MINUTES of the Meeting of the Council held on Thursday 27 October 2016 at 8.00pm in the Village Hall, Brighton Road, Sayers Common.
Stephen Hand – Chairman
Allan Brown Martin Machan
Rosemary Burns Judith Marsh
David Evans Pam Mitchell
Amanda Geel Bob Sampson
Rodney Jackson Julia Shorrocks
Tony Lank Steve Whitehead
John Lowman Also Present:
3 Members of the public
Colin Trumble (MSDC Ward member)
Stephen Hoyles CLERK TO THE COUNCIL
C16/052. Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: The following apologies for absence were received before the meeting and accepted: Peter Griffiths (WSCC Ward member), John Wilkinson (MSDC Ward member). Judith Marsh declared a personal non-pecuniary interest in item C16/059. Planning matters – Kingsland Laines, Sayers Common: There were no other declarations of interest.
C16/053. Minutes and Confidential Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 22
September 2016: The Council received and accepted the minutes which were then signed by the Chairman. RESOLVED: The Minutes and Confidential Minutes of the Council meetings of 22 September 2016 are approved.
C16/054. Matters arising from the Minutes of the Council held on 22 September 2016:
(1) Minute C16/048 Councillor Vacancies: The Council noted that no petition had been received by the closing date of 18 October 2016, for an election, and that the Council should now proceed with co-option to fill the vacancy. Notices have been posted inviting candidates to apply. The following programme now applied:
Councillor information session: 7.00pm Wednesday 9 November 2016
Application deadline: Monday 14 November 2016
Candidate interviews: Tuesday 22 November 2016 (undertaken by the Staff and Governance Panel) Proposal to Council: Thursday 24 November 2016.
The Council was asked to confirm these arrangements. (Ref: Local Government Act 1972 s87)
RESOLVED: The Council confirms the arrangements for the co-option of a Member of Council.
There were no other matters arising from the Minutes which were not covered elsewhere on this agenda.
C16/055. Adjournment for questions from the public: There was no request from the public present so Council was not required to consider whether to adjourn the Meeting in accordance with clause 70 of Standing Orders.
C16/056. Reports from other authorities: The Council received verbal reports from representatives of other Authorities:
- (1) Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC): Cllr Colin Trumble reported: (1) District Plan: The EiP was due to start 29 November 2016. The Inspector had set some challenging questions on housing matters, to which MSDC had strongly responded. It was understood that there was interest from the Prime Minister’s office regarding the particular planning process in Mid Sussex. (2) 3SC Devolution: The progress was now uncertain following the new Government administration in July 2016. There was thought to be a focus on ‘infrastructure deficit’ issues. (3) South Downs National Park Authority: the Authority would be taking back the planning process from MSDC from April 2017. The process had been costly for MSDC. A question was raised about the role of the senior planning officer and it was noted that Mr Chris Tunnel, seconded from consultants Arup, was currently fulfilling the role, reporting to deputy Chief Executive Judy Holmes.
- (2) West Sussex County Council County Local Committee (WSCC/CLC) : Cllr Peter Griffiths was not present on this occasion.
- (3) Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC) : Rodney Jackson reported: (1) WSALC
AGM and conference 17 October 2016: considered the WSCC ‘Green offer’, community resilience, devolution, economic growth, and Cil issues. (2) NALC AGM and conference 19 October 2016: opposition to Government referendum capping proposals, devolution, NALC constitution, Planning Bill, fee increases of 1.9%. (3) MSALC 25 October 2016: Officer changes, Awards for All, lottery funds, Community projects; WSCC Watershed funds, footway repairs, reduction in PCSO’s, PCC drive to alert elderly on internet/telephone scams, Community Warden in Haywards Heath. Also, new housing permissions in Cuckfield and Hassocks outside N’hood Plan proposals, Henfield N’hood Plan withdrawal, WSCC education funding reductions, MSDC District Plan correspondence. A question was raised about the Parish Council’s view of the Government’s proposals for capping Parish Councils (a local referendum would be required above a 2% precept increase for councils currently over £500,000 and above Band D at £75. In Discussion the Council noted that it did not object to the proposals.
C16/057. Committee and Working Group minutes: The Committee Chairmen (or in their absence the Vice-chairman) introduced each Minutes, which the Council was asked to receive and where appropriate, consider the RECOMMENDATIONS::
C16/057.1 Planning Committee (6 October 2016)
C16/057.2 Finance + General Purposes Committee (13 October 2016)
- (1) F16/037.6 Review of charges :The Committee considered the annual review of charges and made a
RECOMMENDATION to Council. (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE: Review of Charges – 4 October 2016) RESOLVED: The Review of charges 4 October 2016 is approved.
- (2) F16/040.7 Buildings: (1) Chantry Stables lease – Co-op request: The Committee agreed to
RECOMMEND to COUNCIL to agree to granting permission to tenants Hurstpierpoint Community Charity for Chantry Stables to be sub-let (assigned) to the Co-op, on a temporary basis. The background was detailed in the BRIEFING NOTE. (Ref: Email Co-op 7 October 2016; Email Michael Barnes 7 October 2016; Chantry
Stables lease 20 July 2016; BRIEFING NOTE Chantry Stables 12 October 2016)
RESOLVED: That permission is granted to the Trustees of Hurst Community Charity (the tenants) to sub-let Chantry Stables to Co-operative Group for a period of up to 6 months from 1 November 2016, for the purposes of a temporary food shop. The rent defined in the lease will apply and the rent rebate to Hurst community Charity will not apply for the period of sub-let.
C16/057.3 Strategic Policy Working Group (11 October 2016)
(1) SP16/14. Current issues: (2) Affordable Housing: The Working Group noted that the current MSDC Housing Allocations policy is for new build houses to be only available to people with local connections. If a local second-hand house is vacated by those moving to a new local home, then the vacated second-hand house is also only available to those with a local connection. A question was raised about the actual size of the housing list for local people, and it was noted that the list operated on a ‘bid’ system, so that anyone on the list could bid for a property, regardless of their assessed need, but those with greater need would always receive priority. In discussion it was noted that there was anecdotal evidence of housing need for single young people, who were currently living with parents. The Working Group was advised that a formal Local Housing Needs Survey would be necessary if the Council wished to embark on further housing provision. After discussion it was agreed to make recommendations to Council.
In discussion the Council agreed its preference for rented rather than shared ownership homes and noted that housing associations other than Affinity Sutton were sometimes appropriate for local situations. It was requested that the MSDC be invited to make a presentation to the Parish Council on their current housing allocations policies. (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE : Parish Plan – Action Plan 2016 -21 – Affordable Housing (item 9) – 28 September 2016)
RESOLVED: The Council notes the current affordable housing provision in the Parish, and agrees that if an opportunity arises for the Parish Council to provide further housing, then:
- (1) The Council will work with MSDC as the Local Housing Authority and their agents Affinity Sutton Housing Association.
- (2) That a formal Housing Needs Survey would be required to identify local requirements.
- (3) That Option (1) – Develop Existing Site is the preferred route.
C16/057.4 High Street Review Joint Working Party (10 October 2016 )
C16/057.5 Community Affairs Committee: (27September 2016) The Council was asked to consider the appointment of a Member to fill the current vacancy on the Committee.
C16/058. Mid Sussex District Plan: The Council noted that the Plan was formally submitted to the
Planning Inspectorate in August 2016. An Inspector (Mr Jonathan Bore) had been appointed and had produced initial comments (15 September 2016) which raised a number of questions about the housing targets and the District Council’s background work and consultations. The District Council responded (29 September 2016) and their response raised some issues about their process of the Development Plan Document (DPD) to identify further housing sites, following the expected adoption of the Plan.
The Inspector had set public hearings for 29 November to 2 December 2016, at which specific issues on housing will be raised, following which the Inspector will convene a meeting on 9 December 2016 to advise how he expects the Plan Examination in Public to proceed. There was a deadline of 9 November 2016 by which any representations on housing should be lodged. The Parish Council had confirmed its support for the submitted District Plan (Minute C16/017 26 May 2016) and it was not intended that representations would be made.
However, it was suggested that the Strategic Policy Working Group, at its meeting on 8 November 2016, considers the MSDC response of 29 September 2016 and decides whether comments are sent to MSDC regarding the DPD process, if necessary in time to meet the deadline for representations. (Ref: Planning Inspectorate ltr – District Plan Initial Questions 15 September 2016; MSDC ltr Inspector’s Initial Questions – 29
September 2016; Planning Inspectorate email 13 October 2016 – MSDC District Plan.)
RESOLVED: The Council appoints the Strategic Policy Working Group to consider a Parish Council response to the Mid Sussex DC proposed DPD process.
C16/059. Planning matters – Kingsland Laines, Sayers Common: The Council was advised that the application for 40 houses had now been approved. The application (Ref: DM/15/1467) was lodged in April 2015, opposed by the Parish Council, but granted permission by MSDC in April 2016. The DCLG Secretary of State called-in the application, citing concerns about conformity with the planning process. However, the SoS has now advised that he has reversed the call-in, effectively allowing MSDC to proceed with their permission.
The application for 120 houses, on the same but extended site, remains with the DCLG SoS for decision, but he has now said that he wishes to re-open the enquiry before deciding. The application was lodged in April 2012, opposed by the Parish Council and refused by the District Council in October 2012. There followed an appeal at which the Inspector recommended permission, but was overturned by the DCLG SoS, citing non-conformity with the Neighbourhood Plan. There followed a judicial review, a further refusal by the SoS, and second judicial review, and the matter again referred to the SoS where it now rests. No date has been set for the further inquiry and it is not yet clear how it will be conducted. However, it is proposed that the Parish Council appoints its Planning Consultant Dowsett Mayhew to make representations opposing the application, citing the current made
Neighbourhood Plan. (ref: DCLG ltr 12 October 2016 – DM/15/1467 – 40-house application; DCLG ltr 14 October 2016 – 12/01540 – 120-house application)
RESOLVED: The Council appoints its Planning Consultant to make representations to the re-opened inquiry on the Kingsland Laines application for 120 houses.
C16/060. Routine Annual Reviews: The Council was asked to consider the following and approve as required:
(1) Bank mandate: The Financial Regulations (section 1.14) require the Council to annually review the bank mandate signatories. The current arrangements are that any two from the following list of Members must sign any authorisation or cheque for any of the Council’s bank accounts: Rodney Jackson, Stephen Hand, Allan Brown, Judith Marsh and Bob Sampson. For reasons of availability it was proposed that Tony Lank replaces Judith Marsh
RESOLVED: The Council approves the bank mandate as requiring any two of the following Members to authorise bank transactions and instructions: Rodney Jackson, Stephen Hand, Allan Brown, Tony Lank, Bob Sampson.
C16/061. High Street Economy Working Group: The Council was asked to agree to closing the Working Group with immediate effect. (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE: High Street Economy Working Group 11 October 2016 )
RESOLVED: The High Street Economy Working Group has addressed the key issues, which have now been taken up by other forums, and the Group is therefore closed.
C16/062. Christmas 2016 arrangements:
- (1) Christmas reception – Monday 19 December 2016: The Chairman suggested that a social meeting takes place in the evening at Holy Trinity Church, as in recent years. Council Members and partners are invited and a modest charge made to cover costs. Staff members and partners would also be invited and their cost is met by the Council. It was agreed that District and County Ward Members and partners are invited.
- (2) Parish Office: Council considered the following: The public holidays this Christmas are Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 December and Monday 2 January 2017. The experience is that the period between Christmas and the New Year is extremely quiet and a number of businesses and organisations do not operate during this time.
It is therefore proposed that the Parish Office closes at midday Friday 23 December and reopens 9.00 am Tuesday 3 January 2016. Emergency contact numbers would be available for the Clerk. The periods not covered by public holiday would be taken as annual staff leave or time in lieu of overtime worked.
RESOLVED: The Parish Office closes over the Christmas and New Year period between 23 December and 3 January.
C16/063. Information items, correspondence received and requests: The Council is asked to note:
- (1) West Sussex County Council – County Local Committees: WSCC have confirmed their changes to the CLC’s effective May 2017. Mid Sussex CLC’s will reduce from 3 to 2. (Ref: WSCC email 17 October
- (2) Southern Water – Stakeholder workshop: 4 November 2016, Amex Stadium, Brighton.
(Ref: SSALC email 3 October 2016)
- (3) Sussex Countryside Trust: Appeal for funds (Ref: ltr CPRE 4 October 2016)
- (4) Pond Lye: Sussex Piscatorial Society have acquired the pond area at the beginning of October 2016.
(Ref: Sussex Piscatorial Society email 14 October 2016)
- (5) MSDC Taxi Penalty Points Scheme – consultation: MSDC are consulting with a closing date of 13
December 2016. (Ref: MSDC email 19 October 2016 – Public Consultation on Draft Taxi Penalty Points Scheme)
- (6) SSALC Newsletter (September 2016)
- (7) WSCC 3-1 travel card: The recent decision by the County council to withdraw this card was noted with concern and it was agreed that the Parish Council would register its objection.
There being no other business the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.28 pm.