FRANT PARISH COUNCIL

THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT

VILLAGE HALL, BELLS YEW GREEN

ON WEDNESDAY 19TH OCTOBER 2011 AT 7.30PM

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

Also in attendance: Sarah Codling (Clerk), County Councillor Tidy, PCSO Sarah Roberts

1.                   To receive apologies and reason for absence.

Apologies were received from Cllrs Hall and Mrs Myers.

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

None.

3.            To approve the Minutes of the meeting 21 September 2011 as a true record.

The minutes of the meeting held 21 September 2011 were signed as a true and accurate record.

Cllr Mrs Howell advised the Council that she had received a phone call from a resident of Frant who’s daughter lives in Fern Close.  Concern was voiced about the condition of the road during periods of snow and enquired whether the Council will be installing a grit bin.  Cllr Mrs Howell advised that, unfortunately, the Council cannot purchase a grit bin for every residential road and have, therefore, purchased 4 grit bins for strategic points within the Parish.  Should residents wish a grit bin in their road then it would have to be privately funded.

During this phone call the importance of planning application notices on noticeboards was emphasised as not every resident uses the internet.

The Clerk updated the Council regarding the progress of the grit bins.  The Clerk had chased East Sussex County Council regarding the whereabouts of the bins.  She had been told that ESCC do not send out invoices but required payment before they are installed.  Payment  has been sent and we are awaiting news as to when they will be delivered.  This information is to be put on the Parish noticeboards to advise residents.  Cllr Mrs Best advised she will put it on the community page of our website.

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

All items are on the agenda.

5.            Public Forum – time limit 10 minutes.

None.

6.            To receive Police Report.

A police panel meeting took place 2 weeks ago.  A request was made regarding the possibility of a no cold calling zone within the Parish.  If the cold calling zone is initiated a sign would be placed in the locality advising restriction.

The police spoke to trading standards who advised that there is no money for this at the moment as all criteria has been filled until after Christmas.  PCSO Sarah Roberts asked whether the Parish Council would support a project of this nature.  Trading Standards would do most of the work involved if the Parish Council is in agreement regarding publicising to residents who may be interested.  The scheme is to deters cold callers but also gives the elderly confidence to say no if anyone approaches them.  Councillors noted that this matter was discussed 3 years ago where it was decided that Frant did not suffer from cold calling enough to justify additional signage in the village.  It was agreed that this would create a cluttering of signage for a problem that does not exist.  The subject is to be monitored and reviewed.

There have been a number of reported shed barn breaks.  There is currently a peak at the moment and the police are trying to make people aware and lock up.  The offenders are mainly opportunists.

Man hole covers have been taken from roads by men working in the middle of the day, dressed in high visibility jackets posing as employees from the Highways Department.  Vans have a light on the top to disguise themselves as Council vehicles but do not have any Council logos on the side.  Should anyone see this taking place they should try to take a photo or get a registration number if it there is any uncertainty regarding legitimacy.

PCSO Roberts asked how to advertise street meetings better.  It was suggested that it may be worth putting on the parish website.  PCSO Roberts is to contact Cllr Mrs Best.

7.            To receive reports of County and District Councillors.

County

  • It has been decided by Cabinet to close Hookstead care home in Crowborough.  This will be completed slowly between now and January.  Those in permanent residence are to be relocated.

The home comprises of only 32 rooms and very expensive to run due to it’s size.  There are no en-suite facilities and reflects a previous age.  New homes have been built in Crowborough, Wadhurst and Heathfield justifying that places such as Hookstead should close.  Recently, residents have been brought from all over the County to keep it inhabited.  The only proposed problem is for people who go for day care.  The future of day care to be decided in January.

  • A consultation has started concerning business rates.  Business rates are set and collected by Government who now wish to make it the responsibility of local government.  However, Central Government will not relinquish setting of the rate.  Consultation may be sent to Parish Councils to answer.
  • A consultation is currently underway to determine a waste management plan.  The consultation will decide whether or not ESCC will join Brighton and Hove and South Downs Authorities to have one waste management plan across the area.  There will be no land raise or land fill, the Authorities will find alternative ways of using the residue.
  • An ongoing consultation is in effect to make some definite signage for Wadhurst Road between Frant & Wadhurst to indicate it is a dangerous stretch of road.  Cllr Tidy was asked for some similar signage to be erected in Bunny Lane.
  • At an address from deputy chief constable at County Council the PCSOs were recognised for playing a huge part making sure nothing happened in Sussex at the time of riots.  Many residents also showed their appreciation.  However, PCSOs are getting new powers shortly which were approved at a Police Authority meeting.  New powers include the power to search for alcohol & tobacco, Section 27 power to disperse people causing disturbance, ability to confiscate alcohol, more power to detain (not arrest) people and the ability to deal with people who fail to clear up behind dogs.  The powers were approved last week but will take some time to take effect.

District

  • Transformation was discussed today at Cabinet.  This is still going forward but there is no new news.  The annual review of Wealden District Council Health and Safety Performance has seen a slight setback  This is mostly due to waste collection as Wealden have used agency staff recently who need to be trained more.
  • The Complaints Annual Review is going well.  The number of complaints are going down and are being dealt with well.
  • The Leisure and Wellbeing Strategy has been presented.  The community in Wealden have no particular problems and work hard at sustaining a good community.  This is proven by the lack of complaints regarding youth and provisions for the elderly.  It was emphasised that it is very important that community feel valued.
  • Cllr Mrs Howell attends a joint action group which is a sub-committee of the Safer Wealden Partnership.  The action group asks Councillors, PCSOs and the particular community if there are any problems or needs.  The group will fund new cameras and support ‘quality streets’ through cleaning up.  Frant do not attend these meetings so it was suggested that it might be something the Council would be interested in attending.  The next meeting is 8th November 2011 in Crowborough.
  • A request has been received from one of our residents for community transport.  This issue is very important, particularly for older people.  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.  Other services which are available at such events are the Citzens Advice Bureau and financial advice.  Concern was voiced that we should give aid to more people.
  • The Sussex Summit advised that there will be police and crime commissioners appointed for East and West Sussex.  The Commissioners will have responsibility for a pot of money which can be allocated to anything in the community.  Where necessary, it is very important to put a case forward to secure funds of money the Council have previously had available to the parish as the new appointed Commissioner will not have experience of how the money has been used historically.
  • The Planning Policy has gone forward.  Many people were invited to the consultation, including developers.  The objective is to decide if the core strategy should be modified.  Further events are to take place.  However, without core strategy parishes will be open to development anywhere.

8.            Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.

Scott Lipa from Wealdlink has sent his apologies as he could not attend this meeting due to illness (item 13).  The chairman distributed leaflets outlining the services offered by Wealdlink.

Wealdlink currently has a 12 seater mini coach operated by volunteer drivers.  The coach will collect people from their house at a set time and take to pre assigned places (for example, Sainsburys Tunbridge Wells, Victoria Place Tunbridge Wells & Crowborough).  Passengers will receive a text or telephone call 10 minutes before anticipated arrival so they do not need to wait outside.  Advantages are that the service can be booked in advance, all shopping is put in the coach by the driver and passengers are delivered back to their door.

Wealdlink are currently sponsored by a number of parishes who have all given good reports.  Frant Parish Council need to make decision as to whether we will sponsor the service as it costs about 20p per person.  A subsidised price of approximately £3 for return is then passed to the passenger.  Wealdlink are open to groups booking their own private journeys which will not be sponsored.  The Council proposed to only fund shopping trips.

Wealdlink have been in operation for 18 months.  They anticipate purchasing a new bus but need 3 more wards to confirm sponsorship.

The estimated cost is Probably cost £200 per year.  Scott Lipa will be invited to the next Council meeting.  A decision will not be made before then.

9.            Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.

9.1          To receive update regarding gates for entrance to Bells Yew Green. 

Road works are due to start 24th October.  However, various notices have been issued which have caused confusion and concern.  Councillors believe that ESCC have no doubt given out worst case scenario to residents.

Michael Higgs has shown the Council one design for village gates which will cost over £3,000.  This will not be funded from the Section 106 money.

Councillor Harris will be meeting Michael Higgs next week.  The Council approved the cost of the gates and gate Cllr Harris delegated power to inform Mr Higgs to install  the gates at the same time as the traffic calming work.

Councillors noted that existing signs need to be tidied.

10.          Planning Matters            

10.1        To approve the Minutes of the meeting 3 October 2011.

The minutes of the meetings held 3 October 2011 were signed as a true and accurate record.

10.2                To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.

WD/2011/2149/F – Baker Construction, Bayham Road, Bells Yew Green, Frant, TN3 9AT

Alterations to planning application WD/2006/1292/F

The Council supports this application

WD/2011/2180/F – Barelands Farm, Bells Yew Green, TN3 9BD

Installation of mage PV solar panels onto south roof of an existing barn.

The Council supports this application.

WD/2011/2233/FA – Builders Yard, Bayham Road, Bells Yew Green, TN3 9AT

Minor amendments to window locations and doors on all plots 1-6

The Council have no objection at this stage but do not know what we should be looking at as there are no detailed plans regarding the specified changes in this case (windows & doors).  Please can detailed plans be forwarded to the Parish Council.

To note applications granted, refused and withdrawn by District Council

  • WD/2011//1591/PO – Land known as Newhouse Buildings, Bells Yew Green, TN3 9BQ – That the land and buildings shown edged red on the attached plan be released from the following two planning agreements and the planning obligations contained therein, the first agreement being dated eleventh day of May 2011 and made between Wealden District Council (1) Reflect Printed Plastics Limited (2) and National Westminster Bank plc (3) and the second agreement being dated twenty fourth day of January 2008 and made between the same parties – Modification to planning obligation
  • WD/2011/1720/F – 2 Green View, The Green, Frant, TN3 9ED – Erection of a Victorian lantern/lamp post to front garden – Refusal
  • WD/2011/1724/F – Land adjoining Sunninglye Farmhouse, Dundale Road, Bells Yew Green, TN3 9AG – Installation of ground mounted solar photovoltaic panels – Approval

11.          Finance

11.1        To approve accounts payable.

The accounts were approved as per Appendix A.

The Clerk presented copies of the budget to Councillors which we be emailed to the whole Council.

12.          To receive report following Wealden Towns and Parishes Conference.

  • Councillors Argue, Crookshank, Mrs Howell and Rockinghamt attended the Conferencefrom Frant.
  • The Conference sought views from attendees on various issues.
  • The main subject was Localism.  The realism is that the Core Strategy is about the houses East Sussex will have to cater for.  Once the Core Strategy agrees the number of houses to be built there will be no way to amend the agreement.  Frant are due 120 houses by 2020.  It is hoped the houses will be built on the border with Tunbridge Wells.  However, Localism will not stop the order for new houses.  The Core Strategy comes from Central Government National Guidelines.  Parishes can then feed in from Core Strategy but cannot change it’s contents.
  • However, some features of Localism could be used by Parish Councils.  A list of assets within the parish can be written, for example pubs and village shops.  If these assets become vulnerable and owners want to sell the parish will have the power to delay sale for a year to allow the parish to purchase the asset to keep it in the community.  Also, Parish Councils will be able to earn the title of General Competence Authority which will enable them to do things cannot do.  Such powers will include the ability to take signs off the road and will give wider range of authority.  However, the Council will have to satisfy certain criteria, for example 80% of council must be elected.
  • Neighbourhood plans may take a lot of effort to get going as there is much bureaucracy to go through.  There needs to be more interest from general public.
  • Councils can buy in services if they do not believe they are getting proper service within East Sussex, for example we could buy in services from Kent for gritting roads.  However, the method of funding is yet to be confirmed.
  • Councillors noted that the Parish Plan should be revisited.  This is to be on the next agenda.

13.          To receive report from Weadlink Transport Services (Scott Lipa)

This item has been covered under item 8.

14.          To receive update regarding the Victoria Well.

Councillor Argue is still waiting to hear from the Gardening Club.  Quotes are still being sought for the necessary work.

15.          To discuss the Albert Well.

ESCC are to inspect the well but believe that only low maintenance is required.

Following discussion last month it has been established that the plaque is on the back of the well.

Councillor Crookshank is to put the plaque back on the sundial.

16.          To review and adopt procedure to co-opt Councillors

The proposed procedure to co-opt Councillors was approved.  The only amendment is to change where it states ‘relevant day’ to state ‘relevant date’ to remain consistent through the document.

17           To receive update regarding Eridge war memorial.

Rev. James Packman believes the war memorial is church property.  No further action is, therefore, required by the Council.

18.          To receive update regarding tree on Frant Green

The two dead sycamore trees by the cricket club have not been removed.  Cllr Argue offered his services to remove the trees.

The branches that were down by Shernfold Park have been removed by Cllr Argue.

19.          To receive update regarding Cricket Club

This item is to reviewed next year.

20.          To receive update regarding Glebe Land

No information is expected until after Christmas.

The Football Club have sent the Council their constitution.  The Parish Council are to chase the Club for a new agreement.

The Clerk is to write to the Chairman requesting a review of the arrangements between the Council and the Club, their use of the land and rent.

21.          Correspondence for noting.

Noted.

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

A meeting regarding the Diamond Jubilee is to be held 1st November 2011 at the Brecknock Arms.

Bells Yew Green will be holding a country fair and Eridge are expecting to hold a concert.  It is anticipated that The George will be holding an event for Frant.

 

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