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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Full Council

January 24, 2019

MINUTES of the Meeting of the Council held on Thursday 24 January 2019 at 8.00pm in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint. 

Members Present 

Stephen Hand –  Chairman  Rosemary Burns   Rodney Jackson   David Evans   Peter Griffiths  Tony Lank  Malcolm Llewellyn   John Lowman  Martin Machan   Claire Majsai,    Bob Sampson  Steve Whitehead 

Also Present:   

Joy Dennis (WSCC Ward member)  

Anthony Watts Williams (MSDC Ward member) 

Stephen Hoyles  CLERK TO THE COUNCIL 

2 members of the public 

The Council noted with sadness the death of Cllr Amanda Geel in December, and recorded the considerable loss to the Council’s work.  

C18/087.  Apologies for absence and declarations of interest:  The following apologies for absence were received before the meeting and accepted: Allan Brown,  Julia Shorrocks,  Colin Trumble (MSDC Ward member), John Wilkinson (MSDC Ward member).  There were no declarations of interest.   

C18/088.  Minutes and Confidential Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on  

13 December 2018:  The Council received and accepted the minutes.   

RESOLVED:  The Minutes and Confidential minutes of the Council meeting of 13 December 2018 are adopted. 

C18/089.  Matters arising from the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 13 December 2018:  There were no matters not otherwise on the agenda.   

C18/090.  Adjournment for questions from the public:  Council considered to adjourn the Meeting in accordance with clause 70 of Standing Orders in order to receive questions and comments from the public.   RESOLVED:  The Meeting is adjourned in accordance with clause 70 of Standing 

Orders in order to receive questions and comments from the public 

A member of the public representing Sayers Common Village association raised the following matters:  (1)  

Thanks were expressed for the recent installation of the three gateways, but it was suggested that the London Road (south )  installation should have been wider, to allow for a larger sign.  (2) A site for a possible new bus shelter on the northbound side of London road was suggested.   (3)  Concern was expressed about the budget for  new play equipment at Reeds Lane recreation ground, and the Association would not favour coloured metal construction, but preferred a wooden style.  (4)  The recent Council Newsletter had not stated any provision for grit bags in Sayers Common.  (5)  The receipt of a grant for tree planting  in 2019 was noted and it was expected that a further application would be made for the next financial year.   

In response the Chairman confirmed that the Council was investigating options for a new bus shelter.  Regarding the play equipment, that the provision of significant new equipment in Reeds Lane was dependent on s106 funds which were only available from the Kingsland Laines development, and the Council were investigating this funding.  The provision of winter grit bags in Sayers Common was confirmed, as for previous years. 

The meeting then resumed. 

C18/091.  Reports from other authorities:  Council received verbal reports from representatives of other 

Authorities:  

  1. (1) Mid Sussex District Council   (MSDC):  Cllr Anthony Watts Williams reported:  (1)  MSDC had responded to the Gatwick Airport consultation, largely requesting that further information was required from the promoter before a meaningful response could be made.  (2)  It had been noted that Horsham DC had entered into a Planning Performance Agreement with the promoters of Mayfield Market Town  and concerns had been expressed about the lack of transparency so far in this process. It was confirmed that WSCC Highways had been providing data as requested for the process.  (3)  MSDC were purchasing flats for temporary accommodation, to reduce reliance on b&b accommodation out of the District.  A total of 14 units were being acquired. (4)  MSDC were planning a balanced budget for 2019/20, requiring a 3.8% council tax increase.  There were funds available for capital projects.  (5)  The District Plan  Site Allocations DPD was progressing with the intention of finalising the proposed sites in summer 2019.   

In response there was a question raised about alleged ‘fly-grazing’ of horses around Malthouse Lane and problems caused with stray and loose horses.  It was reported that the Police were aware of the situation and it was understood that they had been called out on several occasions.   

  1. (2) West Sussex County Council County Local Committee   (WSCC/CLC)   Cllr Joy Dennis reported: (1) The SID had been in use recently and had produced some interesting results which were being considered by Cllr Dennis and Cllr Lank from the Parish Council.  (2)  A2300 upgrade:  It was noted that the Parish Council had received a response from WSCC to its consultation comments.  It was also noted that the current temporary traffic light controls were working satisfactorily, although it was reported that the traffic in Hurstpierpoint  High Street had appeared to increase, possibly as a consequence.  (3)  Rural bus services were being reviewed and it was expected that there would be some reduction on off-peak services.  (4)  Cllr Dennis was shortly to attend a meeting on local cycling strategy.  (5) A full fibre connectivity service was being programmed across the County.  (6)  Repairs to Cuckfield Road footways were shortly to be carried out.   (7)  Parking issues in Weald Close had again been raised.   

In response a question was raised about the removed ‘cats-eyes’ in Wickham Hill and whether the resulting holes would be filled.  It was understood that a national policy had resulted in cats-eyes being removed in all 30mph zones.  Cllr Dennis would investigate the matter of making good the affected areas.   

  1. (3) Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC):  Cllr Rodney Jackson reported:  (1)  the 

MSDC/MSALC Conference would take place 22 February 2019.  (2)  The WSALC meeting took place 17 January 2019 in Billingshurst at which health and wellbeing, air-pollution hot-spots, and the public’s experiences of the police ‘101’ service, were all discussed.  Other matters included ASB issues, and rough-sleeping concerns across the County, and the issues of public access vs conservation and farming concerns  within the South Downs National Park.  (3)  The SE Regional Forum of NALC had noted that Government had commissioned a report on the effectiveness of Neighbourhood Plans and  in particular their success or otherwise in delivering new homes.   

C18/092.  Committee and Working Group minutes:  The Committee Chairmen introduced each Minutes, which the Council was asked to receive and where appropriate, consider the RECOMMENDATIONS:  

  1. 6.1 Planning Committee  ( 20 December 2018 and 17 January 2019)   The Committee Chairman noted with some satisfaction that MSDC were supporting most of the planning recommendations of the Parish Council, and this was thought to be a reflection of the status of the new District Plan.   
  2. 6.2 Staff Panel  (see item 12 ) 
  3. 6.3 Finance + General Purposes Committee  (10 January 2019)  (See item 7)  
  4. 6.4 Reeds Lane Play Area Working Group (15 January 2019)  

C18/093.   Budget 2019/20:  The Finance + General Purposes Committee had considered the Budget 

2019/20 (Meeting 10 January 2019, Minute F18/064) and agreed to  RECOMMEND to Councilto approve the Budget and set the Precept.  It was noted that the Revenue Budget indicates a surplus of £ NIL  on expenditure of £277,132.  The CAPEX Budget shows a surplus  of £9,915 on expenditure of £91,625.  It was predicted that the total funds (earmarked plus general reserves) would increase from an estimated £333,000 to £347,916  at 31 March 2020.  Council was asked to note that the higher than normal increase in Council Tax was substantially to cover the expected deficit of £13,500 in running the new Court Bushes Community Hub in the year 2019/20.  It was hoped that this deficit would reduce in subsequent years.   

Council  therefore considered the proposal that there was a 5% increase in Band D Council Tax (to £71.74) which, with a 2.8% increase in the Tax Base, provided for a 7.8% increase in Precept  to £218,788.  It was noted that each of the spending committees had contributed to setting the budget which was now being presented.   (Ref:  Budget 2019/20 V6  10 January 2019)   

RESOLVED:   

  1. (1) Budget 2019/20 (V6 10 January 2019)  is approved.  
  2. (2) The Precept 2019/20 is set at £218,788 equating to an increase on the Band D Council Tax of 5%.   

C18/094.  MSDC District Plan – Site Allocations DPD process:  Further to the meeting of the Strategic 

Policy Working Group (9 October 2018, minute SP18/015) discussion had taken place with Hurstpierpoint College regarding the retaining of a landscape consultant to appraise the area between the College and the builtup area of Hurstpierpoint.  At their suggestion a meeting was held on 15 January 2019 with Landscape Collective, who had previously undertaken work for the College, and a quotation subsequently received to undertake an appraisal and submit a report.  It had been agreed that the cost would be shared equally with the College.  Council was now asked to approve the appointment of the company.  (REF:  Landscape Collective  ltr 

16 January 2019;  BRIEFING NOTE  MSDC District Plan Site allocations DPD  15 Jan 2019;  MSDC District Plan Site allocations DPD HP map  rev 25 Sept 2018 )   

RESOLVED:  Consultants Landscape Collective are appointed to investigate and report on the landscape value of land north of the built-up area of Hurstpierpoint at a cost of £1,700 + expenses + VAT (to be shared with Hurstpierpoint College).   

C18/095.  Court Bushes Community Hub  –  progress report:  Council agreed that this item would be considered under the confidential section, due to the current state of the commercial negotiations.    (REF:  HP&SCPC ltr  Court Bushes Community Hub   20 December 2018)   

C18/096  A2300 road upgrade – consultation:  Further to the decision of Council (Meeting 25 October 

2018  Minute C18/062)  Council was now asked to note the submission issued by the Parish Office and the response of WSCC:  (REF:  HP&SCPC email A2300 consultation 26 October 2018;  WSCC letter A2300  10 January 2019) 

C18/097.  Hurst Life magazine:  Council was asked to note that the three month trial  of a one page insertion had now completed.  It was understood that the general response had been good and it was suggested that the process continued on a longer term basis.  However, the impact of ‘purdah’ (see item 12(1)) restricted the use of naming individual councillors and it was therefore proposed that a one-off insertion for March 2019 was included, but that future monthly insertions were undertaken following the local elections in May 2019, subject to satisfactory agreement on costs.   

RESOLVED:  A one-page insertion in Hurst Life is implemented for March 2019 and investigations are made into a regular monthly insertion  from May 2019.   

C18/098.  Information items, correspondence received and requests:   The Council noted the following:   

(1)  Parish Elections 2019  – Purdah:  Members are asked to note the guidance issued by SALC as follows:  

In essence Purdah is a convention that is observed from the end of March to Election Day during which time Councils should not:  (a)  Produce publicity on matters which are politically controversial.  (b)  Make reference to individual politicians or councillors in a press release.  (c ) Arrange events involving candidates.  (d)  Councils should however continue to discharge normal business and hold scheduled meetings.  Purdah is not intended to stagnate the work of a council but exists to ensure that no candidate has an advantage over another. (REF:  SALC Weekly Bulletin  14 January 2019) 

C18/099.  CONFIDENTIAL Matters:   The Council was asked to close the meeting to the public and the press under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to discuss the following item: C18/099.1 Court Bushes Community Hub  and C18/099.2 Staff matters:  

RESOLVED:  to close the meeting to the public and the press under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to discuss the following item: C18/099.1 Court Bushes Community Hub   C18/099.2 Staff matters:  

There being no other business the Chairman closed the Meeting at  9.35 pm.  

  Chairman 

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