Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on Thursday 26 November 2020 at 7.30 pm via ‘Microsoft Teams’ Video Conferencing.
Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman) Cllr Allan Brown (Vice-Chairman) Cllr Michael Avery Cllr Stephen Hand Cllr Rodney Jackson Cllr Seth Jee Cllr Tony Lank Cllr John Lowman Cllr Martin Machan Cllr Claire Majsai Cllr Duncan Ranger Cllr Bob Sampson
Also Present: Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC), Cllr Alison Bennett (MSDC), Sarah Groom (Clerk to the Council) & one member of the public.
C20/21.059 To receive and record apologies for absence. Apologies for absence were received before the meeting and accepted from Cllr David Evans, Cllr Peter Griffiths and Cllr Julia Shorrocks. Cllr Colin Trumble (MSDC) also sent his apologies and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council ACCEPTS the apologies for absence from Cllrs Evans, Griffiths and Shorrocks.
C20/21.060 To receive and record declarations of interest. Declarations of interest of a personal nature were declared by Cllrs Hand, Lank, Lowman & Machan in respect of Minute C20/21.069 (South Avenue UKPN Wayleave) as they are members of the Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club.
C20/21.061 To receive and accept the minutes of the previous meeting of the Council: Members received and accepted the minutes of the meeting held on 22 October 2020 and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES the Minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 22 October 2020.
C20/21.062 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 in order to receive questions from members of the public in attendance. The one member of the public present did not wish to speak so the meeting was not adjourned.
C20/21.063 To receive verbal reports from Representatives of other Authorities: The following reports were received as follows:
C20/21.063.1 West Sussex County Council County (WSCC): Cllr Joy Dennis had previously circulated a very full report, sent to all members for their information. A further update was provided on the historical trends and current statistics for coronavirus cases in West Sussex. School attendance was above average. It had been announced today, that once the current (second) lockdown was lifted, West Sussex would be entering Tier 2 restrictions. From Monday 30 November 2020, WSCC’s Community Hub would be running the track and trace service for West Sussex. The County Council’s finances showed a £25million funding gap, although the amount Council Tax can increase by has risen to 5%. The Chairman thanked Cllr Dennis for the information and her full report.
C20/21.063.2 Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC): Cllr Colin Trumble was unable to attend the meeting and had previously circulated a report as follows. The collection of small electrical items along with the grey waste collection started this week. The initial take-up of this service has been excellent.
The food waste trial had to be cancelled this year but the Council is proceeding with plans for a full roll out later next year. MSDC has been successful in its bid for funding from WSCC to review and improve its waste services. An announcement will be made about this year’s Christmas car parking incentive scheme. It will be tailored to the COVID restrictions in place after 2nd December. Cllr Trumble has held meetings with the 4 SDNP villages in our Ward and with SDNP on planning issues. A meeting of the 4 villages and SDNP is now being scheduled. He continues to attend the Sayers Common/Linden Homes liaison group. As Council Chairman, he has recently written to and congratulated four people in Mid Sussex who received honours in the recent list. The results of this year’s Mid Sussex Applauds have been announced. There are 11 winners and over 40 people commended and highly commended across all the categories. In this Parish, The Hurst COVID 19 Neighbours’ Support Group were winners in the Stronger Communities category and the Sayers Common Community shop was highly commended in the Stronger Communities and Business in the Community categories.
Cllr Bennett promoted the new micro-business and business support grants and that were available and the shop local and support small businesses campaign “Bring Christmas Home”. In response to a question from Cllr Jee, Cllr Bennett confirmed there was no update on the Local Government Boundary Commissions Review. Cllr Jackson reminded Members of the new Mid Sussex Residential Design Guide. The three Mid Sussex leisure centres will re-open on 2 December 2020. The Public Space Protection Orders (dog control issues) had been renewed and the number of new affordable homes available was 126, 91 of which are for social rent. In response to a question from Cllr Avery as to why more new homes were being built when the world’s population was declining, Cllr Dennis stated that Parliament is reviewing the new homes algorithm set out in the Planning for the Future consultation and she was meeting with the MP Andrew Griffith tomorrow and would raise the question and feedback accordingly. The Chairman thanked Cllrs Bennett and Jackson for their report.
Cllr Dennis and Cllr Bennett left the meeting.
C20/21.63.3 Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils & West Sussex Association of Local Councils: Cllr Jackson attended a WSALC meeting on 30 October and had received presentations on COVID-19, Domestic Violence, Rural Crime, Anti-Social Behaviour, the South Downs National Park and the Society of Local Council Clerks. The Chairman thanked Cllr Jackson for his report. The Chairman had attended another SSALC Chairmans’ meeting and had received presentations on the road policing team, Remembrance Sunday, preparing for hybrid meetings and the importance of testing our resilience plan.
C20/21.063.4 WSALC Survey: Members considered the briefing note regarding the survey being undertaken by the West Sussex ALC as part of their value for money review of the Surrey & Sussex ALC. SSALC had commenced a survey of its own in November 2019 but had put the consultation on hold during the lock-down. Members provided further background to the current circumstances and debated the situation. Generally, Members had received a good service from SSALC. Members agreed that SSALC should be permitted to complete their original review and that the WSALC questionnaire felt somewhat biased against the good work of SSALC. The Chairman clarified the role of the two voting representatives nominated by the Parish Council to take forward the view of the Parish Council. Cllr Brown and Cllr Jackson confirmed they would vote at the AGM as instructed by Council, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to:
i. To support the first three points of the motion put forward by the Chairman of MSALC; and
ii. Not to complete the WSALC survey.
C20/21.063.5 MSALC Chairman’s Letter: Members considered a letter from Cllr Tony Steer, Chairman of Bolney Parish Council and Chairman of the Mid Sussex ALC, received on 26 October 2020, regarding
his proposals for a motion to be included on the WSALC AGM agenda for the meeting on 2 December 2020 and agree any response. The motion has since been added to the agenda, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to support points 1 to 3 of the motion:
i. The Company Directors cease to progress the current value for money study.
ii. The Company Directors work constructively with SSALC to conclude the current strategic review which includes a value for money element.
iii. The Company Directors establish a clear mechanism for engaging parish councils in West Sussex in studies that fall outside of the SSLAC operational framework.
C20/21.064 To receive the minutes and where appropriate, consider the recommendations of the following Committees: The Committee Chairs introduced each set of minutes, which the Council was asked to receive and adopt, and where appropriate, consider the recommendations:
C20/21.064.1 Planning & Environment Committee (5 November 2020) No recommendations for Council.
C20/21.064.2 Estates & Facilities Management Committee (12 November 2020). Recommendation for Council:
EF20/21.030 Review of Action Plan: The Committee agreed to recommend to Council a revised and updated version, and it was:
RESOLVED: That Council NOTES the recommendation to approve the Action Plan but which is superseded by Minute C20/21.064.3 below.
C20/21.064.3 Finance & Governance Committee (19 November 2020) Recommendations for Council:
F20/21.064: Action Plan: The Committee agreed to recommend to Council a revised Action Plan (Version 12), and it was:
RESOLVED: That Council AGREES and ADOPTS Version 12 of the Action Plan.
Minute F20/21.065: Annual Charges Review 2021/22: The Committee agreed to recommend that Council adopts the charges proposed for 2021/2022, and it was:
RESOLVED: That Council AGREES and ADOPTS the annual charges for 2021/2022.
Following the review of all the minutes and where appropriate, consideration of the recommendations Members:
RESOLVED: That the Council RECEIVES the minutes of the following Committees:
i. Planning & Environment Committee (5 November 2020)
ii. Estates & Facilities Management Committee (12 November 2020)
iii. Finance & Governance Committee (19 November 2020).
C20/21.065 West Sussex County Council Local Transport Plan Consultation: Members considered the consultation on the draft Local Transport Plan. The West Sussex Transport Plan is being reviewed to update the County Council’s strategic approach to investment in, and management of, the transport network. This is an initial survey to gather information that will help to prepare the draft plan which is expected to be published for consultation next summer. The consultation can be completed by individual councillors or members of the public. Before the meeting Cllr Shorrocks had offered to
respond and she will be asked to include the cycling and bus ideas. Cllr Majsai requested a link be added to our website and Facebook page. The deadline for feedback is 17 December 2020, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES that Cllr Shorrocks, with support from Cllr Llewellyn and the Clerk, will complete and return the Local Transport Plan survey by 17 December 2020.
C20/21.066 Kingsland Laines Planning Application (DM/19/1148) Section 106 – MSDC request for ideas: On 12 November, the Planning Authority resolved to approve the application (to revise the approved permission) to provide 13 additional dwellings including 30% affordable units with associated landscaping, road layout, access and parking subject to the completion of the section 106 legal agreement to secure the required infrastructure contributions and affordable housing. Members considered potential projects to improve local community infrastructure required to serve the development. The deadline for feedback is 27 November 2020. Members were grateful for the opportunity to comment and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to ask that the additional £4,026 for local community infrastructure projects be allocated to:
i. the provision of a cemetery in South Avenue, Hurstpierpoint; and/or
ii. the provision of public/community seating in Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common, but that the additional line include the wording “public/community seating and street furniture; and:
iii. That the proportion of allocation of the £4,026 mirrors the allocation as set out in the original agreement.
C20/21.067 Winter Office Closing and Winter Preparedness: Members considered the office opening hours for Christmas and the New Year, and the preparations for severe winter weather, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES office opening hours for Christmas and the New Year, and the preparations for severe winter weather.
C20/21.068 Information Items, Correspondence Received and Requests: Members noted the following items:
C20/21.068.1 Committee on Standards in Public Life: Members discussed the questions in response to the National Association of Local Councils to the Committee on Standards in Public Life’s consultation as part of its review into the institutions, processes and structures in place to support high standards of conduct. The Clerk will complete the survey a directed and respond by 4 December 2020.
C20/21.068.2 Big Hurst Re-Think: Members received a verbal update from Cllr Majsai on the Big Hurst Re-think meetings and a group called HHDK Transitions. The HHDK Transitions Group was part of a national movement developing practical ways to tackle climate change such as providing information on electric vehicles and flood mitigation measures. It had been active for many years locally and more recently as part of the Hurst Festival it supported an event which was staged, called the Big Hurst Re-Think. The aim was to discuss how, specially after the coronavirus pandemic, could we build a different society. Four sub-groups have been formed to focus on various issues such as recycling, biodiversity and sustainable transport. Cllr Majsai is happy to continue to attend these meetings, which may pose questions for the Parish Council which she is happy to respond to accordingly. This opportunity also aid our objectives to for example, form volunteer groups for Hurst Meadows. Cllr Majsai will investigate whether a formal invitation could be issued to the Parish Council to nominate a representative to sit on their Board in future.
C20/21.068.3 Estates & Facilities Manager: Members received a verbal update on the recruitment of the Parish Council’s new Estates & Facilities Manager Mr Stephen Witchell, who started on 23 November 2020.
The Council RESOLVED that in view of the confidential nature of the following item, the press and public be excluded under section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.
C20/21.069 South Avenue UKPN Wayleave: Members considered a confidential briefing note with a recommendation, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES the recommendation in the confidential briefing note.
There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.28 pm.