Minutes of Ordinary Meeting 8th October 2020 (Draft)

Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting Fulking Parish Council held Thursday 8th October 2020 at 7.30pm online. 


Chairman:                                              Cllr Firth
Fulking Parish Council (FPC):                    Cllrs Hind, Dyos and Leader
Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC):         Cllrs Rodney Jackson and Alison Bennett
West Sussex County Council (WSCC):       Cllr Joy Dennis
Parish Clerk:                                           Trevor Parsons 

There were two members of the public present. The meeting opened at 7.30pm. 

20/068/0M.    Apologies for Absence were received from Cllr Colin Trumble (MSDC) and Cllr Healy (FPC)  

20/069/OM. – Declaration of Members’ Interests. None declared. 

20/070/OM. – Approve the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of 9th July 2020 and Extraordinary Council Planning Meetings of 15th September 2020 & 1st October 2020     The minutes, subject to any amendments, were approved and will be signed as a true record of the meeting. 

20/071/OM. – Planning Applications Update. 

Reference  Name  Application Details  FPC Decision  SDNPA Decision 
SDNP/20/02643/LIS  Perching Barn  Refurbishment, doors, windows, fit-out  Not reviewed  Approved
SDNP/20/02642/LIS  Perching Barn  Refurbishment, doors, windows, fit-out  Not reviewed  Approved
SDNP/20/03208/LDP  Perching Sands Farm  Domestic Greenhouse  Not reviewed  Application in Progress 


Perching Sands Farmhouse  Replacement of ground floor bay and window alterations. Ground floor side extensions etc  15/09/20
1 neutral, 4 in favour 
Application in Progress 
SDNP/20/03696/FUL  1 Paythorne Farm Cottages  Change of use to holiday let  01/10/20
1 neutral, 4 in favour 
Application in Progress 
SDNP/20/03810/HOUS  Broadreeds BN5 9LU  Rear extension (demolish existing orangery)  01/10/20
1 abstain, 4 in favour 
Application in Progress 

20/072/OM. – Reports from District and County Councillors.   

Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC) provided a written report which is summarised below: 

Health: In the 14 days between 13th September and 26th September 250 people tested positive for Covid-19.  This is similar to the number testing positive during the previous 14 day period (31st August to 13th September). 
The seven-day incidence rate varies among the districts and boroughs of West Sussex. Over the period 20th September to 26th September, Adur demonstrated the lowest rate at 9.3 per 100,000 population, and Worthing had the highest rate with 24.4 per 100,000 population. The overall West Sussex seven day incidence rate was 15.7 per 100,000 population, with mid Sussex at 13.2.
Of the people testing positive for Covid-19 over the seven-day period, over half (55%) were aged under 40, and 21% were aged over 60. 

Adult Social are Winter Plan On 18th September the Government published Adult Social Care: Our Covid-19 Winter Plan 2020 to 2021. The plan sets out government’s overarching priorities for adult social care. The County Council will continue to work with partners and develop an implementation plan to deliver the Winter Plan. 

Care homesMore care homes are closing to admission and visitors where they are concerned that the virus could spread from the community, this is starting to impact on the ability of the health and social care system to discharge those medically fit for discharge. The Council is leading on the commissioning of alternative accommodation to support people to be discharge from hospital where it is not possible to discharge them directly to a care service. 

Hospital capacity: At the present time there is adequate acute hospital and community bed capacity in West Sussex. Hospital discharge hubs and a combined placement team continue to operate, as well as working with the CCG to secure appropriate levels of domiciliary care, care/nursing home beds and voluntary services to support effective discharge. 

LibrariesThe Library Service continues to deliver services throughout West Sussex and asks that all visitors continue to comply with the social distancing policies and wear face masks during their visits.  

Shielded and Community Hub: The Community Hub remains in operation providing support seven days a week from 8am to 8pm, where residents of West Sussex are able to receive same day support (weekdays) due to any hardship as a result of Covid-19.   

Locally Supported Contact TracingFollowing the Government’s recent announcement of locally supported contact tracing, the Interim Director of Public Health has registered an Expression of Interest to Public Health England (PHE) for West Sussex County Council to be part of the scheme and included on the waiting list. PHE has advised that local authorities will be prioritised according to COVID-19 transmission rates, with those with the highest numbers receiving access to the scheme first. 

BusinessThe impact of the closure of Gatwick airport has put Crawley and surrounding areas (Gatwick Diamond) including our own at great risk. Crawley is judged to be at the top of towns/small cities most at risk of economic decline as a result of this Crisis. To this end the LEP (Local economic partnership) are working with the WSCC to support Gatwick Diamond businesses in a variety of ways, and proactively engaged with Government and I await the review of the work and papers being progressed. 

Highways: In Mid June we announced that the government has awarded a £9.8million boost for improving West Sussex Highways’ road network. This is on top of the £8million worth of road resurfacing/pothole prevention works already planned for this financial year. 

Temporary cycle lanes: Seven schemes are being submitted to the Department for Transport to consider, in the first phase of works to help provide safe space as the lockdown eases. 

Climate changeA strategy to adapt to the challenges of climate change has been agreed by West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet.
Plans for a countywide charging network for electric vehicles in West Sussex have taken a step forward. The strategy is available here: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/travel-and-public-transport/travelwise-sustainable-transport/electric-vehicles/#electric-vehicle-strategy
The West Sussex top up to the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme enables qualifying residential premises and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in rural eligible postcodes to get funding towards the installation cost of gigabit capable broadband. A full list of eligible suppliers in West Sussex is available on DCMS website https://gigabitvoucher.culture.gov.uk/ 

Cllr Trumble (MSDC) provided the following statement for the council. 

1) I attended the opening of Hayward’s Heath College last Thursday by the Lord Lieutenant and Sir Nicholas Soames. Thanks to the efforts of Sir Nicholas, MSDC and WSCC, Mid Sussex now has a sixth form college managed by the well-respected Chichester College group. Some 300 students started in September, well ahead of targeted numbers.

2) MSDC has responded to the Government’s consultation on the Proposed housing numbers Methodology. The Council’s opposition to the proposed methodology has been made clear as has its opposition to the proposed lifting of the affordable housing threshold to 40 to 50 units. MSDC is in close contact on this with all 3 MP’s who cover the District.

3) Work has started, in Burgess Hill, on the District’s full fibre project. Government funding has been secured for 80km of fibre infrastructure. On the back of this, expressions of interest have now been received from the private sector to add to this. No information as yet on when it will reach the Downland villages!

4) Figures this week show MSDC has paid out £27.8m of funding to nearly 2500 businesses from the coronavirus funding scheme.

5) The informal meeting of the Downland villages on planning issues was useful.
I have no further information as yet on the issues raised.

6) I’m sure Joy will have bang up to date figures for Covid but the latest I have is the rolling 7 day numbers of cases in Mid Sussex is some 25/26 per 100000. This puts Mid Sussex at 254 out of 315 local government areas. 

Cllr Alison Bennett (MSDC) reported 

1) MDSC are working hard on a new Covid-19 budget for the rest of the financial year. 

2) Leisure Centres re-opened on 1st September 2020. 

3) The Boundary Commission have met with MSDC for a review. Currently there are 54 councillors. Their review may result in some changes to boundaries which would take effect after Mat 2023 elections.  

4) Planning permission has been granted for the New Burgess Hill Town Centre. 

20/073/OM. – Matters Arising & Outstanding Actions:  To clarify and report on actions brought forward from the last meeting.  

Operation Watershed – The Clerk reported that the Watershed application is making progress for further improvements to Clappers Lane and Edburton Road. He is meeting local residents and seeking landowners written consent to complete the intended project. 

Yellow Lines – The Clerk applied to WSCC on 18th August 2020 for a Community Highway Scheme grant to assist with the cost of making a yellow line on the north side of the sharp bend opposite Shepherd & Dog. 

Fulking to Henfield Bridlepath– No further progress has been made since the last meeting. 

Village Gates – The Chairman reported that so far 76% of villagers who responded to the poll were in favour of village gates. The poll will run for a further week. The cost for purchase and installation of three gates would be around £3,000. He further reported that WSCC are very supportive of parishes installing village gates as a successful method of slowing traffic entering villages. A final proposal will he put together for a vote by councillors. 

Village Signs – No further progress at this stage. 
ACTION: Chairman to contact local artists. 

Community Asset Register of Village Hall – The Council discussed registering the Village Hall as a Community Asset with MSDC. Proposed by the chairman and seconded by the vice chairman and councillors were unanimously in favour of applying for registration 

ACTION – Clerk to complete application to register Village Hall as a Community Asset. 

Fulking to Poynings Footpath – Working with Cllr Dennis the council agreed to consider creating a footpath alongside the road to Poynings. 

Ram Pump – The Clerk reported that grant funding to SDNPA for an information board has re-opened. He has written to Land Registry to establish who owns the land at the Pump in order that permission be obtained to install a board on the owner’s land. 

Speed Indicator Device – Cllr Dennis asked the Council to consider purchasing their own device suggesting we share the cost and ownership with Poynings and Pyecombe. 

ACTION – Clerk to email Poynings and Pyecombe to gauge interest as to whether other councils would be interested. 

20/074/OM. – Playground Maintenance 

A recent inspection has highlighted urgent repairs are needed to the playground equipment and the Chairman has agreed to repairs costing around £500 and instructed a local tradesman to do the work. Councillors unanimously agreed his actions to get these essential works done. Further non-urgent maintenance will be carried out at a later date. 

20/075/OM. – Village Hall Lease Update 

Due to changes at PCC level, control of agreeing a new lease has passed to our local vicar, Rev Tim Harford. 

ACTION – Clerk to arrange a virtual meeting between Rev Harford and FPC to move matters forward. 

20/076/OM – Welcome Pack for New villagers 

Cllr Leader would like to introduce a Welcome Pack for residents new to the village. This one-page flyer would include useful information including website details, community groups and amenities. Councillors agreed this is good idea and should be adopted. 

20/077/OM. – Reports from Outside Bodies 

WSALC have commissioned a review to consider breaking away from SSALC and forming an independent ALC. This is considered by FPC as a clash of personalities and that FPC has no interest in splitting from SSALC who provide excellent support to the Council. 

20/078/OM. – Information Items.  To receive information and items for the agenda at future meetings. 

Environmental Report – Cllrs Healy and Leader attended a meeting of local councils supporting and collaborating with Henfield Hub and Sustainable Henfield with a view to reducing waste and single use plastics. 

Poynings Parish Council – The Chairman attended a virtual meeting set up by Poynings Parish Council to discuss the present planning process with SDNPA. Poynings are very unhappy in relation to The Gatehouse development and have no confidence in SDNPA’s ability to monitor and act upon breaches in planning approvals. Councillors discussed this issue but felt that it was unlikely that the proposal for an alternative planning authority or judicial review were viable proposals. So will not support them. 

Hillbrook – The Council was asked to support a request for SDNP planning to remove agricultural status from a fence which is the subject of a border dispute at Hillbrook, Clappers Lane. The Council investigated the situation with both sides and concluded that although it would not support the specific request or take a view on the border dispute, it would request SDNPA to reopen the case as this appears to be an abuse of agricultural planning regulations. Notes and correspondence are on file. It also recommended that both parties go to mediation to resolve their dispute. The Council stated that it will have no further involvement in this dispute. Both parties objected to the conclusion. Although SDNP planning have not reopened the case they have revisited the site.   

20/079/OM. – Correspondence.  To discuss correspondence and respond to correspondence received. 

No other correspondence received. 

20/080/OM. – Financial Matters: To receive the report on the Council’s income and to approve future expenditure. 

The Clerk submitted the cashbook to councillors for review. The finances are in line with the budget set. The NALC agreed pay award for 2020/2021 has been published and the Clerk’s salary adjusted accordingly.    

The meeting closed at 9.35pm. 

Date of the next Ordinary Meeting: Thursday 7th January 2021.