Minutes February 2009
KIRKBY STEPHEN TOWN FORUM
Minutes Of the Meeting held on Monday 9 February 2009
Present: Charles Hurst, Mike Walker, Linda Walker, Ann Sandell, Joan Johnstone, Glenys Lumley, Debbie Hylton, Mike Sunderland, Abbie Pepper, Euan Bell, Paul Richardson, Carl Glynn
1. Chairman’s welcome.
Charles Hurst took the chair in Jacqui’s absence, welcomed all participants and asked them to introduce themselves.
2. Apologies for absence:
Jacqui Semple Father Chappell, Mark Earnshaw Jacqui Scarr
3. Minutes of the meeting on 10 November 2008: These were accepted as a true record of the meeting.
4. Matters Arising (not otherwise included in the agenda):
A meeting was held to plan the revised Kirkby Stephen mini-guide and ideas were input regarding content. Proofs are now awaited, with a target publication during summer 2009.
The issue of provision of an accommodation newsletter was not included in the agenda and would be discussed at the March meeting. Action: Mike Walker
Mike had written to Martin Richter thanking him for framing the winning pictures from the Heritage Open Days.
The Action for Market Towns survey has been submitted.
Initial thoughts regarding trolleys for the market stalls have been considered but no progress has yet been made. Action: Debbie & Mike
5. Treasurer’s Report:
The general fund stands at around £1700. In view of the request from the Treasurer to align the financial year with the AGM, Glenys Lumley proposed and Ann Sandell seconded that the AGM of the Town Forum be moved to the May meeting. This was approved without objection.
6. Calor Village of the Year®:
The entry to the National Village of the Year competition has been submitted and a copy is available in the Community & Council Office for inspection. We have been advised that first round judging will be on Thursday 26 March from 0930 to 1130.
Mike presented his initial ideas for a presentation to the judges, based on a brief overview, displays of the general activities, and formal presentations of the more spectacular activities that take place in Kirkby Stephen. Ideas for these include: the Community Cinema, Walkers are Welcome accreditation, Bloody Bones Theatre Group, Rotary Aid to Mali, and Eden Housing activities at Westgarth and Mill Gardens. The judging session might also end with Abbie Pepper’s “What makes Kirkby Stephen Special” presentation and a brief round up. It was also suggested that it might be good to get the judges out of the Community Office, to visit the Church Gallery, Church, Franks Bridge, Eastside Project and the Emporium, but timing would be critical to keep within the allocated 2 hours.
The possibility of handouts was suggested and would be considered.
The Town Clerk has been asked to ensure that parking for the judges is reserved in the Market Square, and the winners plaque for the Cumbria Village of the Year Award 2008 will be in place in time for the judges visit.
It was agreed that Mike and Linda would prepare a basic programme for the March meeting, and write to possible contributors to ask them to be involved.
Action: Mike & Linda Walker
Should we be successful in this round, a second round of judging will take place in the summer and further efforts will be needed to convince different judges.
7. Upper Eden Community Plan actions:
One item allocated to the Town Forum in the Community Plan was to consider the formation of a Youth Forum. The project officer will be present at the March meeting to hear our thoughts on this, and ideas were suggested as to how such a forum might be formed and what it might achieve. Clear aims and objectives were needed, with a well-defined link to the Town Forum. A spread of ages was desirable to allow for older members to take less of an active part due to examination pressure, yet maintain some continuity. Activities were seen as beginning with assistance with Town Forum events, with an ultimate aim of stimulating events specifically for the young people in town. Abbie Pepper of KSGSSC was supportive of this, and agreed to identify 3 of her student colleagues to attend the next meeting to progress a Youth Forum.
8. Christmas & New Year:
There was general approval that the changed format of the switch-on of the Christmas lights had been successful, although a few more activities in the square and improved sound would be desirable. Mike suggested that a loudhailer with remote microphone could be purchased for around £40, and this would be considered for next year.
The shops were disappointed with business during the late opening. It was noted that there had been a similar late opening for the Cancer Research Charity the previous week, which had been successful. As the Forum event did not aim to raise money, we should explore the possibility of bringing the two events together to maximise the benefit to all.
Action: Glenys Lumley
An invoice had been paid for use of the Masonic Hall by the players. It had been agreed that the players would pay for rehearsal time and £30 of the bill would be passed on to them. Action: Joan Johnstone
The Christmas Trees, Window Competition and the New Year display of Big Ben had all been successful.
9. New Christmas Lights:
A working group has been convened to consider replacement Christmas Lights for the town. It was agreed that we should retain the existing strings across the road and around the market square, replacing the bulbs with unbreakable LED bulbs that should have an extended life, and reduced power consumption. Preliminary estimates suggest that this would cost around £1200, with around £250 for new lights on the Christmas tree. Costs have also been estimated for extension of the lights to the traffic lights and to Silver Street. These would cost about £950 and £650 respectively. It is believed that Charitable funding for this is unlikely, and local fund-raising activities may be more appropriate. It was suggested that we might approach the power companies for donations, and this was agreed. Action: Mike Walker
10. Upper Eden Alliance:
For some time we have been discussing with Appleby the extension of the Appleby Alliance charitable body to cover the whole of the Upper Eden area. Although there have been rumours of the demise of the original Appleby Alliance, there is still a desire to form an over-arching body to improve representation of the Upper Eden area to funding bodies. Although the Appleby Alliance has formally ceased trading, it has been agreed with the Appleby Chamber of Trade and Community Association that we should continue with the formation of an Upper Eden Alliance, resurrecting as much as possible from the original Alliance. Carl Glynn offered to give assistance to this project. A letter has been drafted outlining the position and the Kirkby Stephen Town Forum agreed with this in principle subject to minor modifications that may be desirable.
Action: Carl Glynn
11. Community Cinema:
Ann Sandell reported that there have been two successful film showings to date, High School Musical and Mamma Mia selling up to 150 tickets plus volunteers. The Awards for All funding has not been used to date, as ticket and refreshment sales have covered the costs for these two popular films.
The next film showing on 26 February will be the animated Madagascar East 2 Africa aimed at a family and younger audience. Tickets are available from Age Concern, Rattan and Rush and Kirkby Stephen Books. We have dispensed with ticket sales through Kirkby Stephen Tourist Information Centre because of the limited winter opening hours and the complicated accounting system imposed by Eden District Council. Hopefully, ticket sales through the shops will make tickets more easily available, and none of the shops are charging a commission.
Age Concern has obtained a grant through Neighbourhood Forum for a popcorn machine and it is hoped that this will be in place for the next showing. An independent supply of ice cream and a freezer is now being sought, for shared use by the school cinema club. This will give them the facility and provide additional income for the Community Cinema.
The most difficult issue has been choosing a suitable film, as we are limited in what is available to us and are aiming to choose a film offering family entertainment although we are trying to offer a film that will appeal to various age groups.
The Forum felt that the Community Cinema should eventually be bolder in choice of films, but that it was a little too early to show other than general interest and family films.
Whilst the 5 o’clock club has not been as successful as the cinema, we have had a block booking from Christian Head with accompanying volunteer carers. We are hoping to attract other older residents in time. This will be very dependent on the films being shown.
The Forum expressed its thanks to Ann Sandell for her work in getting this up and running.
12. Walkers are Welcome accreditation:
Ann Sandell reported that a very strong steering group is now in place, which brings individual and collective skills necessary to take this project forward and develop the idea for the future.
• The first criterion, of collecting signatures of support has been met.
• A post card method of reporting footpath problems is being designed, although it is noted that footpath maintenance is low on the County Council priority list.
• A questionnaire is being developed to ascertain facilities available from accommodation providers.
• A website is being considered that will offer a complete package of information for walking visitors to our area plus a more locally aimed leaflet.
• Transport links are being evaluated, particularly during the weekend periods.
• Paths within the Kirkby Stephen Parish boundary will be surveyed.
13. Forum Social Event:
Although a Tapas evening had been proposed for early May 2009, to promote the Forum and get others involved, in Jacqui’s absence this could not be progressed.
Action: Jacqui Semple
14. Ideas for 2009:
Ann Sandell outlined some activities already being considered for 2009:
• The Eastside Crew are considering a family trail around shops, which will help Eastside, the shops and give family visitors something to do.
• 18 – 23 May Kirkby Stephen Library Local History Week: plans include:
o Display of local photographs taken since WW2 with the emphasis on changes in and around Kirkby Stephen.
o Family History Group open day on the Saturday at the library offering advice on researching your family history, Internet information available and encouraging membership to the group.
o History Walk
o Stainmore Railway exhibition of photographs of railway workers
o Kirkby Stephen History Society are interested in collecting oral history particularly from evacuees.
• 12 September Heritage Open Day – Local History
o Initial ideas include a local history day centred round the parish church and perhaps celebrating the arrival of a new Rector.
o Local history displays, Yurts with storytellers, market, Library and Family History group open day.
o Stainmore Railway special event.
• 24 October – Charter Fair
o Crosby Ravensworth Food Alliance has been asked to attend. Further ideas invited preferably with weather proofing.
15. Any Other Business:
a. Joan Johnstone advised the Forum that Kirkby Stephen in Bloom would be holding another Gardeners’ Question Time on 3 April 1009 at the Sports & Social Club.
b. Revitalising Retail Programme. 6 businesses from Kirkby Stephen and a similar number from Appleby have taken part in the first two workshops. Reports back have suggested that these were valuable exercises.
c. Eden Tourism had asked for volunteers to host the EDC team during British Tourism Week. Bessy Beck Trout Farm agreed, but nothing further has been heard.
d. There will be a further Tourism Question Time on Friday 27 March at Hutton in the Forest. The panel will be chaired by Felicity Goodey, chair of the NWDA Tourism Forum, and will include David Maclean MP. Details are available from the secretary.
e. Action for Market Towns. The Kirkby Stephen Town Council has agreed to pay the membership subscription for the Forum for a further year.
f. Ann has been pursuing Virtual Tours, and has received a quote of £725 for 3 tours of the High Street, the Church, River Eden and 10 shops/businesses. The Forum were supportive provided funding could be obtained.
g. Euan Bell advised the Forum that Stobars Hall had a vision of increased community activity. It was agreed that he would spend some time presenting this at the next meeting. Action: Mike
16. Date of Next Meeting:
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on 9 March 2009 at 1900.
Provisional dates for the remaining meetings in 2009 are 11 May, 13 July, 14 September and 9 November