FRANT PARISH COUNCIL
THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT
FRANT MEMORIAL HALL, FRANT
ON WEDNESDAY 18TH JANUARY 2012 AT 7.30PM
Present: Councillors Crookshank (Chair), Argue, Mrs Best, Hall, Mrs Howell, Rockingham, Rowland, Rutherford and Wright
Also in attendance: Sarah Codling (Clerk), County Councillor Tidy, 9 members of public
1. To receive apologies and reason for absence.
Apologies were received from Cllrs Harris and Mrs Myers.
2. To receive declarations of interests on items on the Agenda.
3. To approve the Minutes of the meeting 21 December 2011 as a true record.
The minutes of the meeting held 21 December 2011 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.
Members of public in attendance expressed concern regarding road safety in Frant on the main Frant Road, A267.
Last week a 4 year old boy was nearly run over on the way from school. Residents expressed worries that the new school has been put in a situation where some traffic problems may not have been correctly assessed/appreciated.
The Council were advised that Mr Shefford, Head Teacher at Frant Primary, gives his full backing to any safety features that can be implemented and is very concerned. The pavements are very narrow either side of the A266 and traffic are brushing against you when walking to or from the school. The pavement is especially narrow opposite the Abergavenny.
It is believed that many people are not aware of the school’s existence. There is a school sign but it is in a precarious position. There is no pelican crossing and the island is only capable of accommodating 2 adults.
Residents thought that one solution would be to adopt a flashing sign as in Hurst Green. This can be switched on only during school pick up times. Highways have been contacted and residents spoke to two traffic officers, Joe Read and Ian Johnson. Highways were asked whether it is feasible to put railings on the side of the Abergavenny or a pelican crossing and what would the cost be. Unfortunately, all enquiries require a 10 day turn around.
The public wished to make the Council fully aware of the feelings of parents at the school who are beside themselves with worry and face this issue daily.
Councillor Mrs Howell advised that the Council have been aware of this situation and have endeavoured to help, where possible, by cutting hedges. East Sussex County Council need to be consulted before any further comment can be made. Moving signs have previously been considered.
County Councillor Tidy advised that Michael Higgs, currently working on the Bells Yew Green traffic calming works, could get involved.
Councillor Crookshank advised that the Parish Council have debated this issue in the past. He believes the suggestion regarding railings is excellent. Five Ashes have a similar situation whereby railings are on the side of the pavement by the school which could help set a precedent. The idea of a 20mph restriction controllable by the school during pick up time is a very good idea and will not grossly interfere with traffic on the A267 as it will only be for half an hour either end of the day.
Councillor Tidy will ensure this information is brought to the attention of Highways Officers. The Parish Council will also make a petition to Highways, with the full backing of Councillor Tidy. The parents of the child involved in the near accident last week will document the incident and send to the Clerk to include in a letter to Highways.
6. To receive Police Report.
7. To receive reports of County and District Councillors.
• Councillor Tidy drew the attention of the Parish Council to the extremely good report regarding fostering. Previously, there has been criticism re fostering and adoption and the time it takes. East Sussex had an Ofsted inspection and were congratulated on all aspects of their fostering service.
It is important to keep finding fostering parents and any potential people interested in fostering should contact ESCC. Many London Boroughs want to find people to foster within East Sussex and Kent.
• The County Council is promoting heating for elderly and vulnerable people. This is a little late for this year but, if a system is in place, and people in need are identified then they can receive help and are ready for next year. Support is not just financial as advice and guidance are also given.
If anyone knows of someone in need please advise ESCC.
• The WARR Partnership (Weladen and Rother Partnership) has been running for nearly 20 years promoting rural/farming schemes, including forestry. However, owing to funding ceasing, the Partnership comes to an end in December 2012. If anyone has any schemes they are to be put forward now.
• The Big Election for the youth saw 9,000 children voting, an excellent turnout. The main priority across the Authority is youth transport. This has been the case for several years but was emphasised above everything else in the vote.
Councillor Mrs Howell mentioned that the Leisure Working Party looked at community transport in Wealden 5 years ago, and is a problem across the district. Uplands has just received help to fund community transport. Mrs Howell said she is disappointed that Frant are not supporting this venture as many children do go to Uplands. Currently there are more children in the area than previously and Cllr Mrs Howell would like Frant Parish Council to rethink this decision in the future.
Councillor Crookshank noted that Wealdlink can be sponsored privately for groups of young children but Frant Parish Council are mainly supporting older generation at present. It is possible to ask via the Parish News for input as to whether people are interested.
Councillor Tidy advised that ESCC have put a lump of money upfront for the scheme but wish it to be self-sustaining. The Wadhurst Partnership are funding the training of drivers. Wadhurst Parish Council are thinking about putting some money in to book a number of trips and Ticehurst have been approached to get involved. Councillor Tidy said he would be grateful for Frant Parish Council to think about this decision.
Councillor Crookshank welcomed any feedback from Councillors.
• The Local Development Framework went before the inspector today. Many developers are pushing their thoughts forward, mainly against Wealden as Wealden want to keep number of houses low. Developers are trying to overturn the LDF saying it is unsound. This is a 3 week process.
• The Consultation Document for strategic sites has gone out today.
• The Vision for 2015 has been launched –workshops are being held, starting at the end of the month. This vision has received input from all District Councillors as to where Wealden is going forward in 2015.
• The initial part of the Waste contract been signed. The contract is looking how Wealden is to save money, along with 4 other councils.
• The Leisure contract has been awarded back to Freedom Leisure. This is subject to substantial savings, set targets and subject to monitoring. Many leisure centres are to be reviewed.
8. Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.
An email has been received regarding the development near Frant Church. Councillors advised that these are privately owned warden assisted homes called ‘Home Court’. They are advertised occasionally in the press. They are not council property.
9. Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.
9.1 To receive update regarding gates at Bells Yew Green.
Councillor Crookshank had a meeting with Michael Higgs, Highways, last Monday regarding some issues with the works at Bells Yew Green.
Yellow lines are to be painted past the station. This has not been done previously as commuters have moved cones to park there.
There is congestion in the middle of the village as cars are parking too close to the cut out. The yellow lines are to be extended a further 2 parking spaces.
The sites for the proposed gates were viewed. This looks positive and quotes are being sought.
Councillor Crookshank asked Michael Higgs regarding the footpath in Eridge and who should be contacted.
Councillors noted that the bank outside Bells Yew Green village hall needs rebuilding. The Clerk is to contact Michael Higgs.
10. Planning Matters
10.1 To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.
There were no planning applications to consider.
The following instructions were noted:
• 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
• WD/2011/2413/F – Tangier Farm, Tangier Lane Tunbridge Wells TN3 9HE – Proposed porch and semi-basement gymnasium below sun room (as approved under WD/2007/0308/F)
• WD/2011/2619/F – Tunbridge Wells Borderers Sports Club, St Marks Recreation Ground, Frant Road, Tunbride Wells TN2 5LS – Renewal of planning permission for container for sports items (WD/2009/2249/F and WD/2007/2530/FE)
11.1 To approve accounts payable.
The accounts were approved as per Appendix A.
12 To review the Parish Plan
This item is on the agenda in error. However, Councillor Crookshank advised that a meeting has taken place with Hgihways regarding Little Bayham and the footpath in Eridge.
This item is to be under review but not covered at every meeting. The main priority of Frant Parish Council is now to be the School and the A267 pavement.
13 To review action for broadband bid
A project has been registered on the Rural Broadband website as per recommendation from East Sussex County Council. The Clerk is to contact ESCC as to whether further work needs to be undertaken.
14 To review asset list and note items to be put on ‘register of interest’ under Localism Act
This item is on the agenda in error. Councillor Crookshank has contacted Wealden regarding protecting pubs and shops.
15 To review problem of cars speeding along Frant Hill
This item was covered under the public forum.
16 To discuss Diamond Jubilee celebration
Celebrations are to be held as follows:
Bells Yew Green – 4th June, Monday
Eridge – 3rd June
Frant – TBA.
Councillor Wright is to ask at The George when they envisage holding their celebration. It is hoped that no celebration will conflict.
17 Correspondence for noting.
18 Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.
• Councillor Crookshank asked all councillors to email him with comments for the appraisal of the clerk.
• Councillor Rowland asked whether anyone from Bells Yew Green could circulate leaflets for Wealdlink. Councillor Crookshank volunteered.
Councillor Rowland reported that publicity is going well so far.
• Councillor Rockingham has spoken to Peter at Lambs Larder regarding the Henry Smith distribution. He is happy to be involved.
• The Clerk asked whether maintenance could be undertaken at the Bells Yew Green noticeboard. Councillors agreed and Graham Thorpe is to undertake the work along with the work at Eridge bus shelter.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8:40pm.