MINUTES of the meeting of the Community Affairs Committee on Thursday 21 September 2017 at 8:00 pm in the Village Centre Library, Hurstpierpoint.
Members Present: Steve Whitehead (Acting Chairman)
Also Present: Malcolm Llewellyn, Parish Councillor
Roberta Taylor, Assistant Clerk
CA17/034. Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: The following apology for absence was received prior to the meeting: Bob Sampson. Declarations of interest were given at the meeting: Cllr Whitehead, personal interest, regarding CA17/043 about the Albourne Road Allotments.
CA17/035. Minutes of the Community Affairs Committee Meetings held on 20 July 2017: The Committee received and accepted the minutes which were then signed by the Acting Chairman.
CA17/036. Matters arising from Community Affairs Meetings held on 20 July 2017: There were no matters to discuss arising from the Minutes, which are not covered elsewhere on this agenda.
CA17/037. Adjournment for questions from the public: There were no members of the public present and therefore the Committee was not required to adjourn the meeting in accordance with Clause 1(d) of Standing Orders.
CA17/038. Police issues and information: The Committee did not receive the crime figures for the Parish.
Discussion took place concerning the lack of data from the Police. It was recommended that the Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator be contacted and asked what information he receives; that the PCSO is contacted and asked what data is available for the Parish Council; and that Cllr Jackson, our Parish Council representative on MSALC, is asked about MSALC’s view on data available to the Parish Council.
CA17/039. Parish Council Small Grant Applications: Small Grants applications are considered at every Community Affairs Committee meeting. £4000 was available for the current year 2017/18; £3100 remains in the budget currently. No grant requests were received.
CA17/040. Parish Action Plan review. Further to Minute SP17/09 of Strategic Policy Working Group (meeting 8
August 2017), the Committee considered the PARISH ACTION PLAN 2016-21, to report on progress to date, and agree any further actions to be given priority for the current Council year 2017-18. (Ref: Parish Action Plan 2016-21 rev 4 UPDATE
In particular items 1 to 6, 8, and 26 were considered and discussed by the Committee. The following comments and recommendations were made:
Item 1 (Communications): More information is needed on Facebook. Place Facebook symbol on website.
Item 2 (Parish Council Surgeries): Send monthly summaries to all Parish Councillors. Discussion took place on the value of the Surgeries – few people turn up and many issues are able to be taken to the PC Office for consideration. Recommend to Council that Surgeries are cancelled immediately.
Item 3 (Young People): Contact Community 21 organiser and ask for update.
Item 4 (Older People support): Continue with Older Persons’ tea parties; continue to try to find people that are isolated and/or lonely.
Item 5 (Lonely and Isolated people of all ages): Continue with actions on Dementia awareness programme in Parish.
Item 6 (Fraud): Information is available from Police online and via Hurst HUB Facebook. Currently information is put on noticeboards and distributed via PC email.
Item 8 (Neighbourhood Watch): Liaising with Neighbourhood Watch is taking place.
[Item 22 (Transport, College Lane, Hurst Wickham): although not under Community Affairs Committee, a comment was made. Hurst Wickham needs a weight restriction; this is in hand with Traffic & Parking WG. Entire road should be 30 mph.
Item 26 (Public Transport): see item CA17/041, investigation under progress. Review in 12 months after the population increases in the Parish due to new housing developments.
RECOMMENDATION TO COUNCIL (item 2): that Parish Councillor Surgeries are cancelled as soon as possible.
CA17/041. Bus Service in the Parish. The Committee received the following update: At the Committee meeting of May 2017 (CA17/011), a resident expressed her concern about the lack of bus service in Hurstpierpoint, particularly service to Brighton or Worthing. It was decided that the bus services be investigated, in particular to provide better bus service through Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common, by working together with WSCC and the bus companies.
An email was sent to WSCC Transport Bureau explaining the issues and giving several suggestions. A reply came back from Andy Warton, Senior Passenger Transport Planner, Transport Bureau, explaining why it was unable to offer any realistic hope of reducing the gap in the afternoon 273 bus timetable; the difficulties with having a diversion via Hurstpierpoint; and the position of WSCC in providing funding for bus services. (Ref: email, 27 July 2017, Andy Warton)
An email was sent to Compass Travel about the 100 bus service and whether it could be rerouted along the Albourne
Road, travelling through Hurstpierpoint, turning south along the B2117 to re-join the current route. Joe Beckley,
Operations Manager, Compass Travel responded, saying that the 100 bus route is a supported route and it may be tricky to make any changes. Joe will keep our needs in mind when considering changes that will take place in Burgess Hill as part of the new demands of the development in Burgess Hill. He will also liaise with WSCC. (Ref: email, 7 August 2017, Joe Beckley)
An email was also sent to Metrobus about the gap in the afternoon 273 bus route. No reply has been received to date.
CA17/042. Cricket facility, Berrylands Recreation Ground, Sayers Common. The Committee received the following information. A resident from Sayers Common contacted the office because of the poor state of the cricket practice nets/artificial turf at Berrylands RG. MSDC was contacted by the Assistant Clerk and told that the practice area was due for imminent removal and the area would be restored to grass. MSDC said that with no income coming in to support the practice area, there was no business case to support further investment in that practice area.
The resident then wrote to Cllr Watts Williams concerning the contractors’ mowing of the grounds and the cricket practice area. An on-site meeting has taken place, with Cllr Watts Williams, the resident and Cllr B Sampson. Photos were taken and Cllr Watts Williams is going to investigate both problems at the recreation ground.
CA17/043. Albourne Road Allotments.
CA17/043.1 Update. The Albourne Road allotments plots all have tenants on them except for plot 42A which is being sprayed this summer for mares tail weed by Greenscene Landscaping. Plot 42A was sprayed twice in May and July and will shortly get a third and final spray. In April 2018, that plot may be offered to a person on the waiting list, depending on its condition. Letters with invoices are being sent out to all tenants on 20 September, with payment due on 1 Oct 2017.
CA17/043.2 Annual Clearance of Allotment Rubbish. In recent years, every October the Maintenance Officer took rubbish in his van from the allotments to the Burgess Hill tip; this meant 2 trips – each time filling the van with the help of the residents, going to the tip and emptying the van by hand into the designated areas. However last year, there was difficulty because of the change in regulations/pricing so all materials were required to be separated and weighed/priced per material, i.e. the van could not contain a mixture of materials.
An alternative option has been investigated, of providing a skip on-site for waste materials. However this has been decided not to be a reasonable option. The lorry carrying the skip is 10 foot wide, weighs about 10 tons, and is about 22 foot in length. There are worries about the lorry width and weight on the dirt pathway from Albourne Road and access if it rained; possible tipping from people from outside of the allotments because there is not a place unseen from the road; possible filling of the skip to above the safe amount which would mean that the skip could not be removed; possibly filling the skip with materials/items not allowed.
For these reasons, it has been decided that we are no longer able to provide an annual clearance of allotment rubbish and will ask tenants to remove their rubbish as necessary.
CA17/044. Parish Councillor Surgeries. The Committee received the following update:
CA17/044.1 Surgery on 12 August. Two people came to discuss matters, of which one topic was the state of the South Avenue Cemetery (overgrown grass/broken pots). Our Cemetery Officer is aware of the situation; the grass is cut by contractors on a schedule and the plot owners are responsible for their plants/pots. The cemetery has improved in appearance with the removal of trees in the Garden of Rest area.
CA17/044.2 Surgery on 9 September. Four people came to discuss topics including overgrown hedges/bushes along pavements in Cuckfield Road and Marchants Road, bus service in the village, street light issues, street signs no longer clear and would like updated. The office staff will investigate and respond to those attendees.
There has been difficulty in having Councillors available for the Surgeries.
CA17/045. Winter Maintenance Plan 2017/18. The Committee received the following update: WSCC asked for the Winter Maintenance Plan and accompanying documents, including a new request that we need to provide for each contractor/farmer their public liability insurance documents. All was compiled and sent to WSCC on 11 August 2017. Included was the use of local farmer/contractor to clear secondary roads in the Parish. As agreed in previous years, the farmer/contractor will be paid £35/hour by WSCC and £15/hour by the Parish Council, for a maximum of 4 hours per snow event. Volunteers will be contacted and new people recruited soon.
CA17/046. Older Persons’ Tea Parties 2017. The Committee received the following update: The August tea party had very good attendance and everyone enjoyed lovely food and drink, nice weather, and an interesting talk about people’s lives. The September event will be at Danny House. The Silver Sunday event organised by MSDC is being held in East Grinstead this October; however because of the distance to the venue and it is on a Sunday/weekend which is difficult for our volunteers to be available, the Committee decided that we would not take part in this event and organise our own event instead.
CA17/047. Information Items and Correspondence Received: to note the receipt of the items below (all items available to be seen in the Parish Council Office).
CA17/047.1 Report received from the Lanes Litter Picking Group for Wildlife, Litter Picking Report Summer 2017, Amanda Geel and Hilary Pulham.
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9:25 pm.