HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
To: All Members of the Grounds & Environment Committee (Kate Bailey, Jane Baker, Kristian Berggreen, Leslie Campbell, Frances Gaudencio, Peter Gibbons, Bill Hatton, Frank Rylance and Alex Simmons) and Co-opted Members (Tony Copeland) with copies to all other Councillors for information.
cc Richard Higgs
A virtual meeting of the GROUNDS AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE will be held on Thursday 3 December 2020 at 7.30pm.
Parish Clerk 27 November 2020
1. TO ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.
2. TO ACCEPT DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST.
3. MINUTES To accept the Minutes of the Grounds and Environment Meeting held on Thursday 22 October 2020. (Previously Circulated)
4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.
5. OFFICER’S REPORT. (Appendix 1)
6. MEMORIAL BENCH POLICY REVIEW. (Appendix 2)
7. ADASTRA PARK MASTERPLAN.
7.1 Adastra Park Drainage. Members are invited to consider the appointment of a drainage consultant to advise on viable options to improve drainage within Adastra Park. (Appendix 3)
8. FLOOD WORKING GROUP. Members are invited to consider approving the formation of a working group to review the issue of flooding within the village and explore potential solutions.
9. FINGERPOST. Members are invited to consider the renewal of the finger sign post at A273/B2116 Stonepound Crossroads Hassocks. (Appendix 4)
10. URGENT MATTERS at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.
11. DATE OF NEXT MEETING. Thursday 28 January 2021 at 7.30pm.
All members of the public are welcome to attend meetings of the Parish Council and its Committees.
Item 4 – a period of 15 minutes will be set aside for the public statements and questions relating to the published non-confidential business of the Meeting. It may be necessary to consider particular items in confidential session and where this arises, these items will be considered at the end of the agenda.
If you wish to attend this virtual meeting please email firstname.lastname@example.org before 09.00 hrs on the day of the meeting to be sent an electronic invitation by 12.00 noon on that same day.
FILMING, RECORDING OF COUNCIL MEETINGS AND USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
During this meeting members of the public may film or record the Committee and officers from the public area only providing it does not disrupt the meeting. The Confidential section of the meeting may not be filmed or recorded. If a member of the public objects to being recorded, the person(s) filming must stop doing so until that member of the public has finished speaking. The use of social media is permitted but members of the public are requested to switch their mobile devices to silent for the duration of the meeting.
To: Grounds & Environment Committee Date: 3 December 2020
Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk Subject: Agenda Item 5 – OFFICER’S REPORT
1. The purpose of this report is to update the Committee on Grounds and Environment (G&E) Matters.
2. ADASTRA PARK
2.1. Anti-Social Behaviour. There have been several incidents of anti-social behaviour within Adastra Park which have been reported to the Police:
- A memorial bench outside the Keymer & Hassocks Sports and Social Club was damaged.
- The wooden war memorial structure at the end of the Garden Remembrance has been slowly destroyed due to being climbed and swung on, which has led to it needing to be dismantled due to health and safety concerns.
- Obscene graffiti was painted in mud on the front wall of the pavilion.
- Litter around the skate park area has been extensive, despite the very close proximity of bins.
- Setting fire to a litter bin.
2.2. Memorial Bench. The Memorial Bench in memory of Lewis Macnamara has been installed at the top of the South Field overlooking the Skatepark.
2.3. Memorial Tree. The Winter Flowering Cherry to be planted in memory of Pearl BartlettBundy has now been ordered and is due to be planted by 15 December, which would have been Pearl’s birthday. The tree is to be planted in the north west corner of the North Field Play area, just inside the fence.
3. COVID 19 UPDATE. .All sports activities have ceased in the park during the recent lockdown. The Government directive was that skate parks needed to be closed and that play areas could remain open. Signs have been put up around the skate park informing users that it is closed, and all three local schools were asked to share this information with pupils and parents. Generally the closure has been ignored and the signage removed.
The Parish Office has remained opened throughout with staff working on a rota basis in the office or from home. Members of the public are not permitted access into the building but are assisted at the door.
4. FESTIVE LIGHTS. The Christmas Lights will be switched on the 1 December 2020.
To: Grounds & Environment Committee Date: 3 December 2020
Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk Subject: Agenda Item 6. – Memorial Bench Protocol
1. The purpose of this report is to invite Members to review the Memorial Bench Protocol.
2. The Parish Council has a Memorial Bench Protocol which was approved at the G&E Committee meeting held on 30 June 2016. The purpose of the protocol was to provide a clear operational procedure for the installation of Memorial benches in Adastra Park. The Policy allows for a specific design of bench with a brass plaque to be purchased by the Parish Council and installed in a location agreed by the Parish Clerk in consultation with those requesting the bench. A donation of £650 was requested towards the bench and installation.
3. The protocol was created due to a historic variation in the design and quality of the memorial benches previously installed in the park with no consistency, particularly with regard to quality. The bench currently used is supplied by Alexander Rose, and both delivery and aftercare have proved to be reliable. The benches have been well received by families and have so far proved to be of good quality. They are made from Roble wood.
4. Since the protocol was approved, the installation of benches has changed whereby benches are generally installed onto a concrete base rather than directly into the ground, for maintenance and security purposes. This has increased the cost of installation since the initial donation was agreed. However the Council is now able to purchase the benches at a reduced cost due to an arrangement directly with the supplier. This has offset some of the increase in the installation costs.
5. The current overall cost for supply and delivery of the agreed bench with a plaque, and installation onto a concrete base is in the region of £700 excl. VAT.
6. Members are invited to note that a recent request to install a different style of bench was approved by the Committee at its meeting on 9 July 2020, and it was suggested that requests to deviate from the policy could be considered on their own merits and outside of the protocol.
7. OFFICER RECOMMENDATION. Members are therefore requested to review the current protocol for Memorial Benches and to consider the following matters:
7.1 To maintain the current donation at £650 and for the Council to cover the additional £50 cost for installation or to increase the donation to £700.
7.2 To include the consideration of requests for alternative benches subject to the approval of the Clerk in the first instance, and the final approval of the Committee. Such benches would not fall within the donation policy and all costs would be covered directly by the individual requesting the bench.
To: Grounds & Environment Committee Date: 3 December 2020
Contacts for this report: Parish Clerk Subject: Agenda Item 7 – Adastra Park Drainage
1. Adastra Park ground conditions: The Park suffers from drainage issues particularly during the winter months which results in water logging across various parts of the park, both in the South Field and North Field.
Although the main football pitch located in the North Field had a pitch drainage system installed a number of years ago it seems to have had limited impact.
Due to the way the ground lies within the park surface water travels down from the South Field and then onto the North Field before ultimately dispersing into the stream at the northern perimeter of the park. Within the South Field there are a number of different ground levels causing surface water to pool including over areas of the path network.
Although some limited drainage solutions have been installed within the park in recent years such as the rain garden, skate park drainage and some drainage alongside the play area in the North Field they are very much focused on specific facilities therefore to improve the ground conditions overall within the park further work would be required.
It was apparent that when the replacement play area was installed during the summer (June/July) of this year in the North Field despite an extended dry spell the water table remained high as contractors once breaking through the initial 8-12 inches of loamy top soil the clay beneath was still sodden.
Some of the initiatives being considered by the Park Working Group are likely to be influenced by the ground conditions.
The Council currently has a budget set aside for General Professional fees (£4,000) which is likely to be underspent this financial year, therefore the Park Working Group have requested that a report is submitted to this Committee seeking approval for the recommendation to Full Council that some of these funds are utilised to appoint a suitable consultant (expert) to advise on the viability/feasibility of developing a cost effective drainage solution to improve the existing ground conditions.
The focus of any solution would be that it remains cost effective and realistic to deliver measurable improvements to the parks ground conditions.
2. OFFICER RECOMMENDATION. Member’s views are sought on this approach to utilise some of the funds from the Professional fee budget to seek expert advice as to whether a realistic solution is viable within a realistic budget.
If members were minded to support this approach. Members are invited to approve the Recommendation to Full Council that funds from the General Professional Fees Budget are utilised for the appointment of a suitable consultant (expert) to advise on the viability/feasibility of developing a cost effective drainage solution to improve the existing ground conditions in Adastra Park.
To: Grounds & Environment Committee Date: 3 December 2020
Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk Subject: Agenda Item 9 – Replacement of Fingerpost at A273/B2116 Stonepound Crossroads
1. The purpose of this report is to invite Members to agree the renewal of the finger sign post at A273/B2116 Stonepound Crossroads Hassocks, to agree a company to carry out the work and to approve the expenditure required. The existing finger post has been repaired on several occasions, however it is rotten in several places and is now beyond repair.
2. Two quotes have been received for a replica replacement fingerpost with an oak post, using acrylic lettering: Company A.
- Oak Post and Fingers. Total £ 1437.27 VAT. Installation not included.Company B. (Previously commissioned to replace the fingerpost in Ockley Lane at Keymer Parade.
- Oak Post and Iroko Hardwood Fingers. £1390.20 plus VAT. Cost includes removal of old post and installation.
3. The replacement fingerpost would be funded from the Fingerpost Maintenance Budget which is currently £1500.
4. OFFICER RECOMMENDATION. Members are invited to approve a supplier for the replacement of the fingerpost at Stonepound Crossroads and to approve the expenditure from the Fingerpost Maintenance Budget to fund the replacement.
HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the GROUNDS AND ENVIRONMENT Committee held virtually on 3 December 2020 at 7.30pm.
Attendees: Cllrs Kate Bailey, Jane Baker, Kristian Berggreen, Leslie Campbell, Frances Gaudencio, Bill Hatton, Frank Rylance and Alex Simmons.
In attendance: Tracy Forte – Deputy Clerk
Ian Cumberworth – Parish Clerk
Cllr Claire Tester
GE20/42 APOLOGIES. Cllr Peter Gibbons, and co-opted member Tony Copeland.
GE20/43 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST. There were no declarations of interest.
It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the Grounds & Environment meeting held on Thursday 22 October 2020, be signed by the Chair as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
GE20/45 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. There were no members of the Public present.
GE20/46 OFFICER’S REPORT. Member’s noted the Officer’s report (Appendix 1 of the Agenda). The Deputy Clerk informed Members that the office were communicating with Downlands School over the concerns and that the local PCSO had visited the Parish Office to discuss the issues. It was stressed that anyone who witnesses any anti-social behaviour should report this to the Police via 101 as soon as possible. Any behaviour which poses a risk of harm or serious damage should be reported on 999.
GE20/47 MEMORIAL BENCH PROTOCOL REVIEW. Members were invited to review the current protocol for the provision of Memorial Benches in Adastra Park and to consider whether to increase the current donation from £650 to £700 to cover an increase in the cost of the bench and installation. Members were also invited to consider requests for alternative benches on an individual basis.
GE20/47.1 Members AGREED to APPROVE maintaining the current donation at £650 and for the Council to cover the additional costs for installation of benches.
GE20/47.2 Members AGREED to APPROVE the consideration of requests for alternative benches subject to the approval of the Clerk in the first instance, and the final approval of the Committee. Such benches would not fall within the donation policy and all costs would be covered directly by the individual requesting the bench.
GE 20/48 ADASTRA PARK MASTERPLAN.
GE20/48.1 Adastra Park Drainage. As Members are already aware, Adastra Park is subject to adverse ground conditions in the winter months which results in water logging across various parts of the park and areas of the path network. The Clerk reported that as part of the Park Masterplan the Park Working Group are keen to explore whether there are any viable cost effective drainage solutions the council could make to the park.
Therefore the Clerk invited Members to consider the option of appointing a suitably qualified person to provide advice on developing a viable drainage scheme. Members were asked to note that the Council does not currently hold a specific budget for this type of work however there is a budget for general professional fees in the sum of £4,000 which based on known activity is likely to remain under committed this year. Therefore it was proposed by the Park Working Group that some of these funds could be utilised to appoint a suitable consultant to advise on the viability/feasibility of developing a cost effective drainage solution to improve the existing ground conditions.
Members discussed the matter in detail. There was some recollection from a Member that a full report had been carried out in the past prior to the existing drainage work being carried out, and it was thought that the outcome had suggested there was no viable affordable solution to the drainage problems. Therefore some concerns were expressed over the use of further funds if it had already been confirmed that it would not be possible to solve the issues. Other Members and the Clerk were not aware of such a report, however it was agreed that the Deputy Clerk would have a further look to support this. The Clerk informed Members that drainage was a key concern which was raised during the Masterplan public consultation and continues to be a concern of park users.
GE 20/48.2 Subject to establishing whether a detailed report had previously been considered discounting the viability of a drainage solution, Members RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND to Full Council that funds from the General Professional Fees Budget are utilised for the appointment of a suitable consultant (expert) to advise on the viability/feasibility of developing a cost effective drainage solution to improve the existing ground conditions in Adastra Park.
GE 20/49 FLOOD WORKING GROUP. Members were invited to consider approving the formation of a working group to review the issue of flooding within the village and explore potential solutions. The proposal had been put forward by Cllrs Frances Gaudencio and Claire Tester.
A draft proposed Terms of Reference for the group had been shared with the Committee as a background paper for information (Appendix 1). The Chair opened the discussion by suggesting that the Committee should support the formation of such a group. She noted that the work carried out by the Hassocks Neighbourhood Plan Group provided a useful starting point for such a Working Group, referring to Policy 4 of the Neighbourhood Plan – Managing Surface Water. The Chair proposed that the group would be self-managing and would report to the G&E Committee at each meeting. The Chair also observed that the composition of the group would be important for its success and that the WSCC representative should ideally be a senior officer alongside our WSCC Kirsty Lord.
Cllr Alex Simmons raised the possibility of a First Response Group which could be set up in association with Mid Sussex District Council. The group would consist of a set of trained volunteers who could be called upon to assist in flood situations.
There were various discussions around flooding, however it was noted that the purpose of this item was to agree the formation of a Flood Working Group to consider the various issues raised. Members considered the formation of a group. The Terms of Reference were noted as a draft proposal for consideration by the Working Group once formed.
GE 20/49.1 Members AGREED to APPROVE the formation of a Flood Working Group to review the issue of flooding within the village and explore potential solutions.
GE 20/50 FINGERPOST. Members were invited to consider the renewal of the finger sign post at A273/B2116 Stonepound Crossroads Hassocks. Two quotes had been received for the replacement finger post, one from Harry Stebbing Workshop at 1437.27 plus VAT (Company A) and the other from JAKK Country Furniture at £1390.20 plus VAT (Company B). The replacement fingerpost would be funded from the Fingerpost Maintenance Budget which is currently £1500. Members considered both quotations, and it was noted that installation was included in the quotation from JAKK Country Furniture which was preferable.
GE 20/50.1 Members RESOLVED to approve the expenditure of £1390.20 plus VAT for the supply and installation of replica fingerpost at A273/B2116 Stonepound Crossroads Hassocks by JAKK Country Furniture. To be funded from the Fingerpost Maintenance Fund.
GE 20/51 URGENT MATTERS at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda. Cllr Frank Rylance raised a concern over graffiti around the village and wanted to know what action could be taken. The Deputy Clerk informed the Committee that Mid Sussex District Council will remove graffiti if reported either directly to them or alternatively to the Parish Office who will pass the report on. Graffiti can be reported online on the MSDC website – https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/environment/graffiti-flyposting/
GE 20/52 DATE OF NEXT MEETING Thursday 28 January 2021 at 7.30pm
There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.15pm
Grounds & Environment Committee Meeting 3.12.20
Proposed Terms of Reference for Grounds and Environment Working Group on Flooding
Purpose of Group
To review the evidence of flood incidence and risk in the parish and the potential solutions and make recommendations for future action.
Membership of Group
Up to 7 Council members and co-opted members from organisations with an interest in flooding including West Sussex County Council, HKD Transition and the Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust.
Including, but not limited to:
- Receiving updates from WSCC on the implementation of the ‘Hassocks Surface Water Management Plan’ 2016;
- Receiving updates from HKD Transition / Ouse & Adur Rivers Trust on the implementation of the study ‘Reducing Flood Risk in Hassocks – Upstream Flow Mitigation Herring Stream and Lagg Stream’ 2016;
- Reviewing options for future natural flood management measures on publicly owned land, including Parklands Copse;
- Reviewing options for other measures to control surface water runoff;
- Reviewing options for protection measures for businesses and residents most at risk of flooding, and options for funding these.
Reporting and Timescales
The group will report its findings back to the Grounds and Environment Committee within 12 months unless otherwise agreed by that Committee.
Cllrs Frances Gaudencio & Claire Tester