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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Minutes of the Council Meeting held on Thursday 30 November 2023 at 7.30 pm at Hurstpierpoint Village Centre.

Members Present:

Cllr Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman) Cllr Michael Avery Cllr Sarah Baldey Cllr Helen Bedford Cllr Susan Dyke Cllr David Evans Cllr Mark Froud  Cllr Rodney Jackson Cllr Duncan Ranger Cllr Bob Sampson Cllr Julia Shorrocks Cllr Annette Street Cllr Lindsay Thompson 

Also Present:  Sarah Groom (Clerk), Cllr Alison Bennett and Cllr Geoff Zeidler (MSDC).

C23/24.087: To receive and accept apologies for absence:  Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Majsai.  Apologies were also received from Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC), and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Council ACCEPTS the apologies for absence for Cllr Majsai.

C23/24.088: To receive and record declarations of interest:  Cllr Dyke declared an interest in the Fees & Charges Review as her husband was an allotment tenant.

C23/24.089: To receive and accept the minutes of the previous meeting of the Council held on 26 October 2023:  Members reviewed the minutes of the previous meeting, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES the minutes of the meeting held on 26 October 2023.

C23/24.090: Adjournment for Questions from the Public: Members considered adjourning the meeting to receive questions from members of the public in accordance with Standing Orders.  There were no members of the public present.

C23/24.091: Reports from Other Authorities: Members received reports from representatives of:

C23/24.091.1: West Sussex County Council (WSCC):  Cllr Dennis was not able to attend the meeting.

C23/24.091.2: Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC):  Cllr Zeidler had sent a written report that had been circulated to Members and expended on the update on the District Plan review.  MSDC will agree the timetable for the Regulation 19 consultation at its meeting on 13 December which is expected to be a six week consultation period from 12 January to 26 February 2024.    Following that a Planning Inspector will decide if the Plan is legal and sound.  Cllr Bennett also explained how and when potential development sites were subjected to detailed ecology reports.

Cllr Bennett updated Members on the lack of progress to temporarily reduce the number of electrical vehicle charging points in the Trinity Road car park.  Cllr Bennet had raised her concerns about the lack of youth provision in rural areas.  A new Enforcement Officer is pursuing the cases at Alders Farm and 145 High Street, amongst others. Cllr Dyke requested a follow-up update on the planned junior football pitch for Fairfield Recreation Ground which is now listed as being provided in eight years time.   Cllr Avery reported two lights that had failed in Trinity Road car park and the need for the street sweeper in College Lane.  Cllr Evans asked why the Hub sign at “Panatonni Park” said it was in Burgess Hill and sought assurances that any proposed development at Goddards Green under the draft District Plan would include designated green/nature areas to screen the development from the adjacent countryside. Cllr Jackson invited all councillors to his Civic Service at Holy Trinity Church as Chairman of MSDC.  The Chairman thanked Cllrs Zeidler, Bennett and Jackson for their reports.  Cllrs Zeidler and Bennett left the meeting at 8.12pm.

C23/24.092: Committee Minutes: Members received the minutes of the:

C23/24.092.1: Planning Committee (30 October 2023) There were no recommendations for Council.

C23/24.092.2: Community Engagement Committee (9 November 2023) There were no recommendations for Council.  Cllr Dyke advised Members that the residents from Sayers Common that had been present had discussed planning a Christmas event in Sayers Common next year and had been invited to apply for a grant.

C23/24.092.3: Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (23 November 2023) There were two recommendations for Council:

  1. F23/24.077: Fees & Charges 2024/25:  The Committee reviewed the briefing note setting out the schedule of proposed charges for 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025, and it was:  RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREED to recommend the schedule of annual charges for 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025 to Council for adoption, as amended.

RESOLVED:  That Council AGREES the schedule of annual charges for 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025.

  1. F23/24.083: Draft Winter Plan 2023/24: The Committee considered a draft Winter Plan with a revised approach to previous years, for recommendation to Council for adoption, and it was:  RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREED to recommend the draft Winter Plan to Council for adoption.

RESOLVED:  That Council AGREES and ADOPTS the Winter Plan 2023/24 and it would be placed on the website as a word document so residents could use the links to other websites.

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

  1. Planning Committee (30 October 2023)
  2. Community Engagement Committee (9 November 2023)
  3. Finance, Governance & Estates Committee (23 November 2023).

C23/24.093: Future of Village Centre Charity:  Members considered the future of the Village Centre Charity from the Parish Council perspective, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council NOTES the work of the Village Centre Trustees to consider the future of the charity and the action the Parish Council may need to take in due course to agree a way forward.

C23/24.094: Assets of Community Value:  Members considered adding the Methodist Church on Cuckfield Road to the Mid Sussex District Council list of assets of community value which requires the owners to pause their sale for six months to allow the community to raise funds to purchase it instead.  A vote was taken with 11 for and 2 abstaining so the motion was carried. It was agreed to include a mention in the Hurst Life article to ask the community what it wishes to do, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to add the Methodist Church on Cuckfield Road to the Mid Sussex District Council list of assets of community value.

C23/24.095: Reports from Representative on Outside Bodies: Members received reports from representative on outside bodies as follows: 

C23/24.095.1: Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC): Cllr Jackson reported on the MSALC AGM held on 14 November 2023 at the Village Centre, which covered items such as hybrid meetings, improving partnership working between town and parish councils and MSDC, and planning for a conference.

C23/24.095.2: Hurstpierpoint Society:  Cllr Dyke reported that the Society were still waiting to hear if the Parish Council needed any funds from them for the watering of the Walnut Tree Copse, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Council NOTES the reports from representatives on outside bodies.

C23/24.096: Information Items:

C23/24.096.1: Christmas Office Closing:  Members noted the office will be closed from 1.30pm on Friday 22 December 2023 and will re-open at 9.30am on Tuesday 2 January 2024.

C23/24.096.2: Sussex Police Letter:  Members noted the letter dated 30 November 2023 from Temporary Acting Chief Constable Howard Hodges regarding security of elected representatives and asked if their home addresses had to be published on the Register of Interests on the website.

C23/24.096.3: The Point Church:  Members noted that The Point Church may be merging with St. Andrews’ Church in Burgess Hill which has a large venue.  This may affect their bookings at Court Bushes Community Hub.

C23/24.096.4: Santa Sunday:  Members noted the Hurst Community Events were hosting Santa Sunday on Sunday 3 December 2023 in the High Street and all were encouraged to attend.

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:

C23/24.097: Staff Panel:  Members considered the confidential briefing paper with recommendations from the Staff Panel meeting held on Monday 23 October 2023, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREED the recommendations in the confidential briefing paper from the Staff Panel of 23 October 2023.

C23/24.098: Mid Sussex District Plan 2021-2039 Review Update:  Members received a further verbal update on the last meeting with MSDC attended by the Chairman and Planning Consultant on 12 October.  A further informal meeting had been held with representatives of Albourne and Twineham Parish Councils attended by the Chaiman and Cllr Froud.  MSDC had also invited the Parish Council to a briefing on 18 December which will be attended by Cllr Shorrock, the Planning Consultant and Clerk.  Following confirmation of the Regulation 19 consultation time scales the next major focus for the Parish Council will be on the response to Reg 19. Due to the increased work and time being spent on this matter it was agreed to increase the hours of the Planning Consultant to include an informal meeting with the Members to ensure all issues and points were considered and understood and fed into the Reg 19 feedback from the Parish Council, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Council AGREES to use a further 20 hours of the Planning Consultants time due to the increase of work to date and the forthcoming Regulation 19 consultation response including a meeting with all Members to help develop that response.

There being no other business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.22pm.