Grounds & Environment Committee

Agenda

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:      All Members of the Grounds & Environment Committee (Kate Bailey, Kristian Berggreen, David Bunting, Frances Gaudencio, Bill Hatton, Sue Hatton, Angus Neil, Peter Richardson,
Alex Simmons and Paul Shepherd) with copies to all other Councillors for information.


A meeting of the GROUNDS AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE will be held on 1 February 2024 at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.

Parish Clerk – 25 January 2024

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 2 November 2023. (Previously circulated)

4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

5. OFFICER’S REPORT. (Appendix 1).

6. BURIAL GROUND FEES Members are invited to review and approve fees for Hassocks Burial Ground from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025. (Appendix 2).

7. ADASTRA PARK FACILITIES HIRE FEES AND CHARGES. Members are invited to review and approve fees for the Adastra Park facilities from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025. (Appendix 3).

8. GROUNDS SERVICE PROVISION. Members are invited to consider and agree a proposed option for delivering services within the Council’s grounds following the retirement of the Groundsman.(Appendix 4)

9. WINTER MAINTENANCE PLAN. Members are invited to approve the Hassocks Parish Council Winter Maintenance plan (please click here to view Appendix 5) and to indicate whether the Council would be supportive of an extended Winter Plan in the future. (Appendix 6).

10. ADASTRA PARK DEVELOPER SUPPORT OPPORTUNITY. Update (Appendix 7).

11. ADASTRA PARK MASTERPLAN. Verbal update (Cllr David Bunting).

12. FLOOD ACTION GROUP. Verbal Update. (Cllr Frances Gaudencio).

13. PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY (PROW). Verbal update. (Cllr Ian Weir.) Members are invited to note that the WSCC Public Rights of Way Routine Maintenance Inspections will be taking place in February 2024.

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

15. DATE OF NEXT MEETING. Thursday 21 March 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: 1 February 2024

Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk                         

Subject: Agenda Item 5 – Officer Report

1. The purpose of this report is to update the Committee on (G&E) Matters.

2. WINDMILLS SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECT. This project is in partnership with Windmills School to produce a piece of public art promoting an environmental theme is continuing to progress.

In order to enable the art lead from Windmills School to develop a design brief for potential artists it was necessary to specify a suitable location for the artwork and some details around the material to be used.

Therefore following a discussion with the lead at Windmills School and in consultation with the Chair of the Parish Council and the Chair of the G&E Committee, it was agreed that Adastra Park is the most accessible location and based on discussions with artists, the project lead suggested that mosaic lends itself as the most appropriate art form for outside.

Several locations in the park have been considered but the preferred location would be on the fencing around the children’s play park in the North Field.

After much research by the lead at Windmills School, a suitable artist has been identified and she is currently in the process of drawing up some potential mosaic designs and costings.   Every child will be involved and will have their own piece of art on display in the park.

Discussions are still ongoing with various artists and the final proposal of art form and location will be dependent on the outcomes of these discussions. Members will be updated in due course.

3. 20MPH SPEED LIMIT WORKING PARTY UPDATE. The working party will hold its first meeting towards the end of February.

4. LOST WOODS OF THE LOW WEALD AND DOWNS PROJECT. At the G&E meeting held on 3 February 2022, Members agreed the inclusion of Parklands Copse in the Lost Woods of the Low Weald and Downs project which was being organised by The Woodland Trust in conjunction with other partners. The aim of the project is that the Woodland Trust will work with smaller ancient woodland owners to survey and create a plan for the restoration of their woods.

Following this, an Ancient Woodlands Restoration Survey was carried out which identified the threats to the woodland in Parklands Copse and necessary intervention to manage these threats. (Previously distributed to Committee Members as a background paper).

A Landowner Works Agreement was drawn up by the Woodland Trust and approved by the Clerk which identified the elements of the Restoration Survey fundable through the Lost Woods Project.

The project was then paused by The Woodland Trust for some time due to resourcing issues, however Members are invited to note that the project is now progressing again.   The Deputy Clerk met with the new Project Officer from the Lost Woods Project and the Project Officer is in the process of revisiting the original agreement with a view to reviewing and arranging any agreed work to start early in 2025.

5. FLORAL DISPLAYS. Members are invited to note that Penny Wadsworth has kindly undertaken delivering letters to all traders in Hassocks again this year inviting them to register for a hanging basket.

6. GRANTS. Members are invited to note that thanks have been received from both The Monday Group and the Woodland Flora and Fauna Group for the annual donation made to each by the parish Council. Both groups were very appreciative of the Parish Council’s ongoing support.

7. LIGHT UP HASSOCKS. Members are invited to note that formal thanks have been received on behalf of the Light Up Hassocks group for the financial support of the Council to the Light Up Hassocks event. The additional funds enabled the provision of more bins and lighting, both of which helped towards ensuring a safe event for the community.

Appendix 2

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:      Grounds & Environment Committee                                

Date: 1 February 2024

Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk                    

Subject: Agenda Item 6 – Burial Ground Fees

1. The purpose of this report is to invite the Committee to review the current charges for Hassocks Burial Ground and to agree any amendments.

2. A full review of comparative local cemetery fees was last undertaken in 2018. It was therefore considered appropriate to carry out a further review this year, particularly following the recent improvements made to the HPC Burial Ground and increasing maintenance costs.

3. The fees were compared with five local authority cemeteries within a ten mile radius; it should be noted that there is a considerable range across fees and fee structures between different authorities.

4. Unless there is a need for a general review or change to specified fees, the same calculation is applied for all HPC facilities fees based on an inflationary increase and rounded to the nearest whole pound. Inflation is calculated using the Consumer Price Index using the same formula for all fees. An inflationary increase to the Burial Ground fees for 2024/5 would be based on a 6.6% increase in CPI between September 2022 and September 2023.

5. Having reviewed the current fees for 2023/24 based on the application of an inflationary interest in line with fees for other local authority burial grounds, it is recommended that Members consider applying an above inflationary increase on the majority of the fees. This recommendation is made for the following reasons:

i. A direct comparison with other local authority burial grounds.

ii. An increase in the cost and required levels of administration.

iii. Ongoing improvements and increased maintenance costs.

Prior to considered fee recommendations please note the following:

  • All fees being considered only apply to adults over the age of 18yrs who are residents.
  • Fees for non-residents over 18years are charged at five times the agreed standard fee.

1. Burial Fees:

1.1 Purchase of a burial plot and first interment.  Fees for the purchase of a single or double plot are at the lower end of comparable cemeteries.

The majority of cemeteries charge a separate fee for the purchase of a plot (Exclusive Right of Burial – EROB) and for each interment.   HPC is in the minority whereby it charges a combined fee.  It is therefore suggested that this is updated and the fees are separated in line with the more standard approach.

HPC burial fees are currently in the low to mid-range and it is recommended that an above inflationary uplift is applied.

BURIAL PLOTS Current fee Current Fee range Proposed EROB Fee 1st interment Total fee (PROPOSED)
Single plot.

Current Fee – includes purchase and first interment.

 

£431 

£437-£887

 

Mid £745

 

£400

£182 £582 (35% uplift)
Double plot depth. 

Current Fee – includes purchase and first interment.

 

 

£561

£630-£909

 

Mid £819

 

 

£400

£217 £617 (10% uplift)

 

 

1.2 Second Interment Fees.  Fees for a second interment in a burial plot are below comparable sites.  It is recommended that these should be set to match the proposed fee for a single interment.

Current Fee Current Fee Range Proposed Fee.

 

Administration fee for reopening of a grave/second interment (coffin & ashes)  

 

£140

£160-£275

 

Mid £182

£182 (30% uplift)

 

1.3 Memorials in Burial Section.  The current fees are in the lower range however the difference is not significant and it is suggested that an inflationary charge of 6.6% is applied to these fees.

Memorials Current Fees  6.6% inflationary uplift
For the right to erect a headstone within the burial ground on a grave in Respect of which the exclusive Right of Burial has been granted.  

£140

 

£149

For the right to have additional inscription on an existing memorial.  

£69

 

£74

 

2. Cremation Fees

As with Burial Fees, the majority of cemeteries also charge a separate fee for the purchase of an ashes plot (Exclusive Right of Burial – EROB) and for each ashes interment.  It is therefore suggested that the same approach is applied.

2.1 NORTH CREMATION SECTION. The option of a double plot has been trialled for this area, however operationally it has become apparent that this is not feasible.  Therefore it is proposed that in future single depth plots only are offered.

2.2 Memorial Wall Plaque.  An inscription on a wall plaque is optional and can be purchased without an ashes plot.  The administrative fee for the plaque is minimal and it is proposed that this should be set at the same rate as the recommended fee for a second inscription on a memorial tablet.

NORTH CREMATION Current Fee Current fee range Proposed EROB Fee 1st ashes interment Proposed fee
Purchase and ashes interment      £237 (single only) £163 – £423

 

Mid £368

 

£125

 

£128

 

£253 (6.6% uplift)

Memorial Wall plaque &Inscription £36       £40 (10% uplift)

 

2.3 SOUTH CREMATION SECTION. On the introduction of this cremation section, the initial charge applied included the permit for a memorial tablet.  A review has shown this to set the fee below the average for a cremation plot.

Therefore it is proposed that an uplift of 20% is applied to the current fee with the introduction of an additional fee of £75 to cover the cost of the memorial permit.

2.4 In line with this increase it is proposed that the fee for an additional inscription is increased to £40.  This is still a low charge in comparison with other cemeteries.

SOUTH CREMATION AREA Current Fee Current Fee Range

 

Proposed EROB Fee 1st ashes interment Proposed fee
Purchase and ashes interment  

£307

(Includes permit for memorial permit)

 

 

 £163 – £423

Mid £368

 

£250

 

£128

 

£378

(22% uplift)

Memorial Tablet Currently Included

 

 

 

£66 – £111

Mid £80

     

£75

Additional Inscription £22 £0-£80

Mid £58

     

£40

 

2.5. South Cremation Section.  Fees for a second interment in a cremation plot are below those of comparable sites.  The commonly applied approach is for a second interment fee to be set at the same rate as a single interment fee.  Therefore it is recommended that this is applied by HPC.

Current fee Current Fee Range

 

Fee

(set to match 1st interment fee)

 

Additional Interments

(S Cremation only)

 

£118

 

££75 – £158

Mid £125

 

£128 (8% increase)

 

 

3. Additional Fees and Charges. These are in line with other parishes, and therefore it is suggested that there is no increase on the search fees and fees relating to Deed of Grant amendments.

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION. 

i. Members are invited to approve fees for Hassocks Burial Ground from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025 as proposed above.

ii. Members are invited to approve all administrative and operational changes as proposed above.

Appendix 3

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:      Grounds & Environment Committee

Date:  1 February 2024

Contact for this report: Deputy Clerk

Subject: Agenda Item 7 – Adastra Park Facilities Fees

1. The purpose of this report is to ask the Committee to consider and agree charges for the hire of Adastra Park Facilities from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025.

2. At the G&E meeting held on 28.01.21, Members approved the application of a formula based on inflation in the annual calculation of Adastra Park Facilities hire fees and charges (Minute ref: GE20/58.1), in place of the previous calculation which was based on the fees charged by Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC).

3. Members are therefore invited to consider the proposed increases to Adastra Park Sports Facilities Fees and Charges as set out below for 2024/25 based on a 6.6% increase in CPI between September 2022 and September 2023.

4. Members are invited to consider the revised charges as provided, with particular attention drawn to the following:

Tennis Charges

i) HPC has agreed on an annual basis not to apply any increase to public hire charges for Adastra Tennis Courts since 2011. The current charge is £7.00 (full Rate). Therefore it is proposed these remain unchanged in support of the LTA campaign to promote accessible public tennis.

5. OFFICER RECOMMENDATION.

It is recommended that the Committee approve all proposed charges and fees as set out in the following table for the use of Adastra Park facilities in 2024/25.

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

Adastra Park Sports Facilities Fees and Charges 2024/25. 

General Conditions

1. The charges included in this leaflet are effective from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025 in relation to the sports facilities operated by Hassocks Parish Council. Summer and Winter season dates are specific to each facility and activity.

2. All hirers must complete an official HPC application form and adhere to the Council’s published Terms and Conditions of Hire prior to the booking period.

3. Payment for the hire of facilities must be made in advance unless otherwise are agreed.

4. Discounted Rates – where a discounted rate (50% of the full rate) is provided, the following conditions apply:
Juniors-to qualify for the discounted rate, facility users must be under the age of 17 at the time of hire. Senior Citizens – to qualify for the discounted rate, facility users must be 60 or over at the time of hire.

2023/24 Full Rate 6.6% inflation 2023/24 Discounted Rate 6.6% inflation
Proposed 2024/25 24/25 Proposed 2024/25
SPORTS HIRE – SUMMER      
Cricket Turf Wicket – per use 51.60 55.00 25.80 27.50
Cricket Turf Wicket – evening rate 27.10 28.90  
Juniors on Artificial Pitch   13.55 14.45
Cricket Net Practice – Per session 27.10 28.90 13.55 14.45
Water for cricket square will be recharged at cost    
   
Stoolball – South Field per use 25.30 27.00 12.65 13.50
North Field   6.30 6.75
   
Bowls – Club Members 149.50 159.50 74.75 79.75
Water use will be recharged to the Bowling Club    
   
Tennis – Casual Hire per Court (no change) 7.00 7.00 3.50 7.00
   
Tennis – Club Members (no increase applied 23/24) 97.30 103.80 48.65 51.90
Couples 145.90 155.50  
Children of Adult Members (per child)   17.00 18.10
   
SUMMER PAVILION HIRE    
Changing Rooms/Toilets/Kitchen/Bar/Storage 44.00 47.00  
Changing Rooms/Toilets/Kitchen/Storage 29.70 31.70 14.85 15.85
Toilets/Kitchen/Storage 14.85 15.85 7.40 7.90
   
SPORTS HIRE – WINTER    
Football – per use 66.70 71.10  
Junior Football on Senior Pitch   33.35 35.55
Mini-Pitch   16.70 17.80
Training Session (per session) 17.10 18.20 8.55 9.10
   
WINTER PAVILION HIRE – SPORTS 36.30 38.70 18.15 19.35
COMMUNITY CHARGES    
Community Pavilion Hire 11.00 11.70
Fitness Training Charges (4 hour session) 12.30 13.10

 

Appendix 4

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:      Grounds & Environment Committee

Date:  1 February 2024

Contact for this report: Parish Clerk

Subject: Agenda Item 8 – Grounds Service Provision.

1. The purpose of this report is to invite Members to consider and agree a proposed option for delivering services within the Council’s grounds following the retirement of the Groundsman.

GROUNDS SERVICE PROVISION (Possible Options)

A paper was considered by the Policy Resources & Communications (PR & C) Committee (16/01/24) which is set out below detailing some of the Advantages /Disadvantages of various delivery models of service for maintaining the park and associated assets.

The Council’s Groundsman recently retired therefore this has provided the Council with the opportunity to consider how they wish to deliver this element of service in future. At present some of the tasks previously undertaken by the groundsman are being covered by a number of interim arrangements.

Members discussed each option at length and concluded unanimously that their favoured model was Option 1 like for like replacement. It was acknowledged that it could also be advertised with the option to consider a job share.

Members AGREED to RECOMMEND to the Committee responsible for this area of work (Grounds & Environment Committee) that they support the proposed approach set out in Option 1.

Policy Resources & Communications Committee have responsibility for resources, however Members felt that the primary Committee for this area of work (G & E) should have an input into the decision of the final delivery model.

It should be noted that in the event of a like for like replacement being confirmed there will still be a need for some areas of work to be supplemented by the support of contractors. This arrangement has been in operation for a number of years.

On the successful appointment of a new groundsman the current interim arrangements will cease.

Delivery Options

LIKE FOR LIKE REPLACEMENT

Advantages

  1. Greater flexibility to allocate ad hoc tasks.
  2. Greater direct control.
  3. Part of internal team – possibly greater pride/ownership in the work undertaken.
  4. Rapport with park users / eyes & ears of the council.
  5. Resource directly managed.

Disadvantages

  1. Lack of resilience (holidays/sickness etc.).
  2. Maybe occasional capacity issues.
  3. Summer resource requirements different to those required in winter (due to weather & shorter daylight hours).
  4. May have limited skill set requiring to be supplemented by external support.
  5. May be difficult to appoint suitable recruit. (time /costs associated with this)
  6. Direct pension costs/liabilities.
  7. Direct costs associated with h & s training/protective clothing etc.

JOB SHARE

Advantages

  1. May provide more resilience.
  2. Possibly greater flexibility.
  3. Might provide a broader range of skills set.
  4. Part of internal team – possibly greater pride/ownership in the work undertaken.
  5. May provide a wider range of coverage across councils assets, not just park focussed.

Disadvantages

  1. Direct pension costs/liabilities.
  2. Might prove difficult to identify suitable applicants (time & costs associated with this).
  3. Span of management control increased.
  4. Direct costs associated with h & s training/protective clothing etc.

CONTRACTOR (DIRECTLY APPOINTED)

Advantages

  1. Access to wider skill set
  2. Able to directly specify to meet the councils requirements
  3. Improved resilience.
  4. No direct pension responsibilities.
  5. Able to influence term of any arrangement.

Disadvantages

  1. Required to draft detailed specification (time & costs associated with this).
  2. Go through a formal tender exercise – time & costs associated with this.
  3. Quality of work on site would be influenced by standard of local contract manager.
  4. Level of contract monitoring required.
  5. Potential increase in costs for unforeseen works.
  6. Less responsive.
  7. Contract costs likely to be subject to annual uplift (CPI/RPI).

EXISTING LARGE CONTRACT (subject to being able to access)

Advantages

  1. No requirement to go through tender process.
  2. Quality & technical assessments already completed.
  3. Likely to have access to a wider skills base.
  4. Access to wider range of horticultural equipment.
  5. Potential economies of scale (improved rates).
  6. Structured work programme.
  7. Consistent standards of work (prescribed).
  8. May be possible to package a wider range of work together.
  9. No direct pension responsibilities.

Disadvantages

  1. Quality of work would be influenced by quality of local contract manager.
  2. Quality standards specified within existing contract may differ to those required by the parish council.
  3. Less flexibility – potential additional costs for unforeseen works.
  4. Potentially less responsive to the parish compared to the main client however would be reliant on how the contract arrangement was structured.
  5. Contract payments likely to be subject to annual uplift (CPI or RPI).
  6. In times of high inflation costs can increase significantly.
  7. Required to enter into a term arrangement.

OFFICER RECOMMENDATION.  Grounds & Environment Committee Members are requested to confirm they are supportive of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee preferred option recommendation to appoint a ‘like for like ‘replacement: to directly employ a new Grounds person.

Appendix 6

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:      Grounds & Environment Committee

Date:  1 February 2024

Contact for this report: Parish Clerk

Subject: Agenda Item 9 – Future Winter Resilience Plan

1. In addition to the basic Winter Plan as set out above, towns and parishes have the option of extending this as they consider appropriate.

2. One option is to install permanent grit bins at designated locations in Hassocks, Keymer and Clayton for residents to access in the event of heavy snow or ice.

3. The grit bins would be for the purpose of treating public footways possibly by a Winter Volunteer network. The bins would be kept locked with designated key holders – potentially named councillors.

4. OFFICER RECOMMENDATION. The purpose of this report is to ascertain Member’s views at this stage on extending the Winter Plan to include the provision of designated grit bins and management of a volunteer group prior to exploring this any further.

Appendix 7

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:      Grounds & Environment Committee                    

Date: 1 February 2024

Contacts for this report: Deputy Clerk                         

Subject: Agenda Item 10 – Adastra Park Developer Support Opportunity

1. Members will recall that an offer had been received from the developer Taylor Wimpey to make a contribution towards improvements in Adastra Park. Members had further considered the offer at the previous meeting and had instructed the Deputy Clerk to enquire as to whether the contribution could be used towards the installation of a drinking fountain in the park.

2. The developer has indicated that this is not something they feel they can contribute towards at this time and their preference would be to fully fund an item within the budget of £500-£1000.

3. Further clarity has been sought from the developer as to the acceptable criteria of any potential contribution but no response has been received to date.

4. However in the recent strong winds, a mature Maple tree has been uprooted in Adastra Park in the grassed area just north of the small children’s play park. One suggestion is that the donation from Taylor Wimpey could be used to replace the tree.

5. Further clarification has been sought as to whether this would meet the criteria for a donation from Taylor Wimpey. It is hoped a response will be received prior to the meeting date.

6. OFFICER RECOMMENDATION. Assuming a positive response is received from Taylor Wimpey, Members are invited to approve the use of any donation received to cover the cost of a replacement tree including planting and suitable protection.

Minutes

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

Draft Minutes of the meeting of the GROUNDS AND ENVIRONMENT Committee held on Thursday 1 February 2024 at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks. 

Attendees: Councillors Kate Bailey (from Item 5), Kristian Berggreen, David Bunting (Chair), Frances Gaudencio, Bill Hatton, Sue Hatton, Angus Neil, Peter Richardson, Paul Shepherd and Ian Weir.

In attendance: Tracy Forte (Deputy Clerk) and Cllr Lesley Cruickshank-Robb.

GE23/67 APOLOGIES. Absent without apology:  Cllr Alex Simmons.

GE23/68 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST. There were no declarations of interest.

GE23/69 MINUTES.

It was confirmed that Cllr Frances Gaudencio had been present at the meeting held on 2 November 2023, however had been omitted from the record of attendees. It was therefore proposed and agreed that her name would be added as an attendee.

It was RESOLVED that subject to the amendment as agreed above, the minutes of the Grounds & Environment Committee meeting held on 2 November 2023 be signed by the Chair as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

GE23/70 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. There were no members of the public present.

GE23/71 OFFICER’S REPORT.  Members noted the report provided in Appendix 1 of the agenda.

Cllr Kate Bailey joined the meeting.

The Chair noted that the Christmas Lights were very good this year and had made a good impact, which was supported by the Committee.   The Deputy Clerk confirmed that this had been fed back to the contractor.

In addition to the written report,  the Deputy Clerk also reported the following matters which Members noted:

GE23/71.1 A Maple Tree had fallen north of play area in the North Field as a result of the recent strong winds.   An emergency removal had been carried out by a tree surgeon.  The cost was £380 to be funded from the Tree Maintenance Budget for Adastra Park.

GE23/71.2 Adastra Tennis Courts.  Further holes have been reported as appearing on the tennis courts.  This had occurred previously and was due to seedling germinating under the surface.  The issue has been referred back to contractor to be investigate.

GE23/71.3 Parklife Coffee.  As discussed at a previous G&E meeting, Parklife Coffee who trade in the Adastra Park trialled their first Hummus lunch club in the pavilion recently.  This had been a popular event and the intention is to organise further similar events in the near future.

GE23/72 BURIAL GROUND FEES Members were invited to review and approve fees for Hassocks Burial Ground from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025.

Members had been provided with a full report as part of the agenda (Appendix 2).  Members were informed that the current fees for 2023/24 had been reviewed based on the application of an inflationary interest in line with fees for other local authority burial grounds.  Following this review it was recommended that Members consider applying an above inflationary uplift to the majority of the fees.  This recommendation was made for the following reasons:

i. A direct comparison with other local authority burial grounds.
ii. An increase in the cost and required levels of administration.
iii. Ongoing improvements and increased maintenance costs.

Members were also asked to note that currently HPC charges a combined fee for the purchase of a plot (Exclusive Right of Burial – EROB) and first interment.  Members were informed that the more usual approach is to set separate charges for the purchase of a plot (Exclusive Right of Burial- EROB) and each interment.  Members were therefore invited to approve the implementation of this structure when considering the fees.

The Deputy Clerk provided further clarification in response to Member’s questions and Members considered the proposed fee changes for 2024/25.

GE23/72.1 It was RESOLVED to APPROVE that the fee structure for Hassocks Burial Ground would change to set a separate fee for the purchase of a plot (Exclusive Right of Burial – EROB) and for each interment from 1 April 2024.  Future interment fees for all plot purchases from 1 April 2024 will be paid at the time of burial not in advance as is currently the case.   These changes would only apply to new plot purchases from 1 April 2024.

GE23/72.2 It was RESOLVED to APPROVE that no increase would be applied to the search fees and fees relating to Deed of Grant amendments.

GE23/72.3 It was RESOLVED to APPROVE the Burial Ground Fees as shown below to be applicable from 1 April 2024.

Table of Fees, Payments and Sums, fixed by the Parish Council acting as the Burial Authority for the Parish of Hassocks to apply from 1 April 2024 – the following fees are applicable for parishioners of Hassocks only.

Please note that all fees and charges relating to interments and memorials for those residing outside of the Parish of Hassocks will be five times those stated below.   However should the interment relate to a child of 18 years or under, no fees will be applied for residents or non-residents.

Fees shown below do not include the digging of graves.

Burial Plots

Purchase of Exclusive Right of Burial for a period of 50 years.

 

 

Single depth £400

Double depth £400

Interment Fee

 

 Single depth £182

Double depth £217

Second Interment Fee (coffin & ashes)  £182
For The Right To Erect A Headstone or Memorial On A Grave  £149
For The Right To Have Additional Inscription On An Existing Memorial. £74

 

Cremation Plots

North Cremation Section Single depth plots only with numbered ground marker.
Purchase of Exclusive Right of Burial for a period of 50 years.  £125
Interment Fee – Ashes £128
Purchase of a Memorial Wall Plaque & Inscription Permit  £40

 

South Cremation Section
Purchase of Exclusive Right of Burial for a period of 50 years.  Single depth £250

Double depth £250

First Interment Fee – Ashes  £128
Second Interment -Ashes £128
Memorial Tablet permit  £75
Additional Inscription on Memorial Tablet £40

 

Search Fee.  £34.00 per hour.

Replacement, transfer or amendment of Deed of Grant.    £57.00


GE23/73 ADASTRA PARK FACILITIES HIRE FEES AND CHARGES. Members were invited to review and approve fees for the Adastra Park facilities from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025.

It was noted that the proposed discounted rate for Casual Hire Tennis should have been £3.50 not £7.00 as shown.

Members were invited to consider proposed increases to Adastra Park Sports Facilities Fees and Charges for 2024/25 based on a 6.6% increase in CPI between September 2022 and September 2023.  With the exception of the following:

Public Tennis Charges. HPC has agreed on an annual basis not to apply any increase to public hire charges for Adastra Tennis Courts since 2011. The current charge is £7.00 (full Rate).  Therefore it was proposed and AGREED that these remain unchanged in support of the LTA campaign to promote accessible public tennis.

GE23/73.1 A query was raised on behalf of the Adastra Tennis Club as to the possibility of a reduced fee for Members who join later in the year.  It was AGREED that this would be considered at a later meeting when a full report could be presented.

GE23/73.2 It was RESOLVED TO APPROVE all charges and fees as set out below for the use of Adastra Park facilities in 2024/25.

Adastra Park Sports Facilities Fees and Charges 2024/25. 

General Conditions

  1. The charges included in this leaflet are effective from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025 in relation to the sports facilities operated by Hassocks Parish Council. Summer and Winter season dates are specific to each facility and activity.
  2. All hirers must complete an official HPC application form and adhere to the Council’s published Terms and Conditions of Hire prior to the booking period.
  3. Payment for the hire of facilities must be made in advance unless otherwise are agreed.
  4. Discounted Rates – where a discounted rate (50% of the full rate) is provided, the following conditions apply:
    Juniors-to qualify for the discounted rate, facility users must be under the age of 17 at the time of hire. Senior Citizens – to qualify for the discounted rate, facility users must be 60 or over at the time of hire.
2024/25 Full Rate 2024/25 Full Rate
SPORTS HIRE – SUMMER    
Cricket Turf Wicket – per use 55.00 27.50
Cricket Turf Wicket – evening rate 28.90
Juniors on Artificial Pitch   14.45
Cricket Net Practice – Per session 28.90 14.45
Water for cricket square will be recharged at cost
   
Stoolball – South Field per use 27.00 13.50
North Field   6.75
   
Bowls – Club Members 159.50 79.75
Water use will be recharged to the Bowling Club    
   
Tennis – Casual Hire per Court (no change) 7.00 3.50
   
Tennis – Club Members 103.80 51.90
Couples 155.50  
Children of Adult Members (per child)   18.10
   
SUMMER PAVILION HIRE    
Changing Rooms/Toilets/Kitchen/Bar/Storage 47.00  
Changing Rooms/Toilets/Kitchen/Storage 31.70 15.85
Toilets/Kitchen/Storage 15.85 7.90
   
SPORTS HIRE – WINTER    
Football – per use 71.10  
Junior Football on Senior Pitch   35.55
Mini-Pitch   17.80
Training Session (per session) 18.20 9.10
   
WINTER PAVILION HIRE – SPORTS 38.70 19.35
COMMUNITY CHARGES    
Community Pavilion Hire 11.70
Fitness Training Charges (4 hour session) 13.10

 

GE23/74 GROUNDS SERVICE PROVISION.  Members were invited to consider and agree a proposed option for delivering services within the Council’s grounds following the retirement of the Groundsman.

Members were informed that a paper had been considered by the Policy Resources & Communications (PR&C) Committee (16/01/24) which was set out in Appendix 4 of the agenda, detailing some of the Advantages/Disadvantages of various delivery models of service for maintaining the park and associated assets.

The Council’s Groundsman recently retired therefore this has provided the Council with the opportunity to consider how they wish to deliver this element of service in future. At present some of the tasks previously undertaken by the groundsman are being covered by a number of interim arrangements.

PR&C Members had discussed each option at length and concluded unanimously that their favoured model was Option 1 – Like For Like Replacement.  It was acknowledged that it could also be advertised with the option to consider a job share.

LIKE FOR LIKE REPLACEMENT

Advantages

  1. Greater flexibility to allocate ad hoc tasks.
  2. Greater direct control.
  3. Part of internal team – possibly greater pride/ownership in the work undertaken.
  4. Rapport with park users / eyes & ears of the council.
  5. Resource directly managed.

Disadvantages

  1. Lack of resilience (holidays/sickness etc.).
  2. Maybe occasional capacity issues.
  3. Summer resource requirements different to those required in winter (due to weather & shorter daylight hours).
  4. May have limited skill set requiring to be supplemented by external support.
  5. May be difficult to appoint suitable recruit. (time /costs associated with this)
  6. Direct pension costs/liabilities.
  7. Direct costs associated with h & s training/protective clothing etc.

Whilst the Policy, Resources & Communications Committee has responsibility for resources, PR&C Members agreed that the primary Committee for this area of work (G&E) should have an input into the decision of the final delivery model.

Therefore the Grounds & Environment Committee was invited to confirm its support for the preferred Option 1- Like For Like Replacement to directly employ a new Grounds Person.

This was considered by the G&E Committee with members of PR&C who were present providing clarification on the reasons for the decision.  It was noted that the opportunity was being taken to carry out a full review of the current Grounds Person’s job description and Cllr David Bunting was leading this review.

It was noted that the appointment of a Grounds Person at the earliest opportunity was a priority.

GE23/74.1 Members RESOLVED TO APPROVE the proposed approach to appoint a Like For Like Replacement for a Grounds Person.

GE23/75 WINTER MAINTENANCE PLAN. Members were invited to approve the Hassocks Parish Council Winter Resilience Plan (Appendix 1) and to indicate whether the Council would be supportive of an extended Winter Plan in the future.

The option of an extended Winter Resilience plan incorporating permanent grit bins at designated locations with a volunteer network to co-ordinate the distribution of grit was considered.  However after discussion it was agreed that the current arrangements were considered appropriate, but Members supported the addition of a further hippo salt bag to be requested from WSCC for delivery to Keymer Parade, Keymer as part of the WSCC Winter Management Plan.

GE23/75.1 Members RESOLVED TO APPROVE the Hassocks Parish Council Winter Resilience Plan; with an additional request being made to WSCC for Keymer Parade to be added as a fourth location for a Hippo Salt Bag, as part of the WSCC Winter Management Plan.

It was also AGREED that in addition to being provided on the website, the information contained in the HPC Winter Resilience Plan should be shared with residents through an article in Hassocks Life next Autumn.

GE23/76 ADASTRA PARK DEVELOPER SUPPORT OPPORTUNITY.   Members re-considered the offer from the developer Taylor Wimpey to make a contribution towards improvements in the park.

Further clarity had been sought from the developer as to the acceptable criteria of any potential contribution but no response had been received to date.

However as noted in the Officer’s Report in the recent strong winds, a mature Maple tree had been uprooted in Adastra Park in the grassed area just north of the small children’s play park.  Members were invited to consider requesting a donation from Taylor Wimpey to replace the tree, assuming this would be acceptable to Taylor Wimpey.

Assuming a positive response is received from Taylor Wimpey, Members AGREED to approve the use of any donation received to cover the cost of a replacement tree including planting and suitable protection.

GE23/77 ADASTRA PARK MASTERPLAN.

GE23/77.1 Adastra Park Drainage. Cllr David Bunting reported that given the delays in responses from the Drainage Consultant who had been working on the Adastra Park Drainage proposals, the Clerk would be arranging a meeting to confirm whether the Consultant was in a position to pick up pace on this project.  Otherwise an alternative consultant should be sought.

GE23/77.2 Adastra Hall Works.  Cllr Bunting informed Members that work would be commencing shortly on the Adastra Hall extension.  Some issues have been raised regarding responsibility over mains drainage and further investigations are being undertaken, however Members were invited to note that the outcome may result in additional costs for the Parish Council.

GE23/78 FLOOD ACTION GROUP. Cllr Frances Gaudencio presented the following report to Members.

So far, we have worked with partners such as OART and The Green Group (previously HKD) to install leaky dams, have funded rain gauges, explored and discounted various ideas for SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems), delivered Riparian Responsibilities leaflets to appropriate dwellings, solicitors and estate agents, written articles for Hassocks Life, and encouraged the public and yourselves to submit data in the form of photos / videos of flood incidents.

We have pressed WSCC via our supportive WS County Councillor to clear drains and remove leaves.

We have studied reports and maps, strategies and plans and walked the lengths of the streams.

Between Cllrs Weir, Richardson and myself we have revisited and discussed the Surface Water Management Plan for Hassocks produced in 2016 and having gained local experience of the last few years, as well as sharing knowledge between ourselves and others, we now feel in a position to focus on achieving at least two of the options suggested in the SWMP. These are bigger projects than we can do ourselves, they are not for us to do and they require funding.

So our intention is now to request collective support from our West Sussex County Councillor and Mid Sussex Councillor Representatives to seek implementation from the appropriate Officers. I will be contacting them shortly to agree a meeting for this purpose.

In addition it would be useful for all Hassocks Parish Councillors to know how flooding is classified and assessed by the authorities and what some of the very complicated issues are in relation to flood mitigation. Cllr Richardson has volunteered to offer a briefing prior to the next meeting of G&E to help raise awareness.

Cllr Gaudencio answered various questions from Members on the report.  Members noted the report.

GE23/79 PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY (PROW). Members noted that the WSCC Public Rights of Way Routine Maintenance Inspections will be taking place in February 2024

GE23/80 URGENT MATTERS at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.  

GE23/80.1 Cllr Bunting invited any Members who would like to contribute to the Grounds Person specification to contact him directly.

GE23/80.2 Cllr Bunting invited Members to note that Cllr Richardson would be presenting a briefing session regarding flooding within the village prior to the next G&E meeting on 21 March 2024.  This session would start at 7pm and was open to any Councillors who wished to attend.

GE23/81 DATE OF NEXT MEETING. 21 March 2024 at 7.30pm.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.35 pm.