Parish Council Minutes 13 September 2015

Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in Five Ash Down Village Hall, Five Ash Down on Tuesday 13th September 2016 at 7.30p.m.



Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Cox, Illingworth (7.45pm), Johnson, Rose, Sheard and Skinner.

Also present: ESCC Cllr Galley and Clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.


Public :

1.             1. Homer Cox – referred to the induction and installation of the new Reverend Barker taking place on Thursday 6th October. The chairman has a personal invitation but all councillors are welcome to attend.




Apologies received and accepted from Cllrs Hall, Lunn, McQuarrie, Milner, Mulvagh and Roberts.





Cllr. Blandford declared personal interests in any matters relating to the community hall by virtue of being members of the Hall or Ionides Trusts appointed by the Council.


Cllr. Skinner declared a personal interest in matters relating to the Ionides land (including the surgery/land/hall) by virtue of being a member of the Ionides Trust.


Cllr. Rose declared a prejudicial interest in any matters relating to the land west of Church Road (Taylor Wimpey site) due to having owned part of the application site and a personal interest in the Ionides Surgery/Hall site due to having a business opposite the land.


Cllr. Cox declared a personal interested in any matters relating to allotments due to being an allotment holder.




The minutes of the meeting held on 12th July 2016 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.




Cllr. Galley reported that GCSE and A Level results show an improvement from the last year. Interestingly A and A* grades have reduced but B and C grades have increased.


The hedge and verge between Buxted village and the school has finally been cleared.


Cllr. Galley referred to the proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for various locations in Buxted (see minute 06/09/16 below). The deadline for any comments is 30th September 2016. Part of the works to comply with the TRO is the resurfacing of Queenstock Lane and the mini roundabout which will commence at 7.30pm on 20th September.


Cllr. Johnson requested to know why the hedge cutting was so delayed – almost 3 months later than expected and if the contractor will be accountable for the delay. Secondly, although it is considered a good idea to install the extra yellow lines, confirmation was sought as to whether compliance with the new lines would be via driver conscience and not via the police.


Cllr. Galley advised that he would investigate why the work to the hedge and verge took so long and confirmed that the police will not be responsible for parking issues.


It was also commented that it would be far more helpful for the parish clerk to be able to provide members of the public with fixed timescales for verge cutting rather than ‘sometime in the future’.


Cllr Galley also wished to mention that the highways steward has agreed that highway works are considered necessary for Pound Green Lane, but not for Shepherds Hill and Nan Tucks Lane.  Cllr. Blandford advised that someone has, in fact, filled the holes along Shepherds Hill and Nan Tucks Lane.


Whilst discussing various jobs of the new highways contractors, Cllr. Cox commented that the roads in High Hurstwood that have been resurfaced in the last three months still seem to have loose stones as part of the surface dressing and relying on cars to gradually pack down the stones.


Cllr Ilingworth, as representative of WDC advised that the new Wealden Local Plan is to be considered by Full Council in November with a view to approving before a further consultation and then referral to the Government Inspector.



Buxted Recreation Ground:

Prior to the meeting, the clerk circulated a report which advised that for many years, Buxted Football Club have been the main users of the Buxted Recreation Ground and therefore have been responsible for maintaining the land a pavilion – both owned by Buxted Parish Council. This relationship has worked very well as the football club do not then have to pay fees to use the ground and the parish council has minimal maintenance costs.


As part of the development of the Ionides Trust land, the two sites were opened up and there is now much for of a feel of one space flowing into the other which is what was originally envisaged. However, in doing this, it has become apparent that the Ionides Trust site now looks better maintained that the far end of the Recreation Ground, which has drawn the attention of users of the site.


To this end, both the chairman and the clerk have had meetings with the chairman of the football club to discuss how the parish council is better able to help maintain the site.


Following discussion, the parish council resolved the following:


Further support to maintain part of the site: it was resolved that the Football Club continue to maintain the pavilion, football pitch and the areas surrounding the football pitch up to the north west end of the pitch. The remainder of the site (the sloping area towards the back of the site/Ionides land) should be maintained by the parish council which includes the grassed area and surrounding trees and hedgerows.


Confirm approval for poles and nets to be situated behind the goals (originally given permission in 2008): renewed permission granted.


Work to tree to maintain safety of users of the site: Work to trees surrounding the north west area of the site be approved in order to maintain the safety of people using the site.


Request for permanent dug out to replace existing mobile shelters: Although there was no objection to a dug out, the parish council has requested some further details – how will it be constructed and assurance that it would be kept clean. Concerns were raised that they could be misused as per the shelters in Uckfield





Public footpaths: Nothing to report.


Trees: See minute 05/09/16 above with regards to works to trees on the Recreation Ground.


Road Safety:


The clearing of the footpath from Buxted Village to the school was noted and the clerk was asked to add something to the next parish newsletters. Cllr. Blandford also advised that she had attended a cluster meeting with representatives from Uckfield, Fletching and Maresfield at which various responsibilities of ESCC were discussed, including verge cutting. Out of the meeting has come a clear need to ascertain from ESCC when the verges will be cut and costings per cut for the parish council to then consider funding extra cuts (up to four per year) to ensure that the verges remain cut throughout the spring/summer. This would be a matter for the Finance Committee to consider as part of proposing the annual precept. Cllr. Galley was requested to find out when contractors are due to visit the parish to ascertain when it would then be appropriate to arrange cutting. It was also suggested that when the farmer is having the hedge cut between Buxted School and the village they might consider cutting the verge on the road side. Cllrs. Rose and Sheard would ascertain who the owner of this land is. It was agreed that this matter would be revisited once costs are ascertained.


As per Cllr. Galley’s comments above, Members have received notification of a new Traffic Order from ESCC Highways which proposes new double yellow lines in the following locations in Buxted:


·     Queenstock Lane – double yellow line request

·     Littlewood Lane/A272 junction – double yellow line request

·     Church Road, opposite St Mary’s Mead – double yellow line request

·     Gordon Road/A272 junction – double yellow line request

·     Gordon Road on bend – double yellow lines around bend to aid bus movements

·     Framfield Road – single yellow line opposite access to Totease Farm


The parish council has been advised that if any objections are received, due to tight timescales, the proposed double yellow lines will be eliminated from the Traffic Order.


Ionides New Play Equipment: Cllr. Blandford will be attending an Ionides Trust meeting the following evening at which it will be voted upon as to whether the parish council should become the sole Trustee of the Trust.


New community hall: Work to provide a lease from the Ionides Trust to the Hall Trust is continuing.


Defibrillators: Clerk, Claudine Feltham updated members that unfortunately we have not received the defibrillator due to stock issues, but as soon as it is received, installation at the Buxted Inn will be arranged at a cost of approx. £200.


On a positive note, the parish council has received a £1000 donation from High Hurstwood Village Hall Committee from the summer fete together with a £100 donation from Five Ash Down Post Office and £30 from a resident of High Hurstwood. This item will be revisited in October/November to review donations. The clerk was asked to write an update for the next parish magazines.


Wealden Local Development Framework – Local Plan: See minute 04/09/16 above.


Property issues: Reading Room – How to move forward with future plans: The parish council would like to challenge the existing Ashdown Forest ruling with regards redeveloping the Reading Room, however it is understood that this is not going to be an easy task. There is currently a test case for development of a redundant building into a dwelling elsewhere in Buxted and it was agreed to monitor the outcome before deciding how to move forward.


The clerk reported that the WI cupboard in kitchen is damp and needs some attention – investigations are taking place and if there are any cost implications to deal with the damp, the clerk will advise councillors. Thanks were also given to whoever cleaned the net curtain and the front window sill.


Allotment Access Track: Clerk, Beccy Macklen, advised that as a result of a new access track alongside the railway line ruts have again appeared in the driveway to the allotments. This is very frustrating given that the parish council paid part of repair works just some months ago. Members of the Allotment Association fortunately have taken some video of large construction trucks using the access track and showing how it has deteriorated. The clerk will continue to chase Network Rail to make good the track. Cllr. Sheard advised he would bring this matter up at the URLPC the following evening. He was also requested to ask the committee if Southern Rail have any plans to extend the car park in what is now accessible space due to the access track on the other side.


Dodgems on HH Recreation Ground: The parish council raised no objection to dodgems on the recreation ground as long as the land is made good, there is no oil spillage and times of use should be restricted until dusk in summer or daylight in winter. Insurance should be provided by whoever is arranging the dodgems.


Cllr. Cox also wanted to mention that the High Hurstwood Village Hall is not in use every weekend contrary to previous information provided.


Communications Matters: Website – noting to report.





P1 ESCC – Any comments on the TRO for yellow lines along various roads: See minute 06/09/16 above

P2 Parish of Buxted and Hadlow Down – Invitation to the Induction of Rev. John Barker on Thursday 6th October 2016: All members noted the invitation to attend.

P3 WDC – Parish Conference Wednesday 30th November 2016 – Members would advise the clerk should they wish to attend. Beccy would attend on behalf of Buxted and Claudine has arranged to attend on behalf of Chiddingly PC.








i)    Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. Rose, seconded by Cllr. Illingworth, payments totalling £7,333.33 covered by cheque numbers 004 and 018 were approved.


ii)     Bank reconciliations: The clerk had circulated completed a reconciliation for August which were signed




None attended.




Cllr. Skinner advised of a letter she had received from a local resident in Park View advising cars not to park on the road but in private driveways.




The clerk advised that Maxine Warner has resigned from the parish council.


The meeting closed at 8.30p.m.


Posted in Parish Council Minutes