Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council held in the Village Hall, Fulking on Thursday 13 January 2011 at 8.00pm
Present: Chairman Mr Tony Brooks, Councillors Mr Richard Corner, Ms Jo Hudek and Clerk to the Council Mrs Paula Hazard.
Apologies for Absence: Vice Chairman Mrs Pamela Rowland, Councillor Mrs Jennifer Parmar
Declarations of Interest by Members (if any) are shown against the relevant items in the minutes.
County Council update — County Councillor Peter Griffiths addressed the meeting. He talked about Highways covering Fulking’s Local Winter Management Plan and local flooding problems. He gave an update on the implications of the reduced budget for West Sussex. He was asked if there was something that could be done about a kissing gate that had been very badly damaged by a vehicle. This was outside 45 Clappers Lane. He agreed to report this to the Head of the Rights of Way team.
Minutes — The minutes of the meeting held on 14 October 2010, as previously circulated, were approved, accepted and signed by the Chairman.
Highways: Flooding problem by the Shepherd and Dog stream culvert — The PC had agreed at the previous PC meeting to monitor how badly this part of the road flooded in the winter. As suspected, there was still a flooding problem caused by water flowing down the hill on to the northern side of the road. The drain still blocked easily during heavy rain. The PC planned to request that WSCC clear the drain more frequently and press again for a more permanent solution such as a gully.
Flooding by The Sands in Clappers Lane — The stream was running over the road again by The Sands. This was proving lethal when the temperature dropped and the water iced over. WSCC had been notified that the pipe needed to be unblocked. Rubbish that had been dumped in the ditch was also aggravating the problem. This had been reported as fly tipping to Mid Sussex District Council in early November but it had still not been removed.
Flooding by the junction of Clappers Lane and Holmbush Lane — This has been reported to WSCC with photographs to illustrate the issue particularly the problem that one of the ditches does not get cleared.
Flooding by Four Acres on Poynings Road — This flooded badly with the recent heavy rain. It had been reported to WSCC stressing that the flooding on a blind bend caused a danger to traffic. The drain needed to be blasted through.
The Chairman said that he would compile a summary of all the recurring flooding problems in the area and submit this to WSCC Highways and enlist the support of CC Peter Griffiths.
North Town Field Play Area Surface — The PC s grant application to Viridor had been successful. 5000 had been awarded to the cost of the new play surface. The new wetpour surface to replace the old barkpit had been put in. The surrounding area needed to be turfed which was planned to be done soon.
Public Liability Insurance — NTF Trust had advised that the new lease contract had been completed and it would now be circulated to the PC for signature.
Rights of Way: Diverted Footpath 4dF — There was no further news from the Rights of Way Way Committee.
Reopening of Bridleway 11F — There was no further news from West Sussex Rights of Way.
Permissive Path near Paythorne Farm — It was planned that this path would be opened by 31 January.
Bridleway 5/3F — This path runs alongside West Dean to Cabbage Patch and suffers from very poor drainage. It was discussed whether this problem could be addressed. Previously the South Downs Joint Committee had carried out some work to improve the drainage. However only a small part of the path had been worked on. The Chairman said that he would contact the South Downs Joint Committee to see if they improve drainage on the rest of the path.
Local Winter Management Plan: WSCC had approved the arrangement for the local farmer, David Ellin, to clear snow from local lanes. To support this, WSCC had lent the farm a snow plough attachment which required some modification for it to work.
The PC had looked into ordering bulk bags of salt but had decided to go for a permanent solution so five grit bins had been purchased. Three of these had been installed in Clappers Lane and two in The Street. All the bins had been filled by WSCC with a salt mix. Each bin has a nominated keyholder. It was agreed that details about the grit bins should be posted to the village website.
Village Plan: A draft Village Action Plan had been circulated to all households in December. Following a consultation period due to end on 15 January, a revised draft would be presented to the village at a meeting on 10 February.
Ram House: The National Trust had carried out the repair work to the Ram House. This involved removing branches from the nearby trees which were damaging the roof tiles and fitting the replacement roof tiles. The work was carried out at no cost to the PC.
Lower Kents: The PC had written to MSDC Development Control at the end of October stressing local concerns about the sheer length of time it was taking for the landowner to submit a retrospective planning application. The PC had proposed that a time limit be set by which plans must be submitted with the alternative being that the half finished unapproved building be taken down. No response had been received. It was decided that the PC should contact Susanna Kemp (District Councillor) about this matter as well as writing a follow up letter to Development Control.
Powered Microlights: The South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) had not responded about their view on policy on powered microlights/hang gliders/paragliders etc. in the National Park area. It was agreed that the Chairman and Councillor Corner would raise this issue at the upcoming SDNPA meeting.
Offshore Wind Farm: A planning application was expected to be submitted to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) on 2 January 2012. The IPC has 28 days from the day after submission to review the application and decide whether or not to accept it. If the application was accepted, IPC will advise the timescales when interested parties can register to make a representation .
Information had been received which indicated that it was likely that the cables would be laid underground at Truleigh Hill. This would require very large trenches to be dug over the Downs. The PC planned to contact the South Downs National Park Authority to assess their view.
Electricity Power Cuts: An article had been put in November Pigeon Post to make residents aware that in order to get power cuts fixed, it was necessary for residents to phone EDF. There had been a long power cut on Christmas eve for part of village which had proved again that action was only taken by EDF if enough people rung them. A reminder would be put in PP again as some residents said that they still didn’t know that they had to ring EDF. The larger issue of improving the electricity service to the village was discussed and it was agreed that this issue should be added to the Village Plan.
Market Garden Site: MSDC had made little progress with setting up a new site due to widespread objections to any proposed new sites that had been identified. At the last PC meeting the query was raised as to whether a site in another District Council area within in West Sussex could be offered. The Clerk had discussed this issue with District Councillor Susanna Kemp who had confirmed that the family could be offered a site in another District Council within West Sussex. It was noted that the family had previously lived in Horsham and before that in Adur District Council. The PC had now raised this issue at a senior level by writing to Claire Tester, Head of Planning.
Private Airstrip: The PC had been made aware that a local resident had written to the Directorate of Airspace Policy about a private airstrip that has been set up at Folly Farm. The matter was discussed in terms of the nuisance caused to local residents by the very frequent use of the airstrip.
Parish Council Elections: It was announced that the current Parish Council was coming to the end of its four year term at the beginning of May. The public was advised that any prospective candidates should get in touch with the current Parish Councillors to find out more details. The Clerk to put an article about this in the next edition of Pigeon Post.
Financial Matters: The Chairman signed off the interim audit, cheque list and cheque stubs. The precept for 2011/12 had been set at 6144, an increase of 2.7%.
AOB: The Chairman advised that the PC had successfully applied for a grant from West Sussex County Council to repair the fingerpost at the junction of The Street and Clappers Lane. The repair work was planned to be carried out soon.
Councillor Corner talked about problem with rats getting close to or actually into houses. He advised the meeting that Mid Sussex District Councill offered a free service to treat rat problems. It was agreed that Councillor Hudek would put an article in Pigeon Post about things that can be done to deter rats from residences.
The Chairman said that he had been asked if PC meetings could start half an hour earlier at 7.30. The PC agreed that this would not be a problem and the next meeting will start at 7.30.
The meeting was then opened up for local residents to raise any issues.
There was a discussion about the selection and prominence of articles in Pigeon Post. Also the issue of keeping the village website up to date was raised. The point was made that both these village resources relied solely on volunteers who did a good job and fitted this work around their own jobs.
The issue of the purchase by Preston Nomads of the ground that the garages are on was raised. The process was still ongoing.
The issue of whether the village needed an emergency contact was raised. This followed on from part of the village having no electricity for over 18 hours and whether there was a need for coordination of support services. Apparently there had been an emergency contact in the past. It was agreed that this would be added to the Village Action Plan.
Date of Next Meeting: 14 April 2011.
The meeting closed at 9.45
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