Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council held in the Village Hall, Fulking on Thursday 8 July 2010 at 8.00pm
Present: Chairman Mr Tony Brook, Vice Chairman Mrs Pamela Rowland, Councillors Mr Richard Corner, Ms Jo Hudek, Mrs Jennifer Parmar 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 8 April 2010, as previously circulated, were approved, accepted and signed by the Chairman.
The Chairman introduced Jo Hudek who had been co-opted to the Parish Council at an Extraordinary Parish Council meeting held on 1 July, 2010. This was following the resignation of Jenny Vaughan at the Annual Parish Meeting.
Highways: Non-skid surface Clappers Lane — The recent re-surfacing work of Clappers Lane had included adjusting the gradient of the northern entrance. This had meant that the problem of wheel-spin had been cured. Therefore there was no longer such a pressing need for a non-skid surface.
Flooding problem by the Shepherd and Dog stream culvert — The PC had sent County Councillor Peter Griffith a copy of the correspondence between the PC and WSCC Highways concerning the PC’s request for a more permanent solution. Clerk to follow up with Peter Griffiths.
Tree problem at Stammers Hill — Jamie Thompson, a local Tree Surgeon, had taken down the potentially dangerous sycamore tree that had been identified earlier on in the year. He had saved the village a lot of money by asking that his fee be donated to the Playground Appeal. The PC expressed their thanks to him and his team.
North Town: New Play Equipment — The new play equipment had been installed and the project had now been completed. The Chairman expressed his thanks to everyone involved with the project, particularly Councillor Pam Rowland. Thanks were also given to everyone that donated to the Playground Appeal.
Play Area Surface — The merits of four costed options were debated. The options ranged from upgrading the current barkpit to three other types of surface. It was agreed that the best option would be to replace the current surface with the wet pour surface. This would require a grant. Councillor Hudek to investigate the possibility of obtaining a grant from Viridor. If it was not possible to obtain a grant then the current bark surface would need to be topped up and maintained.
Mowing and Maintenance of field — The field was being maintained by a new person, Mark Stepney, who was doing an excellent job.
Public Liability Insurance — No further update from the NTF Trust.
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: Jenny Vaughan had kindly donated the money for the village to buy a grit bin for the Clappers Lane/The Street junction. The grit bin had been ordered and grit delivered. The Chairman was working on agreeing a precise location with householders.
Village Plan: Action in Rural Sussex (AirS) had given a talk about the Village Action Plan process at the Annual Parish Meeting. The last two issues of Pigeon Post contained articles requesting volunteers to come forward to join the Village Action Plan team. Several villagers had expressed an interest in joining the team. The Chairman reiterated the request for volunteers at the meeting. AirS had recommended that ideally two members of the PC would be represented on the Village Action Plan team. It was agreed that the two members would be Tony Brooks and Jo Hudek. The next step was for a kick-off Village Plan team meeting to be arranged.
Ram House: The PC had formally written to CC Peter Griffiths, as requested at the previous PC meeting. The letter detailed the need for the roof repair and asked whether a grant would be possible. The PC had also written to the National Trust asking if they would consider taking over ownership. This was on the basis that the National Trust would have the resources to look after this historical structure for future generations. Clerk to follow up.
Lower Kents: The Chairman had spoken to the landowner who had given an assurance that a planning application would be submitted by the end of July. The Clerk had also spoken to MSDC Development Control asking them to chase up the landowner.
Henfield Medical Centre Link: The PC had decided to donate 100 to the Henfield Medical Centre Link. The service provides transport to hospital, dental and medical centre appointments Centre for people in the Henfield area, including Fulking, who do not have other transport available to them. A significant number of clients are Fulking residents. Users of this service pay a small fee but there is a small shortfall. The PC had agreed that they hoped to make this an annual donation.
Motorbikes on South Downs: Motorbikes had been reported riding on the top of the Downs and across Fulking Escarpment. The problem had been reported to the South Downs Joint Downs Committee who advised that they had set up an initiative called Sussex Pathwatch to address this problem. People could either ring the non-emergency Police telephone number quoting Sussex Pathwatch or report it via the on-line Sussex Pathwatch website. In order to give weight to the problem and support the police in prioritising it, they recommended that as many people as possible registered incidents using this method. The problem was also reported to the National Trust who also advised that more people needed to report the problem in order for the police to give it sufficient priority. Councillor Parmar to alert Farm Manager of issue which could affect the herd of cows on the Escarpment.
Powered Microlights: The issue of the growing number of powered microlights flying over Fulking was discussed. The South Downs Joint Committee had advised that they were not aware of any specific policy on this. Chairman to speak to Mid Sussex District Council about its policy concerning the private use of runways.
Financial Matters: The Chairman and Vice Chairman signed off the interim audit, cheque list and Matters cheque stubs. The Annual Accounts for 2009/2010 had been signed off by the PC and Responsible Financial Officer. The internal audit was being carried out.
AOB: The Chairman and Councillor Corner paid tribute to Gina Field who had sadly died recently. They both spoke of her service and commitment to the village in her role as District Councillor.
Mr Goodridge had raised a concern before the meeting about dog fouling and dogs being out of control along The Backway and asked whether signs could be installed there to address these issues. The Chairman felt that as this was private land it was a private matter that needed to be dealt with by the parties involved and did not fall under the remit of the PC. It was also noted that there was a desire to keep signs in the village to a minimum. However, the PC did understand the general issues raised and agreed to post an article in the Pigeon Post.
The meeting was opened up for local residents to raise any issues.
The location of the sound stage in Small Acres during Fulking Fair was raised as a concern because it had caused a noise nuisance to residents who lived directly next to the stage last year. The Chairman said that he would see if it could be sited in a different position but he thought that the location could be constrained by the wiring.
It was queried as to why the issue of parking in Clappers Lane was not on the Agenda. The Chairman explained that as the purchase of the garages by Preston Nomads was still not complete, it was not possible to progress further with the creation and allocation of parking spaces for residents of Clappers Lane. It was discussed that other solutions to the parking problem had been explored. This had included the involvement of Peter Griffiths, particularly looking at using the banked area on the west side of Clappers Lane which had been viewed as prohibitively expensive.
The issue of external lighting at the Market Garden site was raised. The PC reiterated that they can pursue this as soon as they are provided with photographic evidence by residents which they can then supply to MSDC Development Control
Date of Next Meeting: 14 October.
The meeting closed at 8.55
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