MINUTES of the Meeting of the Council held on Thursday 29 October 2015 at 8.00pm in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.
|Stephen Hand – Chairman David Evans Rodney Jackson Tony Lank John Lowman||Judith Marsh Pam Mitchell Bob Sampson Matthew Stokes Steve Whitehead|
Peter Griffiths (WSCC Ward Member), Colin Trumble (MSDC Ward Member) 1 member of the public.
Stephen Hoyles – CLERK TO THE COUNCIL
C15/051. Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: The following apologies for absence were received before the meeting and accepted: Allan Brown, Rosemary Burns, Julia Shorrocks, John Wilkinson, Cllr Anthony Watts-Williams (MSDC Ward Member).
There were no declarations of interest in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct.
C15/052. Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 24 September 2015: The Council received and accepted the minutes which were then signed by the Chairman.
C15/053. Adjournment for questions from the public: The Council considered whether to adjourn the Meeting in accordance with clause 3(e) of Standing Orders, in order to receive questions from members of the public in attendance.
RESOLVED : The Council Meeting is adjourned.
A member of the public raised questions for WSCC: What steps were being taken to prevent flooding near the Big Edgerley entrance in Collage Lane? There was a blocked culvert in Malthouse Lane, at the northern end. Why were the cats eyes removed from the Hassocks Road area ? Cllr Peter Griffiths explained that the WSCC ‘Love West Sussex’ website provided a forum for lodging comments, such as had been raised.
C15/054. Reports from other authorities: The Council received verbal reports from representatives of other Authorities:
- (1) Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC): Cllr Colin Trumble (MSDC Ward member) reported: (a) District Plan: a briefing had been made to Parish and Town councils on 27 October 2015 and the issues remained confidential until a news release on 30 October 2015. MSDC was employing an experienced QC Barrister(Mr Rupert Warren) to advise on the submission of the District Plan. MSDC had noted the limitations on the authority of local neighbourhood plans until the District Plan is adopted. (b) Devolution: MSDC is exploring the principles of joining with neighbouring authorities to assume some public functions. (c ) Parking enforcement: The recent concerns in Hurstpierpoint had been noted and MSDC was recruiting more enforcement operatives. (d) Hurstpierpoint Conservation Area: The review was taking place, involving the Parish Council and Hurst Society. A ‘walkabout’ was planned for later in November. A question was raised from the Council about progress on the naming of the A2300 road.
- (2) West Sussex County Council County Local Committee (WSCC/CLC) : Cllr Peter Griffiths Reported: (a)
Bowls Club Hurstpierpoint: WSCC had made a grant for the pavilion extension. The Parish Council were reminded of the Community Initiative Funding (CIF) for grants up to £5000. (b) Syrian Refugees: WSCC were exploring options for its response to the Government agreement to house refugees. (c ) Railway services: WSCC was investigating the scope for improving the London-Brighton line services. (d) Devolution: Three Southern Counties (3SC: East and West Sussex and Surrey) were considering the impacts on the LEP and the interests of the coastal authorities. In response the Parish
Council noted its thanks for the Bowls Club grant, and questioned whether the CIF could be used to fund a cycle route study.
- (3) Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC) : Rodney Jackson reported that he had chaired the WSALC meeting on 1 October 2015 at which the A27 road campaign was discussed. He had attended a SSALC conference on 8 October 2015 at which the matter of community wardens was discussed, noting the expected reduction in PCSO’s. The WSALC conference was due on 19 November 2015 in Chichester and the Council agreed that Rodney
Jackson would be its representative. The Council thanked Rodney for his commitment to SALC and WSALC matters.
C15/055. Committee and Working Group minutes: The Committee Chairmen introduced each Minutes, which the Council received and where appropriate, considered the RECOMMENDATIONS:
- (1) Planning Committee (1 October 2015)
- (2) Strategic Planning Working Group (6 October 2015)
- (3) Parish Plan Working Group: (12 October 2015)
- (4) Traffic + Parking working Group (15 October 2015)
TP15/011. High Street Safety Improvements Scheme (HSIS) Hurstpierpoint: Further to the report to Council on 24 September 2015, the Working Group had received an update on the post-scheme approvals stage. The Working Group noted:
- (5) A meeting took place on 15 October 2015 with Richard Speller (WSCC Highways Mid Sussex Area Manager) and the Working Group Chairman and the Clerk. It had been proposed that WSCC would review the operation of the new scheme after 4 or 5 months operation, and report to the WSCC County Local Committee (CLC) at its January 2016 meeting. At that time, if any adjustments were necessary then they would be considered for implementation. The Working Group discussed the issues and agreed that it would recommend to Council that the process of scheme review was noted and that any potential adjustments would be considered in due course.
It was further reported to Council that the TRO for the 20mph limit had been approved but as a separate matter and therefore not included in the High Street contract. However, this matter was now being progressed and the new signs would be installed. The Stage 3 Safety Audit had taken place on 14 October 2015 and its comments were expected shortly. The Council noted these matters and agreed that the review should include the use of the Loading Bay. RESOLVED: The Council notes that West Sussex County Council Highways will review the operation of the scheme in due course and that if any adjustments are required then they will be considered by the Parish Council.
TP15/014. Chalkers Lane, pedestrian access: Concern had been expressed about the safety of pedestrians on the section of Chalkers Lane, south side, between the end of the existing footpath and the entrance to the Chalkers Lane South development (David Wilson Homes). There is no footway on this section and there is increasing construction HGV traffic serving the development. The issue will become more intense when the temporary construction access to the Little Park development (Bovis Homes) starts, probably in Spring 2016. It was agreed that WSCC is advised of the concern and a request made that a temporary footpath is installed until such time as the permanent footpaths are accessible in the Chalkers Lane development. The Council was asked to agree to the recommendation. (Ref: WSCC email – C Pratt – 5 October 2015)
RESOLVED: WSCC Highways are asked to urgently provide a temporary footpath in Chalkers Lane during the construction process
TP15/015. Correspondence and information: The Working Group noted the following and considered any
RECOMMENDATIONS to COUNCIL for referring schemes to WSCC: (5) Holy Trinity Church, Hurstpierpoint:
Correspondence had been received from the Church Warden requesting warning signs for the lych gate exit onto Albourne Road. The Working Group agreed that this matter should be referred to WSCC Highways. The Council was asked to agree to the recommendation. (Re: M Carey email 23 June 2015)
RESOLVED: WSCC Highways are asked to investigate signage around the lych gate exit onto Albourne Road.
(5) Finance + General Purposes Committee (8 October 2015)
F15/033.4 External Audit 2015: The Committee was asked to receive the External Auditor’s Report. The following matters were noted:
- (1) The valuing of assets on the Assets Register. Until now we have always valued at current insurance value or actual purchase cost. The Auditor has now stated that where insurance value is applied, then it should be at the first value, not updated each year.
- (2) Treatment of the CCLA deposit. The Council currently holds approximately £40,000 in its CCLA account. In signing off the Annual Return 2015, the Internal Auditor raised the matter of whether this should be treated as a cash deposit or a purchased asset. The reason for raising the matter is that the CCLA deposit is strictly the purchase of shares. The Council has always listed this sum (since November 2013 when it was purchased) as cash and not added it to the Asset Register. This matter was raised in the Annual Return and the External Auditor has advised that this sum should be treated as an asset and not as cash. The Committee noted the matter and noted that money held in CCLA was not considered as cash and therefore could not be accounted as part of the reserves. It was agreed that the funds would be transferred back into a cash account when it became necessary to maintain the reserves level above £68,400 as recorded in Minute F15/027.2 at meeting 3 September 2015. The Council was asked to note the Report. (Ref: Littlejohn email 22 September 2015; External Auditor’s Report – 28 September 2015)
RESOLVED: The External Auditors’ Report 2015 is noted.
F15/034.8 Streetlight Replacement Scheme: The Committee was asked to approve in principle and to
RECOMMEND to COUNCIL that a comprehensive scheme is implemented to replace the Council’s streetlights that have not been upgraded in the last two years, and to fund the scheme by borrowing. The details are set to in the BRIEFING NOTE together with the economic justification. The Committee considered both options A (being the complete replacement of all lights) and B (being retention of the sodium lanterns, saving about £30,000). The total scheme option A would cost approximately £190,000, repayable over 20 years at about £13,000 pa. The savings in maintenance, upgrading and energy costs are estimated at £19,000 pa, leaving a surplus of £6,000 pa over the 20 years. At this stage only estimates have been used and final prices would be set by a suitable tender process. The Committee agreed that Option A was preferable. The Council was asked to agree to the recommendation. (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE – Street lighting Replacement Scheme – 1 October 2015)
RESOLVED: The Council agrees in principle to implementing a Streetlight Replacement Scheme which covers all of the Council-owned lights, subject to confirmation of final costs, and to borrowing the necessary funds.
C15/056. Parish Plan Questionnaire: Further to Minute C15/045 (Council Meeting 24 September 2015) the Parish Plan Working Group had reconsidered the wording of the draft questionnaire and Council was now asked to approve for publication with the November Newsletter. (Ref: Parish Plan Questionnaire – Draft v2 )
RESOLVED: The Council approves the Parish Plan questionnaire for publication.
C15/057. Budget 2016/17: The Council noted the proposed timetable for approval of the Budget 2016/17:
- a) 5 November 2015 -Planning Committee to recommend committee budget
- b) 12 November 2015 – Finance + General Purposes Committee to compile draft budget
- c) 19 November 2015 – Community Affairs Committee to recommend committee budget
- d) 7 January 2016 – Finance + General Purposes Committee finalise Budget for recommendation to Council.
- e) 21 January 2016 Council approve Budget and Precept
C15/058. Highfield Drive Parkland: The Council considered a request from the developer to redistribute some subsoil from the construction onto the Parkland which will be transferred to the Council under the terms of the s106 Planning Agreement. The Council discussed the matter and agreed in principle, subject to : (a) a deposit bond (b) proper site supervision in an agreement (c ) ensure that additional planting is provided (d) there is some sharing of the financial benefit. It was agreed that the final matters would be delegated to the Parkland Working Group. (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE:
Highfield Drive Parkland – landscaping request – 21 October 2015)
RESOLVED: The Council agrees to the request to redistribute the subsoil on the parkland area, and to the temporary siting of the site office, subject to the terms detailed in the Briefing Note.
C15/060. Membership of Committees: The Council was asked to agree to the following requests from Members:
- (1) Planning Committee: Cllr Pam Mitchell has asked to step down from this Committee.
- (2) Finance + General Purposes Committee: Cllr Pam Mitchell to join.
- (3) Community Affairs Committee: Cllr John Wilkinson has asked to step down from this Committee due to time pressures.
RESOLVED: The Council agrees to these Committee membership changes.
C15/061. Councillor vacancy: The Council noted that the Notice of Poll expired on 21 October 2015 and the Council is now able to co-opt to fill the vacancy for Hurstpierpoint ward. The established procedure is that, following advertising, applicants are considered by the Governance and Staff Panel and interviewed where appropriate. Recommendations are then brought to Council for approval. The timetable is such that this would be considered by Council on 26 November 2015.
C15/062. Christmas 2015 arrangements: Council noted the following:
- (1) Office closing: The public holidays this Christmas are Friday 25 and Monday 28 December and Friday 1 January 2016. 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 Thursday 24 December and reopens 9.00 am Monday 4 January 2016. 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 Council agrees that the Parish Office closes over the Christmas and New Year period between 25 December and 4 January.
- (2) Christmas event – Wednesday 9 December 2015: The Chairman had suggested that a social meeting takes place in the evening. Council Members and partners are invited and a modest charge made to cover costs. Staff members and partners would also be invited and their cost is met by the Council.
C15/063. Routine Annual Reviews: The Council considered the following to approve as required:
- (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: John Wilkinson, Matthew Stokes, Rodney Jackson, Stephen Hand. It was suggested that Vice-chairman Allan Brown is added to this list.
RESOLVED: The Council approves the bank mandate as requiring any two of the following Members to authorise bank transactions and instructions: John Wilkinson, Matthew Stokes, Rodney Jackson, Stephen Hand, Allan Brown.
- (2) Review of effectiveness of Internal Control and Internal Audit 2015/16: (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE :
Review of effectiveness of Internal Control 2015/16 – 4 August 2015 )
RESOLVED: The Council approves the Review of effectiveness of Internal Control 2015/16.
- (3) Clerk’s delegated powers: (Ref: Clerk’s Delegated Powers – 14 August 2014) RESOLVED: The Council approves the Clerk’s delegated powers.
- (4) Review of charges: (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE – Review of charges October 2015)
RESOLVED: The Council approves the revised charges effective from 1 November 2015.
C15/064. Information items, correspondence received and requests: The Council was asked to note:
- (1) South Downs National Park Authority: Secretary of State appointments 2016: announcement of opening of process.
(Ref: DEFRA email 13 October 2015)
- (2) South Downs National Park Authority: Some Highlights of SDNPA work – September 2015
- (3) NALC – elections to Smaller councils’ Committee: invitation to nominate a Sussex representative. (Ref: SSALC email
13 October 2015)
- (4) Government consultation – closer working between emergency services: (NOTE: consultation closes 23 October 2015) (WSCC email 6 October 2015)
- (5) Action in Rural Sussex (AiRS) – AGM : 29 October 2015 – Lewes town hall. (Ref: AiRS letter 5 October 2015)
- (6) SALC AGM: 19 November 2015 (Ref: SALC ltr 25 September 2015)
- (7) South Downs National Park Authority: Roads in the South Downs (SDNPA Roads in the South Downs – June 2015)
- (8) West Sussex County Council – Current Issues – September 2015
- (9) West Sussex Cycling and Walking Strategy: The response to this questionnaire was completed by Council Members Julia Shorrocks and Matthew Stokes. (Ref: WSCC email Cycling and Walking Strategy questionnaire – 7 September 2015)
C15/065. CONFIDENTIAL Matters:
The Council was asked to determine whether to close the meeting to the public and the press under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to discuss the following items:
RESOLVED: To close the meeting to the public and the press under the Public Bodies (Admissions to meetings) Act 1960.
- (1) West Sussex County Council Building Partnership:
- (2) Mid Sussex District Council Community Scheme:
There being no other business the Chairman closed the Meeting at 10.30 pm. Chairman