FRANT PARISH COUNCIL

THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT

ERIDGE VILLAGE HALL, ERIDGE

ON WEDNESDAY 16TH NOVEMBER 2011 AT 7.30PM

Present: Councillors Crookshank (Chair), Argue, Mrs Best, Harris, Mrs Myers, Rockingham, Rutherford and Wright

Also in attendance:Sarah Codling(Clerk), County Councillor Tidy, Scott Lipa (Wealdlink)

1. To receive apologies and reason for absence.

Apologies were received from Cllrs Hall, Mrs Howell and Rowland.

Councillors send their best wishes to the Howell family and wish Tim a full and speedy recovery following recent health issues.

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

None.

3. To approve the Minutes of the meeting 19 October 2011 as a true record.

Bullet point 4 under the County report is to have the last sentence amended to ‘Cllr Tidy was asked for some similar signage to be erected as inBunny Lane.’

Bullet point 5 under the District report is to be amended from ‘A number of people do not go to events because they cannot get there, for example the electric blanket tested which showed 40% of electric blankets in use are faulty.’ to A number of people do not go to events because they cannot get there.’

Following the above amendments, the minutes of the meeting held 19 October 2011 were signed as a true and accurate record.

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

None.

5. Public Forum – time limit 10 minutes.

None.

6. To receive Police Report.

No report has been received from the Police for this meeting. However, Councillors reported that they are receiving the Wealden Neighbourhood Watch reports.

7. To receive reports of County and District Councillors.

County

  • The Council are beginning to get clarity surrounding the broadband initiative. The Government are to present ESCC with £10m. The County Council is to then put in £15m which matches the Government’s £10m and an extra £5m is to be put towards satellite broadband. BT is to put a final £25m to help distribute broadband aroundEast Sussex.

However, it is believed that even if fibre optics are available to all houses there will still be 8-10% of population not getting good broadband. The County Council is to identify these people and supply them with satellite broadband at a cost of £300 per household or business (£200 for equipment and £100 to install). The monthly cost of satellite is still unknown.

Cllr Tidy reported that the quality of high speed band is considered to be 100mb. Each community is to have a fibre optic box. Broadband will travel along 6km of cable getting weaker as it goes. Within a community each household will be less than 6km from the exchange.

The timetable is to be within the next 18 months. However, the Government appear to be slow to release their £10m.

When the Localism Bill comes in the County Council will lose their rate support band but will keep all business rates withinEast Sussex. At the momentEast Sussexis very poor regarding the number and size of businesses so need to grow the number of businesses which will then grow the amount of money the County has. Therefore, the Council is very keen to promote broadband.

Installing high speed broadband will mean some road works, dependent on area.

  • There will be a County Council tax freeze again this year. Next year it is proposed to continue the freeze but this will present a position in 2013 where the Council will need to find an increase of inflation plus 2.5%. It is anticipated that this increase will be spread over 2 or 3 years instead of one big increase.
  • Children in care have reached a record level and is unsustainable. The Council are looking at ways and means to try to bring this number down. It is proposed that instead of children being automatically taken into care when various agencies report a problem of neglect or abuse, they are going to work with the parents and have one to one relationships in order for the problem with the parents to be resolved. This may be expensive but less so than having a child in care.

Councillors questioned whether there is an increase in adolescent in care. Cllr Tidy responded that it is mainly young children as opposed to adolescents in care.

District

No report.

8. Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting

The Chairman has received information about money which is available for youth groups in Frant. This is to be sent to Rev. Packman for the Church Youth Group and also to the Bells Yew Green Cricket Club.

9. Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.

9.1 To receive update regarding traffic calming works at Bells Yew Green.

The work nearly finished. However, an issue has arisen about where the bus stop is situated. Currently, when passengers are getting off the bus they have to walk around the corner on the road with lots of traffic or scramble up a slope. The Parish Council have asked East Sussex Highways to put a footpath around there.

Also, it was reported that at the village hall there is a ramp down one side of the road to the other side but no path off the island.

There is a site meeting with Michael Higgs on Thursday at 3pm.

The proposed playground in Bells Yew Green is to be situated round the back of the village hall. This is a protected area and off the road. There are 16 people on the committee and various groups have been consulted. Fund raising is underway.

10. Planning Matters

10.1 To approve the Minutes of the meeting 7 November 2011.

The minutes of the meetings held 7 November 2011 were signed as a true and accurate record.

10.2To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.

ESCC, Town and Country Planning Order – Restoration of land using imported soils (retrospective) together with proposed regarding and landscaping works.

Tyburn House, Ely Grange Estate, Frant

The Council supports this application

WD/2011/2175/LB – 42 High Street, Frant TN3 9DU

To install steel beams to allow greater access between existing room and new extension already with planning consent.

The Council supports this application.

Responses

WD/2011/1964/LB – 1 Park View, Frant TN3 9DA – Replace 3 UPVC windows with wooden windows to the rear first floor – Approved

WD/2011/1507/F – Land at Fairview Lane, BroadwaterForest, Eridge TN3 9LU – Erection of boundary fencing – Approved

11 Finance

11.1 To approve accounts payable.

The accounts were approved as per Appendix A.

11.2 To review the budget for 2012/13

Some discrepancies with the budget need to be looked into. Also, the finances for the Royal Wedding Street Party need to be detailed. The Clerk is to review the budget report.

12 To receive report from Weadlink Transport Services (Scott Lipa)

Wealdlink is a service providing transport to elderly parishioners who are unable to access public transport. The Parish Council would contribute a cost of approximately 29p per person. Most Parish Councils pay £5,000 per year.

The service is run using volunteer drivers and passenger assistants. Wealdlink operate 5 days a week and travel mostly to Tunbridge Wells and Crowborough. A trip toEastbourneis available once a month but is not subsidised by parish.

The ethos behind Wealdlink is affordable transport enabling community trips and shopping. It is a not for profit charity which was initially supported by ESCC.

It is proposed that, should Frant Parish Council be interested, a trial be undertaken on a Tuesday and Friday. This will assess the need within the parish. The service available to the parish could then be reviewed.

Each passenger is telephoned before the driver leaves the depot to ensure that travel is still needed and to confirm approximate time of arrival. Passengers are picked up from their home and taken to a prearranged place. Upon returning home, passengers are helped with their shopping into the house. Each passenger from Frant Parish would pay between £3 and £5 for return travel to Tunbridge Wells.

Councillors were concerned that providing this service could possibly reduce the number of people using public transport. However, Mr Lipa confirmed that passengers using Wealdlink do so because they are not mobile enough to use public transport and it provides a door to door service. Also, transport passes cannot be used on Wealdlink buses so would be an additional cost to passengers.

The buses are wheelchair accessible. Also, drivers assess whether people get lost and whether they need carers to go with them in future.

All Councillors are in favour of providing this service to the parish.

Mr Lipa will arrange letter drops to advertise. He also meets with community groups and a new website has been launched. Usage also expands through word of mouth. The Council will also try to advertise in parish news.

Mr Lipa is to invite the Council to the next partnership meeting. The Council is to consider trialling every second Friday and maybe also Tuesdays with the option of travel to Tunbridge Wells or Crowborough.

A Councillor for Frant ward is to be nominated as a link between the Council and Wealdlink.

13 To receive report from Cllr Tidy regarding Community Transport

The school catchment area forUplandsSchoolhave reported a shortage of transport for youth to enable them to go swimming, to Tunbridge Wells and other activities.

The County Council are setting up a service whereby they will put in an initial sum and then expect the scheme to become sustainable in it’s own right.

A group called the Rother Reaction Group are doing work on behalf of the council. The scheme needs various groups to support financially in order for it to gain sustainability.

Frant Parish Council currently feel more inclined to serve older residents as the matter of transport for youth is not seen as an urgent problem particularly having Frant Station in the Parish. Cllr Tidy is to keep the Council updated regarding progress to maybe opt in at a later stage.

14 To review the Parish Plan

Owing to the importance of this item it was suggested that time be dedicated at the next planning meeting to review the parish plan. Each Councillor is to review the plan and highlight what they believe to be important. The budget is also to be discussed so the Council knows how much money is available to spend.

15 To discuss plans for Little Bayham Road/B2169

This item is to be covered at the next planning meeting as it feeds from the parish plan.

Discussions have started with Highways and a safety audit and traffic survey have been carried out. It is believed that Highways are to be sympathetic to do something for both roads and may impose a speed restriction. Councillors questioned whether the Parish Council will have support from ESCC. Cllr Harris responded that ESCC have taken a back seat as discussions have taken place with Michael Higgs but overall give their support.

On theSussexwebsite there is a transport and highways scrutiny agenda. It shows a review of all speed limit changes made over the last 3 years and the effects they have had. In the main, they have had very little effect. Councillors noted that road engineering (build outs, chicanes, etc.) have a greater effect. The report was recommended to Councillors to read for ideas.

16 To receive update regarding the Victoria Well.

Cllr Argue has spoken with Susan Piccioni and has explained what is happening at the Victoria Well. The Trustees of the Green are to be approached. A quote of £160 has been received to complete work.

17 To receive update regarding tree on Frant Green

The tree has been disposed of. Councillors expressed their thanks to Cllr Argue for his work.

18 To receive update regarding Football Club

The Clerk is to contact the Football Club.

19 Correspondence for noting.

  • A streetlight needs replacing onEridge Road(column P36) at a cost of £919.89. Councillors approved the spend.
  • The Clerk is to write to the management of Eridge Village Hall regarding the noise of heating.

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

The Clerk is to attend the Clerks Networking Day, 5th December 2011.

Frant Councillors are to decide who is to lead on the Wealdlink Initiative and advise the Council at the planning meeting, 5th December 2011.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 9:05pm.