MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE ECONOMIC & COMMUNITY COMMITTEE
HELD ON TUESDAY 29th March 2022
PRESENT: Cllr. Hatcher (Chair), Cllrs. Beck, Dyke, Fletcher, Kings, Pethurst and Waters
APOLOGIES: Cllr. Gilbert
Declaration of Interests, Dispensations, Predetermination or Lobbying:
Members are required to declare any interests, dispensations or predetermination on items on this agenda in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct. Members are reminded that changes to the Register of Interests should be notified to the Clerk.
13/21: Parish Council Website and Facebook presence, including residents welcome page
Cllr. Hatcher shared screenshots that had been provided by Uprise Digital of the website redesign so far. Uprise are keen to arrange a virtual tour of the site week commencing 4th April. Cllrs. should let Cllr. Hatcher know if they would like to attend the tour and which days/times would be most convenient.
Adding a Resident’s Welcome page to the site was discussed. This could include links to local groups and also details of which is the appropriate authority to contact to report issues. The committee felt that this was a good idea. Cllr. Hatcher will liaise with Uprise to ascertain how easy this information would be to update, as when details change.
Cllr. Pethurst suggested that the information could also be presented in a virtual booklet.
Cllr. Hatcher reported that the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council website has some useful tourist information about Cranbrook that could be linked to/used on the redesigned parish council website. Ultimately it was decided that any information, either from TWBC or attractions own websites should be linked to where possible, rather than replicated, this would hopefully reduce duplication and the need to keep too many sections of the website current.
Cllr. Hatcher reported that the Parish Council Facebook page seems to be working well, and reach is gradually increasing.
14/21: Event Organisation & Event Packs:
Cllr. Waters is progressing the development of the event organisation packs.
15/21: Business Links, including Taxi Companies:
The next business network meeting is taking place Friday 1st April.
Cllrs. Beck and Hatcher had meet with a taxi firm to discuss the possibility of a dedicated taxi service for Cranbrook. Further research had concluded that there is not currently enough volume for a dedicated service. The committee agreed to promote the current companies that serve Cranbrook.
Cllr. Fletcher reported that he had attended the Age Concern coffee morning where there had been a presentation to Ronnie Summers. He commended the efforts of the Age Concern volunteers. He felt that there are lots of volunteers with-in the parish however there isn’t much integration.
Cllr. Fletcher advised that Tunbridge Wells Borough Council are expecting to receive 1500 refugees and they have set up a dedicated page on their website, Support for Ukraine. The website suggests charities to donate to, how to register interest in hosting families, donation items needed etc. TWBC are encouraging people who want to get involved to contact them to ensure that efforts around the borough are not being duplicated. He has also been in contact with a group in Goudhurst who are making preparations for receiving refugees in the village.
Cllr. Hatcher closed the meeting to allow two members of the public to share their knowledge of the current activity around Sissinghurst and Frittenden. A group has been formed to co-ordinate activities in the area. Contact details for the organiser, Nikki Hadley, can be found on the Trinity Church website.
The meeting reopened.
Cllr. Hatcher suggested posting details of the TWBC page on website, Facebook, Be in the know.
Cllr. Fletcher offered to make contact with Nikki Hadley.
Cllr. Hatcher introduced an email from a parishioner who was requesting use of the Ball Field to arrange a fund-raising event, with the proceeds going to Disasters Emergency Committee. The committee were very supportive of the idea and agreed that they were happy for an event to go ahead on the Ball Field. The committee asked that the organiser contact Cllr. Waters so that she can share with the organiser a checklist of what needs to be considered when holding a public event. The committee suggested that it should not clash with other events already planned, such as Nuts in May.
17/21: Dementia Trail:
Cllr. Pethurst reported that he had attended dementia training provided by Wellbeing in the Weald. The next session is planned for 12th April. Wellbeing would also deliver a session to the Councillors if requested. He has been further researching dementia trails and has come across Norfolk Easy Ambles – Dementia Walk Maps. Alzheimer’s Society also provides a list of things to consider when developing a dementia trail. He will approach Wellbeing in the Weald to discuss progressing the idea.
Cllr. Hatcher briefly reported on the minutes from the latest Tourism Group meeting. Discussions had included ‘Walk through time map’ reprint funding, placing advertisements in the Wealden Ad and the public toilet reopening had been received well. He will give a more detailed update at Full Council.
19/21 Citizens Advice:
Cllr. Hatcher has been in contact with both Paddock Wood Community Advice group and Citizens Advice (CA). He is assisting CA in finding a space in Cranbrook as they are unsure if they are able to return to Cranbrook library. Suggested spaces under consideration are Church House, Addison Room and Hive.
20/21: Community Food Kitchen and Pantry:
Cllr. Hatcher had been in touch with the organiser of the Hawkhurst Community Fridge and received very useful advice. He has also spoken to the Co-op as they currently donate food to the Hawkhurst project.
More discussion is needed regarding a suitable location for a community pantry. Current suggestions include St Dunstan’s, the primary school or outside Co-op. Cllr. Hatcher will make contact with the parishioner who had previously worked with Revd Ann to explore the possibility of a setting up a community pantry in the town.
Cllr. Fletcher expressed his concern that the increases in cost of living, especially fuel prices, will hit struggling families hard by Autumn. Age Concern, Messy Church and Mens Shed already provide refreshments and food. He offered to speak to these groups, and also the local schools, to discuss setting up serving a soup and roll at lunchtime, and pasta at 4pm for kids.
21/21: Community Engagement – Monthly Surgeries:
Cllr. Pethurst felt that communication with the community could be improved and suggested introducing a monthly surgery similar to the one held by Hawkhurst Parish Council in Hawkhurst library. Many councillors present were very supportive of the idea. Cllr. Pethurst offered to contact Hawkhurst Parish Council to investigate further, and bring it to the next Full Council meeting.
22/21: Items for Information:
Cllr. Fletcher reported that the regulator on the beacon burner had been left out in the elements and has rusted. He estimated a replacement would cost c£500.00 alone, not including the gas required. It was agreed the item should be raised at Full Council.
Cllr. Waters agreed to contact the parish office regarding organising a litter pick for Cranbrook.
Cllr. Hatcher advised that due to the amount of content requiring discussion at the Economic and Community Committee meetings he would like to increase the number of meetings held per year. He will raise the item at Full Council.