FRANT PARISH MEETING HELD AT FRANT MEMORIAL HALL
WEDNESDAY 14 MARCH 2012 AT 7.30 PM
Councillor Crookshank, Chairman of Frant Parish Council, took the chair. 19 members of the public attended together with District Cllr. Mrs Howell, District Cllr. Padfield, PCSO Sarah Roberts and 9 parish councillors.
The Minutes of the Parish Meeting held on the 30 March 2011 were confirmed.
Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting. He gave a report on some of the main achievements and activities that had occurred since the last meeting.
• This is an exciting time for the Parish Council due to the Localism Bill.
• The main challenge over the last year was the parking restrictions at Bells Yew Green. It took 2 years of negotiation for traffic works to be agreed and implemented. However, the works have given the centre back to Bells Yew Green. There are still some issues relating to commuters parking outside the station up to the bridge. It has been agreed with Highways that the yellow lines will be extended beyond the station.
• Grit bins have been installed at a cost of £500 per bin. Unfortunately it took 9 months for them to be installed.
• The website has been much improved thanks to the work of Giny Best and the Clerk.
• The parish now has 2 local shops. Under the Localism Bill it is possible to register local assets such as shops and pubs on a Register of Interest. This will mean that registered properties cannot be sold for a period of 6 months to enable the community to purchase them if wished.
• The precept is approximately £30,000. There has not been an increase this year as the Council has some reserves. However, this is dependent on no great expenditure. Highways problems can be quite costly.
• The Parish Action Plan was completed a few years ago. It was reviewed a few months ago at a Parish Council meeting and many items have been completed.
• The Parish has a good relationship with the police. Thanks were extended to the police for their hard work. Frant is only 1% of the crime in the whole of East Sussex.
• There are 3 major issues to challenge the parish:
o Safety along A267 by Frant School. This is a priority. Highways have indicated a zebra crossing is to cost £10,000 to £25,000 and will not pay for the whole project.
o Restoration of the footpath in Eridge between Bunny Lane and the Church.
o Bells Yew Green want their own play area.
• There are still some outstanding traffic problems, for example Little Bayham.
• All Councillors are unpaid and do not claim expenses. There is a good balance between progress and preservation.
• Planning is hgh creme always contentious and extra pressure is being received regarding providing affordable housing.
The Chairman thanked the police, district and county councillors for their support and advice and councillors for their work for the parish.
• There has been a saving of £1.5m and a further £2.9m is to be saved by working with other Councils.
• The move of District Council offices to Hailsham is within cost and on target. All staff will be in situ by August this year.
• The District have continued to work on the Local Development Framework which has recently been received favourably. This is ahead of other authorities.
• Affordable housing continues to be built for local people and have recently received permission to build more council homes. It has also been agreed with Central Government to pay £47m to Government to enable Wealden to keep all rental income instead of handing it over to Whitehall to receive a proportion back.
• Wealden has recently pursued a voluntary hygiene rating with food outlets. This is currently voluntary but will become compulsory.
• A 5 year affordable warmth strategy has been launched to target green efficiency measures at residents on low and fixed incomes.
• An award has been received for work with children. Safety in Action is run every year with primary schools with a number of contributors showing various dangers from electricity to trading standards. This has run for the past 20 years.
• There will be no council tax increase this year.
• The Olympic Torch is coming through Wealden. Local children and people will carry it through Crowborough and Pevensey on 17 July.
• Wealden is one of the safest places to live and life expectancy is also one of the best in the country.
Talks were given by Mr Shefford, Head of Frant School, Alan Loweth, RSPB and Dave Graham, Wealdlink.
Comments/questions from residents:
• The Chair of Governors at Frant School advised that the progress of children is within the top 6% of the UK. Frant is half form entry with 15 children per year. However, the school is currently in excess on the school roll due to its popularity. East Sussex County Council are helping with admission criteria to give priority to children in the area. The Governing Body is fully supportive of safety on the A267.
• A resident would like to see parts of the Green uncut to enable wild flowers to grow and encourage butterflies.
• Many residents are in support of solving the safety issues on A267. Not only is it difficult in the morning rush hour but it also affects children going to secondary school.
There being no further business, Chairman thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed at 8.45 pm.