN FIELD IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN CONSULTATION (voting 4 in favour, 3 against with 1 abstention).

With the time approaching 22:00 and a further meeting to be held, it was agreed that consideration of the remaining items on the agenda should be deferred to a later date. It was agreed that Malcolm Johnston, Director of Resources, should be invited to the July meeting to talk about Devolution of Services from Rother District Council.

Chairman

Date