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PRESENT: Cllr Glew (Chairman of Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Council), Cllrs Anson, Chapman, Eldridge. Cllr J Vine-Hall (Chairman of the Council)

Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer: Mrs P Raymond

F12/13.29 Apologies and reasons for absence. None, all present.

Disclosure of personal and pecuniary interests by Councillors

  1. Disclosures of personal and precuniary interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting in accordance with the adopted Code of Conduct 2012. None.
  2. Written requests for dispensation from councillors. None received. However, it was noted that all councillors had been granted dispensation to speak regarding the setting of the precept despite their pecuniary interests.
F12/13.31 Public Participation. No public present.
F12/13.32 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Finance Committee held on 16/10/12.
The Clerk/RFO informed the Committee that she would be attending an urgent Finance Briefing by Rother District Council tomorrow regarding Council Tax Base figures for the 2013/14 financial year and that she would be reporting to the Committee at next week's meeting. She suggested that final decisions are deferred for the time being.

Volunteer Scheme. The Parish Council, at its meeting on 20/11/12, agreed to set up a Sedlescombe Volunteer Scheme and delegated the Finance Committee to agree working details.

  1. RESOLVED: That a Volunteer Registration Agreement is introduced to ensure that volunteers are working under the auspices of the Parish Council and are covered by the Council's public liability and personal accident insurance.

  2. JOB SHEET. Members had been provided with a list of Job Sheets for each type of work 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. RESOLVED: That Job Sheets will be introduced for the different types of voluntary work to be undertaken.
F12/13.34 JOB LIST
  1. Work completed. Cllr Chapman was thanked for undertaking the following repairs:
    1. Riverside Playing Field (PF) - replaced one seat slat in playground.
    2. Riverside Playing Field (PF) - turned round steel gate next to public footpath to stop fingers from getting trapped between post and gate.
    3. Riverside Playing Field (PF) - Repaired Klondike x 2.
    4. Bus Shelter (BS) - screwed back 3 weatherboards on bottom left side.
    5. Village Green (VG) - glued and screwed bracket onto village pumphouse seat arm.
    6. Church Hill (CH) - fitted new timber back rail and painted same.

  2. Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) at the tennis courts:
    1. Loan repayments. A £9,000 loan was received from the PWLB on 25/10/12, repayable over 10 years with 1.91% interest. Twice-yearly payments of £496.49 will be paid by direct debit.
    2. Fencing. Cllr Vine-Hall will not be removing the fencing. D&B had started work on the fencing on Monday 03/12/12.
    3. Surfacing. The Clerk/RFO reported that she had been informed today that the Company whose quote had been accepted for doing the surfacing of the courts would cease to exist before Christmas and would not, therefore, be able to take on the job in Sedlescombe. The Committee agreed that the Clerk/RFO should contact another Company that had originally provided a quote for the work.

  3. Sportsfield Car Park extension. Overall cost £8,895.24 with the Parish Council contributing £813 including VAT. Cllr Anson had attended a meeting of the Sports Association Committee the previous evening where it had been confirmed that the extension is now complete and that there is no money owing on the Sportsfield Car Park Extension nor any more expected from the Parish Council. Cllr Anson had reminded the Sports Association Committee that the Parish Council is already committed to continued expenditure through loan repayments on the pavilion. Cllr Anson has started discussions with the Sports Association Committee Secretary regarding the lease of the Sportsfield.

    Cllr Vine-Hall agreed to try to get the fly-tipped rubbish removed from the old part of the car park, which is the Parish Council's responsibility.

    Cllr Anson had told the Sports Association Committee Meeting that they are responsible for sorting out the problem of the spoil that they had tipped onto the grass verge of Ladybird Lane without Pestalozzi's permission and that the Parish Council is not involved at all.

  4. ESCC Highways (included on this agenda because of the charging for white lining)
    1. Additional work suggested by the Parish Council for the Parish Maintenance Team. A list had been sent to the County Council by the Clerk/RFO after it had been suggested by ESCC that the Parish Maintenance Team could undertake further work in the parish. According to ESCC, all items were being distributed to different departments and officers, apart from Church Hill siding back which might be undertaken (if the length is not too long).
    2. Highways maintenance work passed to Graeme Lake at Parish Council meeting on 20/11/12. Graeme Lake had sent a list of rankings of matters raised by councillors at the meeting. Cllr Glew provided technical reports which Graeme had provided to a recent meeting of the Rother Transport Action Group.
    3. White lining. The Parish Council had forwarded a request for a white line to be painted across the parking area of the Doctors' surgery in Brede Lane in order to keep the area clear for emergencies. Graeme Lake had informed the Council that the cost would be £45 for anyone wanting such a line to be painted. There are no exceptions to charging and, therefore, the Doctors would have to pay. The address in Ringmer where applications should be sent had been provided to the Council.

  5. Quotations. It was noted that, in accordance with Sedlescombe's Financial Regulations, quotations were invited from local contractors for grounds maintenance and other work for the end of the 2012-13 season and for the 2013 season. A general invitation was placed on the Parish Council's website from 01/10-05/11/12, in several issues of the Sedlescombe News and for one week in the Sedlescombe Village Voice column of the Battle Observer. Individual invitations were sent to Roger's Gardening Services, Landscape Services, Southern Counties Landscapes, John O'Connor Grounds Maintenance, Kemp & Catt Ltd of Ewhurst.

    Quotations were received from 1) three contractors with an additional quote for herbicide treatment from another contractor and 2) an additional contractor quoting for the annual professional playground inspection.

  6. Jobs List Review. The Committee carefully considered every listed job, whether it could be undertaken by a volunteer and the cost if the work is to be paid for. DEFERRED.

  7. Acceptance of grounds maintenance quote(s) for the work that has not been allocated for voluntary work. DEFERRED.

Annual Report & Directory 2013

  1. Quotation.Consideration was given to having a black and white cover in order to save money but it was RESOLVED: That Fastprint's quotation of £485 is accepted for printing 800 copies of a 36-page booklet with colour cover as the 2013 Annual Report & Directory.

  2. Front cover. A copy of the Welcome to Sedlescombe board in the car park which was renewed this year will be used on the cover.

  3. Form. A form will be available for businesses to apply for advertising space in the 2013 Directory and website. Members agreed to offer the form to suitable businesses.
F12/13.36 Proposed bus stop in The Street. Cllr Glew reported that the Parish Council would be expected to contribute £2,500 if a proper bus stop were to be installed in The Street. She was, however, working on getting approval for a designated stop. The bus drivers will be informed that they should stop on request for the elderly to alight from the buses just north of of Clockhouse Hair & Beauty salon in The Street.

Administration costs. The Committee considered amounts for inclusion in the 2013/14 budget.

  1. Chairman's Allowance. £200
  2. Clerk's Salary and total Employment Costs. £14,940 total employment costs.
  3. Insurance. £1,137.
  4. Maintenance of offices. £200.
  5. Subscriptions to other bodies. The Council usually contributes to RALC, NALC, SALC and SLCC. It was noted that the SALC subscription would rise by £21, despite the reduction in service received by parishes eg change in training arrangements. Cllr Glew to raise at next opportunity at a RALC meeting.
  6. Election expenses. None.
  7. Computer and software. The Clerk/RFO reported that the computer and software approved by the Council on 20/11/12 had arrived today and was up and working.
  8. Website expenses. It was noted that it had not proved possible to purchase an upgrade of Dreamweaver software from Adobe as the earlier version had been purchased as part of a package and Adobe would only agree an upgrade of the total package. RESOLVED: That the purchase of Dreamweaver software for running the Parish Council's website at the cost of £291 is approved. It was noted that all design and maintenance of the website is carried out at no cost to the Parish Council.

Battle Area Community Transport (BACT)

  1. Grant aid. The Council had been asked to consider making a donation to BACT. A copy of the BACT accounts had been obtained and had been studied by Cllr Glew. She had telephoned the BACT office to express her concern that drivers and trustees had received reasonably substantial expenses. However, it was RECOMMENDED: That a donation of £150 is made to BACT in recognition of the importance of the community bus to elderly people living in Sedlescombe.
  2. Letter of support. It was RESOLVED: That, as requested, a letter of support should be forwarded to help BACT in their application for lottery assistance.
F12/13.39 Inspection of the interior of the pavilion. Cllr Chapman reported on his inspection of the pavilion's interior the previous day. He had found that several of the doors need adjustment because they do not close properly. He had noticed that all jobs recommended on the exterior had been completed. However, certificates for the gas boiler and for the intruder alarm had not been presented as had been requested months earlier. The Clerk/RFO was asked to write to the Sports Association informing the Committee of the work that needs to be put in hand and that the certificates should be produced at the earliest opportunity.
F12/13.40 Fund-raising for a defibrillator for Sedlescombe. David Betts had contacted the Clerk/RFO seeking the Parish Council's support for him to undertake fund-raising to purchase a defibrillator for Sedlescombe. RESOLVED: That the Council agrees that David Betts' is supported in his attempts to raise funds to purchase a defibrillator for the Village. The Committee considered the Brickwall Hotel to be a suitable site.
F12/13.41 Date of next meeting: 11/12/12.
  Signed.......................................... Date.............................................