HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
To: All Members of the Grounds & Environment Committee (Kate Bailey, Jane Baker, David Bunting, Kristian Berggreen, Leslie Campbell, Frances Gaudencio, Bill Hatton, Alex Simmons and Ian Weir) and Co-opted Members (Tony Copeland) with copies to all other Councillors for information.
cc. Richard Higgs
A meeting of the GROUNDS AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE will be held on Wednesday 27 October at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.
Parish Clerk 21 October 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 8 September 2021. (Previously Circulated)
4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.
5. OFFICER’S REPORT. (Appendix 1)
6. VILLAGE SIGN. Verbal update on the fabrication of a new Village Sign.
7. ADASTRA PARK.
7.1. MOBILE FOOD OUTLET. The Committee is invited to consider progressing a request for an ice cream van to trade from Adastra Park. (Appendix 2)
7.2 ADASTRA PARK MASTERPLAN. Verbal Update (Parish Clerk).
8. FLOOD WORKING GROUP. Verbal Update. Cllr Frances Gaudencio.
9. LONDON ROAD RECREATION GROUND (BELMONT PARK). Members are invited to consider correspondence from MSDC regarding a consultation for potential improvements to London Road Recreation Ground, Hassocks (Belmont Park) (Appendix 3).
10. BUDGET INITIATIVES. Members are invited to consider potential initiatives that they would like to see included in the forthcoming budget setting process for 2022/23. (Appendix 4)
11. PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY (PROW). Verbal update Cllrs Ian Weir and 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. Wednesday 8 December 2021
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.
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.
HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
To: Grounds & Environment Committee Date: 27 October 2021
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 (G&E) Matters.
2. ADASTRA PARK.
Garden of Remembrance. The remaining brickwork and protruding metal base posts from the structure at the far end of the Garden of Remembrance have been fully removed and the holes have been cemented flush with the ground. This work was carried out as an emergency repair due to the health and safety risks posed, the total cost of this work was £320 plus VAT and has been funded from the Adastra Park R&R budget.
Pergola. An inspection of the pergola in the Garden of Remembrance has shown that several of the wooden timbers are rotten and ideally all of the timbers should be replaced. Furthermore two of the stone pillars are damaged and it is recommended that these are rebuilt prior to replacing the timbers. The current total cost of this work would be £1826.90 plus VAT, however due to the increasing cost of timber this may be subject to change. This work is scheduled to be carried out in the early part of next year. Due to the limited funds available in the Adastra Park R&R budget approval is to be sought from Full Council for the expenditure to be taken from General Reserves.
Litter. Litter is an ongoing problem in the park with a significant amount of litter being left in the Garden of Remembrance and in the area near the South Field Car Park. It is recognised that the litter bin nearest to the car park is extensively used and frequently overflowing, as is the litter bin on the northern border of the South Field. Both bins are in a very poor condition and therefore it is considered that these should be replaced with the same style of bin as has been used in the Skatepark area and North Field Play areas. It is considered that a double litter bin should be installed in replacement of the bin near the South Field Car Park to accommodate the level of litter generated in this area. The cost to purchase the two bins plus fixings would be in the region of £1000 plus Vat with additional costs for installation. Approval from Full Council will be sought to release funds from General Reserves to cover these costs.
Damaged bench. The memorial bench in the Garden of Remembrance in memory of John and Josie Gargett was recently broken by vandals, this was reported to the Police. Fortunately the Monday Group were able to repair it so that it can be used once again. They have also reinstalled the bench securely.
3. Light Up Hassocks. Arrangements are well under way for the Light Up Hassocks event which is to be held on Friday 3 December. This year the Hassocks Community Organisation are assisting the Sussex Vale Rotary Club. Consent has been given from the street lighting contractor for the installation of the Festive Lights on the designated lamp posts and the new owners of Hassocks Hardware have very kindly agreed to continue hosting the large Merry Christmas Hassocks motif which is installed on their wall and powered from the store’s electricity supply. The Light Up event will be held on Friday December 3.
4. Village Planting. As part of the Hassocks Community Organisation (HCO) Green Group remit, volunteers have recently tidied up the Stonepound trough, cut away the overgrown grass, and have reported that the three phormiums planted well over a year ago are still looking healthy. The trough has been planted with some pansies for winter colour and some variegated ivy, and dressed the top with pea shingle. The Grand Avenue wall planters have also been cleared out and replanted with a selection of colourful dwarf shrubs ready for next Spring as well as some pansies. Some trailing shrubs will also be added after the winter.
5. Remembrance Sunday.
5.1. The Hassocks WI have again made a collection of poppies which will be displayed at the entrance of Adastra Park in recognition of Remembrance Day.
5.2. Back in 2019, HCO arranged for a group of volunteers to meet at the War Memorial in Keymer to tidy and plant the overgrown bank behind the memorial in time for the annual Remembrance Service. This planting was funded by HCO and MSDC.
Owing to the pandemic, they were unable to repeat this exercise during 2020, although this year, a small team of volunteers have been able to keep the immediate area around the Memorial planted and tidy. The bank takes quite a bit of additional ‘volunteer power’ and HCO are appealing for help this year on Saturday 6th November at 10.30am for around an hour. Further information is available by emailing Bob Kenhard at email@example.com.
HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
To: Grounds & Environment Committee Date: 27 October 2021
Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk
Subject: Agenda Item 7.1 – Mobile Food Outlet; Adastra Park.
1. At the G&E Meeting held on 28 April 2021 Members were invited to consider a request from a local ice cream vendor to trade from Adastra Park.
GE20/86.1 …… it was AGREED that the Clerk and Deputy Clerk would be asked to explore the operational requirements in more detail and present a report to the Committee at the next meeting for a continued discussion.
2. The Council can make its own criteria regarding what requirements must be met in order to allow trading to take place in Adastra Park. At the very least adequate Public Liability insurance is required along with an acceptable Food Hygiene certificate from the local authority. It is highly recommended that a contract is drawn up setting out the Terms and Conditions to be met, these can be specified to include operational set up, management of litter, range of foods, no tobacco or alcoholic beverages and times of trading.
3. This particular trader currently limits sales to private hire functions, fayres and fetes and charity events. She has also provided the following additional information about her business:
I will be serving traditional The Marshfield Farm scoop ice cream with waffle cones or tubs and their individual tubs giving a large selection of flavours. I have a good selection of sauces and toppings.
We have invested in a brand new soft serve ice cream machine that can be run from the van battery or from a standard power supply giving us a much greener business. Giving customers good quality Jersey Gold cones with the all important flake!
We also have a selection of vegan and diary free ice creams and lolly’s along with a selection of popular children’s lolly’s.
She is also hoping to be able to carry a small stock of bottled water and some other natural Juice or drink.
4. Members are invited to note that preliminary interest has also been expressed by two local traders with regards to selling coffees/soft drinks and some food in the park from mobile outlets, however these are yet to be developed into full proposals.
5. If Members are agreeable to allowing specified mobile food outlets to trade from Adastra Park, a generic contract could be drawn up and a procedure put it place in readiness.
It is suggested that Members consider approaching any proposal to operate from Adastra Park on an individual basis. If the proposal is favourable to the Council, a trial trading period could be agreed to enable both the Council and the trader to establish whether the arrangement is beneficial. On this basis a nominal fee could be charged during the trial period.
6. OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION. Members are invited to consider the request from the Ice Cream vendor and whether the Committee wishes to allow this trader to sell from Adastra Park at agreed times for a trial period.
If Members are happy to approve this, the Office will progress the implementation of the necessary policy and procedural documentation for the approval of the Committee at a forthcoming meeting.
HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
To: Grounds & Environment Committee Date: 27 October 2021
Subject: Agenda Item 9 – London Road Recreation Ground. MSDC
1. The purpose of this report is to invite Members to note correspondence from MSDC regarding London Road Recreation Ground, Hassocks (Belmont Park. MSDC are planning to prepare a masterplan for London Road Recreation Ground in Hassocks, and as an initial part of the master planning process a better understanding is being sought as to how the facilities are currently being used and what people would like to see there in the future.
2. A Public consultation is currently running which has been promoted on social media and members of the public are encouraged to participate by completing an online survey on the MSDC website Parks – Mid Sussex District Council.
3. The Parish Council has been contacted as a consultee and is invited to share any thoughts or comments which it considers beneficial to the process. Therefore Members are invited to consider whether the Committee wishes to submit any comments regarding the future of London Road Recreation Ground.
HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
To: Grounds & Environment Committee Date: 27 October 2021
Contacts for this report: Clerk Subject: Agenda Item 10 – BUDGET INITIATIVES
1. Members are requested to consider potential initiatives they would like to see funded as part of the next budget setting process. In considering options Members should have regard for current allocated Earmarked Reserves and priorities set out within the Business Plan.
2. This exercise will then enable any initiatives identified to be considered as part of the forthcoming budget setting process alongside other funding bids.
3. The current position regarding the Council Earmarked Reserves (Capital) is summarised in Appendix 4a (please click here to view Appendix 4a) which sets out the projected position at the end of this financial year.
4. Members may recall that they have previously agreed in principle to supporting a programme of PROW improvements in the next financial year subject to budget approval. To assist Members a schedule of other potential initiatives has been produced Appendix 4b (please click here to view Appendix 4b). This is based on those initiatives which Members have previously indicated some support for and may wish to consider at this time. These areas have focused on capital expenditure, however there may be some revenue initiatives Members would like to see developed.
5. Members are invited to consider the options listed below together with any other proposals for review as part of the budget setting process later in the year. Member’s views are sought.
HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
Draft Minutes of a meeting of the GROUNDS AND ENVIRONMENT Committee held on 27 October at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks
Attendees: Cllrs Jane Baker (Chair), Kate Bailey (after item 8), Kristian Berggreen, David Bunting, Leslie Campbell, Frances Gaudencio and Ian Weir.
In attendance: Tracy Forte – Deputy Clerk, Ian Cumberworth – Parish Clerk and 2 members of the public.
GE21/15 APOLOGIES. Apologies were received from Cllr Alex Simmons. Absent without apology – Cllr Bill Hatton.
GE21/16 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST. There were no declarations of interest.
GE21/17 MINUTES. It was noted that minute GE21/03.2 recorded:
It was RESOLVED that Cllr David Bunting was elected as Vice Chair of the Grounds and Environment Committee for 2018/19 instead of 2021/22. This was amended accordingly by the Chair.
GE21/17.1. It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the Grounds & Environment meeting held on 8 September 2021, be signed by the Chair as a true and accurate record of the meeting, subject to the agreed amendment as noted above.
GE21/18 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. Mr Valpy and Mr Freeman who both live in properties in Downs View Road attended the meeting with an interest in hearing the update from the Flood Working Group. Mr. Freeman informed the Committee that over the past few years the flooding has become worse in Downs View Road and yet no action has been taken. They have both experienced significant flooding on their land, and are now very concerned that the flooding will soon start to affect their homes. Mr Valpy referred to the Surface Water Management Plan that was produced by West Sussex County Council (WSCC) in 2016 which he felt was an excellent document. He noted that the flooding issues in Hassocks were very well reported, and the document contained several recommendations for managing these. However he noted that subsequently none of these solutions have been implemented. Similarly Mr Freeman understood that WSCC have been considering the use of holding tanks in Parklands Copse, he informed the committee that he felt this would be very important and could make a considerable difference to the flooding levels experienced in Downs View Road.
GE21/19 The Chair proposed moving Item 8, Flood Working Group; Verbal Update, to be considered first. This was unanimously approved by the Committee.
GE21/20 FLOOD WORKING GROUP. Cllr Frances Gaudencio provided some background on the Flood Working Group (FWG) and explained that the group membership included Parish Councillors, a District Councillor and the County Councillor and that representatives from relevant bodies were invited to attend meetings. The FWG initially reviewed all documentation produced by WSCC which was in the public domain regarding flooding and flood management strategies in Hassocks; from this it was very clear that many recommendations made had not been implemented todate. The FWG has since endeavoured to establish why this is the case. It has become apparent that the whole area of flood management is highly complex with many contributory factors. The most recent WSCC consultation document on its Local Flood Risk Management Strategy has recognised Hassocks as a priority in terms of surface water flooding. Hassocks PC has responded to the consultation document. The FWG is looking at how WSCC is working with other agencies and organisations to manage flooding and also working closely with HKD Floods and SUDS group exploring at the use of natural flood management strategies.
Cllr Gaudencio requested that the Council prioritises flood management in the Business Plan and asked members to consider the creation of a budget for supporting smaller flood management projects. This would be covered later in the agenda under item 10, Budget Initiatives.
It was also noted that the article written in Hassocks Life about the work of the Flood Working Group had elicited several responses to the Parish Office from residents who had directly experienced flooding. It was agreed that it is important to collate as much information as possible about flooding issues in Hassocks and that the Parish Office was best placed to collate this information. Residents should therefore be encouraged to send these in to the office.
Both members of the public left the meeting.
GE21/20 OFFICER REPORT. Members noted the Officer’s report. The Chair noted the work Rotary Club, with the support of Hassocks Community Organisation this year, in organising the Light Up Hassocks event. She also encouraged Members to promote the contribution of Hassocks Parish Council in organising and funding the festive lights every year, as well the contribution of the new owners of Hassocks Hardware who have very kindly agreed to continue providing the electricity to illuminate the Merry Christmas Hassocks sign. It was noted that Colin, the previous owner of Hassocks Hardware had been very generous in initially providing funding towards the original motif and in providing the electricity to illuminate the sign every year.
Cllr Kate Bailey joined the meeting.
GE21/21 VILLAGE SIGN. Cllr David Bunting updated Members that he had collected the village sign from the blacksmith and delivered it to the artist’s studio ready for the painting to begin during the week commencing 1 November. A local builder has been commissioned to remove the old post and the flag stones and to install the new post and sign as soon as the painting is finished. It is hoped this should take place around the end of November.
Cllr Bunting confirmed that he is putting together a story board documenting the production of the sign from its beginning. The blacksmith has provided photos and the artist will do the same. Once the whole process is complete, the final edit will be used to inform residents about the sign via local media sources and the website.
It was also proposed that a noticeboard should be installed near the sign displaying information about the production of the sign.
The Committee expressed its thanks to Cllr Bunting for his hard work in progressing this project.
GE21/22 ADASTRA PARK.
GE21/22.1 MOBILE FOOD OUTLET. At the G&E Meeting held on 28 April 2021 Members were invited to consider a request from a local ice cream vendor to trade from Adastra Park. It was AGREED that ‘the Clerk and Deputy Clerk would be asked to explore the operational requirements in more detail and present a report to the Committee at the next meeting for a continued discussion’. (GE20/86.1)
The Deputy Clerk informed the Committee that as the landowner the Council can make its own criteria regarding what requirements must be met in order to allow trading to take place in Adastra Park. An agreement can be drawn up by the Parish Council covering all elements required.
Members were therefore invited to consider the request from the Ice Cream vendor and whether the Committee wishes to allow this trader to sell from Adastra Park at agreed times for a trial period.
The Committee were asked to note that interest had been expressed by two other local businesses with regard to serving hot drinks and refreshments in the park from mobile outlets. However these had yet to be formalised and would be presented to the Park Working Group in the first instance once further information was available.
After some discussion it was agreed that the Ice Cream Van should be considered independent of any hot drink and food outlets as it would be possible to accommodate more than one type of vendor if this was something the Council wished to progress.
Litter was recognised as a potential problem, and it was agreed that any vendor selling food from the park should be required to carry out a litter pick at the end of each session. The use of generators was recognised as not particularly environmentally friendly, however the Council is not in a position currently to provide an electric hook up. Therefore, as a longer term aim any vendors should be encouraged to be working towards using a battery powered generator. Members also expressed that they did not want an ice cream van to play any chimes or music.
It was agreed that the best location for an ice cream van to sell from would be the car park located between the Pavilion and the Sports and Social Club, in terms of safety and accessibility.
GE21/22.2 The Committee voted in favour of progressing an agreement to enable the Ice Cream vendor to trade from the park at agreed times for a trial period (to be decided). It was AGREED that the Clerk and Deputy Clerk would progress this and report back to the Committee in due course.
GE21/22.3 ADASTRA PARK MASTERPLAN. The Parish Clerk updated the Committee that he had met with a drainage consultant on site earlier in the week which was very useful. Following the meeting the Consultant is now going to draw up a feasibility study proposal for consideration.
The Clerk also informed members that there was ongoing positive dialogue with outside bodies regarding improvements to the Tennis Courts. Further information would be available soon which would be shared with the PWG at its next meeting.
GE21/23 LONDON ROAD RECREATION GROUND (BELMONT PARK). A Public Consultation is currently being run by MSDC which has been promoted on social media and members of the public are encouraged to participate by completing an online survey on the MSDC website: Parks – Mid Sussex District Council. Members were invited to consider whether the Committee wishes to submit any comments on behalf of Hassocks Parish Council regarding the future of London Road Recreation Ground.
After some discussion it was agreed that the Council wished to submit a response requesting that priority is given to significantly increasing the car parking provision at this site, including the provision of electric charging points. This current parking provision is very limited creating problems for both residents and park users, particularly with the increased residential development in the area. It was also suggested that the Council could be asked to explore the potential to purchase some of the adjoining land to the west of the park to extend the site.
It was noted that plans had been previously proposed to upgrade the current pavilion which were welcomed by the Committee. It was recognised that there is a clearly defined need for a Community Centre in this locality and therefore the Council would be very much in favour of such a centre being provided in place of the current pavilion. However the Council would like to request that arrangements are put in place to protect the Jack and Jill Playgroup, which runs from the current pavilion, from any potential disruption.
GE21/24 BUDGET INITIATIVES. Members were invited to consider potential initiatives that they would like to see included in the forthcoming budget setting process for 2022/23. To assist with this Members were provided with details regarding the current position with the Council Earmarked Reserves (Capital) (Appendix 4a of the agenda) which also set out the projected position at the end of this financial year. The Committee were also given a schedule of other potential initiatives based on initiatives which Members have previously indicated some support for (Appendix 4b of the Agenda).
Cllr Frances Gaudencio requested that some funding is set aside to support flood mitigation projects in the village as included in the Business Plan. The purpose of such a budget would be to enable the Committee to be more responsive in supporting smaller scale projects which require funding, for example the building of debris dams and supporting the First Responders Initiative. The Committee indicated its support for this request.
It was noted that in terms of budgeting and funding, flooding and drainage issues within Adastra Park were separate to village wide flooding issues.
The Committee then reviewed Appendix 4b of the agenda which set out the potential initiatives previously raised.
Play Equipment Sinking Fund. The Committee supported the setting up of a sinking fund for the play equipment to ensure funding is set aside to finance the replacement of equipment when it reaches the end of its usable life. It was agreed that this should be in the region of £10,000 per annum over a 20 year period based on supplier’s projections and allowing for inflation.
Youth Initiatives. The Committee agreed that as there are currently no specific youth initiatives requiring funding, a Youth Budget was not appropriate. The committee however remained open to supporting any new projects which may come forward in the future. It was noted that Youth Initiatives remain a focus in the Business Plan and that the funds in the General Reserves could be drawn on if required to support these.
Garden of Remembrance. Further improvements were required in the Garden of Remembrance and Members were informed that these had been listed following a site visit by the park Working Group. It was agreed that these should be programmed in order of priority over several years, and that the Garden of Remembrance required a separate budget to allow for this work to progress.
Tennis Court area improvements. Subject to securing external funding this may be possible to deliver without impacting on HPC reserves however this is yet to be confirmed. Members were in support of improvements being carried out on the Tennis Courts.
Burial Ground Path Improvements. Members were in favour of additional funding being allocated to path improvements in the Burial Ground.
The Clerk also informed Members that following the Tree Safety Survey carried out earlier in the year additional funding would need to be allocated for tree work to be carried out as identified in the Tree Report.
One Member raised a query as to the Parish Acoustics EMR, it was explained that this had been allocated for the potential installation of a Loop system in the Council Chambers to support attendees who use hearing aids. It was agreed that this would be re-considered by Full Council.
GE21/25 PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY (PROW). Cllr Weir updated members that it has become apparent that the cost for one of the proposed PROW improvements for 2022/23 as previously presented at the last G&E meeting, would be well above the initial estimate. Therefore assuming the Council approves the requested £41,000 budget allocation for PROW improvements, it is likely the schedule of works will need to be reduced.
Cllr Weir is currently in communication with The Monday Group regarding the installation of a stile at the end of Parklands Copse into the field. A stile has been proposed however it was felt that the suggested design would impact on accessibility for some users, and therefore a kissing gate is to be requested.
The excellent improvements to footpath 8K undertaken by the Monday Group were welcomed by the Parish Council. However some concerns had be raised regarding the ongoing stretch of the footpath outside of the Hassocks Boundary. Cllr Weir informed the Committee that this had be discussed with the Chair of Ditchling Parish Council and East Sussex County Council.
Cllr Weir informed the committee that improvements were scheduled to be carried out on footpath 23C leading from Clayton Avenue to the Cinder Track by The Monday Group.
GE21/26 URGENT MATTERS at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda. There were none.
GE21/27 DATE OF NEXT MEETING. Wednesday 8 December 2021.
There being no other business the meeting closed at 9pm
Policy, Resources & Communications
Grounds & Environment Committee