SPC logoAnnual Meeting Minutes


PRESENT: Cllrs Anson, Chapman, Eldridge, Fraser, Lawrence, Parsons, Reynolds, Vine-Hall
Clerk/RFO: Mrs Pauline J Raymond

Also present: County Cllr A Davies (first part); District Cllr T Ganly (all); 1 member of the public (all); 1 member of the public (first part); Mrs Sue Walton (all); PCSO Demi (first part)

The following were invited to speak:

PCSO Demetrius Georghiou. There have been a series of shed breaks around the rural areas. The Police are carrying out overnight operations. Working at East View Terrace with lots of issues. Camera to be installed there.

Mrs Susan Walton. Chief Executive, Pestalozzi International Village. Students started exams. Bhutanese Cultural Evening on 29/05/14. Courses for first aid for car crash victims being held at Pestalozzi - open to the public.

County Councillor Davies. Passed highways matters raised at the Assembly to the appropriate bodies as follows:

District Councillor Ganly. The implementation of the new Rother Waste and Recycling Collection on 30/06/14 is fast approaching. A team of advisors has begun to knock on doors, starting in Bexhill, to explain the new arrangements. Flyers have been sent to every property. Cllr Ganly would like to hear of any problems that people are experiencing receiving the brown compost bins they have paid for.

Cllr Vine-Hall in the chair

1 CHAIRMAN. Proposed by Cllr Reynolds and RESOLVED: That Cllr Vine-Hall is elected Chairman of the Parish Council for the ensuing year. He signed his acceptance of office.

2 VICE-CHAIRMAN. Proposed by Cllr Reynolds and RESOLVED: That Cllr Glew is elected Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council for the ensuing year.

3 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST WHETHER PERSONAL OR PERSONAL/PECUNIARY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CURRENT CODE OF CONDUCT REGARDING MATTERS ON THE AGENDA. None declared. Members were reminded that they should review their current declared interests and inform the Clerk of any changes.

4 DISPENSATIONS. Dispensations granted to Cllrs Glew, Eldridge, Vine-Hall, Chapman and Fraser will continue for a further year:

  1. Cllr Glew dispensation granted 14 May 2013 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.
  2. Cllr Eldridge dispensation granted 14 May 2013 to allow him to speak and vote on matters considering the suitability of allotment land for housing development, despite his tenancy of an allotment.
  3. Cllr Vine-Hall dispensation granted 14/05/13 to allow him to speak and vote 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.
  4. Cllr Chapman dispensation granted 09/07/13 to allow him to participate and vote in discussions involving possible development sites in the parish even though he is a near neighbour of the Pestalozzi International Village.
  5. Cllr Fraser dispensation granted 09/07/13 to allow her to participate and vote on matters concerning the Street Farm development despite her pecuniary interest in the Street Farm area as owner of an adjacent property.

No further written requests received from Councillors.

5 CONFIRMATION OF ACCURACY OF MINUTES OF EXTRAORDINARY COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 15/04/14. RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council held on 15/04/14.


  1. That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 11/03/14, 25/03/14 and 15/04/14 are received.
  2. That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Finance Committee held on 25/03/14 are received.

7 REVIEW OF DELEGATION ARRANGEMENTS TO COMMITTEES, SUB-COMMITTEES, EMPLOYEES AND OTHER LOCAL AUTHORITIES. Delegation to Committees as shown in their Terms of Reference. Delegated Authority to RFO 25/03/14 noted.

8 REVIEW OF TERMS OF REFERENCE OF COMMITTEES AND MEMBERSHIP. RESOLVED: That the following committees are constituted for the year ahead in accordance with the Terms of Reference and with the membership as stated.

  1. Planning Executive Committee. Peter Anson, Roy Chapman, Rod Eldridge, John Parsons, John Reynolds. Ex-officio Jonathan Vine-Hall and Pauline Glew
    1. To consider planning applications for the Parish of Sedlescombe (and those outside the Parish that might affect Sedlescombe residents) and to resolve the Parish Council's support of approval or refusal and to inform Rother District Council of the resolution.
    2. To study all plans produced by other local authorities or the Government which might affect planning development in Sedlescombe and to comment to the relevant authority.
    3. To inform the District Council of breaches of planning control in the Parish.

  2. Finance Executive Committee. Peter Anson, Roy Chapman, Rod Eldridge, Simon Lawrence. Ex-officio Jonathan Vine-Hall and Pauline Glew
    1. To consider the draft annual estimates of income and expenditure as submitted by the Responsible Financial Officer (RFO).
    2. To recommend draft annual estimates and precept amount to the Council not later than January in each year.
    3. To review the Clerk's Salary at budget time. Changes to take effect from the following 1 April.
    4. To monitor quarterly statements of income and expenditure against budgets.
    5. To consider and approve normal expenditure in line with the annual estimates including letting of contracts.
    6. To consider and approve banking arrangements as recommended by the RFO.
    7. To monitor loans and investments.
    8. To receive reports of bad debts.
    9. To review fees and charges at the appropriate time.
    10. To decide the general nature of the work to be undertaken or goods supplied.
    11. To consider and accept quotations and tenders in lines with the estimates.
    12. To review insurances annually.
    13. To review the financial regulations annually.

  3. Neighbourhood Plan Executive Committee. Roy Chapman, Rod Eldridge, Lindsay Fraser, Simon Lawrence, John Parsons, John Reynolds, Ex-officio Jonathan Vine-Hall and Pauline Glew
    1. To produce a Neighbourhood Plan for the Parish of Sedlescombe.

  4. Traffic and Parking Advisory Committee. Roy Chapman, Rod Eldridge, John Parsons, Derek Wright (co-opted), PCSO Demetrius Georghiou (co-opted)
    1. To quantify the parking and traffic issues
      1. Within the parish
      2. Specifically in Brede Lane in relation to the School and Doctors' Surgery
      3. In relation to the Sportsfield and adjacent recreational areas
      4. In East View Terrace
      5. In relation to the Village shop
      6. In Chapel Hill
      7. In Cottage Lane (road leading from Sedlescombe to Westfield, especially the increase in heavy traffic)
      8. Around The Street particularly near LWA and Kester House
    2. To seek the view of interested and affected parties regarding parking and traffic problems and suggested solutions.
    3. To discuss with the Highways Department the issues and possible solutions to identify problems.
    4. To quantify the effect on areas of the parish of development over the last ten years. This is increase in traffic and parking.
    5. To look at how the Parish Council can influence Rother District Council to include traffic calming measures in all or some planning developments.
    6. To make recommendations regarding future management of traffic and parking in the Village.
    7. To make recommendations to the Parish Council regarding all aspects of parking and traffic in the Parish.

9 POLICY DOCUMENTS. Review and adoption of appropriate standing orders, financial regulations and parish council policies already adopted as follows:

  1. Standing Orders. 17/07/12
    1. RESOLVED: That Standing Orders dated 17/07/12 are approved with the following amendments:
      1. Paragraph 3(j)(vi)  to read:  Review the need to obtain the General Power of Competence or, as appropriate, to re-affirm eligibility.
      2. Paragraph 5(b) bring into line with the new Parish Clerk/RFO/Website Manager job description.
      3. Paragraph 7(d) to read:  “No further action will be taken to inform the Parish Council unless exceptional circumstances require this to be done when the matter will be placed before a special extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council, the agenda and minutes of which will remain confidential until the result of the complaint investigation is announced by the Rother Standards Committee.”
      4. Paragraph 10(b) Delete “The Council’s financial regulations shall be reviewed once a year”.
    2. RESOLVED: That it is noted that Standing Orders to be dated June 2014 will need amendment at or before the 2015 Annual Meeting as follows:
      1. Para 1(q) will need deleting (ie when The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 regulations are published).
      2. Paragraph 21 to be deleted (at Annual Meeting 2015).
  2. Financial Regulations 16/11/10. No change approved for the time being although the regulations will need to be continually reviewed to ensure that they meet current regulations.
  3. Parish Council Policies
    1. Biodiversity Strategy, 13/11/07
    2. Casual Vacancies policy, 14/09/10
    3. Child/Young Person Protection Policy, 03/07/09
    4. Climate Change Mitigation and Fuel Poverty Alleviation Strategy, January 2008
    5. Complaints Code, 12/07/12
    6. Crayfishing policy, 11/11/08
    7. Decision Making policy 11/11/08 - FOR REVIEW
    8. Equality and Recruitment Policy, 15/04/14
    9. Health & Safety policy, 16/11/10
    10. DELETE AS INCLUDED IN THE STANDING ORDERS. Information provided to the Parish Council in connection with complaints against Parish Councillors under the 2012 Code of Conduct (policy amended 17/07/12)
    11. Planning Code of Good Practice, September 2005 - FOR REVIEW
    12. Risk Management Policy 20/03/12 - FOR REVIEW
    13. Schedule of Charges for Freedom of Information hard copies 2009 - FOR REVIEW
    14. Statement of Community Involvement 13/09/11 - FOR REVIEW
    15. Training Strategy 18/09/12 - FOR REVIEW
    16. Winter Maintenance Policy December 2013 - FOR REVIEW

10 REVIEW OF THE REASON WHY THE POWER OF WELL-BEING HAS NOT BEEN ADOPTED BY SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL. Noted that the Parish Council does have the Power of Well-being and will retain it until after the elections in May 2015 when the power will cease to exist. The Power of Well-being allows eligible councils to promote economic, social or environmental well-being to assist individuals, groups or the whole community, whether residents or visitors.

The Council may, if it wishes at the 2015 Annual Meeting, consider obtaining the General Power of Competence. Eligibility for this is 1) two-thirds of the Council has been elected; (2) the clerk is qualified and (3) the clerk has undergone training in the general power of competence through CILCA module 7 2012. Once the General Power of Competence is obtained, the Council may do anything a natural person may do subject to some prohibitions, restrictions and conditions.

11a REVIEW OF INVENTORY OF LAND AND ASSETS INCLUDING BUILDINGS AND OFFICE EQUIPMENT. Delegated to Finance Committee to review at meeting on 24/06/14.



13 PAYMENT OF ANY SUBSCRIPTIONS FALLING TO BE PAID ANNUALLY. RESOLVED: That subscriptions to Sussex and Surrey Association of Local Councils/National Association of Local Councils, Rother Association of Local Councils and the Society of Local Council Clerks are paid as they fall due.

14 COUNCIL'S PROCEDURES. RESOLVED: That the following policies should be retained:

  1. Handling requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 Policy 2009
  2. Data Protection Act 1998 Policy 2009

15 POLICY FOR DEALING WITH THE PRESS AND MEDIA. RESOLVED: That the Publicity and Press Policy 10/07/12 should be reviewed.


17 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.

  1. Rother Association of Local Councils - Cllrs Glew and Parsons with one vote between them. The Clerk may attend meetings but does not have a vote.
  2. Village Hall Trustee - Cllr Glew has resigned her trusteeship of Sedlescombe Village Hall. One councillor to become a Village Hall Trustee and to join the Village Hall Management Committee as a voting member. Cllr Parsons (who is also the Village Hall Management Committee Secretary).
  3. Sedlescombe Sports Association Committee - Cllr Anson to join the Sports Association Committee as a voting member.
  4. Tree Warden - Pat Martin.
  5. Neighbourhood Watch representative - Cllr Glew to report on Neighbourhood Watch matters.
  6. Transport representative - Cllr Glew to report on transport matters of special interest to Sedlescombe residents.

18 APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE received from Cllr Glew (away).


  1. John Brownsden reported that he wished to display high-viz yellow speed watch signs in Stream Lane and would like to have the Parish Council's approval. He brought along a selection of the signs he had obtained from Battle Town Council. He spoke of Stream Lane's narrowness, without a footway where the national speed limit applies. It is used as a rat run from east to west and speeding cars often need to mount the verges to avoid collisions. Pedestrians put their lives in danger when using the Lane and at least ten dogs and cats have been killed in recent years. It was agreed that it would be up to the County Council to object if they wish to.


  1. Internal Audit. RESOLVED: That the Internal Audit Report for the 2013/14 Annual Accounts is received.
  2. Final Accounts 2013/14. RESOLVED: That the Final accounts for the 2013/14 financial year are approved and that the Chairman is authorised to sign the Annual Return. It was agreed that page 11 of the Final accounts should be amended by adding the words "and Maintenance Agreement" to the heading.
  3. Bank Reconciliation. RESOLVED: That the Bank Reconciliation at the end of April 2014 is approved.
  4. Cheques. RESOLVED: That payment of the April 2014 cheque list is ratified and the May 2014 cheque list is approved. See here.
  5. Direct Debit Payment. RESOLVED: That a direct debit payment for the domain name registration with 123 Reg is set up and a payment approved in the sum of £8.38 (including VAT) for 2 years domain name registration.


  1. Changes to the recruitment arrangements for the replacement Parish Clerk in accordance with the policy of the SSALC. Following the last meeting of the Council, the Clerk had registered with SSALC for their recruitment procedure. This meant that they send out the recruitment packs to applicants and receive the applications. No CVs are allowed and all applicants must complete the SSALC form. SSALC have been sending out application packs including the job and person descriptions produced by Sedlescombe Parish Council. The closing date for applications is 15/05/14 and a list of candidates will be sent to the Clerk for shortlisting before 12 noon on 19/05/14. It is hoped that interviews can take place on 21/05/14. Arrangements were made that Cllrs Eldridge and Parsons will be on hand to substitute for any of the interviewing panel of Cllrs Vine-hall, Glew and Pauline Raymond who are not able to take part in one or more interviews.
  2. Hand over arrangements following the Parish Clerk's retirement. The Clerk had allocated June for a handover period.
  3. Rother District Council new website. Much improved and recommended to councillors.
  4. Allotments contact. Details of the owner of the allotments who may be contacted re vacancies will be included in the next edition of the Bulletin.
  5. Bulletin. To be produced in June.
  6. Estate Agent's boards. A local resident had objected to the Estate Agent's board which has been on the bank of the Rother car park for some weeks. Only one board is allowed outside the property that is for sale. The resident has written to Rother but without any success in getting the board removed.
  7. Pay Award. The Council had approved a 1% increase in the Clerk's Salary from 01/04/14 but, later, it became clear that the award is still pending. RESOLVED: That, unless confirmation of the increase is received before the end of June, the Clerk’s Salary between April and June 2014 will be paid without the 1% increase and the Clerk’s Gratuity Payment will be based on the two years’ salary without the 1% increase on the condition that, when the increase is actually awarded, the Clerk is paid the balance owed on both the April to June salary and the Gratuity Payment.
  8. High Weald AONB Management Plan 2014-2019. Published online.
  9. Training. Training courses listed on the SSALC website.
  10. Playground Inspections. Members were reminded of their playground inspection weeks.
  11. CPRE "Passionate about the Sussex Countryside". There is a planning event at Herstmonceux Village Hall on 14/06/14.
  12. Archaeological Dig. Last week, the Independent Historical Research Group undertook a dig at Oaklands Park to try to answer the question of whether or not the industrial-scale Roman ironworking site in Sedlescombe on the banks of the River Brede had been run by the Roman Navy. Unfortunately, no tiles marked CL.BR (Classis Britannica) were found although plenty of pot fragments and some Roman glass were.


  1. Highways Department ESCC. The Chairman reported on his visit to the Highways Department of East Sussex County Council at Lewes where he saw how the TRICS programme works in assessing potential traffic problems associated with housing development. He mentioned that no rural village figures have been used to assess the figures. He now appreciates that, with the size of housing development expected in our rural areas, it is unlikely that any objections based on traffic number issues will have any effect. This is because, when figures for a rush hour are calculated, they are always found to be small and expected to have little effect on the local area. Other traffic issues such as visibility should of course be put forward if appropriate.
  2. Stream Lane signs. See 19.1 above.
  3. A21/B2244 junction. The Chairman reported that, at a recent meeting with Highways Agency and Greg Barker MP, the Highways Agency's contractor's representative had been much more optimistic than recently about the possibility of installing a roundabout at the junction with the help of a substantial contribution from the owner of Blackbrooks Garden Centre. The reason for the change appears to be the Highways Agency's plans to reduce the speed limits along the A21 (including installation of average speed cameras) which makes the installation of a roundabout acceptable. The contractor has also agreed to monitor traffic using the existing Blackbrooks' entrance. Even if a roundabout does not materialise, the contractor has agreed that a pelican crossing will be acceptable.

23 ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE PARISH MEETING 2014. Residents asked questions about sixteen different subjects at the Assembly. Members considered them as follows:

  1. Proposals to convert the public conveniences into a public convenience/PCSO office.  Since this was raised at the Assembly, Demi has been in contact again because of the recent reduction in cars available for PCSO use.  If he had an office in the centre of Sedlescombe, he could be dropped off here and do his work while being close to the school where he needs to be twice a day.  He asks whether the Parish Council could do anything to speed up this project. The Chairman asked District Councillor Ganly to test the water at Rother and to find out whether there is any funding to help with the conversion.
  2. Gregory Walk
    1. Why has building in the flood plain been proposed? (On 01/05/14, the Environment Agency removed flood risk zone 2 from the Sunningdale area.)
    2. Why has a different site than the one advertised at the Exhibition in September 2013 been included in the Plan?
    3. Is Rother likely to grant planning permission for houses on land if the site is not within the NH Plan?
    4. Why was the Sunningdale site included in the draft NH Plan when most people didn't’t put it in their top five at the Exhibition?
    5. Who will pay for legal advice that Gregory Walk residents are being forced to obtain?
  3. Improvement of Church Hill footway
  4. Resurfacing of Brede Lane. 
  5. One way at The Green.
  6. Need a pond for geese.  Suggestion that goose husbandry is a reasonable pastime.
  7. Cost of vandalism in the parish.
  8. How would the panel engage young people in politics? 
  9. Could the footway in Sandrocks be extended to Hurst Lane?
  10. Changes to the Fire Service.
  11. What can be done about the traffic at the bottom of The Green?
  12. Cutting back bushes and trees at Scotch Down in Brede Lane.
  13. Purchase of the ex-car lot by the Parish Council.
  14. Junction of Chapel Hill and B2244.
  15. How to stop parking on the grass verge and path at Sandrocks?
  16. Time restriction needed to stop lorries accessing Pumphouse Yard along Gammons Way and school arrival and departure time.

It was noted that, only electors on the Register of Electors have any right to speak at a Parish Meeting and that questions should be specific to the parish and not of a general nature.


  1. Pre-Submission Neighbourhood Plan. To receive a report on the consultation which ended on 06/05/14. 411 individual responses were received during the Pre-Submission Neighbourhood Plan consultation period, a large majority of which generally support the Draft Plan. Other comments were received from the Environment Agency, the High Weald AONB Unit, various departments of East Sussex County Council, Natural England, Sedlescombe Primary School and ar Planning. Rother sent informal comments. Members had been provided with summaries of the comments received. Some of the comments are not entirely related to the Neighbourhood Plan and members were invited to comment on them. The statement of comments received on the Pre-Submission Plan will be included in the forthcoming Consultation Report.
  2. To receive Neil Homer's Report following the consultation. Neil Homer, Planning Consultant, had written a report and his comments had been included in the paper provided to members. Members noted that the draft plan will be adjusted to take account of Neil's recommendations for change.
  3. To receive other updates relating to the Plan. Owners of the preferred sites are currently in the process of clarifying their cases. Members were provided with details of the income and expenditure relating specifically to the Neighbourhood Plan. RESOLVED: That, at the cost of £1500, Neil Homer of rCOH Ltd should be appointed to:
    1. Make modifications to the Pre-Submission Plan as instructed by SPC to include update reports re site proposals produced by Graham Fifield or other consultant appointed by the site owners.
    2. Make modifications to the SEA in the light of comments received on the draft document.
    3. Prepare the Basic Conditions Statement.
    4. Review Sedlescombe's Consultation Statement.
    5. Modify the Proposal Maps and Insets as necessary.
    6. Review the Locality healthcheck report and to discuss with the Parish Council how to respond to any recommendations made in that report.
    7. Make final modifications to the final Submission Plan documentation.
    8. Continue to liaise by phone and e-mail.
  4. Extraordinary Council Meeting to approve the Submission Neighbourhood Plan. Arranged for Tuesday 24 June 2014 starting at 18:30.

25 SEDLESCOMBE SPORTSFIELD. See agenda for details. Cllr Anson, the Parish Council's representative on the Sports Association Committee will speak with the Committee about the matters raised.

26 EX-CAR LOT PROPOSAL to turn it into the Lower Village Car Park. The Council was informed that Ashley Davy would like to raise funds to purchase the land on behalf of Sedlescombe Football Club to provide a parking area at the lower part of the Village.

27 PLAYING FIELD TRUST. Trust meeting followed the Council Meeting.

  1. Grass area. Cllr Chapman had undertaken reprofiling work which should help with keeping floodwater off the MUGA. Tree work had also been undertaken.
  2. Multi-use games area. Sufficient income has been received by the Trust to be able to pay for insurance without the need for grant aid from the Parish Council.
  3. Other updates. None


  1. Advertising. After deciding in 2013 to stop all advertising on The Green, other than for the Parish Council, the policy was changed again on 14/01/14 following requests from local organisations for permission to be re-instated. The following resolution had been passed in January:
    RESOLVED: That, in order to control advertising on Sedlescombe Village Green,
    1. Only Parish Council or 100% charitable events that have received the Parish Council's approval will be allowed to position signs on the Village Green.
    2. Applications for permission to advertise Village events on the Green during the following year will be considered at the January Council Meeting and a maximum of four (other than parish council events) will be approved.
    3. A maximum of two signs will be allowed for each event..
    4. Signs should be on the Green for a maximum of seven days for each event (including the day of the event). Signs to be removed immediately after the event has ended and any damage caused to The Green repaired.
    5. Signs should be restricted in size to A1.
    6. Signs should be located where directed by the Council ensuring that drivers' visibility is not affected by the signs.

      It was further RESOLVED: That the following Village bodies will be allowed to advertise one event each on The Green in 2014: Sedlescombe Garden Society, Sedlescombe CEP School, Pestalozzi International Village, Spring Fayre. The situation will be reviewed in January 2015.
    Although the resolution specifies a maximum of 7 days for each event including the day of the event, the PC’s large boards on the Green re the NHP and the Assembly were on The Green for much longer than 7 days which caused an objection to be received that the PC was not abiding by its own policy. The Chairman said that the intention of the policy was to exclude the Parish Council from these rules and that the policy should be amended to make this clear at the earliest opportunity. Paragraph 5 also needs amendment as the Council's board is A0 size. 
  2. Fund-raising and other events
    1. The Green will be used on Saturday by the Spring Fayre Committee to raise funds for local good causes.
    2. St Michael’s Hospice is due to use The Green on Tuesday 20/05/14 in connection with an open garden event although nothing heard recently from them.
    3. 19/07/14 – booking made to hold a fund-raising event for St Leonards boy at Sedlescombe School
    4. The Green will be the venue for the Garden Society’s Summer Show on Saturday 02/08/14.

      Members have no intention of imposing a charge for local people using The Green.

29 LIBRARY REVIEW. The Village Hall weekly library is set to continue for the time being. The County Council is planning to alter the frequency of the mobile library visits to Sedlescombe (and other areas) to once every 3 weeks instead of every 2 weeks in order to save money.

30 COMMUNITY SELF-SERVE INTRODUCTION. On Monday 16/06/14, 10:00 to 13:00, at the Uckfield Civic Centre, the County Council will provide details of the new scheme whereby parishes pay for highways works they want done in their own areas.