Minutes of the Council Meeting held on Thursday 29 June 2023 at 7.30 pm at Hurstpierpoint Village Centre.
|Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman) Cllr Mike Avery Cllr Helen Bedford Cllr Susan Dyke||Cllr Mark Froud Cllr Rodney Jackson Cllr John Lowman Cllr Claire Majsai||Cllr Duncan Ranger Cllr Bob Sampson Cllr Lindsay Thompson|
Also Present: Sarah Groom (Clerk), Cllr Alison Bennett and Cllr Zeidler (MSDC), and one member of the public. Apologies were received from Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC).
C23/24.036: To receive and accept apologies for absence: Apologies for absence were received from Cllr David Evans and Cllr Julia Shorrocks, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council ACCEPTS the apologies for absence for Cllr Evans and Cllr Shorrocks.
C23/24.037: To receive and record declarations of interest: There were no declarations of interest.
C23/24.038: To receive and accept the minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council held on 18 May 2023: Members reviewed the minutes, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES the minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Council held on 18 May 2023.
C23/24.039: 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 it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to CO-OPT Mark Froud and Susan Dyke to serve on the Hurstpierpoint ward, and it was agreed that:
- Cllr Froud would serve on the Planning Committee, Community Engagement Committee and Finance, Governance and Estates Committee; and
- Cllr Dyke would serve on the Planning Committee and Community Engagement Committee.
C23/24.040: Finance, Governance & Estates Committee Membership: Members considered formally adding Cllr John Lowman as a member of the Finance, Governance & Estates Committee, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to formally add Cllr John Lowman as a member of the Finance, Governance & Estates Committee.
C23/24.041: Adjournment for Questions from the Public: Members considered adjourning the meeting to receive questions from members of the public in accordance with Standing Orders. The one member of the public in attendance did not wish to speak so the meeting was not adjourned.
C23/24.042: Reports from Other Authorities: Members received reports from representatives of:
C23/24.042.1: West Sussex County Council: Cllr Dennis was unable to attend the meeting but had provided a written report to be circulated. Cllr Zeidler (MSDC) kindly gave a brief summary of the WSCC updates. WSCC has appointed three new Green Business Champions who are local business leaders willing to help others on their own sustainability journeys. The new Horsham Fire Station is a state of the art facility. The Summer Reading Challenge has been launched by the WSCC Library Service. A childhood immunisation awareness campaign will be launched between 1 June and 31 August, to combat the decline in uptake of immunisations nationally. WSCC is appealing for new hosts to open their doors to Ukrainian refugees. Cllr Majsai requested confirmation that new trees planted on road sides, for example the A2300, were being properly looked after. Cllr Majsai would like to know what the WSCC/MSDC response to the Sussex Clubs for Young People going into administration would be, as she was concerned that there was no holistic approach to youth services and wondered if WSCC had any responsibilities for facilitating a youth service. Cllr Bennett (MSDC) added that community services now came under her remit and she would discuss the issue with Cllr Dennis.
C23/24.042.2: Mid Sussex District Council: Cllr Bennett had sent a written report that had been circulated to Members. Cllr Bennet highlighted the decision by the new Cabinet to press forward with the development of the Centre for Outdoor Sports. The Cabinet had awarded £33,000 from s106 Funds to the Hurstpierpoint Cricket Club for the modernisation of the Club House on Fairfield Recreation Ground. The Chairman reported that the Parish Council had also supported this application. Cllr Jackson added that the new administration wishes to work across political parties for the benefit of all residents. A new masterplan for all MSDC outdoor sites will also be coming forward shortly. The Chairman welcomed this study and a dialogue around it, as it will incorporate sites like Court Bushes which the Parish Council has been asking for. Cllr Jackson confirmed that the new Infrastructure Levy is being investigated by MSDC. Cllr Avery asked where the extra water was coming from for new homes. Cllr Bennett explained that if Southern Water and South East Water say they can support new homes, that has to be taken in good faith.
Cllr Zeidler had sent a written report that had been circulated to Members. Cllr Zeidler is on the MSDC Scrutiny Committee for Place and Environment which will oversee the Regulation 19 consultation on the District Plan Review. The Committee met on 28 June and agreed to set up a working group that will consult with parish councils and review the policies and land parcels and report back on 18 October 2023. Cllr Sampson asked if the Berrylands Pond could be addressed as it is filled with silt and has attracted mosquitoes. The outlets are also blocked, so what water is left is stagnant. The Chairman had recently again raised this issue and reminded MSDC that the Woodland Flora and Fauna Group had volunteered to manage it for MSDC but was told their help was not required. Cllr Bennett and Zeidler agreed to discuss this matter. Cllr Majsai asked for MSDC to consider a greater leadership role on nature recovery and sustainability. Cllr Zeidler had raised the matter of a possible appeal against the MSDC Community Governance Review decision made last October in his report and will seek further information. The Chairman thanked Cllrs Bennett, Jackson and Zeidler for their reports. Cllrs Bennett and Zeidler left the meeting at 8.17pm.
C23/24.043: Committee Minutes: Members received the minutes of the:
C23/24.043.1: Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (25 May 2023) There were no recommendations for Council.
C23/24.043.2: Planning Committee (5 June 2023) There were no recommendations for Council.
C23/24.043.3: Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (15 June 2023) There were no recommendations for Council, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council RECEIVES the minutes of the following Committees:
- Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (25 May 2023)
- Planning Committee (5 June 2023)
- Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (15 June 2023)
C23/24.044: Community Highways Scheme (CHS) Update: Members considered sponsoring a Community Highways Scheme to address issues at the Cuckfield Road/Chalkers Lane junction. There was some concern raised about knock-on congestion or visibility issues at the Willow Way and Talbot Mead junctions, so a careful design was required. The Chairman outlined the proposals for an all-weather surfaced footpath to be incorporated in the scheme that gave a safe route to Hurst College from the Cuckfield Road, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to apply for a Community Highways Scheme to address issues at the Cuckfield Road/Chalkers Lane junction including an all-weather surfaced footpath to provide a safe route to Hurst College.
C23/24.045: Request to Site a Shipping Container on South Avenue: Members considered a briefing note requesting consideration to temporarily site a shipping container in South Avenue, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES the request to temporarily site a shipping container in South Avenue for three months but only on the verge to the north of the Garden House property entrance.
C23/24.046: Reports from Representative on Outside Bodies: There were no updates from the West Sussex Association of Local Councils (WSALC) or Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC). Cllr Jackson expected a meeting of the MSALC to be arranged soon. Cllr Lowman had attended a meeting of the Hurstpierpoint Society on 15 June which was well organised and very enjoyable with awards being presented to various properties. Cllr Bedford was the Parish Council’s representative on the St Lawrence Fair Committee and the plans for the event on 30 June and 1 July were all in place. Cllr Majsai reminded Members that the Parish Council had its stall at the St Lawrence Fair on 1 July and thanked those that were attending, and welcomed the new Members to visit the stall and talk to the public.
C23/24.047: Information Items:
C23/24.047.1: Annual Parish Meeting Feedback: Members had been sent the Events Working Group notes of the 5 June 2023 and were asked to give any feedback on the Annual Parish Meeting held on 22 May 2023. All agreed that the meeting was well planned and executed. It was suggested that two more powerful radio microphones were purchased. The hearing induction loop may require a repair. Cllr Sampson reported that Hurst Players had recruited two new members and added six people to their mailing list. There was a general debate about attracting more members of the public to attend. The Parish Council was currently organising one annual parish meeting in May and two Community Forum meetings (with groups) each year. January 2023’s Community Forum theme was funding opportunities. The next Community Forum is on 2 November 2023. Next year’s annual parish meeting could have a theme of looking to the future or a key note speaker, to switch around the format. Cllr Dyke complimented the publicity before the event and suggested “teasers” to attract more people next year, e.g. come along and find out how you become a befriender, or how you can plant a tree etc. Cllr Dyke also suggested that young people be matched with the volunteering opportunities. Cllr Majsai felt this was an excellent idea that could also become a theme for a Community Forum, and the Community Engagement Committee would take all this feedback on board.
C23/24.047.2: Members noted a complaint made to the Chairman from a parent changing her child for the gym, about the way she was spoken to by the Clerk. The Chairman explained the background to the safeguarding issue of parents changing young children in public spaces and had spoken with the Gym Club about offering parents a more private space. Cllr Majsai also asked Members to only use the disabled toilet in the Village Centre when the Gym Club children were using the Ladies and Gents toilets.
C23/24.047.3: Members had been sent instructions to sign up for the WSCC training courses agreed previously by Council namely, Data Protection, Safeguarding, Equality and Diversity and Health and Safety. It appeared that when registering and asked if you were a Volunteer or ‘Other’, it restricted access to these course if you clicked ‘Other’. Members were therefore asked to register as a Volunteer.
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.
C23/24.048: Preparation for Mid Sussex District Plan Review Regulation 19 Consultation: Members received a verbal update on the District Plan Review and were asked to consider appointing a consultant to assist the Parish Council with its preparation for and response to, the Regulation 19 consultation expected in the late Summer 2023, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to appoint a Planning Consultant to assist the Parish Council’s with its preparation for and response to, the Regulation 19 consultation including any relevant meetings with MSDC.
C23/24.049: Access to Hurst Meadows: Members considered a briefing note and discussed the next steps to proceed with the negotiation with the land owner to acquire and dispose of land to improve access to Hurst Meadows, including any associated costs, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Council AGREES to continue negotiation with the land owner to acquire and dispose of land to improve access to Hurst Meadows, and to allocate funds for surveying and legal fees.
There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.46pm.