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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Minutes of the Council Meeting held on Thursday 21 March 2024 at 7.30 pm at Hurstpierpoint Village Centre.

Members Present:

Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman) Cllr Michael Avery Cllr Sarah Baldey Cllr Helen Bedford Cllr Susan Dyke Cllr David Evans Cllr Barry Forster  Cllr Mark Froud Cllr Rodney Jackson Cllr Claire Majsai Cllr Duncan Ranger Cllr Bob Sampson Cllr Annette Street Cllr Lindsay Thompson   

Also Present:  Viv Aloy (Assistant Clerk), Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC), and Cllr Geoff Zeidler (MSDC).

C23/24.141: To receive and accept apologies for absence:  Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Shorrocks, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Council ACCEPTS the apologies for absence for Cllr Shorrocks.

Cllr Alison Bennett (MSDC) also gave her apologies.

C23/24.142: To receive and record declarations of interest:  There were no declarations of interest.

C23/24.143: To receive and accept the minutes of the previous meeting of the Council held on 29 February 2024:  Members reviewed the minutes of the previous meeting, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the minutes of the meeting held on 29 February 2024.

C23/24.144: Adjournment for Questions from the Public: There were no members of the public present.

C23/24.145: Reports from Other Authorities: Members received reports from representatives of:

C23/24.145.1: West Sussex County Council (WSCC):  Cllr Dennis provided an update on Community Highways Schemes. Members raised that the road markings on the High Street are still not complete, there is no set date for this work.  Cllr Dyke raised concerns over the quality of the resurfacing work to the pavement on Cuckfield Road, Cllr Dennis has a written response which she will forward on.  An update was also given on the Cycle Scheme, with the next section of work anticipated to start in May. The Chairman restated the need to avoid any impact on nesting skylarks in Hurst Meadows and Cllr Dennis confirmed that the appointed ecologist was aware. Updates were then given regarding the Regulation 19 consultation on the District Plan, for which public responses are still being collated. WSCC have submitted their own response, but Members noted that this is not yet visible on the portal.  Members also noted that there are national delays in appointing planning inspectors, and that one may not be appointed until the end of this year. Finally, an update was given on proposed improvements to the 273 bus service which was welcomed, although no final timetable has been published.  

C23/24.145.2: Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC):  Cllr Jackson provided an update on the Centre for Outdoor Sport, which has now passed planning and construction will start shortly, and about the rise in carparking charges in the towns coming in in April.  Members noted that, while charging for village carparking is not currently being implemented, this is under consideration later this year or next.   Concerns were raised about the economic impact on the High Street. Cllr Sampson also raised concerns about accessibility for disabled badge holders should the carparks move to ANPR camera enforcement. Cllr Jackson was asked to confirm the scope of the proposed consultation, and when this would take place. Cllr Zeidler’s written report had been circulated previously, and he also provided a brief update on the ongoing flooding issues in Sayers Common.  Cllr Thompson raised concerns about lack of communication with the public on progress, and it was highlighted that the Sayers Common Village Society had asked to take the lead on this. 

The Chairman thanked Cllrs Dennis, Zeidler and Jackson for their reports. Cllrs Dennis and Zeidler left the meeting at 8.10.pm.

C23/24.146: Committee Minutes: Members received the minutes of the:

C23/24.146.1: Planning Committee (4 March 2024) There were no recommendations for Council.  Members noted that the Committee resolved (Minute Ref: P23/24.086) to revoke the delegations to the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee (set on 20 December 2018 Minute Ref: P18/079).  With immediate effect all applications would be placed in one section for discussion by the full Committee, and that with immediate effect all tree applications would be placed in an ‘Information items section’.

C23/24.146.2: Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (14 March 2024) There were four recommendations for Council as follows:

C23/24.146.2.1:       F23/24.136: St George’s Lane Flint Wall:  Members considered a briefing note on the flint wall at St George’s Lane and it was: RESOLVED:  That Council AGREES to suspend Financial Regulation 11.1 (h), and to the appointment of The Flint Wall Company to demolish and reconstruct the eastern section of flint wall at St George’s Lane at a total cost of £7,150 plus VAT from the 2024/25 General Reserve.

C23/24.146.2.2:       F23/24.137: Internal Controls:  Members reviewed the findings from the September 2024 internal controls exercise, and it was: RESOLVED:  That Council AGREES the findings from the internal controls exercise and to include a buildings insurance/replacement value uplift on the 31 March 2024 asset register.

C23/24.146.2.3:       F23/24.138: Financial Risk Management Review:  Members reviewed the assessment of the Parish Councils exposure to financial risk in 2023/2024 and it was: RESOLVED:  That Council AGREES the Parish Councils Financial Risk Assessment for 2023/2024.

C23/24.146.2.4:       F23/24.141: Year End Adjustments: Members considered the provisional adjustments required for the year end, and the transfers to and from the General Reserve and Earmarked Reserves, and it was: RESOLVED:  That Council AGREES the provisional adjustments to be made at the year-end in order to complete the accounts for 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024; and the transfers to and from Earmarked Reserves.

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

  1. Planning Committee (4 March 2024)
  2. Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (14 March 2024).

C23/24.147: Meetings Calendar:  Members considered the revised meeting calendar discussed at the 14 December 2023 Council meeting (Minute C23/24.107) which now includes an extra Community Engagement Committee meeting on Thursday 3 April 2025.  Cllr Dyke raised that there are no Planning Committee meetings listed after March 2025, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council NOTED the provisional list of meeting dates for 2024/2025 with the addition of a Community Engagement meeting on 3 April 2025 and an additional Planning Committee meeting in May 2025, date to be confirmed.

C23/24.148: Parish Strategy:  Members considered a briefing note on the proposal to create a task and finish working group to develop a parish strategy building on work done at a visioning exercise meeting with WSALC. Members requested the results of this be re-sent out to all Councillors, as several were not involved at the time, and it was: 

RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to develop a Parish strategy and action plan with supporting documentation by the end of 2024.  The work to develop this strategy will be managed by a task and finish working group consisting of Cllr Mark Froud, Cllr Barry Forster, Cllr Duncan Ranger, and Cllr Annette Street.  The budget to support the strategy will come from budget line 5180-101 (Professional Support). 

C23/24.149: Court Bushes Community Hub:  Members considered working with Kiddie Capers Childcare to explore additional capacity at Court Bushes Community Hub for pre-school places, including discussions with Mid Sussex District Council as landlord and Local Planning Authority and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to work with Kiddie Capers Childcare to explore additional capacity at Court Bushes Community Hub for pre-school places, including discussions with Mid Sussex District Council as landlord and Local Planning Authority.

C23/24.150: Gatehouse Farm DM/23/2794: Members considered the Parish Council’s recommendation as to which projects in the Parish any contribution to Local Community Infrastructure of some £5,276 would be made towards that could be identified within the s106 legal agreement. If the Local Planning Authority approves the application, it would be subject to financial contributions to be secured under a s106 legal agreement as set out in MSDC’s Infrastructure and Developer Contributions SPD. MSDC has already made recommendations concerning Childrens’ Playing Space, Formal Sport and Community Buildings.  Members noted that the closest location for Formal Sport would be The Centre for Outdoor Sport and/or The Triangle Leisure Centre, whilst the closest Community Building, if driving, would be Court Bushes Community Hub rather than St John’s Park, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to recommend to Mid Sussex District Council that Court Bushes Community Hub is considered for the Community Buildings S106 funding for DM/23/2794 Gatehouse Farm,  Formal Sport should be The Centre for Outdoor Sport and / or The Triangle Leisure Centre,  and that the £5,276 available for Local Community Infrastructure be put towards the proposed cycleway from the north of Hurstpierpoint to the Centre for Outdoor Sports and The Triangle Leisure Centre.

C23/24.151: Reports from Representative on Outside Bodies: Members received reports from representatives on outside bodies as follows: 

C23/24.151.1: Hurstpierpoint Society:  Cllr Dyke fed back on her report following the meeting with the Society and members discussed funding proposals for the lime trees in South Avenue as well as fingerposts and street sign refurbishment, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES for Cllr Dyke to go back to Hurstpierpoint Society regarding funding for the lime trees and street signs refurbishment, with the finger posts now being funded by S106 monies.

C23/24.152: Information Items: 

C23/24.152.1: South Downs National Park Authority Parishes Meeting: Members noted and thanked Cllr Dyke for her comprehensive report on the South Downs National Park Authority Parishes Meeting held on 13 March 2024.  Concerns were raised about the accessibility of Community Infrastructure Levy funds, and Cllr Jackson will raise this with MSDC.  Members noted a youth group called “Make Good Trouble” and office staff will make an approach about potential activities in our villages.

C23/24.152.2: Venue of Next Meeting: Members noted the 25 April 2024 Parish Council meeting will be held at Sayers Common Village Hall at 7.30pm.  Cllr Thompson will raise the issue of Wi-Fi access.

There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.15pm.

Chairman