What email address or phone number would you like to use to sign in to Docs.com?
If you already have an account that you use with Office or other Microsoft services, enter it here.
Or sign in with:
Signing in allows you to download and like content, and it provides the authors analytical data about your interactions with their content.
Embed code for: TPCMinutes 16-07-18 draft
Select a size
Minutes of Thakeham Annual Parish Council Meeting – Monday 18 July 2016, Thakeham Village Hall
Meeting opened: 7.30 p.m.
Present: Mr A Hunt Mrs C Hounslow Mr N Prince
Mr D Scott Kerr Mr J Smith Mr N St Clair
In attendance Cllr D Jenkins District Council
Mr O Richards Clerk to the Council
Members of the public
62. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllrs Instance, Linnell, MacEachern, McConnachie, Taylor, Blackall and Arculus.
63. Interests of members
No interests were declared on any of the agenda items below.
64. Minutes of the last meeting
Minutes of the last meeting of the Parish Council held on 20 June 2016 were approved and signed, and Council noted that no matters had been actioned under delegated authority since the last meeting.
65. Report on Action Items
201.2 Abingworth stakeholder arrangements: legal resources/models obtained including Charity Commissioner advice re. options for Village Hall Trust. Further meetings to follow.
264.2 Water Lane roundabout, use of S106 funds: following 8 June meeting with Highways/P Arculus, Cllrs Prince and Scott-Kerr (+ Clerk) meeting with Storrington PC on 20 July.
36 Local press liaison regarding Abingworth: the Chair had given an interview to the County Times.
38.2 Margins of Furze Lane playground: Cllrs Smith, MacEachern and Clerk still to meet (action: Clerk).
49.1.2 Abingworth phase 2, initial meeting of TPC: held on 5 July.
51 Parish Design Statement: meeting convened on 27 June; Clerk still working on follow-up (cf item 71).
52 Village Day follow-up: 11 July debrief meeting with schools agreed joint planning for 2017 event.
58.3 Thakeham Tiles footpath meeting: still being pursued (action: Clerk)
Abingworth Phase 2 – pre-application liaison regarding possible change of housing mix;
TPC had lodged a complaint about poor Compliance Team support, and response had been received. Council noted a worrying outlook over over-stretched staff relying on a web portal for case reporting/management and giving lower priority to cases in rural parishes. As planning enforcement is not a statutory duty for local authorities, the service also remains vulnerable to further cuts. Council agreed to renew efforts to use all available routes of liaison, and to involve District Councillors more.
Thakeham Village Action – members agreed that recent letters about Abingworth phase 2 sent on behalf of TVA to local MP and County Times had been unhelpful in terms of inaccuracies and hasty judgement.
Neighbourhood Plan – ongoing engagement regarding appointment of new examiner; revised draft Sullington & Storrington and Washington NP received and circulated: any comments from members to be fed back to the Clerk by Friday 5 August to enable response by 12 August deadline.
STARS final consultation outcome circulated (no change to previous recommendations);
Sussexes and Surrey devolution bid – update circulated;
Winter Emergency Plan – full update required by 5 September (action: Clerk + Cllr Hounslow).
Playgrounds – RoSPA annual inspection of High Bar Lane playground (with Environment Committee).
Roads – liaison with Highways re. the effect of roadworks on traffic speed data collection at Abingworth.
Rights of Way: liaison with Oakford Homes re. temporary footpath diversion.
Sussex Police – various communications re. changes to PCSO arrangements from 4 July.
Opening of WSCC consultation seeking policy priorities from the electorate.
67. Committee membership
Following proposal by the Chair and seconding by Cllr Hounslow, members agreed that Cllr Scott Kerr should join the Neighbourhood Planning Committee.
68.1 Financial Performance
A report on the current financial year to 30th June 2016 was received. Council also noted a summary of the Village Day financial outturn. Although total initial expenditure (£1376) had been higher than anticipated, after deducting income and recharging costs of re-usable items to the Village Day Trust account the net outlay was £816, i.e. £316 over the £500 budget. Members agreed that this was an acceptable outcome, and noted that scope for future savings had already been identified.
A report on current bank balances was tabled and the following items were approved for payment:
C A Blundy: Litter Warden
Staples UK (Office stationery Invoice 10019122)
Alocalprinter (Village Day Programme)
Greenserve (outdoor maintenance June)
Playsafety Ltd (annual inspection of High Bar Lane playground)
St Mary’s Church Youth Group (donation for youth group help at Village Day)*
St John Ambulance (attendance at Village Day)*
SLCC (Society of Local Council Clerks; CilCA registration fee)
Gross salaries including PAYE/NI, Clerk’s expenses, pension**
*These costs being incurred under the power provided by the Local Government Act 1972, s.145, relating to the provision of entertainment (specifically the community entertainment provided by the Village Day).
**This figure reflects 1% national salary uplift for parish Clerks, backdated to 1 April 2016, as noted by Council at its meeting of 18 June 2016.
69. Planning – major current developments
The Chair updated on the current situation relating to pre-application discussion of possible amends to Abingworth phase 2, and emphasised that exaggerated rumours about additional house numbers contained in recent letters sent to the local MP and County Times on behalf of Thakeham Village Action had been inaccurate and unhelpful. Discussions were in fact focused on an initial suggestion of 40-50 additional total units, with a different mix of house types, reflecting a sense that the current consented mix (25 large executive homes, 51 chalet-style houses for the over-55s, 12 small affordable homes) was not optimal. At an initial discussion meeting, members had agreed that there were good reasons to engage with HDC and the developer to ensure that housing provision in Abingworth phase 2 would secure the best outcome for the parish, taking into account its Neighbourhood Plan and other relevant factors – but also that the PC would be guided in this by further consultations with the community. Therefore the PC would proceed in an open way, by publishing full information in the next parish newsletter, on the parish website and social media pages. This would include an invitation to residents to input their views at this stage on the issues and priorities, and an undertaking that residents would also have the opportunity of an open meeting with the developer. Amongst points arising in discussion it was noted that:
It was clear that any change of housing mix/numbers would be contained within the currently-permitted site footprint, and the PC also expected little or no loss of open communal spaces;
Accepting some additional housing at Abingworth could (alongside the existing policy to take ~50 units at the Thakeham Tiles site) strengthen the parish’s Neighbourhood Plan, and enable it to better resist further speculative development proposals in much less suitable/sustainable sites;
As well as considering whether further potential S106-funded benefits might accrue directly to the community from this process, there was a need to think about impact more widely, e.g. local educational and transport infrastructure.
The parish would give HDC its initial feedback, and expected further discussions during August. Should those discussions find a basis for continued work on a revised proposal, the complexity and detail involved suggested a timeline into the autumn before a formal application would emerge.
69.2 Water Lane
Cllrs Scott Kerr reported that no further recent resident complaints about the development had been received. At a recent site meeting with the Crest Nicholson site manager (focusing on proposed amends to pavement arrangements being considered by Neighbourhood Planning Committee), it had emerged that house sales were lagging well behind expectations, presumably due at least partly to market uncertainty before and after the EU membership referendum.
70. Neighbourhood Plan
Council noted that HDC officers were continuing urgently to explore several possible options with regard to appointing a replacement examiner, and that members and the TNP Steering Group would be consulted as soon as a potential appointee had been identified.
71. Parish Design Statement
Further to the 27 June meeting of members delegated to update the current parish design statement, the Clerk summarised his further research. Local authorities including HDC were feeling their way regarding how design statements could sensibly be linked to Neighbourhood Plans, in an increasingly litigious planning context. The consensus was that design statements, even where adopted by the local authority, would not be given much weight in the planning process – and that cross-references from Neighbourhood Plans could not provide design statements with extra weight while they remained outside the examination process. Of the few district parishes with ‘made’ Neighbourhood Plans, it was notable that Henfield had opted to drop their design statement for a relatively detailed Design Policy. In the longer term TPC might wish to review its current approach of cross-referencing from Policy 6 to a separate design statement, but short term the plan was being examined as currently structured and therefore it remained necessary to update the design statement. The aim should be to remove any duplication with the Neighbourhood Plan and create a more narrowly focused and easily-updated document. Examples of recent design statements and advice from HDC on their criteria for re-adoption would be circulated shortly (action: Clerk).
72. Water Lane/Rydon area road safety
Further to the 8 June meeting with Cllr Arculus and Chris Stark of WSCC Highways reported at the last meeting (minute 54), Cllr Prince flagged that he, Cllr Scott-Kerr and the Clerk were now due to meet with representatives of Storrington PC on 20 July to discuss a joint approach to safety issues for pedestrians and cyclists in this area. Council would be kept updated on this process.
73. Summer newsletter
Members noted the current draft newsletter and that the deadline for any further amends was the close of Tuesday 19 July. Distribution would be in w/c 25 July. As promised in the Chair’s headline piece about Abingworth Phase 2, information would be published in parallel on the parish website and social media pages, with the facility for residents to feed back their thoughts on the key issues.
74. Donation request: Age UK Horsham
Council noted that although Age UK Horsham was based outside the parish, it was delivering direct benefit to some parish residents; therefore the request met the criteria set out in its Donations Policy and Council agreed to donate £50 to Age UK Horsham for Information & Advice services. (Action: Clerk)
75. Neighbourhood Planning Committee minutes
Council received the minutes of the Neighbourhood Planning Committee meeting held on 27 June 2016.
76. Community Committee minutes
Council received the minutes of the Environment Committee meeting held on 20 June 2016.
77. Environment Committee oral report
Reporting on the preceding meeting Cllr Prince flagged the following current Committee priorities:
30mph Abingworth speed limit area – options for other signage to reinforce WSCC standard signs;
Traffic Regulation Order applications - noting that collection of average speed data had recently been undertaken in the area south of Picketty Corner, and central Abingworth (although affected by roadworks);
Following receipt of the annual RoSPA safety inspection report, members of the Committee would shortly visit High Bar Lane play area to agree what further works to recommend to the Council.
78. Reports from Councillors
78.1 Cllr Jenkins reported on new HDC proposals to levy an additional waste collection charge for households located on poorly made-up lanes, up long drives and similar. Consideration of the Waste Recycling Site proposals noted at the last meeting was ongoing. There was no further information on the exact timeline of further consultations regarding changes to charging arrangements for village car parks, and in relation to possible move to fortnightly waste bin collection. Arrangements relating to recycling services included the contractor retaining direct income from sales of recycled products.
78.2 Cllr Prince revisited the issues relating to the HDC Compliance Team (cf. minute 66 above). Members fully endorsed his view that it was extraordinary to expect rural parishes to accept current inadequate levels of support, and agreed that the parish should continue to use all available routes and levers of liaison to resist the trend towards the policing of planning breaches falling into contempt.
79. Public Participation Session
79.1 A member of the public sought clarification around the role of HALC in representing parish dissatisfaction with the planning compliance situation. It was noted that Thakeham Village Action might be able to assist with raising awareness around these issues, e.g. of the availability of HDC online portal for reporting compliance breaches.
79.2 In connection with the issues relating to road safety in the Rydon area (minute 72) a member of the public flagged that there had been a previous undertaking to rectify the lack of pavement outside the row of shops just north of the Rydon roundabout (although space for this was in tension with customer and business vehicle parking).
80. Chairman’s Announcements
There were none.
81. Any other business for noting or inclusion on a future agenda
There was none.
Date of next meeting: Monday 19 September 2016 at 7.30 p.m., unless urgent business requires use of the provisional meeting date of Monday 15 August.
Meeting closed: 8.45 p.m.s and Chris Stark of WSCC Highways reported at the last meeting (minute 54), Cllr Prince flagged that he, Cllr Scott-Kerr and the Clerk were now due to meet with representatives of Storrington PC on 20 July to discuss a joint approach to safety issues for pedestrians and cyclists in this area. Council would be kept updated on this process.
78.1 Cllr Jenkins reported on new HDC proposals to levy an additional waste collection charge for households located on poorly made-up lanes, up long drives and similar. Consideration of the Waste Recycling Site proposals