Summary Minutes of Council Meetings

This page carries a summary of the last three month's minutes

The following is a summary of the main points discussed at the Council meeting on 5th December.


Items for decision

Business in Progress (Report 6)

a)      Council to support village events on 75th Anniversary of VE Day (8th May). Cllr Wheatley to coordinate.

b)      Friston Safety kerb realignment to proceed in New Year.

c)      Friston (North) bus shelter currently being rebuilt.

d)      Hon Solicitor agreed to seek legal opinion on PC including unadopted road maintenance costs in the precept.

e)      Bollards between Gore Farm Close and shops now fitted with safety reflectors.

Planning Matters

Council ratified and enhanced decisions from the 19th Nov Planning Committee that had been delayed to allow for consultations. For details see the full minutes.

Budget Development 2020/21 (Report 7)

Existing budget was in good condition with some capital spend held over to next year. Cllrs. are to review and submit proposals for next year at a working group prior to draft budget being set at the Jan PC meeting.

Interpretation Boards (Report 8)

Lead member for communications reported on meetings with SDNPA on producing a number of information boards around the village, as has been done elsewhere in the park. Work is continuing on costings and permission needed to erect boards.

Downsview Lane Verge

After requests from residents the PC had paid for  a contractor to clear undergrowth from the south side of the road. Some complaints had been received that clearance was too radical while other residents supported the work. Future work will be limited to mowing a 1.5 m strip and tree planting will be considered next year.

Notice Boards and Road Signs

New notice boards for Downlands Way shops have been obtained. The Horsefield Car Park Notice Board is to be repaired and the Friston one removed. Two damaged road name boards are also to be repaired.

Rude Mechanical Theatre Co.

Licence granted for another performance on the Rec. on 10th June 2020.

Councillor Reports

a)     County Councillor/District Councillor

Both Cllrs. reported on the flooding at Cuckmere Haven in November. They are both working to get the Environment Agency to change policy on dredging the river and clearing beach shingle.

b)    Chair of Council

Tree lighting & Carol singing event on 1st Dec had raised £112 for the PC’s 2019 charity. Wine had been provided by the PC to the Dec Village Lunch.

c)     Neighbourhood Plan

Working Group to be relaunched in Jan.

d)    Finance

Bank Balance was £78,754.37

e)     Rights of Way

Bark chips laid on 7 footpaths. Footpath signs awaiting repair by ESCC. Gullies at top of Downsview Lane now cleared.

f)      Recreation Ground

Insulation Work on Pavillion Roof delayed until January. Request from cricket club for permanent picket fence around pavilion not agreed.



The following is a summary of the main points discussed at the Council meeting on 7th November.

Items for decision

Business in Progress (Report 4)

a)    Dutch Elm Disease felling subsidy will now only be paid if residents use ESCC approved contractor.

b)    Friston kerb safety buildout design amended after site visit. Work hoped to start in Jan 2020.

c)    War memorial railings were cleaned and repainted in time for Remembrance Sunday ceremony on 10th Nov.

d)    WDC have agreed in principle to provide charging points in car parks.

e)    BT have decided not to decommision the phone box on A259 at present.

f)     Work continuing on clearing verge adjacent to road in Downsview Lane.

g)    New noticeboards have been ordered for Downlands Way shopping area.

h)    Rebuild of Friston (north) bus shelter to be progressed, financed from underspend on other projects this year.

i)     Cornish Cottages vacant property reported to WDC social housing lead.

Admin Assistant

Cllrs approved the appointment of Debbie Picknell to the post, beginning 11th Nov.

Funding of Estate roads maintenance

The decline in households paying the full contribution to the Roads Company is causing concern for the future maintenance of Downlands Estate roads and gullys. One possibility would be for the  PC to include this funding in the Council Tax precept, but this would mean charging households outside the estate as well. Any proposals would be subject to legal opinion and possibly a Parish Poll. Further investigations to be made but no action likely for 2020.

Christmas Tree lighting event

To take place on 1st December. For full details see magazine or PC website.

Dissolution of East Dean Responders

PC have agreed in principle to take over responsibility for defibrillators after Responders cease activity at end of 2019.

75th Anniversary of VE Day

PC to liase with other groups to see what events should be organised on 8th May 2020.

Urgent Item – Mobile Phone Coverage.

Telefonica to be chased over new mast installation after recent deterioration of mobile phone signal.

Councillor Reports

a)     County Councillor

Cllr. Shing reported that ESCC had formed a climate emergency group, of which he was a member. Deeper foundations for the new Exceat bridge are likely to be needed. He supports the petition to the Environment Agency for dredging at Cuckmere Haven.

b)    Chair of Council

PC will again be providing wine for the Village Christmas lunch with Cllrs acting as waiting staff.  

c)     Bank Account  – the end of month balance was £88,899.65.

d)    Rights of Way

Various problems with road drainage raised with ESCC highways at recent meeting. WDC in dispute with Sussex Police over parking enforcement.

e)     Recreation Ground

Roof insulation of pavillion to begin late Nov to improve energy efficiency.


The following is a summary of the main points discussed at the Council meeting on 3rd October

Items for decision

Business in Progress (Report 4)

a)    Friston safety build out design received. ESCC to be asked to make 1m longer.

b)    ESCC now offering 10% for Dutch Elm felling. PC subsidy reduced to 40%.

c)    “Pedestrians in road” sign for road to Birling Gap to be pursued with ESCC.

d)    Downsview Lane bus stop replacement to also be pursued at Oct SLR meeting.

e)    Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov 10th to be co-ordinated by PC due to British Legion branch closure. War memorial railings being cleaned and painted before the event.

f)     Contractor found to clear verge in Downsview Lane belonging to Eastbourne. Letters to be sent to residents not to dump waste there.

g)    Work at Friston Pond underway to clear drainage, undergrowth and fallen tree.

h)    Friston shelter put back after vandalism. Will need replacing as badly damaged.

i)     Cricket Club 20/20 event was well organised and supported by villagers and visitors.

j)     New noticeboards in shopping precinct for Neighbourhood Plan & Parish Council to be ordered.

k)    Space still available at Friston Pond and Recreation Ground for memorial seats.

Risk Management Review (Report 8)

Amendments made to risk management strategy as part of annual update.

Tree Warden (Report 9)

Job description and responsibilities to be revised for Neighbourhood Planning needs.


Schedule of Meetings for 2020

Meeting dates agreed (now published on website). Annual Village Meeting to be on Friday 24th April.

Councillor Reports

a)     County Councillor

Temporary lights at Exceat for Airbourne to continue until new bridge is built. ESCC to receive extra Government funding in 2020/1. PC requested that County Council ensure future cycle races should not close roads for long periods on safety grounds.

b)    Planning Committee

SDNPA reps to attend meeting on 15th Oct. to discuss liaison and enforcement.

c)     Neighbourhood Plan

Flyers circulated with Oct Parish Mag. To get more feedback from residents. Hope to extend membership of steering group to include younger members.

d)    Bank Account – the end of month balance was £87,790.

e)     Fund Raising

Profit from PC stall at Village Fete, plus donation and any profits from Christmas lights event to be handed over to JPK charity in the New Year.

f)      Rights of Way

Liaison meeting with ESCC highways (SLR) to take place on 22nd Oct.

Next year’s budget to include provision for rebuild of Friston (north) bus shelter.

g)     Recreation Ground

Replacement of play area fencing to begin shortly. Roof insulation and “winterisation” of Pavilion begun following cricket season end.

No Council meeting was held in September due to the Parish Council's summer break.