MINUTES of the meeting of the COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Committee on Thursday 11th June 2021 held at 7:30pm in the Court Bushes Function Room, Willow Way, Hurstpierpoint.
Members Present: Claire Majsai (Chair)
Bob Sampson (Vice Chair)
Also Present: Lorna Cooksey (Assistant Clerk)
CE21/22.001. Apologies for Absence: There were no apologies for absence received.
CE21/22.002. Declarations of Interest: A declaration of interest was declared by Cllr Jee for the Sayers Common Village Society.
CE21/22.003. To elect the Vice-Chair of the Community Engagement Committee for the following year: Cllr Llewellyn proposed for Cllr Sampson to remain as Vice Chair of the Community Engagement committee, Cllr Lank second this proposal. No other Councillors were nominated to be Vice Chair. The committee agreed to nominate Cllr Sampson for a further year.
CE21/22.004. Minutes of the Previous Meeting of the Community Engagement Committee: The minutes of the 8th April 2021 were received and accepted and signed by the Chair of the committee.
CE21/22.005. 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.
CE21/22.006. Parish Council Grant Applications:
Grant Budget 2021/22: £4,000
Grants awarded in 2021/22: £300
Grant Budget remaining in 2021/22: £3,700
|Grant Request For
|Date Grant Approved
|Supporting victims and volunteers.
New Grant Applications to be considered 2021/22:
|Grant Request For
|The Melting Pot (The Point Church)
|12 months of storage costs from June/July 2021 at a cost of £40 per month.
The Melting Pot grant application was discussed in length including the financial information that had been sent to the Councillors before the meeting. The Chair emphasised that the Parish Council coronavirus cancellation policy states that storage costs will not be covered. The only way to not pay for storage was for hirers to remove items from the building. The Chair confirmed that no other hirers who use storage at our buildings have applied for or been awarded a grant towards these costs. Cllr Lank and Cllr Bedford asked for clarification on what the Melting Pot is and who it is run by. Cllr Majsai and Cllr Llewellyn explained that the Point Church had been key players when the building was being refurbished as potential long-term tenants and they helped shape the building we have today. The Melting Pot have received an affiliated room rate charge and a nominal fee of £40 per month for storage costs. Cllr Majsai
said she was hopeful that in future the café would become more of a community café but the issue currently is having volunteers to run the sessions, and this is where the Point Church are the best placed to continue as they have volunteers. Cllr Llewellyn confirmed that he would not support a grant towards storage costs as it goes against the Parish Council coronavirus policy. Cllr Llewellyn emphasised that there is an argument for helping the Melting Pot with re start costs. Cllr Majsai agreed she would support a grant for start-up costs. The committee would support a grant for covid re-start costs. The Chair encouraged the councillors to visit the Melting Pot, so they were aware of the café facilities and what happens in the session.
The committee AGREED to (1) decline the grant application for storage at Court Bushes (2) contact the Point Church to ask them to re-submit a new application for start-up costs for the Melting Pot to be taken to council.
CE21/22.006.1 Health & Wellbeing Budget
Health & Wellbeing Grants budget 2021/2022 £1,000
Health & Wellbeing Projects budget 2021/2022 £1,000
Health & Wellbeing awarded in 2021/22 totals= £1.000
Health & Wellbeing remaining in 2021/22 = £1,000
|Grant Request For
|Date Grant Approved
|YMCA (Downland School)
|Counselling Sessions at Downlands School
|£1,000 (Awaiting Invoice)
New Grant Applications to be considered 21/22
|Grant Request For
The Chair briefed the committee on the current Health & Wellbeing budget and informed them that she felt over the next few months the need for the community would become clearer. This would help the committee to prioritise where the Health & Wellbeing budget could be spent keeping priorities in line with the action plan.
CE21/22.007. Community Initiatives and projects
CE21/22.007.1 Budget Monitoring: The budget monitoring reports were reviewed, and the Chair highlighted that the Hurst Festival grant of £2,500 had been given for the Super Sunday event. No more comments were received from the committee.
CE21/22.007.2 Review of Action Plan: The Chair explained to the committee that she had worked through each point for the Community Engagement committee and would welcome comments as she worked through each reference. The Chair explained that after the meeting she would then update the action plan alongside the Assistant Clerk, and this would be represented at the next Community Engagement meeting. The Chair noted that some of the cost columns were out of date or not quite right and these would be updated accordingly. Cllr Llewellyn confirmed this document should be used as a rolling action plan and anything that has been done or did not work should be noted.
The Committee AGREED that the items discussed would be included in a revised version of the action plan to be represented at the next meeting of this committee.
CE21/22.007.3 Heritage Trail: Cllr Jee asked for clarification of how the Parish Council could ensure that the indemnity that Mid Sussex District Council were asking for was reasonable. Cllr Llewellyn explained that MSDC want to be indemnified against responsibility of injury if the map falls off the wall. The Parish Council would take responsibility and not MSDC. The Chair confirmed that the Parish Council will ensure this will not happen by using contractors to fit the map to the wall.
CE21/22.007.4 Mid Sussex Applaud Awards Nomination: The Chair suggested nominating Carey Tighe who runs the Pre School at the Village Centre but informed the committee that she did have a personal connection as she had worked with Carey Tighe for five years. The Chair explained that Carey Tighe had been educating pre-school children for 25 years which meant two generations in the Parish. As well as her commitment to the pre-school, Carey Tighe had also been a volunteer and active member of the Hurst Festival Committee and Village Centre Association. Cllr Sampson seconded this nomination and agreed that she worked very hard within the community. Cllr Llewellyn asked which category Carey Tighe would be nominated for and it was agreed that ‘Stronger Together’ would be most suitable. The Chair was asked whether she would be happy to submit the application and information needed with the Assistant Clerk, the Chair agreed.
The Committee AGREED to recommend to Council for approval to nominate Carey Tighe, Manager of the Hurstpierpoint Pre-School under the Stronger Together category in the Mid Sussex Applaud Awards.
CE21/22.007.5 Christmas Lights: The Chair gave an overview to the committee of the funds available including the Tourism & Attractiveness budget of £4,018.40, the EMR of £5,000 and the donation from the Sayers Common Community Shop of £3,000. The committee was asked to work on the basis that each Christmas streetlight would cost roughly £1,000 per light which includes the actual light and the structural testing. Cllr Jee was asked for an update from the Sayers Common Society. Cllr Jee confirmed he had met with the Chairman and that the Sayers Common Society felt that to make any positive impact the Christmas Light display should have a minimum of 6 lights, but the optimum amount would be 12. Due to covid the Sayers Common Society have not been able to fundraise so felt the only option was to approach businesses but also felt that this was not appropriate timing as they had all been financially impacted. Due to this, Cllr Jee confirmed they would not be able to support this year. The Chair asked Cllr Sampson for any more information from the Sayers Common Community Shop. Cllr Sampson confirmed that even though the shop was needing to use their reserve funds during the covid period they felt they had enough available to donate £3,000 to the project as it would be a very positive feature to the village over the festive period. The committee asked for confirmation that the residents of Sayers Common would like Christmas lights and both Cllr Jee and Cllr Sampson agreed they would.
The Chair expressed concerns of the reaction of the Parish to spending a considerable amount on Christmas Lights and suggested matching the Sayers Common Community Shop donation and purchasing 6 Christmas lights in total. Cllr Sampson felt the more the merrier would be better and there had always been a good display of lights in Hurstpierpoint so felt it was about time that Sayers Common had the same. Cllr Llewellyn agreed with Cllr Sampson that funds had been spent on the Christmas Lights in Hurstpierpoint over the years and this had been a good investment but also recognised in this climate that the Parish Council had to be careful. Cllr Llewellyn suggested that 9 Christmas lights would give a good effect through Sayers Common placed from the Oakhurst Junction down towards Berrylands Farm turn off. The Committee agreed to purchasing 9 Christmas streetlamp lights. The committee agreed that they would ask Full Council for permission to use £3,000 from the EMR funds and the remaining amount would be split between the Tourism & Attractiveness budget (£3,000) and the Sayers Common shop (£3,000). The committee agreed to let Cllr Sampson and Cllr Jee run a vote/questionnaire in Sayers
Common to decide on the design of the Christmas light. This information needs to be given to the Assistant Clerk by 1st July 2021.
The Committee AGREED to: (1) To purchase 9 Christmas Streetlamp lights for Sayers Common (2) To ask Full Council for permission to use £3,000 from the EMR for Christmas Lights (3) To spend £3,000 from the Tourism & Attractiveness budget towards the project (4) Cllr Sampson and Cllr Jee will ask the community of Sayers Common to decide on a design and inform the Assistant Clerk by 1st July 2021.
CE21/22.007.6 Annual Parish Meeting: The Chair thanked the working group for all their hard work and dedication in making the evening a success. She said that personally she felt the event had gone very well and had received some positive feedback about how professional the evening was. The Chair informed the committee that the presentations are now live on the website and for the Councillors to encourage the community to view them. Cllr Llewellyn asked the Chair what went well but potentially could be different next time. The Chair said the spread of speakers had worked very well and although they were covering similar topics, they didn’t repeat each other but instead complimented each other. The aim had been to produce a meeting which could contribute to the review of the environment policy and this aim had been achieved. The Chair and Cllr Bedford both agreed they were happy with the amount of people that attended especially as it was a different demographic to those would normally come to the face-to-face meeting. The Chair said she was very happy that both St Lawrence and Downlands had been involved and it was a good representation of the youth in our community. Cllr Bedford commented that the contact with the schools should be made at an earlier stage to allow the Parish Council time to review the video and content. The Chair said that the only other change to be made in the future would be the theme. Cllr Llewellyn expressed disappointment with the numbers attending as he felt this should be a much higher number. Cllr Lank said he thought the attendance was good and that the whole evening had been a positive event for the Parish Council. It was suggested that a hybrid meeting may be the best way to attract more people in the future. The Chair commented that although a hybrid meeting may be possible, she did not envisage running the Annual Parish Meeting the same way next year as would prefer to revert to the community event that the working group had started planning in 2019. Cllr Bedford said a hybrid broadcast could be possible, but a lot of planning would be needed. The Chair stressed her concerns about how much work it would take to organise, and this should be considered when thinking about the 2022 meeting. Cllr Llewellyn asked the committee whether they felt the slim down Chairs report worked well or if this needs to be reviewed. Cllr Bedford and Cllr Lank both agreed that less is more, and the concern is always that the reports are not read. Cllr Sampson agreed that the reports were pitched correctly and that if any more information is required the website can be used for this. The Chair thanked Cllr Bedford again for her time and expertise in running the event.
CE21/22.007.7 Youth Club Provision in Hurstpierpoint: The committee were briefed that a Youth Club provision meeting was held on 20th April to discuss the future of the youth club in Hurstpierpoint. A further meeting is scheduled for 13th July at 11:00am at Court Bushes.
CE21/22.007.8 Hurst Rethink Day Saturday 18th September: The Committee was briefed that the Parish Office received an email on 27th May 2021 from a representative of the Hurst Rethink group informing the Clerk that the Hurst Rethink Day had been postponed due to costs and busy timetables. The day will be scheduled for May 2022 instead.
CE21/22.008. Publicity: The Committee noted the following:
CE21/22.008.1 Communication: The Chair briefed the committee on the work being regularly carried out to improve communication within the parish. Cllr Lank said that the Hurst Life newsletter is really positive, and far more information is being delivered to the community on a regular basis. Cllr Llewellyn expressed concerns that the article and even the Parish Council Facebook/website were not being used by enough
residents to gain information, but the committee all agreed that this is a problem for many organisations even when information is shared in many different formats.
CE21/22.008.2 Website: The committee noted that the website continues to evolve, and the announcement page has become a very well used feature of the site. The Assistant Clerk is in regular contact with the website designer and making changes as needed to ensure the website is working correctly for all users.
CE21/22.008.3 Social Media: The committee noted that the Parish Council Facebook page is being used regularly to update the Parish on road closures, events, Hurst Life articles and upcoming work in the Parish. The Annual Parish Meeting was regularly posted about on this page and shared to a variety of different local pages. The page currently has 441 likes and 541 followers.
CE21/22.009. Information Items, Correspondence Received and Requests: No Items were noted.
Meeting Closed at: 21:45pm.