Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer

Minutes – Community Affairs Working Group – 6 September 2021

The agenda and papers for this meeting are available here: Community Affairs Working Group – 6 September 2021 – agenda and papers

The minutes of this meeting are presented below.

You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Community Affairs Working Group – 6 September 2021

Please note: This meeting included a presentation regarding the Chichester Season of Culture 2022. The slides for the presentation are only available in the PDF download.



  • Councillors Apel (Chairman), C Huges (Vice-Chairman), Carter, Gershater, Lishman, Sharp


  • The Mayor, Councillor J Hughes, Councillor Scicluna (Chairman of Finance)


  • Town Clerk, Deputy Town Clerk, Member Services Support Officer, Graham Pound (Chairman – Friends of Valletta), Pam Bushby (Divisional Manager, Communities and Wellbeing – Chichester District Council), Helen Marshall (Vice-Chair, Chichester BID), Councillor Simon Oakley (West Sussex County Council)


Apologies for absence were received from the Councillor Plowman, Liz Turner (Friends of Ravenna), Michael Bevis (Friends of Chartres) and Paula Chatfield (Chichester Tree Wardens).

Councillor Joy was absent from the meeting.


AGREED that the Minutes of the Meeting held on the 7 June 2021, having been circulated; be approved and signed at a future date as a correct record.


Councillors Apel and Sharp declared a personal interest as Members of Chichester District Council.

Councillor Sharp declared a personal interest as a Member of West Sussex County Council.


(a) Minute 6(a) – City Centre floral display

The Deputy Town Clerk reminded Members that the floral displays were now being provided by a new contractor and that, after some concerns about slow growth, they were putting on an impressive display.

Members were advised that the winter planting of the street planters was expected to happen around early October.

The Deputy Town Clerk also advised Members that it was hoped to expand on the current provision in future years to make full use of the new contractor.

The Chairman complimented the hanging basket provision and the planting of the Cathedral beds as managed by the City Council. She expressed the hope that the currently overgrown beds where trees next to the cathedral had been removed would not be confused with the City Council provision.

In response to a question from the Chairman, the Town Clerk advised that a local resident had reportedly taken action to tidy up the overgrown beds being discussed.

Councillor Gershater also complimented the City Council floral displays. He advised Members that he had received comments regarding the generally poor condition of some of the roundabouts around the city.

Members were reminded that these roundabouts were sponsored by businesses and it was suggested that contact be made with the sponsors and the County Council to ask what action could be taken to try to improve the approaches to the city.

The Town Clerk suggested that West Sussex County Highways could be asked for an update on the status of the sponsorships of the roundabouts in question and that a course of action could be formulated on that basis.

(b) Minute 6(b) – update on the ongoing response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Chairman suggested that, as activity was returning to some form of normal, there would not currently be much to update for this item.

Councillor Gershater advised Members that he had been following the recent Covid19 statistics, that the numbers were rising quickly in Chichester District and that he felt that the City Council should remain aware of the ongoing situation and be ready to act as appropriate.

(c) Minute 6(c) – City Council purchase of a Speed Indicator Device (SID)

The Chairman reminded the Working Group about an email update that had recently been sent to all Councillors regarding the SID.

Members were advised that ongoing discussions about community involvement were looking more positive with areas such as Orchard Street and St Pancras taking an active interest.

(d) Minute 10 – Season of Culture 2022

No updates were given.

(e) Minute 11 – Events update

a. HRH Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee event in Priory Park – 4 June 2022

The Town Clerk advised Members that the planning process for this event had begun with the basis of the plans being the events organised for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

He informed Members that it was likely that there would be a gala procession around the city followed by a traditional fair to be held in Priory Park, culminating in a concert with the City Band.

b. Over the Rainbow – September 2021

The Chairman referred Members to the report from Councillor Plowman regarding the Over the Rainbow event.

(f) Minute 12 – Discretionary Grants 2021-22

The Chairman reminded Members that applications for the current round of Discretionary Grants should be submitted by Friday 24 September 2021.

The Deputy Town Clerk advised the Working Group that only a couple of applications had been received to date but that it was common for applications to be received closer to the closing date.

(g) Minute 14 – Covid 19 awards

The Town Clerk reminded Members that the awards formed the contribution from the City Council to the Over the Rainbow event.

Members were advised that approximately 28 nominations had been received and that special commemorative certificates would be presented to the nominees at the event.

The Town Clerk also advised Members that he felt that further Covid awards ceremonies may be necessary due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic.

In response to a question from the Chairman, Members were advised that, while formal nominations had closed, there was scope for last minute nominations to be made.

The Mayor requested sight of the list of nominees. The Town Clerk assured the Mayor that a pack of certificates, together with the list of names, would be provided in advance of the event.

(h) Minute 16 – Appointments to outside bodies – Safer Road Sussex Task Force

The Chairman noted that this would be discussed under agenda item 11.


(a) Community Wardens

At this point the Chairman advised that agenda item 10 (Issues surrounding travellers on public land in Chichester) be discussed at the same time to allow Ms Bushby to update the Working Group.

Ms Bushby presented the reports from the Wardens and advised Members that she felt the reports comprehensively covered the work of the Wardens.

Particular reference was made to the following:

  • the positive impact of the increased work of the PCSOs with the Wardens in the centre and west of the city.
  • increased anti-social behaviour among younger people with Swanfield Park being mentioned. Members were advised that an anti-social behaviour group meeting had been called to discuss this with actions already under way including behaviour contracts.
  • graffiti in the city centre. Members were reminded that the District Council were no longer able to provide the Graffiti Solutions support for the removal of graffiti due to budget cuts. The Working Group was advised that the Wardens had been supplied with small graffiti removal kits to help with removing small incidents of defacing but that larger incidents would have to be tackled by the asset owners.
  • street drinking – particularly focused on the Cattlemarket car park but also with incidents at the Market Cross, Members were advised that this behaviour was covered by the Public Spaces Protection Orders and that the Police were aware. Members were also advised that, while this order did not ban drinking alcohol in the city centre, the Police could take action if they believed that the drinking would lead to anti-social behaviour. Ms Bushby reported that the District Council had been encouraging the Police to enforce the Order on the problem drinkers.
  • travellers on public land in Chichester. The Working Group was advised that, following recent issues with travellers on East Broyle and New Park recreation ground, a series of meetings were being held with residents to address their concerns and discuss proposals for deterrent measures.

Members were also advised that a report would be going to the District Council’s cabinet shortly which would include the deterrent measures being outlined.

The Town Clerk advised that City Council officers would be unable to attend but highlighted the City Council’s concerns about Litten Gardens when the issues around travellers on New Park were being discussed.

Members were also advised that problems with anti-social behaviour at Litten Gardens were not restricted to travellers and that, recently, the City Council had had to refer local children to their school for climbing over the War Memorial.

In response to a question from the Chairman, Ms Bushby advised that she felt the behaviour from the younger individuals was more a problem with general boredom rather than linked to school holidays; and that she felt that it was a case of reminding them about acceptable behaviours.

Councillor Sharp asked about anti-social behaviour in Whyke that she had reported and also with the graffiti that had been drawn on to the bridge over the railway by Tesco Extra.

Ms Bushby advised that the bridge would be the responsibility of Network Rail and that she would ask one of her colleagues to investigate. She also advised that, as far as she was aware, the anti-social behaviour in the Whyke area had been resolved but that she would check with her colleague once she returned from leave.

Councillor Carter highlighted the condition of, and broken windows in, the old public toilets on the south end of Jubilee Gardens and expressed concerns about the safety of the building.

Ms Bushby advised that she would report this to the District Council’s Estates Team for investigation.

Members were reminded that, as the Wardens funding agreement would be ending in spring 2022, the District Council had been undertaking a discussion with the funding partners about the future of the agreement.

The Working Group was advised that the District Council would now be looking to raise 50% of the full cost from funding partners which would represent an increase due to the District Council having previously funded the senior warden uplift from its own budget.

Ms Bushby advised that the outcomes of the consultation were expected in the next couple of weeks and that she was expecting to be able to present this to the funding bodies prior to putting forward the outcomes to the District Council in November.

(b) Chichester BID Rangers report

Ms Marshall, Vice-Chair of Chichester BID, reminded Members that the BID had a small budget available to assist if levy payers experienced problems with graffiti.

The Working Group were then directed to the BID summary report that had been included with the agenda papers. The issue of street drinking was also highlighted as a particular concern with assaults on one of the Rangers and retail staff being reported.

Members were advised that Chichester BID was now holding twice monthly meetings to discuss the issues being highlighted with attendees including the BID Client Relationship Manager, the Rangers and PCSOs.

Councillor Lishman left the meeting

Members were further advised that there would shortly be a meeting which would include Chichester Businesses Against Crime (ChiBAC) to discuss the issues of drinking, homelessness and crime.

Ms Marshall informed Members that the issues mentioned were becoming of increasing concern and that the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Katy Bourne, had been invited to the Chichester BID Annual General Meeting being held on Wednesday 22 September 2021.

Members were also informed that Chichester BID had been encouraging the managers at the businesses who were being particularly impacted by the anti-social behaviour, to attend the meeting and put their concerns to the PCC.

The Working Group were advised that Chichester BID had accelerated training on the DISC crime reporting portal that enabled ChiBAC members to report anti-social behaviour and related offences. They were also advised that the aim of this was to build up a more detailed picture of the issues being experienced in the city so that the Police could be better informed about the problems being experienced.

The BID Vice-Chair informed Members that she felt that the pro-active action being taken was helping to strengthen the relationship with the Police as well as assisting in the better targeting of their resources.

The Chairman asked for more information about the type of people who were involved with the street drinking problem.

The Working Group was advised that there didn’t appear to be any particular group involved but where there were identifiable groups other organisations, such as Stonepillow, were providing additional support as appropriate.

The Chairman then moved to agenda item 9 and asked the Vice-Chair of BID to give the Working Group a summary of the Chichester Summer Street Party that had been held on 26 August 2021.

Members were informed that Chichester BID felt that the Summer Street Party had been a great success and that the following statistics had been generated:

  • Footfall in the city between 7am and 9pm on the day was up by 62% compared to the average of the previous four Thursdays.
  • On a similar comparison, footfall between 2pm and 8pm on the day was up 88%
  • Approximately 45 businesses had participated with the fashion show, childrens area and live music being particularly popular along with the presence of the Town Crier, Councillor Plowman.

Ms Marshall advised that the following lessons had been learned and would be taken forward for future event planning:

  • Closure of South and West Street had been very successful and had allowed businesses to promote themselves amongst the events
  • Paid for promotion on V2 Radio had helped with the publicity
  • Activities need to incorporate all four ends of the city to ensure everyone benefited.

She also reported that talks were currently underway with the Rotary Clubs to organise the Christmas lights switch on on the 27 November and that plans were being formulated to increase the foot fall in the city for the late night trading nights in the run up to Christmas itself.

Councillor Sharp, referring back to the security discussion, asked whether there had been any further information about an apparent shift of the PCSO coverage in the city to a more geographic basis.

The Chairman responded that no such information had been forthcoming and suggested that Councillor Sharp raise the question at the next meeting with Ms Bushby or contact her directly.

Councillor Cherry Hughes highlighted a particular issue of drunken and abusive behaviour that she had experienced recently. The Chairman also referred the Councillor to Ms Bushby for further advice.

Ms Marshall informed Members that the BID Rangers had been aware of the particular incident and that this emphasised the previously mentioned issues around anti-social behaviour.

Councillor Sharp expressed her thanks to Chichester BID for the successful Summer Street Party and suggested that, rather than concentrating on a single day, the organising efforts could be spread over a number of days going forward.

The Working Group were advised that Chichester BID had been investigating additional events including an annual calendar of activities with events between the Summer Street Party and the main Christmas event on 9 December 2021 possibily including Cathedral Green events and smaller events in Northgate to keep the momentum going.

Towards the end of the meeting, Councillor Oakley (West Sussex County Council) clarified that, recently, the PCSO posts had been reorganised in to a County Division based resource and that the overall number of posts had been increased but that, currently, there were still vacancies to be filled due to the prioritisation of filling posts for constables.


(a) Friends of Chartres

The Working Group noted the report from the Friends of Chartres.

(b) Friends of Ravenna

The Working Group noted the report from the Friends of Ravenna.

(c) Friends of Valletta

The Chairman of the Friends of Valletta presented his report outlining the current activities of the Friends.

Mr Pound advised Members that the Friends of Valletta were hoping to hold their first in person meeting in November which, he felt, was a positive step.

He also wished to register his thanks to two members of the Friends Committee, Rachael Osborne and Michael Woolley, who had recently resigned.

Councillor Gershater asked about the relationship between the twinning associations and whether any of those twinned towns had a particular relationship with Speyer in Germany.

Mr Pound reported that he was not aware of any such links.


The Chairman noted the apologies received from the Tree Wardens and that no report had been submitted.


The Member Services Support Officer outlined the efforts currently being made to arrange a video linkup between the Mayor and his opposite number in Kursk in Russia, although finding a date was proving challenging.

The Working Group was advised that the linkup would take the form of a question and answer session with a “get to know you” element.

Members were also advised that a short historical video tour of Chichester, in the form of a slideshow, was being created for the call and that the script was currently being translated in to Russian to accompany the video.

The Chairman asked that a vote of thanks be recorded for Chris Holgate for his efforts in maintaining the link with Kursk.


(a) Appointment to outside body – Safer Sussex Task Force

In response to a question from Councillor Sharp, the Town Clerk advised that he was still awaiting an update on this issue. Councillor Sharp responded that she would defer this question pending an update.

(b) Speed limit and noise on the A27 near Chichester

Councillor Sharp reported that a group had been set up north of the South Downs with the intention of managing the community involvement in tackling highway issues such as speeding and noise.

The Working Group was advised that parishes and groups south of the Downs had been invited to join this group but that this invitation had now been withdrawn and that the southern groups needed to come together to create their own group.

Due to time constraints, Councillor Sharp informed Members that she would forward on the relevant information.

She also informed Members that she had asked for the issue to be raised at Chichester’s neighbouring parish councils.

Members were advised that the local Police were keen to work with groups on this issue rather than individuals.

Councillor Sharp expressed the opinion that it would be a shame if Chichester City Council declined to become involved in such a group, especially as Members had previously voiced concerns about speeding and traffic noise.

The Chairman advised that Councillor Sharp discuss the matter in more depth with Councillor Bell, who had been extensively involved with discussions on the issue.

Councillor Sharp asked that the Working Group give its support to a city wide group rather than focussing on single issue noise makers or areas.

In response to a question from the Chairman, the Town Clerk advised that it was for Councillors to direct policy and for Officers to enact that policy so if the Working Group agreed to support this proposal then the Officers would work to make it happen.

The Chairman advised Councillor Sharp that she did not feel that there would be an issue with the City Council supporting this initiative but that greater clarity was needed to define exactly what support was being requested.

Councillor Sharp agreed to provide a summary for Members to outline the request that the Working Group could then respond to.

Later in the meeting, Councillor Sharp asked whether it would be appropriate to submit the proposed outline to the Planning and Conservation Working Group given its remit and more frequent meetings.

The Town Clerk agreed and informed Councillor Sharp that he thought this would be entirely appropriate.

(c) Community led highway schemes

Councillor Sharp summarised the concept of community led highway schemes.

Members were advised that these schemes originated from requests and petitions made by communities for changes to roads in their local area. An example given was a petition for a crossing on the busy St Pauls Road.

Councillor Sharp proposed that the City Council hosted a separate meeting with West Sussex County Council Highways being asked to give a presentation on how communities could propose and advance schemes of this type. She further proposed that any City Councillors with an interest could attend to find out more about this.

The Chairman suggested that Councillor Sharp could also discuss the matter with Councillor Joy, a West Sussex County Councillor with an interest in the west of the city.

Councillor Sharp agree to liaise with Councillor Joy with the aim of arranging a meeting as proposed.

Later in the meeting, Councillor Oakley (West Sussex County Council) expressed his support for the parish councils coming together to create a group that could engage with the police on matters of concern.

27. BIG GREEN WEEK – 18 – 26 SEPTEMBER 2021

Councillor Sharp advised Members that this was a nationally arranged set of dates.

She also advised that, if the time frame for Big Green Week was too short, there was an opportunity for the City Council to become involved with events for the COP26 summit that would be happening in October/November 2021.

Councillor Sharp proposed that, if the City did want to get involved with COP26, a separate meeting could be held for this purpose.

Councillor Carter informed Members that Transition Chichester were in the process of setting up a Chichester Eco Festival that would be held in the Newell Centre on Saturday 6 November 2021.

She also informed Members that this festival would have a more local focus with stalls and organisations that would be able to offer eco-advice to local residents being invited.

The Working Group were advised that, while many of those involved already worked towards environmentally friendly goals, the intention of the festival would be to extend the eco message to a wider audience.

The Chairman suggested that the green issues that could have been covered under the Big Green Week banner would also be highlighted at the November event being discussed.

Councillor Carter then advised the Working Group that the Green Party were also arranging an event for Saturday 25 September under the Council House portico which would form part of the Big Green Event.


Councillor Sharp informed Members that the issue she was raising related to a 34 bedroom care home, Marjorie Cobby House, in Selsey.

She further informed Members that the home, intended for short term care after patients had left hospital; was the subject of a review by West Sussex County Council with reasons for the review including under use of the available beds.

Councillor Sharp advised Members that she was highlighting the issue for their awareness and in case any Chichester residents contacted them with concerns about the potential impact on care provision, care worker employment or other related issues.

She also advised Members that the County Councillor for the Selsey area was taking an active interest in the issue.

Councillor Carter expressed concerns about the potential loss of the facility in light of the approaching winter and the pressures that the NHS was already experiencing.

In response to a question from the Chairman, Councillor Sharp clarified that the facility was owned and run by West Sussex County Council.

The Chairman asked the Town Clerk about the possibility of the City Council sending a letter in support of retaining the care home. The Town Clerk reminded Members that he had already sent out the press release and relevant information about the consultation and that he would send out a reminder.

Later in the meeting, and in response to a question from the Chairman, Councillor Oakley (West Sussex County Council) clarified that the West Sussex County Council review was looking at the overall levels of care provision to ensure that the care was provided where it was needed.

He further clarified that the information provided by the County Council indicated that the care home in question was under utilised and that there was capacity elsewhere in the network to cover the gap should Majory Cobby House be closed.

Councillor Gershater expressed his concern that there could be a difference between utilisation and need and that the referral procedures for sending people to this facility may be the issue.

He asked Councillor Oakley for the statistical information that was underpinning the County Council’s consultation process.

In response to a question from Councillor Carter, Councillor Oakley advised that he expected that the NHS were aware of the consultation and were actively involved.


The Town Clerk reminded the Working Group that this item related to the issue of the Sub-Postmasters who had been wrongly convicted of fraud and the City Council’s response to the matter.

He advised Members that he had contacted other parish councils on this issue and been informed that no other councils within that group had made representations to the appropriate Minister.

Councillor Carter expressed her support for such a representation to be made and was also advised that the former Sub-Postmaster in Funtington had been severely affected by the shortfalls in the systems that had been highlighted.

After a short further discussion, the Working Group RESOLVED to make representations to the appropriate Minister. The Town Clerk agreed to draft a letter to be sent on behalf of the City Council.


The Member Services Support Officer reminded Councillors that this item had been requested by a member of the Working Group at the previous meeting.

He then advised the Working Group that an email had recently been received from the LoveChichester website, which the City Council had recently started using; advising that it would be closing shortly due to pressures being experienced by the owner.

The Working Group was further advised that the general principle of the agenda item was a push to utilise the City Council’s website to support and promote city tourism in harmony with other resources and not to duplicate the work that was already being undertaken.

Councillor Gershater expressed strong support for the City Council becoming involved in promoting local tourism and attractions given its importance to the local economy.

He also reminded Members that 2022 would see a number of significant anniversaries in Chichester and that it was important that the City Council was ready to promote and support these important events.

Councillor Gershater advised that, with the off season approaching, it was important that planning and promotion started in time for February/March 2022.

He mentioned that of particular concern was The Great Sussex Way website that had succeeded the Visit Chichester website no longer focussed on Chichester itself as it once had.

Councillor Gershater informed the Working Group that he felt it was vital that this gap be filled but he was not sure exactly how this could be achieved.

The Chairman reminded the Working Group about the presentation that had previously been given about the Chichester Season of Culture 2022.

She also advised that no updates had been forthcoming recently despite the very positive plans that had been presented.

Councillor Gershater agreed to contact the Season of Culture organisers on behalf of the City Council and to report back to the next meeting.

He also agreed to liaise with the Member Services Support Officer about what could be achieved, technically, with the resources available to the City Council.

Councillor Sharp highlighted the role that Chichester BID played in promoting the city.


In response to a question from the Chairman, Councillor Gershater advised that the Chichester Community Network (CCN) would be holding its first meeting since the summer break shortly.

He also advised that the CCN had already created a website with resources aimed at a “community first aid” approach to provide support for those in the community who had suffered during the Covid19 pandemic and lockdowns.

He also advised that, at the forthcoming meeting, he would attempt to clarify the potential for links between the CCN website and the City Council’s website.

The Member Services Support Officer clarified that the expectation would likely be that the CCN and City Council provided appropriate access to support for residents of the city in a complimentary way.

Councillor Gershater informed Members that the CCN had been working with Residents Associations to broaden its support remit beyond Covid19 in to areas such as employment to enable those needing it to find the assistance they needed.


At this point, and as Councillor Scicluna had been unable to attend the meeting in time, the Chairman proposed deferring this item to the next meeting.

Members were reminded that Councillor Scicluna had offered to contact the organisation on behalf of the City Council with a view to joining the organisation.

Later in the meeting, Councillor Scicluna advised that she had made contact with the organisation as requested at the previous meeting; and that information had been circulated. She also reported that her contact had indicated that Chichester would be very welcome to join

The Member Services Support Officer confirmed that the likely subscription cost for Chichester would be €350 per annum.

It was further agreed that this item be deferred to the next meeting for a more detailed discussion.


The Town Clerk advised Members that this initiative was related to a project designed to celebrate HRH The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Members were further advised that, while the project was aimed at everyone from individuals to large organisations; the City Council were constrained by the lack of availability of suitable green spaces for additional tree planting.

In response to a request for direction from the Town Clerk, the Chairman suggested that there was a need for the project to involve the Tree Wardens.

The Town Clerk also suggested that the matter be passed to the CCN, Residents Associations and Tree Wardens to allow for a community wide approach to be developed.

The Chairman agreed and also proposed that it should be discussed at the forthcoming meeting of the CCN.

Councillor Sharp asked for further information about the aims of the project and availability of funding.

The Town Clerk agreed to send any relevant information he had to Members to allow them to better consider the proposal.


In the absence of Councillor Bell, who had requested this item be added to the agenda, the Town Clerk informed Members that Councillors Bell and Scicluna had been undertaking a piece of work intended to recognise the 300th anniversary of the death of the poet William Collins and who was commemorated in the cathedral.

He advised that, with the anniversary taking place in December, the October meeting of the Working Group would be the latest date where City Council support could be expressed for the proposal.


  • European Association of Historic Towns and Regions
  • Chichester Season of Culture 2022 update
  • City Wardens funding
  • Traffic noise
  • Condition of traffic roundabouts on the approaches to the city.
  • Sanctuary cities
  • William Collins, poet – 300th anniversary of death



The meeting closed at 4.29pm

Skip to content