13th May 2009.

Please note that all meetings commence at 7.00 p.m. unless stated otherwise

Cabinet Grants Panel – 20th May @ 4.00 p.m.
Planning Training on the New Costs Circular – 20th May @ 6.00 p.m.
Standards Committee – 27th May.
Central Area Planning Committee – 14th May.
South Area Planning Committee – 21st May.
North Area Planning Committee – 28th May.

Members’ Room

Please note that the Members’ Room will be out of action from 27th May until 8th June as this
room is being used for the issue and opening of postal votes for the forthcoming elections
on 4th June.
Emergency Planning – Swine Flu

Members may well be concerned with the current situation with Swine Flu and its effect on
MSDC. The Sussex Resilience Forum (SRF) has been meeting on a regular basis over the
last two weeks. This group is established under the Civil Contingencies Act to give strategic
guidance and coordination of the category one and two responders dealing major
emergencies. The SRF consists of all the category one responders and has undertaken
comprehensive planning for flu pandemic.
Mid Sussex District Council is well prepared to deal with a flu outbreak through its business
continuity (BC) planning process.
In conjunction with West Sussex PCT considerable background work has been undertaken
to prepare for flu pandemic including a practical exercise in 2007. Flu Pandemic will affect
the council in two main areas: -
Category One Responders and Key Workers

All Category one responders have identified all their key workers to maintain essential
services so that anti viral treatment (e.g Tamiflu) can be administered at an early stage in a
pandemic. For Mid Sussex, this includes services such as Environmental Health, Building
Control, Benefits Payments and Housing Needs and also includes our partner workers in
services such as refuse collection.
Category One Responders Support
The primary lead agency in flu pandemic is the Health Protection Agency (HPA), closely
supported by the Primary Care Trust (PCT). If required by the PCT, facilities will be made
available at any of the Councils leisure centres for the distribution of anti viral drugs and
running of vaccination programme’s should that be necessary.
Future Support Arrangements
Members may be concerned about the arrangements for the use of leisure centres after the
1st July when the GLL/Freedom contract comes into effect. All of the current measures with
regard to the use of these facilities will transfer as part of the contractual arrangements.
The Councils Business Unit Leader (BUL) for Customer Services and Communications is
fully briefed on the situation within Sussex. As agreed by the SRF the HPA is the lead
agency for this type of emergency and in accordance with agreed protocols, all
communications are being funnelled through their communications team and that of
Further information concerning Swine Flu can be found at the HPA Website:
Robin Penn
Corporate & Public Safety Adviser

Item for Member Information Service

Introduction of Choice-Based Lettings of social housing- Member Awareness Raising
Session Wednesday 24 June 6.00 pm in the Council Chamber
Members often receive queries about the allocation of social housing, both in their surgeries
and their postbags. A series of briefing sessions and reports are planned to help members
to understand the supply and demand aspects of social housing, the principles behind how it
is allocated, and how the allocation scheme will change with the advent of Choice-Based
The Council will be introducing Choice-Based Lettings (CBL) of social housing in Mid Sussex
from April 2010. This represents a major change in the way social housing is allocated. CBL
will allow people who are registered on the Mid Sussex Common Housing Register to
express an interest in specific vacancies in affordable housing which have been widely
advertised on a fortnightly basis through an interactive website and paper-based magazine.
Homeseekers can see the full range of available properties, including photographs and
property details and then apply for any home they like to which they are matched. The
successful applicant for a particular vacancy will be the homeseeker who has the highest
housing need under the Council’s and Downland Housing Association's Joint Housing
Allocation Scheme.
Only homeseekers who are registered on the Mid Sussex Common Housing Register will be
able to apply for Mid Sussex properties, and people who have a local connection with the
district will be given priority over those who do not. The new system will involve a review of
the Council’s existing Allocation Scheme, which sets out how applicants will be prioritised for
social housing. The revised Scheme will be considered at the Better Lives Advisory Group
meeting on 8 July 2009 and the final version submitted for approval by Council on 22 July
We are joining the Sussex Homemove Scheme, which is an established partnership of 11
authorities in East and West Sussex who are operating CBL. Downland Housing
Association will continue to run the Common Housing Register under contract with the
There will be extensive consultation with those on the Housing Register, housing
associations and other partner organisations over the implementation of the new scheme in
the run up to the launch in April 2010.
All members are invited to attend a presentation on Choice-Based Letting, which will
take place from 6.00pm-7.00 pm on Wednesday 24 June 6.00 pm in the Council
Chamber, prior to the meeting of Performance and Scrutiny Committee. Letters of
invitation will be sent out shortly.

Although CBL is a new system, the broad principles that underpin the housing register and
the allocation scheme will remain. Performance and Scrutiny Committee will be considering
a report on the housing register and allocations at 7 p.m. This should provide members with
a useful background for the more detailed report on the revised allocations scheme to be
considered by the Better Lives Advisory Group in July.
If you require any further information, please contact Julian Till, Housing Needs Manager


For further information on or copies of the press releases listed below, please contact the
Press Office on 01444 477387 or use the following link:

PR1039 - Chairman ‘bouled over’ by new petanque pitch.
PR1040 - Submit applications now for postal and proxy voting.
PR1041 - Council working with landlords to improve housing standards in Mid Sussex.
PR1042 - Council helps businesses attract customers by using the web.
PR1043 - Voluntary organisations benefit from MSDC grants.


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