FRANT PARISH COUNCIL
THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT
VILLAGE HALL, BELLS YEW GREEN
ON WEDNESDAY 20 NOVEMBER 2013 AT 7.30PM
Present: Councillors Crookshank (Chair), Mrs Best, Hall, Harris, Mrs Howell, Mrs Kinley, Mrs Myers, Rutherford and Wright.
Also in attendance: County Councillor Standley, Sarah Codling (Clerk).
1. To receive apologies and reason for absence.
Apologies were received from Cllrs Argue and Rowland. Apologies were accepted.
2. To receive declarations of interests on items on the Agenda.
3. To approve the Minutes of the meeting 16 October 2013 as a true record.
The minutes of the meeting held 16 October 2013 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.
6. To receive Police Report.
7. To receive reports of County and District Councillors.
County – A report was distributed prior to the meeting:
Finance – The challenges facing the County Council were recently made clear at a recent briefing.
The national funding gap in 2010 was an enormous £149Billon with that figure being 47.4% of GDP and £43billion going on interest.
The County have made savings of £14.4m between 2010 and 2013 but needs to reduce expenditure by a further £60m by 16/17. Current spend is £379m so savings or income generation of almost 16% must be found. These changes will have to be made at a time when demands on Adult Social Care are likely to increase and we know that the Council needs to spend on the highways and avoid, as far as is possible, the reoccurrence of the potholes. 50,000 potholes have been repaired since last winter the vast majority being permanent repairs rather than temporary fixes.
Spend by department is
• Public Health £23.8m
• Communities Economy and Transport £69.5
• Administration £32.9
• Children’s’ Services £79.1
• Adult Social Care £174.3m
The capital programme stands at £417m. This is funded 53/47 by Central Government and local funding with most projects being ring fenced.
The Reconciling Policy Performance and Resources (RPPR) process will continue to examine the workings of the Council to ensure the best use is made of the limited revenue.
Household Waste Recycling Facility (HWRF) – As part of the above process and within the recently published East Sussex Waste Strategy Review – Household Recycling Facilities have been reviewed and, as we are all no doubt aware, a consultation is in progress which proposes the closure of Wadhurst, Forest Row and Seaford. This will clearly affect Frant residents.
Not surprisingly I have had a number of calls on the subject
I have made my views known that the facility is well used by Wadhurst /Ticehurst/Frant residents and that closure of the loss of the site would be a retrograde step. I have also asked for a reduction in hours to be considered rather than closure. Wadhurst is open for longer hours than Crowborough which given the disparity in tonnages handled does not appear logical.
The facility opening on either only afternoon or perhaps more sensibly on say Friday-Sunday will give a saving whilst providing the service.
The overall waste strategy want to build on the reduction, reuse recycling policy and those aims are supportable. The higher tonnages collected at the kerbside through the new service supplied by Wealden has reduced the amount going through the HWRF so reduced hours is probably justifiable but I remain to be convinced a closure would enhance the aim to increased recycling whether it be at kerbside or drop off.
It is suggested in the report that residents could use Tunbridge Wells but having enquired their response was the facility there was for Tunbridge Wells’s residents only. I don’t believe checks are regularly made on residency but may be introduced if Wadhurst/Frant residents started to use it on a more regular basis.
I would ask you to respond to the consultation and get as many people as possible to do so which is available on line at https://consultation.eastsussex.gov.uk/economy-transport-environment/east-sussex-waste-strategy-review
Road Improvements on A267 – There have been a number of e-mail exchanges and the scheme is progressing. If there is any more information I will report it at the meeting on Wednesday.
Discussion took place regarding the proposed closure of the recycling facility. Cllr Standley advised he disagrees with the decision for the facility to be closed completely but may support reduced opening hours. Councillors noted that the facility is overstaffed which Cllr Standley agreed and noted that reducing opening hours would reduce overheads.
The Chairman advised that he has received many complaints against the closure of the facility. There is also concern that flytipping would increase as people would not travel to Crowborough to dispose of waste.
The Clerk is to write a letter from Frant Parish Council supporting a reduced service but opposing complete closure. Councillors were also urged to respond online, individually. Action: Clerk.
The Chairman took this opportunity to update the Council regarding the A267 scheme. James Vaks has compromised regarding the red tarmac with a proposal for the red tarmac to be down the middle of the road, not across the width. Everything else has been agreed but figures are still outstanding.
Cllr Hall arrived 7.45pm
Cllr Standley advised costs should be £8-9,000, to include the parking restriction outside Frant Stores. The Parish Council have agreed to pay half the cost. Cllr Standley is to ask for a breakdown of the costs.
The Council thanked Cllr Standley for his support.
• Cllr Mrs Howell advised that she has attended member training on the latest PD rights. A copy of the notes was given to the Clerk to distribute. Action: Clerk.
• A public consultation is underway regarding the future of Crowborough Cottage Hospital and maternity and paediatric services. Councillors were encouraged to take an interest in Crowborough as the services directly affect the parish.
• A business funding and commercial planning event is being held 3 December at the De Vere East Sussex Hotel. This will allow attendees to learn more about the planning process and available funding.
• Electric blanket testing is run every year. The event also teaches home security, how to reduce heating bills, fire safety and gives information regarding benefit and pension entitlements. At the last event 248 blankets were tested with 101 identified as dangerous.
• Next week’s Full Council meeting sees voting on the Dog Control Order. It is believed to be supported by Council.
8. Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.
The Chair advised that he attended the Bells Yew Green Society meeting. Thanks were extended to the Parish Council for the donation towards the playground. It was reported that the outstanding balance needed for the playground is £2,000 to be raised by March 2014.
A bench has been donated to the parish which has been agreed to be sited on the Green, Bells Yew Green. The Chair questioned how to secure the bench. Cllr Mrs Kinley advised that a builder quoted £150-200 to make a concrete plinth or £100 to cement the feet. It was agreed to have a concrete plinth. Cllr Mrs Kinley is to instruct the builder and work in conjunction with the Chair. Action: SC & CK.
9. Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.
9.1 To discuss outstanding Highways issues.
Discussed under County Report.
9.2 To discuss slowing down traffic around Frant Green
Councillors expressed concerns regarding the speed cars approach from Bells Yew Green Road. The Chair agreed that the Council will approach Highways with the balance of funds from the Frant crossing scheme to see what can be done.
10. Planning Matters
10.1 To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.
11.1 To approve accounts payable.
The accounts were approved.
Payee Name Transaction Detail Chq Ref Amount
Tate Fencing Ltd Repair to posts, Frant Green 657 515.52
ISS Facility Services Landscaping Grass cutting October 658 216.00
Wealden District Council Dog bins, July – September DD 65.34
Open Spaces Society Subscription 659 45.00
SSALC CiLCA Training 660 100.00
North Wealden Community Transport Partnership Ltd Wealdlink, October – December 661 60.00
Z McGregor-Gould Salary, November 662 86.66
S Codling Salary + mileage, November 663 741.91
HMRC TAX/NI, November 664 3.42
11.2 To receive report of budget to date
A copy of the expenditure to date was distributed. This is to be discussed at a future meeting. Councillors were asked to comment and additional expenses to be considered.
The Clerk presented a quote from Haven Power for a fixed contract for street lighting electricity supply. It was agreed to commit to a one year fixed contract.
11.3 To discuss and approve any expenditure to repair the bus shelter, Bells Yew Green
A quote is awaited from Graham Thorpe.
12. To review grass cutting contract.
The Clerk is to go out to tender for the grass cutting contract. It was agreed to put the football field in the whole contract. The field behind the football pitch is to be cut twice, once at the beginning of October and once in May.
The wild flower area is to be kept at the side of Frant Green. It was agreed to keep the Green cut short, as per the current contract. Action: Clerk.
13. To discuss land by the Police House, Frant, which has been fenced in.
The Clerk is to chase information from Land Registry. Action: Clerk.
14. To discuss consultation regarding proposed closure of Wadhurst Recycling Centre and consider response.
Discussed under County report.
15. Correspondence for noting.
Frant School has requested a bollard or railings to be erected outside the school to improve safety for the children. The Chair has agreed to speak to the Head Teacher advising the best approach would be to speak to Highways.
16. Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.
• The Clerk was advised that street light number 53 on Wadhurst Road is not working. Action: Clerk.
• The Chair and Vice Chair gave their apologies for the next Full Council meeting. It was agreed to cancel the December meeting but meet for planning. The Chair took this opportunity to thank Cllr Mrs Myers for her hard work and service to the Parish Council and for all she has achieved during her service.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 8:30pm.