Email: Tel: 01403 733202

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

Road Closure - Miller Straight - Mulberry roundabout

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. 



Open consultation

West of Ifield

Consultation on the proposal to develop land west of Ifield for new homes along with roads, schools and other community infrastructure.

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.


See link below to view details & map regarding new parking restrictions at the Infant & Junior Academies.

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.

Horticultural Society

Southwater Parish Council would the Southwater Horticultural Society for the wonderful display and upkeep of the butterfly boxes on the downs link under the railway bridge in Southwater. They bring a smile to everyone’s faces and brighten up the area. Your hard work and design is most appreciated.

Update on the future Downslink Play Area, MUGA,

New Skatepark and The Laurie Apted Community Building

Southwater Parish Council acknowledge that some members of the community are frustrated at seeing the above facilities appear to be ready for community use, but are not yet open to the public.  For this reason, SPC are happy to give an update on the above as follows:

Play Area – There have been some remedial works that were outlined in the Inspection Report on the Play area, that awaited adjustments to ensure they met safety standards for all users.  These are now coming to a satisfactory conclusion. However, there is one outstanding area of concern to SPC that SPC need to further access themselves and perhaps make changes due to lack of resource to monitor this area.  SPC want to ensure that prior to this area being able to be open to the public they have completed this matter to a suitable conclusion.  Legal documents have not yet been produced and are still with the solicitors and  need to be completed and signed for the hand over, but it is anticipated that this will happen very shortly.

MUGA This area is ready for hand over subject to the signed leases being ready.

New Skate Park This area is ready for hand over subject to the signed leases being ready.

The Laurie Apted Community Building – This area is ready for hand over subject to the signed leases being ready.

All the above SPC await the Operational Manual with all the usual warrantees which is believed will be part of the handover.  

We are in holiday season, this has also had an effect on progressing this.  SPC will inform the public on this site when a date has been fixed and the public will be invited to an opening arranged by SPC.

Southwater Parish Council Skate Park – Stakers Lane

Dear Residents, please take extra care whilst currently using the above Skate-Park.  The Council are aware that remedial repairs need to be undertaken, this is in hand, however, due to the inclement weather this week, this will not be possible.  The Council know how important it is to try and keep this open because of popular demand for use and will endeavour to undertake repairs as soon as it possibly can.

New Neighbourhood Wardens for Southwater and Storrington

Horsham District Council has just recruited four new wardens for the district. Dominic Woodhead and Jacquie Cave are the new warden team for Southwater Parish and Chris Poore and Andy Cotton are the wardens for the parish of Storrington & Sullington.

Dominic, Jacquie, Chris and Andy join the existing team of 10 wardens based in Ashington, Billingshurst, Horsham Town, Pulborough and Steyning/Bramber/Upper Beeding (joint scheme).

Based within the community the Neighbourhood Wardens work alongside partner agencies to improve the quality of life for everyone by undertaking a number of activities from enforcement to community development, working with the elderly, vulnerable and young people. They are managed by Horsham District Council, working closely with the Parish and Neighbourhood Councils to set priorities. The Schemes are funded by the Parish Councils and Neighbourhood Councils Special Charge.

Storrington & Sullington Parish Council Chairman, Anna Worthington-Leese, said  “Storrington & Sullington Parish Council is looking forward to welcoming Chris and Andy and working with them to make our community a better place to live”. Southwater Parish Council Chairman, Graham Watkins, added, “We are very excited to introduce Dominic and Jacquie to Southwater. We truly believe that they will be an incredible asset to our community.’’

Also starting in a new role is Carly Jenkins, the Warden Supervisor. Carly will manage the work of the 14 wardens and will often be based out in the district with them.

Neighbourhood Wardens have certain enforcement powers and carry out high visibility patrols in their respective areas to deter crime and anti-social behaviour. Horsham District Council is accredited by Sussex Police and Neighbourhood Wardens can utilise certain police powers aimed at low-level anti-social behaviour. They can also exercise powers available to them as employees of the District Council in relation to environmental offences.

Contact details for each warden scheme can be found at


- Ends -

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

West Sussex County Council launched West Sussex Crowd​

As you may be aware, last summer West Sussex County Council launched West Sussex Crowd - an online crowdfunding initiative enabling communities to make projects happen. So far, ‘The Crowd’ has provided local groups with a platform to present more than 120 shared ideas unite communities and raise funds to deliver sustainable projects. Here, individuals can run a crowdfunding campaign on behalf of their group, promote it among supporters and residents of direct benefit, plus demonstrate community demand by attracting monetary pledges towards their fundraising target. In addition to this, eligible projects can also pitch for a share of the county council’s £280,000 Community Initiative Fund, with grants of up to £5,000 available. In Year 1, the council gave its backing to a variety of enterprising projects floated on The Crowd, all of which pledge to produce in line with the authority’s priorities as set out in The West Sussex Plan.

Full document can be viewed below.

Planned roadworks in West Sussex

Please note: we now only provide the weekly roadworks report in the map-based format.  A link to this format has been provided previously but an improved version has now been launched.  The Excel based report is no longer available. 

The map-based report, which is accessed via a web browser, will be updated and go live at 5pm each Wednesday.  The shortcut provided below will always take you to the current version of the report.

Click to open:                 Map-based report


Type into your browser:

The main benefits of the new map-based information are as follows:

  • The roadworks are sized and colour coded according to a score (number of days on site weighting by traffic management and road class) and plotted on an interactive map.  Therefore giving an indication of the impact of the works.
  • As the roadworks are shown on a map, the location is much clearer and unambiguous.
  • There is an option to zoom to a select parish boundary so you can easily see the roadworks for a particular area of interest.
  • Roadwork details are still available in table format (shown underneath the map) and the table can be customised to reflect only those works shown on the current map area.
  • Links to the latest information on the Travel Information website are still provided

To get the most out of the report, it is highly recommended that you read the detailed help file available here.

Please remember that the report is only a snapshot of the roadworks and is only updated once a week. The date the snapshot is taken is shown in the heading of the report.

Highway Improvements Works - Church Lane, Southwater


Southwater Skate Park

Public Rights of Way Routine Maintenance

Public Rights of Way inspections will be carried out next month in our parish. Following the inspection, routine maintenance work will be prioritised for delivery by contractors.

If you are aware of any problems on your Rights of Way you wish to discuss, please contact him directly by the use or call 01243 777620.

Village Community Facebook Page - Link Tiddlers &Toddlers

News Relase Easteds Barn

News Release

Having read with interest the Community Village Facebook Page and the misinformation from many, again it is thought helpful that the Parish Council provide some guidence.  To view the full Press Release click on link below.​

Southwater Parish Council Newsletter​

“Please note that an error in dates has occurred on Page 7 of the Newsletter which incorrectly states that the Parish Council has approved on the 13th March the next stage of the Neighbourhood Plan. This is incorrect the Parish Council will be considering this tonight (Wednesday 13th March) when a decision is hoped to be reached on the documentation before members.”

News Release

Councillor Surgery

A joint County, District and Parish Council surgery took place in Beeson House, last Saturday 2nd February 2019 with councillors from all three present.

HA variety of issues were addressed at the meeting, these being a blocked culvert, continuation of a footway in Southwater Street and how this may be delivered, proposals for a small development in the Worthing Road (adjacent to the Infant School), and other general comments about matters of concern within Southwater. These will all be taken forward with a view to trying to resolve many of them either through the Parish Council or in partnership with principle authorities.

Please note that all Parish Council meetings are open to the public and the public are allowed to address the Council on items of concern to them at these, but the above meetings now being held on the first Saturday of each month in Beeson House, give local residents a chance to come along informally meet councillors and discuss such matters of concern.

In the meantime, the Parish Council office is open to the public from Monday to Friday in Beeson House between 10.30am and 3.30pm.   

About Southwater

Southwater is located within Horsham District and is one of the largest rural communities in West Sussex.  The Parish has 10,500 residents and includes the village of Southwater, Newfoundout, Christ’s Hospital, Tower Hill & Two Mile Ash.  At the heart of the village lies Lintot Square with a wide variety of excellent shops, pubs, restaurants, library, post office, youth centre and health centre.   Elsewhere within the Parish are two business parks, home to local companies and some of the largest businesses in the District.  Recreation opportunities include our very own Leisure Centre, Country Park, and a huge range of sports and community clubs.

Beeson House, 26 Lintot Square, Fairbank Road, Southwater, West Sussex RH13 9LA

Telephone No. 01403 733202 Fax 01403 732420 Email:

VAT Registration No: 744 9660 96​- 1 -​

Press Release

February 2019
Further to comments made by members of the public on the Southwater Community Facebook site, (reported directly to the Facebook moderators who immediately removed the comment), residents should be reminded that all councillors must abide by a code of conduct setting out the following standards .  All parish councillors are local residents with families living in the community; many work in areas where they are required to retain such standards and comments in relation to potential “corruption” can affect their employment.  

To view the full Press Release click on link below.

Sussex Police funding 2018-2022

Sussex Police have started the biggest intake of new police officers for over a decade. This has been made possible by the increase in police precept of an average £12 for a band D property, and the PCC releasing £17 million from reserves. It means that over the next four years, Sussex will have 200 more police officers on the frontline than it does today.

Although residents are pleased to hear that local policing will be strengthened by these 200 extra officers, they are already indicating that they would like even more. That is why the PCC has opened a survey on her website to gauge potential support for raising more funding locally if the Government lifts the current cap on the police precept.

Please take a moment to make your views known on this link

You can find out more about funding for Sussex Police 2018-22 here:…/sussex-police-funding-2018…/








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

Protecting Crowded Places From Terrorism

22 December 2016

HDC Horsham Time Well Spent Events is undertaking a review in relation to counter terrorism measures

Broadband Speed - help us to assess the problem

10 October 2016

Parish Council calls upon residents to help it lobby for a better broadband service for all

Linked documents