hurstpierpoint logo

Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

MINUTES of the Meeting of the COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE held at 7.30pm on Thursday 9 March 2023 in the Village Centre Conference Room.

Members present:Claire Majsai (Chair) Helen Bedford Bob Sampson  Tony Lank Duncan Ranger  

Also present:                         Sarah Groom, Clerk and two members of public.

The Committee wished to record their formal thanks to the Assistant Clerk who resigned on 28 February 2023.

CE22/23.036. Apologies for absence: There were no apologies for absence.

CE22/23.037. Declarations of interest: There were no declarations of interest.

CE22/23.038. Minutes of the Previous Meeting of the Community Engagement Committee: Members received the minutes of the meeting held on 12 January 2023, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED the minutes of 12 January 2023 meeting.

CE22/23.039. Adjournment for Questions from the Public: The Committee considered whether to adjourn the meeting in accordance with Standing Orders to receive questions from the three members of the public in attendance, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED to adjourn the meeting to include the update from Sussex Community Transport and the Hurst Hedgehog Haven.  

CE22/23.040. Community Transport Sussex: The Committee wasupdated on the development of an integrated Community transport network across West Sussex by representatives of Community Transport Sussex (CT Sussex).  Community Transport is made available for those that cannot normally use public transport due to disability or mobility issues.  CT Sussex has 52 wheelchair accessible buses around the county. The range of community transport on offer includes: Special Educational Needs School Transport, a Dial-A-Ride Service, work with AgeUK for people to access their day centres and trips out, group hire such as the Kangaroos Group, travel buddy schemes for people with dementia and day trip excursions.  New schemes include looking to replace vulnerable bus routes, home to school transport and an electric vehicle car club which is being piloted in Henfield.

It was agreed that more promotion can be done. CT Sussex now has a marketing team and social media presence will be increased. The Parish Council be happy to share social media promotion and would display leaflets and would ask the Sayers Common Village Shop.  Leaflets are available in all GP Surgeries. The Chair invited CT Sussex to the Annual Parish Meeting on 22 May 2023.  Cllr Lank recommended a promotional article in Hurst Life with a human story.  CT Sussex could attend the St Lawrence Fair which takes place on 1 July 2023. 

The organisation had been running a local survey over the Winter and appreciated the good number of responses received so far but hoped to increase.  A number of paper copies of the survey were left and would be placed in the Sayers Common Village Shop and in the Library.  The Chair thanked the two speakers for their attendance at the Committee and they left at 8pm, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee thanked the Sussex Community Transport representatives for attending the meeting and AGREED the positive actions to take forward. 

CE22/23.041. New Grant Applications to be considered 2022/23: The Committee noted the Grants Budget 2022/23 was £4,000 with £1,807.50 remaining and considered four grant applications that had been received:

OrganisationGrant Request ForAmount Requested
St Lawrence FairFinancial support towards the planning and provision of activities over the St Lawrence weekend.£500
Sayers Common Village SocietyCoronation Brunch and children competition on Sunday 7 May 2023.£500
Hurstpierpoint Cricket ClubTo assist with the cost of re-roofing the pavilion at Fairfield Recreation Ground.  The total cost is £17,800.£500
Hurst Hedgehogs HavenTo hand rear orphaned hoglets between May and September.£500

The Committee considered each application.  The issue of whether the Parish Council should support the Hurst Hedgehog Haven running costs was discussed and a vote was taken with Cllr Majsai, Bedford and Sampson in favour, so the vote was carried, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee agreed to:

  1. Fund the St Lawrence Fair request from the Health and Wellbeing Projects Budget.
  2. Award Sayers Common Village Society £500 towards the costs of the free childrens’ Coronation brunches.
  3. Award Hurstpierpoint Cricket Club £500 towards the costs of repairs on the pavilion roof.
  4. Award the Hurst Hedgehog Haven £500 towards their running costs as a one-off contribution.

The third member of the public left at 8.15pm.

CE22/23.041.1 Health and Wellbeing Projects: The Committee noted the Projects Budget 2022/23 was £1,000 with £500 remaining, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee agreed to award St Lawrence Fair £500 towards the costs of the first aid for the event, from the Health and Wellbeing Projects Budget.

CE22/23.042 Budget Monitoring: The Committee reviewed the budget monitoring report for the Committee including a) the Nominal Ledger (year to date) and b) detailed Income & Expenditure at 28 February 2023.  The Committee noted the potential surplus at the year end would be in the region of £1,390 and agreed to recommend to Council that the underspend be transferred to the Christmas Lights Earmarked Reserve, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee NOTED the budget monitoring report for the Committee including

  1. the Nominal Ledger (year to Date) and
  2. detailed Income & Expenditure at 28 February 2023; and
  3. AGREED to recommend to Council that the underspend at year end on the Cost Centre (301) Community Engagement be transferred to the Christmas Lights Earmarked Reserve (395).

CE22/23.043 Review of Action Plan: The Committee reviewed version five of the action plan and discussed the projects and priorities for the new financial year 2023/2024.  The Chair explained the 2022/23 plan would be archived and a new 2023/24 plan will be agreed by the Committee on 6 July 2023 to contain both ongoing and one-off projects. The 2022/23 highlights have been: the Community Forum and the connections made between local groups; the Youth Offer meetings by bringing people together; developing relationships with school i.e. St Lawrence tree planting and Hurst College Community Day; and the Food Bank partnership with the Melting Pot Café, Mid Sussex Voluntary Action and Gibsons Greengrocers.  Changes agreed for the 2022/2023 plan included:

  1. Item 4 (Dementia project) On hold but will be revisited.
  2. Move item 7 (Anti-fraud events) to completed section.
  3. Delete item 7 (Neighbourhood Watch Schemes).
  4. Delete item 9 (Employment Opportunities).
  5. Delete item 13 (Emergency Plan and move to Finance & Governance Committee).
  6. Delete item 14 (Reeds Lane Play Area and move to Estates and Facilities Management Committee), and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED to adopt a new version six of the Community Engagement Action Plan, as amended.

CE22/23.044 Christmas Lights: The Committee received an update on the meeting held with Merlin Lighting on 21 February 2023 to discuss the service that was received in 2022/3 and the list of issues that needed to be resolved for 2023/4. The plan for the Christmas lights in 2023/4 will remain the same as 2021/2 with the double tree Christmas cone on the Village Garden, lights in the Highstreet and the light columns in Sayers Common.  The Committee agreed the plans for 2023/2024, and it was:


(1) That the Committee AGREES to proceed with organising the structural tests on fifteen columns in Sayers Common with Merlin Lighting and their contractors KIWA from the 1 April 2023 at an estimated cost of £695+ VAT for 15 columns, from the 2023/24 Tourism and Attractiveness code.

(2) That the Committee AGREES to proceed with the application process with SSE and West Sussex County Council from the 1 April 2023 (there are no direct costs associated with this work).

CE22/23.045 St Lawrence Fair: The Committee discussed whether the Parish Council would like a stall at the St Lawrence Fair on Saturday 1 July (for a fee) in the same format as 2022, with a name the cuddly toy competition, and it was:


(1)That the Committee AGREES to have a stall at the St Lawrence Fair on Saturday 1 July 2023, for a fee of approximately £50.

(2) That the Committee AGREES that the Events Working Group will organise the stall based on last years event with a ‘free to enter’ name a cuddly toy competition.

CE22/23.046 Projector Stand: The Committee considered a briefing note proposing the purchase of a new projector stand and extension lead.  It was agreed to spend up to £150, and it was:

RECSOLVED: That the committee AGREES to purchase a new projector stand and extension lead up to the value of £150 from the Tourism and Attractiveness budget code.

CE22/23.047 Information Items, Correspondence Received and Requests:

CE22/23.047.1 High Street Update: The Committee received averbal update from Cllr Bedford on the progress that the Santa Sunday Traders Group were making and the good support amongst the group.

CE22/23.047.2 Community Forum: The Committee reviewed the Community Forum held on 26 January 2023 and agreed it was a very positive outcome with good feedback.  One example was the Fire Station promoting their volunteering opportunities in Hurst Life and being able to recruit more volunteers as a result.

CE22/23.047.3 Annual Parish Meeting (APM): The Chair gave a verbal update on the plans for the next APM on Monday 22 May 2023. The theme of the evening is volunteering and what is available in our parish. A free minibus will kindly be provided by Hurst College to transport Sayers Common residents on the evening. The Sayers Common Village Shop will help promote the APM and the bus service.

CE22/23.047.4 Events Equipment: The Committee received a verbal update on the equipment purchased for events including the new gazebo.

CE22/23.047.5 Foodbank Update: The Committee received a verbal update on the Hurstpierpoint Food Bank.  A meeting was held on 23 February 2023 with the Hurst Foodbank representatives.  Everything is being done to try and keep the Food Bank open in the School Holidays.

CE22/23.047.6 Communication: The Committee received a verbal update on communication.  The Chair continues to work with the Sayers Common Community Shop.

CE22/23.047.7 Website: The Committee noted the website is continually updated to ensure that all the charges, policies, grants information are correct for the next financial year.

CE22/23.047.8 Social Media: The Committee noted the Facebook page continues to grow and is regularly updated with news and advice.

Meeting Closed: 9.17pm