Hassocks Parish Council


A meeting of the Parish Council is being held on Tuesday 13 June 2023 at 7.30pm in the Council Chamber, Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.

Parish Clerk 7 June 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.



1.1 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 16th May 2023

3.2  To note the minutes of the Annual Parish meeting held on the 16th May 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 – 8th May 2023 (for acceptance) and to note the minutes for 30th May 2023.

5.2       To note the Grounds & Environment Committee minutes for the 1st June 2023

5.3       To agree the minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee for the 17th May 2023


6.1       To approve the Financial Report and authorise the list of payments in the sum of £24,703.36 issued between 1 April 2023 and 30th April 2023. (Appendix 1). To view Appendix 1 please click here.

6.2       To consider the Annual Governance Statement for 2022/23 (Appendix 2) this report sets out how the Council has met its governance responsibilities.

6.3       To note the Internal auditors report (Appendix 3) approve and sign the summary draft Internal Auditors report (Appendix 4) and to consider and approve the Accounting statements for 2022/23 (Appendix 5).

6.4       To consider the Council Risk assessments in accordance with the Councils requirement to review annually. (Appendix 6 & 7).


7.1.      West Sussex County Councillor
7.2.      Mid Sussex District Councillors Report
7.3       Police Report
7.4.      Rail Matters
7.5.      Youth Initiatives
7.6.      Reports from Councillors on meetings outside bodies where the Council
Is represented.


8.1       Current matters (oral report)


9.1       Co-option – Members approved the co-option of Don McBeth onto the Council at its meeting on the 16th May 2023 and all required documentation has now been completed. Members are now invited to consider which committees Cllr McBeth may wish to join.

9.2       Neighbourhood Priorities Statement: – Members may recall that the Council has recently concluded the initial consultation stages of Developing a Neighbourhood Priorities Statement.

The Neighbourhood Plan Committee considered the attached draft document and recommended the document be considered for approval at full council. (Appendix 8). To view Appendix 8 please click here.

Members RESOLVED to RECOMMEND that Council consider the drafted Priorities Statement for APPROVAL and that Council should give further consideration as to how they wish to manage the next phase of the wider consultation process.


The project was formerly led by (Cllr Tester) who did not re-stand at the recent election,therefore members will need to assign a lead representative to determine how they wish to take this initiative forward. An extract from the Neighbourhood Plan Committee minutes is set out below which outlines the actions required to be taken.

Once Council has agreed the statement it would then be expected to go out to a wider consultation similar to that of a Regulation 14 process.  At present the consultation in drafting this plan has been limited primarily to residents and some local business within the parish.

It will be necessary to consult on the drafted statement with a wider audience including Statutory Consultees (e.g. District Council, South Downs National Park Authority, Network Rail, Health Service etc.) and go back out to the public and local businesses to provide them with the opportunity to comment on the published version.

It was acknowledged that we are one of the first parish councils to commence development of a Priorities Statement in advance of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill passing through parliament later this year.  Once this legislation is passed, Priorities Statements will attain greater weight in the planning process.

Once the final version has been agreed Members could utilise the information to inform future work streams and update their business plan which is due to be refreshed during the new municipal year.


Member’s views are sought.

9.3       Section 106 funding – Members views are being sought from MSDC on a request to consider the release of up to £224,139.11 from section 106 funding towards of the cost of the Adastra Hall extension initiative.

Members have previously approved the principle of the extension to the building, which is owned by the Council, but leased to Adastra Hall Hassocks Community association CIO. A new lease is in the process of being drafted incorporating the extension element however when previously considered some reservations were expressed by members regarding which section 106 funds would be utilised.

Members are therefore requested to consider the proposals and consider if they have any views of the funding proposal, it’s understood a recommendation is to be made to MSDC Councillors to approve the application however they wish to seek if the Parish has any views which will be referred back to cabinet prior to the final decision being made.

The funds would be released from the following schemes:

Community Buildings
Ref Description Value
1 08/02181/OUT Land at Hassocks Highways depot, London Road 1,280.90
2 09/00952/FUL Land at Weald Lawn Tennis & Squash club 4,872.33
3 12/00637/FUL Land at rear of Stafford House 7,587.20
4 DM/15/4964 Royston Nursing Home 2,266.00
5 DM/15/3309 Land at Stafford House 7,539.74
Total Community Buildings 23,546.17
Community Infrastructure
5 DM17/4307 Land on West side London Rd ,Saxon Mills 73,513.16
6 DM18/2616 Hassocks Golf Club 127,079.78
Total Community Infrastructure contributions                                        200,592.94
Overall Allocation     224,139.11


10. HCO Letter request for speed reduction in Hassocks (Appendix 9) – members are requested to consider the contents of the attached letter – member’s views are sought. To view Appendix 9 please click here.

11. COMMUNICATIONS (verbal update)

12. 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 July 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.


14. To accept the confidential minutes of the Parish Council meeting 16th May 2023 (previously circulated)

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.


 To: Council

Date:  13 June 2023

Contact for this report: Parish Clerk

Subject: Item 6.2 Annual Governance Statement for year ended 31 March 2023

1. Hassocks Parish Council (HPC) is responsible for ensuring that there is a sound system of internal control, including the preparation of the accounting statements. It must demonstrate that the following accounting statements are in place for the year ended 31 March 2023.

1. We have put in place arrangements for effective financial management during the year, and for the preparation of the accounting statements.


HPC has prepared its accounting statements in accordance with the Accounts and Audit Regulations.

At each full Council meeting members consider and approve monthly expenditure:

Under the transparency agenda all expenditure transactions are listed approved and signed by the Chairman.

A monthly current account bank reconciliation is considered and approved by the Chairman at the monthly meeting.

A quarterly bank reconciliation is carried out for each of the three savings accounts and signed by the Chairman at Council Meetings.

2. We maintained an adequate system of internal control, including measures designed to prevent and detect fraud and corruption and reviewed its effectiveness. HPC has made proper arrangements and accepted responsibility for safeguarding the public money and resources in its charge.
3. We took all reasonable steps to assure ourselves that there are no matters of actual potential non-compliance with laws, regulations and proper practises that could have a significant financial effect on the ability of this smaller authority to conduct its business or on its finances. HPC has only done what it has the legal power to do so and has complied with the proper practises in doing so.

Standing Orders and Financial Regulations are adhered to and are kept under review.

4. We provided proper opportunity during the year for the exercise of electors’ rights in accordance with the requirements of the Accounts and Audit Regulations. During the year, HPC has given all persons interested the opportunity to inspect and ask questions about the authority’s accounts.

HPC displays relevant documents on the village notice boards and in the Parish Council’s front window. This information is also published on the Councils website.

5. We carried out an assessment of the risks facing this authority and took appropriate steps to manage those risks, including the introduction of internal controls and/or external insurance cover when required. HPC has considered the financial and other risks it faces and has dealt with them properly.

An annual risk assessment is written and reviewed.

6. We maintained throughout the year an adequate effective system of internal audit of the accounting records and control systems. HPC has arranged for a competent person, independent of the financial controls and procedures, to give an objective view on whether internal controls meet the needs of the Council.

An Internal Auditor was appointed and will undertake two visits a year to review accounts and procedures as a minimum.

7. We took appropriate action on all matters raised in reports from internal and external audit. HPC has responded to any matters brought to its attention by internal and external audit.
8. We considered whether any litigation, liabilities or commitments, events or transactions, occurring either during or after the year-end, have a financial impact on this smaller authority and, where appropriate have included them in the accounting statements. HPC disclosed everything it should have about its business activity during the year including events taking place after the year-end if relevant.

There were none

9. (For local councils only) Trust funds including charitable.

In our capacity as the sole managing trustee we discharge are accountability responsibilities for the fund(s)/assets, including financial reporting and if required, independent examination or audit.

HPC has met all of its responsibilities where it is a sole managing trustee of a local trust.


2. OFFICER RECOMMENDATION Members are recommended to approve the
Annual Governance Statement for year ended 31 March 2023 which is set out in Appendix 2. To view Appendix 2 please click here.


 To:  Council

Date:   13 June 2023

Contact for this report: Parish Clerk

Subject: Item 6.3 Annual Return supporting documentation – Internal Auditors report for the year ended 31 March 2023 and Accounting statements for the year ending 31st March 2023.

6.3.1 The Internal Auditor’s report has been received and the year-end report has been attached for Members information (Appendix 3)  to view Appendix 3 please click here, together with the signed Summary Annual Internal Audit Report for 2022/23. (Appendix 4). To view Appendix 4 please click here.

6.3.2 A copy of the Accounting Statements to support the Annual Return are attached and were reviewed as part of the Internal Auditors review and are set out as (Appendix 5). To view Appendix 5 please click here.


6.3.3  Members are RECOMMENDED to note the contents of the Internal Auditors reports.

6.3.4  Members are RECOMMENDED to approve that the Accounting statements for the year ended 31st March 2023, in this Annual return, present fairly the financial position of Hassocks Parish Council and its income and expenditure.


To:  Council

Date: 13 June 2023

Contact for this report: Parish Clerk

Subject:  Item 6.4 Annual Risk Report.

6.4.1 Hassocks Parish Council is required to monitor and review risks on an ongoing basis and to consider policies arrangements in place to mitigate.

6.4.2 This report sets out the risk assessments (Appendix 6 & 7) for Hassocks Parish Council covering:

  • Financial & Management risks
  • Physical risks.

To view Appendix 6 please click here.      To view Appendix 7 please click here.

6.4.3 Members are requested to review and consider the attached risk assessments to determine they are satisfied with current management/controls of the risk in operation and that appropriate actions are being taken to reflect the changing risk environment.


6.4.4 Members are RECOMMENDED to consider the contents of the risk reports and note the actions put in place to manage the risks to the Council and to approve the current approach to risk management.


Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 13th June 2023

Attendees: Parish Councillors Ian Weir, Bill Hatton, David Bunting, Dan Sewell, Peter Richardson, Paul Shepherd and Don McBeth.

Visiting Member Cllr Chris Hobbs (MSDC).

Parish Clerk: Ian Cumberworth


PC23/36       APOLOGIES Cllr Sue Hatton, Carolyn Barton, Kristian Berggreen, Robert Brewer, Frances Gaudencio, Kate Bailey and Alex Simmons.

Cllr Kirsty Lord (WSCC)

Absent without apologies: Cllr Angus Neil


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.

PC23/38       MINUTES

The minutes of the Parish Council Annual Statutory meeting held on the 16th May 2023 were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

The minutes for the Annual Parish meeting held on the 16th May 2023 were noted.


No members of the public were present.

PC23/40       MINUTES

(i) To agree the Minutes of the Planning Committee 2nd May 2023 and to note the minutes for the 22nd May 2023.

(ii) Members were advised that the Grounds & Environment Committee minutes had only just been published. It was agreed these will be considered at the next council meeting.

(iii) To note the minutes Neighbourhood Plan Committee for the 20th April 2023.

PC23/41       FINANCE

PC23/41.1    Members considered the finance reports and the supporting bank statements and reviewed the payment list. The Finance report and payments totalling £24,703.36 for the period ending 30th April 2023 were considered and APPROVED.

PC23/41.2   Annual Governance Statement.

The Clerk introduced the Annual Governance Statement report that summarised how the council has discharged its responsibilities in respect of the governance framework which was set out in a table on pages 4-5 in the agenda. The Internal Auditor has reviewed the governance framework in place at the Council and members are requested to approve the attached annual governance statement which was detailed on page 11 of the agenda and authorise the Chair and the Clerk to sign the statement on behalf of the council.

This Clerk indicated that this will then be submitted together with other supporting papers to the external auditor for consideration as part of the external audit.

Cllr Richardson sought clarification on the aspects of the governance statement. The Clerk responded that the return is a statutory requirement and the control framework against which it’s measured should remain unchanged each year if the control systems are operating effectively. It is also reviewed as part of the internal audit process to provide assurance that control frameworks are operating effectively. If this was not the case then the conclusions of the governance statement could change.

Cllr Bill Hatton emphasised the importance of having a sound governance framework in place should things go wrong and he indicated that work of the office should be acknowledged in achieving this positive outcome.

Members were in agreement and placed on record their thanks to the team for the significant work that went into the audit process.

Members considered the content of the governance statement and indicated they were satisfied with the governance report and RESOLVED to APPROVE that the Chair and Clerk sign the Governance statement on behalf of the Council.

PC23/41.3    Internal Auditors Report

The Clerk introduced a paper setting out the detailed findings of the internal auditor (Appendix 3) together with an update of the recommendations raised at the initial interim audit review. The report had previously been considered by the Policy Resources and Communications Committee and it was noted that the recommendations regarding the review of Standing Orders and Financial Regulations had been completed prior to the year-end together with the adjustment of the FSA limit.

Members were asked to note the contents of the Internal Auditors report and the actions taken to date to address the points raised.

Members duly NOTED the contents of the Internal Auditors report and his opinion on the Councils control framework.

The Clerk went onto introduce the completed Annual Internal Audit Return signed by the independent internal auditor as part of their work in reviewing the governance framework which will now be subject to further scrutiny from the external auditors. No issues were raised by the auditor as part of this process.

Members also NOTED the contents of the Internal Auditors signed Annual Audit Return.

PC23/41.4      Accounting Statements

Members were requested that Council approve the Accounting statements set out in (Appendix 5) and authorise the Chair to sign the statement document on behalf of the Council. Prior to members considering this request the Clerk showed members the original document that he had signed on the 9th June confirming that the document presented was a true and fair view of the Councils accounting statements.  The Clerk went on to state that this return had also been subject to review by the internal auditor who raised no concerns.

Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the signing of the 2022/23 Accounting Statement by the Chair.

PC23/41.5       Risk Assessments

Appendix 6 & 7 risk report (pages 24-34) set out the position regarding risks within the council and is required to be reviewed formally once a year by members, although it is kept under review during the year.

The report covered both Management/Financial issues as well as Physical Assets.

To assist members a traffic light system has been incorporated to differentiate between the respective risks. (Green/amber/red).

One of the significant changes in the last year was a formal revaluation of the council’s properties resulting in insurance cover being increased therefore reducing the risk of under insurance in the event of a claim.

The paper covers both financial & management risks & physical assets.

Members sought clarification on the risk process and on some of the specific risks identified and in particular one relating to historical hard copy records.

Members were advised that although the assessments are undertaken by the Clerk these are subject to review by the internal auditor and supplemented by independent individual assessment on areas such as trees, play area/equipment etc.

The Clerk confirmed to members that there are standard document-retention polices in place however the question raised related to the storage of  historical physical paper records from the original Keymer, Clayton and subsequent Hassocks parish councils.

It was agreed to establish whether a suitable storage ‘fire proof’ cabinet could be sourced.

Members therefore RESOLVED to AGREE the contents of the risk review and accepted that it reflected the risk profile of the Council.

PC23/42       Reports

42.1          West Sussex County Councillor report (Cllr Kirsty Lord)

Cllr Lord was unable to attend the meeting but submitted a report to the Clerk to read out.

Highways issues

Cllr Lord expressed concerns, raised last month at County, about the Parish Council not having regular highways contact in Richard Spellers and Tim Boxalls absence. The new Area Highways Manager, Adam Denby, has now started and I was granted an early meeting with him as a consequence. I have suggested he call the parish office to meet you shortly.

I spent two hours with Adam yesterday (12/6) and took him on a tour of key parts of the Hassocks highways network including:

Keymer Village: he now understands the issues with the narrow pavement, vegetation and speed of traffic for pedestrians walking between Keymer and Ditchling and the implications for road safety of the poor siting of the 30mph signs by East Sussex County Council (ESCC). We will be working to look at improvements in this area though most are in the hands of ESCC.

Lodge Lane: Adam immediately noticed the issues with the speed limit signs on the bend as you approach the junction with New Road as well as the lack of pavement.

Clayton Hill: I talked him through the road surfacing issues here and the problems for pedestrians. Once he is more settled, we will be meeting to go through the Community Highways Scheme including the one for this location.

Ockley Lane – works now appear complete. Taylor Wimpey offered to resurface the section of road in poor condition south of the new development. It appears Taylor Wimpey have charged WSCC above cost price perhaps to recover some costs. This means WSCC could not agree to this in the short time frame they were given by Taylor Wimpey therefore the wider resurfacing works are being looked at to see if they can be scheduled in this financial year alongside already agreed priorities.

I am making some progress on the mechanics of changing the speed limit on Ockley Lane with the money provided in the s106 agreement and also looking at whether the 30mph speed limit can also be extended north beyond Kingsland Gate and Friars Oak Fields (no provision was made in the planning permission for this change). My aim is to complete the TRO application for both as soon as possible and am keen to meet with HPC to confirm you are agreeable to the proposals. I will email the Chairman.

I have identified three possible issues regarding double yellow lines within Hassocks for a TRO which I will also discuss with the Chairman.

I took forward issues raised last month about vegetation overhanging pavements to Highways and will chase on this until it is cut back particularly in areas where there is a safety risk around pedestrians stepping into the road e.g. at Stonepound Crossroads.


I am meeting with the Head of Libraries at WSCC tomorrow for an informal meeting which I have with him on occasion to discuss issues pertaining to Hassocks library and the library service more generally. If you have any issues to raise on libraries, I would always be happy to take them forward to him.

The Business and Intellectual Property Centre Local at Crawley Library is accessible from all libraries and is aimed at supporting start-ups and small to medium sized businesses with research, webinars, workshops, networking and accessing services around setting up businesses such as patents trademarks and copyright.  It is proving particularly successful with people with disabilities, women and people from black and ethnic minority communities and the services can be accessed remotely from any West Sussex library. I thought this initiative was worth sharing with parish councillors to pass onto any residents that may benefit.

There is a Task & Finish Group looking at the library services digital offer concerning IT and digital exclusion and it is meeting twice, in July and September.  If you have any comments I would be happy to feed them to my colleagues on this group.


With regards to flood action, I am following up with WSCC on who will provide support for the Flood Action Group given personnel changes and also for funding relating to the proposal for Parklands Copse. I will follow up separately with the Vice Chair of the council about this.

In addition, WSCC carried out a full survey of drainage in the centre of the village earlier this year and the report raised significant concerns about some of the drains under the southern end of Grand Avenue as well as Keymer Rd which will impact Parklands Rd. WSCC took this report away to look at what works would be needed and I have now chased them for an update to see if the works can be completed before the winter but no response yet.


I have arranged a meeting with WSCC school place planning officers for the latest review of forecasts for school places as part of our joint work (parish, district and county councillors) to oversee the provision of adequate places in Hassocks and the need for the site on the Ockley Lane development. This will take place in early July.

The expansion of Downlands to accommodate the two bulge classes is proceeding with planning permission granted and the contract awarded. Work is due to commence after GCSEs have finished with the aim of completing external works before the summer holidays to minimise out of term time disruption to local residents.

42.2          District Councillors reports: – Cllr Chris Hobbs advised members that Councillor Sue Hatton last updated the Council on the results of the MSDC elections and that the Liberal Democrats, whilst being the largest party with 20 seats, were in a position of no overall control.

At the Annual Council meeting on 24th May the Liberal Democrat leader, Cllr Robert Eggleston, announced that a new administration had been formed in agreement with 4 independent councillors, led by Cllr Ian Gibson and a Cabinet was formed accordingly of Cllr Eggleston, Cllr Alison Bennett, myself, Cllr Anne-Marie Cooke and Cllr Gibson accordingly.

Cllr Eggleston talked in his acceptance speech about the electorate having voting for change, and the general tone of how we will administer MSDC council. We have councillors from different parties leading committees, the leaders of each are invited to cabinet and to submit questions. And we have an agenda over the next 4 years of commitments that we made on the doorstep that we intend to deliver on.

It’s important to remember though, that this is a 4 year commitment. It’s not easy to change the direction of a super tanker when it’s in full steam ahead. There are some things we can influence today, and we have started to pick at the low hanging fruit, but true change and opportunity will be felt throughout the term.

In the meantime, we are quickly getting up to speed with that super tanker. As a cabinet member, I can share with you that that process involves 2 x full day inductions, and for the first 3 weeks a 2 hour briefing, 4 days a week. How you cover “leisure and sport” in just 2 hours – featuring the strategy for our 124 playparks, the 70,000 tree-audit that’s done every 4 years, the intricacies of a contract for the management of our leisure centres, another for our green spaces and the plan for the Centre for Outdoor Sport – a multi-million pound development in Burgess Hill – is a sight to behold.

In regards to day-to-day business, of course Cllrs Sue Hatton and Berggreen are district councillors too, but I propose that we formalise a regular meeting with Cllrs Weir and Gaudencio and Cllr Lord, to talk about the issues that affect our parish. For example, issues such as the 1-2-3 waste trial, which has been hot news on Facebook today. And of course we have set a schedule of surgeries where we will be available for parishioners to meet us representing all 3 levels of local government, here at the Parish Centre.

Working together and being clear about what you want for your community are going to be key to getting the best from the next 4 years. I look forward to the opportunity.

42.3          Rail matters – Cllr Bill Hatton indicated that he had recently attended a rail group meeting and confirmed that the use of the rail service is picking up and passengers have increased markedly, although there has been less capacity as a result of ongoing rail staff issues. At the present time the prospect of the ticket office closing at Hassocks at the moment is unlikely. Although the group no longer analyse train stop statistics these are available on a national website.

42.4          Youth Initiatives – No matters to report.

42.5          Police matters – No matters to report.

42.6          Report from Councillors on meetings of outside bodies where the Council is represented – none other than Cllr B Hatton’s previous reference to the rail group.

PC23/43       CHAIRMANS REPORT – The Chair informed members that he recently attended the 30th Anniversary Twinning event hosted in Hassocks with our twinning partners
Wald-Michelbach and Montmirail which was held between 18th – 21st May.

The Chair indicated that he had re-signed the Twinning charter with representatives from Wald-Michelbach and Montmirail. Cllr Weir confirmed that he attended a number of the events and was impressed with the Twinning organisers.

Cllr Bill Hatton thanked Cllr Weir for representing the Council at the signing and went onto say that the Parish Council had put in a lot of money to support the event where every penny was spent in the village and the event went down very well and generated much positivity, overall a very successful event.

Cllr Weir confirmed that he had received a letter of thanks from the Twinning association thanking the Council for its support. IW went onto say that the Parish Council have been heavily involved in Twinning from the outset in 1992, and with the recent publicity it is hoped that more members of the community will take part in future events.

PC23/44       CLERK’S REPORT

44.1           Co-Option

The Clerk advised members that all documentation had been completed to co-opt Don McBeth onto the council and members were now invited to consider which committees Cllr McBeth should sit on. Cllr McBeth indicated that he would be happy to go on whatever committees members wished and was happy to go on three committees.

The suggested committees were Planning, Neighbourhood plan and Policy Resources & Communications.

Members acknowledged each of those committees’ numbers would benefit from strengthening membership numbers therefore RESOLVED and AGREED that Cllr McBeth be appointed to sit on the following committees:

  • Planning
  • Neighbourhood Plan
  • Policy Resources & Communications

44.2           Neighbourhood Priorities Statement

The Clerk introduced the document in Appendix 8 (pages 35-42) which set out the proposed priorities statement that had previously been considered by the Neighbourhood Plan committee which recommended that the document be referred to full council for consideration and adoption.(NP22/52)

Members were therefore firstly requested to consider adopting the statement as drafted and secondly determine how they wish to progress this initiative in light of the lead councillor on this initiative no longer sitting on the council. Although the priorities statement has no formal standing at present it should supplement the Neighbourhood plan and this approach is currently being promoted via the emerging Levelling up bill. The priorities statement covers a wider remit than planning and could be used to inform the Councils business plan and future developer contributions (section 106 or CIL).

Members acknowledged that the Priorities Statement process was evolving with Hassocks being one of the early authorities embarking on this approach, therefore members expressed the view that further consideration needed to be given as to how the next phase of the initiative is delivered.

At present the priorities remain high level therefore consideration will also need to be given as to whether further work is required on these prior to further consultation.

Members felt that this piece of work should be referred back to the Neighbourhood Plan committee to progress, and specifically, to explore the practicalities and potential resources needed.

Therefore, members were firstly invited to consider the Priorities Statement as drafted and the recommendation from the Neighbourhood Plan Committee for formal adoption.

Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the draft Priorities statement as drafted.

Members where then requested to consider how they wished to progress this statement.

Members RESOLVED to refer the approved Priorities Statement back to the Neighbourhood Plan Committee to determine how the next phases of the project should progress.

44.3           Section 106 funding – Adastra Hall

The Parish Council had recently been approached by MSDC seeking the Parish Councils views on the proposed allocation/release of Section 106 funding to support the Adastra hall extension scheme.

The table produced in the report identified the specific development funds that MSDC were proposing to award towards the scheme.

The Clerk informed members that MSDC have recommended approval of the release of these funds to the cabinet grant committee but wish to obtain any views from the Parish Council prior to finalisation of any award.

Members considered the proposal and all present indicated support to release these developer contributions towards the cost of the Adastra Hall extension scheme.

Therefore, Members RESOLVED to support the release of these funds and requested the Clerk to advise MSDC of this effect.

44.4           Hassocks Community Organisation Letter

 The Clerk introduced a letter recently received from HCO requesting the Parish Council to consider speed limit reductions within the village and consider how they wish to progress this.

This topic was ranked (n) as the 13th most common item raised in the recent neighbourhood priorities statement consultation undertaken earlier this year.

Members discussed the content of the letter and were fully supportive of the principal of the introduction of traffic calming and speed reduction measures within the parish and in particular on key roads.

This had been an item identified both within the current business plan and also as an area for consideration within the Neighbourhood Plan.

Members discussed the best way to progress this and concluded that in the first instance the council should liaise with Cllr Kirsty Lord (WSCC) and the newly appointed Area Highways manager to ascertain the process required to implement reduced speed limits within the parish.

Cllr Richardson enquired whether there had been any previous studies undertaken, it was confirmed that it was believed some studies had been previously undertaken a number of years ago and concluded that although there was some evidence of excessive speed in general terms people’s perception of vehicles speeding was not supported by the evidence gathered.

It was acknowledged that some work is already in progress within the village through the county councillor therefore to ensure a co-ordinated approach is taken members agreed that discussions should be held with the County Councillor and the new highways manager in the first instance to establish the process required to be followed for county to consider speed limit reduction requests.

All members were supportive of exploring options to reduce speed limits within the village.

PC23/45       Communications

Cllr Sewell provided members with feedback on the recent member’s communications

focus group meeting. It was felt to be a success so much so that a further session is to be arranged to build on the outcome of the first session and to enable a wider councillor engagement. Members discussed the proposal and agreed that a session will be arranged for Tuesday 27th June and the Clerk would send out invites later in the week.


PC23/47       DATE OF NEXT MEETING – 11th July 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.


PC23/48       INSURANCE

The confidential minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on the 16th May 2023 were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.