THE MINUTES OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD AT FRANT MEMORIAL HALL

ON WEDNESDAY 17TH MARCH 2010 AT 7.30 PM

Present: Councillors Crookshank (Chairman), Mrs Best, Burgess, Harris, Mrs Howell, Mrs Myers, Rowland

and Wright.

Also in attendance: County Cllr. Tidy, Sergeant Etherington and 8 members of the public.

1.            TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES AND REASON FOR ABSENCE

Apologies received from Cllrs. Gray, Hall and Hewes.

2.            DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS

Cllr. Crookshank declared a prejudicial interest in item 10.1 planning application WD/2010/0401/F Sunninglye Farm as a neighbour; he made a representation as permitted under 12 (2) of the Code of Conduct and left the room during discussion of this item.

3.            TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD 17.02.10 AND PLANNING 3.03.10 AS TRUE     RECORDS

Resolved to approve the Minutes of the meetings held 17.02.10 and 3.03.10 as true records.

4.            TO DETERMINE MATTERS ARISING FROM THE PREVIOUS MINUTES FOR UPDATING

AND NOTING

None.

5.            OPEN FORUM

Report of litter picking by residents in Bells Yew Green.

Request for an update on car parking issues at Broomfield. Chairman reported that a meeting is to be held between ESCC officers responsible for traffic calming and traffic management to consider the way forward.

Charles Hendry MP has attended the site and has been in contact with ESCC.

The Police are supportive of resolving the parking problem and advised that a number of parking tickets have been issued due to vehicles causing an obstruction.

6.            POLICE REPORT

There have been 5 deer related accidents in the last month.

The Police have been liaising with ESCC to address the severe pot holes caused during the winter; work continues to try and make the roads safe.

There has been an increase in traffic policing with speeds checks and number plate recognition systems being used. Members of the public are encouraged to report traffic related issues under the Operation Crackdown scheme.

7.            TO RECEIVE THE COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

Report that the Police Authority is concerned at the number of killed and seriously injured road accidents; Wealden is one of the worst areas. There is currently a campaign to catch motorists for drink/driving and anti-social driving.

Construction of the new school at Frant starts 22.03. A tribute was paid to Ron Mead, who recently died, and had worked for many years to achieve a new school for the parish.

Following negotiations between ESCC and the districts/boroughs, ESCC Cabinet has approved a scheme of recycling credits. Approval is awaited from the districts/boroughs. There is a central government target for 50% of household waste to be recycled by 2010.


8.            TO RECEIVE THE DISTRICT COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

Report on performance for first quarter of 2010 with 68% of targets being exceeded.

Kerbside recycling has started in the parish. The existing paper and cans recycling facilities will remain at the Memorial Hall with usage being monitored.

Work continues on the Local Development Framework. It has been acknowledged that the existing infrastructure has limited capacity.

9.            HIGHWAYS, TRANSPORT AND LIGHTING ISSUES

9.1          To consider repair of steps on Frant Green opposite play equipment and any action required due to     subsidence

The wooden steps on Frant Green opposite the play equipment have worn away and are uneven.  Report received that the railway sleepers on the edge of the green opposite Frant Court need to be realigned and the steps to the green opposite the shop need some attention.

Resolved to accept quotation from Graham Thorpe of £360 + VAT to replace steps opposite play equipment and straighten existing protective posts which have been knocked by vehicles. In addition Mr Thorpe to be authorised to carry repairs to the sleepers and other set of steps. (Open Space Act 1906 s2).

Sections of the green near Gable Cottage have collapsed. It was suggested that the subsidence may be due to damaged water pipes beneath the surface and enquiries to be made of the water authorities.

Report that vehicles are parking on the green at Shernfold – Chairman to talk to residents.

9.2          To ratify additional expenditure for fingerpost at Bells Yew Green

JAKK was unable to repair the fingerpost as agreed 17.02.10 item 10.1 as the wooden post was damaged. Resolved to ratify a replacement post at a cost of £1030 + VAT; payment authorised under LGA 1972 s137 as the fingerpost is considered to be an important part of the rural environment.

9.3          To consider any action required regarding ‘A’ boards

There has been an increase in boards being placed on the pavements/roadside verges to advertise local businesses. Advertising on the highway is controlled by licence from ESCC. Members commented on the need to achieve a balance between the support of local businesses and the danger of excess signage causing a distraction for drivers. It was agreed to monitor the situation.

10.          PLANNING –

10.1        To make recommendations on planning applications received

WD/2010/0102/F & 0103/CAC The Stables, Church Lane – demolish existing church hall and replace with new build church hall

Resolved to make the following recommendation:

Frant Parish Council supports this application for a new church hall which will provide a much needed community facility. Conditions should be imposed to restrict use of the premises as follows:

  • living accommodation only to be used by someone attached to the church
  • the building must be tied to the church
  • no external lighting without prior planning approval.

WD/2010/0401/F Sunninglye Farm, Dundale Lane, Bells Yew Green – increase number of units (tents) from 6 to 7 and increase size of new build Sussex barn

Resolved to make the following recommendation:

Frant Parish Council supports this application for an increase in the number of units and the size of the barn. The business is considered a suitable form of diversification of the farm land and brings tourism to the area.

WD/2010/0386/LB Frant Station – repairs and refurbishment of internal and external area

Resolved to make the following recommendation:

Frant Parish Council supports this application for much needed repairs to this listed building.

Approval notices from Wealden District Council:

WD/2009/2228/F – wildlife hospital at Fairview Lane, Broadwater Forest.

WD/2009/2105/FE – extension time for construction of business units at Benhall Mill Road.

10.2        To consider progression of a Local List of buildings/structures of local importance

WDC is looking to progress work on a Local List of buildings/structures of importance to the local area. Ward members to consider any appropriate items for inclusion in a Local List – further discussion diarised for the June meeting.

11.          TO RECEIVE UPDATE ON NEW WEBSITE

Sample screens of the new website were reviewed; members were pleased with the visual content and the ease of navigation around the site. Ward members to liaise with local clubs/organisations for information to be included within the community section. An article on the new website to be included in the next parish newsletter.

12.          TO RECEIVE REPORT ON ALLOTMENTS

Some of the allotments are very untidy and being used to dump unwanted household items, others are overgrown and not being cultivated. It was considered that this area needs to be improved as the new school is being built on adjacent land. It was agreed to invite plot holders to an informal meeting to consider how to progress the issue.

Building contractors for the new school advised that due to the delay in obtaining planning permission for the development, a water supply has not yet been established on site. Members agreed to the request to link up with the water supply at the allotments with usage being controlled by a meter.

13.          TO CONSIDER COMMENTS MADE AT THE ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

The Annual Parish Meeting was well attended and the launch of the Parish Plan was a success. At the meeting a comment was made regarding the emptying schedule of the recycling containers at the Memorial Hall and this has been resolved. The access road to Tyburn Buildings is being monitored by WDC Enforcement; planning permission is still in force for the lodge building.

14.          FINANCE

14.1        To review effectiveness of internal audit

A risk-based Audit Plan was presented to the council 21.10.09 and approved. An initial inspection was undertaken 15.09.09 and reported to the council 16.09.09; a further inspection will be conducted at the year end. Internal Audit is considered to be effective.

14.2        To re-appoint Internal Auditor

John Roberts has been the internal auditor to the parish council since May 2007. He is considered competent to carry out this role due to his experience with local government; he is also independent of any financial controls and procedures for the council. Resolved to reappoint John Roberts as internal auditor 2010/11.

It was noted that a change of auditor should be considered every five years.

14.3        To approve accounts payable

Resolved to approve accounts for payment as listed in Appendix A.

15.          CORRESPONDENCE FOR NOTING

Correspondence was reviewed and noted.

16.          URGENT ISSUES AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN FOR NOTING OR INCLUSION ON FUTURE            AGENDA

None.

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