Draft Property Committee Minutes 23 July 2013

Minutes of the meeting of the Property and Recreation Grounds Committee held in the Reading Room, Buxted at 7.20 p.m. on 23rd July 2013.

Present: Cllrs. Rose (Chairman), Blandford and Warner

Also present: Mr M Wilson, Clerk

Public: Three in attendance

1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received and accepted from Councillor Treacher

2. Declarations of Members Interests.


3 High Hurstwood Recreation Ground

i) improvement project There was nothing significant or new to report. A response is still awaited from ESCC Highways about the idea of a trial of temporary bollards and repairing its verge opposite the pub.

ii) bonfire arrangements The Chairman suspended Standing Orders to allow Mr Packer to speak. Plans to import topsoil and re-seed the site had been defeated by the wet spring weather. Unfortunately the free top soil that had been on offer was no longer available and so the cost would have to be borne by the Parish Council although the Bonfire Committee would provide the labour. Mr Packer reported that the period of insurance cover would be extended to cover the period when the bonfire was being built. There was a general discussion about the size of the bonfire and the contents to be burnt. It was agreed that the Bonfire Society will mark out the site of the fire with tape and put up notices saying that fly tipping of inappropriate materials will put the future of the event at risk for future years. It was also agreed that Parish Council representatives will meet with the Bonfire Society a couple of weeks after the event to review how things went and consider remedial work to repair the site. The Chairman then reconvened the formal meeting.

4. Allotments – flooding and fencing:

The Clerk reported that Southern Water is undertaking land searches to ascertain the current owner of the affected part of the track. They will pass the results to the Clerk. They have also suggested that the Parish council approached Network Rail (which is where we started one year ago!). If the Parish Council decided to try and replace the pipe under the road it would require a specialist contractor given the weight of the passing lorries

Mr Weller should be fencing and ditching at any time now.

5. Reading Room – future maintenance plans:

Given the uncertainty over the long term future of the building it was agreed to continue with the policy of keeping the building safe and watertight only, without any major improvements.

6. Annual Review and Risk Assessment of the Parish Council’s physical assets:

The Clerk had circulated a detailed report in advance of the meeting and this was accepted. Cllr Rose noted that Chubb continued to do the annual safety check of fire appliances and he wondered if it was worth seeking alternative quotes. The Clerk will explore.

7. Annual Review of Parish Council’s Risk Assessment:

Procedures in place had been scrutinized by the Internal Auditor who had given them a clean bill of health.

8. Annual Review of Parish Council Insurance Arrangements:

The Clerk reported the Parish Council was in the final year of its three year fixed contract with Came & Co/Avivia. All levels and types of cover are appropriate. The Clerk will seek competitive quotes at renewal time.

9. Members Questions:

None this meeting

10. Announcements:

Following a decision in July by the Parish Council to give some financial support towards insurance costs the High Hurstwood village hall insurance arrangements were discussed. Mr Packer handed in a letter explaining the background to the running costs of the hall, the defined objects of the charitable trust running the hall and the benefits to the whole civil parish of events held in the hall. On the subject of weddings, it was noted that they account for only 5% of bookings but 40% of revenue. The Clerk will circulate the letter so the matter can be re-considered at the next Parish Council meeting in September.

It was noted that the hedge around the High Hurstwood Recreation Ground, having been cut down to  a height of about three feet, was now dwarfed by six feet high bracken. The Committee had no objection to local people removing the bracken.

The meeting closed at 7.55 p.m.
Posted in Property Meetings