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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

DRAFT Minutes of the meeting of the COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Committee on Thursday 16th June 2022 held at 7:30pm in the Village Centre, Conference room.

Members Present:           Claire Majsai (Chair)                       Helen Bedford

                                             Bob Sampson (Vice Chair)             Michael Avery

                                             Duncan Ranger                                Seth Jee              

Also Present:                     Lorna Cooksey (Assistant Clerk)

CE22/23.001. Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest: Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr Lank. Cllr Sampson declared an interest in the Hurst Festival as a trustee.

RESOLVED: The committee ACCEPTS the apologises for absence from Cllr Lank.

CE22/23.002. To elect the Vice-Chair of the Community Engagement Committee for the following year: Cllr Ranger nominated Cllr Sampson as Vice Chair which was agreed and accepted by the committee.

RESOLVED: The committee ELECTED Cllr Bob Sampson as Vice Chair of the committee.  

CE22/23.003. Minutes of the Previous Meeting of the Community Engagement Committee: Members received the minutes of the meeting held on 10th March 2022.

RESOLVED: The committee AGREED the minutes of 10th March 2022 meeting.

CE22/23.004. Adjournment for Questions from the Public: There being no members of the public present the committee was not required to adjourn in accordance with standing orders.

CE22/23.005. Parish Council Grant Applications:

   New Grant Applications to be considered 2022/23:

   Grant Budget 2022/23: £4,000

OrganisationGrant Request ForAmount RequestedDate Grant Approved
Victim SupportRecruit and train new volunteers to work in Sussex and provide specialist training for those who wish to take on more complex cases i.e. Domestic violence, hate crime, fraud and homicide.£300GRANT APPROVED £300

The committee discussed the Victim Support grant and the statistics relating to domestic violence in the parish. The committee all agreed that this was very worrying and would like to support their work.

               RESOLVED: The committee AGREED to award a grant of £300 to Victim Support.

CE22/23.005.1 Health & Wellbeing Budget

Health & Wellbeing Grants budget 2022/2023 £1,000

Health & Wellbeing Projects budget 2022/2023 £1,000

The Chair confirmed that there had been no update regarding the maternity clinic and requested for the Assistant Clerk to contact them. The Chair asked whether any of the committee had seen a plea regarding the Food Bank needing support as she was unable to find it again. The committee confirmed they hadn’t, and the Assistant Clerk was asked to reach out to her contact to see if they require any support from the Parish Council. The Chair confirmed that she would be attending an older person’s forum on the 6th July organised by AgeUK and Cllr Bedford requested information regarding this event.

CE22/23.005.2 Hurst Festival Grant Application: The committee discussed the grant application from Hurst Festival, and it was confirmed that it would be used specifically for the Super Sunday event which is a free event for the whole community. Cllr Ranger raised that we should ask for the Hurst Festival to publicise that the Parish Council is one of the sponsors of this event to raise our profile with supporting community events. Cllr Sampson expressed the need for councillors to attend the event and be involved. It was suggested that a recommendation was bought to Council to suggest that the Parish Councils pop up banners should be used on the Village Garden on the day and posters placed on the noticeboards saying that the Parish Council proudly support the event.

RESOLVED: The committee AGREED to award the £2,500 grant to the Hurst Festival for the Super Sunday Event from the budget code: 301-5630.

RECOMENDATION: The committee recommends to Council that the Parish Councils pop up banners should be used on the Village Garden on the Super Sunday event and posters placed on the noticeboards saying that the Parish Council proudly support the event.

CE22/23.006. Community Initiatives and projects:

CE22/23.006.1 Budget Monitoring: The Chair questioned the percentage spent against the Hurst Life budget code 5620 as it showed it was already at 72%. It was agreed the Assistant Clerk would discuss this further with the Clerk as the Communication budget code 5600 should include the Hurst Life budget and be a total of £3,800 as agreed in budget setting.

CE22/23.006.2 Tourism & Attractiveness budget code: The Chair briefed the committee on the details in the briefing note. It was agreed that there is a demand from the parish to support events in 2022/23 but it can only be covered by the remaining money in this budget line. The committee questioned the remembrance costs and the Assistant Clerk explained that the estimated costs were based on last year and should reduce this year due to involvement from other groups and not needing to hire equipment.

CE22/23.006.3 Review of Action Plan: The committee discussed whether there had been any update regarding the 100 bus. Cllr Sampson said there had not been. The committee suggested making a bit more noise about the need for re-routing this bus and suggested creating a post for the Parish Council’s Facebook and website page. The post would include the suggested re-route from the Parish Council and a link of where to add comments and suggestions directly to West Sussex County Council. The Assistant Clerk was asked to action this.

RESOLVED: The committee AGREED to adopt V3 of the Community Engagement Action Plan.

CE22/23.006.4 High Street Update: Cllr Bedford confirmed that engagement continued with the traders but currently it was quiet until preparation for the Hurst Festival begins.  There is already some talk of a Christmas event. The focus currently is on distributing the sustainable bags and Heart of Hurst maps. The Assistant clerk confirmed that the plan will be to take them all to the St Lawrence Fair and if any were left, they would be taken to the High Street shops such as the butchers/grocers.

CE22/23.006.5 ‘Big Jubilee Picnic Lunch’ in Hurstpierpoint: The committee discussed how well this event went with a great turn out of over 400 people over the four hours. Special thanks went to Helen Bartlett for her brilliant singing on the day. The Chair confirmed that sweets, bubbles and flags were handed out to all children and families who attended the event which allowed for a very informal way for the councillors to meet and engage with residents. There was some comment at the event that this could be an annual community event and that the successful format could be followed. The committee agreed it was an interesting idea, but costs, staff and councillor time would have to be considered. The Chair thanked Cllr Bedford and Cllr Shorrocks for all their hard work to pull an event together which was not going to be hosted by the Parish Council but turned out to be almost solely run by the Parish Council.  Cllr Shorrocks was also thanked for the fantastic Queen’s quiz that she wrote which is now available on the Parish Council website and Facebook page.

Cllr Sampson updated the committee on the Sayers Common event. It was very well attended with great music and food. Cllr Sampson said it was particularly nice to see the new residents involved. Lots of positive feedback was received including for there to be a picnic every year. The committee again said costs would have to be considered as funding was received that paid for the food that was available on the day at Sayers Common.

CE22/23.006.6 St Lawrence Fair: The Chair raised that the response to the email asking for help on the day from Councillors had initially been rather under whelming. This needs to be considered when ideas for further events are suggested. The idea for the stall will be to hand out the sustainable bags and Heart of Hurst maps as well as obviously making positive contact with residents. The Assistant Clerk confirmed she is working on display boards which will include lots of images. The committee agreed that the name a cuddly toy competition was an easy one to run and would attract families. It was agreed that the Assistant Clerk should look to purchase a large owl and if unsuccessful purchase either an elephant or bear. The committee unanimously agreed that the game should be free to anyone attending the event, but rules should be published saying one free go per family/child. Cllr Jee suggested it would be an appropriate time to advertise the Councillor vacancy. The Assistant Clerk was asked to check with the Clerk whether the time period was possible for this.

RESOLVED: (1) The committee AGREED a budget of £50 to purchase a cuddly owl. (2) The committee AGREED that the game should be free of charge.    

CE22/23.006.7 Annual Parish Meeting: The Chair briefed the committee on the meeting which was held by the Events Working Group to analyse the APM and the summary of this was contained in the briefing note. It was pointed out that the email from Rev Jane Willis reflected exactly what the working group had tried to achieve but also the value the event had for everyone who attended. The Chair bought forward comments received from the Chairman of Council including that the acoustics were not great on the evening even with a mic and needed to be reviewed for next year. It was also discussed whether there should be more time for questions/answers for the Councillors. A date change for the May 2023 APM will need to be considered due to the election but the Assistant Clerk confirmed that the Clerk was aware of this.  Cllr Ranger raised that he was not happy with hiring the AV equipment and would much rather purchase for future events. It was agreed that a recommendation should be taken to Council to discuss the purchase of a portable sound system including two mics with the guidance from Cllr Bedford and Cllr Sampson. It was also asked that a recommendation is taken to Council to discuss the purchase of an improved projector/screen set-up in the future.

Cllr Sampson asked whether Sayers Common residents attended the APM. The Chair confirmed there had been a question taken from the Sayers Common shop, so she knew residents were at the meeting. Cllr Jee asked how the Sayers Common residents would know that they could attend the Annual Parish Meeting from the advertising. Cllr Bedford explained that the Annual Parish meeting is for everyone in our parish which is Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common and that the Parish Council’s logo was used on the posters/leaflets/campaigns on Facebook/website which says Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common. Cllr Jee    replied that as the main image used in the advertising was of Hurstpierpoint, Sayers Common residents would think that the meeting wasn’t for them. Cllr Jee continued that the title used ‘Working Together for our Community’ was incorrect as Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common are two separate communities. The Chair and other councillors disagreed with this comment as they felt that the community referred to in this case is the parish of Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common. Cllr Sampson said that we are one community, and this is how the event was advertised. Cllr Jee suggested that the APM in 2023 should be held in Sayers Common and the Chair stated that this had informally already been discussed as a possibility and would be considered by the Events Working Group and if appropriate suggested to Council as an option. Cllr Sampson mentioned that it might be difficult to find a venue in Sayers Common large enough to host the APM. The Chair commented that the APM takes many hours to plan and organise and is, and should be, a really positive community event run for the benefit of all residents. The committee agreed that the concept for 2023 would be to build on this year’s event and grow the format.

RECOMENDATION: The committee recommends to Council that a portable sound system including two mics should be purchased with the guidance from Cllr Bedford and Cllr Sampson. It was recommended that an improved projector/screen set up should be investigated and purchased.

CE22/23.006.8 Mid Sussex District Council Mid Sussex Applauds: The committee discussed the Applauds Awards and Cllr Bedford nominated Gill Blackburn from Ashley & Thomas for all her work in driving events on the High Street. The category this nomination would fall under would be Stronger Together. Cllr Sampson nominated the Sayers Common Community Shop for the Stronger Communities category. Cllr Bedford and Cllr Sampson agreed to work with the Assistant Clerk to complete the nomination. The Assistant Clerk was asked to share the publicity for the Applauds awards on the Parish Council website and Facebook page to encourage the public to nominate as well.

RESOLVED: The committee AGREED to nominate Gill Blackburn and the Sayers Common Shop for an applaud award.

CE22/23.006.9 Engagement with residents: The Chair updated the committee on training she had attended regarding engagement and confirmed that the Parish Council are currently doing most of what was suggested. The Chair asked for any improvements that the Councillors felt were needed. Cllr Sampson raised that the engagement in Sayers Common could be improved. The Chair asked the Sayers Common ward councillors for ideas for how we could improve our engagement with Sayers Common residents. Cllr Sampson said it was a very tricky task partly as there are not any specific groups apart from the Sayers Common Village Society, Community Shop and pub. Cllr Jee stated that he had no ideas for how engagement with Sayers Common residents could be improved. Cllr Bedford asked Cllr Jee how the Parish Council could engage more with the Sayers Common Village Society. Cllr Jee said he did not know. The Chair asked the committee to think more about this agenda point and bring any ideas to future meetings to help grow what we are currently trying.

CE22/23.007. Publicity: The Committee is asked to note the following:

CE22/23.007.1 Communication: The committee discussed building on links made through the APM and Cllr Bedford suggested organising a quarterly informal get together at one of the pubs. The evening would not be a surgery but an opportunity to carry on networking and help drive ideas and feedback for the next Annual Parish Meeting. An event in a local pub would drive business and would only need an email invitation to be sent. The Chair asked what the event would be advertised as, and it was suggested it could be called the Community Group Catch-Up including how can we work together and help each other. It was agreed that the Events Working Group would meet in July and discuss this idea and bring a proposal to the August CE meeting and then to Council for consideration.

CE22/23.007.2 Website: Cllr Bedford asked if the Assistant Clerk could check whether Cloudflare software could be added to our website   This analyses server traffic and would enable us to see how often our website is used.

CE22/23.007.3 Social Media: The Chair raised that we should maybe consider a communication protocol as this was suggested on her training course but felt this may already be covered by other policies we already have. It was agreed this could be discussed in the next communication meeting.

CE22/23.008. Information Items, Correspondence Received and Requests: The committee received the annual report from the Monday Group and the committee all agreed that they do a fantastic job and work very hard in our parish.

Meeting Closed: 9:05pm