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New Electric Vehicle Charging Points start to rollout

EV charging pointsThe electric vehicle revolution has arrived in West Sussex with the large-scale roll-out of thousands of EV charging points over the next decade.

We're working with West Sussex County Council and Connected Kerb, one of the UK’s leading providers of EV charging infrastructure, to fund, install and maintain thousands of charging points on streets, in public sector car parks and on community facilities.

New EV Charging Points are being installed in Mid Sussex right now, with the first six going live at Vicarage Road Car Park in East Grinstead at the end of April. A further 52 will be connected around the District over the next month, with all of the new EV Charging Points due to be live by June this year.

This initial rollout is just the start of a much bigger project that will see thousands of chargepoints installed on streets, in public sector car parks and on community facilities across West Sussex within the next ten years.

As we enter 2022, only eight years remain until the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles comes into force. While demand is not yet at the levels required for a full transition to electric, it is critical that the county readies itself in advance by deploying long-lasting infrastructure where it is needed. It is anticipated that the scheme will provide a blueprint for other local authorities within the UK. Making electric vehicles affordable, sustainable and accessible for all regardless of social status, physical ability or location is essential to meeting both the 2030 deadline and the 2050 aspiration of meeting net zero.

Significantly, the charging points do more than just charge electric vehicles. They can support future technologies such as 5G, IoT and air quality sensors, delivering to West Sussex future-proofed infrastructure as the drive towards tomorrow’s smart cities gathers pace.

Dr Chris Pateman-Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Connected Kerb, said: “Knowing you can arrive at virtually any location, at any time, in any vehicle and charge your battery without inconvenience or faff is the reality we must deliver to create an EV society. This project – the largest of its kind in the UK – personifies that future, helping residents to reduce their carbon footprint and making electric vehicle charging accessible to those without off-street parking. Forward-thinking partners like the West Sussex Councils are driving forward the EV transition at pace – simultaneously providing a blueprint for other local authorities across the UK to do the same. Their example will help the entire country meet its net zero goals by 2050.”

You can let West Sussex County Council know where you would like new chargepoints to be located by visiting at https://www.connectedkerb.com/west-sussex-chargepoint-network

News

New Mid Sussex Centre for Outdoor Sport

Centre for Outdoor SportWork is underway to provide a new 9-hectare Centre for Outdoor Sport to the west of Burgess Hill.

In March, Council Cabinet Members were presented with an initial Feasibility study and draft Masterplan, which outlined the range of sporting facilities that could be built to the south of the A2300 in Burgess Hill.

The Feasibility Study, which has been drawn up in consultation with national sporting organisations including Sport England, the Football Foundation and the Rugby Football Union, shows that there is enough space for multiple sports pitches, community pavilions, changing facilities and dedicated parking on the site.

The next stage will see consultants work with local sports groups, and the wider community, to develop detailed designs and ensure the views of all potential users are considered. Feedback from the local community will help to shape the plans over the next 12-months, with the aim of obtaining planning permission in 2023 and opening first class sports facilities to the public in 2025.

A2300 opening

The newly widened A2300 in Burgess Hill officially opened last month, helping to improve connectivity and increase capacity between the A23/M23 and the town.

Burgess Hill is undergoing a period of significant growth and improving this key section of road infrastructure will ensure the Northern Arc development at the edge of the town will be well connected to the road network.  Sustainable transport options have also been improved with the addition of 2.5 metre wide shared use paths, which make travel much easier for people who choose to walk or cycle.

The widening of the A2300 has been completed before any new homes have been occupied on the Northern Arc development and is another great example of important infrastructure improvements being delivered at an early stage.

New sports pitches and community facilities for Haywards Heath

In March we awarded Colwell Ground CIC £1.4 million in Section 106 developer contributions to support the delivery of new sports pitches and a community building near St Francis Sports and Social Club in Haywards Heath.

The ambitious £8 million project aims to deliver three all weather sports pitches, suitable for hockey and football, alongside a new community centre that features a changing rooms, a café, museum, nursery and accessible toilets.

If you'd like to find out more about the proposed new sports and community facilities at Colwell Ground then please visit
https://colwellground.org.uk/ and share your views using the handy online survey.

Globally recognised cultural and creative consultancy to advise on Clair Hall site

Clair HallFollowing a competitive tendering process we have appointed world renowned BOP Consulting to explore options to provide financially viable modern community facilities at the Clair Hall site.

Having recently worked with a hugely impressive list of clients including local government authorities, the Arts Council of England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and UNESCO all within the creative industries sector, BOP Consulting are well placed to review current market conditions and provide evidence-based advice to help identify opportunities for the future of the Clair Hall site.

BOP Consulting have been appointed following a competitive tender process. The invitation to tender document they submitted their bid against is available for all to review on the Clair Hall Engagement hub site at https://engage.midsussex.gov.uk/clair-hall.  Hit the subscribe button on the engagement hub website to be kept informed of the latest news on the future of Clair Hall.

Clair Hall vaccination centre licence extended

Clair Hall vaccination centreWe've extended a licence for the NHS to use the Clair Hall site in Haywards heath as a Covid-19 vaccination centre.

The NHS has been vaccinating local residents against Covid-19 at the Clair Hall site since December 2020 and has delivered over 190,000 jabs so far. The licence extension will enable the NHS to continue delivering this and other important health services on site. The new licence will run until February 2024.

GP Federation, Alliance for Better Care, has been running the vaccination programme at Clair Hall on behalf of local GP practices. The team aims to make full use of the space available and is now working with practices to provide extended primary care services from the site, alongside its ongoing vaccination provision.

The use of Clair Hall as a vaccination centre is a temporary measure and we are working with industry experts BOP Consulting to explore all the options for providing new sustainable community facilities on the site for the benefit of local residents. We have agreed an evidence-based approach to look at how modern, multifunctional community facilities could be delivered on the Clair Hall site and this work is unaffected by the extension of the licence.

Northern Arc – Progress update

2022 is a big year for the Northern Arc development in Burgess Hill as the project moves from the planning and infrastructure phases to the first residents moving in to their new homes. Countryside Properties have almost finished the first phase of homes at Oakhurst on the Freeks Farm site, and expect to welcome new residents in early summer. All of these first homes are Affordable Housing – which means they’re either for Affordable Rent or Shared Ownership. Access to affordable housing at the Northern Arc and across Mid Sussex is managed through the Mid Sussex District Council housing register

Homes England is expecting the determination of Bellway’s Reserved Matters planning application (search DM/21/3870 on the MSDC planning portal) for a further 241 homes and an extension to Bedelands Nature Reserve.

All homes at the Northern Arc will be built with sustainability in mind, with Homes England’s developer partners using sustainable and renewable materials, finding efficient ways to minimise carbon emissions during construction, or making sure they’re providing homes that will be low-carbon to run for the families who live there. Visit the Northern Arc’s web page for more information about Modern Methods of Construction. 

Jackson is making great progress with the Western Link Road, which will join Jane Murray Way to the A2300. The road is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2022, and once complete will unlock access to development plots in the west of the site, including new homes, the employment hub and the Centre for Outdoor Sport.

Homes England expect to have some more exciting announcements about the next steps of the project soon – if you’d like to be the first to know, you can sign up for email updates

Shop Local and Support Mid Sussex

Pop to the ShopsPop to the Shops is our latest campaign, funded by the Government’s Welcome Back Fund, to encourage residents to support our local shops with a clear message that this is good for our community, our economy and the planet.

Before the Coronavirus pandemic around £1 in every £5 was spent online, now that is £3 in every £5. Despite this research from PwC has shown that two thirds of people will try to support local businesses and buy locally going forward. This campaign aims to remind everyone what a valuable place shops and traders have in our local community.

We've also started working with ShopAppy to help traders promote their businesses. ShopAppy is FREE for Mid Sussex traders to join for 12 months.

Businesses who would like to find out more and sign up to the free 12-month ShopAppy Mid Sussex promotion can contact Jane Stewart at shoplocal@shopappy.com or call her on 07770 655 302.

Find out about other support and funding for Mid Sussex traders here.

What’s on

Mark Watson: This Can't Be It

Mark WatsonWe've all had some pondering to do about the fragility of life recently, but don't worry, skinny national treasure Mark Watson has it covered. At 41, he's halfway through his days on earth, according to the life expectancy calculator app he paid £1.49 for. That life is in the best shape in living memory... but one problem remains, and it really is a huge one.

Spiritual enquiry meets high-octane observational comedy as the 'Taskmaster' survivor, multi-award-winner and “No More Jockeys” cult leader attempts to cram a couple of years of pathological overthinking into an evening of stand-up. Maybe we'll even solve the huge problem. Doubt it, though.

Mark brings his latest stand-up tour, This Can't Be It, to Chequer Mead, East Grinstead on Saturday 18 June at 7:30pm

Tickets: £21

Book Now

Your Council

Council meetings

Council ChamberDecision making meetings of the Council have now returned to in-person sessions but many other meetings remain virtual.

You can follow all 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. Please note - meeting times are subject to change:

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

19 May - District Planning Committee (14:00)

25 May - Scrutiny Committee for Community, Customer Services and Service Delivery (18:00)

6 June - Cabinet (16:00)

6 June - Standards Committee (18:00)

8 June - Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Growth (18:00)

9 June - Planning Committee (16:00)

16 June - District Planning Committee (14:00)

20 June - Cabinet Grants Panel (16:00)

22 June - Scrutiny Committee for Community, Customer Services and Service Delivery (18:00)

28 June - Licensing Committee (17:00)

29 June - Council (19:00)

Jubilee grants awarded to help communities celebrate historic event

Platinum Jubilee logoWe've awarded funding to 37 neighbourhood, charity and local organisations as part of our special Platinum Jubilee grants programme.

This year, will see a year-long Platinum Jubilee celebration of The Queen’s seventy years of service, having acceded to the throne on 6th February 1952. We created our grants programme to help Mid Sussex groups run community events that celebrate and mark the Platinum Jubilee. We've helped to fund a wide range of local events, from street parties to live music performances, that are easily accessible for the community and free to attend.

An extended bank holiday from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th of June will provide an opportunity for communities to come together to celebrate this historic milestone.

For more information about Jubilee events in Mid Sussex visit www.midsussex.gov.uk/leisure-sport/whats-on-in-mid-sussex/platinum-jubilee-2022/ 




Your services

£150 Council Tax Energy Rebate

£150 energy paymentThe Government is providing a one-off Energy payment of £150 to help households cope with rising energy prices. The £150 payment will apply to occupied Mid Sussex households in Council Tax bands A-D and will not need to be repaid.

We are currently processing payments to households that pay Council Tax by Direct Debit. If you pay your Council Tax this way you do not need to take any action and will receive your £150 bank transfer by the end of May.

If you do not use Direct Debit to pay your Council Tax then you can now apply for the £150 Energy Rebate online at www.midsussex.gov.uk/energy-payments where you will find more information. 

Beware of fraudsters – remember we will never ask for your bank details over the phone.

Applications for micro-business grants are now open

Micro business grant applications now openAre you a small business in Mid Sussex?

Building on the success of previous years, funding has been secured for business grants that aim to support small local businesses in their growth and development. This year the Council has £71,000 available. Grants of up to £2,000 are available for businesses with a project idea that will contribute towards their growth.

A further grant of up to £1,500 is available to support the costs of hiring an apprentice.

Projects will be assessed against five key criteria. To be eligible for the scheme, businesses must demonstrate how their project will result in one or more of the following:

- Reaching new customers
- Increasing the number of employees
- Introducing new products and services
- Improving business premises
- Improving business productivity

The application portal is now open, for further details on the scheme and how to apply please visit: https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/licensing-business/micro-business-grants/ 

Burgess Hill Town Council Dunstall Ward by-election

Mustak MiahMustak Miah of the Conservative Party has been elected as a representative of Burgess Hill Town Council in the Dunstall Ward.

A by-election was held on Thursday 7 April 2022 following the disqualification of Councillor Emma Coe-Gunnell White.

Votes were cast as follows:

Gail Patricia ANDERSON (Green Party) – 121 votes
Pamela HAIGH (Labour Party) – 35 votes
Mustak MIAH (The Conservative Party Candidate) – 270 votes – ELECTED
Peter Donald WILLIAMS (Liberal Democrats) – 237 votes

The total number of votes cast in the Burgess Hill Town Council Dunstall Ward by-election was 666. There were three rejected ballot paper and the turnout was 32.4%.

Wellbeing

Prediabetes talks

prediabetes posterOur Wellbeing team is hosting free pre-diabetes talks to help local people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The number of people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is increasing nationally and developing the condition means an increased risk of developing serious complications such as blindness, heart attack, stroke and amputation. Thankfully it's possible to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by making some key lifestyle changes like eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy weight.

Those most at risk of developing type 2 diabetes people with a family history of the condition, a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 25 and those who have been identified by a health professional as pre-diabetic.

The pre-diabetes workshops show people how they can take control for themselves and reduce the risk of developing the condition. The course looks at small and manageable steps that individuals can take to avoid developing type 2 diabetes, such as changes to diet, activity levels and other lifestyle factors.

The pre-diabetes workshops take place at 

East Grinstead Library 

13 May, 2pm-4pm

Cherry Tree Centre, Burgess Hill

24 May, 10am-12pm
7 June, 10am-12pm

If you are interested in booking a free place please contact the Mid Sussex Wellbeing Team on 01444 477191 or email wellbeing@midsussex.gov.uk 




Parks & Rangers

Natural meadows help wildlife to thrive

A Blue Heart campaign meadow at East Court, East GrinsteadWe have set aside more space in local parks and open spaces this summer to create natural meadow areas that encourage native insects, wildlife and grassland species to thrive.

Areas of open space will be left to grow throughout the spring and summer in 40 locations across Mid Sussex as part of the national Blue Campaign.

Lowland grass is an essential part of the UK’s ecological infrastructure, but it is in rapid decline. The Blue campaign is a conservation initiative that aims to re-wild areas across Great Britain by allowing grass to grow naturally.

You will be able to spot the protected areas easily because each one is marked with a blue heart symbol.

To find out more about rewilding and increasing biodiversity in the UK visit www.bluecampaignhub.com or email parksopenspaces@midsussex.gov.uk 

Council plants 250 trees in honour of The Queen

Tree planting at Ashenground Woods Nature ReserveWe've planted 250 new trees at Ashenground Woods Nature Reserve in Haywards Heath as part of The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The new trees will form part of The Queen’s Green Canopy, a network of individual trees, avenues, copses and whole woodlands that have been planted by people across the UK in honour of the Queen’s 70 years of service.

Mid Sussex District Council Vice-Chairman, Cllr Phillip Coote was joined by councillors, MSDC contractors Id Verde, County Tree Surgeons and local volunteers in March to plant the trees, which were generously donated by Government software provider Arcus Global.

The saplings, which are a mixture of British native species comprising English Oak, Hawthorn, Field Maple and Rowan, will enhance and extend the woodland, regenerating the area and enabling new habitats to flourish.

Residents can use a dedicated map to view the locations of all the trees planted across the UK in honour of Her Majesty at www.queensgreencanopy.org

Pump track celebration for Bolney children

Bolney Pump TrackChildren and families from Bolney joined Team GB Olympian Kyle Evans during the Easter school holidays to celebrate the opening of a new BMX pump track.

Pro BMX Rider Kyle Evans demonstrated the best way to ride the new track, met with the youngsters and provided valuable advice. A live DJ kept the tunes flowing during the afternoon and ran DJ workshops so young people could have a go for themselves. Sussex Clubs for Young People provided arts activities and Bolney based bike repair shop Charlie’s Pedal Shed was there to offer free safety checks for bikes and scooters.

We opened the new bike track at the start of February, and it is already proving popular with local riders. It has been designed and built by pump track experts Clark and Kent, the same company who built the London 2012 Olympic Games BMX Supercross Track.

For those unfamiliar with BMX riding, a pump track is made up of bumpy track, known as rollers and banked turns called berms. Riders use pumping up and down body movements to generate forward momentum, and the track maximises that momentum so they can navigate the course with only a small amount of pedalling required.

The new Bolney Pump Track is 80 metres long and is surfaced with tarmac to create a smooth ride and ensure children are able to use it all year round. The course has been specifically designed so that it can be used by riders of all ability levels. A young novice rider with no experience still has the same excitement and user experience as someone who has been riding for years. 

£1.5 million for park improvements

Finches Field MasterplanThe Council will be investing £1.5 million in key parks and open spaces across the District over the next 12 months.

We've consulted with residents to create masterplans for improvements at Hemsley’s Meadow and Finches Field in Pease Pottage, Mount Noddy in East Grinstead, and Victoria Park in Haywards Heath.

Here are just some of the potential improvement projects for each park and open space:

Hemsley’s Meadow and Finches Field

All weather pathways that create circular walks and a resurfaced car park
Establishment of a wet woodland
Pathways mown through wildflower grasses in the summer
New play areas for children


Mount Noddy

Leisure equipment for older children and young adults
New sensory play area
Improved lighting
Creation of a picnic meadow

Victoria Park

New play area facilities
Improved frontage along South Road 

To view the plans in detail please visit www.midsussex.gov.uk/leisure-sport/parks/




Playground improvements

St Andrews Playground Burgess HillAt Turners Hill Recreation Ground, the new climbing frame and in ground roundabout are now open and available for play! The old bark pit has been cleared and replaced with a surface that is more easily accessible. We have also recently completed the installation of a new half pipe for older children to practice their skating, scootering and BMXing. 

Improvements at St Andrews Play Area in Burgess Hill have been completed and the new equipment is open for use. We have installed a new toddler playhouse and slide, a new junior climbing frame and slide, a spinny bowl and a set of swings. There are a variety of swing seats to suit different ages and abilities together with new trees and other plants.
 

We will be starting work to improve Forest Fields Play Area in Haywards Heath this summer. We plan to carry out further consultation with local residents before installing a new climbing frame, large seesaw and toddler slide and improving accessibility with new surfacing. 

Looking forward to the rest of the financial year, we are planning to improve another two play areas, one at Hollands Way Play Area in East Grinstead and one at The Dolphin Leisure Centre in Haywards Heath. We are also working in partnership with Pyecombe Parish Council to try and secure some external funding so we can upgrade the play area at The Wyshe over the next couple of years. 

Please keep an eye on our website (https://www.midsussex.gov.uk/leisure-sport/playgrounds/ for updates on these projects.

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