Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council held in the Village Hall, Fulking on Thursday 9 July 2009 at 8.00pm
Present: Chairman Mrs Jenny Vaughan, Vice Chairman Mr Tony Brooks, Councillors Mr Richard Corner, Mrs Jennifer Parmar, Mrs Pamela Rowland and Clerk to the Council Mrs Paula Hazard.
Apologies for Absence: None
Declarations of Interest by Members (if any) are shown against the relevant items in the minutes.
County Council Update — County Councillor Peter Griffiths gave an update to the meeting on Highways Drainage, County Local Committee and Education Policy. He also commented on the issue of potentially providing parking on part of the bank on the west side of Clappers Lane. This issue had been raised by local residents and he was going to investigate whether the land was owned by WSCC. He also commented upon policy for school transport for Horsham District residents which had affected residents living in Edburton. He explained that he raised this issue because although Edburton does not fall within Fulking Parish, he understands that the two villages are closely linked.
Minutes — There had not been any objections to the current arrangements for publishing the minutes. Therefore it had been decided to continue with the arrangement of posting the draft minutes on the notice board and the website in place of reading them out at the PC meeting. The minutes would then be formally signed off at the following PC meeting.
The minutes of the meeting held on 9 April 2009, as previously circulated, were approved, accepted and signed by the Chairman.
Highways An update on the status on issues previously reported to WSCC Highways was given. These were:-
Flooding at Brook House and Hillbrook Nursery Works completed to rectify this problem.
Blocked stream pipe near The Sands — Work had just started on rectifying this problem.
Blocked gullies at Old Wood/Holmbush Lane junction Work had just started on rectifying this problem.
Preston Nomads: Communication with PNCC was improving. Residents had expressed concerns about the high speed of traffic visiting the Cricket Club club along Clappers Lane and the large size of the coaches being used to transport people to the club. The PC will write a letter to PNCC asking them to point out the 20mph speed limit and to respect the quiet and unspoilt nature of the area. PNCC will also be asked whether smaller coaches can be used bearing in mind the unsuitability of the large coaches being used in such a narrow lane and the damage that is being done to the verges and hedgerows.
North Town Field: Ongoing maintenance — A working party took place in June covering the maintenance, painting, cleaning and gardening of the play area. This covered outstanding tasks but the long-term problem of maintenance still remained.
Permanent play surface and play equipment: The PC planned to have a meeting about the playground equipment and play surface with representatives from the younger generation. When the requirements had been defined then the PC would apply for funding. The PC had asked Foster Playscapes for play equipment recommendations and information and was waiting to hear back from them.
Mowing: A meeting had been held with Danny Flynn to discuss the issue of the inadequate and late mowing. It had been agreed that there should be more frequent mowing in the early season if required, which should be balanced out by less mowing later in the season. It was hoped that this would prevent the problem of the poor appearance of the field reoccurring.
The problem with the spreading nettles had also been discussed. It had been agreed that Danny would spray the nettles to clear the edge of the field back to the boundary. A two week period would be needed before the field could be cleared of large debris such as logs in order to allow mowing up to the edges. It was agreed that the spraying should be done at the end of July so that a working party could be organised for mid-August. The date for the working party would be announced in Pigeon Post.
Public Liability Insurance: The PC were trying to find a solicitor that could help draft up a legal agreement.
Diseased trees in Clappers Lane: Work had been completed on clearing the diseased trees on public land.
Fly-Tipping at the Bostal: The issue of establishing which land at the entrance area to the Bostal was public and which was private was being looked at. Councillor Brooks planned to speak to the manager of the private land.
Beachdown: It had been decided that the precept money would not be used to help fund the independent noise level monitoring. It was felt that there were more appropriate ways of allocating precept money for the general benefit of the village.
Village Plan: The PC now had a contact to help take the village plan forward. Clerk to pursue this.
Financial Matters: The Chairman and Vice Chairman signed off the interim audit, cheque list and cheque stubs. The 2008/2009 Annual Accounts had been prepared and the Audit Return had been signed off. In previous years it had been signed at the July meeting, however the Audit Commission had brought forward the deadline by which the accounts had to be signed to the end of June. Therefore a meeting had been held between the Chairman and the Responsible Financial Officer on 19 June to sign off the accounts. The PC meeting may need to be brought forward to before the end of June next year so that the accounts can be signed at the PC meeting. Clerk to check with the Audit Commission. The internal audit had been carried out by Nick Hughes and the PC expressed thanks for his services and time.
AOB: The PC had been contacted before the meeting to raise the subject of the problem of parking in Clappers Lane. One potential solution of utilising a banked area on the west side of Clappers Lane had been discussed with County Councillor Peter Griffiths at the beginning of the meeting. One drawback was that it could be prohibitively expensive because of the work that would be required on the steep bank. The PC said that another potential solution was being investigated and that they were in delicate negotiations with someone at present but were not at liberty to disclose the details. If anything did come out of the negotiations it would not be until next year and would almost certainly involve a charge for the parking rights.
District Councillor Susannah Kemp addressed the meeting about her work. This covered canvassing for resurfacing the A23 between Handcross and the Pillars with a new quieter surface, flooding problems which would be alleviated if Southern Water met its responsibility of jetting the drains annually and changing licensing law for large events such as the Beachdown Festival which would more appropriately be dealt with by the Magistrates system. In terms of organising support against such festivals, she recommended that residents form a Residents Association which would be taken more seriously by local authorities and could gain charitable status. She also noted her concern that MSDC officials did not have the capability to adequately monitor the Beachdown Festivals from a number of angles including noise monitoring. She noted the issue of the maintenance of the play area and said that Hurstpierpoint Parish Council employed a maintenance person who might be able to help. Clerk to investigate.
The meeting was opened up for local residents to raise any issues.
The PC was asked to elaborate on their decision not to fund the noise monitoring equipment for Beachdown.
The issue of the very large size coaches used by Preston Nomads was raised and it was requested that this point be emphasized in the PC s letter to the club.
Concerns were raised about the amount of development activity and land clearing at two sites in Clappers Lane. One site was the corner plot of Clappers Lane (referred to previously as two sheds). The second site was the Market Garden Site. District Councillor Susannah Kemp said she would take this up with Development Control.
Date of Next Meeting: 8 October 2009.
The meeting closed at 9.10
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