01 Jul Norman’s Notes June 2021
WSCC Roadworks and Repairs Programme
West Sussex County Council publishes a schedule of regular budgeted road repairs and maintenance on their website. Those of us who travel through the Imberhorne Ln./London Rd. junction will be pleased to see that resurfacing of the junction, from 28/29 London Rd. to M&S in the BP garage, is scheduled for this financial year.
A map of roadworks, with details, can be found at:
Mid Sussex Applauds 2021
Nominations are now open for this set of annual awards. I am delighted to see that East Grinstead’s Caravan and Motorhome Club is again sponsoring the award for Business in the Community, which recognises a business which supports or makes a positive contribution to benefit and enhance community life.
The other sponsors include, IDVerde, Clarion Futures, The Orchards Shopping Centre and CAE.
To see details of categories and how to nominate a staff, family member, or friend for any award please visit:
Cabinet Grants Panel
This week I will chair, if re-elected by the Panel, a meeting which disperses community grants and business and economic development grants across Mid Sussex.
This has been a particularly busy year, but we begin to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Here’s the agenda and papers to give you a flavour of our work: https://midsussex.moderngov.co.uk/documents/g2980/Public%20reports%20pack%2028th-Jun-2021%2016.00%20Cabinet%20Grants%20Panel.pdf?T=10
I thought you might be interested to see the work plan for my community portfolio, which overlaps slightly with Cllr John Belsey’s environment and service delivery portfolio, here:
My portfolio also includes Legal and Democratic Services. Here is a link to the Legal Services business plan, which overlaps with most areas of council work: https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/media/7019/legal-service-plan-202122-final.pdf
Here is a link to the democratic services which is the final part of my constitutional responsibilities: https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/media/7014/democratic-services-service-plan-202122-final.pdf
Police and Crime Scrutiny Panel
I sit on the Sussex wide Police and Crime Panel, whose responsibilities are to provide checks and balances in relation to the performance of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
The role of the Panel is to scrutinise the performance of the Commissioner and ensure transparency.
We met last Friday, for the first time in person since February 2020, to consider the Commissioner’s Annual Report which contained an array of new initiatives, despite Covid-19 pressures.
You can view the agenda and annual report here: http://www2.westsussex.gov.uk/ds/cttee/pcp/pcp250621age.pdf
Public Inquiry – Land North of Turners Hill Rd., Turners Hill
The Planning Inspectorate recently received an appeal against a refusal of a planning application submitted to MSDC, relating to Land North of Turners Hill Road, Turners Hill.
The appeal was for ‘Outline application for single chapel crematorium with a single abated cremator and natural burial site with associated access, car parking, landscaping and drainage. All matters reserved apart from access.’
The Secretary of State appointed a Planning Inspector and the Inquiry commenced on Tuesday 11th May 2021.
Last week the inspector published his decision to approve the application, having listened to and carefully considered a raft of data, both for and against the application.
Details of the case can be found at: https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/planning-building/public-inquiry-for-land-north-of-turners-hill-road/
You will see that appeals include a huge amount of information, expense to all parties and the risk of payment of costs being awarded to the Council, if the Planning Inspector’s decision goes against MSDC’s original decision. Although in this case that did not happen.
New Jobcentre Plus outreach service to start in Mid Sussex
This new initiative was officially launched, by Mims Davies MP, at the Bentswood Community Hub in Haywards Heath last week. The Hub is managed by Sussex Clubs for Young People, on behalf of Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group, and works to support local community activities, with employment and training support, youth social action projects and digital inclusion sessions.
Jobcentre Plus is providing the new employment surgeries at community venues in Haywards Heath and in Burgess Hill, making it much more convenient for people to access the support they need to return to work.
Last week I met with Mims Davies MP and representatives of Christians Against Poverty (CAP) from East Grinstead and Crawley, along with the EG Food Bank manager and a CAP service user. We discussed how we could introduce such a service in East Grinstead, to reduce the need to travel to other centres.
The employment surgeries will provide a chance to discuss work and training opportunities, obtain advice about completing application forms, support with applying for jobs online, clarify the rules and conditions for claiming Universal Credit and to find out more information on the latest Jobcentre Plus initiatives, of which there are many.
MSDC will complement the Job Centre support with additional employment services, to help those who are not in receipt of Universal Credit back into employment.
Employment Minister Mims Davies MP said:
“At DWP we’re committed to ensuring that people in Mid Sussex and right across the country have the local access to the support they need to get back into work and really progress. These new employment surgeries with DWP Work Coaches will provide tailored assistance to local jobseekers, importantly helping them into the training and work opportunities best for them. And through our ‘Plan for Jobs’, we’re continuing to boost job prospects in all corners of the country, like Mid Sussex, as we push to build back better.”
Could I be a school governor?
Is this something you have ever thought about? Being a governor can be very rewarding; I have been a Chairman of Governors and a member of 2 others.
You must be over 18 to become a school or college governor and there is no minimum age to be a student governor of a college.
Some of the strategic issues you become involved with include:
- a school’s business plan and strategy
- holding the headteacher to account for a school’s performance
- ensuring the school’s budget is properly managed
You can find out more by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/become-school-college-governor
or talking with your local county councillor: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/find-my-nearest/councillor/