Minutes of the meeting of the Council held in the village hall, High Hurstwood on Tuesday 12th February 2013 at 7.50 p.m
|Present:||Cllrs. Warner (who took the Chair), Dopson, Harding, Manchester, Rose, Sheard, Skinner and Treacher.Also present: ESCC Cllr A Reid and the Clerk Malcolm Wilson.|
|Public :||10 members of the public were in attendance. They were welcomed by the Chairman and the clerk explained the rules governing public participation.On behalf of a number of High Hurstwood residents present, Morna Cox expressed concerns over the public meeting run by the High Hurstwood Village Green Committee held on Thursday 8th February 2013. They felt the question of bollards on the verge should not have been put to the public vote given the Buxted Parish Council (High Hurstwood Ward) meeting being held on 28th February about parking issues generally. She felt the vote should be disregarded. There had been a lot of information to absorb and no indication had been given in advance that any votes would be taken. She also asked for clarification of press comment that the Recreation Ground could be handed over by the Parish Council to the High Hurstwood Village Green Committee to run.
The Chairman confirmed that it was Parish Council policy to retain ownership and control of this valuable public amenity itself. People will be encouraged to attend the meeting on parking, and she did not think that bollards would be installed purely on the basis of a vote in favour last Thursday. (This point was clarified later in the meeting by Cllr Manchester, see minute 11/02/13)
Mike Smith, representing the fledgling allotment society, explained the broad background to the paper on this topic which had been circulated to councillors in advance of the meeting. He also provided draft documents and agreements etc. This matter was more fully considered under Minute 04/02/13
|01/02/13||APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCEApologies received and accepted from Cllr Blandford|
|02/02/13||DECLARATION OF MEMBERS INTERESTS.Cllrs. Blandford, Dopson, Sheard, Skinner and Warner declared personal interests in any matters relating to the community hall by virtue of being members of the Hall or Ionides Trusts appointed by the Council.|
|03/02/13||MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGThe minutes of the meeting held on 8th January 2013 were signed by the Chairman as a correct record of the meeting.|
|04/02/13||ALLOTMENT SOCIETYA detailed proposal had been submitted and circulated in advance to councillors with comments from the Clerk. On the proposal of Cllr Rose it was agreed that the Chairmen of the Property Committee (Cllr Rose) and the Finance Committee (Cllr Warner) would review the proposals with the Clerk and make recommendations to be considered and agreed at the next Parish Council meeting.|
|05/02/13||ESCC REPORTESCC Cllr Reid reported on budget setting day at ESCC. The net revenue budget was down 4.4% to £380m, but demand for services continues to rise, creating pressure. The gross revenue budget was £800m but over half this goes straight to schools with little or no influence by ESCC. The four year capital budget is £416m with four main projects taking the bulk of this to help grow the economy – the Bexhill to Hastings link road; improvements to the port infrastructure at Newhaven (which will be the service port for the new south coast wind farm); high speed broad band for rural areas ( it is expected contracts will be signed by the autumn and two years from now most rural areas will have much improved broadband speeds); and a £30m investment in the library infrastructure. Pot holes are a major problem and central government has provided additional funding of £2.3m over two years to help. Until the weather improves only temporary fixes can be made, proper repairs will have to wait. Cllr Manchester asked why last years repairs were opening up already – weren’t they done properly? ESCC Cllr Reid said this had been discussed at ESCC budget meeting but it was very difficult to make a perfect repair that can resist frost and water ingress over time. Cllr Treacher asked about the erosion of the sides of roads by surface water. ESCC Cllr Reid agreed this was a problem – kerbing can help but many people thought this reduced the rural nature of the locale and made roads look more suburban.|
|06/02/13||PARISH COUNCIL NEWSLETTERNothing to report at this stage
|07/02/13||OUTSTANDING MATTERS Item 1 Youth Council: Nothing to report
Item 2. Public Footpaths: Nothing to report
Item 3 Trees: Nothing to report
Item 4 Road Safety: An e mail from Ian Thomas concerning parking issues in Church Road had been circulated by the Clerk. Cllr Skinner described the situation and how a delivery vehicle had been unable to get passed parked cars and wondered how emergency vehicles would cope? The parking diary initiative has lapsed with the resignation of Cllr Seddon but it is acknowledged there are difficulties in Church Road, Gordon Road and Framfield Road. Cllr Manchester though we could do something about “bad” parking, potentially putting leaflets on cars parked “badly” asking them to be more considerate and providing information on their parking needs and habits to the Parish Council. The Clerk felt this would need input from the Police, who have responsibility in Wealden for parking control. He will approach the PCSO/emergency services to seek their views.
Item 5 New Community Hall: The Chairman reported that the Certificate of Lawful Development for the Reading Room had been approved. This will enable the footprint of the new hall to be as large as possible. A concept plan has been submitted to Wealden which seems, on first impressions, to be finding favour with the Planners. The next step is for formal plans to be drawn up for public consultation.
Item 6 Wealden LDF: i) Core strategy This has now been published and is available on the Wealden DC web site. The Clerk has a paper copy ii) Localism Nothing to report
Item 7 Property Issues: High Hurstwood Recreation Ground – Bonfire issues – the Clerk had circulated notes of a meeting held on Saturday 2nd February with representatives from the Bonfire Society. It was agreed that the conclusions seemed sensible, although the reaction of one member of the Bonfire Society to ignore all the Parish Council requests was regrettable. The key issue for the Bonfire Society to resolve is insurance – if the bonfire is to be built in advance they must have insurance cover for public liability for this period. It is expected arrangements can be finalised at the regular Property Committee in May
Item 8 Parish Council Website: Nothing to report
Item 9 Parish Plan It was noted that the Chairman and Beccy Macklen had started organising a working party to get things moving
|08/02/13||CORRESPONDENCEP1 – Rotherfield St Martin – invitation to attend networking meeting on 210213 – noted
P2 – D Morris – request for small (5-10 mins) firework display at wedding on Buxted Rec on 250513 at about 10 pm – agreed, subject to sight in advance of insurance policy
P3 – P Hollands, Y Griffiths and M Cox – letters re public meeting held in High Hurstwood – covered in the public session and subsequent report by Cllr Manchester
P4 – I Thomas – parking in Church Road – covered in minute 07/02/12/4 above
|09/02/13||COMMITTEE MEETINGSNone held|
|10/02/13||FINANCEi) Payments – on the proposal of Cllr Warner, seconded by Cllr Dopson payments totalling £3,901.49 covered by cheques 224 to 233 were approved
ii) Bank reconciliations – these had been circulated and were signed at the meeting
|11/02/13||OTHER MEETINGSCllr Manchester reported at length on events leading up to the High Hurstwood public meeting run by the High Hurstwood Village Green committee. This is attached as Appendix 1 to these minutes but the key points were:
- discussions over the Recreation Ground had been covered for over a year in Parish Council minutes which are available on the Parish Council web site
- the two public meetings have been held to gauge the level of local support for the ideas
- Buxted Parish Council has given broad support in principle to the plans, but would expect there to be demonstrable public support locally
- minutes of the latest meeting will also be on the parish council web site once approved by the Chairman of that meeting, Mr Bob Tidy MBE
- it is believed that approval to changes to the pavilion and storage facility will ultimately be made by Wealden District Council following a planning application
- any changes to the verge (which is owned by East Sussex County Council), including the possible installation of bollards, village feature etc will ultimately have to be approved by East Sussex County Council Highways officers
- a meeting, led by the Parish Council, to review parking issues will be held on 28th February 2013 at 8pm in the high Hurstwood village hall, all welcome!
Cllr Dopson had attended the AGM of the Buxted Community Hall Trust – minutes of the well attended meeting were on the Parish Council web site
Cllr Warner had attended a Wealden DC planning training event, accompanied by Cllrs Skinner, Blandford and Beccy Macklen. This had covered enforcement, the Core Strategy, the 7km Ashdown Forest exclusion zone. Interestingly the 7km distance was set by surveying dog walkers on the Forest about where they had come from etc. By setting the distance at 7km it covered about 90% of walkers. In answer to a question, it was said that if nitrogen levels do not fall it might be necessary to extend the zone.
Cllr Skinner had attended an Ionides Trust meeting. Playground repairs, the site of the new village notice board and the in-surgery pharmacy had been covered. The new pharmacy will only dispense drugs, it will not be a retail operation. A covenant will be built into the agreement and the surgery rent will increase accordingly. The Chairman of the Trust will be standing down after 10 years at the next AGM.
|12/02/13||MEMBERS QUESTIONSCllr Manchester asked the Clerk if he had written to the Community Rail Partnership requesting a contribution towards the parish council’s costs of £42.00 for printing the rail questionnaire in the summer as requested at Novembers Parish Council meeting – the Clerk acknowledged it had slipped his mind.
Cllr Manchester asked about Wealdlink. He wants more information on the finances of the service and feels the number of journeys provided does not offer good value for the money spent.
Cllr Manchester asked if Tim Sparrowe from Wealdlink had made contact with the Clerk – not recently
Appendix 1 to minutes of 12th February 2013 – see minute 11/02/13 above
HHWVH Plans and Parking
A report from Cllr G Manchester
BPC representative on the HHWVHC / VGC
BPC: Buxted Parish Council
HHWVH or HHWVHMC: High Hurstwood Village Hall Management Committee
HHWVHMC/VGC: Village Green Committee
HH or HH: High Hurstwood
WDC: Wealden District Council
ESCC: East Sussex County Council
BPC Rep: Graham Manchester
HHWVH VGC meeting held 7th Feb High Hurstwood Village Hall. 20.00
This was not a BPC arranged meeting.
However, BPC has since received three letters bringing various items to our attention for which I thank those who have taken the trouble to contact us (it is easy really and we do take notice) and in my report I have taken into consideration the points raised in the letters concerning the meeting and hopefully will offer the answers to the points raised:
Five of which include:
“our concerns and opinions not taken into account”
“plans bulldozed through”
“all of village has not been consulted correctly”.
Let me refresh your memories with this date line
All these meetings and decisions are minuted and displayed, on line, and throughout the parish on the notice boards.
At the BPC meeting on Dec 2011 there was a request for HHWH to take over recreation ground,
The council refers this request to the BPC property committee
At the BPC property committee held on 3rd January 2012 they reject the request.
1.2.2012, HHVHMC /vgc meeting
100 people + in attendance and the consensus for the changes to the recreation ground and surrounding areas was positive by shows of hands but, not binding on anyone, it was indicative that the majority of hh residents were in favour of some changes.
The BPC were not involved at this stage which needed addressing as the HHVHMC are a non elected body and above all the BPC own the recreation ground.
At the full PC 14th Feb 2013 where, further to the property committee meeting on January 3rd 2012, BPC agreed it was not in the best interest for HHVHMC to take over the recreation ground.
It was also considered a good idea a rep from HHVHMC join the property committee, but, also, a BPC rep join HHVHMC and therefore sat as an invited observer on the vgc to make sure for the benefit of correctness all the proposals were available for public viewing and when under discussion were published and displayed correctly.
September 2012 HHVHMC revised plans were shown to BPC rep
BPC rep, plus vice chair and clerk, attend meeting also to be shown plans.
In principle, we agreed with the plans and set out the item for the full council consideration under item number 7 at the BPC meeting 13th November 2012 and that we would recommend support by the BPC.
Note : All documented, in the agenda, and minutes are available on line and on all the notice boards within the parish.
At the BPC meeting in Dec 2012 it was noted there was going to be another public meeting early 2013 so no further action was taken at this time
The public meeting was convened on the 7th February by hhwvh/vgc this was not a BPC meeting although we were obviously involved , and in full agreement with the proposals.
At this stage the BPC had agreed with the proposals and no one had come forward to the BPC with any issues or objections to the contrary since the first public meeting in February last year.
The revised plans, largely reduced from the original I must say, and proposed to us are all subject to official approvals of course but had been fully advertised and publicly available to all the residents of the civil parish of Buxted this does of course include High Hurstwood.
The HHVHMC are not an elected body so, the meeting was taking place only to gauge opinion, and, if indeed the proposals could be adopted.
The Votes taken was by a show of hands and only usable to gain the amount of interest from those attending. The chairman of the meeting then asked for a show of hands for a number of proposals and all met with considerable approval from the audience with a small number of attendees (8?) walking out and not giving the meeting the benefit of their own thoughts by a show of hands which was a shame.
A copy of these minutes are also available on this website: Notes of public meeting to consider High Hurstwood Recreation Ground proposals
I believe I am right in what I am saying, that both the plans for the hall and verge need to be approved by two authorities; the planning committees of BPC /WDC for the hall extension, and ESCC for the verge.
Although as I have said previously, we had in principle seen nothing wrong in any of the plans and not having received any letters of concern or attendances at parish council meetings to offer any views from the residents of Buxted Parish; the BPC had already agreed to approve the plans. The show of hands was really to gauge opinion only.
However; we were concerned about the issues raised at the meeting last week about parking in the village. We have a similar problem in Buxted and as we all know we have a country wide problem with parking anyway.
This was the first time the BPC had heard of any issues despite all the previous proceedings being advertised in the normal and proper way.
The consideration from me at the time, I suggested that as I understood the showing of hands was really only to gauge the thoughts of those assembled in the hall and that parking could be discussed later but in any event the majority were happy with the proposals.
However at that time and now since the letters have been received I also felt the issues concerning parking go further than just the verge, therefore, for the first time in many many years a BPC High Hurstwood ward meeting has been properly called to identify the parking issues.
This will be held on the 28th February here (HHWVH). Parking is the only issue on this agenda but i hope if the meeting is successful we can make them more frequent so that High Hurstwood residents can let us know what issues they are concerned about and how we can assist in the future.
My personal hope is also that it may also assist in any future communication issues.
Cllr Graham Manchester
Report to the Full BPC Council.