Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 24th July, 2019 7.00 pm

New regulations came into effect on 4 April 2020 to allow Councils to hold meetings remotely via electronic means. As such, Council and Committee meetings will occur with appropriate Councillors participating via a remote video link. Public access to the meetings is via a live stream video through the Council’s official YouTube channel

Venue: Council Chamber

Contact: Email: 

No. Item


Opening Prayer


The opening prayer was read by the Vice-Chairman.


To receive questions from members of the public pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 9.




To confirm Minutes of the meeting of Council held on 26 June 2019. pdf icon PDF 145 KB


A tabled copy of the minutes of the meeting of Council held on 26 June 2019 was provided, containing amendments requested by Councillor Alison Bennett.  Noting that Councillor Whittaker was in attendance at the meeting, these were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


To receive declarations of Interest from Members in respect of any matter on the Agenda


In reference to discussion under item 8, Councillor Bates confirmed that he is a member of the Dolphin Leisure Centre.


To consider any items that the Chairman of the Council agrees to take as urgent business.




Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman encouraged Members to support Mid Sussex Applauds and nominate suitable residents before the deadline of 31 August. He also promoted the grants available for Silver Sunday celebrations and encouraged Members to support the elderly in their community by hosting an event.


The Chairman drew Members attention to recent engagements attended by the Vice Chairman and himself, which are detailed on the Council’s website, noting his attendance at the Royal visit by HRH the Prince of Wales at Wakehurst Gardens.


Compulsory Review of Polling Districts, Polling Places and Polling Stations 2019. pdf icon PDF 67 KB


The Solicitor to the Council introduced the report, noting that it is a statutory requirement to review polling places and stations. The report indicates the start of this process. He urged Members to check that venues are content to be polling stations prior to putting forward any suggestions.


The Chairman took Members to the recommendations, which were agreed.




Council noted that:


Electoral Services will conduct the following review stages to the timescales indicated:


Preliminary Review & internal project planning – August 2019

Stage 1:  Notification & Promotion of Review – 2 September – 20 September

Stage 2:  Public & Stakeholder Consultation – 23 September – 29 November

Stage 3:  Concluding the Review – 2 December 2019 – 17 January 2020

Stage 4:  Report Outcomes of the Review to Council – 29 January 2020


Recommendations from Cabinet on 29 April 2019 and 8 July 2019. pdf icon PDF 68 KB


Councillor John Belsey moved the item noting that when the programme was proposed by Places Leisure to upgrade the Dolphin Leisure Centre it was unanimously supported by Cabinet. Councillor Llewellyn-Burke seconded the item. With regards to the Budget Management progress report she noted that point vii of the report includes the £198,000 for the Dolphin Leisure Centre improvements.  She also clarified that the underspend is extra income from property that the Council has purchased since the budget had been agreed. 


A number of Members welcomed the improvements proposed to The Dolphin, noting that it was important to invest in key assets within the district in order to continue to provide excellent facilities for residents’ wellbeing.


A Member raised a number of questions relating to recycling at the leisure centres. It was confirmed that that Places Leisure already arrange for the separate collection of waste and recycling from all their facilities in Mid Sussex and at present, visitors to the Leisure Centres are able to recycle the same items as householders. With regards to the Costa outlet at the Triangle, and the proposed facility at The Dolphin, these are run directly by Places Leisure under a franchise agreement. Any takeaway cups and other recyclable materials are recycled under the same regime as the centres. He noted that there are currently no plans to incorporate grey water recycling into the work programme for The Triangle or The Dolphin. Councillor Belsey stated that he will provide a written update to Members on whether grey water is currently recycled through other activities, such as watering flower beds. He also agreed to provide an update on the progress of new car parking spaces at the Dolphin. He also encouraged Members to raise any resident’s concerns with Officers as soon as they come to their attention so that they can be dealt with promptly.


A Member asked a question about the delay to the telephony system upgrade. It was confirmed that this will be rolled out following an upgrade to the Finance, and Revenues and Benefits systems, with no need to reapprove the funding in the Capital Programme.


The Chairman took Members to the recommendations for both meetings, which were agreed.




Council Approves:


In relation to the Dolphin Leisure Centre Proposed Improvement Works:


(a)        the proposed works to the Dolphin Leisure Centre, which will be jointly funded by Places Leisure and the Council; and

(b)        agree a variation to the 2019/20 capital programme, allocating £198k towards this project from General Reserve.


In relation to the Budget Management 2019/20 Progress Report to May 2019:


(a)        that £17,484 grant income relating to Local Authority EU Exit preparation Grant be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 22 of the Cabinet report;

(b)        that £9,916 grant income relating to Cold Weather Fund Payment Grant be transferred to Specific Reserve as detailed in paragraph 23 of the Cabinet report;

(c)        that £5,893 grant income relating to Local Authority Data Sharing Programme Grant be transferred to Specific Reserve as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


To receive the Leader's Report


The Leader noted that Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) has now published their Masterplan, confirming their intention to bring the standby runway into passenger operation through a Development Consent Order (DCO) process. He confirmed that the Council will work with neighbouring Councils to scrutinise the implications for the District, and influence GAL through the process to mitigate the impacts when they are properly understood.


He highlighted his attendance at two recent meetings, the Greater Brighton Economic Board, and his chairing of the Mid Sussex Partnership Board, both of which demonstrate the importance of effective partnership working in order to gain access to valuable Government funding and support local residents.


In summary he noted the achievements of the Council in the first two months of the new administration. In particular this has included the passing of a Motion to reinforce the Council’s environment commitments, the announcement of the opening of the Haywards Heath 6th form college in September 2020, the launch of Mid Sussex Applauds and the awarding of over £200,000 in grants to local small businesses. The Council has also launched two consultations, a Conservation Management Plan for East Grinstead, and a Business Improvement District (BID) for Haywards Heath, opened a new padel tennis court at the Triangle Leisure Centre and achieved a new Green Flag award for East Court and Ashplats Wood Park East Grinstead.


Report of Cabinet Members, including questions pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10.1


Report of the Deputy Leader


The Deputy Leader confirmed that the Cabinet had recently considered the performance outturn figures for 2018/19 and that the performance figures for the first quarter of this financial year have been produced. In response to a Member’s query on the specific indicators being rated red, amber and green, she confirmed that full details will be presented to the scrutiny meeting in September, along with a number of new indicators which Members have agreed will be monitored.


She drew Member’s attention to recently published Member Information Service Bulletins which confirm the renewal of two new retail leases in the Orchards Shopping Centre; a good indicator of the retail market. She also noted the recent meeting of the Audit committee where the 2018/19 Accounts have been approved by external auditors with unqualified opinions and will be signed off by the end of the month.



Report of the Cabinet Member for Economic Growth


The Cabinet Member referred to the Microbusiness Grants scheme and advised that, taking the Grants already approved along with those received and now being worked upon, just over £71,000 of the £72,000 funds available had been accounted for.  He reflected that this was a sign of success and a credit to how the Council had organised and publicised the scheme. He also pointed out that this year the applications had come from a much better geographical spread across the District.


Secondly he referred to the consultation with local businesses in Haywards Heath on their appetite for a BID (Business Improvement District).  He reported that the consultants' work was going well and they were ahead of the target of receiving 35 questionnaires with 42 received by the end of June. Consultation was continuing through July and a report prepared during August which would be presented to Scrutiny later in the year. A similar approach may follow for Burgess Hill and East Grinstead once evaluation of this initial consultation has taken place.



Report of the Cabinet Member for Customer Services


The Cabinet Member noted that the Customer Service team continues to excel and that the Revenue & Benefits team’s accuracy in assessments is significantly reducing Local Authority Overpayment Error. This means claimants get the right benefit and the Council doesn’t get penalised by the Department of Work and Pensions for inaccurate work. She also noted that the judges for the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) Performance Awards will be visiting the Council on 23 August, with winners of the competition being announced in October.


With regards to the Digital team, the updating of the Geographical Information System (GIS) has been completed which means a huge improvement and increased efficiency of the mapping system. When asked by a Member she noted that it was compatible with Parish Online. By the year end, the team will also have completed incorporating all land charges data since 1974 so the Council will have a complete digital record. This will significantly increase land search speeds. She agreed to provide a written  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Questions from Members pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10.2


The following question was submitted by Councillor Paul Brown and read by Councillor Eves on his behalf.


“Referring to Appendix 3 - Sustainability Action Plan, there are just six electric vehicle charging points in Mid Sussex. What is the availability of use by the public of these charging points? Are Council aware that there has been no working public charging point for electric vehicles in Burgess Hill for the last seven months?”


Councillor John Belsey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery responded, noting that there are 6 fast charging electric vehicle points (EVCPs) in Council car parks that are owned by the Mid Sussex District Council. The use of the Council’s EVCPs is monitored on the online ‘Charge Your Car’ portal and quarterly figures are reported as part of Corporate Performance Management Report to Scrutiny and in the Council’s Sustainability Strategy.


He noted that there are other public charging points across the District, including in Burgess Hill, that are operated by various EV charge point companies.


He confirmed that the Council is aware of ongoing issues with the Cyprus Road Car Park charging point in Burgess Hill. The root problem is that the electrical supply was originally to a slow charger and is now insufficient to support a fast charger which has double the capacity. Additionally, the use of the chargers has increased over fourfold creating a strain on the power supply causing it to repeatedly fail. This means that a new separate power supply is required to be installed.  This will be addressed as a priority in the roll out of an additional 26 fast EVCPs across the District agreed by Cabinet on the 29th April 2019. This work is currently being procured and due to commence in the late summer. This work will also provide an improved power supply infrastructure       to support more fast chargers should they be needed to meet future demand. In response to a Member’s concern that drivers of electric cars are put off visiting the town, he reiterated that there are other charging points in Burgess Hill and officers are working towards an early resolution.