Minutes January 2008
Minutes Of the Meeting held on Monday 14 January 2008
Present: Charles Hurst, Joan Johnstone, Mike Walker, Andrea Hines, Ann Sandell, Derek Thompson, Keith Budding, Dorothy Thornton, John Smith (Fire & Rescue Service)
1. Apologies for absence: Alex Birtles, Donald Walker, Samantha Sandell, Howard Long, Elizabeth Hall, Jacqui Semple, Debbie Hylton, Tim Stoddard
2. Minutes of the meeting on 12 November 2007: These were accepted as a true record of the meeting.
3 Matters Arising:
a) The Town Forum had arranged for an image of Big Ben to be projected from the upper windows of The Pennine Hotel between 11 pm and midnight on New Year's Eve to provide a focus and mark the time for the usual Market Square celebration, when even the church bells are usually inaudible. Witnesses said that this was a wonderful idea and the Market Square was busier than it had been in years despite the damp conditions but there was no unsuitable behaviour. The street cleaner said the rubbish and broken glass was much improved. The pubs had been asked to use plastic containers, which they either did or prevented glass ones being taken onto the streets. Mike Walker thanked Craig Gardner at the Pennine Hotel, and Roger Frank of the Rotary Club for the use of his projection equipment to make this superb visual indication possible. Publicans around the square all said that it was a very good night, busier than last year but with no trouble at all.
b) The possibility of using the Community Cinema established by Sedbergh was passed on to Rattan and Rush, but feedback has been negative. The details have been provided to the new tenants of the King's Arms for consideration.
c) The town enhancement scheme is almost complete, but it has been accepted that a water supply to the market square would be too costly, especially with a probable need to dispose of wastewater effectively. The Town Council are considering a more permanent method for stallholders to obtain water from the toilet block. Mike Walker advised the Forum that when the Christmas tree lights were switched on, the power posts did not contain sockets for use of stallholders, and the lights were hard-wired in. The usefulness of the power supplies for the market needs to be checked by the Town Council.
d) A meeting of the Market Committee had been held in November, although Town Council members were not present. Jeanette Cooper has enquired of Eden District Council about the possibility of changing the market day to Friday.
e) A meeting is being arranged with the Appleby Chamber of Trade and Community Association to progress the formation of the Upper Eden Alliance on 23 January. The Forum agreed that we should press on with establishment of the new body without delay.
f) Donald Walker had reported that £2781.23 was raised during the 2007 Poppy Appeal
4. Treasurer's Report:
Joan Johnstone reported that the recent Christmas Event had costs the Forum £171.48, through provision of the Classic Coach, and more expensive prizes for the Window Competition. The competition had been excellent and the theme of Polar Express had stimulated some superb displays. It was felt that the prizes were justified in the light of the quality of the windows.
The current Bank balance is £609, of which £400 is a grant received recently from the Neighbourhood Forum for publicity and printing for future events. We also have monies set aside for the Britain in Bloom presentation board in Jubilee Park, for the Plus Bus leaflet reprinting, and for planters.
Mike pointed out that the Promoting Eden fund would be in its last year in 2008. We failed to bid for funding in 2007, and the Forum should ensure that we make a claim for activities in 2008.
We have obtained the paperwork for the "Awards for All" funding and it was agreed that Mike Walker should set up a sub-group of 3-4 members to consider ideas for major expenditure for the Forum. Early thoughts were new market stalls, a video projector for the Town, new Christmas lights and project officer support for the Upper Eden Alliance. Keith Budding pointed out that some "Awards for All" funding may require matched funding. This was noted.
Action: Mike Walker to set up sub-group
5. Polar Express Christmas Event:
Overall the event on 1 December 2007 was a great success. The weather was not helpful to outdoor activities in the Market Square, but the tremendous atmosphere indoors at Kirkby Stephen East station offset this. Crowds assembled in the Market Square for the presentation of the prizes and the switch on of the lights.
The Stainmore Railway Company is keen to continue with Santa events in future, hopefully including running of trains along the track.
Ideas were floated for an evening activity in the town in future years, perhaps in association with a late-night shopping evening, so that we were not competing for attendance on the few Saturdays in December. These ideas will be developed at future meetings of the Forum.
6. Third Sector consultation:
Cumbria County Council have sent the Forum a consultation document regarding their ideas for interaction with the Third Sector (voluntary bodies). Various Forum members had concerns with this and believed that many voluntary bodies do not wish to be organised or bureaucratised to allow the County Council to claim credit for activities in which they are not involved. In the extreme case members felt that it would stifle voluntary activity rather than encourage it. Mike Walker agreed to write a letter outlining these views in response to the consultation.
Action: Mike Walker to write a response
7. Heritage Open Days:
Ann Sandell has been discussing with the Civic Trust the possibility of taking part in the Heritage Open days planned for 11-14 September 2008. Various suggestions have been considered in association with the local history society, including a launch of part of Lady Anne's Trail from Pendragon to Brough, St Mary's Mallerstang and other churches, and walking tours around Kirkby Stephen, perhaps including the notorious tunnels rumoured to exist under parts of the town. The Forum supported this activity and Ann Sandell was asked to progress it.
Action: Ann Sandell to progress this idea
8. Kirkby Stephen Carrier bags:
This item has been on the agenda for some time, without any progress. Joan Johnstone pointed out that many shops were already promoting environmentally friendly bags, and that there was little opportunity for the Forum to contribute. It was agreed that we should monitor the position and consider the issue sometime in the future if necessary.
9. Shop Locally Campaign:
Members of the Forum believed that this was already happening due to the high quality of products now available in local shops. It was agreed that we should consider passive promotion through use of a banner during Forum events.
At the initial meeting we decided that small, incremental overtures should be made to our Italian counterparts about the possibilities of twinning and that the local schools, and the Cobwebs Orchestra might take the lead roles in this. We understand that the Grammar School remains extremely interested in the idea. The recent internal reorganisation at the Primary School may have put paid to any immediate thoughts of contact.
The twinning initiative is firmly on the agenda of the Upper Eden Community Plan, and is one of the actions the Plan has settled on for the Upper Eden community.
The formation of a Steering Group comprising representatives from all the interested parties has been suggested. The Forum supported this but did not want to take a lead in the organisation.
11. Future Ideas
a) Commercial Vehicle Rally: The Forum agreed to have a market stall at the Easter rally promoting Forum activities and aiming to increase membership and circulation of our papers. It was agreed that we could also promote the Kirkby Stephen in Bloom activities in 2008.
Action: Ann Sandell and Mike Walker
b) Summer activity: The forum agreed that if we were going to be involved in Heritage Open Days in September, a Charter Market in October and a Christmas event, that we would be hard pushed to run another activity during the summer. There was some support for making more of the Garden Trail weekend (yet to be fixed) and this will be considered at future meetings.
12. Any Other Business:
a) John Smith explained that Kirkby Stephen was now within the remit of the Kendal Fire and Rescue Service, and would be taking responsibility for training and operation of the Kirkby Stephen fire service. These links with Kendal were welcomed.
b) Britain in Bloom: Joan Johnstone updated the Forum on the Britain in Bloom event for 2008. The theme will be "Local Roots" and the emphasis will not only be on flowers etc. but on heritage, culture, community involvement and future ideas. There is a "Gardeners' Question Time" fund raising event planned for 14 March.
Judging for Cumbria in Bloom will be between 7 and 15 July, and for Britain in Bloom between 4 and 14 August.
It was thought that the Forum might consider obtaining flags in the Charter colours of Dark Blue, Maroon and Yellow. Joan Johnstone agreed to get an estimate.
Action: Joan Johnstone
External support was suggested from Cumbria CVS and Cumbria Tourism.
Action: Ann Sandell will contact CVS
Mike Walker will contact Cumbria Tourism
c) Mike Walker proposed to send out letters to encourage increased membership of the Forum, or at least to establish electronic communication to allow more to know of our activities. This will be done in conjunction with the next meeting.
Action: Mike Walker to distribute letters
14. Date of Next Meeting: The next meeting of the Kirkby Stephen Town Forum, the Annual General Meeting, will be held on Monday 10 March 2008 at 7 pm in the room above the Tourist Information Centre.
Charles Hurst tendered his resignation as Chairman and the Forum agreed to consider who might be approached to take up this post.
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