THE MINUTES OF A MEETING OF FRANT PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT FRANT MEMORIAL HALL ON WEDNESDAY 21ST JULY 2010 AT 7.30 PM

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

Also in attendance: County Cllr. Tidy, District Cllr. Padfield, Sergeant Etherington and 2 members of the public.

1.            TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES AND REASON FOR ABSENCE

Apology received from Cllr. Hall; reason noted and accepted.

2.            DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS

Cllr. Mrs Myers declared a personal interest in 10.1 planning application WD/2010/1483/F School House as a governor.

3.            TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD 16.06.10 AND PLANNING MEETING 5.07.10 AS TRUE RECORDS

Resolved to approve the Minutes of the meetings held 16.06 and 5.07.

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

None.

5.            OPEN FORUM  

A resident from Warren Ridge reported that cars were not being parked considerately resulting in access issues for the refuse collection vehicle and an ambulance. The matter has been reported to the Police. Some residents have dedicated parking areas but prefer to park outside their homes. A letter has been sent from Wealden District Council to all council tenants asking for co-operation in resolving the parking problem. Report that cars are being advertised for sale at the entrance to Warren Ridge.

6.            POLICE REPORT

Some travellers were recently removed from a site in Crowborough; the process of early interception appears to be working.

Road Traffic Police continue to conduct speed checks in North Wealden.

Communication has continued with some residents at Broomfield regarding the problem of parking on the B2169.

Sergeant Etherington advised that he is moving to a new position in Wealden; members thanked him for his help and support over the last 4 years.

7.            TO RECEIVE THE COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT

Cuts in funding have affected many areas. The link road between Battle and Hastings has been put on hold until after October and all road safety schemes have been stopped; this does not affect works funded by Section 106 Agreements. The county council has joined with other county and unitary authorities (South East Seven) to review services and try to achieve more efficient working arrangements. Each authority is reviewing a specific area. East Sussex County Council is considering special educational needs; many young people are educated out of county which is a drain on resources.

25 schools have expressed an interest in becoming academy schools. Funding for the construction of new schools in Hastings and Eastbourne has been withdrawn.

Report of a meeting with Charles Hendry MP, Matthew Lock, Lead Member for Transport & Environment and Rupert Clubb, Director to consider the parking issues outside Broomfield. The introduction of controlled parking could provide a solution; the district council has indicated that controversial parking schemes will not be considered at the present time.

8.            TO RECEIVE THE DISTRICT COUNCILLORS’ REPORT

Cllrs. Mrs Howell and Padfield reported on the following items:

  • Work continues on assessing the number of new homes for the district.
  • Two people have been prosecuted for fly tipping in the district.
  • The Transformation Programme is looking at ways to improve efficiency and save costs. There has been a cut in the number of committees which will reduce officer time. The schemes for free bus passes and swimming are to continue at present.
  • The District Council has issued a Parish Bulletin as a means of communicating Cabinet decisions and items of interest.
  • The high number of deaths/seriously injured and number of obese children was noted in a recent survey.

9.            HIGHWAYS, TRANSPORT AND LIGHTING ISSUES

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

A safety audit has identified that restricting parking outside Broomfield will potentially move the problem to another area of the village which may not be as suitable. A site meeting is to be held 27.07 with Michael Higgs from the county council.

Problems with parking are affecting the turnover of the shops at Bells Yew Green and Frant.

9.2          To receive report on request for a site meeting to review potential traffic issues associated with the new school.

A site meeting has been arranged with a representative from the county council 22.07.

9.3          Report on replacement of Mercury lamp in Eridge

The Mercury lamp in column 32 adjacent to the entrance to the Estate Yard at Eridge has been replaced. Clerk reported that the light was not as bright as other columns; members to review.

9.4          To consider parking issues at Warren Ridge

Warren Ridge is divided into two sections with the road nearest to the green having been adopted by the county council. There are no plans to adopt the remaining section of road which remains the responsibility of Wealden District Council; enquiries are being made into the legal issue regarding parking.

Sergeant Etherington advised that there had been some success in other areas by taking a joint approach between the Police and the housing authority.

To be considered further at the next meeting.

10.           PLANNING –

10.1        To make recommendations on planning applications received

WD/2010/1483/F School House, Church Lane – change of use from part education/part residential to single dwelling house.

It was resolved to make the following recommendation:

Frant Parish Council supports this application for change of use to a single dwelling house as this is considered to be an appropriate way of retaining this important building in the centre of the village. However, there are concerns about parking arrangements and it is noted that these will be addressed in a further application (Planning Statement 3.5).

WD/2010/1507/F Manorside, Frant – extend existing parking area.

It was resolved to make the following recommendation:

No objection in principle as a proposal for off-street parking subject to the approval of the Highways Department in view of the proximity to the A267 and a dangerous bend.

WD/2010/1405/F 2 Camden Cottages, Bells Yew Green – single storey extension to rear and two storey extension to side.

 It was resolved to make the following recommendation:

 This application for improvements is supported as it is considered to be in keeping with the existing dwelling and a similar extension at cottage no. 4.

10.2        To consider a possible Article 4 Direction for the Conservation Area

There have been some changes to buildings in Frant which may be considered to have a detrimental impact on the appearance and character of the Conservation Area. Discussion on the merits of establishing an Article 4(2) Direction to increase the control of external changes to properties. Dwellings in the High Street are covered by regulations for listed buildings. Some members considered that an Article 4(2) Direction would be too restrictive. A consultation would be required and it is likely that this would have to be funded by the parish council. Matter deferred for further discussion and consideration within the Parish Plan.

11.          TO CONSIDER STRATEGY GROUPS REQUIRED FOR PROGRESSING ACTIONS FROM THE PARISH PLAN

Only a few volunteers have come forward to help with progressing items from the Parish Plan. The parish council will need to be involved and members have been asked to identify an initial priority of three actions to be taken forward.

12.          ALLOTMENTS

12.1        To note receipt of grant and consider improvements to the site.

A grant of £2000 has been received from the building contractor for the new school. Many of the allotments are overgrown. Two people are currently on the waiting list and plots will be allocated once any improvement work has been undertaken. A meeting is to be set up with the existing plot holders.

13.          TO RECEIVE UPDATE ON NEW WEBSITE

The new website is proving to be every popular and there have been 250+ unique hits. Cllr. Mrs Best and Clerk have received training and are updating the site

14.          FINANCE

14.1        To note financial report of spend against budget for the first three months

The financial report for the first quarter was reviewed and noted; spending is on track.

14.2        To approve accounts payable

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

15.          CORRESPONDENCE FOR NOTING

Correspondence was reviewed and noted.

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

Philippa Hewes, who has been Clerk for 12 years, will be leaving to take up the position of Town Clerk at Crowborough. Members agreed that her professionalism and knowledge would be missed but wished her well.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.55 pm.