MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF BALCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON MONDAY 13th JUNE 2011 AT 8.00 PM IN FOREST ROOM, BALCOMBE SOCIAL CLUB.
Present: Messrs. Robin Williamson, Mike Talman, Peter Huxley, Rodney Saunders, Alan Dearden, Simon Greenwood & Robin Lindsay-Stewart, Mesdames Alison Stevenson & Carol Jarvest (arrived 20.38).
In attendance: Richard Greig – Clerk to the Council.
2753. Public Participation
No members of the public were present.
2754. Declaration of personal or prejudicial interest
Declarations of Prejudicial Interest made by Councillors Simon Greenwood (local landowner of many of the sites under consideration), Peter Huxley (two sites visible from his property) & Carol Jarvest (owner of property adjoining Vintens Nursery site) in respect of agenda item 10 – Housing Survey – see also 2761 below.
2755. Apologies for Absence
Received from Councillors Catherine Dennison (work commitments) & Linda Short (in Australia).
2756. To approve Minutes of Annual (General) Meeting held on 16th May 2011
The minutes, having been circulated to all Members, were approved & signed by the Chairman as a true record.
2757. Matters Arising
2745 – Football Club. Cllr. Williamson updated Members of a discussion earlier that evening with representatives of the Club. Booking procedures would be tightened up & the present agreement between the two parties reviewed at the beginning of each season. Likewise we would endeavour to highlight the continuing problems with dog faeces on the rec. Additionally we would try & find extra use of the pavilion, which in 2010/11 resulted in a net cost of £3.2k against income of only £1.1k.
2751 Other 6 – MSDC had now advised the extra cost of a bin (If Mid Sussex were to supply and install an additional dog bin there would be the one off charge of £200.00 on the 2011-12 invoice. The collection of an additional bin at £2.41 per week, total costing depending on installation date, would then be added to the current 6 dog bins paid for, which will thus increase the 10% Admin charge, plus the current 20% VAT ). Agreed unanimously that we should leave the request in abeyance for the time being & explain the situation to the Barn Meadow correspondent. However we would do our best to ensure that MSDC placed a sign at the field entrance.
a). Cash Book Receipts & Payments for May 2011 – noted as presented.
b). Financial Report from the RFO. Cllr. Williamson reported that the 2 month figures showed a satisfactory statement of accounts.
The BRW accounts had now been reconciled & he explained the reasoning behind the stated deficit of £245. It was noted that an adjustment would have to be made under heading 1107 (Finger Posts) as appropriate.
c). To note arrangements contracted for replacement Balcombe Ranger. A copy of the covering contract was made available in the correspondence box & Members noted that the agreed change over from Ron Stevenson was now operative.
d). To agree payment schedule to Finger Post contractor, Marcus Slegg. The Chairman presented details of expenditure to date together with an indication of the cost of work still outstanding, thought to be in the region of £2.5k. On this assumption it was agreed that we make an interim payment of £1.4k & ask Marcus for a date that he anticipates to complete all the work outstanding.
e. To agree request for support from Balcombe Fete Committee.
Agreed that as we needed to cut back on grants to organisations evidencing satisfactory cash reserves it would seem appropriate this year for us to:
1.) – make pavilion available free of charge, 2.) – pay the cost of recreation ground hire & 3.) – book a pitch for a BPC stand as last year. The Clerk will write to Charlie Hirst.
2759 To finalise Working Groups & election of Group Leaders for
a). Housing & Environment – Leader Alison Stevenson
b). Safety & Security – Leader Alan Dearden
c). Young People – Leader Carol Jarvest
d). Traffic – Leader Rodney Saunders
e). Facilities & Amenities – Leader Mike Talman
f). Publicity – Leader Peter Huxley
g). Snow Plan – Leader Mike Talman
h). Funding & Societies – Leader Robin Lindsay-Stewart
& receive interim reports.
The Chairman circulated lists representing the above categories. It was noted that there had been some category modifications. Following the revisions to the village website it was considered useful to run a page on it, including making mention of possible funding to local organisations meeting our criteria.
Jayne Milne to be advised of the make up of the Safety & Security Group & the new Leader (Alan Dearden).
Youth Club – Cllr. Jarvest mentioned that transitional funding of £5k had now been agreed. However following her attendance at a recent meeting it has now been confirmed by the youth service that Parish Councils would need to employ youth workers themselves. Advice is being taken from both SALC & AirS on how this might work.
Traffic – Cllr. Saunders updated Members on our recent representation to the CLC regarding consideration of TRO’s for the Stop sign at the Threads junction & staggered speed limits on the B2036. The agreed progression of a possible CPZ on Newlands had now taken place through a meeting with Miles Davy, WSCC Senior Transport Planner, Parking Strategy. Following this a request had been made for the County Council to conduct a survey of the parking issues within Balcombe as soon as possible.
The survey should focus particularly on the parking on Newlands, Bramble Hill and, potentially, on Bramble Mead by commuters using Balcombe station.
In addition we requested that it considers the parking around the crossroads in the centre of the village.
Facilities & Amenities – Cllr. Talman updated Members on lighting matters & reported that all the renewal work agreed during the last financial year was complete. A meeting with Southern Electric for later this month had been arranged for finalisation of this year’s spend.
In reply to Cllr. Williamson’s query about the continuing problem with the “dip” in the upper footpath leading down from Mill Lane past the surgery it was confirmed that the matter was discussed on site with Norman Perryman (WSCC) some months ago & marked for remedial action. The matter would be followed up.
2760. BPC Participation at Balcombe Fete 16th July
Agreed that we should have a stand with publicity material, quiz etc. available as last year.
At present Cllrs. Carol Jarvest, Alison Stevenson together with Richard Greig, Rodney Saunders, Peter Huxley, Robin Lindsay-Stewart & Alan Dearden indicated availability. Additional T shirts may be necessary.
2761. Planning - to consider the following applications:-
a). For representation by 17th June 2011
(BA)/11/01492/FUL – Freshfield, Stockcroft Road – two storey front & side extension – no objection.
For representation by 24th June 2011
(BA)/11/01561/TCA – Conifers, Deanland Road – fell one Conifer & two sycamores – no objection.
(BA)/11/01594/TCA – Burlestone, Stockcroft Road – fell two Conifers & one Ash.- no objection.
b). to consider any additional applications received by the date of the meeting. No additional applications received.
Planning consent received for (BA)/11/01325/TCA – Woodpecker Mount. Cllr. Talman reported that there had been some surveyor activity on the property of the late Joan Carter.
2762. To finalise reply to AirS/MSDC on the Housing Survey
AirS, MSDC and Hastoe have identified potential exception sites that may be suitable for new affordable housing development to meet local needs. AirS have asked for the support of the Parish Council to approach land-owners to establish the viability of site purchase. Members were provided with the AirS site appraisal which included the comments & scores from Hastoe compiled in January. Additionally the Chairman made available detailed site location maps relating to the shortlisted sites. .It was understood that to date no approach had still been made to landowners. The overall view was that the method employed in assessing sites was somewhat haphazard in that it failed to reflect landscape quality as well as using an unsuitable weighting method for each of the sites. Consequentially the Council did not concur with the preferred sites. The Chairman mentioned that the recent AIRs Housing Survey had shown a need for affordable housing and had indicted that in this area of the country the need for affordable housing seemed to be inexhaustible. The purpose of the AirS approach was to enable a list of possible sites to be compiled for further consideration by landowners.
Cllr. Huxley asked for information from the housing register and from other housing surveys that AirS have done locally in order to understand the housing needs in context.
2763. Post Office
Although the threat of any change to the present thrice weekly outreach service from Roffey seemed to be premature, the survey instigated by this Council was reported to have encouraged increased usage of the facilities. There was considerable interest in including a Saturday service. In view of a possible misunderstanding about the threat the Chairman would instigate a check on the precise terms of the agreement between the Post Office/Roffey & Gemma & report back. Analysis of the questionnaires would be arranged, possibly from the end of June.
W2 Changes to WSCC Financial Support for the non-commercial Bus Network. Cllr. Talman, with the help of the Clerk, would examine present services that might be affected by the cut-backs, thought only to concern the 166 service back from Haywards Heath.
M1. District Plan for Mid Sussex. Agreed needs to be studied. Gary Marsh is co-ordinating this.
2765. Exchange of Information
Cllr. Williamson – advised that to date we had received no advice from MSDC concerning their annual award ceremony.
Cllr. Jarvest – would kindly finalise with MSDC the outstanding supply of the bench for the bottom of Bramble Hill. Reported that there was still dissatisfaction from the Stockcroft Road resident about Avon House parking.
The Chairman – update Members on possible changes to the format of the Balcombe-Wissous Twinning Association.
There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 22.10 hours.
Date: 18th July 2011
THE NEXT MEETING OF THE COUNCIL WILL BE HELD ON MONDAY 18th JULY AT 8 PM