Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council held in the Village Hall, Fulking on Thursday 9 October 2008 at 8.00pm
Present : Vice Chairman Mr Tony Brooks, Councillors Mr Richard Corner, Mrs Jennifer Parmar and Mrs Pamela Rowland and Clerk to the Council, Mrs Paula Hazard.
Apologies for Absence : Chairman Mrs Jenny Vaughan
Declarations of Interest by Members (if any) are shown against the relevant items in the minutes.
The Vice Chairman advised that the PC, in response to public feedback, had decided that the minutes would not be read out at the beginning of meetings. Instead printed copies would be available to read at the meeting and in future draft minutes would be posted to the website and on the notice board. The minutes would still be formally approved, accepted and signed at PC meetings. Concerns were raised by some members of the public that this was not democratic as draft minutes of the previous meeting had not been available before this meeting. Therefore it was decided that for this meeting the minutes of the previous meeting would be read out. The minutes of the meeting held on 10 July 2008 were, after having been read out, then approved and signed by the Vice Chairman.
Rights of Way: DMMO 07/01 Perching Drove. A further letter had been sent to Mr Gort-Barten on 17 September. The PC had just received a reply but had not read it yet but planned to review it as soon as possible.
Highways: WSCC Highways had agreed to the PC s request to place ‘Unsuitable for HGVs’ signs at each end of Clappers Lane. This was requested to try to reduce the heavy traffic some of which was being diverted along the lane by sat nav systems. The signs were scheduled to be in place by the end of October.
WSCC Safety Engineering was currently reviewing the PC s request to authorise a section of non-skid surface across half of the Clappers Lane northern junction.
The PC had ordered new street light fittings to replace the worn and damaged ones for the street light at the bottom of Stammers Hill. These will be fitted when EDF can source fittings to match the style of the street light.
Clappers Lane had been closed for work on a culvert from 15 September. The work had now been completed and the lane was now open.
Market Garden: As agreed at the last meeting the PC had written to Development Control again (11 July) to ensure that the specific requirements for conditions 7 and 8 were included in the layout schemes. As Development Control had not replied this was chased up again on 3 October.
Preston Nomads: District Councillor Gina Field was asked if there had been any response from PNCC. She confirmed that there continued to be no response and that for now Cricket Club it appeared that the situation had reached an impasse.
North Town Field: The Chestnut Tree which had partially fallen down turned out to be completely rotten and the whole tree had been felled. The fence which had been damaged by the fallen branches had been repaired by Councillor Brooks.
To address the problem of the need for ongoing maintenance in the play area, the PC were considering asking someone to do this if it was possible to do it at a reasonable cost.
An informal meeting was held with the NTF trustees in August. The suggestion about improving access to the field was revisited. It was agreed to investigate resurfacing and levelling the top of the entrance without extending the tarmac. Quotations would be obtained which would also include the need to better secure the main gate.
An NTF working party was held on the August Bank Holiday weekend. This included clearing the areas where the nettles were taking over the field. This meant that Danny Flynn was now able to mow these areas.
A quotation had been received from the NTF Trust for major tree work which was now needed as this had not been done for a long time. The quotation was for 429. Councillor Brooks thought it would be prudent to obtain another quotation.
The Clerk had investigated the request from the NTF Trust asking if the PC s Public Liability insurance could cover both the play area and the rest of the field. The position was that the NTF Trust as owners of the field had a strict liability that arose from their ownership of the land. This meant that although the PC’s insurance covered any activities that the PC was responsible for (e.g. mowing grass, play area) it did not cover any activities that were not organised by the PC and therefore the Trust did need a separate insurance policy. The NTF Trust had been informed about this.
Village website: Draft minutes of PC meetings were now to be posted on the website within a month of the meeting.
The PC also thought it was a good idea to post dates for NTF Working Parties on the website as well as being noted in Pigeon Post.
The PC wanted to be able to post dates for Planning Meetings on the website. One possible problem was that they often had to be arranged at short notice and therefore the update process would need to be quick.
Affordable Housing: No further information directly affecting Fulking had been received.
MSDC Community Grant: Councillor Brooks asked County Councillor Peter Griffiths if funding for the improvement to the NTF entrance was something that could be applied for from the WSCC grants scheme. Peter Griffiths confirmed that this was the case and that the next application deadline would be in November.
Pigeon Post: A black and white printed version of Pigeon Post was now available again which Printing would be distributed as before. This would be on an opt out basis meaning that people could choose not to receive the printed version if they wanted to print it themselves. A colour version would be available on the website. The question was raised as to whether it would still be emailed out. Councillor Parmar said that she would ask the new editor, Aidan Walker, about the current process.
Diseased Trees: Councillor Rowland had spoken to the Landowner about the trees on the field at side of the road and the Clerk had reported the trees on the road side of Clappers Lane to WSCC Highways. WSCC Highways were awaiting a report Lane from a Tree Specialist. The local Tree Warden was also waiting for the WSCC tree survey.
Action in Rural Sussex: The PC had agreed to join the Action in Rural Sussex Community Planning Rural Network group. The group wanted the PC to let them know the top three priorities to focus on. The PC was going to discuss this further and report back at the next PC meeting.
Fly Tipping at the Bostal: Problems with fly tipping at the entrance to the Bostal bridleway had been reported. The question was raised whether there was anything that could be done to prevent it. It would not be easy but it was something that could be looked into further. The fact that fly tipping can be reported directly to MSDC was noted.
Financial Matter: The Vice Chairman signed off the interim audit, cheque list and cheque stubs. The internal audit of the Annual Accounts 07/08 had been carried out by Nick Hughes and the Annual Return had been sent to Mazars, the external auditors. The PC thanked Nick Hughes for his services.
AOB: County Councillor Peter Griffiths addressed the meeting about Health (including the suspension of Fit for the Future proposals), Highways, the proposed South Downs National Park and the County Local Committee.
District Councillor Gina Field addressed the meeting about forthcoming events, next year’s County Council and European Elections. She also gave a personal view assessing the recent Beachdown Festival event.
Councillor Brooks who was chairing the meeting opened up a discussion with Mr Goodridge addressing points that he had written to the PC about. The discussion covered communication between the PC and the village, village website, minutes being read out at meetings, publication of draft minutes and publication of agendas. The PC supported the idea of publishing draft minutes and would be trialling minutes not being read out. Details about the agenda needed to be looked into further. It was noted that some suggestions regarding the website and general communication needed people to carry out the work and it was not always possible to find volunteers. Mr Sapted requested that the PC bear in mind that not everyone had access to the website or email.
Date of Next Meeting: 8 January 2009.
The meeting closed at 9.25.
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