Grounds and Environment Committee

Agenda

To:      All Members of the Grounds & Environment Committee (Kate Bailey, Jane Baker, Claire Tester, Kristian Berggreen, Leslie Campbell, Frances Gaudencio, 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 28 January at 7.30pm.

Parish Clerk        22 January 2021

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 3 December 2020. (Previously Circulated)

4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

5. OFFICER’S REPORT.(Appendix 1)

6. ADASTRA FACILITIES HIRE FEES AND CHARGES.  Members are invited to consider an amendment to the current fees calculations. (Appendix 2)

7. ADASTRA PARK SIGNAGE.  Members are invited to consider a proposal to refresh the signage within Adastra Park. (Appendix 3)

8. ADASTRA PARK MASTERPLAN.  Verbal Update (Parish Clerk)

9. VILLAGE SIGN. Members are invited to consider preferences regarding the Village Sign.(Appendix 4)

10. FLOOD WORKING GROUP.  Verbal Update (Cllr Frances Gaudencio)

11. PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY.  Verbal Update. (Cllr Leslie Campbell)

12. URGENT MATTERS at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.

13. DATE OF NEXT MEETING.  Thursday 11 March 2021 at 7.30pm

Please Note

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 info@hassocks-pc.gov.uk 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.

Clerk: Ian Cumberworth, Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Keymer Road, Hassocks BN6 8QH

Tel: 01273 842714 email: info@hassocks-pc.gov.uk


Appendix 1         HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:      Grounds & Environment Committee        Date:  28 January 2021

Contact 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       COVID 19 Update.  In line with the latest Government restrictions all sports facilities in Adastra Park have now been closed and club activities have ceased.
2.2.      Memorial Bench.  A memorial bench in memory of Cllr Peter Martin has been installed in the South Field of Adastra Park.

3. HASSOCKS PARKING SCHEME Phase 2. Line and sign contractors have been appointed to carry out the work. This work is now in progress.

4. THE WOODLAND FLORA AND FAUNA GROUP. As agreed at the Full Council meeting on 10 December 2019, as part of the 20/21 budget, a grant of £500 will be paid to The Woodland Flora and Fauna Group towards their excellent work in maintaining and managing Talbot Field as a nature reserve.

5. HASSOCKS BURIAL GROUND. Due to the continued parking in front of the Burial Ground barrier gate, a large sign has now been installed on the gate requesting the area is kept clear at all times.


Appendix 2 HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:      Grounds & Environment Committee        Date:  28 January 2021

Contact for this report: Deputy Clerk     Subject: Agenda Item 6 – Adastra Park Facilities Fees.


1. The purpose of this report is to invite the Committee to consider changing from the current approach to calculating Adastra Park Facilities hire fees and charges to a more independent approach.

2. Currently sports facility charges are reviewed annually, usually in March, to be applied from 1 April to 31 March to the following year. Historically all sports facilities fees for Adastra Park have been calculated in line with the fees charged by Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) in most cases. There are some exceptions such as the charge for public hire of the tennis courts.

3. The fees for other Parish Council facilities, the Burial Ground and Allotments, are reviewed by the Council yearly and are calculated based on an inflationary increase unless there has been a change in circumstances or facilities which necessitates a full review.

4. Using the charges agreed by MSDC as the basis for calculating HPC sports facilities fees, creates an operational challenge for the office as it is reliant on the timing of MSDC agreeing its charges. This does not always correspond to the timing of the G&E Committee meeting prior to 1 April each year, and therefore can result in a delay any charges being agreed.

5. Therefore Members are invited to consider applying the same formula used to calculate the Allotment rents and Burial Ground fees to the calculation of Adastra Park hire fees and charges each year, instead of relying on MSDC calculations. To maintain a level of consistency all fees would be monitored in relation to those applied by MSDC annually and any significant anomalies would be explored and reported to the Committee where appropriate.

6. OFFICER RECOMMENDATION. Members are invited to agree the application of a formula based on inflation in the annual calculation of Adastra Park Facilities hire fees and charges which are presented to Members for approval each year.


Appendix 3    HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL 

To: Grounds & Environment Committee             Date:  28 January 2021

Contact for this report: Parish Clerk      Subject: Item 7 – Adastra Park Signage


1. The purpose of this report is to invite Members to consider a proposal to refresh the signage within Adastra Park.

2. As part of the Adastra Park Masterplan, the working group representatives were tasked with reviewing the existing signage with a view to introducing some consistency to the design and improving the representation of information. Currently within the park there is a large variation in styles and design of signage. With the introduction of the new /refreshed facilities over recent years, the Council has sought to introduce improved clearer signage and branding.

3. Therefore, it is proposed to extend this approach and to replace all previously installed older signage to ensure that any message is conveyed clearly and in a consistent manner. Example designs for replacement signage have been produced and circulated as a background paper for Members to review.

4. Officer Recommendation.
4.1 Members are invited to approve the proposal to replace signage within the park as part of the previously agreed Adastra Park Masterplan.

4.2 If Members approve the proposal, Members are then requested to authorise that the final designs and arrangements for signage are to be progressed as an operational matter by the Clerk.


 Appendix 4     HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

 To:      Grounds & Environment Committee        Date:  28 January 2021

Contact for this report: Parish Clerk      Subject: Agenda Item 8 – VILLAGE SIGN


1. The purpose of this report is to invite Members to consider if and how the Committee wishes to approach the replacement of the recently damaged village sign situated at the entrance to Adastra Park.

2. Members are no doubt aware that the village sign at the entrance to Adastra Park has been in a poor state of repair for some time and was recently damaged beyond repair in the adverse weather, resulting in its removal.

3. It is understood that for a number of years the Council has had aspirations to refurbish this sign but due to a variety of reasons this was not able to be progressed. In light of the recent events Members may wish to take the opportunity of revisiting this project with a view to replacing the existing sign. Funds have been set aside in Earmarked Reserves in the sum of £3,000 to realise this.

4. In the consideration of any replacement, Members might also wish to reflect upon the wording of a replacement sign, including whether the sign refers to Hassocks or Keymer. The original sign displaying:   George V Elizabeth II ‘Parish of Keymer’ 1910-1977.

5. Some preliminary enquiries have been made with neighbouring parishes with village signs to assess the costs associated with creating and installing a new sign. It has proved difficult to obtain definitive costs as this would be influenced by the complexity of the design and lettering incorporated within the sign. However some local blacksmiths that have fabricated signs on behalf of neighbouring parishes have been identified as possible contacts, should further information be required.

6. Members are therefore being requested to consider whether they wish to progress the replacement of a village sign at this stage. In which case Members are invited to come to a consensus on the wording of the sign, alongside any potential design features that should be incorporated to enable more detailed costs to be obtained.

7. OFFICER RECOMMENDATION. If Members are minded to progress with the replacement of the village sign, it is suggested that an agreement is reached as to how this project should be developed.

Minutes

Draft Minutes of the GROUNDS AND ENVIRONMENT Committee held virtually on
28 January 2021 at 7.30pm.

Attendees: Cllrs Kate Bailey, Jane Baker, Kristian Berggreen, Leslie Campbell, Frances Gaudencio, Bill Hatton, Frank Rylance, Alex Simmons, Claire Tester and Ian Weir

In attendance: Tracy Forte – Deputy Clerk, Ian Cumberworth – Parish Clerk, Cllr David Bunting.

GE20/53 APOLOGIES. Apologies were received from co-opted member Tony Copeland.

GE20/54 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST. There were no declarations of interest.

GE20/55 MINUTES. It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the Grounds & Environment meeting held on Thursday 3 December 2020, be signed by the Chair as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

GE20/56 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.  There were no members of the Public present.

GE20/57 OFFICER REPORT. Members noted the Officer’s report.

Hassocks Parking Scheme, Phase 2. The Clerk updated Members on the scheme.  He informed Members that this contract scheme was initially to be delivered by West Sussex County Council (WSCC) however the responsibility has subsequently fallen onto the Parish Council to deliver.

The initial estimated cost by County was understated when compared with the actual costs obtained via quotation, which put the scheme’s affordability in doubt as the Parish Council contribution did not cover shortfall. It was therefore necessary to negotiate a larger contribution from County, and after discussions £10,500 was secured from s106 funds held by WSCC for the Hassocks area.

The scheme has therefore been able to progress and both a line marking contractor and a sign contractor have been appointed. Works are currently in progress.

Hassocks Burial Ground.  The Deputy Clerk informed Members that the Burial Ground continues to be very waterlogged in places which, combined with the existing narrow footpath, makes it difficult at times for Funeral Directors to transport coffins from the car park to the grave plot during the winter months.  It is also a challenge underfoot for mourners to visit graves or attend burials at certain times of the year.   Therefore the Deputy Clerk asked Members to note that a proposal for an improved path network to alleviate these difficulties at the Burial Ground would be presented to the Committee at a future meeting.

GE20/58 ADASTRA FACILITIES HIRE FEES AND CHARGES.  Members were informed that previously all sports facilities fees for Adastra Park have been calculated in line with the fees charged by Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC), there are some exceptions such as the charge for public hire of the tennis courts.  The fees for other Parish Council facilities, the Burial Ground and Allotments, are reviewed by the Council yearly and are calculated based on an inflationary increase unless there has been a change in circumstances or facilities which necessitates a full review.

Using the charges agreed by MSDC as the basis for calculating HPC sports facilities fees, creates an operational challenge as it is reliant on the timing of MSDC agreeing its charges.  This does not always correspond to the timing of the G&E Committee meeting prior to 1 April each year, and therefore can result in a delay in any charges being agreed.

Therefore Members were invited to agree the application of a formula based on inflation in the annual calculation of Adastra Park Facilities hire fees and charges which are presented to Members for approval each year.

GE20/58.1 It was RESOLVED to APPROVE the application of a formula based on inflation in the annual calculation of Adastra Park Facilities hire fees and charges.

GE20/59 ADASTRA PARK SIGNAGE. Members were invited to consider a proposal to refresh the signage within Adastra Park as part of the previously agreed Adastra Park Masterplan.

Members were shown some examples of proposed signage based on a corporate design by Cllr Ian Weir.   Concern was raised over existing signage in the park and confirmation was sought that all existing signage was to be removed and replaced, and that no additional signage would be added.  It was confirmed that the intention of the proposal is not to increase signage, but to improve and align the current signage by replacing it with a consistent format.

Cllr Jane Baker raised a concern over the proposal to attach new signage to the Lych Gate as it was felt this detracted from the Gate itself.  It had been previously suggested that the existing signage attached to the gate should be re-located.  This would be discussed as an operational matter at the appropriate time.

The issue of dog fouling around the skate park was discussed, and in particular dog owners allowing their dogs off the lead in this vicinity and to walk across the skate park, despite signage requesting otherwise.   It was also noted that dogs are walked through the Garden of Remembrance, often off the lead, again despite signage stating dogs are not allowed in this area.

The Deputy Clerk informed Members that dog fouling is a problem though out the park, either due to dog owners not picking up or not watching their dogs at all times.  It is not uncommon for sports pitches to have to be cleared of dog mess prior to sports activities taking place.   It was noted that further thought needs to be given to addressing this problem.

GE20/59.1 Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the proposal to refresh the signage and were happy with the format of the designs presented.

GE20/59.2 Members RESOLVED to APPROVE that the final designs and arrangements for signage are to be progressed as an operational matter by the Clerk.

GE 20/60 ADASTRA PARK MASTERPLAN. The Clerk updated the Committee on the following matters.

Drainage.  The Project brief has been drafted regarding the drainage study and the Clerk is in the process of contacting contractors.  He has been in discussions with some companies that might be interested in undertaking this piece of work.

Garden of Remembrance.  A programme of works is in the process of being delivered over the next 3 months; the lawn is scheduled to be scarified (Feb/March) and will also be top dressed and re-seeded (April).

However the Clerk noted that all timings will be subject to the impact of any ongoing Covid restrictions. He also informed the Committee that the following work has already been completed; a new flower bed installed and the lawn area has been aerated.

Cllr Frances Gaudencio asked Members to note that a meeting of the Park Working Group would be arranged in the near future to review and update matters.

GE 20/61 VILLAGE SIGN. Members were invited to consider if and how the Council wished to approach the replacement of the recently damaged village sign situated at the entrance to Adastra Park.  If Members agreed to progress with a replacement sign, Members were invited to come to a consensus on the wording of the sign, alongside any potential design features that should be incorporated to enable more detailed costs to be obtained.

The Chair invited each Member to share their thoughts on this matter.

Cllr Frank Rylance raised a concern over condition of the metal gate at the eastern entrance to the Garden of Remembrance from Keymer Road, and it was agreed that this would be dealt with separately as an operational issue.

Members were in full agreement that they would like to see either the current sign post and frame refurbished with a new sign if this was feasible or for a completely new sign and post installed.

A discussion took place regarding the wording on the sign.  The previous sign referenced the Parish of Keymer, however it was noted that in 2000 the parishes of Clayton and Keymer amalgamated to become Hassocks Parish Council.  It was therefore AGREED that the replacement sign should feature HASSOCKS.

Several Members were in favour of a metal sign displaying features linked to Hassocks similar to the style used by other local Parishes. There was some consideration as to which features the sign should include, references were made to Oldlands Mill, Jack and Jill Windmills and the Railway Station.  No final consensus was agreed.

Further to this, it was proposed and agreed that as a future project the creation of separate signs for both Clayton and Keymer should be reviewed.

Following a detailed discussion, the Clerk was instructed to explore the options and costs of the following, and to report back at the April G&E meeting if possible:

  • The possibility of refurbishing the existing signpost.
  • The cost of a painted replacement sign or a metal sign to be incorporated into the existing post.
  • The cost of a completely new post and sign.

GE 20/62 FLOOD WORKING GROUP.  Cllr Gaudencio informed Members that the Flood Working Group had held its first meeting which she chaired and Cllr Claire Tester took notes. The meeting was attended by Parish Cllrs Frances Gaudencio, Claire Tester, Bill Hatton, and Kristian Berggreen, County Cllr Kirsty Lord, Juliet Merrifield (HKD Transition) and Peter King, Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust (OART).  It was agreed that a Member from Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) should be invited to join the group.

The group looked at all reports, flood mapping and mitigation proposals that had been created over the past years including those produced by WSCC and OART.  This extended onto exploring potential actions which had been proposed ranging from large strategic projects to smaller local community action projects.

Cllr Gaudencio asked the G&E Committee to note that as part of this, Hassocks PC would be approached in the future for landowner permission for Parklands Copse (woodland) to enable the implementation of action to mitigate the excess surface water collecting on Parklands Copse greenspace (MSDC land).

Cllr Bill Hatton clarified that the group is keen to focus on sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) such as debris dams.  He also updated the Committee that he had contacted MSDC Assistant Chief Executive Judy Holmes regarding drainage at Parklands Copse, and that she had forwarded this enquiry to the Landscaping Team with a request to review sustainable drainage options on this site.  Cllr Hatton also informed Members that Mid Sussex District Cllr Ben Dempsey had agreed to join the group as a MSDC representative.

Cllr Claire Tester invited the Committee to note that two additions had been included on the Terms of Reference for the working group as follows:

  • A specific reference to receiving information from WSCC Highways on flooding related matters.
  • A final task relating to recommendations for actions to the Grounds and Environment Committee.

GE 20/63 PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY (PROW).  Cllrs Leslie Campbell and Ian Weir informed Members that they had met to review the current status and any proposed work for every PROW in Hassocks and had produced a schedule of this. It is intended to map out all footpaths that need attention and report back to the Committee with proposals for improvements as appropriate.

A query was raised regarding previously proposed improvements to the Cinder Track, Footpath 14C which were being explored by County Cllr Kirsty Lord.  The Deputy Clerk was asked to follow this up and provide an update to the Committee.

GE 20/64 URGENT MATTERS at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.

GE 20/65 DATE OF NEXT MEETING. Members were invited to note that the date of the next meeting had been brought forward from Thursday 25 March 2021 to Thursday 11 March 2021 at 7.30pm.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.40pm

Signed …………………………………Chair   Date……………………