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PARISH COUNCILLORS PRESENT: Cllr Wright (Chairman of the Council), Cllr Rand (Vice-Chairman of the Council), Cllrs Cameron, Dellow, Martin, Irwin, Glew, Mitchell



No members of the public present.


1 County Cllr Jones. The Clerk reported receipt of an e-mail giving Cllr Jones' apology for absence. He assured the Council, following the recent publicity involving children in other areas, that East Sussex County Council's performance in protecting children has been judged in a recent Annual Performance Assessment as "outstanding". He also reminded the Council that the County Council is working hard to alleviate the effects of the recession on individuals and businesses. He listed a series of actions that had been taken.
C08/09.80 Apologies and reasons for absence. Cllr Wheatley (husband's business commitment).
C08/09.81 Interests. The following interests were declared:
C08/09.85.1 Cllr Glew RALC - Personal interest by virtue of Cllr Glew being the Parish Council's representative on RALC.
C08/09.85.2 Cllr Glew Village Hall Trust - Personal interest by virtue of Cllr Glew being the Parish Council's appointed Village Hall Trustee.
C08/09.94.6 Cllr Glew Village Hall Trust - Personal/prejudicial interest by virtue of Cllr Glew being the Parish Council's appointed Village Hall Trustee and the subject involved the Trust's financial interests.
C08/09.85.2 Cllr Irwin Village Hall Trust - Personal interest by virtue of Cllr Irwin being a Village Hall Trustee.
C08/09.94.6 Cllr Irwin Village Hall Trust - Personal/prejudicial interest by virtue of Cllr Irwin being a Village Hall Trustee and the subject involved the Trust's financial interests.
C08/09.93.1 and 2 All councillors Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust - Personal/prejudicial interest by virtue of the Parish Council being Sole Trustee of the Charity. However exemption has been granted by Rother District Council for all councillors to take part in the meeting.
C08/09.82 Public Participation Session. No public present.
C08/09.83Minutes of Council Meeting 11/11/09
Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Council is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 11 November 2008.
C08/09.84 Minutes of Meetings of Committees
  1. Planning Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 11 November, 2 December, 16 December 2008 are received.

  2. Finance Committee. Cllrs Glew, Rand and Martin had given notice of a proposal that would rescind a previous decision in favour of the recommendation made by the Finance Committee on 2 December 2008 (see agenda for full details).

    RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Sedlescombe Parish Council rescinds its decision at F08/09.30 approved at C08/09.69.3 and instead sets a precept of £31,500 for the financial year 2009-10 as recommended by the Finance Committee F08/09.48.3.

  3. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Finance Committee held on 2 December 2008 are received.

  4. 2009-10 Budget. Members had been provided with a table showing final accounts 2007-8, estimated financial position at end of the 2008-9 financial year and the 2009-10 draft budget. Since the table was prepared, Rother District Council had issued details of 2009-10 council tax bases for individual parishes. Sedlescombe's will be 661.59 and, therefore, the Band D Council Tax calculation was amended to £47.61 (ie £31,500 divided by 661.59).

    RESOLVED: That the Parish Council adopts the 2009-10 Budget 2009-10 Budget.

  5. Crime & Safety Advisory Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Crime & Safety Advisory Committee held on are received, information is noted and recommendations approved.
C08/09.85 Reports from representatives.
  1. Rother Association of Local Councils. Cllr Glew declared her personal interest by virtue of her being one of the Council's representatives on RALC. Cllr Glew reported that she would be attending the RALC meeting the following day. Several matters were on the agenda which were considered by the Council as follows:
    1. That the new NALC Chairman, Michael Chater, should be invited to the next RALC meeting to discuss RALC's concerns about NALC's effectiveness in influencing the Government. Supported by Sedlescombe Parish Council.
    2. That a simulated participatory budgeting exercise could be included at the 2009 Annual Rother Parish Conference. Members were not very interested.
    3. Encouragement of local residents to participate in the Local Development Framework Core Strategy Issues consultation. The Core Strategy had been advertised on the website.
    4. Clustering of parishes for certain functions. It was agreed that, in a few instances, it could be helpful for parishes to work together. The setting up of Police Neighbourhood Panels in accordance with District Ward areas was an attempt at encouraging Ewhurst and Sedlescombe parishes (but not necessarily parish councils) to work together. The Chairman of Ewhurst Parish Council had attended a recent SPC Crime and Safety Committee Meeting. However, no members of Ewhurst parish had attended the December meeting of the Ewhurst and Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Panel which was held in the Queen's Head, Sedlescombe. Even neighbouring parishes may have different aims and objectives. Parishes working together would mean more meetings and more councillor and officer time. Sharing IT resources would increase officer time. The Clerk informed the Council that sharing of parish clerks was not unusual and, according to reports, improved the standard of those parishes as the clerks were more likely to be qualified.
  2. Village Hall Trust. Cllrs Glew and Irwin declared their personal interests. Both are Trustees, Cllr Glew appointed by the Parish Council. They remained in the room. Cllr Glew reported that new, easier to use, steps to the stage are being designed, that the half door between the kitchen and committee room 2 would go ahead, that the Committee is awaiting delivery of new sound equipment, that the new cleaning arrangements have not provoked any adverse comments since Christmas, that the Bookings Clerk has left and a new one is being sought (until someone is found, the Glews will take over). The Village Hall AGM is planned for 19/03/09.
  3. Tree Warden. Cllr Martin reported that, currently, he is heavily involved in a coppicing project on his own land in Hurst Lane to improve the habitat for butterflies.
  4. Environment Officer. Cllr Dellow spoke of the amount of work being done in Hurst Lane on the trees.
C08/09.86 Clerk's Report. The followed items were noted:
  1. Street nameplates. Following the street sign survey by parish councillors in the summer of 2008, the following list of signs needing attention had been passed to
    1. Rother -
      1. Gregory Walk - replace as back board is rotting.
      2. The Green - replace as missing.
      3. East View Terrace (2) - replace as very scratched and dented.
    2. East Sussex County Council -
      1. Stream Lane guidepost - replace missing arm.
  2. County Council Draft Cycling Strategy. A draft strategy had been published for consultation ending on 20/02/09. The main change in the proposed policy is a shift in emphasis towards utility cycling, ie to work and school, rather than recreational cycling as it is believed that this will provide the greatest potential to contribute towards the targets contained in the County Council Second Local Transport Plan. Councillors did not wish to comment on the draft strategy.
  3. Road safety consultation. The Department of Transport had issued a consultation document (comments by 27/02/09) seeking views on proposals for measures aimed at improving compliance levels with key road safety laws. This consultation focuses on Speeding, Drink driving, Seat belts, Drug driving, Careless driving. RESOLVED: That a request would be made that PCSOs are given the power to issue fixed penalty notices for speeding offences.
C08/09.87 Finance
  1. Bank Reconciliations. RESOLVED: That the bank reconciliations at the end of November and December 2008 are approved.
  2. Cheques. RESOLVED: That payment of the December 2008 cheque list is ratified and the January 2009 cheque list approved.
  3. Loan. The Clerk's Briefing Note gave details of the shortfall in funding the new pavilion at the Sportsfield. RESOLVED: That the RFO is authorised by Sedlescombe Parish Council to apply to the Public Works Loan Board for a £52,500 fixed rate loan on the following terms:
    1. Annuity repayment terms.
    2. Repayment term to be calculated on the basis of repaying approximately £5,000 p.a.
    3. To be advanced on Friday 30 January 2009.
    4. Repayments to be made by six-monthly Direct Debit payments.
    Cllr Rand will take copies of invoices received so far from Steed Construction Ltd., ie Stages 1, 2 and 3 and will negotiate a final invoice amount with Steed Construction Ltd. taking into account savings and extras.
C08/09.88 Training
  1. Funding and Action Planning workshop at Parkhurst Hall, Parkhurst Road, Bexhill-on-Sea on Wednesday 21/01/09, 18:00 to 20:30. Cllr Wright had attended the last of these workshops.
  2. Training at Catsfield on 26/01/09. The following councillors had been booked into the evening course at Catsfield: Cllrs Wright, Rand, Mitchell, Glew and Cameron.
C08/09.89 Magazines/newsletters. Receipt of the following magazines/newsletters was noted.
  1. Local Council Review January 2009.
  2. Clerks and Councils Direct.
  3. The Clerk.
C08/09.90 Consultations
  1. Consultation on Publication of Candidates' Addresses at UK Parliamentary Elections - closing date 28/01/09. Council does not wish to comment.
  2. Consultation on Communities in Control: Real people, real power - Code of recommended practice on local authority publicity - closing date 12/03/09. The government is consulting on the paper - Code of recommended practice on local authority publicity. RALC's Executive Office wrote a paper for consideration at the RALC meeting on 14/01/09 which the Clerk had precised in a Clerk's Briefing Note. The note was discussed by councillors. Cllr Dellow did not agree with the statement made about the Police Neighbourhood Panels being an example of a move away from consulting with elected people to consultation with unelected groups but other councillors were not so sure.
    1. That Sedlescombe Parish Council views with concern the government's apparent move away from accountable elected parish councils and towards ad hoc community groups or even individuals who have no accountability and no permanence. 
    2. That Sedlescombe Parish Council supports RALC taking every action in order to ensure that NALC, Rother District Council and East Sussex County Council use their influence on government to promote parish councils whenever possible.
    3. That Sedlescombe Parish Council supports simplification rather than the introduction of further levels for consultation.
C08/09.91 Conferences.
  1. The Clerk had provided a report on her attendance at the Society of Local Council Clerks Regional Conference at Uckfield on 12/11/08.
C08/09.92 Aim 1 To achieve an Informed and Participating Sedlescombe Community
  1. Welcome Packs. Available from the Clerk.
  2. Bulletin January 2009. The Bulletin had been produced and was currently being delivered.
  3. 2009 Annual Report and Directory. All copy for the Directory should be with the Clerk on or before Monday 9 February.
  4. Annual Assembly of the Parish Meeting of Sedlescombe, 28/04/09. Cllr Mitchell will not be able to attend. Arrangements are expected to be similar to last year's. The Chairman would like to present a Citizenship Award this year. For further consideration at the March Council Meeting.
  5. Model Publication Scheme. All public bodies were required to publish, by 01/01/09, how the public can access information about the body. SPC adopted the model scheme on 11/11/08 and all information, part from councillors' financial interest forms) was on the www.sedlescombe.org.uk website by 01/01/09.
  6. Quality Council Re-accreditation. The Chairman reported that the Clerk had had to produce an almost complete portfolio for the re-accreditation and it had been taken to the SALC offices in Lewes on 02/01/09.
C08/09.93 Aim 2 To achieve a Safe and Healthy Sedlescombe Community
  1. Playgrounds. All councillors declared their personal and prejudicial interests by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Public Playing Field and Recreation Ground Trust. It was noted that dispensation had been granted by Rother's Standards Committee to allow all members to take part in discussions.
    1. Playground Inspections. The Clerk had provided new packs for all councillors to inspect the Riverside Playground, the tennis courts and the EVT Kickabout Area. RESOLVED: That ROSPA should be appointed to carry out the annual professional inspection of the Riverside Playground and the EVT Kickabout Area at the cost of £63/site plus additional items.
    2. Weedkilling by Languard Ltd. RESOLVED: That Languard Ltd. should be appointed to carry out the following weedkilling treatments:
      1. 3 treatments on various areas during 2009 - £915 + VAT.
      2. Monitoring and treatment of giant hogweed as required along riverbanks throughout 2009 - £400 + VAT.
C08/09.94 Aim 3 To help provide Amenities and Services in Sedlescombe
  1. Pavilion. Cllr Rand reported that the pavilion was expected to be complete on time, in accordance with the contract, towards the end of March 2009. The very cold and then wet weather had not helped the plaster to dry out. Cllr Rand had met Andrew Gerken about the disabled car park specification. RESOLVED: That the Clerk would send out the disabled car park specification to at least three contractors so that the quotes can be received by the Council and the work can be done to coincide with the completion of the pavilion.
  2. Youth/Community Amenity. The Sports Association and the Sedlescombe Youth Forum had been meeting to discuss the proposed youth/community amenity and the replacement garage at the sportsfield. The Council was shown a rough plan of the proposed layout. In order to save money, the Parish Council would submit the planning application.
  3. Footpaths. Cllr Dellow reported that the Reservoir paths had been cleared, possibly by the Woodland Trust. Unfortunately, since Chris Tweed had moved to different work at ESCC, co-operation with the Sedlescombe footpaths group had been very poor. The Sedlescombe group can no longer replace stiles with gates because members have not been trained in checking for underground services and no training can be arranged anywhere near Sedlescombe. Three stiles remain to be replaced on the easy access footpath but it is not known when this work will be done.
  4. Next generation of nuclear power stations. Notice of public meetings to be held in January 2009.
  5. Free Roving Play sessions. Action in Rural Sussex had been contacted by Rother DC to hold free play sessions for 8-16 year olds throughout Rother, particularly in those rural areas where there is currently no organised provision for older children or young people. Sessions were planned on Saturdays over the next 18 months consisting of sports activities, informal play, games, and/or arts and crafts depending on whether an outdoor or indoor space is available. The sessions will be part of a wider programme funded primarily through the Big Lottery Fund and also through a contribution from the NHS Hastings and Rother. Parish councils are being asked 1) to provide space (indoor or outdoor), either free of charge or for a reduced rate to benefit the young people and 2) to promote the sessions and to help find workers to join the teams of helpers.
    The Clerk was authorised to offer the Kickabout Area, the Tennis Courts and the Grass area by the courts and to suggest that AiRS contacts Sue Manwaring and Pestalozzi.
  6. Village Hall goods. Cllrs Glew and Irwin declared their personal and prejudicial interests by virtue of their being Trustees of the Village Hall. They left the meeting.
    In 2001, the Parish Council purchased goods for the new village hall which have, since that time, remained the property of the Parish Council. The Village Hall Management Committee had been asked by the Council to purchase the goods from the Council but it had refused. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council writes off the goods purchased for the new hall in 2001 and removes the following from its asset list: 200 chairs, 4 chair trolleys, 20 tables, 200 plates, cups, saucers, bowls, a water boiler, 17 doz knives, forks, dessert spoons & forks, teaspoons, lighting and sound equipment, stage railings.
  7. Transfer of 4 concrete flower tubs to Mrs S Betts of Highfield, Church Hill, Sedlescombe. It was noted that, in accordance with the wishes of the Finance Committee, the four concrete flower tubs had been sold to Mr D Betts and the money raised added to the Pavilion Fund. RESOLVED: That the four concrete flower tubs which have been sold to Mr Betts are to be removed from the Council's asset list.
  8. 1 small and 1 larger silver cup engraved "Sedlescombe Horse Society". Members considered what should be done about these cups. RESOLVED: That the two silver cups should be brought to the next meeting of the Council in March for further consideration.
C08/09.95 Aim 5 To protect and enhance Sedlescombe's built and natural environment
  1. Subscribing to Campaign to Protect Rural England. The Parish Council agreed at its annual meeting to subscribe to the Campaign to Protect the Rural Environment and the payment is now due. However, it is currently advised that this should be considered carefully as CPRE is a campaigning body. RESOLVED: That the decision that the Parish Council should subscribe to the Campaign to Protect Rural England in 2009 is rescinded.
  2. CPRE Stop the Drop Campaign. Cllr Dellow had provided a report providing some suggestions for improving the litter problem in the Village. RESOLVED:
    1. That Cllr Dellow would ask Demi to concentrate on improving the litter situation;
    2. That Cllr Dellow would increase his efforts regarding litter collectors in the Village;
    3. That the situation at the EVT garages would be reviewed and, if necessary, contact made with the owners, Rother Homes;
    4. That, wherever possible, the problem of litter dropping would be brought to the attention of residents through the Village Voice, Sedlescombe News and the Parish Council Bulletin.
  3. Compost Doctor Service. It was noted that ESCC's Compost Doctor Service provides advice and practical information on composting both food and garden waste at home, with the aim of reducing the amount of waste going into landfill. The Compost Doctor Service is available to bring an information stall to shopping centres, farmers markets and a variety of other local events as well as giving talks to groups and associations. A helpline service is operated. A flyer entitled "What are you doing with your tea bags?" had been provided.
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