Million-pound group elects two chairmen

Ann Watts, Roger Foregard, Jonathan Paine, Trevor Crowter and Alun Jones
Ann Watts, Roger Foregard, Jonathan Paine, Trevor Crowter and Alun Jones

THE group responsible for helping Sompting residents spend a £1 million community grant elected two co-chairmen at its first AGM on Monday.

Residents chose Trevor Crowter and Jonathan Paine to chair the Sompting Big Local partnership at a meeting at Sompting United Reformed Church in Cokeham Lane.

The pair will share responsibilities over the coming year, and both bring a different set of skills to the table.

Mr Crowter works as a crime-scene investigator for Sussex Police, while Mr Paine works as a project manager for a London-based investment company and represents Sompting Community Church.

Mr Paine said he was delighted by his appointment.

“I’m excited about working with Trevor and with the partnership to help the local community,” he said.

“I hope to really draw on the key strengths and skills of those within the partnership to implement actions that really benefit Sompting’s residents.”

Mr Crowter said he hoped to help drive the partnership forward.

“We have achieved a lot in the last 12 months and over the next year it is vital that we move on and make a positive contribution to make Sompting a better place to work, live and play,” he said.

Alun Jones was elected as vice chairman, Roger Foregard as finance officer, and Gareth Smith as publicity officer, and other residents were invited to join the partnership, which now has 15 members.

Members discussed how the partnership would involve different community groups and the option of opening up the Big Local Hub, also on Cokeham Lane, to young people, giving them somewhere to socialise.

Andy Brook, a tutor with Adur Online Learners, suggested using the hub as a venue for IT training, and members discussed putting in computers for residents to use.

Other ideas included providing students and jobseekers with work experience in the hub, and changing the opening hours to allow people with nine-to-five jobs to access the service on Saturdays.

It was also agreed that the geographical area in which the money could be spent should be expanded to cover the whole electoral parish of Sompting.