DRAFT Parish Council Minutes 10 December 2019

Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in The Reading Rooms, Church Road, Buxted on Tuesday 10th December 2019 at 7.30p.m.



Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Bolton, Cox, Humphrey, Illingworth (WDC), McQuarrie, Marshall, Moss, Roberts, Rose and Wells.

Also present: Clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.


Public :





Apologies received and accepted from Cllr Coxon, Johnson and ESCC Galley.





Cllrs. Cox and Wells declared a personal interest in any matters relating to the allotments by virtue of being an allotment holder


Cllr. Illingworth declared a personal interest in matters relating to the Saplings Preschool grant request due to being on the Parochial Church Council




The minutes of the meeting held on 12th November 2019 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.





In the absence of an ESCC Councillor, the following highway issues were noted and will be reported to Cllr. Galley:


  • Blocked drain opposite side to road of Binkeys Farm
  • Poor state of road through Nan Tucks and Shepherds Hill- particularly a pothole that stretches across the carriageway (which has now been reported to Highways)


Cllr Illingworth advised that as WDC have been in purdah no decisions have been made in the last month.





Mobile Phone Coverage: Nothing to report.


Public footpaths: Nothing to report.


Trees: Nothing to report


Road Safety:


Update on cutting back of verge between Coopers Green and Buxted School:

Following the previous meeting, the chairman and clerk met with two representatives of ESCC Highways on site to discuss the final specification for the works. A final quote has been received and the funds have been requested from WDC.  Once the funds have been received, the work can be scheduled. It was confirmed that the following works would take place:


  1. Supply all necessary signage and barrier for the duration of works including 2-way lights for surfacing works.
  2. Carry out weed kill treatment to working area in advance of works
  3. Replace 2 access covers prior to surfacing works.
  4. Cut back edge of the existing footway verge to provide neat edge for surfacing.
  5. Overlay existing footway surface with 50mm of 10mm AC10 wearing course.
  6. Clear site of all debris and leave in a clean and tidy manor.


The price to carry out the above works including all plant labour and materials £18,465.00 excluding vat.


Cutting of verge between Buxted School and Yew Tree Cottage:


The clerk has finally sought a quote to cut the verge at a cost of £580.00 per annum for four cuts between April and October. The kerbside verge does act as a buffer between pedestrian and cars/lorries. We would have to leave it up to the common sense of those who cut it for us to take a rationale call of whether it really needs doing. If the field side is kept cut back, there should be plenty of room to walk safely but we can assess this once the pathway has been increased and the grass cutting begins. It is also worth considering that ESCC will be cutting the verge twice a year.

It was therefore resolved to accept the quote from Countrymans.


Wealden Local Development Framework: Nothing to report.


Property issues:


Fingerposts – The chairman has surveyed all fingerposts and a schedule of works has been sent to our contractor. No notification from his as-yet with regards pricing and timings. Clerk will chase but it may be better left until the spring.


Reading room survey: Cllr. Rose met with Chris Macve who used to own a builders’ business within Uckfield. The report was read to the parish council and is attached as an appendix to this document.


Following on from the receipt of the report and the letter from the Art Club a discussion took place and the following points were made:


  • Cllr Rose suggested there is a way to provide a disabled access toilet without affecting the existing toilets.
  • It was agreed that it would seem sensible to install Wi-Fi for the hall. The clerk to investigate costs.
  • Discussion then took place with regards whether the parish council wish to invest in the existing hall or if it still wishes to pursue a new hall on a different site. Either way a decision needs to be made early next year.


It was also suggested and agreed that the finance and property committee should meet to discuss this issue in a separate meeting prior to bringing this matter to the full council


The clerks would source quotes for the required works as noted in the report, with a view to the full parish council considering recommendations from the working party in March 2020.


Refurbishment/renewal of High Hurstwood Play Equipment:


The parish council has reserves of £14,850 for the renewal of the children’s play area. Locally there has been some discussions that there isn’t any equipment locally for teenagers. However, having arranged meetings to discuss this, no one attended. The existing small children’s play equipment is old and needs renewing. The clerks to put a notice in the High Hurstwood Review and the High Hurstwood Facebook page to advise that the parish council are looking into renewing the existing equipment.


Communications Matters: Website:


Upgrading of Website to be GDPR compliant: the clerks have started to investigate this, and initial costs would be approx. £1,000 but this would be to migrate the existing site rather than provide a new website. Cllr. Bolton to look at the existing website to ascertain if he would be able to provide a more updated website. Clerks initially to suggest good examples of other parish council websites.




P1 Buxted W.I. – Requests for Wi-Fi at Reading Room together with an upgrade of kitchen and toilet facilities – see above minute 05/12/19 (Reading Room) above.


P2 Saplings Preschool – request they still receive the quote allocated in grants for 2020/21 even though the Buxted site is due to close at the end of the year. Members discussed this matter at length with arguments for both sides. Following the discussion, a vote was taken, and it was agreed to pay £600 direct to the church for the fencing already required, but not to honour the further £400 as the preschool would now be out of the parish.


P3 Buxted Allotment Association – to renew agreement with BAA as per the draft agreement. The parish council agreed that legally we would require the annual rent of £7 to satisfy the lease. The lease was agreed as drafted; however, the wording needs to be made clear that the parish council can only control illegal parking within council owned land.


P4 Uckfield Railway Line Parishes Committee – Would like the parish council to respond to the South East consultation process for its emerging strategy document.  Cllr. Wells made some bullet points which the URLPC would like councillors to take into consideration if they choose to complete the questionnaire:


  • 2nd largest regional economy to London
  • Growth in South East cannot be at any cost
  • Transport is single biggest contributor to greenhouse gases with emissions majority from private cars
  • Must make better use of what we already have with short term targeted investment to replace rail points alongside new technology like digital railway signalling
  • Beyond this catering for forecasting for road traffic growth is not sustainable so larger scale public transport is required
  • 30 year strategy
  • Attractive sustainable alternatives to car and road / freight must be provided
  • Put users at the heart of the transport system to ensure places link with people and that a whole journey is possible without gaps
  • Integration with all forms of transport
  • Challenges of poor connectivity, long journey times, overcrowding, reliability
  • Congestion of routes M25, M27, A27, A259
  • Connecting gaps in mid-sussex
  • Improve all quality


He advised that if anyone has got a spare half hour/hour, it is worth looking at the smaller summary document and complete the questionnaire.





Signing of Finance Committee meeting minutes of 12th November 2019. Agreed.




i)    Payments: On the proposal of Cllr. Rose seconded by Cllr. Illingworth, payments totalling £14,642 covered by cheque numbers 4417 and 4430 were approved.

ii)     Bank reconciliations: The clerk had circulated completed reconciliations for November which were signed




Cllr Wells attended the Uckfield Railway Line Parishes Committee – see minute 06/12/19 P4 above.





Note of thanks to be sent to Chris Macve for completing a survey of the Reading Room.




Congratulations to the Buxted Bonfire Society on how pretty the Christmas tree looks on the Ionides land and you can see as you come along the A272 going eastwards as you come past the White Hart, or just before, excellent location. It was a well-supported event and it was great to have such an active group within the village.


In response to a letter received from a local resident with regards WDC no longer providing paper copies of bin collection days, Cllr Illingworth advised if anyone wishing to have a paper copy of the schedule should call WDC offices and a calendar will be posted out. WDC is looking to address the climate emergency they are doing everything they can to reduce paper output.


The meeting closed at 8.36p.m.

Ionides Trust

 Cllr. Rose and the clerk met with Mant Leisure the previous day with regards the extra work required to repair the climbing frame in the small children’s play area. Mant leisure had provided a quote to reinforce the metal bars (£3,860.00) rather than replace them, as a quote from the manufacturer for replacement parts was £4,000 (this would be without fitting costs). It was suggested by Cllr. Rose that a local metalwork company be contacted to provide a quote to replace the parts, which Mant Leisure could then fit. It was agreed to obtain a quote for comparison purposes.


The Trust has received an email from its solicitor. The Scouts’ Solicitor has now amended the lease and sent it to the Trust’s solicitor.  It has been approved it but there were some addresses missing so once these have been received it will be sent to the chairman for signing.


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