Hassocks Parish Council


A virtual meeting of the Parish Council will be held on 12th January 2021 at 7.30 pm

Parish Clerk 6 January 2021

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.

If you wish to attend, this virtual meeting please email info@hassocks-pc.gov.uk before 4pm on 11th January 2021 to be sent an electronic invitation before 6pm on the 12th January 2021.


1.1 To Accept Apologies for Absence.


2.1 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.


3.1 To accept the minutes of the:

Parish Council meeting 8th December 2020


Up to fifteen minutes will be available to allow for the public to make representations, answer questions or give evidence in respect of any item of business included in the agenda, in accordance with Standing Orders.


To accept the following Minutes

5.1 Planning Committee – to agree the minutes for 7th December 2020 and to note the minutes for 21st December 2020.

5.2 Grounds & Environment Committee to note the minutes for the 3rd December 2020.


6.1 To approve the Financial Report and authorise the list of payments in the sum of £14,854.23 for the period ending 30th November 2020 set out in Appendix 1. Please click here to see Appendix 1.


7.1 District Councillors’ Report

7.2 County Councillor Report

7.3 Rail Matters.

7.4 Youth Initiatives

7.5 Police report

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


8.1 Current matters (oral report)


9.1 Co-opting onto the Council – the Council currently has one vacancy which is now able to consider co-opting a suitable person onto the Council. The initial notice placed in respect of the vacancy has resulted in one resident applying to join the Council. The resident meets the requirements to become a Councillor therefore Members are invited to consider David Bunting to join the Council at this time. The Council should RESOLVE to co-opt that person onto the Council.

In addition Cllr Peter Gibbons has now resigned and a Notice of Vacancy is currently published, subject to no call for election being received after the statuary period has elapsed the Council will be able to advertise this vacancy with a view to potentially co-opting another member onto the Council.

9.2 Interim Internal Audit Report.

This attached report sets out the findings from the interim internal audit No specific recommendations have been made. (Appendix 2). Please click here to read Appendix 2.

10. Urgent Matters at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.

11.  Date of next meeting 9th February 2021.

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 present they will be requested to withdraw from the meeting.


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 virtual 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 virtual meeting of the Parish Council held on 12th January 2021 at 7.30pm.

Attendees: Parish Councillors Jane Baker, Sue Hatton, Kristian Berggreen, Frank Rylance, Frances Gaudencio, Bob Brewer. Claire Tester, Leslie Campbell.

Parish Clerk: Ian Cumberworth

Visiting Member(s): County Councillor Kirsty Lord


PC20/85       APOLOGIES  Cllr Ian Weir, Alex Simmons, Bill Hatton and Nick Owens

                     County Councillor Kirsty Lord

Absent without apologies: Cllr K Bailey


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

PC20/87       MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on the 8th December 2020 were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.


There were no Members of the public present.

PC20/89       MINUTES

                        To agree the Minutes of the Planning Committee 7th December 2020 and to note the minutes for 21st December 2021.

To note the minutes of the Grounds & Environment Committee 3rd December 2020.

PC20/90       FINANCE

Members considered the finance reports and the supporting bank statements and reviewed the payment list. The Finance report and payments totalling £14,854.23 for the period ending 31st November 2020 were considered and APPROVED.

PC20/91       Reports

91.1        District Councillors reports: – Cllr Sue Hatton (SH) advised members that the role out of the vaccine is commencing at Clair Hall as more sites will come on stream shortly.

MSDC scrutiny Committee are due to meet later in the week to consider the Draft Budget proposals before they go onto cabinet for consideration where a number of efficiencies will be proposed including some reduction in posts. It is anticipated that the District propose to increase C Tax by around 2% which will equate to an increase around £4.95 for a band D property, any budget shortfall will be met from general reserves.

The District are in the process of reviewing the District Plan which will need to be redrafted by 2023. As part of this process MSDC have recently called for sites inviting landowners/developers to come forward with additional potential development sites. The categorisation of sites has been expanded and now includes potential sites for affordable housing, self-build and travellers sites together with other categories.

91.2          County Councillor – Cllr Lord had notified the Clerk that she would be able to attend the meeting but she had submitted a report to the Clerk to read out :

A members briefing is scheduled to occur later this week on Thursday (14/1/21) about the upcoming WSCC budget. Papers are about to published for the Performance & Finance Scrutiny Committee therefore Councillors may wish to have a look at those papers as they should contain lots of information on the forthcoming budget proposals.

Councillors should have received a text message from Mid Sussex Healthcare about vaccinations commencing later this week at Clair Hall, Haywards Heath. A briefing for WSCC for councillors by the NHS will be held on Friday (15/1/21) about the vaccination roll out in West Sussex.

A meeting is scheduled with Richard Speller (Highways) when he returns from leave for an update on Hassocks highways issues. KL will be seeking an update on flooding, about issues at Clayton (Ditchling Rd/Underhill lane/A273 junction’s area) and other ongoing concerns.

A number of issues have been raised from residents or animal owners who need to use Mill Lane concerning the ongoing issues with parking.  This road is not in KL’s division, sitting within Hurstpierpoint and Bolney, so liaison is required with Cllr Joy Dennis and Richard Speller (Highways) but KL has no direct involvement in decisions and actions.  The latest update received is that WSCC believe the immediate issue is a police matter (relating to blocking roads and potentially covid-19 lockdown breaches if people are travelling from afar).  KL undertook to keep members updated.

KL is currently working to push WSCC to remove the need for parents to send children into childcare next week (w/c 18/1/21) or risk losing their government funding. Headcount day is next week and used to determine funding and places for the term.  Many parents are keeping their children at home during lockdown to alleviate pressure on their child carers and keep their families safe.  WSCC are currently insisting that children attend their placements next week or risk the loss of their funding per the usual Dfe guidance.

Other councils have already stated that they will base funding on the children on roll rather than in attendance and KL is in discussions with the cabinet member pushing for WSCC to do the same despite Dfe guidance not yet changing.

91.3         Rail matters –   Members were advised that in December there were 248 train cancellations of which 225 were cancelled outright and 21 ran but failed to stop at Hassocks.

91.4         Youth Initiatives – Cllr Gaudencio informed Members that due to the current restrictions nothing was progressing at present.

91.5        Police matters – The Clerk informed members that the police have started to visit the park more regularly to ensure people are complying with the existing rules including in the evenings where they have dispersed groups of youths. Members had also observed that groups of people had been gathering outside some of the coffee shops for a period of time after obtaining takeaway drinks.

91.6        Report from Councillors on meetings of outside bodies where the Council is represented – Cllr Sue Hatton indicated that the Adastra Hall management group were scheduled to hold a virtual meeting but she would be unable to attend. Due to the pandemic it has raised a number of challenging issues for the hall including issues such as licences etc.


The Chair (JB) informed members that she had nothing to report.

PC20/93       CLERK’S REPORT –

93.1       The Clerk introduced the report inviting Members to consider the co-option of David Bunting onto the Council. Members were advised that the qualification criteria had been met to enable Mr Bunting to be considered for the role.

Mr Bunting had previously expressed an interest in joining the Council but was unsuccessful on that occasion but was present today. Subject to Mr Bunting being co-opted onto the Council  arrangements would be put in place by the Clerk to complete the procedural arrangements for the completion of the:

  • Declaration of acceptance which will be required to be signed by the clerk and the new councillor
  • The completed notification of interest forms.
  • Arrangements will then be put in place to set up a parish email account.

Before Members were invited to consider co-opting Mr Bunting he was invited to say a few words to members setting out why he wished to become a Councillor. Mr Bunting provided a brief overview as to why he wished to join the Council which was duly noted by Members.

Mr Bunting was then placed in the virtual waiting room and Members were invited to vote on whether to co-opt Mr Bunting onto the Council.

The vote was concluded and Mr Bunting was brought back into the virtual meeting where the Chair advised that Members had voted unanimously to approve him as a Councillor. Therefore Members RESOLVED to APPROVE co-opting David Bunting onto the Parish Council as a Councillor and that the Clerk makes arrangements post this meeting to complete the procedural documentation to confirm the appointment.

The Clerk also informed members that Cllr Peter Gibbons had resigned due to relocating, therefore a Notice of Vacancy had been published, and subject to receiving no call for election the Council will be able to consider filling this vacancy via co-option. Members requested that the Clerk write to Peter Gibbons to express their thanks for all his work on behalf of the Council for many years which was greatly appreciated.

The Clerk undertook to write on the Councils behalf

93.2    Interim Internal Audit Report 2020/21

The Clerk introduced the report from the Internal Auditor which summarised the work completed as part of the review; generally the report was positive but had made some suggested areas for consideration. Members were invited to ask any questions on the report. Members were satisfied with the content of the report and RESOLVED to Note and AGREE the contents of the report.              



                     To note that the date of the next Council meeting is Tuesday 9th February 2021 at 7.30pm.