PLEASE NOTE: MEETING NOW CANCELLED
A meeting of Hassocks Parish Council will be held on Tuesday 13 December 2022 at 7.30 pm in the Council Chamber, Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.
Parish Clerk – 7 December 2022
Members of the public are encouraged to come to the meetings and there is an opportunity for them to address the Council relating to the non-confidential items on the published agenda. A period of 15 minutes will be set aside in item 4 Public participation.
1.1 To accept Apologies for absence
2. DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
2.1 To deal with any disclosure by Members of any disclosable pecuniary interests and interests other than pecuniary interests, as defined under Hassocks Parish Council’s Code of Conduct and the Localism Act 2011, in relation to matters on the agenda.
3.1. To accept the minutes of the
Parish Council meeting 8th November 2022
4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Up to fifteen minutes will be available to allow for the public to make representations, answer questions or give evidence in respect of any items of business included in the agenda, in accordance with Standing Orders.
5. TO ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING MINUTES
5.1 Planning Committee – to agree the minutes for the 14th November 2022
and to note the minutes for the 5th December 2022
5.2 Policy Resources & Communications- to note the minutes for meeting for the 29th November 2022.
6.1 To approve the Financial Report and authorise the list of payments in the sum of £26,037.67 issued between 1 October 2022 and 31st October 2022. (Please click here to view Appendix 1)
6.2 Members raised a query at the last Council meeting in respect of a finance report for (September) regarding a transaction for £1,026.00 described as ‘roundabout repair’ which the clerk undertook to clarify. The sum in question related to the repair to the wet pour (safety surface) surrounding the roundabout as opposed to a repair to the roundabout.
7.1. West Sussex County Councillor
7.2. Mid Sussex District Councillors Report
7.3 Police Report
7.4. Rail Matters – oral Report (Leslie Campbell)
7.5. Youth Initiatives – presentation (Frances Gaudencio)
7.6. Reports from Councillors on meetings of outside bodies where the Council is represented.
8. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
8.1 Current matters (oral report)
9. CLERK’S REPORT
9.1 Budget Proposal 2023/24
BUDGET PROPOSAL 2023/24 – The attached report set out in (Appendix 2) details the draft budget proposal for 2023/24. (Please click here to view Appendix 2). Policy Resources & Communications Committee considered the original report in detail on 29th November 2022 (PRC22/19) and made the following recommendations
|PRC22/19.1 After careful consideration of the proposed budget requirements Members RESOLVED to RECOMMEND to full Council not to increase the Precept but to retain at the current level of £312,302.
PRC22/19.2 Members RESOLVED to RECOMMEND the proposed additional allocations within the report from General Reserves prior to the year end to Earmarked Reserves to support the Councils ongoing priorities.
PRC22/19.3 Members RESOLVED to RECOMMEND the following additional amendments to the initial proposal for Council to consider:
i) To allocate an additional sum of up to £10,000 from general reserves to earmarked reserves in respect of the Burial Ground Path.
ii) To allocate a £4,000 provision within the revenue budget towards the Twinning anniversary event (23/24) subject to members agreeing the final level of any contribution post presentation from the Twinning association.
The Clerk confirmed that neither of these amendments would impact on the level of precept but would reduce the surplus budget sum to £11,135, therefore members requested that the Clerk reflect these proposed amendments in the report to be taken forward to Council for consideration.
The budget has been reviewed and adjusted to reflect Policy Resources & Communications Committees comments. Members are therefore requested to consider the contents of the report and determine the level of budget/precept to be set for 2023/24. Based on the draft budget proposal this would deliver a small surplus of £11,135.
With the increase in property base over the last year this would equate to a 1.82% reduction (£1.57 per annum) on Council tax paid on a band D equivalent property based on an estimated Property Tax base of 3,679 properties. Member views are sought on this proposal
9.2 Internal Audit Report – The attached report (Please click here to view Appendix 3) sets out the results of the recent interim audit, members are requested to note the contents of the report.
9.3 Grants letters of thanks – The purpose of this report is to advise members that following the grants agreed on 13th September 2022 additional emails/letters of thanks have now been received from the following organisations.
- Keymer & Hassocks Football Club
- Victim Support
9.4 IT Server – upgrade.
Members previously considered the initial item at its meeting on the 13th September 2022.
|PC22/75 Replacement Server
Members were informed that the Councils IT provider had advised the Council to consider replacing its current server which is six years old. The server is currently running Microsoft Server 2012 r2 operating system which will not be supported by Microsoft beyond October 2023.
They have indicated that they would recommend the Council considers replacing its current server sooner as they anticipate the cost will continue to increase and there maybe supply issues further down the line.
Members were requested to consider the release of £4,733.48 (net) from General reserves to fund the replacement which will include the supply of server, hard drives, licences, installation and transfer of data.
Member’s views were sought. A discussion took place amongst members which included exploring ‘Cloud’ options in more detail before committing to the proposal recommended by the Council’s IT support provider. It was AGREED that Cllr Simmons would liaise with the Clerk and provide some further technical information. Further discussions will then be held by the Clerk with the Councils IT provider to determine the most suitable solution to take forward and a report will be brought back to full council for consideration at a future time.
The Clerk subsequently approached the Councils IT provider who provided some indicative costings for the Council to move over to a Cloud server solution which indicated the cost would be significantly higher than the proposal to replace the existing server. Most of the cost attributed to a replacement server relates to the set up and transfer of data.
Our IT provider indicated that based on the Councils current set up they would suggest the Council retains its current arrangements.
Members are therefore requested to consider the original request to release funds from general reserves to fund the server, hard drives, licences, installation and transfer of data. It should be noted the costs have now increased to £4,802 (net)
9.5 Tree works – Adastra Park
Grounds and Environment Committee were scheduled to consider a report (7th December item 6.2) proposing to release further funding from General reserves to undertake some remedial works to an Oak tree located in the North field Car Park which has suffered from die back, possibly as a result of the drought conditions over the summer period.
This tree overhangs Orchard Lane and the Car Park and therefore potentially poses a safety risk to users of both areas. Rather than completely remove the tree, it has been advised that a heavy reduction/monolith could be carried out leaving the tree about 20ft high whilst trying to retain healthy growth.
Members were requested to consider the release of up to £1,600 from General reserves to fund these works. Subject to Grounds & Environment approving the release of these funds in principle, Council are required to approve the release of funds from General reserves.
9.6 Adastra Hall Improvement options
At Councils meeting on the 8th November members considered a number of proposals (PC22/95) regarding the halls lease and building footprint, and made a number of recommendations set out below.
|95.2 Members were requested to consider the release of designated pieces of land within the park to support the proposal to increase the size of the ‘green room’ and the improvement of the toilet facilities and to redraw the lease to reflect the enlarged building footprint.
Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the release of additional land within the park to facilitate the enlargement of the ‘green room’ and the toilet facilities and to redraw the lease to reflect the extended footprint.
95.3 Members were requested to consider entering into an extended lease of 21 years to facilitate the Associations ability to access funding.
Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the extension of the lease to 21 years
95.4 Members were requested to consider entering into a new lease with the amended constituted association.
Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the entering into a new lease with the Adastra Hall Community Association (CIO)
95.5 Members were requested to consider authorising the Clerk to appoint and instruct a suitable legal representative to enact these changes with the costs being met from the professional fees budget.
Members RESOLVED to AUTHORISE the Clerk to appoint a suitable legal representative to effect the agreed changes with the cost being met from the professional fees budget.
This is to advise members that the Clerk has instructed Wellers Hedley (part of the Wellers Law group) to act on behalf of the council to affect the above changes to the lease.
This practice specialise in parish council work and had previously drawn up the current lease for the hall therefore they have indicated that the proposed changes should be relatively straight forward to achieve. The cost of this service will be £800 (net) and will be met from the professional fees budget.
Members are requested to note the action taken
9.7 Communication presentation (verbal update)
10. URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.
11. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
To note that the date of the next Council meeting is Tuesday 10th January 2023 at 7.30pm.
EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS
In view of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted Councillors will be referred to the Confidential Agenda. If any members of the public or press are in attendance they will be requested to withdraw from the meeting in the public interest.
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.
All members of the public are welcome to attend 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.