Parish Council Minutes 12 June 2018

Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in Five Ash Down Village Hall on Tuesday 12th June 2018 at 7.30p.m.



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

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


Public :


A member of the public noted that the Parish Mast is back on the agenda but did not know yet if she needed to comment.




Apologies received and accepted from Cllrs McQuarrie, Johnson and Cox





All councillors declared a personal interest in any matters relating to the Ionides Trust/Buxted Community Hall by virtue of the parish council being managing agents of the site.


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




The minutes of the meeting held on 8th May 2018 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.





Cllr. Galley reported that further cuts will be debated at ESCC which will unfortunately be from adult social care. He doubts it will affect Wealden, more Eastbourne and Hastings where majority of funding is allocated.


In his monthly update (available on the parish council website) Cllr. Galley concentrated on the Fire Service who are dealing less and less with fire-fighting and more fire prevention. There must remain a core of highly trained fire fighters which makes budgeting challenging.


Waste collection – Cllr. Galley commented that WDC have had a lot of problems of late with the contractor, but he has been reliably informed that they are gradually getting a grip of the problems. Kier have been very disappointing, especially given it is the last year of their contract. WDC are looking forward to better times with new contractor in 2019.


Cllr. Illingworth updated that the WDC chief executive Charlie Lant is retiring in 6 months. The terms of reference for the application procedure is now in place and it is hoped to find a replacement by the July Full Council. Management is being streamlined to provide a simplified chain of command.


The Local Plan will finally be considered at Full Council on 18th July. We will all be delighted to see this published in a couple of weeks-time.




Proposed by Cllr. Illingworth and seconded by Cllr. Rose, Mr Chris Humphrey, was unanimously co-opted onto the parish council and welcomed to the meeting.




New General Data Protection laws came into force on 25th May 2018 which has previously caused some confusion with regards how it would affect parish councils.


The Information Commission confirmed last month that which made parish councils exempt from the requirement to appoint a Data Protection Officer. The clerks have therefore carried out the following to satisfy new GDPR rules:


  1. Written a policy based on advice from the National Association of Local Councils (to be adopted at the meeting)
  2. Disposed of all personal data from paper files
  3. Disposed of personal date from electronic files and emails
  4. Added a footer to the bottom of emails being sent confirming what will be done with any personal data
  5. Awaiting a pop up to be added to the home page of the website advising how the information they submit will be used


Proposed by Cllr. Blandford and seconded by Cllr. Rose, the new Data Protection Policy was adopted.





The chairman reported that the Annual Assembly was relatively well attended, and it gave parishioners the opportunity to talk to councillors and raise any matters to the parish council.





Parish Telecommunications Mast: No further contact has been made to the parish council from the telecommunications agent.


Public footpaths: Nothing to report.


Trees: Nothing to report.


Road Safety:


·       Buxted High Street Update – Following the parish council meeting in May, the chairman and clerk attended a meeting with two ESCC Highways officers at which we discussed in detail the Buxted High Street situation, specifically in relation to the potential road crossing outside the Buxted Inn. Following the meeting, the following information was received:


“In accordance with national guidance, pedestrian crossings should be located away from conflict points at uncontrolled junctions. This will give drivers an adequate opportunity to appreciate the existence of a crossing and to brake safely. The minimum recommended distance away from a junction is 20 metres for a traffic signalled-controlled crossing and an absolute minimum of 5 metres for a Zebra crossing.


As we discussed at the meeting, introducing a crossing in the vicinity of the mini roundabout is unlikely to achieve the minimum distance specified above and should a scheme be progressed it is likely that this matter would be raised as a safety concern.


The combination of private driveways and on street parking along the High Street prevent a crossing being introduced. Possible locations further east, towards Gordon Road are away from the pedestrian desire line and become close to the existing zebra crossing by Church Road.”


Subsequently, it as also established that it would not be possible to install a zebra crossing below the roundabout as you could not create a sufficiently wide footway between the wall and carriageway. In addition, the verge levels would also need to be altered as you head towards the Station to accommodate a footway. Visibility may also be compromised at this corner too.


Additionally, it was confirmed that the previous central refuge would fall under different legislation to a zebra crossing.


The parish council commented that the parish council has taken this matter as far as it practically can without unfortunately, being able to come to a positive conclusion.


Top End of Buxted High Street (Outside The Moorings)


With regards the top end of Buxted High Street where the speed survey recorded that everyone passing the sensor was over the speed limit, a Senior Highways Officer advised that he had discussed this matter with Sussex Police and commented as follows:


“Further to our recent email correspondence, I can advise you that I have now had the opportunity to discuss the speed data with Sussex Police.


In summary, the data indicates that the 30mph speed limit is generally well adhered to, given that it is a main east – west ‘A’ class road. The westbound figures, for traffic heading towards the village where the level of frontage development becomes more apparent, are good with mean speeds of around 31mph whilst the eastbound figures, for traffic leaving the village centre and heading out through the slightly less developed part, are a little higher with mean speeds around 33mph.


There is also a relatively low percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit by a significant amount, given the volumes of traffic using the road, and the Police would prioritise their resources on roads with a higher level of offending and a more significant crash record. For information, there has only been one slight personal injury crash in the entire length of the 30mph speed limit for the latest available three-year period.


Although this is not a priority site for the Road Safety Team, you may wish to consider applying for a Feasibility Study through East Sussex Highways to consider what options might be available to further enhance the existing 30mph speed limit. I would suggest that the measures that could be used would be limited as it is an ‘A’ class road and there are already in position a number of 30mph roundels and red surfacing on the carriageway to reinforce the upright 30 signing.”


Members therefore suggested that the clerks investigate the option of obtaining a SID which can be located in various approved locations in the parish. Hadlow Down are looking at the same scheme so the clerk will liaise. Update in July.


The clerk was also requested to update this information onto the website.


·   Court Lane/Five Ash Down safety concerns


Following concerns raised by residents of Court Lane, Five Ash Down, the clerk contacted ESCC Highways and received the following response:


“Last year, we did improve the speed limit signing through Five Ash Down, but I am not aware of a speeding issue in Court Lane.


I have checked the personal injury crash records supplied by Sussex Police and there are none showing in either Court Lane or Five Ash Down. You will appreciate that these sites would not therefore be a priority for us and would require any possible improvements to be considered through the Community Match process.


In the first instance, to establish the nature of any concerns, you should obtain speed data for both roads, after which we can discuss the results to ascertain whether further action would be necessary or justified.”


Councillors therefore discussed this matter and agreed that a speed survey should be carried out on the main road through Five Ash Down and Court Lane and the clerk should request this is funded from the developer contributions.


·   Grass Cutting and Wildflower Verges


Cllr. Illingworth raised concerns regarding the allocated wild flower verge in Five Ash Down which is becoming a hazard. Immediately the verge edges need to be cut to give a clear line of vision at this junction and we request that the designation of a wildflower verge, in this location be removed.  It is appreciated that there are some varieties of wild flowers in this verge, but it is not species rich and ones to the back of the cut area will survive uncut. Safety is of paramount importance in this location. The clerk will request that the verge be undesignated. Cllr. Humphreys mentioned that he reported the overgrown verge as a hazard, to Highways, and it was cut as a special measure, outside the usual cutting programme.


Now that ESCC have confirmed that parish grass cutting will take place in June and September the clerk has requested the cost of extra cuts on the verges between Buxted School/White Hart, verge at the end of Gordon Road and the verge at the end of Court Lane. Costs are awaited, although it is noted that other parish councils are finding that ESCC are by far the most cost effective.


Ionides Trust: Refer to separate meeting minutes. This topic can now be removed from Outstanding Matters


New community hall: Cllr. Illingworth attended the last BCHT meeting. The Trust has effectively gone into hibernation until the new lease is signed. One Trust member has resigned and fund raising will be kept to a minimum. The chairman commented that there was other work that could be carried out with regards the next stage of build and that they desperately need new members to push the project forward.


Defibrillators: Nothing to report.


Wealden Local Development Framework – Local Plan As per above.


Property issues:


·   Consideration of quotes to relocate water pipe on the allotment track


Following the previous meeting the clerk confirmed with the contractor that the works would be guaranteed against any further damaged cause by heavy vehicles using the track. Councillors therefore resolved to award the contract of works to Roy Muddle.


·   Damage to Reading Room front wall update and consideration of quote to bollard car park


As requested the proposed bollard was emailed to all councillors that day. It was resolved that the work to install the bollards should go ahead.


With regards the damage to the front of the Reading Room, the insurers have confirmed that the second quote (lower quote) should be accepted and if further works are required than that quoted, photographs should be taken, and further costs given to the insurers to approve. Clerk to instruct builders to go ahead with the works.


Communications Matters:


·   Buxted Fete 23rd June 2018: Cllr. Illingworth suggested that the parish council should have a stand at High Hurst wood and Buxted Village Fete. It was agreed that this was short notice and maybe it should be considered for next year.





P1 Trevor Leggo – Invitation to clerks’ discussion on Community Wardens – clerks attending in July




Prior to the parish council meeting, a Finance Committee took place to review the annual end of year financial report.




i)    Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. Rose seconded by Cllr. Blandford, payments totalling £8,049.17 covered by cheque numbers 4136 and 4153 were approved. No notable costs.

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





Cllr. Illingworth attended BCHT meeting – as above.









Following main parish council meeting, an Ionides meeting will take place.


  The meeting closed at 8.15p.m.

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