Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on Thursday 25 November 2021 at 7.30 pm at Court Bushes Community Hub.
|Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman) Cllr Allan Brown (Vice-Chairman) Cllr Michael Avery Cllr David Evans||Cllr Seth Jee Cllr Tony Lank Cllr John Lowman Cllr Martin Machan||Cllr Claire Majsai Cllr Duncan Ranger Cllr Bob Sampson Cllr Julia Shorrocks|
Also Present: Sarah Groom (Clerk to the Council).
C21/22.075 To receive and record apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr Helen Bedford and Cllr Rodney Jackson, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council ACCEPTS the apologies of absence from Cllr Helen Bedford and Cllr Rodney Jackson.
Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC), Cllr Colin Trumble and Cllr Alison Bennet (MSDC) also sent their apologies.
C21/22.076 To receive and record declarations of interest. Cllr Jee declared a non-pecuniary interest in the Community Governance Review agenda item as he was a petitioner for a separate Sayers Common Parish Council (Minute C21/22.082).
C21/22.077 To receive and accept the minutes of the previous meeting of the Council: Members received the minutes of the meeting held on 21 October 2021, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 21 October 2021.
C21/22.078: Councillor Co-option: Members paid tribute to the late Peter Griffith, who served as both a Parish Councillor and County Councillor, and who sadly passed away last week. Members recalled their happy memories of Peter and the positivity and problem solving approach he brought to the work he championed. This was an extensive list and included the Sayers Common Community Shop, street-lighting design specifications, expansion of St Lawrence School intake when essential, extra school buses for Downlands, the petanque pitch at Reeds Lane Rec, the Neighbourhood Plan and promoting Dementia Care.
Members were then required to note the process to fill the vacancy on the Hurstpierpoint ward left by Peter, as set out in the Councillor Co-Option Policy, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council NOTES the current co-option process to elect a co-opted Councillor to serve on the Hurstpierpoint ward, if a by-election is not called by 2 December 2021.
C21/22.079 To consider 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 in attendance.
C21/22.080 To receive verbal reports from Representatives of other Authorities: The following reports were received:
C21/22.080.1 West Sussex County Council County (WSCC): Cllr Dennis had submitted a written update report. Cllr Sampson requested pavement improvement works in Sayers Common just south of the Community Shop. The Clerk highlighted the Three Bridges to Brighton railway closure in February half term 2022 and new the bird flu restrictions imposed on poultry. The Chairman thanked Cllr Dennis for her report.
C21/22.080.2 Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC): Cllr Bennett had submitted a written update for Council. The Chairman encouraged Members to report any concerns regarding the W&S Construction firm. The 145 High Street enforcement action is being considered by MSDC at a December meeting. Cllr Shorrocks was concerned that the food waste trial requires more education to ensure people understand the public health implications of fewer grey bin collections. Cllr Trumble had also given a verbal update to the Chairman. Cllr Trumble is pursuing the Bramble Park issues of concern around drainage, despite the drainage conditions having been recently signed off by MSDC, and the traffic survey. It is essential a hand over document is held by all parties to be clear who is responsible in particular for which culvert, drains and ditches at Bramble Park. The Chairman is actively pursuing the linking of the public right of way footpaths from Tilley’s Copse into Bramble Park with WSCC and MSDC, before Vistry leave site. The Chairman thanked Cllr Bennett and Cllr Trumble for their reports.
Cllr Lank is attending the Police and Crime Commissioner’s meeting on 29 November 2021 and will raise the Parish Council’s concerns about the use of e-scooters on pavements once more.
C21/22.080.3 West Sussex Association of Local Councils / Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils:
Members considered the draft minutes of the WSALC Board meeting held on 5 October 2021 and the draft minutes of the MSALC meeting held on 18 November 2021.
C21/22.081 To receive the minutes and where appropriate, consider the recommendations of the following Advisory Group, Committees and Panel: The Chairs introduced the following sets of minutes:
C21/22.081.1 Staff Panel: (18 October 2021) Recommendation for Council to be discussed under Confidential Matters.
C21/22.081.2 Hurst Meadows Advisory Group: (19 October 2021) No recommendations for Council
C21/22.081.3 Planning & Environment Committee (28 October 2021) No recommendations for Council.
C21/22.81.4 Estates & Facilities Management Committee (11 November 2021) Recommendation for Council as follows:
EF20/21.039 Cemetery Administration Review: The Committee considered the updated burial application forms, memorial installation application forms, Rules & Regulations for the Cemetery, and the Memorial Management Policy, and it was AGREED to recommend the updated burial application forms, memorial installation application forms, Rules & Regulations for the Cemetery, and the Memorial Management Policy to Council for adoption, and it was:
RESOLVED: That Council AGREES and ADOPTS the updated burial application forms, memorial installation application forms, Rules & Regulations for the Cemetery, and the Memorial Management Policy.
C21/22.081.5 Finance & Governance Committee (18 November 2021) Recommendations for Council as follows:
F20/21.056.2 Cambridge and Counties Bank: Members NOTED the action to transfer £12,636.60 from the Unity Trust Bank to the Cambridge & Counties Bank in order to increase the savings balance from £37,363.40 to £50,000.
F20/21.057 Annual Charges Review 2022/23: The Committee considered the annual charges review as set out in the accompanying report, and it was AGREED to recommend that Council ADOPTS the proposed fees and charges for 2022/23, as amended. Members considered the recommendations and made the following amendments:
- Recommendation 1 – the parking discs charge would remain at £1 and a large stock would be purchased from MSDC, so a supply could still be provided to traders;
- Recommendations 2, 3 and 4 and 6, 7 and 8 were agreed.
- Recommendation 5 – the days of the week for the Base Fee Plus 25% were amended to Sunday to Thursday Evening charges at Court Bushes and the Village Centre, and it was:
RESOLVED: That Council ADOPTS the fees and charges proposed for 2022/2023, as amended.
RESOLVED: That Council ADOPTS the revised Emergency Plan.
F20/21.060 Winter Plan: The Committee reviewed the Winter Plan AGREED to recommend the Winter Plan to Council for approval and adoption, and it was:
RESOLVED: That Council ADOPTS the revised Winter Plan.
Following the review of the Advisory Group and Committees, Members:
RESOLVED: That the Council RECEIVES the minutes of the following Advisory Group and Committees and AGREES the above recommendations:
- Hurst Meadows Advisory Group (19 October 2021)
- Planning & Environment Committee (28 October 2021)
- Estates & Facilities Management Committee (11 November 2021)
- Finance & Governance Committee (18 November 2021)
C21/22.082 Community Governance Review: Members considered the correspondence from Mid Sussex District Council on 26 October 2021 and the subsequently revised Terms of Reference (Version 4) discussed by MSDC’s Community Scrutiny Committee on 17 November 2021. Members were concerned about the lack of context, the scope of the review and the style of question posed in Appendix 1, and it was:
RESOLVED: That Members NOTE the revised timetable for the process which had been revised from commencing before the final recommendations were announced by the LGBRE on 1 February 2022 and AGREES to make the following comments on the Terms of Reference (Version 4):
a) It is considered essential that a brief section is included to explain the context of the review so that residents understand what they are being asked to comment on, i.e. how they wished to be represented at a local level, so they are consulted on a fully informed basis. Cllr Jee confirmed that the petitioners had asked for the current parish ward of Sayers Common to be the boundary of a new parish council.
b) It was inappropriate to list potential parish council names at the start of the document in the scope section, as it states a clear pre-determination of the possible outcome of the review, and it isn’t for MSDC to decide the names of any resulting parish council(s) which may choose what they wish to call themselves. Cllr Jee confirmed the petitioners wished to call themselves “Sayers Common Parish Council” so he wanted to see the wording remain. A vote was taken on whether to ask MSDC to remove these parish council names in Section 1.2 Scope and eleven Councillors agreed and one abstained.
c) The closed questions in Appendix 1 were considered very biased and not properly considered. They should be turned into open ended questions that gave different perspectives. For example, Question 1 could read “What do you consider to be your community identity?” Question 2 could read “How should the civil parishes be defined in future? Question 3 could ask for the advantages and disadvantages (not what is “good and bad”) of their suggestions for civil parish proposals.
C21/22.083 Christmas and New Year Office Opening Hours: Members considered the proposed Parish Office opening hours for Christmas and the New Year. The Parish Office will be open on Friday 24 December 2021 from 9:30am-13:30pm and then closed until the office re-opens on Tuesday 4 January 2022 at 9:30am, and it was:
RESOLVED: That Council AGREES the Parish Office opening hours for Christmas and the New Year. The Parish Office will be open on Friday 24 December 2021 from 9:30am-13:30pm and then closed until the office re-opens on Tuesday 4 January 2022 at 9:30am.
C21/22.084 Happy to Chat Bench Proposal: Members considered the briefing note outlining the request for a ”Happy to Chat” bench in Hurstpierpoint, and it was
RESOLVED: That Council AGREES to thank the resident for her thoughtful proposal and supported the trial use of existing benches (unpainted) in two locations, one at the Village Garden and one at South Avenue Recreation Ground near the play area, with signage only.
C21/22.085 DEFRA Consultation Environmental Permitting 2016 Regulations: Members considered the National Association of Local Councils advice on the DEFRA Environmental Permitting 2016 Regulations around issues affecting groundwater which may affect the future burial capacity in the South Avenue Cemetery, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to respond by explaining that it strongly disagreed with the suggested amendments to the Regulations as larger 5m2 grave plots would not be workable in small cemeteries next to watercourses.
C21/22.086 WSCC Consultation Recycling Centre Booking System: Members considered a response to the WSCC Press Release on the Recycling Centres Trial Booking Systems with a feedback deadline of 21 December 2021, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to respond by stating that requiring a booking system during the significant road works was understandable to avoid gridlock but a permanent booking system was not felt appropriate at Burgess Hill as, by not keeping the service as simple as possible to use, it risked an increase in local flytipping.
C21/22.087 WSCC Consultation Fire Service: Members considered a response to the WSCC public consultation on the Fire Service proposals for their Community Risk Management Plan 2022 – 2026 with a feedback deadline of 21 December 2021, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to request that the retained fire service in Hurstpierpoint be preserved and maintained.
C21/22.088 WSCC Consultation Domestic Abuse Strategy: Members considered a response to the WSCC consultation on the £3.1m available to invest in the Domestic Abuse Strategy, with a feedback deadline of 19 December 2021, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to feed back their praise for the thorough and professional strategy produced, and that the funding must continue at the appropriate levels for the longer term.
C21/22.089 WSCC Consultation A273/Gatehouse Lane Pedestrian Crossing: Members considered the WSCC consultation on the proposal for a new signal-controlled crossing on Jane Murray Way (A273) where it bisects Gatehouse Lane, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to respond positively to the proposal as people are often seen struggling to cross the Jane Murray Way in this location.
C21/22.090 The Council NOTED the following information items, correspondence received and requests:
C21/22.090.1 West Sussex Charge-point Network Partnership: Members noted MSDC’s email regarding the West Sussex Charge-point Network Partnership.
C21/22.090.2 The Late Andrew Nelson: Members noted the information provided by Cllr John Lowman that Andrew Nelson, a previous parish councillor, had sadly passed away.
C21/22.090.3 South Lane/Pitt Lane Resurfacing: Members noted the costs for the additional works requested at the last meeting, which totalled £2,795+VAT, which was equivalent to 16% and not the 10% as previously agreed.
The 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.
C21/22.091 Staff Panel: Members considered consider a recommendation from the meeting of the 19 October 2021 Staff Panel, and it was:
RESOLVED: That Council RECEIVES the minutes of the Staff Panel and AGREES the recommendations from the meeting of the 19 October 2021.
There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.51 pm.