MINUTES of the Meeting of the Council held on Thursday 25 April 2019 at 8.00pm in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.
|Stephen Hand – Chairman Allan Brown Rosemary Burns Rodney Jackson Peter Griffiths Tony Lank
|Malcolm Llewellyn John Lowman Claire Majsai, Bob Sampson Julia Shorrocks Steve Whitehead
Joy Dennis (WSCC Ward member)
John Wilkinson (MSDC Ward member
Stephen Hoyles CLERK TO THE COUNCIL
2 members of the public
The Chairman started by noting that this was the last meeting of the current Council and thanked retiring
Members Rosemary Burns and Steve Whitehead for their terms of office. Cllr Burns had joined the Council in 2011 and had brought considerable experience of local issues. The Chairman also thanked those Members who were continuing, following the uncontested election results and looked forward to working together in the future.
C18/125. Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: The following apologies for absence were received before the meeting and accepted: David Evans, Martin Machan, John Wilkinson (MSDC Ward member, Colin Trumble (MSDC Ward member), Anthony Watts Williams (MSDC Ward member). There were no declarations of interest.
C18/126. Minutes and Confidential Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 28 March
2019: The Council received and accepted the minutes which were signed by the Chairman.
RESOLVED: The Minutes and Confidential minutes of the Council meeting of 28 March 2019 are adopted.
C18/127. Matters arising from the Minutes of the Council meeting held on 28 March 2019: There were no matters not otherwise on the agenda.
C18/128. Adjournment for questions from the public: There being no request from the public present
Council was not required to consider whether to adjourn the Meeting in accordance with clause 70 of Standing Orders, in order to receive questions from members of the public in attendance.
C18/129. Reports from other authorities: Council received verbal reports from representatives of other Authorities:
- (1) Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC): No report was received on this occasion.
- (2) West Sussex County Council County Local Committee (WSCC/CLC) Cllr Joy Dennis
reported: (1) Malthouse Lane: this was due for temporary closure for resurfacing, and Cllr Dennis had requested that the closure was moved to the summer school holiday period. Reeds Lane was also due for temporary closure in May. (2) High Street, Hurstpierpoint : some of the granite kerb sets were due for replacing and it was expected that they will be more firmly set in the ground. (3) A2300 upgrade: A temporary 40mph limit was to be introduced for about 6 weeks to facilitate survey work. WSCC were purchasing some land for the relocation of wildlife as part of the ecological conservation management. A traffic management plan for the construction phase was in preparation, taking particular account of the adjoining lanes. Options were being explored for junction movements. Design matters were ongoing, including for pedestrian crossing points at the Cuckfield Road roundabout, where a reconfiguration was being planned to reduce traffic approach speeds. Investigations were being made into a temporary construction site. (4) A A2300 Business Park Hub residents liaison group was being considered, to work with occupiers on traffic managements issues. (5) CLC funding: some suggestions of ‘crowd-funding’ had been considered but rejected. (6) The matter of adequate public transport for college students was being explored, particularly in light of the lack of a major local 6th-form college and the need to travel out of the District. (7) Cllr Dennis tabled notes for possible climate change pledges that could be made by local authorities and other institutions.
In response to questions from the meeting, Cllr Dennis (1) noted that there are continuing problems with the water damage to the sub-base of the road at Malthouse Lane, which limited the life of any resurfacing. (2) Confirmed that the concerns raised by equestrians and ramblers about the A2300 works were being considered. (3) Noted that WSCC had not granted a licence for a new seat at Trinity Road, following a request from Hurstpierpoint Society and the Parish Council. (4) Noted the matter of a quiet-running surface on the A23 road, being a matter for Highways England but continued to be pursued by WSCC.
- (3) Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC): Cllr Rodney Jackson reported: (1) He had attended the WSALC meeting on 18 April 2019 at Billingshurst at which the following matters were discussed: A27 upgrade; Arun Valley Flood Scheme; health and wellbeing issues; a presentation by Assistant Chief Police Inspector (Arun Division) on matters including rural crime, additional officers in Sussex, growth in cyber-crime, and anti-social behaviour concerns. The matter of the SDNPA Local Plan was also discussed and also the issue of encouraging parish clerks to seek qualification.
C18/130. Committee and Working Group minutes: The Committee Chairmen introduced each
Minutes, which the Council was asked to receive and where appropriate, consider the RECOMMENDATIONS:
C18/130.1 Finance + General Purposes Committee (4 April 2019)
(1) Minute F18/088.3 Little Park – parcel of land adjacent to telecommunication mast: The
Committee was advised that prior to the land transfer to the Council from the Houlton family, discussions had taken place regarding the small parcel of land comprising a farm track. The transferers had belatedly decided that they wished to retain the parcel to better enable access from their farmyard to their other fields. It was agreed that the Council would accept this change in exchange for vehicular rights of access along the farm road from Marchants Close. (The Council has rights of pedestrian access.) This was reported to Council at its meeting 23 February 2017 (Minute C16/098) but in the event that land transfer proceeded as originally agreed. However, it was understood that a reverse transfer might take place in due course. There had since been no change but the operational experience of Hurst Meadows had demonstrated that the vehicular access was no longer of interest to the Council, and also that a recent planning application for 4 houses on the farmyard (MSDC REF DM/19/0824) had changed the requirements of the Houlton family. If planning permission was granted, then the land parcel would contribute to the garden of one of the properties. Under these changed
circumstances it was suggested that the Council withdraws its offer and retains the land parcel. In discussion the matter was also raised of the correct boundary alignment around Hovel Field compared with that indicated on the planning application documents, and a question of ongoing access to the telecom mast site, and that the applicants would be advised of these discrepancies. (REF: Little Park land parcel 28 March 2019 ) RESOLVED: Further to Council meeting 23 February 2017 Minute C16/098(2) the Council now withdraws the offer to reverse transfer the land parcel.
The Committee Chairman also noted the approval of the visit of a circus to South Avenue Recreation Ground 7 to 9 May 2019.
C18/130.2 Planning Committee (11 April 2019): It was reported that the MSDC Tree Officer had contacted the Council questioning the background to recent recommendations to refuse on certain tree applications.
C18/130.3 Traffic + Parking Joint Councils Working Group (9 April 2019): The CHO application had been lodged and a response was awaited from WSCC Highways.
C18/131. Court Bushes Community Hub: Council was asked to note the update on progress towards the opening of the Hub in early May 2019:
- 1) The lease with MSDC is in the hands of solicitors and progressing. It remains the intention that it will be completed for the week commencing 6 May 2019. In anticipation of this Council was asked to authorise Chairman and VC to sign the lease on behalf of the Council, as based on the agreed Heads of Terms.
- 2) The perimeter fence and gates were due being installed and expected to be completed by 3 May 2019. Consultation had taken place with local residents and other interested groups regarding preservation of foliage and protection of a hedgehog colony,
- 3) Council was asked to approve the standard hiring agreement. This being based on a standard AiRS (Action in Rural Sussex) agreement.
- 4) The website and bookings system were in place and provisional bookings were being taken on the understanding that they cannot be confirmed until the lease was completed.
In discussion the matter of the actual capacity of the Nursery was noted, as detailed in the planning permission, and should be consistent with the Hiring Agreement.
(REF: Lease Heads of Terms – April 2019; Court Bushes Community Hub – Hiring Agreement v2 April 2019) RESOLVED:
- (1) In accordance with Clause 22 of the Standing Orders, Council is asked to authorise Chairman and VC to sign the lease on behalf of the Council, as based on the agreed Heads of Terms.
- (2) The Court Bushes Community Hub Hiring Agreement (v2 April 2019) is approved.
C18/132. Village Centre: Council was asked to note the update on operations as part of the process of transfer from the current trustees to the Parish Council, as approved by Council (Meeting 28 February 2019 Minute C18/107):
- 1) Charities Commission were yet to give their final approval to the transfer of trustee to the Council. There remain minor drafting points on the constitution for which they are seeking clarification. The existing trustees and AiRS are responding.
- 2) The Parish Office took over the day to day operation on 1 April 2019, the terms agreed, and were now managing the bookings, invoicing, financial bookkeeping, maintenance, emergency call-out and contract supervision. The existing trustees remain responsible and were authorising any expenditure. They also remain as bank signatories.
- 3) The fire risk upgrading works started 8 April 2019 and were expected to be completed by 26 April 2019.
- 4) Tenders had been sought for replacement cleaners and, with the agreement of the trustees and the Chairman of Council, new cleaners were appointed to start 1 May 2019.
- 5) The new website and bookings system was operating (the website shared with Court Bushes). The existing website remains open nothwithstanding requests to arrange its closure. However, the HallMaster system has been disabled and was no longer in use.
C18/133. Annual Parish Meeting – 7.30pm 21 May 2019: The Council was asked to note and comment on the arrangements for the Annual Parish Meeting to be held in the Village Centre, Hurstpierpoint, and to note the minutes of the meeting held 22 May 2018. It was proposed that the following topics are raised:
- • Court Bushes Community Hub
- • Community issues
- • Hurst Meadows progress
- • Village Centre transfer
(Ref: Annual Parish Meeting 22 May 2018 – Minutes)
Council was also asked to note that the draft Annual Report and Accounts for the period to 31 March 2019 will be considered by Finance + General Purposes Committee at its meeting on 30 April 2019. The Report would then be considered for adoption by Council on 16 May 2019 and then presented to the Annual Parish Meeting 21 May 2019.
RESOLVED: The Council notes the arrangements for the Annual Parish Meeting 2019.
C18/134. Information items, correspondence received and requests: Council noted the following and to respond as required:
- (1) High Street road closure – St Lawrence Fair Saturday 6 July 2019: 12.30 to 14.00 hrs.
Council had no objection to the request. (REF: MSDC Email 11 April 2019 High St Road closure)
- (2) CPRE ‘Field Work’ and ‘Countryside Voice’ Spring 2019 publication
C18/135. 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:
(1) Appointment of Clerk.
There being no other business the Chairman closed the Meeting at 9.08 pm.