Minutes of Ordinary Meeting held Thursday 11th January 2024

Minutes of the Ordinary Council Meeting of Fulking Parish Council held Thursday 11th January 2024 at 7.30pm at Fulking Village Hall.


Chairman: Cllr Mark Hind

Fulking Parish Council (FPC) Cllr Karen Healy, Cllr Linda Comber, Cllr Lucy Metha & Cllr Tom Kardos

Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC) : Cllr Geoff Zeidler

West Sussex County Council (WSCC) : Cllr Joy Dennis

There were three members of the public present the conversation is highlighted in item 24/011/OM.

The meeting started at 7.45pm.

24/001/OM. Apologies for Absence.

There were no apologies received as all Councillors were present.

24/002/OM. Declaration of Members’ Interests.

There were no interests declared

24/003/OM. Approve the Minutes of Ordinary Council Meeting of 12th October 2023

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

The minutes of the Ordinary Meeting were approved unanimously by Councillors and duly signed by the Chairman.

24/004/OM. Reports from District and County Councillors.

Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC) reported:

There is likely to be pressure on secondary school places when applications are reviewed in February 2024. The bulge in numbers seeking places remains high, but she is optimistic that in 2 – 3 years time the issue with resolve itself with lower numbers of children requiring places. Already WSCC can see lower numbers seeking primary places despite the additional houses built in the District.

The is now a booking system in place at Burgess Hill tip.

WSCC has a balanced budget with all current services retained.

Cllr Geoff Zeidler (MSDC) reported

At the Council meeting on 13th December District Plan was approved with all but one independent member voting for it to progress to Reg19 consultation. The Council has also released its draft 2024-25 Corporate Plan and Budget for consultation. The revised NPPF was published a couple of days later and made clear that there was no basis on which MSDC could rely to reduce its housing targets; and that DHLUC was taking action against Planning Authorities who had not progressed in Planmaking.

The next stage will be a Reg19 public consultation that will start on 12th January for 6 weeks. Responses are limited to ensuring that the plan is “Sound” and “Legal” and is not an opportunity to amend any of the specific elements. If approved by the Inspector next year, then all sites will still need to go through detailed assessment when they submit planning applications.

24/005/OM. Matters Arising & Outstanding Actions To clarify and report on actions brought forward from the last meeting.

Village signs – Cllr Tom Kardos reported that progress was being made on the new posts, the contractor is waiting for prices for materials before submitting a quote.

24/006/OM. Small Acre Update

The date for the Planning Inspector appeal in relation to un-approved development at the Small Acres site is set for two days starting on Tuesday 27th February 2024 at the South Downs National Park Centre in Midhurst.

24/007/OM. Parish Plan Update

Cllr Linda Comber and Cllr Tom Kardos attended a Parishes SDNPA workshop however the meeting appeared to be more of a call for sites exercise than a workshop to support Local Plans. A discussion was held over the benefits of producing a “Neighbourhood” vs a “Parish” Plan. It was decided to arrange a separate meeting to discuss this further and to agree the next steps. A private meeting of Councillors has been arranged at 7pm on Monday 5th February.

24/008/OM. 2024 – 2025 Precept

The Clerk presented councillors with a draft budget for the 2024 – 2025 financial year. Based on the draft budget Councillors unanimously voted in favour of a 5.3% rise in precept to £11,250 pa.

24/009/OM. Proposed TRO – New speed limit.

Further to a previous agreement to request a TRO on the road from Saddlescombe roundabout to the junction of A2037 at Small Dole, there is disagreement between Fulking, Upper Beeding and Poynings Councils as to the preferred limit to apply for. Fulking and Upper Beeding wish to request a 40 mph limit along the whole of Edburton/Poynings Road whereas Poynings are in favour of a 50 mph limit. Cllr Joy Dennis (WSCC) agreed to contact the Chair of Poynings to resolve this possible misunderstanding.

ACTION: Cllr Dennis to contact Poynings Chair and then advise Fulking Clerk as to the preferred TRO option.

24/010/OM. Information Items. To receive information and items for the agenda at future meetings.

None received

24/011/OM. Correspondence. To discuss correspondence and respond to correspondence received.

A resident in Clappers Lane had made an online report to WSCC on their website advising of blocked drains causing flooding in Clappers Lane. WSCC maintenance visited the site and cleared the initial problem however with more rainfall the drain is blocked again and when the resident resubmitted an online report the system keeps saying “Case Closed”

ACTION : Cllr Joy Dennis to speak to Highways Department to reopen the case and to arrange for maintenance to clear the blocked drain. She requested that the Clerk register a new report online to WSCC.

24/012/OM. Financial Matters. To receive the report on the Council’s income and to approve future expenditure.

The Clerk reported to Councillors via email that the current account balance in Barclays Bank was £7,346.56 with £13,612.38 held in the deposit account.

24/013/OM. To set a date of Annual General Meeting of the Council and Annual Parish Meeting:

Date of the next Ordinary Meeting: Thursday 11th April 2024.

Annual Parish Meeting : Wednesday 15th May 2024 at 7pm.

The meeting closed at 9.30pm.