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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on Thursday 28 April 2022 at 7.30 pm at Sayers Common Village Hall.

Members Present:

Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman) Cllr Michael Avery Cllr Helen Bedford Cllr Rodney JacksonCllr Seth Jee Cllr Tony Lank Cllr John Lowman Cllr Martin MachanCllr Duncan Ranger Cllr Bob Sampson Cllr Julia Shorrocks

Also Present:  Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC), Cllr Colin Trumble (MSDC), Cllr Alison Bennett (MSDC) andSarah Groom, Clerk to the Council.  Ten members of the public were present.

C21/22.146 To receive and record apologies for absence.  Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr Allan Brown, Cllr David Evans and Cllr Claire Majsai, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council ACCEPTS the apologies of absence from Cllr Allan Brown, Cllr David Evans and Cllr Claire Majsai.

C21/22.147 To receive and record declarations of interest.  Cllr Jee declared a non-pecuniary interest as he was a member of the Sayers Common Village Society and a petitioner for a separate Sayers Common Parish Council.

C21/22.148 To receive and accept the minutes of the previous meeting of the Council: Members received the minutes of the meeting held on 24 March 2022.  Cllr Jee queried Minute C21/22.140 which was clarified by the Chairman, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 24 March 2022 and they were duly signed by the Chairman.

C21/22.149 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:

When the London Road refuge crossing was going to be installed?  The Chairman explained that the Parish Council had submitted a second community highways scheme in June 2021 for the new pedestrian refuge and this had been approved and the funding is in place.  The detailed design stage would be the next step and a meeting with a Highways Engineer is being arranged.  Cllr Jee will be invited to attend. Further work planned for Sayers Common includes double yellow lines near the London Road/Reeds Lane roundabout and a passing place on Reeds Lane to allow traffic off the roundabout.  Finally, a 7.5 tonne limit and sign is planned for Reeds Lane.  There was concern over the negative impact of further parking on local streets generated by the new care home.  This issue had been flagged by the Parish Council during the Planning approval stages.   The Chairman thanked the public for their questions.

C21/22.150 To receive verbal reports from Representatives of other Authorities: The following reports were received: 

C21/22.150.1 West Sussex County Council County (WSCC): Cllr Dennis gave an update on the works to supply power to the new Bolney Data Centre.  This has generated complaints about how the verges and roads surfacing has been left which will be rectified.  The WSCC Better Broadband project went live in Pookbourne Lane last week with some 24 households now receiving an improved service.  The Highhatch and Langton Lane project is on hold temporarily and Cllr Dennis will check where that is in the programme.  The A2300 has been formally opened and the new cycle way is also open for use.  The Chairman thanked Cllr Dennis for her report.

C21/22.150.2 Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC):  Cllr Bennett had provided a written report prior to the meeting which had been circulated and included the current position with the District Plan Review, an update on the new Sustainable Economy Strategy 2022-2025 and the competition for children to design a bench for the Jubilee.  Cllr Trumble confirmed that people with a direct debit should receive their £150 Council Tax rebate for properties in the A-D bracket shortly.  The Chairman thanked Cllr Bennett and Cllr Trumble for their report.

Cllrs Dennis, Bennett and Trumble left the meeting. 

C21/22.150.3 West Sussex Association of Local Councils / Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils:  Cllr Jackson confirmed there was no update.

C21/22.151 To receive the minutes and where appropriate, consider the recommendations of the following Committees: The Chairs introduced the following sets of minutes:

C21/22.151.1 Planning & Environment Committee (31 March 2022) There were no recommendations for Council.

C21/22.151.2 Estates & Facilities Management Committee (7 April 2022) There were no recommendations for Council.

C21/22.151.3 Finance & Governance Committee (21 April 2022) There were two recommendations for Council.  One confidential item is considered in the second part of the meeting.  One recommendation is as follows:

F21/22.122 Provisional Year End Adjustments: The Committee reviewed the provisional year end accounting statement, accruals, the general reserve and any additional earmarked reserves transfers for 31 March 2022, and it was: RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREED to recommend to Council the creation of a new earmarked reserve for Health and Wellbeing Projects (391) of £1,000 from the 5650-301 code for the community midwife project, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That Council agrees the creation of a new earmarked reserve for Health and Wellbeing projects (391) of £1,000.

Following the review of the Committee minutes, Members:

RESOLVEDThat the Council RECEIVES the minutes of the following Committees and AGREES the recommendations:

  1. Planning & Environment Committee (31 March 2022)
  2. Estates & Facilities Management Committee (7 April 2022)
  3. Finance & Governance Committee (21 April 2022)

C21/22.152 Councillor Co-Option:  Members noted that the advert of a vacancy for parish councillor had not received any applicants when it closed on 20 April 2022.  The Parish Council should try to fill the position until at least until six months prior to the next local elections in May 2023.  Members considered readvertising the position for a further six weeks, and it was:

RESOLVED: That Members AGREED to readvertise the position for a further six weeks.

C21/22.153 Applications for EventsMembers considered three requests for the use of outside spaces for events.  Each applicant will complete the booking form and comply with the insurance requirements.  Cllr Jee believed there as a License in place that means permission was not required for use of the Boules area and would provide the Clerk with a copy, and it was:

RESOLVED: That Members AGREED the following event could be held subject to the appropriate agreements being completed:

  1. Reeds Lane Recreation Ground (Boules Area) for a Private Boules Party on 24 May 2022;
  2. Reeds Lane Recreation Ground (North and South) for Jubilee Celebrations on Sunday 5 June 2022; and
  3. South Avenue Recreation Ground for Jubilee Celebrations on Sunday 5 June 2022.

C21/22.154 The Council NOTED the following information items, correspondence and requests:

C21/22.154.1 Councillor Representatives on Outside Bodies:  Members received an update on the recent meeting of the Hurstpierpoint Society from Cllr Lowman.  The main outcome of the discussion was a review of the Hurst Meadows Advisory Group to ensure the appropriate framework was in place for the future.  Now that the management of the Meadows, Court Bushes and the Village Centre was embedded into the Parish Council following their transfers, matters concerning these sites could come directly under the Estates & Facilities Management Committee responsibility, and it was:

RESOLVED: That Members AGREED to i) review the Advisory Groups at the May Council meeting and ii) to keep the ‘Councillor Representatives on Outside Bodies’ item on the Council agenda in the future.

C21/22.154.2 Sussex Police Big Data:  Members noted that Cllr Lank had attended a Sussex Police presentation on 25 February 2022 about how they are using ‘big data’ to turn phone calls, crimes, investigations and court trials into a tool to drive productivity by predicting trends, identifying serial offenders, studying crime hotspots and allowing them to devote more time to victims.  It is possible that this information may be made available for the public in future.

C21/22.154.3 Cllr Jee wished to know the name of the Parish Council’s external auditor and the Chairman agreed to follow this up with Cllr Jee outside the meeting.

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.

Confidential Matters:

C21/22.155 Land at Brown Twins Road:  Members receive a verbal update on matters relating to land at Brown Twins Road and considered the recommendation from the 21 April 2022 Finance & Governance Committee as follows:

F21/22.126 Land at Brown Twins Road: The Committee considered the valuation for the land at Brown Twins Road/Trinity Court owned by West Sussex County Council and agreed to recommend the next steps to Council, and it was:  RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREED to recommend the next steps to Council.

A RICS Red Book Valuation had been obtained and there was a substantial discussion on the business case for obtaining and conserving the land parcel.  This included the reasons why protecting it for the local community and wildlife, with no landlord restrictions or interference, would be of benefit.  It was also felt it was an ongoing liability for WSCC which they may take into account with its valuation.  The various options were explored, and it was:

RESOLVED: That Council AGREES that the Clerk, in consultation with the Chairman, makes an offer for the purchase of the land, within the ceiling figures agreed, and the necessary paperwork was submitted to West Sussex County Council in order to complete the agreement.

There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 8.44 pm.