MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE ECONOMIC & COMMUNITY COMMITTEE
HELD ON TUESDAY 21st SEPTEMBER 2021
PRESENT: Cllr. Hatcher (Chair), Cllrs. Beck, Dyke (in part), Gilbert, Kings and Pethurst
APOLOGIES: Cllr. Waters
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.
4/21: PC Website & Facebook Presence:
Cllr. Hatcher reported that the Clerks are now posting ‘Be in the know’ correspondence on the parish council Facebook page. Facebook insights show that is has better reach than ‘Be in the know’. The post relating to Brick Kiln had reached 4,764 people. It was suggested meeting agendas could also be posted on the Facebook page. Cllr. Hatcher offered to trial this initially.
Cllr. Hatcher moved on to explain that when speaking with the Clerks about the possibility of updating the website front page, discussions had arisen around the opportunity to roll all IT services under one provider. There are currently two separate IT providers ciontracted by the parish; one for the website, and a separate company for IT support. In addition, cloud storage provision is also required, which could result in a third provider.
Cllr. Hatcher referred to the IT brief that had previously been circulated to the committee. He has sent it to several companies, currently he has received one response. He will also send it to a contact he had made at a recent councillors IT training event.
Cllr. Beck offered to investigate and report back the status of the contract with the current website host.
Cllr. Pethurst commented that he would like to see a lot more images on a redesigned web page, and an accessibility statement.
5/21: Event Organisation & Event Packs:
Cllr. Hatcher advised that this is in progress by Cllr. Waters. Once complete it will be included on the parish council website.
6/21: Business Links:
Cllr’s. Hatcher & Beck had recently attended Cranbrook Together, which they reported had been very interesting. There are also business events that take place in The Hive. They recommended that anyone interested was welcome to attend any of the events.
Cllr. Hatcher advised the Belle Vue School have recently contacted Cllr. Fletcher, as they are keen for their students to volunteer in the community. Cllrs. Fletcher and Hatcher have arranged to meet with staff to discuss further.
Matching volunteers with organisations was discussed. The committee was reminded of the successful volunteer fayre that Wellbeing in the Weald had organised, and held in Vestry Hall, several years ago. Cllr. Dyke offered to raise the idea with Wellbeing in the Weald, of them repeating the event.
If it is decided that volunteer information is to be advertised on the parish council website, posts will have a predetermined length of time for stay on the website.
8/21: Dementia Trail:
Cllr. Pethurst plans to report back at the next meeting regarding his thoughts on making Cranbrook a dementia friendly town, with the possibility of a dementia trial on the Ball Field.
Cllr. Hatcher had attended the Tourism Group meeting last week, which he had found very informative.
He reported that the scaffolding has now been taken down from the windmill, the sails are still to be replaced. A ceremony for returning the sails had been suggested.
The tourism website is about to undergo the next round of updates. These could be forwarded to the Clerks for collating prior to passing on to the web designer.
Cllr. Beck feels that the lack of taxi companies in the town is an issue for tourism. He offered to explore options and report back to the committee.
10/21: Credit Unions:
Councillors are concerned that parishioners are being targeted by payday loan sharks. The Credit Union ‘Kent Savers’ are suggested as an alternative by KCC. The committee felt however that the parish council would prefer to promote Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) who are able to provide expert advice on debt and money issues. The clerk offered to report back who is the parish council representative for CAB.
11/21: High Weald Tennis Courts:
Cllr. Hatcher reported on a useful Facebook discussion about the history of the tennis courts which had taken place recently on Cranbrook & Sissinghurst Chat page. The courts are owned by the school. In the past they have been used by both the school and the leisure centre. Maintenance had not been kept up, and therefore the courts closed.
The courts have potential to be a multisport court. There has been much interest in the courts over the years, and local clubs are still interested. Cllr Hatcher is hoping to discuss at the upcoming sports forum he is attending that is hosted by Mark Lawrence, our local Everyday Active Champion for Tunbridge Wells and The Weald.
He reported that Cllr. Fletcher is meeting with the Leigh Academy Trust, who have recently taken over the High Weald Academy, where he plans to enquire of their plans for the courts.