Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in The Reading Room, Church Road, Buxted on Tuesday 9th May 2017 at 7.30p.m.
Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Illingworth, Johnson, McQuarrie, Milner (20.20), Mulvagh, Roberts, Rose and Sheard.
Also present: ESCC Cllr Galley, WDC Cllrs Lunn (19:57) and Clerk Beccy Macklen.
ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN FOR THE FORTHCOMING YEAR
Proposed by Cllr. Rose and seconded by Cllr. McQuarrie, Councillor Vivienne Blandford was unanimously voted to remain as Chairman to Buxted Parish Council
SIGNING OF DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE BY THE NEW CHAIRMAN
In accordance with Local Elections (Declaration of Acceptance of Office) Order 2001.( SI 3941 of 2001) the Chairman signed the declaration of acceptance of office.
ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL
Proposed by Blandford and seconded by Cllr Roberts, Councillor John Rose was unanimously voted to remain Vice Chairman of the Council.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received and accepted from Cllrs Cox, Hall, Skinner and clerk Claudine Feltham.
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. Blandford and 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. 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.
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
The minutes of the meeting held on 11th April 2017 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.
ELECTION/APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS OF VARIOUS COMMITTEES AND OTHER BODIES AND TO AGREE AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY
Prior to the meeting, the clerk has circulated a draft list of elections and appointment of members to committees and other bodies.
The list was agreed with the following amendments and additions:
• Confirmed that Cllr. Johnson would join the Finance Committee
• Confirmed that Cllr. Milner would join the Property Committee
· Geoffrey Sheard will stay on Uckfield Railway Line Parishes Committee
A full, corrected list will be appended to these minutes, be available to view on the parish council website and will be displayed on the three parish notice boards
Cllr. Galley reported that the County Council elections are now over and so is the purdah period for members, however officers will not be taking part in any meetings until after the general election.
Conservatives have 30 seat on ESCC, Liberal Democrats have 11, Labour 4, Independents 3, and Independent Democrats 2. An induction day for new councillors had taken place that day.
ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT:
To review the effectiveness of the system of internal control and prepare the annual governance statement
Resolved: All members of Buxted Parish Council acknowledged their responsibility for ensuring that there is a sound system of internal control, including the preparation of the statement of account.
REVIEW OF THE UNAUDITED ANNUAL ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDING 31ST MARCH 2017
Buxted Parish Council confirm, to the best of their knowledge and belief, with respect to the council’s statement of accounts for the year ended 31st March 2017 that Section 1 (the annual governance statement 2016/2017) had been adhered to. Page 2 of Annual Return was signed by the Chairman and the Clerk.
Resolved: The full parish council approved the accounting statements of the Annual Return for 2016/2017. Page 3 of the Annual Return was signed by the Chairman and the Responsible Financial Officer.
The parish council thanked Claudine for all her hard work on providing the information to enable the council to make the above decisions.
It was agreed that there would be information made available at the Annual Assembly regarding the outstanding finances for both the Off-Site Play Space and New Hall accounts given the amount of work undertaken recently on both of these projects.
Annual Assembly 2017: The clerk confirmed the following groups will be attending: BCHT, Horticultural Society, W.I., Football Club, Allotment Association, Bowls Club, Art Club, Scouts and Bonfire Society. The clerk would also invite the Reverend Barker. The signs for the Assembly should be put up in the villages this week.
Public Footpaths: Clerk to report a stile at Nan Tucks Lane cross roads which needs replacing.
Trees: The chairman met with tree surgeon, Simon Young at the Recreation Ground to review works required to overhanging branches. He has supplied a quote which was circulated to all members of the parish council prior to the meeting. Members resolved to appoint Mr Young to carry out the work as quoted and the clerk/chairman will ensure that neighbours to the site are aware of the proposed works.
(i) Coopers Green to Ringles Cross Speed Reduction – update following letter sent by PC
The clerk updated that a letter was emailed to Sarah Valentine of ESCC Highways. To date, no acknowledgement or response has been received.
However, Cllr. Galley reported that he has been in discussion with Highways Officers and it was proposed that if the Parish Council were able to pay a total cost of £3,500, ESCC would pay the remainder of fees for the works. It was therefore resolved that this proposal is acceptable and the parish council will await official confirmation of this offer from Sarah Valentine of ESCC Highways. Cllr. Galley was thanked for his help with this matter.
(ii) Update on potential use of Section 106 monies for traffic calming/highway improvements
The chairman updated that a meeting had taken place with the chairman, clerk and Mark Weston of Transport Development Control of ESCC to discuss the widening (cutting back of debris) on the footway between the Coopers Green traffic lights and Buxted Primary School using development contribution monies. The meeting was very positive and we were verbally advised that the £50,000 would finance a great deal of work. A formal response is awaited.
(iii) Damaged Fingerpost at the end of Hurstwood Road: Cllr. Johnson advised that a car had driven into the fingerpost and subsequently his wall outside of his house on the A272. The clerk has contacted ESCC Highways to ask if this repair could be undertaken by ESCC as it is effectively criminal damage. A response is awaited. If not, the parish council would replace the sign.
(iv) Cllr. Roberts also wished to mention that in the last 10 days the gates to Lephams Oast have been rammed twice.
Update on Parking Sign: Wording for a new parking sign now agreed, Claudine to arrange.
Transfer of management of land to the PC: is still moving rather slowly. The Trust now need to ask the Charities Commission for permission, which has been sent.
With regards the new lease for the hall, the Scouts, after two months, have responded to request a further plan:
”To reiterate the Scout Association have a procedure that we need to follow. They have inserted their standard clauses into the lease and this is hopefully going to be reviewed soon – we don’t have the necessary expertise in the Group to be able to comment on the lease. We then need to obtain a draft deed of surrender from you and place this before the SATC Board together with our Group’s formal resolution to accept the new lease. Because the surrender of the lease is treated as a disposal of a charitable interest in land we need to obtain a Section 119 Report, and again we are seeking fee quotations for this work.
There’re also substantial costs to be met, I don’t yet have a figure for the Surveyors report, nor the checking of the lease but we do know there are costs to re-lodge the lease with the Scout Association (around £500 plus VAT). We would like confirmation that our groups costs will be covered by either the Ionides or the BCHT.”
The Ionides Trust will continue to chase their solicitor to try and ascertain which documents are actually needed. The Ionides Trust have agreed to pay all reasonable costs for the Scouts change of lease.
New Community Hall: A drain survey had been arranged for the site, but the contractor was unable to attend site.
Consideration of further Bat Survey for Reading Room: Agreed.
Defibrillators/BT Boxes: In the absence of Claudine, this matter will be updated further at the next meeting.
Wealden Local Development Framework: Nothing to report.
i) Consideration of Quotes for Parish Council Annual Insurance and checking play equipment: the clerk advised that she had met with our insurance brokers, Came & Company the previous week to discuss all insurance needs and to ensure any new quote was based in up to date information. Three quotes were returned by the brokers with a recommendation of Inspire (underwritten by AXA) at a cost of £3321.16 for one year, or £3,155.10 per year if we locked in for three years. Our last year’s premium was £2951.90, but this did not include the new play equipment which has been installed recently. The new quote also includes a 2% Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) which comes into effect from June 2017. Members resolved to commit to a three-year insurance policy with Inspire at a cost of £3,155.10.
Because insurance has increased due to addition of new play equipment, the costs of this extra cover would be confirmed and the Ionides Trust would cover costs.
ii) Quote for cleaning/works to Reading Room: (the clerk had not circulated this document to all members – discuss next month)
Communication Matters: Nothing to report.
P1 Mrs Walsham: Notification of Accident at the Zip Wire on the Recreation Ground: All correspondence from and to Mrs Walsham has been circulated to all members. It is noted that the parish council are very sorry that Mrs Walsham had the accident. With regards the equipment, the parish council advised that all apparatus has been installed to all legislative standards and inspected by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) on 31st March 2017 prior to first use and was given an overall risk rating as “low”. The parish council has followed all necessary precautions and advice from the manufacturers/installers and have met the standards recommended by RoSPA and therefore individuals are required to make their own judgment as to whether they wish to use it.
P2/P3 L Williams and Mrs McSherry: Complaints regarding fireworks at High Hurstwood Recreation Ground in association with a wedding – it was confirmed that the clerk has responded to advise that fireworks will no longer be allowed on the recreation ground aside from 5th November. The clerk has also confirmed this to the HHVHC.
i) Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. Rose, seconded by Cllr. Roberts, payments totalling £6,018.12 covered by cheque numbers 3920 and 3922 were approved.
Cllr. Blandford attended an extremely helpful free first aid course. It was requested and agreed the parish council donate £30 towards St John Ambulance Trust. St John’s Ambulance will also be holding a children’s fitness initiative in the summer which will be uploaded to the website and social media once details are received.
Cllr. Illingworth wished to mention that a Summer Concert will be held at St Margaret’s Church on Friday 9th June to raise money for the new Village Hall.
The Chairman wished to announce that Geoffrey Sheard is retiring from the parish council. He was thanked for his many years of service to the council and given a small token of our appreciation.
|The meeting closed at 20.24p.m.|