Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in The Reading Room, Church Road, Buxted on Tuesday 11th October 2016 at 7.30p.m.
Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Cox, Hall, Illingworth, Johnson, McQuarrie and Milner.
Also present: ESCC Cllr Galley, WDC Cllr Lunn and Clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received and accepted from Cllrs Mulvagh, Roberts, Rose, Sheard and Skinner
DECLARATION OF MEMBERS INTERESTS
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.
Cllrs. McQuarrie 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. Cox declared a personal interested in any matters relating to allotments due to being an allotment holder.
Cllr. Milner declared a personal interest in any matters relating to the parish council website due to being a personal friend of the parish council’s website consultant.
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
The minutes of the meeting held on 13th September 2016 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.
ESCC Cllr Galley reported:
Cllr Blandford asked what feedback has been received following the roll out of superfast broadband to most areas (still not all). It was commented that workshops would have been helpful for residents, as it was not as simple as accessing the speed without the correct equipment. Cllr. Galley had suggested a series of public workshops, but this was not well received by ESCC. It is thought that 96% of the county has seen an improvement.
Cllr Lunn reported that he sits on the planning committee north at which a guest speaker from ESCC Highways visited regarding highways policies. It was quite revealing how county approaches their response to district council planning proposals. The key question is the ‘severe test’, i.e. would this development cause a severe impact on traffic movement on the road? Unfortunately, though, highways advised that there is no clear definition or formula by which to test. This matter has therefore been raised by the leader for highways as there is concern that where local knowledge is provided this is being counteracted by highways disagreeing that there will/will not be a severe impact on the highway – thus making it almost impossible to refuse a planning application on highway grounds. It is therefore being considered that policies should be set in place by which highway impact can be assessed.
The review of the local plan is progressing well and will be considered by Full Council at WDC on 23rd November. Councillors do not yet know what is in the plan but it will contain details of the five year housing supply. Following this meeting it will then be subject to public consultation.
Parking – WDC is looking at options with Cabinet commissioning a report. Councillors have not yet seen the report but is should be available by the end of the year. It is hoped that it will propose a resolution to parking now that police have withdrawn the enforcement of parking law. It was confirmed that the public would be consulted if decriminalisation is proposed.
Cllr. Lunn referred to the newly installed caravan on land opposite The White Hart. It was immediately reported to WDC Enforcement. Officers have visited but no feedback has been received yet. The land on which it is located is a floodplain on which any development would be discouraged. Cllr. Lunn asked to find out an update although it is assumed at present that there is no one living in the unit.
ADOPTION OF PROPOSED POLICIES
Prior to the meeting, the clerk circulated a list of proposed Policies and Procedures which are available to view on the parish council website on the agenda page.
Members made the following comments prior to Adopting the policies as written. Proposed by Cllr. Cox and seconded by Cllr. Hall:
Public footpaths: Concern was raised that the triangle of land and the top end of Buxted has not been cut around the edges and the footpath has overgrown. The clerk was asked to query who owns the land and if it is ever mowed and if maintenance can be carried out to the verge.
The clerk was asked to find out who owns the land along the footpath between Buxted school and the White Hart with regards the land gradually slipping into the pathway and also the cutting of the bank as they might assume that their boundary ends at the hedge line.
Trees: Nothing to report.
Road Safety: Request to work with residents of London Road, Uckfield to reduce speed limit: ESCC Councillor Galley updated that he had attended a meeting with Councillor Dowling and the residents of both Coopers Green and London road who are leading the campaign to reduce the speed limits from 60mph to 40mph following notification from ESCC that match funding would have to be reapplied for. See minute 04/10/16 above.
Ionides Trust: Update on Transferal of Management to Parish Council: The chairman advised that documents to negotiate the transferal of the management of the land to the parish council have been sent to the solicitors.
New community hall: Further work continues with the architect with a view to breaking ground.
Defibrillators: Clerk, Claudine updated that we have received the defibrillator for Buxted but we have been chasing the electrician who is supposed to be fitting it. If this company is not forthcoming an alternative supplier would be sourced. Finance – the fund has received £1000 from the High Hurstwood Village Hall Management Committee (donation following the summer fete) and we have had contact from another resident who will be sending a cheque but we are not sure how much as yet.
Wealden Local Development Framework – Local Plan: See above.
Property issues: i) feedback from meeting with planning consultant: On the previous day, the chairman and clerk had met with Planning Consultant, Lindsay Frost to discuss possible options for future use of The Reading Room in relation to the restrictions imposed in the Section 106 Planning Agreement on approval of a new parish hall. He has since forwarded a proposal of writing a detailed letter to Wealden Planning and suggesting a follow up meeting if necessary. Costs for this initial letter are £240.00 with costs for a meeting are £130.00. Members agreed to move forward on this basis. Clerk to advise planning consultant, Cllrs. Lunn and lllingworth to be copied in.
(ii) approval of Chubb Invoice for fire equipment testing as over £500: The invoice by Chubb for the service of the fire extinguishers and equipment at the Reading Room is included in the payments list for this month, however the clerks wished to draw this to members attention as it is for over £500 – the limit set for clerks approval for expenditure in the Financial procedures. Proposed Milner and seconded by Illingworth.
(iii) Consideration of purchasing a new computer for Claudine: As detailed in the financial report, Claudine’s computer has not been working properly for some time. Initial costs have been sought for a replacement. Members agreed to the purchase of a new computer.
Communications Matters: Website: Following the adoption of the Policies and Procedures above, the clerk will now upload these onto the website.
No priority correspondence to consider.
No meetings to report.
i) Half yearly financial report: Prior to the meeting Claudine had circulated a very comprehensive report setting out that the parish council are on budget half way through the financial year (43.4%). Comments at the end of the report regarding costs to consider for the next financial year were noted and will be discussed in depth at the Finance Committee (date to be confirmed)
ii) Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. Johnson, seconded by Cllr. Hall, payments totalling £5,182.67 covered by cheque numbers 811 and 825 were approved.
iii) Bank reconciliations: The clerk had circulated completed a reconciliation for the current account for September and the business reserve account for September and the Ionides account June – September which were signed
iv) Approval to appoint Mr Mark Mulberry as parish council’s internal auditor for financial year 2016/17
Clerk, Beccy Macklen had attended a SALC AGM/ESCC Highways presentation following which a report was circulated. An item regarding the new Highways website will be uploaded to the Buxted PC website.
Cllr. Blandford reported that she had attended the Chairman’s Networking event, Ionides and Hall Trust meetings – all covered elsewhere in the minutes.
Proposed Timetable of Meetings 2017 – Members approved the 2017 Timetable of meetings which will be uploaded to the website.
Cllr. Johnson referred to the reporting on social media of the significant increase in dog fouling in and around the recreation ground and Ionides Trust land. He requested that the parish council consider installing signs to warn against dog fouling and that it is a criminal offence. The clerk to investigate signs sourcing the signs from WDC.
Finally, it was noted that a defibrillator has been installed at Buxted Station. It was considered a shame that Network Rail had not informed the parish council of their intention, however the parish council will continue with its plan to install a defibrillator at the Buxted Inn.
|The meeting closed at 8.30p.m.|