Sidlesham Parish Council Bi-monthly Parish Council Meeting
Church Hall, Church Farm Lane, 7.00 pm
Present: Mr A Harland (Chairman), Mrs P Tull, Mrs C Ranjbar, Mrs C Hall, Mrs E Smart, Mr A Malir, Mr P Bedford, Mrs D Pound and Mrs V Foden.
Cllr M Whitehead (WSCC), Clerk (Mrs T MacIntyre) and 18 members of the public.
1. Questions from the public present at the meeting on subjects other than those on the agenda.
A member of the public raised the matter of whether the reporting of the governance of the parish could be made more inclusive to members of the public. The parishioner suggested that the Council could make it easier for members of the public to have information regarding discussions leading up to decisions, given that the minutes of meetings are brief and merely record proposals and decisions. The parishioner suggested that a website be set up for members of the public to hear recordings of meetings and comment on those discussions. Mr Malir stated that he had set up a Sidlesham Forum on Facebook but that few people had taken advantage of it.
2. Apologies for absence. None
3. Minutes of the Parish Council Meetings on the 16th November 2011 to be signed as a correct record.
3.1 Mrs Pound raised a proposal to rescind the minute recording the resolution to disband the Hall Work Group passed at the PC Meeting on 16th November 2011 (Item 8). Mrs Pound stated that she felt that that decision and the minute were based on a misunderstanding and that the minutes could adversely affect any funding applications which the Group might make in the future. Mrs Pound read out an alternative proposal, seconded by Mrs Hall. Under this proposal the Village Hall Group would be disbanded but be encouraged to form a Community Association with other groups in the village, independent of, but with the support of the Parish Council. This group would continue their research and when they have a viable option the group should present it to the Council to seek full support for the plan. The proposal to rescind the resolution was, following discussion, defeated by 5 votes against to 4 votes for.
3.2 Mrs Pound requested that, following the minute (Item 11.3) on the Football Club Lease, the following statement be added. “Mrs Tull stated that no lease should be drawn up which would impede or compromise the building of a village hall on this site”. All agreed to add this to the minutes.
Mrs Tull proposed, Mrs Smart seconded that the Minutes be signed subject to the above (Item 3.2) alteration. 5 Councillors agreed, 1 against and 3 abstentions.
4. Declarations by Councillors of personal interests in items on this agenda. None
5. Matters arising from the above minutes not dealt with in separate items below.
5.1 Emergency Plan
Mrs Pound had circulated a statement stating that the Emergency Plan Group had not heard from Mr Lloyd Harris of CDC regarding the draft plan and, until they have, there was nothing further to discuss. Mrs Pound’s statement had answered questions from the PC Meeting in November regarding the appointment of post holders and their suitability to hold those posts.
5.2 Village Hall Group. Mr Bedford stated that he felt, despite the Village Hall Group having been disbanded, the parish still needed a contingency plan for a village hall in the future and that through a Community Association, work on this project should continue. He proposed that he write a statement laying out an outline contingency plan, the way forward for the group and its time frame. Mr Bedford will circulate this statement to the council.
6. WSCC Councillor.
Councillor Whitehead commented on the damage suffered by the village in the recent storm. Mrs Whitehead reported that WSCC is planning to carry out surface dressing on some of the roads in the area. No dates have been given but Brimfast Lane, Mill Lane and Rookery Lane have been listed in the report.
7. CDC Councillor. Mrs Tull reported there had been one Cabinet Meeting but no District Council Meeting since the New Year. Mrs Tull gave the latest figures on housing numbers in the district. There have been 12 new homeless applications and 48 new applications for housing in November alone for those sectors that have priority qualifications . The total number on the District register is now 5,165, of which 3,815 have a local connection to their village.
8. Football Club
8.1 Terms of proposed lease. A letter from the Council’s solicitors had been circulated to Councillors. This letter laid out options to extend the length of the lease from 7 to 20 years to give the Football Club security of tenure of 15 years or more which would enable them to apply for large grant funding. Mr Harland had enquired of SALC whether, as owners of the ground, the PC could apply for grants on the Club’s behalf. This was thought to be possible, but as the grants would be sought from sporting sources the PC would probably not be eligible to apply. Mrs Hall reported that the Football Club was applying for a grant from CDC and suggested that if that was the case, this discussion should be delayed. As this information on the grant application was not confirmed, the Council could not consider it in the discussion. Councillors were asked to vote on whether they would approve, in principle, a lease of more than 7 years. All councillors agreed not to extend the lease.
8.2 Football Club Insurance. Mr Harland had seen the Football Club’s certificate of insurance for PLI of £10,000,000.
8.3 Inspection of the Pylons. The report of the structural inspection had been circulated to all Councillors. The pylons have all been inspected and all considered safe until November 2014 when they will be inspected again. Mr Bedford raised the electrical certificate. Mr Harland had seen a certificate but confirmed that the FC was waiting to have that certificate extended. Mr Harland confirmed that the electrician had used a hoist to inspect the lamp fittings and should additionally be able to certify that the fittings were safely attached. The Football Club is planning to fit new light fittings to the pylons. The fuses of these fittings will be incorporated into the light fittings and the old fuse boxes near the ground removed.
9. Memorial Playing Field
9.1 Inspection of Trees. The inspection of the trees was due to have taken place in the first two weeks of this month. The Clerk will contact the contractor to establish when the Council may expect his report.
10. Assets & Amenities Workgroup
10.1 Assets & Amenities Report dated 7th December 2011 had been circulated to Councillors.
10.2 Playground Inspection Rota. This is being drawn up and the Clerk asked that she be sent a copy of the rota and the inspection reports.
10.3 Mr Malir raised the quotation for £650 + VAT from Monsters for an inspection and service of equipment in the playground. Mr Harland recommended that the Council use Monsters who installed the equipment, particularly while that equipment is under warrantee. Mr Malir asked what that service would include and Mr Malir suggested that he investigate other quotations for this inspection.
10.4 Annual Playground RPI Inspection. The Clerk had a quotation from Mr Nick Adams who has inspected the playground for the last two years. Mr Harland suggested using a different inspector this year and has requested a quotation from a company recommended by the Council’s insurance brokers. The inspection is not due until August.
10.5 Benches. The benches by the bus stop and by Florence Pond are in need of maintenance. Mr Hall will investigate what needs to be done and report to the Council.
10.6 Any other matters. Mrs Hall raised the possibility of putting up a village sign to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Mrs Hall had been in contact with the Selsey Tram Company who had informed her that they would donate their signs to the Council which could be adapted for this project. Mrs Hall will investigate the likely cost of recycling these signs. The Council has set aside £500 in the budget for the Jubilee but more may need to be raised by fund raising events. Mrs Ranjbar suggested that the public should be included in this discussion and asked for other suggestions to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee.
11. Highways, footpaths and cycleways
11.1 Storm damage. Mrs Foden reported that Chalk Lane, which suffered severe damage, was now back in operation. It is a private road but Mrs Foden requested that the PC might consider supporting a request to have some of the large trees pollarded. The Clerk will check if any of the trees in Chalk Lane have tree preservation orders on them. Mrs Foden reported the tree down on the footpath behind Duncan & Davis. The clerk had reported this and the matter is in hand. Mrs Hall reported a tree down on the footpath from Street End Lane to Brimfast. The Clerk will report this.
A member of the public reported a tree leaning over the highway footpath from the property, Fieldgate. The Clerk will write to the owner of the tree.
11.2 Damaged Highway’s sign on B2145 directing traffic to Highleigh and Chichester. The Clerk has reported it and it will be replaced.
11.3 Damage to fencing round electricity substations at the entrance to the Recreation Ground and Mill Lane. These have been reported; the substation at the Recreation Ground has been repaired and that in Mill Lane is in hand.
11.4 Rusty electricity junction box in Rotten Row. The Clerk to report damage to the electricity board.
11.5.1 Mr Bedford reported on a proposed workshop style meeting between WSCC highways officers and Councillors. This would be a private meeting, not within a PC Meeting. Mrs Hall suggested that the public input be included by being asked for suggestions of highway problems for the agenda. Mr Bedford already has 15 items on the agenda at present.
11.5.2 Mrs Smart reported that part of the footpath going north from the Anchor has been cleared. Mr Harland commented that the footpath from Dyer’s Corner to the flint bus stop urgently needed attention as in places the width has been severely reduced. Mrs Hall requested that the Clerk report the footpath from the Anchor towards the garage. This footpath is overgrown and part of it is now crumbling into the ditch, and the remainder restricted in width and needs clearing back to original line.
12. Ratification of audit appointments for financial year ended 31.3.11
12.1 Mr Harland reported that neither the Internal Auditor, nor the Councillor Accounts Monitor was formally appointed for the year ending 31.3.11. Mr Harland sought retrospective ratification of those appointments. Mrs Harland proposed, Mrs Smart seconded and all Councillors agreed. Mrs Hall enquired whether Mrs Fields, the auditor, had received a formal letter of appointment. The Clerk replied that she had. In addition, the title of ‘internal internal’ auditor has been changed to ‘Councillor Accounts Monitor’.
13.1 It was reported that the Clerk had made the request to CDC for a precept of £19,735.00 for the year 2012/2013.
13.2 Approve Quotations
13.2.1 M Kennedy – grass cutting for year 2012-2013
13.2.2 H Collins – strimming and tidying for year 2012-2013. Mrs Hall queried whether the Sheep Wash, which is in fact not on Parish Council land should be the responsibility of the PC. The PC has historically assumed responsibility for the Sheep Wash and it was felt that if the Council did not do it, it would not be maintained.
13.2.3 Mrs F Fields – £75 (auditor)
13.2.4 Falco – repair wall of shelter in playground £258.00 + VAT.
These quotations were read out to Councillors and unanimously approved by the Council.
13.3.1 HM Customs & Excise £6092.46
13.4 Payments from Community Playground Grant
13.4.1 Playground Group has been given extension to 31st March 2012 to spend remainder of grant
13.5 Payments made since last meeting
13.5.1 M H Kennedy (grass mowing) £102.00
13.5.2 SPCC (Parish Magazine for Clerk) £7.00
13.5.3 Royal British Legion (Poppy Appeal) £60.00
13.5.4 T MacIntyre (November Pay) £399.73
13.5.5 HM Revenue & Customs (Clerk’s Tax) £100.80
13.5.6 T MacIntyre (December Pay) £399.73
13.5.7 M H Kennedy (Grass mowing) £102.00
Mrs Foden proposed and Mr Bedford seconded that items 13.3.1 to 13.5.7 be taken en bloc. All Councillors agreed.
14. Clerk’s Remuneration
Members of the public and the Clerk were asked to leave the hall while the Clerk’s remuneration was discussed. Mr Harland asked the Council to approve an ex-gratia payment of £500 for the Clerk for unclaimed overtime worked over the past year. Mr Harland proposed, Mrs Ranjbar seconded and all agreed that the above be approved.
15.1 Peninsula Community Forum. The minutes from the meeting had been circulated.
15.2 Pagham Harbour. Mr Harland reported that there was nothing further to report other than that there has, as yet, been no agreement between WSCC and the RSPB. Mr Bond’s ‘Good Conduct Group’ had met and agreed what should be in the ‘Good Conduct’ rules and that will go forward to Natural England and the Environment Agency for their approval.
15.3 Manhood Peninsula Steering Group and Pagham Harbour Issues Group. Mr Harland reported on the Marine Conservation Zones. The whole of Pagham Harbour has been put forward as a conservation area. The special reference area where rare snails are said to have been found, south of the harbour mouth on Church Norton Spit, is an area of potential concern if it interferes with needs to protect property in the future. This falls within Selsey Town Council’s area of responsibility but will affect this parish. This will go forward for confirmation by a government minister and there is expected to be a public consultation starting in July this year.
17. Correspondence. None.
18. Matters of urgent public importance. None
19. Matters of Information. None
Meeting closed at 9.20pm