Agenda and draft minutes
Venue: Wallis Room, Parkside, Chart Way, Horsham
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To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 18 February – minutes to follow
The minutes of the meeting held on 18 February would be circulated to the Group as soon as they were available.
Declarations of Members' Interests
There were no declarations of interest from Members of the Group. Councillor Nigel Jupp, who was in attendance, had declared a personal interest because he is also a West Sussex County Councillor.
There were no announcements.
To continue with the next stages of the review
The Chairman thanked officers for the detailed data that had been supplied to the Group on S106 monies. The purpose of this meeting was to seek information and clarification from West Sussex County Council and to consider what recommendations to include in the Task & Finish Group’s report to Overview & Scrutiny Committee.
The Chairman welcomed West Sussex County Council’s Planning Services Team Manager (WSCC Team Manager), who had been invited to the meeting to answer questions arising from the previous meetings of the Group.
The Chairman stated that WSCC had not recently provided annual reports on the allocation or use of contributions towards projects or schemes, as agreed in the procedure between WSCC and HDC. The WSCC Team Manager agreed that she would ensure that a report was produced and made readily available to Planning Officers.
One area of concern was that there was a lack of consultation with Parish and Neighbourhood Councils regarding the allocation of funds, particularly in identifying highway and transport schemes for inclusion in the integrated works programme. The WSCC Team Manager explained that when acting as consultees on a development they would not themselves consult with Parishes and their consultation responses were all public documents.
The Head of Development explained that this was a largely historical issue that did not relate to S106 funds since the introduction of the CIL tests, and then the introduction of CIL at HDC in 2017. It was noted that the remaining unallocated S106 funds were diminishing because, in the last few years, any S106 funds required for developments were allocated to specific projects.
The WSCC Team Leader agreed to ensure that their Highways Works Programme is well publicised so that it is easily accessible to parishes. The Head of Development advised that HDC should be consulted on the draft Highway Works Programme and HDC could distribute this to parishes.
Members noted that WSCC’s Developer Contributions Policy and Processes document, which had been circulated to the Group, had not been updated since April 2016. The WSCC Team Manager agreed that she would ensure that this was reviewed and updated, in consultation with HDC officers.
Some parish clerks found it difficult to interpret the S106 reports they received. The Head of Development suggested that this could be included in the Parish Clerks Training Seminar that was being arranged for later in the year.
The Chairman thanked the WSCC Team Manager for coming to the meeting and her helpful responses. He would draft a report for consideration by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 25 March.
Suggested recommendations for inclusion in the report:
· That the current protocol agreed between WSCC and HDC be reviewed and updated as required, with the agreement of and input from WSCC officers.
· That this protocol be reviewed by the Business Improvement Working Group on an annual basis.
· That WSCC Team Manager be invited to attend the Business Improvement Work Group annually to update Members and talk through the procedure.
· That training be offered to parish clerks on the S106 ... view the full minutes text for item 4.