FRANT PARISH COUNCIL
THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT
VILLAGE HALL, BELLS YEW GREEN
ON WEDNESDAY 15TH FEBRUARY 2012 2011 AT 7.30PM
Present: Councillors Crookshank (Chair), Argue, Mrs Best, Hall, Harris, Mrs Myers, Rockingham, Rowland and Rutherford
Also in attendance: Sarah Codling (Clerk), District Councillor Padfield, PCSO Sarah Roberts, Sgt Mike Keeler and 4 members of public
1. To receive apologies and reason for absence.
Apologies were received from Cllrs Mrs Howell, Wright and County Councillor Tidy.
2. To receive declarations of interests on items on the Agenda.
3. To approve the Minutes of the meeting 18 January 2012 as a true record.
The minutes of the meeting held 18 January 2012 were signed as a true and accurate record.
4. To determine matters arising from the previous Minutes for updating and noting.
5. Public Forum – time limit 10 minutes.
Subsequent to the concern raised at the last meeting regarding pedestrian safety on Frant Road, A267, it was reported that Mrs Helen Payne, Road Safety Officer at East Sussex County Council has been in contact. Unfortunately, budgets have been slashed and accidents have to happen before any action is taken. Mrs Payne expressed concern regarding what has happened but the only thing she is able to do is to enact the necessary procedure to pursue a pelican crossing should it wanted. Only one request is needed so the member of the public initiated the request. So far there has been no mention of who would pay for the crossing.
Frant School have been approached and, unfortunately, would be unable to afford the crossing as they have already paid for one in Church Road.
It was questioned whether a ‘kill your speed, not a child’ poster could be put up at the side of the road. Mrs Payne agreed to visit the site and report back to Mr Shefford of her findings.
Mr Rogers, Road Traffic Engineer, stated that hedges can be cut back on the Abergavenny Arms side of the road to give a few extra inches of pavement.
The Chairman advised that he is hoping to have a site meeting with Highways. There is concern regarding who would pay for a pelican crossing but it could be a good plan.
The public voiced concern that more people will be crossing the road now the evenings are getting lighter.
Residents within the village are willing to draw up a petition. However, this has not been initiated as Mrs Payne has confirmed that petitions do not necessarily improve success rates.
6. To receive Police Report.
• There has been an attempted break to the old Buckhurst Works. This property has been sold and new people should be occupying soon.
• Some fridges were stolen outside Frant Shop. The fridges were put outside for a farmer to pick up in the early morning but they were stolen overnight.
• A Street Meeting is to be held in Shernfold Park 28th February 2012 at 2pm.
• The Crowborough Joint Action Group meeting is 10th April 2012 at 10am. Anyone is welcome to attend.
• There has been an increase of poaching in the area. The Police are to target poaching. Residents are prompted to be aware of vehicles out and about and to advise the Police if they see anything unusual at night time.
• Councillors questioned that there seem to be a lot of oil (fueld and heating) burglaries. PCSO Roberts advised that Operation Wellhouse is currently underway and the oil thefts fall under the category of shed and barn breaks. Residents are encouraged to advise the Police of any unusual activity as it is necessary to establish where to put resources as it is difficult to pin point targets in a large rural area. Progress is being made, albeit slowly.
• Cllr Mrs Howell recently attended a meeting where it was stated that crime has reduced by 4% overall although house burglaries have increased. There are more house burglaries but mainly in Uckfield and Pevensey. One isolated event saw 3 burglaries in Crowborough Town.
• Intelligence is being gathered regarding scrap metal thefts. An Operation is underway in a couple of weeks. Tools will be marked up and people made aware of what is happening. Residents are encouraged to mark and secure what they can.
• The Frant crime rate is low, approx. 1%.
7. To receive reports of County and District Councillors.
• Wealden are to keep the tax rate the same as last year. A Government grant of 2.5% has been awarded to help with any funding shortage.
• Parish Councils can now borrow money to build its own affordable housing.
• East Sussex Fire Brigade are not merging owing to funding
• A meeting to officially set Council Tax is to be held 22nd February 2012. The Police and Fire Brigade budgets are still outstanding.
• A focus group has been set up in Wealden under chairmanship of Roy Gully to help businesses in the District.
• Under certain conditions tenants are able to purchase council houses. The District Council is then allowed to keep the resulting money to reinvest in houses. This is a new initiative. All houses purchased by tenants are older houses, not new build.
• Properties are being built in the district on council land.
• Rent for Council tenants is to increase by approx. 8.5%. There was no increase last year.
• Councillor Padfield was asked to speak with the enforcement officer regarding Bakers Yard. Councillors have been advised that trees and hedges are being pulled up that were not on the planning permission. A site visit is to be requested.
8. Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.
An email has been received from the Chair of Frant Football Club stating that the Football Club is no longer in existence and is unlikely to be revived.
The Parish Council, therefore, need to make decisions regarding the land. The school is to be approached as to whether they would use the land or buildings.
However, if the school does not require usage the Council believe it is an asset to be retained within the village.
Councillor Mrs Myers is to speak to the Chair of the Football Club as a water bill has been received which seems quite high. There may be a leak. Alternatively, the water supply may also serve the allotments.
9. Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.
9.1 To receive update regarding gates at Bells Yew Green.
The yellow lines have been extended beyond the station.
The safety audit has been completed for the current works. All work is satisfactory but cars are still parking outside the station. Yellow lines are to be painted going further away from the station towards the siting for the new gateway.
Reports show that the traffic calming has worked well so far.
PCSO Sarah Roberts has not needed to issue any tickets since the building works have taken place.
9.2 To review safety issues on Frant Road, A267
The Parish Council have written to Rupert Chubb, ESCC Highways. The letter has been endorsed by County Councillor Tidy. Despite chasing we are still waiting for a response.
Once a response has been received the Council will arrange a site meeting.
The project has support from both County and Police.
10. Planning Matters
10.1 To approve the Minutes of the meeting 6 February 2012
The minutes of the meeting held 6 February 2012 were signed as a true and accurate record.
10.2 To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.
The following instruction was noted:
WD/2011/2606/FE – Forgewood House, Eridge Park, Eridge Green TN3 9JE – Extension of time of WD/2008/2526 (covering three car parking spaces so as to create 2 no. car ports and an enclosed store) – Granted
11.1 To approve accounts payable.
11.2 To appoint internal auditor
The Clerk is to seek 3 quotes from auditors to bring to the next meeting.
11.3 To agree financing for Victoria Well
Councillor Mrs Myers has spoken with Susan Piccioni of the Garden Club. It was agreed that the initial planting should be in coordination with the Jubilee celebrations, ie. red, white and blue colouring. This can be reviewed for subsequent annual plantings.
Permanent planting was discussed. The Garden Club proposed grasses but Councillors believe it should be more formal. A planting list/plan has been requested from the Garden Club. Councillor Mrs Myers advised that there would be some funding available but requested that some work was completed through the Horticultural Society.
The Council thanked Councillor Argue for the work he has completed for the Victoria Well.
Funding of £100 for soil and £50 for plants for 2012 was approved. A meeting is to be held to agree permanent planting.
12. To review action for broadband bid
The Clerk has been advised by ESCC that no further action is required by the Parish Council. However, information regarding the broadband project will be put on the Council website and noticeboard.
13. To discuss Diamond Jubilee celebration
An application for funding has been received from Eridge for an event on 3rd June 2012 in Eridge Park. The Council believe this will be organised well and approved a £250 contribution. The Clerk will ask how the organisers wish to receive the funds (ie. pay a supplier direct) and whether the Council can assist with advertising on the Parish website.
An event is also organised in Bells Yew Green for 4th June 2012. An application for funding a jazz band has been received. The Council approved a £250 contribution. Councillor Rockingham advised that he has been approached to be the Treasurer for the event and, therefore, will advise how the grant is to be paid.
Frant are proposing a street party, to be organised by The George. The Council have been approached to aid funding for a church tower beacon. Councillor Mrs Myers has spoken to Rev. Packman who is happy for a gas fired church beacon. This is at a cost of £299+VAT and will be available for future use. The Council asked for a written request to be submitted for consideration at the next meeting.
14. To discuss plans for the Annual Meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting is to be held 14th March 2012. Boards advertising the event are to be put up in advance of the meeting. The Clerk is to ask Rev Packman whether he knows where the poster boards are stored. The Clerk will also ask Rotherfield Parish Council where they get their posters printed.
Cllr Mrs Myers agreed to co-ordinate refreshments. Cllr Crookshank is to organise wine and Cllr Argue will provide the glasses.
Organisations to be invited to speak include RSPB, Wealdlink and Frant School.
The meeting has been publicised in the Parish news and will be advertised on the website. The village shops will also be approached to put up posters.
Councillors are to invites speakers now for responses to be back to the Clerk by Wednesday 22nd March so information can be printed on the poster.
15. To review items to include on Village Maintenance schedule for East Sussex County Council
The annual Village Maintenance schedule has been received from ESCC for the Council to complete. The Parish Council agreed that the following work needs completing:
• Clear blocked drain located just before High Rocks, on a bend.
• The road signs are covered by hedges outside Bells Yew Green village hall.
• The village sign on south side of village has been covered with graffiti.
• The pathway on Frant Hill needs clearing.
The Clerk will also ask if fly tipping is cleared as Dundale Road and Bells Yew Green Road have been targeted.
16. To discuss Eridge footpath
The project of re-establishing the footpath in Eridge has received a lot of support within the village. The RSPB are in full support of restoring the footpath and own the land adjacent to the previous trail. The Nevill Estate are also in support and still have a covenant on the land.
The footpath is necessary as walkers and cyclists travelling from Crowborough to Tunbridge Wells find a ¾ mile stretch of road is missing. It is possible to still see where the old path was situated.
Cllr Mrs Best is to suggest to interested parties to come to the next Parish Council meeting to express their views. The Council need to speak to highways regarding the process of reinstating the footpath. The Clerk is to ask Michael Higgs for a contact. Michael Higgs will also need a map of the area. Cllr Mrs Best is to obtain and send to the Clerk.
17. Correspondence for noting.
18. Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.
• Cllr Argue has received a request regarding the lack of deer signs in the Parish, especially on the Frant Road, A267. PCSO Sarah Roberts advised the Council that this subject was mentioned at a panel meeting and it was decided that signs are to be erected at specific times when deer are more prevalent. A request will be put in for signs to be put up in Frant.
• The Chairman advised Councillors of a training event on 20th April 2012 on the subject of Localism. The Chairman will be attending and he recommended that Councillors attend as the Localism Bill now has Royal Assent. Cllrs Hall, Harris and Rockingham volunteered to attend.
• The Clerk will be receiving her annual appraisal in the next few weeks.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8:30pm.