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Clair Hall community building reopened for NHS

NHS vaccineThe Council has given the NHS a licence to use the old Clair Hall building in Perrymount Road, Haywards Heath as a Covid-19 vaccination centre.

Clair Hall was closed in September as the aging building was no longer deemed fit for purpose. Since that decision, the pandemic has worsened significantly, and a vaccination programme is now a national priority.

The Council received a request from the NHS to use the site as a vaccination centre and we readily agreed. The first vaccinations in the building took place in December.  

As details of the vaccination programme are still emerging, it is not known at this stage how long the NHS will need. We have therefore provided a flexible licence for the use of the building that can accommodate whatever the NHS needs. When the NHS use comes to an end, we will carry out further public consultation on the future use of the site.

The vaccination rollout is being run by the NHS and is the largest vaccination programme in its history. While it is being rolled out, it is vitally important that everyone follows the Government’s advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. 

The NHS will contact you when it is your turn to receive the vaccine, so please do not contact them before then. For all the latest news on the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine in West Sussex visit https://www.sussexhealthandcare.uk/keepsussexsafe/sussex-covid-19-vaccination-programme/ 

News

£500,000 to help rough sleepers into homes

Homeless womanWe have secured £549,818 from the Government to help rough sleepers leave the streets and avoid a return to homeless living.

During the first lockdown, the Government directed local authorities to arrange emergency accommodation for rough sleepers and we helped 11 people into temporary lodgings.

In Mid Sussex, there is a small but significant number of rough sleepers, many of whom have enduring and complex needs which require specialist support to thrive within their local community. This Government funding will help Mid Sussex District Council, Worthing Homes and homelessness charity Turning Tides to establish a new supported housing project.

The project will create suitable long-term accommodation for six people who otherwise would be living in temporary accommodation or lost to the streets. Individually tailored support will be provided to those most in need, helping them to develop pathways out of homelessness and into secure accommodation.

Latest business support grants

If your business is struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic then please apply now for grant funding support. There's up to £13,500 per property available for business that pay business rates and have been forced to close.

Additional Restrictions Discretionary Grants are available to help all other businesses that have been seriously affected by Covid-19, including those that don't have premises or pay business rates.
Your business may be entitled to more than one grant and you can apply for support more than once.

To apply now please visit https://midsussex.grantapproval.co.uk/.

It can be confusing knowing which help to apply for so
we're hosting a webinar at 1pm on Wednesday 20 Jan to explain things simply and advise businesses on how to apply. The session will cover Covid-19 business and discretionary grants as well as information on business rates reliefs. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions after the webinar.

If you would like to attend please email covid19grants@midsussex.gov.uk giving your name, business name and type of business.

If you are unable to attend the webinar and have questions about which grant to apply for, please contact our support team at businesssupport@midsussex.gov.uk 

The census is coming

The Census is comingThe census is coming. By taking part, you can help inform decisions on services that shape your community, such as healthcare, education and transport.

The census is a unique survey that happens every 10 years. It gives us a snapshot of all the people and households in England and Wales – the most detailed information we have about our society.

It’s important that you fill in your census questionnaire. Without the information you share, it’d be more difficult to understand your community’s needs and to plan and fund public services.

In one way or another, your information touches the lives of every single person living in England and Wales, whether it’s through using census information to plan new schools, doctors’ surgeries or bike lanes.

Because these things matter to us all, everyone needs to complete the census. Do not worry, government officials dealing with applications you’ve made or payments or services you receive cannot see it.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) runs the census in England and Wales and is independent from government. Your details are protected by law and information published is always anonymous. 

Census Day is Sunday 21 March 2021. You can fill yours in online as soon as you get your access code in the post. If your household circumstances change on Census Day, you can let the ONS know.

Everyone should have the support they need to fill in the census. If you, or anyone you know, needs help, there’s a wide range of support services available.

These include a contact centre that can give you help over the phone and guidance in a range of languages and accessible formats, including paper questionnaires and large print.

If you need help or have any questions, visit www.census.gov.uk

Place and Connectivity programme steps (and wheels) into 2021

Burgess Hill path and cycleway improvementsBy the end of 2021 it is anticipated that six miles of safe, direct and attractive walking and cycling routes will have been created or improved as part of the £22.8m Burgess Hill Place and Connectivity Programme.

Early 2021 will see the completion of upgraded walking and cycling connections to Sheddingdean Business Park and through the West End Recreation Ground in Burgess Hill.

Other projects well underway include the West Park Nature Reserve, between Chanctonbury Road and Potters Lane and a major section of the Green Circle between Gatehouse Lane and Malthouse Lane.

Work has now been completed to brighten up the bridge area near Wivelsfield station and planned walking and work is due to start shortly on improving cycling links to the south of the station.

Responses to the public engagement held in May and June 2020 have been been used to improve the designs of walking and cycling improvements to the Town Centre Western Gateway between London Road and Queen Elizabeth Avenue and at the Burgess Hill Station area from Queen Elizabeth Avenue through to Station Road and Hoadlands Corner, all of which are progressing towards scheduled delivery in 2021/22.

As a direct result of the public engagement, work will be carried out to explore the possibility of an additional pedestrian crossing on Leylands Road and a cycle link between Hurstpierpoint and Burgess Hill. Public feedback has also provided an opportunity to review the network of proposed traffic free links between Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath. Whilst a technical review is considering a number of potential routes to the west of the railway line, it has ruled out progressing a potential ‘eastern route’ from Valebridge Road in Burgess Hill to Fox Hill in Haywards Heath. This is due to the cost implications required to address issues of flooding and user safety.

Mid Sussex District Council is working with West Sussex County Council and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership to deliver the Programme. supporting the overall strategic growth of Burgess Hill. The project is funded by a £22.8m of government grant and developer contributions.

You can find full details of the programme and latest news at www.burgesshill.net

Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives

Stay Home message

Coronavirus cases in Mid Sussex are currently very high, particularly in East Grinstead, Copthorne and Turners Hill in the north of the District. The single most important action we can all take is to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

Around 1 in 3 people with coronavirus don’t show symptoms, but they can still pass it on.
Unnecessary social contact puts you and others at risk of serious disease. So now, more than ever, it's important to stay at home.

You can leave home to exercise on your own, with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, but this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

For full details of the national lockdown and restrictions visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

Please follow the rules and together we can #KeepWestSussexSafe

Mid Sussex Applauds winners

Amazing individuals, groups and businesses from across the district were celebrated in our Mid Sussex Applauds Awards 2020.

Mid Sussex Applauds seeks to recognise those who go above and beyond in their efforts for our community. With the current coronavirus guidelines, we were unable to gather people together for an awards ceremony so we decided to celebrate their achievements with a series of short films.

The awards were split into eight categories and the winners were as follows:

Stronger Together Award winner, Sarah Collyer, East Grinstead Action Group

Take Pride in Mid Sussex Award winner, Joanne Clayton, Terracycle

Young Achiever Award joint winners, – Zac Lammas and Kieran Thompson

Stronger Communities Award joint winners – Haywards Heath Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group, Horsted Helpers and Hurstpierpoint Covid-19 Neighbours Support Group.

Business in the Community Award winner, Tarana restaurant, Turners Hill

Young Volunteer of the Year Award winner, Thomas Martin (Scaynes Hill)

Good Sport Award (sponsored by Places Leisure) winner, Tony Bristow, Southdown Football Club

Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Jackie Cooper, Burgess Hill Youth Club

You can watch all of the videos on our YouTube channel

What’s on

Free Half-Term activities this February

Popsteps logoWe're organising a programme of free activities to help you keep your little ones entertained this February Half-Term.

Head outdoors for some socially distanced fun in our parks with our 'Spring into Action' trails at St John's Park in Burgess Hill, Mount Noddy in East Grinstead and Victoria Park in Haywards Heath. Follow the trails and join in with a variety of activities that are suitable for the whole family. 

For those who prefer to stay indoors, there will be a chance to learn a dance routine from Lucy at http://popsteps.com/

Popsteps is a great way to motivate and inspire activity in children, encouraging them to keep fit and healthy by learning fun and funky dance moves. Online tutorials will run from Monday 15 February to Thursday 18 February, where Lucy will teach you every move, then on Friday she will be live streaming the whole routine on Facebook for you to join in .

If you would like to receive information about these free activities and advance notice of future events in 2021 then please register by visiting: www.midsussex.gov.uk/playdays

Your Council

Council meetings

Online Cabinet MeetingPlease find below a list of all Council meetings coming up. To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, all meetings will be held online and broadcast live on our YouTube channel.

Meeting agendas and papers will be available online five working days before each meeting at the links below:

20 Jan - Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth (17:00)

21 Jan - Planning Committee (16:00)

25 Jan - Liquor Licensing Committee (10:00)

26 Jan - Cabinet Grants Panel (16:00)

27 Jan - Council (18:00)

2 Feb - Licensing Committee (16:00)

3 Feb - Scrutiny Committee for Community, Customer Services and Service Delivery (17:00)

8 Feb - Cabinet (16:00)

11 Feb - Planning Committee (16:00)

18 Feb - District Planning Committee (14:00)

2 Mar - Audit Committee (17:00)

3 Mar - Council (18:00)

8 Mar - Cabinet (16:00)

10 Mar - Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance (17:00)

11 Mar - Planning Committee (16:00)

15 Mar - Cabinet Grants Panel (16:00)

17 Mar - Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth (17:00)

18 Mar - District Planning Committee (14:00)

Council awards £147,000 in Covid Recovery Grants

SupportWe've awarded over £147,000 to help local businesses, community groups and voluntary organisations recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

The spread of coronavirus has created huge challenges for local businesses, community groups and voluntary organisations. To support them through this difficult time, the District Council is making £300,000 of council funds available through a dedicated Covid-19 Recovery Fund.

Our Cabinet Grants Panel met last month to consider the first round of applications. In total, 45 community groups and local businesses were awarded grant funding of up to £5,000 each. 

Grants were awarded to 22 local businesses, many of which are from business sectors that have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. The grants will help local businesses to purchase new equipment and develop new ways of doing business, so they can reach out to new customers and continue to trade in these difficult conditions.

Applications were also received from a wide range of voluntary sector organisations and local community groups that work to support Mid Sussex residents. The funding will help to support many different projects including food deliveries for vulnerable people, enabling people to exercise safely with local sports groups and the expansion of a telephone befriending service that helps to combat loneliness.

The Covid-19 Recovery Grant Fund is available to help in three key areas:

Emergency Response – Financial help with the additional costs that are incurred whilst operating under Covid-19 restrictions

Return to Pre-Covid Provision – A grant to local groups and businesses to help them reopen, and return to business as usual in a way that is Covid-19 secure

New Service or Business Innovation – Financial support to help local businesses and support organisations adapt to new ways of working

A second Cabinet Grants Panel meeting will be held on 26 January 2021 to allocate a further £150,000 to worthy causes and local businesses, helping them to recover from the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Your services

Small electrical collections prove a big hit

Recycle your electricals "Little and Often" posterOur small electrical kerbside collection service is proving really popular, which is great news. Since the service launched on 23 November our crews have collected over 11 tonnes of unwanted small electricals and 2.5 tonnes of batteries, an astonishing amount.

Space is very limited on our collection vehicles, so please place your small electrical items out for collection "little and often". Help us to ensure everyone can benefit from this new service by only placing one bagged electrical item out with your rubbish ("black lidded") bin collection for recycling.

As demand is still exceedingly high at the moment, due to the after-effects of Christmas and with more people staying at home, our storage cages are filling up extremely quickly. If you find that your collection has been missed, please bear with us and store your items until your next scheduled rubbish (“black lidded”) bin collection or wait a few weeks for demand to even out.

When lockdown restrictions ease, and if you think your electrical item has re-use value, there are also a number of other re-use and recycling options available within our District such as repair cafes, local Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRS) and take back schemes. To find out what options are available near you, just visit www.recycleyourelectricals.org.uk and enter your postcode into the recycling locator.

Broken electrical items are not something that households encounter each week, however, most people have at least one drawer or cupboard where old chargers, cables, phones and broken devices may end up. With the current lockdown many of us have been taking the opportunity to have a spring clean but please resist temptation and don’t put all these items out for collection at once.  

To find out more about the service including what items we are able to collect please visit our website www.midsussex.gov.uk/electricals

Ten tips to manage your rubbish and recycling during Lockdown

Top 10 waste and recycling tipsWith everyone at home during lockdown and changes to our lifestyles, such as increased online shopping and deliveries, food waste and packaging, you may find that your bin is feeling the strain and filling up fast. Please be mindful of the extra demand this can place on both our collection crews and the potential impact on your neighbours, particularly if you share communal rubbish and recycling facilities.

Here’s a few top tips from our waste and recycling team to combat bulging bins and managing waste…. 

#1 – Flatpack cardboard boxes and break them down before placing in the recycling bin

#2 - Squash down tin cans, plastic bottles and containers (remember to remove the lid first!)

#3 – Take the air out of any black sacks or bags placed in your rubbish bin before tying securely

#4 – Are you recycling all you can? Visit www.midsussex.gov.uk/recycling and free up space in your rubbish bin 

#5 – If bring banks are full, don’t leave items such as clothes and books as they can’t be recycled

#6 – Resist stocking up on perishable food items and cook up any leftovers. Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com for recipe ideas.

#7 - Some electrical items can be repaired, store them somewhere safe until local repair cafés re-open

#8 – Having a spring clean? Keep hold of old clothes, shoes and bric-a-brac until charity shops re-open. Please don’t bin them!

#9 – Freeze food that is reaching its use by date. Visit the A-Z of food storage at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com to find out more

#10 – Don’t leave rubbish or recycling on top of bins as they can’t be emptied

Building Control service remains open for business

building controlAs with the two previous lockdowns, our Building Control service remains ‘open for business’ to support the building industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Building Regulations applications can be submitted online, Make a Building Control Application - Mid Sussex District Council, and we continue to offer site inspections where this can be done safely and in line with the guidance issued by Public Heath England (PHE) which includes:

  • No one on-site shielding
  • No one on-site showing coronavirus symptoms
  • Social distancing measures are followed

You can find full guidance, prepared by the Construction Leadership Council at Site-Operating-Procedures-Version-7.pdf 

If you have any questions or queries you can contact us by email at buildingcontrol@midsussex,gov.uk or by phone on 01444 477570.

Wellbeing

Lose weight for good with a Weight Off Workshop

Weight Off Workshops posterStart your New Year journey towards a healthier lifestyle with one of our low cost weight management courses. 

Our 8 week virtual Weight Off Workshops and exercise classes will encourage and support you to develop a healthier way of eating and increase your activity levels.

The Mid Sussex Wellbeing team has trained advisers who can work with you to make the changes you need to set yourself on the path you want to be on. The course will help you to build confidence, make positive food choices, engage in more activity and work towards a sustainable weight loss.

The course focuses on motivation and helping you to make changes to your behaviour, so when you lose weight it stays off for good. Expert nutritionists cover topics such as portion sizes, sugars, food labels and the psychological triggers for eating.

Our next Weight Off Workshop courses run from January through to March 2021 at the following times:

Tuesdays 11:00 - 12:00 from 26 January until 16 March 2021

Wednesdays 13:30 - 14:30 from 27 January until 17 March 2021

Wednesdays 17:30 - 18:30 from 27 January until 17 March 2021

Thursdays 18:00 - 19:00 from 28 January until 18 March 2021

Booking is essential. For more information call 01444 477191 or email wellbeing@midsussex.gov.uk.

Free virtual health talks

Virtual Health Talks posterThe coronavirus pandemic and social distancing measures currently prevent us from meeting in person, so our Wellbeing Team has organised a series of free interactive online health talks to help local people stay happy and healthy during the lockdown.

Topics vary from how you can get a better night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed to supporting loved ones through the Menopause. Overcoming the barriers to exercise and moving more at home to practical tips on how you can improve your overall wellbeing.

All talks will be hosted on Microsoft Teams at 12:30 on the following days:

21 January - Menopause Awareness
28 January - Menopause Awareness
3 February - Sleep Awareness
9 February - Physical Activity
10 February - Wednesday Wellbeing
11 February - Menopause Awareness
18 February - Menopause Awareness
24 February - Wednesday Wellbeing
25 February - Menopause Awareness

Booking is essential. For more information call 01444 477191 or email wellbeing@midsussex.gov.uk.

Parks & Rangers

Mid Sussex parks win four Green Flag Awards for the first time

Victoria Park Green FlagFour parks in Mid Sussex will proudly fly the prestigious Green Flag in 2021, a sign to the public that they boast the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities.

Beech Hurst Gardens and Victoria Park in Haywards Heath, St Johns Park in Burgess Hill and East Court and Ashplats Wood in East Grinstead join more than 2,000 green spaces across the UK to receive the Green Flag mark of quality and will be raising their flags with pride in a year when millions of people have seen the value of having great quality green spaces on their doorstep. 

The Green Flag Award scheme, managed by Keep Britain Tidy under licence from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.

High quality green spaces mean so much to local residents, even more so during these difficult times when we really value the time we’re able to spend outside. It’s wonderful that four of our parks meet the Green Flag standard of excellence and these awards celebrate the dedication that goes into maintaining them to such a high level.


Playground improvements

Twineham play areaWe're currently seeking views on the outline design we've produced for improving the play area at Turners Hill Recreation Ground. Improvements could include a new climbing frame, a wheelchair accessible roundabout and resurfacing to make it easier for children with disabilities to get around.

We've heard from a few adults but it would be great to hear from some of the children who will use the playground in the future.
 The consultation closes on 20 January so please visit www.midsussex.gov.uk/leisure-sport/playgrounds/ and encourage your children to have a say.

At the end of last year we completed the playground equipment upgrades at Twineham Recreation Ground and they are well worth a visit if you live in the area. We've removed the old timber climbing frame and replaced it with a new toddler play house with slide and assault course style frame. The new rubber surfacing makes the play equipment easier to access and we've added a picnic table, which was a popular request during our public consultation.

You can keep up to date with all the latest playground plans, including consultations and feedback, at www.midsussex.gov.uk/leisure-sport/playgrounds/ We'll be launching a new consultation on improvements to Forest Fields play area in Haywards Heath so please keep an eye out for that one.
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