Billingshurst Community Partnership

Company No 5573204

A company limited by guarantee

Registered in England and Wales



Horsham District Council
West Sussex County Council
HDC Rural Towns Community Partnerships


1. Vision and Purpose

The Localism Act 2011 encourages participation and involvement by local people and communities rather than top-down decision-making.

The desire for communities to determine their own future and do more for themselves is a fundamental aspiration behind the Government’s ‘localism’ philosophy. For localism to work, a high degree of co-operation between key organisations is required to engage local communities and help to address the issues which concern them.

Public participation in local affairs is already well established in Horsham District thanks to the large body of Parish and Neighbourhood Councils and a group of highly organised and committed Community Partnerships scattered throughout the market towns. Equally, the contribution of other community groups should not be undervalued.

For this network to function effectively there needs to be clarity as to how the different bodies relate to one another. There is already a high degree of co-operation between Parish Councils and Community Partnerships enshrined through a local protocol. It is the purpose of this document to strengthen some of the more informal arrangements that exist between the Community Partnerships and the local authorities in order to improve the delivery of joined up services in a cost-effective way.

This document provides a framework for co-operation and does not include any specific arrangements in respect of individual services which would be the subject of a separate agreement.

2. Community Partnerships

The localism agenda encourages individuals to take more responsibility for the running of their communities. Experience shows that this is much more likely to occur where citizens are guided through a structured process, taking into consideration a wide range of social, economic, environmental and cultural factors.

CPs have the role of bringing together local individuals and groups in an inclusive way to develop and deliver community initiatives.

Working alongside the Parish Council and other local groups, Community Partnerships:

  • Can raise funds for their local area from charitable and other sources, unavailable to PCs

  • Bring together individuals and groups with a shared interest in their local area under a common action plan, planned and delivered together

  • Can have a sphere of interest that extends beyond parish councils’ functions and can cater for diverse interests in the community (young, old, active, sedentary)

3. Collaboration

The County Council, District Council and Parish Councils can work with Community Partnerships to improve the general wellbeing of local people – all share this overall goal.

Working together to support the life of local communities is at the heart of the policy and operation of our organisations. An extensive programme of Community Development events, projects and initiatives are delivered across the District, with much experience of delivering “bottom-up” solutions to local issues, eg tackling anti-social behaviour and facilitating inclusive activities for a wide range of groups in our communities.

The CPs are set up with terms of reference that include aims and accountabilities, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for working with their local Parish Council.

Over the years, some CPs have gone on to become charitable companies with memoranda and articles of association. This has enabled them to present themselves to funders as fully independent and accountable bodies, rather than as offshoots of local government, and so draw down grants. Working collaboratively we can generate high rates of participation and have a full understanding of local strengths, aspirations and needs.

4. Guiding Principles and Aim

The intention of this agreement is to establish a clear and open working relationship based on four guiding principles:

  • Accountability

  • Transparency

  • Efficiency – including avoidance of duplication

  • Regular information exchange

This agreement aims to identify the roles and responsibilities of the parties in working together on issues and projects of mutual interest in order to secure the long term viability of HDC Rural Towns Partnerships (town) as a centre for social, economic, environmental and cultural activities, and to strive to maintain its particular character and heritage.

5. Communication and Exchange of Information

A framework for co-operation such as this depends on regular information exchange to enable each party to discharge its responsibilities as efficiently and effectively as possible. Regular communication between the parties will also help to avoid overlaps in service delivery and highlight areas where further joint working may be useful.

Information will be exchanged between the parties directly or through the Horsham District Rural Towns Forum (‘the Forum’) acting as the umbrella group for the market town community partnerships in Horsham District, of which each local authority is a member.

6. Term

The term of this MOU is three years from the date of signature.

7. Responsibilities

The Partnership

  1. To have a Memorandum of Understanding with its local Parish Council setting out the roles and responsibilities of each party.

  2. To agree with both Councils any work that impacts upon them financially before undertaking that work, including on-going costs following completion of any project development.

  3. To amend any project details if requested by either Council if those projects are deemed to be the responsibility or subsequent liability of the Council concerned.

  4. To seek the agreement of both Councils before any comments are made to external bodies about the activities or views of the Partnership in relation to their joint working with the Council/s.

  5. To provide a brief progress report of its activities at meetings of the Forum.


  1. To provide an officer to attend a particular meeting when appropriate.

  2. To each be represented at meetings of the Forum by a Council officer (and, where appropriate, an Elected Member) who will:

    1. provide information about the Council’s work of relevance to the Community Partnerships;

    2. give informal feedback following meetings of the Forum to the Council on the plans and activities of the Community Partnerships;

    3. be a first point of contact to resolve issues between the Council and the Partnership or Forum.

  1. To seek the agreement of the Partnership before any comments are made to external bodies about the activities or views of the Council/s in relation to their joint working with the Partnership.

8. Review and Evaluation

(To be added)

9. Effective date and Signature

Signed in September 2015 between the RTPS and WSCC/HDC

Signature available on hard copy at each Community Partnership and respective council offices

Signed for Horsham District Council

Signed for West Sussex County Council

Signed for HDC Rural Towns Partnerships

Dated : September 2015



(The Partnership)



(The Council)

The objective of this memorandum is to establish the working relationship and reporting responsibilities between the Council and the Partnership. The following objectives should not be construed as superior to the Partnership’s Articles of Association or to the legal and financial responsibilities of the Council.


To work together to achieve the aims and objectives of Billingshurst identified through the agreed Community-Led Plan, reviewing progress and updating as required. Working together on other issues and projects of interest and concern to Billingshurst, and its surrounding communities to secure the long term viability of Billingshurst as a centre for social, business and cultural activities, and to maintain its character and heritage

The working relationships are set out below and will be reviewed every four years and to take place during the second year of the Council’s term of office.

1. The Council is a member of the Partnership and will be represented on the Partnership by a nominated Councillor.

2. The Councillor’s roles within the Partnership are to provide:

Input into each area of Partnership activity on any relevant Council activity or plans.

Feedback and report to the Council and individual councilors, on the projects, plans and activities of the Partnership.

His/her time, expertise and energy, as part of the Partnership.

The first point of contact to resolve any issues that may arise in the pursuit of any project or initiative between the Council and the Partnership.

All projects will be submitted to the Council via the representative of the Council on the Partnership via the Parish Clerk for comment. Projects that will become the responsibility of the Council or have a cost implication to the Council (such as professional and legal costs, revenue costs, ongoing maintenance costs or insurance costs) will be submitted to the Council in detail for approval before the project commences. Details submitted will include capital costs and funding sources.

[This is a suggestion from the Parish Council from experience that some projects need professional expertise to understand and comply with legislation, for example the creation of allotments.]

The Council may request the Partnership to amend project details that are submitted to them for approval prior to implementation, if those projects are deemed to ultimately be the responsibility or financial liability of the Council.

The Partnership will review its project plans, progress and issues with Council every six months, or more often if requested by either party. The “review” may take the form of a documented presentation from the Partnership to the Council meeting followed by discussion and where appropriate documented agreed actions.

The Partnership will make regular reports in writing to the Council in respect of time, cost and quality, and any proposed alteration to any approved active project for which the Council will have ultimate responsibility.

Where the projects are deemed to be, or become, the responsibility of the Council, the Partnership may be given permission from the Council to implement such approved projects and where it uses the services of third parties in pursuance of the project objectives, the actions taken must be in line with Council practice.

[‘may be given’ wording changed to be consistent with HDC model. ‘delegated authority’ removed and replaced with ‘permission’ as Council may only give delegated authority to another local authority, a Committee or an officer under LGA 1972 s101.]

The Partnership will have its own secretariat to govern and record its affairs and will run meetings independently of the Council.

Monies obtained by the Partnership cannot be authorised for spend without the approval of the Partnership management committee and countersigned by the Project leader

Any comments made to external bodies in relationship to the activities or views of the Partnership or its joint working with the Council by any member of either organization must be factual and impersonal. No personal views should be given if purporting to be the views of the Council or the Partnership.

The Partnership will have the ability to apply for grants and funding for projects independent of the Council. Where appropriate and agreed the Partnership projects may use the Council as a vehicle through which grants may be sought and funds held. It is recognized that in some cases the grant provider may request that the Partnership holds and administers these funds and in those cases the Partnership will hold the funds and administer them in accordance with its governance regulations.

[The Clerk will provide advice to the Council on the VAT implications of the Council being used as a vehicle for which grants may be sought and funds held.]

Both the Council and the Partnership must ensure that their respective members are made aware, understand the intent of this document, and given copies of this Memorandum of Understanding.

Agreement to this MOU should not be withheld or overturned without due cause. However in the event of any dispute between the parties that cannot be resolved by usual consultation, they will then enter into mediation with a mutually agreed mediator to endeavor to resolve the issue. Any costs incurred will be shared equally.

[The aim of mediation is to find an agreement between the two parties.]

Both parties will agree to and adhere to any agreement resulting from the mediation.

In the event of all mediation and consultation failing, either party can terminate this Memorandum of Understanding giving 3 months’ notice. In such cases, both parties agree to work together to complete unfinished work for the benefit of the community.

Signed D Campbell………………………. Chairman

Billingshurst Parish Council

Signed …P Berry……………………... Chairman

Billingshurst Community Partnership Ltd

Dated…28th Oct ……………………..2014

July 2014 Version 2

Billingshurst Community
Partnership Links

Committee and Organisational Chart

Information: Articles of Association



(The Partnership)

(The Council)


Can be found here



The Women's Hall, Billingshurst