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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Hurstpierpoint Village Centre Trustees held on Thursday 27 July 2023 at 9pm, following the Parish Council meeting at Hurstpierpoint Village Centre (Charity No 305265).

Trustees Present:Duncan Ranger (Chair) Mark Froud Rodney JacksonJohn Lowman Claire MajsaiDuncan Ranger Bob Sampson

Also present:                       Sarah Groom, Clerk to the Trustees

  1. Apologies for Absence: The Trustees received and accepted apologies for absence from Helen Bedford, Susan Dyke, David Evans, Malcolm Llewellyn, Julia Shorrocks and Lindsay Thompson.
  • Previous Minutes:  The Trustees agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 23 March 2023.
  • Annual Report: The Chair introduced the Annual Report for the previous year which the Trustees agreed to adopt for submission to the Charity Commission.  The report included an update on the use of the building, a description of the maintenance items undertaken and a summary of the year end accounts.
  • Annual Accounts: The Trustees considered and agreed the accounts for the year ending 31 March 2023 for submission to the Charity Commission and noted the date of the independent examination was 19 June 2023.
  • Annual Independent Examination:  The Trustees noted the good report from Mulberry & Co produced following the independent examination on 19 June 2023.  The one recommendation was implemented.
  • Appointment of Independent Examiner:  The Trustees considered the appointment of an independent examiner for 2023/2024 and agreed to ask Mulberry & Co to act as the independent examiner to inspect the accounts for the next three years to benefit from their offer, subject to the formal approval of their engagement letter on 30 November 2023. 
  • 2023/2024 Budget Monitoring:  Trustees noted the budget monitoring report for the first quarter of 2023/24 including the bank reconciliations, balance sheet and detailed income and expenditure. 
  • MSDC’s Community Energy Project Update:  The Trustees received a verbal update on the project which involves exploring the potential to enable more rural communities to generate and share renewable energy, limiting reliance on the grid and reducing carbon emissions e.g. solar panels on the Village Centre roof.
  • Future of Charity:  The Trustees considered the next steps to be taken to assist with making the decision whether to dissolve the Charity. It was agreed that before any decision was made to:
  • Write to the Charity Commission to clarify whether the financial assets of the Village Centre Charity could transfer to the Parish Council and be ringfenced;
  • Write to West Sussex County Council as landlord to request their consent to the Village Centre being managed directly by the Parish Council; and
  • Explore the financial impact on VAT and Business Rates across the Parish Council estate, more thoroughly.
  • Date of Next Meeting: The date of the next meetings was agreed as 30 November 2023 to follow the conclusion of the Parish Council meeting.

The meeting closed at 9.34pm.                                                                                                                      Chairman