DRAFT MINUTES OF A MEETING OF WADHURST PARISH COUNCIL HELD AT THE PAVILION, SPARROWS GREEN RECREATION GROUND, THE PAVILION, SPARROWS GREEN RECREATION GROUND, 10th MAY, 2012 AT 7.30PM
Present: Councillors Bell, Clark, Gadd, Doyle (chairman), Goolden, Kent, Martel, Martin, Matthews, Meredith-Hardy,Pearman and Standley
Also in attendance: Malcolm Ramsden (Clerk), County Councillor Tidy, District Councillor Wells, PCSO Neve, four members of public and 1 member of the press
1. Annual General Meeting
1.1 To elect a Chairman.
Resolved to elect Cllr. Doyle as Chairman. The Declaration of Acceptance of Office was signed.
7:34 p.m. Cllr. Martin arrives
1.2 To elect a Vice-Chairman.
Resolved to elect Cllr. Goolden as Vice-Chairman. The Declaration of Acceptance of Office was signed.
7:35 p.m. Cllr. Martel arrives
1.3 To elect Committees and Committee Chairmen.
Resolved to elect committees and chairmen as follows:
Cllr. Konrad (Chairman)
Cllr. Goolden (Chairman)
|Highways, Transport & Lighting
Cllr. Meredith-Hardy (Chairman)
Cllr. Goolden (Chairman)
Cllr. Clark (substitute)
Cllr. Martin (substitute)
|Recreation Ground Management
Cllr. Matthews (Chairman)
Cllr. Pearman (Chairman)
1.4 To elect Council Representatives.
Resolved to elect Council Representatives as follows:
Bewl Water Monitoring group (with Lamberhurst and Ticehurst PC’s)
Bocking Collection Trustees
Round Oak Allotment
St. George’s Hall
Uplands C. C. Extended School Governors Sub-Committee
Wadhurst Institute, Hall and Field Trust Strategy Committee
Wadhurst Institute, Hall and Field Trust Trustee
Wadhurst Local Action Team/Police Liason
Wadhurst Neighbourhood Watch
Wealden District Association of Local Councils
2. To receive apologies and reasons for absence.
Apologies received and reasons accepted from Cllrs. Berger and Konrad.
3. To receive declarations of interests on items on the Agenda.
Cllrs. Clark and Matthews declare their personal interest in item 12.4
4. Police Forum – time limit 15 minutes.
PCSO Neve highlighted from the previously circulated report that Operation Creosote was to commence on 15th May relating to property marking of items stored in sheds and garages. Five locations throughout the village are to be included. The Speed Watch initiative is proceeding but no training has taken place yet and a useful meeting had been held with members of the council and representatives from the highways department of County. Parking around Uplands was being monitored and calls regarding fake £50 notes are being investigated. A security meeting had been held with members of the Round Oak Allotment Association following thefts from sheds at the allotment site. Monthly street meetings are planned throughout the summer at various sites around the village. PCSO Neve responded to questions regarding the shed break-ins and the possibility of Church Street again being inappropriately used as a cut through during the proposed replacement gas main works.
5. Public Forum – time limit 15 minutes.
Mr. Turner advised members that during his inspection of trees at the Jardin d’Aubers he noticed that maintenance of the pond area and Jardin has fallen behind and that areas would soon be in need of reclamation. Whilst needing to be mindful of nesting birds, ducks and newts it was agreed that the Environment committee needed to act quickly to approve work at the site.
6. To approve the minutes of the meeting 12th April, 2012 as a true record.
7. To determine matters arising from the previous Minutes for updating and noting.
8. To receive reports of County and District Councillors.
County Cllr. Tidy informed members that an exercise is being carried out to identify carers in need of respite care throughout the county. He highlighted a useful Strengthening Local Relationship (SLR) meeting held in the village with members and county officers discussing a number of roads and highway issues. Future meetings may be used to discuss any of the other county services. Members also learnt that Becky Shaw would be pleased to discuss county issues at a meeting scheduled for the 21st of May and that the gas main replacement works were to start up again during the school summer holidays. Improved communications and larger working teams have been promised and an open day is scheduled for the 14th of June at the Commemoration Hall for residents wishing to know more.
District Cllr. Wells confirmed that there would be no charge for green waste collection as had been rumoured The move to a single site for the district was still on target and on budget. It would be complete in September although there would still be a small office manned at Crowborough. Members learnt of the timetable for the replacement body for the Standards Council and of changes to the Council tax support process. In response to a question from Cllr. Goolden members learnt that the possibility of savings from overlaps in the provision of some services – waste collection, roads, trading standards, environment and public health were under discussion.
9. Chairman’s Announcements & Correspondence for noting.
9.1 To appoint Working Parties and Working Party members.
Resolved to appoint the following working parties and working party members:-
Cllrs. Doyle, Gadd, Goolden and Martel
All working parties will report to the full Parish Council.
9.2 To discuss arrangements for Annual Parish Meeting and approve costs.
Agreement reached for an informal half with displays and tables covering the works of the committees, working parties, police, schools, gas main replacement works and neighbourhood watch with a brief formal section followed by Q&A session. Resolved to approve costs of up to £300.
9.3 To discuss and agree the process to be followed to co-opt a member to the council following the casual vacancy arising as a result of the resignation of Cllr. Browne.
Resolved to approve the previously circulated procedure paper.
9.4 To co-opt a member to the council following the casual vacancy arising as a result of the resignation of Cllr. Browne.
Resolved to exclude members of the public and press due to the confidential nature of this item.
Meeting suspended at 8.37 p.m. to allow the two candidates to address the meeting.
Meeting re-convened at 8.46 p.m.
Resolved by signed ballot to co-opt Felicity Harvest as a member of the council following the resignation of Cllr. Browne.
9.5 To discuss renovation of village sign and approve costs.
In the absence of Cllr. Konrad it was agreed that a meeting of the Environment Committee should be convened shortly to address this item.
9.6 To consider responses to request for views regarding ESCC Statement of Community Involvement.
Resolved that no response was necessary as the existing arrangements are satisfactory.
9.7 To consider establishing a jubilee fund to raise money for improving the village’s appearance, facilities and living experience and, if appropriate, approve costs.
Following a discussion of the previously circulated paper it was agreed that the idea was sound and whilst supported by the individual members it was felt that it was not the role of the council to establish such a fund.
9.8 To note recommendation of Wealden Parish Remuneration Panel and to approve Wadhurst Parish Council remuneration.
Resolved to approve remuneration as below, in accordance with the recommendations of the Wealden Parish Remuneration Panel. Allowances are unchanged.
Member’s basic allowance £140.00
Car or van – 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles
Motor cycle – 24p per mile
Cycle – 20p per mile
Breakfast – up to £5.50
Lunch – up to £7.50
Tea – up to £3.50
Evening meal – up to £9.50
10. Highways, Transport & Lighting Matters.
10.1 To receive report.
Members learnt more of the details of the successful SLR meeting mentioned in County Cllr. Tidy’s report which covered lines of communication, budget restrictions, speeding, High Street safety review, signage, carriageway width restrictions, grit bins and bunting.
10.2 To discuss contents of the High Street Safety (final draft) review.
Members felt disappointed that the review had taken longer than the expected end of February timetable and were surprised that the relevance of the parking issues had been understated and were concerned that the report didn’t appear balanced. Cllr. Martin expressed surprise that comments regarding 20 m.p.h. restrictions, Church Street and railway station problems hadn’t been included.
10.3 To discuss and agree whether, or not, to support the Beacon Link Bus Service for 2013.
Resolved to support the Beacon Link Bus Service for 2013 in view of the high level of usage by Wadhurst residents.
11. Planning Matters
11.1 To adopt Minutes of Planning Committee meetings held on 31st March, 5th and 14th April, 2012.
Amongst applications considered recently were the proposed new nursery and the Beech Glen appeal and it was understood that a revised application might be lodged for the Wood-B-Pine site. Resolved to adopt the minutes of Planning Committee meetings held on 31st March, 5th and 14th April, 2012.
12. Recreation Ground Matters
12.1. To receive report.
Members were advised that the Pagoda had been erected but not yet finished being delayed by the recent rains. The new litter bin and plaque will be added shortly.
12.2 To note costs of cleaning at pavilion of £135 whilst the clerk and caretaker were both on leave.
12.3 To approve increase in costs from £5.60 to £6.04 for collections of Commercial Waste for 2012/13.
Cllr. Standley declared an interest in this item. Resolved to approve the increase in costs from £5.60 to £6.04 for collections of Commercial Waste for 2012/13.
12.4 To review and approve new agreement with Wadhurst Tennis Club.
The re-surfacing of the courts has prompted a review of the Wadhurst Tennis Club agreement. Discussion concluded in the resolution that the new agreement be confirmed as per the previously circulated copy which includes provision for expenditure by the council of £1,600 p.a. for additional surface maintenance. This has been made necessary by the warranty for the new court surface.
13. Environmental Matters
13.1 To receive report.
Although Cllr. Konrad was not present members learnt that renovation work to the planters was planned for the weekend and volunteers were required.
13.2 To discuss progress regarding diamond jubilee bunting plans and approve costs.
Resolved to approve costs of up to £150 for the provision of bunting with the clerk to explore potential sites around the High Street. Cllr. Gadd is to explore the possibility of a diamond jubilee event at the Sparrows Green recreation ground with approval for costs within the clerk’s discretion.
14.1 To receive report.
14.2 To note minutes of meeting (not yet approved) held 26th April, 2012.
14.3 To approve accounts payable.
14.4 To approve payment of SALC (£1,028) and NALC (£206.50) subscriptions to March, 2013.
The continued services of SALC and NALC are appreciated. Resolved to approve payment of SALC (£1,028) and NALC (£206.50) subscriptions to March, 2013.
14.5 To approve payment of Wealden District Association of local Councils subscription of £30 to March, 2013.
Approved payment of Wealden District Association of local Councils subscription of £30 to March, 2013.
14.6 To approve payment of £5,214.85 for Zurich Municipal insurance cover.
The small increase in premium over the year was noted. Resolved to approve payment of £5,214.85 for Zurich Municipal insurance cover.
14.7 To consider recommendation to grant £2,500 to Wadhurst Cricket Club.
Members learnt that the Wadhurst Cricket Club is embarking on a £15,000 project to refurbish the cricket pavilion at Washwell Lane. Resolved to grant £1,500 from this year’s grant budget and an additional £1,000 to be funded from general reserves (reflecting the underspend of £1,000 in last year’s small grant budget).
14.8 To consider recommendation to transfer to specific reserves: £1,500 for fingerpost repairs and £5,000 for works to the War Memorial.
Resolved to transfer to specific reserves £1,500 for fingerpost repairs and £5,000 for works to the War Memorial.
15. Working Parties
15.1 To receive report of Business/High Street Working Party.
Cllr. Goolden’s report highlighted the work done by WDBA in Jempson’s proposals, shop watch and the shop locally campaign. Cllr. Gadd is progressing the promotion of tourism and traders reported an increase in shopper numbers on the day of the Italian Piazza.
15.1.1 To discuss holding a business networking event and approve costs.
Members agreed to hold a business network meeting in the Autumn or early in 2013 at the Sparrows Green. It was hoped that people working from home in small businesses would particularly benefit.
15.2 To receive report of Car Park Working Party.
Uplands CC has written to the Dept. for Education regarding change of use for a portion of the playing fields. The clerk has written to County detailing the members support of the scheme. Cllr. Doyle is to contact Charles Hendry to learn of progress. The clerk is to confirm arrangements for obtaining a loan from the Public Works Loan Board.
15.3 To receive report of Communications Working Party.
The new website is ready to be ‘populated’ and should be available for viewing in June. Cllr. Meredith-Hardy is to e-mail members with details of contributions to the web data that are still outstanding. It is hoped that enquirers will initially be diverted to the new site from wadhurst.info until the .gov domain is live.
15.3.1 To discuss progress regarding Annual Newsletter, and content.
Cllr. Kent reported that the Newsletter was ready for production and members agreed to sufficient copies being produced for the notice board, usual shops, Carillon Cottage and the Annual Village meeting.
15.4 To receive report of Youth Working Party.
Cllr. Clark reported that the focus of the group was to be to maximize the facilities at the youth club and promoting a ‘Dragon’s Den’ approach to the Youth Bank project.
15.5 To receive report of Cultural Activities Working Party.
Cllr. Martin updated members with progress regarding a ‘Culture’ insert if the Focus, ‘A weekend in Wadhurst’, the new bank account and funding bids in the pipeline.
16. Personnel Matters
16.1 To receive report.
16.2 To discuss clerk attending the SALC Clerk’s networking day and approve costs of £50 + VAT, if appropriate.
Resolved to approve the clerk’s attending the SALC Clerk’s networking day and costs of £50 + VAT.
17. Urgent issues at the discretion of the Chairman for noting or inclusion on future agenda.
Cllr. Doyle asked that members let him know of any issues to be raised with Becky Shaw.
The meeting closed at 10.15 p.m.