East Sussex Association of Local Councils Limited 

Minutes of the virtual Board Meeting held via Zoom on 

Monday 5th July 2021 at 1pm 


Directors Present Ruth O’Keeffe (Chair) Lewes District Association 
 Kay Moss Wealden District Association 
 Keith Stevens  Wealden District Association 
 Mike GarnerWealden District Association 
 Peter TurnerRother District Association
 Johnny DenisLewes District Association
Presidents and Vice Presidents Present   
 Dr A MacGillivray Vice President 
 Marion Shepherd DL Vice President 
 David Young Vice President 
Officers Trevor Leggo CEO ESALC 
 Emily SimpsonAdmin & Finance Asst. ESALC 

1.  Apologies for absence

Cllr John Barnes, Cllr Philip Allard and Lord Ampthill.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes from the meeting held on the 26th April 2021 were approved as a true record of the meeting which the Chairman then signed.

3. Financial update

– Cllr Stevens confirmed the bank balance had increased from £38,000 at start of the year to £78,000 as of 30 June, with outstanding subscriptions of approximately £3000. He said there were outstanding debts of £1500 due to be paid to HMRC as well as the balance of NALC monies which was £6000.

– The CEO raised a concern that losing members could become a reality next year due to our lack of current visibility. Cllr Stevens said there may be a surplus this year so potentially some money could be fed back to members. Cllr Catlin suggested a meeting when lockdown had eased with invitations being sent to Councils.

4. Website update

Emily Simpson confirmed the new ESALC website had been live for over two months and that positive feedback had been received.

5. Training Update

The CEO advised that ESALC’s new programme was available with dates confirmed throughout the year for training in Chairmanship, New Councillors, Planning, Social Media, Time Management, Team Management, Leadership and Finance.  A hybrid of face to face and remote learning was discussed, as well as reduced fees for multiple attendees for the same Council.

6. NALC update

Cllr Stevens updated the Board with news that NALC was showing a healthy surplus and that BHIB would continue their sponsorship of NALC. The LGBTQ+ networking group had been set up, and meetings with UK Finance had been arranged to discuss the relationship between banks and parish councils. Affiliation fees would be discussed in September.

7. District Association

Lewes and Wealden District Association: Both representatives advised that their meetings were taking place next week so would have an update at the next Board meeting. Regarding Rother District Association, Cllr Turner confirmed that East Sussex County Council were looking to expand the speeding initiative that the Rother Association had initiated.

8. Bexhill Town Council

The CEO advised that the Council now had 18 Councillors and a new Town Clerk, Julie Miller, had been appointed. The Council’s priority was to find premises.

9. PCC Focus Groups

Mandy Jameson attended and presented the outcome of the recent 32 focus groups which had taken place. The key elements that emerged in East Sussex were speeding, visibility, feedback from the police, drug use and anti-social behaviour and how to make the right call. Further focus groups will be held in the Autumn of this year.

10. Armed Forces Covenant

The Covenant states that society recognize the contribution of those who have served and they will not suffer by virtue of their service. The CEO confirmed that grants were available for parishes to access for schemes which supported military veterans and their dependents. The CEO advised that NALC had been approached by the Ministry of Defence to encourage towns and parishes to subscribe to the Military Covenant and take advantage of it for their residents.

11. Flooding strategy

Dr MacGilivray stated the national strategy was published last year and the action plan was published in May 2021. The action plan had 3 ambitions but a nation ready to respond and adapt to flooding and coastal change was the one most relevant to East Sussex. There was no mention of parish and town councils within the document and NALC were not consulted so they are due to meet with DEFRA this month to discuss it in more detail.

12. Housing Working Party

Cllr Young explained planning itself is not the issue, it is the follow through of the building. As a working group, they would be looking into this issue and would report further at the next Board meeting.

13. Any other matters raised by Board members

– Cllr Stevens informed the Board that he attended the ESPP meeting and confirmed that Dawn Whittaker had been re-elected as their Chair for another two years.

– Cllr Denis questioned what we could do as a Board to support the 20mph limit to help make the roads safer, and an agenda item was agreed for the next Board meeting. The CEO recommended that speeding should be one of the main themes of ESALC’s annual conference where all relevant bodies would be invited.

– Cllr Garner requested an update on the Lewes – Uckfield railway line to which Cllr Catlin advised a meeting was due to take place shortly he could report back at the next Board meeting.

14. Date of next meeting

The date of the next meeting was agreed for 4 October 2021 at 1pm.