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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Minutes of the Council Meeting held on Thursday 14 December 2023 at 7.30 pm at Hurstpierpoint Village Centre.

Members Present:

Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman) Cllr Michael Avery Cllr Helen Bedford Cllr Susan Dyke Cllr David Evans  Cllr Rodney Jackson Cllr Claire Majsai Cllr Duncan Ranger Cllr Annette Street Cllr Lindsay Thompson 

Also Present:  Sarah Groom (Clerk), Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC), Cllr Alison Bennett and Cllr Geoff Zeidler (MSDC).

C23/24.099: To receive and accept apologies for absence:  Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Baldey, Froud, Sampson and Shorrocks, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Council ACCEPTS the apologies for absence for Cllrs Baldey, Froud, Sampson and Shorrocks.

C23/24.100: To receive and record declarations of interest:  There were no declarations of interest.

C23/24.101: To receive and accept the minutes of the previous meeting of the Council held on 30 November 2023:  Members reviewed the minutes of the previous meeting, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the minutes of the meeting held on 30 November 2023.

C23/24.102: Adjournment for Questions from the Public: Members considered adjourning the meeting to receive questions from members of the public in accordance with Standing Orders.  There was one member of the public present who didn’t wish to speak.

C23/24.103: Reports from Other Authorities: Members received reports from representatives of:

C23/24.103.1: Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC):  Cllr Bennett reported back that at the Council meeting the previous night the Regulation 19 six week consultation phase of the District Plan Review was agreed to be from 12 January to 23 February 2024.  The Council budget had been published for a six week consultation phase.  The District Council is limited to a 3% budget increase cap.  An announcement has now been made that the Green Spaces contract has been awarded to Glendale who will commence duties in January 2024.  Four of the eight electrical vehicle charging points in the Trinity Road car park have now been temporarily de-designated, so can be used by all vehicles.  Demand for the charging points will be monitored so they can be bought back into use as demand increases.  Cllr Zeidler had passed on Cllr Evans’ complaint about the Hub sign stating it was in Burgess Hill.  Cllr Zeidler had also been chasing up Southern Water regarding the Sayers Common flooding issues.  Cllr Zeidler explained that the Leader of Mid Sussex District Council had confirmed at last night’s meeting that any changes to the National Planning Policy Framework could be accommodated in the draft District Plan.  The Chairman asked that now the Glendale contract was confirmed, could the issue of the Berrylands Pond be taken up again by the District Councillors.  Cllr Bennet and Zeidler agreed to discuss a way forward. 

C23/24.103.2: West Sussex County Council (WSCC):  Cllr Dennis was attending a Water Summit next week when she will be speaking with Southern Water about flooding issues.  The local Ranger of the Public Rights of Way Team will be visiting the parish to inspect local bridleways and footpaths.  A number of urgent road works will be happening in January 2024 on i) High Hatch/Gatehouse Lane, ii) the A23/A272 junction, iii) Reeds Lane, iv) Henfield Road, Albourne, and v) the A23 at Pyecombe will be closed at night for overpass inspections.  The Chairman reported the Reeds Lane gullies were all overflowing during a recent visit.  Cllr Dennis updated members on the new booking system for the Burgess Hill Recycling Centre from the end of February 2024, as the system had been successfully trialled elsewhere in the County.  The County had won a food waste initiative award.  The County is setting its budget and there is pressure especially in the demand for Childrens Services. 

The Chairman thanked Cllrs Dennis, Zeidler, Bennett and Jackson for their reports.  Cllrs Dennis, Zeidler and Bennett left the meeting at 8.19pm.

C23/24.104: Committee Minutes: Members received the minutes of the:

C23/24.104.1: Highways, Cycleways and Footpaths Joint Council Working Group (4 December 2023) There were no recommendations for Council.

C23/24.104.2: Planning Committee (4 December 2023) There were no recommendations for Council.

C23/24.104.3: Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (19 October 2023 and 7 December 2023) There were two recommendations for Council.  The recommendation from 7 December 2023 is itemised separately as Minute C23/24.105 below (Draft Council Budget 2024/25).  The recommendation from 19 October 2023 meeting is as follows:

F23/24.081: Draft CCTV Policy:  On 19 October 2023, the Committee considered a draft policy regarding the use of closed-circuit cameras for recommendation to Council for adoption.  Due to the amendments required it was agreed that the Policy would be presented to Council in December 2023 instead of November 2023, and it was: RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREED to recommend the draft CCTV Policy to Council in December 2023 for adoption, as amended.  RECOMMENDATION:  That Council AGREES the CCTV Policy for adoption, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That Council AGREES the CCTV Policy for adoption.

RESOLVED:  That the Council RECEIVES the minutes of the following Committees and AGREES the above recommendations:

  1. Highways, Cycleways and Footpaths Joint Council Working Group (4 December 2023)
  2. Planning Committee (4 December 2023)
  3. Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (19 October 2023/7 December 2023).

C23/24.105: Draft Council Budget 2024/25:  Members considered the briefing note setting out the Parish Council budget requirements for 2024/25, as recommended by the Finance, Governance & Estates Committee on 7 December 2023.  The Chairman introduced the background to the budget preparation and the increases and decreases that had been made by Committees during the budget preparation process. A number of points on the briefing note were corrected and one amendment was agreed to the budget spreadsheet regarding the use of the Earmarked Reserve for the Van although this did not affect the overall figures, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the Parish Council budget requirements for 2024/25 as income of £106,798, expenditure of £424,959 and a precept required to balance the budget of £318,161.  Based on the tax base figure of 3,339.2, this equates to a Band D (Precept) Council Tax payment of £95.28 (an increase of 2.97% on the 2023/24 figure of £92.54).

C23/24.106: Polling Station Consultation:  Members considered a response to the Mid Sussex District Council statutory consultation on the proposed scheme of Polling Districts and Polling Places for UK Parliamentary General Elections by 3 January 2024, and noted there were no changes for the parish, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to respond to the Mid Sussex District Council statutory consultation on the proposed scheme of Polling Districts and Polling Places for UK Parliamentary General Elections by 3 January 2024.

C23/24.107: Calendar of Meetings 2024/2025:  Members considered a provisional list of meeting dates for 2024/2025 to be ratified at the May 2024 Council meeting.  Cllr Majsai requested an additional Community Engagement Committee meeting date be included on a Tuesday in April 2025, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the provisional list of meeting dates for 2024/2025 with the addition of a Community Engagement meeting in April 2025, and for the amended list to be brought back to the 25 January 2024 Council meeting.

C23/24.108: Councillor Vacancy:  Members considered advertising the final councillor vacancy with a closing date of 18 January 2024, to allow a new councillor to be co-opted at Council on 25 January 202, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to advertise the final councillor vacancy with a closing date of 18 January 2024, to allow a new councillor to be co-opted at Council on 25 January 2024.

C23/24.109: Permissive Use Agreement Hurst Meadows: Members considered a request from WSCC to grant permissive path status for the portion of the east west cycle route skirting the south-eastern edge of Hurst Meadows.  The Chairman explained the background to the plans and that the route now reflected the Parish Council’s wishes, for a route to School for students.  The shared cyclepath/footpath is expected to be delivered before 31 March 2024.  Members agreed that the final copy of the agreement could be signed by two councillors and witnessed by the Clerk in accordance with Standing Orders, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to grant WSCC permissive path status for the portion of the east west cycle route skirting the south-eastern edge of Hurst Meadows and that two councillors will sign the final agreement, witnessed by the Clerk.

C23/24.110: Reports from Representative on Outside Bodies: Members received reports from representative on outside bodies as follows: 

C23/24.110.1: Hurstpierpoint Society:  Cllr Dyke reported that the Society had met the previous evening and a number of points had been discussed including some concerns about the Hurst Meadows cyclepath route.  The Chairman explained the route had been previously discussed with the Society at a site meeting with local residents and in correspondence.  Other items highlighted were the Museum Group attempting to relocate their collection from the Parish Council’s Chapel to the Hurst College archive.  The Society would like an invoice from the Parish Council for their tree and watering costs before the end of December 2023 as it is the end of their financial year.   

C23/24.110.2: Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC): Cllr Jackson reported that a meeting had been held between MSALC and MSDC to discuss MSDC officers attending MSALC meetings, and plans for a conference.

C23/24.110.3: Santa Sunday:  Cllr Bedford reported that the event had been a success despite the poor weather and plans were already underway for next year.

C23/24.110.4: St Lawrence Fair:  Cllrs Bedford and Thompson reported that the St Lawrence Fair committee would soon be meeting to commence arrangements for 2024, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council NOTES the reports from representatives on outside bodies.

C23/24.111: Information Items: There were no information items.

Members RESOLVED that in view of the confidential nature of the following items, the press and public be excluded under section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.

Confidential Matters:

C23/24.112: Mid Sussex District Plan 2021-2039 Review Update:  Members received a verbal update on Mid Sussex District Council’s decision on 13 December 2023 that agreed the draft District Plan will proceed to Regulation 19 consultation. Cllr Dyke reported that the Hurstpierpoint Society had produced an article in their recent newsletter on the Mid Sussex District Plan Review and were considering actions they could take to include in their response to the Reg 19 consultation.  The Parish Council were very supportive of the Society’s plans.  The Chairman proposed an informal private meeting of Council Members on Thursday 11 January 2024 at 7.30pm with the Planning Consultant, to prepare a draft response from the Parish Council.  It was important that the Parish Council produced information that could be shared with residents as early as possible within the consultation period, for example within the February Hurst Life magazine, to help residents produce their own responses. Cllr Shorrocks and the Clerk would be attending a briefing meeting at MSDC on 18 December 2023 and it had been requested by the Chairman and Clerk that any presentation or information was shared immediately after the meeting, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council NOTES the update on the Mid Sussex District Plan Review and AGREES an informal meeting to be held on 11 January at 7.30pm with the Planning Consultant to develop a response to the Regulation 19 consultation to be shared with residents at the earliest opportunity and in the February 2024 Hurst Life article.

There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.28pm.

Chairman