Email: Tel: 01403 733202

Southwater Neighbourhood Wardens Drop-In

On Saturday 7th December 10.00-11.00 at Beeson House, Lintot Square
Please come along to raise issues and share ideas
We look forward to meeting you!

Part-Time Caretaker Wanted at Southwater Leisure Centre

26th November 2019

SPC are looking for a part-time weekend Caretaker two Saturdays and two Sundays a month (Every other weekend), at Southwater Leisure Centre. This would be on a contractor basis, opening and closing and checking the premises for one hour in the morning - 8:30 - 9:00am and one hour in the evening,
5:30 - 6:30pm. If this sounds like something you would be interested in doing, please phone the Parish Office on 01403 733202 or email for further details.


Sporting Moments (Know Dementia) at Southwater Leisure Centre

26th November 2019

SPC are happy to give an update on working with Sporting Moments-Know Dementia at Southwater Leisure Centre. As mentioned previously, SPC are very committed to working with all the groups throughout the changes that will occur at the Leisure Centre in the near future. They have continued to meet and work with this group to finding a solution going forward to enable them to stay at the Centre and Sporting Moments will be staying at the Centre going forward with only a few minor changes next year. SPC have been able to help and advise them on other important information. SPC look forward to continually helping and working with groups where possible to provide facilities for the residents of Southwater.


Leisure Centre Car Parking Closure Times

The Leisure Centre Car-Park and the LC Overflow Car-Park behind Beeson House, opening and closing times have changed in accordance with the previously notified new opening and closing times of the Leisure Centre. As from today, 4th November 2019, both Car-Parks will open at 9:00am and be closed at 9:00pm, Mon-Fri and will be opened at 9:00am - 6:00pm, Sat-Sun.  Please ensure if you have parked your Car, whilst using the centre within these times, it is removed prior to the gate being locked at 9:00pm.  Otherwise your car will have to remain within the Car-Park until it is re-opened at 9:00am the following morning. Thank you for your cooperation.


High Service Level Change


Review of Library Offer

The County Council is in a position where it needs to make savings of £75.5million over the next four years. We propose to achieve savings from the library budget by ceasing the mobile library service and reducing evening opening hours where they currently apply. Some operational logistical changes have also been identified but these will not impact frontline services to customers.

The County Council will continue to develop the Community Hubs work to identify longer term corporate savings by more efficient use of corporate assets and service arrangements.

We will continue, through our network of 36 libraries to provide access to books and information and to a wide range of services in addition to library activities for all ages. They support in particular Best Start in Life, Independence for Later Life and Council that works for the Community. These will include our Home Library Direct service, our eLibrary service and Select and Collect.

Regrettably, we need to consider significant savings but it is important to stress that no decisions have yet been made.

Alternate formats 

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact us on 03302223247 or via email at  If you are deaf or hard of hearing and have an NGT texting app installed on your computer, laptop or smartphone, you can contact us on 18001 03302223247.

Why We Are Consulting

We are proposing the following changes to the library service and would like to seek your views on the two key proposals:

Mobile Library Service

We currently have 2 Mobile Libraries, Community Mobile 1 (CM1) based at Bognor Regis Library and Community Mobile 2 (CM2) based at Horsham Library. We have been reviewing the service for economy and usage since the last formal review in 2011 and have postponed replacing the vehicles in anticipation of a saving requirement. Unfortunately following its pre-MOT inspection in June 2019, we were advised by our transport colleagues that repairing CM1 would cost more than the vehicle was worth so reluctantly the vehicle had to be taken off the road and sold. Unfortunately we are now in a similar position with Community Mobile 2.

Since CM1 had to be withdrawn existing mobile library users have already started accessing their nearest static library. Overall use of the Mobile Library Service is in decline with a 27% drop in loans since the last review in 2011. Mobile Library customers now account for less than 1% of our total customer base, and some of those already also use a static library so for some the use of the mobile is a choice not a necessity.

What matters is that vulnerable and isolated people still get a service wherever they are.

Changes to opening hours

Evidence shows the peak times for library use are during the day generally
between 9am and 4pm, with a peak around 11 am.  In our largest libraries, which currently open until 7pm on five days a week, use between 6pm and 7pm has been declining. It is the quietest hour of the day in all libraries.

However, buildings on more than one floor require a staffing presence to maintain customer and staff safety and wellbeing, so per customer this is an expensive hour to offer. We are proposing to adjust opening hours patterns so that no library is open beyond 6pm, thus maintaining a consistent offer.

The full council proposals can be found here (please see Agenda Item 9).

Impact of the proposal

If these proposals are taken forward then the Mobile Library Service will cease from April 2020 and no library will be open beyond 6 pm. 

Have your say


Horsham District Council Sports Development Team and Southwater Wardens

FREE Half-term Multi-Sports Event
This event will be held on Thursday 31st October at Southwater Leisure Centre from 10.00-12.00 for children aged 6 – 16 years
Limited spaces available. To book your place, please contact

Gym Membership Update, Southwater Leisure Centre - 08/10/2019

Dear Residents - Yesterday a meeting was conducted with Places for People leisure who have been able to offer all our current Gym members a limited time offer to join at one of the mentioned Leisure Centers for only £10 and save up to £60 for Southwater members.  Promotion code is PITP2019. Please contact directly any of the following four Leisure Centers: The Bridge, Pavillions in the Park, Billingshurst and Steyning. 


Footpath leading from Nutham Lane Open Space past Easteds Barn - 08/10/2019

Dear Residents, it has been requested that the Parish Council look at lighting the area mentioned above, although not a public right of way, the Council are currently looking at improving this footpath to enable better use.  This is currently still be investigated and it has become apparent that lighting will most probably need planning consent prior to any installation, other discussions with the correct authorities on this area are also being undertaken.  Therefore, do please bear with us whilst this is being looked at, it could take a few months to ensure that all avenues are being explored to ensure it can be done legally and within guidelines.  During this time when nights are drawing in and mornings are darker, it would be safer for all those whose usually use the path, to not use the path for their own safety.

General Update - 07/10/2019

Dear Southwater Community, it has been noted that there have been many comments, a lot of which are untrue statements, facts that have been speculated upon and changed into further untrue statements. Please can I remind the community that the Parish Council is made up of Councillor Volunteers, whom are unpaid and give a lot of their own personal time to attend many meetings, read through countless documents and liaise with the staff. They do this because they really want to make the area in which they live a better place for all and do all they can with the best intentions. They have to abide by local government law and this they do with all their actions. It has been noted that some individuals have made personal comments on the staff that are employed by the Council. Please note that the staff are individuals employed to carry out the decisions and actions of the Council and are just doing the job for which they are employed to do, therefore it is unfair and stressful for the staff when comments are made about them.

Downslink Closure

Temporary Closure Notice in respect of Footpath 1661.  This closure is necessary while construction works are undertaken.  The path will be closed for 21 days from the 5h October 2019 and this will be followed by a further closure.  Should you have any queries regarding the closure please contact (0)1243 777620 


Starting School September 2020

Southwater Leisure Centre Gym

Southwater Parish Council are aware of the recent comments that have been placed on the face-book site in reference to the announcement that Southwater Parish Council have made to their Staff and Gym Members and Class tutors in regards to a Council decision to close the Gym at the Leisure Centre on October 31st 2019.

It was important, legally correct and fair that the Staff immediately affected by such a decision were informed first and on the same day if possible, all gym members and class tutors affected were also informed, prior to putting out any official statement on social media, I am sure you all understand this.

It is not a decision that the Parish Council have come to lightly, there has been many discussions and deliberations on the Leisure Centre over the last few years, whilst recognising that change needed to happen due to continued financial losses, the Parish Council explored as many other options as possible first.  In a village with a population over 12,000, it is disappointing that despite many incentives run by staff to try and attract new Gym members, membership has been falling continuously, competition from other new and existing Gyms within the area attracting many within the village to their membership and therefore at the Leisure Centre currently, the gym has 160 direct debit members who use the gym, (a limited volume of members only, attend classes and do not use the gym).  The cost of staffing the opening hours and maintenance and upkeep of the gym equipment is not sustainable against the income generated by the limited membership numbers, and contributes significantly to the increasing Leisure Centre deficit.

I am sure you can understand that it is not possible to continue to offer such a facility because of all the costs associated with running it, expenditure far exceeding any income. 

To be more specific, since the start of this financial year (2019/2020), the Leisure Centre’s expenditure has continued to exceed the revenue that it generates, resulting in an accumulation of deficits.  For the last financial year, the Council incurred losses of £148,000, with an expected £95,000 budget deficit on the Leisure Centre this year, which has resulted in an immediate requirement to reduce expenditure.

In addition, usage statistics have highlighted that there are periods where there is little use of the facilities, in particular on bank holidays and during the Christmas period, but also prior to 9:00am and after 9:00pm Monday to Friday. The extended hours of opening have created challenges with shift cover and financial analysis of revenue versus cost has indicated that opening hours should better reflect usage in order to be cost effective.

As a result of these challenges, the Council has identified an urgent need to review the way in which the leisure centre is run, with a view to achieving the required cost savings needed if it is to continue to offer a service of any kind in the future.  

Based on the business requirements, the Council have determined the need to;

  1. Cease to operate a gym in the leisure centre building, instead focussing on hiring out or licencing space in the leisure centre building on a self-serve basis, therefore requiring significantly reduced staffing from the council
  2. Reduce the opening hours during the week (Monday to Friday) from 6am to 10pm as it is currently, to 9am to 8pm
  3. Maintain the current weekend opening times of 9am to 6pm
  4. Close the centre on all Bank Holidays; all days the Parish Council Offices are closed over Christmas period (except weekends) and on New Year’s Eve, as there is limited usage on these days to warrant the cost of maintaining the facility and to reduce issues previously arising out of staffing such days.
  5. The Council is still reviewing the long term operation of the Leisure Centre as agreed at previous Parish Council meetings.

Dawn Spouge


Southwater Parish Council

Telephone – 01403 733202

Downs Link closure West Sussex - Resurfacing works Downs Link West Sussex - Autumn/winter 2019 - 2020

Downs Link Surfacing Programme - 2019 to 2020

The Downs Link is 37 miles (59km) long and connects the North Downs Way and South Downs Way National Trails.  It is a former railway line and is a great facility for exploring the countryside and villages along its length, as well as linking users to the wider public rights of way network (over 2,560 miles or 4,100km in West Sussex alone!).

The route is also an important wildlife corridor, connecting significant natural habitats that would otherwise be isolated.  This results in greater numbers and variety of plants and animals, such as glow-worms, nightingales, purple emperor butterflies, pyramidal orchids to name but a few.

West Sussex County Council has been awarded funding to improve the surface of the Downs Link in Rudgwick, Slinfold, West Grinstead and Henfield parishes. The sections shown on the maps will be upgraded this autumn/winter 2019.  A further two sections will be improved in 2020.

The work will make it easier for walkers, horse riders and cyclists to use the route all year round and is being funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

While our contractors are working on site, the Downs Link will need to be closed but the route will be opened, where possible, at weekends and week-day evenings. 



New Leisure Facilities

Southwater Parish Council are aware there has been a lot of speculation as to why the new leisure facilities on the new Berkeley’s estate are not yet opened to the public. 

The reason for this is because the legal documents have not yet been received in their final form for the Parish Council to observe and sign and this has been chased with all parties that are concerned.

As soon as the Parish Council have a date, they will let the public know.


Community Building - Laurie Apted Building

Southwater Parish Council are shortly due to take over a new Community building, called the Laurie Apted Building that is situated off of Church Lane, near to the new Sports Building.  The Parish Council would like to invite an expression of interest from any local community group in managing this building for community use, benefitting the community in which they live.

Once the Parish Council have taken formal handover of this building, they will be placing this information on this website and all interested parties will be considered at the following Parish Council meeting, the dates of which are published on their website.

Please register your interest by filling in the expression of interest form that can be found by using this link, this will then need to be emailed/posted/delivered by hand to the Parish Council office. 


Southwater Parish Council Announcement

The Parish Council is sorry to announce that Mrs Catherine Tobin has decided to leave the Council after 21 years’ service as our Clerk. Mrs Tobin leaves on 21st May 2019 and we wish her well and thank her for her 21 years’ service

The Council is pleased to announce that Mrs Dawn Spouge has been appointed as the Acting Clerk until such time as a recruitment process begins. Please direct any enquiries to Mrs Spouge at



Notice of Vacancy in the Office of Parish Councillor

25 October 2019

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that due to the resignation of Councillor Neil Whitear a vacancy for a parish councillor exists.

Horsham District Council Sports Development Team and Southwater Wardens

21 October 2019

Horsham District Council Sports Development Team and Southwater Wardens

FREE Half-term Multi-Sports E...

Southwater Neighbourhood Warden ‘Drop In’ - 19th September 2019

11 September 2019

Please come and share your good ideas to further improve the quality of life and community spirit in Southwater.

Southwater Parish Council Chairman's Press Release Council Tax 2017/18

15 March 2017

Southwater Parish Council has agreed an amount of 20.77% for its part of the Council Tax for the 2017/18 Financial Year, this was not an easy decision to make a


03 March 2017

The Horsham District Play Strategy is being updated. Help us to evaluate if the existing Play Strategy has made a difference to your residen

Linked documents