MEETING ON TUESDAY 09/07/13 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL 19:00 to 21:50
Chair: Cllr J Vine-Hall, Vice-Chair: Cllr P Glew
Cllrs Anson, Chapman, Eldridge, Lawrence, Mitchell, Parsons, Reynolds
Clerk/RFO - Mrs P J Raymond
District Councillor Ganly and Mrs Sue Walton stayed for the whole meeting. PCSO Demi, County Councillor Davies and Malcolm Johnston left after they had spoken to the meeting.
THE CHAIRMAN INVITED THE FOLLOWING TO SPEAK:
PCSO Demetrius Georghiou detailed the incident records in Sedlescombe over the past month and updated the Council regarding his work at the School to improve parking. He had presented a cheque to the Sedlescombe Community Friends Project. Demi was informed about vandalism to the Pumphouse seats and that a caravan has been parked in the layby near Marley Lane on the A21 for about a week.
District Councillor Tony Ganly complained about the inclusion of the words "in accordance with the usual arrangements" in the Parish Council's Planning Committee Minute 18.3. He is unaware of the arrangement that has been in placed for many years whereby District Councillors are expected to inform Parish Clerks if an application on the "D" list is likely to be decided contrary to the wishes of the Parish Council, giving the Parish Council the opportunity to ask for the application to be referred to Committee. Cllr Ganly says he cannot refer an application to committee unless there are material reasons to refuse. It appears that there may sometimes be a difference of opinion about what is a material consideration.
County Councillor Angharad Davies informed the Council that she had arranged for the litter bin outside Manor Cottages to be removed as this had been requested by the homeowner. Unfortunately, the bin belongs to the Parish Council and had been installed so that a local person could collect litter on the way back from the Village shop and place it in the bin. Recently, it has been regularly used for disposal of household waste. Cllr Davies will arrange for the bin's return.
She mentioned that, following a discussion with East Sussex Highways' Brian Banks, Sedlescombe had been placed on the priority list for funding re speed limits.
Cllr Vine-Hall discussed with Cllr Davies the unsatisfactory situation in Sedlescombe regarding Superfast Broaded. Local people put a lot of effort into encouraging others to register for Superfast Broadband because the Parish Council had been told that, by so doing, it was likely to get the connection sooner rather than later. Now it appears that Sedlescombe cannot be guaranteed any special treatment in reward for the exceptional effort that had been made. Cllr Davies had told BT that it would be good pr for Sedlescombe to be one of the first villages to be connected as had been promised by our previous County Councillor Peter Jones. Cllr Vine-Hall also reminded Cllr Davies that Sedlescombe was designated as one of only a few "service villages" in Rother's Local Plan where Superfast Broadband was essential. Cllr Vine-Hall asked for a meeting with BT.
Cllr Davies mentioned the 349 Bus Service which had been operating since Good Friday on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Mrs Sue Walton, Chief Executive, Pestalozzi International Village. Cllr Vine-Hall thanked Sue for encouraging so many of the Pestalozzi students to take part in two Neighbourhood Plan sessions. The students had also provided a "mood board" for the Exhibition that we are yet to see. Sue was asked if she could arrange for a photograph to be taken of some of the students with the board when they return late in August. Sue thanked the Parish Council for involving them which they had appreciated.
Pestalozzi is providing parking for the Summer Fayre using the West Lodge as entrance and exit. Arrangements are being made to have the Air Cadets on duty directing traffic at the junction.
Rural Pastimes will be held on 10-11 August. A field gate entrance in Cottage Lane will be used, exiting at West Lodge.
Pestalozzi is willing to allow Demi to be based at Pestalozzi when he loses his office space in Battle. Demi is to be involved with the students' induction.
The meeting was pleased to hear that the students' had attained a 100% pass rate this year in the International Baccalaureate Course.
Malcolm Johnston, Director of Resources at Rother District Council attended re devolution of services to Sedlescombe Parish Council. Sedlescombe Parish Council was being offered a 99 year lease at a £1 p.a. peppercorn rent of the car park and toilets in Brede Lane in order for Rother to cut its costs because it had would lose £3 mn Government income, over four years. It is not a statutory duty of a district council to provide either parking or toilets. Rother is prepared to talk about allowing the parishes to take on the liability for improvements on a sliding scale over about 10 years to give parishes the chance to build up funds for this sort of expenditure.
The Chairman mentioned the idea of converting part of the toilets into a PCSO office keeping the disabled toilet for coded access when required.
28 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. None, all present.
29 DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS WHETHER PERSONAL OR PERSONAL/PECUNIARY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CURRENT CODE OF CONDUCT REGARDING MATTERS ON THE AGENDA. Under Agenda item 30, Cllr Chapman declared his pecuniary interest and left the room. Under Agenda item 43.1, Cllr Mitchell declared her pecuniary interest in the Sportsfield by virtue of her husband being a Trustee of the Field. She left the meeting after her declaration.
30 REQUESTS RECEIVED IN WRITING FROM PARISH COUNCILLORS FOR DISPENSATION TO SPEAK REGARDING THEIR PECUNIARY INTERESTS. Written request received from Cllr Chapman for dispensation to allow him to participate and vote in matters concerning the Pestalozzi Village. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council grants dispensation to Cllr Chapman to allow him to participate and vote on matters concerning the Pestalozzi Village in connection with the Neighbourhood Plan for a period of 2 years despite his pecuniary interest in the Pestalozzi Village proposed sites as owner of an adjacent site.
31 REQUEST FROM LINDSAY FRASER (CURRENTLY NON-VOTING MEMBER OF THE SNPPG) TO CHANGE TO A VOTING MEMBER IN ORDER TO TAKE A FULL PART, INCLUDING VOTING, IN THE DISCUSSIONS RELATING TO THE GROUP. RESOLVED: That Lindsay Fraser is made a full voting member of the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan Project Group. In anticipation, Lindsay had completed an Interest Form which would be forwarded to Rother for inclusion on their website with a link to the Sedlescombe Parish Council website.
Lindsay Fraser had submitted a written request for dispensation to allow her to speak and vote until May 2015 at meetings of the SNPPG despite her pecuniary interest in the proposed Street Farm development as owner of an adjacent property. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council grants dispensation to Lindsay Fraser to allow her to participate and vote on matters concerning the Street Farm development until May 2015 despite her pecuniary interest in the Street Farm area as owner of an adjacent property.
32 7 PRINCIPLES OF PUBLIC LIFE. The Committee on Standards in Public Life had revised some of the descriptions associated with the 7 Principles of Public Life to bring them up to date and provide greater clarity. RESOLVED: That, as the Parish Council's Code of Conduct 2012 is based upon the 7 principles of public life, now amended, the revised principles are formally adopted by Sedlescombe Parish Council.
32 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION REGARDING MATTERS ON THE AGENDA. None.
33 MINUTES. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Council is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 14/05/13.
34 MINUTES OF COMMITTEE MEETINGS. RESOLVED:
- THAT THE MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE HELD ON 14/05/13,17/06/13 AND 25/06/13 ARE RECEIVED.
- THAT THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PLANNING COMMITTEE HELD ON 28/05/13 AND 25/06/13 ARE RECEIVED.
- THAT THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE SNPPG HELD ON 17/06/13 ARE APPROVED.
Thanks to all councillors who did their part in constructing packs for delivery throughout the parish in connection with the Neighbourhood Plan. More than 200 completed forms had been returned to date with 10 days to go. Champions are being asked to encourage participation. Also to guide residents to the correct completion of questions 33 and 34 which should be ranked and not rated.
- THAT THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE PARKING & TRAFFIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE HELD ON 02/07/13 ARE APPROVED AND THE RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED.
35 TO CONSIDER MATTERS DEFERRED, BECAUSE OF LACK OF TIME, AT THE LAST COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 14/05/13
- Devolution of Services from Rother District Council. Malcolm Johnston had answered some questions from councillors earlier in the meeting about the proposal to lease the public car park and toilets to the Parish Council. DEFERRED TO THE NEXT MEETING.
- Rother TV. Led by Entertainment Workshops, young people are involved with presenting programmes for this web-based TV. Cllr Mitchell suggested that it could be appropriate for the youngsters who will attend the Claverham Neighbourhood Plan session on 22/07/13 to report on it on Rother TV. Cllr Vine-Hall agreed to make some enquiries.
- Defibrillator. Mr David Betts had raised funds to purchase the defibrillator which has been installed in the Brickwall Hotel. Cllr Glew will ask him if he wants to advertise training in the Sedlescombe News.
- Correspondence about yellow lines - considered by Cllr Eldridge leading up to his Parking & Traffic Report.
- Traffic calming request in The Street - considered by Cllr Eldridge leading up to his Parking & Traffic Report.
- Damage to grass area at altered Chapel Hill/B2244 junction by cars driving over the new area. Additional hazard bollards installed.
- Size and speed of vehicles using the B2244 through village - considered by Cllr Eldridge leading up to his Parking & Traffic Report.
- Altering Sedlescombe's existing speed signs to speed reactive signs. No action to date.
- Potholes - being repaired slowly.
- Subsidence on verge at Park Shaw reported to ESCC
- Overgrown hedges/trees from 2 properties in Park Shaw reported to ESCC
36 PARKING & TRAFFIC
- Parking & Traffic Report by Cllr Eldridge. Cllr Eldridge presented a brief summary of his report which shows a considerable increase in traffic through the Village, 14% breaking the speed limit in The Street and a couple travelling over 60mph in the 30mph limit, cars travelling too fast in lanes, lots of use of the slip road by the shop by vehicles and parking there, plenty of comments from the public about parking problems in Brede Lane around School time, more people willing to be trained in the use of the speed camera, need for better utilisation of the Sportsfield Car Park. He expects the next Speedwatch sessions to be improved using the information received during the previous campaign. Cllr Eldridge was thanked for gathering information from a variety of sources and producing his Parking & Traffic Advisory Report which will be considered further by the Council in due course. The information received will help provide strong evidence base re housing for the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan. It was agreed that Cllr Eldridge should produce a resume of his Report for publication.
- Parking & Traffic Committee. Following completion of the Plan, which was a major aim of the Advisory Committee, continuation or closure of the Committee was considered. It was agreed that a long Speedwatch campaign would be advantageous. RESOLVED: That the Parking & Traffic Advisory Committee should continue under the same terms of reference as previously approved as there is much to be considered including opportunities for improvements.
RESOLVED: That the suggested actions in Cllr Eldridge's Report are considered in the light of previous information and current considerations and costings in preparation for a meeting to be arranged in October or thereabouts to which representatives of ES Highways will be invited together with those involved in the traffic survey. (In accordance with clause 8 of the Terms of Reference of the Committee - "To discuss with The Highways Department the issues and possible solutions to identified problems." )
- Request from Mrs Ham, School Headteacher for redrawing of lines in Brede Lane Car Park. Mrs Ham had provided a sketch showing the way she would like to see the lines repainted at the car park in Brede Lane. This would involve resiting of two disabled parking places to allow separation of incoming and outgoing traffic and would result in the loss of two parking spaces. The Council had already been informed by the District Council that it has no plans to amend the parking lines. There will be less likelihood of expenditure in the future by the District Council because of the cuts and Rother's wish to devolve the car park to the Parish Council.
- Speed limits in country lanes. The Clerk had written to Brian Banks (Team Manager Road Safety at ESCC) asking how we could go about reviewing speed limits in country lanes. He had replied as follows: "All requests for speed limits need to be assessed against the relevant guidance which includes a review of the crash record of the road and the existing road geometry and environment. We are presently in the final year of a programme of assessing all speed limits in rural villages and on A and B class roads. This work has been funded through our Capital Programme and it was hoped to continue this level of work to assess speed limits on our more rural road network. However, due to financial constraints being placed on all local authorities, the availability of future funding has not been established. all requests will therefore have to be prioritised and assessed by the Local Traffic and Safety Team, with any new speed limits funded from their normal revenue budget. We will therefore have a very limited ability to progress this type of work in the future. If you can forward any specific requests to me, I will pass them onto the Traffic and Safety Team and ask that they include them on their programme of prioritised work."
The Council agreed to forward the following rural Sedlescombe lanes to Brian Banks for consideration: Stream Lane, Chapel Hill, Hurst Lane, Brede Lane, Cottage Lane.
- Bank Reconciliation. RESOLVED: That the bank reconciliation at the end of June 2013 is approved.
- Cheques. RESOLVED: That payment of the June 2013 cheque list is ratified and the July 2013 cheque list approved.
38 TRAINING. Members provided answers to the SSALC training survey 2013.
39 CLERK'S REPORT
- Purchase of latest edition of "Local Council Administration" (£60) - approved.
- Photographing Council meetings. Standing order q states "Photographing, recording, broadcasting or transmitting the proceedings of a meeting by any means is not permitted without the Council's consent." The Council was made aware that in June 2013 DCLG issued a paper entitled "Your council's cabinet - going to its meetings, seeing how it works" This is a guide for local people and is relevant to principal councils. It states "Councils should thus allow the filming of councillors and officers at meetings that are open to the public". New rules have also been introduced to allow social media reporting of meetings.
- Purchase of The 2013 Clerks' Manual - inserts only £32.50 300 pages - approved.
- The Warr Partnership RDPE Leader 2009-2013 grant scheme. Booklet received identifying the projects that have been supported. Sedlescombe Parish Council's Pumphouse Project is included.
- NALC paper for comment by 30/08/13 "A new Future; developing the Strategy". Agreed that consideration and comment should be delegated to the Clerk and Cllrs Glew and Parsons.
40 VILLAGE GREEN
- Proposed flagpole. The Chairman reported that he and the Clerk had attended a meeting of the Royal British Legion Sedlescombe Branch on 19/06/13 and had explained that the advice received from legal experts and the letter from the DCLG that had been sent to the Branch confirmed that, as a flagpole could not be said to be for the better enjoyment of the Village Green, it would not be allowed under the Commons Act 1876. Reluctantly, the Branch had agreed that they should seek an alternative siting for the flagpole. A letter had been received from Mr Ken Weston of the Sedlescombe Branch thanking the Council for its attempts to find a solution to this problem.
- Damage to top Green by vehicles. Large vehicles are still driving over the top Green despite it recently having been returfed by AmicusHorizon after their lorries had damaged it earlier. The Chairman mentioned the possibility of obtaining granite blocks to put on the Green to deter this practice but members were concerned that any damage caused to vehicles hitting the blocks could result in a claim against the Council.
41 PUBLIC PLAYING FIELD & RECREATION GROUND
- MUGA. The tarmac at the MUGA had been laid and the first stage invoice received for payment by 15/07/13. Clerk to provide councillors with specification for checking. The Clerk reported some damage to the grass.
- Playground inspections by councillors. All councillors urged to complete their playground inspections. The professional inspection had taken place and the report was awaited..
- Litter and rubbish. No complaints from councillors.
- Mowing. No complaints from councillors.
42 EAST VIEW TERRACE KICKABOUT AREA
- Litter. No complaints from councillors.
- Mowing. No complaints from councillors.
- Lease and resignation of Trustees. Cllr Mitchell declared her pecuniary interest in this matter by virtue of her husband being a trustee of the current Sportsfield Lease. She left the room during discussions. Cllr Anson reported that he and the Clerk had attended a committee meeting of the Sports Association and the Association had had a further meeting on their own. The three trustees of the existing lease had declared that they would like to resign. Cllr Anson had been negotiating with the Committee for a revised lease based on the Law Society's template. The Association remained adamant that they could not find anyone willing to be a trustee to a lease that did not contain a limited liability clause. The Council considered its exposure to risk and RESOLVED: That the Sports Association should be asked to find replacement trustees for the existing Sportsfield Lease.
- Request for permission for additional gate to be installed at the car park to allow coach access. Approved.
- Vandalism and access. There had been vandalism at the Sportsfield caused by vehicles gaining entry to the field through the disabled parking area. The Sports Association wanted to put scaffold poles around the area although the Council had suggested proper fencing. RESOLVED: That the Clerk should obtain quotes for installing a gate at the roadside of the disabled parking area to keep out unauthorised parking or access.
- Cycling on Sportsfield. Two incidents had occurred at the weekend involving children and parents cycling on the Sportsfield when the Manager of the Field had told them that cycling is not allowed. One mother had written to the Clerk complaining. The Clerk had produced a notice for the website, noticeboard and the gates at the field, explaining that the field is leased to the Sports Association and is not, therefore, a public field. The public's access is limited to the public footpath across the field where cycling is not allowed. The Sports Association is at liberty to make its own rules regarding use of the land.
The Chairman commented that it was a pity that there was nowhere for children to cycle off road in the Village and suggested that, subject to the Playing Field & Recreation Ground's approval, further investigations should take place regarding the spare land next to the MUGA.
- Fouling and hanging bags of faeces in hedges. This matter was raised at the Annual Parish Assembly.
- Police involvement in the enforcement of Dog Control Orders for fouling and dogs on leads. The PCSO has power to enforce the Dog Control Orders.
45 PESTALOZZI INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE
- Closure of top gate in accordance with planning condition. The top gate at South Lodge had been locked in accordance with the planning condition requiring this to happen when the new houses were occupied. Mrs Walton reported that Rother DC had granted itself planning permission to use the top entrance to collect waste without reference to Pestalozzi or the Parish Council. Pestalozzi would prefer the waste lorries to exit via West Lodge.
- Brede High Woods Public Management Plan 2013-18 published - to note.
- Consultation draft of the High Weald AONB Management Plan 2014-2019
47 ASSET OF COMMUNITY VALUE. To date the Clerk had been unable to find a suitable map showing the land ownership of the Queen's Head belonging to Enterprise Inns. The designation is therefore on hold.
48 UPDATING OF THE SEDLESCOMBE EMERGENCY PLAN 2012. Kevin Wallis, the new Rother Emergency Planning Officer has contacted the Clerk suggesting the Plan should be updated with current contacts. The officer will be speaking at the forthcoming Clerks' Meeting at Battle. Members noted that the Plan was updated in 2012.