hurstpierpoint logo

Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

DRAFT Minutes of the Council Meeting held on Tuesday 27 September 2022 at 7.30 pm at Sayers Common Village Hall

Members Present:

Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman) Cllr Michael Avery Cllr Helen Bedford  Cllr Rodney Jackson Cllr Tony Lank Cllr John Lowman  Cllr Claire Majsai Cllr Duncan Ranger Cllr Bob Sampson Cllr Julia Shorrocks

Also Present:   Sarah Groom (Clerk to the Council), Cllr Colin Trumble (MSDC) and 14 members of the public.  

C22/23.065: To receive and accept apologies for absence: Apologies for absence were given for Cllr Allan Brown, Cllr David Evans and Cllr Martin Machan, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council ACCEPTS the apologies for absence for Cllr Allan Brown, Cllr David Evans and Cllr Martin Machan.

Apologies were also received from Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC) and Cllr Alison Bennett (MSDC).

C22/23.066: To receive and record declarations of interest:  There were no declarations of interest.

C22/23.067: To receive and accept the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 28 July 2022:  Members reviewed the minutes, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 28 July 2022.

C22/23.068: 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, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREED to adjourn the meeting in accordance with Standing Orders to receive questions from members of the public in attendance.

In response to questions from the public the following responses were given:

London Road Pedestrian Crossing:  The proposed location for the crossing is just north of Dunlop Close and not directly outside the Village Shop.  There were no objections to this location.  WSCC is progressing the project as quickly as possible and it is conceivable the crossing might be delivered in the next financial year i.e. April 2023 to March 2024.

London Road Speeding:  The Community Speed Watch team monitor speeding at set, albeit limited, times and send their information to the Police.  Cllr Lank requested a copy of this information.  The current Sayers Common vehicle activated sign does not collect data, so it was agreed that the Parish Council’s speed indicator devise (SID), which is able to collect information on speeds, will be placed in Sayers Common as soon as possible.

Reeds Lane Double Yellow Lines and Speeding:  Cllr Lank explained the proposal for double yellow lines on Reeds Lane close to the roundabout but there was also concern expressed for the east end of Reeds Lane where the road leaves the village near to Meadow View.  Cllr Lank would explore whether it was possible to use the Parish Council’s SID there too.

Reeds Lane Recreation Ground: The Chairman updated residents on the Reeds Lane drainage project.  A topographical survey has been undertaken to help design a solution that may involve an ephemeral pond.  The play area phase one is complete and phase two planning is underway.  Finally a native hedge will be planted in January 2023, along the northern boundary of the Reeds Lane Recreation Ground adjacent to the Vistry Sayers Meadow development.

MSDC District Plan Review & Community Governance Review: The assertion that tax payers in Sayers Common subsidise projects in Hurstpierpoint was not recognised by the Chairman.  The Chairman felt that the opposite may be true and that Sayers Common village (east of the A23) is still relatively small and not currently a sustainable community as residents, for example, have to get their medical and educational services from elsewhere.  Significant changes may come with the District Plan review and subsequent additional housing, and it is important that the infrastructure and amenities are provided with it to ensure a sustainable community.

C22/23.069: Members received update reports from the representatives of other Authorities:

C22/23.069.1 West Sussex County Council (WSCC):  Cllr Dennis was not present.

C22/23.069.2 Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC):  Cllr Jackson reported that Mid Sussex District councillors are being briefed on the District Plan review.  Cllr Trumble added that the Working Group had met to review policies and scoring of sites.  The Scrutiny Committee will meet on 5 October 2022 to discuss the policies and on 19 October 2022 to consider the site allocations. The outcome of these discussions are likely to be concluded at the 2 November 2022 MSDC Council meeting. The first round of formal public consultation known as Regulation 18 would then commence on 7 November 2022.  Any comments will be fed into the final consultation process known as Regulation 19.  After that the District Plan is sent to Planning Inspectors before being formally adopted by MSDC. Cllr Trumble reiterated the intention that the District Plan ensures sustainable community development.  Cllr Bennett’s written report also included news of the successful bid to the Safer Streets Fund, for two CCTV cameras to record illegal fly-tipping in future.

The Cllr Sampson explained the recent felling of two mature oaks on Berrylands Recreation Ground and asked for the District Councillors support in ensuring the investigation was undertaken.  Cllr Majsai explained that following a walk around the village play areas she was concerned about the poor state of the play equipment and grounds maintenance.  The Chairman explained MSDC’s system of scoring the condition of their play areas and concentrating on the ones which required the most urgent attention.  The District Councillors were requested to establish whether there was an issue with the maintenance of the grounds at these sites.

The Chairman thanked Cllrs Jackson and Trumble for their reports and Cllr Bennett for her written report.  Cllr Trumble left the meeting at 8.20pm.

C22/23.069.3 West Sussex Association of Local Councils (WSALC):  Nothing to report.

C22/23.069.4 Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC):  Cllr Jackson reported a meeting was held on 21 September 2022 and the draft minutes of the meeting had been circulated to all by the Clerk.   The main points were the election of a new Chairman and Vice-Chairman, the importance of a community resilience plan, the ideas being developed for warm places this Winter, training for new councillors running up to the May 2023 elections and the two Police briefings that Cllr Lank and the Clerk would be attending with the Police on 11 October and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office on 24 November 2022.

C22/23.070: Members considered the minutes of the following Committees:

C22/23.070.1: Planning & Environment Committee (4 August & 1 September 2022) Cllr Jackson gave an update on the Alders Farm enforcement request.  Cllr Lowman asked that MSDC replies to the letter sent by the Hurstpierpoint Society.

C22/23.070.2: Community Engagement Committee (11 August 2022) Cllr Majsai promoted the small grants available from the Parish Council.

C22/23.070.3: Estates & Facilities Management Committee (8 September 2022) No recommendations for Council.

C22/23.070.4: Finance & Governance Committee (18 August) One recommendation for Council is on the main agenda to appoint internal auditors, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council RECEIVES the minutes of the following Committees:

  1. Planning & Environment Committee (4 August & 1 September 2022)
  2. Community Engagement Committee (11 August 2022)
  3. Estates & Facilities Management Committee (8 September 2022)
  4. Finance & Governance Committee (18 August 2022)

C22/23.071: Councillor Co-option:  Members were due to consider an application to fill the vacancy on the Hurstpierpoint ward but were advised that the candidate had withdrawn their application.  The Chairman promoted the two vacancies on the Parish Council to the members of the public present, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council NOTES the withdrawal of the application for the co-option of a councillor to the Hurstpierpoint Ward.

C22/23.072: Sustainability Strategy Working Group (3 Members):  Members considered forming a Sustainability Strategy Working Group as recommended at the 28 July 2022 Council meeting, agreed the Terms of Reference as drafted and elected three Councillors to serve upon the Working Group.  There being no other nominations Cllr Claire Majsai was duly elected Chair of the Working Group for the following year, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to:

  1. adopt the Sustainability Strategy Working Group Terms of Reference
  2. the Membership of the Working Group would be Cllrs Claire Majsai, Cllr Helen Bedford and Cllr Bob Sampson
  3. Cllr Claire Majsai would Chair the Working Group for the rest of the year.

C22/23.073: St Lawrence Fair:   Members considered appointing a Parish Council representative to the St Lawrence Fair committee for 2022/23, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES that Cllr Helen Bedford would formally represent the Parish Council on the St Lawrence Fair Committee.

C22/23.074: Appointment of Internal Auditors:  Members considered the recommendation from the Finance & Governance Committee of 18 August 2022 to appoint Mulberry & Co as the Parish Council’s Internal Auditor for 2022/2023, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to appoint Mulberry & Co as the Parish Council’s Internal Auditor for 2022/2023.

C22/23.075: Appointment of External Auditors:  Members considered the opportunity for the Parish Council to appoint its own external auditors or continue being allocated an external auditor via the Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to continue to be allocated an External Auditor for 2022/2023 by the Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments and will review the position next year.

C22/23.076: WSCC Learning and Development Gateway:  Members considered signing all councillors up to the free training offered by West Sussex County Council to all who provide a service to residents in West Sussex.  Cllr Jackson reminded Members of the sector specific training available from WSALC via Mulberry & Co for a fee.  A list of mandatory training for councillors would be considered at a future meeting such as Data Protection and Safeguarding, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to sign all councillors up to the free training offered by West Sussex County Council.

C22/23.077: Councillor Representatives on Outside Bodies: Members received updates from representatives on external organisations as follows:

C22/23.077.1: Hurstpierpoint Village Society: Cllr Lowman reported ongoing discussions with the Society including plans for a new bench in Bellows Nose in Hurst Meadows, kindly funded by the Hurstpierpoint Society.

C22/23.078: To note any further information items, correspondence received or requests: 

C22/23.078.1: MSDC Community Governance Review:  Members noted the final recommendations in the report to MSDC’s 28 September 2022 MSDC’s Scrutiny Committee for Community Leisure and Parking, on the outcome of the community governance review.  Unfortunately the Sayers Common Village Society submission had not been included in the original pack of responses but had subsequently been circulated.   The outcome will be finally considered by Mid Sussex District Council on 12 October 2022.

C22/23.078.2: College Lane Vehicles: Cllr Avery requested a response on the parking issues in College Lane as there had been reports of tyres being let down on parked vehicles. The Chairman agreed to raise the issue with Cllr Dennis.

There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.48 pm.