LAST WEEKEND saw Christmas fairs at all three schools within the area. Two of them were due to be held over the previous weekend, but due to the heavy snow we experienced during that week, they were put off.
From reports I have received, all went extremely successfully and in each case a good amount of money was raised for school funds.
Thanks go to all those who helped organise them and especial thanks to the public who attended – without you there would not have been much point.
BY THE time you read this, the schools will have broken up for the Christmas holiday. They are due back on January 4 which will be the case for Hankham School but January 5 for both Stone Cross and Pevensey and Westham schools as both of these schools have an Inset Training Day.
THE MINUTES of the last meeting of the Westham Parish Council which was held on Monday, November 15.
The minutes of the meeting held on Monday October 18 were read, confirmed as a true record and were signed by the Chair.
Cllr Nash declared interests in the discussions on grant allocations as he is a Director of the Westham and Pevensey Local Transport Partnership. Cllrs Tooley, B Molog and Marshall are Trustees of Stone Cross Mill. Cllr Nash is the Council Representative at Westham Village Hall and Cllr Garner is the Council Representative at Stone Cross Memorial Hall.
Cllr Parsons declared a prejudicial interest in the Thurleigh planning application.
The following committee meeting minutes were received and adopted by the Parish Council. Cllr Comerford, Finance and General Purposes; Cllr B Tooley, Parks and Open Spaces; Cllr K Sutherland, Environment and Planning - all held on October 11.There were no sub-committee meetings.
Reports from outside meetings. Cllrs B Molog, K Sutherland and the clerk attended the District Planning Conference on November 3 at Uckfield Civic Centre.
Under the LDF Stone Cross will have an additional 750 houses before 2026.
E-Planning will come into effect on April 1, the new Wealden website is now up and running and Wealden are operating a Community Convenience Scheme.
Councillors asked for the convenience scheme to be an agenda item for the next full council meeting.
Those present at the Conference also heard that there will be more shared responsibility with other councils to save money and that planning will no longer be bound by the Inspector’s Report.
Cllr B Molog attended the SALC Executive Committee meeting through the WDALC. This covered the Decentralisation and Localism Bill.
Cllr Nash attended the Westham Village Hall meeting, takings from bookings are good but the hall is experiencing high maintenance costs. The meeting was then suspended.
REPORTS from district and county councillors. D/Cllr K Balsdon sent his apologies .
D/Cllr D Dear recently attended a training planning meeting and apologised for not getting back to residents in Penrith Way. She told those present that the Planning Officer dealing with the Wates Development is Chris Bending and he can be contacted on 01892 653311.
C/Cllr Tony Freebody attended the Scrutinees Meeting for Audit and Best Value.
The Local Enterprise Partnership is looking at improving Broadband facilities in a bid to attracting new business.
Questions from members of the public: Mr King asked if the Parish Council has asked the District Council to make sure it follows its own policies when dealing with the Wates’ Development planning application as he felt it was missing from the Parish Council’s comments on the application.
Mrs Bounds asked the Parish Council to ask the County Council to repair the footpaths in Pevensey Park Road and St John’s Road. The meeting was then re-opened.
CLLR NASH reported that there had not been any emergencies recently and he had organized a risk analysis meeting for November 24. He is also to attend the Community Emergency Planning Conference weeting.
The working party is to arrange a meeting with Trevor Leggo to update the Business Plan.
Adur Park Update: The clerk is to chase ESCC for the price of the double headed light for Adur Park
The risk assessment working party met, approved its terms of reference and agreed that Gerry Garner is to be co-opted to the working party.
Adur Park Basketball Court: The council resolved that in the current climate the basketball court will be made safe and not resurfaced and that the clerk will get prices to make it safe.
The council resolved that the Parish Council would refill the bins until June. The clerk has a right to say no to any requests thought in her opinion to be excessive. This situation and the position of the grit bins will be reviewed at the June full council meeting. Three Councillors voted against this motion and felt the Council should commit only to a set number of refills.
Foxes Hollow Wall. The structural engineer is waiting for the utilities report for the schedule of works.
Ambulance Service Governor Elections: Cllr Comerford offered to stand but, by the time the Ambulance Service got back to him, the deadline had passed. It was noted that Cllr Nash is a member of SECAMB.
Precept Request. Requests were made as follows: Stone Cross Mill £400, Stone Cross Memorial Hall £400, Pevensey and Westham Playgroup £200, Wealden Citizens’ Advice £400 Westham and Pevensey Local Transport £1,250.
Councillors agreed to consider Noah’s Ark and The Pump at the next full council meeting to allow both time to submit their accounts.
Councillors also agreed to the village hall’s request to reallocate last years grant to provide new kitchens.
The clerk read through the precept calculations, previously distributed to councillors, and recommended that, in the current economic climate, the precept for 2011/12 remains at £127,966.
This figure allows the clerk to undertake the SLCC advanced training. Councillors resolved that the precept for 2011/12 is £127,966.
QUESTIONS: G Parsons said the newsletter is to be printed in house for a trial basis of one month. 1,000 copies are to be produced in the office and distributed via Church Avenue, Pevensey Park Road, St John’s Drive, Oaklands, The Heron, The Red Lion, Westham Village Hall, Hankham, Red Dyke, Castle Bolton and Foxes Hollow.
Cllr Comerford complained that District Cllrs Dear and McKeever made no previous attempt to meet residents at Castle Bolton following their calls to them about the recent Wates application.
Cllr Parsons asked the Clerk to write to Mrs Bundy and thank her for paying for the three new trees recently planted alongside Butcher’s Field. Mrs Bundy had also thanked the tree wardens for their help.
Cllr Saxby thanked the clerk for providing the figures required to calculate the precept.
Cllr Nash thanked Cllr Marshall for his help in producing the Emergency Contact Card.
Cllr Parsons asked for Kelvin Williams to come and talk to the Environment and Planning Committee about e-planning, criteria for planning applications and planning in general.
Cllr Comerford said the clerk’s pay has not been increased in the last two years and asked that the Pay Review Sub-Committee meets to review her pay.
MAY I WISH ALL our readers a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.