Minutes of Ordinary Meeting held 29th July 2021

Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting Fulking Parish Council held Thursday 29th July 2021 at 7.30pm held at Fulking Village Hall. 

Present 

Chairman:                                          Cllr Mark Hind
Fulking Parish Council (FPC):                Cllrs Linda Dyos, Karen Healy, Samantha Leader and Lucy Mehta
Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC):   Cllrs Colin Trumble & Alison Bennett
Parish Clerk:                                      Trevor Parsons 

There were no members of the public present.  The meeting opened at 7.30pm. 

21/053/OM.            Apologies for Absence. 

Apologies were received from Joy Dennis (WSCC) and Rodney Jackson (MSDC) 

21/054/OM.            Declaration of Members’ Interests. 

There were no declarations received. 

21/055/OM.            Approve the Minutes of Ordinary Council Meeting of 15th April 2021.  

The minutes, subject to any amendments, were approved and signed as a true record of the meeting. 

21/056/OM.            Matters Arising & Outstanding Actions To clarify and report on actions brought forward from the last meeting.  

1) Speed Indicator Device 

There has been no progress on a temporary SID. 

ACTION – Clerk to contact Joy Dennis on her return from holiday to see if a mobile device is available. 

2) Village Signs 

The Chairman advised that a decision on repairs to village signs is being delayed because the future costs relating to the village hall issue remain unknown 

3) Streetlights 

The Clerk confirmed that claim monies from Royal Sun Alliance of £3,477 was received on 24th March 2021, however a final quote for replacement of the streetlight in Clappers Lane had risen by £2,100 as a result of an increase quote from UK Power Networks.  

Councillors voted in favour of instructing the contractor Streetlights.co.uk to complete the works whilst the further £2,100 claim is being pursued by the Council from RSA.  

4) Finger Post 

The Clerk advised that the new fingerpost have been commissioned and is waiting delivery and installation. 

5) Market Gardens 

The Chairman confirmed he is still to write to MSDC & SDNPA regarding lack of progress on provision of Gypsy sites which was contributed to the Planning Inspector approval of the recent application. 

Concern was raised separately regarding the incessant dog barking which appears to be coming from the property and councillors requested assistance from the MSDC councillors to understand how best to resolve the matter. 

21/057/OM.            Reports from District Councillors.   

Cllr Trumble advised the following: 

  • The “pingdemic” is affecting services within the District Council, however currently services are being maintained but are stretching staff. 
  • There will be a “call for sites” in the 2023 housing plan but with a greater focus on brownfield sites.  
  • Center Parcs are looking to build a new centre north of Balcombe which will create around 1,500 jobs. 
  • MSDC are still looking for “Mid Sussex Applauds” nominations. 
  • He will seek a meeting of MSDC, SDNPA and Fulking Parish Council to discuss Gypsy sites provision following the recent decision of the Planning Inspector on Market Gardens. 

Cllr Bennett advised the following: 

  • There is a Central Sussex Climate Network. Work is being done on digital tools for councils to reduce their climate impact. Cllr Bennett invited councillors to join the Network. 
  • Previously there were no officers trained sufficiently to issue notices to fly-tippers as it was cheaper to clear the rubbish left than pursue prosecution. This stance has now changed and new officers are being trained to fulfil the role of issuing notices. 

21/058/OM.         Code of Conduct Review 2021 

Following Mid Sussex District Council’s publication of its latest Code of Conduct Review 2021, as aligned to in previous years, Fulking Parish Councillors agreed unanimously to adopt the revised 2021 MSDC Code. This is because all Code of Conduct concerns are directed to the Monitoring Officer at MSDC.  

All Fulking Parish Councillors confirmed they had read the updated Code of Conduct 2021 and agreed to abide by the Code in all matters. 

21/059/OM.         Financial Regulations Review 2021 

The Financial Regulations were reviewed by Councillors and by a majority vote, it was agreed to increase the limit where three quotes were required for contracted works to be raised from £500 to £1,500.  

21/060/OM.            Village Hall Update 

Cllr Hind advised that discussions with Rev. Tim Harford regarding the future of the village hall are ongoing. Rev. Harford has now advised that the “Church” has no intention of selling the hall and has proposed some alternatives which are currently being evaluated by the Council. No decisions have been made and any proposals the FPC is willing to progress will be discussed in public at a Council meeting prior to a decision being made. Although the “Church” were confirmed as legal owner of the hall by the Land Registry in 2008 under title number WSX 324138, FPC has received some correspondence from residents questioning the validity of this registration. Although the Council is of the opinion that this registration is valid, to avoid any uncertainty it is to take legal advice from Surrey Hills Solicitors a firm recommended by the West Sussex Association of Local Councils (WSALC). Cllr Hind has had an initial conversation and written instructions have been sent to them. This advice once received will be shared with residents. 

21/061/OM.          Yellow Lines Update. 

The Chairman advised that a decision on yellow lines is being delayed because future costs relating to the village hall issue are still unknown. 

21/062/OM.            Fulking Secondary School Allocations Update. 

Cllr Hind confirmed he had response from Cllr Jupp, Cabinet Member for Education & Skills at WSCC acknowledging allocation challenges for the County each year on the matter. Cllr hind will forward the email to Councillors for their perusal. 

21/063/OM.             Asset Inventory and Maintenance 

The Clerk advised that a small team of volunteers is being sought for minor maintenance projects in the village to keep our assets in good condition. The clerk will attend the Fulking Fair to generate interest. 

21/064/OM.              Reports from Outside Bodies. 

None 

21/065/OM.             Information Items.  To receive information and items for the agenda at future meetings. 

None 

21/066/OM.              Correspondence.  To discuss correspondence and respond to correspondence received. 

On the 8th June 2021 an allegation of bullying against the Chairman was received from a resident. On 26th June 2021 they made further allegations of breach of the Code of Conduct against the Council as a whole. The Chairman and all Councillors totally refute these allegations and any breach of the Code of Conduct. The Chairman has responded to the resident to deny these allegations and advised that if they have any evidence they should submit it Tom Clark the Monitoring Officer for Mid Sussex District Council. 

21/067/OM.              Financial Matters. To receive the report on the Council’s income and to approve future expenditure. 

Councillors have received a breakdown of income and expenditure confirming £11,746.91 was held in the current account and £13,048.34 in the deposit account which is in line with expectations for the budget for 2021/2022. 

21/068/OM.               To set a date for the next Ordinary Meeting in 7th October 2021. 

Planning Meeting

You are cordially invited to an Extraordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council, on Thursday 5th August 2021 at 7.00pm at the Village Hall where the meeting will consider the item set out below. 

Mark Hind – Chairman  

Following the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, and regarding regulations on Access to Local Government Meetings, members of the public are advised that they have a right to film/record the meetings of Fulking Parish Council. Members of the public are also advised that by attending a meeting of Fulking Parish Council, they give their consent to being filmed/recorded by other members of the public, if such activity is taking place. 

AGENDA 

Public Participation: There will be a period of 15 minutes set aside at the beginning of the meeting for the public to ask questions or make comments on items on the Agenda. Comments on items not appearing on the agenda can be made at the chairman’s discretion.  

21/069/PM.          Apologies for Absence. 

21/070/PM.          Declaration of Members’ Interests. 

21/071/PM.          Planning matters 

Location: Customary Cottage The Street Fulking BN5 9LU SDNP/21/03640/HOUS 

Proposal: Demolition of existing garage and erection of replacement oak frame garage 

Date of the next Ordinary Meeting: Thursday 7th October 2021 

Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council 29th July 2021

Dear All, 

You are cordially invited to the Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council on Thursday 29th July 2021 at 7.30pm, to be held at the Village Hall. The meeting will consider the items set out below. 

Trevor Parsons – Parish Clerk  

AGENDA 

Public Participation: There will be a period of 15 minutes set aside at the beginning of the meeting for the public to ask questions or make comments on items on the Agenda. Comments on items not appearing on the agenda can be made at the chairman’s discretion.  

21/053/OM.            Apologies for Absence. 

21/054/OM.            Declaration of Members’ Interests. 

21/055/OM.            Approve the Minutes of Ordinary Council Meeting of 15th April 2021.  

21/056/OM.            Matters Arising & Outstanding Actions To clarify and report on actions brought forward from the last meeting.  

1) Speed Indicator Device 

2) Village Signs 

3) Streetlights 

4) Finger Post 

5) Market Gardens 

21/057/OM.            Reports from District and County Councillors.   

21/058/OM.         Code of Conduct Review 2021 

21/059/OM.         Financial Regulations Review 2021 

21/060/OM.            Village Hall Update 

21/061/OM.          Yellow Lines Update. 

21/062/OM.            Fulking Secondary School Allocations Update. 

21/063/OM.             Asset Inventory and Maintenance 

21/064/OM.              Reports from Outside Bodies. 

21/065/OM.             Information Items.  To receive information and items for the agenda at future meetings. 

21/066/OM.              Correspondence.  To discuss correspondence and respond to correspondence received. 

21/067/OM.              Financial Matters. To receive the report on the Council’s income and to approve future expenditure. 

21/068/OM.               To set a date for the next Ordinary Meeting in October 2021. 

 

 

Notice of Public Rights 2021

NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF UNAUDITED ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN 

ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2021 

Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 26 and 27  

The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234) 

NOTICE 
1. Date of announcement        14th June 2021 

2. Each year the smaller authority’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd.  The unaudited AGAR has been published with this notice. As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review.  

Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested.  

For the year ended 31 March 2021, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to: 

Trevor Parsons, Parish Clerk,17 Ockley Way, Hassocks BN6 8NE. Mobile:07767 422733 email:  parishclerk@fulking.net  

commencing on __Monday 14th June 2021___ 

and ending on ____Friday 23rd July 2021 ____ 

3. Local government electors and their representatives also have: 

  • The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and 
  • The right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority. 

The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose between the above dates only. 

4. The smaller authority’s AGAR is subject to review by the appointed auditor under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the NAO’s Code of Audit Practice 2015.  The appointed auditor is: 

Moore Stephens, (Ref SW/cc) 

Rutland House, Minerva Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough 

PE2 6PZ 

5. This announcement is made by Trevor Parsons, Parish Clerk 

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting 15th April 2021 (Draft)

Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting Fulking Parish Council held Thursday 15th April 2021 at 7.30pm online. 

Present 

Vice Chairman:                                        Cllr Mark Hind
Fulking Parish Council (FPC):                     Cllrs Linda Dyos, Karen Healy, Samantha Leader and Lucy Mehta
Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC):          Cllrs Rodney Jackson & Alison Bennett
West Sussex County Council (WSCC):        Cllr Joy Dennis
Parish Clerk:                                            Trevor Parsons 

There were four members of the public present who were offered an opportunity to speak.  

Prior to opening the meeting, a one-minute silence was held in remembrance of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  Our thoughts are with the Queen and her family at this sad time. 

The meeting opened at 7.30pm. 

21/029/OM.            Apologies for Absence. 

Apologies were received from MSDC Councillor, Colin Trumble. 

21/030/OM.            Declaration of Members’ Interests. 

No declarations were received. 

21/031/OM.            Approve the Minutes of Ordinary Council Meeting of 8th January 2021, Planning Meeting 4th February 2021, Co-option Meeting 27th February 2021 and Extraordinary (Planning) Meeting 2nd March 2021 

The minutes, subject to any amendments, were approved and signed as a true record of the meeting. 

21/032/OM.            Reports from District and County Councillors.  

Cllr Dennis provided a written update and statement to the parish, including confirmation that she has written to the cabinet member and director of education regarding the situation in item 21/034/OM being the issue that Fulking children have not been offered places at their local senior school and have been re-directed to Sompting. 

Cllr Jackson advised that additional grant funding was now in place from MSDC for businesses affected by Covid-19. MSDC leisure centres have now re-opened.  Ward boundary changes are being made and consultations are being undertaken. 

21/033/OM.            Matters Arising & Outstanding Actions To clarify and report on actions brought forward from the last meeting.  

1) Ram Pump Noticeboard  

Cllr Hind will be obtaining the final high resolution pictures for the board and then the final draft can be approved. This may include the need to purchase a picture of John Ruskin.  

2) Speed Indicator Device 

Councillors agreed that a SID would be a useful tool to slow down car speeding into the village. It was also agreed that the placement of an additional 20mph sign on leaving the village be discussed at the next Council meeting.  

ACTION – Clerk to investigate whether a SID can be borrowed and add 20 mph signs to agenda of next meeting. 

3) Village Signs 

Cllr Dyos has completed her inspection of the signs and spoken to a local artist who would be prepared to consider creating new pictures. The meeting felt that this should be taken forward. 

ACTION – Clerk to obtain a quote for the safe removal of the ironwork and pictures from the three signs. Cllr Hind to discuss with Cllr Dyos next steps. 

4) Village Gateway 

Plans for the new village gateways have been paused for the time being due to higher priorities. 

21/034/OM.       Fulking Secondary School Allocations 

Two village residents have shared their concerns regarding the lack of places for their children next year at Downlands secondary school in Hassocks and the possible long-term implications of lack of places for the village.  Places were not offered to their children despite being within the catchment area and a school bus stopping in Fulking to take children to and from the school every day. 

Cllr Hind confirmed that the Parish Council will be writing to the Cabinet Member and Director of Education for West Sussex County Council to express our serious concerns over this decision.  It will also seriously impact the likelihood of families with school aged children considering living in Fulking in the future.                                  

21/035/PM.         Planning Inspectorate Decision re Market Gardens    

The Planning Inspectorate has approved the installation of additional caravans despite the concerns raised by the Parish Council. Cllr Hind will be writing to SDNPA and MSDC requesting information regarding the future plans for gypsy and traveller sites. 

Concern was also raised about the constant barking dogs at Market Garden with Enivronmental Health recommending to residents affected by this to keep a record of the disturbance.  

21/036/OM.            Village Hall 

Cllr Hind outlined his discussion with Rev Tim Harford as the PCC are considering selling the village hall. Whilst FPC would prefer a formal lease, if the site was being sold, FPC would lead fund-raising for its purchase. A further discussion with Rev Tim Harford is planned for 20th April 2021. 

21/037/OM.             Yellow Lines 

Cllr Hind reported that WSCC has agreed that FPC can apply for yellow lines in the village but the cost would need to be met by FPC. Cllr Hind will consult with those properties immediately adjacent to the proposed yellow lines, before submitting final plans to WSCC Highways dept. 

21/038/OM.             Asset Inventory and Maintenance 

Other than the playground, there is no maintenance schedule in place for the other village assets. Cllr Leader recommended that an email be send out to the villagers seeking residents with the appropriate skills and time to assist with the maintenance of the village assets on a voluntary basis. An example of this would be to varnish the parish noticeboard. 

ACTION – Clerk to send an email to the villagers via MailChimp seeking villagers prepared to help. 

21/039/OM.              Reports from Outside Bodies. 

Cllr Hind reported that the changes in leadership at West Sussex Association of Local Councils (WSALC) have now taken place. The proposed transfer of services to Hampshire ALC has been overturned. Instead, West Sussex Councils will continue to receive advice and services from East and West Sussex ALC as before incorporating training given by Mulberry Services. Cllr Mehta has already signed up for new councillor training offered by Mulberry. 

21/040/OM.             Information Items.  To receive information and items for the agenda at future meetings. 

A member of the public attending the online meeting offered their services in relation to the issue of Ladybrook spring and agreed to liaise separately with Cllr Hind and other Councillors on the matter. 

He also advised that the farmer was happy to take the spoil from the Operation Watershed works on Edburton Road if the proposal with WSCC is agreed. 

21/041/OM.              Correspondence.  To discuss correspondence and respond to correspondence received. 

None. 

21/042/OM.              Financial Matters. To receive the report on the Council’s income and to approve future expenditure. 

The clerk advised that the 2020/2021 annual accounts have been submitted to the internal auditor for review. These year-end accounts will be signed off at the Annual Meeting of the Council. 

21/043/OM.            To set a date of Annual General Meeting of the Council and Annual Parish Meeting: 

The annual meeting will be held on Wednesday 5th May 2021 at 7.30pm via Microsoft Teams. 

Date of the next Ordinary Meeting: Thursday 22nd July 2021 

The meeting closed at 9.00pm 

Co-option Meeting 23rd February 2021 (Draft)

Extraordinary meeting of Fulking Parish Council (FPC) held on Tuesday 23rd February 2021 at 7pm via Microsoft Teams. 

PresentCouncillors Mark Hind, (Acting Chairman), Linda Dyos, Karen Healy, Samantha Leader, Lucy Mehta and Trevor Parsons (Clerk) 

There was one member of the public in attendance. 

The meeting opened at 19:03 

AGENDA 

21/020/PM.          Apologies for Absence. 

There were no absentees 

21/021/PM.          Declaration of Members’ Interests. 

There were no declarations of interest. 

21/022/OM.       Co-option of new Councillor. 

Lucy Mehta offered her services to Fulking Parish Council as co-opted Councillor. Her offer was unanimously accepted by the council with thanks. 

21/023/PM.          Planning matters 

Location:  SDNP/20/05150/FUL Hillside Poynings Road Fulking BN5 9NB  

Proposal: Proposed ancillary storage building, with associated access area, together with biodiversity and landscape enhancements, public footpath and related structures. 

The SDNPA Planning Portal was not available today and councillors had no opportunity to properly consider the documents and application presented. The meeting to consider this application has been rescheduled for Tuesday 2nd March 2021 at 7pm.  

21/024/OM.      WSALC Update 

Cllr Hind presented a report about the WSALC situation which outlined very poor management of the “Value For Money” Project by the current Chair and Vice Chair of WSALC. Cllr Hind sought approval from Fulking PC councillors to leave WSALC should this be necessary following the WSALC AGM on 25th February. Councillors voted unanimous support to Cllr Hind. 

The meeting closed at 19:45pm 

Date of the next Ordinary Meeting: Thursday 15th April 2021 

 

Planning Meeting 2nd March 2021 (Draft)

Extraordinary meeting of Fulking Parish Council (FPC) held on Tuesday 2nd March 2021 at 7pm via Microsoft Teams. 

Present: Councillors Mark Hind, (Acting Chairman), Linda Dyos, Karen Healy, Samantha Leader, Lucy Mehta and Trevor Parsons (Clerk) 

There were no members of the public in attendance. 

The meeting opened at 19:06 

AGENDA 

21/025/PM.          Apologies for Absence. 

There were no apologies for absence 

21/026/PM.         Declaration of Members’ Interests. 

Acting Chairman, Mark Hind declared an interest in agenda item 21/028/PM as he is a close neighbour in Stammers Hill. Therefore, Cllr Hind left the Video Meeting after item 21/07 and took no part in the discussion or decision. 

21/027/PM. Planning matters 

Location: SDNP/20/05150/FUL Hillside Poynings Road Fulking BN5 9NB 

Proposal: Proposed ancillary storage building, with associated access area, together with biodiversity and landscape enhancements, public footpath and related structures. 

Background 

As you walk up the Bridleway from Poynings Road towards Hillside you are met with several large yellow CCTV warning signs belonging to the property. Just before you arrive, the 3m high (often chained) wooden gates and fence come into view revealing a secure residential compound, which is not in keeping with the rural landscape around it. Footpath 5-1F is bounded on its southern side by the high fence denying the public views of Fulking escarpment. This a significant contrast to the previous wooden house which sat unobtrusively within the landscape. The intrusive fencing, CCTV signs and oversized gate suggest a lack of sensitivity towards the surrounding natural environment of the South Downs. 

The site photo section 1.2 page 4 of Molloy Report shows part of the intrusive security fencing. 

Proposal 

The proposed development site is located in a plot of land that was excavated (apparently without the correct permissions) to create a compound to store building materials for construction of the approved residential property. The proposal is to add significant permanent storage avoiding the need to return this land to its previous condition. 

We do not agree with the Molloy Architects conclusion that these proposals are a material change and/or improvement following the pre application advice given under SDNP/19/02453/PRE. 

In addition, our concern is that approval of this proposal will extend the scale of the existing compound with the applicants using permitted development rights to significantly expand their unsympathetic security fencing to encompass their land. We believe this development will create visual harm to the landscape in this protected area. 

In relation to the new storage building, it was noted that: 

  • The house is already 45% larger than the original building outlined in SDNP/15/02392.
  • There is real concern that the storage will be turned into a separate dwelling.
  • Although the proposal states that the landscape will be returned to its former condition, no previous attempt has been made to reconstitute the land to what it was.

In relation to the moving of the PROW it was noted that the proposed new path will: 

  • Create a health and safety hazard for the public – it will be steeper than the current path and being constructed from board walk planks, will very likely become slippery when there is a lot of rain. There will also be a question of who will maintain the path.
  • Deny public access to a historic right of way for no good reason
  • Damage the biodiversity of the escarpment to build a new footpath
  • Enable the applicants to enclose a significant area of currently open land

Additional Note – SDNP Dark Skies 

As stated above the fencing and gate of the existing property is very intrusive viewed from close up but during daylight hours from a distance the property is much less visible. Unfortunately, in the dark, the light spilling from the panoramic floor to ceiling windows on the eastern side of the property is very conspicuous. It is visible from several miles away and creates the impression that an alien space craft has landed at the base of Fulking escarpment. We find it difficult to believe that this was the intended outcome of the dark sky restrictions imposed on the original planning approval and would ask the SDNP to investigate further. 

Councillors voted UNANIMOUSLY AGAINST the application. 

21/028/PM. Planning matters 

Location: SDNP/21/00722/HOUS 8 Stammers Hill Fulking BN5 9NA 

Proposal: Conversion of car port to additional accommodation including external alterations 

It was noted that: 

the loss of the on-site parking appears to contravene section 3.2 of the SDNP Local Plan and that there is no off-street parking available in Stammers Hill and thus creating yet further pressure on lack of parking provision on the High Street and in the village generally which is already problematic. 

Councillors voted UNANIMOUSLY AGAINST the application. 

The meeting closed at 19:45pm 

Date of the next Ordinary Meeting: Thursday 15th April 2021.