MINUTES OF A MEETING OF BALCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON MONDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER 2010 AT 7.30 PM IN THE W I ROOM, VICTORY HALL, BALCOMBE.
Prior to the main meeting Members met informally at 7 pm with Mr Tom Warder (AirS) & Carol Tomkins (MSDC) to discuss the recently prepared Balcombe Housing Survey.
Present: Messrs. Robin
Williamson, Rodney Saunders, Mike Talman, Peter Huxley, Mesdames Alison
Stevenson, Sarah Moore-Williams, Carol
In attendance: Richard Greig – Clerk to the Council.
2610. Public Participation
Mr & Mrs Peter Thompson, representing Wilton Villas (Management) Limited attended together with Mr & Mrs Mick Emery, Ecki Bartsch & a Mr Hughes. Their purpose was to express concern at the application (BA)/10/02607/LDC – Orchard Barn, Bretts Orchard, to be discussed by Members under agenda item 2603. The Chairman pointed out that the terms of this application clearly stated “this is an application to determine whether the proposed use is lawful & where the planning merits of the proposal cannot be taken into account” & therefore whilst noting their understandable concerns relating to matters such as parking, access by emergency vehicles, parking, congestion etc. these points needed to be addressed separately to MSDC. We would advise the Council in our representation that a direct approach would be forthcoming.
2611. Declaration of personal or prejudicial interest
No declarations were received.
2612. Apologies for absence
2613. To approve Minutes of the Meeting held on 19th July 2010 & to note cancellation of meeting due to be held on 16th August
The minutes, having been circulated to all Members, were approved & signed by the Chairman as a true record.
The Chairman also made reference to the cancelled August meeting & asked Members to advise in advance, if possible at the previous meeting, should they anticipate being absent at a monthly meeting, last minute emergencies obviously excepted.
2614. Matters Arising
2598 – outstanding reports must be with the Chairman by 18th October to meet the printer’s deadline of 19th October & to enable distribution during early November.
a). Cash Book Receipts & Payments for July & August 2010 noted a presented
b). Financial Update from the RFO. Mrs Moore-Williams explained the contents of the circulated financial reports & opined that the present bank balances were in an acceptable state.
Members were asked to formally note that there had been a satisfactory external audit by Mazars which stated “on the basis of our review, in our opinion the information contained in the annual return is in accordance with the Audit Commission’s requirements & no matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation & regulatory requirements have not been met”.
An advisory comment stated the Council should formally minute the consideration of the internal auditor’s reports report (sic) & the action to be taken to address any recommendations made”.
Members additionally noted that both the report from the Internal Auditor as well as the above had indicated that there were no matters of concern to be addressed.
2616. Reports from Safety & Security, Facilities, Amenities & Societies, Housing & Environment & Traffic Working Groups + others where applicable
Safety & Security – the Leader was indisposed & no report was received in his absence. It was mentioned that a meeting with the Police, in conjunction with Balcombe CSW, is still to be arranged.
Facilities, Amenities – Mr Talman reported on proposals for installation of additional salt bins, including those for which the cost would be shared with the Stockcroft Road Residents’ Association.
Refilling arrangements need to be confirmed by WSCC Highways.
The bollards adjacent to Springfield Shaw seem to be having the necessary effect, but parking on the outside pavement is still occurring. PCSO Jayne Milne has been contacted for advice.
A works schedule for the new lighting order is currently being negotiated with Southern & an update was promised for the October meeting.
A site visit by our WSCC Highways Officer, Norman Perryman, was arranged for 21st September.
It was agreed that Mr Talman & the Clerk are authorised to liaise with EDF, our current electricity provider, & Southern Electric with a view to fixing a further 3 year supply contract.
Housing & Environment – following on from the earlier meeting with AirS/MSDC a formal decision was reached to empower Mrs Stevenson’s Group to liaise with them on identified aspects of the Housing Survey & to continue to report back to the Council with recommendations & a regular progress report. Mr Saunders kindly agreed to join the Group for this purpose as did Mrs Barker-Danby.
Traffic Group – Mr Saunders reported :-
1. WSCC had certified that the date of completion of the recent traffic calming measures is 18th August.
The maintenance period will run from 18th August to & including 17th November (reduced maintenance period of 3 months instead of 1 year).
2. Meeting with Police. Refer Safety & Security paragraph above.
3. Possible re-introduction of a Stop Sign. The following emails had been received from the WSCC Traffic Manager, George Chisenga:-
a). “Firstly I am sorry about the delay of this response and this was due to the high rate of traffic engineering staff turnover during this period. The local traffic engineer has now investigated your request for a Stop sign at the jct of Haywards Heath road / Bramble Hill and her self-explanatory assessment is below. She is arranging a speed survey and once the results are available we will update you. Meanwhile I have attached an extract from Chapter 3 of the Traffic Signs Manual for your information. As you will see, changing a give way sign to a stop sign is not a straightforward matter and the Manual advises that where possible other measures should be considered (as proposed below) to improve traffic movement or visibility at a junction before proposing changing the signs. We will continue to monitor the situation and update you as necessary”.
b). “Another issue to consider regarding the stop sign at this location might be where to locate the sign (that would need illuminating?) that either didn't risk getting struck or paradoxically blocked the view. The other measures referred to by the Traffic Engineer would be to consider a TRO introducing double yellow lines to prevent parking close to the Haywards Heath Road/Bramble Hill jct and hence improve the visibility splays for traffic movement at this jct.. The downside is that there is likely to be objections from businesses at this corner as they probably rely on this space for customer parking etc. And yes, we will come back to you once the speed data has been collected”.
Agreed await outcome.
3. Speed Watch –
of great benefit & that continuation should be supported. We should write to George thanking him for his help & emphasise that we will continue to offer any assistance necessary. A Police meeting was still considered essential.
Youth Matters – Mrs Jarvest mentioned that the toddler markings were of great benefit. She updated Members on the status of benches in the area as well as the proposed replacement of the bench at the end of Bramble Mead.
It seems that WSCC will no longer be able to fund the Youth Worker. This is yet to be confirmed formally after which Members will need to agree that the cost (around £850 annually) will be taken over by the Council.
Presently arrangements are being made to source/book an alternative meeting place for the Club & details will be advised in due course. There would be a dedicated Youth event in the Victory Hall on Saturday 2nd October.
2617. Review of Parish Plan – progress reports from Group Leaders
Refer 2614 above.
2618. Planning. – to consider the following applications:-
For representation by 3rd September 2010 (extended by request)
(BA)/10/02397/TCA – Little Smeads,
For representation by 17th September 2010 (extended by request)
(BA)/10/02607/LDC – Orchard Barn, Bretts Orchard – change of use of building to allow both B1 business use & B8 storage use. This is an application to determine whether the proposed use is lawful & where the planning merits of the proposal cannot be taken into account. Agreed that the views of local residents – see 2610 above should be communicated to MSDC for consideration. The Council felt that it was not competent to give an opinion on a legal ruling.
For representation by 24th September 2010
(BA)/10/02349/FUL – The Coach House,
(BA)/10/02644/TCA – Land
(BA)/10/02658/TCA – 4
b). to consider any additional application received by the date of the meeting. Notification of the following had been received, but BPC were unable to consider these applications at the meeting as the covering plans had not yet been received:
For representation by 8th October 2010
(BA)/10/02752/FUL – Rear of Hillrise, Bramble Hill – construction of two 3 bedroom semi detached houses with associated parking spaces.
(BA)/10/02858/FUL – Highley
Agreed delegation of the above to the Planning Group.
It was understood that MSDC had refused
the second application – (BA)/10/02254/FUL
& (BA)/10/02256/CON in respect of Bretts,
2619. Post Office update
The Chairman had previously stated that as the village is now looking forward to the opening of facilities in the Stores he would be reluctant for the Council to do anything that might delay this. Nevertheless it was agreed that Mrs Jarvest should arrange a reply to the inadequately worded letter from the Post Office refusing much of the requested information citing the Freedom of Information Act. The useful comments provided by Consumer Focus should provide guidance as to the points we should make. This would be circulated in draft form to the Chairman & Clerk, the final version being copied to both Consumer Focus & our MP.
2620. Finger Post renovation
Mrs Stevenson mentioned that Marcus Slegg had sent an email updating us on progress & that arrangements had now been made to store large bags of chippings at the Balcombe Estate Sawmill.
2621. Proposal for Christmas Tree Society assistance – tree outside Half Moon
The following had been proposed for discussion at the cancelled August meeting.
“The Christmas Tree Society is a village institution that puts up a tree annually outside the Half Moon, organises carol singing, and raises money which it then distributes to worthy causes in the village. The Society can provide details of their income and expenditure to the Council. The Council has supported the Society in the past with an annual donation of £100. The Society has in the past asked for help with their ever increasing public liability insurance premium. The Clerk has been in correspondence with our insurers, who confirm that a Christmas Tree erected at the Council’s request would be covered under our current policy. In order to help the Society it is proposed that the Council commissions the Society to erect a Christmas Tree on behalf of the Council, subject to the Society meeting appropriate Health and Safety conditions. The Society then does this and invoices the Council a fee of £100 – our donation. The Tree is then covered by our insurance at no extra cost to us, and the Society doesn’t have to pay for insurance.
All Members were in favour of this arrangement & a letter will be sent to the Society
Nothing to report.
2623. Exchange of Information
The Chairman – made reference to the cancelled August meeting & asked Members to advise in advance should they anticipated being absent at a monthly meeting, last minute emergencies obviously excepted. Mrs Moore-Williams mentioned that she would not be at the October meeting.
He also asked how many members proposed seeking re-election in May.
Mrs Barker-Danby mentioned she wished to stand down for personal reasons & Mrs Moore-Williams was currently undecided. The Chairman mentioned that he would be standing down as Chairman next May, but might consider remaining as a Councillor. The Clerk to the Council indicated that he would be retiring on 31st December 2011.
Both matters would need further attention, the latter through a selection sub committee nearer the time & appropriate mention in both the next Newsletter & future Parish Magazines.
There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 22.03 hours.
THE NEXT REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL WILL BE HELD ON MONDAY 18TH OCTOBER 2010 IN THE WI ROOM