Clerk to the Council:  Emily Simpson

Tel:  07881714526  



In Attendance:


Cllr Fischel

Ashurst Parish Council (APC)

Cllrs Russell, Nicholson, Hedley, Hammond

Horsham District Council (HDC)

There were none.


Emily Simpson


There were none.


To discuss any questions submitted by the public.

There were none.

1. Apologies for Absence.

Apologies were received from Councillors Knight and Jesse which Councillors RESOLVED to accept. District Councillors Platt and Lloyd also sent their apologies.

2. Declaration of Members’ Interests, notification of changes to Members’ Interests, and consideration of any requests for dispensation.

There were none.

3. Approve the Minutes of the Meeting of 19th January 2023.

The minutes had been circulated to all councillors. It was RESOLVED to approve them as a true and accurate record.

4. Reports from District & County Councillors.

Councillor Platt shared a report ahead of the meeting. See Appendix 1.

5. Outstanding actions.

Cllr Fischel to speak to the Landlord of the Fountain Inn regarding registration as an Asset of Community Value: 

The Chairman has spoken to the Landlord about this. He is in agreement in principle. The Chairman will send further information to him about how an ACV works.

Cllrs Fischel and Russell to keep an eye on issues raised by HDC, when carrying out the play equipment inspections:

Ongoing - February inspection stated that the cradle swing needed to be replaced so this was being looked into by the Clerk.

Invitation to Wilder Sussex representative to talk at a future meeting: 

Cllr Fischel had spoken to Richard Black. He would like to come and speak but could not attend on Thursdays. The July Council meeting had been scheduled for a Wednesday so the Chairman was to see if he could attend then.

New bench for the Recreation Ground: 

The purchase of a 150cm bench which was previously agreed and deferred until Spring 2023 would be ordered within the next few weeks.

Cllrs Fischel and Russell to investigate options for a refurbished or replacement building at the Recreation Ground:

Ongoing. Three architects had been identified and quotes were now being sought.

Flooding on Peppers Lane:

Clerk reported to WSCC who subsequently unblocked a pipe. The Clerk was advised that the ditch itself was the landowner’s responsibility.  

 6. Recreation Ground Matters

  • To receive a report on the Recreation Ground Trust’s income and expenditure for the period from 1st September 2022 to 20th January 2023

The Clerk reported that the bank balance as of 20th January 2023 was £7,065.49.

 Income received 1st September 2022 – 20th January 2023

Ashurst United Football Club: First instalment for use of Recreation Ground = £350.00

 Total income  = £350.00


 Expenditure authorised 1st September – 20th January 2023


Sussex Land Services (Grass cutting July – October) £969.60

Delia Thornton (Legionnaire Compliance Training) £183.75

Perry’s Electrical (Remedial works to Hut & Pavilion) £1010.40

EDF (period of 4 months) £71.00

HDC (Play area inspections April 22 – Sep 22) £86.40

Bank charges HSBC (September – December 2022) £24.80

Wicksteed Leisure Limited (Annual playground inspection) £144.00

Cllr Fischel (Reimbursement for legionella testing thermometers) £146.40

Ashurst Arborists (Reduction of oak tree by car park) £500.00

Business Stream (Water charges 12 Sep 2022 – 10 March 2023) £37.74


Total expenditure = £3,174.09


  • The Chairman spoke of the issues with HSBC and the Council unanimously AGREED for the Clerk to start the process of switching to Lloyds Bank and, as per her appointment as Secretary of Ashurst Recreation Ground Trust, gave her full authority to progress with any necessary paperwork regarding HSBC and Lloyds.
  • The Chairman advised that the successful contractor for the grass cutting, Sussex Land Services, was delighted to continue working for the Council and the first cut would take place mid-April, ideally on a Thursday.
  • The Chairman confirmed that the contract with Ashurst United FC had been signed by both parties and the Clerk had invoiced the Club for the remaining half of the season.
  • The Chair advised that a smart meter had to be installed by EDF in order to be compliant with the energy contract. An appointment had been booked for 30th March and she would arrange access for the contractor.
  • With regards to the Queen’s Green Canopy tree, the Chair reported that the only available replacement tree was a red oak tree so, after discussion, the Council decided that the Hornbeam, which had already been delivered, was preferable. It was agreed the Chair would request permission from the agents for the Duke of Norfolk Estate, to plant the tree on Bines Common. The surrounding neighbours would also be advised.
  • With regards to the rebuild/replacement of the John Eaton Hut, the Chair had now found a third recommended architect and would report further once all three quotes were received.


7. Planning Applications

There were none.

 8. Planning Decisions from HDC

Parish: Ashurst PC Application Number: DC/22/1766 Site: Gratwicks House Church Lane Ashurst Steyning West Sussex BN44 3AR Description: Installation of 4no additional solar panel arrays. Decision: Application Permitted Date of Decision: 23/01/2023

Parish: Ashurst PC Application Number: DC/22/1730 Site: Loves Cottage Horsham Road Steyning West Sussex BN44 3AA Description: Erection of a single storey side extension. Decision: Application Permitted Date of Decision: 07/03/2023

9. Payments and bank reconciliations

The bank balance at Lloyds as of 1st February 2023 was £17,497.55.

 To review the schedule of payments since the last meeting (19th January 2023) and the latest bank reconciliation as at 28th February 2023 (See Appendix 2)

 The Clerk presented the schedule of payments since the last meeting on 19th January 2023 until 16th March 2023, together with the bank reconciliation up to 28th February 2023, which Councillors RESOLVED to approve.





Cost Centre


1.3.23 PWLB (Direct debit) = 1,423.38

15.3.23 E Simpson (BACS) Salary Feb & March + expenses (stamps) = 480.50

15.3.23 E Simpson (BACS) Office Allowance (Feb & March) = 26.66

15.3.23 HMRC (BACS) (Tax E Simpson Dec & Jan) = 118.60




  • To receive a report on the Council’s income

The Clerk confirmed that no income had been received since the last meeting.

10. Policies

Councillors voted on Agenda items 10 (a) – (h) as one and resolved to APPROVE each of the listed policies.

11. Elections

The Chair advised the rest of the Council that nomination packs were now available, either by contacting the Clerk or Horsham District Council directly. The packs needed to be returned to the Returning Officer by hand. Further information could be found on the parish council website or indeed on the District Council’s website. Protocol for pre-election arrangements (formerly referred to as Purdah) had been circulated. The Clerk advised she had shared all information sent on the matter. She would resend the Nomination pack.

12. HALC Update

The Chair said at the last HALC meeting that there had been a useful update on climate change and the environment from Helen Peacock, Environment Manager at Horsham District Council. The Council would be arranging three workshops this year.

The Chair also advised that Wildlife and Ecology workshop initiatives had taken place and a resource pack was being developed based on the outcome of the workshops.

 The Horsham District Local Plan had been further delayed. The Chairman of HALC had written to HDC on behalf of HALC expressing the concerns of those representing local parishes who were in attendance at the meeting.

13. Rampion

The Chair reported that Rampion is currently conducting another small consultation on a 3km cable route section from Myrtle Grove to Sullington Hill. The Council discussed Rampion at length. It concluded that residents affected by Rampion still felt that there had been no proper consultation and that they did not feel their concerns were being heard.

14. GDPR

The Chair reminded all councillors to delete emails older than 6 months.

15. Correspondence

Cllr Nicholson advised that Sussex Safer Roads had advised that it wasn't possible to deploy enforcement cameras in Ashurst Village as the location doesn't meet the current criteria for such a deployment. However, they will be seeking to supply ‘Slow Down’ signs for the village, if agreed at their next meeting. Cllr Nicholson would report back on their decision. Meanwhile the Village Speedwatch Group would continue to have its regular sessions in the village.

16. Reports from outside bodies

There were none.

17. Information items

The Clerk advised that the internal audit with Mulberry & Co had been booked for 28th April and this would be taking place remotely.

18. Annual Parish Meeting

The Chair advised that the Annual Parish Meeting is typically held in May but due to the elections and the Council wanting Richard Black to attend along with asking a couple of other speakers to make it more of an occasion, she suggested this should take place in July or September instead. The rest of the Councillors AGREED with this suggestion.

19. King’s Coronation

The Chair informed the Council that a lunch on the Recreation Ground had been arranged for Sunday 8th May. She advised that Horsham District Council was offering a grant for up to £200 for the occasion. The Council was advised that the Clerk would need to request the grant by Friday 7th April.

The Chair closed the meeting at 8.30pm.



Appendix 1

The Horsham District Plan has been further delayed.  A decision was taken by the Conservative Group to delay the plan in the hope that the proposals put forward by the Secretary of State for DLUHC will result in lower housing targets.  The Plan may not reach Regulation 19 until November/December this year. 

It is hoped that planning applications will be restrained by Natural England’s water neutrality requirement, but we are seeing some interesting solutions being proposed by developers including UV sterilisation of harvested rainwater for potable use. 

Council Leader Jonathon Chowen had stood down and had been replaced by Cllr Claire Vickers. 

The Council’s Draft Climate Action Strategy will go to Cabinet next week.  It is an ambitious and far reaching plan.  Good progress has already been made on cutting the council’s own carbon emissions, but there is much more to be done and the greatest challenges lie outside of the Council’s direct control. 

Cllr Bob Platt

Steyning and Ashurst.


Appendix 2

Bank Reconciliation 28th February 2023

Balance per bank statement

Closing balance 28th February 2023


Add: outstanding receipts


Less: outstanding payments


Cheque 811 and 813

Net balances


Cashbook (balance as of 1st April 2022)


Add receipts (from 1st April – 28th Feb 2023)


Less payments (from 1st April – 28th Feb 2023)


Net balance