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

ON WEDNESDAY 20TH JANUARY 2010 AT 7.30 PM

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

Also in attendance: County Cllr. Tidy and three members of the public.

1.            TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES AND REASON FOR ABSENCE

Apology received from Cllr. Burgess.

2.            DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS

Cllr. Hewes declared a prejudicial interest in item 15 Finance as spouse of the Clerk.

3.            TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD 16.12.09 AS A TRUE RECORD

Resolved to approve the Minutes of the meeting held 16.12.09 as a true record.

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

AND NOTING

None.

5.            OPEN FORUM

Residents expressed concern that the High Street and surrounding roads had not been gritted during the recent severe weather; it was considered that more attention should be given to the area in view of the school, doctor’s surgery and number of residents. Request was made for grit bins to be installed at either end of the High Street to allow residents to help with the task of keeping the roads safe.

Cllr. Tidy reported on the problems with grit bins being stolen and people using grit for their own properties. Each bin costs £250 and will need the support of the parish council in taking responsibility for the management of the facility. In rural locations, some grit containers are open pipes embedded in the verge; new grit bins are bright yellow. Any installation must satisfy a highways risk assessment.

Ward cllrs. to consider areas which are prone to difficulty during ice/snow and may be suitable for the installation of grit bins – item to be placed on the next agenda.

6.            POLICE REPORT

Report received from PCSO Roberts advising of a theft of an antique plant pot at Shernfold Park and damage to a digger at Broadwater Forest.

7.            TO RECEIVE THE COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

Report of a central government plan to provide free personal care for the elderly, regardless of income. Half the cost will be met by central government with local authorities expected to fund the remainder. ESCC estimate the cost of the service provision will be £1.5m for the first phase and thereafter £3m per annum.

The Police are holding a virtual question time event 21.01.10.

8.            TO RECEIVE THE DISTRICT COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

Cllr. Mrs Howell gave the following report:

  • Refuse collections were disrupted due to the ice/snow. Staff were deployed in clearing pavements in the main towns and villages.
  • Kerbside recycling is expected to be fully operational in the district by December.
  • Work continues on the Local Development Framework.
  • The results of the housing needs survey have been delayed; parishes will receive a summary and the offer to attend a presentation.
  • A report on ‘seriously injured and killed’ has been presented by the working party.
  • Gypsy and traveller site identification continues.

Cllr. Tidy reported on the success of the recently opened transit gypsy site near Lewes.

9.            HIGHWAYS, TRANSPORT AND LIGHTING ISSUES

9.1          Update on proposed installation of Vehicle Activated Sign at Eridge Green.

ESCC has confirmed that funds have been secured for the vehicle activated sign at Eridge Green and that it will be installed before the end of March.

10.          PLANNING –

10.1        To make recommendations on planning applications received

None.

Other planning matters

A planning application for an extension of time on the existing approval for industrial units at Benhall Mill Road will be presented to Planning Control North for consideration.

11.          PARISH PLAN

11.1        To receive update on Parish Plan and launch

At a meeting of the parish plan working party and cllrs. it was agreed to hold the launch of the plan within the annual parish meeting. The large hall at Frant has been booked and the meeting will commence at 8pm. Chairman will present the plan and volunteers will be sought to take forward issues identified within the plan.

12.          TO RECEIVE UPDATE ON NEW WEBSITE

Initial meetings are being held to consider the information required on a new website; the proposed format is to have separate parish council and community sections. It is proposed to maintain the existing website address for ease of access within the community. Communication generally featured highly within the responses to the parish plan questionnaire and members will be required to establish links within the community to provide news on a ward basis.

13.          TO AGREE GRASS CUTTING QUOTATION

WDC currently undertakes the grass cutting within the parish with 14 cuts being required last year. The cuts are divided into the greens and other areas at £108.20 per cut, the verge and bank at the Albert Well £21.70 and the verges at Sleeches Cross £8.60. WDC has quoted an increase of 5% for grass cutting this year; the increase is due to the rise in fuel costs. It was resolved to reappoint Wealden District Council to undertake grass cutting within the parish at an increase of 5% in costs over 2009.

It was noted that ESCC had attended promptly and efficiently to the removal of ivy from the Albert Well.

14.          TO CONSIDER FORMAT OF ANNUAL PARISH MEETING 3.03.10

Following the completion of formalities at the parish meeting, the main focus will be the launch of the parish plan . Information posters will be displayed within the three wards.

15.          FINANCE

15.1        To note spend to date against budget

Spend to the end of December was reviewed against budget and is on track.

15.2        To approve accounts payable

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

16.          CORRESPONDENCE FOR NOTING

Correspondence was reviewed and noted.


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

Discussion on the need to engage with young people in the parish and how some councils invite children to attend councils’ meetings.

The expense of maintaining the churchyards has increased. Grant applications are generally considered by the council at the February meeting.

Report on the Wealden Walks project. Frant has been selected to host the launch of the project on 24.04.10. There will be a formal launch at the memorial hall with a farmer’s market, followed by a walk behind the church; the event is to be twinned with Wadhurst. Local schools are to be invited to participate in the walk and to design posters promoting the event.

It was noted that a painting was missing from the memorial hall; report that the item is being restored.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.28 pm.