FRANT PARISH COUNCIL

ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY

7.30PM, WEDNESDAY 29 MAY 2013, FRANT MEMORIAL HALL

Councillor Crookshank, Chairman of Frant Parish Council, took the chair. 28 members of the public attended together with District Cllr. Mrs Howell, District Cllr. Rutherford, County Cllr. Standley, PCSO Sarah Roberts, 8 parish councillors, Brian Banks (ESCC Highways), James Vaks (ESCC Highways) and Steve Wheatley (RSPB).

The Minutes of the Parish Meeting held on the 14 March 2012 were confirmed.

Chairman’s Report
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.

• Cllr Mrs Kinley has been co-opted onto the Council for Bells Yew Green ward.
• It is a reflective time for the Council due to the sad passing of John Padfield, Richard Hewes and Richard Gray.
• County Councillor Bob Tidy has retired and has been replaced by County Councillor Bob Standley. Thanks were given to Bob Tidy for his work for the parish.
• Thanks were extended to Cllr Mrs Howell who has stood down as Vice Chair. Cllr Mrs Howell has worked diligently during her time as Vice Chair and continues to do so both as Parish and District Councillor. Cllr William Rutherford is our new Vice Chair.
• Highways, parking and traffic are major concerns within the parish. The Parish Council hold quarterly meetings with East Sussex Highways. Unfortunately these matters take both time and money. The Parish Council has a good relationship with Highways. The relationship with Highways and other Councils has evolved and Parish Councils now pay for some projects. This, in turn, brings a new dimension to Highways and new pressures.
• Bells Yew Green traffic calming has finished with the last commuter ceasing to park in the area 2 weeks ago.
• Little Bayham village gates and safety signs have been installed.
• The Parish Council are working to resolve the issue of traffic and pedestrian safety along the A267. The Parish Council has kept the precept the same for several years and endeavours not to raise it. However, Highways projects cost a lot.
• The Parish has a good relationship with the Police and there is a low crime rate. Thanks were extended to the police. The Council are appreciative of their efforts and they have a good presence.
• Bells Yew Green wish to have their own play area behind the village hall. Approximately 50% of funding has been secured.
• The Victoria Well is to be restored. This is to be in oak and, therefore, has the associated cost.
• A group are to restore the footpath in Eridge.
• This has been a good year but each project takes time.
• There have been many phone calls regarding grass cutting. This is still to be discussed. However, there is a wild flower/bee area at the side of the Green. Other areas are to be cut but it is to be discussed how frequently.
• Parish Council meetings are the third Wednesday of each month and Planning meetings are held the first Monday of each month. Attendance by Councillors is very good and they contribute much to the parish.

The Chairman thanked the police, district and county councillors for their support and advice and councillors for their work for the parish.

District Report
• John Padfield is greatly missed both personally and professionally as a District Councillor. Cllr Mrs Howell expressed gratitude to Cllr Rutherford for stepping in.
• Bob Standley, Leader of Wealden for the last 3 years, takes his knowledge to County.
• Planning policy takes considerable time with the National Planning Framework. The Core Strategy was approved in November.
• There is demarcation around Ashdown Forest to protect habitats and limit the impact of developments.
• The Council is mindful of pressures on the countryside. Any development must ensure the infrastructure is in place.
• A new waste disposal recycling service is in place, a joint service with Rother. Currently 45% of waste is recycled as opposed to 35% 2 years ago. The target is 60% recycled.

County Report
• Thanks were expressed to Bob Tidy who was Councillor for 16 years.
• County is a hung Council. Conservatives formed a minority administration.
• Potholes are being filled in. There are currently 24 crews instead of the usual 8. The Council has filled 30,000 potholes since January.
• There is a programme to rebuild some roads.
• It is essential for people to be able to access superfast broadband, especially for businesses. BT are to supply Crowborough and Hailsham. County have put in £50m and £10m from BDUK to roll out broadband through the County. 96% of premises to get 24Mb. County is to ensure connection with businesses.
• ESCC has won an award for the best County in the UK dealing with small business.
• Council tax is down this year. However, it is a limited budget.

Talks were given by Steve Wheatley, RSPB and Brian Banks and James Vaks, ESCC Highways.

Comments/questions from residents:
None.
There being no further business, Chairman thanked everyone for attending and the meeting closed
at 9.05 pm.