PRESENT: Councillor V Wright (Chairman of the Parish Council) in the chair, Cllr A Rand (Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council). Parish Councillors W Cameron, R Dellow, P Glew, M Irwin, P Martin, J Mitchell
Mrs P Raymond (Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer, Sedlescombe Parish Council) - Minute Taker
County Councillor Peter Jones. District Councillor Tony Ganly. 115 members of the public
1 Chairman's Opening Remarks. The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming all present and thanking volunteers and businesses for their contribution to Village life. Eighteen display tables were set up around the hall by: Further Adult Education; Pavilion; Rother Seniors; Sedlescombe News; Junior Diabetes; Chapel Hill Church; PreSchool and Jellybeans; Sedlescombe WI; Pestalozzi International Village; Sedlescombe CE School; Hastings Fly Fishers' Club; Sussex Police; Hastings & St.Leonards Bowmen; Short mat bowls; Neighbourhood Watch; Royal British Legion; Sedlescombe & District Garden Society. A special mention was made of local businesses, represented at the Assembly by John & Jenny Mainwood of Sedlescombe Stores. The shop now has environmentally-friendly bags, are extending their range of fresh meat and are encouraging people to order their foreign currency from the Post Office. They will be having "My Shop, Your Shop" Tea Party in June. The Chairman urged everyone to support all our Village businesses.

Waste and Recycling. Madeleine Gorman, Head of Amenities at Rother District Council. Ms Gorman had offered to attend the Assembly to inform residents why green bins had not been delivered as promised. The reason is a three-month long dispute with the contractor, Verdant, over incorrect budget forecasts. She said that the next phase of the Garden Waste Collection Scheme is due to roll out shortly. However, no firm dates and confirmation of the roads that are to be included has been provided by Verdant, although it is known that 214 Sedlescombe properties will be included.

Ms Gorman answered questions and provided information regarding waste/recycling and litter. These included what plastic can and cannot be recycled through the doorstep waste collection system and how residents have been informed, current opportunity to link with Wealden DC for disposal of cardboard which is being investigated by Rother, Rother's policy to accept steel cans only and not aluminium foil because of the requirements of the recycling facility, litter collection in accordance with priorities specified in the national Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005

3 County Councillor Peter Jones. Copies of papers regarding the County Council 2008-09 budget briefing and the County Council 2007-08 achievement summary had been left on the chairs. Cllr Jones congratulated the Parish Council on its excellent work for the Village.

In his report to the Assembly, Cllr Jones spoke about the difficulty in sustaining and improving services for residents with very poor central government funding for the last five years (0.9% pa). Despite this and the need to keep council tax down, the County Council has been able to make cuts but still invest in schools and the elderly as well as social services. In the future, Cllr Jones hopes to work with other authorities to provide joint support services and thus make further savings. The aim is to cut Council Tax in the future. He spoke of the County Council's notable successes, particularly being voted the best website in the country.

He spoke as the past-Chairman of the Sussex Police Authority when he said how well the Sussex Police serves the community and that crime has fallen over the last two years.

Residents asked questions about parking in Eastbourne; roadworks in Battle Road and heavy lorries through the Village.

PCSO Demetrius Georghiou was congratulated on how well he had settled into his work in Sedlescombe.

4 District Councillor Tony Ganly. Copies of papers regarding Rother District Council had been left on the chairs. Cllr Ganly also congratulated the Parish Council and thanked the Clerk and members for their assistance since he was elected last May. Cllr Ganly reported that he had been impressed with Rother Council which is doing a good job despite the overpowering amount of central government guidance. At the forefront is the need to reduce expenditure but still provide the important services required by residents. Cllr Ganly spoke of the decision to remove the officer time from Battle Partnership which had resulted in much opposition in the press. The other two items concerned the proposed removal of BT payphones from Sedlescombe and other areas and the forthcoming youth meeting next Tuesday 6 May at 7pm.

Residents made several comments relating to Cllr Ganly's report.

5 Minutes. It was moved by Mrs Martin, seconded by Mr Burgess and resolved by a show of hands - That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Annual Assembly of the Parish Meeting held on 24/04/07 are approved.
6 Sedlescombe Parish Council Report. The Council's Annual Report had been distributed to every house in the parish. Copies were available in the hall. The Chairman informed the meeting about the details of the soil transfer to Monk Lakes near Staplehurst from first of all the College site in Hastings and now the Tesco site in St.Leonards. Cllr Wright agreed with Cllr Jones who had suggested that the Parish Council should, in future work with not only Rother District Council but also Hastings Borough Council to ensure that they specify in planning approvals routes to be taken for the removal of spoil from sites that could affect Sedlescombe Village. Cllr Wright's suggestion that Tesco should be asked for a donation to a village project in compensation for the disturbance that has been caused was enthusiastically supported.

The other subject that the Chairman reported on was the current youth club project where the young people had obtained funding for a youth club in the redundant East View scout hut before he had been set alight and subsequently demolished. A replacement building on the same site is wanted but, at the moment, Rother Homes is using a tracing agency to try to find relatives of the leaseholders so that the land can be released. She highlighted the work of Sue Manwaring (Youth Development), Craig Atkins (Orbit Housing Association) and Angela Sharman (Rother Homes) who had been working tirelessly on this project. Temporary accommodation is being sought and the work continues. The valuable temporary use by the young people of a room in the pub was acknowledged.

Mrs Raymond (Clerk/RFO) gave a financial report for 2007-8 and 2008-9 to support the paper that had been left on the chairs. She also informed the meeting regarding the cost plan and budget for the proposed pavilion and details of the Big Lottery grant application, results of which are awaited. She had included on the provided paper, details of the likely cost of a £50,000 loan to the community.

7 Any other business. The following matters were raised from the floor:

Double white lines, Church Hill. Matter raised last year. Any update? The Parish Council had met County Council representatives on site. Unfortunately, if double white lines were to be provided at the top of Church Hill, no parking would be allowed on either side of the road outside the Church. These lines would not be supported by Sussex Police because there have been no accidents caused by overtaking.

New business park, Queensway, Hastings. Concern was expressed about the possibility of soil being moved from the new business park site in Hastings.

Lorries. The Parish Council was thanked for their efforts to find out what is happening with these lorries but it is the speed that is of real concern. Inspector Keating informed the meeting that Demi is able to use a "speed gun" to identify speeding vehicles. She suggested that, if speeding vehicles are identified, the Police can go back to their companies with the information about bad driving. She is still waiting for a reply from the Police Roads Policing Department regarding what could be done by that Department in Sedlescombe. Mrs Dellow (Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator) reminded the meeting that bad driving reports can be made through Operation Crackdown.

Front cover of Annual Report/Directory. Some residents objected to one of the photographs on the front cover of the Parish Council Report/Directory which shows an overflowing dog bin.

Ron Sunderland reported on a major project to bring in three new social care homes, one in Westfield. He is on the Committee.

Interactive 30mph signs at either end of the Village - awaiting EDF to connect.

Sports pavilion. There was a general debate regarding paying for the pavilion. The following matters were raised:

  • What contribution will be made by the Sports Association?
  • Should not obtain a loan but should wait until there is sufficient funding available before undertaking the work.
  • Should recover costs in additional fees for use of the field and then do the building.
  • In favour of a pavilion despite not wanting to use it herself.
  • Thank Grant Burberry for bring the pub back to life and for chairing the Sports Association.
  • Grant reported that the Association is happy now with the size of the proposed pavilion and believes it can manage to support it in the future.
  • If we have a pavilion that we can be proud of, it will encourage more people to take part in sport. We must build the pavilion now.

The Chairman thanked the ladies providing tea and coffee, her councillors and the Clerk. Cllr Rand (Vice-Chairman) thanked Cllr Wright for being such an excellent Chairman.

Finally, Cllr Wright made a presentation of a golf bag to Cllr Pat Martin who has been a member of Sedlescombe Parish Council for 25 years having joined in 1983. She paid tribute to Pat's willingness to work for the benefit of the Village, both by chairing committees such as Planning and Emergency and by doing practical work.


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