FRANT PARISH COUNCIL
THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT
FRANT MEMORIAL HALL, FRANT
ON WEDNESDAY 20TH JUNE 2012 AT 7.30PM
Present: Councillors Crookshank (Chair), Argue, Best, Mrs Howell, Rockingham, Rowland, Rutherford and Wright.
Also in attendance: County Councillor Tidy, PCSO Sarah Roberts, Sarah Codling (Clerk), and four members of the public.
1. To receive apologies and reason for absence.
Apologies were received from Councillor Hall, Harris, Mrs Myers and Wright. All apologies were accepted.
Congratulations were extended to Cllr Rutherford on being elected District Councillor.
2. To receive declarations of interests on items on the Agenda.
3. To approve the Minutes of the meeting 16 May 2012 as a true record.
The minutes of the meeting held 16 May 2012 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 the public wish to hear further news regarding the progress of reinstating the footpath in Eridge. Cllr Crookshank advised that a quote of approximately £170,000 has been received from East Sussex Highways for all work to complete the footpath. It is extremely unlikely that it will be undertaken by Highways. Therefore, it was suggested that a working party be created to tackle some of the issues, for example cutting back the rhododendrons to give more space to walk.
Other residents are present to hear progress regarding the traffic safety issue on Frant Road by the school. Councillors noted that the hedge just past the Abergavenny Arms pub has regrown and obstructs the neighbouring pavement. This is to be addressed.
6. To receive Police Report.
• It was reported that it has been very peaceful in the Parish.
• It is possible that deer signs on the A267 out of Frant may be installed in Autumn and Spring. A trial is currently in operation in the forest. Signs have also been requested for Bunny Lane and Little Bayham.
• Cllr Mrs Howell ask about the possibility of portable speed signs which were historically in the parish, but no longer available. PCSO Roberts advised that they may be possible but need someone to be responsible for monitoring them. They can only be used in 30 or 40mph zones. The Clerk is to enquire about the supply of the signs.
• During Street Meetings the main concern is the safety on the main road.
7. To receive reports of County and District Councillors.
• A report was presented at the last Cabinet Meeting regarding two centres for people with learning disabilities in Hailsham and Polegate. Both are day centres and are only utilised at 50% capacity. Therefore, the Hailsham centre is to be shut and the resources will be amalgamated.
• Dysfunctional families are to be called ‘troubled families’. The Government is to put £1m towards a scheme already in place giving intensive care, monitoring and mentoring families to reduce the number going into care.
• East Sussex adoption service sees between 35 and 40 children adopted each year. The process takes an average of 6 ½ months whereas the national average is 1 year. This attributes to the outstanding grading recently received from Ofsted.
• County Councillor Tidy met with Brian Banks from Highways to review the traffic on Wadhurst Road. The corners by the Spa and near Henley Farm are to be targeted. However, people seem to be getting into trouble before getting to the corners. Highways are to think up a methodology to make the road safer. Cllr Tidy wants drivers to be made completely aware that it is a dangerous piece of road by adequate signage so that all responsibility is with the driver in the event of an accident.
• Cllr Tidy has alerted Highways that the chevrons on Bunny Lane are overgrown and need cleaning.
• When questioned about the broadband project, Cllr Tidy announced that it is proceeding well but has recently received a set back as the EU want an explanation about any non-commercial money being invested into the scheme. However, it is anticipated to start procuring faster broadband at the end of this year to roll out in 2013. Residents can still visit the County Council website to register their interest. All of the County are to receive improved broadband but the order of the roll out depends on the number of residents stating a need.
• Wealden are still working towards a joint waste contract. It has been in the press recently that Wealden will charge for green waste. After some consultation with various people within Wealden District Council it has been established that no charge will be levied for green waste.
• Wealden are working with Rother Council with the aim of Rother taking over running Environmental Health. There may be some redundancies but the department will work ‘smarter’ and, therefore, save money. Wealden still need to make policy and decide what residents need.
• Twelve candidates have put themselves forward for the role of Police and Crime Commissioner. The Green Party and Liberal Democrats have not indicated whether they will put forward a candidate, but have until October to do so. Cllr Mrs Howell is the Chair of the Safer Wealden Partnership and is concerned that money should be allocated where needed. It is the responsibility of Councillors to make the elected Commissioner aware of all current initiatives in the community which are ensuring low crime.
• There is £20,000 available that has not been distributed from community grants. This is to be publicised within parishes and £1,000 is to be distributed each time.
• It has been reviewed that future planning applications within the Ashdown Forest locality are to be closely monitored to reduce any adverse effects on the forest. This is to ensure that the forest is preserved as it has the highest level of protection against harm owing to being an internationally renowned site. There is to be a 7km exclusion zone outside the forest, dictated by the European Union. Mark Cross and Rotherfield are all affected.
8. Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.
A document has been received from Wealden Planning Department outlining what to consider when reviewing planning applications. The Clerk is to circulate the document.
9. Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.
9.1 To receive feedback from SLR meeting with Highways, ESCC
Following a meeting between Becky Shaw, Chairman East Sussex County Council, and Chairs of local Parish Councils a further meeting was arranged with East Sussex Highways. The SLR Meeting (‘Strengthening Local Relationships) took place 13th June with Cllrs Crookshank, Mrs Best, Mrs Howell and the Clerk present. Also attending were Graeme Lake (Team Manager, Inspection and Enforcement), Ian Johnson (Principal Traffic and Safety Officer), Phil Jennings (Highways Steward) and County Councillor Tidy. A further meeting is scheduled for 4th October 2012.
Frant Parish Council received many apologies from the Highways team. Cllr Crookshank is to take this matter further when meeting Karl Taylor, Assistant Director of Operations as we were advised that many projects are in ‘the design stage’. The 3 main items to be continued at further meetings are Frant School (it was agreed to review signs, speed limit and a crossing), Bells Yew Green (to resolve the yellow lines past the railway station and traffic through Little Bayham) and the reinstatement of Eridge footpath.
Peter Heasman who has been advising about the Eridge Footpath maintains contact and has offered advice and guidance, unlike many of his colleagues. Councillors believe that this project could be pushed along with a group of residents and the support of the RSPB and Eridge Estate as some work can be done by local labour. If Highways see a commitment from local people via the sub-group more support may be given. Highways were quite shocked that the footpath was lost when Highways repaired the road 20 years ago.
County Councillor Tidy was thanked for initiating all the meetings with East Sussex County Council. Cllr Tidy reported that the school sign is to be moved further down the road towards Tunbridge Wells. He has also asked how long it takes for a lorry to slow from 60 to 30mph as that will be the distance the sign needs to be moved. Cllr Tidy has received a quote of £30,000 for the zebra crossing to be installed. He is to write an official request as to how this quote has been calculated as electricity and structure are already there.
9.2 To discuss listing pillbox
Pill boxes are not listed buildings and, therefore, have no protection. They can be protected through applying to English Heritage for them to be registered.
Frant Parish has quite a number of pill boxes. Therefore, it would take quite a lot of work to list them all.
The Clerk has information about how to list pill boxes. The Chair asked whether the Parish Council should preserve the pill boxes and what the implications would be. Councillors are to advise if they are interested in pursuing this project.
10. Planning Matters
10.1 To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.
• WD/2012/1104/F – Estate Yard Cottage, Eridge Road, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9JR
Proposed replacement double garage including ground floor log/garden store and first floor home office/playroom.
The Parish Council object to this application on grounds of overdevelopment. We believe the size and scale of the development to be out of scale to the footprint of the property. The Council are unsure of the need for a shower in an office/playroom.
Should permission be granted, Frant Parish Council would ask for a Section 106 Agreement to attach the garage to the house should the property be sold.
The following decisions were noted:
• WD/2012/0805/F – Camden House, Bells Yew Green Road, Bells Yew Green TN3 9BD – Proposed coach house, pool house with swimming pool, altered vehicle access, brick wall, gates and landscaping scheme – referred to Committee
• WD/2012/0866/F – The Dairy, Wadhurst Road, Frant TN3 9EJ – Modification of existing single storey breakfast room structure (maintaining existing footprint), new projecting bay to living room, loft conversion with new dormers comprising two new bedrooms with ensuite – Approved
• WD/2011/2672/F – Frant C of E School, High Street, Frant TN3 9DT – Demolition of single storey extensions and conversion into two dwellings – Approved
• WD/2011/2673/LB – Frant C of E School, High Street, Frant TN3 9DT – Demolition of single storey extensions and conversion into two dwellings – Approved
11.1 To approve Sections 1&2 of the Annual Return 2011/12
11.2 To review Financial Regulations
Approved. The review of Standing Orders is to be put on the agenda for next month.
11.3 To approve accounts payable.
11.4 To approve grant for Eridge Village Hall
A grant of £250 was approved for Eridge Village Hall. The Clerk is to write to the Hall Committee stating that the noise of the heating is quite distracting and may affect booking numbers if not resolved.
11.5 To review Risk Management, Insurance and Asset Register.
The risk management, insurance and asset register were approved.
12. To discuss Victoria Well and approve any associated costs
The stone bench, gifted from Burslems, has been installed. The Parish Council extend their thanks to Burslem.
The roses have been planted but, unfortunately, are not flourishing as they were not watered in the hot weather. The Parish Council wish to take full responsibility for the planting at the well.
13. To discuss concerns in Frant:
• Traffic reflector posts need renewing. Located opposite San Marco and Anderida, The Green.
• Frant Green – post on triangle of green opposite village hall car park snapped off.
• Cricket club disclaimer regarding damage during a cricket match.
• Iron railings outside Manorside, The Green are falling into disrepair.
The Clerk is to contact Graham Thorpe to quote for replacing the traffic reflector post and the post opposite the village hall car park.
The iron railings at Manorside are on the register of local interests. The owner is to be contacted.
The register of local interests is to be reviewed at the next meeting.
14. To review Frant Football pitch.
A key has now been supplied to access the football hut. A quote is being sought for the hut’s removal.
All contents of the hut are to be discarded.
15. Correspondence for noting.
16. Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.
Cllr Mrs Best advised that a resident from Eridge village has noted that the grass opposite the bus shelter obstructs vision when turning out of Church Lane onto the A26. Phil Jennings is to be advised.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 8:55pm