MEETING ON TUESDAY 11 MARCH 2014 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL STARTING 19:00 TO 20:48
The following people were invited to update the Parish Council:
- PCSO Demi reported that:
- there have been several shed breaks in the vicinity;
- 9-13 year olds have been causing trouble at East View Terrace; he is working with the Housing Association to try to solve the problems;
- he will see whether any funding can be found for assist with the purchase of speed devices and/or refurbishment of property for the benefit of the community.
- Sue Walton (Chief Executive at Pestalozzi) reported that:
- a really wonderful International Celebration had been held last Saturday at Pestalozzi;
- a Zambian evening was planned for 10/04/14;
- offers of scholarships at Universities are being received by students.
- County Councillor Davies reported that:
- nearly 2,000 potholes have been repaired this year so far;
- from 01/04/14, all non-urgent potholes are to be repaired within 28 days of report - Cllr Eldridge asked if anyone recorded the percentage of potholes that need repeat repair? He was asked to make Cllr Davies aware of any ongoing problems where road surfacing might be required;
- resurfacing programme published that extends across unclassified roads;
- Central Government has provided additional finance for drainage maintenance after the very wet weather;
- introduction of Superfast Broadband is "on schedule". The first tranche is complete and work has started on the second. Central Government has granted East Sussex County Council more finance to cover difficult to reach places;
- consultation on proposed changes to remove community areas from the Home to School Transport Policy for children attending school, from Reception to Year 11 from September 2015; the proposed change would remove the community areas from the transport policy (not the admissions policy) and would mean that a primary school child will qualify for transport to the nearest School; (more information on ESCC website)
- East Sussex Joint Waste Strategy with improved targets for recycling, reusing and recovery for energy; despite improvements, each East Sussex household still creates almost a ton of rubbish p.a.; Cllr Chapman complained that he received far too much junk mail.
- District Councillor Ganly reported that:
- employment development in connection with the Link Road is progressing with design matters being received by Rother DC; Rother hoped to encourage high tech work to Bexhill;
- outline application for 250 houses in North East Bexhill approved;
- Rother's part of the Council Tax will be frozen in 2014-15;
- still awaiting the Inspector's comments on the recent Core Strategy resumed examination;
- recycling figures from the new waste contract for those areas involved have been received with Hastings recycling 30% of waste, Eastbourne 32% and Wealden 44%. Rother's part of the contract will start in the summer and recycling is expected to exceed 50% soon after;
- he would have liked to see the East Sussex Joint Waste Strategy set a higher than 50% recycling target rate up to 2020 across the county;
- this area is expected to have superfast broadband enabled in 2015;
Cllr Glew asked about Rother's proposal to use its car parks for commercial recycling rather than allowing charities to use the space. The Salvation Army had already been informed by Rother that they will have to move their collection bins from Rother's village car parks. Cllr Ganly confirmed that the final decision on this will be taken in June.
109 APOLOGIES. None, all present.
110 INTERESTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE 2012 CODE OF CONDUCT
- Dispensations. The existing dispensations relating to Cllrs Vine-Hall, Glew, Chapman, Eldridge and Fraser were noted.
- Declarations of interest by councillors of their interests in matters on the agenda. None declared.
111 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION RE MATTERS ON THE AGENDA AT THE CHAIRMAN'S DISCRETION
The Chairman allowed two members of the public to speak:
- MUGA. Nick Montague introduced himself as a Level 3, LTA tennis coach, who has been using the MUGA for coaching sessions through the winter despite the poor weather conditions. He will be holding a tennis open morning on Saturday 22/03/14 for youngsters 5-16 starting at 09:30, followed by adults at 11:00. He is trying to arrange sessions on Wednesdays (around lunchtime) and Thursdays for adults. Anyone interested should contact him (01424 848572). He confirmed that the new surface at the MUGA is very good for playing on and drains well.
The Clerk informed the Council that the Trust had let the MUGA to Staplecross School for weekly netball training on Wednesdays 15:30 to 16:30, up to the summer holidays.
Cllr Chapman was thanked for sweeping the surface and cutting back trees so that it is easier to keep the surface of the MUGA clear of leaves/twigs etc.
A further set of lines will be painted on the second half of the MUGA so that Nick Montague can bring his net and use it for more practice.
Members discussed how they could alter the gate to make it difficult for people to take bikes or scooters onto the MUGA but still allow the netball posts to be taken in and out.
- Football Club. Nick Gardner, Chairman of Sedlescombe Rangers Football Club attended to present a plan to develop the portacabin and container into one wooden-clad building to provide 2 extra changing rooms and an open area for spectators. The structure will be less than 200 cubic metres and less than 4 metres high. The portacabin and the container belongs to the Parish Council and will be on car park land belonging to the Parish Council and not leased to the Sports Association. The work can, therefore, be done under the Parish Council's permitted development rights. There will be no toilets or electricity. The Football Club will pay and will, if approved, expect to finish the work by 01/07/14. Mr Gardner agreed to come back to consult with the Council on the proposed colour of the woodstain. In answer to a question from a parish councillor, Mr Gardner said the Football Club had public liability insurance cover. The Chairman thanked Mr Gardner for the work that has been undertaken by the Club in the last two months to move the container behind the portacabin and tidy the area.
The Chairman moved agenda item 118.5 - Plans for the Portacabin - forward. Members discussed the possibility of transferring ownership of the "building" in due course to the Football Club that would then be responsible for maintaining and insuring the "building". It was noted that the back of the "building" can be seen from Ladybird Lane and the alterations should be a visual improvement. It was RESOLVED: That the Parish Council approves the Football Club's plans for refurbishing the portacabin/container for use as changing and rest rooms ancillary to the use of the sportsfield and, when the work is finished, agrees to transfer ownership of the "building" to the Sedlescombe Rangers Football Club. The Clerk was asked to write to the Football Club approving the work at the Club's own risk and advising that it will be their responsibility to obtain any other necessary permissions.
112 MINUTES. RESOLVED: That the Chairman was authorised to sign the Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council held on 25/02/14.
113 MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS. RESOLVED:
- That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee held on 28/01/14 and 25/02/14 are received.
- That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 04/02/14 and 25/02/14 are received.
- Bank Reconciliation. RESOLVED: That the bank reconciliation at the end of February 2014 is approved.
- Cheques. RESOLVED: That payment of the February 2014 cheque list is ratified and the March 2014 cheque list is approved.
115 CLERK'S REPORT
- Charities may no longer be allowed to have their collecting containers in Rother or Wealden car parks. Rother & Wealden District Councils are expected to allow commercial companies to use the space. As mentioned at the beginning of the meeting, the Salvation Army has been told it will lose its current concession and is trying to obtain permission to place its containers in places such as village hall car parks.
- Filming and recording Council Meetings. All standing orders concerning filming and recording Council Meetings will need amendment following an amendment to the Local Accountability and Audit Bill. Regulations are expected to be published shortly.
- Romans in Sedlescombe. The Independent Historical Research Group will be undertaking an archaeological dig for a week in May on the site of the industrial-scale Roman iron working site at Oaklands Park, Sedlescombe. They will be looking for evidence to link the Sedlescombe site with Classis Britannica (British Fleet).
- The Early Pestalozzi Children project. Len Clarke, former resident at the Pestalozzi Children's Village from 1959, is gathering together as much material as he can from the period 1959 to 1965 in order to piece together the story of the European and early Tibetan children at Pestalozzi.
- The Woodland Trust has published at book on Brede High Woods by Patrick Roper.
116 SEDLESCOMBE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
- The Chairman informed the Council about the meeting held last week with Neil Homer, Planning Consultant. At the meeting, it had become clear that further work on writing the supporting paragraphs for the policies, producing the Proposals Map and finishing the Strategic Environmental Assessment was needed. Subsequently, in accordance with Standing Orders, Cllr Glew (Chairman of the Finance Committee) and the Clerk had approved emergency expenditure of £1,000 to employ Neil Homer for an extra two days to carry out this work. RESOLVED: That the decision by Cllr Glew and the Clerk to appoint Neil Homer for an additional two days' work in order to complete the Pre-Submission Neighbourhood Plan is approved.
- Members had been provided with a copy of the recent letter from Rother District Council's David Marlow.
- It was noted that Rother Planning Officers were recommending refusal of the recent Street Farm application for 18 houses on land to the west of East View Terrace and that the Rother Planning Committee meeting is to be held on 13/03/14. The Chairman confirmed that until the Neighbourhood Plan reaches the Examination stage, it carries virtually no weight with regard to decisions on planning applications.
- Pre-Submission Neighbourhood Plan. Members had been provided with hard copies of the latest version of the Plan. RESOLVED: That the Pre-Submission Version of the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan, together with supporting documents, is approved for a consultation period ending at 5pm on 06/05/14. The consultation period must last at least six weeks but the aim is to publish it on 17/03/14 which will give seven weeks.
117 PUBLIC PLAYING FIELD & RECREATION GROUND
- Playground Reports. Councillors will carry out the weekly inspections and preferably send them by e-mail to the Clerk. Cllr Chapman had arranged to cut back trees from around the MUGA last week. A shredder is required to deal with the large amount of material produced. RESOLVED: That hire of a shredder is approved for one day at the cost of £80 including VAT in order for Cllr Chapman to deal with the material produced from cutting trees back from the MUGA.
- Drainage of water from the MUGA. Cllr Chapman reported that although the MUGA drains well, a small part of it was flooded during the very wet winter weather. In order to address this problem he suggested that, with the use of a mini-digger, the ground should be dug out parallel with the east side of the MUGA, to give a slow fall from the gate to the river. The spoil will be used to fill in the hole in the centre of the ground. Cllr Vine-Hall will provide some concrete slabs to put around the gate. RESOLVED: That hire of a mini-digger for £136 including fuel and VAT is approved for Cllr Chapman to do the work necessary to allow water to drain into the river rather than flooding the MUGA.
118 SEDLESCOMBE SPORTSFIELD
- Contribution towards resurfacing Ladybird Lane. The cheque has been sent to John Steed to cover the Parish Council's contribution towards resurfacing Ladybird Lane. It was noted that no proper edges to the tarmac were provided which has resulted in cracking. The Council had not been involved with the specification for the work.
- Contribution towards gates across disabled parking area. The gates are in place and the Clerk has sent an invoice to the Sports Association for their contribution towards the work.
- Proposed drainage scheme. Ashley Davey had informed the Clerk that the Football Club would like to drain the Sportsfield.
- Proposed extension of terms of Sportsfield Lease. In order to obtain grant aid for the drainage work, the Sports Association would need a longer term of lease than the current twenty years.
119 COMMEMORATING THE CENTENARY OF WORLD WAR ONE 2014-2018 AND THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF WORLD WAR TWO IN 2015. Tree Planting Opportunity. The Council noted a letter from The Conservation Volunteers. The Volunteers have a pot of funding for planting native trees (usually in the form of 60-80cm whips) from DEFRA that runs until March 2015. The trees need to be planted on publically owned land to which people have free access. No action.
120 PARISH COUNCIL'S 120TH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS FIRST MEETING ON 13 DECEMBER. Members will consider whether to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Parish Council's first meeting which took place on 13/12/1894.
121 COMMUNITY SELF-SERVE EAST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL HIGHWAYS INITIATIVE. The County Council had published a project "Making the Highway work for your Community ". In order to save money, the County Council is trying to prioritise its work and to give local communities the opportunity to shape the way local services are delivered by paying for what they want. The Plan is for the County Council to operate under an Asset Management Plan that sets out how they intend to maintain and improve the highway infrastructure in East Sussex. Then there are four ways in which communities can contribute towards highway work i.e.:
- Community Essentials whereby ESCC helps and supports local communities to organise and carry out basic functions such as snow wardens, overgrown hedge enforcement, roadside planting.
- Pay-As-You-Go Extras. Communities can buy additional products or services from ESCC. This could include winter maintenance equipment, drain jetting, car park surfacing, grass cutting.
- Local Delivery Company. The community forms its own Company providing a sustainable locally focussed service to cut verges and hedges, maintain road signs and finger posts, keep towns and villages tidy etc.
- Community Fund Match. ESCC will match community investment for successful applications. This could be used to create a new rural footway, solve local drainage problems, install a new safety feature.
The Parish Council is interested in becoming involved with Community Fund Match and has already allocated funds in its budget. The Clerk had completed and sent an "Expression of Interest" form and now needed to chase up a reply so that projects can be agreed. In January, the Parking & Traffic Advisory Committee had drawn up a list of 13 possible highways projects. Cllr Eldridge agreed to speak with the relevant people in order that he can report to the next meeting of the Finance Committee in a fortnight's time. He also agreed to apply for funding from the Police Crime Commissioner's Fund (before 31/03/14) for the purchase of a hand-held speed camera for Speedwatch use.
122 REPEAL OF S.150(5) OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972. Following the repeal of s150(5) of the Local Government Act 1972, local councils in England may safely take advantage of modern payment methods while protecting the public assets in their care.
123 ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY, 29/04/14
- Proposed invitation. It was moved by Cllr Eldridge: That Armstrong Rigg should be invited to the Annual Parish Assembly to answer questions on future proposals for Street Farm. On being put to the vote, the motion was LOST.
- Other arrangements. It was agreed that Roy Cook of Sedlescombe Vineyard should be invited to the Assembly to talk briefly about the Vineyard's recent award.
Members agreed with Cllr Chapman's suggestion that volunteers should be sent a Christmas Card this year from the Council to thank them for their help.
124 A21 CYCLE FACILIES. Balfour Beatty Mott MacDonald is currently developing a scheme on behalf of the Highways Agency to encourage cyclists using the A21 to instead use suitable and safer routes on the local authority network. The Highways Design Engineer has asked to meet to discuss the project. The Clerk was authorised to reply that the B2244 is just as unsafe for cyclists as the A21 and, therefore, the Council is not interested in being involved with this project.
125 CONSULTATION ON THE FIRE AUTHORITY'S REVIEW OF SERVICE PROVISION IN EAST SUSSEX AND THE CITY OF BRIGHTON & HOVE. The Fire Authority is consulting on 3 proposals which focus on keeping all current fire stations open, while adjusting working practices to make the most of financial resources and deliver the response needed by those in the area. Cllrs Eldridge and Glew, and possible Cllr Anson, will attend the meeting on 19/03/14 on The Ridge, Hastings.