Open Forum

1. Welcome. Parish Councillor Mrs Wright welcomed all members and especially Caitlin Wheatley and Robert Dudman who were attending their first meeting of the Council. She also welcomed our recently elected District Councillor Tony Ganly.

2. District Councillor Ganly reported that he is attending a series of training sessions with Rother District Council.

3. County Councillor Jones spoke about the money being made available by East Sussex County Council for road safety schemes and that parish councils will be invited to submit bids in a few weeks time.

4. Potholes in the road outside The Anchorage in Hawkhurst Road.

5. New system of waste collection:

  1. Inadequacy of the sizes of the wheelie bins and boxes for recyclable plastics for families especially with the bins only being emptied fortnightly.
  2. Problems of where to leave the bins for some properties.

Anyone who has any problems with the new system should contact Rother District Council on 01424 787580.



PRESENT: Cllrs Mrs V Wright, P Martin, C Wheatley, M Irwin, R Dellow, W Cameron, R Dudman, P Glew. Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer - Mrs P Raymond


C07/08.1 Annual Business

  1. Election of Chairman. It was moved by Cllr Mrs Glew, seconded by Cllr Cameron and RESOLVED: That Cllr Mrs Wright be Chairman of Sedlescombe Parish Council for the ensuing year. Cllr Mrs Wright signed her Declaration of Acceptance of Office of Chairman. The Clerk reported that all members had signed their Declaration of Acceptance of Office apart from Cllr Rand. It was RESOLVED: That Cllr Rand's Declaration of Acceptance of Office should be received before the end of May.
  2. Election of Vice-Chairman. It was moved by Cllr Mrs Wright, seconded by Cllr Martin and RESOLVED: That Cllr Rand should be Vice-Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year.
  3. Committees. It was RESOLVED: That three executive committees are constituted for the 2007/8 year, ie Planning, Finance and Crime & Safety with Terms of Reference as stated in the 2007 Handbook apart from the Annual Audit Report which should be deleted from the Finance Committee's Terms of Reference and the number of councillors on the Crime & Safety Committee which should be increased to 4. Members noted that it was not proposed to constitute the Best Value and Community Projects Committee and its workload had been incorporated into that of the Council/Finance Committee. It was further RESOLVED: That membership of the committees be as follows:
    1. Planning. Cllrs Cameron, Dudman, Wheatley, Martin
    2. Finance. Cllrs Dellow, Glew, Irwin, Martin
    3. Crime & Safety. Cllrs Dellow, Glew, Irwin, Wheatley
    4. Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Council to be full voting members of all committees.
  4. Working Groups and representatives. It was RESOLVED: That four working groups are set up for the 2007/8 year with Terms of Reference as stated in the 2007 Handbook. It was RESOLVED: That parish council membership of the working groups and representatives be as follows:
    1. Sports Pavilion. Cllrs Dudman, Martin, Rand, Wright
    2. Emergency. Cllrs Martin, Cameron, Rand
    3. Footpaths. Cllrs Dellow, Glew
    4. Environment. Cllrs Dellow, Glew
    5. Village Hall Trustee. Cllr Glew
    6. Sports Association representative. Cllr Dudman
    7. Rother Association of Local Councils. Cllrs Glew, Wheatley
    8. Environment Officer. Cllr Dellow
    9. Tree Warden. Cllr Martin
    10. Neighbourhood Watch. Cllr Dellow
    11. Youth Forum. Cllrs Wright, Rand, Dudman
  5. Schedule of dates and work. A schedule had been provided in the 2007 Handbook. The dates would be amended/approved at the meetings of the committees following this meeting.
  6. Subscriptions. It was RESOLVED: That the following subscriptions should be paid as they fall due:
    1. Sussex Association of Local Councils. There had been a 29% increase in the Sedlescombe subscription this year. It was agreed that a 20% discount should be requested owing to Sedlescombe having a qualified Clerk and being a Quality Council.
    2. Rother Association of Local Councils
    3. Action in Rural Sussex (although to be reconsidered if no discount on the SALC sub is received)
    4. Society of Local Council Clerks
    5. Sussex County Playing Fields Association
    6. Campaign for the Protection of Rural England

C07/08.2 Ordinary Business

  1. Apology for absence. Apology for absence had been received from Cllr Rand (domestic commitment).
  2. Minutes. The Chairman was authorised to sign the Minutes of the Emergency Meeting of the Council held on 03/04/07.
  3. Revised Code of Conduct.
    1. RESOLVED: That Sedlescombe should include the non-mandatory paragraph 12(2) in the revised code.
    2. RESOLVED: That, with immediate effect, Sedlescombe Parish Council adopts the Model Code of Conduct deleting all the non-mandatory provisions for parish/town councils save for paragraph 12(2) which has been included.
    3. RESOLVED: That Standing Orders should be amended to take account of paragraph 12(2) when further advice has been obtained. It was noted that the actual meaning of the clause is not clear and clarification needs to be obtained as to whether a prejudiced member can only speak on an agenda matter that a member of the public has also spoken on or whether once the public have been given the right to speak during any meeting, a prejudiced member can speak on any matter on the agenda.
    4. RESOLVED: That a copy of the revised adopted Code of Conduct should be displayed on the Noticeboard at Sedlescombe Stores and on the Parish Council website.
    5. RESOLVED: That Sedlescombe Parish Council wishes to be included in the composite notice to be published in May by Rother District Council in local newspapers on behalf of councils in the District which have adopted the Code.
  4. Interests. Members were reminded to disclose interests as they arose. Members were asked to disclose their interests at the beginning of meetings in future.
  5. Public participation. No notice was given by members of the public that, at the appropriate time on the agenda, they intended to make representation, to give evidence or answer questions regarding one or more items on this agenda.
  6. Reports and Minutes of Committees and working groups
    1. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 13/03/07, 03/04/07, 17/04/07 and 01/05/07 are received.
    2. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Finance Committee held on 27/03/07 are received.
    3. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Crime & Safety Committee held on 01/05/07 are received. The Clerk reported receiving notice of a Police Sergeant's meeting to be held on Sunday 20/05/07 at 10:00. Sedlescombe would not be represented.
    4. RESOLVED: That the notes of the Meeting of the Emergency Planning Working Group held on 10/04/07 are received and action approved.
    5. RESOLVED: That Cllr Dellow's verbal report be received as follows: RSPB volunteer from Farm Alliance will be surveying Pestalozzi between April and July at 0500 in the morning to record birds present. Cllr Dellow and Mr Glew are in the process of making 25 tree sparrow boxes. Although the Group had intended to collect and recycle old Sedlescombe Yellow Pages , this has not proved possible. Although the Yell website shows a Yellow Pages recycling centre at Mountfield, this is incorrect. The only local recycling centre for Yellow Pages is in Eastbourne but they are unwilling to take a bulk number. It appears that there is a potential for 20 million Yellow Pages to go to landfill each year. The Clerk was asked to raise this matter with Greg Barker MP. Suggestions are that the Yellow Pages could be printed on white recyclable paper and that Yellow Pages should not be automatically delivered to every house but only on request as many people use the Internet to find commercial information and, therefore, never open their copy of Yellow Pages. Cllr Dellow hopes to increase the number of litter wardens in the parish to 50.
    6. RESOLVED: That the notes of the Meeting of the Pavilion Working Group, together with the Clerk's Briefing Notes on the Pavilion, are received and that consideration is deferred until agenda item 20.1.1 below.
  7. Bank Reconciliation. Members were provided with details. RESOLVED: That the Bank Reconciliations at the end March and April 2007 are received.
  8. Cheques. Members were provided with details. RESOLVED: That payment of April cheques is ratified. RESOLVED: That payment of May cheques is approved apart from Cheque No. 102344 to Allianz Cornhill Insurance which may need amendment following consideration of further use of the speed indicator device (for discussion at agenda item 19.1.3 below) but with the addition of Cheque No.102345 to Southern Counties Landscapes for £324.30 for mowing services which was received late.
  9. Proposal to revert to monthly Council meetings. Cllr Cameron requested that the Parish Council reconsider whether Sedlescombe Parish Council should revert to having meetings every month rather than every two months. Cllr Dellow's view was that, sometimes, because of time restraints, matters are not given the full consideration that they deserve. After the Clerk had agreed that meetings every two months are preferable it was RESOLVED: That main Sedlescombe Parish Council meetings will continue to be held every two months.
  10. Audit of 2006/7 accounts. Copies of the completed Statement of Accounts for Audit had been circulated to members together with details of what was required in the Annual Governance Statement. Cllr Mrs Glew, Chairman of the Finance Committee, had had the supporting papers for study. RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Statement of Accounts (page 2 of the Audit Form) and Annual Governance Statement (page 3 of the Audit Form).
  11. Approval of Governance Policy Statement. RESOLVED: That the Governance Policy Statement as drawn up by the Clerk is approved. The Clerk explained that this part of the audit had arisen without warning. She had drawn up the Statement but expected that alterations would be needed when advice was available.
  12. Approval of the Bank Mandate. Jenny Mitchell had been one of the bank signatories and, as she is no longer a parish councillor, a new signatory needs to be appointed.
    1. RESOLVED: That any two of the following three councillors are authorised to sign Barclays Bank community account cheques on behalf of Sedlescombe Parish Council: Mrs Valerie Wright, Mrs Mary Irwin, Mrs P Glew.
    2. RESOLVED: That the Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer is authorised to receive statements of account from the Bank and to communicate with the Bank either verbally or in writing regarding management of the account. This does not include approval to authorise any transfer of funds which must remain with any two of the three above-named councillors.
    3. RESOLVED: That Sedlescombe Parish Council cancels the Council's existing mandates to the Bank (except in relation to cheques and other instructions given before the Bank receives the resolution) and that the three councillors are authorised to complete the Barclay Bank form of appointment of bankers.
  13. Circulation of documents to councillors. Cllr Mrs Wright asked members to look, from time to time, at the correspondence received by the Clerk. It was agreed that the Clerk would circulate a list of documents etc. every month and members could either look at them online or request sight of the hard copy (if available).
  14. Training. The Clerk explained that a schedule of training for members is likely to be included in the revised "Quality Council" requirements. Members had been provided with the Clerk's "First thoughts on a Training Strategy for Sedlescombe Parish Council". This listed some available courses which will be added to. Members were encouraged to apply for them, especially the free half-day ones available in Hastings. The Chairman would try one and report back to the Council. Cllr Wheatley and Cllr Dudman have already been registered for half-day induction courses. The Chairman suggested that consideration should be given to joining with other parishes for training.
  15. NALC Annual Conference & Exhibition, 5-7 October 2007 at Bournemouth International Centre. The cost of £340.75 weekend rate, plus accommodation, conference dinner and travelling was considered too high.
  16. Reports from representatives
    1. CLLR MRS GLEW DECLARED HER PERSONAL INTEREST BY VIRTUE OF BEING THE PARISH COUNCIL'S REPRESENTATIVE ON THE COMMITTEE OF THE VILLAGE HALL TRUST. CLLRS WHEATLEY, IRWIN AND DELLOW DECLARED THEIR PERSONAL INTERESTS BY VIRTUE OF BEING VILLAGE HALL TRUSTEES. In accordance with the Code of Conduct, they remained in the meeting. Cllr Mrs Glew reported that 1) the height barrier is in use with keys held by Jacqui Post, Mike Davies and Reg Glew; 2) Rother District Council has confirmed that the fence at the entrance will not need planning permission as it will not exceed 1 metre in height; 3) rock salt in a container is being obtained for use in icy weather; 4) investigations are being made into installation of automatic taps and electric hand dryers. Next meeting 21/06/07.
    2. TREE WARDEN. Cllr Martin reported that he is supplying between 500 and 600 seedling horse chestnut trees to the schoolchildren. He has another 500 for anyone else who wants them. He has arranged to meet with the School headteacher.
  17. Clerk's Report. None.

Aim 1 To achieve an Informed and Participating Sedlescombe Community

  1. Welcome Packs. Members were reminded to let the Clerk know of new residents. The Clerk reported that it was hoped that surgery leaflets could be added. Home security information from NHW would be included.
  2. Matters arising from the 2007 Annual Assembly of the Parish Meeting. The Assembly had been attended by over 100 people and had been lively. The main topic raised was the School's planning application for extended use of the multi-use games area and neighbouring residents' opposition to it. It was noted that this application had now been withdrawn and one applying for approved use to include 10 Sundays/year but not in the school holidays is expected to be submitted.
  3. Competitions. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council's Newsletter, Annual Report and Website should be entered for the Local Council Review/Co-operative Bank Communications Awards 2007.

Aim 2 To achieve a Safe and Healthy Sedlescombe Community

  1. Speed/traffic calming
    1. Speed Conference. Cllr Mrs Wright had attended a Speed Conference at Uckfield on 04/04/07. She was disappointed that only one person from a parish could attend when there was plenty of space available. She reported that the Traffic Police had stated that they would set up speed traps if the use of SIDs detected a particular problem time in Villages.
    2. Parish Council speed/traffic calming policy. DEFERRED until the revised ESCC policy has been received.
    3. Speed Indicator Device Campaigns. Cllr Mrs Glew reported that the 26-28 March campaign had found that the highest recorded speeded was 57mph and the driver slowed to 36mph as he passed the SID (recorded between 1100 and 1200 outside the Old School House). A total of 472 vehicles were recorded as exceeding 35mph over the 20-hour monitoring period. Between 1700 and 1800 on Monday 26 March, 122 vehicles were recorded travelling at more than 35mph. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council writes to the Police requesting speed traps be set up in Sedlescombe late afternoon. It was suggested that if the PCSO car was parked in the Village as requested, it would have a traffic calming effect. A proposal by Cllr Mrs Wright that the Council should pay the insurance costs of borrowing the SID for the coming year and should arrange further campaigns resulted in voting two in favour, two against with four abstentions. In the absence of full support, Cllr Mrs Wright used her casting vote against the proposal. It was agreed that Cheque No.102344 should be destroyed and a new cheque for an insurance sum without the SID insurance be approved. Some councillors wished to see permanent speed indicators signs although published information had proved them to be less effective than mobile signs.
  2. Highways
    1. Review of outstanding matters. Members had been provided with a list of matters outstanding with ESCC. The Clerk provided an update as follows: 1) Proposed closure of layby in Hawkhurst Road - location of underground utilities being investigated, spoil may be available from Fairlight. 2) Flooding. The stormwater drains in The Street have been jetted and are working apart from the one at the bottom of Short Hill where the road needs to be excavated. 3) Footway outside Queen's Head. Due to be completed 07/06/07. 4) Removal of concrete blocks on grass verge of Hurst Lane. Awaiting availability of machine. Cllr Dellow asked that ESCC is reminded about work to repair the road at the junction of Hurst Lane and Churchland Lane.
    2. Parish Maintenance Team. The work of the Parish Maintenance Team is included on the outstanding matters report. A team of two men are in the Village this week. In addition to the approved items, they have installed a new litter bin at the bus shelter, provided by the Parish Council.
  3. Village Security. The Parish Council gave further consideration to the subject of employing a PCSO or warden to improve Sedlescombe residents' sense of security following a recent meeting of Cllr Mrs Wright, Cllr Dellow and the Clerk with Inspector Keating. The Parish Council, working with a local benefactor, could probably find the money (£12600) for at least one year's employment of a half-time PCSO. The person would be chosen by the Police, although there is a possibility that the Parish Council could have some input to the selection process. He/she could also be taken away for other duties at any time. It was recognised that a warden would not have the powers of a PCSO and would have to be employed by the Parish Council. Inspector Keating appeared to be passing the advertising for a Special back to the Parish Council. It was agreed that Cllr Dellow should speak to the benefactor again and report to the July Council Meeting.
  4. Recreation
    1. Amalgamated Playground Inspection Reports. Members had been providing their weekly playground inspection reports to the Clerk and she had drawn up an amalgamated playground report for members. The proposed actions were agreed together with approval to contact PC Jayne Cleverley concerning the bike pieces at the Kickabout Area as Cllr Mrs Glew had been told not to touch them on 23 April.
    2. Sedlescombe Public Playing Field and Recreation Ground Trust. The Clerk had obtained advice from the Charity Commission regarding paying for the management of the Trust land. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council notes that, for the time being, the Parish Council will continue to be responsible for management, maintenance and insurance of the Trust property in its statutory capacity under the terms of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 section 19 and that it will be funded entrely from the precept.
    3. Dog walking at the sportsfield. Members were reminded that if they speak to a member of the public regarding byelaws, eg dogs on leads at the sportsfield, they should ensure they are wearing their Council badges.
  5. Health. "Creating a NHS for the Future". The Parish Council had received consultation documents relating to the future of local NHS services particularly maternity, speciality baby care and gynaecology. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council should write supporting Option 5.

Aim 3 To help provide Amenities and Services in Sedlescombe

  1. Sports. The Parish Council considered the request from Sedlescombe Sports Association for the Parish Council to take over financing a new sportsfield pavilion. Members had received the Clerk's Briefing Note. The matter had been raised by the Chairman at the Annual Assembly and a show of hands had resulted in favour of the Parish Council investigating the idea of raising a loan to finance a new pavilion. Several councillors, however, expressed their disquiet at the long-term burden of loan repayments that was being proposed for the Sedlescombe Council Taxpayer especially as details of what has already been done by the Sports Association and costs have not been produced. The lack of a proper specification was also a major concern as was the likelihood of raised interest rates which could increase loan repayments to an even more unacceptable level. Unfortunately, Cllr Rand who had been doing some work on this project but had not sent a report to the meeting. Planning and building regulation approvals had, however, been obtained. It was agreed that the pavilion should be replaced and that it should be the Parish Council's responsibility. However, no particular method of raising the funds was approved. RESOLVED: That the following action would be taken:
    1. The Sports Association to be asked to provide a full report of what work they have undertaken to date towards the replacement and to provide copies of their applications for funding and replies received.
    2. The Sports Association to be asked to provide a copy of the letter(s) from the Football Foundation which details what must be provided if the Football Club is not to be banned from playing League matches at the field.
    3. The Sports Association to be asked to confirm that there are no outstanding bills.
    4. The Sports Association to be asked to confirm how much they have already spent and how much they would be donating towards the project.
    5. Cllr Cameron to have a meeting with Cllr Rand concerning a specification for the replacement pavilion.
    6. Precise costings to be produced.
    7. Letter to be sent to particular people in the parish who might be willing to help financially. Cllr Dellow to draft.
    8. Consideration to be given to setting up a fund-raising working group made up of interested people to make applications for funding to grant-making bodies. The Clerk/RFO would not be able to take on this work.
    9. Next Bulletin to include as many details as possible about financing the build and to ask for Council Taxpayers' views on the financial implications.
  2. School. COUNCILLOR MRS IRWIN DECLARED HER PERSONAL INTEREST BY VIRTUE OF HER BEING A SCHOOL GOVERNOR. In accordance with the Code of Conduct, she remained in the meeting. The Parish Council considered a request received from the Sedlescombe School headteacher asking the Parish Council to provide financial help towards employment of a lifeguard for the school swimming pool when being used by youth and playgroup during the summer term. It had been suggested by the School that it is open for a total of 5 hours a week for 10 weeks as follows: two evenings/week for the youth and one morning/week for the playgroup at a total cost of £750. However, Cllr Dudman informed the Council that the pre-school group were not taking up the idea. It had also been found that it would only be open to the youth of East View Terrace and that the Youth Development Service may provide some funding for one lifeguard and a portaloo. Other local groups have been asked for funding. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council is willing to contribute £100 towards funding a lifeguard as long as the facility is open to any young person in the Village and not restricted to East View Terrace residents.
  3. Youth.
    1. Letters from "youth of the Village/East View Terrace". A series of letters had been received with details of "wants". The Chairman had acknowledged the letters. She reported that the Youth Development Service is offering the East View youngsters access to various facilities such as camping and Alton Towers. The group is very interested in getting a youth club started at the currently-closed Scout Hut and it was suggested that the Parish Council should consider making a contribution if they are successful.
    2. Kickabout Area. Members were provided with copies of the Clerk's Briefing Note on the current problems. They suggested that it was not just one house that is being affected by the anti-social behaviour. The Chairman informed the meeting that the Youth Development Service do not want the Kickabout Area closed but have arranged mediation in the hopes of solving the problem.
    3. Draft Rother Children and Young People's Play Policy and Strategy consultation. The Clerk was authorised to complete and return the consultation document.
  4. Village Hall. COUNCILLORS WHEATLEY, IRWIN AND DELLOW DECLARED THEIR PERSONAL INTERESTS BY VIRTUE OF THEM BEING VILLAGE HALL TRUSTEES. COUNCILLOR MRS GLEW DECLARED HER PERSONAL INTERESTS BY VIRTUE OF HER BEING THE PARISH COUNCIL'S REPRESENTATIVE ON THE VILLAGE HALL TRUST. In accordance with the Code of Conduct, they remained in the meeting. A letter had been received from the Village Hall Secretary seeking retrospective approval of the height barrier etc. at the entrance to the village hall car park. RESOLVED: That approval for the height barrier and fence of under 1 metre is given by the Parish Council.
  5. Footpaths
    1. Easy-walking footpaths. Cllr Dellow reported that the Footpath Working Group had hoped to replace eleven stiles with metal self-closing gates in order to create a footpath about a mile in length that walkers who are not so mobile can enjoy. Unfortunately, some landowner opposition has arisen to metal gates so that the easy-walking path cannot be completed. When the work that can be done is completed, 2 finger posts will have been installed, 7 stiles will have been removed and 7 gates installed, of which 3 are wooden. The Parish Council will then have 5 metal gates in stock. The Parish Council's thanks for the exceptional work undertaken by Ralph Dellow, Reg Glew and Jonathan Vine-Hall was placed on record.
    2. Other footpaths. Cllr Dellow reported that Footpath 5d near the junction of Hurst Lane has been impassable for two months this winter due to flooding. It was agreed Cllr Dellow should meet an ESCC representative to view the problem and discuss what can be done.
    3. New arrangements for maintenance of public rights of way at ESCC. The Clerk had been informed that additional funds had been allocated for rights of way maintenance and now Matt Harper had his own team of two workmen to do repairs.
  6. Housing. Rother District Council draft Housing Strategy 2007-12 (closing date 30/07/07). Members were encouraged either to ask the Clerk for the hard copy or to read the document online before the next Council meeting. DEFER TO JULY MEETING.

Aim 4 To support Business and Rural Employment in Sedlescombe

  1. Parking problems for local business. The Council noted a copy letter to East Sussex County Council that had been received from Dennis Thomas Builders Ltd. of Pumphouse Yard, The Green re problems caused by parked cars obstructing the entrance to Pumphouse Yard.
  2. Day workshop on setting up a social enterprise to benefit your community. Cost-free. Venue heathfield Community Centre. Date 18/06/07, 1000 to 1600. Noted.

Aim 5 To protect and enhance Sedlescombe's Built and Natural Environment

  1. CPRE Sussex Skills Seminar. Members were invited to book a place on a back to basics Seminar on "The Planning System - How it Works". A maximum of 2 persons/group at the cost of £25 each at Rotherfield Village Hall on 17/10/07, 1000 to 1600.
  2. Wildlife Gardening Leaflet. Cllr Dellow had applied for funding and had obtained it from the Scarman Trust. Once the money is received, the printing will be undertaken.

Chairman....................................................... Date....................................................................