Email: Tel: 01403 733202

Latest News

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:


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

Click here


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
Horsham 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
Play areas
• 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
• Highwood
• Bluebell Close
• Littlehaven Lane
• Manor Fields
• Woodstock Close
• South Holmes
• Brooklands Way
• Cedar Drive
• Forge Way
• Ostlers View
• Meadowside
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 -


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 (this is generally preferred to contacting Access Rangers directly as they are extremely busy at this time)
- Online via

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.

FOI Requests

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, 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

Dear Residents
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.
Dawn Spouge
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


Coronavirus Advice

16th March 2020

Please follow this link: 


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.
Kind Regards
Dawn Spouge
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

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:
Cripplegate Corner
Cedar Drive/Cripplegate Lane
Southwater Street

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.

Dawn Spouge
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. 

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: .  If you would prefer a paper version, please email 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


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 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




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 



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


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