Newsletter Autumn 2017
Letter from the Chairman
This is only my second newsletter since becoming Chairman in May of this year and it is always difficult to write over a month before you have the opportunity to read it. The council is currently trying to assess which activities are most popular with residents. To this aim, we are setting up a programme of consultations to understand better which activities should be progressed in the next year. You will see in Cllr Scott’s entry that we are proposing several new initiatives, which we will be exploring further. We will also be rewriting the council’s vision during the coming year. I have attached a condensed version of the vision developed to set out objectives and aspirations for the period 2014 – 2018. The full vision can be seen on our website under the heading July 2014 Worth Parish Council Vision Plan 2014 – 2018.
The Parish Council’s Vision for Worth Parish starts with the objective, “To make Worth Parish an attractive, safe and vibrant place to live and work, and ensure the character and unique environment of the villages and open space in the parish is protected and improved for future generations of residents.”
The Parish Council aims to do this by: working with and listening to local residents, community groups and businesses to support them in appropriate local developments, using Council influence to shape the future services and development of the Parish area, and developing Neighbourhood Plans that meet long-term challenges in the area. We will be setting up contact meetings in the new year, watch our website or notice boards for details.
The Council’s main aims are:
• To enhance communication between the Council and the local community.
• To enhance leisure and recreational facilities within the Parish by supporting and improving the village greens, play areas,skate parks, football and other sports fields, car parks etc.
• To seek Improvements to Highway Infrastructure.
• To seek to improve local retail opportunities, including disabled parking.
• To enhance community safety and reduce the fear of crime.
• To be actively involved in production and implementation of Neighbourhood Plans.
Halloween was a lively time in the village. It was great to see so many children and indeed parents dressing up. There was also some brilliant house decorations also. Well done especially to Paul Gould and Charlotte Madgewick for their fantastic display and costumes it was spectacular.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Elaine Anscomb (Chairman Worth Parish Council
The lack of smaller, affordable homes being built in the Parish is a growing concern. An analysis of the Council Tax Band of 208 new homes built in the last three years in Crawley Down, shows that there were only 45 in Bands A to C, compared with 163 in Bands D to G. The majority of the 45 in Bands A to C have been passed to housing associations for rent, leaving only 12 for purchase on the open market. The balance between affordable and executive homes in the village will only worsen if the Secretary of State decides to approve the applications for 104 new homes at Hazel Close and Wychwood.
The Parish Council continues to explore how to modify the Neighbourhood Plan to make it more effective. The Government is preparing a new process for minor modifications to made plans and our MP, Jeremy Quin, has written to the Minister for Housing to ask when this will be issued. In preparation, the Council has conducted a Call for Small Sites to complement the Mid Sussex call for sites for 6 or more dwellings. The District Plan is finally making good progress and should be adopted in January, although the Sub-Committee is concerned that an amendment to the main housing policy will mean that any development of less than 10 homes must be approved if the site is within or adjacent to the village boundary. The Sub-Committee is suggesting that a threshold of 6 homes would better represent sustainable development.
Ian Gibson (Chairman Crawley Down Neighbourhood Planning)
General Purposes and Finance
The Council has received a clean Auditors Report for the year ending March 31st 2017.
During the year the Council operated without a Clerk for a short period after the retirement of Jenny Saunders and before the appointment of Jennifer Nagy. When the new Clerk took up her position she noted that some, very few, decisions may have been contrary to the Standard Procedures that need to be observed. Accordingly, these were brought to the attention of the Auditors to ensure that they could be reviewed and, if necessary, appropriate comments made in the Annual Report. The Auditors have reported that no further action needs to be taken and no qualifications need be added to the Report.
The budgeting exercise for the year commencing April 2018 has now started and Councillors are being asked to put forward spending plans so that the District Council can incorporate our requirements into the level of Council Rate. Our proportion of the overall Precept is less than 3% which is equivalent to £59 per year for a Band D home.
The Council recognises that budget squeezes on West Sussex and Mid Sussex have resulted in cutbacks in important services and this is sure to continue (for example, reduction in Neighbourhood Policing and Traffic Management). We are therefore examining initiatives that we can take to maintain and improve the services in Worth Parish and will be inviting residents to Open Meetings to discuss potential projects. Arising from this will be a new Vision for the Role of the Parish Council.
The Council will prepare a Budget that will enable it to undertake some of these projects and new services over the next few years. However, it is very mindful of the cost implications and will ensure that any increases in Precept are kept to the minimum.
Useful phone numbers!
Anti-social behaviour 01444 477292
Anti-social driving 01243 642222
Bus Pass 0845 075 1018
Council Tax 01444 477564
Doctor: Copthorne 01342 774888
Doctor: Crawley Down 01342 713031
Dog Fouling 01444 477440
Library: Crawley 01293 651751
Library East Grinstead 01342 332900
Litter bins 01444 477440
Noise Nuisance 01444 477292
Overgrown paths / pavements 01444 477440
Pest Control 03444 828 336
Refuse and Recycling 01444 477440
Senior Railcard 0345 3000 250
Further information can be found here: West Sussex County Council – www.westsussex.gov.uk Mid Sussex District Council – www.midsussex.gov.uk Worth Parish Council – www.worthparishcouncil.co.uk K. Scott Chairman (General Purposes & Finance)
West Sussex County Council news release Tell Us Once
West Sussex County Council has a service which helps alleviate some of the strain when a loved one dies. Used for more than two thirds of all registered deaths in the county, the free Tell Us Once service notifies multiple government and council agencies about a recorded death from a single point of contact. Residents in West Sussex also have access to a more unique service via the Coroner’s team. When the cause of death is unknown, then it is referred to our Coroner but this can take longer to process. Previously this meant that when a death is ‘registered’, it was too late to use the Tell Us Once service. “But with around 3,000 deaths referred to the Coroner each year, the team decided to register the deceased’s details onto the Tell Us Once website so families can use it straightaway.
The Tell Us Once resource notifies organisations including the HMRC, DVLA and council services through the Department of Work and Pensions with a single phone call or online registration. The Tell Us Once Service then notifies individual County Council services – a total of 9,500 notifications across libraries, adult social services, Blue Badge services and concessionary travel. This means that residents have to contact fewer individual County Council departments plus more contacts avoided with other organisations including Council Tax and Identity and Passport Services.
For more information, please visit www.westsussex.gov. uk and search for ‘Tell Us Once’.
For further information please contact the news desk on 0330 222 8090 or email email@example.com.
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Dates of Council meetings are published on the Councils notice boards and website with at least three working days’ notice! Unless otherwise stated all meetings are open to the public, and are held at 7:30pm at the Parish Council Offices, 1st Floor The Parish Hub, Borers Arms Road, Copthorne.