MINUTES of the Meeting of the Council held on Thursday 14 December 2017 at 8.00pm in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.
|Stephen Hand – Chairman Rosemary Burns David Evans Amanda Geel Peter Griffiths Rodney Jackson||Malcolm Llewellyn John Lowman Tony Lank Claire Majsai Bob Sampson Julia Shorrocks Steve Whitehead|
Joy Dennis (WSCC Ward member)
Colin Trumble (MSDC Ward member)
Stephen Hoyles CLERK TO THE COUNCIL
C17/080. Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: The following apologies for absence were received before the meeting and accepted: Allan Brown, Martin Machan, John Wilkinson (MSDC Ward member) , Anthony Watts Williams (MSDC Ward member) . There were no declarations of interest.
C17/081. Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 23 November 2017: The Council received and accepted the minutes.
RESOLVED: The Minutes of the Council meeting of 23 November 2017 are adopted.
C17/082. Matters arising from the Minutes of the Council held on 23 November 2017: There were no matters not otherwise on the agenda.
C17/083. Adjournment for questions from the public: There being no members of the public present the Council was not required to consider whether to adjourn the Meeting in accordance with clause 70 of Standing Orders.
C17/084. Reports from other authorities: Council received verbal reports from representatives of other
- (1) Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC): Cllr Colin Trumble reported: (1) Kingsland Laines, Sayers Common: There was disappointment that the 120-house development appeal was upheld. (2) District Plan: there had ben 1260 responses to the Main Modifications, of which the substantial majority were from Hassocks residents objecting to the strategic housing site allocation. The Examination Inspector had advised that his letter of approval would be issued soon, but this was not expected before Christmas. (3) Court Bushes building: A meeting of potential stakeholders had been held on 28 November 2017, and a further meeting between the Parish Council, The Point Church and the Ex-Servicemens Club had been held on 7 December 2017 to explore how the proposed community hub might work, and progress was encouraging. The scoping note produced by the Parish Council had been helpful. (4) Broadband coverage: the District Council were actively encouraging improved coverage in rural areas and in discussion with Government about further fibre installations. (5) Budget 2018/19: The Council had made considerable savings in recent years but there was no scope for further economies. Investment was being made in services and revenue-raising projects such as The Orchards in Haywards Heath. Those in the meeting raised questions about the reasons for the housing shortage and noted that the Rural West Sussex Partnership were also encouraging investment in broadband coverage.
- (2) West Sussex County Council County Local Committee (WSCC/CLC) : Cllr Joy Dennis reported: (1) Broadband coverage: The County Council were supporting improved coverage. (2) Planning issues: The recent Wickham Barn application had raised traffic issues. (3) Northern Arc development: The presentation by the developers on 24 November 2017 was noted but there was concern about the layout and the
possible lack pf provision for cycle and bridleways. (4) A23/A2300 junction: Cllr Dennis has seen the preliminary layout which has raised some questions. (5) Kemps, Hurstpierpoint: residents had raised concerns about on-verge parking, but solutions were not readily available. (6) Watershed: the programme was still running and it was suggested that Reeds Lane, Sayers Common, required attention. (7) Langton Lane will be closed in January 2018 due to BT/Openreach work. (8) SID: new items will be purchased to replace those stolen. (9) WSCC had recently issued ‘No to door step traders’ and ‘Alert to child exploitation’ posters.
- (3) Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC): Rodney Jackson advised that no WSALC or MSLAC meetings had taken place since the previous report.
C17/085. 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, consider the RECOMMENDATIONS:
C17/085.1 Planning Committee (30 November 2017) : Council was advised that the application for 13
Wilderness Road (MSDC Ref: 17/3940) had been refused by the Planning Authority.
C17/085.2 Strategic Policy Working Group (5 December 2017)
SP17/18. Strategic planning issues: (1) Land Parcel to the rear of Lyndon, Reeds Lane, Sayers Common (DM/17/4448): The Group had noted the decision of the Planning Committee at its meeting 30 November 2017 to recommend refusal of the application, and the offer of the Nature Reserve land in the event that permission was granted by MSDC. It was noted that considerable reservations existed about the potential liabilities associated with the land parcel, but agreed that discussions should take place, without commitment at this stage, regarding the s106 Agreement should permission be granted. It was reported that initial discussions had taken place with Hurstpierpoint Woodland Flora and Fauna Group about the possibility of
their taking over the nature reserve. (REF: BRIEFING NOTE – The old brickworks application 22 Nov 2017)
RESOLVED: That discussions are held with the applicant regarding the s106 Agreement and the possible gifting of the Nature Reserve, in the event that planning permission was granted.
C17/085.3 Finance + General Purposes Committee (7 December 2017)
- (1) F17/057.6 Internal Audit Report: The Committee had considered the Internal Audit Plan and letter following the Auditor’s visit of 9 November 2017, and agreed to recommend to Council that they were received and adopted. Reference was made to Appendix 1 of the letter and the Action Plan, and the Clerk’s response as follows. It was agreed that for item 2 (below) the Internal Auditor would be asked why the current system was not acceptable.
|Summary of Matters arising||Summary of Recommendations||Council response|
|1. Formal adoption of internal and external audits||To be received and adopted by full Council, and not only Finance + General purposes Committee||Completed 23 November 2017|
|2. BACS payments||BACS payment should be undertaken by Councillor and not Clerk. (This is a change from previous advice)||The current process: a) Finance + General Purposes Committee approves schedule of payments b) two signatory councillors sign each invoice and the schedule c) schedule is entered onto online Bank system by assistant clerk using unique code (which does not permit release of payment) d) Clerk checks approved schedule against online entries and releases payments using unique code. e) Signed and dated copy of BACS payments list is appended to approved schedule and filed. We believe that this is consistent with the Financial regulations which state: 6.2 Following authorisation under Financial Regulation 5 above, the council, a duly delegated committee or, if so delegated, the Clerk or RFO shall give instruction that a payment shall be made.|
|3. Insurance cover for cash held is insufficient at £250,000||Insurance cover is increased.||Increased to £500,000 16 November 2017|
|4. Computer files back-up||A cloud system is recommended||The current arrangement is for a weekly ‘black box’ back up. The cloud based system is being investigated.|
|5. Some over- and under-spends on budget. Expenditure in excess of budget is not permitted except by Council approval.||A review of accounts codings should be made to ensure that budget and expenditure is properly matched. Otherwise a virement of expenditure should be approved by Council||There are some instances of mis-coding, which are corrected when noted. Virement rules are noted.|
|6. CCLA deposits||Keep a watch on maturity dates to ensure correct accounting treatment||Noted.|
(REF: Internal Audit letter year ending 31 March 2017, 11 November 2017 ATTACHED; Internal Audit Plan 31 March 2017, 11 November 2017) RESOLVED:
- (1) The Internal Audit Report (11 November 2017) is received and adopted.
- (2) The Council responses are approved.
- (3) The 2018/19 Audit Plan is approved.
- (2) F17/057.6: Deposit accounts: The Committee had considered the placing of Council funds into two additional deposit accounts. These recommendations followed the previous considerations by the Committee at the meetings of 12 October 2017 (Minute F17/041.1) and 9 November 2017 (Minute F17/047). It was suggested that the Councillor signatories were as for the current account and other deposit accounts, being any two from
Cllrs Stephen Hand, Allan Brown, Rodney Jackson, Tony Lank, Bob Sampson. (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE Additional Deposits and Investments – 30 November 2017)
RESOLVED: Deposit accounts are established, with the signatories being any two of:
Stephen Hand, Allan Brown, Rodney Jackson, Tony Lank, Bob Sampson:
- (1) Cambridge and Counties Bank 1 Year Fixed Rate Business Bond: £50,000
- (2) Hodge Bank 1 Year Fixed Rate Business Bond : £50,000
C17/086. Kingsland Laines, Reeds Lane/ London Road, Sayers Common, West Sussex: Council
noted that the appeal for the 120-house development had been upheld and permission granted. It was understood that the s106 Agreement had been signed with MSDC, but the Parish Council was not a signatory to the agreement. Concern was expressed that the Neighbourhood Plan housing figures across the Parish were now considerably exceeded. It was also noted that while the District Plan was not adopted the 5-year housingland-supply criteria made the Neighbourhood Plan ‘out of date’. (REF DCLG letter 7 December 2017)
C17/087. Information items, correspondence received and requests: The Council noted:
- (1) Hurstpierpoint Post Office consultation: The Post office was proposing some changes to services and increasing the opening times, and giving the opportunity for comments by 27 December 2017. (Ref: Post Office email 29 November 2017)
- (2) Health and Wellbeing in West Sussex: Council reviewed the publication by SSALC and considered the opportunities. It was noted that the current arrangements with the older persons tea-parties were an important contribution. The Parish Office was also liaising with the Health Centre in identifying older persons social needs, and investigating dementia care initiatives. (REF: Opportunities for Councils to support health and wellbeing in West Sussex and questionnaire – SSALC Nov 2017 )
- (3) Lobby for business rates relief on public toilets: Falmouth Town Council, supported by NALC, intended to submit a proposal under the Sustainable Communities Act for legislative change to grant parish and town councils mandatory 100% business rates relief on public toilets that they own or manage. (Ref: SSALC email 5 December 2017)
- (4) Trinity Road carpark: MSDC had advised that they had agreed to allowing the mobile fish and chip van to operate on 23 and 30 December 2017 and 6 January 2018, in addition to their currently approved weekly slot.
(Ref: MSDC email 4 December 2017)
- (5) Village Centre Association, Hurstpierpoint: The Association was undertaking a survey of users to assess what additional facilities and changes might be made to the Centre. (Ref: Redevelopment Survey leaflet – November 2017)
- (6) WSCC Rights of way consultation: Council was reminded that this consultation was open to all members of the public until 31 January 2017. (Ref: WSCC email 24 November 2017)
- (7) Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner: A public meeting was due to take place 10.30am Friday
19 January 2018. (Ref: PCC email 7 December 2017)
- (8) GDPR: Further advice was now available from both SLCC and NALC and it was becoming evident that the Parish Clerk should not be the appointed Data Protection Officer.
- (9) Mid Sussex Economic Profile 2018: (REF: Mid Sussex Economic Profile 2018 – -December 2017)
- (10) WSCC School Places consultation: It was reported that this had been published but the Parish Office had not received details.
There being no other business the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.23 pm.