Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in The Reading Room, Church Road, Buxted on Tuesday 8th October 2019 at 7.30p.m.
Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Bolton, Cox, Coxon, Humphrey, Johnson, McQuarrie, Moss, Roberts, Rose and Wells.
Also present: ESCC Cllr. Galley and Clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.
One of the Directors, representing the directors of Ashdown Place (Uckfield) RCL, presented a supporting statement in relation to the grant application for assistance with the maintenance of public open spaces on the estate.
The Speed Watch co-ordinator spoke and advised that he had intended to present a report to ask the council to start a campaign to install speed cameras or chicanes in Buxted High Street. However, in the light of information provided by ESCC today (see below) cameras or road engineering proposals are not an option. However, he still wished to explain a little more about the current speed watch team and gave the council an overview. The current team started ten months ago with increasing numbers of volunteers, now with 12. In the summer months there has been up to 6 organised sessions per week, however these sessions will reduce during winter months due to daylight and weather conditions. All volunteers would agree that the average speed of vehicles is 38mph in the 30mph limit and an average of 50mph in the 40mph speed limit. Most vehicles therefore are exceeding the limit by approx. 10 mph. Unfortunately, the team do not think that the speed watch initiative has a significant long-term effect on speeding through the village, even having reported nearly 2500 incidents to police. They record a lot of repeat offenders and some that have had visits from the Police. For some reason the message doesn’t seem to be getting across. He then ran through a spreadsheet of data (see attached below) which estimates that there is a lot more speeding traffic through the village than the team can record. As the original proposals are now not deemed possible, the Speed Watch team would ask the parish council to consider asking ESCC to change the existing speed indicating signs to show the speed that the vehicle is travelling rather than just a flashing 30mph sign in addition to further ideas listed below in minute 05/10/19.
The speed watch coordinator clarified that 99.9% of people caught by speed watch will receive a letter from the Police with some receiving visits, depending on how often the offence has taken place.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received and accepted from Cllrs Illingworth and Marshall
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.
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
Cllr. Wells declared a personal interest in relation to the Grants Applications due to being the chairman of the Horticultural Society
Cllr. Wells declared a personal interest in relation to the Grants Application by virtue of knowing the applicant for the grant for the Gun Club.
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
The minutes of the meeting held on 10th September 2019 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.
In ESCC news, Cllr. Galley reported that first indications following the Government comprehensive spending review will mean no further cuts or savings being made in the next financial year. He also reported that Highways have carried out a significant amount to repairs to the roads in recent times.
In the absence of Cllr. Illingworth, Cllr. Galley reported that at Wealden the new waste contract appears to be working well since Bifa took over. There have been some issues with the delivering of new and removing of old garden bins, this matter is being resolved.
WDC Planners are still awaiting the Inspectors deliberations on the proposed Local Plan. There is still no indication of when the initial feedback will take place.
Speed Watch – Cllr. Galley also wished to mention that he considers the Buxted Speed Watch team to be one of the most professional teams in the area. What tends to happen is that a team gets discouraged and collapses. He would therefore encourage the team to keep going as it does make a difference. He also mentioned that mobile digital speed recording devices are being used by other parish councils and are proving effective. One could argue that the impact will be gone once the car has passed the devices, but it does have a positive impact on speeding.
In response to a question, Cllr Galley clarified that he hopes that social care will receive no further cuts and may get some extra funding in the following year.
SPEED WATCH PROPOSAL – BUXTED HIGH STREET
Before any discussion the chairman wished to thank the Speed Watch volunteers for all their hard work and hoped that more volunteers would come forward.
As mentioned above, prior to the meeting the clerk circulated a report from the Buxted Speed Watch team which provided activity for the last nine months. It also requested parish council support on the following two proposals:
1. Installation of average speed monitoring devices in Buxted at either end of the 30mph zone, or
2. Installation of artificial ‘chicanes’ at strategic points along the High Street (as per the ones outside the school in Maresfield)
A response had been received that morning which established that neither proposal would be supportable by ESCC. The response was as follows:
“With regards to point number 1, the use of safety cameras (commonly referred to as Speed Cameras) within East Sussex is managed by the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP). There is strict government guidance on the use of speed cameras which has been adopted by the SSRP. This guidance states that they should only be considered at sites which have a significant injury crash record where excessive speed is a contributory factor. This helps to ensure that cameras are only used at sites to improve safety and are not seen as a means to raise additional revenue.
I can confirm that crash data supplied by Sussex Police shows that there has only been one crash resulting in slight personal injury recorded in the latest available three-year period within the village of Buxted. Excessive speed was not identified as a contributory factor and the use of a camera at this location could therefore not be justified.
With regards to point number 2, traffic calming on an A class road is never easy as they are the major roads within the county for traffic to use and the implementation of physical features can be problematic. Previous measures introduced within Buxted in response to speeding concerns have only been with the use of signs and lines and not chicanes or any other type of vertical/horizontal feature.
You will appreciate that this length of road was not identified within our Speed Management Programme for any attention and with the crash record mentioned above, it is not a priority for the County Council. If you wish to explore what might be possible, I would suggest the use of the Feasibility Study and Community Match process with East Sussex Highways and I am aware that you are fully understanding of how to apply.”
Given the above information and following a discussion it was agreed:
Mobile Phone Coverage: noting to report.
Public footpaths: nothing to report.
Trees: nothing to report.
1. Update on cutting back of verge between Coopers Green and Buxted School:
Following the previous meeting, as requested the clerk contacted ESCC to ascertain if the parish council could source its own contractor to carry out the works, which could potentially lower the overall costs.
There are two ways which we would be able to carry out the work to uncover, board and resurface the pathway between Coopers Green and Buxted School. This is the section that IS covered by Section 106 money (up to £50,000).
1. We ask ESCC to carry out the work (once they have sought three quotes).
Current quote for works to carriageway: £56,110
Restricted Hours Working (approx.): £1,500 – £2,000
10% of total cost to cover design & contractor approvals, supervision/inspection: £5,811
Approximate total Cost of works: £63,921 (the PC would have to fund anything over £50,000)
2. Or, we source our own contractor to carry out the work. To do this we would require our contractor to meet the following criteria – they will need the appropriate qualifications and insurance. To work on the highway requires £10m public liability insurance. Supervisors and operatives of any contractor would also need to have suitable New Roads & Street Works Act (NRSWA) qualifications. ESCC would need to see details of this for a contractor and details of other previous similar work they have carried out before if it’s a firm they aren’t familiar with before they could approve them. Although the PC would have to project manage the work, ESCC would then inspect the completed work to make sure it is to standard and advise the PC if it isn’t. ESCC would still be ultimately responsible for the footway but 1 year after completion of the works the contractor will need to guarantee it. ESCC would then inspect just before the year is up to advise if there are any issues. It is unusual for anything at this stage as things are generally picked up as the work is carried out.
We would also need a licence required to allow work on the highway. Ordinarily this is 10% of the total works cost but as the work is for a Parish Council this would 5%.
If the parish council choose to carry out the works and find a contractor, three quotes would have to be sought to satisfy financial regulations.
Following a discussion, it was agreed that to carry out the work ourselves would be very difficult as we would have to source three quotes from approved highway contractors and then manage the project. It is fraught with potential pitfalls. Therefore, a vote was taken with 11 in favour of ESCC carrying out the work. Resolved to request that ESCC be asked to carry out the works to improve the footpath between Coopers Green and Buxted School using Section 106 monies and any further costs being covered by Parish Council funds.
2. Update on feasibility study to provide a pedestrian crossing at Coopers Green traffic lights
Following further chasing by the clerk, the parish council have received the following response from the Community Match Department at ESCC:
“I have been asked to review your request as it will be my team who will prepare the feasibility appraisal report. My understanding is you would like to incorporate a pedestrian crossing on the western approach to the junction, on the A272. My initial thoughts are there should be space to make the necessary alterations to the existing footway to allow a crossing point at the junction. However, for a pedestrian facility to be included within the junction we will need to include an additional phase to the signal sequencing. This would extend the time a vehicle would need to wait at the stop line and potentially this could impact the efficiency of the junction. In my opinion if we were to consider altering the operation of the junction, we should really carry out a modelling exercise to confirm no adverse impact to the network is created. It is likely we will need traffic data to feed into the model and new traffic surveys could be required.
This type of assessment really falls outside the scope of the appraisals we usually do as part of the Community Match process. In view of this I have asked the County Council if they would like us to proceed with this as this will determine if such a measure can be achieved or not.
In addition to the above consideration, I also would mention that if a pedestrian phase is introduced to the junction it is likely that street lighting is then needed. Should this be the case, not only would this contribute to the overall cost of the project but there may also be an environmental impact to consider as well. Furthermore, any alterations to the existing traffic signal infrastructure (moving signal poles new cabling etc) could also be expensive.
We can of course prepare a feasibility appraisal report for you but without the junction modelling exercise it would be difficult to confirm if your request is feasible or not. This is a matter I need to discuss with the County Council.”
Given the above information, members agreed that this project would be too costly for the parish council and therefore is was resolved to not continue with the feasibility study.
3. Flooding on A272 at Coopers Green traffic lights and outside White Hart PH
Cllr. Galley is currently pursuing the issues of drainage outside Binkeys Farm and will report back once a response is received from ESCC.
Wealden Local Development Framework: See Cllr. Galley’s report above.
1. Buxted Pavilion – Lease conditions – Following the previous meeting the clerk has established that the Football Club has a full repairing lease. The chairman and clerk had met the chairman of Buxted Football Club and another member that morning to hear about future plans for the club, clubhouse and a possible new football pitch in the field to the rear of the club. They would like to make some alterations to the pavilion and create bay windows and a veranda to the front of the building to make the building lighter and more attractive, which would then encourage more people to the club. Overall the parish council were supportive of exploring the ambitions of football club.
Costs towards electrical improvements – It was proposed and agreed to provide a grant of £1,500 toward the emergency electrical works to the pavilion with a note to advise that if anything like this was to happen again that the parish council are consulted first as landlords. We would also confirm that regular electrical and fire checks are carried out and request a copy of any report.
2. Fingerposts: The clerks will check all fingerposts in the parish and report back to our contractor. The contractor has been made aware of the broken fingerpost in Rocks Lane and will be advised of issues with fingerposts in Nan Tucks, Shepherds Hill.
3. Maintenance of noticeboards: The clerk requested that the noticeboards are restained as they are looking worn. Agreed.
Communications Matters: Website: Nothing to report.
P1 Uckfield Town Council: Consideration of employing a Community Warden, would Buxted PC consider sharing costs? As the Community Warden does not have any powers with regards to parking or highways issues, it was considered not cost effective as the parish has little antisocial behavioural issues.
Wednesday 6th November – Finance Committee – Reading Room.
i) Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. Roberts seconded by Cllr. Rose, payments totalling £9,049.71 covered by cheque numbers 4384 and 4400 were approved.
ii) Bank reconciliations: The clerk had circulated completed reconciliations for September 2019 which were signed
iii) Annual Grants: consideration of Grant Applications for financial year 2020/21. Prior to the meeting the clerk circulated a list of grant applications.
See full details of grants requested on attached document. Buxted Parish Council Grants 2020-2021 summary (002)
Ashdown Place contributions towards open spaces – requesting £2,500 – Agreed.
Standing Orders were suspended to establish that this would be an annual grant request, and that the open space will not be adopted by the local authority. This expense also does not include a sinking fund and only running costs for the public spaces (not roads)
St Margaret’s Church and St Marys Church Parish of Buxted and Hadlow Down – requesting £1,100 – Agreed
Five Ash Down Chapel – requesting £300 – agreed
Buxted Methodist Church – requesting £500 – agreed
Holy Trinity Church, High Hurstwood – requesting £400 – agreed
Buxted Horticultural Society – requesting £1500 – earmark £750 from parish council and £750 from Ionides Trust towards the summer fete.
Pop in FAD – requesting £1500 – agreed
Conservators of Ashdown Forest – requesting annual grant of £1,000 – agreed
Stepping Stones – requesting £1,000 – agreed
Citizens Advice Bureau – requesting £800 – agreed
Buxted Players – requesting new chairs for Reading Room – agreed, but the parish council would purchase the chairs rather than provide a grant to the Players.
Rifle Club – requesting up to £54,000 – Supportive of a grant towards costs in principle. The parish council would consider some level of support however it will not go very far in the total costs. This could also be something that the Ionides Trust could support. The clerk to request the long-term plan for fundraising before deciding on a final grant amount. Therefore, for the purposes of budgeting £5,000 would be earmarked.
In relation to budget setting it was also considered appropriate to set aside further funds for extra grants which are likely to come forward.
URLPC AGM – attended by Cllr. Wells. Two representatives from Southern attended the meeting and advised that there is still no resolution between Southern and Network Rail in relation to lease issues for the extra car parking spaces, currently fenced off.
Cllr Humphreys attended the FAD Village Hall Committee. The Pop-In group wished to thank the parish council for the grant for 2019/20.
Poppies and wreathes – being sourced before remembrance.
Buxted Litter picking event this Saturday 12th October starting at Buxted Inn at 09:45 at Buxted Inn for coffee and road allocation, returning to the Buxted Inn by midday for further refreshment.
|The meeting closed at 21:03p.m.|
Buxted Ionides Update
- New community hall
Received from George Claydon: I am advised that the hold-up is due to the NatWest Bank’s repeated tardy response for the transfer of our funds to the practitioner’s client account and that this is the subject of a formal complaint to the bank. Hopefully, this will be resolved within a few days and the final balance, which is in the region of £24,500, will be available for transfer to the trustees of the Ionides Trust.
I will need details of the name of the IT account to be benefited and we will need to agree a brief letter of the terms under which we are making the donation that I will prepare and let you see when I know that the transfer of funds is actually imminent.
- Consideration of quotes for extension and resurface of Ionides car park
Following the previous meeting, a further quote was expected for a local contractor, but this has not been received in time for the meeting. Therefore, considering all quotes the following was recommended:
Cheapest of three quotes from main contractor was Coppard @ £44,280.00
(including VAT at £7380.00)
Extra work for bollards £ 1000.00
New signage (estimate) £ 500.00
Make good ground afterwards-seeding/grading (estimate) £ 1000.00
Total works £46,780.00
Funds to pay for work
Section 106 monies left from 1st stage village hall ground works £35,000.00
Balance to find £11,780.00
The Trust has decided a start date for 2020 so there might be a slight increase in contractor’s quote and other figures are rough estimates. The Ionides Trust have enough money to pay for the difference between section 106 funds and total costs. Agreed on the basis above but also write to the surgery to ask for a donation. The clerk to advise those who quoted but were unsuccessful (Roadways/Thornes). Letters/emails of explanation will be sent out to other tenants of the Ionides land, about the proposed changes to the car park and a public announcement made at the forthcoming AGM.
- Signing of Scout Lease
The chairman was very pleased to advise that the final paperwork for the new Scout Lease has been received and circulated to all members of the Ionides Trust. Vivienne Blandford and Fiona McQuarrie will sign in the presence of the clerks.
- Request from a member of the public to weed and re-seed the area where drainage works take place – Scouts have been asked as it is in their leased land.
- Football Club – would be very pleased to find a location for the table tennis table which is likely to be re-sited once the Scouts have signed the new lease.
- AGM Reminder – November 2019
- Request for Scout Bonfire on 9th November 2019
The Ionides Trust has received a request to hold the annual Buxted Bonfire on Saturday 9th November on the Trust land. The date was agreed subject to the receipt of suitable insurance documents and under the same terms as last year. It was suggested that when works to the car parking has been carried out, the Trust looks at a permanent site for a bonfire.
- Request for Buxted Bonfire Society to have Christmas Tree on Ionides Land – Agreed that the village Christmas tree could be located on the Ionides Trust land. If Landacre allow the tree to be located on land at the end of Queenstock lane then the Bonfire Society can choose which location, they wish.
- Grants to local Groups – something the Trust can consider once the car park work is completed and the final costs for this work are known.
Meeting finished 21:13