Hassocks Parish Council

Agenda

You are summoned to a virtual meeting of the Parish Council on 9th March 2021 at 7.30 pm

Parish Clerk 3 March 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 9thth March 2021 to be sent an electronic invitation before 6pm on the 9th February 2021.

AGENDA

1. APOLOGIES

1.1 To Accept Apologies for Absence.

2. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

2.1Disclosure 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. MINUTES

3.1 To accept the minutes of the Parish Council meeting 9th February 2021

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 item of business included in the agenda, in accordance with Standing Orders.

5. MINUTES To accept the following Minutes

5.1 Planning Committee – to agree the minutes for 1st February 2021 and to note the minutes for 22nd February 2021.

5.2 Policy Resources & Communications Committee –to note the minutes for the 2ndh March 2021

5.3 Grounds & Environment Committee to note the minutes for the 28th January 2021.

6. FINANCE

6.1 To approve the Financial Report and authorise the list of payments in the sum of £25,776.70 for the period ending 31st January 2021 set out in Appendix 1

7. REPORTS

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. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

8.1 Current matters (oral report)

9. CLERK’S REPORT

9.1Committee Membership – Members are requested to consider requests from Cllr Bunting and Cllr Barton to sit on the following Committees:

Cllr Bunting:

Grounds & Environment Committee.

Cllr Barton

Policy Resources & Communications

Planning

Neighbourhood Plan Committee.

Member’s views are sought.

All current Committee memberships are scheduled to be reviewed in May this year as part of the Annual meeting.

10. Correspondence – Members are requested to consider an invitation from Burgess Hill Town Council for Hassocks Parish Council to participate in a collaborative objection to Site allocations 12, 13 & 15 of the 2019 Site Allocations document, issued by Mid Sussex District Council.

This matter was considered at Planning Committee on 21st February who referred the matter to full council to consider.

P20/167 CORRESPONDENCE. Members were requested to consider an invitation from Burgess Hill Town Council for Hassocks Parish Council to participate in a collaborative objection to Site allocations 12, 13 & 15 of the 2019 Site Allocations document, issued by Mid Sussex District Council.  Members considered this matter and AGREED it should be referred to Full Council for consideration.

Site allocations:

SA12   Land at rear of 96 Folders Lane, Burgess Hill

SA13   Land East of Keymer Road at South of Folders Lane

SA15   Land South of Southern Way, Burgess Hill.

Hassocks Parish Council has previously made representations to MSDC in respect of site SA13 (15/9/20) however the district Council allocated the site for development.

11. West Sussex Association of Local Councils Ltd. The groups AGM was held on 25th February 2021, the membership of the group is made up of the majority of parish and town councils within West Sussex.

The main purpose of the AGM meeting was to consider a number of routine business items together with a series of resolutions regarding the provision of governance services to West Sussex authorities.

The attached minutes (click here for Appendix 2) sets out the outcome of the said meeting and the results of the voting membership. The membership overwhelmingly voted against the proposal to seek governance services from Hampshire which had been suggested as a way forward as part of recent value for money study commissioned by the WSALC board.

The group is currently now looking at various delivery models/options to secure governance support services for those authorities currently within WSALC. It is anticipated that once these options become clearer the membership will be provided with the opportunity to consider and vote on the options. With the proposed closure of Surrey & Sussex Association of Local Councils (SSALC) at the end of this month its anticipated alternative arrangements will need to be in place in early April.

This Council previously designated two delegates on behalf of Hassocks Parish Council, Cllr Ian Weir and Cllr Kristian Berggreen to represent the Council views on the ongoing developments within WSALC. In light of the proposed changes which the membership will be asked to vote on, it is suggested that Council designate Cllr Weir and Cllr Berggreen to be approved to vote on behalf of this Council on the preferred delivery models when that become known.

Member’s views are sought.

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

13. Date of next meeting 13th April 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.

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.

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

APPENDIX 1

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL Finance Reports January 2021

Current Account

Summary bank Reconciliation and Cashbook Statement January 2021

Bank Statement Account Name Statement Date Balances
Current Bank A/C 2114 29/01/2021 £26,249.59
£26,249.59
Unpresented Cheques (Minus) Amount
£10,198.50
£16,051.09
Receipts not Banked/Cleared (Plus)
£0.00
£0.00
£16,051.09
Balance per Cash Book is :- £16,051.09
Difference is :- £0.00

 

05/02/2021 Current Bank A/C2114
Receipts and Payments Summary
Receipt Totals   Payment Totals
Total Year to Date £364,879.91 £392,490.66
Closing Trial Balance
Total Receipts / Payments £364,879.91 £392,490.66
Opening Balance £ 43,661.84
Closing Balance   £  16,051.09 £16,051.09
£408,541.75 £408,541.80

APPENDIX 1

05/02/2021 Tracker A/C3548
Receipts and Payments Summary
Receipt Totals   Payment Totals
Total Year to Date £340,901.01 £295,000.00
Closing Trial Balance
Total Receipts / Payments £340,901.01 £295,000.00
Opening Balance £ 368,065.58
Closing Balance   £413,966.59 £413,966.59
£708,966.59 £708,966.59

 

05/02/2021 Saver 3
Receipts and Payments Summary
Receipt Totals   Payment Totals
Total Year to Date £          0.03 £          0.00
Closing Trial Balance
Total Receipts / Payments £          0.03 £           0.00
Opening Balance £         85.59
Closing Balance   £        85.62 £   85.62
£          85.62 £         85.62

APPENDIX 1

05/02/2021 Saver 2
Receipts and Payments Summary
Receipt Totals   Payment Totals
Total Year to Date £          0.00 £          0.00
Closing Trial Balance
Total Receipts / Payments £          0.00 £           0.00
Opening Balance £          0.05
Closing Balance   £           0.05 £   0.05
£           0.05 £           0.05

Minutes

Draft Minutes of the virtual meeting of the Parish Council held on 9th March 2021 at 7.30pm.

Attendees: Parish Councillors Ian Weir, Jane Baker, Sue Hatton, Kristian Berggreen, Frank Rylance, Frances Gaudencio, Bob Brewer. Claire Tester, Leslie Campbell, Bill Hatton, Nick Owens, Alex Simmonds, David Bunting and Carolyn Barton.

Parish Clerk: Ian Cumberworth

Visiting Member(s): none

MINUTES

PC20/108 APOLOGIES

Cllr Kate Bailey        County Cllr Kirsty Lord

PC20/109 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. – None

PC20/110 MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on the 9th February 2021 were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

PC20/111 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

A member of the public had attempted to join the meeting but was unable to do so possibly as a result of connection issues therefore no members of the public were present.

PC20/112 MINUTES

To agree the Minutes of the Planning Committee 1st February 2021 and to note the minutes of the 22nd February 2021.

As the minutes of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee for the 2nd March 2021 had not yet been circulated these would be held over to the next Council meeting for consideration.

To note the minutes for the Grounds & Environment Committee 28th January 2021. The minutes were duly noted however Cllr Rylance wished to raise some amendments, the Clerk indicated that the minutes were to be formally considered by the Grounds & Environment Committee on the 11th March where there will be an opportunity to amend the minutes if they so wished.

PC20/113 FINANCE

Members considered the finance reports and the supporting bank statements and reviewed the payment list. The Finance report and payments totalling £25,776.70 for the period ending 31st January 2021 were considered and APPROVED.

PC20/114 Reports

114.1 District Councillors reports: – Cllr Sue Hatton (SH) advised members that MSDC had set its Council Tax and propose a 2.99% increase, Parishes 0.9%, County Council 5% and Police 7.5%.

SH confirmed site selections had now progressed to determination although it was understood Burgess Hill Town Council were considering putting some money in for a Barrister to challenge some of the sites which border the Hassocks Parish. Cllr Hatton indicated that there was an item later in this agenda to discuss this.

SH had recently attended a training session on the MSDC Design Guide a copy of which is accessible on-line via MSDC website. It is understood MSDC may run a presentation at a future Parish Council briefing session.

Cllr Owens sought clarification as to whether sustainability featured within the guide and whether there was reference to the Ministry of Housing & Communities recently published paper ‘Nearly zero energy buildings requirements for new buildings’.

Cllr Hatton confirmed that there was some reference to sustainability within the design guide and undertook to make further enquiries regarding the ‘Nearly Zero energy buildings requirements for new buildings’ paper.

Cllr Simmonds sought confirmation as to whether there was a proposal for two polling stations in Hassocks for the forthcoming elections Cllr S Hatton confirmed that there was with the locations being Adastra Hall and St Francis Church Hall.

114.2 County Councillor – no report submitted.

114.3 Rail matters –   Members were advised that in February there were 169 train cancellations of which 107 were cancelled outright and 62 ran but failed to stop at Hassocks.

114.4 Youth Initiatives – Cllr Gaudencio informed Members that she has been in discussion recently with Ian McDonald from Sussex Clubs for Young people who are seeking assistance for funding opportunities from Hassocks Youth Project.

Hassocks Youth Projects are also in the process of seeking a funding bid from Hassocks Community Organisation.

The Clerk also confirmed that he had written to Sussex Clubs for Young People to establish how the parish’s funds have been utilised and their current funding position.

114.5 Police matters – nothing to report.

114.6 Report from Councillors on meetings of outside bodies where the Council is represented – Cllr Ian Weir indicated that he recently attended a meeting held by WSALC. Cllr Berggreen was also scheduled to attend the meeting but was unable to gain access to the virtual meeting.  The meeting voted against the proposal to enter into an agreement with Hampshire Association of Local Councils (HALC) and also to unseat the Chair and Vice Chair with a view to re-setting the service provision back to the previous arrangements.

Since this meeting, a new arrangement has been provided via Mark Mulberry which will be delivered by some of the existing SLCC staff.

Cllr Weir and Cllr Berggreen also attended a meeting of Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils (MSALC) where members were requested to approve a change in the organisations constitution to enable those Mid Sussex parishes not affiliated to WSALC to continue to have representation on MSALC.

Cllr Gaudencio informed members that she was scheduled to attend a meeting with Cllr Weir and Hassocks Community Organisation to discuss potential initiatives to promote Economic Development and a vibrant high street within Hassocks, Jeremy Wakeman (Chair of HCO) is keen to take this initiative forward with the Parish.

Cllr Simmonds provided an update on an initiative that he had initially instigated as an individual in relation to the proposed closure of the Nationwide B/S at Hassocks. The local MP wrote to the Chairman of Nationwide  regarding the proposed closure of Nationwide Building Society branches in Hassocks and Hurstpierpoint including Cllr Simmonds as a co-signatory despite the need to gain approval to  Cllr Simmonds representing the Parish Council. This initial contact had been made via a signed letter from party representatives (MP, County and Parish Councillor) although that initial letter was later subsequently signed by a wider representation.

Cllr Simmonds in his own right has continued to mobilise a petition against the closure and recently attended a virtual meeting with senior officers from Nationwide and the MP who signed the initial letter.

The Nationwide representatives expressed the view that although a previous commitment had been made regarding retaining the branch within the villages up until January 2023 there had been a sequence of extreme circumstances that had resulted in the group reconsidering its provision. They advised that a number of factors had been taken into consideration in reaching the decision including the impact of the ram-raid on the Hurstpierpoint branch, the need to renew one of the property leases and the decrease in usage of the respective branches for in-person visits. The closures were a business decision. They confirmed that existing staff will be relocated.

Cllr Simmonds indicated that the campaign against the closure will continue and further representations are continuing to be made.

Members thanked Cllr Simmonds for the update. Some members expressed reservation as to how the initial letter was presented in that it indicated that it was from specific members of County and Parish Council and the local MP. The approach had not been aligned to the protocols in operation by this Council. Cllr Simmonds indicated that the original intention was that he was raising the matter with his local MP as an individual and it was the MP’s office that encouraged him to sign it as a Parish Councillor prior to the knowledge of the Parish Council which subsequently sent their own representations in alignment with the Council’s decision. He accepted that in hindsight this should not have been signed as a Parish Councillor prior to confirmation from the members.

Member’s general consensus was that there was a need to follow the Councils protocols and if clarification/advice is required this should be sought from the Clerk.

There was a general discussion by members about the importance as to how members should interact with the press with regard to either formally representing the Council or as an individual. It was also important for any parish position to remain non-political.

Cllr Owens proposed the following motion be considered ‘This Council recognise retrospectively the apolitical actions of Cllr Simmons and endorses them. This was seconded by Cllr Brewer.

Members considered the proposal but the motion was not carried.

Cllr Weir thanked members for their contribution to the discussion but drew the matter to a close.

PC20/115 CHAIRMANS REPORT – nothing to report

PC20/116 CLERK’S REPORT –

116.1 Committee Memberships the Clerk invited Members to consider requests from the following Councillors to join the Committees;

Cllr Bunting requested to join the Grounds & Environment Committee

116.2 Members RESOLVED to APPROVE Cllr Bunting to join the Grounds & Environment Committee.

Cllr Barton requested to join the following Committees:

Policy Resources & Communications Committee

116.3 Members RESOLVED to APPROVE Cllr Barton to join the Policy Resources & Communications Committee.

Planning Committee

116.4 Members RESOLVED to APPROVE Cllr Barton to join the Planning Committee

Neighbourhood Plan Committee

116.5 Members RESOLVED to APPROVE Cllr Barton to join the Neighbourhood Plan Committee

 

All requests for Committee Memberships were therefore duly approved

 

PC20/117 CORRESPONDENCE – Members were informed that the Council had received correspondence from Burgess Hill Town Council (BHTC) indicating that they propose to join forces with South of Folders Lane Action Group (SOFLAG) to oppose site allocation 12, 13 and 15.

  • SA12 Land at rear of 96 Folders Lane, Burgess Hill
  • SA13 Land at East of Keymer Road at South of Folders Lane
  • SA15 Land South of Southern Way, Burgess Hill

BHTC were seeking to establish whether this Council would be interested in participating in a collaborative objection which could include the appointment of a barrister. The matter was initially considered by Planning Committee (PO20/167) who referred the matter to Council for consideration.

Members were invited to consider the request.

Members expressed a number of differing views which encompassed working collaboratively in objecting to the sites. Members wished to focus on the issues relating to the effects upon Hassocks when supporting the wider objection of the sites in question. Consensus amongst members was that due to the impact on the Parish and the further erosion of the gap the Council should support representations against the developments.

Members felt that they would need to have further detail in respect of the representations prior to committing to any financial support together with a broader understanding of the potential approach the Town Council propose to take.

In acknowledgement of some of the concerns the Chair proposed to consider the elements separately.

The proposal by Cllr Weir which was seconded by Cllr Berggreen.

The Parish Council will support Burgess Hill Town Council in their objection to these three developments.

Members RESOLVED to AGREE this proposal.

Members AGREED that Hassocks Parish Council would have further discussions with Burgess Hill Town Council prior to deciding whether to make any financial contribution.

PC20/118 West Sussex Association of Local Councils Limited (WSALC) The Clerk introduced the report and drew Members attention to the minutes set out in Appendix 2 which detailed the outcome of the recent AGM where the membership overwhelmingly rejected the proposals regarding the transfer of governance services over to Hampshire.

Cllr Weir had referenced the outcome of this meeting and subsequent meetings earlier in the minutes under ‘Report from Councillors on meetings of outside bodies where the Council is represented.’

Members were advised that as discussions are ongoing to finalise the delivery model for governance services for West Sussex parishes that Cllr Weir and Cllr Berggreen who had previously been designated as the Parishes representatives should continue to do so whilst the delivery models are finalised if Members were happy with this approach.

Members RESOLVED to AGREE that Cllr Weir and Cllr Berggreen continue to represent the Councils views in respect of the emerging delivery models for governance services.

PC20/119 URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN – None

PC20/120 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the date of the next Council meeting is Tuesday 13th April 2021 at 7.30pm.