A meeting of the Hassocks Parish Council is being held on Tuesday 12 September 2023 at 7.30 pm in the Council Chamber, Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.
Parish Clerk – 5th September 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 11th July 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 – 24th July and 14th August 2023 (for acceptance) and to note the minutes for 4th September 2023.
5.2 To note the Neighbourhood Plan Committee for the 13th July 2023
5.3 To note the Grounds & Environment Committee minutes for the 27th July 2023
5.4 To note the minutes of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee for the 18th July 2023.
6.1 To approve the Financial Report and authorise the list of payments in the sum of £88,906.41 issued between 1 June 2023 and 30th June 2023. (Appendix 1) and payments in the sum of £20,652.19 issued between 1 July 2023 and 31st July 2023 (Appendix 2).
To view Appendix 1 please click here.
To view Appendix 2 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
The purpose of this report is to inform the Council of the Grant applications received this year (phase 1). The Council agreed a total budget of £5,000 for grants and donations to local groups and organisations for 2023/24. The current grant application process is set out for Members information in (Appendix 3) which involves the consideration of applications twice each year in September and February. To view Appendix 3 please click here.
The Council made the following donations to organisations in 2022/23
||Arklight Youth Group
||4 Sight Vision
||HCO – Adastra Hall – lighting
||Keymer & Hassocks FC
||Age Concern – Community Garden
||Cycling without Age Hurst & Hassocks
||Total allocated – 2022/23
Members are requested to consider the following grant applications for the current financial year 2023/24 – Phase 1. The overall budget allocation for the year stands at £5,000
|Mid Sussex Radio
||Contribution towards replacement equipment
||Up to £500
|St Johns Ambulance
||Contribution towards a fully equipped Community Service Unit
|St Catherine’s Hospice
||End of life care
||Contribution to support work for people affected by crime
|Air Ambulance – Kent Surrey Sussex
||Helicopter Emergency Medical Service
||Contribution for distribution cost of flyers to 7,000 households to promote event
|**4 Sight Vision
||Specialist vision support
|Oldland Mill Trust
||2 Memorial Benches
||St Peters & James Hospice
|Total funds applied for
(** Two applicants received funding last year – Victim Support received £250 previously therefore this figure has been used as a guide to determine the overall value of submissions for consideration) If all submissions were supported based on their requests this would leave £100 to be allocated to any parties making grant submissions in February 2024.
Supporting documents for each of the above applications are attached as (Appendix 4) setting out the purpose of grant sought. * indicates formal application forms have not been submitted. To view Appendix 4 please click here.
RECOMMENDATION: The Council is invited to consider the above applications, and determine the grant awards for 2023/24 phase 1 taking into account the contents of the applications and the available budget.
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 October 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.
12. Adastra Hall (Appendix 5)
13. General Reserves (Appendix 6)
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.
Draft Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on 12th September 2023 at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks
Attendees: Parish Councillors Ian Weir, Frances Gaudencio, Sue Hatton, Bill Hatton, Carolyn Barton, Alex Simmons, David Bunting, Angus Neil, Paul Shepherd, Peter Richardson, Kate Bailey and Kristian Berggreen.
Visiting members: WSCC – Kirsty Lord, MSDC – Chris Hobbs
Parish Clerk: Ian Cumberworth
PC23/60 APOLOGIES Cllr Robert Brewer and Cllr Dan Sewell
Absent without apologies Don McBeth
PC23/61 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 Bill Hatton (item 9.1 grant 7) did not vote on these items
Cllr Carolyn Barton and Sue Hatton (item 12 &13) – did not vote on these items
The minutes of the meeting held on the 11th July 2023 were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
PC23/63 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Five members of the public were present. Two of whom spoke in support of the grant application (PC23/68.1) setting out why they felt it was important to support the radio station and the impact it has had on some listeners in recent times and the benefit to the local community.
64.1 Members accepted the minutes of the Planning Committee meeting on the 24th July and 14th August and noted the minutes of the meeting on 4th September 2023.
64.2 To note the minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee for the 13th July 2023
64.3 To note the minutes for the Grounds & Environment Committee for 27th July 2023
64.4 To note the minutes of Policy Resources & Communications Committee for the 18th July
65.1 Members considered the finance reports and the supporting bank statements and reviewed the following payment lists. Cllr Richardson raised concerns that he was not able to fully understand where the figures were drawn from based on the published information therefore felt he would have to abstain and sought clarification as to whether other councillors understood the papers.
The clerk indicated the primary document for consideration is the payment listing however the other documents are provided to show the balance as per the bank reconciliation and the trial balance sheet so that members can see the council records and the bank are reconciled.
Members generally felt satisfied and content with the information and understood the information provided. The Clerk indicated he would happily go through the figures in more detail with Cllr Richardson and other members together with the supporting papers to provide a wider understanding at a future point. It was also agreed that the clerk would look to see if the information could be presented differently so that more narrative can be provided.
The Finance report and payments totalling £88,906.41 (Appendix 1) for the period 1st June to 30th June 2022 were considered and APPROVED.
The Finance report and payments totalling £20,652.19 (Appendix 2) for the period 1st July to 31st July 2022 were considered and APPROVED.
66.1 County Councillors reports: – Cllr Lord updated members in respect of drainage investigation currently being undertaken on Clayton Hill. The report is currently awaited, however if it reveals what they expect, drainage works may possibly start later this year which in turn will enable the installation of the crossing islands.
The proposed speed limit change to 40mph from north of the Jack and Jill Pub southwards past the junctions at Clayton is likely to be extended over Clayton Hill and onto Pycombe.
Cllr Lord welcomed the support from the Parish Council in respect of a number of speed limit changes around Hassocks including the Ockley Lane speed limit change. Residents in that vicinity have been circulated by letter and an overwhelming number of responses received back were in support of the proposal. This would support the ability to take this forward and Cllr Lord indicated she would be in contact with the Clerk to progress this.
Ockley Lane resurfacing – jet patching is scheduled as a temporary repair in the near future with a permanent resurfacing scheduled for next year.
Various building works scheduled for both Woodlands Mill and Downlands schools have been delayed.
Two Electric Vehicle charging point consultations for Church Mead and Woodsland Road are awaiting outcome. Initially, a limited number of the designated bays will be reserved for EV charging points, with the remainder available for non-EV parking until demand for Charging Points increases.
Cycle improvements – County have apologised for the lack of co-ordination of some of their works: marking of cycle signs on Keymer Road to Stonepound prior to resurfacing of the road.
The pavement along Dale Avenue is currently being resurfaced and re-aligned as a cycle and walking route with the installation of a raised table crossing at Windmill Avenue hoped to be completed over half term.
Toucan crossing proposed outside the pet shop and national tyres has some issues which are yet to be resolved.
Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RACC) – WSCC have not identified any maintained schools with issues but are to commission a wider study on all schools constructed between 1930 – 2000.
Budget – Cllr Lord highlighted the financial challenges the County are facing and drew member’s attention to Medium Term Finance strategy report that was considered by members setting out the outline position. KL indicated that even if county were to raise Council Tax by the maximum allowed this would still leave a projected gap of £17M with a projected cumulative 5 year budget gap of £90M over 5 years. The Council will be subject to a number of inspection regimes later in the year.
Cllr Lord thanked the parish for considering the project proposed by Windmills Year 6 and it was noted it was on the forthcoming Grounds & Environment agenda.
66.2 District Councillor Report (Cllr Chris Hobbs)
‘There is an unavoidable reality that we are living through difficult times. Soaring mortgage rates, a scarcity of property to rent, our admirable support for those from Ukraine and Afghanistan who have legally resettled here in the UK and, of course the cost-of-living crisis are testing the resources of many councils across the country as many families turn to us to help with temporary accommodation in their times of need.
The financial burden placed on district councils to support those who are homeless is a difficult challenge. At the moment, we do have around 70 families who require our temporary accommodation support at any one time, and sadly, this number is growing and is expected to grow further through the winter.
The officers at Mid Sussex do a lot of work “upstream” to help catch families before they fall but the number requiring our help is growing. The council already owns 27 temporary accommodation properties across the district and on Monday at Cabinet we agreed to spend £3m of our own reserves, which releases access to some Government funding to purchase a further 12 properties. This relieves pressure from our revenue budget from which bed and breakfast accommodation is paid, and the business case indicates a 5-year payback. We can make our investment using the cash reserves we hold and without borrowing.
Over the past 2 Thursdays, the Council has opened Clair Hall, in Haywards Heath, to the public to view the proposals for the site. This ambitious project brings back to use an elderly, and sadly neglected community venue that was closed in 2020. Over the past 3 years it’s been used by the NHS for Covid vaccinations and office space; the new proposals which are available to view on the District Council Engagement Hub are a multi-million pound solution for a new cultural venue, funded by the development of housing on the site, and operated in the long term by an experienced operator. The Council also continues to invite other interested parties to make proposals for the regeneration of the site as a cultural venue and on Monday, the Cabinet agreed to drive this project forward.
The district council continues work on the District Plan. Today, it sits at the stage known as “Regulation 18” and the present administration asked for 2 additional actions to be completed before it moves to the next stage. Firstly, an all-party working group has been convened and will report back on site-selection. Secondly, a further round of discussions with each of the Parishes is being held this week – the Hassocks meeting is Thursday. It is expected that the plan will move to Regulation 19 by the end of this year and then to inspection in early 2024 before adoption.
RAAC- Mid Sussex have identified only 1 site, which is not a public site, that has RAAC in its’ construction but it is safe and not a risk.
Finally, the council has started the budgeting work for the 2024-5 financial year. This will be the new budget of the new administration and we fully expect there to be continuing pressure on resources and hard decisions to be made. More on this over the coming months.’
66.3 Police Report – nothing to report
66.4 Rail Matters –Cllr B Hatton advised he attended a recent Rail Group meeting and members were advised that the consultation regarding the closure of ticket offices has been overwhelming. With some 500,000 responses with the outcome scheduled around Christmas. Cllr Hatton indicated he had seen the consultation response from the rail group and Cllr Gaudencio confirmed that the Parish Council had also submitted representation through the consultation portal and to our local MP and a copy is available if members wish to view.
Cllr B Hatton also confirmed on some positive news that the Hassocks 07.45 service has been re-instated as a result of a campaign and the Rail Group remains active.
66.5 Youth Initiatives – Cllr Gaudencio advised members that Hassocks Youth Projects has come to a close after two years. Some events generated funds therefore not all funds donated by Hassocks Parish Council have been used and the balance is currently held in Hassocks Community Organisations accounts. Cllr Gaudencio sought clarification as to whether any unused funds should be returned to the Council. The Clerk indicated that it would be normal to recover any monies that were not used for the purpose granted. Members view was that funds should be returned.
It was agreed that Cllr Gaudencio would ascertain the level of funding held and a formal request from the Clerk to be sent requesting the repayment.
66.6 Report from Councillors on meetings of outside bodies where the Council is represented –.none
PC23/67 CHAIRMANS REPORT – Cllr Weir provided an update to members on the Public Rights of Way linked to Development of the North of the village.
a) Path network at Clayton Mills – the developer anticipates that in the next few weeks the final surfacing on stretch from Ockley Lane to Woodsland Road will be complete.
b) Path outside Woodsland Grange to the rail tunnel to be upgraded to a hard surface and the steep slope regraded hopefully by Christmas.
c) Friar’s Oak footpath fencing to be re-instated to create a path opening onto the Shepherds Walk green. This is hoped to be completed by the end of the first quarter in 2024.
d) New Cycle and Walking Route to Burgess Hill is still in development stage and is scheduled for delivery when the 250th property is completed at Ockley Park which is probably c.2026.
Cllr Weir indicated that it was the intention for the Council to participate in an event at Adastra Hall on the 28th October where various local clubs/associations and organisations will be present to promote the activities their respective groups deliver within the community. Members at the Policy Resources & Communications Committee felt that with approx. 30 organisations in attendance it would be an ideal opportunity to showcase the work the Council does on behalf of the community – the session will last 10am – 3pm and will be attended by the general public. The expectation would be to have a table stand and display boards etc. PR&C also felt it would be an ideal opportunity to learn from the event to see if elements of this type of event could be incorporated in the Annual Parish Meeting to encourage wider public engagement.
PC23/68 CLERK’S REPORT
The Clerk introduced the report and informed Members that the report represented the first phase of applications being considered for this financial year. (2023/24)
The overall budget for the year is £5,000, and the Council had received specific funding bids of £4,900. Members were requested to consider the table set out on page 2 of the agenda and to also have regard for potential funding bids that may be received later in the year in phase 2 in February.
To assist members in their deliberations the grant application process/conditions were set out in Appendix 3 of the report and the nine current grant applications and supporting information were detailed in Appendix 4. Two of the applicants received funding from the Council last year.
The Chair indicated that as the Councils grants scheme was now considered in two phases and he wished to obtain a consensus of the level of members would consider allocating as part of the first phase. A suggested level of circa £3,500 was deemed acceptable by members as a reasonable allocation for consideration.
The Council carefully considered each of the following grant applications taking into account the purpose of the funding request and the level of support being sought together with the content set out within the respective submissions. Members held detailed discussions on each submission and debated and deliberated on each one in turn.
The following grant requests were considered for phase 1 of the 2023/24 grant scheme.
||Mid Sussex Radio – contribution towards replacing equipment
||Up to £500
|Members acknowledged the valuable work provided and that this was the only group to attend the meeting to support their submission in person.
Members RESOLVED to award the sum of £500
||St Johns Ambulance – towards a fully equipped Community Service Unit.
|Members were supportive of the application but felt the request was to large therefore after careful consideration Members RESOLVED to award the sum of £250
||St Catherine’s Hospice – End of life care
|Members RESOLVED to award the sum of £300
||Victim Support – supporting operating costs
|Members RESOLVED to award the sum of £250
||Air Ambulance – Kent Surrey Sussex – Helicopter Emergency Medical Service
|Members RESOLVED to award the sum of £300
||HURSTfolk – Contribution for distribution of flyers to 7,000 households to promote event
|Members felt that they could not support the funding of what essentially was advertisement that did not support the community. After consideration Members RESOLVED not to support this application.
||4 Sight Vision – Specialist Vision Support
|Members RESOLVED to award the sum of £500
||Oldland Mill Trust – two memorial benches
|Members RESOLVED to award the sum of £600
||St Peters & James Hospice – Hospice Biographer
|Members RESOLVED to award the sum of £600
|TOTAL AWARDED £3,300
Members AGREED to allocate £ 3,300 from the 2023/24 grants budget in relation to the phase 1 grant applications.
This would leave a remaining budget of up to £1,700 for consideration for use at the time of phase 2 applications in February
PC23/69 URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN – none.
PC23/70 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
To note that the date of the next Parish Council meeting is Tuesday 10th October 2023 at 7.30pm.