Matters

Front page

Public exhibition on the future of Clair Hall

Clair HallAs part of a 12 week consultation and engagement programme – Mid Sussex District Council is inviting people to attend a public exhibition on the future of the Clair Hall site. Our partners Engage ECF are holding two drop-in sessions to discuss the future of the site (Clair Hall, the Redwood Centre, and the adjoining car park).

We’d love you to come along and find out what people have told us so far, and if you haven’t already, share your views on what the town needs from this site. There is no registration required, please find the details are below:

First session: Thursday 16 September (2.00pm – 6.00pm)
Second session: Saturday 18 September (10.00am – 1.00pm)

Drop-in sessions will be at the Orchards Shopping Centre in Unit 13 (previously the gift shop Calliope). This can be found opposite Hays Travel and the Orchards Pharmacy.

We look forward to meeting you in person. If you would like to find out more information please visit our website https://engage.midsussex.gov.uk/clair-hall, contact us via email clairhall@engagecf.co.uk or call the consultation hotline 07542 016586

News

Cutting edge tech company invests in Mid Sussex

Universal QuantumGround breaking new computer technology is set to be developed in the heart of Mid Sussex with the opening of a new Universal Quantum laboratory in Haywards Heath.

We’ve approved plans for the new Universal Quantum research and development facility on the Mill Green Business Estate in Haywards Heath. The cutting edge technology company is building the world’s first million qubit quantum computer in a bid to unlock the full potential of quantum computing and change the world for the better.

Dr Sebastian Weidt, Co-Founder and CEO of Universal Quantum said:

“At Universal Quantum, we are building quantum computers to tackle real-world problems and we’re thrilled to make the next step in our journey by building our new headquarters and quantum computing facility in Mid Sussex.

“Our new facility will house world-leading quantum computers that can help solve complex problems in everything from medicine to climate change – problems that would take today’s fastest supercomputers billions of years to solve.

“While we are a company focusing on deep tech, our culture and people come first, and this is where Haywards Heath is the perfect match for us. It’s a great place to live, has a vibrant high street and direct transport links to key areas such as London, Brighton, Gatwick airport and Cambridge, providing our employees and partners with easy access to the facility.

“We expect to grow our team to around 100 at this location with new hires ranging from electronic engineers to physicists, software engineers and operations experts, to name a few. Our broader vision for the area is to help establish a quantum computing ecosystem with the co-location of relevant businesses.”

New electric cars reduce carbon emissions

New electric cars for Civil Enforcement Officers Our Parking Enforcement team will be keeping the air clean while they keep the streets clear, thanks to three new electric vehicles.

The Civil Enforcement Officers carry out daily patrols across the District to ensure public safety and the free movement of traffic, especially for the emergency services. Converting to electric cars will help to improve local air quality in Mid Sussex and will save more than 9 tonnes of carbon every year.

The switch to electric vehicles is part of our Sustainability Strategy, which looks at ways to protect the environment, tackle climate change and cut Greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Other energy saving initiatives introduced by the Council include the installation of solar panels on Council buildings and switching to energy efficient windows, heating and lighting.

The Parking Enforcement team is a partnership service between Mid Sussex District Council and West Sussex County Council, providing enforcement both on street and in car parks across Mid Sussex. The rest of our parking enforcement fleet will be replaced with electric vehicles when their current leases expire.

Have your say on the new political map for Mid Sussex District Council

Local Government Boundary CommissionThe Local Government Boundary Commission wants to hear what residents and local organisations think about their proposed new ward boundaries for Mid Sussex District Council. A 10-week consultation on the proposals will run until 8 November 2021.

The Commission is the independent body that draws these boundaries. It is reviewing Mid Sussex to make sure councillors will represent about the same number of electors, and that ward arrangements will help the council work effectively.

The Commission has published proposals for changes to Mid Sussex. It is proposing that there should be 25 wards with five one-councillor wards, 17 two-councillor wards, and three three-councillor wards. 23 wards will have their boundaries changed, with three wards (Burgess Hill Franklands, Burgess Hill St Andrews and Copthorne) remaining the same.

The Commission has a dedicated section on its website where people can see the detail of the proposals and comment on the names of wards, their boundaries, and the number of councillors per ward: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/25848

You can also give your views by e-mail at reviews@lgbce.org.uk, and by post to Review Officer (Mid Sussex), LGBCE, PO Box 133, Blyth NE24 9FE.

West Sussex Retail Hub launched to support local shops

West Sussex Retail Hub logoThe West Sussex Retail Hub launched in July to support independent retail businesses across West Sussex.

With high street businesses continuing to face challenges, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hub presents retailers with the opportunity to access FREE, expert-led, online training that's tailored to the needs of local shops. 

The online portal is designed to help business owners in West Sussex learn, develop and grow their businesses. There are over 100 videos available on demand, created by 10 subject matter experts, and regular Q&A sessions to help resolve specific issues. The videos are only 2-4 minutes long, so retailers can learn new skills in bite sized chunks.

The funding for the creation of the content and website has been provided by the seven District and Borough Councils in West Sussex.

West Sussex retailers can sign up now at https://westsussexretailhub.co.uk/  

Work continues to progress on the Northern Arc

Northern Arc infrastructure improvementsHomes England has recently appointed Bellway as the next house builder at the Northern Arc development in Burgess Hill. Bellway will build 249 homes to the east of the site and develop some public open spaces, including the Lowlands Farm extension to Bedelands Nature Reserve. In July, Bellway held a pre-application consultation ahead of the submission of their Reserved Matters planning application, which will be submitted in October 2021.

Countryside Properties are building 460 homes at the Northern Arc, over 50% of them as Affordable Housing. Work has progressed at their Freeks Farm site, with homes being constructed and the new bridge to the north of the site almost finished.

Alongside the new homes being built, Homes England also continues to fund important infrastructure for the Northern Arc. Jackson Civil Engineering is building the Western Link road, which will join the Northern Arc avenue to the A2300 and Jane Murray Way. They have made progress on the northern half of the A2300 roundabout, and works to the southern half have begun. Design work continues for later stages of the project, including the roundabout with Jane Murray Way and the link road itself. John Sisk & Son is working on the Eastern Bridge and Link Road which will join Freeks Lane to Isaacs Lane. They have been constructing a site access road and installing tree protection fencing which shields protected trees from potential damage during construction. Work on the link road itself has now begun.

For the latest news on the Northern Arc project, please visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/northern.arc.BH. You can find important project documents and other information at www.burgesshill.net/housing/northern-arc

What’s on

Josh Widdicombe: Watching Neighbours Twice a Day

Josh Widdicombe - Watching Neighbours twice a dayJosh Widdicombe has become one of the most in demand and highly regarded comedians in the UK for both his live stand-up and TV work since his debut gig in 2008.

Now, join Josh at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead on Wednesday 22 September at 8pm as he celebrates the release of his first memoir, Watching Neighbours Twice a Day… How ’90s TV (Almost) Prepared Me For Life.

Live in conversation with support from Ivo Graham, Josh will tell the story of a strange rural childhood, the kind of childhood he only realised was weird when he left home and started telling people about it. From only having four people in his year at school, to living in a family home where they didn’t just not bother to lock the front door, they didn’t even have a key.

WARNING: This is a book event rather than stand-up so it may be a bit more ramshackle/honest/laid back (delete as appropriate) than a normal gig (and there will almost certainly be a Q+A).

The show will be followed by a book signing and books will be available to purchase on the night.

Strictly 14+

Tickets: £16

Book Now

NHS Celebration Concert

CNHS Celebration Concertoro Nuovo – the leading Mid Sussex not-for-profit choir – will be performing a fantastic concert on Saturday 20 November 2021 at Hurstpierpoint College, starting at 7pm.

The concert is a 'Thank You' to all the NHS Staff and Health and Care workers who have looked after the Mid Sussex community during the Coronavirus pandemic. The choir, guest singers and musicians will be performing a wide range of music, so there will be something for everyone.

NHS Staff and Health and Care workers who are working and/or living in the Mid Sussex are eligible for FREE tickets (2 per person).

Tickets are also available on general sale, priced at £15. All concert profits will go to local NHS and Mid Sussex charities who are helping those affected by Covid-19.

For more information or to book online visit http://coronuovo.org.uk/celebration/ 

Your Council

Council meetings

Council ChamberAs of May 2021, decision making meetings of the Council have returned to in-person sessions. A number of meetings remain virtual, and are marked as such below.

You can follow virtual meetings on the Mid Sussex District Council YouTube channel.  For further details of the location of in-person meetings please see www.midsussex.gov.uk/council or contact Committee Services on 01444 477225.

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


15 September - Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance (18:00)

16 September - District Planning Committee (14:00)

22 September - Scrutiny Committee for Housing Planning and Economic Growth (17:00)

28 September - Audit Committee (17:00)

29 September - Council (19:00)

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

12 October - Licensing Committee (17:00)

14 October - Planning Committee (16:00) 

18 October - Cabinet (16:00)

21 October - District Planning Committee (14:00)

25 October - Cabinet Grants Panel (16:00) 

3 November - Council (19:00)

10 November - Scrutiny Committee for Leader, Finance and Performance (18:00)

11 November - Planning Committee (16:00)

New Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning

Councillor Robert SalisburyCouncillor Robert Salisbury has been named as the new Mid Sussex District Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning. The change follows the sad passing of Councillor Andrew MacNaughton, previous holder of the post.

In addition to being a Mid Sussex District Council representative for Cuckfield, Councillor Salisbury was also due to be Vice Chairman in the current Council year. Due to his new Cabinet role he has relinquished his Vice Chairman role and a replacement will be appointed at the September Council meeting.

Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said: “Robert is a very experienced Councillor who will make a valuable addition to the Cabinet. He will bring significant planning knowledge and experience to the role, most recently illustrated as Chairman of the District Planning Committee. This experience will be vital for the forthcoming review of the District Plan.”

Chairman to support Kangaroos charity

Councillor Margaret BelseyMid Sussex District Council Chairman Cllr Margaret Belsey has chosen to support Kangaroos disability charity during her term in office.

It is tradition for MSDC Chairman to select a charity to support when hosting fundraising, civic and social events. Councillor Belsey has chosen Kangaroos, a charity that is dedicated to bringing colour to the lives of people with learning disabilities.

Kangaroos was established in 1994 by a small group of parents whose children attended Court Meadow School in Cuckfield, which specialises in supporting children with learning disabilities. The parents wanted their children to be able to access after school activities and opportunities that mainstream school children enjoyed, so they set up a Saturday playscheme for six children. Now the organisation has grown immeasurably and currently supports 227 members ranging in age from 6 to 35.

For more information about Kangaroos visit www.kangaroos.org.uk/ 

£320,000 for local community groups

FundingIn the summer we awarded local community groups more than £320,000 in Section 106 developer contributions and grant funding to support the excellent work they are doing in the community.

The grants will be used to deliver a variety of community projects including, clubs for young people, support for families with babies and the expansion of the Burgess Hill Shed project, which helps people, particularly older men, to socialise and improve their mental wellbeing.

Age UK West Sussex, Brighton and Hove was awarded a grant of £20,000 towards the cost of furnishing and opening the new Kings Weald community building in Burgess Hill. The new building has been provided by developer Croudace as part of the Kings Weald development requirements from MSDC Planning and will include a community café, provide extensive activities for children and families, services for older people and the halls and rooms will be available for residents to hire for a variety of events, when it is handed over to the Council later this year.

Carers Support West Sussex received £5,000 towards their popular ‘Check-in and Chat’ befriending service. Many people have unexpectedly become carers during the pandemic and the need for support that helps combat isolation and loneliness has never been greater. This grant funding will enable the charity to invest in digital equipment and expand virtual support groups that help carers connect with services and peers for support.

Section 106 developer contributions in the sum of £100,000 were released to Mid Sussex District Scouts Council to help fund a new community centre they intend to build at Barn Cottage Recreation Ground in Haywards Heath. The new community building will enable the Scouts to accommodate an additional 180 young people per week and the facility will be available for community use during the daytime and at weekends. It will provide extra space to accommodate community activities like yoga classes, scout meetings, craft fairs, children’s parties and charity events.

The new community centre will be linked to the existing Barn Cottage Recreation Ground Pavilion and a further £171,160 of Section 106 developer contributions has been allocated to fund the extension and refurbishment of the existing pavilion.

Ardingly and Balcombe by-election

Councillor Jenny EdwardsJenny Edwards of the Green Party has been elected as a representative of Mid Sussex District Council in the Ardingly and Balcombe ward.

A by-election was held on Thursday 8 July 2021 following the death of Councillor Andrew MacNaughton earlier this year.

Votes were cast as follows:

Jenny EDWARDS (Green) – 452 votes - ELECTED
Ben JERRIT (Lib Dem) – 340 votes
Lorraine NUNES-CARVALHO (Conservative) – 409 votes
Carole Ann STEGGLES (Independent) – 23 votes

The total number of votes cast in the Mid Sussex District Council Ardingly and Balcombe Ward by-election was 1225. There was one rejected ballot paper and the turnout was 24.8%.

Your services

Council Tax team shortlisted for national awards

IRRV Performance AwardsWe've been nominated for two national awards for the support we provide to our residents when collecting Council Tax.

The Council has been shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Partnership Working’ and ‘Excellence in Social Inclusion’ categories of the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) Performance Awards 2021. The IRRV is a prestigious national body which promotes best practice in the local taxation, benefits and valuation industries.

When residents miss a Council Tax payment, it can be an early indication that something is wrong. Last year, we introduced a new ‘TellJO’ system to help identify people who could be facing financial difficulties, poor health or other social problems. The TellJO system enables us to automatically send out email and text messages to ask if the resident is OK and find out what difficulties they might be facing. By identifying people who are at risk early, we can signpost them to support and help them to improve their circumstances.

The TellJO system has been a huge success, helping over 75% of respondents to request new payment arrangements and providing 46% with immediate debt advice. The support provided by the service has enabled us to help residents with a range of complex issues, and this has been recognised by the IRRV with a nomination for the ‘Excellence in Social Inclusion Award’.

In 2020, we started working with Dukes Bailiffs Ltd to improve the support available to people who are facing social and financial issues. The collaboration has been nominated for the ‘Excellence in Partnership Working’ Award, particularly for the way it has supported people throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We work with Dukes to help customers find sustainable ways of getting out of debt and identify vulnerable people at an early stage. Dukes work with the local community to provide information about the collection process, signpost people to support, and encourage them to seek help before an enforcement visit is needed and additional fees apply.

The winners will be announced at the IRRV Annual Conference on Thursday 7 October 2021.


Business as usual for Building Control

RoofOur 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

Feeling a bit out of shape?

MENFinding time and space to think about health and wellbeing can be difficult. That is why our Wellbeing team is running a 10-week M-E-N (Mind, Excercise and Nutrition) plan to help support male residents in making adjustments that will help them to have healthier futures.

The meetups will take place at Haywards Heath Rugby Club. Each get-together will consist of 45 minutes on a nutrition and healthy lifestyle subject, followed by a 45 minute exercise session. The sessions kick-off on 13 October and will continue for 10 weeks, costing £20 in total.

To find out more or register contact Mid Sussex Wellbeing on 01444 477191 or email wellbeing@midsussex.gov.uk 


Parks & Rangers

New half pipe for Turners Hill playground

Turners Hill half-pipeA half-pipe mini ramp, a new 2.5m tall timber climbing frame and a wheelchair accessible roundabout will be installed at Turner's Hill Recreation Ground play area this winter.

We consulted with local residents about what type of new equipment they would like to see installed at the park. We had a total of 53 responses and the vast majority of people said they would like the park to be more inclusive and accessible for all.

As part of the improvement works we'll be removing the bark pit and laying a smooth path to the existing basket swing so it is easier to access for children in wheelchairs. We'll also be adapting the existing ship, so children with limited mobility and toddlers can access it without using the scramble nets or passing under the low bridge.

View the full plans

Hassocks to Ditchling pathway improvements

Hassocks to Ditchling pathBalfour Beatty and Hobart Paving Company have joined forces to provide some FREE pathway improvements to a Public Right of Way between Hassocks and Ditchling. 

Balfour Beatty is working with Mid Sussex District Council to improve path, cycle and bridleways around Burgess Hill, so that people can share each route safely and travel throughout the town without being so reliant on the road network. As part of the contract for that work, Balfour has pledged to support local voluntary groups with projects that improve the local area and add social value.

They approached the Monday Group, a band of Sussex volunteers who help to maintain stiles and Public Rights of Way, and were told about a problematic stretch of path between Hassocks and Ditchling. The popular pathway had become dangerous after eroding away and in the winter months it was extremely slippery when crossing the small stream.

By working together, the companies were able to help the Monday Group raise a section of the path by the stream and resurfaced it to provide a safe crossing for residents all year round. 






Summer fun at Play Days on Tour

Play Days on TourOrganising large scale events has been difficult this year, so instead of hosting three big Play Days we took some of the fun on tour with smaller but more frequent events.

Our Play Days on Tour took place in parks and open spaces across Mid Sussex during July and August, bringing FREE fun and entertainment to local towns and villages. 

Children enjoyed lots of different activities including a six-hole golf course, basketball coaching, cricket, tennis, rugby, arts, crafts, puppet shows, circus skills, music and the chance to get fit with Pop Steps and street dance. 

Our smaller events took place right in the heart of the community and it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves in a safe and responsible way.

Open and welcoming playground equipment for St Andrews

Climbing frameWhen we consulted with the public last year about potential improvements to the playground equipment at St Andrews in Burgess Hill, residents raised a number of concerns about anti-social behaviour in the area and stressed the need for the new playground equipment to be robust. Taking this feedback on board, we designed the new playground to be more open, so there are no hiding places, and we have specified steel equipment, which is less likely to be damaged.

A 2.4m tall metal climbing frame with nets, monkey bars, fireman's pole and slide will be the focal point of the new playground. There will be a new toddler slide with mini play-house, a spinner bowl and four different types of swing seat, including one where people can sit face-to-face, so parents and children can swing together.

New seating will be provided and a new rubber surface will connect all the new equipment.

View the full plans


Taylorfitch. Bringing Newsletters to life