Open Forum

1.       District Councillor Tony Ganly (if present) is invited to speak.

2.       County Councillor Peter Jones (if present) is invited to speak.

3.       Members of the public are invited to speak.  If the subject is on the agenda, the person will be asked to take part in the public participation session at agenda item C07/08.72 below.

Parish Councillors should note that they should declare any personal or personal/prejudicial interests in matters raised at the Open Forum.

C07/08.70 To receive apologies and reasons for absence.

C07/08.71 Code of Conduct 2007

71.1 To receive declarations of the existence and nature of councillors' interests, whether personal or personal/prejudicial, with regard to items on the agenda. Members are reminded they should repeat the declarations when the item is announced by the Chairman.
71.2 To invite prejudiced members to make representation, answer questions or give evidence to the Committee re agenda items after which they must leave the room if members of the public want to speak on the same subject.
71.3 Code of Conduct Training DVD.

C07/08.72 To invite public participation with respect to items on the agenda - please note that names will be recorded and representations etc. minuted.

C07/08.73 Minutes of the Meeting of the Council.  To resolve:  That the Council authorises the Chairman to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 13/11/07.

C07/08.74 Executive Committees, Advisory Committees and Working Groups

74.1 Planning Committee.  To resolve:  That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 13/11/07 and 04/12/07 are received.
74.2 Finance Committee.  To resolve:  That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Finance Committee held on 11/12/07 are received.
74.3  Sports Pavilion Working Group.  To resolve:  That the notes of the Meeting of the Sports Pavilion Working Group held on 18/12/07 are received.

C07/08.75 To receive reports from representatives as follows:

75.1Rother Association of Local Councils. Cllr Glew, Cllr Wheatley.  NB The Annual Parish Conference.  3 delegates from each council are invited to the conference to be held in Northiam Village Hall on Thursday 3 April 2008 13:45 to 16:45.  More details later.
75.2 Village Hall Trust. Cllr Glew.
75.3 Sports Association Committee
75.4 Tree Warden - Cllr Martin
75.5 Youth Forum - Cllrs Rand/Wright.

C07/08.76 To receive the Clerk’s Report.

76.1 Local Government & Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.  Provisions expected to take effect on 01/04/08.  Key elements of interest to Sedlescombe:  eligible councils will be entitled to seek the ‘Power of Wellbeing’;  an opportunity to rename a council will be introduced;  Councils will be allowed to appoint persons from the community to serve as additional councillors;  it will be much simpler to create parishes;  the system of making byelaws will be simpler;  something is being introduced about councillors under the age of 18 but details have not been released.  Secondary legislation should make new powers clear.
76.2 SALC offers a service to find a replacement clerk, if the Council should find itself without one!
76.3 Councils are consulting on the Government’s proposed amendments to the Quality Council scheme planned to come into effect in April 2008 (SPC to renew accreditation in July 2008).

C07/08.77 Finance

77.1 To resolve:  That the Council receives the bank reconciliations at the end of November and December 2007.
77.2 To resolve:  That the Council ratifies the payment of cheques in December 2007 and approves payment of cheques in January 2008.
77.3 To resolve:  That the Council adopts the 2008/9 budget including the precept on the District Council, as recommended by the Finance Committee, and authorises the Chairman to sign the Precept Application form.

C07/08.78 To approve Cllr Mrs Mitchell’s appointment to the Planning Committee.

C07/08.79 Training – to note

79.1 SALC training sessions at Dunford House, Midhurst for chairmen, new councillors, experienced councillors on 8-10 February and 4-6 April.
79.2 Clerks’ Networking Day expected to take place in February.
79.3 To consider appointment of Internal Auditor.
79.4 Finance Days are to be arranged to include Internal Auditors’ Briefing and Discussion Session.
79.5 Details of British Trust for Nature Conservation Courses both short and longer National Vocational Training, Levels 1 and 2 have been posted on the website and on the noticeboard.

C07/08.80 Aim 1 To achieve an Informed and Participating Sedlescombe Community

80.1 To consider a local resident’s idea for the Parish Council to support an exhibition of the paintings of Hercules Brabazon Brabazon 1821-1906 in Sedlescombe.

C07/08.81 Aim 2 To achieve a Safe and Healthy Sedlescombe Community

81.1 To note items from the Rother Transport Action Group Minutes of 13/11/07:

a.        (3.3) that a full report on School Travel Plans and Walking Buses will be given at the next meeting of 15/01/08;

b.      (4) that Brian Banks will help parishes address issues with the Highways Authority regarding traffic calming; 

c.       (6.1) that a Community Speed Watch Scheme is starting in Winchelsea;

d.      (6.5) that Battle Area Community Transport is struggling and depends on the goodwill of the local community to keep the buses running.

81.2  Traffic.  To receive a report regarding lorries through the Village.

81.3 Road safety.  Reply from East Sussex County Council regarding the road safety situation outside the Parish Church - “Clearly this is a difficult issue to address and one where I do not think a change of speed limit would be much help. As Brian (Banks) has stated it really requires an engineering solution to try and force speeds down, but with so few recorded crashes it would be difficult to make a special case when there are so many other sites in the county with far worse safety problems. If we are to try and resolve the problem, I think it will require a commitment from the parish council to help financially and be prepared to fund any works required or at least make a major contribution.”  [NB Parish councils have the power to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes through the Local Government and Rating Act 1997, section 30.]  To receive a report of the meeting arranged with County Council Engineers on Tuesday 8 January at 14:00 outside the Parish Church.

81.4 New footways.  To consider a proposal from Cllr Dellow that the Parish Council agrees to use some of the funds in hand provided through the Safer Sedlescombe Project to contribute towards provision of a footway in Sandrock Hill, Sedlescombe (276 metres).  Currently, the Parish Council is limited in the amount it can contribute, not only by the total in hand but also by the constraints of Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972, which restricts the amount that a Parish Council can contribute towards expenditure that is not authorised by statute to £5.64 an elector for the 2007/8 financial year.  This means that the total for all Section 137 expenditure in the 2007/8 year cannot exceed £6,271.68. This year, so far, we have committed to £3463 Section 137 expenditure. 

81.5 Dogs.  To note the reply from Rother to the Parish Council’s e-mail re arrangements following the proposed implementation of the Dog Control Order on Dog Fouling which is summarised as follows:

The new order will require dog owners to clear up after their dogs and take the waste home with them.

If a person throws a plastic bag containing dog faeces on the ground, they would be committing the offence of dropping litter.

Rother should not provide bio-degradable bags (which still take some time to degrade) as this would encourage littering.

It would be difficult to justify the cost of providing dog owners with free plastic bags.

No plans for Rother to provide additional dog waste bins (no budget and no legal requirement).

Although Rother are currently emptying dog bins for parishes where they were previously emptied by SERCO, it is expected that parishes will be invoiced for the cost.

It is suggested that the Parish Council puts signs on the litter bins that have to be emptied by hand asking that “no dog waste” is put in them.  If this does not work, remove the bins.

Rother will erect warning signs, if found necessary to do so.

The Order will be enforced by Rother DC officers.  The Chief Constable has not yet decided whether to allow his PCSOs to enforce such Orders.

81.6 To receive playground inspection reports.

C07/08.82 Aim 3 To help provide Amenities and Services in Sedlescombe

82.1 Footpaths.  To acknowledge the work that has been carried out by Cllr Dellow, Reg Glew and Jonathon Vine-Hall in replacing stiles with gates in recent months.

82.2 Pavilion.  To note proposed Sports pavilion fund-raising including the proposed May Day Fayre to be held on 03/05/08 on the Village Green, arranged by the Parish Council, 14:00 to 16:30.  The primary school will take part in maypole dancing;

82.3 Scout Hut/Youth Club.  To note the Minutes (by PC Jayne Cleverley) of the last meeting on 11/12/07 (attended by the Clerk).

82.4 Bus stops in Sedlescombe – to note current situation.

82.5 Transport Accessibility Group – to consider invitation to join.

82.6 Roselands. 

a.       To note changes in management.

b.      To consider what could be done about parking problems in the area.

C07/08.83 Aim 5 To protect and enhance Sedlescombe’s Built and Natural Environment

83.1 To approve the Council’s Climate Change Mitigation and Fuel Poverty Alleviation Draft Strategy.

83.2 To note the Rother Waste and Recycling update.

83.3 To approve the proposed Composting event on Village Green to include composting, recycling, Dr Roper’s wildlife map of the Village, Woodland Trust etc.

83.4 To note that Cllr Dellow (Environment Officer) has completed the questionnaire regarding the High Weald Management Plan review.

83.5 To receive a report about and agree to support a Butterfly Conservation’s Rother Woods Project (part of Butterfly Conservations South East Woodland Project).  Heritage Lottery, Tubney Charitable Trust and other funding has been obtained to restore the richly-wooded landscape between Rye in the east and Robertsbridge in the west and the River Rother in the north and the River Brede in the south.  The Project aims to reinvigorate long-term sustainable woodland management and halt the decline of some of our rarest species of butterflies and moths.

83.6 To note that Pestalozzi International Village is working in partnership with BioRegional and WWF International through its redevelopment to become internationally recognised as a “One Planet Living” development.  Ten Tips for a more sustainable lifestyle have been drawn up by One Planet Living.  These are Zero Carbon, Zero Waste, Sustainable Transport, Sustainable Materials, Local and Sustainable Food, Sustainable Water, Habitats & Wildlife, Culture & Heritage, Equity & Fair Trade, Health & Happiness.

83.7 To note that the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds carried out a Volunteer and Farm Alliance Bird Survey on 64.7 ha of the Pestalozzi Estate in the Spring of 2007. A report has been sent to Cllr Dellow that 43 species of birds were identified, six of which are in the Red Category of Conservation Concern, as their populations have generally more than halved in the UK over the last 25 years.  These are the bullfinch, the house sparrow, the linnet, the song thrush, the spotted flycatcher and the starling.


P Raymond
Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer

Sedlescombe Parish Council

01424 870508



Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2007 – parish councils must have regard to the conservation of biodiversity in exercising any function.   [Sedlescombe Parish Council adopted a Biodiversity Strategy in November 2007.]

Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006 – parish councils must, in exercising any of their functions, have regard to the most recently published energy measures report.  [Sedlescombe Parish Council is expected to adopt a Climate Change Mitigation and Fuel Poverty Alleviation Strategy in 2008.]

Crime and Disorder Act 1998 – parish councils must consider the impact of all their functions and decisions on crime and disorder in their local area.