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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting
on Tuesday 28th February 2017
at 19:00 in Committee Room 2 of Sedlescombe Village Hall

Present: Cllr. Vine-Hall (Chair),
Cllrs. Anson, Brister, Chapman, Fraser and Glew
Clerk/RFO: Mrs. Carol Hodgson

Also Present: County Cllr. Angharad Davies, District Cllr. Tony Ganly and 8 Members of the Public

The Chairman apologised for the late start of the meeting which was due to the overrunning of interviews for the Casual Vacancies on Parish Council. The meeting commenced at 7.17pm.

The Chairman advised County Cllr. Angharad Davies, District Cllr. Tony Ganly and members of public in attendance that item C16/172.1 would be moved to the end of the agenda for discussion.
In view of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted in items C16/172.1 and C16/186.4 it was advised in the public interest that the meeting would be closed. The Press and Public would be temporarily excluded and would be instructed to withdraw in accordance with section 100A (2) and (4) of the LGA 1972

The Chairman invited the following to speak:
County Councillor Angharad Davies reported that County Council had set and approved the budget for 2017/18 which incorporated a further £17m reduction in spending. Members also agreed an extra 1.99 per cent in council tax, as well as a Government agreed 3% Adult Social Care levy which will fund some of the shortfall for adult social care needs of the ageing population. There has been an increase in children with disabilities which has impacted on school places. More money will be spent on maintaining pavements and roads and to continue funding the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme and Youth Cabinet. Additional funding would also be made available for the council’s community match scheme, which allows town and parish councils to work with the county to deliver schemes important to local communities. Funding has also been secured from the Department of Transport to deliver cycling and walking initiatives aimed at improving access to work, education, training and and the launch of new ‘cycle hubs’ offering bike training, maintenance and sustainable travel information, in Peacehaven and Hastings, in addition to the existing hub in Eastbourne. A plaque has been unveiled marking County Council’s commitment to tackling domestic and sexual violence and abuse. CC has been reaccredited as a White Ribbon authority, two years after it became only the second county council in the country to receive the designation in 2014. 'Pothole' roadworks are due to take place in Stream Lane shortly.
District Councillor Tony Ganly has submitted the following written report:
Cabinet agreed to merge the Standards committee with the Audit committee which should save a bit of money. It also decided to move towards a Building Control Shared Service with Wealden D.C. as lead Authority of the Shared Service that may include EBC, HBC and Lewes DC. The Council will investigate the feasibility of moving to a wholly owned Local Authority company. Cabinet will propose to Full Council an increase in Council Tax of £5 on a band D property which was supported by nearly two-thirds of the 355 respondents to the recently completed consultation. The budget would include an amount for the provision of lifeguards at Camber beach subject to the findings of the inquest into the recent tragic loss of life. It will also propose that the Council Tax exemption for empty properties be reduced from one month to zero from 1 April 2018. Residents may claim exemption or a discount on Council Tax, in particular the single person exemption. The Council is largely reliant on accurate information being supplied by residents including notifying any change of circumstances. On occasion this does not happen so it has been decided to establish a Council Tax Penalties Policy. The penalty fixed by central government is £70 which can be increased to £280 in certain circumstances. Rather than wishing to impose penalties it is hoped that the establishment of such a policy will act as a deterrent to reduce the likelihood of fraud.
Mrs Susan Walton (Chief Executive of Pestalozzi International Village) had submitted the following report:
Our International Celebration this year will be held on Saturday 11th March and is going to focus on the International Women’s Day theme of ‘Be Bold For Change’ with performances and speakers drawn from the Pestalozzi student body, dealing with issues ranging from violence against women and arranged marriage, as well as guest speakers such as Ann Kramer talking about her work with Hastings Women’s Voice. The programme aims to be inspirational and I thought that it would be of interest to Councillors. It is a free event but likely to be very popular so we are encouraging people to book ahead of time. We are currently seeking both paid and volunteer drivers if anyone is interested. D1 qualified for preference. This is on the Sedlescombe Jobs Facebook page and we are keen to spread the word widely if we can. On a more general matter, we have encouraged staff to join up with Nextdoor Sedlescombe and are watching the conversations with interest. I would also like to add that we at Pestalozzi, as one of the three biggest employers in the Parish, remain very supportive of the Neighbourhood Plan.

C16/167 Apologies
Cllr. Veitch, Mrs Susan Walton (Chief Executive of Pestalozzi International Village) and Mrs Caroline Harvey (Head of Sedlescombe Primary School).

C16/168 Interests in accordance with 2012 Code of Conduct

  1. To receive new written requests for dispensation.
    No new requests were received.
  2. To receive councillors' declarations of interest regarding matters on the agenda.
    Cllr. Chapman declared a personal interest in item C16/185.c as beneficiary of a cheque.
    Cllr. Brister declared a personal interest in item C16/173.f as a friend of the applicant.

C16/169 Public participation session re matters on the Agenda at the Chairman's discretion.
The Chairman invited members of the public to speak, reminding them that the meeting would be closed at item C16/186.4.
Mr. Olin expressed that he was puzzled about the Sedlescombe NHP and the inconsistency with Rother DC granting planning permission to Street Farm even though the housing obligations has been met through the SNP.
Mr. Thomas commented that seeking a judicial review is an expensive process and failed to understand why this was being considered.
There were no further comments received.

C16/170 To approve the minutes of the Council Meeting on 17-Jan-17
RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Minutes of the meeting held on 17th January 2017

C16/171 To receive the minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting on 10-Jan-17
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting on 10th January 2017 were received.

C16/172 Casual Vacancies

  1. To consider the applicants.
    This item was deferred to the end of meeting under a closed session.

C16/173 Planning

  1. To consider response to planning applications.

    a. RR/2016/3266/P - Chittlebirch, Compasses, Cripps Corner, TN32 5SA
    Proposed side extension via glazed link and internal alterations.
    Cllr. Chapman reported.
    RESOLVED: Parish Council has no comments.

    b. RR/2016/3267/L - Chittlebirch, Compasses, Cripps Corner, TN32 5SA
    Proposed side extension via glazed link and internal alterations.
    Cllr. Chapman reported
    RESOLVED: Parish Council has no comments.

    c. RR/2017/293/P - Constant Spring, Hawkhurst Road, Sedlescombe TN33 0QS
    Extensions and alterations to property (alternative to RR/2015/2961/P)
    Cllr. Vine-Hall reported.
    RESOLVED: Parish Council supports approval.

    d. RR/2017/189/P - Hazelwood, Cripps Corner Road, Sedlescombe TN32 5QS
    Proposed demolition of existing shed and garage and erection of a self contained annexe with garage to be used in conjunction with the main dwelling.
    Cllr. Vine-Hall reported.
    RESOLVED: Parish Council support approval subject to a S106 condition to tie the new dwelling to the main property.

    e. RR/2017/222/P - Battle Barn Farm, New Road, Sedlescombe TN33 0RL
    Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of contemporary replacement.
    Cllr. Chapman reported.
    RESOLVED: Parish Council has no objections to the planning proposal. As an observation: It is considered that the property will be visible from surrounding public footpaths.

    f. RR/2017/255/P - Little Footlands, Swailes Green, Sedlescombe TN32 5QU
    Proposed extension to northern end of dwelling. Replacement of all UPVC/aluminium double glazed windows on the northern, eastern and southern facades with triple glazed.
    Cllr. Vine-Hall reported.
    RESOLVED: Parish Council support approval subject to changing the design of the rear facing windows to a more traditional style.

  2. To receive advice of decisions on previous applications:-

    a. RR/2016/3152/P The Old School House, Balcombe Green, Sedlescombe TN33 0QL
    Proposed single storey extensions.
    APPROVED CONDITIONAL: As per decision notice 26-Jan-17
    Noted.

    b. RR/2017/127/CM - Brede Barn Farm, Brede Lane, Sedlescombe TN33 0PG
    Infilling of slurry pit and regrading of adjacent land with inert waste material.
    NO OBJECTION CONDS: As per decision notice 08-Feb-17
    Noted.

C16/174 Neighbourhood Plan

The Chairman closed the meeting to allow a member of the public who had just arrived to speak.
Mrs. Evans who lives at Street Farm described how Street Farm was such an important and beautiful area in the village to keep. She is devastated that Rother DC has agreed for development to go ahead on this land. Lots of people if people in the village also feel this spot should be kept. Mrs. Evans had attended Rother DC's planning meeting when the planning application was considered in October 2016 and was disappointed that the Committee had not taken into consideration the the Village and residents views.

  1. To consider appointing Neil Homer and Cllr. Vine-Hall as representatives for Parish Council should a Public Examination and Post Examination be required for the Sedlescombe NHP.
    RESOLVED: To appoint Neil Homer - planning director of rCOH and Cllr. Jonathan Vine-Hall as representatives for Parish Council should a Public Examination and Post Examination be required for the Sedlescombe NHP.
  2. To approve provisional funding of £1,000 for Neil Homer to attend a Public Examination for the Sedlescombe NHP if required.
    Cllr. Vine-Hall reported that a grant of £1,000 had been secured through the Community Rights Programme – Neighbourhood Planning, which would cover the possible cost of Neil Homer to attend a Public Examination for the Sedlescombe NHP if required without using Parish Council funds.
    RESOLVED: To approve provisional funding of £1,000 from the grant awarded by the Community Rights Programme – Neighbourhood Planning for Neil Homer - planning director of rCOH to attend a Public Examination for the Sedlescombe NHP if required.
  3. To receive an update on the Examiner and timing for the examination.
    Cllr. Vine-Hall reported that Mr. Edward Cousins had been appointed as Examiner. The examination was planned for 9th / 10th March though this maybe delayed as Rother DC were still analysing the 500 responses received from the Regulation 16 consultation.
  4. To agree submission of Regulation 16 report to the Examiner.
    RESOLVED: To submit a Regulation 16 report to the Examiner prepared by Neil Homer - planning director of rCOH.
  5. To receive an update on the Rother NP forum.
    Cllr. Vine-Hall reported that around 10 Neighbourhood Plans are currently being prepared in Rother. An informal forum has been set-up to help other towns and villages with their NHP process. .

C16/175 Rother DaSA Local Plan Consultation

1. To ratify Parish Council's comments submitted to Rother District Council to meet the deadline of 20th February 2017.
RESOLVED: The decision to submit Parish Council's comments to Rother District Council on the Rother DaSA Local Plan Consultation without prior advertising in order to meet the deadline of 20th February 2017 was ratified.

C16/176 Salehurst and Robertsbridge NHP

  1. To consider a response to the Salehurst and Robertsbridge NHP under formal Consultation by Rother District Council (Regulation 16)
    RESOLVED: To issue the following representation to the Salehurst and Robertsbridge NHP under formal Consultation by Rother DC under Reg 16
    1. Sedlescombe Parish Council supports the whole of the Salehurst and Robertsbridge Neighbourhood plan
    2. Sedlescombe Parish Council specifically support the local green spaces identified in policy EN2
    3. Sedlescombe Parish Council specifically support the mill site in policy H03

C16/177 Speed watch

  1. To receive an update on recruiting a Speed Watch Coordinator and an assistant for the administration and smooth running of the SpeedWatch scheme.
    Cllr. Glew reported that the list of volunteers was now update and ready to be passed on to the new Coordinator when appointed.

C16/178 East Sussex Highways - Planting of Bulbs and Wildflowers

  1. To consider an offer from East Sussex Highways to plant some bulbs and wild flowers in Sedlescombe.
    Costain has a 'Social Value' pot separate to the main Highways funding. Members noted that the areas where the bulbs and wildflowers were planted would result in less cutting / mowing. This could cause a problem where the verge is also used for pedestrian access where there is no public footpath.

C16/179 Annual Report and Directory 2017

  1. To receive an update
    A draft of the Annual Report and Directory 2017 was circulated to Members. The the Brede Lane Car Park and Toilets questionnaire would be be included as an insert. Any amendments on the booklet would need to be fed back to The Clerk before 8th March 2017.

C16/180 To discuss arrangements for the Annual Parish Assembly 2017.
Copies of the Brede Lane Car Park and Toilets questionnaire would be made available at the Annual Parish Assembly. Cllr. Glew agreed to make arrangements for refreshments. Local groups and societies would be invited along for table display and brief speeches. Cllr. Vine-Hall would arrange for posters to be put-up on the Village Green.

County Councillor Angharad Davies left the meeting at this point.

C16/181 To review the following policies:

  1. Standing Orders
    Members had been circulated a copy of the proposed amendments to the Standing Orders.
    RESOLVED: To adopt the amended Standing Orders
  2. Decision Making 2008
    Members had been circulated a copy of the proposed 'Scheme of Delegation' to replace the 'Decision Making 2008' Policy.
    RESOLVED: To adopt the Scheme of Delegation Policy as a replacement to the 'Decision Making 2008' Policy.

C16/182 Public Playing Field and Recreation Ground

  1. To receive the Playground Reports
    Councillors had carried out routine weekly inspections of the Riverside Playground, the MUGA and East View Terrace. No major concerns had been highlighted. It had been noted that the notice at East View Terrace showed the incorrect contact details for Parish Council.

C16/183 Recruitment of an Assistant Clerk in accordance with Parish Council's Equality and Recruitment Policy.

  1. To approve the revised job description for the role of Clerk / RFO.
    Members had been circulated details prior to the meeting to review.
    RESOLVED: The revised job description for the role of Clerk / RFO is approved.
  2. To approve the job description, person specification and application form for the Assistant Clerk role.
    Members had been circulated details prior to the meeting to review.
    RESOLVED: The job description, person specification and application form for the Assistant Clerk role is approved.
  3. To approve the job advertisement and recruitment timetable.
    Members had been circulated details prior to the meeting to review. Due to Members availability the timing of the interviews would be moved to 21st April.
    RESOLVED: The job advertisement and amended recruitment timetable was approved.
  4. To appoint a recruitment panel.
    RESOLVED: To appoint Cllrs. Vine-Hall, Glew and Brister to the recruitment panel.

C16/184 Defibrillator

  1. To receive an update on taking over ownership and management of the Defibrillator located inside the Brickwall Hotel.
    The Doctors Surgery in Brede Lane had been approached to take on ownership and management of the Defibrillator and relocating it outside their surgery. They responded that they were happy for the Defibrillator to be relocated outside the surgery but did not wish to take on ownership and management.
    RESOLVED: To ask Sedlescombe Village Stores if they would consider having the Defibrillator relocated to outside their store. Parish Council will take on the ownership and management of the equipment.

C16/185 Finance

  1. To receive the statement of accounts to January 2017
    RESOLVED: That the statement of accounts to January 2017 were received.
  2. To receive the bank reconciliation for January 2017
    RESOLVED: That the bank reconciliation to January 2017 was received.
  3. To consider a request from Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance for a grant of £250.
    RESOLVED: To award a grant of £150.
  4. To consider purchasing 3 x Grit Bins and salt for siting at Hurst Lane / Brede Lane, corner of Hurst Lane and bottom of Stream Lane.
    A further grit bin was requested for Chapel Hill.
    RESOLVED: To obtain the cost of 4 Grit Bins and salt for the Finance Committee to consider.
  5. To approve the following cheques:-
    a Sedlescombe Village Hall January 2017 hire
    30.00
    b G Burley & Sons Ltd Grounds Maintenance Jan 17
    Grounds Maintenance Feb 17
    265.00
    265.00
    530.00
    c Mr. R. Chapman MUGA: Expenses chainsaw + hedge cutter
    20.00
    d Catsfield Parish Council Stationery Recharge and Good Cllr Guides
    70.42
    e Fastprint & Design Ltd Newsletters and RDC NHP Consult Forms
    305.00
    f SSALC Ltd Spring Conference x 3
    144.00
    g Danson Tree Care Ltd Tree work at Red Barn Field
    540.00
    h Mrs Carol Hodgson Salary - January 2017
    Salary - February 2017
    1001.51
    1001.71
    2003.22
    RESOLVED: All cheques were approved for payment.

C16/186 Brede Lane - land at, Sedlescombe Planning Application RR/2016/1837/P

  1. To receive the notification of the formal decision made by the Secretary of State relating to Parish Council's request to call-in the above planning application.
    Members had been circulated the letter from the DCLG on 17th February 2017 advising that the Secretary of State had decided, having had regard to the Call-in Policy, not to call in the application. He was satisfied that that the application should be determined at local level.
  2. To consider making a request to Rother DC Planning Officers to have the Street Farm application re-submitted to the Planning Committee for reconsideration given the now advanced stage of the Sedlescombe NHP.
    Due to time scales a request had been submitted to Rother DC Planning Officers to have the Street Farm application re-submitted to the Planning Committee for reconsideration given the now advanced stage of the Sedlescombe NHP.
  3. To agree the process of communicating to the Community the outcome of the call-in.
    RESOLVED: Cllr. Vine-Hall to prepare a letter for approval by Members to circulate to Sedlescombe residents via the Annual Directory.

    Due to the sensitive and legal nature of the following item C16/171.4 the following resolutions was passed:
    RESOLVED: That in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted it is advisable in the public interest that the Press and Public be temporarily excluded and they are instructed to withdraw in accordance with section 100A (2) and (4) of the LGA 1972

  4. To consider applying for a Judicial review of Rother DC's planning decision.
    RESOLVED: That the Public and Press be excluded from Agenda Item C16/171.4

C16/172 Casual Vacancies

  1. To consider the applicants.
    This item was deferred to the end of meeting under a closed session.
    Three applications had been received for the casual vacancies. Members had met and interviewed the three candidates for a question and answer session prior to this meeting.
    RESOLVED: After careful consideration Members agreed on the 2 candidates they wished to co-opt. The period of office would be until the elections on 7th May 2019. Cllr. Vine-Hall would contact the remaining applicant.

C16/187 Reports, Correspondence and Questions

  1. Red Barn Field
    Cllr. Glew reported that the Red Barn Working Group will be hosting a Nature Day on 24th June. The event will include a visit by the Hastings Botany Group who will be on hand to show people around the Field. Residents will be encouraged to bring a picnic
  2. Sedlescombe Jobs Network
    Cllr. Brister reported that Sedlescombe Jobs Network continued to be a popular platform for posting jobs.
  3. To receive any other reports and questions from Members in brief, including items for the next agenda.
    Cllr. Glew reported that the focus of the RTAG meeting at Rother DC was on the continued train strikes. Discussions were still taking place to restore the 349 Summer Sunday Bus Service. The service would be trialled over the Easter period.
    A request had been received for a financial donation towards a bench which will be erected near the Doctors Surgery in memory of Ralph Dellow. (This would be referred to the Finance Committee).



Signed............................................................ Date......................