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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

MINUTES of the ANNUAL PARISH MEETING held on Tuesday 17 May 2022 at 7.30 pm at Court Bushes Community Hub


Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman of the Parish Council).  Also present: Allan Brown (Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council), Tony Lank, (Chair of the Highways and Cycleways Joint Council Working Group and Vice Chair of the Planning & Environment Committee), Claire Majsai (Chair of the Parish Council’s Community Engagement Committee) and 77 members of the public.

  1. Welcome from the Parish Council Chairman: 
  1. The Chairman, Cllr Llewellyn welcomed all those present to the meeting and explained that the Parish Council arranged the ‘Annual Parish Meeting’ event on behalf of electors.  It was also an opportunity for the Parish Council to update residents on its activities and the Chairman explained it had been focussing on making sure all the facilities were available, that the planned projects were delivered and the books were balanced.
  1. Projects delivered over the last year included the resurfacing of South Lane and Pit Lane.  The outdoor decking had been extended at Court Bushes Community Hub using Section 106 funding and the access road had been resurfaced.  Section 106 funding had also paid for the new play equipment at Reeds Lane Play Area.  Building surveys had been completed and works to repair the Cemetery Chapel windows (in South Avenue) were underway.  The Village Centre (managed by the Parish Council for the charity) had new WiFi throughout and audio visual equipment installed in the Conference Room.  The remaining fluorescent tubes were being replaced with LED lights.  A new meeting room was now available for hire and further redecoration of the Centre was planned.

1.3      Partnership working had provided the Christmas Lights in Sayers Common thanks to a funding contribution from the community shop and overcoming a great deal of administrative hurdles.  The Hurstpierpoint Society’s popular Heritage Trail was now displayed on a wall in the Trinity Road car park, in leaflets and on a mobile app for people to follow.  The Parish Council had taken on a Licence from the Hurst Society, for a parcel of land known as Ladies Walk adjacent to Hurst Meadows to manage as a wildlife corridor.  A project with Freeman Brothers Funeral Directors had resulted in their vision for a commemorative stone being installed near the war memorial to mark the annual 23 March coronavirus memorial day.

1.4      Going forward the two main issues are the outcome of the current community governance review by Mid Sussex District Council as to whether Sayers Common should have their own parish council, and the review of the MSDC District Plan and the proposal for nearly 4,000 new homes in the Sayers Common and Albourne area and in the north of the Parish.

  1. Finally, the Chairman wanted to promote the vacancy for a Councillor to serve on the parish council until May 2023.  The closing date is 22 June 2022.

1.6      In response to questions, the Chairman noted the idea of a museum in the Village Centre and the numbers of trees planted so far as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy.  A request was submitted for a scooter ramp and the Chairman explained the work underway to support MSDC to upgrade the skate ramp and other facilities at Court Bushes.  A question about the High Street layout was asked and the Chairman and Tony Lank explained the background to the current arrangements.

2.        Introduction to the Presentations by Chair of the Community Engagement Committee:   Cllr Claire Majsai explained the format for the evening. 

2.1      The first speaker was the Head of St Lawrence Primary School, Marianne Brand.  The Head explained the School started in 1820 but moved to its present site in 1869.  There were 600 students and 89 staff.  The school maintained its Christian values and had strong links to the Holy Trinity Church.  The School’s community links are very important and it works closely with local charities.

2.2      The second speaker was Jenny King from Age UK.  Jenny explained the wide range of the West Sussex and Brighton & Hove Age UK services and the activities such as bingo, arts and crafts and fish and chips outings.

  • Presentations:  Claire Majsai then introduced the following one minute presentations:
  • Will Kemp – Melting Pot Cafe
  • Alison Bishop – Wolstonbury Girl Guides
  • Patrick Howarth, Hurstpierpoint Society
  • Neil Constantine, St Lawrence Fair
  • Colin Matthews, Hurstpierpoint Festival
  • Michael Thatcher, Hurst Cinema
  • David Hastings, Sussex Vale Rotary
  • Wendy Baldwin, Food Bank
  • Rae Heaviside, Museum and Heritage Group
  • Jo Kearns, Hurst players
  • Dr George Judd – Hurst Meadows Volunteers

All groups welcomed new members and volunteers to help run their groups.

  • Introducing Hurst ReThink by Charlotte Wilson
  • Created following a debate at a Hurst Festival event:
  • The Community Group delivered door step carols (coved by the BBC) and the Big Hurst Jumble Trail
  • The Consumer Group has provided recycling bins for soft plastics outside the charity shop and the Co-Op are kindly processing this for us.  St Lawrence School are collecting pens. The Hurst Village Market is every first Saturday of each month to showcase local sustainable produce.
  • The Biodiversity Group has championed the ‘No Mow May’ initiative and the Green Canopy tree planting scheme.
  • The Events Group is planning events for 2022 including the “We the Power” movie to be shown at St Lawrence about communities producing their own energy and open days at Pond Tail woods.  There will be further events as part of the Hurst Festival.
  • Mid Sussex Ukrainian Support Group by Jenny Brown
  • Hurstpierpoint was receiving its first refugees.  Nineteen households will be receiving families from 18 month olds to 64 year olds.  There will be 24 adults and 18 children.  Twenty two have already arrived in Hurst.
  • Help and support has provided drivers, school uniforms, cooked meals for the host families too, registering with GPs and dentists, banks and mobile phone providers, translators, therapists, art and music sessions, venues for get togethers, second hand clothes, area for worship, frees bikes and scooters and a Hurst Life article in Ukrainian.
  • There has also been a massive effort sending supplies to the Ukraine.
  • Feedback:  The following comments were made at the end of the meeting:
  • Representatives of the Sayers Common Community Shop were delighted to be in attendance and have grants available for people to apply for.
  • Claire Majsai thanked the organisers of the evening and all those attending and people had especially enjoyed the one minute talks from the many fantastic groups.
  • Closing remarks by the Chairman: 

The Chairman thanked all those attending and wanted to especially thank the stallholders and the guest speakers.  He thanked the team behind making the event such a success and finally thanked the audience for joining in and making their excellent contributions.  He asked for feedback on the event  both positive and what could be improved.  Finally the Chairman thanked the Melting Pot Café for providing the drinks and cakes which was very much appreciated.