Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council held in the Village Hall, Fulking on Thursday 8 October 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.
Minutes — The minutes of the meeting held on 9 July 2009, as previously circulated, were approved, accepted and signed by the Chairman.
Highways: An update on the status on outstanding issues previously reported to WSCC Highways was given. These were:-
Blocked stream pipe near The Sands – Works completed.
Blocked gullies at Old Wood/Holmbush Lane junction Works completed.
There was no further information about the request for a non-skid surface at the northern entrance to Clappers Lane.
The recurring flooding problems at the Shepherd and Dog stream culvert and at the bend opposite Four Acres had been reported to WSCC Highways.
The street light at Stammers Hill had often been on during the day due to overhanging branches. This had been reported to EDF but they had advised that they were no longer responsible for street lighting maintenance. Therefore tree work would need to be arranged. It was agreed to find out when NTF have any tree work planned and try to do all this work at the same time to save on costs.
Preston Nomads: The PC had received a response to their letter about speeding and the large size of coaches being used. The letter from PNCC was read out which Cricket Club acknowledged these concerns and agreed to advise drivers to adhere to the speed limit. The club also said it would also raise the issue of large coaches but thought that resolving this may be constrained by economic factors.
PNCC had announced that they were planning to provide six parking spaces for residents of Clappers Lane. Councillor Brooks explained the details of the proposed plans which were still under negotiation and were seen as providing a solution to the parking problem there. It was discussed how it was envisaged that the parking spaces would be charged for but the exact details remained to be finalised. The PC took questions from the floor and Councillor Brooks said that it was important to gauge the number of residents interested in using the parking spaces. Linda Dyos offered to canvass local opinion.
North Town Field: Ongoing maintenance The possibility of being given help by the Hurstpierpoint maintenance team had been explored but it transpired that they were overstretched. Therefore it was still hoped that somebody could be found to do this work at a reasonable cost. A working party took place in September to clear the sprayed nettles, brambles and to carry out general gardening and tidying work.
Permanent play surface and play equipment: Chairman Jenny Vaughan and Councillor Pam Rowland had met with Hollie Trist and Anna and Lily Frost to discuss the type of play equipment that their age group would like. The equipment that they are interested in can be found at Buckingham Park and the Clerk will contact Adur District Council to find out who the suppliers are and the issue will be researched further. A new type of surface to replace the barkpit will also be looked into. It was suggested that it would be worth contacting Slaugham Parish Council as they had recently had a new play surface installed. It had become clear from discussions that fund raising would be necessary as the cost would be quite substantial.
Mowing: The mowing had now been carried out on a more regular basis by Danny Flynn. He had also sprayed the nettles around the edges of the field in time for the working party to clear the nettles.
Public Liability Insurance: The NTF Trust were now looking at this and were trying to find a property solicitor who could give both bodies legal advice about the insurance position.
Fly-Tipping at the Bostal: The farm manager had established that the land at the entrance area to the Bostal was not part of the private farm land and would now be speaking to the National Trust about ownership of the land.
Phone Box: BT planned to remove the telephone connection unless the village was prepared to pay 300 per annum to keep it going. The Parish Council could buy the phone box itself for the nominal sum of 1 but that would mean that the telephone connection would be removed with no possibility of reinstatement and the PC would be responsible for maintaining and insuring it. The PC canvassed opinion as to whether the PC should fund the annual telephone costs and how this could be achieved. This was in light of the fact that mobile phone coverage is poor in parts of the village and the village is often subject to power cuts. There was support from the meeting but subject to the view that the village did not think they should fund it. County Councillor Peter Griffiths recommended that the PC contact Action in Rural Sussex to see if they knew of any funding initiatives.
Diverted Footpath 4dF: It had been brought to the PC’s attention that footpath 4dF had been diverted. It was reported to WSCC Rights of Way and they were now handling the situation with the owner of the land. WSCC had advised the PC that there was an outstanding diversion application in Fulking but said that they could not confirm whether it related to this footpath until the application came up before the Rights of Way Committee at which time the PC would be consulted.
Reopening of Bridleway 11F: The PC had been asked if it could help with getting this bridleway reopened as it had been blocked for some time. The PC had contacted WSCC Rights of Way and the South Downs Joint Committee. SDJC had now formally advised the landowner that he had two options. These were to either allow SDJC to install 2 hunt gates and appropriate way marking on the line of the legal right of way or to apply to WSCC Rights of Way for a diversion order.
Development at land opposite 45 Clappers Lane (Lower Kents): The PC had been in touch with MSDC Enforcement Officer John Arnold about the ongoing and obvious development at this site. The latest letter from John was read out which stated that the owner had been invited to either cease the breach of planning control or make a retrospective planning application.
South Downs National Park: Councillor Corner talked about proposals for how the South Downs National Park Authority membership will be organised with a particular focus on representation by Parish Councillors. He had attended a recent meeting which had discussed this. It currently looked like there would be between 6-8 Parish Councillors that would be elected to serve as part of the board to represent the entire Park area. DEFRA had asked for submissions on how representation should be set up at the Parish Council level. Councillor Corner had detailed his submission and sent this to DEFRA. The PC supported this view and it was agreed that the Clerk should write to DEFRA to formally support this view on behalf of the PC.
Overhead Power Lines: Councillor Brooks had been in contact with EDF who had clarified the issue of putting power lines underground. It was very unlikely that power lines on the pylons in Fulking would be buried underground as it would be prohibitively expensive. Councillor Corner said that he had been advised a couple of years ago by the South Downs Joint Committee that it would cost EDF at least 500,000 per kilometre. The power lines in the Cuckmere Valley that had been buried underground were not the lines on pylons but the lines on the wooden poles.
Crimestoppers: Carolyn Randall, Area Manager of Sussex Crimestoppers, gave a talk about its background and operations. She gave examples of cases that had been helped by Crimestoppers and stressed that one of the key features of the service is the guarantee of anonymity for callers.
Financial Matters: The Chairman and Vice Chairman signed off the interim audit, cheque list and cheque stubs.
AOB: County Council Update – County Councillor Peter Griffiths gave an update to the meeting about Highways, the recent County Local Committee meeting and his work on the organisation of special schools in Mid Sussex. He said that he would follow up the PC’s request for a non-skid surface at the northern entrance to Clappers Lane.
District Council Update District Councillor Gina Field talked about her work on the Better Lives initiative with a focus on demonstrating that current licensing legislation is inappropriate for large outdoor events. The Better Lives committee has agreed to go to Full Council with the proposal that they put a request to the Secretary of State for separate legislation. She also talked about Core Strategy, Heritage Planning Policy, and Community Hub initiative.
The meeting was opened up for local residents to raise any issues.
The PC was advised that the dog at the Market Garden site had been continually reported to the Dog Warden who had advised that as there were outstanding fines, they had the powers to impound the dog.
The PC was asked what it was doing about the damage to the tiles of the Pump House which had previously been reported to the PC. Councillor Brooks thought that this should be the responsibility of the National Trust. Clerk to follow up with Charlie Cain of the National Trust
The problem of dog fouling along the footpath alongside 45 Clappers Lane was reported. CC Peter Griffiths said that he would investigate whether it was possible to have an official sign installed to try to address this problem.
Date of Next Meeting: 14 January 2010, 8 April 2010, 8 July 2010.
The meeting closed at 9.30
[ BoilerPlate plate = “PC_Disclaimer” ]