Hassocks Parish Council


A meeting of the Parish Council is being held on Tuesday 14 March 2023 at 7.30 pm in the Council Chamber, Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.

Parish Clerk – 8 March 2023

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.



To accept Apologies for absence


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 14th February 2023


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.


5.1       Planning Committee – to agree the minutes for the 13th February 2023 and to note the minutes for the 6th March 2023.


6.1       To approve the Financial Report and authorise the list of payments in the sum of £23,515.00 issued between 1 January 2023 and 31st January 2023. (Appendix 1)
To view Appendix 1 please click here.


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 – (Frances Gaudencio)

7.6       Reports from Councillors on meetings outside bodies where the Council Is represented


8.1       Current matters (oral report)


9.1      Insurance Contract. – The Councils current insurance arrangement with Hiscox is due to expire on the 31st May 2023.

Parish Council insurance is a specialised market with limited providers which have continued to contract in recent years, therefore it is proposed that a similar approach to that taken previously and seek to test the market utilising specialist insurance brokers together with approaching an Insurance company directly who are the primary provider within the Local Government sector.

It’s also proposed to consider entering into a 3 year term agreement therefore negating the need to seek annual quotations and potentially securing improved terms. Attempts were made to secure a three year term contract in 2022 however at that time insurance providers were limiting the offer to a one year term post pandemic.

Our current broker Gallagher’s (formerly known as Came & Company) managed our previous insurance tenders and it’s therefore proposed to approach them together with another broker BHIB who specialise in this sector together with Zurich Municipal Insurance to seek a wider range of quotations/options from the market.

It is anticipated that this approach will enable the Council to secure best value not only in terms of comprehensiveness of cover provided by the respective policies but also the value of the premium. Insurance premiums increased significantly post pandemic and the Councils premium increased further during the year as a result of the council undertaking a revaluation of its property portfolio resulting in the insured value increasing significantly. The current annual premium is £6,090.

Members are therefore requested to consider and approve the proposed approach and the principle of entering into a term agreement with the successful provider if possible.

The outcome of the exercise will be brought back to Council to consider.

Member’s views are sought.

10. Communication presentation (verbal update)

11. URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.


To note that the date of the next Council meeting is Tuesday 11th April 2023.


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.


13. Burial Ground path network– to agree the confidential minutes for the 13th February 2023.

14. Burial Ground path network – update

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.

Please Note
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.


Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on 14th March 2023 at 7.30pm in Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks

Attendees: Parish Councillors Jane Baker (Chair), David Bunting, Kristian Berggreen, Angus Neil, Dan Sewell , Robert Brewer, Frances Gaudencio, Alex Simmons and Kate Bailey.

Member: –       Cllr Simmons arrived at 7.32

Parish Clerk: Ian Cumberworth


PC22/125     APOLOGIES   Parish Councillors Ian Weir, Carolyn Barton, Leslie Campbell, Sue Hatton, Bill Hatton and Claire Tester

County Councillor: Kirsty Lord


Disclosure by Councillors of personal interests in matters on the agenda, and whether the Councillor regards their interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct. – None.

PC22/127     MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on the 14th February 2023 were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.


No members of the public were present.

PC22/129     MINUTES

129.1    Members accepted the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting on the 13th February 2023 and noted the minutes for the 6th March 2023.

PC22/130     FINANCE

130.1     Members considered the finance reports and the supporting bank statements and reviewed the following payment lists.

The Finance report and payments totalling £23,515.00 (Appendix 1) for the period 1st January – 31st January 2023 were considered and APPROVED.

PC22/131 Reports

131.1   County Councillors reports: – Cllr Kirsty Lord (KL) had sent her apologies but submitted a brief written report.The Clerk read out the following report:

‘WSCC budget passed its budget at its February meeting and agreed to increase council tax by 4.99% (2.99% + 2% for adult social care). Within the budget there is an additional allocation of £4.5M towards Highways including drainage but only committed to one year.

WSCC have now replaced Richard Speller Area Highways Manager who are likely to commence this role sometime in May with a view to being up to speed on local issues in June. In the interim WSCC highways team are providing support.

Secondary School Offer days – Downlands Community School was able to take all children within catchment who applied on time for September 2023.

Primary School offers day is at Easter, therefore keeping a close eye on this.

Other casework
Dealing with issues on highways and flooding, several contacts about the power cuts and particularly the impact on the phone network, its proposed to raise this with WSCC and MP’s this week.

WSCC have cancelled Full Council on 31st March with the Chairman citing no substantive business before notices of a motion have been submitted. This is highly unusual and will mean there will be no public questioning of cabinet between December and end of May.

131.2   District Councillor Report Cllr Sue Hatton (SH) had sent her apologies but submitted a brief written report.The Clerk read out the following report

‘Constituents have raised concerns about hedges and trees being demolished/removed on the Clayton Mills estate.

This is land that had been originally allocated under a section106 agreement to provide a health centre. This was no longer required by the health authority as there was no money to make this provision, therefore, after 10 years this land has reverted back to the original developer.

MSDC planning were informed by myself that this was going on, and requested to investigate further both from the perspective of what is allowed in the planning process, and for the possible interference with wild life and birds’ nesting etc.

MSDC did respond promptly, and their initial assessment was that there were no planning issues.

MSDC have however agreed to look into the issue further, and promised to let me, and the parish council know the outcome of their deliberations. We await that information.

Concerns have been expressed at the danger to pedestrians trying to cross at Stonepound to get to the bus stop south of the crossroads, and trying to get to the garden centre.

This is an ongoing problem, which Kirsty Lord county councillor, has tried to get some movement on. It’s understood Cllr Lord will re-visit this, and try and get a favourable response as it is agreed all round, that this is dangerous for pedestrians as the lights are not synced appropriately to enable a ‘space’ in traffic flow to allow safe crossing.

Residents of Brighton road have raised concerns about the speed of traffic on this road, causing accidents of a serious nature. There was a death the other week, and numerous other incidents that have been observed, but don’t necessarily get publicity.

Cllr Lord (WSCC) will contact those concerned to inform them of discussion so far. Again it is something that WSCC should be able to address with regard to enforcing speed limits that already exist, and perhaps even reduce the 50mph limit.

At (MSDC) Scrutiny planning (15/03/23), the committee will receive a summary of responses to the draft Mid Sussex district plan consultation – Regulation 18. – This can be viewed on the district plan review webpage on the MSDC site –

But I thought I would highlight a couple of things: that are of a more local interest to the parish council.

In total there were 1,365 respondents submitting 2,881 individual comments on the document.
209 comments were received on the proposed Strategy for the District Plan – 7 in support, l84 objecting, and 18 neutral.

The most significant number of objections to the spatial strategy raised concerns about current infrastructure and its ability to accommodate further growth.

Under significant sites land to the south of Reeds Lane, Sayers Common (2,000 homes) received 402 objections (and 7 in support) and land to the West of Burgess Hill (1,400 homes) received 136 objections and 2 in support.
Hassocks sites:
DPH 15 – Land to the rear of 2 Hurst Road (25 homes) – (with access onto the London road – my annotation)

Received 3 objections and 2 supporting replies.

DPH 27 – Land at Byanda, Hassocks, number of homes/units tbc – 0 supporting but 3 objections.


The next formal stage of the process is the publication of the proposed submission District plan (Regulation19).

In summer/autumn 2023 when all the responses have been evaluated and any extra work needed has been done after the consultation responses on that document have been received, they will be submitted to the Secretary of state for examination. This is scheduled for early 2024.’

131.3  Police Report – nothing to report.

131.4   Rail Matters – nothing to report

131.5    Youth Initiatives – Cllr Gaudencio advised members that funds still remain unspent and sought clarification on what should happen to these. The Clerk indicated that the expectation would be they are returned to the Council, they be considered for ring-fencing to support future youth initiatives. Cllr Gaudencio indicated that the only sessions running at present are the coding club but it is proving increasingly challenging to source appropriate resources to run some of the sessions.

131.6 Report from Councillors on meetings of outside bodies where the Council is represented

Cllr Gaudencio informed members that she recently attended a meeting with HCO and advised them that the Parish had not increased its precept and were currently progressing initiatives on the tennis facilities within the park together with work streams being worked on by the Flood Action Group.

HCO representatives raised concerns regarding traffic calming measures, it is understood these matters are being explored by the county councillor.

Discussion also covered the possibility of creating a welcome pack for new residents however it was acknowledged this could be challenging due to the level of development however there may be opportunities for HCO and the Parish to potentially partner on this.

PC22/132 CHAIRMANS REPORT – Nothing to report.


133.1   Insurance

The Clerk introduced the paper setting out the proposed approach to let the forthcoming Insurance renewal. Members were advised that Parish/Town Council Insurance is a specialist sector with limited providers, the intention was to utilise two brokers (Gallagher’s and BHIB ) together with approaching Zurich Municipal Insurance company directly as they are the primary provider of Local Authority Insurance. The proposal was to enter into a term agreement (3 years) if possible; as members may recall post pandemic when the council renewed its insurance in 2022 this was not available at that time, added to which premiums had significantly increased.

Members views were sought with regard to this approach and all members supported this approach.

Therefore Members RESOLVED that the Clerk re-let the insurance contract via the approach set out in the paper and approach the two named brokers together with Zurich Municipal Insurance and bring the outcome of this market testing back to full council for consideration.

Members also AGREED that the Council should seek to enter into long term agreement if available.

 133.2 Communications – Cllr Sewell advised members that he had now met individually with a number of members to discuss the Communications framework in place within the council. Cllr Sewell indicated he would now like to arrange a focus group/workshop meeting with members as a group to explore/develop ideas that have emerged from the individual discussions. The intention is to invite all members to participate in the initiative, it was agreed that the Clerk would liaise with Cllr Sewell to co-ordinate the arrangement of this session and invite members to attend.

PC22/134 URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN – The Chair raised the issue regarding the recent power outages that impacted on the community and the lack of advance of advance warning (two of the three outages were pre-planned). Each of the three outages were of particular concern as each resulted in a total lack of mobile comms, internet connection and for many, landline connection. There was no advanced warning or communication from UK power during the two planned outages. The consensus was that a letter should be drafted and sent to our MP setting out the Councils concerns in more detail.              


To note that the date of the next Parish Council meeting is Tuesday 11th April 2023 at 7.30pm.

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.