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Bring your Poll Card on 2 May

Poll card advertLocal District, Town and Parish Council elections take place on 2 May 2019 and for the first time in Mid Sussex, every resident must bring their poll card with them to the polling station in order to be able to vote.

Mid Sussex is taking part in a new Voter ID pilot to provide the Government with further insight into how to make the voting process even more secure. Selected councils from across the UK will be testing out four different models of Voter ID checks. In Mid Sussex, voters will be asked to present their polling cards as a means of identification.

You should receive your poll card through the post on or shortly after 21 March 2019. It will be unique to you so please keep it safe and bring it to the polling station with you on election day (2 May 2019). If you do not receive your poll card or you misplace it, please contact the Council immediately by emailing or calling 01444 477222.

Anyone who does not bring their poll card with them to vote will be asked to provide another form of photo ID, including a UK or EU photo-card driving licence (full or provisional) or a valid British, European or Commonwealth passport.

For information about specified photo ID visit


Lidl reveals plans for new store in Burgess Hill

Lidl generic CGIWork is now underway to build a brand new Lidl store on Leylands Road in Burgess Hill.

The supermarket announced last month that it had completed the purchase of the site from NewRiver REIT and it is expected that the new store will be complete and ready to open by summer 2019.

Lidl is relocating from The Martlets Shopping Centre to allow NewRiver REIT to progress its plans for the regeneration of The Martlets Shopping Centre in the town centre, which include new shops and restaurants such as Next, Nandos, Wildwood, New Look as well as a 10-screen multiplex Cineworld cinema. It will also create much needed homes, a 63 bed Travelodge hotel, a new purpose built library and improved public space. Lidl’s existing store in The Martlets will continue to trade right up until the day before the new store opens. 

The new Leylands Road supermarket represents a multi-million pound investment in Burgess Hill, with Lidl proposing to build a sustainable store that has a 1,325sqm sales area and will create up to 20 new jobs. The store also features facilities such as an in-store bakery, customer toilet and ample parking for both cars and bicycles.

The planned store in Burgess Hill will add to Lidl’s existing store portfolio of 730, and will form part of the company’s growth plans which will see it open up to 50 new stores a year.

Northern Arc planning application submitted

Northern Arc sketchHomes England, the Government’s national housing agency, has submitted an outline planning application to create a new community of approximately 3,500 homes at the Northern Arc in Burgess Hill. 

The proposed scheme includes new homes (30% affordable), employment opportunities, three new schools, health provision, improved pedestrian and cycle connections, sports and leisure opportunities as well as supporting highways infrastructure.

You can view the planning application online now by using the reference DM/18/5114. If you would like to comment on the application you can do so online or in writing to:

Mid Sussex District Council
Planning Department
Oaklands Road
Haywards Heath
West Sussex
RH16 1SS

The deadline for commenting on the Northern Arc planning application is 18 February 2019.

If you have any questions about the proposed Northern Arc development then please visit the dedicated FAQs page on

For more information on Homes England visit

Phone: Sarah Ward on 07776 527 643

Wickes purchase provides greater financial security

WickesThe Council has taken another step towards financial self-sufficiency by agreeing a £6.3million deal to purchase the freehold of commercial property at 255-269 London Road, Burgess Hill, which is occupied by Wickes DIY.

Government funding for Mid Sussex District Council has reduced dramatically in recent years. In 2010, Mid Sussex received £6.4 million from the Government in Revenue Support Grant towards the provision of local public services but this reduced year-on-year to zero in 2018.

With the removal of the Revenue Support Grant, the Council must find other ways to generate the income it needs to continue providing services for local people. The purchase of the Wickes site in Burgess Hill will provide a sizeable rental income of £325,000 per annum that will help to offset the loss of government grant funding.

The Council has a long-term goal to be 100% financially self-sufficient so, no matter what happens at national government level, Mid Sussex will have secure funding streams in place to deliver services for local people.

Council Tax only provides enough funds to cover around one third of the cost of providing Council services in Mid Sussex, so the council must generate additional income with investments like this one in order to maintain existing levels of service. By investing carefully in local property, the council can secure a stable source of income to fund local services, help to regenerate our towns and support the economic wellbeing of the district.

The Wickes site comprises a purpose built retail warehouse, which was recently comprehensively refurbished and refitted by Wickes to create a mezzanine area for a bathroom and kitchen showroom. Externally there is a builders’ yard, outdoor projects centre and a car park with 81 spaces.

The store is let on a fully repairing and insuring lease to Wickes Building Supplies Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Travis Perkins plc.

Free training for independent retailers

We're inviting local independent retailers to take advantage of free training that will help them fight back against online retailers and keep Mid Sussex high streets vibrant and alive.

Retail experts Martec International have been running the free sessions since November but there are still three sessions remaining -

  • Retail Marketing, Price, Promotions and Advertising - Tuesday 5 February at The King's Church, Burgess Hill
  • Sales and Customer Service - Tuesday 26 February at Queen's Hall, Cuckfield
  • Inventory and Stock Management - Monday 11 March at East Grinstead Town Council Chamber.

By attending just one of the workshops, independent retailers become eligible for a free coaching and mentoring session with a Martec consultant in their own store. These one-to-one sessions will enable the consultants to tailor advice to the specific needs of each business.

Mike Lorusso from Fun Pots pottery painting studio in Haywards Heath attended the first two sessions and is already finding new ways to cut costs and increase profitability.

To book your place email or visit

A guide to Universal Credit

Universal Credit logoEveryone’s talking about Universal Credit, but what are the key things you need to know? This quick guide will help you understand what Universal Credit is and what it could mean for you and your family.

What is it?

Universal Credit is a single monthly payment for people who are on a low income or out of work. It replaces:

• Child Tax Credit

• Housing Benefit

• Income Support

• Income-­based Jobseeker’s
Allowance (JSA)

• Income-­related Employment and
Support Allowance (ESA)

• Working Tax Credit

If you’re already claiming these benefits or tax credits you won’t need to do anything now – the Department for Work and Pensions will get in touch before any changes take place. To find out if you are eligible for it visit­credit/eligibility

What can I get?

The amount of Universal Credit you receive will vary depending on your personal circumstances. If you’re responsible for a child or act as a carer to someone this could increase the amount you get. If you have a disability or health condition that affects your ability to carry out work-­related activity you may also receive an additional amount. Universal Credit might also help towards the cost of the home you live in. To find out what benefits you could claim, and how much you might get, visit­calculators

What can I do to prepare?

Even if you’re not yet claiming Universal Credit, here are a few things you can do to help things run as smoothly as possible when you do apply:

1. Get online – most people will make and manage their Universal Credit claim online. If you use the internet regularly this will be one less thing to worry about.
2. Get a bank account – your Universal Credit payment will be paid into a bank, building society or credit union account.
3. Budget – you may be used to managing your money on a monthly basis, but if not you will need to make sure you can pay all your bills from this single

Visit for advice on making your money last the whole month, and also on which bank account might be best suited for you.

How do I apply?

Apply online at­credit – this site will guide you through the application process. There’s plenty of support on there if you need it when making your claim online.

What happens next?

Once you’ve made your claim you’ll need to attend an appointment at the jobcentre. This is an opportunity for you to discuss any support you might need in managing your claim. You will need to wait for around 5 weeks for your first payment. You may be able to get an advance payment if you are unable to manage during this period – ask about this during your jobcentre appointment.

What happens if I start work?

You may still be able to receive Universal Credit payments when you start work or increase your earnings. Your payments will adjust automatically as your earnings change. You will continue to receive Universal Credit payments until you are earning enough to no longer get them.

Visit for further information on Universal Credit and what it means for you.

What’s on

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Be prepared to be amazed as Ardingly Prep School takes you into the magical world of Narnia.

Enjoy The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Chequer Mead Theatre in East Grinstead. Hear live music performances which are suitable for all the family on:

Thursday 31 January at 7pm, Friday 1 February at 7pm and Saturday 2 February at 2.30pm.

Travel with Peter, Edmund, Lucy and Susan through the wardrobe into this fantastical realm where animals can talk, but where The White Witch has cast a spell to make it always winter and never Christmas.

Tickets: £11 (£8 Children)

Book Now


Madness Tribute Act

Enjoy an evening full of chart toppers performed live on stage by Madness tribute act Los Palmas 6 on 2 March at Clair Hall, 8pm.

Baggy Trousers - House of Fun - One Step Beyond - Nightboat to Cairo - Bed & Breakfast Man – The Sun and the Rain - It Must Be Love - Embarrassment - Our House – Driving In My Car - My Girl - The Prince and many more.

Grab your hats, sunglasses and dancing shoes, it’s time to move your feet to the rockiest rock steady beat of Madness…. One Step Beyond!

Tickets: £15 - Standing event

Book Now

Your Council

Council Meetings

Council ChamberPlease find below a list of all Council meetings coming up. All meetings take place in the Council Chamber at Oaklands in Haywards Heath unless otherwise stated.
Meeting agendas and papers should be available online five working days before the meeting at the following locations:

29 January - Scrutiny Committee for Community, Housing and Planning (19:00)

30 January - Council (19:00)

31 January - Planning Committee B (19:00)

11 February - Cabinet (16:00)

13 February - Licensing Committee (19:00)

14 February - Planning Committee A (19:00)

21 February - District Planning Committee (14:00)

25 February - Audit Committee (19:00)

26 February - Cabinet Grants Panel (16:30)

27 February - Council (19:00)

28 February - Planning Committee B (19:00)

4 March - Standards Committee (14:26)

6 March - Scrutiny Committee for Community, Housing and Planning (19:00)

11 March - Cabinet (16:00)

12 March - Scrutiny for Leader, Resources and Economic Growth (19:00)

14 March - Planning Committee A (19:00)

26 March - District Planning Committee (14:00)

27 March - Council (19:00)

28 March - Planning Committee B (19:00)

29 March - Cabinet (16:00)

Visits of the Chairman

The Chairman of the Council represents the organisation in a non-political role at functions and engagements. The Chairman is elected annually by his 53 fellow Councillors and serves for a period of 12 months during the civic year, which begins in May.

Below is a selection of events attended by The Chairman of the Council, Cllr Bruce Forbes and the Vice Chairman of the Council, Cllr Colin Trumble from 1 November 2018 to 11 January 2019.

Friday, 9 November

Schools Remembrance Service

The Chairman attended this event held at St Wilfred's Church, Haywards Heath.

Queens Canopy Tree Planting

The Chairman attended a tree planting event at Muster Green, Haywards Heath, hosted by Haywards Heath Town Council with the Rt. Hon. Sir Nicholas Soames M.P.

Sunday, 11 November

Service of Remembrance and Reconciliation (Vice Chairman)

The Vice Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Judith Trumble attended this event at Chichester Cathedral to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the World War 1 Armistice.

Remembrance Services - Burgess Hill and Turners Hill

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended a service and parade at St John's Church, Burgess Hill and a service at St Leonards Church, Turners Hill.

Saturday, 17 November

Burgess Hill Symphony Orchestra (Vice Chairman)

The Vice Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Judith Trumble attended the Burgess Hill Symphony Orchestra's Autumn concert at St Andrew's Church, Burgess Hill.

Burgess Hill Town Mayor's Charity Ball

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended this fundraising event in aid of the Mayor's chosen charities, held at the Hickstead Hotel.

Friday, 23 November

Queen's Commonwealth Canopy - Tree Planting

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Jennie Forbes attended this event jointly hosted by Mid Sussex District Council and Haywards Heath Town Council at Beech Hurst Gardens, Haywards Heath.

Saturday, 24 November

Fundraising Dinner

The Chairman accompanied by his wife, Mrs Jennie Forbes attended this event hosted by the Royal British Legion at The Ark, Turners Hill. 

Sunday, 25 November

Mayor of East Grinstead - Civic Service

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended the Mayor of East Grinstead's Civic Service at St Swithun's Church, East Grinstead.

Tuesday, 27 November

Stars of 2018 Awards Ceremony

The Chairman accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended Crawley College's event held at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley.

Wednesday, 28 November

Burgess Hill Radio

The Chairman, attended a tour of the Radio Station in Burgess Hill.

Friday, 30 November

MSOPC Christmas Party

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended this event hosted by the Mid Sussex Older Peoples Council at King Edwards Hall, Lindfield.

Thursday, 6 December

Community Carol Concert (Vice Chairman)

The Vice Chairman, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Judith Trumble attended this event hosted by Christ's Hospital, Horsham.

West Sussex County Council and Fire and Rescue Service Carol Service

The Chairman attended this event at County Hall and Chichester Cathedral.

Friday, 7 December

Burgess Hill Girls Senior School Christmas Concert

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended this event held at Burgess Hill School for Girls.

Saturday, 8 December

Burgess Hill Choral Society (BHCS)

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended this event at St Andrew’s Church, Junction Road, Burgess Hill.

Sunday, 9 December

Chairman of Mid Sussex District Council's Civic Service

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Jennie Forbes hosted a Civic Service at St Leonards Church, Turners Hill with refreshments afterwards at The Crown, Turners Hill.

Thursday, 13 December

Turners Hill C of E Primary School Assembly

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended this event and thanked the children for their participation in his Civic Service

Friday, 14 December

Christmas visit to Haywards Heath Sorting Office

The Chairman, attended this event to meet and thank the postal workers for their hard work all year, and particularly at Christmas.

Family Carol Service (Vice Chairman)

The Vice Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Judith Trumble attended this event hosted by the Director and Staff of Family Support Work at Holy Trinity Church, Hurstpierpoint.

Sunday, 23 December

Mayor of East Grinstead Carols with the Choir of the Parish Church of St Swithun’s

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended this event at St Swithun’s Church, East Grinstead.

Tuesday, 8 January

Oakwood Flats (Vice Chairman)

The Vice Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Judith Trumble attended a visit hosted by the Scheme Manager for Sussex Housing and Care.

Friday, 11 January

Royal British Legion Sussex County Annual Conference

The Chairman, accompanied by his wife Mrs Jennie Forbes attended this event hosted by the Royal British Legion Sussex County Branch at Downlands Community School, Hassocks.

Your services

Work progressing well on Hurstpierpoint Community Hub

Local residents had their first chance to see how work is progressing on the new Hurstpierpoint Community Hub on Friday 14 December.

The former Ex Serviceman’s Club at Court Bushes Recreation Ground has been empty since December 2017 and later that month a serious fire destroyed the interior of the building.

Mid Sussex District Council is working with Hurstpierpoint Parish Council and local community groups to bring the building back into use as a community facility.

The new community building will be a flexible space that can be used in different ways by local community groups.

A large hall area will be available for social functions like wedding receptions and birthday parties, as a space for social groups to meet or as a venue for positive activities like exercise classes. An area will be provided for community meetings to be held and it is hoped that a nursery provider will use the space to provide local childcare for nearby families.

Work is progressing well and the new community hub is expected to be ready to use in spring 2019.

How to help the homeless this winter

StreetlinkHomelessness is devastating, dangerous and isolating. We can provide homeless people with food or warm clothing, which will help in the short-term but most rough sleepers have complex needs and if we want to end homelessness in the UK then they require professional support in order to break the cycle.

The Council works in partnership with Turning Tides to support residents who are rough sleeping or at risk of rough sleeping in Mid Sussex. Turning Tides provide an outreach service in the District to support rough sleepers engaging with services, exploring their options and moving on from rough sleeping. The needs and options for each rough sleeper are individual and complicated in many cases. It can be very difficult to support those who are entrenched in their rough sleeping to move forward and Turning Tides are experienced in providing support to this complex group.

If you become aware of someone rough sleeping in Mid Sussex or outside of the district you can alert the relevant support services by completing a Streetlink referral at Streetlink is a national service where you can complete a short form, giving basic location and description information. The relevant local authority or support service will then be notified and contact made with the rough sleeper. Although, sadly not all rough sleepers want to engage with services or move on from this lifestyle.

If you would like to help those who are sleeping rough or at risk of rough sleeping in Mid Sussex then you can donate to Turning Tides at or donations of food can be made to foodbanks in Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill or East Grinstead.


Our Wellbeing is helping local people to improve their health

I CAN logoIn Mid Sussex, our Wellbeing team is here to help local people stay healthy and feel great.

If you have any concerns about your health then our trained wellbeing advisors are always available to talk with you and offer practical, straightforward advice. 

Wellbeing Advisors can provide advice and support on a range of health issues including losing weight, eating well, becoming more active, giving up smoking, cutting down on drinking and managing stress. They understand that it can be difficult to make a healthy lifestyle change but also that small adjustments to your daily routine can make a big difference to your overall wellbeing. 

The Mid Sussex Wellbeing Team provides support services in convenient locations within the community and offer a relaxed and informal way for you to talk about your health and how it could be improved. They are also experts on the services provided by support organisations and can put you in touch with local groups that can help you to improve your health and wellbeing.

To find out more about the Mid Sussex Wellbeing Service and the help that's available locally visit

If you would like to talk about any aspect of your health and wellbeing then please contact our Wellbeing team on 01444 477191 or email

Parks & Rangers

Girls Get Active

In April last year we awarded Mid Sussex Active £2,100 for their new 'Girls Get Active' programme, which helps young girls who are at risk of becoming disengaged with exercise to take part in activities in an informal and fun environment.

The project is now in full swing and it was fantastic to see 330 girls from 22 Mid Sussex schools get together at The Triangle leisure centre in Burgess Hill to try out Funky Aerobics, Zumba and Yoga as part of the scheme.

To find out more about the Girls Get Active project visit

Bedelands walkways upgraded

If one of your New Year's Resolutions is to be more active and make the most of the beautiful Mid Sussex countryside then a visit to Bedelands Nature Reserve could be just what you need.

The 80 acre Nature Reserve in Burgess Hill consists of ancient meadows, woodland, hedgerows and ponds, which make it a haven for a variety of wildlife. It's a beautiful place for a woodland stroll in peaceful surroundings.

If you haven't visited Bedelands recently then you may not be aware that we made some improvements to the paths last summer to protect them against the wet weather. In the past, areas of Bedelands became boggy during the wet autumn and winter months so we have installed some new wooden boardwalks and rolled stone paths in these areas so that people can enjoy a walk all year round.

The improvements will help walkers to stay clean and dry while they enjoy the nature reserve and they are also suitable for wheelchair users, making more of bedelands accessible to people with disabilities.

Our Park Rangers organise a range of healthy walks, for people of all abilities, at locations across the District. If you would like to find out more about walking in Mid Sussex visit

New flowerbeds in St John's Park

St Johns Park flower bedLast year we entered St. Johns Park in Burgess Hill for a Green Flag award for the very first time and we were delighted to successfully secure the award in July.

The Green Flag award is the benchmark national standard for publicly accessible parks and green spaces in the United Kingdom. It is a sign to the public that the park boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

As part of our Green Flag award application we outlined our plans to improve the flower beds in the park in stages over the next few years. The first of these projects is to replace the rose beds at the London Road entrance to the park, which have been in place for over 25 years. 

Our Landscapes team designed and delivered the new plant bedding at the end of 2018. The beds now feature a mixture of shrubs and perennials to give year round colour interest, such as Skimmia, Daphne, Lavender, Yucca, Cornus  Kousa and Achillea, Nepeta, Geum, Echinecea. We have chosen a selection of plants that are insect friendly to attract a large variety of pollinators to the park 

The next planting bed project will take place later this year when we will be redesigning the flower beds around the 'roundabout' walkway in the centre of the park.

Community litter-pickers clean up!

Litter pickingWe would like to say a big thank you to the employees of American Express in Burgess Hill who started the new year in positive fashion by doing some litter-picking at Bedelands Farm Local Nature Reserve.

Our contractors do a great job looking after our busiest parks and open spaces but there are always some areas which cannot be covered as frequently. Sadly there are still people who are frankly too lazy to throw their litter in the bin, so we welcome anyone who is willing to tackle this unsightly issue and do a bit of tidying up.

If you would like to form a group and help to protect the local environment by doing a spot of litter-picking at one of our parks or open spaces then we would love to hear from you.

Litter-picking is an excellent team building challenge. It’s a great opportunity for colleagues to get a bit of light exercise whilst enjoying a change of scenery from their usual office environment, getting outside in the fresh air and doing something positive for the local community and wildlife.

If you’re interested in arranging a litter-picking session for a site near you, please email our Park Rangers at We have a number of litter-picking sticks which we are happy to lend out to groups and we also supply bin bags and agree a convenient place for any bags of litter collected to be left at the end, so that they can be taken away.

It’s a shame that not everybody does the right thing by binning their litter in the first place but we greatly appreciate the valuable help we get from local residents who help us to keep Mid Sussex clean and tidy.

Hazel Coppicing at Blunts Wood Local Nature Reserve

woodanemonesIf you're walking in Blunts Wood nature reserve this month you may come across local volunteers who are busy coppicing hazel trees in the area.

Coppicing is a sustainable and traditional woodland management technique. It can look quite drastic as trees are cut right down to the ground in the winter leaving a ‘stool’ but in the spring the stool regrows a thicket of stems, which will be ready to harvest after a few years. 

In a typical hazel coppice cycle, cutting is done every 7 to 15 years to prolong the lifespan of the trees. If a Hazel is left to grow naturally as a single-stemmed tree it can live for 80 years but with careful coppicing a multi-stemmed stool can live for centuries.

In times gone by, cut hazel stems would have been used for making hurdles to keep in sheep, thatching spars, net stakes and water divining rods. Nowadays, the South of England Hedge Laying Society use the stems as uprights to weave branches between when they’re out laying hedges.

A well-managed coppice opens the woodland floor up to more light, allowing spring flowers such as bluebells, wood anemones, dog violets and celandine to bloom. This is supports many butterfly species, particularly fritillaries and the coppice also provides shelter for ground-nesting birds, such as nightingales and willow warblers.

Hazel trees are great for wildlife in other ways too. Their leaves provide food for many caterpillars and moths including the large emerald and the small white wave and their nuts of course, provide food for dormice, squirrels, woodpeckers, nuthatches, jays, tits and wood pigeons.  Dormice also eat the caterpillars which feed on the spring leaves.

At this time of year Hazel trees are easy to recognise with their male yellow flowers hanging down in distinctive catkins.  Don’t forget to look out for the easily overlooked female flowers too – these are tiny and budlike with red tips known as styles.  Once pollinated, by pollen carried on the wind from another hazel tree, the female flowers develop into the oval fruits or hazel nuts.

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