HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
A meeting of the Hassocks Parish Council is being held on Tuesday 11 July 2023 at 7.30 pm in the Council Chamber, Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.
Parish Clerk – 4 July 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. 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 13th June 2023
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 – 12th June 2023 (for acceptance) and to note the minutes for 3rd July 2023.
5.2 To note the Grounds & Environment Committee minutes for the 1st June 2023
5.3 To note the minutes of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee for the 6th June 2023.
6.1 To approve the Financial Report and authorise the list of payments in the sum of £25,374.33 issued between 1 May 2023 and 31st May 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
7.5. Youth Initiatives
7.6. Reports from Councillors on meetings outside bodies where the Council
8. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
8.1 Current matters (oral report).
9. CLERK’S REPORT
9.1 Tennis Court fees – Members are requested to consider the proposed fees for the tennis facility within Adastra Park post refurbishment set out in Appendix 2 below.
9.2 Adastra Park – gate (North field) Members are requested to consider the proposal to install a security access gate (north field) set out in Appendix 3 below.
9.3 Committee membership members are requested to note that Cllr Richardson has resigned from the Planning Committee but will retain all other Committee/group memberships. (Grounds & Environment Committee, Flood Action Group and parish outside organisation appointment).
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 12th September 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.
TENNIS FEES- 2023/24
1. The purpose of this report is to consider the Adastra Park Tennis fees for 2023/24
2. The setting of the tennis fees was deferred in February when other fees were being considered, as at that time it was unknown when the refurbishment works were scheduled to take place, or the length of time the facility would be closed for.
3. The refurbishment is currently underway with a completion date scheduled for the end of July, therefore members are requested to consider the fee structure for the forthcoming year.
|TENNIS FEES (Pay as you Play)
||2023/24 –Proposed fees
||Discount rate is applied to < 17 years and 60 and over
|TENNIS CLUB – members
||Discount rate is applied to < 17 years and 60 and over
|Children of Adult member
|*Based on the last disclosed membership the majority of tennis club members would pay the discounted rate.
4. It is proposed that the Council consider retaining the fees at the existing level (22/23) and to review them early next year once usage levels of the facility become clearer.
5. Members are also requested to consider retaining the Tennis club membership fees at the present level in light of the 42 day facility closure and the adjustment to their hire arrangements. All other fees when reviewed earlier this year increased in line with inflation (10%), therefore by not increasing the tennis membership fee in this way it could be used to offset the closure of the facility for 42 days.
6. Going forward the club will retain the three club sessions per week (2 sessions x 3 courts (Thursday /Saturday) and 1 session x 2 courts (Tuesday). Club members will also be entitled to book up to an additional 2 x 1 hour sessions per week as part of their membership. This will ensure court availability remains available for public casual usage. (Pay as you play).
7. The historical arrangement in place pre refurbishment provided 3 club sessions per week (3 courts) and access to unlimited additional casual play sessions, however no records were maintained by the club to record the level of take up of these casual play sessions which is believed to be relatively low.
8. Under the terms of the funding arrangement with the LTA the Council is required to have a coach attached to the site. There has been an informal arrangement in situ at the park facility for a period of time therefore this now presents an opportunity to formalise the arrangement and generate a further revenue stream for the council from a concession hire fee.
9. The Council has received a proposal from Keith Brown (LTA4 – Accredited coach) setting out a proposal to offer initially up to 10hrs coaching a week at the site with the view of increasing this dependent on demand. The overall coaching element will also be restricted at an agreed level to ensure casual pay as you play remains available to the general public.
10. The types of sessions proposed to be delivered over a period of time will cover the full range of the LTA programme:
- Cardiac Tennis
- Family tennis (free sessions)
- LTA Pair & Play
- Tennis Xpress
- Doubles Clinic
- LTA Youth
- Walking Tennis – Over 70’s
- LTA Pair Play – Ladies only
11. The proposed concession fee offered is £2 per court session which is within the expected perimeters of the LTA.
- As part of the coaching concession there will also be a requirement for the coach to provide at least 1 hour free family regular coaching sessions.
- Members are requested to consider the proposal and determine whether to accept the proposal. The arrangement will be reviewed in say 6 months’ time once both the coach and the council are able to assess the uptake.
- The Club spark booking system which is being introduced to manage bookings and payments is capable of providing detailed management information on usage, which is something the Council has not previously had access to, therefore this will provide the council with the opportunity to analyse and review usage of the facility and enable the council to make informed decisions over future usage of all parties (play as you play/club/coach, other activities etc.)
Member’s views are sought to firstly:
i) Appoint Keith Brown (LTA Accredited) as the designated site coach taken into consideration the proposed programme of sessions to be offered.
ii) Consider and agree the proposed concession fee offered which will be reviewed after say six months to determine the viability and usage of the provision and to revisit the fee structure if required.
iii) Subject to the above authorise the clerk to enter into a formal agreement with the coach for provision of service.
HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
To: Hassocks Parish Council
Date: 11 July 2023
Contact for this report: Deputy Clerk
Subject: – Agenda Item 9.2 – Adastra Park Barrier
1. The purpose of this report is to inform Members that the drop down bollards at the entrance to Adastra Park North Field from the Keymer Road Car Park have now started to fail and require replacement.
2. Members may recall that earlier this year the wooden gate at the entrance to the South Field was removed and replaced with a defender barrier. It was noted at the time that the same approach was likely to be required in due course for the gate and bollards in the North Field.
3. The North Field entrance is currently protected by a wooden five bar gate secured by a padlock and two drop down bollards which are key operated. The bollards are now starting to fail and have become unreliable. The entrance is used occasionally by the grounds maintenance contractor and ad hoc by hirers of the park who need to access the field. Most importantly, the access is also the entrance point for any emergency vehicles that may need to get onto the South Field.
4. A quote for the barrier has been sought from the same company which supplied and fitted the barrier at the Burial Ground and the height barrier at the access to the North Field car park. This company has been used by the District Council to provide access protection to various open spaces.
Members are invited to consider the following:
- To remove the wooden gate and bollards in the North Field car park and replace with a low defender barrier to match the barriers already installed in Adastra Park.
- It is proposed that the lock for the barrier would use the same key as the height barrier at the entrance to the same car park. This would reduce the need for two different keys and simplify access.
- The cost for the removal of the gate and the installation of a barrier (green paint) would be in the region of £4,988 plus VAT. This would be supplied with 3 keys and additional keys could be purchased at a cost of approximately £13 per key.
5. The Adastra Park Repair and Renewals budget currently sits at £1,500. It is suggested that this remains available to be utilised for general R&R and that the costs for the barrier are met from General Reserves. Therefore if Members are in approval of replacing the gate with a barrier, approval is sought for the release of up to £5,000 from General Reserves to meet this cost.
6. OFFICER RECOMMENDATION. Members are invited to approve:
i. The removal of the five bar wooden gate at the entrance of the North Field car par onto Adastra Park with a low defender barrier gate at a cost of £4,988 plus VAT to cover the removal of the gate and the installation of a barrier (green paint).
ii. If the above is approved, Members are then requested to approve the release of up to £5,000 from General Reserves to meet the additional cost of the barrier.
Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on 11th July 2023
Attendees: Parish Councillors Ian Weir, Frances Gaudencio, Sue Hatton, Carolyn Barton, David Bunting, Robert Brewer, Peter Richardson, Paul Shepherd, Don McBeth, Kate Bailey and Alex Simmons.
Visiting Member Cllr Kirsty Lord (WSCC).
Parish Clerk: Ian Cumberworth
Cllr Weir (Chair) indicated he would be slightly late therefore to enable the meeting to commence on time it was agreed that Cllr Gaudencio (Vice–Chair) would Chair the meeting until Cllr Weir arrived.
PC23/49 APOLOGIES Cllr Bill Hatton, Dan Sewell, Kristian Berggreen.
Absent without apologies: Cllr Angus Neil.
PC23/50 DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
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. – Cllr Shepherd disclosed an interest in item 9.1 Tennis Court fees therefore did not vote on this item.
The minutes of the meeting held on the 13th June 2023 were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Cllr Weir arrived at 7.35 and chaired the meeting from this point.
PC23/52 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
No members of the public were present.
(i) To agree the Minutes of the Planning Committee 12th June 2023 and to note the minutes for the 3rd July 2023.
(ii) To note the minutes of the Grounds & Environment Committee minutes for the 1st June 2023.
(iii) To note the minutes of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee for the 6th June 2023.
Members considered the finance reports and the supporting bank statements and reviewed the payment list. The Finance report and payments totalling £25,374.33 for the period ending 31st May 2023 were considered and APPROVED.
55.1 West Sussex County Councillor report (Cllr Kirsty Lord)
Cllr Lord provided the following update to members.
County, District and parish representatives have recently met with county to discuss the current position regarding the school site allocated on Ockley Park in light of the inaccurate rumours currently circulating on social media.
It was agreed that county would provide a statement setting out the position that can be put out in the public domain to inform members. As part of the development agreement county have 15 years from the first occupation before the site would potentially revert back to the developer therefore sufficient time has been embedded within the agreement.
At the current time, the numbers of pupils do not support an additional school as the present drop off of birth rates is offsetting the inward migration of pupils. This is monitored constantly and continues to be a watching brief therefore no decision has been taken regarding the school site and the county have a significant remaining time to take any decision as circumstances change.
Electric Vehicle Charging Points public consultation – The initial proposals by county for Parklands Road and Clayton Avenue were turned down as a result of the initial consultation feedback, therefore county are proposing two alternative sites which they are consulting on.
It’s now proposed to install six EV charge points on an alternative stretch of Woodlands Road and a further site at Church Mead/Damien Way. The proposed location of these EV’s would not be directly outside houses.
As part of the proposal, although all charge points will be functional, initially only two of the spaces will be used as charging points with the remaining four spaces utilised as normal parking spaces. As and when the number of Electric vehicles increase more of these spaces will be moved over to electric vehicle charging points.
Cllr Lord indicated that Parish Councillors may wish to feedback as part of the consultation process. Cllr Weir asked whether there was any data on the usage of the charge points currently in the village. Cllr Lord undertook to make more enquiries.
Clayton Hill/Clayton: some recent tarmac repairs have been undertaken and county are now scheduled to undertake some drain investigative work using CCTV and further jetting therefore this may cause some traffic delays.
Cllr Lord updated members on the outcome of a recent Community Highways scheme initiative which was initiated by former parish councillor Jane Baker to improve pedestrian crossing points:
County have agreed to undertake the following improvements:
- To install a pedestrian island on the A273 north of Underhill lane.
- Install a pedestrian island at New Road junction at Ditchling
both of these initiatives should have a positive impact on reducing vehicle speed.
- Installation of 40 mph speed zone on the A273 down the hill to the Jack & Jill Pub
- Bus stop to be relocated.
The proposed works are more extensive than expected and are scheduled to be undertaken sometime in the New Year.
The Chair referenced that the issue regarding speed limits was considered by members at the last Council meeting including the option of exploring the reduction of speed limits on the edge of the village.
Cllr Lord advised members that as part of the section 106 agreement relating to Ockley Park the developer had allocated funds to pay for a Traffic Regulation Order, therefore an opportunity would exist for the parish to apply for this to enable speed reductions to be put in place. It was suggested that this could include an application for county to consider moving the 30mph zone to the top of Ockley hill and propose a 40mph zone from the top of Ockley Hill to Burgess Hill.
Other locations were also considered, including exploring the option of extending the 30mph zone to the north of the Friars Oak Pub.
Brighton Road moving the 30mph signage by the garden centre slightly to the north to improve its visibility and extend the proposed 40 mph zone from The Jack and Jill Pub to join up with the 30mph zone outside the Garden Centre.
If Community Highway schemes are the vehicle to be used to realise highways improvements it is important that as part of the process there needs to be evidence of community support.
The option of a 20mph speed limit in the village is to be explored further with highways to see if this would be viable option.
In light of the above options and others to be considered members AGREED to discuss this matter further in more detail at a future Grounds & Environment Committee to determine how these can be taken forward.
Members also briefly discussed the option of installing ‘village gates’ on the spine roads which members agreed to consider further at a future point.
Cllr McBeth sought an update on the recent resurfacing work on Ockley Lane at the 500 site and the ongoing flooding on the stretch of this road. Cllr Lord confirmed that the resurfacing has recently been completed by the developer and the flooding remains part of the ‘snagging list’ which county will expect the developer to remedy. Areas outside of the newly surfaced area will fall on county to undertake the works although no timeframe has been set for this at this stage.
Cllr Lord left the meeting at 8.10
55.2 District Councillors reports: – Cllr Sue Hatton read out a report on behalf of MSDC Cllr Chris Hobbs
‘Business of the District Council has now pretty much turned to normal business after the elections, and the appointment to office of Chairs, deputies and committee members. The Cabinet continues its’ training programme and has started to bring some influence to Council as we start to shape our agenda and focus for the next four years.
Some highlights, relative to Hassocks
Hassocks district councillors have continued their work helping residents this month with support related to the Ockley Park development, green bins, and the re-valuation of business rates, anti-social behaviour and some issues for Clarion residents.
Cabinet Grants Panel have awarded £224,139 to Adastra Hall for the extensions project, from s.106 funds collected over the past few years. This allows the project to move forward and look to raise the additional funds required to deliver hall improvements in March – May 2024.
The Centre for Outdoor Sport was granted approval by cabinet to move to the procurement stage by Cabinet on Monday, 26th June. This multi million pound development, which we hope to open in 2024 is funded by developer contributions and addresses the shortage of playing pitches for a number of different sports. Whilst based in Burgess Hill, opposite the Triangle, it’s a facility for the whole of the southern area of the district. This project however is just the start of works to address the shortfall of pitches identified in the playing pitch strategy, and the new open spaces and playing parks strategy, due later this year will outline further projects across the district.
This Council is determined to push forward the spending of money in communities that come from development, that have so often stalled. For example, we are working with the officers to understand how we can bring forward improvements at London Road Recreation ground, in Hassocks where both estates either side of the park are completed. Developer contributions exist for some of this project, but not all of the masterplan. We will also push communities, and parish councils to work to have clearer infrastructure plans, and to spend down the funds that are often available but sit languishing in the MSDC bank account. For example, there is over £10,000 sitting at MSDC to be spent in Hassocks on public art.’
The green bin service can’t currently be expanded because the vehicle runs MSDC have are at capacity. This has caused substantial frustration amongst residents and in the 2023-24 budget the council has allocated a substantial amount of money to fund a new vehicle and crew. The vehicle is on order and our contractor awaits delivery, but in the meantime the council has been able to add some customers in Hassocks to the route as there have been small pockets of capacity identified. We hope to have positive news soon on the new vehicle and the major expansion of this much-enjoyed service.’
Cllr Sue Hatton added that ‘Byanda’ was scheduled to be considered by the MSDC Planning Committee this Thursday (13/7/23) where Cllr Bill Hatton will be representing the Parish Councils views against the proposed development.
Cllr S Hatton also brought members attention to the ongoing issues/disruption with the broadband installation contractors currently operating in the village.
55.3 Police matters – The Clerk advised that the police had recently held a beat surgery which was attended by five/six people. It was re-emphasised the need to formally report any incidents in the village so that the police are aware and this can be done via 101 or online. Without matters being formally reported the police are unable to take action, the more incidents reported will likely influence the allocation of police resources and frequency of visits to the village.
The Clerk confirmed that all incidents in the park are reported to the police and the office also liaise with the local schools where appropriate.
55.4 Rail matters – The Clerk advised members that the GTR are currently holding a public consultation (5th July – 26th July) on the potential closure of rail ticket offices. The emails/written responses are required to be sent back varies dependent on the different operators. In respect of Hassocks station responses are required to be sent back to ticketofficeGTR@transportfocus.org.uk .
Members were advised that for Hassocks they were proposing that if they were to close the ticket office they state they would provide ‘in person assistance’ to help customers use machines and advise on best value-for money fares.’ This service would be provided beyond the current ticket office opening hours.
Members had raised concerns regarding the potential closure of the ticket office previously and continued to hold concerns which included the suitability of the current ticket machines and the level of service that will be provided.
Members AGREED that the Parish Council should submit a response against the proposed closure and requested Cllr Gaudencio to liaise with the Clerk to set out the basis of the parishes’ views so that the Clerk can submit a response on behalf of the Council. Members also felt that the Councils submission should be copied to our MP Andrew Griffiths.
The Clerk also undertook to send the consultation link to all members to enable them to respond as individuals if they wished to do so.
55.5 Youth Initiatives – No matters to report.
55.6 Report from Councillors on meetings of outside bodies where the Council is represented – Cllr Bunting recently attended the Oldland Mill Trust AGM where they acknowledged the ongoing support and appreciation of the parish representatives (David Bunting – Hassocks Parish Council & Andrew Mackay – Ditchling Parish Council).
PC23/56 CHAIRMANS REPORT – nothing to report
PC23/57 CLERK’S REPORT
57.1 Tennis Court fees
Members were requested to consider the proposed fee structure for the use of the refurbished tennis facility.
It was suggested that the fees should remain unchanged for casual users (pay as you play) to promote the use of the facility. The clubs membership fees should also be considered to remain unchanged in acknowledgement of the closure of the facility.
Members were informed that all other user fees within the park increased in line with inflation (10%) in January therefore by not applying the inflationary increase to the club membership fee it makes allowance for the closure.
57.1.1 Members RESOLVED to APPROVE that the Pay to play fees should be retained for 2023/24 at the same level as 2022/23
- Adult £7.00
- Discount rate £3.50
57.1.2 Members RESOLVED to APPROVE that Club membership fees should be retained for 2023/24 at the same level as 2022/23.
- Adults £97.30
- Discounted rate £48.65
- Couple £145.90
- & Children of Adult member £17.00.
The Clerk went on to advise members that under the terms of the funding agreement a Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) coach is affiliated to the site to support the delivery programme of the LTA which was set out in para 10 of the report. This would also include the provision of some free family tennis sessions.
Initially the proposal is for 10 hrs of coaching per week with a view to increasing dependent on demand but the overall level will be restricted.
The proposed offer received is for £2 per court session which is within the expected parameters of the LTA. Members were advised that any proposal would be reviewed in six months’ time to assess how the arrangement is progressing.
The introduction of the Club Spark booking system which will enable on-line booking and payments will be able to provide the council with detailed management information regarding the facilities usage.
Members were therefore invited to consider the following:
To consider appointing Mr Keith Browne as the affiliated LTA coach for the Adastra Park courts.
57.1.3 Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the appointment of Keith Browne as the designated coach for Adastra Park.
To consider and agree the level of concession fee offered at £2 per session which will be reviewed after six months.
57.1.4 Members RESOLVED to AGREE the proposed concession fee and to review this in six months’ time.
Subject to the above authorise the Clerk to enter into a formal agreement with the coach for provision of service which will be based on an LTA model agreement.
57.1.5 Members AGREED to AUTHORISE the Clerk to enter into an agreement with the designated coach for provision of service
57.2 Adastra Park – gate (north field) members were requested to consider a proposal to install a security access gate in the north field similar to the one recently installed in the south field.
Members were therefore requested to consider the release of up to £5,000 from general reserves to fund this to remove the existing wooden gates and the drop down bollards & replace with a defender barrier.
Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the release of up to £5,000 from General reserves for the removal of the existing gate and installation of a new security gate barrier.
57.3 Committee Membership Members were asked to note the resignation of Cllr Richardson from the Planning Committee. Noted
PC23/58 URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIR – none
PC23/59 DATE OF NEXT MEETING – 12th September 2023