FRANT PARISH COUNCIL

THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT

FRANT MEMORIAL HALL, FRANT

ON WEDNESDAY 15TH JUNE 2011 AT 7.30PM

Present: Councillors Crookshank , Harris, Mrs Myers, Rockingham and Rowland

Also in attendance: Sarah Codling (Clerk), County Councillor Tidy, two members of the public

1.            To receive apologies and reason for absence.

Apologies were received from Cllrs Mrs Best and Mrs Howell.

2.            To receive declarations of interests on items on the Agenda.

None.

3.            To co-opt Councillors

It was proposed by Cllr Rowland to co-opt Mr David Wright of Frant  as a Councillor for Frant Ward.  This was seconded by Cllr Mrs Myers and all Councillors agreed.

4.            To approve the Minutes of the meeting 18 May 2011 as a true record.

The minutes of the meeting held 18 May 2011 were signed as a true and accurate record.

 

5.            To determine matters arising from the previous Minutes for updating and noting.

  • A quote has been received from Graham Thorpe of Thorpe Building Ltd regarding the repair work for the posts around Frant Green.  Councillors approved the quote and the Clerk is to contact Mr Thorpe.
  • Invoices are still outstanding from the Frant Film Club regarding the aerial and licence for the Royal Wedding.

6.            Public Forum – time limit 10 minutes.

None.

7.            To receive Police Report.

There is a meeting to be held in Broomfield, Bells Yew Green at 11:00am 16 June.  Cllr Rockingham to attend.

8.            To receive reports of County and District Councillors.

County

  • The Localism Bill is going through the House of Lords.  It is hoped to have the Bill through the House of Lords and have Royal consent by September 2011, to be effective early Spring 2012.
  • Ringmer, near Lewes, has been chosen to develop a village plan which will be used when the Parish Council has more authority in planning.  The village plan will enable the Council to check if planning applications fit with views within the village.  With the passing of the Bill, it may mean that District Councils will be hard pressed to go against Parish Council views, as Parishes will have more influence.

County Councillor Tidy advised Frant to review the existing parish plan to ensure it fulfils all needs.

  • Views are split as to whether land will become available for development if Parishes have more impact within Planning.  Relationships will certainly change between the Council and residents.
  • The Police and Police Authority are to make savings of £50m over 4 years.  It has been guaranteed to maintain Neighbourhood Policing for 2 years, with only minor changes being made.

£47m reductions have been made via a Voluntary Severance Scheme offered to civilian staff.  It was hoped to reduce numbers by 550 staff, however only 340 positions were lost through the scheme.

West Sussex have amalgamated the two existing districts.  The reduction in senior staff will create a saving.

A review of building assets is being undertaken.  It is being explored whether more modern buildings are available in place of the existing Victorian buildings which are costly to maintain.  Alternatives have to be put in place before existing arrangements are ceased.  Buildings will be purchased or rent, depending on suitability.

A review of the use people make of Police Station front desks has also taken place.  Less people come into stations as use of phone or email is preferred.  The front office is mainly used for people reporting on bail.  This is now completed by arranged appointments as staff and opening hours for the front office are being rationalised.

Policies are in place preventing the ability to make police officers redundant, except for those who are at full pensionable age.  Losing such staff could constitute ageism and would reduce the amount of experience.  The policy was put to vote and it was carried in favour of the Chief Constable having the ability to ask police to retire.  This will only affect levels up to Chief Superintendant.  A concession has been put in place that the Chief Constable has to report to County every year to review progress.

District

None.

9.            Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.

It has been noted that the residents of Bells Yew Green are keen on supporting the creation of a footpath between Bells Yew Green and Frant.

10.          Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.

10.1        To receive update regarding gates for entrance to Bells Yew Green.

No update has been received from Michael Higgs, ESCC.

It was noted that the Parish Plan requested the extension of the 30mph limit necessitating moving the gate further back.  Councillors expressed concern that the speed review would take too long.  County Councillor Tidy advised that currently the Council would have to go to the Department of Transport for the review.  However, this is in the process of being changed and the County Council will have more authority and reduce the delay.  Further information regarding the gates will be sought.

10.2        To receive update regarding the Speed Limit Review as carried out by Highways.

This item relates to the speed limits around Little Bayham.  A support group has been initiated and further information is to be received from Michael Higgs, ESCC.

This will be revisited in 3 months.

11.          Planning Matters

11.1        To approve the Minutes of the meeting 6 June 2011.

The minutes of the meeting held 6 June 2011 were signed as a true and accurate record.

 

11.2       To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.

WD/2011/1064/FR – Land to rear of 6 Little Bayham Cottages, Little Bayham, Lamberhurst TN3 8BD

Retrospective planning permission for a parking area

The Council object to this application as it is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and within designated park and agricultural land.  The work will spoil the character of the cottages and covering the area with concrete is not appropriate.  It is also beginning to develop land for inappropriate use.

However, if the Council are mindful to accept the retrospective application, there should be a condition restricting planning consent for buildings.

WD/2011/0394/F – 2 Bayham Abbey Farm Buildings, Bayham Abbey, Lamberhurst, Nr. Tunbridge Wells TN3 8BG

Installation of solar panels to south-east elevation of roof, installation of air source heat pump to north-east wall and erection of barbecue hut/shed.

The Council supports this application.

12.          Finance

12.1        To approve accounts payable.

Work has been completed for the fencing around the allotments.  Jake Waterson has put in a lot of hard work, for which the Council express their thanks.  It is also noted that the Council are very pleased with the completed work.  The total cost for materials is £2120.16.  The Council have agreed to fund the surplus £120.16 not covered by the grant we have received.

The accounts were approved.

The Clerk advised the Council that the end of year accounts were proving difficult to reconcile due to different accounting methods between the existing and previous clerks.  An internal audit is due to take place, whereby the Clerk will confirm the accounts are correct.  It was, therefore, requested that the Chairman be granted delegated power to sign the accounts upon completion.  All Councillors agreed.

13.          To discuss the Victoria Well.

The Garden Society have agreed to consider taking over responsibility of the upkeep of the Victoria Well area.  It is believed that they may also look at other community plantings.

14.          To discuss the Albert Well.

Ivy needs to be removed.  However, this may be a problem due to health and safety risks due to the location of the ivy.  It was requested that Graham Thorpe be approached to quote for the removal of the ivy.

15.          To discuss proposals regarding Eridge Railway

Proposals have been put forward to reopen the line that was closed in 1960s.  The Council give their full support to this scheme.  Clerk to write to URLPC.

16.          To adopt rota for writing Council report in Parish News

A rota was proposed to the Council designating each ward to take responsibility to write the report for specific Parish News editions.  The following rota was proposed:

Ward Deadline for report Parish News Edition
Frant 15 December January
Bells Yew Green 15 February March
Frant 15 April May
Frant 15 June July
Eridge 15 August September
Frant 15 October November

The rota was approved by all Councillors.

17.          To review sewage problem in Bells Yew Green

The waste pump servicing the road outside Broomfields is not sufficient to allow drainage and dispose of ‘solid’ waste.  This is causing problems in the area and many residents have commented on a smell.  Environmental Health have visited the site following 5 complaints from residents and taken samples of waste water.  However, there were no signs of waste cross contamination.

The area should be maintained by Pinnacle Property Management Limited and Bells Yew Green Management Company Limited, with both companies registered at the same address.  Pinnacle have relinquished responsibility.

Environmental Health are to send a letter to residents stating that it is their responsibility to maintain the pumps.  However, once the overflow spills out onto the street it will become a matter for Highways.

The Council feel that this issue should be resolved by the residents of Broomfield.

18.          To receive update regarding Glebe Land

An email has been received from the Property Director, Diocese of Chichester to arrange a meeting to discuss the matter further.  Cllrs Harris, Mrs Howell and Mrs Myers to attend the meeting.

19.          Correspondence for noting.

An email has been received from the Clerk at Rotherfield requesting information about whether Frant Parish Council has a Tourism Councillor and whether we will be continuing holding meetings in Eridge as they do not have any public attending their meetings.  Frant Parish Council are to respond that there is no Councillor solely responsible from Tourism.  The Parish Council will also continue to meet in Eridge as we wish to include the ward and still have some members of the public attend meetings.

Permission has been requested to use Frant Green for an event in support of the 2012 Olympics.  The Trustees of Frant Green are to be approached.

20.          Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.

The Bells Yew Green Village Hall Society are fundraising for a play area.  A meeting is due to take place.  Cllr Rockingham is to be involved as representative of the Council.  Cllr Rockingham requested that the Clerk send details of the company used in the Frant play area project.

The bus shelter by the Abergavenny Arms is damaged with some wood hanging down.  Graham Thorpe is to be approached regarding repair work.

Some tree trunks have been felled on Frant Green and the resulting wood has not been removed.  The Chairman has spoken to the owner with the anticipation that it will be removed imminently.

 

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8:55pm.