Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 6th November, 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

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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 25 September 2019. pdf icon PDF 240 KB


The minutes of the meeting of Council held on 25 September 2019 were agreed as a correct record of the meeting.


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




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




Chairman's Announcements


The Chairman noted the success of the Mid Sussex Applauds Awards 2019 and thanked the Officers for their role in delivering it. He drew Members attention to his recent engagements detailed on the Council’s website, noting particularly the recent visit of HRH the Duchess of Cornwall to the Bolney Wine Estate. He mentioned a number of initiatives and reminded Members that charity collection boxes were available and that there would be a Christmas raffle held at the next Council meeting. Any donations of prizes from Members would be most welcome. He also reminded Members that the December Council meeting would now be held on Wednesday 18 December.


Statement of Licensing Policy. pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Additional documents:


Councillor Andrew Lea moved the item, noting that it was obligatory for the Council to have a Licensing Policy. The policy had been reviewed by the Scrutiny Committee for Community, Customer Services and Service Delivery and had been the subject of public consultation. The item was seconded by Councillor Webster who confirmed that amendments had been made following comments made by the Scrutiny Committee Members.


The Chairman took Members to the recommendation which was agreed.




That Council:


Adopts amendments to the Licensing Policy attached in Appendix 1 to form the updated Statement of Licensing Policy from 1st January 2020. 


Updated Policy on Licensing of Sex Establishments. pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Additional documents:


The Solicitor to the Council introduced the report noting that p.62 paragraph 2.3 should include Newtimber, Pyecombe, Poynings and Fulking. These villages will be added to a revised version.


Councillor Andrew Lea moved the item noting that it was good practice to have such a policy. He confirmed it had been reviewed by the Scrutiny Committee for Community, Customer Services and Service Delivery and had been the subject of public consultation. The item was seconded by Councillor Webster.


The Chairman took Members to the recommendation which was agreed.




That Council:


Adopts the Sex Establishment Licensing Policy 2019 in Appendix 1 to form the updated Statement of Policy for Sex Establishment Venues from the 28th November 2019.


To receive the Leader's Report


The Leader confirmed his recent attendance at a number of meetings to ensure the District’s voice and needs are at the heart of key discussions. He attended the Transport for South East meeting last month, noting that it is on track to receive the crucial statutory body status.


He drew Members attention to the ongoing work to respond to Gatwick Airport’s expansion aspirations. He cited a recent report in the Member Information Services Bulletin where the Council has committed resources to ensure a detailed and technical case is put forward in response to a scoping request. He noted that the Planning Inspectorate has agreed with almost all the points that the Council and other Local Authorities have made to require Gatwick to look more closely at their proposals to mitigate the impact of the expansion. In response to Member’s questions he confirmed that there will be further Member briefings on this subject. He stated that it will be a long process, and at this early stage it would not be appropriate to set up a Member working group. Key will be careful consideration of the representations which the Council will need to make on GALs expansion proposals, and it is vital that Leaders from relevant Local Authorities work together.


The Leader thanked Members who attended a recent training session on Understanding Local Government Finance. This is particularly important as the Council approaches its service and financial planning work in the new financial year.


The Leader welcomed the success of the Haywards Heath Sixth Form College Open Day to showcase the impressive facilities and curriculum on offer. He thanked Officers of the Council and the Right Honourable Sir Nicholas Soames who worked tirelessly to ensure the decision to reopen the college was made. Members should be proud that residents now have post 16 options available locally.


He concluded by noting that two long serving members of Parliament had announced that they would not be standing in the forthcoming general election. He thanked the Right Honourable Sir Nicholas Soames for his 22 years’ service to Mid Sussex and his integral role in supporting a number of strategic projects for the Council and his excellent advocacy within Government. He also thanked the Right Honourable Nick Herbert for his great tenacity in serving two wards within the District for the past 14 years.



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


Report of the Deputy Leader


The Deputy Leader reiterated the thanks to Members who attended the training session on Understanding Local Government Finance. She drew Members attention to two items in the recent Member Information Service Bulletin. The first related to the purchase of 2 flats at the Orchards Shopping Centre which is part of the Council’s aspirations to ensure the centre is viable and successful. The second item relates to the Council’s decision not to participate in the new Business Rates Pool.  This was simply because mathematically it was not in the interests of the Pool for all authorities in West Sussex to participate.  The Council will continue to benefit from the effects of the Pooling arrangements.


A Member raised a question over the savings on Business Rates that NewRiver can benefit from for shop units in the first three months of occupation and urged that these savings be directed to charitable local causes in Burgess Hill.  The Deputy Leader noted that the rate relief is mandatory and not something that the Council has control over.  She suggested that the Town Council should take up the discussion with NewRiver.


Report of the Cabinet Member for Economic Growth


The Cabinet Member gave an update on his attendance at key meetings.


He confirmed that the Council is keen to enable local businesses to access local government procurement contracts. To support this, the Economic Development team are reworking the 2010 "How to do Business Guide" with the aim of relaunching in January 2020.


He concluded by noting the success of the Basepoint Centre in Haywards Heath, which has provided a flexible working space for businesses.   As the local economy features a large  number of the small businesses that favour this type of facility, and a huge number of residents that commute out to work that may increasingly look to use flexible working space locally several days a week, this  is a key sector to encourage. .


Report of the Cabinet Member for Customer Services


The Cabinet Member praised the Revenues and Benefits team for being shortlisted as finalists in three categories of the IRRV awards.


She provided an update on the recent consultation on the banded income Council Tax Support Scheme which has recently concluded. A number of meetings have been held by the Business Unit Leader with key stakeholders and affected residents. An update will be presented to the Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance on 20 November and Council in December with the aim of implementing it by April 2020. If Council approves the new scheme, it will enable the use of the DWP’s information in assessing residents claims for council tax support. She also noted that further training on Revenues and Benefits will be provided to Members in January 2020.


The Cabinet Member reiterated the success of the Mid Sussex Applauds Awards and thanked Officers for making it a success. She also confirmed that Mid Sussex Matters will be available to residents on 18 November, work is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Questions from Members pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 10.2


The following question was received from Councillor Eves:


The last time a public EV charger worked in Burgess Hill was 19th September 2018, so Cyprus Rd car park charger has been broken for over a year now. Haywards Heath chargers have been out of service in the last week. EV drivers can see on their app that Burgess Hill is a ‘black hole’ with no working charger, so they don’t even go there. Do you have any idea of when the public can expect our chargers to be repaired?


The following response was provided by Councillor John Belsey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Service Delivery:


As you know from our correspondence, the fault at Cyprus Road cannot be rectified by this Council. The work can only be undertaken by UK Power Networks and, as you also know, we are awaiting a date from them when the work will be undertaken. The fault with the Haywards Heath chargers has also been reported to the charge point supplier.


The Cabinet Member went on to say that it is also worth remembering that the provision of chargers is not core business for the Council and there are significant demands on our limited resources. However the Council is, trying to use its influence to stimulate the market and other providers and it is encouraging that we are being successful in that regard, as the new 50-kilowatt charges in Handcross suggests.


This month he noted that the Council will also submit an application to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to install an additional 26 new EVCPs chargers across the District.


The Cabinet Member agreed to provide a written response to Councillor Eves’ follow up question on whether the Council will be applying for money that the Government has recently agreed to offer local authorities in relation to this subject.