MEETING ON TUESDAY 25/06/13 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF THE VILLAGE HALL, 19:30 TO 20:20
CHAIR: Cllr P A Glew
Members: Cllrs Chapman, Eldridge
Ex-officio member (Chairman of the Council)
Clerk/RFO - Pauline J Raymond
13 APOLOGIES. Cllrs Anson and Lawrence.
14 INTERESTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE 2012 CODE OF CONDUCT. None disclosed.
15 WRITTEN REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION. None received.
16 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. No public present.
17 MINUTES. RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 17/06/13.
18 NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN EXPENSES. Members had been provided with an updated forecast.
- Planning Consultant. RESOLVED: That Neil Homer of rCOH is appointed to assist in the production of the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan for 13.5 days' work effort at £500/day making £6,750 plus VAT plus expenses.
- Printing. A reduction in the cost of printing the survey forms has been negotiated by changing to an A3 form plus a pre-printed envelope printed by a local printer.
- Research Company. It was noted that arrangements are being made for Linda Jones to come to Sedlescombe to present the results of the residents' survey to members on the evening of Tuesday 13 August 2013.
- Exhibition. Cllr Glew reported that the hall hire will cost £100 for the exhibition.
The Clerk reported that goods belonging to the Parish Council and used for the exhibition will be covered by the Parish Council's insurance arrangements. However, hired in goods will not be. It was suggested that this will be an acceptable risk without further insurance.
Display boards. Attempts will be made to borrow display boards for the exhibition in exchange for a donation.
19 JOBS LIST UPDATE
- MUGA. The resurfacing is expected to start very soon. The Clerk/RFO will write to Rother DC regarding its grant. She will also contact Mr and Mrs Hall and Mr and Mrs Jordan of Powdermills and Millstones Cottage.
- DOG BIN EMPTYING. Noted that, contrary to the amount specified in Minute No.F12/13.55.2, the annual charge for emptying the three dog bins in Sedlescombe during 2013/14 is £354.12 including VAT whereas it was shown previously that the £354.12 was exclusive of VAT.
- PROFESSIONAL PLAYGROUND INSPECTION. Leisure Services had agreed to reduce its cost for professional inspection of the playground to £200. This had been accepted by the Clerk/RFO and the work should have been done on 14/06/13.
- VOLUNTEER WORK
- Cllr Chapman reported on the success of the maintenance work volunteer team scheme.
- Cllr Eldridge reported that up to 30 volunteers took part in a very successful 5-day long traffic count on 10-14/06/13. They stood at the Pumphouse and recorded the number of vehicles passing in both directions over a 12-hour period on most days. They noted speeding, HGVs, vehicles passing up and down the slip road and cars parked there. Some results will be compared to those found by the last campaign in 2006 but others are new this time. It appears that there are now a lot more vehicles, more people speeding and an increased number of HGVs. Full results will be included in Cllr Eldridge's report to the Parking and Traffic Committee next Tuesday 02/07/13.
- Sweeping Pumphouse - ongoing
- Sweeping bus shelter - ongoing
- Playground fence repair - one-off (completed RC)
- Repair to leadwork on Pumphouse and crime reduction marking with postcode following an attempt at removal of the lead - one-off (completed RC).
- Replacement of large gatepost at entrance to Red Barn Field Nature Park - one-off (completed RC)
- Sweeping footway near river bridge - one-off completed
- Replanting of flower tubs on Village Green. Top three planted and will be maintained by three ladies from Stream Lane. The bottom three had been planted by Cllr Parsons on Saturday using plants from the Blackbrooks Garden Centre. Cllr Vine-Hall reported more damage to the Green and that Phil Dann had offered to install several blocks of granite. They could be planted with more flowers. No decision made. Cllr Eldridge had seen trucks misjudging the bend at the Village Green during his traffic count week. He suggested that, maybe the Queen's Head would be willing to take over maintenance of the three lower tubs.
- Repairs to playground equipment (RC, JV, PA). Waiting for all three people to be available.
- East View Terrace Kickabout Area clear-up. Cllr Chapman is meeting Reg Glew on Saturday on site.
- Community Payback work. The Team had been booked for Wednesday 24 July starting at 09:00 at the Car Park to do the following work:
- Hand-weeding of path from public car park in Brede Lane to surgery.
- Hand-weeding around Pumphouse paths and steps.
- Half-moon edging of path across Green.
- Half-moon edging where grass meets hard surfacing at Brede Lane Car Park.
- It was reported that at least five cars were parked on the grass verge to the rear of the Sportsfield pavilion on Sunday 23/06/13 during a football tournament, despite the greatly enlarged car park.
- Cllr Vine-Hall is aware of a farmer who is looking for a portacabin.
- Cllr Vine-Hall will clean the Sir John Keeling seats on the top Green. The Queen's Head has agreed to provide the water.
- Cllr Chapman has found the graffiti on the Pumphouse columns to be very difficult to remove. Cllr Glew has the graffiti kit and will pass it to Cllr Chapman.
- Cllr Vine-Hall had arranged for the two dead trees outside the public conveniences to be removed leaving just one tree there. The trees had originally been planted requests from people living opposite that the public conveniences should be screened.
- Cllr Glew reported that one of the green gateposts at the playground is loose and 2 palings are missing.
- APPROVAL OF ANY OTHER WORK IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE BUDGET. None identified.
20 COUNCIL TAX SCHEME GRANT. A grant of £2171.99 had been received with the first instalment of the precept. This had not been made clear at the information event at Rother DC and all Rother Parish Councils had calculated their precepts without realising this would happen. RESOLVED: That the additional money should be added to the Council's general funds.
21 CO-OPERATIVE BANK FIXED RATE INVESTMENT ACCOUNT. The Clerk had written asking to close the account following problems at the Bank but had not received an answer.
22 MAINTENANCE OF OFFICES. RESOLVED: That payment of £200 to the Parish Clerk is authorised for maintenance of offices.
23 2012/13 ACCOUNTS
- Audit of Accounts. Internal Audit complete. External Audit forms sent to Littlejohns by 10/06/13 as requested.
24 2013/14 ACCOUNTS - first quarter financial statement available to members. RESOLVED: That the statement for the first quarter of 2013/14 is accepted.
25 PUBLIC CAR PARK AND CONVENIENCES. Costs. Cllrs Glew and Vine-Hall had attended the Rother DC Parish Conference that afternoon where Malcolm Johnston had entered into discussions about devolvement of public car parks and conveniences to parish councils. He would be attending the next Sedlescombe Council meeting on 09/07/13.
The Committee noted that costings obtained from Malcolm Johnston's department were as follows:
£750.75 Car Park National Non-Domestic Rate Annual Charge
£1547.70 Conveniences National Non-Domestic Rate Annual Charge
£373.40 General maintenance of 2012/13 (excluding labour)
Although this totals £3,326.25, other costs not broken down which must be added as follows:
- Opening and closing of the toilets each day at 07:30 and 17:00
- Annual statutory checks on electrics, water systems, asbestos
- Labour charges
- Relining car park markings approx £600 every 5 years
- Patch repairs to car park surface currently done by the Rother in-house maintenance team @ £50/visit
- Cleaning the toilets
- Sorting out vandalism
- Clearing drains etc
- Admin, accounting, reporting to Police etc.
It was also noted that, in 2006, the last time that Rother was proposing to pass the car park and conveniences to Sedlescombe Parish Council, the estimated annual maintenance cost of the Sedlescombe toilets alone was £4,830 p.a. and Rother was planning to pay this amount annually to the Parish Council.
The Committee also considered the cost of holding a referendum which from 2014/15 might be needed to check with residents whether they agree to the Parish Council raising its Band D Council Tax in order for the Parish Council to maintain these facilities. Those attending the Parish Conference had been told that the cost of a referendum was expected to be between £1.50 and £3/an elector ie up to more than £3,000 for Sedlescombe.
Whatever the estimated costs of taking over devolved functions from the District Council is, it has to be divided by 606 to get the Band D Council Tax (as of this financial year).
Members will ask Malcolm at the July meeting whether the public conveniences themselves could be used for other purposes such as a police office or a office for a local business.