Ewhurst Parish Council
Chairman: David Young 01580 830000
Vice Chairman Robin Redsull 01580 831851
Councillor Anne Reed
Councillor Margaret Whitaker
Councillor Simon Tuson-Taylor
Councillor Brigitte Fifield
Councillor Mandy Hardes
Ewhurst Parish Council
Draft MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY 12 JUNE 2008
AT ST MARK’S CHURCH ROOM, NORTHIAM ROAD, STAPLECROSS
Cllr David Young (Chairman)
Cllr Anne Reed
Cllr Maggie Whitaker
Cllr Simon Tuson-Taylor
Cllr Brigitte Fifield
Cllr Mandy Hardes
Cllr Robin Redsull
Cllr Peter Jones East Sussex County Council
Karen Wake Clerk
Cllr Tony Ganly Rother District Council
PC08.29 RESIDENTS’ QUESTIONS
Two residents were present at the meeting. One requested the Parish Council’s support regarding a planning dispute, with Rother Council. The riding school at Stocklands Farm had been constructed in a site approximately 30m south of that for which planning permission had been granted. Rother District Council had issued an enforcement notice as the new site blocked a Public right of way. The resident had a letter from the previous landowner stating that the Public had used a different route for the right of way for some considerable period of time and that the route had, therefore, been moved. The resident was challenging Rother’s enforcement action and requested the Parish Council’s support. The Chairman explained that the Parish Council had no power to intervene in planning action of this nature and that a formal process existed for the diversion of a Public right of way.
The second resident requested the Parish Council’s support to make changes to the ground surrounding the Church Room, to create a safe environment to enable children at the playgroup to play outside. The Chairman explained that details of the proposed changes would need to be approved by the Parochial Church Council first and then the matter should be returned to the Parish Council for further consideration.
Cllrs Young and Redsull were nominated and unanimously agreed as Parish Council’s representatives to RALC and SALC.
PC08.30 PCSO REPORT
PCSO Kemp’s delegate reported two minor incidents. An attempted break-in to the shed at Staplecross School and a white pick-up van collecting scrap metal. Members were asked to report the vehicle registration number of the white van, if seen in the Parish.
PC08.31 DISTRICT COUNCILLOR’S REPORT
There were no matters to report.
PC08.32 DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
Members were reminded of the duty to disclose any interests and to repeat the disclosure immediately before discussion of the relevant item.
PC08.33 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Received from Cllr Redsull and County Cllr Jones.
PC08.34 MINUTES OF THE MEETINGS HELD ON 12 MAY 2008
The Minutes of the meeting were approved and signed by the Chairman.
PC08.34.1 Matters Arising
(i) Village Signs
PC08.26 refers. The Clerk has contacted John Jacob Studio for an estimate to frame the original paintings.
PC08.35 PLANNING ISSUES
PC08.35.1 Planning Applications
Members considered the following planning application:-
RR/2008/1317 –Various sites, Northiam Road
Replacement of existing overhead electricity line with aerial bundled conductor (which replaces the existing four wire power lines with a single cable)
Members supported this application
PC08.35.2 Planning Permission Granted/Refused
Members noted the following planning decisions:-
RR/2008/451 – The Clock House, Ewhurst Green
Erection of Victorian style greenhouse Granted
RR/2008/270 – Wattle Hill Oast, Beacon Lane
Erection of extension to pool house, internal alterations and conversion of garage Granted
RR/2008/772 – The Chestnuts, Cripps Corner
Erection of single storey rear extension Granted
RR/2008/420 – Romney Lodge, Ewhurst Green
Amended elevations of previously granted application for a two storey extension Granted
PC08.35.3 Other Planning Matters
The Clerk reported that Northridge Gospel Hall Trust had been in touch as they intended to apply for permission for development at Forge Farm, Junction Road. The applicant plans to attend a future meeting, to discuss the proposals with Council.
It was noted that an appeal had been lodged in respect of RR/2007/2619 Ockham Farm, Dagg Lane, Ewhurst Green for the retention of security fencing around the boundary of the site. It was noted that Council’s comments would be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. Members agreed not to make further representation.
It was noted that Rother Planning were in discussion with the Cross Inn to re-site the smoking shelter, for which Planning Permission was refused. A further report will be made once the situation changes.
PC08.36 FINANCIAL REPORT
Members noted the latest bank statement and bank reconciliation.
Members noted the following receipts £
Bank Interest (May) 153.47
VAT refund 1,433.62
Members approved the following payments
Clerk (salary & expenses – May 2008) 221.03
SALC (training course) 70.50
(iv) Annual Accounts
Members noted that the accounts and annual return had been inspected by Council’s external verifier Dennis Farnsworth. There had been some queries, which had been answered by the Clerk and reviewed by the Chairman. The Annual Return had been verified and signed by Mr Farnsworth.
Members reviewed the Accounts and the Annual Return and
AGREED To approve the Accounts and to authorise signature by the Chairman and the Responsible Financial Officer; and
To approve the Annual Return, to authorise signature by the Chairman and the Responsible Financial Officer and to submit the Annual Return to Mazars, Council’s External Auditor.
PC08.37 ISSUES FOR CONSULTATION
Members were reminded that Rother District Council were willing to host a website for Ewhurst Parish Council, at no cost. Members had been requested to consider the initial content of the website and to make suggestions to Cllr Whitaker.
After discussion, it was agreed to delegate the matter to the Chairman, Clerk and Cllr Whitaker, to finalise the initial content and make the necessary arrangements with Rother District Council.
PC08.38 MEMBERS’ REPORTS
Cllr Hardes reported that the hedgerow on Bodiam Road near The Old Forge was overgrown with brambles, with the result that it blocked use of the footpath by children walking to the School. The Clerk agreed to raise the matter with East Sussex Highways.
Cllr Whitaker reported that ESCC had a “Compost Doctor” service, who had been invited to attend the School Fete and the Christmas Market at the Village Hall.
Cllr Whitaker also reported that the noticeboard for the Herdman Trust had been completed and that she would arrange to collect it from Country Ways Oak. It was further agreed that Mr Stephenson (The Old Coach House) would be asked to provide a quotation to erect the noticeboard in the Herdman Field.
Cllr Fifield reported that lorries had been seen entering and leaving Ren’s Shaw. It was also noted that re-landscaping was required in order to comply with the enforcement notice.
The Chairman advised that he would be attending the RALC AGM on 9 July.
PC08.39 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
No further business.
PC08.40 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Thursday 10 July at 1930 hrs
The Chairman closed the meeting at 2110 hrs.
Ewhurst Parish Council
Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of every month at 7.30pmin
St Marks' Church Hall Staplecross. The meetings last about 2 hours.
Residents of the Parish of Ewhurst, (including Staplecross and Cripps Corner) are most welcome; the early part of the meeting is reserved for resident’s question time. At other times comments from the floor are at the discretion of the Chair.
The Council does not meet in August.
Ewhurst Parish Council
Annual Report of
Ewhurst Parish Council
This is a report of the work undertaken by the Parish Council during the past twelve months.
Much of the Parish Council’s work relates to the maintenance of Parish Council property – bus shelters, seating, noticeboards, War Memorials – and the open spaces of the Parish, namely the playing fields at Staplecross and Ewhurst.
Rother District Council are responsible for Planning issues, waste collection and recycling, whilst Traffic and Road Safety issues are, primarily, the responsibility of East Sussex County Council. But we work closely with both Councils on issues that require specific application within the Parish.
Following the Election held in May 2007, the following Councillors were elected, unopposed:-
• David Young
• Anne Reed
• Maggie Whitaker
• Brigitte Fifield
• Simon Tuson-Taylor
In addition, the following were co-opted to fill the two vacancies
• Robin Redsull
• Mandy Hardes
Brian Scowen, Alastair Neill and Mary Reeve opted not to stand for a further term. They did sterling work during their term of office and we are grateful for the energy and commitment they brought to the Parish Council.
In particular, Mary carried out very many of our site visits in connection with Planning Applications; Alastair brought his very extensive knowledge of the history of the Parish; and Brian undertook additional work in the maintenance of Staplecross Playing Field, beyond that normally required of a Councillor. We wish them well and thank them for leaving the Parish Council so well-equipped for the future.
Following Council’s Annual General Meeting, the following were elected:
Chairman David Young
Vice-Chairman Maggie Whitaker
Village Hall Representative Anne Reed
Rother Association Representatives David Young & Anne Reed
The Parish Council meets on the second Monday of each month at St Mark’s Church Room. Meetings start at 7.30pm during British Summer Time (April-October) and 7pm at other times. Generally, we do not meet in August unless there are matters to deal with that cannot wait until September’s meeting.
All local residents are very welcome to attend Parish Council Meetings. We encourage you to attend as we are your elected representatives and need to know your concerns and desires for the Parish. We cannot promise to address every single issue to your complete satisfaction, but we shall certainly listen to you what you say!
Residents may raise any Parish issue or ask any question, during the first fifteen minutes of each Meeting, which is specifically reserved for “Residents’ Questions”. Objections or comments relating to Planning Applications should, however, be made directly to Rother District Council so are taken into account when Rother decide if Planning Permission is to be granted.
The Parish Council owns the pavilions at the playing fields in Ewhurst and Staplecross; bus shelters; benches; noticeboards; the car park at St Marks and the War Memorials.
During the year we completed the construction and erection of a sign for each village, with the last remaining sign installed at Cripps Corner, opposite the White Hart. We are grateful to John Jacob Studio for all the work undertaken to complete this project.
The perimeter fence surrounding the play area at Staplecross was replaced, to ensure it provides a safe place for smaller children to play. The annual safety inspection revealed that the see-saw was beyond repair and this was also replaced – other remedial work was also undertaken at both playing fields, as recommended by the inspector.
Council agreed to restoration work to the War Memorial at Ewhurst and this will be carried out in the near future. We also plan to restore the Staplecross Memorial during the course of this year.
Whilst maintenance work was carried out on the noticeboards in 2006, each one will need to be replaced over the next few years, starting with the Ewhurst noticeboard this year. We had been asked to consider whether there were advantages in placing the noticeboard in a more prominent position but local residents were overwhelmingly in favour of retaining the current site.
Ongoing maintenance is always necessary to preserve our property and ensure it remains fit for use and visually appropriate. In next year’s budget, Council has included provision for a “sinking fund” to enable us to carry out major restoration and/or replacement of property as and when the need arises.
Law & Order
Our local PCSO, Samantha Kemp, attends most of our meetings. This provides an opportunity for us to hear about any local crime issues and/or raise matters of concern directly with her. We are grateful to Sam for her hard work and dedication in the last year.
As many of you will know, we have been working towards identifying suitable traffic calming measures at various sites throughout the Parish. During the year, the Government issued new National guidelines for controlling the speed of vehicles, including an aim to reduce the speed limit in villages to 30 mph. In addition, East Sussex County Council secured additional funding of £750,000 and consulted with Parish Councils to determine a new policy of setting local speed limits. An analysis of traffic speed was carried out, in conjunction with Sussex Police, in very many East Sussex villages during the Autumn and the results have been published very recently.
We shall be making an announcement at the Annual Parish Meeting and hope to provide more details of the traffic calming measures to be implemented throughout the Parish.
The Local Action Plan
Local Action Plans are an outline of the Parish’s future development, describing the issues that local Residents want addressed in order to create a place they are proud to live in and be a part of. The Plan belongs to local residents, so it needs your involvement and support.
You have a unique opportunity to help shape the future of the Parish in which you live. You can contribute in many ways – as part of the Steering Group and/or distribution network; research; producing leaflets and posters; general administrative support; and, most importantly, responding to consultation so that the final Plan represents your views.
The Parish Council fully supports the production of a Local Action Plan for the Parish; we have funds available to help with the initial planning, but volunteers are needed to complete the Plan and carry out the resulting actions. More details will be delivered to households and published in Parish News and on local noticeboards in the forthcoming months. There will also be a stand at the Annual Parish Meeting where you can find out more.
We have been very fortunate to have four volunteers monitoring our local Public Footpaths, working with the Rights of Way team at East Sussex County Council. We are grateful to Judy Winchester, Susie Hewer, Jonty Driver and Kate Biggs for dealing with broken stiles and other difficulties, ensuring that this valuable resource remains available to local residents and visitors alike.
The Parish Council raises the funds needed to fulfil its obligations via a Precept (request) to Rother District Council, which is then collected as part of the Council Tax. In setting the Precept, the Parish Council prepares a budget to identify issues that are likely to require specific expenditure, in addition to our normal operating costs.
We have published our budget for next year (to the end of March 2009) on the following page. We continue to build a reserve to enable us to implement traffic calming measures, although some of our plans may be funded by East Sussex County Council. Importantly, we are also building a reserve (or sinking fund), so that we can plan for the replacement of certain property as the need arises. In particular, the pavilions at the playing fields are likely to need either extensive refurbishment or replacement in the next 5-10 years and we need to be sure we have the finance in place to achieve this.
We publish our audited accounts each year, on the noticeboards and in Parish News. Any resident who wishes to receive a copy or inspect our records can do so – simply contact the Clerk.
Thank you to the Parish Councillors that have given their time and effort and to the Clerk, Rother District Councillor and East Sussex County Councillor, all of whom provide us with much-needed support.
David Young, Chairman, Ewhurst Parish Council