Minutes of the REMOTE meeting of the Council held REMOTELY on Tuesday 16th June 2020 at 7.30p.m.
Cllrs. Blandford (Chairman), Bolton, Cox, Coxon, Humphrey, Illingworth (7.37pm) (WDC), Johnson, McQuarrie, Marshall, Roberts, Rose, and Wells.
Also present: ESCC Cllr. Galley and Clerks Beccy Macklen and Claudine Feltham.
No members of the public in attendance at the remote meeting.
ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE FORTHCOMING YEAR
The chairman commented that she hoped all members has read her email circulated the previous week, that owing to the current Covid-19 crisis, it would be easier to keep the current status quo, or last year’s appointments. The clerk has received nothing to contradict this so in that case she is willing to stand for another year.
Proposed – Cllr Humphrey
Seconded – Cllr Bolton
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. The clerk would countersign the declaration in the presence of the chairman as soon as practicably possible.
SIGNING OF THE DECLARATION OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE BY THE NEW CHAIRMAN
Signed by the chairman, to be counter signed by the clerk in the presence of the chairman as soon as possible.
ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL
Cllr Roberts proposed that Cllr John Rose be elected at Vice Chair of the council. Seconded by Cllr. Coxon. Unanimously agreed by all in attendance.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received and accepted from Cllr Moss
DECLARATION OF MEMBERS INTERESTS
All councillors declared a personal interest in any matters relating to the Ionides Trust 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 (Beechbook Park due to having owned part of the application site
Cllrs. Cox and Wells declared a personal interest in any matters relating to the allotments by virtue of being an allotment holder’s
Cllr. Illingworth declared a personal interest in any matters related to the St Margaret’s and St Mary’s Churches by virtue of being a member of the PCC.
Cllr. Bolton declared a personal interest in the item relating to payments in June 2020 by virtue of receiving a cheque to compensate for equipment required to run the community hub.
MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
The minutes of the meeting held on 10th March 2020 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.
Cllr Galley confirmed that the clerks are getting regular updates from ESCC and WDC. The county council provides its councillors with a daily Covid-19 update. £36 million has been made available to local businesses; and many communities have been supported by local hubs, which have been well organised. It has been noted that residents of Hastings have been less impacted by Covid-19 and there are theories that residents of Hastings do not commute to London as much and so less likely to spread the disease. Most of schools in the county are open to some extent and the last figures for Buxted and High Hurstwood show approximately one quarter attendance and increasing over time.
Cllr Illingworth did not have a huge amount to add to the above given that there are weekly updates published from WDC. Covid-19 has been the priority for WDC, and he is aware of concerns early on regarding communications with local volunteer groups and 3VA, but hopefully these issues were ironed out quickly.
Cllr. Bolton updated regarding the community hub at the Buxted Inn. He feels they are now at the back end having initially helped over 100 households to about 16 presently, as people are using online shopping or having friends and family deliver. They are working three days a week rather than every day. They will continue to do this for as long as it is needed, or if people are needed to shield. The parish council recorded its thanks for organising this massive task and to all his volunteers for bravely taking on the necessary tasks at the height of the pandemic.
RECORD OF DECISIONS TAKEN BY FULL COUNCIL VIA E-MAIL DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC – TO BE CONFIRMED AND SIGNED AS A TRUE RECORD
Signed by the chairman of the Council.
FOR ALL MEMBERS OF THE PARISH COUNCIL TO ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF THE END OF YEAR FINANCE DOCUMENTATION AS EMAILED BY THE CLERK AND RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL OFFICE (RFO) CLAUDINE FELTHAM ON 28TH APRIL 2020:
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. The parish council thanked Claudine for all her hard work producing an excellent set of accounts for the year. Proposed Cllr Marshall, seconded Cllr Rose seconded – all in agreement.
Prior to the parish council meeting, the following list of reports were circulated:
• Bank reconciliation for current account to 31st March 2020
• Bank reconciliation for off-site play equipment account to 31st March 2020
• Bank reconciliation for hall account to 31st March 2020
• Bank reconciliation for youth council account to 31st March 2020
• Bank reconciliation for reserves account to 31st March 2020
• Cash and investment reconciliation to 31st March 2020
• Ear marked reserves to 31st March 2020
• Cash and Investment reconciliation to 31st March 2020
• Summary receipts and payments to 31st March 2020
• Detailed receipts and payments to 31st March 2020
• Trial balance to 31st March 2020
• Annual return detail to 31st March 2020
• Previous years internal audit report
• Unsigned AGAR documents for year 2019-2020
ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF THE INTERNAL AUDITORS REPORT FOR 2019-20
The parish council acknowledge receipt of the internal auditor’s report and note the actions recommended. These will be considered at the next Finance Committee meeting.
ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT:
To review the effectiveness of the system of internal control and prepare and sign Section 1 – Annual Governance Statement 2019-20 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return
Resolved: All members of Buxted Parish Council acknowledged their responsibility for ensuring that there is a sound system of internal control, including arrangements for the preparation of the Accounting Statements for the year ended 2020. This was proposed by Cllr Roberts and seconded by Cllr Coxon, all Cllrs in agreement.
ANNUAL ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS:
12.1 For full parish council to consider the Accounting Statements in Section 2 of the 2019/20 Annual Governance and Accountability Return – considered and acknowledged
12.2 Resolve that full parish council approve the Accounting Statements – Proposed by Cllr Roberts and seconded by Cllr Johnson the Accounting Statements be approved, all Cllrs in agreement.
12.3 For the Chairman to sign the annual Accounting Statements (Section 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019-2020) – Page 5 of Annual Return was signed by the Chairman and the Clerk/RFO
Public footpaths: Update of A272 verge cuttings Coopers Green/Buxted: The work to improve the footpath was carried out some three weeks ago and is an improvement. We did wonder sometimes if this would ever happen and why it was so difficult to get the work carried out. However, perseverance by the clerk and myself eventually paid off. The fact that it took three years to complete the job just goes to show how much we, as a parish council, have to exercise perseverance and politeness and be prepared to pay for the work to be done, if required.
Trees: Simon Young is gradually carrying out works to council owned trees as recommended in the three yearly check applying to WDC for works to trees covered by TPO’s were necessary.
Road Safety: Apart from Wealden wide complaints, and countrywide report about the speeding of vehicles, of which the Police are aware, we have nothing new to report, except take care.
Wealden Local Development Framework: Nothing new to report.
Dog fouling on parish council recreation grounds – We currently have issues with dog fouling reported at High Hurstwood and Buxted recreation grounds. A local resident erected some notices at the High Hurstwood recreation ground asking for all dogs to be kept on leads, but this was not a parish council initiative. The parish council should consider putting up notices to the effect that this is a shared space, so clean up after your dog and take you bags home with you. We would try this for a trial period and then, if ineffective, the parish would always consider requesting dogs be kept on a lead. Clerk to source suitable notices – agreed.
Bench at Coopers Green – previously agreed to fix the bench. The clerk would contact the handyman to arrange.
Use of Council owned play equipment – Present Government guidance is not to reopen play areas as it would be impossible to keep them clean after every use. The parish council will continue to monitor this, and clerks are in close contact with other parish councils. For further information, see Ionides Trust Update minutes below.
Reading Room Future Plans Update – The survey, although ready to be circulated has been put on hold until social distancing measures are relaxed and establishments that would receive the completed survey forms are re-opened.
Communications Matters: Nothing to update.
P1 Ian Irvine: Request to add Freelond Taylor to the War Memorial at St Margaret’s Church, Buxted – Having researched this his name is on the Holy Cross War Memorial. There was a question as to how many memorials you should have your name on, but it is not unusual for one name to be on a number of memorials. A vote was taken with 1 in favour and all others against as there is only one space left and he already has his name on the Holy Cross War Memorial.
P2 BCHT: Formal notification of the liquidation of the BCHT and the transfer of £22,534.96 to the Ionides Trust – Advice from George Claydon of the former BCHT ‘that the BCHT company was fully wound up on 11th June 2020. The balance of the BCHT funds (£22,534.96) was forwarded to the Basil Ionides Memorial Funds on 24th April 2020, subject to the general conditions agreed between the trustees of both charities’ Thanks recorded for all those who gave their time up for BCHT to work towards a new village hall within Buxted.
P3 Buxted Art Club: Looking towards restarting Art Club when Govt guidance allowed – we have received an enquiry from the Buxted Art Club about how they might consider, when allowed, to use the Reading Room safely. It was agreed that until Government advice changes and provides a further update the parish council do not need to undertake a risk assessment at this stage.
i) To ratify April, May and June invoices paid – acknowledged and ratified. Proposed by Cllr. Roberts seconded by Cllr. Rose, approved.
ii) The bank account reconciliations for April-June will be deferred until the RBS system has been filed for the year end procedures.
iii) Adoption of Employer Discretions under the Local Government Pension Scheme Policy updated May 2020 – Proposed by Cllr. Roberts seconded by Cllr. Illingworth – adopted
No other meetings
No questions from councillors.
|The meeting closed at 20.13|
Ionides Trust Update:
1. Repairs to fence and padlock missing: The remaining portion of the fencing around the small children’s play area needs to be removed. Quotes are being received but have been delayed due to suppliers being closed.
The padlock was missing on the Ionides barrier and therefore unsecured. This has been replaced – clerk to advise the surgery this has been done.
2. Mowing and maintenance as per Recreation Ground:
Is taking place on the recreation grounds and around the village
3. Play Equipment – The playgrounds remain closed and new notices have been placed as the old ones were no longer on view.
Advice for when playgrounds reopen:
For the time being playgrounds must remain closed, until Government release further guidance or instruction that they should be reopened.
Within the guidance issued to help providers plan for their reopening it is recommended that touch points on equipment are frequently cleaned with heavily used equipment being cleaned at least once during the morning and afternoon using standard cleaning equipment. The person carrying out the cleaning should also wear disposable gloves if they cannot immediately wash their hands.
Clerk to replace notice on basketball net at HH recreation ground.
4. Formal notification of the liquidation of the BCHT and the transfer of £22,534.96 to the Ionides Trust:
Advise from George Claydon of the former BCHT: ‘that the BCHT company was fully wound up on the 11th June 2020. The balance of BCHT funds (£22,534.96) was forwarded to the Basil Ionides Memorial Funds on the 24th April 2020, subject to the general conditions agreed between the trustees of both charities’ NB: can we also record this note in the minutes for the Ionides Trust.
Meeting closed at 20:17