Hassocks Parish Council

Agenda

The MEETING of HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL will be held on WEDSNESDAY 9 JUNE 2021 in Adastra Hall, Adastra Park, Hassocks which is scheduled to commence at 7.30pm 

Parish Clerk 2nd June 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. A period of 15 minutes will be set aside in item 4 Public participation. However to maintain Covid safety it will be necessary to restrict attendance at this current time.

Therefore if you wish to speak on a matter relating to the agenda please email info@hassocks-pc.gov.uk or call 01273 842714 by noon on Tuesday 8 June 2021. Unfortunately attendance at meetings will not be possible without prior confirmation.

AGENDA

1. APOLOGIES

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. MINUTES

3.1. To accept the minutes of the

Parish Council meeting 4th May 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 items of business included in the agenda, in accordance with Standing Orders.

5. TO ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING MINUTES

5.1      Planning Committee – 26th April 2021 (for acceptance) and to note the minutes for 17th May 2021.

5.2      To note the Grounds & Environment Committee minutes for the 28th April 2021

5.3      To note the minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee for the 29th April 2021

6. FINANCE

6.1       To approve the Financial Report and authorise the list of payments in the sum of £20,380.17 issued between 1 April 2021 and 30th April 2021. (Appendix 1). Please click here to read Appendix 1.

6.2     To consider the Annual Governance Statement for 2020/21 (Appendix 2) this report sets out how the Council has met its governance responsibilities.

6.3       To consider, approve and sign the summary draft Internal Auditors report (Appendix 3) and to consider and approve the Accounting statements for 2020/21 (Appendix 4) and the Annual Return (Appendix 5).

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

7. REPORTS

7.1.      West Sussex County Councillor
7.2.      Mid Sussex District Councillors Report
7.3      Police Report
7.4.      Rail Matters – oral Report (Leslie Campbell)
7.5.      Youth Initiatives – oral report (Frances Gaudencio)
7.6.      Reports from Councillors on meetings outside bodies where the Council is represented.

8. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT

8.1       Current matters (oral report)

9. CLERK’S REPORT

9.1    Insurance – This is to advise members of the outcome of the recent market testing of the Councils insurance via Came & Company Insurance Brokers. After testing the market the Council has renewed its insurance with Axa for a one year term in the sum of £4,401.18. The policy will run from the 1st June 2021 to 31st May 2022

9.2    Village Sign – A working group comprising of Cllrs Baker, Cllr Barton and Cllr Bunting was established to progress the design and installation of the village sign which has been identified as one of the Councils priorities within its business plan.

Significant progress has been made and members are requested to consider and approve the proposed design (papers to follow). To enable the scheme to progress it has previously been agreed by Grounds & Environment Committee that the final decision on the design should come straight to Full Council to accelerate the decision making process whilst the Council is operating a reduced meeting schedule due to the covid restrictions and the need to focus on key decisions when meetings are convened.

It is anticipated that if the design is approved the sign will be installed later in the autumn. The budget previously allocated in Earmarked reserves for the scheme was £3,000 which will cover the design and fabrication of the sign however further installation costs are likely to be required to remove the existing post and base and install a new base and post. Members are therefore requested to approve the release of up to a further £1,000 from general reserves to facilitate the installation costs if required.

Members are requested to agree the proposed design (papers to follow) together with additional funding if required to cover the installation costs.

9.3     Changes to permitted development rights for electronic communications infrastructure technical consultation. This matter was initially considered at Planning Committee on 17th May 2021 under urgent matters where members determined to refer the matter to the next full council meeting for consideration.

P21/12 Urgent Matters at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda. The Chairman invited Members to note correspondence informing the Council that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government are seeking views on proposed changes to permitted development rights for the installation, alteration and replacement of electronic communications infrastructure.  The consultation will run until 14 June and Members were invited to consider the inclusion of this on the next Planning Agenda. It was AGREED that this was a matter for consideration by the Neighbourhood Plan Committee or Full Council and therefore it was agreed that this should be included on the next Full Council agenda.  Further information can be found via the following link Changes to permitted development rights for electronic communications infrastructure: technical consultation – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Members are therefore requested to consider whether they wish to make any representation. The closing date for the consultation is 14th June 2021.

If members are minded to submit a response a designated representative should be nominated to make a submission on behalf of the Council.

10. Youth Support funding bid: The Council has received a funding submission from the newly formed Hassocks Youth projects group (HYP) that sits within the umbrella of Hassocks Community Organisation (HCO). The group has been looking to set up for a period of time and have undertaken extensive consultation within the local schools to help inform their proposed offer. As a newly formed group they are seeking to secure initial funding from the Council to enable them to roll out their proposed programme of youth activities which potentially could commence in July. Youth projects remain part of the Councils priorities set out within its Business plan. This group have submitted a funding bid request (papers to follow) for member’s consideration. The Council currently holds £2,000 in total set aside for youth projects in Earmarked reserves.

Members may recall that the Council funded another youth group that operates within the village in the last financial year whose programme was significantly impacted due to covid restrictions last year. At the time of funding it was indicated that without this the club (provision) (operated by Sussex Clubs for Sussex Young People) was likely to cease to operate in Hassocks. They have indicated that they are likely to seek further funding to support their existing programme currently being run in the park although they have yet to submit a formal funding bid.

In the context of youth provision within the village members are requested to consider the above funding bid. Member’s views are sought        

11. URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.

12. DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the date of the next Council meeting is Tuesday 13th July 2021 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

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

APPENDIX 2

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:       Council

Date:   9 June 2021

Contact for this report: Parish Clerk

Subject: Item 6.2 Annual Governance Statement for year ended 31 March 2021

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 2021.

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.

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 this Annual Governance Statement for year ended 31 March 2021.

Please click here to view the Annual Govenance Statement 202/21

 

APPENDIX 3

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:       Council

Date:   9 June 2021

Contact for this report:         Parish Clerk

Subject:          Item 6.3 Annual Return supporting documentation – Internal Auditors report for the year ended 31 March 2021 and Accounting statements for the year ending 31st March 2021.


1. The Internal Auditor’s report has been received and the year-end report has been attached as (Appendix 3) for Members information. (please click here to read the Internal Audit Year Ended 31 March 2021). He also signed the Annual Internal Audit Report 2020/21.(Appendix 4). Please click here to view the signed Annual Internal Audit Report 2020/21).

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). Please click here to view the Accounting Statements 2020/21).

 RECOMMENDATION

3. Members are RECOMMENDED to note the contents of the Internal Auditors report.

4. Members are RECOMMENDED to approve that the Accounting statements for the year ended 31st March 2021, in this Annual return, present fairly the financial position of Hassocks Parish Council and its income and expenditure.

 

APPENDIX 6

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:       Council

Date:   9 June 2021

Contact for this report:         Parish Clerk

Subject:          Item 6.4 Annual Risk Report.


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

2. This report sets out the risk assessments for Hassocks Parish Council covering:

Financial & Management risks
Physical risks.

Please click here to read Financial & Management Risks.
Please click here to read Physical Risks.

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.

 RECOMMENDATION

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

Draft Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on 9th June 2021

at 7.30pm in Adastra Hall, Adastra Park, Hassocks

Attendees: Parish Councillors Ian Weir, Jane Baker, Sue Hatton, Kristian Berggreen, Frances Gaudencio, Leslie Campbell, Bill Hatton, David Bunting, Kate Bailey and Carolyn Barton.

Parish Clerk: Ian Cumberworth

Visiting Member(s): Kirsty Lord

MINUTES

PC21/37       APOLOGIES   Cllr Bob Brewer, Cllr Claire Tester, Cllr Nick Owens

Absent without apologies Cllr Alex Simmons

PC21/38       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 Gaudencio declared an interest in item 10 on the agenda.

PC21/39       MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on the 4th May 2021 were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

PC21/40       PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

No members of the public were present.

PC21/41       MINUTES

To agree the Minutes of the Planning Committee 26th April 2021.and note the minutes for the 17th May 2021.

To note the minutes for the Grounds & Environment Committee 28th April 2021.

To note the minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee 29th April 2021.                

PC21/42       FINANCE

Members considered the finance reports and the supporting bank statements and reviewed the payment list. The Finance report and payments totalling £20,380.17 for the period ending 30th April 2021 were considered and APPROVED.

PC21/43       Annual Governance Statement Members were advised that the report presented as Appendix 2 detailed how the Council had discharged its responsibility in respect of the Annual Governance Statement for the year ended 31 March 2021.

Member’s attention was drawn to page eleven of the agenda which summarised the governance assessment by the internal auditor which indicated that appropriate controls were in place and found to be appropriate.

Members where therefore requested to consider Appendix 2 including the governance return completed by the internal auditor and approve the governance statement for year ended 31 March 2021.

Members indicated they were satisfied with the governance report and RESOLVED to APPROVE that the Annual Governance Statement be signed by the Chair and the Clerk.

The return was duly signed.

PC21/44      Annual return supporting documentation– this report set out the detailed internal auditors report as Appendix 3 together with the internal auditor’s summary report in Appendix 4. The auditor has provided a clean bill of health and only suggested a couple of minor suggestions for the authority to consider and confirmed appropriate control frameworks were in place and operating effectively.

The internal auditor confirmed that all testing requirements were met.

Members were requested to note the contents of the auditor’s report and his signed statement.

Members duly NOTED the contents of the internal auditors report and his signed statement in support of the overall governance framework.

PC21/45       Accounting statements Members were invited to consider the Accounting statements for 2020/21 set out in Appendix 5 together with the supporting detail. Members were informed that the document had been reviewed as part of the audit process and agreed by the Responsible Financial officer (Clerk). Council was informed that they were required to formally consider and agree the document and approve the signing of the statement by the Chair of the Council on behalf of the Council.

Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the signing of the 2020/21 Accounting statement by the Chair.

The form was duly signed.

PC21/46 Risk Management –the Clerk introduced the report setting out the review of the Councils risks which is required to be formally considered annually. The report set out in Appendix 6 addressed.

  • Financial and Management risks
  • Physical risks

Members were invited to ask questions about any specific risks, clarification was sought regarding the risk relating to the precept and whether there had been any material changes in the risk profile in the last year. This was confirmed that there had been no material change in the high level assessments.

Members sought clarification on how the risks were being managed within the park in relation to its facilities. The clerk confirmed that all equipment is subject to inspections including monthly risk assessments undertaken by an independent provider to ensure each piece of equipment remains safe.

Members had no further questions and were content with the risk management arrangements in operation by the Council.

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

 PC21/47       Reports

47.1         County Councillor Report – Cllr Kirsty Lord (KL) indicated that not a great deal of activity had occurred due to the recent elections and the need for inductions/training of new councillors.

County are currently reviewing the effectiveness of how the Councils Local Committees (CLC) are working and whether any improvements could be made. KL undertook to feedback to members the outcome of this review.

Area health review proposals post consultation are scheduled to come forward later this month with a final decision in December.

Lodge lane grass has now been cut back to improve vehicle site lines.

Keymer Road repairs are being chased and scheduled work has slipped.

A number of concerns have been raised by residents regarding the light phasing system at Stone pound crossroads. The system is supposed to learn from traffic patterns and volumes but due the changing traffic levels during various lockdowns this has caused some anomalies effecting the way the system learns therefore the system is being kept under review to determine whether further adjustments are required.

KL left the meeting at 8.10

47.2        District Councillors reports: – Cllr Sue Hatton (SH) advised members that MSDC member Cllr Andrew McNaughton Cabinet member for Housing and Planning had recently passed away and MSDC are yet to allocate his responsibilities to another member.

MSDC have their first scheduled face to face Council meeting at the end of the month but members are yet to be advised of the venue to be used that will enable social distancing. SH indicated that it was unlikely the Council chamber would be sufficient size for this if social distancing rules remain in place.

SH recently viewed a virtual Cabinet meeting where members considered overspends.

The consultation period for the electoral review for Mid Sussex District Council has now closed which HPC responded to and the review will continue, In addition there is a Parliamentary boundary consultation out for review.

Taylor Wimpey who have acquired the strategic site from Gleeson and recently held a public virtual consultation. Taylor Wimpey proposal is based on the already approved outline planning permissions secured by Gleeson. Unfortunately, some residents still believe that the current consultation will enable them to halt the development which is not the case as planning permissions have been previously approved.

47.3          Rail matters –   Members were advised that in May there were 101 train cancellations of which 76 were cancelled outright and 25 ran but failed to stop at Hassocks.

Cllr Barton raised a query as to whether it would be possible to obtain information on the actual usage of the service at this time as this would be helpful. Cllr Gaudencio as the Councils representative on Hassocks Community Organisation (HCO) who have previously represented the village on rail matters agreed to raise this with this group to establish if this data is available.

47.4         Youth Initiatives – nothing to report, item to be considered later on the agenda – item 10.

47.5    Police matters – Members were informed that the Clerk and Cllr Weir recently   participated in a virtual consultation on Burgess Hill local policing with a Senior Communications officer at Sussex Police and the Police Commissioner’s Office together with representatives from Burgess Hill Town Council. The respective Councils were provided with an opportunity to raise any specific policing issues and they sought to gain the views on current policing within the area. All feedback was to be passed back to the Chief Inspector and the Commissioner’s office.

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

Cllr Gaudencio informed members that she had recently attended a meeting with Hassocks Community Organisation as the Councils representative. FG is aware of a number of operational matters the parish office are already in contact with HCO on and is keen to develop her role as a  collaborative one with HCO rather than becoming too involved in detailed operational matters.

PC21/48       CHAIRMANS REPORT – nothing to report.

PC21/49       CLERK’S REPORT

49.1      Insurance – Members were advised that after a market testing process the Council had renewed its insurance policy with Axa Insurance in the sum of £4,401.18.

The original intention was to let the contract on a three year term but in light of the circumstances in the last year there appears to be a reluctance for some insurance companies to enter into term arrangements at this time. It will therefore be necessary to review this arrangement again in 2022.

Members duly NOTED the renewal of the insurance policy

49.2      Village sign – Members were advised of the progress on this initiative to date. A copy of the proposed design was distributed earlier in the week for member’s consideration and further discussions were ongoing with various blacksmiths regarding the fabrication/finalisation of costs and lead in times.

It is anticipated that the sum set aside in earmarked reserves (£3,000) will cover the design and fabrication costs however it’s uncertain at this point as to whether it’s likely to cover the installation and re-instatement costs.

Members were invited to consider releasing up to a further £1,000 to cover these costs from general reserves if they are required to allow the scheme to progress without the need to return to committee.

Before members considered the design Cllr Baker provided some context on the proposed imagery and how it represented the area and indicated that the scheme could be delivered relatively quickly if the design was agreed at this evenings meeting.

Cllr Baker then explained to members how the team (Cllr Baker, Barton and Bunting) have approached the project to progress it to this stage. Cllr Baker indicated that an information board would also be installed alongside the sign to provide an explanation of the elements within the sign design and what they represent.

Members thanked the team for the work done to date and were invited to comment on the proposals.

Most members expressed the view that they were content with the proposed design whilst others suggested a number of minor modifications to make it easier to understand the various elements of the design.

After careful consideration Members were invited to consider whether they wished to approve the proposed design subject to minor modification if required during the fabrication process.

Members RESOLVED to AGREE the proposed design circulated subject to minor amendment if required as part of the fabrication process.

&

AGREED to APPROVE the release up to a further £1,000 if required from General Reserves to cover the installation and re-instatement costs.

49.3    Changes to permitted development rights for electronic communications infrastructure technical consultation.

This matter had been previously considered by planning committee who deferred the matter to full council to consider whether they wish to take a submission. The submission closing date is 14th June 2021.

In light of the technical nature of the consultation and the pending closing date Members determined not to submit a consultation on behalf of the Parish Council.

49.4   Youth Support funding bid this report sets out a funding bid submitted by Hassocks youth projects that sits under the umbrella of Hassocks Community Organisation (HCO).

The detailed paper setting out their proposal was distributed to members earlier in the week which indicated the group were seeking to secure up to £1,380 to support a number of initiatives they are looking to develop with further funding being sought from Hassocks Community organisation (HCO).

Members were informed that youth provision remains a priority within the council’s business plan and had previously provided £3,000 to a youth group in the previous financial year to continue to offer youth provision within the village.

The council currently retains a balance of £2,000 within its reserves allocated for youth initiatives and it is anticipated that the same group that sought funding last year will also come forward later this year with a view to securing further funding.

Members were requested to consider the distributed paper and determine whether they are minded to support the current bid.

Cllr Gaudencio took members through the submission and took a range of questions of clarification from members together with some background of the individuals on the committees group and how they went about identifying the initiatives to organise. Cllr Gaudencio also confirmed a funding bid was also being sought from HCO to fund some of the planned initiatives

Members sought clarification as to whether the current bid would be in direct competition to any other youth fund bid. The Clerk clarified that the Council has an allocated budget and members will need to consider and determine each bid on its own merits

After careful consideration members RESOLVED to APPROVE the award of £1,380 to Hassocks Youth Projects and that the group be asked to bring back a report on the outcome of the events organised in due course

PC21/50       URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN – Cllr Baker wished to place on record that the Councils allotments had been open to the public together with some local gardens at the weekend as part of National Gardens scheme. Attendees were very complimentary about the site and the allotment holders involved.

The Clerk informed Members that Cllr Frank Rylance had resigned from the Council and the vacancy will be advertised shortly.

PC21/51       DATE OF NEXT MEETING

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