We’ve got our verge back!

IMG_0539At last, it’s gone. On Monday morning, someone came and took the abandoned vehicle away.

Following my last post, Sussex Police told me that the owner had claimed the vehicle and that they had now closed the case. They did tell me, however, that WSCC had wider powers, under their environmental responsibilities, to remove the vehicle. By this time most of its windows had been smashed. I therefore contacted Cllr Kate O’Kelly, on Friday, who undertook to pursue it. By Monday morning the car was gone.

When I thanked Kate, she wouldn’t take any of the credit as she doubted that even WSCC could have swung into action this quickly. But thanks are due all the same.

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Abandoned vehicle at Bugshill Lane/Bell Lane T-Junction

Bepton villagers will have noticed the abandoned car near the T-Junction, which has been there since September.

We first reported the car to Operation Crackdown (Sussex Police’s website for anti-social driving and abandoned vehicles). They came back to us to say that the vehicle was not abandoned as it was taxed, insured and had a valid MOT. A quick check with the DVLA website showed that, although it had an MOT, it was registered as being off-road under SORN. And British insurance records confirmed that it was not insured. We went back to Sussex Police explaining this at the beginning of October. They said that they would investigate.

On Monday morning the car was hit by another vehicle. To add to its flat tyres, the side was badly damaged and the passenger window smashed with glass fragments spread down the lane. We have reported this again to the police. Their latest position is that WSCC are now discussing with Sussex Police “to see whether the vehicle can be removed”. We have pointed out that this isn’t very satisfactory and that the vehicle is a hazard.

We have been told by another parish that they had a similar situation with an abandoned car for a few months. Apparently, the police had been attempting to contact the owner to get them to pay for its removal. We shall continue to pursue!

 

SDNPA’s Dan Oakley to talk about Dark Skies

The Annual Statutory Meeting (ASM) and the Annual Parish Assembly (APA) of the Parish Council will take place on 25th May 2017 at The Park House Hotel, Bepton.  

 

The ASM will start at 6pm and the APA at 7.30pm. Dan Oakley of the SDNPA will be the guest speaker at the APA and will talk about the National Park’s Dark Skies designation. Please do come along.

The agendas for the meetings are here:BPC APA Agenda 2017BPC ASM Agenda 2017 and the draft minutes for the March 2017 meeting are here.

Bepton PC’s Council Tax Precept

More eagle-eyed residents of Bepton will have spotted that Bepton’s share of the latest Council Tax bill increased by  29%. This is a large increase by any standards.

However, there is a straightforward answer to this. The Parish Council reduced its precept in 2016-17 from £4,500 to £3,700. We did this because we were conscious that we had a relatively healthy Reserve. However, it became clear to the Council that this may have been a little premature, given the increasing demands on the Council. The Council therefore reviewed the Precept against a background of an increase to the clerk’s salary, expenses and gratuity (the latter is in lieu of a pension); an increase in the donation to Bepton Parochial Church Council; and an increase in the amount set aside for grass mowing and other amenity work, because the County Council  would no longer be undertaking small local amenity work.

The Precept breaks down as follows:
Band D 2017-18 Precept of £4,820 divided by Tax base 148.3 arrives at Band D equivalent of £32.50.
As a comparator , the previous year’s was :
Band D 2016-17 Precept of £3,700 divided by Tax base 146.8 arrives at Band D equivalent of £25.20.Bepton