FRANT PARISH COUNCIL
THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT
VILLAGE HALL, ERIDGE
ON WEDNESDAY 20TH MARCH 2013 AT 7.30PM
Present: Councillors Crookshank (Chairman), Argue, Best, Hall, Harris, Mrs Howell, Rowland and Wright.
Also in attendance: Sarah Codling (Clerk), County Councillor Tidy, Michael Freestone, Paula Hobbs, Carmel Kinley and Alexander Whittle
1. To receive apologies and reason for absence.
Apologies were received from Cllrs Mrs Myers and Rutherford. All apologies were accepted.
2. To receive declarations of interests on items on the Agenda.
3. To co-opt Councillor for Bells Yew Green ward.
Three candidates applied to become a Councillor for the Bells Yew Green Ward. Two candidates were present at the meeting to discuss their application with the third candidate sending information prior to the meeting.
Councillors asked the candidates questions such as:
• What made you show an interest in becoming a Councillor?
• What do you think being on the Parish Council actually means?
• There are 3 local councils, County, District and Parish. Do you know what each of them do?
• Each Councillor has duties assigned to them. What are your interests?
• Are you happy that you would be a Parish Councillor, not just for Bells Yew Green?
• What practical skills can you add?
• What is your availability during the week?
The candidates were thanked for their interest and their responses. The Parish Council would discuss who would be elected at the end of the meeting.
Cllr Crookshank noted that a previous Parish Councillor, Richard Hewes, recently passed away. Four members of the Parish Council attended the funeral last Monday. The Parish Council would like to note their thoughts are with the family.
4. To approve the Minutes of the meeting 20 February 2013 as a true record.
County Cllr Tidy advised that he stated in the last meeting that Wealden are responsible for keeping the verges of the road neat and tidy, not ESCC. County Cllr Tidy advised that the County Council are negotiating with Wealden to get clean ups completed before grass cutting takes place.
Following the amendment, the minutes of the meeting held 20 February 2013 were signed as a true and accurate record.
5. To determine matters arising from the previous Minutes for updating and noting.
6. Public Forum – time limit 10 minutes.
Mrs Paula Hobbs attended the meeting on behalf of many residents of Down Lane. There is an unacceptable amount of dog mess on Down Lane. Mrs Hobbs advised that over the course of 2 days she cleared up 15 incidents, which is a fraction of what is on the verges. Residents would like something to be done. Upon contacting Wealden, Mrs Hobbs has been advised to go locally to the Parish Council.
Cllr Mrs Howell mentioned that Down Lane is not a normal places for people to take their dogs on walks. Mrs Hobbs noted that it is the residents who are not clearing after their dog. This is creating a precedent so other residents may feel they do not have to clear up dog fouling. It is now difficult to clear the paths and verges due to the wet weather. Signage or a dog bin was requested for the area. It was noted that there is a need to stand on the verges to avoid traffic and it is unpleasant to do so under such conditions.
Mrs Hobbs also noted incidents around the school in Church Lane. There have been several children who have trodden mess into the school.
It was noted that this matter is being highlighted in the next Parish News. It was also considered a good idea to door knock along Down Lane to make residents aware of the need to clear up after their dog.
Cllr Wright felt that it would be unlikely that a dog bin would be used unless attention is drawn to it and reiterated the need to speak to local people alerting them to anti social behaviour.
Cllr Crookshank confirmed that this is a complicated subject. It would be best to achieve a positive outcome locally. However, should this not be possible, it may be necessary to purchase more dog bins. This matter will be on the agenda for the next meeting to look at in more detail. Cllrs agreed that matters tend to be resolved better if done so within the community. Frant Parish Councillors were asked to keep an eye on this matter.
Mr Freestone advised the Parish Council of the meeting with Southern Gas Networks regarding the erosion on Frant Green. Both Mr Freestone and Cllr Hall recognised that the representative from SGN was unnecessarily aggressive making the meeting hard work. A lot of work has been completed on the verges. However, the main area from Greenwood towards the shop where they agreed to put turf, net and traffic cones has not happened. It was noted that when work was completed it was pouring with rain and they did not know from their own plan where they were working.
There has been some success relating to this matter but the Parish Council need to keep pressure on SGN.
Cllr Hall advised that the weather has been awful so he can appreciate why the work has not been completed but agrees that the Parish Council need to keep an eye on the matter. Cllr Mrs Howell advised that the work was agreed to be completed when the weather was drier so it would not be washed away as the work would only be completed once. The work that has been completed has not taken hold due to the rain and, therefore, has been wasted. The Parish Council only gave permission for the gas works to take place if the Green was reinstated to its original condition.
Mr Freestone has written to the Council about the footpaths going to the shop from Greenwood, passed Lime Close. The shrubberies outside The Limes are growing to the capacity that pedestrians have to walk single file along the footpath. It has been cleared historically but needs to be done again. Cllr Wright is to ask the property owner.
The orange sodium light at the end of Church Lane (light number 8 ) still needs to be repaired.
There is concern regarding lighting. Church Lane is the first accidental visible lamp stand in Frant. It was also noted that the light in the Abergavenny Arms car park is currently flooding out. It was requested whether the light could be angled downwards to stop this happening and reduce light pollution. Cllr Crookshank is to liaise.
It was noted that the agenda for the meeting was not on the website. The Clerk is to ensure the website is up to date.
Cllr Mrs Howell has been approached by a member of the public complaining about the state of the fence at 1 The High Street. It was asked whether the Parish Council could encourage the property owner to repair the fence as it is distressing the neighbours.
7. To receive Police Report.
8. To receive reports of County and District Councillors.
• At the end of last year, ESCC had 148 performance measures to complete. A total of 116 measures were completed, 21 almost met and 11 outstanding.
• The Bexhill-Hastings link road is now totally clear of protestors. The County Council is now waiting for Government to come up with their share of the money before any digging and constructing can be started.
• Anyone who has not signed up for the Go-ESussex campaign for better broadband should do so as only 3,000 residents have signed up.
• The County Council has set up an embryonic public service network with Brighton and Hove and Wealden District Council. This is an initiative with the South East 7. More Council will join as contracts expire.
• 66% of targets have been met for libraries and only 1% of targets missed. 300,000 out of a possible 400,000 self service transactions took place. Investment in public libraries is enormous and will continue to be so. Forest Row, Wadhurst and Rye libraries were improved dramatically and are being utilised well.
• ESCC shall not achieve waste reduction largely due to a significant increase of garden waste last year.
• The overall trend of road casualties is downward. There has been a reduction in deaths and a slower reduction in the number of serious injuries.
• The County Council has beaten the Government by a fortnight to create a local mortgage scheme. The Cabinet have asked the County Council to approve a £10m addition to capital programme to stimulate the first time buyer market. That will ensure that would-be-borrowers only have to raise a 5% deposit, not 25%. This initiative is working in conjunction with district and borough councils. Hastings is the only borough which has joined up. The project is to come into effect in the Summer.
As the Chairman is not present at the next meeting, County Councillor Bob Tidy was thanked for all his hard work for Frant Parish Council and wished all the best for when he steps down in May.
• A Fun Day is planned for April in the Crowborough Community Hall. All details are on the Wealden website.
• A mobile speeding unit in the north of Wealden caught 173 people speeding. There are many people speeding through Eridge.
• A reminder that if residents wish to have a green bin they have to register with Wealden by 31 March 2013. Residents will have 3 bins but recycling is extended.
• ESCC welfare reports have been published. The Clerk is to put links onto the website.
9. Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.
• An appeal has been lodged for the Bush House planning application. Cllr Crookshank has spoken to neighbours who are writing to the District Council. The date of the appeal is still to be set.
• There has been a lot of flytipping on Dundale Road. This has been cleared by people completing Community Service.
10. Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.
10.1 To receive update regarding Bells Yew Green.
All work has been completed.
10.2 To receive update regarding Little Bayham.
The contractor has the instructions regarding the works at Little Bayham.
Cllr Argue asked about the pricing for the gates as he has a quote for less than the Parish Council are paying. However, it was noted that, should the Parish Council complete the work themselves, planning permission is required as are health and safety surveys and licences. By going through Highways all this cost is amalgamated into the cost of the gateways.
10.3 To discuss lighting.
A quote of £1,491.32 +VAT has been received to install a new 8m column with a 60W Evolo lantern along A267 Main Road, light number 3. Councillors are happy with the quote if the light is a swan neck. If not, a further quote is needed.
10.4 To review proposals from Southern Gas Networks
The Clerk is to write to Southern Gas Networks, with a copy to Phil Jennings at ESCC Highways, stating that the work has not been completed. Further work will be needed with better work as that completed is not to a satisfactory standard, owing to weather conditions.
It has also been noted that a lot of the soil being used is full of stones which is going to cause problems to cut the grass.
A further meeting is to be scheduled when the work has been completed. The Clerk is to organise.
11. Planning Matters
11.1 To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.
There were no applications to consider.
To note applications granted, refused and withdrawn by District Council:
• WD/2013/0152/FE – Tyburn House, Ely Grange Estate, Frant TN3 9DZ – Erection of staff accommodation building in grounds of new dwelling – Granted.
• WD/2012/1118/LDE – Canadian Laundry, Bunny Lane, Frant – Storage of building and fencing materials together with storage of old building and fencing materials – Certificate issued.
• WD/2012/1976/F – The Stables, Church Lane, Frant TN3 9DX – Reconstruction and enlargement of an existing car park – Granted.
• WD/2012/2547/F – Woodyard, Sandhill Lane, Eridge Green, Nr Tunbridge Wells, TN3 9LW – Works to existing telecommunications installation – Granted.
12.1 To approve accounts payable.
The Accounts were approved.
Payee Name Chq Ref Amount Transaction Detail
East Sussex ALC Ltd 593 413.74 SALC & NALC Subscription 2013-14
Frant Post Office 594 1,246.00 Henry Smith Distribution
Lambs Larder 595 266.00 Henry Smith Distribution
Z. McGregor-Gould 596 86.66 Cleaning Duties, March
S Codling 597 697.00 Salary, Expenses & Mileage, March
HMRC 598 10.46 Tax/NI, March
Cartridge Save 599 187.50 Printer toner
12.2 To consider approve grant for Frant Parish News.
A grant of £650 was approved.
12.3 To approve grant for Citizens Advice Bureau.
A grant of £150 was approved.
13. To discuss the extra provision of dog bins.
This matter was discussed under the public forum. Frant Parish Councillors are to review.
14. Correspondence for noting.
15. Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.
A quote has been received for £4,929.60 (including VAT) to restore the Victoria Well. This quote is for oak work and any necessary fencing and safety work. The carpenter has public liability insurance.
This work is necessary to be completed as it is a heritage monument. The Clerk is to contact Michelle Eldridge as to whether a grant is available for this work.
This item is to be on the agenda for the April meeting.
Following a discussion and vote, it was decided to co-opt Carmel Kinley as the Councillor for Bells Yew Green ward. Cllr Crookshank is to inform Mrs Kinley.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9:00pm.