05 Feb Rex’s Notes February 2024
Councillor Rex Whittaker updates us for February.
January has been a busy month for the town council.
On 29 January it fixed its budget for the year April 2024 to March 2025. Background context for all local councils for the past year or so has been one of rising inflation and costs – and a catch up post covid in the amount of activity and re-engagement. The council have and will remain to keep all of their portfolio of existing services without making any services cuts or reductions. Although East Grinstead is a large parish council its range of direct services is wide within our community and it continues to fully support the scores of community groups and charities that help run our town.
Full details of the new budget can be viewed on the EGTC website – but the headline figures are a 10 % increase to £ 102 per year for a Band D household.
On 2 February the town council also formally opened their new community hall facility called Sunnyside Hall – which was the old St Barnabus Church building near Dunnings Mill that they purchased in 2023. Upgrade works have been completed and the hall is available as a good value public hire facility. All enquiries via Community Officer Alice Fletcher ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Budget discussions for the 24 / 25 Year are still ongoing and will be finalised at the 28 February council meeting.
Mid Sussex are currently promoting their ‘ Mid Sussex Applauds ‘ annual awards scheme which nominates our various volunteer community champions. Nominations are open until 18 February and can be made via midsussex.gov.uk/ applauds . And there is a Business Section too !
MSDC planning department have also been busy early in 2024 – firstly publishing details of the long awaited revised NPPF National Planning Framework guidance from Government. This amends the future housing land supply numbers that all local authorities are required to strategically plan for over future years and decades.
Mid Sussex already have a good advanced position here with a 2018 adopted local strategic plan – and a revised & updated version of this that will be presented at independent public examination in 2024. They have a secure five year rolling land supply for future housing and employment targets.
Additionally MSDC have published their annual ‘ Infrastructure Funding Statement ‘ which is a detailed twenty page report for the 2022 / 23 financial year on Developer financial contributions secured , received , allocated , and spent by the council as a direct result of Section 106 legal agreements integral with existing planning permissions and consents.
In summary , MSDC secured £ 3,060,516 of planning obligations ,and received £ 1,987,721 in developer contributions.
From this total the amount of contributions allocated to East Grinstead is £ 1,257,570 & this covers twenty separately nominated specific projects for the town.
Full details of the report can be found on MSDC / planning / development contributions / infrastructure funding statement.
The Gatwick airport second runway planning application ( Development Consent Order ) starts its independent public examination process with an initial open hearing between 29 February and 7 March.
This will take many further weeks and months over Spring and Summer and the EGBA will keep all members and public updated as this unfolds. A Ministerial / Government decision on this is expected in Autumn this year – and clearly if it is approved then the influence of this large infrastructure project will affect East Grinstead life in many ways.
Future Council meetings
8 and 15 February – MSDC planning committees
19 February – MSDC Cabinet Grants Panel
28 February – MSDC Full Council