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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Draft Minutes of the Community Engagement Committee meeting held on Thursday 13th August 2020 at 7.30pm via Microsoft Teams Video Conferencing. 

Members Present: 

Cllr Claire Majsai (Chair) 

Cllr Bob Sampson (Vice Chair) 

Cllr Duncan Ranger 

Cllr Tony Lank

Cllr Stephen Hand

Also Present:   

Lorna Cooksey (Assistant Clerk)

CE20/21.008.  Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: The Committee received the following apologies for absence prior to the meeting which were accepted: Cllr Evans, Cllr Avery and Cllr Jee. Declarations of interest were given from Bob Sampson for the Hurst Festival.  

CE20/21.009.  Minutes of the Community Affairs Committee Meeting held on 11th June 2020:  The Committee received and accepted the minutes which will be signed by the Chair at a later date in the Parish Office.  

CE20/21.010.  Matters arising from Community Affairs Meeting held on 11th June 2020:  There were no other matters which were not covered elsewhere on the agenda.  

CE20/21.011. Adjournment for questions from the public:  The Committee was not required to consider whether to adjourn the Meeting in accordance with clause 1(d) of Standing Orders.  

CE20/21.012. Parish Council Grant Applications:  The Committee noted the decision made by the Strategic Policy Group to defer all decisions on grant requests. The Chair briefed the committee on reasons for asking the Assistant Clerk to contact the Memory Moments Café. It was explained that this is a small charity helping families living with dementia in our area. The Committee agreed that supporting this charity is essential but could not progress until they had received clearance from the NHS infection Control Lead that the group could resume. A Councillor requested confirmation that the required amount of £150 for PPE is only for the Hurstpierpoint café and not the others that are run in the area. The Committee requested that the Assistant Clerk contacted the Memory Moments Café to ask about the PPE costs and to explain the situation re. the previous grant request. The Chair confirmed that any decisions about the PPE grant would need to be taken to the Full Council for approval, but Cllr Hand said if the decision became urgent it could be dealt with via email.

The Committee discussed all other grants listed for consideration and agreed that they were happy to defer them until the next committee as they were either refurbishment projects or large organisations who were not reliant on the Parish Council funds.

CE20/21.012.01 Small Grants: 

Grants gifted in 2019/2020

OrganisationGrant Request for:Grant ApprovedDate
Know DementiaSupport with running the café£50030.5.19
CancerviveRunning costs of the office£6005.9.19
Older Peoples Tea PartyAnnual Christmas party for the elderly£18014.11.19
Hurstpierpoint PlayersTowards the costs of Hurstpierpoint Player Theatre, mainly new carpets£50014.11.19
Sayers Common Village SocietyFourth and final phase of tree planting along London Road£100014.11.19
St Catherine’s HospiceSupporting the community team who care for local residents facing the end of life, within the comfort and familiar surroundings of their own home.£5006.2.20
Sussex Clubs for Young PeopleTo help cover some of the costs for running the Sussex Clubs for Young People youth club.£5006.2.2020
Knit ‘n’ NatterTo help the group continue running.£2206.2.2020

Grant applications that have been received and deferred for 2020/21:

OrganisationAmount RequestedGrant Request for:Grant approved
Know Dementia£500To cover the costs of part support for the Memory Moment Café for the year April 2020-March 2021 
West Sussex Mediation Services£150To support the provision of free mediation services to the residents in your parish who are experiencing conflicts in their lives. 
Victim Support£150Support for victims and volunteers’ expenses 
Older Peoples Tea Parties£300Outings to garden centres, Christmas party and some tea expenses 
St Peter & St James Hospice£400Patient transport services delivered by our 40 volunteer drivers. A free door to door service for patients attending wellbeing services. 
Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex£250To help reach the £14 million required to continue providing our vital pre-hospital care to patients across Kent, Surrey and Sussex. 
Albourne, Sayers Common & Twineham Parochial Church Council£700To assist with the maintenance of fabric and the grounds of Christchurch, Sayers Common; and to assist with disability access. 
Hurstpierpoint Cricket Club£500To aid the overall refurb & redecoration of the communal space & social area within the pavilion including new flooring. 

CE20/21.013. Community initiatives and projects: 

CE20/21.013.01. Budget Monitoring: The budget monitoring report was discussed in detail by the Committee. The Chair confirmed the large amount spent already in the Tourism & attractiveness budget line was due to the Christmas tree light display and the planting in the Village Garden. The Assistant Clerk had noticed a discrepancy in the grant budget line (5240) before the meeting was held. The Finance Officer confirmed that is was due to a grant awarded in 2019/2020 (Knit ‘n’ Natter £220) not being paid until this year’s budget.  There had also been a refund of £18.50 from another grant that the cheque was not cashed. The total amount available for grants in 2020/21 is £3,799 and the Chair asked the Assistant Clerk to update the amount on all further agendas.

CE20/21.013.02 Reconfiguration of Rialtus Business Suite Accounting System:  The committee noted the contents of the briefing note explaining the new framework behind the accounting system to make financial information clearer and to allow each committee to take responsibility for financial decisions within its remit. Cllr Sampson wanted to thank the Finance Officer for producing a document that was clear and made sense.

CE20/21.013.03 Budget Review for Community Engagement: The Committee notedthat the financial position was considered at the Finance & Governance committee held on 16th July 2020. No further comments were made.

CE20/21.013.04 Hurst Festival Grant application – Cllr Hand informed the committee that a video meeting with himself and the Hurst Festival representative will take place on Monday 17th August. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the Hurst Festival for this year and next and ways the Parish Council can support them. Cllr Hand confirmed that an update will follow after the meeting, but he felt that this year’s festival plans were in hand so the focus would mainly be on next year.

CE20/21.013.05 Sussex Vale Rotary Club:  The Chair briefed the committee on the Sussex Vale Rotary Club planting a significant number of crocus bulbs on the Village Garden in previous years. Permission has been sought to plant further bulbs this year (October 2020). The Chair explained that a new memorial bench is due to be placed in the Village Garden, so understanding exact location is essential for the planning to take place. Cllr Sampson encouraged planting to also take place in Sayers Common along the stretch of road starting at the old pub. The Committee agreed to allowing the Sussex Vale Rotary club to plant in both locations. The Assistant Clerk confirmed that the Maintenance Officer could be asked to help with liaising with the Rotary Club on exact locations.

RECOMMENDATION: The committee APPROVED the planting of further crocus bulbs by the Sussex Vale Rotary Club. The exact location of planting to be discussed with the Parish Council for both Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common.

CE20/21.013.06 Mid Sussex Applaud Awards Nomination: The committee agreed to proceed with both nominations that had been discussed from the Full Parish meeting on 23rd July 2020.The Chair raised the question of nominating the Food bank representatives from the Clerk and this was discussed in detail. Cllr Lank questioned how the foodbank was running due to difficulties in the Covid-19 period. The Chair confirmed that they are now situated in the Village Centre after moving from Court Bushes and the information received from the Clerk was that three households have been utilising them. The Committee agreed to keep the Food bank nomination in mind for next year’s award.

RECOMMENDATION: The committee AGREED to nominate Hurst Covid-19 Neighbours’ Support Group and Jane Cheshire from Sayers Common Community Shop using the completed nomination sheets.   

CE20/21.013.07 Review of Action Plan: The committee noted the content of the new amalgamated Action List 2016-2021 produced by the Chair of Community Engagement.  The amalgamation of the document has meant the numbering has changed and duplicate lines have been removed. The Chair confirmed that the document had been updated on points that had been actioned but unfortunately due to Covid-19 a lot were now on hold.

Cllr Ranger asked in relation to Ref 7 whether any contact had been made with the new Police Officer for Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common. Cllr Lank confirmed that contact details were passed on to the Clerk but due to Covid-19 no contact had been made currently. The committee asked for the Clerk to contact the Police Officer and to invite him to one of the team’s meetings, Cllr Lank confirmed this should be picked up in a Highways working group.

Cllr Sampson discussed the issue with transport in relation to Ref 11. Cllr Sampson explained that if a resident of Sayers Common needed to attend a doctor’s appointment in Hurstpierpoint that this simple task could result in a four-hour round trip back to Sayers Common. Cllr Sampson suggested a solution of the 100 bus diverting at the Albourne traffic lights to Brighton Road which would only increase the bus route by a few minutes but would mean there is a service every hour. The committee discussed that a previous Assistant Clerk had try to speak to the bus services to improve times but had not been able to achieve any results. The Chair asked Cllr Sampson to write down his specific proposal and to send it to the Assistant Clerk so it can be presented in the Full Council meeting in September where Joy Dennis will be present. If agreed the proposal can then be sent to the bus service for consideration. Cllr Hand said it would be good to also have the backing of Albourne Council.

Cllr Lank raised the question in relation to Ref 2 about progress with mobile phone providers. Cllr Hand confirmed he had worked on this and contacted Ofcom but with no effect. Cllr Hand explained that BT and Virgin are not interested in adding more masts in rural areas. Cllr Sampson asked whether the local MP should be contacted and whether the Parish Council should be seen to be pushing this subject as it potentially effects so many people in the Parish. Cllr Lank felt that clarity was needed about where the masts are positioned, and it was confirmed this information can be found through Ofcom. The committee agreed that evidence needs to be gathered about the impact before contact is made to the MP. Cllr Hand emphasised that finding out if businesses are affected is essential to help build a case. Cllr Lank agreed to take responsibility of looking into facts around the issue and building a proposal to submit to the Parish Office to take to the next Full Council meeting for discussion. The committee agreed to post on the Parish Council face book page asking for businesses/residents to email in about difficulties they experience with phone signal, which providers, what does it stop them doing etc… This information can then be used as evidence.

Cllr Sampson pointed out a wording issue in Ref 31. The word alternate should be replaced with alternative under the comment or action section.

RECOMMENDATION: The committee ADOPTED the new Action List 2016-2021. The committee RECOMMEND the updated Action Plan List (Rev 10) to Council for adoption as the latest version.

CE20/21.013.08 Reeds Lane Play Area Update: The Chair informed the committee that with the help of Wim Winters an update on Reeds Lane Play Areas was published on the Sayers Common Community Shop and Neighbourhood group websites. The update included drawings by Sayers Common children and an update on why the playground is delayed. Posters with this update were also put up on the Parish Council notice boards in Sayers Common and Hurstpierpoint. The Chair confirmed that the Clerk was currently receiving drainage quotes but that one contractor had said the issue could not be solved unless the land for the actual park was raised due to the drainage being such a big issue. The Clerk also received an email from a member of the public with her concerns about the proposed equipment specification and the duplication of items such as a basketball net which is not needed. The committee agreed that the drainage issue must come first and be solved before the equipment specification can be looked at again.

CE20/21.013.09 Heritage Walk: The Chair confirmed that the Hurstpierpoint Society had managed to progress the Heritage Trail and were now able to show the committee a map, leaflet, and web design. It was explained that the representative from the Hurstpierpoint society had contacted the Clerk, offering his expertise and advice on the Parish Council branding. An email was received on 28th July 2020 outlining ideas on how to improve the logo and an explanation from the representative why the current Parish Council logo could not be used.

Recommendation: (1) The committee AGREED to organise a virtual meeting on 10th September at 10:00am with the Heritage Society to discuss the Heritage Walk. (2) The Committee AGREED to ask the Parish Office to produce a brand manual which will be presented to the Full Council.

CE20/21.013.10 High Street Traders: The committee noted that an email was sent offering support to the trader’s representative as agreed in minute CE20/21.006.05. The Assistant Clerk confirmed that currently no replies had been received in the Parish Office. The Chair also confirmed that the August Hurst Life article had included a note asking residents to shop locally and support the high street.

CE20/21.013.11 De-Fib First Responder for Hurstpierpoint: The committee noted that on the29th July the Village Centre defibrillator was required and unfortunately was unsuccessful in this incident. The Chair raised that although this was a very sad incident the fact the de-fib was accessible, and the system had worked to make it available was very positive. The committee agreed that first responders are essential in the village and would support a campaign alongside the Ambulance service.

RECOMMENDATION: The committee AGREED to help promote a campaign for first responders in the Community alongside the Ambulance Service.  

CE20/21.014. Publicity: The Committee is asked to note the following: 

CE20/21.014.01 Newsletter:  The chair explained that all newsletters are on hold until all facilities are properly open and being used. The committee discussed the Hurst Life monthly page and how to make it more visual. The Chair asked that the Councillor responsible for writing the months article should also be responsible for finding images to make the page more creative and not so text heavy. Cllr Sampson offered his expertise and said he would be happy to take any photos that are needed.

CE20/21.014.02 Website: The Committee noted that the new website was launched on 13th July 2020 and has been received warmly by the Councillors & users. The Chair wanted to thank Rev Jane Willis and Richard Payne for supplying the beautiful imagery that has been used throughout the website. The committee thanked the Assistant Clerk for working and producing the website with the designer through a very difficult period of working at home whilst home schooling children. Cllr Sampson said he had received very positive feedback on how much easier and clearer the site is to use. The Chair explained that the website will develop over time. A councillor questioned how long items must be kept on the website and it was explained by Cllr Hand that there is a retention schedule that the Clerk holds confirming this information.

CE20/21.014.03 Social Media: The Chair briefed the committee on the usage of the Parish Facebook page alongside Hurst Hub and the need to encourage residents to look more for the updates that we now post. The Chair asked for the committee to consider the future development of the communication strategy and how we can become more pro-active and change our approach to be more strategic. The Chair voiced sharing some of the Parish Council thinking and being open to the residents so they are aware of our aspirations and what we are trying to achieve. Cllr Hand and Lank confirmed that although this is a good idea in some situations it can be very difficult when the decisions are out of our hands and not what we have agreed.

Meeting closed: 8:38pm