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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

DRAFT Minutes of the meeting of the COURT BUSHES ADVISORY GROUP on Thursday 17th February 2022 held at 10:00am in the Court Bushes Club Lounge, Willow Way, Hurstpierpoint.

Present:                Claire Majsai (HP&SC PC)                                Alex Pitt (Hurst Colts)

                              Duncan Ranger (HP&SC PC)                            Natalie Bouckaert (Know Dementia)

                              Lorna Cooksey (HP&SC PC)

                              Will Kemp (The Melting Pot)

                              Wendy Dolan (Embroidery Class)                  

CBA21/22.01. Apologies for Absence and declaration of interest: Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Kerry Hume (Kiddie Capers). There were no declarations of interest.

RESOLVED: The committee ACCEPTS the apologises for absence from Kerry Hume (Kiddie Capers).

CBA21/22.02. Minutes of the Previous Meeting of the Court Bushes Advisory Group: Members received the minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 29th January 2020.  

RESOLVED: The committee AGREED the minutes of 29th January 2020 meeting.

CBA21/22.03. Court Bushes Update Report: Cllr Majsai briefed everyoneon the history of the update report which is mainly from briefings prepared for the Estate and Facilities Committee meetings. The food bank was discussed and whether they have set opening hours. It was confirmed that they use Court Bushes for storage and if a request comes in, they now deliver. Natalie Bouckaert explained that Cowfold has a community larder which is run by a member of the public outside the front of her house. People using the larder can donate but the idea is more about not wasting food which removes the stigma of anyone not wanting to ask for help. It was suggested that Hurst Rethink may be interested in this idea and asked Natalie Bouckaert if she was happy for them to contact her about this idea and linking them with the member of the public who has set this up in Cowfold.

Cllr Majsai explained that from next year the Parish Council will be paying Mid Sussex District Council rent for Court Bushes Community Hub. For this reason, it is fundamental that the Parish Council advertise the building as much as possible to increase hiring rates. It was discussed how the Parish Council would like Court Bushes to be a thriving community venue and although we are two years behind because of covid the bookings and usage is increasing slowly. The historical stigma attached to the area was discussed and the issue around there being no passing traffic. Everyone commented that signage would help this situation and Will Kemp asked whether the brown signs along Cuckfield Road had been organised. Cllr Ranger agreed to talk to Cllr Joy Dennis next week regarding the signage.

Lighting was discussed in the function room and whether the planned improvements could make the room brighter but also with a less harsh light when needed It was suggested that a flexible system with dimmers may be a good resolution. Cllr Majsai agreed to feed this back to the Estates & Facilities Manager.

Storage was discussed and although everyone was happy with the current storage facilities it was felt that introducing insulated, lighted, heated storage containers outside would be a good idea for the future.

Will Kemp wanted to thank Hamish Raby for his hard work in clearing the car park and surrounding area of Court Bushes. It was commented that he is always happy to help and very much the face of the Parish Council.

               ACTIONS: (1) The Assistant Clerk will contact Hurst Rethink about the community larder idea in Cowfold and link them with Natalie Bouckaert if interested. (2) Cllr Ranger will discuss the signage issue for Court Bushes and the need for brown signs from Cuckfield Road. (3) The suggestion of a flexible lighting system in the function room will be fed back to the Estates & Facilities Manager.

CA21/22.04. Review with Users: Cllr Majsai asked for all the users to express what was going well or could be improved. All the hirers agreed that the facilities were fantastic and especially having the outside green space really made the inside even more desirable. Wendy Dolan raised that the lighting would be an issue for her group on a dull evening in the winter and the discussed changes would really help that. Both Natalie Bouckaert and Will Kemp raised the issue with the dishwasher and the Assistant Clerk confirmed this was on a list to be fixed but a key was needed to access the cupboard. Will Kemp confirmed his colleague had the key.

The weight of some of the doors were discussed and whether this was causing issues for the hirers coming in and out. It was felt that if hooks could be placed on some doors this would help. Cllr Majsai asked Natalie Bouckaert if she could ask the Memory Moment café attendees whether there is any feedback on the building and whether it is ‘dementia friendly’ or are things that the Parish Council could improve.

Alex Pitt agreed that the Hurst Colts have enjoyed using the facilities and it is the main venue for their summer tournament which is over a full weekend. It was discussed that the Hurst Colts play on several pitches and that Court Bushes is actually their worse pitch due to the drainage and that the older players would like to go somewhere else. Alex explained that they are considering moving the younger players to Court Bushes on a Saturday morning which would increase footfall and the possible need of using the hub. Alex Pitt also spoke about the 3G application that they plan to submit to Mid Sussex District Council. It was asked whether the Parish Council would support this application. Cllr Majsai explained that there are a lot of separate projects and ideas for this area and would strongly suggest that all groups need to come together to plan the whole space rather than separate projects. It was asked whether the Parish Council could rent the 3G pitches from Mid Sussex if an application was approved. Cllr Majsai explained that planning permission is a decision for Mid Sussex District Council and although the Parish Council is able to support planning applications if they consider them appropriate this can only be a recommendation.

Will Kemp asked whether outdoor seating was being considered as the Melting Pot would like to use the outside space but without furniture this would be difficult. It was suggested looking at the tables and chairs outside the Almond Centre in Cowfold as they are heavy duty and fit for purpose and have been in place for two years with no problems. It was also commented that outdoor seating is great but without parasols they would be useless. Shading over the decking area was also discussed and how this would help in the summer months. It was agreed this would be raised with the Estates & Facilities manager.

               Actions: (1) The Estates & Facilities Manager will contact Margaret Taylor about the key for the cupboard to access the dishwasher so it can be repaired. (2) The Assistant Clerk will take photos of the current seating outside the Almond Centre in Cowfold and ask for the Estates & Facilities Manager to look into this. (3) The Assistant Clerk will suggest hooks/more door stops for use at Court Bushes to help with the heavier doors to the Estate & Facilities Manager (4) Natalie Bouckaert will ask for feedback from the Memory Moments attendees about whether Court Bushes is dementia friendly, and any feedback will be sent to the Assistant Clerk. 

CA21/22.05. Cleaning: Cleaning was discussed, and Wendy Dolan explained that she had faced a few occasions where the floor hadn’t been cleaned and she was having to clean before and after her class. The Assistant Clerk asked for all hirers to let her know if this became a regular occurrence as hirers would be spoken to about how they are leaving the space. They all agreed that the cleaning equipment was fine and normally the standard of cleaning isn’t an issue.

CA21/22.06: Matters for information or inclusion on next agenda: Will Kemp asked about the heating at Court Bushes and confirmation on the correct procedure for leaving the system on or turning it off. The Assistant Clerk confirmed that this would be discussed with the Estates & Facilities manager and an email will follow confirming the right protocol. It was also raised whether the cutting of the grass outside of Court Bushes could be done more regularly than last year as it was left uncut for a very long time resulting in the outside space not being used.

               Action: (1) The Estates & Facilities Manager to send out a confirmation email on the correct protocol for the radiators. (2) The issue with the grass not being cut last summer will be raised with the Estates & Facilities Manager.  

CA21/22.07: Date of next meeting: It was agreed that the next meeting will be held before the Summer Holidays in July 2022. The Assistant Clerk will contact everyone about a suitable date and time.

Meeting Closed: 11:20am