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MEMBERS: Cllr J Vine-Hall (Chairman), Cllr P Glew (Vice-Chairman), Cllrs Peter Anson, Roy Chapman, Rod Eldridge, Jenny Mitchell, John Parsons, John Reynolds, 1 vacancy

REPORTS. The Chairman will allow the following people, if they are present, to address the Council. Unless otherwise agreed, each person should keep their representation to 2-3 minutes:

  • Mrs Marian Ham (Sedlescombe CEP headteacher)
  • Demetrius Georghiou (Police Community Support Officer)
  • Mrs Sue Walton (Pestalozzi International Village Chief Executive)

EAST SUSSEX HIGHWAYS. There are now 12 stewards covering the whole of East Sussex. Sedlescombe is in the centre of Area 1, looked after by our Highway Steward Michael Sherwood. The area is large stretching from Camber in the East, to Salehurst in the North, Ninfield in the West and Fairlight in the South.

The Steward's job is to look after his patch, being responsible for maintenance of roads, pavements, verges and drains. He must have a knowledge of the area, its issues and maintenance and communicate and liaise with parish council for whom he is a single point of contact. He also responds to public enquiries, undertakes statutory safety inspections, records defects and specifies repairs, checks Utility Company workings, co-ordinates works in the highway, looks after skip, scaffold and hoarding licences and deals with highway obstructions such as overgrown hedges.


East Sussex parishes have complained strongly at recent Rother and County conferences and at Clerks' Meetings that the service they are getting regarding road repairs and other minor highway work has deteriorated since the introduction of the Highway Steward Scheme.


Graeme Lake, Highways Inspection and Enforcement Manager, East Sussex County Council, and possibly the Highways Steward, is expected to attend at 19:00 at the invitation of the Chairman.

C12/13.87 Apologies and reasons for absence to include:
C12/13.88 Interests declared in accordance with the 2012 Code of Conduct (adopted 17/07/12).
To receive declarations as follows:

1. Disclosable pecuniary interests of councillors and their spouses

- members should, unless dispensation has been granted, leave the meeting as soon as the agenda item is announced.
2. Disclosable pecuniary interests of friends, relatives or close associates of councillors - members should, unless dispensation has been granted, leave the meeting as soon as the agenda item is announced.
3. Personal interests of councillors - members may speak (as long as the public are allowed to as well) but should not vote.
4. "Objective bystander test" where anyone who knew all the facts about a councillor's personal interest would think that the interest is so significant that it would prejudice their judgement of the public interest - member may speak as long as the public are allowed to as well but must leave the meeting before the public speak.
5. Financial personal interests of friends, relatives or close associates of councillors - members may speak (as long as the public are allowed to as well) but should not vote.


If a member becomes aware, during the course of a meeting, of an interest that has not been disclosed under this item he/she must immediately disclose it.

C12/13.89 Requests for Dispensation. To consider written requests from councillors for dispensation either:
  1. one-off regarding a matter on this agenda or
  2. ongoing matter when the Council/Committee should consider the length of time the dispensation should be granted for.

    Correspondence has been received from Cllrs Pauline Glew and Jenny Mitchell requesting dispensation to allow them to take a full part in discussions on the subject of the Brede Lane development proposals despite, in this particular instance, their disclosable pecuniary interests as Trustees of the Village Hall. NB The Village Hall currently lets the hall to the pre-school on three days a week and would suffer financially if the pre-school were to move to another building in Brede Lane.
C12/13.90 Public participation session. At the Chairman's discretion, members of the public will be allowed to make representation, answer questions or give evidence re matters on the agenda at a time agreed by the Chairman. Names of the public will be recorded and representations etc. minuted. Matters raised which are not on the agenda will be added to the agenda of a future meeting.
Minutes. To resolve: That the Chairman of the Council is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 18/09/12.
C12/13.92 Minutes of Meetings of Committees
  1. Planning Executive Committee. To Resolve: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Planning Committee held on 18/09/12 and 30/10/12 are received.
  2. Finance Executive Committee. To Resolve: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Finance Committee held on 16/10/12 are received.
  3. Parking & Traffic Advisory Committee. To Resolve: That the Minutes of the Meeting of the Parking & Traffic Advisory Committee held on 06/11/12 are approved.

    For approval - arising from recommendations by the Advisory Committee at its latest meeting:
    1. Provision of £56-worth of WH Smith tokens to cover one prize for each of the seven classes for a Road Safety Competition organised by Cllr Eldridge.
    2. Postponement of the Parking & Traffic Advisory Committee's presentation to the Council from January 2013 to March 2013.

Casual Vacancy.

  1. To note that, at the close of the allotted time for applications to fill the current vacancy on the Council, no-one had come forward or even made an inquiry about the work of the Council.
  2. To consider how the vacancies on the Council and the Planning and Finance Committees should be filled. NB The rules are that the vacancy should be filled "as soon as practicable".
  3. To consider introducing an ongoing advertisement inviting people qualified by residency or employment "to apply to be added to a list of people who will be considered for co-option to the Council in the event of a vacancy occurring on the Council and no election being demanded in the due time".
C12/13.94 To consider how Sedlescombe Parish Council can encourage various sections of this community to be more involved. Various suggestions and problems raised at the ESCC Parish Conference in September are pertinent::
  • Residents of new development need to be quickly integrated into the existing Village community.
  • People may only want to be involved in local democracy if the subject affects them.
  • Time/money barriers restrict engagement.
  • Middle generation in particular are apathetic.
  • Volunteers are difficult to retain.
  • Controversial issues encourage engagement and it might be possible to maintain interest later with other issues.
  • Young people are interested in a wide range of issues, not just those affecting young people. They may be encouraged to be involved through youth councils, youth councillors, websites, social media, going into schools, attending school governors' meetings, attending local groups for young people and going to talk to young people where they congregate. Difficulties were highlighted with managing expectations, maintaining interest, high turnover of members of youth councils and the need for support from parents/carers of young people to enable them to get involved. Other ideas were participatory budgeting, offering work experience and 'Dragon's den' style activities for encouraging young people to get involved in spending money.
  • Amongst suggestions to encourage adults was the idea of sending Council representatives to get involved with local organisations, clubs, societies, by having a visible councillor at local events to answer questions, by organising regular, high-profile activities, by carrying out more self-promotion, by providing small grants to help local organisations eg subsidising the cost of hiring the hall, and changing the parish council name to community council so people have a better understanding of its role.
C12/13.95 Use of Volunteers
  1. To review the Parish Council's use of volunteers as detailed in the Clerk's Briefing Note HERE.
  2. To note the tools belonging to the Parish Council.
  3. To resolve:
    1. That the Parish Council supports extending the use of volunteers in Sedlescombe
      1. To increase the sense of community and pride in the Village
      2. To provide services that would otherwise not be provided
      3. To help reduce the cost of maintaining Village amenities to the benefit of Council Taxpayers

    2. That the Parish Council should introduce a Volunteer Registration Scheme Agreement to ensure that volunteers are working under the auspices of the Parish Council and are covered by the Parish Council's public liability and personal accident insurance.

    3. That a Job Sheet is introduced for each type of voluntary work approved by the Council listing the site location(s), hazards that need to be brought to the attention of the volunteers for their protection and the tools and equipment needed for the job.

    4. That parish councillors are appointed to oversee the volunteers as follows:
      1. Cllr Glew - Sedlescombe Lift Scheme drivers (retrospective)
      2. Cllr Chapman - minor maintenance volunteers
      3. Cllr Parsons - Speed Indicator Device volunteers
      4. Cllr Vine-Hall - Rights of Way (in conjunction with ESCC)

    5. That the purchase of hi-viz tabards, gloves, litter pickers, first aid kits, hand washing material and other tools and equipment considered necessary for the volunteer to undertake the work safely is approved up to £100.

    6. That approval of the details of the Volunteer Scheme is delegated to the Finance Committee and that an extra Finance Committee Meeting will be held on Tuesday 04/12/12.
C12/13.96 To receive the Clerk's Report.
  1. Holiday schedules.
  2. E-mail problems.
  3. Street naming.
C12/13.97 Finance
  1. To approve bank reconciliation at the end of October 2012. See HERE
  2. To approve upgrading the Council's computer software by the installation of Windows 8 and the MoneyManager accounts program at the total cost of £70.83.
  3. To consider replacement of computer equipment at an approximate cost of £500, following failure of computer hard disks and increasing unreliability and difficulty to maintain.
  4. To ratify payment of accounts in October and November 2012. See HERE
C12/13.98 Training. To receive members requests for training.
C12/13.99 Parish Meeting to be held on Friday 30 November 2012 in the Village Hall 19:30 to 21:00. Meeting called by the Chairman of the Council to inform the parish of the Parish Council's objections to the proposed housing/education/employment development in Brede Lane.
  1. To review the Council's position on the development proposals as exhibited in Sedlescombe Village Hall in September on behalf of the developers.
  2. To note arrangements for both before and at the forthcoming public meeting and parish councillor involvement.
  3. To note that the head teacher has asked for various points to be raised on her behalf and in her absence.
  4. To note comments which the Chairman of the Sedlescombe Pre-School has sent to the Parish Council in support of the proposals.
C12/13.100 Village Green
  1. Flagpole and flag flying. To receive an update (if received from the Sedlescombe Branch of the British Legion).
C12/13.101 Sportsfield
  1. To consider the shortfall in funding the Sportsfield Car Park extension and request for help from the Sports Association.
  2. To consider who should be responsible for maintaining the enlarged Sportsfield Car Park. Currently, the existing Car Park area is not included in the lease of the Sportsfield to the Sports Association.
  3. To consider the Parish Council/Sports Association Lease of the Sportsfield. (Cllr Anson to report)
C12/13.102 Footpaths. See Clerk's Briefing Note 22 on Volunteers for further information
  1. East Sussex County County Paths Warden Scheme. East Sussex County Council plans to set up a 'Path Warden' scheme. This would involve individual parish volunteers carrying out inspections in response to requests from ESCC's Rights of Way Access Team. For example, following an initial letter to the landowner, the volunteer might be asked to check if a stile has been repaired or an obstruction removed. A basic form, together with photographs, would need to be provided by the volunteer following the inspection. Training may be provided and mileage costs for travel to the site of up to a maximum of £4 per journey will be available.
  2. Footpaths Maintenance Team for Sedlescombe.
C12/13.103 School
  1. To note that the School has been shortlisted in the Courier Newspaper's Heart of the Community competition to improve the School swimming pool facilities to include new communal changing rooms and 6 individual changing cubicles for adults as well as toilet and shower facilities. The cost is expected to be about £30,000 and the facilities to be available for use by 2013. The competition is based on votes.
  2. To consider the headteacher's request for comments regarding ways to improve the safety of the Brede Lane Car Park. In reply to Mrs Ham's e-mail to Rother, Kim Ross, Head of Amenities states that:
    1. It would be helpful to understand how many near misses or accidents have occurred at the Car Park.
    2. If improvement work is vital, Rother will pursue collective funding from ESCC, the Parish Council and the School.
    3. Rother is "in discussions currently with Sedlescombe Parish Council" re devolvement. NB Rother and the Parish Council are not in current discussions although, of course, the Parish Council is aware that devolvement to the Parish Council is currently Rother's preferred option for the future of the car park and public conveniences. The Parish Council has informed Rother that it does not wish to take over responsibility for these amenities but this appears to have been ignored.
C12/13.104 Red Barn Field. Improvement of the walking bus route. To consider a local resident's suggestion that because the path through Red Barn Field Field is rough and stony and the part of public footpath 6 on Pine View land is often wet and muddy, they should be covered with tarmac to encourage more use by children walking to School. Also that hedges etc along the footpath should be cut back more vigorously.
C12/13.105 East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. Comments by 1712/12. Fire & Rescue Service's medium-term plan.
  1. To consider proposed alterations to the Hastings Fire and Rescue service ie to downgrade the Ridge to a retained fire station. It is currently a "Wholetime and Retained Station". Its full time crew will be transferred to the wholetime station at Hastings leaving a retained crew with a fire engine and Land Rover at The Ridge. The Ridge station is the front-line response for communities at Pett, Fairlight, Guestling, Three Oaks, Westfield and Icklesham. It is suggested that the change would result in a delay of at least 4 minutes in attendance of fires in the villages east of Hastings.
  2. To consider whether comments should be made about the Plan (questionnaire can be seen at the back of the plan).
C12/13.106 East Sussex Cultural Survey. Closing date 08/02/13. Details can be seen at: http://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/yourcouncil/consultation/2012/culturalstrategy/default.htm. To consider the Parish Council should comment.
C12/13.107 Superfast Broadband - to receive a report from East Sussex County Council.
C12/13.108 To consider Arrangements for the Annual Assembly of Sedlescombe's Parish Council to be held on Tuesday 30 April 2013. Ideas for a good Assembly were discussed at the Rother Parish Conference and included: plan in advance, have stands for local organisations, give good refreshments, good advertising, interesting subject matter, chairman to keep the meeting moving along, send out an annual report in advance, awards ceremony for events that have taken place during the year, save the questions for the social element of the evening, invite young people, do not make it political, include a controversial item, provide a presentation of activities through the year, keep it informal.

P J Raymond

Sedlescombe Parish Council

01424 870508