FRANT PARISH COUNCIL
THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT
FRANT MEMORIAL HALL, FRANT
ON WEDNESDAY 16TH MAY 2012 AT 7.30PM
Present: Councillors Argue, Best, Crookshank, Hall, Harris, Mrs Howell, Mrs Myers, Rockingham, Rutherford and Wright.
Also in attendance: Sarah Codling (Clerk), and six members of the public.
1. To elect Chair
It was resolved to waive Standing Order 11 on the length of time that a Chairman may hold office and to elect Cllr Crookshank as Chairman. The Declaration of Acceptance of Office was signed.
2. To elect Vice Chair
Resolved to elect Cllr Mrs Howell as Vice-Chair.
3. To receive apologies and reason for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillor Rowland and County Councillor Tidy. All apologies were accepted.
4. To receive declarations of interests on items on the Agenda.
Councillor Mrs Myers declared a personal interest as Governor of Frant School.
5. To approve the Minutes of the meeting 18 April 2012 as a true record.
The minutes of the meeting held 18 April 2012 were signed as a true and accurate record.
6. To determine matters arising from the previous Minutes for updating and noting.
Cllr Crookshank advised the Council that ongoing discussions are taking place with East Sussex Highways. The Clerk is to arrange a meeting with a Highways delegate which will be attended by Cllr Crookshank and two other Parish Councillors. All highways issues are to be discussed at this meeting.
7. Public Forum.
Residents from Little Bayham spoke regarding the issue of speeding cars going through the Little Bayham hamlet. There has been a significant change in the demographic over recent years where older residents have left and young families have joined the area. More children are needing to catch the bus and it is becoming increasingly difficult to cross the road. There are also concerns regarding deer as there have been a number of casualties.
The sign warning drivers that they are approaching Little Bayham is very small and vegetation from trees obscures the sign. Residents are very keen to change the wording of the sign to alert drivers to children/pedestrians in the area and to slow down. Deliveries to the Forge Garage has also seen cars breaking sharply as they are not familiar with the area. Cars also slow down on the approach to Little Bayham Abbey Estate owing to poor sight lines.
It was also noted by one resident that kerosene tanks are located the other side of hedges which would be disastrous if a car comes off the road and hits it. Historically cars have come off the road but luckily have missed the tanks.
A relative of a Little Bayham resident introduced himself as having served in the police force for over 30 years with involvement in policing traffic accidents. He has witnessed approximately 4 deer accidents which has caused the road to be blocked. It was noted that the speed limit is 40mph in Kent with good signage but rises to the national speed limit in East Sussex. The road surface is immediately poor in East Sussex and the signage is limited.
Another resident agreed with the deer problem stating that he believes it has increased 10 fold in the last few years. It is also believed that the problem is greater in this area than in the Ashdown Forest.
The junction at Bayham Abbey is on the blind crest of the hill. There is a lot of traffic movement owing to approximately 40 families residing in the area. Seeing children crossing the road after getting off the bus highlights the danger.
One Councillor asked whether there should be more enforcement amongst residents as they know the road as they use it regularly. A resident responded that many houses on the road are concealed limiting the view for oncoming or joining traffic.
Councillors support the need to resolve this issue. When this matter was last raised there were fewer children in the area and the Highways Department should be alerted. There also needs to be more notice of all arteriole roads as more cars are coming through the area. A review of the speed limit should also be requested.
8. To receive Police Report.
9. To receive reports of County and District Councillors.
• The Full Council held its Annual Meeting today where Jonica Fox has been voted Chairman and Brian Redman has been voted Vice Chair.
• Cllr Mrs Howell confirmed that Wealden will not be charging for green waste, contrary to publications in local newspapers.
• The Olympic torch is coming through Wealden on 17th July. Wealden are looking for volunteers to steward. If anyone is interested in stewarding for Crowborough or Pevensey they are to contact Michelle Eldridge.
• Wealden are meeting their new council homes target of 64 new council homes.
• Safety in Action has been running within Wealden for approximately 20 years and has been hugely successful. Over 600 children go through the training which deals with a variety of safety aspects. Trading Standards also attend to advise safer shopping choices. This initiative has been a credit to Wealden as a whole to get children aware of dangers.
• There is an election on 14th June to appoint a Councillor in place of John Padfield. There are 3 candidates with nominations closing today.
10. Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.
There has been a request for a grant for Eridge Village Hall. This is to go on the next agenda.
11. Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.
11.1 To review safety issues on Frant Road, A267
Frant Parish Council has been liaising with the Highways Department at East Sussex County Council. A meeting is to be arranged with Phil Jennings and his boss to sit down and talk through all the issues at present. The meeting is to be between Highways and Frant Chairman, Clerk and two other councillors.
There is no other update.
11.2 To review proposals from Michael Higgs regarding Little Bayham Road
The positioning for the sign has been agreed. Michael Higgs has advised that any wording can be put on the sign but has recommended that too much wording may not be read by drivers. Cllr Harris proposed having two signs on a gateway, one sign depicting Little Bayham and the other alerting to children crossing the road. Cllr Harris is to decide the wording. It was also noted that there can be planting at the side of the road to make it seem narrower to help slow down the traffic. Unfortunately, progress has been slow for this project.
It is uncertain whether Highways will pay for two signs. There is to be one deer sign to be put on the east side of the village. The Parish Council are to pay for the gates which will give more power to the Council regarding design.
11.3 To discuss Inchbroom and right of way
A stile on the public right of way has been removed but subsequently replaced. However, a pill box has also been removed and listed status is to be established. The Wealden Planning Department have been approached regarding pill box status.
It was noted that the stile is not very accommodating for walkers with larger dogs.
12. Planning Matters
12.1 To approve the Minutes of the meeting 30 April 2012
The minutes of the meeting held 30 April 2012 were signed as a true and accurate record.
12.2 To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.
WD/2012/1040/FR – 2 Green View, The Green, Frant TN3 9ED
Demolish existing rear rotten porch and re-erect porch extension to side of rear porch
The Council have no objection to this application.
WD/2012/0923/MAJ – Stubbygrove Works, Bells Yew Green, Nr. Tunbridge Wells TN3 9BT
Proposed replacement industrial buildings
The Council support this application.
The following decisions were noted:
• WD/2012/0636/F – Estate Yard Cottage, Eridge Road, Eridge Green, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9JR – Proposed replacement double garage including ground floor log/garden store and first floor home office/playroom – Withdrawn
• WD/2012/0769/HR – The Oast House, Down Lane, Frant TN3 9HP – Hedgerow Removal – Refusal
• WD/2011/2493/F – Adjoining 38 Warren Ridge, Frant TN3 9EE – New dwelling (one bedroom) – Approval
13.1 To review internal audit report
The internal audit report was circulated and noted.
13.2 To approve Sections 1&2 of the Annual Return 2011/12
Councillors are to review the paperwork and Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Return is to be approved at the next meeting.
13.3 To review Financial Regulations
Again, the Financial Regulations are to be reviewed at the next meeting.
13.4 To approve Members Allowances 2012/13
The members allowances were agreed as:
Members basic allowance (maximum) £140 pa
Chairman’s allowance (maximum) £230 pa
Approved mileage payments – car 40p per mile
Approved mileage payments – motor cycle 24p per mile
Approved mileage payments – cycle 20p per mile
Additional passenger supplement 5p per mile per person
Subsistence allowance – breakfast Up to £5.50
Subsistence allowance – lunch Up to £7.50
Subsistence allowance – tea Up to £3.50
Subsistence allowance – evening meal Up to £9.50
Members opting out of collecting the annual allowance signed the relevant form.
13.5 To approve accounts payable.
A quote for £337.50 has been received from JAKK Country Furniture Designs to repair a fingerpost at Lodge Lane/Fairview Lane junction. This was approved.
13.6 To approve grant for Diamond Jubilee Celebration
The Parish Council approved a grant of £250 towards the Frant Diamond Jubilee Celebration.
13.7 To approve cost of £120 subscription to Society of Local Council Clerks
14. To review Risk Management, Insurance and Asset Register.
Councillors are to review the paperwork and discuss at the next meeting. Specific responsibilities are to be awarded to Councillors for risk management, for example, paths, allotments, play equipment.
15. To discuss Victoria Well and approve any associated costs
Susan Piccioni has grown many plants herself. There will be planting around the well and in the trough within the next few weeks. Roses around the well are to be planted tomorrow.
Susan Piccioni has been approached as to whether the Garden Club would be happy to tend to the wild flower area and the Parish Council take responsibility for the well.
The Parish Council have agreed that Burslem can site the stone seat they are donating by the Victoria Well. This has also been agreed with the Trustees of the Green. The seat will need to be tied down to stop it being stolen. The work is to be completed in the next 2-3 weeks.
16. To discuss wild flower area, Frant Green and approve any associated costs
The proposed area for wild flower planting is to be located from Mastingate up towards the High Street. However, a 1m wide path will be cut to enable people to still use the verge for walking. This has been agreed both by the Trustees of the Green and the Parish Council. Cllr Rutherford is to ask residents if they have any objections. Susan Piccioni is researching wild flowers and suppliers.
17. To receive feedback from Localism Training
Cllrs Harris, Rockingham and Wright attended the training on 20th April 2012.
Minister Bob Neill gave the ministerial key note address. He touched on the fact that Parish Councils need to have 80% elected Councillors and a qualified Clerk in order to take advantage of the provisions of the Localism Act. When this criteria has been met a Parish Council can apply for competence.
Within Localism, the provisions of ultra vires are reversed, so anything should be possible, unless prohibited.
The precept may be capped by percentage. Councils must scrutinise their precept and how it is budgeted as more expenses may be the responsibility of the Parish Council.
In the future, the Government are looking to create approximately 260 new parishes.
18. To discuss Eridge footpath
This item is to be discussed at the meeting with the Highways Department, ESCC.
19. To review Frant Football pitch.
Frant School are happy and thank the Parish Council for allowing them to use the pitch. A youth team from the village are to use it on Saturday and, therefore, wish the goalposts to remain. It is also to be used for a rounders game in a few weeks.
The hut is constructed like a prefabricated office, not a sealed container. Cllr Argue needs to look inside the hut in order for a quote to be given. There is a quantity of equipment (eg. Football boots) still in the hut.
The Clerk is to look at records to see whether the roof has asbestos or whether any work has been completed. The Clerk will also contact Ron Thompson to find out if he is aware of any work at the hut.
20. Correspondence for noting.
21. Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.
There are two large pot holes in the High Street which are becoming dangerous. Highways are to be contacted.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 9:00pm