Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in Five Ash Down Village Hall on Tuesday 10th September 2019 at 7.30p.m.
Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Bolton (7.47pm), Coxon, Humphrey, Illingworth (WDC), Rose and Wells.
Also, present: Clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received and accepted from Cllrs Cox, Johnson, McQuarrie, Marshall, Moss, Roberts and ESCC Galley.
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. 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 July 2019 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.
Cllr. Illingworth updated that WDC are currently waiting for the Government Inspector to respond to phase 1 of the examination of the Local Plan. A letter is expected within the next two weeks. Depending on the content, the Council will take the necessary course of action
GRASS CUTTING REVIEW
Prior to the meeting the clerk circulated a report to all members of the parish council setting out current grass cutting costs together with quotes received for costs for the 2020/21 financial year, which also included three extra areas – Toll Farm Triangle, verge at the end of Gordon Road, verge on A272 between Harrock House and Yew Tree Cottage.
Following consideration, the Parish Council resolved the following:
Mobile Phone Coverage: The parish council has been advised there was an accident in High Hurstwood, which needed a call out of the air ambulance, at a time of a power cut. The nearest available signal was at the Crow and Gate. Coverage is getting bad locally with all providers. When the Local Plan has been ratified, the parish council will bring this problem to prominent attention. Discussion took place which highlighted the following points:
· It was suggested sourcing a contact within the industry to establish where a mast is needed and if there are any mobile phone companies that would be willing to undertake signal improvement within the parish.
· The other matter to question is whether the network companies are shutting down the equipment on the existing masts.
· Without having an assessment as to how bad the problem is, are we going to be taken seriously by mobile phone companies?
· Mobile telephone companies do have data on their websites but this, often, is unreliable. If we could find a consultant that deals with the mobile phone companies, they would likely have the information or a way to find out the information as to where the signal is worst.
· Cllr. Rose mentioned companies that use equipment (for the purposes of burglar alarms) that identifies signals across all networks.
It was agreed that Cllr. Illingworth and the clerk would work together to try and identify any relevant contact within the industry who would be able to establish the need and willingness for the networks to supply improved signal within the parish.
Public footpaths: Footpath No.79 unpassable – clerk to report to highways (Claudine).
Trees: Nothing to report
1. Update on cutting back of verge between Coopers Green and Buxted School
The clerk received costs for the uncovering and resurfacing of the pavement between Coopers Green Traffic lights and Buxted School. The quote was split into two parts, providing a wooden buffer where necessary. The total estimated costs (without traffic control costs) is £56,110, which is £6,110 above the developer contributions for this work. This does also not include costs to uncover, resurface, and board the pavement between Buxted School and The White Hart, which would have to be funded entirely by the Parish Council.
The Parish Council have previously resolved to carry out this work using the Section 106 developer contributions for ‘traffic calming’ from the Ashdown Place development. However, before the final agreement the clerk was asked to:
· ascertain with Highways if the parish council could employ their own contractors if they have the correct insurances and working practices.
· Confirm the additional costs to carry out the work from Buxted School to Yew Tree Cottage
· Investigate the possibility of match funding for either all this work or the extra section that the parish council would have to pay for.
2. Update on feasibility study to provide a pedestrian crossing at Coopers Green traffic lights
After chasing, the clerk received an email to confirm that my emails had been forwarded to the officer now dealing with Community Match and Feasibility Studies. From this, it is assumed that there has been another change in staff.
3. SLR Meeting: Any further feedback
An email was received from Ian Johnson of ESCC Highways to confirm that:
“With regards to the mini roundabout, I have checked the signing and it is all clear and in good condition. The lining seems to be ok, but I have asked the Highway Steward to look and see whether it falls within their maintenance criteria for renewal. There are no personal injury crashes in the latest available three-year period that would suggest any further changes are required at the present time”
Cllr. Illingworth also wished to report the breaking up of the road on the A272 between Budletts Roundabout and the Coopers Green Traffic lights. The collapsed drain that had previously been repaired is collapsing again. The road is also bad from Buxted School to The White Hart. Clerk to report
Wealden Local Development Framework: as above minute 04/09/19
1. Request for Allotment Management Committee to cut trees
In July, a few councillors attended a meeting at the allotments to view the trees to be cut. A discussion took place and it was decided that a second site visit would be made and the trees that could be cut back will be clearly marked.
Councillors considered and agreed the renewal of the 7-year rolling agreement between the Parish Council and the Buxted allotment Association when the current arrangement comes to an end in May 2020
Members agreed to spend approximately a further £120 on litter picking equipment after all the £600 grant received was spent on a new litter bin in High Hurstwood Recreation Ground
After having received one recent concern about an event that took place at the Pavilion at which music was played after midnight, the clerk reviewed the existing 30-year lease which only contains basic lease information. It was agreed that is not necessary to change the lease but that a letter, setting out guidelines for events at the Football Club, would suffice. Clerk to write to the Football Club.
Following a recent event at High Hurstwood Recreation Ground, the fence around the children’s play area was damaged Simon Woodley has been asked to fix the fence. As the play equipment needs renewing a new fence could be installed, at the same time, which would require less maintenance. Cllr. Cox to ask residents of High Hurstwood for a preference of new play equipment.
Fingerposts: We are due our biennial fingerpost maintenance this year, however some fingerposts do not need repainting. Therefore, this will be added to the next PC agenda in October with a view to assessing all 17 posts to decide which need repair/repainting/maintenance. Clerk to circulate a list of all fingerposts owned by the parish and the clerks would also make an assessment.
Clerk to chase, again, the posts at Coopers green on Highway land (as previously reported).
Fly posting for High Hurstwood Village Hall events – clerk to ask the village management committee to remove flyers once event has taken place. Also, Freeman Foreman have erected boards on highway land – Cllr. Humphrey to call estate agent to advise boards are not to be erected on Highway land.
Communications Matters: Website: Cllr Illingworth asked if there was any available money to revamp the website? The clerk advised that we are currently awaiting further advice from NALC as to how parish councils should be structuring websites according to new legislation. It would therefore be sensible to receive this information prior to making any changes to the website.
P1 Buxted Football Club: Request for a defibrillator at Buxted Pavilion.
At the request of members, the clerk circulated details the costs from two defibrillator suppliers.
As the parish council has enough funds, it was resolved (four votes in favour, 3 against) that a defibrillator should be installed on the Buxted Pavilion at a cost of £1365.00. The clerk would advise and would also ask if anyone associated with the club could install and connect the cabinet.
i) Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. Rose seconded by Cllr. Illingworth, payments totalling £7,885.58 covered by cheque numbers 4360 and 4383 were approved.
ii) Bank reconciliations: The clerk had circulated completed reconciliations for June, July and August which were signed
iii) To consider the Councils Risk Assessment – no further comments
iv) Grant application process – the clerk clarified that grant request letters are circulated in August/September each year with a view to receiving all applications in time for budget setting for the following financial year. If there was an emergency outside of this timescale, grants can be considered, whereas other projects should be part of forward planning. The deadline for next year’s grants is the middle of September 2019.
v) The parish council acknowledged the receipt of the external auditor’s report, and that the accounts had been approved without any advisory notices.
vi) Members reviewed the cash and investment reconciliation to 9 September 2019 and receipts and the payments report for the year to 9th September 2019, showing income and expenditure against budget.
Cllr. Wells attended the Uckfield Railway Lines Parishes Committee meeting at which Cllr. Wells put forward proposals on what to spend the £30,000 passenger benefit fund. Various proposals were put forward and suggested including a shelter and Wi-Fi, whereas all members just wish for trains to run on time.
The clerk met, informally, with a member of the Buxted Players to discuss aspirations they may have for the Reading Room now that the BCHT is no longer in existence. It was suggested that Reading Room repairs is added to next months’ agenda for further discussion bearing in mind that budget setting is carried out in November/December. The chairman believes there is a need for a survey to ascertain the condition of the building before carrying out any work. Cllr. Rose suggested contacting a previous councillor for a view on the building prior to committing to a survey. Agreed.
Please could windows be cleaned? Clerk to arrange.
Can we ascertain from Chubb if we own the fire extinguishers at the Reading Room or if we loan them as part of the maintenance contract? Clerk to investigate
Cllr. Illingworth commented on the Tommy Statue and what extra remembrance products will be added to it in preparation for Remembrance Day – clerk to circulate website for British legion And a decision will be made, by email, if any purchases are required so we receive them in good time for November 11th.
Travellers Site (Kiowa), Buxted – getting larger. Cllr. Illingworth will be discussing this with WDC. Clerk has had correspondence with WDC Enforcement and has been kept up to date with any planning issues.
Cllr. Wells commented that the temporary repairs at the allotment track is gradually breaking up due to the overuse of the land by Network Rail.
|The meeting closed at 21.01p.m.|
Buxted Ionides Update
- Consideration of quotes for extension and resurface of Ionides car park
Three quotes finally obtained with same the same specification – see below
Roadways £54,273.23 (+VAT)
Thorne £42,570.00 (+ VAT)
Coppards £44,280.00 (including VAT @ £7,380.00)
Graham Weller – To quote and is small independent contractor
Kim Woodley £1000.00 approx. for bollards
It is likely that there will be at least a 4 week lead in from the works being commissioned and prices may be subject to change. Members considered that we are running out of time to complete the work this year. There is also the Scouts bonfire to consider, as the work may not start as early as the Autumn as we would wish. Mud pies!
On balance it was considered that it would be best to postpone the works until early Spring 2020 (mid-March). We would then have time to consider carefully all the quotes and plan the works, giving due notice to the Surgery, Scouts, general members of the public and decide which organisation pays what contribution:
- Ionides Trust
- BCHVT (residual fuds)
- Section 106 developer residue from village hall building-and we will be building an extra car park for various users
- Parish council contribution (as part of forthcoming budget)
The Ionides Trust can then ‘launch’ the programme of works at the AGM which will be after our November meeting (or before). It would be a positive message. It was agreed to wait for a quote from Graham Weller and then a final decision on contractors could be confirmed in October.
- Consideration of quote for repairs to children’s play area – the repairs can be paid for out of section 106 monies £6859.00 +VAT. This is a well-used facility and has high profile so a good use of funds. Agreed. Clerk to ascertain if Mant Leisure will use anti-graffiti paint?
- Update on Scout lease – Notification from our solicitor advised ““The other side have just had the Charities Act report back and all is in order and the documents are settled so we can finally move forward to completion! I will prepare the signature copies shortly and circulate these”
- AGM Reminder – November 2019