Norman’s Notes

Normans Notes

Micro business grants awarded

Mid Sussex District Council has awarded £72 000 to 40 micro businesses in the past year. I am very pleased to report that there has been a better up take in the north of the district, but I’d be delighted to see more applications. If you would like information for future application please go to:

Shopfront improvement scheme

 Cllr Whittaker, in his capacity as a district councillor and member of the EGBA Executive Committee, has been working hard to assist local retailers who have applied for match funded grants to give their shop fronts a cosmetic makeover.

This is another project designed specifically to support East Grinstead traders to upgrade their frontage. Designs and costings have been supplied so look out for some bright new paint and signage appearing.

Independent retailer training

It’s not too late for local independent retailers to sign up for free training that will help you respond to the challenges of online retailers and keep Mid Sussex high streets vibrant and alive.

Retail experts Martec International run the sessions. Following a successful launch late last year they still have the following free workshops in 2019.

Workshops will be held as follows:

Tuesday 5 February    Burgess Hill, Marketing, Price, Promotions and Advertising
Tuesday 26 February Cuckfield, Sales and Customer Service
Monday 11 March       East Grinstead, Inventory and Stock Management

Attendance at one of the events will make independent retailers eligible for a free coaching and mentoring session with a Martec consultant in their own store. These one-to-one sessions allow the consultants to tailor advice to the specific needs of each business.

For more information please contact a member of the economic development team at MSDC:

Wellbeing meeting with WSCC and Public Health England

The MSDC Wellbeing Team Manager, Business Unit Leader and I were delighted to attend a County Hall meeting with Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England.

Mr Selbie was welcomed to County Hall in Chichester by West Sussex Director of Public Health, Anna Raleigh, to learn about the strong health and well-being partnerships that are being forged across West Sussex with the NHS, MSDC and other district and borough councils and partners. The meeting highlighted the innovative work that is taking place to promote a healthy lifestyle, improve air quality and support people to look after their mental wellbeing as well as the help being given to residents so they can retain their independence and remain healthy and well for longer.

As part of this West Sussex wide programme MSDC run workplace programs and offer services to stop smoking, reduce weight, get back to exercise, prevent falls and sign post to many other services to help people live better, happier and healthier lives.

If you would like the team to visit your staff contact

Safe places scheme

A pilot of the national Safe Places scheme is to be run in East Grinstead over the coming year. Financial support is being provided by Sussex Police, MSDC and EGTC. The scheme was put to EGTC by Cllr Liz Bennett who knew of the project running successfully elsewhere.

The Following venues have been identified as the first safe places because they are predominantly in the town centre and are buildings which are open to the public.

Chequer Mead and the Police Contact Centre

East Court


Glen Vue

Queen Victoria Hospital

Fire Station

These buildings are carefully chosen to test the return of information, training and effective response to the scheme.   Once reviewed at the end of the first quarter it may be possible to add other venues around the town.   Venues will need to complete a form stating that they will abide by the rules of the scheme, identify their lead staff member and undergo safeguarding training.  The scheme will be launched at the end of February / early March 2019.

If a person feels lost, confused or afraid they are able to enter a safe place, or look up the nearest place on their smart phone, and ask for assistance. They will have an East Grinstead Safe Places card with their first name (optional) and one or two telephone numbers for contact.

The person at the safe place will ask for the card and ask who they would like them to call.   If they do not have a card and cannot give a contact, they will simply be asked to take a seat and collect their thoughts for a few moments. If the person was in fear of crime then the police will be called.   The person contacted will be asked to attend to collect their relative or friend.

The Safe Place must agree to provide a named lead person, this person must arrange for all staff to be trained in the scheme and safeguarding principals.   Safeguarding training will be provided and refresher training annually by East Grinstead Town Council or through West Sussex County Council as the Safeguarding agency.

If successful, the program will be rolled out across Mid Sussex.

More information of the national scheme is available at:

Author: fiona bewers
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