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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Minutes of the Council Meeting held on Thursday 28 September 2023 at 7.30 pm at Sayers Common Village Hall.

Members Present:

Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman)
Cllr Mike Avery
Cllr Sarah Baldey
Cllr Helen Bedford
Cllr Susan Dyke  
Cllr Rodney Jackson
Cllr Duncan Ranger
Cllr Bob Sampson
Cllr Annette Street
Cllr Lindsay Thompson
 

Also Present:  Sarah Groom (Clerk), Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC) and Cllr Zeidler (MSDC), and four members of the public. Apologies were received from Cllr Alison Bennett (MSDC).

C23/24.061: To receive and accept apologies for absence:  Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Evans, Cllr Froud, Cllr Majsai, and Cllr Shorrocks, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Council ACCEPTS the apologies for absence for Cllr Evans, Cllr Froud, Cllr Majsai, and Cllr Shorrocks.

C23/24.062: To receive and record declarations of interest:  Cllr Ranger declared a personal interest in the confidential item concerning the Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club as he was a fee paying member of the club so would not take part in the discussion.

C23/24.063: To receive and accept the minutes of the previous meeting of the Council held on 27 July 2023:  Members reviewed the minutes, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the minutes of the meeting held on 27 July 2023.

C23/24.064: Councillor Co-option:  Members considered two applications to co-opt councillors to fill the ordinary vacancies following the 4 May 2023 uncontested local election.  The ballot for each candidate was unanimous and declarations of acceptance of office forms were signed, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to CO-OPT Annette Street and Sarah Baldey to serve on the Hurstpierpoint ward.

C23/24.065: Adjournment for Questions from the Public: Members considered adjourning the meeting to receive questions from members of the public in accordance with Standing Orders. Members of the public in attendance did not wish to speak so the meeting was not adjourned

C23/24.066: Reports from Other Authorities: Members received reports from representatives of:

C23/24.066.1: West Sussex County Council:  Cllr Dennis updated the meeting on the roll out of electrical vehicle (EV) charging points and in particular the issues in the Trinity Road car park which she was liaising with MSDC over.  Also the progress on the new Sayers Common to Hassocks cycle-way including the visibility issues on the Wickham Hill and College Lane junctions.  There were issues to be resolved about show traffic blocking the Hickstead/Shell Garage roundabout as well as access to the proposed new Porshe garage on the old Friday Ad site. Their large transporter vehicle lorries travelling north on the A23 should not exit and travel through Albourne and Sayers Common villages but travel further north to the Hickstead roundabout and then return south leaving the A23 at the Sayers Common junction (and avoiding show traffic days). The Community Verge Scheme pilots (including the one in Hurstpierpoint) have resulted in significant increases to bug life so these will be extended.   WSCC is creating a new team to look at overgrown vegetation on pavements or “pavement slippage” to ensure the boundaries are protected and surfaces are accessible and safe, and that this can be enforced.  The new double-decker buses will be assisting with high level vegetation clearance (e.g. around street lights) and work is being done to communicate the importance of home-owners/farmers to take responsibility for their “riparian duties” clearing their ditches etc.  Cllr Thompson expressed concern over signage saying the High Street is closed when it isn’t and the consequent impact on trade.  This concerned the over-night broadband work in the last week of August but the signs were left up all day which damaged the traders income.  The Clerk will forward a copy of a photo taken to Cllr Dennis so the matter can be investigated.

The Chairman thanked Cllr Dennis for her report.  Cllrs Dennis left the meeting at 8.15pm.

C23/24.066.2: Mid Sussex District Council:  Cllr Bennett and Cllr Zeidler had sent written reports that had been circulated to Members.  Cllr Jackson confirmed that MSDC were progressing the District Plan review, Gatwick Airport consultation, Burgess Hill town centre redevelopment, supporting care leavers and the open spaces strategy (e.g play areas and skate parks).  Cllr Dyke requested an update on the food waste trials, master plan for Court Bushes open space and the Applaud Awards.  Cllr Zeidler will confirm how the food waste is recycled and Cllr Jackson will respond on the open spaces strategy, Applaud Awards and EV charging points in Trinity Road car park.  The Chairman hoped the open spaces strategy reflects the conversations that the Parish Council has had with MSDC over the last three years.  Cllr Zeidler added that he had received a response from Southern Water that morning, regarding the hydraulic modelling they will be doing to increase the capacity for the Sayers Common pumping station.

The Chairman thanked Cllrs Bennett, Jackson and Zeidler for their reports.  Cllr Zeidler left the meeting at 8.40pm.

C23/24.063: Committee Minutes: Members received the minutes of the:

C23/24.063.1: Planning Committee (7 August 2023) There were no recommendations for Council.

C23/24.063.2: Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (24 August 2023) There was one recommendation for Council which is set out under the confidential items below. 

C23/24.063.3: Planning Committee (4 September 2023) There was one item of note for Council.  On 7 September the Committee wrote to MSDC about their concerns and those reported to them by residents, regarding 43 Wilderness Road.  A reply was promptly received from the Deputy Chief Executive confirming a Temporary Stop Notice had been issued on 5 September.

C23/24.063.4: Community Engagement Committee (14 September 2023) There was one recommendation for Council:

CE23/24.020.1 Festive Lights: The Committee discussed the briefing note about the large increase to the costs for the structural tests required for the Sayers Common Festive Lights, and it was: RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREES to recommend to Council the use of the Earmarked Reserve (Christmas Lights) towards the additional cost of the festive lighting, and it was: RESOLVED:  That Council AGREES the use of the Earmarked Reserve (Christmas Lights) towards the additional cost of the festive lighting.

C23/24.063.5: Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (19 September 2023) There were two recommendations for Council:

  1. F23/24.049: Internal Auditors EngagementThe Committee considered the letter of engagement which proposed appointing Mulberry & Co as the Parish Council’s Internal Auditor for 2023-2024, 2024-2025 and 2025-2026, and it was:  RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREED to recommend to Council the appointment of Mulberry & Co as the Parish Council’s Internal Auditor for 2023-2024, 2024-2025 and 2025-2026, and it was:  RESOLVED: That Council AGREES to appointment Mulberry & Co as the Parish Council’s Internal Auditor for 2023-2024, 2024-2025 and 2025-2026.
  1. F23/24.050: Internal Controls:  The Committee reviewed the findings from the September 2023 internal controls exercise including the recommendation to include an insurance/replacement value uplift on the 31 March 2024 asset register, and it was:  RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREED to assess the value of contents and if necessary include an insurance/replacement value uplift on the 31 March 2024 asset register, and to recommend the adoption of the Internal Controls by Council, and it was:  RESOLVED: That Council AGREES to adopt the Internal Controls exercise of September 2023.

C23/24.063.6: Highways, Cycleways and Footpaths Joint Council Working Group (25 September 2023). There were no recommendations for Council, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council RECEIVES the minutes of the following Committees and AGREES the above recommendations:

  1. Planning Committee (7 August 2023)
  2. Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (24 August 2023)
  3. Planning Committee (4 September 2023)
  4. Community Engagement Committee (14 September 2023)
  5. Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (19 September 2023)
  6. Highways, Cycleways and Footpaths Joint Council Working Group (25 September 2023)

C23/24.064: Appointment to Hurstpierpoint Society:  Members considered nominations to agree a Parish Council representative to the Hurstpierpoint Society, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to appoint Cllr Susan Dyke as the Parish Council’s representative on the Hurstpierpoint Society.

C23/24.065: South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) Parish Priorities Statement:  Members considered the letter from the SDNPA dated 14 July 2023 requesting help to develop their evidence base for their Local Plan Review by setting out the principle needs and prevailing views of the local community in a ‘parish priorities statement’ by 20 October 2023.  The Clerk will circulate the example provided by the SDNPA.  Members agreed to send a response and all contributions were to be sent to the Clerk so a final draft can be agreed informally by 5 October 2023, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to respond to the request for evidence from the South Downs National Park Authority by completing the Parish Priorities Statement and Members would send their contributions to the Clerk by 5 October 2023.

C23/24.066: Santa’s Fun Sunday:  Members considered an application for the hire of the Village Garden by Hurst Traders for Santa’s Fun Sunday on 3 December 2023 from 11am to 5pm, at nil cost, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the application for the hire of the Village Garden by Hurst Traders for Santa’s Fun Sunday on 3 December 2023 from 11am to 5pm, at nil cost.

C23/24.067: Reports from Representative on Outside Bodies: There was no update on the Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC) but the West Sussex Association of Local Councils (WSALC) AGM takes place on 20 October 2023 and Cllr Jackson will attend and report back. 

C23/24.068: Information Items:

C23/24.068.1: Rampion 2 Offshore Wind Farm:  Members noted the letter dated 18 September 2023 from Rampion Extension Development Limited, which set out a formal notification that the application for a Development Consent Order (for nationally significant infrastructure projects) has been accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate.  The opportunity exists to submit comments by 1 November 2023.

C23/24.068.2: Members noted that public consultation had begun on the future of active travel in West Sussex and WSCC is seeking feedback on their draft Active Travel Strategy and their draft Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan by 15 November 2023.

Members 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:

C23/24.069: Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club:  Members considered the recommendation of the Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (24 August 2023) as follows:

F23/24.041: Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club:  The Committee considered an independent valuation for the five-yearly rent review of Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club (April 2023 to April 2028), and it was: RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREED the independent valuation for the five-yearly rent review of Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club (April 2023 to April 2028) and agreed to recommend it to Council for approval, and it was: RESOLVED:  That Council AGREES the independent valuation for the five-yearly rent review of Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club (April 2023 to April 2028).

C23/24.070: Mid Sussex District Plan 2021-2039 Review Update:  Members received a verbal update on the informal consultation meeting with Mid Sussex District Council held on 14 September 2023 regarding our Regulation 18 response submitted on 19 December 2022.  The meeting was chaired by the Deputy Chief Executive and both officers and Members were present.  This included Members from Twineham and Albourne Parish Councils.  The District Council explained what work they had been undertaking during 2023 and their plans for the Regulation 19 consultation.  The meeting is also being re-scheduled as there was not enough time to discuss all matters.  There was no obvious sign of any changes having been made as a result of the Parish Council’s feedback and their report had a very brief sentence of generic feedback.  The Parish Council has also been provided with a copy of the letter from the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove MP dated 8 September 2023 to Local Planning Authorities (LPAs), kindly provided to us by our District ward councillors.  This letter confirms that LPAs should be progressing with their District Plan reviews and should not be pausing them as some LPA’s have done.  Mr Gove says: “LPA’s without an up-to-date local plan are likely to be subject to the presumption in favour of sustainable development when facing applications.”

The Parish Council had also been asked to list what it would like to see included in the site allocation policy and infrastructure delivery plans that would help mitigate the impact of developments.  It is important to stress that this does not take away from the more significant issues that the Parish Council is still asking to see addressed namely re-distribution of the spatial strategy e.g. there should be more distribution in the towns and High Weald AONB, master-planning for the significant sites including collaborative agreements between developers so they have to work together, biodiversity net gain required as the Low Weald is being sacrificed, infrastructure before development including addressing existing issues, and sustainable transport improvements.  However, it is felt prudent to respond to the request for infrastructure to reflect what the community would want and Members agreed to complete the forms and return them to the Clerk by 5 October 2023, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council:

  1. NOTES the update on the informal District Plan Review consultation meeting with Mid Sussex District Council held on 14 September 2023 regarding our Regulation 18 response submitted on 19 December 2022 and their plans for the Regulation 19 consultation, and
  2. AGREES to submit comments on what the Parish Council would like to see included in the site allocation policy and infrastructure delivery plans, that would help mitigate the impact of developments, if they were to happen.

There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.52pm.

Chairman