FRANT PARISH COUNCIL
THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT
VILLAGE HALL, FRANT
ON WEDNESDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2013 AT 7.30PM
Present: Councillors Crookshank(Chair), Rutherford (Vice Chair), Mrs Best, Hall, Harris, Mrs Kinley, Rowland and Wright.
Also in attendance: County Councillor Standley, PCSO Sarah Roberts, Barbara Cornell (Stand-in Clerk)
The Chairman opened the meeting by giving an announcement that the Clerk, Sarah Codling, had given birth to a baby daughter on 17th September 2013. The Chairman and Parish Council all wished mother and baby well and their hearty congratulations to be passed on.
1. To receive apologies and reason for absence.
Apologies were received from Cllrs Argue, Mrs Howell, and Mrs Myers. Apologies were accepted.
2. To receive declarations of interests on items on the Agenda.
Cllr Wright Declared his Personal Interest in item 11.2 as he was related to the signatory on the letter of request for a grant to Frant Memorial Hall.
3. To approve the Minutes of the meeting 17 July 2013 as a true record.
After clarification of 9.1 for Cllr Wright, the minutes of the meeting held 17 July 2013 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.
A resident attended to complain about the poor information made available by Wealden District Council relating to a proposed planning application regarding Oak Tree House. He felt that the information supplied had been so poor that the validation of the application had been brought into question. The Chairman felt that the Parish Council had followed normal procedure and that comments had been made, as usual, by email.
6. To receive Police Report.
PCSO Sarah Roberts reported break-ins to local outhouses in Wadhurst and advised caution in the Parish as there were increasing incidences of this type of crime. She also reported that Speedwatch was about to be re-launched with PC Ali Shadbolt taking over responsibility for the scheme. Cllr Best asked if the police had any input to the recent traffic survey conducted in the village, but they had not. The issue of uncontrolled dogs on the land behind the Church where livestock was kept was discussed as there continued to be tension between dogwalkers and the livestock owner. PCSO was thanked for her Community News reports which were helpful. Action: PCSO Sarah Roberts to speak with livestock owner.
7. To receive reports of County and District Councillors.
• A petition raised about speed on the B2099 had been investigated and the main speed driven has been deemed to be 40mph. The County is not happy to change the speed limit with that result but Cllr Standley agreed to continue to monitor the situation.
• The County budget still needs to find savings and it is proposed to reduce the grants to the District Council. In particular, the home building grants are disappearing but Cllr Standley is campaigning against this.
• Cllr Hall asked Cllr Standley why there were so many out of date road signs left at the sites of completed roadworks. He produced one of the signs as an example for Cllr Standley to take back to officers to make the point that finishing the works should include clearing up.
• Cllr Rutherford asked for information about reporting and dealing with Japanese Knotweed as a resident had found some in the Parish.
• 1297 children attended the activity day.
• The small grants scheme would be available again this year with bids being invited until 30th November 2013. Bids for Capital Projects of between £1,000 and £10,000 would also be considered for community projects but not from Parish Councils. Cllr Rutherford asked that residents be encouraged to apply. The Chairman asked Cllr Mrs Kinley to check whether an application for Bells Yew Green Playground should be encouraged.
• It had been reported that 95.6% of residents were happy with the new refuse collection service. This still meant that over 3,000 households were not happy as their bins had not been collected. Wealden thinks that this will improve to 99.8% as they are now imposing financial penalties on the contractor but Wealden acknowledges that it would be preferable to have the bins emptied rather than receive the fines.
8. Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.
9. Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.
9.1 To receive update following SLR meeting
9.2 To discuss zebra crossing on A267
9.3 To discuss parking outside Frant Stores
The Chairman reported on the meetings related to these matters. The costs for a Zebra crossing had been advised at about £30,000 but had now risen to £97,000 as road widening would be required. The suggestion now is for a Puffin crossing not a Pelican crossing as this would come in slightly cheaper at £77,000 and would be more user friendly for the pedestrians. It is proposed to tackle Frant Stores parking issues at the same time by limiting the parking there to half an hour. After allowing for the funding already in place, there remains a shortfall for that project of about £50,000. East Sussex Highways offers matched funding for Parish schemes and there may be scope for additional highways funding, possibly from the safety near schools budget. Cllr Standley had offered to look into this. Cllr Mrs Kinley asked for an item for the Parish News so that the public could be updated. Action: Cllr Standley and relevant Cllrs to provide News reports.
9.4 To discuss slowing down traffic around Frant Green
Cllr Hall reported on this item. He felt that traffic was so fast at the moment that speed bumps would definitely be an answer. The Chairman suggested that the relaunch of the Speedwatch scheme might help find candid pokies a solution and PCSO Sarah Roberts agreed that Speedwatch would be very good to confirm if speed was an issue whilst at the same time educating the public about their speed. It was agreed that this may well be a good candidate for the new 20mph village zones being introduced and should be put on the SLR agenda. PCSO Sarah Roberts queried whether Frant would want gates like Bells Yew Green and the Chairman explained that this was probable but the details were not yet decided. Action: Cllr Hall for Speedwatch and Clerk for SLR
9.5 To discuss proposed parking area for school parents
Cllr Mrs Kinley reported that this matter would raise an insurance issue which could not be resolved so it was agreed to shelve this matter.
9.6 To approve cost for repairing Bells Yew Green gateway feature
The Clerk reported that this had been discussed and agreed at the Planning meeting so Highways had been instructed to carry out the repair.
10. Planning Matters
10.1 To approve the Minutes of the meetings 5 and 19 August 2013
The minutes of the meetings held 5 and 19 August 2013 were signed as a true and accurate record.
10.2 To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.
WD/2013/0813/F – Frant C of E School, High Street, Frant TN3 9DT
WD/2013/0814/LB – Frant C of E School, High Street, Frant TN3 9DT
Demolition of rear 20th Century extension (toilets, cloakrooms and staff kitchen) and conversion of existing old school into a single domestic dwelling.
The Parish Council supports these applications but would make the following comments.
The Parish Council has discussed this application with particular reference to the Velux windows and the impact of the development on the neighbours. The Parish Council acknowledges that the improvements are to a listed building in a prominent position in the High Street and would ordinarily expect Velux windows not to be in keeping with such a building, however, the proposal would create an attractive building which the Parish Council feels is acceptable.
The neighbours have raised an issue about the loss of privacy regarding the extra Velux windows and have pointed out that the site plan provided does not accurately show the positioning of the buildings in relation to each other. This application has been considered on the basis of the information provided but has concerns that this information may be inaccurate and therefore misrepresents the actual impact of the proposed development on the neighbours.
11.1 To approve accounts payable.
After the Clerk had provided details of new NALC payscales applicable from 1st April 2013 it was agreed to apply these scales to the two Parish Council employees with effect from that date.
The accounts were approved.
Payee Name Transaction Detail Chq Ref Amount
ISS Facility Services July grass cutting 637 864.00
Z McGregor-Gould August cleaning duties 638 86.66
S Codling August salary & mileage 639 674.05
HMRC August tax & NI 640 1.87
Tate Fencing Posts for Frant Green 641 714.84
Playsafety Limited Playground inspection 642 117.60
East Sussex County Council BYG Gateway repairs 643 3,020.00
ISS Facility Services Landscaping August grass cutting 644 432.00
Z McGregor-Gould September cleaning duties 645 86.66
S Codling September salary & mileage 646 685.59
HMRC September tax & NI 647 40.78
Frant Memorial Hall August & September hire 648 42.00
11.2 To discuss and approve grant to Frant Memorial Hall
The Clerk had received a letter requesting a grant for the Memorial Hall in order that a series of refurbishments could be made. The Village Hall Committee had sent a letter out to residents requesting donations and it was reported that there had resulted many promises of donations from residents. After discussing the matter, Cllr Hall proposed a donation of £500 should be given; this was seconded by Cllr Harris and agreed by the Parish Council. Action: Clerk to send letter in reply to request.
12. To review Play Area Inspection.
This matter would be deferred to Matters Arising at the next meeting. Action: Clerk
13. To discuss fingerposts that need repairing
Although a fingerpost at Hawkenbury Road/Dundale Road had snapped, it was agreed not to proceed with a repair at the moment.
14. To discuss land by the Police House, Frant which has been fenced in
Cllrs Wright and Rowland had some information about the history of this land as there was a feeling that the Parish Council may have some ownership of it. They were not aware of any legal documents which would prove ownership so it was felt that a land search should be carried out to determine the ownership. Action: Clerk
15. To discuss oak tree outside Tollgate, Frant which has received interest from the Conservation Officer, Wealden District Council.
Cllr Hall reported that he had a postcard dated 1905 showing the oak tree and calling it The Ancient Manor Oak. Action: Cllr Hall to contact Conservation Officer
16. To discuss waste collection in the Parish
This item was discussed and noted under the County Councillor’s report at item 7.
17. Correspondence for noting.
Nothing to note.
18. Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.
• Bench by cricket pavilion is damaged. It will probably require a whole new bench. Action: Clerk to obtain quote from Thorpes.
• Complaint received about posts lying on the green. It was thought that the quote had been approved and was awaiting action by Cllr Argue. Action: Cllr Argue.
• Two unsightly signs had appeared outside the Tate works. Action: Cllr Rutherford to raise with planning.
• Cllr Wright pointed out that the notice outside the shop contained out of date contact information. Action: Clerk to update notice board.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8:57pm.