Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of Fulking Parish Council held on Thursday 7th April 2022 at Fulking Village Hall.
Chairman: Cllr Mark Hind
Fulking Parish Council: Cllr Linda Dyos, Cllr Karen Healy and Cllr Tom Kardos.
West Sussex County Council: Cllr Joy Dennis
Parish Clerk: Trevor Parsons
There were three members of the public present.
The meeting opened at 7.30pm
22/019/OM. Apologies for Absence.
Apologies were received from Cllr Lucy Mehta (FPC) and Cllrs Trumble, Bennett & Jackson (MSDC)
22/020/OM. Declaration of Members’ Interests.
No declarations were received.
22/021/OM. Approve the Minutes of Ordinary Council Meeting of 13th January 2022
The minutes, subject to any amendments, to be approved and signed as a true record of the meeting.
The minutes of the meeting were confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chairman. All Councillors in Favour.
22/022/OM. Reports from District and County Councillors.
Cllr Joy Dennis reported on WSCC climate change and net zero policies including:
- Rampion 2 is ongoing to increase off-shore wind energy capability. The new cable will run underground from Clymping to Bolney substation.
- Shoreham Port is now producing clean hydrogen for use on Crawley buses
- WSCC have some solar panel farms in place
- Most primary schools have solar or air source installed.
- YES Solar still have grants available from WSCC for residential properties.
Cllr Dennis advised that oil extraction on a small scale has been happening in the county for the last 50 years.
Cllr Dennis report WSCC response to ash dieback. The Council is concentrating on trees near A Roads and B Roads and it is estimated that around 20,000 trees need to be felled. WSCC is working with landowners who have ash trees on their land next to a stretch of road where WSCC trees are being felled, to reduce landowners tree-felling costs wherever possible.
22/023/OM. Matters Arising & Outstanding Actions To clarify and report on actions brought forward from the last meeting.
1) Clappers Lane Speed Limit Request.
Following on from item 22/009/OM in January 2022 meeting the Clerk applied for a TRO to reduce the speed limit on the whole of Clappers Lane to 30mph. In an email dated 16th March 2022 Nick De Sousa, Assistant Highway Manager at WSCC wrote to FPC to advise that as the Police have no record of communications from Fulking / Poynings residents regarding speeding issues the TRO request has been declined.
Cllr Joy Dennis advised the meeting that a Speed Policy Consultation will be reporting to WSCC by September 2022 with a decision on “Quieter Ways”, which would include roads like Clappers Lane, will be made by December 2022. If the decision is positive, Fulking Parish Council will apply for a reduced speed limit for Clappers Lane thereafter.
2) Ultrafast Broadband
Following on from item 22/010/OM in January 2022, OpenReach extended the deadline for eligible houses to apply for Full Fibre Broadband. The DCMS verification process reduced uptake to under 100% of our target however Colin Warburton now advises that 106% has been reached. There appears to be an issue that not all homes who have pledged for Full Fibre have received an email from DCMS to validate their vouchers. We have asked Cllr Dennis if she can provide us with a list of homes which have pledged but not yet validated their application to ensure they have received the validation email from DCMS.
3) Market Gardens / Conifers
The Chairman received an update from Cllr Trumble prior to the meeting to advise that MSDC have not progressed the matter. Unfortunately for residents the dog barking issue remains as bad as ever.
ACTION: Cllr Hind to contact Cllr Trumble to get a further update on progress.
4) Queens Platinum Jubilee – Green Canopy
Cllr Hind reported to the meeting that a Red Windsor tree (also known as “Sweet Lilibet” had been purchased by the Council and it has been planted in North Town Field.
5) Tony Brooks Memorial
Cllr Dyos presented the option of a small plaque to be put up in the village hall. Councillors thought this was a good idea and Cllr Dyos will find out sizes and prices for the next meeting.
22/024/OM. Downlands School Places.
Cllr Dennis reported to the meeting that, following an appeal, that all applications from Fulking parents for their children to attend Downlands School in Hassocks had been accepted for September 2022. Cllr Dennis advised that Downlands is always over-subscribed and that she and the County Councillor for Hassocks are scheduling a meeting with the head teacher to discuss the matter further with a view to ensuring the Downland villagers continue to have access to the school. Cllr Hind requested that WSCC formally prioritises places for residents of Fulking and other downland villages due to the transport difficulties they face.
The new secondary school in Northern Arch, Burgess Hill is due to be completed by end of 2024 which will ease pressure on Downlands.
22/025/OM. Ladybrook Spring Update.
Cllr Hind reported that WSCC have just confirmed approval capital expenditure in this year’s budget to undertake permanent repairs and also that the drainage pipe had been cleared recently as a temporary measure.
22/026/OM. WSCC Road Closures
Fulking, Edburton and Poynings villages are enduring a “Storm of Closures” partly due to a long term project with Balfour Beatty to install ducting in the road for a highway of superfast broadband. The issue is made far worst when the differing agencies close two roads at the same time. Cllr Dennis advised the meeting that she has spoken to the traffic management team to request that no two roads are closed at the same time in the future.
22/027/OM. Overnight Parking & Rubbish Dumping
Cllr Hind outlined the concerns of camper vans parking overnight in laybys in the village. The issue is the rubbish which is then dumped when they leave. Cllr Dennis advised the meeting that rubbish is a MSDC matter and that if a “No Overnight Parking” sign was wanted then the Council would need to apply to WSCC Highways for a Traffic Regulation Order. Unfortunately the Council’s experience of the WSCC TRO process is very poor., Councillors decided to review this ongoing situation.
22/028/OM. Local By-laws – Parking & North Town Field.
Cllr Hind raised the matter of dog fouling in the North Town Field field, despite there being a proper dog waste bin. Cllr Hind advised that Poynings recreation area has MSDC signs showing a £1,000 fine for fouling. The Councillors agreed to investigate further with MDSC.
ACTION: Cllr Hind to investigate with MSDC.
22/029/OM. Village Hall
Cllr Hind reported that five trustees have come forward and progress on establishing a FULKING VILLAGE HALL Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is underway with Charities Commission.
22/030/OM. Appointment of New Parish Councillor – Tom Kardos
Tom Kardos has put himself forward to be co-opted onto Fulking Parish Council. Cllr Hind has already briefed Tom as to the challenges Fulking Parish Council faces.
Cllr Hind proposed Tom Kardos be co-opted on to Fulking Parish Council, seconded by Cllr Healy.
Unanimously IN FAVOUR. Cllr Hind welcomed Tom aboard.
22/031/PM. Planning Application SDNP/22/01214/LDE
Location: Perching Parva Farm Holmbush Lane Woodmancote Henfield, West Sussex BN5 9TL
Proposal: Certificate of Lawfulness (Existing Use) for the use of an existing building for mixed commercial purposes
The application has not made clear what the current class of use the building is going from / to. Ie is it agriculture? We understand from SDNPA that the building is empty. Fulking Parish councillors voted unanimously AGAINST the proposal.
22/032/OM. Reports from Outside Bodies.
22/033/OM. Information Items. To receive information and items for the agenda at future meetings.
22/034/OM. Correspondence. To discuss correspondence and respond to correspondence received.
A quote has been received from Tony Steer to replace the timber from the broken village sign on Edburton Road. To repair and replace the sign will cost £805. Councillors voted unanimously in favour. Clerk to contact Tony Steer to move the matter forward.
22/035/OM. Financial Matters. To receive the report on the Council’s income and to approve future expenditure.
Cllr Hind raise a concern that Council Tax bills evidence an increase in Fulking Parish Council precept by 6.3% despite only applying for an increase of 5%. MDSC advised by email that the increase is calculated on the Band D charge and is higher than 5% because of the decrease in the tax base. Cllr Kardos advised the meeting that he has a clear explanation which he will share on email.
Cllr Hind raise the matter of Clerk’s Pay Award and advised the meeting that the Clerks pay has increased by 1.8% in relation to 2021/2022 financial year meaning there is back pay to be paid.
Cllr Hind advised the meeting that he will be speaking to Trevor Leggo CEO of WSALC to establish whether there are rules relating to the increasing of the pay band from the current level 20 band.
Date of the Annual Meeting is Thursday 12th May 2022.
Next Ordinary Meeting scheduled for Thursday 7th July 2022.