FRANT PARISH COUNCIL

THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT

BELLS YEW GREEN VILLAGE HALL,

ON WEDNESDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2010 AT 8.00PM

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

Also in attendance: Sarah Codling (Clerk), County Cllr. Tidy, District Cllr Padfield, 12 members of the public and 2 police Officers.

1. To receive apologies and reason for absence.

Apologies were received from Cllrs Mrs Best, Gray and Hall.

 

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

Cllr Mrs Myers declared a personal interest in item 9.4 as a Governor of the school

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

The minutes of the meeting 15 September 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.

Members of the public expressed concerns regarding the proposal for traffic calming in Bells Yew Green.  Points raised were:

  • To divert traffic to the crossroads at Brecknock Arms around bollards would create more risk.
  • People will drive recklessly through traffic calming to avoid being delayed by oncoming traffic.
  • Parking restrictions for 2 hours will not eradicate the issue.
  • Pulling out of Broomfield is dangerous as vision is severely restricted due to parked cars.  Cars are also travelling at speed, approaching from the wrong side of the road.
  • Cars are parking on the Broomfield Estate.  It is believed that it is commuters parking.  Residents are receiving verbal abuse when confronting drivers.
  • Concern at the length of time it has taken for work to be initiated.
  • It was noted that a Residents Association has been formed as a result of the traffic issue.
  • This problem has only been an issue since the road was widened.
  • The police have had to intervene on many occasions and have received concerned telephone calls on a daily basis.

The Chairman thanked everyone for their discussions and noted all points for item 9.3.

6.            To receive Police Report.

6.1          To receive report on restructure of Police Division

The Police Division has been restructured to accommodate police officers moving out of Eastbourne.  New response areas have been located in Hailsham, Crowborough, Uckfield and Heathfield.  This should not affect the parish of Frant.

The police reported the following:

  • Shed breaks, stolen vehicles and diesel are the main crimes being committed.  A peak in crime has been seen recently. 
  • The parking in Bells Yew Green has caused more work for the police as they have been involved in many incidents.
  • If possible, a deer warning sign may be necessary on the A267 going out of Frant towards Marks Cross.
  • The new Sergeant for Frant is Sergeant Mike Keeler. 

 

7.            To receive reports of County and District Councillors.

County

  • No details have been received as yet as to how the spending review will affect the County Council.
  • It is difficult for Fire Stations to retain trained firemen as they need to live a short radius from the station.  Next year a drive is being initiated to recruit more staff.  Fire stations in Mayfield, Herstmonceux and Burwash are suffering from lack of staff and may have to close during the day unless the recruitment is successful.
  • The Winter Maintenance Policy has been reviewed.  Parish Councils are to be provided with maps detailing roads which will be gritted.  This year the area receiving attention when it snows has expanded from 800 to 1,000 miles.  However, there will still be approximately 1,000 miles of road receiving little attention.  The Council have asked residents to communicate and be prepared for self help.
  • Grit bins already in existence will be filled by the County Council.  Further grit bins are available to be purchased.  Builders ‘hippo’ bags filled with grit are also available to buy.  Hippo bags will not be distributed until snow is a certainty.
  • Residents are advised that they should not be deterred from clearing snow from pathways.  Apparently there has been a general concern that residents are liable should someone slip on a section of pathway that they had cleared.  This is not the case.
  • Schools are being encouraged to stay open in the event of snow.

 

District

  • Complaints received have decreased in number.
  • Proposed new houses for Wealden have been cut from 11,000 to 8,000.
  • Rates on small businesses have been reduced for the second year.
  • The proposal for litter bins to carry adverts is to be dropped.
  • The Council has considered reducing the number of County Councillors.  However, the number is governed by boundary conditions and the number of people they represent.
  • The second phase of the Transformation Programme is to go ahead, saving £2.9m.
  • Community grants and rural retail grants are available and application forms can be downloaded from the website.
  • The Council is encouraging people to become Councillors with an open day planned for those interested.
  • The Parish Conference will take place 3 November.
  • Cllr Howell attended meetings regarding Warren Ridge.  David Gibbs has been really helpful and communication was the key to success.

8.            Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.

Chairman apologised for some recent confusion about the timings of Council meetings. With our new Clerk and much to learn there were bound to be some ‘teething’ problems. Full Council meetings would now start at 8.00pm. Planning meetings would still start at 7.30pm.

9.            Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.

9.1          To receive report from Highways, Transport & Lighting Committee.

No items of note.

9.2          To receive date of next Committee meeting.

This item was on the agenda in error.

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

Michael Higgs from Wealden attended the meeting to discuss the proposal for the traffic calming for Bells Yew Green.  He informed the Parish Council that the funding money is as a result of Section 106 of the Highways Act.  This money has been set aside and will not be affected by any budget cuts.  However, Section 106 specifically details that the money must address the issues of parking restrictions, traffic calming and aid pedestrians.  Therefore, Councillors must consider all three issues when looking at the proposal.

Items of note following the proposals:

  • Visibility at Broomfield will be assisted by double yellow lines.
  • Restrictions will be in place but some parking will still be permitted.
  • There is concern that parking would be pushed onto faster parts of the road – a minor alteration to the plans could be made.
  • The approach to the station is to be built out to dissuade parking between the station entrance and railway bridge.
  • Incoming cars are to give way to those going out of the village.
  • The build out will require lighting so a new light will need to be installed.
  • A 2 hour restriction will be in place outside the shop to stop commuters parking all day but will not hinder trade.

Councillors expressed concern at the proposed island outside The Brecknock Arms as it would be damaged by lorries.  This is to be addressed.  Councillors also requested that any yellow lines be in keeping with surroundings by being a more sympathetic yellow.

A vote saw all Councillors in favour of the proposal.

9.4          To receive verbal report from Cllr. Mrs Myers on site meeting to review potential traffic issues associated with the new school

A meeting was held June/July.  The pavement at Church Lane cannot be extended.  The land owner on the corner will be approached to cut hedgerow which is encroaching on the pavement.  The Parish Council is to prompt Highways as this should have been undertaken before the school opened.

Signage is to be undertaken but no sleeping policemen.

10.          Planning Matters

10.1                To make recommendations about Planning Applications received.

 

WD/2010/2308/F – Spring Cottage, Bells Yew Green Road

Loft conversion and internal alterations to form a new staircase and re-configure existing bedrooms.

Does not seem to increase the size of the building but makes better use of space available.  No objections.

 

WD/2010/2246F – Forest Gate, St Marks Road, Tunbridge Wells

Single storey garden room extension to replace a conservatory.

The Council supports this application.

10.2                To discuss attendance at Planning Meetings and review reasons.

It was noted that no Councillors representing Frant were present at the last planning meeting.

11.                Allotments

11.1.      To receive verbal report on improvements to the site.

Two residents have expressed an interest managing the allotments.  It is proposed that a meeting take place 1 November 2010 after the Parish planning meeting.

Details are needed regarding access for deliveries.  Cllr Mrs Myers is to approach the new school to see if accesses can be used.

11.2        To consider any action required for attending to uncultivated plots and unpaid invoices for rental.

This is to be reviewed.

11.3        To consider initiating a Tenancy Agreement for allotment holders.

A specimen tenancy agreement is to be reviewed and considered.

12.          Play Equipment

12.1        To review issues with see-saw at Frant Recreation Ground.

The handle has been removed for safety reasons as the wood has worn away.  The company who supplied the seesaw will be approached to undertake the repair.

12.          Finance

12.1        To approve accounts payable.

All accounts were approved except for the invoice to RoSPA.  This payment is to be withheld until further information is received regarding the unannounced play equipment inspection.

12.2        To approve addition of more signatories to bank account.

All Councillors are in favour of adding more signatories to the bank account.  Cllrs Mrs Best and Harris are to be added.

13.          Correspondence for noting.

It was noted that RoSPA inspected the play equipment recently.  However, it is believed that this should have been arranged so that a Councillor would be present.  It was noted that RoSPA should be contacted as to how the inspection was conducted, especially in light of the recent fault of the seesaw.

 

14.          Personnel

14.1        To approve Clerk as Responsible Financial Officer and sign documents transferring account administration.

All Councillors approved the Clerk as Responsible Financial Officer.

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

None.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 9.30pm.