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PARISH COUNCILLORS PRESENT: Cllr Wright (in the chair), Cllr A Rand, Cllrs Dellow, Glew, Irwin, Marland, Martin, Mitchell, Wheatley




ALSO PRESENT FOR PARTS OF THE MEETING: 2 members of the public (part of the meeting), District Cllr Ganly (all the meeting), PCSO Demetrius Georghiou (first part of the meeting only)



Cllr Ganly reported that:

  1. The Inspector had opened the Inquiry into the Bexhill/Hastings Link Road today; Inquiry expected to last 3-4 weeks. Provisional funding in place. Costings to be finalised. If successful, the road is expected to bring huge benefits to Rother.
  2. He had checked the local position to make sure that the problem that is currently affecting Brighton's dustmen will not spread to Rother. Brighton's problem relates to equality of pay for men and women. All Verdant operatives in Rother are paid the same rate.

PCSO Demi reported that:

  1. Speedchecks in the Village run. Demi will run some checks at 0600.
  2. "No tax" tickets issued to cars parked opposite Budget Cars. Warning given to person parking in a position that obscures visibility from driveway.
  3. Anti-social behaviour improved at East View Terrace following the giving of Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (ABCs) and patrols with Housing.
  4. PCSOs carrying out overnight surveillance re poaching. The death of a person from Netherfield hit by a deer in Uckfield mentioned. Poaching disturbs herds of deer and encourages them onto roads.
  5. PCSOs now have dog order enforcement powers.
  6. PDS - Parcel Delivery Service Scam - beware, based in South America and calls will cost at least £15.
  7. Cllr Dellow added warning of an ATM Scam where plastic is inserted in the ATM. If the machine swallows a card, do not give out your number to anyone purporting to be helpful.
3 County Cllr Jones had apologised for not being able to attend as he was attending a funeral in another part of the county.
C09/10.77 Apologies and reasons for absence. None, all present.
C09/10.78 Interests. Declarations of existence and nature of councillor's interests in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct 2007, with regard to items on the agenda. Members were reminded to repeat the declarations when the items were announced by the Chairman. The following interests were declared:

C09/ V Wright Personal - unsolicited payment for a meal by a local businessman.
C09/ A Rand Personal - being involved with helping local businesses
C09/10.83.3 A Rand Personal - the Parish Council's representative on the Sports Association Committee
C09/10.83.2 J Mitchell Personal - Village Hall Trustee
C09/10.83.1 P Glew Personal - Parish Council's representative on RALC
C09/10.83.2 P Glew Personal -Village Hall Trustee
C09/10.83.6 P Glew Personal - member of the NHW Committee
C09/10.83.1 M Irwin Personal - Parish Council's representative on RALC
C09/10.83.2 M Irwin Personal - Village Hall Trustee
C09/10.83.6 R Dellow Personal - Parish Council's representative on NHW Committee
C09/10.83.2 C Wheatley Personal - Village Hall Trustee
C09/10.79 Prejudiced Members' Participation. None.
C09/10.80 Public Participation. None.
Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Council is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 08/09/09.
C09/10.82 Minutes of Meetings of Committees
  1. Planning Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 08/09, 06/10, 13/10, 03/11/09 are received.
  2. Finance Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Finance Committee held on 20/10/09 are received.
  3. Crime & Safety Advisory Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Crime & Safety Advisory Committee held on 22/09/09 are approved.
  4. Heritage Committee. RESOLVED: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Heritage Committee held on 22/09/09 are received.
C09/10.83. Reports from representatives. Reports were received as follows
  1. Rother Association of Local Councils. Cllrs Glew and Irwin declared their personal interests by virtue of their being the Parish Council's representatives on RALC. Cllr Irwin gave a detailed report of her attendance at the meeting on 07/10/09. One of the speakers was Carolyn Randall from Crimestoppers who spoke of their success in combatting crime. Inspector James Scott informed the meeting that the Rother District has nine PCs and 19 PCSOs and one Licensing Officer. Two extra PCs are to be recruited. Rother District Council is looking at the feasibility of formalising a Rother-wide dog bin waste collection service. Battle Area Community Transport are working hard to fund a new bus. The 2010 Parish Conference is expected to be held next June. Next meeting 13/01/10, Mountfield Village Hall, 1430.
  2. Village Hall Trust. Next meeting 03/10/09.
  3. Sports Association. No report as Cllr Rand had not received notice of meetings.
  4. Environment Officer. Sedlescombe Societies Association has agreed to make a grant of £100 for maintenance of Red Barn Field Nature Park.
  5. Tree Warden. Cllr Martin is meeting with tree contractors regarding various work authorised by the Finance Committee.
  6. NHW. Cllrs Glew and Dellow declared their personal interests by virtue of their being members of the NHW Committee. Cllr Dellow reported that the AGM was well attended. The local group is to set up a local e-mail scheme to inform members of such things as local scams. There was discussion regarding the loss of the NHW by e-mail Police service.

Clerk's Report. The followed items were noted:

  1. Amendment of date of 2010 November meeting - changed to 16th.
  2. Noted the proposed A21 Hastings Harrow Cutting Work in January 2010 to stop erosion and repair a slope on A21 southbound verge near The Ridge. This will involve removal of trees, reconstruction of the slope, landscaping and drainage work. There will be some overnight full carriageway closures of the A21. some work will take place during the daytime using an A21 southbound lane closure with road users being diverted past the works by 3-way temporary lights.
  3. Bexhill Hastings Link Road. Noted that the following information has been received:
    1. Provisional funding agreed by Secretary of State for Transport.
    2. A Public Inquiry into the Compulsory Purchase Orders will be held in the White Rock Theatre, Hastings, starting on Tuesday 10 November.

C09/10.85 Finance
  1. Bank Reconciliations. RESOLVED: That the bank reconciliations at the end of September and October 2009 are approved.
  2. Cheques. RESOLVED: That payment of the October 2009 cheque list is ratified and the November 2009 cheque list approved.
    Cllr Mitchell was thanked for providing such good cakes for the Village of the Year judging afternoon and Cllr Irwin was thanked for providing the teas for which she would not be charging.


  1. Report of Cllr Marland's attendance at SALC training in September 2009. Cllr Marland reported that it had been an excellent 2-day course providing the information necessary for him to be a councillor.
  2. Power of Well-being. Cllr Marland had undertaken the Power of Well-Being training It was noted that the Power of Well-being qualification expires at the end of the councillors' four-year term of office, ie May 2011. Sedlescombe Parish Council has agreed to consider training post May 2011.
  3. Planning Seminar, 04/11/09. To receive a report. The Seminar had been attended by Cllrs Mitchell, Glew, Martin and Marland. Reports re the presentations were given. The Planning Department had agreed to look into the problem of trees being removed despite planning applications showing them being retained.
  4. Fuel Poverty Awareness Workshop for Rural East Sussex on Friday 20 November at The Uckfield Civic Centre, Council Chamber, 1330-1630. Cllr Dellow to attend. Cllr Dellow mentioned that the person arranging the workshop is willing to give a talk on the subject in Sedlescombe. To be considered after the workshop.


  1. Rother DC - Gambling Act 2005, revision of Statement of Principles. Link to information provided.
  2. ESCC - Draft Bus Strategy. Link to information provided. An e-mail had been received from the County Council confirming that a survey had been undertaken on Sedlescombe buses and that it had been found that buses were not keeping to the timetable. Unfortunately, more buses would be needed to solve the problem.
    RESOLVED: That the Council should comment
    1. re timekeeping and punctuality of the bus service
    2. electronic signs at bus stops are probably not suitable in rural areas.
  3. ESCC - Draft Preferred Strategy - Waste and Minerals Development Framework. Link to information provided. RESOLVED: That the Council should comment
    1. on re-use of materials, particularly from the building industry and the detrimental effect on the road system in rural areas
    2. on support for introduction of variable incentives or charges to households depending on the amount of waste they produce
    3. on the need for a definition of "brownfield site" to be included in the Glossary so that everyone knows what is being proposed.

Aim 1 To achieve an Informed and Participating Sedlescombe Community

  1. Village of the Year. Noted that Sedlescombe has won the community category of the Southern Region Village of the Year 2009 Competition. A press report appeared in the Battle Observer of 30/10/09. A letter of congratulation had been received from Janice Herbert.
    The overall winner for the Southern Region was Goring on Thames.
    Sedlescombe has now been short-listed for the National Community Category of the Competition and will be competing against Crosthwaite, Cumbria; Swanton Morley, Norfolk; Minchinhampton, Glocs; Belchford, Lincs.
  2. Youth
    1. Representation from any young people attending. An invitation had been sent to every house in the parish to all 16-25 year olds to come to this meeting. Attendance was zero.
    2. Ideas to involve youngsters in local democracy. Various suggestions were made at the last meeting but, as no interest had been shown, no action would be taken. It was noted that the Primary School has a School Council and the headteacher will be asked whether there is any way that the Parish Council could be involved.
    3. Youth Club at East View Kickabout Area. According to Craig Atkins of Orbit Housing Association, a couple of meetings had been held with the YDS and Youth Group regarding the type of building which would be suitable with emphasis on environmentally-friendly materials.
      The Council considered a possible five-year lease of the Kickabout Area based on the draft provided by Hedleys (Solicitors) for the sportsfield. RESOLVED: That the following particulars are approved:
      1. £1 p.a. rent
      2. Use of the building for not more than three evenings a week
      3. Tenant's obligations to include:
        1. Trimming the top and sides of the hedge annually between November and January.
        2. Mowing the grass every two weeks between March and October inclusive.
        3. Clearing and removing all litter from the site including that deposited in the litter bin at least every two weeks throughout the year.
        4. Maintaining and repairing the chainlink fence surrounding the property.
        5. Removing and disposing of to the waste tip any items dumped on the ground.
        6. Insuring the building and £10 million public liability insurance on the Kickabout Area.
        7. Removing the building from the land at the end of the term of the lease unless a new lease has been negotiated.
        8. In the absence of funding for a qualified youth worker to be present when the centre is open, the Parish Council to review alternative arrangements.
        9. All tree work and damage to football/basketball units to be referred to the Landlord.
      4. Landlord's obligations:
        1. Weekly inspection of the site by parish councillors.
        2. Annual inspection of the site by representative from professional body.
    4. Chairman's meeting with young people. Cllr Wright reported on her meeting with the young people when she told them they should obtain information regarding the proposed youth club from the Youth Group.

Aim 2 To achieve a Safe and Healthy Sedlescombe Community

  1. Crime
    1. PCSO written report for October available online. It was agreed that Demi's hard work is much appreciated locally.
    2. The Police and Rother DC have confirmed that the PCSO's powers to impose on-the-spot fines for dog fouling and littering also includes powers regarding fines for allowing dogs into dog exclusion areas under Dog Control Orders. This is a six-month trial and it is at the discretion of the PCSO whether to issue a warning or a fine. Rother DC receives the fines. Members discussed the problems caused by the increase in the number of dogs. A councillor commented that, living close to him, are sixteen dogs in four houses.
    3. It was noted that Rother DC is consulting on a proposal for a Dogs on Leads Control Order. The Parish Council had already asked for a Dogs on Leads Control Order to replace the Dogs on Leads Byelaw at the Sportsfield. This information would be forwarded again.
    4. Crime & Anti-social Behaviour Meeting 08/10/09. The meeting was attended by Cllrs Dellow and Glew. Copies of the Rye and Battle Areas Reports had been provided. The Clerk requested that the Battle Area report is produced in the same, more useful, format as Rye's.
  2. Highways
    1. Junction A21/B2244. A large number of residents had written to Area 4 at the Highways Agency complaining about the lack of visibility at the junction following installation of the new layout. Subsequently, a limited amount of adjustments had been made at the end of October which did not improve the situation. RESOLVED: That the Clerk is authorised to ask for a meeting with Area 4 officers to discuss the difficult/dangerous situation at the A21/B2244 junction as soon as possible.
    2. Proposed drop-off spot at School. Cllr Marland had decided to withdraw his proposal.
    3. Proposed Village Amenity Signs on A21. Cllr Wright declared her personal interest by virtue of receiving unsolicited hospitality exceeding £25 from a local business owner. Cllr Rand declared his personal interest by virtue of him knowing one of the business owners personally. They both remained in the meeting.
      Following the last Meeting, the Clerk wrote to Greg Barker MP enclosing a drawing of a possible amenity sign which would encourage drivers to leave the A21 and come into the Village in support of our businesses. Greg Barker had passed the information to the Highways Agency who had replied that the proposed sign does not comply with their standards but a sign might be possible if paid for by the Parish Council. The cost would be up to £20,000. This had been taken up with the Highways Agency by Greg Barker and a meeting arranged in Sedlescombe on 27 November to be attended by representatives from the Highways Agency. Cllr Wright reported that she had e-mailed Cllr Jones asking for a brown sign.
    4. B2244. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council supports the speed limit on a section of the B2244 being reduced from 60mph to 50mph - from existing 30mph speed limit termination signs in Sedlescombe northwards approximately 1.5km to Beech Farm House.
  3. Home Safety
    1. Electric Blanket Testing Road Show. Cllr Dellow reported that 22 electric blankets were tested (space for 30) and there were various stalls. He considered it to be a rather disappointing response although other villages were even worse.
  4. Health Services
    1. "Investigating NHS Delivery in rural East Sussex" at Weald Hall, Uckfield Civic Centre, Uckfield on Friday 27/11/09 0930 to 1530. No-one to attend.
  5. Transport
    1. Lift Scheme. Cllr Glew reported that two drivers had left the scheme and one had joined. The Clerk had been informed that there would be a change in parking arrangements in January or February 2010 at the Conquest Hospital involving barriers. Further consideration would be given at the time.

Aim 3 To help provide Amenities and Services in Sedlescombe

  1. Sports
    1. Disposal of portacabin. Since the last meeting, Westfield Football Club's clubhouse had burnt down and the Club was interested in having the large portacabin belonging to the Parish Council. However, they are not able to pay £2,000 for it. Negotiations have caused unfortunate delays and the problem now is that the ground conditions are far too wet to easily move the portacabin. RESOLVED: That the Westfield Football Club will be offered the portacabin for £500 if they can remove it themselves in the next two weeks without causing damage to the Sportsfield.
    2. Floodlighting. John Noonan (Secretary of the Sports Association) had decided that the tennis courts are not suitable for winter training because the posts are not removable. He had tried Pestalozzi's tennis courts but they are no good. He had said that this year's training needs have been met but floodlighting will be required next winter. The Clerk had asked for the planning application to be submitted as soon as possible.
    3. Deed of Variation for Parish Council/Sports Association Lease of Sportsfield. Completed and returned to Solicitor.
  2. Playground Reports since the last meeting:
    1. Low ropes - raised by Cllrs Rand and Martin.
    2. Tennis court gate doesn't close.
    3. Motorbike springer snapped.
    4. Picnic table wooden top turned over by John Bartholomew.
    5. All security screws at Riverside tightened by John Bartholomew.
    6. Cradle swing chains adjusted by John Bartholomew.
    7. Adjustment of gate at Riverside - to be considered by John Bartholomew.
    8. Rope removed from basketball unit at Kickabout Area.
    9. Further damage to Kickabout Area fence.
    10. Chair foam dumped at Kickabout Area.
    11. Litter, particularly at Kickabout Area
    12. Full litter bins.
  3. Public footpaths/bridleways
    1. Footpaths 24,22, A21. Land under Higher Level Stewardship. Land cultivated but very wide strip left at edge uncultivated on route of footpath. Complained to ESCC but before they could clear the land, it was mown presumably by the owner (R&C White). ESCC cleared fallen willow and ash trees at A21 end.
    2. Bridleway 14. Cllr Dellow and Reg Glew investigated a complaint of obstruction of the bridleway. They received opposition and rudeness from the owner of Little Chittlebirch. Referred to ESCC. Footpath 29. On inspection, found that stile had been replaced. Finger post ordered.
    3. Footpath 27, Marley Lane. For replacement of stone marker by ESCC.
    4. Beasts on public paths. Cllr Dellow had been asked whether a farmer can keep a bull in a field crossed by a public path. The answer is it depends. A bull of up to ten months old, yes. Bulls over ten months of a recognised dairy breed (Ayrshire, British Friesian, British Holstein, Dairy Shorthorn, Guernsey, Jersey and Kerry) are banned from the fields crossed by public paths under all circumstances. All other bulls over ten months are banned unless accompanied by cows or heifers. If any bull acts in a way which endangers the public, an offence may be committed under health and safety legislation (Information from Ramblers Association Footpaths Law).
    5. Depositions by landowners of statements and plan, land at Hurst House received through ESCC legal department.
  4. May Fayre on Village Green and in pub garden on 01/05/10. Cllr Dellow reported that the Societies Association members were asked whether they would be prepared to be involved in the arrangements for the May and Autumn Fayres. The request was declined. It is intended that a small committee will be formed before the end of the year. RESOLVED That the Parish Council will run the Village Green part of the May Fayre in aid of refurbishment of the village pump as part of the Celebrate Spring in Sedlescombe Week 2010.
  5. "Anchor Staying Put". The Parish Council was asked if they could provide a room for Anchor to interview possible candidates for their scheme to help people remain in their own homes but there is no room available.

Aim 4 To support business and rural employment in Sedlescombe

  1. The Clerk reported a visit from Clive Mills of Rother Voluntary Action re business Parish Plan objectives.
  2. Noted that the Council sent details to local businesses of free courses run by BETRE in East Sussex on working towards a low carbon economy .
  3. Ten Sixty Six Enterprise free coaching for anyone 19+ living in Hastings and Rother who are not working, or working less than 16 hours a week, and want to become self-employed to be advertised.

Aim 5 To protect and enhance Sedlescombe's built and natural environment

  1. Green Communities. Initial research into the Green Communities Low Carbon Communities Challenge. Following resolutions passed at the last meeting to take every opportunity to inform local residents, businesses and charities about Energy Saving, Sustainability and Safety, Cllr Dellow reported on the Green Communities Challenge which could involve:
    1. Smart Meters
    2. Home Energy audits - a number of residents completed a home energy audit at the Electric Blanket Testing afternoon where there was a Energy Save representative.
    3. Access to local demonstrations
    4. etc.
    The idea is to collect quantitative data which will be openly shared and from these measures a policy can be implemented to save energy and thus reduce carbon levels with the added advantage of saving money. Becky Anderson at Rother has indicated that there may be support for Sedlescombe. Cllr Dellow and the Clerk were authorised to take Green Communities actions as relevant opportunities arise. A further report will be made to the Council in January.
  2. High Weald AONB. To note receipt of:
    1. Annual Review 2008/09.
    2. "The Making of the High Weald Landscape". New project with new officer employed. Invited to attended Annual Assembly of the Parish Meeting.
  3. Red Barn Field Nature Park
    1. Noted that a free advisory visit re previous land use has been requested.
  4. Brede High Woods. To note reports re:
    1. Parish Council Visit. Cllrs Wheatley and Dellow and the Clerk represented the Sedlescombe Parish Council on a visit on 23/09/09 to see what is being done at Brede High Woods. The aim is to restore the general historic pattern of open ground and wood to conserve and enhance biodiversity and make open areas of heath and grassland. Conifers planted for commercial forestry operations will be removed. Dr Patrick Roper had been very involved with obtaining agreement for an area of woodland to be cleared, now named "Sedlescombe Heath".
    2. Public Meeting held in Sedlescombe on 30/09/09. Eighteen people had attended the meeting to talk about ways of encouraging people to use the woodland for informal recreation.
    3. Archaeology Walk, 10/10/09. The Clerk reported that about fifty people had attended. A Wealden Ironworking Walk is planned for 12/12/09.


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