Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in The Reading Room, Church Road, Buxted on Tuesday 14th May 2019 at 7.30p.m.
Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Bolton, Cox, Coxon, Hoggan, Humphrey, Illingworth (7.55pm), McQuarrie, Marshall, Moss, Roberts and Wells.
Also present: Clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.
A resident to of Five Ash Down spoke in relation to an item on the agenda in relation to the pedestrian crossing at the Five Ash Down traffic lights.
ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE FORTHCOMING YEAR
Proposed by Cllr. McQuarrie and seconded by Cllr. Roberts, 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 ESCC Galley and Cllr Rose.
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.
Cllrs. Cox and Wells declared a personal interest in any matters relating to the allotments by virtue of being an allotment holder
Cllr. Moss declared a personal interest in matters relating to Speed Watch by virtue of being part of the Speed Watch initiative.
Cllr. Bolton declared a person interest in any matters relating to the Football Club as his business sponsors the club.
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
The minutes of the meeting held on 9th April 2019 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 circulated a draft list of elections and appointment of members to committees and other bodies.
The list was agreed (see below and end of minutes)
Cllr. Illingworth advised that the new WDC Council would be meeting the following week for the first time. The make-up of council is slightly different than previously. The corporate plan published and approved before the election will now be the blueprint of WDC aims over the next four years.
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.
ANNUAL ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS:
FOR FULL PARISH COUNCIL TO CONSIDER THE ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS
Resolve that full parish council approve the Accounting Statements
RESOLVE THAT FULL PARISH COUNCIL APPROVE THE ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS
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. 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 2019 that Section 1 (the annual governance statement 2016/2017) had been adhered to. Cllr. Roberts as chairman of Finance commented that all reports had been reviewed and were properly prepared in a way that councillors are able approve all systems and accounts reports.
Prior to the parish council meeting, the following list of reports were circulated:
Annual Governance and Accountability Return
Reserves Explanation of Variances
Annual Return Explanation of Variances
Buxted Internal Audit Report
Annual Return Detail
Cash and Investment Reconciliation
Bank Reconciliations for five accounts
Detailed Receipts and Payments by Committee
Earmarked Reserves (EMR)
Summary receipts and payments
Year-end bank reconciliations for all 5 of our bank accounts
The clerk also wished to mention that the internal auditor recommended that any Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should be shown separately in EMR in addition to the two Section 106 monies. This would also apply to any transfer of BCHT funds to the parish council. The chairman of finance agreed that this was a very sensible suggestion.
The chairman of finance also wished to thank Claudine for all her hard work on the Internal Audit.
FOR THE CHAIRMAN TO SIGN THE ANNUAL ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS.
Page 2 of Annual Return was signed by the Chairman and the Clerk
REVIEW OF PARISH COUNCIL STANDING ORDERS AND FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
Prior to the meeting, the clerk circulated revised Standing Orders received from NALC, customised to suit Buxted Parish Council policy. Proposed by Cllr. Roberts and seconded by Cllr. Hoggan Standing Orders were unanimously adopted, and Financial Regulations are considered fit for purpose and follow the NALC guidance.
Mobile Phone Coverage: Cllr. Hoggan advised that he has again spoken to Vodafone who maintain that they have no legal obligation to provide 2G or 3G or voice calls if 4G is available. O2 can only guarantee 4G. EE claim all is well in Buxted. This matter remains ongoing. Ofcom have advised that complaints should be made to them rather than the individual phone companies.
· Update on cut back of verge from FAD to Buxted School – despite chasing, no further information has been received from ESCC Highways.
Cllr. Coxon commented that there was previously a footpaths committee and that footpaths are a precious commodity. The chairman commented that we have several members of the public that report problems on the footpaths in the area. Clerk Claudine Feltham commented that the Rights of Way Team at ESCC are good at maintaining the bridges/stiles etc on the footpaths. It was agreed that any problems to footpaths should be reported to Cllr. Coxon who could be the council’s footpaths co-ordinator. If there are any problems with footpaths, members of the public should contact the clerks in the first instance.
Trees: Nothing to report.
SLR Meeting with ESCC – Contact has been made with the new ESCC Highways customer services manager requesting a meeting, but no response received to date. Items for the agenda should include the state of the Toll Farm triangle, signage around the mini roundabout, Five Ash Down traffic lights. Any other agenda items should be forwarded to the clerks.
Pedestrian Crossing at Coopers Green traffic lights – Cllr. Illingworth referred to a discussion he has had recently with a resident of Five Ash Down with regards how difficult it is to cross the road at the Coopers Green traffic lights safely. Councillors were reminded that in 2015 the parish council undertook a survey to ask all residents of the village how best to spend the Section 106 development contributions from the Ashdown Place development (50k) which have been allocated to improvements to traffic calming. One of the options of the questionnaire was to create one single crossing point at the traffic lights (the contributions would only be able to afford one crossing). The parish council sent a questionnaire to all residents in FAD including the various options, one being a crossing at the Coopers Green traffic lights. 63% of the respondents said that they used the current crossing at Coopers Green. The number increased to 70% when asked if they would use a pedestrian phased crossing at the location, whilst 18% said they would not use it. The crossing, in its current form, it being used by over half (63%) of the respondents to this survey. The figure only increased by 7% when asked if they would use a new pedestrian crossing. The opinions of the respondents vary greatly from ‘a good idea’ to ‘a complete waste of money’. The overriding message from the residents were that traffic calming measures within Five Ash Down would be a better use of the funds.
However, Cllr. Illingworth asked the council to consider this matter again and it was suggested that this matter be raised at the first SLR meeting with ESCC Highways. It was then suggested that a site meeting take place with ESCC Cllr. Galley, a representative from Highways, Cllr Humphrey, Cllr Illingworth and any member of the public to view the problem and to agree a proposal to take forward to the SLR meeting. Cllr. Illingworth to arrange. In the meantime, the parish council would continue to pursue the cutting back of the verge between FAD the Buxted School.
Following a question from Cllr. Hoggan it was confirmed that Speed Watch can only be positioned in Police agreed locations. It was confirmed that there are 12 sites in Buxted, 2 in High Hurstwood and 2 in Five Ash Down
Update on metal sign replacement with fingerposts – subsequent to the previous meeting, the following response was provided by ESCC Highways: “It has always been our policy to replace finger posts on A and B class roads with metal directional signs as they come to a state where they are unable to be repaired. This has changed slightly under the new contract where Parish and Town councils can apply for Match Funding for a maximum of 2 fingerposts per year, however this is purely for maintenance of existing fingerposts and not the provision of new finger posts. New fingerposts are not permitted on any class of road.
It may be the case that there are many fingerposts still left on A and B class roads. These will be maintained partly or solely by the Parish or Town Council.”
The clerk was asked to refer to ESCC Highways and voice a regret at the policy and ask why they have this policy and how they consider a metal post is safer than a fingerpost. Members considered that this policy should be changed, or all parish councils should be made aware of the policy.
The clerk was asked to chase the loss of the metal signs on the Coopers Green traffic lights junction and if it is not to be replaced then the posts should be removed.
Wealden Local Development Framework – Local Plan: Waiting with anticipation.
Millennium Wood Sculpture: Cllr. Coxon has spoken to the person who currently has the sculpture and tree guards and a visit will be made.
Communications Matters: Website: Nothing to report.
P1 One for You East Sussex: Free Health Care checks for 40-75 year olds. Member considered this a brilliant initiative. Clerk to make contact and offer the Reading Room car park as a suitable venue. Clerk would advise Buxted surgery.
P2 Buxted Football Club: Request for Boot Fair on recreation ground on 23rd June 2019 – Approved
It was agreed to hold a Property and Finance committee meetings in June. Date to be arranged.
i) Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. McQuarrie, seconded by Cllr. Cox, payments totalling £14,472 covered by cheque numbers 4300 and 4320 were approved. Many cheques this month due to the annual grants being issued.
ii) Bank reconciliations: The clerk had circulated completed five bank reconciliations for March and April which were signed
iii) Football Club request for Grant Funding – Cllr. Roberts proposed and seconded by Cllr. Illingworth, unanimously agreed a 50% contribution towards the full costs of the new windows/doors at the pavilion. This matter would be ratified at the next parish council meeting.
Cllr. Blandford reported on an Ashdown Forest Liaison Committee at which the chairman, Pat Busenel, has stepped down. They are incredibly grateful for the support provided by Buxted PC.
Cllr. Wells raised an issue with regards a fingerpost in Framfield Parish at the end of Streeles Lane on a verge, as Spanish bluebells have been planted. This would be a Highways Issue and will be forwarded to the clerk to Framfield Parish Council.
Reminder of Annual Assembly 22nd May 2019 at 7.30pm in The Reading Rooms, Church Road, Buxted
Cllr. Illingworth commented that after 2 years of being in the parochial church council Rev. John Barker is moving on to London. It would therefore be appropriate to send his thanks on behalf of the parish.
|The meeting closed at 8.45p.m.|
Ionides Trust Update to follow main parish council meeting:
- Extension and resurface of Ionides Trust Car Park
Quotes are significantly higher that previously sought. It was agreed that a full specification and drawings need to be created in order to obtain full and final quotes. James Roberts suggested Peter Cook who lives in the village. James would pass his details onto clerk.
It was provisionally agreed to go ahead with the car park extension and resurfacing of all the Ionides Trust parking area, based on specified plans.
Signage: David showed some examples of signs for the car park which may now be out of date given an understanding between the surgery and Ionides Trust that we effectively share the car parks. It was agreed that we do not need to provide new signs at this time. Therefore, the one sign that does have to change is the one to the entrance to the site which advises it is parking for medical centre only. David to recreate signs advising it is Ionides Trust car park and a time limit.
- Lease update:
Nick and James confirmed that the Scouts have advised that the lease has been signed off with no further suggested changes and the Scoutswill be instructing their lawyers. Notification should be imminent.
- Maintenance: hedge plants planted by contractors need looking after. Clerk to ask Kim to take care of these.
- Scout Liaison:
Filling of drainage area – will be done by end of the months and the wood will be cleared up
Reflectors on sleeper/gate post/footpath and turning area (need drawings) – all to be actioned once lease signed.
Table tennis table to be moved (Scouts will move), and there are a couple of options. Most sensible is next to adult exercise equipment and visible.
Meeting closed 9.30pm
|Role||As at 14th May 2019|
|1||Chairman of the Council||Cllr Blandford|
|2||Vice Chairman||Cllr Rose|
|3||Planning Committee||(Chairman) Cllr Rose, Cllrs Cox, Coxon, Hoggan, Humphrey, McQuarrie and Roberts|
|4||Finance Committee||(Chairman) Cllr Roberts, plus Cllrs Coxon, Illingworth, McQuarrie, Moss and Rose|
|5||Recreation Grounds & Properties Committee||(Chairman) Cllr Rose, plus Cllrs Cox, Coxon, Humphrey|
|6||Road Safety Committee||Cllrs. Illingworth, Bolton, Hoggan, Blandford, Moss and Rose|
|7||Ward Chairman Buxted||Cllr Wells|
|8||Ward Chairman High Hurstwood||Cllr Cox|
|9||Ward Chairman Five Ash Down||Cllr Humphrey|
|10||Parish Tree Warden||Cllr Blandford|
|11||Parish Footpath co-ordinator||Cllr. Coxon|
|12||School Governor Buxted||TBA, if required (not asked for one) Cllr. Moss volunteered|
|13||School Governor High Hurstwood||Not required|
|14||Wealden District Association of Local Councils||Given more focus on Localism/Planning issues someone from Planning ought to attend, even on a rota basis|
|15||WDC Parish Liaison Panel||Cllr McQuarrie/clerks|
|16||Police Liaison Officer||Cllr Rose|
|17||Uckfield Rail Line Parishes Committee||Cllrs. Hoggan and Wells|
|18||High Hurstwood Village Hall Management Committee||Cllr. Cox|
|19||Five Ash Down Village Hall Management Committee (2 representative members)||Cllr. Humphrey|
|20||Buxted Pavilion Charity Management Committee||Cllr Rose|
|21||Ashdown Forest Parish Liaison||Cllrs Blandford & Coxon|