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Hand-drawn Sidlesham signpost with lapwing bird.

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting 20th September 2017

Sidlesham Parish Council
Minutes of Parish Council Meeting 20th September 2017 in the Church Hall, Church Farm Lane 7.30pm

Present:  Mr M Mellodey (Chairman), Mrs C Ranjbar, Mrs C Hall, Mrs M Monnington, Dr F Lewis,  Mr P Bedford and Mrs D Pound.
Cllr P Montyn (WSCC), Ms H Nicol (CDC), 1 member of the public and the Clerk, Mrs T MacIntyre.
Members of the council and the public were informed that the evening’s meeting would be recorded.

1     Questions from the public present at the meeting on subjects other than those on the agenda.    None
2.    Apologies for Absence:  Mr A Harland, Mrs U Pearce and Cllr P Tull (CDC)
3.    Declarations by councillors of personal interests in items on this agenda.   None
4.    Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on 19th July 2017 to be signed as a correct record.  Mr Bedford proposed and Mrs Hall seconded that the minutes be signed.  4 councillors agreed with 3 abstentions.
5.    Matters arising from the above minutes not dealt with in separate items below.    None.
6.    WSCC Councillor.   Cllr Montyn reminded councillors of the changes to winter opening hours at household waste recycling sites.  Sites will be open between 9am and 4pm between 1st October and 31st March.
7.     Briefing from CDC (Ms H Nicol) on Community Led Housing and Sidlesham’s housing need.
Ms Nicol gave an interesting presentation on the need for rural housing and the processes by which this could be met.  CDC has identified 13 households on the housing register with a connection to Sidlesham. Affordable housing is when a property is bought at 80% of market value and intermediate housing is shared ownership in which a household can buy a share of a property and pay a rent on the remainder.  There is a significant gap between the average price of property and average income in this area; this is one of the least affordable areas outside London.  Government policy is to focus on home ownership, rather than rent and grants towards rent have been cut.  The Government is looking to extend the Right to Buy scheme to existing housing association tenancies.  House prices appear to be stabilising but rents are increasing and salaries are not keeping up with increased rents.  Housing Associations are becoming less regularised and becoming more of a delivery mechanism for the housing numbers.  The largest proportion of affordable housing will be in urban areas.  However, affordable housing rents have been reduced by 1% per year and this has had a knock on effect on the Housing Associations’ income.  Thus, future plans for rental property have been reduced.  Starter homes and intermediate housing are still unaffordable to most local people.  CDC has received £1.4m from central Government and this is to help support community groups within the district.  Community led housing must have community support and should lead to local control and accountability over the properties.  The majority of needs will come through exception sites: non-allocated sites which would attract a lower commercial value.  The PC could set up a Work Group to work in partnership with a Housing Association. Alternatively, it could set up a Community Land Trust to take control of schemes or work in partnership as a Community Land Trust over freehold land and provide a long lease to a Housing Association over management of properties.  Self-build and co-ownership are other alternatives.  Ms Nicol then outlined the process involved in such a project.
CDC can help the parish with identification of housing needs, identification of land and a mentoring and support package to help the parish arrive at the Planning Application stage.  CDC will be recruiting a Community Led Housing Officer to help with this project.
8.     Highways, footpaths and cycleways.
8.1   Public Rights of Way inspections.  The Clerk had circulated a letter from WSCC asking councillors if they knew of any footpaths or cycle paths known to be in need of repair.  The PC had no suggestions and WSCC will carry out its inspection in October.
8.2    Selsey/Chichester Commuter Cycle Track.  The Clerk had circulated the latest update on the cycle track project.  It is thought to be percolating up the priority list and is now 2nd on the list.  A £10,000 grant from Selsey TC has been awarded for a full environmental survey.  It has been proposed that WSCC incorporate the cycle track into  Ferry Bend modifications.  It is hoped that a local organisation will provide a cycle hire facility for tourists in the area.  Mr Mellodey stated that the project is progressing well and looking increasingly viable.
9.      Memorial Playing Field
9.1    Mr Mellodey read out a statement in response to an email written by Mrs Pound to a member of the Sidlesham Community Association.  Her email had been widely circulated. This email contained misleading statements which Mr Mellodey wished to correct. Firstly, the Parish Council can own land and property and it owns the Memorial Playing Field.  Other neighbouring Parish Councils own and manage their village halls.  Parish Councils can and do raise funds through grants.  A Parish Council cannot trade in the sense of buying and selling goods for profit but it can rent out a hall or outdoor facilities.  These points have been confirmed by SSALC as correct.  The Clerk has written to other Clerks on the Manhood Peninsula to ascertain how many own and manage their own halls.  Several Clerks confirmed that they did and that they generally managed to break even on the cost vs income with one making a small profit which is ploughed back into improvements to the hall.  Mr Mellodey felt strongly that if the SCA and the PC cannot find a way to work together, this project will have great difficulty moving forward.  Any funding body will look to see that all parties: SCA, parishioners and the PC are in accord.  Mrs Hall wished to record that Mrs Pound’s email was from her as an individual and not from the SCA.    Mr Bedford stated that he was aware of a funding application by the SCA for a hall project which was different from that being pursued by the PC.  He pointed out that, before funding bodies are approached, there must be agreement on precisely what is proposed.  If funding bodies receive conflicting applications, they will be rejected.  The two organisations must work together
9.2    Structural Survey of foundations of clubhouse on Memorial Playing Field.
The structural survey report had been circulated and details are covered in Mr Mellodey’s notes from the Memorial Field Work Group meeting which have been circulated.
9.3    Architectural assessment of new building.
Mr Mellodey proposed that the PC go ahead and employ an architect to inform the PC on what could be built on the existing foundations.  The PC, with the SCA, must put together a list of what they would like the building accommodate.  Mr Mellodey asked that the SCA contribute to a specification on which the architect can base his assessment.  Mrs Pound had two concerns:  She felt that Sidlesham has a sports hall at the school and that sport should not be the priority for a new hall.  Mr Mellodey stated that the PC aims to incorporate as much as possible in the hall project, thus maximising revenue streams.  Mrs Pound asked the PC to consider a halt until the questionnaire has been completed.  However, it was agreed that the public must be made aware of the costs and the architect’s assessment should be incorporated in the questionnaire.  Mrs Monnington proposed that the PC accept the quotation from John Brown Architects, Mrs Ranjbar seconded the proposal and all agreed.
9.4   Village Questionnaire for Community Hall.
The minutes of the PC Meeting on 15th February 2017 state that the questionnaire will be seen and agreed by the PC and the SCA.  Mrs Pound explained the process by which the survey is carried out.  She had a sample questionnaire. The PC was informed that the panel of 5 which will select the questions for the questionnaire has been selected by the SCA.    The PC was given the names of those on the panel and it was noted that they did not represent parishioners from a range of different social groups.  It was suggested that the panel and the PC could meet and that this might help to build confidence in the panel within the PC.  This was denied but the panel may come to the PC for background information. Mrs Pound explained that the survey is a requirement for any grant application and that local people must feel engaged in the project.  Neither the PC nor the SCA can ask the panel to put questions on the questionnaire but they may be approached for information which may be used in questions compiled by the panel.  AiRS offers a sample questionnaire to be used as a guide for the panel of 5 residents.  The panel will be given help by AiRS and it is recommended that they build a rapport with all interested parties.  These questions will be checked and sent out by AiRS.  The responses will be returned to AiRS who assess the result.  Mr Mellodey stated that the PC needs the questionnaire but must have confidence that it is unbiased.  The questionnaire must be right and give answers which will be useful.  To that end, it was repeated that the PC must see the questions before they are sent to AiRS.
9.5   Letter to residents of Shotford and May Close regarding parking on the Memorial Playing Field.
The Clerk had circulated a draft letter to be sent to the residents of Shotford and May Close requesting that they no longer park on the grass of the Memorial Playing Field.  All agreed that the Clerk send the letters.    10.     Assets and Amenities Workgroup
10.1  Mrs Hall informed the PC that it has been awarded £2,000 from the Ferry Farm Community Fund.  This is to replace the fencing round the children’s playground.  The PC has a quote from Knights fencing for £5060 +VAT to replace the whole fence.  Mrs Hall will enquire the cost of carrying out half the fencing and the PC could contribute the shortfall for two sides of the fence.  Mrs Hall will circulate the quote and a decision will be taken by email.
11.   Roadside Litter.
Mrs Hall has, on several occasions, picked up litter from the roadside of the B2145.  Some is from passing cars but a particularly bad spot is at the bus stop north of Lockgate Road.  The Paddock Straight service station is another problem area.  The Clerk was asked to write to CDC to follow up on their initiative on village litter.   She will also ask if they have signs to be erected at the bus stop.  Mrs Hall has written an article to be published in the Parish Magazine and Sidlesham Spread.
12.   Ferry Farm Grant Application.
12.1 Applications for the next grant allocation should be submitted by 30th November 2017. The PC cannot apply for a further grant in this financial year.  Mr Mellodey has written articles for the Sidlesham Parishioner and Spread to spread the word among parishioners of the availability of this funding.
13.   A27 Consultation Community Workshop.
Mr Mellodey had circulated his proposal for a response from the PC to the A27 improvement scheme. The Clerk had circulated a letter from Gillian Keegan MP outlining the available options and stating that there could be no extension on the consultation period. The options are either to accept one of the proposals already on offer, with minor modifications to make it more acceptable to local communities.  The second option is for a new study to develop a proposal which would provide long term solutions.  This would be put to HE for the next spending period of the Road Investment Scheme.  This would mean a new scheme for Chichester but funding would not be guaranteed and work would not start before 2023. Mr Mellodey supported that route rather than accept proposals which would not benefit those on the Manhood Peninsula. All councillors agreed.
14.   Neighbourhood/Village Plan.
Mr Bedford has 2 volunteers.  Discussion on the Neighbourhood/Village Plan was deferred to the October meeting.
15.    Bi-annual PC Newsletter
Mrs Ranjbar had come to the conclusion that parishioners could read much of the information suggested at an earlier meeting in the Sidlesham Parishioner and the Spread.  However, she did think that parishioners were unaware of work taken on by members of the PC.  Mrs Ranjbar will write a draft on members of the PC and what they contribute to the running of the PC and the organisations at which they represent the PC.
16.    Defibrillator for Sidlesham
Dr Lewis has investigated installing a defibrillator and had forwarded the details of a supplier to the Clerk.  Dr Lewis suggested that the Memorial Playing Field would be a suitable, central site for one.  The defibrillator would need to be checked regularly and this could be done by the volunteers who inspect the playground and gym each week. Dr Lewis thought that the Lottery may fund equipment and the Clerk understood that CDC may offer a grant towards the cost.  The Clerk will investigate.
17.       Finance
17.1    Income
17.1.1    Ferry Farm Community Grant £2,000
17.1.2    CDC (September Precept payment) £14,372
17.2    Payments
17.2.1    PC Building Services (repair finger post at corner of Highleigh Road and Rotten Row) £250.00
17.2.2    T MacIntyre (July salary) £504.16
17.2.3    H B Collins (strim & litter Pick) £518.40
17.2.4    PKF Littlejohn LLP (External Audit) £240.00
17.2.5    CDC (application to repair Ham Road drainage from Operation Watershed grant) £50.00
17.2.6    JWL Installs Ltd (repair zip wire) £348.00
17.2.7    LCR annual subscription £17.00
17.2.8    KJC Trees (remove brambles from north west boundary of Memorial Playing Field) £375
17.2.9    M H Kennedy (mow Paddock Straight) £375.41
17.2.10 T MacIntyre (August pay) £504.16
17.2.11 Sidlesham PCC (April-Sept hire of hall) £75.00
17.2.12 T MacIntyre (April-Sept expenses) £175.53
17.2.13 Unity Trust Bank (charge for unpaid cheque) £6.00
Mr Mellodey proposed that Items 17.1 to 17.2.13 be taken en bloc.  Mrs Monnington seconded the proposal and all agreed.
17.3    Annual Return approved as correct by PKF Littlejohn LLP.  This was noted by the PC.
18.     Reports.
Manhood Peninsula Forum Meeting.  Minutes will be circulated.
19.     Correspondence.  None
20.     Matters of urgent public importance. Items raised will stand deferred until the next meeting.  None
21.     Matters of Information.   None

Meeting closed at 9.50 pm