Grounds & Environment Committee

Agenda

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, Sue Hatton, Angus Neil and Alex Simmons) with copies to all other Councillors for information.

cc. Richard Higgs


A meeting of the GROUNDS AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE will be held on Wednesday 19 October 2022 at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.

Parish Clerk 11 October 2022

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 7 September 2022. (Previously Circulated)

4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

5. OFFICER’S REPORT. (Verbal Report). Members are invited to note that David Brown, the Tree Warden will retire on 26 November 2022.

6. PARKLANDS ROAD ALLOTMENTS. Members are invited to consider increasing the current number of sheds on the allotments from 40 sheds to 60 sheds and approving an application for Planning Permission for this increase. (Appendix 1)

7. FLORAL DISPLAYS

7.1 Lamp Post Baskets.  Members are invited to approve the quotation for the planting, installation and maintenance of the Lamp Post floral displays for 2023 and 2024 with the option of extending for a further year.  (Appendix 2)

7.2 Hanging Baskets.  Members are invited to approve the continuation of the provision of Hanging Baskets for Hassocks Businesses using the existing arrangements in place.  If minded to continue, Members are invited to approve a quotation for the planting, installation and maintenance of the baskets for 2023 and 2024 plus costs for additional baskets/brackets as required, with the option to extend for a further year.  (Appendix 3).

7.3 Planters. Members are invited to approve the planting and maintenance of a Summer Planting Scheme in the planters on Orion Parade and at the entrance of Adastra Park for 2022 and 2023. (Appendix 4)

8. ADASTRA PARK

8.1 Adastra Park Entrance Signage.  Verbal report (Parish Clerk)

8.2 Adastra Park Masterplan.  Verbal Update (Parish Clerk)

9. THE QUEEN’S CANOPY. The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) initiative has been extended to the end of March 2023 to give people the opportunity to plant trees in memoriam to honour Her Majesty.

As a nationwide initiative created to mark the Platinum Jubilee, the QGC was due to conclude in December – the end of the Jubilee year. However, as the official tree planting season in the United Kingdom is from October to March, the initiative will now be extended to include the full tree planting season, beginning in October 2022 and concluding in March 2023.

Members are invited to consider if the Parish Council wishes to participate in the scheme in any way. Further details can be found on the Queens Green Canopy website – The Queen’s Green Canopy (queensgreencanopy.org)

10. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. The current Festive Lighting Contract will come to an end after this Christmas. Therefore Members are invited to consider Festive Lighting provision in Hassocks for 2023 onwards. (Appendices 5 & 6)

11. BUDGET INITIATIVES. Members are invited to consider potential initiatives that they would like to see included in the forthcoming budget setting process for 2023/24. (Appendices 7 & 8)

12. FLOOD ACTION GROUP. Verbal Update

13. PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY (PROW). Verbal update Cllrs Ian Weir and Leslie Campbell.

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

15. DATE OF NEXT MEETING. Wednesday 7 December 2022 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.

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.


Appendix 1

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To: Grounds & Environment Committee     Date: 19 October 2022

Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk – Subject:

Agenda Item 6 – ALLOTMENT SHEDS


1. The purpose of this report is to invite Members to consider a request to increase the shed allocation on the Parklands Allotments from 40 sheds to 60 sheds, and to approve the submission of Planning Application for the additional sheds.

2. In 2005 Planning Permission was granted by Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) to allow 20 sheds, sized 1.8m x 1.2m, on the allotment site.

3. Once the maximum number of sheds had been reached, with the approval of the Committee, in 2012 an application was submitted to MSDC for the revision to planning permission to allow 40 sheds instead of 20, which was granted. The maximum number of 40 sheds has now been reached.

4. Over the past 10 years, due to an ongoing growth in demand, to provide additional plots the Committee has approved an increase in the division of half plots to a current maximum of 47 quarter plots and 17 half plots. This has led to a natural increase in demand for sheds.

5. Therefore Members are invited to consider approving an increase in the number of permitted sheds from 40 to 60 and to approve the submission of a planning application for the revision of the current permission to allow 60 sheds of the same specification.

6. The cost for the planning permission is to be confirmed but can be funded from the Allotment Repair and Renewals budget.

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION. Members are invited to approve increasing the permitted number of sheds on the Parklands Road Allotments from 40 sheds to 60 sheds and to approve the submission to MSDC of a Planning Application for the additional sheds. The cost of the application to be funded from the Allotment R&R budget.


Appendix 2

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To: Grounds & Environment Committee      Date:  19 October 2022           

Contact for this report: Deputy Clerk  

Subject: – Agenda Item 7.1 Floral Displays; Lamp Post Baskets.


1. The purpose of this report is to invite Members to consider a quotation from Greenscene Landscapes for the planting, installation and maintenance of lamp post floral baskets for 2023 and 2024 with an option to extend for a further year.

2. In 2020 Greenscene Landscapes was awarded the contract to supply, install and maintain 20 half lamp post baskets which are attached to 10 Lamp post columns in Hassocks High Street and the pots in the wall outside of the National Tyres forecourt. The current contract has come to an end. The contract has worked well and Greenscene Landscapes has been responsive and reactive to any matters which have arisen and an effective working partnership has been established.

3. Planting 20 x half Lamp Post Baskets and 5 x Wall Pots, baskets supplied by the Parish Council.

To Supply all Compost, Slow Release Fertiliser, Water Retention Gel Pellets and Plants to plant the baskets, after which, to Hang Out the baskets at the start of the season and Collect In at the end of the season.

The Baskets will be planted with a good variety and mix of plants. The Wall Pots will be planted with three 1 L Geraniums in each.

  • 2023 Season Price:- The Total Cost For The Work Above Would Be £557.50 plus VAT.
  • 2024 Season Price:- The Total Cost For The Work Above Would Be £613.25 plus VAT.

With an option to extend for a further year:

  • 2025 Season Price:- The Total Cost For The Work Above Would Be £656.18 plus VAT.

4. To provide full maintenance of the Lamp Post Baskets and Wall Pots.

  • 2023 Season Price:- The Total Cost For The Work Above Would Be £1050.00 plus VAT
  • 2024 Season Price:- The Total Cost For The Work Above Would Be £1155.00 plus VAT

With an option to extend for a further year:

  • 2025 Season Price:- The Total Cost For The Work Above Would Be £1235.85 plus VAT

5. OFFICERS RECOMMENDATION.

Members are invited to approve a two year contract with Greenscene Landscapes for the planting, installation and maintenance of 20 x half lamp post baskets and 5 x wall pots at a total cost of £1607.50 plus VAT for 2023 and £1768.25 plus VAT for 2024.

With an option to extend for a further year (2025) at £1892.03 plus VAT.


Appendix 3

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To: Grounds & Environment Committee     Date:  19 October 2022

Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk

Subject: – Agenda Item 7.2 – Floral displays; Hanging Baskets 2023-2024.


1. The purpose of this report is firstly to invite Members to consider the continuation of the scheme to supply a planted hanging basket to all businesses in Hassocks which register an interest. Following this if Members are minded to approve the continuation of the scheme, Members are invited to consider a quotation from Greenscene Landscapes for the planting, installation and maintenance of floral hanging baskets outside of Hassocks Businesses for 2023-2024 with an option to extend for a further year.

2. In 2019 Greenscene Landscapes was awarded a two year contract to supply, install and maintain up to 31 hanging baskets for 2020 and 2021, this contract was extended for a further year in 2022.

3. As with the Lamp Column baskets, the contract has worked well and the displays have improved over the three years. In 2021 there was some concern that the baskets were not being watered regularly enough by some traders which raised the question as to whether the scheme should be continued. However despite an incredibly dry summer, the majority of the baskets have been really well looked after this year and have produced a very attractive display across the village. We are very grateful to the contractor who this year has undertaken additional watering at no extra cost and has also provided temporary watering for any traders who have gone on holiday over the summer.  The number of baskets has been fairly constant over the years with averagely 27 baskets being provided.  This year a few new traders joined the scheme and although some existing traders declined baskets, 29 baskets were provided overall.

4. The majority of Traders are very supportive of the scheme and have looked after their own baskets as requested in between the two weekly maintenance provided. Some Traders have arranged directly with the contractor to purchase a second basket in addition to the one provided with HPC, which has further improved the street scene.

5. Over the years baskets need to be replaced and for 2022 20 new baskets were purchased at a cost of £98.00. Most shops have brackets now, however a few new brackets may be needed should any new traders join the scheme.

6. Given the success of the previous three year scheme and the development of a very effective working partnership with the contractor, a quote has been sought to continue the Hanging Basket scheme for another two years with an option to continue for a further year, using the services of Greenscene Landscapes. The costs for the continuation of the scheme would be as follows:

i. Brackets. The cost to supply and install new 14” Hanging Basket Brackets to Building / Shop fronts in Hassocks would be £34.00 plus VAT per unit / bracket required as and when new shops join the scheme.

ii. Wicker Baskets. The cost to supply new 14” lined Wicker Baskets: A maximum of 5 x new Baskets to be provided in year one,10 x in year 2 and 10 x in year 3 to replace old baskets that have deteriorated would be £6.00 plus VAT per unit / basket required.

iii. Planting, Installation And Maintenance Of Baskets. To Supply all Compost, Slow Release Fertiliser, Water Retention Gel Pellets and Plants to plant the baskets, and to hang out the baskets at the start of the season and collect in at the end of the season.

The Baskets will be planted with a good variety and mix of plants, using colours that blend well together, whilst also planting a few striking or vibrant colours to draw the eye to the basket and the shop front itself.

The total cost for (based up 32 units / baskets) would be:

  • Year 1 – 2023 – £1440.00 plus VAT
  • Year 2 – 2024 – £1584.00 plus VAT
  • With an option to extend by a further year into 2025 at £1694.88 plus VAT.

7. OFFICER’S RECOMMENDATION. Members are recommended to agree the continuation of the Hanging Basket scheme and approve a two year contract with Greenscene Landscapes at a total cost of £1440.00 plus VAT for 2023 and £1584.00 plus VAT for 2024 to supply, install and maintain up to 32 planted baskets to businesses in Hassocks. Plus £6.00 per additional new bracket installed and £34.00 plus VAT per replacement basket as required. With an option to extend for a further year if required at a total cost of £1694.88.


Appendix 4

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To: Grounds & Environment Committee     Date:  19 October 2022

Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk Subject: – Agenda Item 7.3 – Floral displays; Planters.


1. The purpose of this report is to invite Members to consider approving an all year round planting schedule for the 6 planters on Orion Parade and the new Jubilee Planter at the entrance of Adastra Park.

2. Previously the original four planters on Orion Parade have only been planted up during the summer months, however at its last meeting the Committee approved a Winter/Spring planting scheme for 2022/23 for these and the three additional new Jubilee Planters on Orion parade/ at the entrance to Adastra Park.

3. A quote has been provided from Greenscene Landscapes who undertook the planting and maintenance of the planters this year:

i. Planting of 7 Planters with Summer Bedding plants from May to October and Winter Bedding plants from October to April, on an annual basis.

To Supply all Compost and Plants, including Labour to plant the plants and empty the planters at the end of each display period.

  • 2023 Season Price:- The Total Cost For The Work Above Would Be £1180.00 plus VAT.
  • 2024 Season Price:- The Total Cost For The Work Above Would Be £1298.00 plus VAT.

With an option to extend for a further year:

  • 2025 Season Price:- The Total Cost For The Work Above Would Be £1388.86 plus VAT.

ii. To provide full Maintenance of 7 Planters.

  • 2023 Season Price:- The Total Cost For The Work Above Would Be £1267.50 plus VAT
  • 2024 Season Price:- The Total Cost For The Work Above Would Be £1394.25plus VAT

With an option to extend for a further year:

  • 2025 Season Price:- The Total Cost For The Work Above Would Be £1491.84 plus VAT.

4. OFFICERS RECOMMENDATION. Members are recommended to approve a contract with Greenscene Landscapes for all year round planting and maintenance of 7 planters as described above at a total cost of £2447.50 plus VAT for 2023 and £2692.25 plus VAT for 2024. With an option to extend for a further year if required at a total cost of £2880.70 plus VAT.


Appendix 5

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To: Grounds & Environment Committee     Date:  19 October 2022

Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk

Subject: – Agenda Item 10 – Festive Lighting


1. The purpose of this report is to:

i. Update Members on the current situation with Festive Lighting and to invite Members to consider future Festive Lighting in Hassocks.

ii. Invite Members to note that the attached Official Order for the Temporary Road Closure for the Light Up Hassocks event to be held on Friday 2 December. (Appendix 6). (To view Appendix 6 please click here). The Light Up Hassocks event is organised by the Sussex Vale Rotary Club with the support of the Hassocks Community Organisation.

2. Since March 2016, Hassocks Parish Council has been responsible for the funding and organisation of the festive lights in Hassocks. The current contract comes to an end this year and a new contract will be needed for Christmas 2023 onwards. The arrangements to date have been as follows:

14 x the same design hired from contractor (Mounted on columns)

1 x Dove owned by LUH/HPC (Mounted on column).

1 x ‘Merry Christmas Hassocks’ owned by LUH/HPC (Affixed to wall outside of Hassocks Hardware).   This motif was completely refurbished in 2020. All lights currently stored by Contractor.

3. The cost of the Festive Lights contract for 2023 was £2890.00 plus VAT which included: supply, install, take down and maintenance of the 14 column light frames, storage, install and take down of the two owned frames and attendance on site during the Light Up Hassocks event.

4. An indicative cost for the renewal of the contract like for like has been sought from the existing contractor, further details will be provided once this has been received. However other companies will be invited to provide quotes once a specification has been agreed by the Committee.

5. The budget for festive lighting has been set at £3750 over the past three years, it is anticipated that the costs of lighting provision will increase for 2023 to maintain the same level of specification. Previous quotes demonstrated that any expansion in this specification such as an increase in light frames or additional feature lights would require a significant budget increase, and could not previously be met within a £3750 budget.

6. Members are invited to note that it is expected that the Dove motif will need refurbishing in the next two years and if the Committee is minded to approve the refurbishment, additional funding may need to be allocated to cover this cost.

7. OFFICER RECOMMENDATION. Members are invited to consider if the Council wishes to continue with a similar specification for festive lighting and to agree a provisional budget for this, or to decide if the Council wishes to explore alternatives provision with an increased budget.


Appendix 7

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To: Grounds & Environment Committee   Date:  19 October 2022

Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk           

Subject: – Agenda Item 11 – 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.

This exercise will then enable any initiatives identified to be considered as part of the forthcoming budget setting process alongside other funding bids.

2. The current position regarding the Council Earmarked Reserves (Capital) is summarised in Appendix 8 which sets out the projected position at the end of this financial year.

3. To assist members a schedule of other potential initiatives has been produced 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.

4. Members are invited to consider the options set out below together with any other proposals to enable them to be considered as part of the budget setting process later in the year.

Potential Initiatives

1. Drainage. Members have indicated a commitment to attempting to achieve improvements with the drainage within the park and in particular the South field. The Council commissioned a drainage consultant to review the current situation and come forward with some proposed options. One of the issues the Council is required to contend with is that they would not be permitted to discharge surface water directly into the stream at the northern boundary of the park due to the potential flood impact downstream. The Council have been informed by the District Council that any discharge rate would need to be controlled which either would be via a holding pond or crate system. As a result of this requirement it will impact on the cost of any scheme. It was one of the Council’s priorities identified as part of the Park master plan however the current remaining allocation within the Adastra Park EMR would be insufficient to deliver any viable scheme. If Members remain committed to this initiative consideration may need to be given to assigning further funding to the Masterplan in respect of any drainage solution. (Currently within Business Plan).

2. Burial Ground. Although funding was allocated this year within the revenue budget to fund path improvements within the burial ground, it was apparent once quotes were initially sought due to the current inflated market as a result of coming out of lockdown/ supplier demand and material availability, that insufficient funding had been allocated. It is suggested that the current revenue funding should be converted to capital funding for 23/24 and increased accordingly to realise the potential improvements to the site. Any scheme will also need to be revisited to consider materials to be installed prior to going back out to market. (Currently within Business Plan).

3. Planters. The original Floral Displays budget (22/23) was allocated to include a summer planting scheme in four planters outside Orion Parade. However, two additional planters have since been installed on Orion Parade and one at the entrance to Adastra Park to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, furthermore Members have also approved additional funding for a winter/spring planting scheme for this year. Therefore consideration will need to be given to increasing the budget allocation for floral displays, particularly if all year round planting in the planters is agreed for future years.

Member’s view are sought.


Appendix 8

EARMARKED RESERVES – POSITION

No. DESCRIPTION  BALANCE HELD COMMMITTED 2022/23 NOTES FUNDS 2022/23
1 HASSOCKS TRADING ASSOCIATION 500 0 Held on behalf of the HTA to be released if this organisation reforms 500
2 ADASTRA PARK 53,887 (9,239) Retention

(20,000) Allocated to Tennis courts

Contract retentions currently being held due to be released subject to contractual conditions being discharged. 24,648
3 ADASTRA GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE 10,000 (1318) 8,682
4 BUS SHELTER 10,000 10,000
5 TREE PLANTING 1,191 (735) Tree planting scheme is now funded through revenue budget. EMR element  represents external donations received but not expended in year 456
6 PLAY EQUIPMENT – SINKING FUND 20,204   Represents 2 years funding 20,204
7 REPAIRS FUND 18,785 0 Sinking fund 18,785
8 LEGAL/LAND TRANSFER 8,000 0   8,000
9 FLOODING 3,000 (600)   2,400
10 PARISH ACOUSTICS 3,000 0   3,000
11 PROW IMPROVEMENTS 47,000 (1,928) (Part funding 11c balance met from revenue) 45,072
12 SDNPA – CIL Funds 3,394 (1,400) Allocated to PROW works 1,994
  VALUES 178,961 (35,220)   143,741

Minutes

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

Draft Minutes of the meeting of the GROUNDS AND ENVIRONMENT Committee held on Wednesday 19 October 2022 at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks

Attendees: Councillors Kate Bailey (from item 8.2), Kristian Berggreen, Leslie Campbell, David Bunting (Chair), Frances Gaudencio, Angus Neil and Ian Weir.

In attendance: Ian Cumberworth – Parish Clerk.  Tracy Forte – Deputy Clerk.

GE22/42 APOLOGIES. Apologies were received from Cllrs Jane Baker and Alex Simmons. Absent without apology Cllrs Bill Hatton and Sue Hatton.

GE22/43 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST. There were no declarations of interest.

GE22/44 MINUTES. It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the Grounds & Environment meeting held on 7 September 2022 be signed by the Chair as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

GE22/45 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. There were no members of the public present.

GE22/46 OFFICER REPORT. Members were invited to note that David Brown, the Tree Warden will retire on 26 November 2022.   The Deputy Clerk confirmed that David had been nominated for a Mid Sussex Applauds award as requested by the Committee at its previous meeting, however the outcome of the nomination is still unknown.  Members expressed a wish to recognise David’s longstanding commitment to the Council in the form of a gift in addition to the nomination and the Deputy Clerk was asked to arrange this.  The gift would be funded from the Chairman’s allowance.

GE22/47 PARKLANDS ALLOTMENT.  Members were invited to consider increasing the current number of sheds on the allotments from 40 sheds to 60 sheds and to approve the submission of an application for Planning Permission for this increase.

GE22/47.1 MINUTES. It was RESOLVED to approve increasing the permitted number of sheds on the Parklands Road Allotments from 40 to 60 sheds and to approve the submission to MSDC of a Planning Application for the additional sheds.

FLORAL DISPLAYS

GE22/48 Lamp Post Baskets.  Members were invited to approve a quotation for the planting, installation and maintenance of the Lamp Post floral displays for 2023 and 2024 using the same specification as for previous years, with the option of extending for a further year.

GE22/48.1  It was RESOLVED to approve a two year contract with Greenscene Landscapes for the planting, installation and maintenance of 20 x half lamp post baskets and 5 x wall pots at a total cost of £1607.50 plus VAT for 2023 and £1768.25 plus VAT for 2024. With an option to extend for a further year (2025) at £1892.03 plus VAT.

GE22/49 Hanging Baskets.  Members were invited to approve the continuation of the provision of Hanging Baskets for Hassocks Businesses using the existing arrangements in place.  If minded to continue, Members were invited to approve a quotation for the planting, installation and maintenance of the baskets for 2023 and 2024 plus costs for additional baskets/brackets as required, with the option to extend for a further year.  Members noted that the floral displays in Hassocks had been really eye catching this year and that the lamp post and hanging baskets had done particularly well considering the exceptionally dry summer.

GE22/49.1 It was RESOLVED to approve a two year contract with Greenscene Landscapes at a total cost of £1440.00 plus VAT for 2023 and £1584.00 plus VAT for 2024 to supply, install and maintain up to 32 planted baskets to businesses in Hassocks. Plus £6.00 per additional new bracket installed and £34.00 plus VAT per replacement basket as required. With an option to extend for a further year if required at a total cost of £1694.88 plus VAT.

GE22/50 Planters Members were invited to approve the planting and maintenance of a year round Planting Scheme in the planters on Orion Parade and at the entrance of Adastra Park for 2022 and 2023.

GE22/50.1 It was RESOLVED to approve a contract with Greenscene Landscapes for all year round planting and maintenance of 7 planters as described above at a total cost of £2447.50 plus VAT for 2023 and £2692.25 plus VAT for 2024.  With an option to extend for a further year if required at a total cost of £2880.70 plus VAT.

ADASTRA PARK

GE22/51 Adastra Park Entrance Signage.  The Clerk informed Members that at a recent meeting attended by himself and Cllr Weir with representatives of the Adastra Hall Management Committee, the question was raised as to whether the Council would consider installing an Adastra Park sign at the Keymer Road entrance to the park to assist people trying to locate the Hall and the Park.

Members were supportive of this proposal and the Clerk was requested to explore options for suggested signage and costings to be presented back to the Committee at a future meeting.   It was agreed that the signage should clearly show that the park is owned and managed by Hassocks PC and should incorporate the Parish Council logo.

GE22/52 ADASTRA PARK MASTERPLAN.  The Clerk updated members on the Drainage project and the project to improve the Tennis Courts.

GE22/52.1 Drainage Scheme   Revised costs have now been received further to the drainage proposal previously submitted by a drainage consultant and considered by the Park Working Group. The revised estimated cost will be circa £90,000 (material costs have increased by 30% with labour costs increasing by 12%) for phase 1 works only.

The Clerk indicated that this initiative would be referred to later in the agenda on item 11, Budget Initiatives.

Cllr Kate Bailey joined the meeting.

GE22/52.2 Tennis Court Improvements   Due to ongoing delays in the roll out of the government promoted scheme the earliest this project is likely to progress will be March/April next year. On this basis the Clerk will need to seek permission from MSDC to roll over the award of allocation of s106 funding for this project, as this funding is normally time limited (to be spent within 1 year).  The Clerk informed the Committee however that he does not anticipate any issues with this request.  At the current time despite recent Government changes, it is not envisaged that there is any risk to the progression of this project. A meeting with the LTA has been scheduled for later this week to establish the latest position.

GE22/53 THE QUEEN’S CANOPY.  The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) initiative has been extended to the end of March 2023 to give people the opportunity to plant trees in memoriam to honour Her Majesty.

As a nationwide initiative created to mark the Platinum Jubilee, the QGC was due to conclude in December – the end of the Jubilee year. However, as the official tree planting season in the United Kingdom is from October to March, the initiative will now be extended to include the full tree planting season, beginning in October 2022 and concluding in March 2023.

Members were invited to consider whether the Council wished to participate in this initiative.

Cllr Frances Gaudencio suggested that the initiative could be incorporated into flood mitigation efforts around the village. The canopy of established trees is known to slow the level of rain reaching the ground in addition to the uptake of water from the ground from the tree roots.

It was noted that the Parish Council has limited land available for the additional planting of trees, however Members were generally supportive of the Council planting trees in memoriam of Her Majesty. Members also supported the suggestion to combine tree planting with flood mitigation if possible.   It was therefore agreed that this would be considered by the Flood Action Group at its next meeting.

GE22/54 CHRISTMAS LIGHTS.  Members noted the Official Order for the Temporary Road Closure for the Light Up Hassocks event to be held on Friday 2 December.

Members were also invited to note that the current three year contract for Festive Lighting is due to end after Christmas 2022.  The cost of the Festive Lights contract for 2020-22 was £2890.00 plus VAT per annum which included: supply, install, take down and maintenance of the 14 column light frames, storage, install and take down of the two council owned frames and attendance on site during the Light Up Hassocks event.

Members were informed that previous quotes had demonstrated that any expansion in the current specification such as an increase in light frames or additional feature lights would require a significant budget increase, and could not previously be met within the current £3750 budget.  It was also noted that there was limited scope for expansion without requesting the use of the electricity supply from high street traders or residents.

Members were fully supportive of continuing the provision of Festive Lighting for the village, however it was felt that in the current climate the existing specification should remain unchanged for the time being. Members recognised the continuing support offered by Hassocks Hardware in supplying power to illuminate the Merry Christmas Hassocks motif.

The Deputy Clerk informed the Committee that the current Contractor had indicated that he would be able to provide the same specification of contract for a further three years at the existing cost of £2890 plus VAT per annum.

After some discussion, with the knowledge that previous quotations had been in excess of the current cost three years ago and given the current economic situation, Members agreed that it would be prudent to maintain the existing contract for a further three years.

GE22/54.1 It was RESOLVED to renew a contract with Merlin Lighting for 2023-2025 for the supply, install, take down and maintenance of 14 refurbished column light frames, storage, install and take down of the two council owned frames and attendance on site during the Light Up Hassocks event at a cost of the Festive Lights contract for 2020-22 was £2890.00 plus VAT per annum.

GE22/55 BUDGET INITIATIVES.  Members were invited to consider potential initiatives that they would like to see included in the forthcoming budget setting process for 2023/24.

Members considered three initiatives that the Clerk had suggested.

Drainage.  As previously reported by the Clerk the projected cost of this scheme has increased to in the region of £90,000.  If Members remain committed to this initiative consideration may need to be given to assigning further funding to the Masterplan in respect of any drainage solution.  Members indicated a commitment to continuing with this project and requested that the Clerk included an increased allocation to the appropriate Ear Marked Reserve for consideration as part of the budget for 2023/24.

Burial Ground. The Clerk reported that although funding was allocated this year within the revenue budget to fund path improvements within the burial ground, it was apparent once quotes were initially sought due to the current inflated market as a result of coming out of lockdown/ supplier demand and material availability, that insufficient funding had been allocated. It is therefore suggested that the current revenue funding should be converted to capital funding for 23/24 and increased accordingly to realise the potential improvements to the site. Any scheme will also need to be revisited to consider materials to be installed prior to going back out to market.

Members indicated their support to an improved footpath network within the Burial Ground and the Deputy Clerk was requested to explore options and costings for reporting back at a future meeting.  Members supported an additional allocation of funds in the budget to finance the improvements.

Planters. Members had indicated support for all year round planting in 7 planters earlier in the meeting and therefore it was agreed that the Floral Displays budget for 2023/2024 would be increased accordingly.

Various other possible projects in Adastra Park were discussed, however it was noted that most projects had been temporarily suspended until the drainage issues were resolved.  It was agreed that these would be revisited in due course.

Cllr Gaudencio reminded the Committee that the budget setting process was related to the Business Plan and that it was necessary to consider the plan when agreeing any new projects.  The Clerk confirmed that both the park drainage project and improvements to the burial ground were within the Business Plan.  He also noted that the current Business Plan expires in 2023.

It was agreed that the Clerk would provide Councillors with details linking budgets to the Business Plan.

Committee Members agreed that they would support the removal of £3000 from the EMR for improvements to Parish Acoustics.

GE22/56 FLOOD ACTION GROUP.  Cllr Gaudencio informed the Clerk that a meeting of Parish Council representatives on the Flood Action Group had been scheduled for 7 November 2022 at 7.30pm.  She thanked the Clerk for arranging this meeting.

GE22/57 PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY (PROW).  Cllr Leslie Campbell informed Members that a section of Footpath 5K from Ockley Lane had now been temporarily closed and would remain closed until March next year for safety reasons due to the construction work being carried out.

Cllr Ian Weir informed the Committee that two of the planned PROW improvement projects for this year had been delayed due to increased costs.  He hopes to ascertain from WSCC, details of the contractor who carried out the improvement work to Footpath 13C at Coldharbour Farm.  This work had come in significantly below the expected cost and therefore it was hoped that it may be possible to obtain more reasonable quotes for the two outstanding projects.

Members noted the reports.

GE22/58 URGENT MATTERS at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.

GE22/58.1 The Clerk informed the Committee that he had received an initial enquiry regarding the staging of a music/comedy event in Adastra Park in 2023, in the light that DownsFest would not be continuing.  At this point, prior to progressing the enquiry any further the Clerk requested an indication from the Committee as to whether it would be in agreement in principle to such an event being held.

GE22/58.2 The Committee indicated that it was in support of a Comedy/Music event being held in the Park and invited the Clerk to progress discussions with the individuals who had submitted the enquiry.

GE22/58.3  The Deputy Clerk informed the Committee that a new memorial bench was to be donated to the Park and would be located in the Garden of Remembrance.

GE22/59 DATE OF NEXT MEETING. Wednesday 7 December 2022 at 7.30pm.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 9pm.