Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in Five Ash Down Village Hall on Tuesday 11th November 2018 at 7.30p.m.
Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Bolton, Cox, Hoggan, Humphrey, Illingworth (WDC), Marshall, Roberts, Rose and Wells.
Also present: ESCC Cllr. Galley and Clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.
7 The chairman confirmed that there has been no update on the approach to a telecommunications company regarding a new mast for the parish.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received and accepted from Cllr Johnson
DECLARATION OF MEMBERS INTERESTS
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.
Cllrs. Rose and Illingworth declared a personal interest in matters relating to the new community hall by virtue of being parish council representatives on the BCHT
Cllr. Rose declared a personal interest in any matters relating to Crusader Vehicles by virtue of owning a business adjacent to the site.
Cllrs. Cox and Wells declared a personal interest in any matters relating to the allotments by virtue of being an allotment holder
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
The minutes of the meeting held on 9th October 2018 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.
Cllr. Galley reported that ESCC have been working on a ‘Core offer’ – the essence of which is working out core services, what they cost and what are the pros and cons of funding. Working is ongoing. This is not, however, a budget meeting as this will follow in the next few months.
Worth noting that ESCC received an outstanding report from Ofsted regarding the care of children in East Sussex.
With regards WDC – the missed bin situation across Wealden has got much better over the last month with relatively few misses now taking place. There up upcoming meetings regarding a new contractor which will start half way through 2019.
Cllr. Illingworth updated that Trevor Scott has now formally taken over as Chief Executive at WDC and WDC officers and councillors are currently considering council tax and budget options for next year. A report will be presented to cabinet with proposals in due course.
CO-OPTION OF NEW COUNCILLOR – NICK BOLTON
Proposed by Cllr. Roberts and seconded by Cllr. Rose, Mr Nick Bolton, was unanimously co-opted onto the parish council and welcomed to the meeting. The chair welcomed Nick Bolton to the parish council and councillors introduced themselves to him.
Public footpaths: Nothing to report.
Trees: Nothing to report.
Five Ash Down Traffic Calming – Cllr. Humphry confirmed that he has briefly spoken to Mr Pegg of FAD who has asked for the item to be added to the next agenda.
Parking Matters, – It was decided that this is joint problem between the parish council and Ionides Trust which is why it was discussed at the parish council meeting. All council members received a copy of the letter sent to the surgery partners with regards the parking, who unfortunately have not had the courtesy to reply. BCHT will go no further with larger parking area until new hall lease is signed although they were reasonably positive about 106 funds being used for car parking but asked many other questions regarding QS and costs for works. The chairman suggested that this needs further in-depth discussion and suggested the matter be postponed until the January meeting of the Ionides Trust. In the meantime, the chairman and clerk will carry out some further work to seek an answer to the letter sent to Buxted Surgery a number of weeks previously..
New community hall: Carols on the footings has been cancelled and the new community hall project has effectively been put on hold until a lease is signed.
Defibrillators: All three defibrillators are now in situ in three villages. Although the equipment is self-explanatory when required, training can be provided on request.
Wealden Local Development Framework: Nothing to report.
Allotment Track Update – The clerk reported that confirmation has now been received from the owner of the track that she has been unable to contact anyone within Network Rail with regards using the type 1 (currently being stored at Buxted Station) on the allotment track. Therefore, the only other avenue to pursue would be to get a further quote for works to the track and ask Southern Water and Network Rail and the owner to make contributions. Clerk asked to source quotes for the repairs to the track to ascertain costs.
Communications Matters: Website: Nothing to report.
P1 – Insurance Claim – The zip wire incident insurance case against the parish council has now been dropped by the complainant’s solicitor, the parish council defence case cost £12,656.
Cllr. Roberts, chairman of the Finance Committee reported on the Finance Committee that took place on 30th October 2019, and reported the following to full council:
The half year expenditure and income are on track as budgeted last year. There was quite a long deliberation regarding the budget for 2019/20 which made specific reference to aspects of ‘core’ provision being reduced by WDC and ESCC which will result in the parish council being called upon to fill in where required. Without knowing when and in what form these gaps will take place, the parish council has increased the precept by 9% in the past two years. However, one feature which has been highly frustrating is the restrictions on spending money due to the permission of others. There has been a number of requests from members of the parish to carry out schemes which we have not been allowed to implement. Last year, we also thought that we may have to carry out public outreach on the new hall, which was proven not to be necessary. We also thought that we would be carrying out extra grass cutting, but this has proven not to be possible in the way we wish.
The result of discussions is the proposal to raise the precept by 2% this year which equates to £2,020 costs. The costs consist of £1,600 on clerk’s salaries (inflation and outside our control) and a saving of £3,500 on outreach for new hall. Highways budget up to £5,000 (up by £1,000) and a little more on maintenance. The budget is tight, but in the current climate it should be. We do have ear marked reserves on Section 106 monies, but these are restricted as to what it can be spent on.
Cllr. Illingworth commented that a £2,000 increase equates to approx. 80 pence per household per year.
Proposed by Cllr. Roberts, Seconded by Cllr. Rose a 2% increase (£2,020), a precept request of £103,031. All present voted in favour, none against.
Cllr. Cox left the meeting 8.00pm
i) Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. Roberts seconded by Cllr. Illingworth, payments totalling £11,314.56 covered by cheque numbers 4217 and 4235 were approved. Claudine also mentioned that we had an extra grant request for the Samaritans for next financial year which was approved and ratified at the meeting.
ii) Bank reconciliations: The clerk had circulated completed reconciliations for October which were signed
No other meetings
Thanks to councillor and clerk to managed to get the Tommy figure in place at the top of Queenstock Lane at the last minute in time for Remembrance and for Cllr. Bolton for providing CCTV to cover it. The chairman also thanked Claudine and Toby for attending the remembrance church services in the parish. Cllr. McQuarrie also wanted to mention that her husband, ex-military was very grateful that the Tommy figure had been organised.
Cllr McQuarrie mentioned that there is approximately £25 left following the bulb planting. It was agreed that once the Tommy figure is in a permanent home some flowers could be chosen to plant around the base.
Thanks to those involved in the tree planting on the Ionides Land. A silver birch was planted in connection with the Queens Commonwealth canopy donated by the Woodland Trust. It was planted by MP Nus Ghani and the leader of WDC Bob Standley.
Parish Council Logo – Unless anyone has any suggestions, Cllr. Blandford will come up with suggestions for next month. Circulate logo to all.
Speed Watch Update – Locations and equipment are in please, but 3 or 4 more volunteers are required for the scheme to go ahead. We hear many complaints about speeding through Buxted so perhaps some of those people would be willing to volunteer.
|The meeting closed at 8.15p.m.|