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