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PRESENT: Cllr Glew (Chairman), Cllrs Chapman, Heap, Eldridge

Councillor Wright (Chairman of the Council), Councillor J Vine-Hall (Vice-Chairman of the Council)

Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer: Mrs P Raymond


F11/12.55 Apologies and reasons for absence. None, all present.
F11/12..56 Interests. Cllrs Wright declared her personal and prejudicial interest in F11/12.60 by virtue of her being the Chairman and Cllr Glew declared her personal and prejudicial interest in F11/12.60 by virtue of her being a recipient.
F11/12.57 Public Participation. No public present.
F11/12.58 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Finance Committee held on 13/12/11.

Job Update

  1. Red Barn Field
    1. Wells. The wells were checked by Cllr Martin and the Clerk and found to be safe and in order. No further action.
    2. Bracken clearance. The Conservation Volunteers will be asked to pile the removed bracken away from properties.
    3. Fruiting hedgerow. Cllr Martin was to arrange clearance around the base of the hedge. To be checked.
    4. Red Barn Field Nature Park section of the website now back online.

  2. Sportsfield
    1. Pavilion. As reported to the Council, Cllrs Chapman and Heap had carried out an inspection of the pavilion on 18/12/11. Information on the problems found have been passed to the Sports Association Secretary. He has replied that the cleaning of the pavilion is undertaken every Wednesday by volunteers and also before use by non-sports users. Cllrs Glew and Wright reported that the pavilion had been booked by the Friendship Club on Monday when the pavilion was found to be "grubby". The loft hatch was broken leaving a hole into the roof. The Secretary reported that regular checks on the boiler and alarms will be put in hand. The next meeting of the Sports Association Committee has been arranged for Thursday 12 April at 18:00 at the Pavilion. In the absence of Cllr Martin, Cllr Glew agreed to attend this meeting.

    2. Ditch. Culvert blocked by rubbish but otherwise OK. Sports Association informed that litter should be collected particularly around the car park where it causes blockages of the culvert and flap valve outlet to the river.

    3. Car Park. Members had been provided with copies of the plan drawn by Andrew Gerken of Pumphouse Designs showing an extended car park. The Parish Council will pay for the plan. The Clerk will check whether disabled parking spaces need to be shown and will ask for the bollards along the ditch on the new section to be removed from the plan.
      RESOLVED: That Pumphouse Designs is authorised to submit a planning application on behalf of the Parish Council using the amended plan at the cost of £85 for extending the Sportsfield Car Park to provide an additional 38 car parking spaces.
      A quote had been obtained via the Sports Association for undertaking removal of topsoil, creation of a drain, laying a Terram membrane plus hardcore. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council will contribute a total of £815 towards the project if the Sports Association will obtain a grant of £2,000 from the Sussex Community Foundation and undertake the car park work. The £815 includes £235 to be paid to Pumphouse Designs. The money currently held by the Council in the Pavilion Fund will be used.

    4. Garage. Ashley Davey has reported that he is waiting for a final quote to finish the second stage of the garage move - the roof and doors. He says that making it weatherproof and secure will allow the portacabin to be emptied and it can then be removed from the car park.

    5. Portacabin. The portacabin appears to take up six parking places in the car park. RESOLVED: That, despite the Sports Association's apparent wish to retain the portacabin, the need for additional parking places is very urgent and the portacabin should be removed from the car park as soon as possible.

    6. Direction signs. Ashley will sort the signs out when the junction improvement is complete.

    7. Redecoration of seat. Cllr Glew to ask John Bartholomew if he would like to give this seat a coat of preservative.

  3. Ladybird Lane. There remains an urgent need for additional parking places to be provided for Sportsfield users.

  4. Village Green
    1. Planters. Cllrs Vine-Hall and Martin were thanked for filling in the ruts at the edge of the Green. Grass seed has been added. Cllr Wright will contact Mark Winchester at Blackbrooks Garden Centre re the three extra planters. Arrangements will be made for the six planters to be moved opposite each other on either side of Brede Lane. Cllr Eldridge was asked to remind the Chairman of the Sedlescombe Garden Society that Cllr Wright had had a conversation with him regarding the Society taking over tending and watering of the planters. It was noted that a local couple had offered to sponsor the planters.
    2. Pumphouse. Cllr Chapman was thanked for replacing the tiles on the Pumphouse roof. One of the seats has been repaired by BEM. Cllr Chapman will look at concreting the base of the pump.
    3. Grounds maintenance. The first cut has been done this month.
    4. Noticeboard redecoration. On County Council Parish Maintenance Team's list for 2012.

  5. East View Terrace including Kickabout Area
    1. Repaint metal seat on Estate. On County Council Parish Maintenance Team's list for 2012.
    2. Holes in Kickabout Area. Cllr Chapman will arrange to fill in the holes.
    3. Removal of small trees. If this has not already been done, Cllr Chapman will arrange to remove the trees.

  6. Bus Shelter
    1. General condition. Cllr Glew reported lots of litter in the bus shelter last week which she removed.
    2. "No smoking" notice. Cllr Chapman was thanked for screwing the notice to the bus shelter.

  7. Riverside Playing Field
    1. Trees and signs on tree. Cllr Martin was thanked for cutting back trees from the fence at the playground. The Clerk had contacted tree surgeons who had cut back the trees from the power cable across the playground. They had agreed to return to chip the waste. The Clerk had produced a new laminated sign for the tree.
    2. Minor maintenance to litter bin by Powdermills drive. The bin is damaged but, instead of repairing it, it was agreed to remove it following complaints from Roger's Gardening Services that it contained 21 bags of dog waste at the weekend. Other litter bins are close at hand and the dog bin is beside it.
    3. Dog bin power wash. Still to be done.
    4. Playground. Three pieces of play equipment are virtually useless because it seems impossible to keep the ropes off the ground as the posts continually move inwards in the soft ground. They are the Grand Canyon, Jacobs Ladder and Niagara Falls. It was agreed that efforts will be made to obtain funding to replace this equipment probably in 2013/14. It was agreed that the plank on the Klondike should be replaced. Roger's Gardening Services will be asked to rake off the molehills before mowing.
    5. Gate to playground. Bottom hinge to be welded. To ask Bridge Garage.
    6. Tennis courts. A total of £10,000 is to be raised through partnership funding. It was noted that Rother DC reduced its grant by 50% because the Parish Council had not provided match funding for the project. The Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust had this evening agreed to extend the project, now named the Sport Improvement and Encouragement Initiative. The total cost of the current project is about £50,000 including VAT. The Charity intends to submit a Lottery application this week for the balance of the money. The result will be announced at the beginning of July.

      The Committee noted that the future annual cost of maintaining the MUGA over 12 years (the expected life of the MUGA), to include moss and weedkilling once or twice a year and washing and recolouring in year 6 is £400 and that £1,500 needs to be saved each year towards the next resurfacing.
    7. Repair metalwork on seat. The Bridge Garage has been asked to provide a quote for this work.

  8. Brede Lane Car Park and public conveniences
    1. Grounds maintenance. Rother District Council has planted a replacement tree in front of the public conveniences for which the Parish Council is now responsible for maintaining.
    2. Devolvement. The Clerk/RFO had reported to the Council that there is little interest in parishes taking over car parks and public conveniences across the District. A meeting of clerks is to be held to discuss legal implications and other issues.
    3. "Welcome to Sedlescombe" board. The application for grant aid from Battle Partnership has been refused so the Parish Council will pay the £260 involved. The Clerk/RFO reported alterations to be made to the board.
    4. Dog bin power wash. Awaited.

  9. Weedkilling. Languard has given the tennis courts a moss treatment and has undertaken the first general weedkill.

  10. Mowing. Roger Wood has confirmed that his company will be able to meet the commitments of the current contract following the sudden death of his younger brother. Mowing started this month.

  11. Litter collection. Roger Wood has reported lots of empty alcohol bottles at the Riverside Play Area. Demi will be informed. From April, Roger's Gardening Services will collect the litter every week at the playgrounds rather than fortnightly. The price will remain the same. The dates of their litter collection will be included on invoices.

  12. Dog bin emptying. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council agrees to pay Rother DC £343.20 in early 2012-13 to empty 3 dogs bins each week at the cost of £2.20 each.

  13. Seats
    1. Power wash seats on Green and in Brede Lane. Still to be done.
    2. Repaint Church seat. On County Council Parish Maintenance Team List for 2012.

  14. To consider adding any other job. The Clerk informed the Committee that Judges of Hastings have jubilee commemorative goods for sale and that Village or Parish Council names can be added. Information to be passed to Judy Torrance.
F11/12.60 Chairman's Allowance. Cllr Wright declared her personal and prejudicial interest in F11/12.60 by virtue of her being the Chairman and Cllr Glew declared her personal and prejudicial interest in F11/12.60 by virtue of her being a recipient. They left the room during discussions. Cllr Wright had produced a list of gifts and donations she had made during the year from the Chairman's Allowance of £200 amounting to £255.50. RESOLVED: That an additional £55.50 is given to Cllr Wright to cover the overspend in the Chairman's Allowance.
F11/12.61 Clerk's Gratuity Fund. RESOLVED: That the Clerk's Gratuity Fund is increased to £31,337.45 to cover the cost of the Council's expected National Insurance Payment.

2011/12 Accounts.

  1. Internal Financial Controls Report 2011-12. Copies had been distributed to members. RESOLVED: That the Internal Financial Controls Report 2011-12 is approved.
  2. First draft accounts for 2011-12. Copies had been distributed to members. RESOLVED: That the first draft accounts for 2011-12 is approved.
  3. 2011-12 Internal Audit. It was noted that the 2011-12 Internal Audit will take place on Friday 27 April 2012 and that the internally-audited accounts will be presented to the Council at the Annual Meeting on 08/05/12.
  4. Review of Valuations of Fixed Assets. The Committee agreed the following valuation of current assets:

    Red Barn Field
    East View Kickabout Area
    Village Green (community valuation)
    Pumphouse (community valuation
    Village Hall Car Park (community valuation)
    Office equipment
    Bus Shelter
    Parish Map Original painting (CRO)
    Tapestry in village hall

Responsible Financial Officer's delegated financial powers. RESOLVED: That the following powers are delegated to the RFO:

  1. Purchase of petty cash items up to £20/month.
  2. Minor grounds maintenance expenses up to £75/month.
  3. Purchase of stationery including copier toner up to the annual budget figure.
  4. Booking training for councillors and the Clerk/RFO up to the annual budget figure.

2012/13 Budget

  1. The Committee noted the 2012/13 precept and budget as agreed by the Council at its meeting on 10/01/12.
  2. The Committee noted Sedlescombe's position, 14th (16th last year), in the Council Tax League Table for Rother towns and parishes (excluding Bexhill). Sedlescombe's Band D Council Tax is £49.53 or 95p pw; Etchingham has the highest Band D Council Tax at £73.81 and Guestling the lowest at £4.74.

    Sedlescombe is 10th in the table of precept amounts. Battle is highest at £187,770 and Rye Foreign is lowest at £1,250. East Guldeford Parish Meeting's precept is nil.
F11/12.65 Asset Register. Members had been provided with copies of the updated Asset Register. RESOLVED: That the Asset Register as at March 2012 is approved.
F11/12.66 Risk Management. Members had been provided with copies of the updated Risk Management Report. RESOLVED: That the Risk Management Report as at March 2012 is approved.
F11/12.67 Insurances. Confirmation of costs for a 3-year agreement with Aviva through Came and Company are awaited.
F11/12.68 Power of Well-Being. It was noted that the Power of Well-being is being abolished on Saturday and that it is to be replaced by The General Power of Competence, details of which are yet to be announced.
  Chairman..................................................... Date...........................................................