Parish meeting has been deemed invalid

Supporters of Steyning Parish Council's skatepark held a protest outside the parish meeting in Springwells
Supporters of Steyning Parish Council's skatepark held a protest outside the parish meeting in Springwells

THE ‘UNDIGNIFIED spectacle’ of the Steyning parish meeting called for by residents has been deemed invalid.

The meeting on Thursday, September 19, has been ruled invalid by Horsham District Council.

Friends of Memorial Playing Field (FoMPF) and others began the meeting at Springwells, High Street, Steyning but then half-way through it was adjourned to the front garden of a house in Newham Lane.

The motion proposing a poll on the council’s plans to build a skate park on the MPF decided at the meeting is also invalid.

Steyning Parish Council said that a new meeting is being set up, which may be on October 21.

Mike Kelly, a supporter of the skate park, who was protesting outside Springwells, said in a letter: “The FoMPF’s most recent attempt to thwart opponents was to call a parish meeting at Springwells Hotel, a venue that could only accommodate 50 people, where 108 turned up (according to Mr Campbell’s own figures). They had refused the offer by the council of larger accommodation free of charge at the Steyning Centre. The undignified spectacle of people traipsing off to finish their meeting in a gazebo, in a supporter’s front garden, was an extraordinary sight to witness.

“They have immediately called another parish meeting. The difference this time is that it will be held at The Steyning Centre under the democratic supervision of the council where the electoral roll will be used to check the authenticity of those attending.”

A spokesperson for Horsham District Council said: “Horsham District Council has not arranged a poll following the outcome of the Steyning parish meeting due to the fact that the original public meeting was adjourned and reconvened at a residential address. For a parish meeting to be valid for the purpose of requiring a parish poll, it should be held in a suitable public room. The council does not consider that the parish meeting was held in a suitable public room and therefore cannot accept the outcome of the parish meeting and has not arranged a poll.”

A spokesperson of FoMPF said: “Horsham District Council refused the poll but another poll is being organised.”