Minutes of the Council Meeting held on Thursday 15 December 2022 at 7.30 pm at the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.
|Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman) Cllr Mike Avery Cllr Helen Bedford||Cllr David Evans Cllr Rodney Jackson Cllr Tony Lank||Cllr John Lowman Cllr Duncan Ranger|
Also Present: Sarah Groom (Clerk to the Council), Cllr Colin Trumble & Cllr Alison Bennett (MSDC). One member of the public.
C22/23.109: To receive and accept apologies for absence: Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Allan Brown, Cllr Claire Majsai, Cllr Martin Machan, Cllr Bob Sampson and Cllr Julia Shorrocks. Apologies were also received from Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC), and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council ACCEPTS the apologies for absence for Cllr Allan Brown, Cllr Claire Majsai, Cllr Martin Machan, Cllr Bob Sampson and Cllr Julia Shorrocks.
C22/23.110: To receive and record declarations of interest: There were no declarations of interest.
C22/23.111: To receive and accept the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 24 November 2022: Members reviewed the minutes and amended the first line to read Thursday not Tuesday, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 24 November 2022, as amended.
C22/23.112: Adjournment for Questions from the Public: Members considered whether to adjourn the meeting in accordance with Standing Orders to receive questions from members of the public in attendance. There was one member of the public present who did not wish to speak so the meeting was not adjourned.
C22/23.113: Members received update reports from the representatives of other Authorities:
C22/23.113.1 West Sussex County Council (WSCC): Cllr Joy Dennis was not present.
C22/23.113.2 Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC): Cllr Bennett updated Members on the successful £1m Shared Prosperity Fund bid to be spent on parks and community hubs in the main three towns. MSDC acknowledged the Secretary of States comments about the switch from mandatory housing numbers to advisory, and Regulation 19 consultation on the District Plan review may be amended accordingly. It was not clear if Neighbourhood Plans will be reinstated as key local planning documents. The upcoming review of the National Planning Policy Framework will be open to consultation. Enforcement action is being taken against 18 The Grange. Road sweeping will be undertaken on Hassocks Road. Fly-posting in Trinity Road and near St George’s Lane will be removed. Gritting of the Trinity Road car park has been reported. Cllr Trumble had received the emails from Cllr Lowman about the dangerous wall in West Furlong Lane and from the Clerk about the Section 106 bid for funds to tarmac the Court Bushes car park. Cllr Trumble spoke about the “harm” the housing numbers may have on the communities and ecology. Cllr Jackson had visited the new sludge treatment works at Goddards Green to hear about the new technology that helps eliminate odours.
The Chairman thanked Cllrs Bennett, Jackson and Trumble for their reports and Cllr Bennett and Trumble left the meeting at 7.53pm.
C22/23.113.3 West Sussex Association of Local Councils (WSALC): Cllr Jackson attended the WSALC AGM at Billingshurst on 25 November 2022 and received a briefing on the Queen’s Green Canopy, the new Highways portal for reporting defects called “Love Clean Streets”, the Traffic Regulation Order process has been streamlined, WSCC has agreed schemes in some towns and parishes whereby parishes undertake county work for them. Disappointment is felt when WSCC do not comment on the impact of extra traffic on roads generated by new homes. The WSALC Chairman Douglas Denham St Pinnock was re-elected for a further year.
C22/23.113.4 Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC): There was no update since the last meeting.
C22/23.114: Members considered the minutes of the following Committees:
C22/23.114.1: Planning & Environment Committee (1 December 2022). No recommendations for Council.
C22/23.114.2: Finance & Governance Committee (8 December 2022) There was one recommendation for Council concerning the Draft Budget for 2023/2024 which was considered separately below, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council RECEIVES the minutes of the following Committees:
- Planning & Environment Committee (1 December 2022)
- Finance & Governance Committee (8 December 2022)
C22/23.115 Draft Budget 2023/24: Members considered the briefing note and the Parish Council budget requirements for 2023/24 as recommended by the Finance & Governance Committee. Members considered the changes and specifically the proposed 5% increase (the first in four years) allocated for a fully costed councillor allowances budget. Members also expressed concerns over the significant unpredictability of utility bills, especially as a number of the current contracts are due for renewal in May 2023, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES and ADOPTS the 2023/2024 budget as recommended by the Finance & Governance Committee with an income of £106,603, expenditure of £410,241 and a precept requirement of £303,638 which equates to a Band D Council Tax payment of £92.54 per annum, an increase of 5.05%, or £4.45 per annum or 1.78 pence per week on 2022/2023’s budget, the details of which will be submitted to Mid Sussex District Council by 31 January 2023.
C22/23.116 Parish Action Plan: Members considered the existing Parish Action Plans for each Committee in light of the budget setting for 2023/24 and agreed minor amendments, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREED the existing Parish Action Plans for each Committee, as amended.
C22/23.117 Calendar of Meetings 2023/2024: Members considered a provisional list of meeting dates for 2023/2024 to be ratified at the May 2023 Council meeting. The paper was not the latest version, so it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council DEFERRED consideration of the provisional list of meeting dates for 2023/2024 to the 26 January 2023 Council meeting.
C22/23.118: Councillor Representatives on Outside Bodies: Cllr John Lowman updated Members on the meeting he had attended with the Hurstpierpoint Society and the comprehensive response they were preparing to the Draft District Plan Review Regulation 18 consultation. Other excellent responses from residents had also been sent to the Society.
C22/23.119: To note any further information items, correspondence received or requests:
C22/23.119.1: Members noted the re-designation from footpaths to bridleways of (BW) 3736 and (BW) 3737 at the Green Circle in Hurstpierpoint by WSCC, via a Section 25 dedication agreement with MSDC under the Highways Act 1980.
Council AGREED to RESOLVE 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.
C22/23.120: District Plan Review: Members considered the final response to the Mid Sussex District Council Regulation 18 consultation to be submitted by 19 December 2022, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREED the final response to the Regulation 18 consultation, as amended, to be submitted to Mid Sussex District Council by 19 December 2022 and to be placed on the Parish Council’s website and Facebook page as soon as possible.
There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.10 pm.