Parish Council Minutes 10 April 2018

Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in Five Ash Down Village Hall on Tuesday 10th April 2018 at 7.30p.m.



Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Cox, Hoggan, Illingworth, Roberts, Rose and Wells.

Also present: ESCC Cllr Galley, WDC Cllr Lunn/Illingworth and Clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.


Public :

19. A resident spoke on behalf of a number of residents of Court Lane, Five Ash Down regarding the speeding of traffic along Court Lane and if there is any possibility of introducing traffic calming measures. There is no footpath and cars speed down the road and cut the corner at the top end of the lane. Residents asked if the parish council could investigate this matter. The chairman did mention that previously the parish council had sent a questionnaire to all residents of the village to ascertain what residents would like the £50,000 developer contributions could be spent on, but there was no overwhelming support for traffic calming. However, as the matter has now been brought to the attention of the parish council, it would be added to the next agenda for further discussion.


Cllr. Illingworth commented that as a previous resident of Court Lane, he understands the concerns of the residents. Another member of the public also raised concerns with regards general speeding through the village.


The chairman requested that one member of the public write on behalf of the 19 people in attendance to the parish council for this matter to be added to the next parish council meeting. It was also suggested that as many people as possible write to ESCC Highways with their concerns.


Three members of the public were in attendance with regards the agenda item on telecommunications masts.




Apologies received and accepted from Cllrs McQuarrie and Johnson





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


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.


Cllr. Illingworth declared a personal interest as his parents live in Court Lane.




The minutes of the meeting held on 13th March 2018 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.


Matter arising from minutes:


Communication with Police – The clerk advised that she had received an email this morning from Inspector Gross who has suggested he provides a fuller picture of crime specific to the parish when he attends the meeting in May. Generally, though, crime figures have increased but this isn’t associated with a reduction in police numbers. However, looking at crime numbers this year in comparison to last year, crime is down by 6%


Drainage in the High Street, Buxted – A Buxted resident is rigorously chasing contact within Highways as to why there continues to be a problem with the drainage in the High Street/outside village shop which has not been resolved. He states thus from Court of appeal:


  • ‘Ruled that a highway authority’s statutory duty is to maintain the highway and this duty extends not only to the surface of the highway, meaning that part of the surface of the highway used by traffic or pedestrians, but also to drains beneath or beyond the surface or central reservation.
  • Ruled that the duty to maintain drains extends not only to the repair of physical defects in the fabric of the drains, but also to the clearance of blockages in drains that are otherwise in good physical repair.’


The parish council are grateful to the resident who is continuing to challenge Highways on this point. He had received confirmation that day that further investigations will take place in Buxted High Street.





Proposed by Cllr.Illingworth and seconded by Cllr. Rose, Mr David Wells, Roberts and Mr Martin Hoggan were unanimously co-opted onto the parish council and welcomed to the meeting.


The chairman took the opportunity to appeal to the residents of FAD that we need representative councillors from the village.




ESCC Cllr. Galley confirmed that the road through FAD is a secondary gritting route and therefore should be gritted during winter. With regards the drainage in Buxted High Street, both the steward and head steward have both considered there is no problem – however this is to be investigated further. The problem is outside the village shop, so the issue must be in the closest drain at or below this point.


Cllr. Illingworth reported that the local Plan continues to rumble on.





Parish Telecommunications Mast – Following on from the decision at the last meeting the chairman clarified that it is the parish council aim to liaise with telecommunication companies to ascertain which locations within the entire parish have weak, or non-existent, mobile phone communication spots and help to start a discussion as to whether there any locations suitable for a mast that residents find acceptable. Please note that this initiative is driven by the fact that if a landowner and a communications company come to an agreement about a location, there is almost no legislation that is in place to resist an application as new masts are generally considered as ‘permitted development’. The parish council would much prefer being proactive with all parties mutually agreeing to a suitable location – if telecoms companies wish to pursue the parish as a suitable location for a new mast. The clerk updated that the agent previously chosen by the telecommunications companies has been contacted to ascertain if there is still a need for a mast in the parish. A response is awaited.


Cllr. Illingworth again commented that the number one issue brought to him is the lack of mobile phone signal. The parish council are aware of the problems in the previous mast applications and have therefore considered it is our duty to try and take on the role of working with the telecommunications companies and the residents to provide the benefits of increased coverage to the best advantage to everyone. The benefit of the parish council being involved could also help with any aesthetics of the mast i.e. the colour.


The chairman suspended standing orders to allow members of the public


Two members of the public commented that they did not agree that a mobile most should be sighted in High Hurstwood as it would only be for the benefit of those travelling in, through and past the village when perfectly acceptable signal can be obtained via other methods within people’s homes. The mobile phone masts are effectively for those who do not live in a village. They questioned the parish council stance on proactively trying to improve mobile communication through mast location, but the parish council believe it is important that mobile for communication for all is improved through the entire parish.


The chairman reinstated standing orders.


Public footpaths: Nothing to report.


Trees: See ‘correspondence’ below.


Road Safety:


Speed/Pedestrian Surveys, Buxted High Street: Following an agreement to fund two speed and one pedestrian survey at a previous parish council meeting, the chairman advises that these survey’s have now been carried out by ESCC Highways and data has been received and circulated to members. Whilst the speed of vehicles at the mini roundabout is within legal limits, the car speeds recorded outside The Moorings were mainly between 30-40 mph and over the legal speed limit for this location. Most pedestrians were found to be crossing at and over the mini roundabout. Two councillors have made a more detailed study of this data. Highways have been asked to comment on the findings. The data has now been passed to the Community section of Highways who will be able to advise it warrants further actions either outside The Moorings, or at the mini roundabout. If the response is negative, Buxted Parish Council could consider asking permission to put up a relevant ‘alert speeding’ sign at the Mooring location. On the day of the meeting ESCC advised that we have now paid for the data to be collected, but to ascertain if we can do anything with this data, we now need to pay for a further feasibility study.


Cllr. Wells commented that looking from a resident’s point of view, we have spent money to ascertain information we already know – and we are now being advised we need to spend a further £500. We have promised residents that we would pursue this to the best of our ability and therefore this is what we must do, but this process has been unclear from the start. Cllr. Hoggan commented that we don’t really know what information we are getting for the money. We need to make the process less opaque. Cllr. Galley suggested that he try and clarify the situation prior to the parish council agree into a feasibility study. The parish council therefore resolved that Cllr. Galley speak to Highways and the parish council agree in principle to go ahead with the feasibility study.


The Chairman suspended standing orders for a member of the public to speak and for councillors to confirm that this would be the same process that would have to take place in Court Lane, although there could be more options for FAD as Court Lane and the main road is not an ‘A’ road and so more engineering options are possible.


Grass Cutting Clarification: At the previous parish council meeting, new grass cutting contracts from ESCC were discussed and slightly misinterpreted. It is therefore clarified that the parish will received two cuts a year and we will be informed when they are due to take place. If we require more cuts, we can hire our own contractor.  We will ask residents who live near the areas to be cut to confirm that the cuts have been carried out.


It was agreed that the clerk would ask a local contractor to chip and spread in situ the tree debris on the piece of roadside waste at the junction of Limes Lane/Nan Tucks and Tanyards. This is so that this verge can be cut by highways on the two cuts per year system as this is one on their map of verges that are cut.


Ionides Trust – Transfer of Management of land to Parish Council: The change-over is taking place and the clerk will be notifying the charity commission by uploading new documentation through Charity Commission website. This may take a couple of weeks to be ratified.


New community hall: There will be an update from the BCHT at the Annual Assembly


Defibrillators: Following agreement by councillors, Steve Holmes has been asked to carry out the refurbishment of the Five Ash Down BT box in preparation for the installation of the defibrillator.


Wealden Local Development Framework – Local Plan: Nothing to report.


Property issues:


Allotment Pipe in the Entrance Track – Sureflow have been asked to quote for the redirecting of the pipe. The quote received was between £473 to £793 plus materials and depending on the amount of days it would take. The clerk was asked to obtain two further quotes


Registry of Reading Room site – Wellers Hedley failed to register the Reading Room site correctly when asked a year ago. They only registered the strip (car parking area) beside the hall. We were made aware of this by WDC solicitor who is discharging the 106 agreement for the development of the Reading Room. The documents, previously sent to Wellers Hedley, were checked, and they had singularly failed to notice the conveyance document, within the bundle of documents forwarded onto them, that record the freehold being passed over to the Reading Room, complete with map. They have been made aware of their mistake and will carry out the work correctly, free of charge.


Damage to Reading Room Front Wall: The clerk updated that a further quote for building works has been requested from the loss adjuster.


Communications Matters: Website: Noting to report.





P1 – High Hurstwood Village Hall Committee – Request to trim side limbs from outgrowing oaks at the recreation ground, as it is becoming difficult to mow under them and there are large stands of brambles under them. There are no TPO’s on any of the trees. A quote of £450.00 + VAT has been received. When the work is complete the parish council will check to see if any more work needs to be carried out on these trees. Members resolved to approve the quote, but to establish what will be done with the branches and how it will be cleared. There are people available who would want the logs if there are some available.








i)    Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. Rose, seconded by Cllr. Roberts, payments totalling £21,475.29 covered by cheque numbers 4102 and 4118 were approved. Large payments this month include £9669.16 which is the remainder cost of the groundworks for the new hall which will be funded from section 106 monies; £4200 which is half the cost of the speed reduction works at Coopers Green to Ringles Cross; and £1110 which is the cost of two speed and one pedestrian survey. It was also noted that the RoSPA inspection which also included the play area on the Ionides land will be paid for from parish council funds for this year as an inspection of all play equipment in the parish was carried out at the same time this year to ensure regularity for future years.

Buxted Parish Council Payment List for approval 10th April 2018

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












Annual Assembly:


Topics for the agenda, as well as annual items, which will be published the week before the assembly:


·         Should the Reading Room be sold to fund the construction of the new hall?


·         4-5 years ago, aware that the parish plan was out of date, it was asked of those who attended the Assembly, and well-advertised beforehand, was there a wish to update the current parish plan. This would only be carried out if people came forward to help form the new parish plan. Not one resident of the parish came forward. Therefore, it was supposed that everyone was happy with the status quo or were simply disinterested.


·         Parish council still looking for new councillors wishing to join the parish council


·         Update from BCHT on New Village Hall – (BCHT rep)


·         Ionides Land Management Update – (VB)


·         Mobile Phone location – (TI)


·         Speed Survey and Crossing – (TI)


The meeting closed at 8.29p.m.

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