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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Court Bushes Advisory Group

July 23, 2019

 MINUTES of the meeting of the COURT BUSHES Committee held at 8.00 pm on Tuesday 30 July  2019 in the Court Bushes, Willow Way, Hurstpierpoint.  

Committee Members Present 

 Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman)  John Lowman  Peter Griffiths Claire Majsai Duncan Ranger 

Also Present:   

Allan Brown   (Vice-Chair of Council) 

Lorna Cooksey   (Assistant Clerk)  

Nick Sinclair       (Facilities Manager) 

CB19/009.  Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest:  There were no apologies for absence and no declarations of interest.  

CB19/010.  Minutes of the meeting of the Court Bushes Community Hub Working Group 4th June 2019:  The Minutes were received and accepted, and then signed by the Chairman.   

CB19/011.  Matters Arising from Minutes of the Court Bushes Committee of 4th June 2019: There were no matters not otherwise covered on this agenda. 

CB19/012.  Committee Vice-Chairman: The Committee were asked to agree and appoint a Vice-Chairman to the Court Bushes Hub Committee. The Committee Chairman proposed Councillor Griffiths and the committee unanimously agreed with the proposal.  

RESOLVED: Councillor Peter Griffiths is appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Court Bushes Community Hub committee.  

CB19/013.  Financial control:  The Committee considered the following:   

1) Budget 2019/20:  The committee noted the current year budget, as approved by Council 28 February 2019. Court Bushes 2019/20  Budget V6   19 Feb 2019  ATTACHED)  

The Parish Office updated as follows: 

  1. (1) The correct building title is now recorded with VOA. 
  2. (2) The Committee believe that they are eligible for 100% rate relief, alongside that already claimed for South Avenue Cemetery. The PC raised this with MSDC who have advised that the they can only claim SBRR on one property, MSDC would need to assess both buildings, with the PC then claiming relief on the higher value property.  
  3. (3) The PC believe VOA Special category and code – Clubs and Institutions/061 to be incorrect and it should be category and code – Village Halls/293, as per the Village Centre, achieving a reduction from £33 to £23 per unit charge. 
  4. (4) The rateable value has been increased by £1,100 due to valuing 2 outside terrace areas that are not existing. 
  5. (5) A number of discrepancies on the internal dimensions of some area could be queried against the latest floor plans. 

The Committee considered whether to request that the VOA carry out a check on the rates in light of the above findings. It was noted that if a check is made then the PC would have four months from the decision date to make a challenge. (REF:  Court Bushes 2019/20  Budget V6   19 Feb 2019  ATTACHED) 

RESOLVED: The Committee requested a check into the Rateable Value from the Valuation Office Agency on the grounds listed above. 

2) Income/expenditure 2019/20:  The Committee noted the current income/expenditure against budget.  These figures are known income/expenditure to 24th July 2019:  

(REF: Court Bushes Inc Exp  2019 20 v9 19 July 2019 ATTACHED

CB19/014 Award of contracts:   

  1. 1) Installation of Function Room lights: The Committee noted that LTP Electrical replaced the 15 pendant lights in the Function Room on 5th July 2019 for a total cost of £450.00 + VAT.  It was also noted the spacing of the units are not optimal for spotlights so if the room is not bright enough then further lights may need to in due course. 

Whilst on site LTP also fitted an additional plug socket to the Function Room for £62.40 + VAT, which was not included in the original quotation. It was noted that £50 had been received for selling 6 of the old units and that this is to be reflected as Court Bushes income. 

  1. 2) Nursery outside space clearance: The Committee noted there had been a misunderstanding between MSDC, the surfacing contractor and the Parish Council Facilities Manager and that the Parish Council urgently needed carry out the clearance of the weed bed that had established in the Nursery outside space. BH Fencing and Landscaping were appointed to carry out the clearance on Saturday 13th July 2019 including the removal of all arising’s. The Committee then noted that the works to the Nursery outside space had now been completed and the total costs for clearance was £340with no VAT payable. 
  1. 3) Bin store and cycle racks: The Committee noted that BH Fencing and Landscaping installed the bin store and 4 bike racks, including clearing a small area of the carpark back to the edge of the tarmac for siting of the bin store 17th July 2019. The total cost of these works was £1,420.00with no VAT payable
  1. 4) Suiting of locks and alarm system: The Committee noted that all the locks present at the Court Bushes 

Community Hub site have been replaced 17th July 2019, including padlocks and kitchen cupboards, so that the zones can be hired independently from one another. The alarm system has also been set up to work in conjunction with the keys and also allowing alarm operation using key fobs rather than codes, the Facilities Manager updated that there had been a few teething issues with this system but they had all now been resolved by the contractor. The original quote for this works was £3,296.06 + VAT, however, due to an issue arising after MSDC replaced the Club Lounge doors, the final invoice amount will increase slightly. A question was raised on whether the whole lock suiting would need to be replaced if a key was lost,  the Facilities Manager informed the Committee that while a lost key could still be used to access the building, they would be able to disable key fobs so any unauthorised access would trigger an alarm.  

  1. 5) Phone line and broadband: The Committee noted that the Parish Council have now entered into a 2-year contract with BT Business for the supply of digital phoneline and unlimited fibre broadband. The total upfront costs were £133.50 + VAT with ongoing costs of £41.99 + VAT per month.  

An engineer visited site 25th July 2019 and discovered that the phone line support pole within the Community Hub curtilage was no longer connected to the feeder pole on Willow Way. The Parish Council are now responsible for clearing some trees to allow Openreach to access the pole for reconnection. The Committee then agreed that this work could go ahead via delegation to the Chairman and Facilities Manager.   

The Chairman questioned the 4G back up to which the Facilities Manager said he would investigate this service.  The Committee discussed how hirers access the Wi-Fi. It was decided that hirers would be issued the password when collecting keys from the Parish Council office. It was also noted that if the password was periodically changed then the Parish Office would need to keep regular hirers informed.  

(REF: Phone and Broadband Briefing note 24 July 2019 and BT Order Confirmation 9 July 2019 ATTACHED) 

  1. 6) Cleaning: The Committee noted that the cleaning contract had not yet started but that O’Sullivan’s will start attending site for around 2 hours per week starting at the beginning of August to replenish consumables and clean where required. O’Sullivan’s will then increase hours with demand – up to the agreed total of 8 hours per week. The Chairman confirmed with the Facilities Manager that this contract excludes the Nursery Zone.  
  1. 7) Security/keyholding: The Committee noted a recent break-in attempt highlighting the importance of the security systems at Court Bushes Community Hub. The Committee discussed connecting the alarm systems to a 3rd party Keyholder once the broadband goes live. (REF: Security Briefing note 24 July 2019 ATTACHED) 

RESOLVED: The Committee agreed to award the Keyholding/Security services contract to Beacon Security for £300 + VAT per year with a £25 per hour call out fee, subsequent time charged at £20 per hour or part thereof.  

  1. 8) Waste Services: The waste collection service has now been awarded to Horsham District Council for general waste and mixed recycling on an ad-hoc basis. The cost of this is below the amount approved by the committee under minute CB19/006 of the Court Bushes Committee 4th June 2019. The nursery provider will be contributing 50% of these costs and arranging their own clinical waste collection. The sanitary waste collection for the toilets will be awarded to Principle Hygiene in due course.  
  1. 9) Defibrillator: The Committee discussed purchasing a defibrillator and training for Court Bushes Community Hub. It was decided that the Committee supported a defibrillator being installed outside the building adjacent to the main entrance, but it did not have the required funds to purchase.  Therefore, the committee makes a recommendation to Finance & General Purposes Committee to consider funding the device.  

(Ref: Defibrillator Briefing Note 19 July 2019 and Primary Care Quotation 4th July 2019 ATTACHED)  

RECOMMENDATION to the Finance and General Purposed Committee: a defibrillator unit Inc. training, is procured and installed at the Court Bushes Community Hub. 

CB19/015 Forward bookings:  

1)The committee noted that there are six regular bookers who are using the Hub for 17 sessions per month. The interest in hiring has been growing, especially for 21st and 18th birthday parties, meaning that between July and November there is 11 bookings coming from private hires. To date the public (private hire) has been invoiced £933 and regular bookers £1,766. In the summer newsletter more information regarding hiring will be contained, to publicise the building further.  

(2) The committee noted that the Nursery provider will be taking occupation of the dedicated area from 1st August 2019 paying monthly in advance.  

CB19/016 Property management:  The Committee was updated on following points raised at the previous meeting 4th June 2019: 

  1. 1) Surfacing of Nursery outside space – Completed on 26 July 2019 via MSDC Contractors. It has also been noted that there is no handrail protecting children from the steps. With MSDC refusing to install handrails, the Committee are asked to decide on whether this is something they help fund or leave down to the Nursery Provider. 
  2. 2) Removal/realignment of external handrail to Club Lounge entrance (MSDC to do) – MSDC Contractors replaced the door to the Club Lounge area in favour of a 70/30 split arrangement 6th July 2019. The door no longer blocks the access and can be opened from the outside. 
  3. 3) Removal of debris from north side of site.  (MSDC to do) – MSDC indicating that this will be carried out in the winter months once foliage has died back. 
  4. 4) Confirmation of electricity supplier and contract lodged –British Gas have been established as the supplier and account is being arranged with them.  
  5. 5) External lampposts to be supplied and installed – The technical specification has been sent to MSDC planning department to determine whether this can be dealt with via an amendment to the original planning application.  Enquiries have been made with 2 contractors for the installation of the units as the initial quote was thought to be excessive at £4,541.75 + VAT.  
  6. 6) Carpark area to be trimmed and tidied – The PC are currently working with contractors to obtain prices for the clearance works to the carpark, to take the foliage back to the true edges of the carpark. This work would need to be carried out after the bird nesting season has finished and take into consideration the concerns of residents who have been helping to establish a hedgehog haven. Phase 2 of the clearance would be revisited after MSDC clear the dumped waste covered under point 5 (3) of this agenda. 
  7. 7) Terrace areas – This item is yet to be progressed 
  8. 8) Function Room Skylight Leak – During a period of heavy rain 24 June 2019 a leak appeared around the light tunnel of the closed Velux window. VG Builders have been out and assessed the roof and have made some alteration to the lead flashing, although have not found anything conclusive. This issue is to be monitored further. 
  9. 9) Rising Damp – Before the lease was signed, the carpet tiles between the internal Nursery door and the toilets has been damp and mouldy. The plumbing has been checked for leaks and the walls are dry, indicating that the moisture is coming up through the concrete slab. MSDC and VG Builders have assured that this will be monitored throughout the 6-month defects period and rectified as necessary. 
  10. 10) Building Control Issues – it is noted that the Parish Council have still not received accurate figures for the safe room capacities. Through operation of the building and on the recommendation of contractors, the PC have become aware of several concerns relating to the safe access and egress to the building, specifically for disabled or handicapped users. The Committee were asked to consider how to take these issues forward. 

From the update it was agreed that: 

  • – The Facilities Manager was asked to investigate the safety requirements for the nursery outside steps and obtain quotes to make Ofsted compliant.  
  • – The Facilities Manager updated the committee that he should receive quotes from street lighting contractors by the end of the week and the Committee expressed concern that the work must be completed before the clocks change.  
  • – The Facilities Manager was asked to compile a list of potential building control issues that have affected the safety and accessibility of the building since signing the lease. This list would include both outstanding and rectified issues along with who is responsible for Resolving such.  Once a list has been compiled it will be circulated to the committee before taking the issue up with MSDC.  

CB19/017.  Other matters:   

1):  Point Church café requirements:  The Committee considered the CONFIDENTIAL Briefing Note which sets out the offer for the use of space at the Hub by the Clerk and Facilities Manager. The Committee decided that they would not make a charge to recover the costs for installing the plug socket and the cupboard locks but there must be an additional fee to cover storage and energy use.    (The matter is confidential due to the potential commercially sensitive nature).    (REF:  CONFIDENTIAL Briefing Note The Point Church – 24 July 2019 ATTACHED)  

RESOLVED: The Committee AGREED the use of storage space for the Melting Pot Café and decided on an appropriate charge of £40 per month for storage and energy use, which is in addition to the agreed hire rate. 

2) Hurst Colts:  

The Committee discussed issues raised on the agenda relating to Hurst Colts football club. The Facilities Manager read out a recent email from the club Chairman and the following was decided: 

  • – The pedestrian gate on the western fence line would now be left unlocked so that people using the recreation ground can retrieve lost balls. 
  • – The Colts would be issued one key to access their container from the start of the football season until the container has been moved on to the recreation ground.  
  • – Once the container has been moved the key must be returned to the Parish Council and the Facilities Manager is to arrange a meeting between PC, MSDC & Hurst Colts to discuss ongoing parking issues.  
  • – The Parish Office has been asked to keep a separate incident log whilst the Colts retain a key.  

CB19/018 Midwife Services: The Committee noted that one of the Midwives covering the Hurstpierpoint area phoned the Parish Office to enquire about the space available at Court Bushes, with a view to holding some regular clinics in the Village. An update was bought to the committee by the Assistant Clerk and the Committee discussed whether the facilities at Court Bushes would be appropriate for midwife clinics. Further work to facilitating this service within the Village is to be carried out through Community Affairs committee, with an update coming back to this Committee if the space could be made suitable.  

CB19/019 Advisory Group:   

The Committee discussed the advisory group and its current postponements and decided that to prevent delaying action any further, they would like to hold a forum for some key local people to meet and discuss how we might be able to improve community engagement. The Parish Office will investigate a suitable date in September to hold the forum, to take place during a session of the Melting Pot Café.   

CB19/020 Caretaking:   

The Committee discussed the budget to cover caretaking costs at Court Bushes Community Hub. It had been hoped with the suiting of the locks and alarm system that this would not be required, as per the operation of the Hurstpierpoint Village Centre. 

It was noted that two private parties were held over the weekend 19th/20th July which had resulted in several complaints to the Parish Office. Both parties had hired until 11pm which is the latest session end time, even though the licence extends until midnight. On both occasions the parties continued until well after 12pm causing significant noise disturbance from music and attendees talking and shouting outside. 

Alongside the noise complaints the Committee noted that in a 4-day period the Facilities Manager had received 3 out of hour’s phone calls from users including a staff member having to attend site on one occasion. The Facilities Manager verbally updated that he had now been in talks with Beacon Security who would offer a service to attend site and lock up after private evening parties. The operative would ensure users leave site and lock the building but will not assist with cleaning or maintenance issues. The cost of this service would be £25 + VAT per event.  

RESOLVED: Beacon Security is engaged to arrive at 11:30pm to lock up after evening parties at a cost of £25 + VAT per event. This cost will be passed directly to the Hirer with the hiring agreement being amended to reflect a loss of the full £200 deposit if not cleared up and off site by 12pm. 

CB19/021 Other business: 

The Committee raised the below points: 

  • – The mosaic ‘Hub’ sign made during the open event is to be erected on the wall to the right of the main entrance. – Explore the removal of temporary signage at the top of the drive, to be replaced with new signage in Parish Council colours.  
  • – The Committee noted that there has been more vandalism to the perimeter fencing around the building and the fence now has three holes cut in it. The Committee asked that the fence is repaired along the boundary with the recreation ground using a patch, but the work carried out must be effective to hold the fence together. This issue has been reported to the police and a log of incidents will be kept for further action if necessary. 

There being no other business the meeting closed at 10.02 pm       

Chairman 

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