Minutes July 2007
KIRKBY STEPHEN TOWN FORUM
Present: Charles Hurst, Joan Johnstone, Mike Walker, Andrea Hines, Elizabeth Hall, Ann Sandell, Alex Birtles, Samantha Sandell
1. Apologies for absence: Ian Hartley, Martin Richter, Nick Locke, Pete Boardman, Jackie Semple, Tim Stoddard, Debbie Hylton
3 Matters Arising (where not agenda items):
Andrea Hines had produced an outline of government bodies, which is attached to these minutes. The overview of funding will be prepared for sending out with these minutes.
Mike Walker had asked Andrea Margolit from Cumbria CVS to address the meeting, and she planned to arrive later to outline their activities in support of the community.
Mike Walker had contacted Kate Burrows with a view to addressing a future meeting, with no response. She will be advised of activities in town for her waste roadshow.
4. Treasurer’s Report: Joan Johnstone reviewed the financial position, and reported that the Forum funds stood at around £1200. She had identified a replacement bank account following withdrawal of facilities from the Furness Building Society.
Charles Hurst proposed that a Community Account be set up with Barclays Bank on behalf of the Forum. This was seconded by Ann Sandell. The meeting agreed to this proposal and arrangements were made for signatories to be the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer of the Forum.
The recent questionnaire about the Tourist Information Centre was paid for by the Town Council, and the annual grant reduced appropriately.
It was agreed that these points would be made to the Appleby Alliance.
6. TIC Review Group: Andrea Hines reported that the review group was drafting a paper on the possible savings / increased income for the District TICs for Committee discussion in September 2007. Charles Hurst reported that a questionnaire had been sent out in every copy of the Town Council Newsletter and he expected to collect the returns on 20 July. He agreed to advise Andrea Hines of the outcome by the end of July.
7. Cumbria Tourism Benchmarking exercise: A Special Forum Meeting on Monday 21 May had been convened to hear the results of the survey carried out during summer 2006. Mike Walker had sent notes of the meeting, but summarised the finding as follows:
The major strengths of Kirkby Stephen from a visitor’s point of view appear to be the excellence of the Tourist Information Centre, and the availability and cleanliness of the toilets. This is a key message, as it is these two services which have been under financial pressure. The survey shows how critical they are to the visitor experience, and the basis of tourism in the town.
Visitors appreciate the varied independent shops, as a refreshing change from many town centres dominated by national chains.
The major weaknesses appear to be the market, and lack of attractions such as a museum.
The full survey is available at a cost of £50, and it is suggested that one copy is purchased for the Community Office by the Town Council. Details are on the last slide of the presentation.
As Kirkby Stephen is at the eastern fringe of Cumbria, bordering Durham and Yorkshire, co-operative action with these authorities was felt to be important to tourism in the town. Mike Walker had attended a recent Eden District Tourism Network meeting, and had been invited to progress the issues raised at a meeting in July.
Various ideas were exchanged regarding how we might improve the weekly market, with no decisions taken for action.
9. Cumbria Association of Community Voluntary Services: The Forum welcome Andrea Margolit of CACVS to outline the support her organisation provides to groups in the Eden District. CACVS is a grouping of the various District CVS organisations based in Redhills in Penrith, but carrying out similar activities in the Eden District as before with predominantly the same people. Their Mission is to support Voluntary and Community Groups, the so-called third sector. They can provide advice for start-up and growth phases of organisations; advise on funding opportunities, and train trustees and management. They can also provide a personnel and payroll service on an economic basis. CACVS have equipment rental facilities at low rates. One service in support of funding provision is collection of statistics, which assists in providing evidence of the importance of the sector in the Eden District.
The monthly newsletter (The Exchange) is received regularly by the Secretary, who passes on items of possible interest to Forum Members. A copy is also available in the Community Office.
Andrea provided a considerable number of pamphlets about their activities, which will be placed in the Community Office for access by Forum Members:
Equipment List / Voluntary and Community Sector Statistics / Self Management of Long Term Sickness / Payroll Service / Employment and Personnel Services / Training & Development Newsletter / Guide to Training Courses for the Sector / The Exchange
10. 2007 Activities:
b. New Year Countdown: Mike had e-mailed 3 Bears Animation without response regarding help with a visual countdown for New Year’s Eve. He would follow this up. It had been noted that CACVS could provide a data projector on loan for around £25
c. Charter Market: Charles Hurst reported that the French Market had been booked for Saturday 27 October 2007, in conjunction with visits to Appleby on Friday and Richmond on Sunday. It was pointed out that a sheep mart would be held that day, and parking would have to be considered carefully. It was agreed to approach the Grammar School and Christian Head for parking of the French Market vehicles.
11. Kirkby Stephen Online: A new web-site (www.kirkbystephenonline.org.uk) has been set up with the support of the BBC and the University of Cumbria. The Town Forum has been offered a page to highlight its activities, and any interesting stories. There was some discussion about positioning of this web-site alongside the Official Town Council site. It was agreed that Town Forum minutes should be put on the Town Council site via the Community Office.
The new site appears to be more informal, and the Forum encouraged contributions.
12. Ideas for Projects:
b. Shop locally campaign & Kirkby Stephen Carrier Bags were not discussed.
a. Kate Burrows of Cumbria County Council has offered a waste and recycling road show for any events held in Kirkby Stephen. It was agreed that she should be informed of the Charter Market proposal.
b. Peter Boardman has had to stand down as publicity officer. Ann Sandell has agreed to take over this role.
14. Date of Next Meeting: It was agreed that the next meeting of the Kirkby Stephen Town Forum should be held on Monday 10 September 2007 at 7 pm in the room above the Tourist Information Centre.