Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council held in the Village Hall, Fulking on Thursday 8 April 2010 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 14 January 2010, as previously circulated, were approved, accepted and signed by the Chairman.
County Council Update — County Councillor Peter Griffiths gave an update to the meeting on Highways, Schools and the National Park. The issue of whether the Planning Authority will lie with the District Council or the National Parks Authority had not been resolved yet. In response to Councillor Brooks query about returning to the method of the County Council paying local farmers to clear the snow, he advised the PC to write to Derek Whittington who is Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport. The PC had already requested a return to this method to the recent WSCC snow summit by writing to WSCC and SALC. Clerk to write to Derek Whittington reiterating this view.
Highways: Flooding problem near The Sands the stream had been cleared out and water was flowing through the pipes.
There was no further information about the request for a non-skid surface at the northern entrance to Clappers Lane. County Councillor Peter Griffiths said that he was chasing up this issue.
Flooding problem by the Shepherd and Dog stream culvert: The owner of the Shepherd and Dog, Geoff Moseley, had had a meeting with WSCC Highways and it was understood that the outcome was that he was going to fit a larger overflow pipe. He expressed at the meeting that there was a problem with clearing the gulley and felt that not enough maintenance had been carried out by Highways in the past. It was agreed that the PC should send CC Peter Griffiths the correspondence between the PC and Highways about this issue so that he could look into the matter.
Tree problem at Stammers Hill: A tree surgeon who had carried out previous work in the North Town Field had identified a potentially dangerous sycamore tree. The local tree warden, Barry Leppard, also agreed there was a problem and had reported this to WSCC Highways. The Arboriculturalist Southern Area WSCC had inspected the tree in March and had concluded that it was not a health and safety risk. He also stated that the tree was not on Highways land. An independent tree surgeon was asked to quote for the required work as the PC would have to pay the bill. The quote was around 700 which was not an immediately manageable sum. As the WSCC Inspector had judged it not to be of any immediate danger, the PC had decided to monitor the situation and ask for another assessment by WSCC at the end of the summer. It was agreed that the PC should ask for the opinion of another tree surgeon as soon as possible.
North Town Field: Cost of Maintaining Play Area — It was noted that the costs of maintaining the Field play area were escalating and were becoming beyond the budget of the PC. The costs included maintenance of the play equipment, tree work around the playground and a replacement surface for the barkpit. A quote for wetpour rubber had been received of 8500. Geoff Moseley was able to recommend a company that could provide a better value rubber surface that would comply with Health and Safety Guidelines as he had experience in this area.
New Play Equipment — The PC had submitted an application for a grant from WSCC County Local Committee who would be meeting on 27 April. Fund raising was under way in the village. An appeal flyer had been sent to every household in the village. The PC had also approached local businesses and applied for a grant from West Sussex Community Chest (run by Hall and Woodhouse) with a decision due before July.
Play Area Surface — quotes were being obtained for replacing the barkpit as a surface. The PC has looked at an ecomulch and wetpour rubber surface. It would be necessary to apply for a further grant to cover these costs.
Mowing and Maintenance of field — The first mow of the year had been done. Some tree work had also been carried out.
Public Liability Insurance: No further update from the NTF Trust.
Fly-Tipping at the Bostal: There was no further update about the ownership of the entrance area.
Phone Box: The Clerk had written to BT and they had confirmed that they did not currently have any plans to remove the telephone service.
Diverted Footpath 4dF: There was no further news from the Rights of Way Committee.
Reopening of Bridleway 11F: There was no further news from West Sussex Rights of Way.
Local provision of grit: The PC discussed the problem of where to locate grit bins. The eastern bank of Clappers Lane near The Street junction had been looked at but it was agreed that it would mean the grit bin would be placed too high and be difficult to access. Other suggestions were by the bus stop. Precise locations for the bins remain to be decided.
Village Plan: There had been a good response to Councillor Brooks’s discussion document in the Pigeon Post. All the replies would be kept and used to formulate the Village Action Plan. A talk would be given at the APM by a representative from Action in Rural Sussex about the process. The next stage would be to form a committee of representatives from the village to produce the Village Action Plan.
Market Garden Site: The PC had not been able to write to MSDC Enforcement as no evidence had been forthcoming that there was another family living on the site.
Ram House: The PC had asked the National Trust to carry out the repairs to the roof of the Ram House. However they had responded that they did not own it and therefore did not bear any responsibility for it. It appeared that this was borne out by historical documents and that ownership did rest with the Parish Council. The previous PC had asked the National Trust to take over ownership of the Ram House but they had not responded. As it is a historical structure the PC agreed that ownership of the Ram House by the National Trust fell within their remit. It was agreed that the PC should write to the National Trust again asking that they take over ownership.
The fountain had been repaired in 1995 with the aid of grants from West Sussex County Council, Mid Sussex District Council and Sussex Rural Community Council. The Chairman asked CC Peter Griffiths if there was a possibility of grant aid for the Ram House.. He advised that the PC should put this request in writing explaining the problems caused by the damaged roof.
Financial Matters: The Chairman and Vice Chairman signed off the interim audit, cheque list and cheque stubs.
AOB: Councillor Brooks updated the meeting about the goal of improving broadband access with a fibre optic system. Whereas previously it was envisaged that this would cause huge disruption with road digging and replacing the telegraph poles, it appeared that there were now new methods of installing fibre optic cables involving the use of existing sewer networks which would greatly reduce disruption.
The meeting was opened up for local residents to raise any issues.
The issue of affordable housing was raised. It was discussed that Mid Sussex District Council had in the past identified the need for 4 houses but this had not been followed up in detail and there were no concrete plans.
Date of Next Meeting: 8 July 2010, 14 October. APM 13 May.
The meeting closed at 8.50.
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