Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on Thursday 23 September 2021 at 7.30 pm at Sayers Common Village Hall.
|Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman) Cllr Allan Brown (Vice-Chairman) Cllr Helen Bedford Cllr David Evans Cllr Rodney Jackson||Cllr Seth Jee Cllr John Lowman Cllr Claire Majsai Cllr Julia Shorrocks|
Also Present: Cllr Alison Bennett & Cllr Colin Trumble (MSDC), and Sarah Groom (Clerk to the Council). Twenty one members of the public were present.
C21/22.053 To receive and record apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllrs Lank, Griffiths, Machan, Ranger & Sampson. Cllr Colin Trumble (WSCC) also sent his apologies, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council ACCEPTS the apologies of absence from Cllrs Lank, Griffiths, Machan, Ranger & Sampson.
C21/22.054 To receive and record declarations of interest. There were no declarations of interest.
C21/22.055 To receive and accept the minutes of the previous meeting of the Council: Members received the minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2021, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 22 July 2021.
C21/22.056 To consider whether to adjourn the Meeting in accordance with Standing Orders to receive questions from members of the public in attendance: Members considered whether to adjourn the meeting as members of the public in attendance wished to ask questions and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to adjourn the meeting to receive questions from members of the public in attendance
Members of the public raised questions on the following matters:
The WSCC footpath near the Parish Council notice board was uneven and it needed to be reported to West Sussex County Council. Residents were advised that WSCC encourages all (including the Parish Council) to report their highways and footpath issues to WSCC via the Love West Sussex Portal. The Chairman agreed to report this section of footpath using the Portal.
Inconsiderate parking and speeding on Reeds Lane. Although speeding traffic is a matter for Sussex Police, the issue is well-known and a scheme to introduce double yellow lines near to the London Road/Reeds Lane roundabout is in hand. The Parish Council has put this forward to WSCC under a Community Highway Scheme (CHS) request and it is currently being considered by WSCC. It may also be possible that the Parish Council’s Speed Indicator Device (SID), which shows the speed of the passing motorist, could be placed on Reeds Lane in due course. Anecdotally, a SID tends to be more effective at slowing speeding traffic than installing more 30mph signs. It was noted that Sayers Common has an existing trained community speed watch group. Speeding on the London Road was also an issue. Other speed reduction solutions discussed included pinch points like Partridge Green, a 7.5 tonne weight limit and speed cameras.
The Chairman explained that a safe crossing point was also included in the requests to WSCC under the CHS. Cllr Dennis advised that, on current programme, this requirement is likely to be assessed with a view to design work after April 2022, followed by implementation.
Christmas Lights: It was noted that Christmas lights on 9 lamp posts in Sayers Common was being made possible due to the efforts and funding of the Parish Council. The correct electrical and weight limit testing had been completed and the permissions from SSE and UKPN were being sought. The £3,000 contribution from the community shop and their assistance in helping the community chose the design, was very much appreciated.
C21/22.057 To receive verbal reports from Representatives of other Authorities: The following reports were received:
C21/22.057.1 West Sussex County Council County (WSCC): Cllr Dennis explained two consultations which were being run by WSCC at present including i) the WSCC Draft Transport Plan, ii) an appointment system for the Burgess Hill community recycling facility to mitigate expected queues when Fairbridge Road is closed.
Cllr Dennis in her role as Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways was introducing a lane rental scheme for utility companies to incentivise them to keep road closure to a minimum. She was also requiring any traffic survey equipment to have permission from WSCC before it is used. Cllr Dennis was also in discussions to take on responsibility for Operation Crackdown from the Police (removing abandoned vehicles). The A2300 will be re-opening next month. WSCC will be responding to the Gatwick Airport second runway consultation. With Gatwick in West Sussex, WSCC’s (Coronavirus) community hub had been diverted to assist in welcoming Afghan refugees to the country.
In response to a question from Cllr Jackson, Cllr Dennis confirmed there was no planned budget deficit for WSCC. In response to a question from Cllr Evans, Cllr Dennis confirmed that she had appointed a specialist advisor to look at the “Quiet Lanes” initiative and it was possible some of the local lanes within the Parish would be put forward could be included in a pilot. Cllr Majsai enquired whether the WSCC Transport Plan consultation included electrical vehicle charging points to be installed in Trinity Road but Cllr Dennis explained that the WSCC Plan was a strategic document and Mid Sussex District Council would develop the detailed plans for electrical vehicle charging points. Cllr Bennett confirmed that MSDC were re-tendering their contract for these services and will ask for an update from officers. The Chairman thanked Cllr Dennis for her report.
C21/22.057.2 Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC): Cllr Trumble had submitted a short report prior to the meeting to update Members on the Boundary Commission Review of MSDC, the Gatwick Airport consultation and the success in attracting the research and development and laboratory of a leading quantum computing company to base itself in Haywards Heath. Cllr Bennett reported was a perceived increase in flytipping and although MSDC had been efficient in removing offending tips swiftly, it was now training staff to carry out the enforcement and prosecution roles. Cllr Bennett reassured Members that the waste collection company Serco was not currently experiencing any significant HGV driver shortages. Cllr Majsai asked if the Solar Together letters being sent to residents were legitimate or a scam. Cllr Dennis confirmed WSCC were working with Solar Together.
Cllr Bennett reported that she had requested greater detail be included in the Transport Plan for the Little Park Farm development, following the Parish Council raising its concerns for the safety of children in the roads around St Lawrence Primary School. Cllr Lowman wished to place on record his thanks to Cllr Lank for providing Cllr Bennett with the information to be included in the Little Park Farm Transport Plan and the Chairman added his thanks to Cllr Brown who had ensured all Members were contacted. The Chairman thanked Cllr Bennett for her hard work to add further restrictions to HGV movements during the Little Park Farm development and for her report. The Chairman thanked Cllrs Bennett and Dennis for their reports and they left the meeting at 8.22pm.
C21/22.057.3 West Sussex Association of Local Councils / Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils: Cllr Jackson reported that a MSALC meeting had been held but there was no further update.
C21/22.058 To receive the minutes and where appropriate, consider the recommendations of the following Committees and Advisory Group: The Chairs introduced the following sets of minutes:
C21/22.058.1 Planning & Environment Committee (29 July and 2 September 2021) No recommendations for Council.
C21/22.58.2 Community Engagement Committee (5 August 2021) No recommendations for Council.
C21/22.058.3 Estates & Facilities Management Committee (9 September 2021) Cllr Brown confirmed the Committee had one recommendation for Council:
EF21/22.023 Reeds Lane Play Area: The Committee had AGREED to recommend the appointment of Sovereign to Council due to the costs involved, to install the Play equipment at Reeds Lane Recreation Grounds at a cost of £18,573.24, once S106 funds have been made available to cover these costs, and it was:
RESOLVED: That Council AGREE the appointment of Sovereign to install the Play equipment at Reeds Lane Recreation Grounds at a cost of £18,573.24+VAT, once S106 funds have been made available to cover these costs.
C21/22.58.4 Village Centre Advisory Group (14 September 2021) No recommendations for Council.
C21/22.058.5 Finance & Governance Committee (12 August and 16 September 2021) Recommendation for Council as follows:
F21/28.037 Internal Controls: The Committee review the revised Internal Controls, and it was AGREED to recommend the revised set of Internal Controls to Council for adoption, and it was:
RESOLVED: That Council AGREES and ADOPTS the revised set of Internal Controls.
Following the review of the Committees and Advisory Group minutes, Members:
RESOLVED: That the Council RECEIVED the minutes of the following Committees and Working Group:
- Planning & Environment Committee (29 July and 2 September 2021)
- Community Engagement Committee (5 August 2021)
- Estates & Facilities Management Committee (9 September 2021)
- Village Centre Advisory Group (14 September 2021)
- Finance & Governance Committee (12 August 2021 and 16 September 2021).
C21/22.059 Safeguarding Policy: Members considered a re-drafted Safeguarding Policy for approval and adoption. Although the Parish Council does not directly look after children it was suggested that Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks would be a useful safeguard. Following a debate it was put to the vote that:
- The Policy be accepted as written (7 for, 1 against (as it was felt the Police’s offenders register was sufficient) and 1 abstention); and
- The costs associated (currently unknown) with the DBS checks for all relevant staff would be funded by the Parish Council (8 for, 1 against).
It was agreed the detail of the discussion would be delegated to the Staff Panel to implement, and it was:
RESOLVED: That Council AGREES and ADOPTS:
- the new Safeguarding Policy;
- that DBS checks would be funded by the Parish Council; and
- the detail would be delegated to the Staff Panel to implement.
C21/22.060 Court Bushes Decking: Members received a verbal update on the project to extend the decking at Court Bushes Community Hub and note the additional spending needed (at a cost of £2,472) due to the unforeseen increase costs in materials. The Chairman noted further costs may be required due to the extension of the access ramp to ensure it is DDA compliant. Members agreed that the extra costs are to be underwritten by the Parish Council but additional Section 106 funds will be applied for to cover these costs, and it was:
RESOLVED: That Council AGREES the additional spending needed (at a cost of £2,472+VAT) to complete the decking at Court Bushes, due to the unforeseen increase costs in materials and NOTES that further costs may be required to complete the DDA compliant access ramp.
C21/22.061 IT Project Costs: Members received a verbal update on the IT project and considered the additional costs incurred due to extra provision such as wifi access points etc. Members agreed part of the additional cost associated with the Village Centre (yet to be calculated) was in order to benefit the venue hirers, and would be worked out and put before the Charity Trustees for agreement. The revised recommendation was proposed by Cllr Llewellyn and seconded by Cllr Jackson and all Members agreed, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES:
- the additional costs incurred to date due to extra provision at a cost of 2,355.67+VAT;
- a further £1,100+VAT to complete the project; and
- that part of the additional costs associated with the Village Centre and would be put to the charity Trustees and re-charged to the Village Centre charity.
C21/22.062 Disposal of Assets (Works Van): Members noted the new works van had now been delivered and therefore Members should consider the disposal of the old one. It was recommended that the authority to dispose of the vehicle was delegated to the Clerk, in consultation with the Chairman and Chair of the Estates & Facilities Management Committee, to ensure a timely decision could be made and the best price available secured, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council DELEGATES the authority to dispose of the vehicle to the Clerk in consultation with the Chairman and Chair of the Estates & Facilities Management Committee, to ensure the best price available is secured.
C21/22.063 Remembrance Event: Members considered the refusal by the Royal British Legion to support, insure or provide volunteers for any remembrance event that involves road closures (Temporary Traffic Management Orders) and that their policy is that these are managed by local authorities. Members agreed that the parade and road closure were an integral part of the Hurstpierpoint Remembrance Sunday event and that the Parish Council would provide the support to ensure the road closure went ahead and underwrite the associated costs, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to provide the support required to manage the road closure for the Remembrance Day parade and underwrite any associated costs.
C21/22.064 West Sussex County Council Transport Plan Consultation: Members considered WSCC’s recently published Draft West Sussex Transport Plan (WSTP) 2022-2036. The consultation period commenced on Friday 16 July and ends on Friday 8 October 2021. It was noted that the document contained a high level set of strategic objectives. Cllr Evans asked that WSCC be reminded that the issue of Quiet Lanes was a priority in the Parish Neighbourhood Plan. Members also noted the correspondence from the CPRE on this matter. It was noted that a meeting of the Strategic Policy & Resources Panel was scheduled for 6 October and a response could be submitted following that meeting but without recourse to full Council. Cllr Shorrocks wished to see the objective included that more local amenity provision was included in housing development and the Chairman added that the connectivity and linkages from the developments to local amenities should be essential as they are not being provided, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES that the Strategic Policy & Resources Panel would combine the feedback into a response from the Parish Council by the deadline of 8 October 2021.
C21/22.065 Members noted the following information items:
C21/22.065.1 South Avenue Deed of Easement: The funds due under the South Avenue Deed of Easement have been received and the DS1 form was signed in accordance with Standing Orders on 26 July 2021.
C21/22.065.2 Heritage Trail Sign: The agreement with Mid Sussex District Council to hang the sign over their car park was agreed and signed in accordance with Standing Orders on 29 July 2021.
C21/22.065.3 Ian Nelson Walk: The agreement with the landlords of Truffles Bakery and Anchor Hanover Group to erect Ian Nelson Walk signs on the twitten connecting Trinity Road by the Health Centre to the High Street between Hampers and Truffles, have been signed.
There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.22 pm.