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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

MINUTES of the Meeting of THE ESTATES & FACILITIES MANAGEMENT Committee held at 7.30pm on Thursday 10 February 2022 at Court Bushes Community Centre.

Members present:
Rodney Jackson (Vice Chair) Malcolm Llewellyn Claire Majsai Duncan RangerBob Sampson David Evans Helen Bedford

Also present: Stephen Witchell, Estates and Facilities Manager.  There were two members of the public present.

EF21/22.046 Apologies for absence: Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Allan Brown, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Committee ACCEPTS the apologies for absence from Cllr Allan Brown.

EF21/22.047 Declarations of interest: There were no declarations of interest.

EF21/22.048 Minutes of the previous meeting of the Estates & Facilities Management Committee: The minutes of 11th November 2021 were received and accepted and would be signed by the Vice Chair, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREES the minutes of the previous meeting held on 11th November 2021.

EF21/22.049 Adjournment for questions from the public:  The Committee adjourned the meeting to receive questions from the public.

One member of the public asked when the Reeds Lane Play area would be completed and whether there would be an official opening.  The Estates and Facilities Manager explained that due to a delivery issue the company were waiting on a part to be delivered and the contractors would be on site on Saturday 12th February 2022 to complete the works. The remaining fencing and container would be removed in due course.

The member of the public also asked ‘Has an application for the operation watershed project at Reeds Lane been submitted?  This question was noted and will be answered in due course.

One member of the public asked if there has been any provision to improve the access to the play areas and recreation grounds, namely Fairfield Recreation Ground and Court Bushes Recreation Ground, as they are inaccessible to most users, especially wheelchair users when the ground is wet.  The Committee advised that these sites are owned and maintained by Mid Sussex District council, and it was recommended that they contact MSDC directly, but that the Parish Council would note this and pass this on to MSDC.

EF21/22.050 April 2022 Committee Meeting:  The Committee considered moving the Thursday 14 April 2022 Estates & Facilities Management Committee meeting to 7 April 2022, as Friday 15 April is Easter Friday.  The Committee were in full agreement to move the meeting to the 7th April 2022, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREES to move the next meeting to the 7th April 2022.

EF21/22.051 Monthly Budget Monitoring: The Committee considered the budget monitoring report and there was nothing to add; and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee NOTED the budget monitoring report.

EF21/22.052 Estate & Facilities Update: The Committee considered the update report and noted the contents. 

The Following updates were added by the Estates and Facilities Manager: –

  • Ancient woodland –
    • Bovis/Vistry have to delay the installation of the boardwalk and headwall to March 2022, due to a delayed delivery from the supplier.
    • The Lost Woods project works started on 10th Feb 2022, keys for the emergency access point handed to the contractor and contact numbers for Bovis/Vistry. E&F manager to visit site on Friday 11th Feb 2022.
  • Tree work programme
    • Work programme for 2022/23 almost completed and will be presented at the next E&FM meeting.
    • Hazardous Ash limb in Wilderness wood, E&F manager to meet with contractor on Tuesday 15th Feb 2022, to inspect and organise quote and works.
  • Court Bushes
    • MVG Electrical have inspected the faulty radiator in the function room at Court Bushes on the 8th Feb 2022 and confirmed firstly that there is only one that is faulty. The faulty radiator requires a new control unit, which is unfortunately outside of the warranty. MVG will provide a quote to repair it.
    • We have received one quote to upgrade the lighting in the Function Room at Court Bushes, the E&F Manager is to seek further quotes for comparison.
    • A replacement connector for the faulty bollard on the access track to court bushes.
  • Village Centre
    • The new councillor Wi-Fi code has been created and was given to the attending Committee members.
    • The radiator in the conference room has been repaired by our contractor, there had been further issues with it leading up to the meeting but appears to be working now.
    • The roof repairs on the flat roof above the main foyer should commence in 3 to 4 weeks time (mid-March).

RESOLVED:  That the Committee NOTED the contents of the update report.

EF21/22.053 Review of Parish Action Plan: The Committee reviewed Version 19 of the Action Plan and made the following observations:

  • Item 34a – TenAV has been awarded the contract and it will be implemented by March 2022.
  • Item 35 – Preparation of South Lane and Pitt Lane started, soak away and edging done, resurfacing to start at end of month.
  • Item 36 – Hurst Meadows programme is being followed. Condition 22 not followed in Edgerley Meadow, matter is with MSDC planning officers. Waiting for advice.
  • Item 36 – Perch benches have been discussed and to be installed. Access is going to be improved shortly. We are aware that improvements need to take place.
  • Item 38b – The recommendation for us to apply for Operation Watershed funding (to address the drainage issues at the Reeds Lane Recreation Ground), was mentioned at the previous meeting.  It was stated that we would need to speak to the WSCC drainage team, to obtain advice and approval from WSCC but there had been no response to date. Cllr Llewellyn has spoken to Cllr Joy Dennis. We will therefore submit the application, and quotes are being gathered to achieve this outcome. If we do nothing surface water will continue to discharge into the roads and block the gullies anyway. Cllr Joy Dennis had agreed to hasten getting the road gullies cleared. Once cleared, we hope to also establish how the water drains from Reeds Lane north.
  • Item 39 – Court Bushes decking has been completed.
  • Item 40a. In February 2022 half term holiday the resurfacing of the access road will commence, including the marking of disabled bays and the rear BBQ area will also be surfaced. Next financial year, resurfacing of whole car park is due to take place.
  • Item 40b on completion of the main car park resurfacing the additional storage will be explored.
  • Item 41 – Ongoing until warmer weather.
  • To be noted – the front door at Court Bushes Hub is not power assisted and the ramp may not be DDA compliant.

RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED that the Action Plan be updated and recommended to the Council on 24th February 2022 for adoption.

EF21/22.054 Update on Court Bushes Recreation Grounds: The Committee received a verbal update on the informal discussions with Mid Sussex District Council over future plans for Court Bushes Recreation Ground.

The Management group have had a series of meetings with MSDC to discuss the future of the play areas, recreation grounds and other sites with Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common.  MSDC are creating a strategy, and they have ranked each site, however nothing has been presented to the district councillors yet. The Parish Council has fed in our thoughts on what improvements are needed some of which they had already identified. It should be highlighted that MSDC and the Parish Council had over looked the paths to the play area and this will be relayed to MSDC.  

MSDC are creating a masterplan for all the sites within the DIstrict and once created it will tell us what they are hoping to improve, and which improvements are a priority. At Court Bushes a pump track has been suggested, a revamp of the skate park and improvements to the football pitches.  A masterplan is needed to include who is going to do what and in what time scale. The football club have drawn up a 4G pitch, and the pump track proposal and a skate park revamp are priorities for other parties. The new outdoor facilities in Burgess Hill may be better suited for the football clubs aspirations. Court Bushes may retain grass pitches with improved drainage.

New paths, improved drainage and resting benches on MSDC sites was also suggested and it will be fed into the MSDC masterplan, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee NOTED the update on the informal discussions with Mid Sussex District Council over future plans for sites in the parish.

EF21/22.055 Cemetery Chapel – Stained Glass Windows: The Committee reviewed two quotes for repairs to the Chapel windows at a cost of £1,124+VAT and to allow a further £100+VAT for replacing metal support bars if required and a second quote from Tilley’s Stonemasons for resolving damp issues around the southwest window at a cost of £885+VAT.  The Committee agreed to carry out these works, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED to proceed with both quotes:

1)     The quote from Silver-Stained Glass for repairs to the Chapel windows at a cost of £1,124+VAT and to allow a further £100+VAT for replacing metal support bars if required; and

2)     The quote from Tilley’s Stonemasons for resolving damp issues around the southwest window at a cost of £885+VAT. 

EF21/22.056 Hurst Meadows Volunteer sessions: The Committee noted the volunteer work taking place in the Wilderness to remove invasive weeds on Fridays from 9.30-11.30am and the informal bird walks on the last Sunday each month.

It was also noted: –

  • The invasive weed species planned to be removed at the next session is variegated archangel.
  • There will be tours of Hurst Meadow for 90 children from the local school.
  • The next Hurst Meadows Advisory Group meeting is due shortly.

RESOLVED: That the Committee NOTED the update given on the Hurst Meadows volunteer sessions.

EF21/22.057 Mid Sussex Rewilding Project: The committee considered potential sites within the parish suitable for the proposed MSDC rewilding project.

  • Dr Georgina Judd is speaking with Cllr Alison Bennett about the Blue heart project and other schemes, which have been identified for mainly MSDC sites. It was agreed that all the schemes need to be pulled together. The deadline for us to offer up sites was 31st Jan 2022, the parish council has not offered up any sites at this time but would be happy to discuss further in the next financial year. If anyone has any suggestions for sites that could be used, please contact Cllr Claire Majsai.
  • No Mow May went well last year and we will be looking to do this again this year.
  • The community verge project has been harder to achieve, however Dr Georgina Judd has been in discussions with WSCC.

RESOLVED: That the Committee NOTED the update given on the Mid Sussex Rewilding Project.

EF21/22.058 Land at Brown Twins Road:

The Committee received a verbal update on the land at Brown Twins Road.  The Parish Council has taken on management of the land at Ladies walk on a 25-year license which is owned by the Hurstpierpoint Society.  Adjacent to this is a piece of land licensed by the Hurstpierpoint Society from WSCC.  WSCC advised that if we are interested in taking over this land, the parish council will need to get a red book valuation of the land and take it back to WSCC.  The process is underway.

RESOLVED: That the Committee NOTED the update given on land at Brown Twins Road.

Information Item, Correspondence received or Requests: The Committee noted the signage to be placed in the Green circle, to indicate the boundary of Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common Parish, which will be sent to MSDC for approval.

There being no other business, the Vice Chair closed the meeting at 20.42.