C06/07.75 CLERK'S REPORT. 

75.1 Website. To note that the Parish Council now has a brand new website which can be seen at www.sedlescombe.org.uk. This should prove to be an excellent resource for residents providing up to date and relevant community information. Content is entirely under the control of the Parish Council.

75.2 Archives. To note that the Parish Council recently received a small bundle of papers relating to Strawberry Hill Farm, Poppinghole Lane. Amongst the papers was the story of the top secret operation to disarm an unexploded V.1. Flying bomb, otherwise known as a "Doodlebug" which had landed near the farm in June 1944. According to the papers, this turned out to be the first complete Flying bomb to arrive in England and it was carefully examined before being disarmed at great risk by a bomb disposal team and helpers. The three members of the bomb disposal team were awarded the George Medal for their gallant, brave and sustained conduct in disarming the bomb. The reports of the day state that these men were overcome by toxic fumes from the explosives and the Strawberry Hill Farmer, Mr Smith, supplied them with milk which helped their recovery from the effects. A part of the Doodlebug was recovered and given to the Robertsbridge Aviation Society. The papers are now on public display at the County Record Office in Lewes.

75.3 Bulletin. It had been proposed that application for grant aid from the Action Plan funding would be used to improve the Bulletin for the next few issues. However, the Clerk withdrew the application because the officers involved wished the project to be fundamentally changed in order to involve the community and other parishes.

75.4 Rother Voluntary Action newsletter available from the Clerk.

75.5 Giant Hogweed. Operatives from Languard have visited the giant hogweed sites several times during the season and plan to visit once more this year in September. They consider the work successful.

75.6 St Michael's Hospice. The August Newsletter has been received.

75.7 Transportation. Recent correspondence with a lady in Victoria, Australia, has revealed that her convict ancestors were transported to Australia from Sedlescombe in the 1800s. This ties up with an article written by the late Beryl Lucey in 1989 for the Battle & District Historical Society about the same family. The information provided by the Australian lady included a copy of a certificate confirming that she has been admitted as "a Descendant Member of the Descendants of Convicts' Group Incorporated having proved lineal descent from William Dennett who arrived in Sydney on the 20th November 1800 on the ship Royal Admiral I (2)"! It appears that it is nearly every Australian's wish to find that he/she has a convict ancestor!

75.8 Village Hall storage of Parish Council papers. Since the new village hall was built, the Management Committee has allowed the Clerk to store some Parish Council papers in part of the large cupbaord in committee room 1. These papers are accounts awaiting disposal at the end of the six-year period (three years are kept in the Clerk's house) and other papers which are not worth sending to the Archives at Lewes. These include weekly playground inspection reports which have to be retained for 40 (yes forty) years. The idea of moving the papers to the new shelves in committee room 2 has been abandoned because the shelves are not wide enough. Reg Glew has offered to make changes in the committee room 1 cupboard to better accommodate Parish Council papers and the committee is to investigate who are the owners of the toys currently in the cupboard gathering cobwebs. The Parish Council might like to consider purchasing storage space at Newhaven from East Sussex County Council in order to free up further storage space for other users of the hall.

75.9 Fireworks.   Complaints have been received about firework displays in the Village. On 09/07/06 a display was continuing at 23:35hrs and causing great disturbance to residents. Enquiries were carried out by a local resident (also a JP) who found that permission had been granted to a local resident for a Pestalozzi field to be used for letting off fireworks in celebration of a wedding. With a few exceptions, fireworks must not be let off after 23:00. The enforcing authority are the Police and reports should be made on 0845 60 70 999. Subject to available resources at the time, the Police will investigate and if found in breach of any regulation will impose a fixed penalty fine of £80.

75.10 Talk to Sedlescombe Green WI. The Clerk is due to give a talk entitled "What does a Parish Council do?" to Sedlescombe Green WI at their September meeting.

75.11 Environment. "A guide to improving your local environment" and "Litter and the Law" received.

75.12 Compost bins and food waste digesters. East Sussex County Council has sent details of offers re Wormeries, Greeen Cones, Green Johannas, Kitchen Composters, Compost Bins and Water Butts. Details from the Clerk or by clicking here if viewing online.

75.13 Flytipping. Five incidents of dumping of polystyrene fish boxes in the vicinity of Chapel Hill have occurred over the last few weeks.

75.14 Campaign for the Protection of Rural England. Fieldwork received.

75.15 "The Clerk" received.

75.16 Old Schooldesk. An old schooldesk was found in a room of the Queen's Head, Sedlescombe and has been given to Sedlescombe School where it was on display at the opening of the new part of the building in June.

P Raymond, 6 September 2006