Minutes July 2010
KIRKBY STEPHEN TOWN FORUM
Minutes of the Meeting held on Monday 12 July 2010
Present: Mike Walker, Ann Sandell, Joan Johnstone, Jacqui Scarr, John Thompson, Liz Hall, Debbie Hylton, Shiela Haughey, Leanne Harbage, Libby Bateman,
1. Appointment of Chairman:
Joan Johnstone agreed to take the Chair for this meeting, although it was accepted that it would be more appropriate to have a permanent chairman.
2. Apologies for absence:
Charles Hurst, Andrea Hines, Glenys Lumley, Andrew Griffiths, Jacqui Semple
3. Minutes of the meeting on 10 May 2010:
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true record.
4. Matters Arising (not otherwise included in the agenda):
a. The Town Trail leaflet has now gone to print, with half of the print run to include reference to the Kirkby Stephen web-site.
http://www.kirkby-stephen.com/ A pdf version is being loaded onto the Cumbria Tourism and Kirkby Stephen websites
b. Eden District Council has contributed £500 to the Forum for the current financial year.
c. The Community Flyer “What to do in Kirkby Stephen” has gone to print and arrangements are being made to distribute it to households. It was agreed that the Community Foundation should be informed of our action and a copy sent to them. Action: Mike Walker
d. A further meeting of the Calor prize money group will be held shortly to decide how to spend the £7000 for the benefit of the community
e. Lamp-posts: EDC have said that they will replace one non-working lamp in Hartley Road and that they will not maintain any lamps that are refurbished. The Town Council will therefore be forced to accept the status quo. It has been requested that any old lamp-posts replaced should be retained for community use perhaps at Kirkby Stephen East Station. Regrettably the same situation will probably apply with the two lamp-posts in Mellbecks in the future. Even if Stainmore Railway is unable to use the posts they will have a considerable scrap value that would be useful for other projects.
f. Audio Trail. No progress had been made with this suggestion, although was debated later in the meeting under item 7.
4a. Treasurer’s Report:
The only financial matter to report was the receipt of £500 from Eden District Council as mentioned above.
5. Christmas Lights:
Shiela Haughey outlined her discussion with Christmas Plus, and asked the Forum to make a decision at this meeting so that the proposals could be put to the Town Council meeting on 20 July. Orders have to be placed by end July for delivery in time for installation.
There is still a stock of incandescent lamps, 350 white & yellow, and 300 green. These will be used as appropriate to ensure they are not wasted.
It was also suggested that an electrician was appointed to oversee the installation and rectify any problems that may arise. It was suggested that this should be subject to a tender from the Council. Action: Joan Johnstone
Shiela Haughey suggested the following lighting scheme:
a. A ceiling of light in the market square, with strings of lights radiating from a central pole in place of the Christmas tree.
b. Icicle lights framing the triangle at the top of the Cloisters
c. Use the old Market Square string to extend lights along North Road.
d. Lighting the trees in Silver Street gardens as proposed in 2009.
e. Using 6 metre Icicle lights on premises at the south end of Market Street where the road width precludes use of strings across the road.
The Forum were generally in favour of this proposal, and made a number of further suggestions:
a. Icicle lights could be offered to businesses instead of Christmas trees, and could be subsidised from Forum funds. A 6 metre length will cost around £42.50
b. A tree in the Methodist Church would enhance the south end of town.
c. Businesses could be invited to dress their windows with trees decorated by local children – theme “Icicles”
The Forum felt that these proposals fitted the undertaking to extend the lights for 2010, promised when funding for LED lamps was requested, and agreed that the proposal should be put to the Town Council.
Letters will be sent to premises in the town centre outlining these ideas.
Action: Mike Walker
Further details, mounting points, provision of a central pole in Market Square, additional catenary wire, power sources and switching, will need to be determined as the project progresses. Action: Lights Group
6. Future of the Forum:
Some concerns had been expressed about the future of the Forum, mainly because we have had a quiet 2010 after a hectic year in 2009. Joan Johnstone pointed out the Calor judges’ view that the Forum was active and imaginative, acting as a conduit between businesses and the community, and have supported other events rather than organised them for the Forum.
There is concern about how our future should go and the position of the Forum in relation to the newer organisations of the Upper Eden Community Plan group, Upper Eden Futures and perhaps the new events group.
When considering the aims of the Forum in the constitution, we appear to do most of what we should be doing. It is a pity that few business people get involved, and we may give the impression that it is a top-down organisation with Councillors, and Officers attending meetings.
It was encouraging to welcome Leanne Harbage to her first meeting, and further involvement of businesses would be welcome to make the Forum more representative of businesses and residents of Kirkby Stephen.
A number of actions were agreed to publicise our successes:
a. Put headlines from minutes in the covering e-mail
b. Use the Annual Report more in the Community
- copies to Estate Agents, Community Office, and UECP Conferences
It was agreed that we should be more ambitious in 2011 and members were asked to consider events that may be of interest to the community. Action: All
7. Use of New Technology:
Mike outlined a number of uses of technology in the tourism area that may be appropriate for Kirkby Stephen to consider. Bluetooth downloads to mobile phones of places to visit, or of readings of the Poems on the Poetry Path were possible options, as well as downloads of walks in the area. A sub-group was proposed (Mike Walker, Libby Bateman, Ann Sandell, Andrew Griffiths and Leanne Harbage) to investigate what might be available. There was felt to be no need to invent anything, merely apply existing technologies to our situation. It was suggested that we approach Action for Market Towns, and Cumbria Tourism for advice on what may be in use elsewhere, and possibly invite an expert to a future Forum meeting to outline what we might do.
Action: Mike Walker & sub-group
It was confirmed that the Forum currently has no events planned that require notification to the insurers.
9. Any Other Business:
a. Cumbria in Bloom judges will be visiting Kirkby Stephen on 15 July at 1030. Help with weeding and tidying was requested at 1030 on Wednesday 14 July.
b. The “More Than a Handful” Players have asked if we would like them to provide a Christmas entertainment again. The Forum agreed to ask them to put on a production on a date to be determined. Action: Mike Walker
c. Leanne Harbage suggested that the Forum consider improving the signposting of businesses in the town to overcome the problem that visitors often do not progress past the Church Gallery and businesses in North Road miss out on potential trade. It was agreed to ask suppliers for prices of description boards, which could be easily updated as businesses change or move. Action: Leanne Harbage / Ann Sandell It was also agreed that a further finger post sign to Silver Street Gardens would help, and that we would consider updating the maps which already exist in the Car Park and Market Square. Action: Joan Johnstone It was also agreed to canvas business opinion on reprinting the old business brochure, and ask Cerberus if they still have the original artwork. Action: Ann Sandell
d. Cumbria County Council are asking for nominations for the Young Volunteer Award, for individuals or groups of up to five 16-25 year olds. The deadline for nomination is Wednesday 1 September, and Forum members were encouraged to consider whether anyone from the area might be nominated. Action: All
Details are available on http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/youngvolunteer
e. Ann advised the meeting that Kirkby Stephen will feature in a BBC 1 series, Secret Britain, at 2100 on Sunday 15 August with Julia Bradbury interviewing Stephen Walker at Nine Standards and with shots of Kirkby Stephen, Stenkrith Park and the Northern Viaduct Trust walk. Pendragon Castle has been filmed with Libby, awaiting confirmation of screening on 29 August. Alison O’Neil of Shacklabank Walking Holidays has also been filmed at Uldale Waterfall; we await further details. Ann & Libby were thanked for getting such positive publicity for the area.
10. Date of Next Meeting:
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on Monday 13 September 2010 at 1900 in the room above the TIC.