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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Minutes of the Annual Council Meeting held on Thursday 23 May 2024 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 Barry Forster Cllr Mark Froud  Cllr Rodney Jackson Cllr Claire Majsai Cllr Duncan Ranger Cllr Bob Sampson Cllr Julia Shorrocks Cllr Annette Street Cllr Lindsay Thompson   

Also Present:  Sarah Groom, Clerk to the Council.

C24/25.001: Election of Chairman of the Council:  Members received one nomination for the Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year, proposed by Cllr Ranger and seconded by Cllr Froud, and with all Members in favour, Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn was duly elected Chairman of the Council.  The Chairman of the Council, Cllr Llewellyn signed the Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office as Chairman of the Council, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council ELECTS Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn as the Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year.

C24/25.002: To receive and accept apologies for absence:  Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Sarah Baldey, and it was:

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

C24/25.003: Declarations of interest: There were no declarations of interest.

C24/25.004: Election of Vice-Chairman of the Council: Members received one nomination for the Vice-Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year, proposed by Cllr Ranger and seconded by Cllr Bedford, and with the majority of Members in favour, Cllr Claire Majsai was duly elected Vice-Chairman of the Council.   Cllr Majsai signed the Vice-Chairman’s Declaration of Acceptance of Office as Vice-Chairman of the Council, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council ELECTS Cllr Claire Majsai as the Vice-Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year.

C24/25.005: Committee Structure & Responsibilities: Members considered the terms of reference, responsibilities and accountabilities of each Committee and Working Group as amended.  It was noted the Highways, Cycleways and Footpaths Joint Council Working Group would be disbanded, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the terms of reference, responsibilities and accountabilities of each Committee and Working Group, as amended.

C24/25.006: Committee Membership: Members considered the Councillors to serve upon the Council’s Committees and Working Groups.  The Chairs and Vice-Chairs to be elected at their next meetings.  Upon consideration, the following arrangements were agreed:  

C24/25.006.1 Planning Committee (10 Members): Members considered the membership of the Committee for the following year, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Planning Committee Membership of 10 Members was duly AGREED as: Cllrs Avery, Baldey, Bedford, Dyke, Evans, Forster, Froud, Sampson, Shorrocks and Thompson.

C24/25.006.2 Community Engagement Committee (9 Members): Members considered the membership of the Committee for the following year, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Community Engagement Committee Membership of 9 Members was duly AGREED as: Cllrs Avery, Baldey, Bedford, Dyke, Majsai, Ranger, Sampson, Street and Thompson.

C24/25.006.3 Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (9 Members): Members considered the membership of the Committee for the following year, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Finance, Governance & Estates Committee Membership of 9 Members was duly AGREED as: Cllrs Evans, Forster, Froud, Jackson, Llewellyn, Majsai, Ranger, Street and Shorrocks.

C24/25.006.4 Parish Strategy Working Group (4 Members): Members considered the membership of the Group for the following year, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Membership of the Parish Strategy Working Group of 4 Members of the Parish Council, was duly AGREED as: Cllrs Froud, Forster, Street and Ranger.

C24/25.006.5 Hurst Meadows Working Group (4 Members): Members considered the membership of the Group for the following year, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Membership of the Hurst Meadows Working Group of 4 Members of the Parish Council, was duly AGREED as: Cllrs Bedford, Llewellyn and Majsai and one vacancy.

C24/25.006.6 Events Working Group (4 Members): Members considered the membership of the Group for the following year, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Membership of the Events Working Group of 4 Members of the Parish Council, was duly AGREED as: Cllrs Bedford, Dyke, Majsai and Sampson.

C24/25.006.7 Sustainability Working Group (4 Members): Members considered the membership of the Group for the following year, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Membership of the Sustainability Working Group of 4 Members of the Parish Council, was duly AGREED as: Cllrs Dyke, Majsai and Sampson and one vacancy.

C24/25.006.8 Staff Panel (3 Members): Members considered the membership of the Panel for the following year, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Membership of the Staff Panel of 3 Members of the Parish Council, was duly AGREED as: Cllrs Lewellyn, Ranger and Shorrocks.

C24/25.007: Council Representatives:   Members considered appointing Council representatives to outside bodies for 2024/25 and noted the representatives assigned to informal groups.  It was agreed Cllr Street would join Cllr Jackson as an MSALC representative.  Cllr Shorrocks agreed to become the Town Twinning representative.  Cllr Dyke and Cllr Jackson were informal representatives at the SDNPA Parish Council meetings and Cllr Thompson was be added as the informal representative on the Sayers Common Village Society, and it was: 

RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES the Council representatives to outside bodies for 2024/25 and NOTED the representatives assigned to informal groups, as amended.

C24/25.008: Meeting Diary: Members considered the time and place of ordinary meetings of the full Council and Committees, up to and including the next annual meeting of full Council.  It was noted that a new date would be agreed for the Annual Parish Meeting in 2025, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the time and place of ordinary meetings of the full Council and Committees, up to and including the next annual meeting of full Council.

C24/25.009: Standing Orders: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s Standing Orders, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Parish Council’s Standing Orders.

C24/25.010: Financial Regulations: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s Financial Regulations, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Parish Council’s Financial Regulations.

C24/25.011: Code of Conduct: Members reviewed the Members’ Code of Conduct and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Parish Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct.

C24/25.012: Delegations to the Clerk: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s delegations to the Clerk.  The references to Financial Regulations would be checked against the new versions, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Parish Council’s Delegations to the Clerk.

C24/25.013: Previous Minutes: Members received the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 25 April 2024, and it was:

 RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the minutes of 25 April 2024.

C24/25.014: Committee Minutes: Members received and where appropriate, considered the recommendations of the:

  1. Highways, Cycleways and Footpaths Joint Council Working Group (29 April 2024).
  2. Planning Committee (29 April 2024). There were no recommendations for Council.
  3. Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (16 May 2024).  There were two recommendations for Council, set out on the main agenda under 17 (Internal Audit Report) and 19 (Insurance), and it was:

RESOLVED:  The Council RECEIVES the minutes of the following Committees and Working Group:

  1. Highways, Cycleways and Footpaths Joint Council Working Group (29 April 2024)
  2. Planning Committee (29 April 2024)
  3. Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (16 May 2024)

C24/25.015: Income and Expenditure for Year Ending 31 March 2024: Members reviewed the final Income and Expenditure figures for Year Ending 31 March 2024, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Income and Expenditure figures for Year Ending 31 March 2024.

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C24/25.016: Fixed Asset Register 31 March 2024:  Members considered the asset register dated 31 March 2024 and noted that the three new noticeboards in Hurst Meadows will be added, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Fixed Asset Register dated 31 March 2024.

C24/25.017: Internal Audit Report Letter dated 1 May 2024:  Members reviewed the Internal Audit Report Letter dated 1 May 2024 from Mulberry & Co.  It was noted there were no recommendations contained in the report and the team was congratulated, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Internal Audit Report dated 1 May 2024, noting that there are no recommendations.

C24/25.018: To consider and agree the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for the year ending 31 March 2024: Members reviewed the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for the year ending 31 March 2024 ensuring it accurately presented the financial management of the Council as required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 as follows:

C24/25.018.1: Members reviewed the signed Annual Internal Audit Report 2023/2024, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Council NOTES the signed Annual Internal Audit Report 2023/2024. 

C24/25.018.2: Members reviewed Section 1: The Annual Governance Statement 2023/24, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES AND ADOPTS the Annual Governance Statement 2023/24. 

C24/25.018.3: Members reviewed Section 2: The Accounting Statement 2023/2024, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES AND ADOPTS the Accounting Statement 2023/2024. 

C24/25.018.4: Members reviewed the period of the publics’ right of inspection will be 3 June to 12 July 2024 (the Regulations require the period to include 30 workings days and the first ten working days of July) , and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES AND ADOPTS the period of public inspection of the accounts as 3 June to 12 July 2024. 

C24/25.019: Insurance: Members reviewed the arrangements for insurance cover in respect of all insurable risks, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the three year long term agreement with Clear Council’s Insurance (Aviva) at a cost of £5,167.51.

C24/25.020: Direct Debits: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s direct debits, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the Parish Council’s direct debits.

C24/25.021: Subscriptions: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s subscriptions, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the Parish Council’s subscriptions.

C24/25.022: Complaints Procedure: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s complaints procedure, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Parish Council’s complaints procedure.

C24/25.023: Freedom of Information: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s policies, procedures and practices in respect of its obligations under the Freedom of Information legislation, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Freedom of Information Policy.

C24/25.024: Data Protection: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s policies, procedures and practices in respect of its obligations under Data Protection legislation.  It was noted that a new Digital bill may become legislation, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Data Protection Policy.

C24/25.025: Media & Communications Policy: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s Media & Communications Policy, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Media & Communications Policy.

C24/25.026: Employment Policies: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s employment policies and procedures, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Employment Policies.

C24/25.027: Health and Safety Policy: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s Health and Safety Policy, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Health and Safety Policy.

C24/25.028: Safeguarding Policy: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s Safeguarding Policy, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Safeguarding Policy.

C24/25.029: Risk Management: Members reviewed the Parish Council’s a) Risk Management Strategy including the Risk Management Policy Statement, b) the Risk Register, c) the Emergency Plan and d) the Business Continuity Plan, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council ADOPTS the Risk Management Strategy including the Risk Management Policy Statement, b) the Risk Register, c) the Emergency Plan and d) the Business Continuity Plan.

C24/25.030: St Lawrence Fair: Members considered the application for the use of South Avenue Recreation Gound by St Lawrence Fair and Harris Fun Fair from 1 July to 8 July 2024.  It was agreed a new plan of the site would be provided indicating which areas are used by the respective organisations, with additional photos showing the newly planted trees to be protected, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the application for the use of South Avenue Recreation Gound by St Lawrence Fair and Harris Fun Fair from 1 July to 8 July 2024, with an amended site plan and photos.

C24/25.031: Methodist Church:  Members considered making a written request to Mid Sussex District Council by the deadline, be treated as a potential bidder for the Methodist Church at 42 Cuckfield Road, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to make a written request to be treated as a potential bidder for the Methodist Church at 42 Cuckfield Road.

C24/25.032: Hurstpierpoint High Street Traders Survey:  Members considered the revised survey for High Street Traders to improve the understanding of the issues that the businesses face and how the Parish Council and other public agencies might support them to ensure a thriving High Street, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the Hurstpierpoint High Street Traders Survey.

C24/25.033: 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 were no members of the public present so the meeting was not adjourned.

C24/25.034: Reports from Other Authorities: Members received reports from representatives of other authorities:

C24/25.034.1: Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC): Members noted the written reports from Cllr Bennet and Zeidler.  It was agreed to keep asking MSDC to make arrangements for Section 106 funds to be spent in a timely manner.

C24/25.035: Reports from Representative on Outside Bodies: Cllr Dyke reported the Hurstpierpoint Society meeting was taking place the same evening. Cllr Jackson reported there had not been a recent MSALC meeting.

C24/25.036: To note any information items, correspondence received or requests:  Members noted the letter from Andrew Griffith MP dated 7 May 2024, which did not require a reply.

Council 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:

C24/25.037: Reeds Lane Drainage Project:  Members considered a confidential briefing note on awarding the contract for the Reeds Lane Drainage Project, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the award of the Reeds Lane Drainage Project to Grasstex Ltd at a cost of £32,812.40.

There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.29pm.

Chairman