FRANT PARISH COUNCIL

THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT

FRANT VILLAGE HALL,

ON WEDNESDAY 19TH JANUARY 2011 AT 8.00PM

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

Also in attendance: Sarah Codling (Clerk), PCSO Sarah Roberts, Sergeant Mike Keeler, Cllr Tidy, Michael Higgs and 1 member of the public.

1.            To receive apologies and reason for absence.

Apologies were received from Cllr Hall and Houlihan

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

None.

3.            To approve the Minutes of the meeting 15 December 2010 as a true record.

The minutes of the meeting held 15 December 2010 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.

Concern was raised regarding the unmade road at Tyburn House.  A resident has contacted Wealden District Council regarding the permission for this road.  It transpires that a condition was made regarding this track when planning permission was granted.  However, this condition has been disregarded and a new condition set for the planning permission given for staff accommodation.

It seems that no history regarding this matter has been kept at Wealden.  Frant Councillors were not aware of this situation.  It was requested that Frant Parish Council and Wealden District Council familiarise themselves with this issue and clarify what will happen with this unmade road.

This matter has been amplified by plans regarding the footpath.  The initial footpath was built over and now East Sussex County Council are looking into redirecting the path.  Information regarding this redirection was sought from Councillors.  It was agreed that Frant Parish Council would write to East Sussex County Council to clarify the position.

 

6.            To receive Police Report.

  • The stone bench owned by Frant Parish Council has been stolen on Friday night.
  • A fingerpost located on the Broadwater/Forest Road junction has been demolished following a road accident.  Councillors requested the details of the driver in order to claim insurance.
  • Concern was raised by Councillors regarding the speed of traffic by the School.  It was requested that new signage be displayed to warn drivers of the school’s existence.
  • There is a meeting on 31st January 2011 at the School regarding some issues of parking on Church Lane.  Police presence was requested.
  • Following from the Travellers at Barelands not leaving as per previous agreement, further proceedings are going to the High Court.  Travellers have been offered new accommodation which some have accepted.
  • A Councillor reported of a traffic accident which took place at 8am 19 January 2011 on Wadhurst Road.  This accident is the third upturned car on the same spot.  The police were surprised that the speed limit has been set so high.  Michael Higgs informed everyone of an Improvement Scheme for this road to be completed this financial year.

 

7.            To receive reports of County and District Councillors.

County

  • County Council were working towards a 25% reduction of funding over 4 years.  The reality is a 25% reduction over 2 years.  This will equate to A £37million reduction both this year and next.
  • A Voluntary Severance Scheme has been created at the Council.  No recruitment has taken place over the last year.  It has been calculated that the Council needs to reduce employment by 500 staff.  It is anticipated that 200 redundancies will take place in the next 12 months.
  • A meeting is to take place 25th January 2011 to finalise the reductions in service.  The biggest problem is notably the Children’s Service who have lost £10million.
  • Police Authorities are to be disbanded in 2012.  A Police and Crime Commissioner is to be elected in early May.  They will take over all authorities 7 days after they are elected.  The Safer Communities funding will be distributed as the Commissioner sees fit.  They will have approximately 7 elected members from both District and County Council.  The Commissioner cannot interfere with the Chief Constable but will set the strategy under which they operate.
  • The County Council is to be the monitoring body for the NHS.  Cuts should not have a direct effect on Parish Council.  However, the ‘Big Society’ and Localism Bill will affect Parish Councils.
  • A Councillor requested information regarding reviewing speed limits as this is one of the main points of the Parish Plan.  It was noted that a review of limits has previously taken place by County Council, despite not informing Frant Parish Council.  Frant Parish Council are to ask what changes have taken place following from the review and to campaign should further modifications be needed.

District

  • Following an external audit the Council have been found to have sound financial planning and code of practice.  Their Charter Mark has been maintained.
  • The District have been given a reduction of 35% of funding.  The Council need to revisit all cuts they envisaged making and reserves may need to be used.
  • There is a 0% rise in Council Tax.
  • The Corporate Plan has been finalised.  This will be reported in February’s meeting.
  • A rent increase is being discussed for Council housing and sheltered accommodation.

8.            Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.

Mrs Wright has requested erecting a ‘For Sale’ sign on Frant Green while she sells her property.  Councillors were grateful to Mrs Wright for approaching the Council but felt that they did not wish to encourage advertising on the Green for anything other that does not benefit the community as a whole.  A Policy is to be drawn up by Frant Parish Council on signs, especially on Frant Green.

9.            Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.

9.1          To receive progress report on the traffic calming/management proposal for Bells Yew Green.

New plans have been created following input received from the Council.  A public consultation meeting is set for 7.30pm 21st February 2011 at Bells Yew Green Hall.  Notices are to be hand delivered to residents.

Changes to original plans include:

  • Moving the footway out at the Brecknock Arms to help pedestrians crossing.
  • A new bus stop added on the opposite side to the existing bus stop.
  • White lines are to be removed through the village.

The Council approved of the changes.  Work is due to commence in the Summer.

9.2          To review designs for gates for entrance to Bells Yew Green and discuss funding.

  • Designs of gates in other villages were distributed to Councillors.
  • Michael Higgs informed the Council that the remaining funding for the traffic calming scheme could be used and a licence would be granted.  However, ongoing maintenance would be the responsibility of the Parish Council.
  • Michael Higgs is to send information regarding designs to the Clerk so Councillors can make an informed decision.
  • Councillors would like the gates to be at either end of Bells Yew Green.  Gates may also be beneficial on the entrance to Frant as a forewarning to the School.

9.3          To receive update regarding grit bins/hippo bags.

The Clerk reported that the grit bins have been ordered but no further communication has been received.  This is to be followed up.

10.          Planning Matters

10.1        To approve the Minutes of the meeting 10 January 2011

The minutes of the meeting 10 January 2011 were signed as a true and accurate record.

10.2                To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.

WD/2011/0034/F – Ferndale, Mayfield Road, Frant, TN3 9HT

Two storey side extension to provide annexe.  Living room, study, 2 bedrooms and common bathroom.

The Council supports this application but would ask that a Section 106 be enforced to maintain as a single property.

 

WD/2010/2869/F – Laurel Cottage, Ely Grange Estate, Frant, TN3 9DZ

New detached single garage within curtilage.

The Council supports this application

 

WD/2010/2853/F – 1 Broomfield, Bells Yew Green, TN3 9BJ

Pitched roof extension at side.

The Council objects to this application as it detrimentally changes the whole street scene of Broomfields which has only just been built.  It is felt that this application is one of over intensification of the carefully designed estate.

WD/2010/2437/F – Chasewood Cottage, Frant Road, Frant, TN3 9HG

Erection of fence behind existing hawthorn hedging.

The Council supports this application but would ask as a condition of approval that the hedge is maintained at all times to 6ft high to protect rural surroundings.

 

WD/2010/1423/FR – The Stables, 10 Knowle Cottage, Wadhurst Road, Frant, TN3 9EJ

Retrospective application for conversion of double garage/stables to 2-3 bedroom holiday cottage with track and hard standing car parking space.

The Council strongly object and believe the property should be returned to it’s former use.

A new track has been constructed over a green field site in an area of High Weald’s AONB.  The garage has already been sectioned off from the main building and is not in keeping with the original property.  An entrance onto Wadhurst Road has also been created despite no permission being given from the Highways Authority.

However, if Wealden agree to this application despite this Council’s strong  objection, we would ask to put a Section 106 onto the property so the cottage remains part of the dwelling and is a temporary accommodation only for holiday let and not to be sold as a separate dwelling for permanent accommodation.

 

WD/2010/2909/F – Cobwebs, The Platt, Down Lane, Frant, TN3 9HN

Single storey side extension to provide living room, double bedroom and en-suite bathroom.

The Council have no objection.

 

11.          To review action required and budget for grass cutting for newly acquired Green and school field.

  • Councillors agreed to add the grass cutting to our existing contract.
  • It was also noted that the Cricket Club currently give donations to the school regarding maintaining the Green.  They should be approached to transfer this donation to the Council.
  • The School field is to be maintained by the Council.  It was agreed to terminate the existing grass cutting contract held by the School and to get someone to cut it for hay.  The Parish Council agrees to maintain the fencing.

 

12.          Finance

12.1        To approve accounts payable.

The accounts were approved.

 

12.2        To discuss and approve budget for 2011/12.

A proposed budget was presented to the Council.  The amount for the Parish Plan was removed.

No further adjustments were needed and the budget was approved as attached.

13.          To review progress for Henry Smith Charity 2011.

A list for those to benefit from the Henry Smith Charity was distributed to Councillors.  All Councillors agreed and the Clerk is to proceed with distributing funds.

14.          Correspondence for noting.

A letter was received from East Sussex Council regarding a claimed bridleway.  All Councillors were happy with proposals.

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

  • The Council needs policies regarding advertising and banking reserves.  These will be presented to the Council in draft form at the next meeting.
  • The bank does not seem to be holding current information regarding signatories.  The Clerk is investigating but a new mandate may need to be put in place.
  • A missing painting by Dora Carrington owned by the trustees of Frant Hall has been located.  It is in the process of being valued.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 10:15pm.