hurstpierpoint logo

Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

The MINUTES of the Meeting of the COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE held at 7.30pm on Thursday 9th November 2023 in Sayers Common Village Hall.

Members present:Claire Majsai (Chair) Susan Dyke Duncan Ranger Michael AveryBob Sampson (Vice Chair) Sarah Baldey Helen Bedford  

Also present:                         Viv Aloy, Assistant Clerk and 4 members of the public

CE23/24.021. Apologies for absence: Apologies were received and accepted for Cllr Mark Froud, Cllr Annette Street and Cllr Lindsay Thompson

CE23/24.022. To receive and record Declarations of Interest: There were no declarations of interest.

CE23/24.023. To receive and accept the minutes of the Community Engagement Committee meeting held on 14th September 2023: Members reviewed the minutes, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED the minutes of 14th September 2023 meeting.

CE23/24.024. Adjournment for Questions from the Public: Members agreed to adjourn the meeting to receive questions from members of the public, in accordance with Standing Orders.

One member of the public asked what the Committee was about, and its aims. Cllr Majsai ran through the Committee objectives from the action plan, and highlighted where on the website this information could be accessed. Another member of the public asked if we knew the date that the festive lights would be installed, Cllrs advised that this would be towards the end of this month. They also asked whether it was possible to have a Christmas tree in Sayers Common, like the one in Hurstpierpoint, with the idea of having some sort of village Christmas event there next year. Cllr Majsai advised that although this was a lovely idea, the Christmas lights for this year had already been subject to significant cost increases so it would be cost and logistics dependant as to whether this could be possible.  Cllr Sampson agreed to discuss the request further with residents, this is to be followed up with the committee next year when the situation regarding the current lights was clearer. In relation to an event, Cllrs referred them to the grant application process on the website, should they want financial support from the Committee for a Sayers Common event. It was:

RESOLVED that the Committee AGREED to carry on the meeting as the remaining member of the public in attendance was there to discuss a grant application.

CE23/24.025 The Committee reviewed Version 3 of the action plan, and it was:

RESOLVED: that the committee AGREED:

i)             to Version 3 of the 2023/24 Action Plan

ii)            for the Assistant Clerk to update Version 3 of the 2023/24 Action Plan as per the committee discussions and bring it to the next meeting as Version 4.

CE23/24.026. Budget Monitoring: The Committee reviewed the budget monitoring report for the Committee,

  1. The Nominal Ledger (Year to Date) and
  2. Detailed Income & Expenditure at 31st October 2023, and it was:

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

a)            the Nominal Ledger

b)            the Detailed Income & Expenditure at 31st October 2023

CE23/24.027. Draft Budget for 2024/25 The committee discussed the proposed draft budget in detail with the committee’s Action Plan and Parish Sustainability Strategy in mind. A lengthy discussion took place around the Tourism and Attractiveness budget line, as it is not believed to represent what the committee currently does. It was noted that many of the expenses that this budget line was used for are now covered by Estates & Facilities. It was agreed to rename this budget line as “Sustainable Community” to encourage applications for eco and sustainability projects, as well as to provide flexibility for the Committee to support community projects and events that would fall outside of the current grants criteria. It was noted that the grants process will be subject to review in the New Year.

A further discussion was had regarding the communications budget and whether the suggested increase was sufficient.  The Assistant Clerk outlined that Hurst Life had replied regarding 2024 costings and that, although these were not fixed yet, it was likely to be £150 + VAT, broadly in line with CPI.  It was unanimously agreed that this should be increased to £4,500 to incorporate extra pages to report on the District Plan, to focus on specific community groups and services available in the Parish, as well as the usual additional page to advertise the Annual Parish Meeting. It was:


The committee AGREED to present the Draft Community Engagement budget to the Finance & Governance Committee in November with the following notes and changes:

  • Any money left in the Tourism and Attractiveness budget line at the end of this financial year to be used to replenish the festive lights EMR which was used to fund the raise in costs this year, particularly anticipating the request for a Christmas tree in Sayers Common and potential further price increases in 2024 as the contract is reviewed. 
  • Tourism and Attractiveness to be renamed as “Sustainable Community” to support our sustainability strategy and to encourage applications for sustainable and eco projects and groups, as well as to allow flexibility to support community projects outside of our standard grants criteria.

(3)  Communications budget line to be increased to £4,500 to account for inflation and additional pages.

(4)  The Community Events Grants be raised to £4,000 to reflect the number of new events including Hurstfolk, and the likelihood of an application for a Sayers Common community Event next year (possibly at Christmas).

CE23/24.028.1 New Small Grant Applications to be considered 2023/24: The Committee noted the Grants Budget 2023/24 was £4,000 with £2,400 remaining and considered three grant applications that had been received.

OrganisationGrant Request ForAmount RequestedAmount Awarded
  St John’s Ambulance     Towards a new Community Support Unit      £500  £500
  4Sight  To support residents of the parish living with sight loss    £275          £275  
  Hurstpierpoint Christmas Toy Bank  To allow for gifts to be bought and balanced out to ensure all children in one family receive a present of a similar size/value      £500    £500

The Committee considered each application.

It was unanimously agreed to award the full amount to St John’s Ambulance.  Cllrs Majsai and Dyke noted that they run a Youth training programme (Young Responders) and requested that the Assistant Clerk make enquiries about this, in connection with our lack of any youth provision in the villages, when contacting them about their grant award.

It was unanimously agreed to award 4Sight the full £275 they applied for.

A member of the public spoke to the committee about the Hurstpierpoint Christmas Toy Bank, run through referrals such as St Lawrence School and Holy Trinity Church. Data is collected about the age, gender and interests of the child and this anonymised information will be passed on for a matching gift to be purchased. The money from the Council would primarily be used to ensure gifts of equal value for siblings.  The Committee asked about links with Albourne and Twineham schools as many children from Sayers Common attend these.  The member of the public advised that she was unlikely to be able to foster links in time for this year, but would look at this if the initiative continued into Christmas 2024.  It was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED to:

  1. award £500 to St John’s Ambulance towards a new Community Support Unit
  2. award £275 to 4Sight to support residents of the parish living with sight loss.
  3. award £500 to the Hurstpierpoint Christmas Toy Bank on the basis that they extend their links to Albourne and Twineham Primary Schools to ensure inclusivity of Sayers Common children for Christmas 2024.

3 members of the public left at 21:09

CE23/24.028.2 Community Events Grant Applications to be considered 2023/24 The Committee noted the

Community Events Budget was £3,500 with £1,500 remaining and considered the grant application received.

OrganisationGrant Request ForAmount RequestedAmount Awarded
  Hurst Rethink    Hurst Advent Window Calendar Event    £50  £50

The Committee discussed the Event and unanimously agreed to the award the £50.

RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED to award £50 towards the costs of the Hurst Advent Window Calendar Event

CE23/24.028.3 Health & Wellbeing Grants application to be considered 2023/24 The Committee noted the Health & Wellbeing Grants Budget was £1,000 with £0 remaining.

There were no Health & Wellbeing Grant Applications received.

CE23/24.028.4 Health & Wellbeing Projects Budget 2023/2024.  The Committee noted the Health & Wellbeing Projects Budget was £1,000 with £965.60 remaining.

There were no applications for new projects received.

CE23/24.029 Information Items, Correspondence Received and Requests:

CE23/24.029.1 High Street Update – Cllr Bedford advised that plans for the Santa Sunday were well underway, and the event is almost ready to go, the new committee are working extremely well together. Cllrs noted the date of 3rd December. 

CE23/24.029.2 Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common Community Forum: The Committee noted the new date set for the Community Groups Forum of 18th January 2024 due to the cancellation of the 2nd November date because of the amber weather warning.  Cllr Bedford requested that a calendar invitation go out to councillors.

CE23/24.029.3 Hurstpierpoint Wassailing:  Cllr Majsai outlined plans for a Wassailing event on 13th January 2024, which is anticipated to cost between £150-£200, from the Parish Council Events budget. A free 2-hour singing workshop will run at the Village Centre and then people will be invited to meet up to sing to the old apple tree and then the trees in the orchard.  Cllr Bedford requested a calendar invitation to this event.

CE23/24.029.3 External Communication: Cllr Majsai gave an update from the communications meeting held on 8th November with Cllr Llewellyn, Cllr Majsai, Clerk to the Council Sarah Groom and Assistant Clerk Viv Aloy. Items included Hurst Life, and an invitation for new councillors to participate in writing the Parish Council articles, as well as ongoing efforts to improve communication with Sayers Common.

There being no other business the Chair closed the meeting at 21:47