Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in The Reading Room, Church Road, Buxted on Tuesday 12th March 2019 at 7.30p.m.
Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Bolton, Cox, Coxon, Hoggan, Humphrey, Illingworth (WDC), Marshall, Moss, Roberts, Rose and Wells.
Also present: ESCC Cllr. Galley and Clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received and accepted from Cllrs. Johnson and McQuarrie
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 12th February 2019 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.
CO-OPTION OF PETER COXON ONTO THE PARISH COUNCIL
Proposed by Cllr. Rose and seconded by Cllr. Cox, Mr Peter Coxon, was unanimously co-opted onto the parish council and welcomed to the meeting. The chair welcomed Peter to the parish council and councillors introduced themselves to him.
Cllr. Galley reported that there is quite a lot of roadwork activity throughout the county at the present time following last year’s transport programme of road improvements. Decisions are about to be made on transport programme for the next year which includes planning around improving the road network specifically around Hailsham due to the amount of new development in this area. Works will be taking place shortly on Buxted High Street, Queenstock Lane and Herons Ghyll. Highways have also identified and will be fixing the drainage issue outside Binkey’s Farm (which should also include road repairs). Highways will also continue monitoring the A272 in Budlets with regards overhanging trees.
It was also reported that District and Parish elections will take place on 2nd May, so both councils will now go into a quiet period due to purdah.
Mobile Phone Mast: Cllr. Rose commented that the mobile phone signal in Buxted is very bad at the present time and is also non-existent between Hadlow Down and Cross in Hand. Is there anything we can do establish why this is happening? Councillors mentioned that following investigations, the Vodafone mast is 2G with plans to maintain this as 4G as apparently there is another mast that covers this area. Apparently, broadband for rural areas takes precedent over voice calls and Vodafone have believe they have enough coverage.
Within the emerging local plan, WDC have a policy to encourage and improve mobile phone signals and WDC will be talking to mobile phone mast operators with regards potential strategic locations within the district. Cllr. Illingworth to establish if there is any current progress on this within WDC.
Update on cut back of verge from FAD to Buxted School: The clerk updated that ESCC has been contacted since the last meeting with regards using the Section 106 monies from the Ashdown Place development to cut back and retain the pavement between Coopers Green and Buxted School. This project is now live again and the Highways officer will be back in touch with the parish council before the end of the month.
Trees: Nothing to report.
Road Safety: Members asked the clerk to investigate if it would be possible to install rumble strips outside the Buxted Inn, to try and slow traffic as it approaches the mini roundabout in addition to asking if the roundabout sign could be made more obvious.
Ionides Trust: Remove from future agendas.
Wealden Local Development Framework: Nothing to report.
Allotment Track Update: The clerk successfully received notification of contributions from Southern Water and Network Rail to cover all costs however Southern Water have advised that they will be undertaking capital projects at their works. This could well include repairs to the track. Therefore, we have been advised to hold fire on these works if Southern Water may well be carrying out works to the track.
Tommy Statue Update: Depending on the outcome of the planning application for 5 dwellings at the end of Queenstock Lane, the Tommy Statue may still be able to be situated here. If not, a suitable place would be found for it on the Ionides Trust land.
Grass Cutting: (in conjunction with the Ionides Trust). The chairman met with two contractors on site and has now received quotes. Previously we have had three different contractors on two pieces of land. What we have established so far is that our previous main contractor was very good value for money. Until now, the total maintenance for both pieces of land was just over £3,000 (14 to 16 cuts per annum) but quotes from new contractors will increase costs to over £5,000. Once all data has been collated an email would be circulated with recommendations to gather views.
Kim Woodley, in addition to cutting the grass also carried out a lot of maintenance in and around the site, which all agreed he should continue to do as he is a real asset to the Trust as he knows the land very well.
With regards the spraying of weeds, Cllr. Humphrey would investigate the best way to manage the children’s play area.
Communications Matters: Website: Logo A logo has now been designed, approved and is being used on communications. A sticker has also been created and printed.
No priority correspondence
i) Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. Rose seconded by Cllr. Illingworth, payments totalling £7,076.00 covered by cheque numbers 4272 and 4284 were approved.
ii) Bank reconciliations: The clerk had circulated completed reconciliations for February which were signed
iii) Review of terms and conditions and appointment of Keith Robertson to conduct internal audit for year ending 31.3.19 – appointed as Internal Auditor 2018/19.
Cllrs. Robert and Bolton attended a meeting with Buxted Scouts. See below report in Ionides Trust update.
Cllr. Illingworth requested if any feedback had been received from Highways regarding the replacement of the metal signs in Buxted High Street with fingerposts – no update received to date, clerk would chase.
Election Nomination Papers have been received – clerk would drop to the Buxted Inn the following day.
Cllr. Coxon asked if members have individual responsibilities. Yes, however for a while the parish council had a small number of councillors, so responsibilities were limited. The clerk would forward the most recent list to Cllr. Coxon. It was also established that planning application sites are sometimes visited, especially if and application is considered controversial or councillors are requested to visit.
Cllr. Blandford advised that she would provide Cllr. Coxon the details of the tree surgeon who currently has the tree guards and sculpture from the Millennium Woods with regards the best place to reposition both.
Annual Assembly – to be held in the Reading room. Date to be confirmed.
|The meeting closed at 8.40p.m.|
Ionides Trust Update following previous meeting
The minutes of the meetings of November 2018 and February 2019 were signed as a correct record of the meetings.
There has been no response from the parish council’s solicitor with regards the Scouts lease.
No response from the surgery with regards the proposed works to the car park and signage.
The previous day, Nick Bolton and James Roberts (Ionides Trust) met with Andi Reynolds (Scouts) as previously suggested to discuss various aspects of the site:
Agenda and action points:
Based on no response from the surgery from recent letter requesting the scouts could make use of their car park, AR is going to communicate with the scout group parents that there have been no objections and therefore can use it going forward until further notice.
Should either group hear from the surgery regarding this matter we will pass it onto the other.
BPC have agreed that the post can be replaced with a removable post to allow the trailer easier access. AR to action this.
Table tennis table
Agreed in principle that this could be moved, a decision is needed as to where best to put it. NB/JR to bring up with BPC to find a suitable location.
AR has agreed to move the table and make ready the ground once a position has been found.
Grass cutting and hedge maintenance
BPC has offered to use its current contractor to carry out the grass cutting and hedge maintenance for the area behind the scout hut that will form part pf the BS’s leased land within the new lease. AR has accepted this offer. BS will be billed pro-rata of the fee by BPC.
AR requested permission for BS to build a footpath form the Ionides car park to the scout hut. NB/JR to ask BPC position on this and to check insurance issues. It was agreed if acceptable to BPC that BS would be responsible for building and maintaining the path.
Landscaping, turning circle and firepit
AR suggested the BS would like to landscape the area outside the front of the scout hut door to make it a more usable space, include a removable firepit and create a better turning circle for the truck. AR to share some rough sketches/plans with BPC when complete for approval however in principle neither NB or JR could not see any objections to this.
BPC have requested that BS better secure the storage area behind the scout hut where there are current gates that have large gaps to the side. AR has agreed to undertake this.
BPC requested an update as to where we are with the lease and for any reasons why this has yet to be signed. AR advised that he believes all terms have been agreed but has yet to hear from their solicitors however he is not the main contact on this matter. AR is going to chase the BS Chairman to ensure this is signed off ASAP. NB/JR advised that none of the above is likely to get BPC approval before the new lease is signed.
New storage unit
BS have requested permission to add a none permanent small storage unit behind the scout hut where the current storage area is to cope with increased size of the group. AR to provide rough plans of what this will be to BPC. NB/JR have agreed this should not be an issue proving the plans are sensible and will bring up with BPC once plans have been confirmed.
BPC asked whether any issues could be foreseen with renting out 4 car park spaces at the entrance of the dirt road to the scout hut to Crusader vehicles. AR confirmed that providing they were not blocking the track from vehicle access he could see no problem. AR will double check with guides and beavers who use the space earlier and revert in the unlikely event that this may cause an issue. In the meantime, happy to go ahead with renting out spaces.
It was agreed by all that further monthly meetings will go ahead, and this would be assessed in the future as to whether monthly or quarterly meetings would be more appropriate. AR to suggest dates when his work schedule is in for the next meeting.
Both parties are to keep a dialogue open by email or phone between meetings should the need arise.