Economic & Community 27th September


PRESENT: Cllr. Hatcher (Chair), Cllrs., Dyke, Fletcher, Pethurst, Rampling, Simpson and Tomlinson

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.

16/22: Election of Vice Chair

Cllr. Hatcher nominated Cllr. Linda Dyke. Seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed.

17/22: Committee Structure: To approve change of committee name and amend aims and objectives
The committee reviewed and discussed the following changes:

Committee name: Community Development Committee

Aims: Promote events, tourism, social cohesion and facilitate community involvement


  • Actively harness community involvement
  • Encourage a programme of tourist attractions and events, art shows exhibitions and fairgrounds
  • Liaise with outside bodies and the community regarding car parking and traffic issues
  • Work with the Community Warden and the Police to deliver the best outcomes for the parish
  • Engage actively with Parish Voluntary Organisations to improve the quality of life for our residents
  • Development of transparent public consultation on the activities of the council

Actions 2022/23:

  1. Develop effective liaison with outside bodies on car parking and traffic issues
  2. Create and develop Parish Voluntary Organisation liaison
  3. Develop a public consultation policy for the Council

Cllr. Hatcher proposed that the above changes be adopted, this was seconded by Cllr Tomlinson and agreed.

Cllr. Dyke offered to develop and recommend an action relating to Tourism.

Action 1 will need to include further investigation of the possibility of offering parking Monday-Friday at the rugby club.  Action 2 will need to include Community Kitchen.

18/22: Budget and Five-year plans

Cllr. Hatcher raised moving the grants cost code from the Community Development to the Policy and Resources cost centre, and setting up additional cost codes for the Community Development Committee as and when required. The Clerk advised arranging a meeting with the Responsible Financial Officer to discuss further. The committee will review cost codes at the next informal meeting.

The Clerk took an action to circulate the full list of cost codes to all committee members.

19/22: PC Website and Facebook Presence:

Website – Cllr. Hatcher advised he will be liaising with Uprise to gain an understanding of what they require from CSPC to progress with website redevelopment, and to get a ‘go live’ date. He will also ask Uprise about improving response times to enquiries and requests, and an easy to manage website.

Cllr. Hatcher reported that he had received lots of photos to use on the website, and that Cllr. Simpson has provided copy for the history of Sissinghurst. He asked the committee to forward any other suggestions to him.

Cllr. Tomlinson advised that he has experience with WordPress and is happy to provide assistance to the Clerks.

Facebook – Cllr. Hatcher requested that content for Facebook/‘Be in the Know’ be forwarded to the Clerks. Images are preferable to text. Cllr. Hatcher can share the council post on local pages.

The committee discussed the issue of ‘Be in the know’ emails going straight to junk mail. Cllr. Tomlinson offered to help resolve the issue.

Cllr. Hatcher took an action to investigate automatic sharing of Facebook posts to other pages

The committee discussed alternative platforms, including Nextdoor, Instagram and Twitter, that could be considered for improving communication with residents. And reasoned that to manage social media effectively it would require an extra half a day headcount per week.

Cllr. Pethurst took an action to investigate how other parish councils are using social media

20/22: Event Organisation & Event Packs:

Cllr. Hatcher is in the process of obtaining the information that Wendy Waters had pulled together.

Regarding setting up an events fund, Cllr. Hatcher reported that local event organisers he has spoken with would not wish to change the way their events are funded. It was decided to set aside the idea for the time being.

21/22: Business Links:

Cllr. Hatcher reported that he had attended the local business network groups recent meet where he met the owner of Space Marketing (the advertising sales agency for The Cake) who shared details of a charity called Crosslight who help with debt problems.

Cllr. Simpson advised that one of the empty shops in the High Street is to become a temporary pop-up (until February) for a carpenter and ceramicist. If successful they will look for a more permanent presence. Other empty commercial premises in Cranbrook would also benefit from pop-up shops.

22/22: Volunteers:

Cllr. Simpson advised that Wellbeing in the Weald are discussing organising a fayre in the new year to bring together local organisations. Age Concern a keen to take part.

23/22: Tourism: To agree that the Parish Council receive funds from Spacehive for funding to reprint the ‘A Walk Though Time’ guide.

The committee discussed the request from the tourism group and agreed that further information was needed to make a decision. The committee asked the that the Clerks request answers from the Tourism group to the following questions:

  • Have any of the other organisations who are members of the tourism group been approached to be grant recipients?
  • Please confirm that a parish council is eligible to receive the funds?
  • It appears from the website that Spacehive offers matched funding. How is the other half of the money being sourced?

24/22: Citizens Advice:

CA are still keen to have a presence in the town. It will depend on funding and volunteer availability.

Cllr. Simpson offered to contact Crosslight as Age Concern might want to consider inviting them to a Tuesday coffee morning session.

25/22: Community Kitchen:

The community kitchen is launching Tuesday 4th October. Posters have been printed and shared on line. The Energy talk from Citizens Advice, and the first hearing aid maintenance clinic during Age Concern coffee morning will take place on the 4th October.

The current plan is to start providing afternoon community kitchen session by Christmas.

26/22: Community Engagement – Monthly Surgeries:

Cllr. Pethurst to continue researching initiative.

27/22: Items for Information:

  1. Cllr. Tomlinson reported that Cranbrook Juniors Football Club fun day had been a success. It’s estimated >300 attended. Lots of positive feedback and money raised to help towards the club’s running costs.

Cllr. Simpson plans to investigate engaging with a charity/organisation that can provide defibrillator demonstration for Age Concern/Community Kitchen

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