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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Dear Councillor, 

Council Members are summoned to attend the meeting of the COUNCIL to be held on Thursday 26 March 2020 at 8.00 p.m. in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint  

Members of the public have a right to and are invited, to attend. 

Sarah Groom 

Sarah Groom – CLERK TO THE COUNCILFriday 20th March 2020 

UPDATE on COVID-19 and implications on council and committee meetings. 


1. Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: To receive and accept apologies for absence and to record any declarations of interest. 

2Minutes of the meeting of the council held on 27 February 2020: To receive and accept the minutes. 

3. Adjournment for questions from the public: The council shall consider whether to adjourn the meeting in accordance with Standing Orders, in order to receive questions from members of the public in attendance. 

4. Reports from other authorities: To receive verbal reports from representatives of other authorities: 

4.1 West Sussex County Council County Local Committee (WSCC) 

4.2 Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) 

5Committee and Working Group minutes 

The committee chairs will introduce each set of minutes, which the council is asked to receive, adopt and where appropriate, consider the RECOMMENDATIONS: 

5.1 Hurst Meadows Advisory Group (5 March 2020) MEETING WAS POSTPONED 

5.2 Estates & Facilities Management Committee (5 March 2020) No recommendations for Council. 

5.3 Finance & Governance Committee (12 March 2020) 

The committee discussed concerns about the COVID-19 virus and mitigating the risks to the Council.  The Locum Finance Officer agreed to investigate and produce an information item for Council covering the risks to income and expenditure, ringfencing the ear marked reserves.  (Ref: Briefing Note and Excel File ATTACHED) 

Including Staff Panel Minutes (3 March 2020) 

Staff Panel: The committee noted the minutes of the Staff Panel on 3 March 2020, and considered the Staff Handbook policies, proposed terms of reference for the Staff Panel and the corresponding amendment required for the Finance and Governance Committees version and agreed the following recommendation: 

RECOMMENDATION TO COUNCIL: The committee noted the minutes of the Staff Panel of 3 March 2020 and:  

  1. AGREED to recommend the Staff Panel terms of reference to Council as amended; 
  1. AGREED to recommend the revised Finance and Governance Committee terms of reference to Council; and  
  1. AGREED to recommend the Staff Handbook and Policies to Council. 

5.4 Strategic Policy and Resources Panel (16 March 2020) The Panel considered the impact of COVID-19 at that date and agreed to its initial response to the virus, the impact on Parish Council income and expenditure and its commitment to support the food bank. The Panel also noted the resignation of the Facilities Manager and agreed the following recommendation:  


  1. That the Clerk prepares an employment pack for prospective candidates; 
  1. The shortlisting and interview panel membership; and 
  1. The Clerk in consultation with the interview panel agrees any paidfor advertising and the Clerk places the adverts. 

5.5 Planning & Environment Committee (19 March 2020) No recommendations for Council. 

6. Emergency Resilience and Business Continuity Plan:  Members are asked to consider and agree the revised Plan. 

RECOMMENDATION: The council AGREES and ADOPTS the revised Emergency Resilience and Business Continuity Plan. 

7. New Media and Communications Policy:  Media and Communications policies are recommended to ensure the type and style of messages given out by the council, whether by councillors or staff, meet certain minimum standards.  The Parish Council currently uses its own facebook page to promote its activities as well as the council newsletter and articles in Hurst Life.  At the 27 February 2020 Council meeting (Minute Ref: C19/99.3), the council agreed to authorise the Parish Office to issue press releases and that all press releases must be sent to the Parish Office for approval and onward submission.  In addition, social media is widely used and continues to evolve and become an ever more important channel to reach local residents and businesses.  The Sussex Association of Local Councils provides a model policy which, adjusted to enhance the use of links to external local social media sites, is recommended for adoption. 

RECOMMENDATION: Council AGREES and ADOPTS the Media and Communications Policy. 

8. Child and Vulnerable Adult Safeguarding Policy: Safeguarding policies are recommended to help organisations understand how to report concerns and to protect an organisation against claims of any misconduct.  The Parish Council has the opportunity to set its own high standards especially if it is to ensure its hirers, where appropriate have adopted similar policies.  The Sussex Association of Local Councils provides a model version which, adjusted for local reporting information, is recommended for adoption. 

RECOMMENDATION: Council AGREES and ADOPTS the Child and Vulnerable Adult Safeguarding Policy. 

9. Annual Parish Meeting: To consider not calling the 2020 Annual Parish meeting planned for 19 May 2020.  The meeting of the electorate is normally compulsory and held between 1 March and 1 June.  The information that is reported at the meeting can still be published on the website such as the reports from chairs of committees. 

RECOMMENDATION: The council AGREES to not call the Annual Parish Meeting for the time being and monitor advice about whether to hold it later in the year. 

10Review of Council Emergency Powers and Forward Meeting DiaryTo note the delegated and emergency powers available to the Council and consider and agree the number and style of meetings for the foreseeable future. (Ref: Briefing Note ATTACHED) 

11. Information items, correspondence received and requests: Council is asked to note any items. 

The council is asked to resolve that in view of the confidential nature of the following item, the press and public be excluded under section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960. 

12. Confidential matters:  

12.1 Land North East of Henfield: To receive a verbal update from the Chairman.   

12.2 Staff Matters: To note the resignation of a staff member and receive a verbal update on the recruitment process. 

Protocol for filming and recording at public meetings: The council has a protocol for public filming, recording and photography at its meetings, which is available on the council’s website or on request at the Parish Office.