Policy, Resources & Communications



To:      All Members of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee (Carolyn Barton, Kate Bailey, David Bunting, Don McBeth, Paul Shepherd and Lesley Cruickshank-Robb) with copies to all other Councillors for information.

A meeting of the POLICY RESOURCES & COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE will be held on Tuesday 28 May 2024 at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.

Parish Clerk 20 May 2024




4. MINUTES to accept the Minutes of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee held on 24 April 2024. (Previously Circulated).


6. Remembrance Day/Parade – (verbal update) to provide members with an update of ongoing discussions regarding future arrangements.

7. Communications – Annual Parish meeting – feedback from the meeting and lessons learned (verbal update).

8. Budget Position The purpose of this report is to update Members on the out turn for the financial year – ending 31st March 2024 which has been extracted from the RBS finance system.

Appendix 1 details the budget and actual out turn by each budget descriptor together with some narrative to explain some of the larger variances. To view Appendix 1 please click here.

Members are requested to consider and note the contents of the out turn report for the financial year ending 2023/24.

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

10. DATE OF NEXT MEETING 16 July 2024.

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.


11. Minutes to accept the confidential minutes of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee held on the 24 April 2024 (previously circulated).

12. Staffing Matters – (verbal update)

Please Note
All members of the public are welcome to attend meetings of the Parish Council and its Committees.
Item 5 – 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.

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.



Minutes of the meeting of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee held on 28th May 2024 at 7.30pm in Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks

Attendees: Parish Councillors, Carolyn Barton, Paul Shepherd, Don McBeth, Kate Bailey,
Lesley Cruickshank–Robb, Kristian Berggreen and Francis Gaudencio.

Parish Clerk: Ian Cumberworth


PRC24/1      APOLOGIES – none


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.


The Clerk advised that at this inaugural meeting of the committee in the new municipal year it would consider appointing a Chair and Vice Chair for the year.

i) Appointment of Committee Chair

The Clerk indicated that he had received one expression of interest for the position of Chair from Cllr Barton who indicated that she would like to continue in the role for the forthcoming year. All Members were in agreement and Cllr Barton was proposed as the Chair of Policy Resources and Communications for the forthcoming year.

Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the appointment of Cllr Barton as the Chair of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee.

ii) Appointment of Vice Chair

Although the Clerk advised Members no expression of interest had been received Cllr McBeth indicated he would be prepared to continue in the role for the forthcoming year. All Members were in agreement and Cllr McBeth was proposed as the Vice Chair of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee for the forthcoming year.

Members RESOLVED to APPROVE the appointment of Cllr McBeth as the Vice Chair of Policy Resources & Communications Committee.

PRC24/4      MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on the 24th April 2024 were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

No members of the public were present.


Cllr Barton provided a brief update on progress to date and indicated further discussions are still to be held with some interested parties before this matter can be considered further, therefore an update will be brought back to the next Committee.

Members also touched on the fact that the memorial tablets had now been removed from the former RBL club and are currently held in storage and now further consideration will be required to their relocation. The Clerk advised that this matter was for discussion at the Grounds & Environment Committee later in the week (30/05/24).


Members were requested to consider how they felt the Annual Parish Meeting held last Thursday 23rd May went and what lessons could be learnt for future meetings.

Members were advised that approx. eleven members of the public were present together with three voluntary groups and a number of Parish Councillors.

The consensus amongst Members was that the content of the presentations from both the Council and the voluntary groups was informative and illustrated the breadth of work the Parish council is involved in directly and indirectly through support funding.

The three voluntary groups present were also a good fit:

  • Woodland, Fauna & Flora Group
  • Cycling without Age
  • Greener Hassocks & Ditchling (formerly HKD)

It was acknowledged that although there was a lot of work involved in putting the event together, it was the best attended Annual Parish Meeting for many years and should provide the Council with a solid foundation to build on in future years.

Operationally there were some challenges which impacted on the resources, however these were managed, the only real technical glitch related to the radio microphone system not working properly therefore it was necessary to rely on the fixed wired microphone system.

Overall Members felt the venue worked reasonably well but next year it may be worth considering the newly extended ‘green room’ in Adastra Hall with its increased capacity but below that of the main hall.

Members indicated that they thought the format of the meeting worked and successfully generated questions from the public in advance of the meeting and from the open forum session.

Members felt that those people attending and those people reading the published report would have a greater appreciation of the work undertaken by the Parish Council.

Clarification was sought as to when the Annual Parish Meetings could be held .The Clerk informed Members that the meeting is required to be held between 1st March – 1st June, however due to year end and the preparatory work required for this process the meetings tended to be held in May.

The Chair of the Council Cllr Gaudencio placed on record her thanks to all the staff and Councillors involved in organising, contributing and delivering this event.

In discussing Communications more generally it was agreed that the next article to be produced in Hassocks Life would be in the July edition therefore the sub group of Members would meet to draft an article.


The Clerk introduced the report setting out the final out turn position for the Council for the financial year ending 31st March 2024.

The summary report set out in Appendix 1 detailed the individual descriptor out turn budget positions against the original budget.

The overall summary of income and expenditure for the year and identified expenditure of £402,716 with an income of £355,830 of which £312,302 was represented by the precept.

Within the detailed budget paper the Clerk had incorporated some narrative to explain some of the larger variances to assist Members, but indicated that he did not propose to go through the detail line by line but instead invited members to ask any questions.

Members asked a range of detailed questions about a number of specific income/expenditure lines which the Clerk responded to. Members were satisfied with the responses.

It was highlighted that one of the largest variances related to the supply of electricity for street lighting which is outside of the control of HPC which forms part of a PFI contract entered into many years ago to replace and upgrade street lighting columns previously owned by the Parish. At the end of this agreement it’s understood these will revert back to the Council but until this point remain in the ownership of the PFI lighting contractor.

Members welcomed the format of the report and indicated that it would be important to consider budgetary factors when considering the Business Plan as it focussed attention on just how expensive some of the Councils’ facilities cost to run.

Members were advised that the budget codes represented expected/planned income and expenditure, however in addition to this there is unexpected expenditure where the Council is required to use unallocated reserves (general reserves) for these types of eventualities. An example of this was the current sewage drains within the park.

It should also be noted that the Council has ring fenced capital funding to support priority projects (invariably identified in the Business Plan) which are known as Earmarked Reserves some of which were expended in the past year.

Member’s noted the content of the out turn report.

PRC24/9      URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN – The Chair indicated that the Committee should consider the Communications Policy at its next meeting.


To note that the date of the next as Tuesday 16th July 2024 at 7.30pm