MINUTES of the Meeting of the Council held on Thursday 26 October 2017 at 8.00pm in the Village Hall, London Road, Sayers Common.
|Stephen Hand – Chairman Allan Brown Rosemary Burns David Evans Peter Griffiths Rodney Jackson||John Lowman Tony Lank Martin Machan Bob Sampson Steve Whitehead|
Joy Dennis (WSCC Ward member)
Anthony Watts Williams (MSDC Ward member)
Stephen Hoyles CLERK TO THE COUNCIL
4 members of the public
C17/056. Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: The following apologies for absence were received before the meeting and accepted: Malcolm Llewellyn, Amanda Geel,
Claire Majsai, Julia Shorrocks, Colin Trumble (MSDC Ward member), John Wilkinson (MSDC Ward member). Rodney Jackson declared a personal interest in item C17/061.4 Parkland Management Committee (1) Little Park land transfer. There were no other declarations of interest.
C17/057. Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 28 September 2017: The Council received and accepted the minutes.
RESOLVED: The Minutes of the Council meeting of 28 September 2017.
C17/058. Matters arising from the Minutes of the Council held on 28 September 2017: There were no matters arising from the Minutes which were not covered elsewhere on this agenda.
C17/059. Adjournment for questions from the public: The Council considered whether to adjourn the
Meeting in accordance with clause 70 of Standing Orders in order to receive questions and presentations.
RESOLVED: The Council meeting is adjourned.
A member of the public asked why the old cricket nets were not being replaced at Berrylands Recreation Ground.
The Chairman advised that this was a matter for Mid Sussex District Council, as owners of the Ground. District Ward Member Anthony Watts Williams confirmed that he was aware of the issue and was investigating the matter. A second member of the public stated his understanding that the previous cricket club had in the past raised funds which had been handed to MSDC. The meeting then resumed.
C17/060. Reports from other authorities: The Council received verbal reports from representatives of other Authorities:
- (1) Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC): Cllr Anthony Watts Williams reported: (1) The Berrylands
Recreation Ground issue had been noted for further investigation. It was understood that the loss of the cricket nets was due to cost savings, and no cricket club was willing to pay for their upkeep. However, the public were invited to provide any evidence of current demand from the local community. The Chairman advised that the Parish Council supported the re-installation of the nets. (2) HMG ‘Digital Minister’ Matt Hancock MP had visited Mid Sussex, and the District Council was pressing for full-fibre broadband services across the District. (3) The Council were pressing for Mid Sussex College in Haywards Heath to be re-opened. (4) The District Plan Main Modifications consultation was in hand, and it was expected that the District Plan would be adopted early 2018. (5) Court Bushes building: It was expected that the building would be returning to MSDC control from 11 November 2017, and the Council were interested in progressing plan for a wider community use. A meeting of interested parties was expected later in November. A question was raised about District Plan housing targets, and Cllr Watts Williams acknowledged that the pressure for building in the District was considerable.
- (2) West Sussex County Council County Local Committee (WSCC/CLC) : Cllr Joy Dennis
reported: (1) Burgess Hill Northern Arc: Preliminary designs were now started for the A2300 widening and the other road infrastructure. The Parish Council would be consulted on the details. (2) Traffic and parking issues: It had been noted that a meeting would be taking place shortly at which the County Council would be represented. (3) There had been some concern expressed that WSCC highways officers were relying on desk-top studies to make recommendations on planning applications. Cllr Dennis advised that she would request an on-site study if asked to do so for certain applications. (4) SID: Regrettably several machines had been stolen and WSCC were investigating a solution to the problem. (6) HGV overnight parking had been a concern, but was not thought to be an issue in the Parish. (7) The mobile fish and chip van in Sayers Common on Thursday evenings had been investigated, but was considered not to be an issue of concern. (8) The summer opening hours had been improved for waste disposal centres in the County. (9) There was continuing concern about patchy broadband coverage in the County, although it was understood that the Parish area had recently improved.
(10) WSCC had a mobile community ‘purple bus’ which could be made available for young peoples’ work in some communities. Questions were raised: (1) Would the rural footpaths and bridleways be protected in the A2300 widening and would a quiet-run surface be considered? (2) A SID machine was urgently needed in Cuckfield Road. (3) The road markings were generally poor and should be refreshed. Cllr Dennis confirmed that these matters would be reported.
(3) Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC) : Rodney Jackson reported: (1) The WSALC meeting took place 19 October 2017 at which health and wellbeing issues were considered. All parishes were being consulted by SSLAC on these issues. (2) A SSLAC board meeting took place 26 October 2017 at which finance, GDPR and FoE matters were considered. (3) The MSALC meeting would be taking place 16 November 2017 and it was expected to meet MSDC senior planner Ms Bloomfield. (4) Cllr Jackson would be attending the NALC AGM on 31 October 2017.
C17/061. Committee and Working Group minutes: The Committee Chairmen or, in their absence the Vice-chairmen, introduced each Minutes, which the Council was asked to receive and where appropriate, considered the RECOMMENDATIONS::
C17/061.1 Planning Committee (5 October 2017)
C17/061.2 Strategic Policy Working Group (11 October 2017)
- (1) Minute SP17/12. District Plan – Main Modifications Consultation: The Group considered its response to the Modifications proposed by MSDC to make a recommendation to Council. (Ref: MSDC District
Plan – Main Modifications Consultation 2 October 2017 ; DRAFT BRIEFING NOTE Mid Sussex District Plan 2014-2031- Main Modifications – September 2017 – 18 October 2017)
RESOLVED: The Parish Council responds to the Main Modifications to the District Plan as detailed in the Briefing Note 18 October 2017.
- (2) Minute SP17/15. Court Bushes Community Hub: The Group had been asked to make a recommendation to Council that investigations are made into the possibility of the Parish Council taking on a new long lease of the Ex-Servicemens Club building, and set up a community hub in partnership with local groups. It was agreed that any involvement of the Parish Council in the future use of the building must take account of:
- 1. An unencumbered long lease of the building from landlord MSDC
- 2. Sufficient start-up funding to bring the building to appropriate standard, and to fund operating costs until sustainable rental income is achieved. This funding could be from a range of sources, including the local authorities, s106 funds, and contributions from Hub Partners.
- 3. The building to be brought to fit-for-purpose for public use.
- 4. A viable business plan, accounting for all maintenance, utilities, insurance, caretaking, and sinking-fund for repairs, to be met from rental income from community groups and private users.
- 5. Hub Partners (local voluntary groups) would commit to long-term use, at agreed rents for sections of the building. The reformed Ex-servicemens Club could be one of these groups, having a dedicated ‘club lounge’ area, perhaps with its own liquor licence.
(REF: CONFIDENTIAL BRIEFING NOTE Court Bushes Community Hub proposal 10 October 2017 ) RESOLVED: The Parish Council investigates with MSDC the opportunity of taking a new lease on the Club building with the objective of creating a community hub of services, supported by local groups.
C17/061.3 Finance + General Purposes Committee (12 October 2017)
- (1) Minute P17/041.4 Deposit Accounts: Further to Minute F17/032.5 (Meeting 14 September 2017) the
Committee considered revised arrangements for the deposit of funds. (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE: Additional
Deposits and Investments October 2017)
RESOLVED: The Council’s funds are allocated to new and existing accounts as follows:
- (1) Nationwide account: Existing bond deposit £52,000
- (2) Nationwide account: Additional account bond deposit (c 0.50%) £33,000
- (3) CCLA: Existing account increased from £10,000 (c 1.00%) to £65,000
- (4) Lloyds Bank: New Local Authority 12 Month Fixed Deposit (c. 0.65%) £50,000
- (5) Charity Bank: New Ethical 1 Year Business Fixed Rate account (1.00%) £50,000
- (6) Unity Bank: existing current account, remaining fluctuating balances.
- (2) Minute P17/041.5 Review of charges :The Committee considered the annual review of charges to make a RECOMMENDATION to Council. The current rates charged for cemetery plots and services are significantly below those of other authorities in the locality. It was therefore proposed that the charges be increased by approximately 10% (and rounded). It was agreed that the rate charge for a child should apply for those up to age 18. (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE: Review of Charges – 4 October 2017)
RECOMMENDATION to Council: The Review of charges 4 October 2017 is approved.
C17/061.4 Parkland Management Committee (19 October 2017)
(1) Little Park land transfer: Further to Minute C17/035.3 (Council meeting 27 July 2017) Council was advised that the documentation had been signed but transfer had not yet taken place. The delay was due to the detail design of the access road through the woodland section adjacent to Iden Hurst. Until the design was finally approved by both WSCC and MSDC the developer Bovis was reluctant to transfer the section of woodland, in case a slightly different boundary is required. It was understood that approval was imminent. The Parish Council was keen to secure the two fields of Little Park, to enable the preparatory works to proceed before the winter. In discussion with Bovis it had been suggested that the transfer of the two fields proceeds, followed by the woodland as soon as the Iden Hurst access was approved. In the event of a two stage transfer it had been proposed that the commuted sum would be split for the fields and for the woodland. However, it was acknowledged that the proportion of split was still subject to negotiation and it was proposed that the agreed split be delegated to Chairman and Vice-chairman. Council was therefore asked to agree to proceeding with the transfer in two stages, should this become necessary, and to the split of commuted sum. Ref: Transfer Deed –
Land at Little Park WSX 374373 plan; BRIEFING NOTE Little Park Land Transfer 27 July 2017)
RESOLVED: In accordance with Clause 22 of the Standing Orders, Council authorises Chairman and Vice-chairman acting on behalf of the Council, to sign the Transfer Deed for the acquisition of the Little Park Parkland, in two parts: the two fields and the woodland, and that the negotiation for the commuted sum calculation split for the fields and the woodland is delegated to Chairman and Vice-chairman, Land Registry Title number WSX374373.
C17/062. Routine Annual Reviews: The Council considered the following:
(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, Tony Lank and Bob Sampson.
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.
C17/063. Committee Membership: Following the co-option of new Members Pater Griffiths and Claire
Majsai, it is proposed that they sit on the following committees until the Council AGM in May 2018:
Peter Griffiths: Planning and Community Affairs
Claire Majsai: Community Affairs and Parkland management Committee RESOLVED: Council confirms the committee appointments:
Peter Griffiths: Planning and Community Affairs
Claire Majsai: Community Affairs and Parkland Management
C17/064. Christmas 2017 arrangements:
- (1) Christmas reception – Monday 18 December 2017: The Chairman invited suggestions for a Christmas reception of Council Members and it was agreed that the use of the Holy Trinity Church lobby would be investigated.
- (2) Parish Office: Council considered the following: The public holidays this Christmas are Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 December 2017 and Monday 1 January 2018. Our 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 22 December 2017 and reopens 9.00 am Tuesday 2 January 2018. 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 22 December 2017 and 2 January 2018.
C17/065. Parish Office: Council was advised that one member of staff was on sick leave from 20 October 2017 to around end November 2017. It was expected that the remaining staff will manage the day to day issues but, to relieve the pressure, it was intended to close the office to the public on Wednesdays during this period. The Clerk and Maintenance Officer are on duty on these days, but it was not practical for them to be committed to the office to deal with visitor enquiries.
C17/066. Information items, correspondence received and requests: The Council was asked to note:
- (1) South East Water – Annual Stakeholder Survey 2017: (Ref: SE Water email 5 October 2017)
- (2) NALC Chief Executive’s Bulletin (Re: NALC email 9 October 2017)
- (3) Local Policing in Sussex – SSALC Conference 2017 (REF: Presentation 4 October 2017
- (4) PARISH ONLINE UPDATE -West Sussex ALC AGM and Conference 4 October 2017
- (5) MSALC Minutes of AGM 22 August 2017
- (6) Road closure –High Street Hurstpierpoint 12.00 to 18.00hrs Sunday 3 December 2017: For Christmas Shopping day.. (REF: MSDC email 12 October 2017)
RESOLVED: the Council has no objection to the road closure 3 December 2017.
There being no other business the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.36 pm.