MINUTES of the Meeting of the Finance + General Purposes Committee held at 8.00pm on Thursday 11
February 2016 in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.
Committee Members Present
|Stephen Hand (Chairman) |
|Martin Machan |
1 Member of the public
Stephen Hoyles – CLERK TO THE COUNCIL
F15/058. Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest: The following apologies for absence were received prior to the meeting and accepted: John Lowman, Judith Marsh.
All Members declared a personal interest in item F15/063.7 Buildings: (1) Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club, as the Council is the landlord. Stephen Hand and Martin Machan declared a personal interest in item F15/063.5 Recreation Grounds: (1) Bowling Club parking, as Members of the Club.
F15/059. Minutes of the Finance + General Purposes Committee of 7 January 2016: The Minutes were received and adopted and signed by the Chairman.
F15/060. Adjournment for questions from the public: The Committee considered whether to adjourn the Meeting in accordance with clause 3(e) of Standing Orders, in order to receive questions from members of the public in attendance.
RESOLVED : The Committee Meeting is adjourned.
A member of the public raised comments about the recent safety improvement works in the High Street, Hurstpierpoint, saying that he had recently met a representative of WSCC Highways to discuss the matter. The member of public also raised concerns about carparking on the bus-stop at the southern end of Cuckfield Road, and suggested that the Health Centre carpark in Trinity Road should be used for public parking at weekends. The Meeting then resumed.
F15/061. FINANCIAL MATTERS:
F15/061.1 Payments and receipts: The Committee was asked to approve payment of accounts totalling £8,884.01 for month 11 (February), and the revised payments of £11,686.42 for Month 10 (January 2016) and the receipts of 5,215.48 for month 9 (December 2015) and £31,203.12 for month 10 (January 2016) which included the transfer of
£30,000 from the Council’s CCLA account (Ref: Schedules 433, 434 2016)
RESOLVED: the Committee approves the schedule of payments of £8,884.01 for Month 11 )February 2016) and the revised schedule of payments of £11,686.42 for Month 10 (January 2016).
F15/061.2 Financial monitoring: The Committee noted the following Accounts Records in accordance with the Financial Regulations of the Council:
- (1) Bank reconciliation and Trial Balance for Month 9 (December 2015) and Month 10 (January 2016),.
- (2) Income/Expenditure Quarterly reports (Month 9 – December 2015)
It was noted that the property income was low in the year to date, but that receipts were expected during the next month. The committee also requested that Income/Expenditure schedules for Months 11 and 12 be submitted to the March and April meetings.
F15/061.3. Deposits and Investment: The Committee noted that the Council was currently holding the following funds:
|6||24/09/2015||0.00||National savings NSI||‘138058219||Gratuity Fund|
The Committee noted that the Chairman of Council and the Clerk authorised the transfer of £30,000.00 from the CCLA account to the Cooperative Current Account on 21 January 2016 which was duly exercised 22 January 2016. (Ref: MEMO CCLA Funds 21 January 2016)
- (1) Village Garden: The committee noted that the reconstruction of the retaining wall and steps is almost complete and the Chantry House entrance pillar is being rebuilt, as agreed by the Committee.
- (2) Stilwell Partnership: The Committee noted that the Council’s highway consultant Stilwells had become part of the Parsons Group of consulting engineers, effective December 2015. It is not expected that this will affect the current working arrangements. (Ref: Stilwells ltr 27 January 2016)
- (3) Hanging baskets – High Street: It was noted that tenders had been invited for the supply and fixing of the hanging baskets, under the supervision of Community Affairs Committee.
F15/061.5 Leases: It was noted that the new lease forChantry Stables was awaited from solicitors Mayo Wynne Baxter.
F15/061.6 External Audit – Audit appointments: The Committee noted the Smaller Authorities Audit
Appointments update. The Council has previously agreed that it will opt in to the new arrangements. (Ref: Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments update 27 January 2016)
F15/061.7 Community Affairs Committee – grants: The Committee noted that Community Affairs Committee at their meeting 28 January 2016 (Minute CA463.2 ) agreed a grant of £500 to the Hurstpierpoint Traders group towards the purchase of jute bags for customers. The bags are to include free literature about the community and are therefore judged to be of community benefit. The amount of grant exceeded the available budget by £100, but there was other underspend in the Tourism and Attractiveness budget line, so the overall Committee spending remains within budget.
F15/061.8 IRNG Solar – contribution to parish funds: The Parish Council had recommended refusal of this application for a solar farm at Goddards Green, but MSDC granted permission. In response to the views expressed by the Parish Council about the protection of habitats, the applicant has made available a contribution of £20,000 to Parish Council funds. The applicant has stated that there would be no conditions and the Council would be able to determine the appropriate use of the funds. The Committee was asked to confirm that the contribution is accepted. It was further agreed that Council would be asked to decide the appropriate allocation once the funds had been received.(Ref: MSDC
Application ref DM/15/1518; IRNG Solar email 9 February 2016; HP&SCPC email 3 October 2015) RESOLVED: The Council accepts the offer of £20,000 as parish council funds.
F15/062.1 Action List 2015/16: The Committee noted the Action List for the Council Year 2015/16. (Ref: ACTION LIST 2015/16 rev8 2 February 2016)
F15/062.2 South Avenue Play Area: MSDC have advised that they will call a special meeting of their Grants Panel
in order to consider the Parish Council’s application for s106 funds for this project. This meeting will be called after the funds are received, which is expected by the end of February 2016.
F15/062.3 Streetlight Replacement Scheme: The Committee was asked to approve the tender documents for issue. The following matters apply:
- a) The scope of work is for the replacement of all Council-owned columns and lanterns, other than those previously replaced in the last three years. This is for 69 contemporary columns with LED lights, 19 heritage columns with bowl lanterns, and 50 LED lights fixed to brackets or existing poles.
- b) The contemporary columns and LED lanterns will be to a similar pattern as those installed by SSE in 2015 under the WSCC PFI contract, for WSCC-owned lights, in all areas except for the High Street.
- c) The heritage columns and lanterns in Hassocks Road, Albourne Road, and Wickham Hill will be to a similar pattern as those installed by SSE in 2015 under the WSCC PFI contract, for WSCC-owned lights, in the High Street. These are a ‘heritage’ style and the lantern bowls will have sodium lights as LED do not work with this style.
- d) The contract includes for the supply of all materials and installation, and for the underground cabling, which would be subcontracted to an approved operator.
- e) Tenders will be invited from not less than three suitable contractors with a return date of 31 March 2016.
- f) The funding for the work is dependent on a satisfactory loan from PWLB, to be approved by Council.
- g) The contract would commence May 2016 and the contract period would be 15 weeks.
In discussion, it was requested that investigation be made into the requirements of South Downs National Park
Authority,for streetlighting, particularly as it might apply to Brighton Road. It was also noted that the draft documents were not consistent regarding the intended timetable for the works, which should be clarified.
(Ref: Tender – Replacement Streetlights in Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common – February 2016)
RESOLVED: The Committee approves the scope of work and the terms of the contract and agrees that tenders shall be issued.
F15/062.4 High Street Improvements Scheme: The Committee noted that the 20mph signs had been installed
(week from 25 January 2016) and that minor repairs and road marking had been completed, in accordance with the recommendations of the Stage 3 Safety Audit. WSCC had been asked to advise on a post-scheme review which will in due course be reported to the Traffic and Parking Working Group. (Ref: HP&SCPC email High Street Review 8 January 2016)
F15/063. OPERATIONS: (exception reports only) F15/063.1 Street lighting: Nothing to report.
F15/063.2 Toilets: Nothing to report.
- (1) Tree survey: the survey was completed in January 2016 and is being assessed. If some maintenance surgery is required, then this will be reported to the Committee in due course, but there was no requirement for immediate action. The committee noted that there were notable overgrown trees on Albourne Road, by Mossy Mile, which could be a hazard to traffic. It was noted that these were in private ownership, but that WSCC Highways would be advised. (Ref Tree Survey Report – Owen Allpress January 2016)
- (2) South Avenue, Hurstpierpoint: It had been brought to the attention of the Council that the trees on each side of South Avenue, alongside the Recreation Ground, are of considerable height and overwhelming the area. Those on the east side are owned by WSCC (as public highway) and those on the west by the Parish Council. It is suggested that investigations are made with WSCC and the District Tree Officer to assess what reductions might be possible. RECOMMENDATION to COUNCIL: Investigations are made into the reduction of the trees in South Avenue.
F15/063.4 Cemetery: Some members of the public had raised concerns about the leaf-fall and root damage being caused by the eight Swamp Cypress trees in the Garden of Rest area. Previously the Council has sought permission to replace the trees with smaller more suitable species, but the Planning Authority (MSDC) has refused on the grounds that the trees are protected and are subject to TPO’s. It was suggested that the matter is becoming a major issue and that the Council presses for the removal of at least most of the trees. The Committee was therefore asked to RECOMMEND to Council that investigations are made towards an application for the removal of the trees and, if refused, then consideration would be given to an appeal. It was further proposed that consideration is given to engaging a professional arboriculturist to advise on the application, which may result in cost to the Council.
RECOMMENDATION to COUNCIL: An application is made for the removal of most or all of the Swamp Cypress trees in the Garden of Rest, following consultation with the District Tree Officer. The Parish Council engages a specialist to advise on the application.
F15/063.5 Recreation Grounds:
(1) Bowling Club parking: The Club have an arrangement with the Council to allow car parking on the southern section of South Avenue Recreation Ground on 4 occasions in the year. They had an additional special event on Sunday
14 August 2016 and asked if they could be permitted to add this as a ‘parking’ day. It was suggested that this was acceptable. (Ref: Bowling club email 231 January 2016)
RESOLVED : The Bowling Club is permitted to arrange car parking at South Avenue Recreation Ground on 14 August 2016.
(2) South Avenue Recreation Ground – boundary hedge: The adjacent landowner wished to reconstruct the hedgerow, which is in poor condition, along the boundary between the Recreation ground and the private drive to South Lodge. The hedgerow is on Council owned land and it was for the Council to agree to the reconstruction. The landowner wished to undertake the work in Spring 2016 and was willing to fund the full cost. (Ref: Landscape Vision Report –
Hedgerow recommendation January 2016; Email Colin Whelan 19 January 2016)
RESOLVED: The Council agrees to the reconstruction of the hedgerow on the southern boundary of South Avenue Recreation Ground, at the cost of the adjacent landowner.
F15/063.6 Dog waste bins: Significant problems were experienced when the MSDC contractor failed to collect the waste on some or all of the bins on 15 and 22 January 2016. A number of complaints were received and MSDC advised. The Committee noted that the existing rota of collection was at maximum, and any additional bins would require a stepchange in the rota, with its associated costs.
(1) Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club: In its capacity as landlord the Council has received formal notification of the Club’s proposals for an extension of the clubhouse. This matter was considered from a planning view, by the Council’s Planning committee on 4 February 2016 and no objection raised. A new lease for the clubhouse and green was granted by the Council in August 2014 to run until 1 April 2033. A rent review is due at 1 April 2018. It was suggested that there is little value in reviewing the rent in advance of that date, and the Committee RECOMMENDS to Council that it has no objection to the proposals, that the lease is adjusted to reflect the changes, and that the rent review in 2018 will take account of the enhanced clubhouse. (Ref: Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club, letter Stirling Design + Construction Ltd 6
January 2016; Bowling Club lease 14 August 2014)
RECOMMENDATION to COUNCIL: The Council has no objection to the proposed extension of the Bowling Club clubhouse and authorises the appropriate adjustment of the lease. The rent will be reviewed in April 2018 to reflect the changes.
F15/063.8 Allotments: Nothing to report.
F15/063.9 Public enquiries: The Committee was advised that the Parish Office maintains a Customer log of all public enquiries and which is available for inspection by Members.
There being no other business the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.05 pm Chairman