Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return for Accounts Year Ended 31 March 2020
30 July 2020
Owing to the impact of COVID-19 MHCLG had made amended Regulations which extended the statutory audit deadlings for 2019-20. Hence the requirement for the public inspection period to include the first 10 working days of July was removed and the AGAR must be approved and published by 31 August 2020 at the latest or approved earlier where possible (See 'The Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020' for more information).
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return for the year ended 31 March 2020 has been published on the council’s website and I attach the NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS.
Return to Full Council Meetings - 29th July 2020
23 July 2020 (Updated 27 July 2020)
Please note there is a Full Council Meeting at 7:30pm, Wednesday, 29 July 2020. Agenda can be found here.
How to access the Live Stream to be confirmed in next few days.
UPDATE (27 July 2020) - Live YouTube Stream - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Inp0yo-OMFc
Reminder - Full Council Meeting Originally Scheduled tonight is Cancelled
15 July 2020
Please note that the Full Council meeting originally scheduled for tonight at 7:30pm 15 July 2020 is cancelled and it is proposed there will be a full council meeting on 29th July 2020 via live stream and Zoom. More information will be released nearer the time.
Temporary Closure of Downs Link - Advanced Warning
10 July 2020
Downs Link Temporary Closudre between Stakers Lane and Bar Lane. Closed between Monday 20th July till Saturday 25th July 2020. No alternative route available. Dragons Estate are carrying out urgent tree works due to Ash Dieback. They have apologised for any inconvenience this may have caused. 01342 410122. SEE HERE for more information.
Improvement scheme ahead for busy A24 Robin Hood roundabout in Horsham
8 July 2020
• WSCC-A24 Robin Hood roundabout improvements scheme illustration.pdf WSCC-A24 Robin Hood roundabout improvements scheme illustration.pdf
Designs are being finalised for major improvements to the A24 Robin Hood roundabout aimed at reducing traffic congestion at this busy junction.
Road widening will improve traffic capacity to allow for the increased traffic generated by local developments over the last decade. A new traffic-light system will help manage flows in peak and off-peak periods and there will also be improvements for both pedestrians and cyclists.
The scheme will:
• Widen the A24 southbound from two lanes to four lanes;
• Widen the A24 northbound from two lanes to three lanes;
• Widen the exit from Warnham Road on to the roundabout;
• Introduce traffic-light control on the A24 approaches to the roundabout and on the Warnham Road;
• Introduce a signalised “Toucan” crossing across the Northbound exit of the A24 (towards A24 Great Daux);
• Improve the footway and cycleway connection from Warnham Road to Robin Hood Lane and the Public Right of Way.
There are likely to be two stages of work, site clearance and utility diversion works in the autumn / winter of 2020/2021 and main construction starting in mid-spring of 2021.
More information is available on the county council’s web page. Just before the main construction starts, residents and businesses will be able to find details on the web page about how to sign up to weekly email updates from the appointed contractor.
Funding for the scheme is coming from planning contributions from local development and the county council’s overall project delivery budget is approximately £3.7million.
Southwater and District Councillor Surgery (via Zoom) - Saturday, 11 July 2020
7 July 2020
Southwater Councillors Surgery is available this coming Saturday 11:00am, 11 July 2020 virtually. Please follow the link to access the meeting with Councillors (password if required is: Southwater):
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 891 5882 5517
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Meeting ID: 891 5882 5517
Public Notice - Temporary Traffic Regulation Order - Road Closure Pollards Way (A24), Southwater - Start date : 23.07.2020
6 July 2020
For more information please see this document.
Proposed Full Council Meeting Date – Live Stream
3 July 2020
The Council is planning to have its first live streamed Council meeting with Councillors attending remotely and with some Councillors (only) attending the Chamber in person whilst adhering to social distancing measures and safe working protocol (i.e. all those attending in the Chamber will adhere to the 2 metres apart safety guidance and the room well ventilated with PPE available to all attendees).
The proposed time and date of the first live remote Full Council Meeting is planned to be at 7:30pm on Wednesday, 29th July 2020; the Agenda will be issued 3 clear days prior to that date. The public will be invited to ask questions on a limited basis with an invite to speak and participate at the meeting limited to 3 persons (first come first serve, the Clerk must be contacted in advance). Time limits will be as per current Standing Orders. The public that have been selected to speak will be able to ask one question and one ancillary question only that must relate to a specific Agenda item. A live stream of the meeting will be available to all of the public and more information on the above and on how to access the meeting will be issued nearer the time.
Clerk to the Council
Reopening of Play Areas operated by SPC
1 July 2020
Following the Government’s advice, we are delighted to be re-opening playgrounds, from Monday 6th July.
All of our playgrounds have been inspected. However, we cannot clean all of our playgrounds once they are back in use to ensure that they are free of COVID-19 and so will be asking parents and carers to take reasonable precautions.
Therefore please be aware the play area facilities would have been safety inspected but cannot be sanitised. Please take all reasonable precautions to ensure you and your family’s safety. The 2m social distancing rule remains in place – please be respectful of other people. If you or any of your party are showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) DO NOT enter the play area. Return home and seek medical assistance.
Equipment which can accommodate multiple children e.g. climbing frames or a basket swing should be used by one family unit at a time. If a piece of equipment or the playground is busy please wait patiently or come back later.
Adults (and your children) are reminded to ensure good hygiene by providing regular hand sanitation, especially on leaving the playground. Please hand sanitise before and after and wash hands as soon as you can.
Please avoid drinking or eating in the playground. Please place your litter in a bin, or take it home with you.
Select and Collect Service coming to West Sussex Libraries
1 July 2020
Libraries in West Sussex are introducing a phased reintroduction of services from Monday 6 July, starting with a ‘Select and Collect’ service.
The service will allow residents to collect books from a specified entrance/exit door (please check with your Library) of all 36 West Sussex County Council owned libraries without the need to enter the building.
People will be able to reserve specific titles in the usual way online or by phoning their local library. In addition, people who may not know exactly what they want to borrow, will be able to ask for a more general selection of books chosen by a member of the West Sussex Library team.
Customers can complete a short online form or phone their local library giving them some basic information so that appropriate books can be selected.
People will also be able to pick up existing reservations made before Monday 23 March.
When items are available, the library service will let customers know and arrange a time for the items to be collected.
Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said: “Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the West Sussex Library Service has done their utmost to make sure that they offer all library users an alternative service to tide them over until lockdown restrictions were eased.
“Now, they are taking their first step back to a ‘new normal’ by offering this fantastic ‘Select and Collect’ service. We hope that this will get our regular library users comfortable with heading back into their local library when they re-open fully at a later date. It will also allow library users to see some of their regular library staff and have a chat or talk through any worries or concerns they may have about using the libraries at this current time.
“Whatever you plan to do, the staff at all of our libraries are looking forward to welcoming you back.”
Browsing inside the library is not yet available and all libraries will be operating with reduced hours for the foreseeable future.
Once the ‘Select and Collect’ service has been trialled, the next priority is to restore customer access to IT whilst still enabling staff to work safely.
For anyone who cannot visit the library and would like to borrow a selection of stock or request specific items, the Essential Delivery Service, which was set up when libraries closed towards the end of March, will still be available.
There are currently no overdue charges for outstanding items, so please do not worry if you are unable to return your books at this stage.
To take advantage of the ‘Select and Collect’ service, visit arena.westsussex.gov.uk/web/arena/staff-select and fill out the short online form.
For further information please contact the news desk on 0330 222 8090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Temporary Closure Notice - Public Footpath No. 1664 (part)
12 June 2020
Southwater – Public Footpaths No. 1664 (part) – Temporary Closure Notice
I attach, for your information, a copy of a Temporary Closure Notice in respect of the above route. The closure is required to ensure public safety while tree surgery works are undertaken.
The path will be closed for 2 days from the 16th June 2019.
Scam Alert - Update from Neighbourhood Warden (Dominic Woodhead)
12 June 2020
“I wanted to report a potential scam that is underway at the moment (in Storrington in particular). A man is going into business premises saying he is working with the NHS and Horsham District Council. He tries to hard sell a monthly subscription for hand sanitiser for £50 per month and has the direct debit form with him which he pushes hard on the business to sign up to there and then.”
I have been advised that no such agreement has been made with any company and HDC and therefore this person is attempting to secure a contract fraudulently. At this stage I do not know whether he will actually deliver any product or whether it is merely a method by which he can secure payments. In any event, could you please consider ways of getting this message out to businesses via all channels as it is said that his attire and demeanour were quite convincing and some companies may well be drawn in.
Southwater Councillors Surgery - Saturday, 6 June 2020
2 June 2020
Southwater Councillors Surgery is available this Saturday 11:00am, 6 June 2020 virtually. Please follow the link to access the meeting with Councillors (password if required is: Southwater):
Consultation on the change of status for The Forest School, Horsham and St Andrews CE High School for Boys, Worthing to co-educational schools - West Sussex Update
2 June 2020
Please be advised that the Statutory Consultation on the schools named above has gone live (1 June).
Both consultations will run for a total of four weeks until 29 June 2020.
They can be accessed via the following links.
If you require any further information please contact the school organisation team via email email@example.com and a member of the team will come back to you.
Household Waste Recycling to Accept More Items from 1st June 2020
27 May 2020
Residents will be able to dispose of the following items at all sites in West Sussex:
• garden waste
• general household waste
• electrical items
• bulky items
• white goods
Vans and pickup trucks with a permit can now enter sites. Trailers are still not allowed at this time, to help ensure social distancing and to limit queues.
For more information please visit: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/news/household-waste-recycling-sites-to-accept-more-items-from-monday-1st-june/
Anti Social Behaviour / Vandalism to MUGA (at The Ghyll Leisure Centre)
21 May 2020
I am sad to report that since locking the MUGA again with very robust locks provided by our locksmith, they have been hacksawed off (including part of the gate). The MUGA was again full of alcohol and litter. These crimes have been all reported to the Police. 5 locks have now been cut off and an attempt to cut through the outer wire of the MUGA as well as other internal damage. Whomever is causing this is intent on repeating the crime. Therefore we have now had to leave the gates open. It is a persons own responsibility to stay safe and adhere to the guidelines, crowds are being policed and our Wardens are also patrolling and looking out, ready to advise on any unsafe gatherings.
Kind Regards, The Clerk to the Council.
Governance Committee agrees way forward on council meetings until July 2020 - WSCC
21 May 2020
A decision on which council meetings will take place between now and the end of July has been taken by West Sussex County Council.
The decision by the Governance Committee at its meeting on Wednesday 20 May, will allow for a focus on priority and essential business whilst in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cabinet meetings will continue to be held monthly for collective decision making as well as for updates on and the impact of Covid-19 and the Council’s response.
Scrutiny Committees will continue to meet to consider proposals that the Cabinet is expected to consider.
The Council’s Audit Committee will also still meet as planned as will the Full Council meeting on 17 July and the agenda for this Council meeting will be settled towards the end of June.
Some other meetings will be cancelled or postponed, particularly where there is no urgent or time critical matters to be dealt with.
The current plans will run to the end of July 2020.
All County Local Committee (CLC) meetings have been cancelled up to the end of July.
Community Initiative Fund (local small grants) and Traffic Regulation Order (small road schemes) decisions, which are currently taken at CLCs, will still be considered by the members of the committee informally and completed without the need for a meeting.
Janet Duncton, Chairman of the Council and Governance Committee, said: “At such a difficult time, it is really important that the democratic process remains in place as much as is practicable. But we also need to be able to prioritise matters which will have an immediate impact on residents across the county.
“We will keep arrangements for our meetings under review as we move towards the next phase of the public health emergency.”
Meetings still scheduled to take place will be audiocast at westsussex.public-i.tv/core/portal/home. It is hoped to have meetings videocast in the coming month.
Residents can check what meetings are still taking place by visiting www.westsussex.gov.uk/meetings.
Supporting Schools to Safely Begin Reopening - WSCC
20 May 2020
The County Council is continuing to work closely with West Sussex schools to support a phased return of pupils in a safe and managed way.
Detailed discussions have been held with school and academy representatives and unions to consider the government’s position that schools should begin to reopen from next month.
The council’s aim is for the phased return to start from 1 June , in line with national guidance. Schools are showing support for this approach.
Schools’ individual risk assessments are identifying how they can best manage this and maintain the safety of their pupils and staff. Priority places will continue to be given to children who are vulnerable, those with Education Health and Care Plans and the children of key workers across all year groups. The council is also asking schools to prioritise disadvantaged pupils and those who have limited access to online resources in both primary and secondary schools.
It means that the way schools will manage the return of different year groups will vary across the county and may mean that not all of the specified year groups will go back to school at the same time.
Nigel Jupp, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “I would like to thank all of the teachers and school staff across West Sussex who continue to work tirelessly for their pupils. I am also extremely grateful to the children, parents and carers who have adapted so well in very difficult circumstances.
“We are supporting schools to plan for a phased reopening in a safe and managed way for all pupils and staff.
“Throughout the lockdown, our education team has worked together with headteachers, governors and unions. The number of children, including those who are vulnerable, attending school during this period has been above the national average. Everyone involved in education in West Sussex wants what’s best for our children – to keep them safe and keep them learning.”
Update from Neighbourhood Wardens
14 May 2020
Naturally, we have ramped up our high-visibility patrols around the parish not only providing a visible deterrent but possibly more importantly, offering reassurance to residents.
Where possible, we have responded promptly to reports of breaches of the COVID-19 regulations and have provided guidance and advice to a number of people in the village.
With the waste recycling centres only now coming back on-stream, we have seen an incidents of fly-tipping. As more people than ever are out and about and many waste bins have been removed or covered, there is an increase in litter and dog waste so we have increased our litter picking whilst on patrol to support our colleagues.
In relation to drugs litter, which has recently been the subject of scrutiny I can report 10 separate incidents involving 16 items of litter in 8 individual locations (drugs litter found in the same on repeat occasions – potential hotspot identification)
We will, as expected, produce our monthly report in a few weeks but with the national picture constantly evolving and local issues in sharp focus, it was felt that an interim report of our activities would be beneficial so I hope this helps.
The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council
14 May 2020
The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council, originally scheduled for Wednesday, 27th May 2020 has been cancelled. Any further scheduled date to be advised.
The Ghyll - Design Logo Competition from Prospective Trustees of Charity (CIO)
11 May 2020
Southwater War Memorial - VE DAY Friday, 8th May 2020
8 May 2020
Update from the Southwater Community Partnership - VE DAY Friday, 8th May 2020
7 May 2020
Please also see these documents:
VE Day Tribute
The Nations Toast To The Heroes
Safe Space for victims relaunched in ‘lockdown’
7 May 2020
‘Safe Space Sussex’ is an online directory of local victim services, created by Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne. In response to the ‘lockdown’ and concerns raised around crimes like Domestic Abuse, this site has been upgraded and advice has been shared on social media (@SussexPCC) to help victims covertly reach out for help whilst stuck in isolation – search #SafeSpaceSussex.
With the entire country in lockdown, many services have expressed their concerns about victims of crime not feeling able to safely reach out for help. They have seen a decrease in engagement from victims with reports of crimes (like domestic abuse) made to Sussex Police, reducing by around 4%.
It’s vital that residents are aware of the support that is still available if they need it. Safe Space Sussex has been equipped with a new search tool so that within 10 seconds, victims of any crime can find the service they need. It also has a ‘leave site now’ button that users can press to quickly exit the site.
Tailored guidance has been shared across social media community groups on how victims can access the new website covertly, using incognito tabs, as they may be living with their perpetrators during ‘lockdown’ and their search history may be monitored as a result.
Victims can also covertly let Sussex Police know they are in danger. The '55' technology is in place for those too scared to speak, to alert a call handler to the fact they need help by pressing 55 on their mobile phone once they've dialled 999.
There is still help and support available for all victims of crime during the Covid crisis.
If you find yourself in an emergency where you think you or others may be in immediate danger dial 999. Sussex Police are always there for you when you need them. Don’t suffer in silence.
If you would prefer not to contact the police you can report a crime anonymously via Crimestoppers online: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously or by calling: 0800 555 111
www.safespacesussex.org.uk has all the information on support services who can help any victim of crime across Sussex.
County Council confirms how and when Household Waste Recycling Sites will reopen
6 May 2020
Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRSs) across West Sussex will reopen from Monday 11th May, the County Council has confirmed.
Final preparations to reopen the sites are being completed this week, taking into account the latest government advice, which was issued today (Tuesday).
If you are thinking of taking a trip to one of the HWRSs there are several things you need to consider.
Before planning your journey you should:
• Consider whether your journey is essential. You should only visit a HWRSs if your waste or recycling is not suitable to be picked up in your kerbside collection and presents a risk of injury or harm to health. If it doesn’t, please safely store your items at home for now or make other legal arrangements for it to be removed.
• Note emergency laws on essential travel still apply and these essential reasons provide the only “reasonable excuse” for travel – the fact that sites are open does not.
• Check our opening hours. Sites will be running their usual summer opening days and hours. (Please note our Shoreham site is closed on Mondays. Other sites may close on other days.) Please check when your local site is open at www.westsussexrecycles.org before leaving home.
• Consider whether you need to come straight away Sites may be busy in the first few days and at weekends, if you can wait a little longer it may mean a shorter waiting time.
Before visiting a site please note:
• Only garden waste and residual waste will be accepted. Garden waste means green waste such as grass cuttings and hedge trimmings. Residual waste is other waste that presents a risk of injury or harm to health and will be landfilled. We hope to be able to accept other items soon. Please continue to use your household collections for recycling and general waste.
• Only cars will be allowed on site. Trailers and large vehicles such as vans and pickups will not be allowed access at this time.
Once at the sites there will be certain measures in place for the safety of visitors and staff:
• The number of vehicles accessing the sites will be restricted. Visitors should prepare for delays at sites and should delay their visit to avoid the first couple of weeks if possible.
• Social distancing barriers will be in place. Visitors will be directed into enclosed bays to dispose of their waste.
• Only one person will be allowed to get out of a vehicle. Please travel to the sites alone if possible. If other people travel to the site with you, they must remain in the vehicle.
• Site staff will not be able to help unload your waste and recycling. Please do not bring anything that you cannot safely remove from your car on your own.
• Abuse or aggression to site staff will not be tolerated and could result in sites being closed again.
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “The health and protection of residents and our staff is our absolute priority. We know the closure of our recycling sites has been inconvenient for many and we know there will be a lot of people who will now want to visit the sites as soon as they reopen.
“However, I would ask people to consider whether their journey is absolutely essential. If you can store your waste and recycling without risking injury, health, or harm, then please do so.
“We are expecting the sites to be busy when they reopen and social distancing measures will mean fewer cars can access the site at any one time, so users should plan for significant delays and long queues, which could affect the road network.
“In order to maintain social distancing and keep everyone safe we have had to restrict the service we can offer and therefore the types of waste we can accept. We hope to be able to expand this in the coming weeks and we thank everyone for their patience.”
Southwater Neighbourhood Wardens Update
1 May 2020
Both Dominic and Jacquie are now both based back in the community of Southwater.
Their contact details are;
Dominic Woodhead - 07789 943193
Jacquie Cave - 07789 943156
Councillor Surgery – Virtual Zoom Meeting
29 April 2020
Saturday 2nd May – 11am
If you would like to participate, please use the link and password below.
Billy Greening is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 833 4156 0460
Callout to West Sussex Businesses for PPE
29 April 2020
[News Release from WSCC]
West Sussex businesses are being asked if they can supply or donate any personal protective equipment (PPE) to help protect frontline workers who are delivering essential services to residents during the coronavirus outbreak.
West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, Amanda Jupp, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to all those businesses who have already come forward to donate or supply PPE for frontline staff in West Sussex during the COVID-19 crisis.
“As businesses will be aware, there is nationally an acute shortage of PPE across all services that support the public. Our council is urgently looking to increase its supplies of PPE for frontline staff which includes social workers, care home workers, community hub delivery drivers and Fire and Rescue Service workers.
“Whilst we are receiving PPE supplies, the current situation means we need to continually increase supplies coming in - obviously there is great demand across the county for equipment, with the NHS understandably being prioritised.
“We would really like to talk to any business in West Sussex that has or is producing PPE that could be donated to or purchased by the County Council.”
Examples of PPE needed are:
• Hand sanitiser gel (greater than 60% alcohol)
• Hand sanitiser gel dispensers
• Disposable shoes, overalls and plastic aprons (single use) - CE marked
• Eye protection EN166:2001 Frame Marking 3
• Disposable gloves (single use) EN:374/5 (Viral protection)/nitrile purple/ nitrile blue
• Fluid repellent surgical mask (single use) Type 11R medical use
The Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF), which brings together public service agencies in responding to COVID-19, has a full list of PPE required on its website: www.sussex.police.uk/srf. In addition to the items on the SRF list, there is an urgent need for sanitiser gel dispenser bottles (ideally not larger than 1 ltr and flip lid or hand pump preferred).
All PPE items need to conform to the correct safety standards - detailed specifications are available on the gov.uk website.
If your business may be able to help in any way, please email PPEOffers@westsussex.gov.uk and the council will get in touch with you.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Fraud and Cyber Crime
28 April 2020
Measures announced over recent weeks to deal with coronavirus (COVID-19) have seen our day-to-day life drastically changed – we are spending more time at home and online. Unfortunately, criminals will use every opportunity they can to scam innocent people and their businesses.
This guidance explains simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your business against fraud and cyber crime and where to get help.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice on how to protect yourself and your business from fraud and cyber crime
Annual Parish Meeting - Cancelled
23 April 2020
The Annual Parish Meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday 29th April at 7.30pm and hosted by the Parish Council (It is not a Council meeting), is cancelled. Any groups that usual report at this meeting, please send your reports to Clerk@southwater-pc.gov.uk by Tuesday 28th April. These can then be circulated to all other groups that attend and put on the Parish Council website for residents to note.
F&GP Meeting of 15th April 2020
15th April 2020
A reminder to note that tonight's F&GP Committee meeting is cancelled due to government guidance with regard to COVID-19 and as agreed at Full Council Meeting of 18th March 2020.
Southwater Neighbourhood Wardens Update
11th April 2020
Both Dominic and Jacquie are having to self isolate due to medical reasons following government guidelines. They are still working and able to respond to phone calls and email as usual to give advice and support. In addition to their usual role they are supporting a team that is contacting over 2500 vulnerable families across our district including Southwater.
Their contact details are;
Dominic Woodhead - 07789 943193
Jacquie Cave - 07789 943156
Contact details for each warden scheme can be found at www.horsham.gov.uk/communitysafety/community-safety/neighbourhood-wardens
For more information: https://www.southwater-pc.gov.uk/Neighbourhood-Wardens.aspx
Public Notice - Temporary Traffic Regulation Order - Old House Lane, Southwater 29/04/20
9th April 2020
NOTICE IS hereby given that in pursuance of the provisions of Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984, as amended, the use of (and parking on) Old House Lane, Southwater from junction with Dragons Green Road to junction with Lackenhurst Lane is temporarily prohibited from 29/04/20.
The restriction will be in place off peak only between 09.30 – 15.00.
Notice from West Sussex County Council
Southwater Neighbour Network
9th April 2020
For more information about how to access help and what is available locally.
Southwater Neighbour Network - SNN does have an established infrastructure including a recently redesigned website which is easy to use giving clear information about how to access help and important information like shops, pubs, etc who deliver, payments over the phone (which has been reported as a particular issue). The SNN website also has a contact form which could be used as another way of requesting help. For information please see attached the link to the SNN website
Planning Committee Meeting of 1st April 2020
1st April 2020
A reminder to note that tonight's Planning Committee meeting is cancelled due to government guidance and as agreed at Full Council Meeting of 18th March 2020.
Voucher Scheme Launches for School Providing Lunches
31st March 2020
Weekly shopping vouchers worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus are to be made available by the government. Please follow this link for more information.
Help to Residents during Coronavirus Restrictive Measures
30th March 2020
Dear Residents, if there are any individuals or groups that require help during these times of restrictive measures, please do contact the Parish Office to enable us, if possible, to put you in contact with groups offering assistance.
Email - Clerk@southwater-pc.gov.uk
Phone - 01403 733202
30th March 2020
On Monday 23 March the Government issued new guidance on how much time we are to spend outside and where we are allowed to visit.
All Allotment holders are reminded to please follow the social distancing guidance when at their allotment. When using communal gates, padlocks, tools and taps, please make sure you wear gloves at all times and clean your hands as soon as you can. Visiting the site constitutes your daily exercise set out by the government.
For further advice, please visit the National Allotment Society website. https://www.nsalg.org.uk/news/covid19-information/
On the website mentioned above it specifically says ( amongst other guidance ) DO NOT gather for a chat.
Please do continue to do your bit in keeping yourselves and others safe and well.
Home Fire Safety Warning After Recent Fire - West Sussex Fire and Rescue
30th March 2020
Firefighters in West Sussex are reminding residents to take extra care with candles following a fire in a teenager’s bedroom on Tuesday. Two crews from Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath were mobilised to a property on West Street, Burgess Hill, at 12.52pm after candles on the teenager’s bedroom window set fire to the curtains. Upon arrival at the house, crews found the fire had already been extinguished by an adult living at the property, but crews offered some safety advice to the household and helped ventilate the property. Ed Swain, Crew Manager at Burgess Hill Fire Station, said: “Luckily there was an adult in the property at the time when the fire broke out and he managed to deal with the fire himself upon hearing the smoke alarms actuating.
“With the latest advice from the government to help curb the spread of Covid-19, people should be staying at home and observing social distancing guidance.
“We would like to take this opportunity to remind people of the dangers associated with naked flames and candles and the importance of keeping them away from flammable materials. They should only be used in a proper candle holder, and they should be extinguished before you leave the room or go to sleep. Candles should never be left unattended.
“By following these simple steps you can enjoy having a candle lit, without putting the household at risk of fire.
“In this instance, it didn’t take much for the curtains to catch fire, and this had the potential to become a much more serious incident. There was a fair bit of heat damage to the curtains and the teenager’s bed, as well as smoke damage to the rest of the room.
“Fortunately this house also had a working smoke alarm fitted, which gave the family an early warning that something was wrong.”
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service (WSFRS) have issued some home fire safety tips with more people working and being in the home due to coronavirus (Covid-19).
Smoke alarms should be on every level of the home. Check they’re working regularly.
Avoid smoking in comfortable furniture or beds #DontSnoozeAndSmoke
For more information on home fire safety visit: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/…/west-suss…/home-fire-safety/
Closure of Downs Link for Improvement Works
30th March 2020
EAFRD funded Downs Link surface upgrade - phase 2. Closure of Downs Link and West Grinstead car park. The Downs Link surface has been upgraded in Rudgwick, Slinfold and Henfield parishes. Work begins in West Grinstead parish in mid April 2020. It is expected to take 3 months to complete. 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.
West Grinstead old station public car park will be closed from 30th March in preparation of the resurfacing works.
The contractors are working to current COVID19 Government Guidelines. For updates please visit https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/…/walking-horse-r…/downs-link/#
A 37 mile (59km) shared route linking the North Downs Way with the South Downs Way.
Downs Link - West Sussex County Council
Free on-street Parking for Social Care and NHS workers during Coronavirus Outbreak
27th March 2020
Social care and NHS workers can now park free-of-charge in West Sussex County Council on-street spaces during the coronavirus outbreak.
It follows a central Government announcement that local councils in England should provide free parking in on-street parking bays and council-owned car parks for both groups of key workers.
Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “Social care and NHS workers are doing a vital job, supporting the most vulnerable in our community during the coronavirus outbreak. It is only right to take away the worry of time restriction and cost as these two groups of key workers try to park safely, as close to their workplace as possible.”
Social care and NHS workers will be encouraged to display supporting evidence in their windscreens, such as photocopies of their work pass with sensitive information removed, or a letter of evidence from their employer.
Local councils are also being encouraged to waive any fines incurred by health and social care staff while carrying out their duties in recent days. The staff are encouraged to appeal any fines, with supporting evidence of their work.
Note to editors:
The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, has announced that local councils in England are to provide free car parking for NHS staff and social care workers during the coronavirus outbreak.
Message from HDC on Community and Coronvirus
26th March 2020
Please be advised that in response to the current Coronavirus situation Horsham District Council’s Community Development and Community Link teams, supported by various community partners, are in the process of developing a number of Community Volunteer Hubs across Horsham District.
The teams are registering requests for help from vulnerable residents and matching up these requests with registered volunteers who can provide support. The Hubs are being activated at different stages as they become available.
Please see below a page of information which has been set up on the HDC website giving the details people need to know and encouraging people to volunteer.
We will share further details and provide updates on the Hubs and their progress and any changes, as soon as we are able.
For more information please see the link: https://www.horsham.gov.uk/community/coronavirus-community-support
A Thank You to NHS Volunteers
26th March 2020
The Parish Council wishes to thank all the volunteer responders for the time they are giving in this emergency period. Your commitment is commendable and you have the gratitude of the public.
From the Chairman of Southwater Parish Council - Freedom of Information Requests and General Advice - members of the Public.
26th March 2020
You will be aware that the Parish Council Offices are open and employees are there to run the general business of the Parish. Freedom of Information requests along with certain complaints will be saved to file during this Emergency Period and will be answered at some time in the future, once we are out of this current situation.
As this could be some months away, please refrain from raising numerous repeated or vexatious
requests. You have the ability to complain to the ICO for a response taking longer than 20 working days, please assume that you will need to do this should you not feel that you can wait longer for a reply in these current times.
From the Chairman of Southwater Parish Council - To all Parents - Coronavirus
26th March 2020
We have had many reports since Monday of Children and young adults congregating around the Play Parks and Skate parks within Southwater.
The Police have been inundated with calls in relation to reports of gatherings of more than 2 people and refraining from calling them to report this would enable them to carry out their usual Policing and additional monitoring of these situations in current times.
You will be aware from the News report that the Covid-19 virus does not differentiate, between young and old, no-one has an inbuilt immunity, the advice is keep at least 2 metres apart and do not go around in groups.
The virus can survive on hard surfaces for days, and can be transmitted easily. Please advise your unsupervised children to avoid these dangers at all costs.
Council Meeting Agendas - Placement on Noticeboards
25th March 2020
During these current difficult and unprecedented times, Agenda's of proposed meetings will only be placed on the following noticeboards in Southwater.
Notice board outside Beeson House
Notice board outside the Doctors Surgery
Important Notice - Play Areas, Skate Parks and Multi-use Games Areas
25th March 2020
It has been brought to our attention that despite the current Government Legislation to NOT USE Play Areas, Skate-Parks, Multi-user Games Areas and other leisure facilites, but people are still congregating in these areas. These areas are closed in accordance with the current government legalisation. PLEASE NOTE that our facilities are CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Signs have placed at all the areas to ensure all are aware. Notices have been placed on this site and Facebook. Please act responsibly and adhere to the current government legislation for the protection of yourselves and all others.
Update from GOV.UK on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
25th March 2020
All Play Areas, Skate Parks and MUGAs are closed
24th March 2020
All Southwater Parish Council Play areas, Skate Parks are closed. MUGA's are locked up. Notices have been put up. Please do not use these facilities to help keep you safe and in contact contagion, protecting others as well.
Please also note HDC have sent this notice yesterday of all their facilities being closed:
Southwater Country Park
• We are closing all four car parks to dissuade people from travelling here and just keeping it for locals.
• Closing the public toilets and café.
• Closing and possibly fencing off dinosaur island play area
• Closing the watersports
• Lock all small public bins (the emptying of these is a health and safety risk to our staff)
• Potentially putting heras fencing up or crowd barriers at the main entrances.
• Additional signage throughout the site.
Warnham Nature Reserve
• We are closing the site including the car park
• Closing the play area
• Close the skate park
• Close the two outdoor gym pods
• Close the café
• Close tennis courts
• Lock all small public bins
• Keep car parks open
Leechpool and Owlbeech
• Close car parks
• Close all play areas
• The Needles Play Area (Blackbridge Lane, Forest, Horsham)
• Roffey Rec Play Area (Leith View Road, Roffey, Horsham)
• Victory Rec (Victory Road, Trafalgar, Horsham)
• Pondtail Rec (Amundsen Road, Horsham)
• Bartholomew Way
• Beech Glade and Beech Road Play Area
• Bennetts Field Play Area (Brighton Road)
• Blackhorse Way (nr Sainsbury’s)
• Groombridge Way
• Bluebell Close
• Littlehaven Lane
• Manor Fields
• Woodstock Close
• South Holmes
• Brooklands Way
• Cedar Drive
• Forge Way
• Ostlers View
Open access ball courts
• Close at Bennetts Field, Woodstock Close, The Needles
Contacting the Parish Office
24th March 2020
Note to all Residents, should you wish to contact the Parish Office for any reason, please do continue to either telephone on 01403 733202 or email - firstname.lastname@example.org
PRoW Update from West Sussex County Council
24th March 2020
Following the Government’s guidance, the County Council has suspended it’s 15 month public rights of way (PRoW) inspection and maintenance programme. Reported issues will still be reviewed and prioritised and the Council will only take action where required to ensure public safety on the network. Other issues will be logged to be dealt with in the future when normal working practices are resumed.
PRoW problems reports can still be sent through the usual channels:
- Email email@example.com (this is generally preferred to contacting Access Rangers directly as they are extremely busy at this time)
- Online via https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/land-waste-and-housing/public-paths-and-the-countryside/public-rights-of-way/report-a-problem-with-a-right-of-way/
May we take this opportunity to remind people to follow social distancing guidelines and keep at least two metres from people if you choose to use Public Rights of Way for your daily exercise. Please be aware others will have touched stiles, gates etc. and you should wash your hands thoroughly when you get home.
18th March 2020
Southwater Parish Council are currently suspending FOI request time limits due to other pressures during this unprecedented time.
Cancellation of Friday Youth Club / Closure of Leisure Centre due to COVID-19
18th March 2020
With the recent government guidelines on COVID-19 the Friday Youth Club is cancelled (Please pass this on to all those you know who attend this activity) and The Ghyll (Leisure Centre) is closed until further notice.
Sorry for any inconvenience caused
Parish Council Office
18th March 2020
Dear Residents, just to confirm, the staff will remain working in the Parish Office, you can contact the staff via email, firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01403 733202 but the office is closed to public walk-ins until further notice.
Cancellation of Hires with Respect to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
17th March 2020
Following latest government guidelines and in line with our stance on trying to help with prevention of contagion where possible, prevention always being better than cure; SPC have taken the decision to cancel all hires in their community buildings until further notice. Daily advice from central government will be adhered to and discussed and any updates on future hires will be given as the current unprecedented times unfold.
Stay Well, Stay Safe.
Clerk to the Council
Impact of Coronavirus on Council Meetings
17th March 2020
Dear Residents, in light of increasing measures being put in place to try and mitigate any risk of contagion or spread of Coronavirus to those more vulnerable in our society, SPC ask that any residents whom are unwell at all do not attend any Council meetings. Please do not be offended, but if you do attend and are coughing or seem unwell in any way, you will be asked to leave the building immediately.
Any attendees will be directed to wash their hands prior to entering the chamber, you will not be allowed entry if you do not wash your hands first.
Please also do not attend if you are over 70, or have any health problems with your Heart, Kidneys or lungs. Councillors will also not be attending meetings should they be unwell, over 70 or have similar health issues.
We do hope that you understand these sensible measures we need to put in place. Central government have stated that the majority of the population who contract Coronavirus will have little or mild symptoms. However, it is important that we all remember that even though some may have mild symptoms, they could infect someone with underlying health issues and for them, the symptoms could be life threatening.
If you have been in situations where you may have been at risk of contracting the virus, i.e. daily use of public transport etc, please also do not attend.
I am sure the people of Southwater understand the reasons behind this and by working together we can help protect the vulnerable.
Keep Well - Keep Safe
Clerk to the Council
16th March 2020
Please follow this link: https://www.ruralsussex.org.uk/coronavirus-advice-march-2020/
Coronavirus Update - Parish Office Closed to the Public
9th March 2020
The Parish Office will be closed to all public with immediate effect and until further notice. This decision has been taken today as a precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, particularly to those more vulnerable in our society. Should you wish to contact the Parish office staff, please do so by email or telephone. Should you have made arrangements to collect or drop of any items, please press the buzzer from outside the main doors, top buzzer marked Parish Council. A member of staff will be able to speak with you through the buzzer entry system to collect or leave the items in a safe area. I do hope that you understand the reasons behind these temporary measures. Should you have any future hires booked at any Parish Council venues, please check with the Parish Office first.
Clerk to the Parish Council
New Councillor Vacancy
6th March 2020
New Councillor Vacancy Notice
Metrobus grant £500 towards College Road Bus Stop Perch Seat
5th March 2020
The Council is delighted to announce that Metrobus have kindly awarded a one-off award and full grant of £500 to the Council for the installation of a perch seat at the bus stop on College Road opposite Gardner House. The works order for installation of a 2 bay perch seat has been issued and will hopefully benefit users of the bus stop in the area greatly.
Horsham District Council's Local Plan 2019-2036 Public Consultation
2nd March 2020
It has come to our notice that HDC have wrongly advertised the venue for their public consultation on the draft Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036. It is NOT in Beeson House, but in the Lardner Hall at The Leisure and Community Centre (The Ghyll) on 4th March 4 - 8pm.
Update on the Parish Noticeboards across the Village
2nd March 2020
To maintain the provision of public notice boards across the parish, the proposal is to replace and re-site some of the boards. Below is a list of the current boards showing the plan for them. If this change affects your ability to obtain information, please visit or call the Parish Council on 01403733202 or email email@example.com
Location Proposed Change
Beeson House None
Traffic lights/Doctor’s Surgery None
Junior School Remove
College Road Remove
Tower Hill Remove
Christ’s Hosp bus shelter None
Blakes Farm Road Remove
Cedar Drive/Edinburg Close Remove
New Boards are to be installed in the following bus stops/shelters:
Cedar Drive/Cripplegate Lane
By placing the boards in the bus shelters, avoids damage from weather and vandalism. The above changes are intended to take place later this year.
All Parish Council information is accessible from the website address on this notice.
Clerk to the Council
Examination of the Southwater Neighbourhood Plan
Position Statements NOW PUBLISHED
The National Lottery awards Grant to The Friday Youth Club
Southwater Parish Council has recently been awarded £10,000 by The National Lottery Community Fund towards the Friday Night Youth Club that operates at The Ghyll (formerly Southwater Leisure Centre). This will be used towards new equipment and games, staffing costs and improvements to the facilities used by the club. The Council is incredibly grateful and hopes this will help continue the clubs’ success at facilitating youth activities in Southwater.
Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036 Update
10th February 2020
HDC are now undertaking a review of their Local Plan which will take just over two years to complete. The new Horsham District Local Plan will guide development in the District until 2036. The Draft Local Plan (Regulation 2018) will be published on their website from the 17 February 2020. See below for details on where you can find out more and get involved. https://www.horsham.gov.uk/planning/local-plan/have-your-say?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
Copies of the Draft Local Plan will be available from 17 February to view at the Horsham District Council’s offices, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham, RH12 1RL and in all District libraries during normal opening hours. A summary exhibition about the Draft Local Plan will also be available to view in Horsham Library between 6 and 30 March.
They are running a series of drop-in sessions across the District to enable residents to see a summary of the proposed options and raise any questions with the Council’s Planning team:
17 February, 4–8pm
Billingshurst Centre, Roman Way, Billingshurst, West Sussex RH14 9QW
20 February, 4–8pm
Ashington Scout Hall, Church Lane, Ashington, RH20 3JX
25 February, 4–8pm
Henfield Village Hall, Coopers Way, Henfield BN5 9DB
29 February, 10am–4pm
Swan Walk Shopping Centre, Horsham RH12 1HQ
3 March, 4–8pm
Ifield West Community Centre, 1A Dobbins Pl, Crawley RH11 0SZ
4 March, 4–8pm
Beeson House, 26 Lintot Square, Southwater, Horsham RH13 9LA
HDC want to hear your views on Crime and Disorder
Horsham District Council wants to hear your views on crime and disorder. If you are a resident of the Horsham District please take the time to complete a short survey here: www.horsham.gov.uk/crime-survey . If you would prefer a paper version, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01403 215173 .
The deadline is Sunday 16 February and all completed surveys will be entered into a prize draw for a £100 gift card that can be spent in local shops.
The survey is anonymous but if you would like to be entered into the prize draw, you will need to leave a name and either a phone number or email address so you can be contacted.
Temporary Traffic Regulation Order - Kerves Lane, Horsham - Start date 13/02/2020
Please see this notice in relation to a temporary traffic regulation order which the County Council will make and will be operative at the location and on the dates and times indicated.
Planning Comittee Meeting Rescheduled to 10th January 2020
6th January 2020
Please note that Planning Committee Meeting originally scheduled for 8th January 2020 has been rescheduled to 7.30pm Friday, 10th January 2020. Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Horsham District Local Plan 2019-2036
2nd January 2020
Southwater Leisure Centre is looking for Trustees to the Charity
19th December 2019
The future CIO (Charitable incorporated organisation) are looking for a minimum of 3 other Trustees to join them in forming this exciting new Charity which will run Southwater Leisure and Community Centre and the Laurie Apted Building. Trustees will need to consider the minimum term to serve as Trustee on the Charity is four years.
Can any interested persons please contact the Clerk of the Parish Council on Clerk@southwater-pc.gov.uk.
Infinity Gymnastics at Southwater Leisure Centre
19th December 2019
SPC are happy to announce that the Council have agreed to work with Infinity Gymnastics and their expansion of a future long term permanent use of the Main sports hall at the Leisure Centre. This is an exciting venture for the community, SPC, the future CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) and Infinity Gymnastics, in working with other community groups, some existing and others to be developed, for the benefit of Southwater now and in the future.
Infinity Gymnastics provides a safe child friendly environment, where the emphasis is on fun, fitness and friendship! Classes are available for children from 12 months up to adults and aims to develop all the participants physically and psychologically through the wonderful world of gymnastics! Infinity is looking forward to introducing gymnastics and its benefits, to the wider local community.
This is one of the first exciting steps of the proposed future changes that will enable Southwater to have a thriving Leisure and Community Centre that will benefit all age groups now and in future years. SPC will continue to engage with community groups and the wider public within Southwater to realise this future provision.
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 Clerk@southwater-pc.gov.uk for further details. - POSITION NOW FILLED
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.
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 https://haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/libraries/libraryoffer/consultation/intro/
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.
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
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;
- 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
- Reduce the opening hours during the week (Monday to Friday) from 6am to 10pm as it is currently, to 9am to 8pm
- Maintain the current weekend opening times of 9am to 6pm
- 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.
- The Council is still reviewing the long term operation of the Leisure Centre as agreed at previous Parish Council meetings.
Southwater Parish Council
Telephone – 01403 733202
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 https://www.southwater-pc.gov.uk/controls/DownloadDocument.ashx?docID=kz3572NDHBVBWDCXWT6226dFil&aId=742, 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 email@example.com