NORTH HORSHAM PARISH COUNCIL PROPERTY COMMITTEE – 9th OCTOBER 2008 COMMITTEE REPORT 1. PUBLIC FORUM Members of the public are invited to put questions or draw relevant matters to the Council’s attention, prior to the commencement of business. This is for a period of up to 15 minutes and shall be limited to 3 minutes per person. TO NOTE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE No apologies for absence have been received at the time of preparing this report. COMMITTEE MINUTES To approve and sign the Minutes of the Meetings of Property Committee held on Thursday 7th and Wednesday 20th August 2008. (Minutes previously circulated). Please advise as soon as possible (i.e. over the weekend or during office hours on Monday or Tuesday) either the Committee Chairman or the Deputy Clerk if there are any amendments that need to be raised, preferably with proposed amendments clearly written. CHAIRMAN’S ANNOUNCEMENTS At the time of writing the Report there are no Chairman’s Announcements DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST 5.1 Members are advised to consider the agenda for the meeting and determine in advance if they may have personal or personal & prejudicial interests in any agenda item. If a Member decides they do have a declarable interest, they are reminded that the interest and the nature of the interest must be declared now and again at the outset of the relevant item. Details of the interest must be minuted. 5.2 If the interest is ‘prejudicial’, Members are reminded that they must take no part in the item at all and must leave the room until any discussion and decisions are concluded. However, you are permitted to speak under the Public Forum Item with the same limitations as the rest of the public – i.e. 3 minutes.






QUESTIONS PURSUANT TO STANDING ORDER NO. 24 6.1 Members are reminded that any question put under this Standing Order should preferably be notified in sufficient time before the meeting. This allows time for a considered response to be prepared. The question should relate to the business of the council. 6.2 Members are reminded that under Standing Order No. 27, that a person to whom the question is put, may decline to answer. Standing Order no. 26 stipulates that every question shall be put and answered without discussion.


COMMITTEE BUDGET MONITORING 2008/09: to 30.9.2008 (Appendix I) 7.1 Introduction The purpose of this report is to monitor the current year committee budget and covers the period 01.04.08 to 30.09.08. 1

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Halls – Pages 1-4 Expenditure/Income The Summary Schedule (page 1) relates to the total spend for all three halls – actual to 30.09.08 plus committed and probable expenditure to 31.03.09. The Summary on page 1 indicates an under-spend of £1,294 (£1,303 at 30.06.08) which is made up of the following under and overspends: Underspends 4025 Insurance 4055 VAT Grants

£727 £3500

Benefit of the 3-year contract Not yet implemented due to national VAT review

Misc savings (under £500 £338_ £4565 LESS Overspends 4012 Water Rates £542 4017 Refuse Clearance £337 4034 Electrical Maint. £1818 4040 Elevator Maint. £402 Misc overspends £172


£1294 NET HALL SAVINGS 7.3 Allotments, Recreation Areas & Open Spaces (page 5) There are several variations to the budgeted costs at this stage and these are detailed as follows: Overspends 4250 Bus Shelters 4302 Roundel maint LESS Underspends 4025 Insurance 4258 Multi Courts 4254 Dog Bins

£1317 £450

No longer in-house (offset by saving by Personnel Committee) New contract during year

£555 £500 £260 ____ £452

Benefit of the 3-year contract Unlikely to be needed 1st April increase lower than expected NET AMENITY OVERSPEND


Capital Projects An update on the progress of the Capital Projects is subject to a more detailed report by the Deputy Clerk elsewhere on the Agenda. However, it is confirmed that the S106 funding has now been sought for the kitchen at North Heath Hall and that the new chairs and trolleys came in under budget with a saving of £1,291. These surpluses are available for virement if new spend is kept under £1,000. Excess of this would require approval from Council via the Finance & Administration Committee.

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There are several Revenue Earmarked Reserves that are the remit of the Planning, Environment & Transport and Finance & Administration Committees and are reported here for information only. 7.5 RECOMMENDATION: The Committee is asked to note the report. 8. NOTICE OF TERMINATION: Public Lighting Maintenance Contract 8.1 The Council’s street light maintenance contractor has just advised, as an outcome of a recent detailed strategic review of its business, it will soon cease to provide public lighting maintenance services and has therefore served a Notice of Termination of the contract with the Council. The contract will cease on 31st March 2009. Another Group company provides the electrical supply. 8.2 The Council owns only 27 street lights and this Notice of Termination perhaps provides the impetus to undertake a detailed review of these lamp columns covering the following areas:  Consider transfer of ownership – e.g. Saxon Weald as some lamp columns are sited in residents’ front gardens in Amundsen Road and Cook Road or West Sussex County Council (4 lamps in Peary Close are on the public highway) This may require meeting current minimum standards of street lighting before transfer of ownership Consider upgrading or complete replacement Appoint a new maintenance organisation and consider new power supplier for the residual columns (e.g. 4 at North Heath Hall)

  


RECOMMENDATION: The Committee is asked to note the Notice of Termination served, and approve a detailed review of all the light columns as indicated in the report.


CAPITAL PROJECTS FOR 2009/2010 9.1 Introduction The purpose of this report is to consider Capital Projects for 2009/10 and following years for adoption by full Council on 13th November 2008. Several projects were identified for the Budget Guidelines process earlier in June. These were: North Heath Hall: Replacement doors & windows/paint roof windows (£8,000) Holbrook Tythe Barn: Kitchen refurbishment & External decorating (£10,000) Roffey Millennium Hall: Blinds & Lift (£12,000) Internal decoration (£6,000) Total provisional cost £36,000

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This list has subsequently been reviewed and early estimates sought. Not all estimates have been received at the time of preparing this report. Updates will be provided at the meeting where these are received in time. The internal decoration of Roffey Millennium Hall has been removed as the work has essentially all been completed this summer within existing budgets. The lift at Roffey Millennium Hall is now subject to a possible further risk assessment and no estimates have been pursued for repairs, etc yet to be identified. One new project has been added – North Heath Hall: refurbishment of the kitchenette downstairs at the rear of the premises. The revised projects list is as follows with a brief explanation for each one: North Heath Hall (a) Replacement patio doors and windows (x3) – The deterioration of the wooden frames to the doors and windows exiting onto the patio were identified earlier this year. The frames are now rotted beyond ‘patch & mend’. It is considered that the problem has been exacerbated by the concrete lintels at the base of the doors not being at the correct angle to deflect rainwater away from the building. Estimated cost is still outstanding therefore provision unchanged at £6,000. (b) Roof light window decoration – These windows are very difficult to access and were not decorated when other external works were undertaken in 2007. Scaffolding will be required in order to make the windows safely accessible for painting. Estimated cost is still outstanding therefore provision unchanged at £2,000. (c) Kitchenette downstairs – This is still serviceable but would benefit from refurbishment. It is not considered essential for this project to done in 2009/10 – it could be for a later year. Estimate not yet sought but could be about £3,000. Holbrook Tythe Barn (d) Kitchen refurbishment at Holbrook Tythe Barn – This kitchen is used most days by the pre-school nursery and is looking very tired. Apart from upgrading the kitchen there needs to be separation of storage cupboards used by the nursery – to get them out of the kitchen altogether. Estimated cost is still outstanding therefore provision unchanged at £9,000. (e) External Decoration – The black ‘shiplap’ external cladding needs repainting with a water-protective coating – especially on the south facing elevation. An estimate has been received in the region of £3,000.



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Roffey Millennium Hall (f) Blinds – The Venetian blinds used throughout this building have not worn well. Users carelessly bend them when opening/closing windows and they look appalling from the street. Venetian blinds are also difficult to clean. Additionally the raising and lowering mechanism often fails to work adequately. Some blinds are not so bad that they need replacing but the North Hall, Bramber Room, Chichester Room and Amberley Room are considered necessary. Cowdray Room could be left for another year or two. The blinds in the offices and Knepp Room are fine. The estimates received include options for vertical or roller blinds. The vertical blinds are in a solar reflective dim-out fabric. An additional option (estimates to follow) for window film may be preferred. Window film has the benefit of not being see-through, reflects sunlight (cooler in summer) and retains heat (less heat loss through closed window). Estimates Received: Vertical (3.5”) £ 963 667 523 1630 (2975 motorised) 3783 (5128 motorised) 523 4306 (5651 motorised) Roller £ 665 541 389 927 n/a 2522 389 2911 Film £ ? ? ? ?

North Hall Amberley Bramber Chichester Total ex Cowdray Cowdray Total incl Cowdray



CONCLUSION If the above projects were approved the costs would range from about £27,000 to £28,000 and subject to further revision as the outstanding estimates are received. This compares to the provisional figures used in June of £36,000. RECOMMENDATION Members are invited to agree the Capital Projects for 2009/10 and following years for onward approval by Council in November.



DRAFT COMMITTEE BUDGET 2009/2010: 1st Draft (Appendix II) 10.1 Introduction - The purpose of this report is to provide estimates of the Committee Revenue Budget for 2009/10. Council will agree the overall Budget and set the Precept at its meeting on 15th January 2009 after a review of the full Council position by the Finance & Administration Committee on 18th December 2008. Council agreed the following Resolution at its 10th July 2008 meeting:

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“Individual Committees, in preparing Budgets for 2009/10 are mindful of: A) The percentages contained in Appendix V as presented to the Finance & Administration Committee on 26.06.08 and Minute FA672, and B) Examine the principles for the items as listed in paragraph 13.4 of the Report (Agenda Item 13, dated 26.06.2008)” The Budget Guideline percentage changes are noted at the end of each section of Appendix II. 10.2 Halls Summary (Page 1) The Halls Summary on Page 1 shows the current 2007/08 Budget in column 1 with the estimated out-turn in column 2. Column 3 shows the deleted/reduced items, followed by additions for inflation (assumed at 3%) and other known increases. The penultimate column shows the new growth items. The final column indicates the aggregate movement giving the estimate for 2009/10. Halls Expenditure after Income It can be seen that the combined Halls expenditure is forecast to go up by £10,412 (15.48%) – offset by £4,764 increased income – leaving a net increased cost of £5,648. This is a £760 higher than the Budget Guidelines percentage of 26.06.08 (£4,888). This is mainly due to higher provisions for gas and electricity. The details for each individual hall are on pages 2-4. The movements are as follows: Reductions in Expenditure There are just two small reductions on the current budget. These are detailed below: 4015 Gas 215 Lower cost at HTB 4018 Sanitary Disposal 259 Lower cost at RMH 474 Inflation & New Growth Expenditure The above reductions are offset by the increase of generally 3%, a total reassessment of Gas and electricity costs including the following items: 4012 Water Rates 4014 Electricity 4015 Gas 4034 Electrical maintenance 4040 Elevator General inflation 584 20% increase applied 4977 End of 5yr fixed contract – up 83% 2921 Average increase 40% 454 Extra provision at RMH 350 Extra provision at RMH 1600 10886



Halls/Multi Courts Income An increase in charges of 3% has been assumed.

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Amenities and Allotments (page 5) The Amenities show an overall increase of £6,095 (16%) – less than the Budget Guidelines percentage of 26.06.08 (18.3%). This is due to a reduction in respect of the Multi Courts general maintenance provision and a reduced allocation for insurance to the Amenities Section. The adjusted costs for the Maintenance Vehicle are on the basis of buying the current van at the end of the 3 year lease period. The residual value used of £6,000 is being checked with the lease company and may, hopefully, go down. The effect of this purchase would result in the total removal of lease costs in future years (of about £1,185). The alternative to purchasing the current van is to replace with a new leased vehicle. This would have a much more neutral impact on the 2009/10 budget – reducing the applied figures by about £4,000. This will be subject to a further report when the 2nd draft budget is prepared in December.


Gross Expenditure & Income (page 6) This page brings together all the Halls, Amenities and Allotments. The total estimated 2009/10 Gross Expenditure is £122,210 – an increase of £16,518 (15.63%). This is similar to the Budget Guidelines percentage of 26.06.08 (15.54%). The total estimated Gross Income is £163,954 – up £4,775 (3%) – no change from the Guidelines. This gives a net estimated increase costs of £11,742 over 2008/09 – a small improvement of £94 over the Guidelines and before any changes as a result of Members’ considerations.


RECOMMENDATIONS: Members are invited to comment on, and Note the Property Committee Gross 1st draft Revenue Expenditure and Income Budget for 2009/10.


ENERGY AUDIT OF THE COMMUNITY BUILDINGS 11.1 In view of Members’ concerns to be energy aware when considering the new kitchen appliances at North Heath Hall and similar concerns over new air conditioning in the offices at Roffey Millennium Hall, your officers felt that it is a good time to undertake a full energy audit of all three community buildings – particularly in view of the big increased gas and electricity charges. 11.2 It is quite likely that savings could be made just by turning a heating thermostat down by one degree, but a detailed audit may reveal other, less obvious ways to be more energy efficient. There are a number of organisations that undertake such audits including Action in Rural Sussex (the Council is a member) and a local business that specialises in environmental/energy matters - a frequent user of Roffey Millennium Hall. Early informal talks with the local business, suggests it may consider undertaking an audit under its ‘business in the community scheme’. 7


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The cost could be met from the brought forward Earmarked Reserves for Electricity (Code 4014) of £1980, which should be more than adequate. RECOMMENDATION The Committee is asked to agree to the commissioning of an energy audit of the Council’s three community buildings, funded from the Earmarked Reserve for Electricity.



AIR CONDITIONING FOR PARISH OFFICES 12.1 Three quotes have been received for the provision of air conditioning for the three offices spaces – Reception, Deputy Clerk’s Office and the Clerk’s office (Arundel Room). All but one quote are well below the Budget provision of £5,000 and are presented as follows: Company ‘A’ Company ‘B’ Company ‘C’ 12.2 £3,300 ex VAT and 15amp power supply £3,370 ex VAT and mains electrical wiring (ECA rated) £5,980 ex VAT and mains electrical supply

The inclusion of this project stems from the very hot summers of recent years that made the offices extremely uncomfortable to work in. The last two summers (!) of 2007 and 2008 have not produced the earlier extreme conditions. Currently air conditioning exists in the Chichester Room (when building constructed) and the Members’ Room (installed in August 2002 – when occupied by Essential Skills Team – 2 staff). Any additional air conditioning would only be turned on as and when needed – i.e. short periods only. Health & Safety guidelines state that employers have a duty to ensure reasonable workplace temperature. Surprisingly, although the law sets out minimum temperatures for the workplace (16 degrees Celsius), there is no clear legal maximum. Regulation 7 of the workplace (Health & Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 provides that ‘during working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable’. The World Health Organisation has stated that the maximum temperature for ‘comfortable’ working (which is of course different from the maximum temperature for ‘safe’ working) is 24 degrees Celsius. The temperature in the three offices frequently exceeded 24 degrees in 2007 and 2008. Failure to take reasonable steps, which include introducing air conditioning, fans, providing free water or allowing longer breaks, might result in civil liability if an employee suffers ill-health – for example: heat fatigue, dizziness, dehydration and asthma.



High workplace temperatures are not just due to the weather. Electronic equipment also generates heat – photo copiers, computers, printers, kettles, refrigerators, lighting, etc. Most of this equipment is used in the council offices. Fans are available to use but in the limited office space in the two 8

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downstairs offices it is difficult to locate these in a safe place that does not blow sheets of paper off the desk. Cold water is freely available from the kitchens and longer breaks have been allowed. On occasions staff has worked in the Chichester and Members’ Rooms – but this is not always practicable. 12.5 Clearly, air conditioning is not always seen as environmentally friendly or an efficient use of energy. However, in order to make the workplace climate ‘reasonable/comfortable’ air conditioning offers a good and acceptable solution. The quotes sought all provide for a heat pump air conditioning system. The advantage of heat pump units as opposed to just cooling units means that on those odd occasions when the building heating system is not functioning, staff can continue to work if the workplace temperature would otherwise be below the legal limit of 16 degrees. This could be in winter or on those cooler days in summer (when it would be more expensive to heat up the entire building). One contractor (Company ‘B’) has quoted for heat pump units that meet the Inland Revenue ‘enhanced capital allowance scheme’ (ECA) for energy-saving technologies, supported by the Carbon Trust. RECOMMENDATION To accept the quotation from Company ‘B’ at £3,370 (ECA Rated) 13. KITCHEN AT NORTH HEATH HALL: Update 13.1 The outcome of the submitted S106 application will be determined by Horsham District Council’s Grants Panel on Monday 20th October 2008 at 5pm. 13.2 RECOMMENDATION Members are asked to note this section of the Report. 14. FUTURE HORSHAM IN BLOOM PROJECTS 14.1 A number of suggestions have been put forward in anticipation of the Parish Council’s involvement in next year’s Horsham in Bloom: 14.2 Hanging Baskets To provide summer hanging baskets at all three Community venues. There is sufficient budget provision for 2/3 hanging baskets at each hall. 14.3 Holbrook Tythe Barn (i) To the left of the front door, the flower bed has been worn away by users of the Barn ‘cutting the corner’ to the car park. The previous planting included a variety of grasses, which have not established. Two suggestions have been put forward: Either: (a) That the walked over area is paved/tarmaced; Or (b) That the area is re-planted with more robust specimen plants (ii) Along the side of the Barn, there is the same issue, with the end of the flower bed nearest the car park having had the corner ‘cut off’ by walkers and
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some of the previous planting not established. Again, there have been three suggestions: Either (a) That the flower bed is removed and a seat installed. Members may consider this to be impracticable as seating may encourage gathering of youths in a place where there is, from time to time, anti-social behaviour issues and it would be very close to the car park; (b) That there is re-planting with more robust specimen plants; (c) That there is re-planting with roses. Members may consider this to be impractical as roses, to be kept looking their best, require high maintenance. Further the provision of a thorned shrub, so near to where children are, could cause potential injury.

Or Or


Members are asked to note that the Council’s grounds maintenance contractors have recently undertaken work at the Barn, including the spreading of bark chippings on the flower beds, which has greatly improved the appearance. Railing Planters A number of areas have been identified throughout the Parish – Giblets Lane/North Heath Lane/Pondtail Road, Erica Way/North Heath Lane, Harwood Road and Roffey Corner West Sussex County Council has a Code of Practice for the installation of Hanging Baskets and Planters, which is being sent. Pole Planters Contact has been made with the company who provides Horsham District Council with hanging baskets etc. This company would be able to provide poles, hanging baskets and a plaque indicating the place name of the location viz. Roffey or Holbrook, rather than bearing the complicated Parish logo. A representative of the company will be contacting the Committee Clerk before the meeting. Locations previously put forward are Fitzalan Road (opposite the Roundel) and for Holbrook, on Parish Council owned land at Riverside Walk. Additional suggestions are at Roffey Corner and in the event of railing planters not being permitted at Giblets Lane/North Heath Lane/Pondtail Road, then a pole planter to be installed on land on the opposite side of the road, near to the junction with The Castle.




Wild Flower Planting Following the success of the various areas of wild flower planting by the District Council in and around the Parish, the suggestion has been made that further potential areas be identified for inclusion in this scheme. Planting, Maintenance and Sponsorship Hanging baskets and railing and pole planters can be sponsored by local businesses, as happens in Horsham Town. Horsham District Council arrange for Girl Force for the planting up and maintenance (including watering) of the planters throughout the year. The cost of this is in the region 10


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of £100 pear year, which would be paid for by the sponsors. The sponsor logo boards are provided by the District Council’s supplier at no extra cost. 14.9 Financial Implications These cannot be quantified at present. The is already a budget provision for 2/3 hanging baskets at each hall and as reported above, sponsorship may cover the cost of planting and maintenance of railing planters. It is not clear at this stage if this also applies to pole planters. Currently there is no separate financial provision for the more permanent suggestions for Holbrook Tythe Barn unless Members wish to allocate some of the Open Spaces provision (Code 4252/302, Amenities) 14.10 RECOMMENDATION: Members’ views are sought on which ‘in bloom’ projects to implement in 2009/10 and how they might be funded. 15. UPDATE ON CURRENT PROJECTS 15.1 Bridges and Board Walk at Earles Meadow At the time of preparing the Report, work is almost complete with the final phase (new boardwalk at the railway into the meadow) and work to the existing bridge between the two main boardwalk areas) currently being undertaken. 15.2 A number of areas have been identified that require further attention – (i) At the first and main entrance to the wooded area (down from the oak tree): (a) The original steep steps have yet to be removed and rebuilt; (b) A step is required from the end of the new walkway; (c) A number of screws need to be counter sunk properly. (ii) At the new bridge, the steps on the wooded side need ‘bringing out’ as the top step, in particular, is rather narrow. At the new zigzag walkway a potential trip hazard has been identified between the existing original bridge and the new walkway. Over the wet area, the new boardwalk needs another plank to finish off the line properly.




Members are asked to note that at the time of writing the Report, staff are aware (a) of the graffiti on the new bridge and on the zigzag walkway and this will be removed; and (b) that there is a quantity of old timer and other debris to be removed from the site.


Drainage ditch at Holbrook Tythe Barn The contractor has not yet begun the agreed exploratory holes. However, Members may wish to note that following the recent heavy rain, there have been no incidents of flooding and it is thought that the blockage has cleared itself. The drainage will continue to be monitored. 11

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Refurbishment of Parish Notice Boards Delivery of the new slat panels, as previously agreed, for various Parish notice boards is due week commencing 6th October 2008. Bus Shelters in Lambs Farm Road Repairs to the two recently vandalised Bus Shelters have now been completed. RECOMMENDATION: Members are asked to note the progress on the current projects as reported.




COMMUNITY HALLS REPORT: Elevator maintenance and Risk assessment at Roffey Millennium Hall 16.1 The Parish Council’s insurers are able to undertake a twice yearly inspection of the lift at a cost of £250 per annum. Currently the lift is inspected on a quarterly basis at a cost of £79.94 per quarter - £320pa. As part of the insurer’s contractual terms, the Council would need to ensure that any outstanding work previously identified had been undertaken. The insurance company has advised that the Council will still require the services of a lift engineering company to undertake repairs and deal with call outs. 16.2 Quite separately, the insurer is prepared to undertake a risk assessment on the lift at Roffey Millennium Hall. The cost of this has not yet been advised. As the saving on inspections is quite marginal at £70, and to change would mean two less inspections a year - and there are no complaints against the current engineering company’s quality of repairs - Members may wish to just instruct the insurer to carry out an independent risk assessment and use this to determine what safety improvements are really necessary. With this approach the Council maintains the services of the current lift engineering company and responds only to the insurer’s risk assessment. RECOMMENDATION: The Committee is asked to instruct the Council’s insurer to undertake a risk assessment of the lift at Roffey Millennium Hall in time for full consideration of the findings at the December Committee meeting.




Parish Plan Update Members are asked to defer this item to the next Committee meeting. RECOMMENDATION That this item is deferred to the next Committee meeting.


Date of next meeting Thursday 4th December 2008 at 7.30pm

Property Committee Report 09.10.2008


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