Hassocks Parish Council

Agenda

The MEETING of HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL will be held on Tuesday 14 September 2021 in Parish Centre, Adastra Park which is scheduled to commence at 7.30pm 

Parish Clerk   9 September 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.

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 dis-closable 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 9th June 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 – to accept the minutes for 7th June, 9th June 2021, 28th June, 19th July, and 9th August and to note the minutes for 31st August 2021.

5.2     Neighbourhood Plan Committee to accept the minute for 29th July and to note the minutes for the 2nd September 2021.

6. FINANCE
6.1       To approve the Financial Report and authorise the list of payments in the sum of £44,522.25 issued between 1 May 2021 and 31st May 2021. (Appendix 1). To view Appendix 1 please click here.

6.2     To approve the Financial Report and authorise the list of payments in the sum of £30,234.99 issued between 1 June 2021 and 30th June 2021. (Appendix 2). To view Appendix 2 please click here.

6.3       To approve the Financial Report and authorise the list of payments in the sum of £15,256.09 issued between 1 July 2021 and 31st July 2021. (Appendix 3). To view Appendix 3 please click here.

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      Parking Scheme – Phase 2 – The overall scheme to date has been funded by a combination of funds £10,500 (funded by WSCC section 106 funds) and £3,000 allocated budget from the parishes funds.

The original contract sum was estimated at £13,300 however due to unforeseen increased costs in part as a result of abortive site visits undertaken by the line painting contractor where they were unable to complete the line marking due to vehicles being left parked in areas scheduled for line painting it was necessary for them to undertake additional site visits to complete the work.

As a result of this the final out turn cost of the contract was £14,891.20 therefore there was a shortfall in the original allocated sum of £1,391.20.

Due to the increase in costs to enable the project to be completed it was necessary to seek authority from the Chair of the Council to authorise the release of the additional funds in accordance with the Councils Standing Orders.

The budget overspend will be met from general reserves.

Members are therefore requested to note and APPROVE the action taken to enable the scheme to be completed. This scheme was previously identified as one of the authority’s corporate priorities therefore without the release of these additional funds the scheme would not have been able to be completed.

9.2     Co-opting onto the Council – the Council currently has one vacancy which it is now able to consider co-opting a suitable person onto the Council. The vacancy is currently advertised seeking expressions of interest.

9.3      Grants

The purpose of this report is to inform the Council of the Grant applications received this year. The Council agreed a total budget of £4,000 for grants and donations to local groups and organisations for 2021/22. The current grant application process is set out for Members information in (Appendix 4. To view Appendix 4 please click here.) which involves for the first time the consideration of applications twice each year in September and February.

The Council made the following donations in 2020/21

No. Applicant Funding sought
1 St Catherine’s Hospice   300
2 Hassocks Christmas Day Lunch Committee 100
3 Victim Support  250
4 Citizens Advice 500
5 Air Ambulance – Kent Surrey Sussex 250
6 4 Sight Vision  400
7 HKD Transition  500
  TOTAL ALLOCATED £2,300


The following grant requests have been received for September 2021/22

No. Applicant Funding applied for
1 ** Air Ambulance – Kent Surrey & Sussex 500
2 What’s on Hurst Org  600
3 United Reform Church No sum specified
4 4 Sight Vision Support 500
5 South Downs Refugee Group 600
6 ** West Sussex Brighton & Hove Age UK 200
7 ** Victim Support No Sum Specified
8 Sussex Clubs for Young People 3,000
    £5,400 plus unspecified sums requested

 

Supporting documents for each of the above applications are attached as (Appendix 5. To view Appendix 5 please click here.) setting out the purpose of grant sought. ** indicates formal application forms have not been submitted.

This is the first year where the Council is proposing to consider grant applications in September and February and the budget was increased accordingly to reflect this change.

Based on the current submissions the total value sought exceeds the overall grant budget allocation for the whole year therefore Members will need to determine the level of funding awarded. Some applicants have indicated a desired level of funding whereas others have left it to the Council to determine the value of any award.

A number of the applicants have previously received funding via the grants system however funding last year was also provided to Sussex Clubs for Young People via the Councils allocated reserves to support youth initiatives which currently remains as one of the Councils priorities. The Council still holds £620 within this reserve which members may wish to consider utilising outside of the community grant budget to support this initiative together with funds from the community grants budget.

RECOMMENDATION: The Council is invited to consider the above applications, and determine the grant awards for 2021/22 phase 1 taking into account the need to retain some funds back for any submissions in February.

9.4      New Electoral arrangements for MSDC Draft Recommendations (Appendix 6. To view Appendix 6 please click here.)sets out an extract from the report covering the Parish of Hassocks. A full copy of the report can viewed via the following https://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/south-east/west-sussex/mid-sussex

Members may recall the Parish Council participated in the initial consultation and submitted the view that the 3 ward format should be retained which has been supported in the initial draft recommendations.

The next phase of consultation invites interested parties to submit any representations with regard to the Draft recommendations. This consultation period will run from the 31st August to 8th November 2021.

Members are therefore invited to note the proposed recommendations in respect of Hassocks and determine whether they wish to submit a further response in regard to the draft recommendations.

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 October 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.

Minutes

Draft Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held on 14th September 2021 at 7.30pm in Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks

Attendees: Parish Councillors Ian Weir, Jane Baker, Alex Simmons, Kristian Berggreen, Leslie Campbell and Claire Tester.

Parish Clerk: Ian Cumberworth

Visiting Member(s): Kirsty Lord (arrived after item 7.2 on the agenda)

MINUTES

PC21/52       APOLOGIES   Cllr Bob Brewer, Cllr Carolyn Barton, Cllr Sue Hatton, Cllr Bill Hatton, Cllr David Bunting and Cllr Frances Gaudencio

Absent without apologies Cllr Nick Owens, Cllr Kate Bailey

PC21/53       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.

PC21/54       MINUTES

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

PC21/55       PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

No members of the public were present.

PC21/56       MINUTES

To accept the Minutes of the Planning Committee 7th and 9th June 2021 and to note the minutes for the informal (virtual meetings) Planning Committees for 28th June, 19th July, 9th August  and 31st August 2021.

To accept the minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Committee for 29th July 2021 and to note the minutes for the 2nd September 2021.

                       

PC21/57       FINANCE

Members considered the finance reports and the supporting bank statements and reviewed the payment list.

57.1   The Finance report and payments totalling £44,522.25 for the period ending 31st May 2021 were considered and APPROVED.

57.2    The Finance report and payments totalling £30,234.99 for the period ending 30th June 2021 were considered and APPROVED.

57.3   The Finance report and payments totalling £15,256.09 for the period ending 31st July 2021 were considered and APPROVED.

PC21/58       Reports

58.1           District Councillors reports: – Cllr Sue Hatton (SH)

Cllr Sue Hatton was not present at the meeting but had submitted a report which the Clerk read out

MSDC Cabinet met this week and received a report from Peter Stuart Head of Financial services.

Members were advised MSDC are in difficult times because of the pandemic and the ongoing reduction in revenue streams. MSDC were currently awaiting notification of the level of income compensation from the Government which may result in an underspend as opposed to an overspend as previously predicated, however figures have still yet to be formally confirmed but the level of support this year will only cover the first three months of the year.

The lack of management fee income from the leisure centres is projected to continue until take up of facility usage increases. To reflect this the income budget line has been removed from the 21/22 budget. This is subject to ongoing negotiations with the contractor due to the forecast operational losses which will include the loss of the management fee.

Car parking revenue has fallen greatly and does not show any sign yet of improving at present.

Prudent financial management over the years has allowed MSDC to set aside some reserves that can be used – and they are pleased to be able to still carry on with most services. The green waste collection is continuing to generate a good revenue source.

2022 looks like it will not be too bad in terms of balancing the books, the crucial year is likely to be 2023 and subsequent years.

The new increases in National insurance will not only affect MSDC’s own pensions, the impact of which can be ‘spread’ but there is likely to be an impact on contractors’ costs which in all likelihood will be passed onto clients (MSDC) and this could include the contractor running the leisure centres.

If anyone wished to view the complete picture of the pressure and challenges facing the district council financially this can be accessed MSDC website via the cabinet report for the 13th September 2021 which will provide a backdrop of what everyone will be facing over the coming months, and years.

Cllr Lord arrived at the meeting at this point and was invited to provide members with an update on County matters.

58.2          County Councillor Report – Cllr Kirsty Lord (KL) informed members that the cycling route consultation regarding Stonepound Crossroads to Downlands School which was part of the overall Sayers Common to Downlands scheme had now closed. A meeting is scheduled within the next couple of months to consider how county wish to take the scheme forward taking into consideration any feedback.

KL indicated that she will be seeking an update from County on when the consultation will commence in relation to the school site allocated on the Ockley lane 500 site. KL agreed to report back to members with any news.

The main other areas covered by Cllr Lord related to highways issues:

Concerns had been raised with highways regarding the surfacing on Ockley Lane (Burgess Hill end) and an engineer has agreed to undertake a site visit to assess the highway condition.

Highways are awaiting the outcome of the inquest (date TBA) into the accident earlier this year near the Garden Centre/South Bank to determine if the highway was a contributing factor and if any remedial works would be required.

A discussion took place amongst all members about speed signage generally and in particular those placed near the garden centre and the village sign and ways of improving signage and compliance.

A car suffered tree damage recently on Clayton Hill, unfortunately most of the trees in this location are on private land and do not form part of the highway therefore there is limited action highways are able to take. It is the responsibility of the landowners to maintain these trees.

(KL) indicated that she had raised a number of schemes relating to flooding – work has been undertaken to identify the flooding issue near the railway bridge including the use of cameras within the drains. It appears there is a large amount of root ingress within the drains which is causing blockages/slowing dispersal of water. This has been identified as a high priority scheme which will require a large engineering project and options are being investigated which will inform the future timescale for delivery.

Flooding at Parklands Road/Keymer Road – (KL) informed members that the drains are being regularly jetted and are not blocked due to debris. It appears the issue causing the problem is complex and a number of options are being considered to see if the problem can be resolved. This has been designated a high priority scheme and it’s anticipated a scheme proposal may come forward in the next 3 – 6 months.

Further issues have also been raised regarding flooding in Mackie Avenue near the electricity station; the intention here is to jet the drains.

Members than raised concerns regarding various potholes within the parish and that when reporting them via ‘Love West Sussex’ although they receive notification that the case has been closed the matter still remains unresolved. KL agreed to take this matter up and noted the potholes raised by members.

58.3         Rail matters –   Members were advised that in August there were 323 train cancellations of which 273 were cancelled outright and 50 ran but failed to stop at Hassocks.

58.4         Youth Initiatives – nothing to report.

58.5         Police matters – nothing to report

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

The Chair and the Clerk recently attended a Parish briefing session where MSDC updated the parishes on the position of the Site Allocations DPD and the District Plan review timeline.

MSDC indicated that in respect of the District Plan review the Regulation 18 consultation is anticipated to be carried out at the end of 2021 with the Regulation 19 consultation in the summer of 2022 prior to submission to the Planning Inspectorate.

PC21/59       CHAIRMANS REPORT – nothing to report.

PC21/60       CLERK’S REPORT

60.1      Parking Scheme Phase 2 – This is to advise members that it was necessary to seek authority from the Chair to release additional funding to enable the project to be completed.

The Parish Council initially secured £10,500 from WSCC Section 106 funding and £3,000 from the Parish Councils own funds therefore £13,500 was allocated towards the project.

The final out turn was £14,891.20 (net) some £1,391.20 above the initial allocation. It was necessary to seek authority to release additional funds from General Reserves to enable the project to be completed.

This was done in consultation with the Chair in accordance with the councils standing orders.

The primary reason for increased cost was that additional site visits were required to be made to complete the line painting due to some vehicles being parked in areas of roads which were scheduled for line-painting; therefore work could not be completed until these vehicles had moved and return visits needed to be scheduled to enable completion of this phase of work.

Members were asked to note and approve the action taken.

Members duly NOTED and APPROVED the action taken and supported the release of additional funding of £1,392.20 being drawn from General reserves to enable the scheme to be concluded.

60.2     Co-opting onto the Council – Members were advised that the Council currently has one vacancy which the Council is now permitted to consider appointing a new member via co-option. This position is currently being advertised and we are seeking expressions of interest.

60.3    Grants – The Clerk introduced the report and informed Members this was the first year the Council will consider grants twice annually, in September and February therefore the grant budget for this year was increased to reflect this approach.

Members were requested to review the table set out on page 3 of the agenda which set out details of the grants awarded in 2020/21 together with a summary of the funding bids received for phase 1 of this year.

The Clerk informed Members that the overall grant budget for the whole financial year was £4,000 whereas the bids submitted were in excess of this sum.

Appendix 4 (pages 16/17) of the agenda set out the Terms and conditions of the current grant scheme and the detailed supporting papers/applications for the grants were set out in Appendix 5 (pages 18-39). Members were therefore invited to consider the merits of each bid.

In light of the level of funding being sought members were advised they will need to give consideration to each application in turn and determine the level of funding if any to be awarded.

Members were also requested to have regard to the second phase of funding bids that will be considered in February 2022 and will be required to be met within the current grant budget.

The largest sum being sought is from Sussex clubs for young people who received a £3,000 grant from the Parish Council last year, however this was funded from Earmarked Reserves as funds were held for youth initiatives as it remains a priority for the council.

A residual sum of £620 is currently held within this reserve assigned to Youth Initiatives which the Council may wish to consider utilising alongside any community award grant to support Youth Initiative as this area remains an ongoing Council priority.

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.

The following grant requests were considered for phase 1 of 2021/22

No Applicant Funding Sought
1 Air Ambulance – Kent, Surrey & Sussex £500
Members RESOLVED to award the sum of £400
2 Whats on Hurst Org £600
Members expressed the view they were unsure funding should be granted for the purpose set out in the application and they wished to see greater evidence of traction and hits on this site to support the benefits to the community which to date does not seem to feature Hassocks strongly. Members raised some issues regarding technical aspects of the site and suggested the applicant could consider resubmitting the application in February with additional evidence to support the rationale as to why the parish should consider funding. Members felt that at this time they would not wish to award any funding therefore they RESOLVED not to award any funding.
3 United Reformed Church Unspecified
Members RESOLVED to award the sum of £100
4 Sight 4 Vision £500
Members RESOLVED to award the sum of £400
5 South Downs Refugee Group £600
                           Members RESOLVED to award £600
6 West Sussex Age Concern £200
                           Members RESOLVED to award £200
7 Victim Support Unspecified
                           Members RESOLVED to award £250
8 Sussex Clubs for Young People £3,000
Members RESOLVED to award £380 from the Community Grants fund

Members also considered whether they wished to allocate additional funding   outside of the Community grant budget by utilising funds which were allocated specifically within the Councils reserves in support of Youth Initiatives.

Members also RESOLVED to award a further £620 from reserves which had been allocated to support Youth Initiatives.

Therefore overall Sussex Clubs for Young people will receive a sum of £1,000 in total to support Youth initiatives in Hassocks

The Clerk advised members that they had allocated £2,330 of the overall grant budget which left a further £1,670 available to support phase 2 grant applications later in the year that will be considered in February.

PC21/61       New electoral arrangements for Mid Sussex District CouncilBoundary Commission draft recommendations – MSDC are looking to reduce the overall number of district councillors and a review has been undertaken by the boundary commission.

Members were advised that Hassocks Parish Council submitted representations against reducing the number of ward representatives for Hassocks. (currently stands at 3).

The commissions draft recommendations are supportive of the Parishes view and have incorporated a proposal to retain the status quo for Hassocks.

The commission are now seeking to consult on the draft recommendations which will  run up until 8th November 2021.

Members were requested to note the recommendations set out in appendix 6 (pg. 57-72) and determine whether they wish to submit a response to the draft recommendations.

Members noted the RECOMMENDATIONS and AGREED that the Council should submit a response in support of the recommendations as part of the consultation. Members agreed this to be submitted by the Clerk in consultation with the Chair

PC21/62       URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN – None

PC21/63       DATE OF NEXT MEETING

To note that the date of the next Parish Council meeting is Tuesday 12th October 2021 at 7.30pm