Policy, Resources and Communications

Agenda

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

To:      All Members of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee (Frances Gaudencio, Kate Bailey, Sue Hatton, Frank Rylance, Ian Weir and Carolyn Barton) with copies to all other Councillors for information.


A virtual meeting of the POLICY RESOURCES & COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE will be held on TUESDAY 20 April at 6.00pm.

Parish Clerk
14 April 2021

1. TO ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.

2. TO ACCEPT DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST.

3. MINUTES. To accept the Minutes of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee held on 2 March 2021. (Previously Circulated)

4. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

5. HIGH STREET WORKING GROUP. The attached report detailed in Appendix 1 sets out the rationale behind the proposal to create a High Street Working Group. The proposed membership will be made up of Parish Councillors and other external parties. Appendix 2 details the proposed Terms of Reference for the establishment of the working group.
Member’s views are sought on the proposal to create the group and to agree the terms of reference.

6. COMMUNICATIONS. (verbal update)

7. INDUCTION POLICY REVIEW. (verbal update)

8. SAFEGUARDING POLICY. An initial draft document is set out in Appendix 3 for consideration, Members views are sought.

9. BUSINESS PLAN. (verbal update)

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

11. DATE OF NEXT MEETING. TBA

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.12.

12. Staffing Matters (Appendix 4)

Please Note

All members of the public are welcome 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. If you wish to attend this virtual meeting please email info@hassocks-pc.gov.uk before 09.00 hrs on the day of the meeting to be sent an electronic invitation by 14.00 noon on that same day.

 

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.

 

Clerk: Ian Cumberworth, Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Keymer Road, Hassocks BN6 8QH

Tel: 01273 842714 email: info@hassocks-pc.gov.uk


 

APPENDIX 1

Policy, Resources and Communications Committee – 20th April 2021

Proposal for a High Street Working Group 

The National Context :

High Streets all over the country have being affected by the continuing rise of online shopping and numerous closures of physical shops. This was predicted many years ago by retail pundits as well as by commissioners of recent reports suggesting how town centres and high streets need to be reshaped. Decline has been accelerated by the pandemic and has led to permanent closures in many instances. New ways of thinking about how high streets can be used and by whom, are the key themes of these reports.*

The Local Context :

An element of Hassocks Parish Council Business Plan is to support economic development. (primary refs ‘A Parish For All’  and ‘The Neighbourhood Plan’ ) In 2017, we organised a successful workshop for traders, where future trends were highlighted and where businesses expressed their concern at reduced footfall.

Hassocks Community Organisation has been active in supporting local traders. In addition, positioned under its umbrella, are the Community Cycle Hire and the Saturday Market – two organisations which are popular with the community and visitors.

Hassocks Parish Council is represented on the Committee of Hassocks Community Organisation and from some recent meetings hosted by HCO there has emerged some obvious synergies in relation to the issue of high street sustainability and what the high street and environs could look like in the future.

Although Hassocks high street has benefited from individual entrepreneurship and businesses, the Parish Council with HCO are well placed to develop a vision for the high street as a sustainable economic and social hub.

Proposal:

That a High Street Working Group is led by the Parish Council in partnership with Hassocks Community Organisation.

That its terms of reference be agreed.

*References

The Portas Review 2011

The Grimsey Review 2 – July 2018

High Street 2030 Managing Change – Dec 2018. IPM

Older Generations to Rescue The High Street  – Nov 2017. CFS. Sponsored by Anchor

Contact : Cllr Frances Gaudencio


APPENDIX 2

Hassocks ‘High Street’ Working Group

The High Street Working Group is formed under a Committee of Hassocks Parish Council in partnership with Hassocks Community Organisation.

Draft Terms of Reference

Purpose

To encourage  the development of a vibrant, and economically viable High Street / Village Centre that draws people to the village and which also serves as a place for residents and visitors  of all ages and abilities to shop, socialise and enjoy.

Main tasks

Facilitate a vision for the economic areas and High Street of Hassocks, within the context of a rapidly changing society and the retail and business premises sectors in particular and consider the significance of community and social spaces within that context.

  • Liaise with traders, businesses, landowners, freeholders and community groups.
  • Collaborate with the appropriate Central and local Government Authorities.
  • Communicate and consult with residents.
  • Seek out and apply for funding as appropriate.

Working Group Membership

  • Up to three Parish Councillors
  • Representatives of HCO Trustees
  • Representative of Hassocks Traders
  • West Sussex County Councillor
  • Mid Sussex District Councillor

Reporting and Timescales

Working Group will report a proposed vision and action plan back to the Policy, Resources and Communications Committee (PR&C) within 12 months and provide regular updates on key opportunities as they arise.

 

Cllr Frances Gaudencio 22nd March 2021

 

 


APPENDIX 3

HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL

DRAFT SAFEGUARDING POLICY

 

SECTION 1 Introduction.

Everyone has a duty to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults.

This policy promotes good practice in safeguarding for those using Parish Council facilities. The Parish Council will review policy periodically.

Definitions

Children and young people: Anyone under the age of 18 years.

Vulnerable Adult: Anyone over 18 who is:

• Unable to care for themselves • Unable to protect themselves from significant harm or exploitation

• Or may be in need of community care services

This policy applies to anyone working for or on behalf of the Parish Council whether in a paid, voluntary or commissioned capacity, for example contracted to do a piece of work.

It also applies to any individual using the Parish Council facilities for the purpose of delivering any service to children, young people or vulnerable adults.

 

SECTION 2 Promoting a safe environment.

In order to promote a safe environment for children, young people and vulnerable adults, the Parish Council will:

• Provide safe facilities and do regular safety assessments.

• Ensure that employees, councillors and leaders of activities in / on parish facilities, are aware of the safeguarding expectations.

• Ensure that the policy for users of parish facilities includes a requirement that they are safe to work with children, young people and vulnerable adults. (e.g., any adults who have regular unsupervised contact with children, young people or vulnerable adults during the course of their duties should undergo appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service checks.)

• Ensure that attendees at functions, are aware that parents are responsible for their children’s safety and the location of a dedicated safe place for lost children is clear.

• Display on notice boards the relevant safeguarding contacts for advice and help where appropriate.

 

SECTION 3 Safe working practice

All users of Parish Facilities must follow the safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adult’s policy and procedures at all times. For example they should:

• Never leave children, young people or vulnerable adults unattended with adults who have not been subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

• Plan activities to involve more than one person being present or at least in sight or hearing of others. Alternatively, record, or inform others of their whereabouts and intended action.

• Where possible, have male and female leaders working with a mixed group.

• Ensure registers are complete and attendees are marked in and signed out.

• Ensure that photos or videos of individuals are not taken without written permission from parents/ carers.

• Ensure they have access to a first aid kit and telephone and know fire procedures.

• When working outside, ensure activities, breaks and clothing are suitable for the weather conditions and that shelter is available where possible.

 

Expectations of Behaviour.  

All users of Parish Facilities should:

• Ensure that communications, behaviour and interaction with users should be appropriate and professional.

• Treat each other with respect and show consideration for other groups using the facilities.

• Refrain from any behaviour that involves racism, sexism and bullying and in addition to report any instances of such behaviour to group leaders, parish councillors, the parish clerk or parents and carers, as appropriate.

 

SECTION 4 Allegations against staff and volunteers

• All staff and volunteers should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child or vulnerable adult.

• If an allegation is made against a member of staff or volunteer, the person receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Clerk or the Chair of the Parish Council.

No attempt should be made to investigate or take action before consultation with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). See contact details below.

Whistleblowing.

All staff and volunteers should be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues and appropriate advice will be sought from the LADO

What should be a cause for concern?

Staff and volunteers should be concerned by any action or inaction, which significantly harms the physical and/or emotional development of a child or vulnerable adult.

Abuse falls into four main categories and can include child sexual exploitation

1. Physical Abuse

2. Emotional Abuse

3. Sexual Abuse

4. Neglect

All staff and volunteers coming in to contact with children need to have an awareness of safeguarding.

 

Minutes

Draft Minutes of the POLICY, RESOURCES and COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE virtual meeting held on Tuesday 20th April 2021 at 18.00 pm

Attendees: Parish Councillors: Frances Gaudencio, Ian Weir and Carolyn Barton.

Clerk:  Ian Cumberworth

PRC20/46 APOLOGIES: Sue Hatton, Frank Rylance and Kate Bailey.

PRC20/47 DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS: None declared.

PRC20/48 MINUTES

The Minutes of the Meeting held on 2nd March 2021 as previously circulated were accepted by members as a true and fair record.

PRC20/49 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.

There were no members of the public present.

PRC20/50 HIGH STREET WORKING GROUP – the Clerk briefly introduced the papers set out in Appendix 1 and 2 which detailed the rationale behind the setting up of the group and its role. Cllr Gaudencio advised members that a recent meeting had been held with Hassocks Community Organisation (HCO) representative Jeremey Wakeham and Parish Council representatives (Cllr Gaudencio and Cllr Weir) to explore opportunities to work together to enhance the vibrancy of the high street.

The Councils Business plan already identifies a commitment to Economic development initiatives some of which have previously been facilitated by the Parish Council with local traders. The establishment of this group would provide an opportunity to engage with HCO and other external parties to lead on facilitating the development of this initiative.

The intention would be that up to 3 members from Hassocks PC would participate in this group although the intention was that the meeting would not be required to be clerked by the parish staff. The proposed terms of reference were likely to evolve over time and may cover the wider economic areas at a later point but initially would focus on the high street.

Membership numbers were discussed, it was felt that numbers should be limited to up to 3 parish representatives as it was important to ensure that members on this group had complimenting skill sets in relation to this initiative.

Members therefore RESOLVED to AGREE the proposed terms of reference as a starting point for the group and acknowledged that this may evolve further as the detailed work streams of the group develop.

PRC20/51 COMMUNICATIONS Members were advised that an article regarding the Councils website ‘Exploring what Hassocks has to offer’ appeared in the March edition of Hassocks Life produced by Cllr Weir. Members expressed the view that they felt the article was well written and presented in the publication.

In addition an article drafted by the Fauna and Flora group appeared in the April edition of Hassocks Life regarding the conservation work undertaken by the group locally including the Parish council’s site at Talbot Field which referenced the work they have undertaken in maintaining and rewilding this site in partnership with the Council.

PRC20/52    INDUCTION POLICY – Members discussed the current induction policy which was brought in last year and how it was working in practice. Cllr Barton a recently appointed member indicated that it had worked well, was easy to follow and enabled a new person to quickly assimilate information. Cllr Weir expressed the view that as the Council has quite a lot going on at present it may have been easier for new members to become involved in taking initiatives forward at an early stage of their membership.

Cllr Barton indicated that the training session she attended was good and it was interesting that one key point made was that although parish councils are the lowest tier of local government they could be deemed the most important as they are closest to the community they represent.

Feedback regarding the induction policy overall was favourable and the consensus was that the policy should remain as is with one minor adjustment. It was suggested and agreed that the policy be adjusted so that  whilst Chairs should initiate the induction the ‘new member’ should be responsible for initiating contact with the respective Committee Chairs as part of the process rather than rely on the Chairs to initiate contact. The Clerk undertook to amend the policy accordingly.

PRC20/53 SAFEGUARDING POLICY A draft policy was produced as appendix 3 for members to consider. A detailed discussion was held regarding the content and how the information was represented.

Members expressed the view that the proposed document could form the basis of the policy but suggested a number of amendments/modifications including the re-ordering and editing of some of the sections.

Members agreed that the Clerk in liaison with Cllr Gaudencio will review the current format and revise as necessary, share by email with the committee and bring forward a finalised document for consideration at a future meeting.

PRC20/54 BUSINESS PLAN The Clerk advised members that the traffic light format of the Business Plan will be uploaded shortly on the Councils website which sets out the Councils  progress on delivery to date.

The Clerk informed members that the Council had recently allocated a sum at the year end to the Business Plan, it was proposed that once the new committees had been formed in the new municipal year Committees should be invited to allocate specific funds to current and emerging priorities as part of the business planning process.

PRC20/55 Urgent Matters. None.

PRC20/56 DATE OF NEXT MEETING.  To be agreed.

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.

PRC20/57 Staffing Matters Members approved the employee’s salary incremental progression in line with their contracts of employment and agreed that a staff salary review should be undertaken later in the year and a report taken forward to the staffing panel for consideration which is currently comprised of Cllr Weir, Cllr Baker and Cllr Gaudencio.

Members were advised that at present the primary focus for staff remains the close down and the letting of various contracts and the opening up of facilities with the easing of covid restrictions.