Minutes March 2010
KIRKBY STEPHEN TOWN FORUM
Minutes Of the Meeting held on Monday 22 March 2010
Present: Jacqui Semple, Mike Walker, Ann Sandell, Joan Johnstone, Liz Hall, Derek Thompson, Jacqui Scarr, John Thompson, Debbie Hylton, Libby Bateman, Shiela Haughey
1. Chairman’s welcome:
Jacqui Semple welcomed participants and encouraged participants to keep discussion focussed as the agenda was long.
2. Apologies for absence:
Tina Galloway, Glenys Lumley, Charles Hurst, Andrea Hines
3. Minutes of the meeting on 11 January 2010:
There was an error in item 12 of the previous minutes. The Forum had agreed to defer the Annual General Meeting until May each year to allow annual accounts to be prepared. Consequently it was inaccurate to refer to the March meeting as an AGM. This had been corrected in notices of the March meeting. Other than this the minutes were accepted as a true record of the meeting.
4. Matters Arising (not otherwise included in the agenda):
Trolleys and storage for market stalls: This action is in abeyance pending the outcome of the Local Links project. Cumbria CC has given an undertaking that they will provide access to the stalls if needed. As the Forum has no plans for use of the stalls during 2010 this is of no current concern.
An article had been written for the Community Newsletter about the vandalism to the Christmas tree lights. No further information has been obtained. We understand from the police that a young man from Kirkby Stephen is being taken to court for unruly behaviour, although he has denied causing damage to the lights.
Although a start has been made on the flyer from the Community fair, further work is needed. There has been no adverse response from the funders to this idea, and we hope to complete it within the next few months.
Action: Mike Walker / Libby Bateman
5. Treasurer’s Report:
The Forum account is currently healthy with no further expenditure since the last meeting. Final payments for Christmas trees and Virtual Tours have been received. The subscription invoice for Action for Market towns has been received and the Town Council has agreed to pay this.
6. Progress on suggestions for spending Calor prize money:
A sub-group has been set up between the Town Council and the Forum and will meet on 29 March 2010.
7. Christmas Lights:
Following comments and criticism of the new Christmas Lights, a meeting was held in February and Shiela Haughey agreed to look at possibilities for the future. A visit from a supplier has been arranged for after Easter, although it was accepted that grand designs would be unaffordable.
A large stock of old incandescent bulbs are still available. It was agreed that these should be used up. The LED bulbs are expected to have a life in excess of 5 years.
It was agreed that we should still have a Christmas Tree in the Market Square, and various options are available to reduce vandalism. Lights were removed before New Year in years gone by, but this was felt to be defeatist. A cluster of smaller trees may be a solution.
There was a request to switch on the lights earlier to extend the festive season. This met with mixed views.
Lights were fitted to the trees in the Masonic Hall gardens but due to a misunderstanding were never connected. However the transformers were left attached in 8 weeks of snow, and only 2 of the 3 still work. There are 4 transformers available from the damaged Christmas tree lights so we have sufficient equipment for this project in 2010. Action: Mike Walker
There was agreement that a qualified electrician was required especially for the high level lights, perhaps paid a retainer to look after them. This will be explored as part of the whole project.
Difficulties have been experienced with the loan of the various strings of lights, and non-return. As many of the strings now need replacing, it was suggested that we might consider donating the old lights to regular users.
Further information will be gathered and the issue discussed at the next Forum meeting in May.
Action: Shiela Haughey
8. “Best in Eden”:
The Eden Arts campaign to publicise cultural activities in July & August was mentioned. Forum members are encouraged to inform Eden Arts of any activities for inclusion by 31 March 2010. Further information can be found at http://www.bestineden.com/
9. Eden Local Heroes Awards:
Eden District Council has announced its Local Heroes Awards for 2010. Mike Walker expressed a view that unless people in Kirkby Stephen nominated entries for these awards, there would be a bias towards Penrith. The Forum made a number of suggestions for nominations, and a small group will compile entries. Action: Libby Bateman / Ann Sandell / Mike Walker
10. Action for Market Towns Awards:
The Market Towns Awards were considered, but the need to carry out a presentation at a summer conference, and the population limits of 2000 – 35000 were a sufficient disincentive. Kirkby Stephen will not enter this competition.
11. Olympic Torch Relay:
Both Cumbria and Eden appear to be campaigning for inclusion as locations for the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. It is unclear whether Kirkby Stephen has been asked to support these applications, but it was decided that we should make an independent entry. A sub-group will put together the application. Action: Libby Bateman / Ann Sandell
It was also suggested that the 2012 Yomp might form the focus of some Olympic support activity, and an inter-village Olympics might be a suitable 2012 activity for the Forum.
12. Town Twinning:
Twinning is built into the UECP bid for RDPE funding. Links with Castelfiorentino are still being proposed, through interests in music. Derek Thompson has experience of twinning in Hexham and raised some issues related to population and language. The Forum supports the initiative and will help as required.
13. Economic regeneration of KS:
Following the discussions at the previous meeting Glenys Lumley has set up a small working group of business interests under the Chairmanship of Alex Birtles, generally following the Economic element of the Upper Eden Community Plan. It was understood that a meeting was fixed for 29 March. It was agreed to ask for a report on progress.
Action: Mike Walker
14: Kirkby Stephen Mini-Guide:
The production of the new mini-guide is on hold at present due to a major difficulty in Eden not accepting the inclusion of the Kirkby Stephen web-site address, as it allows advertising of non-accredited accommodation. The Council were also critical of the photographs and text in the proposed guide, and further photographs have been provided for consideration. This needs urgent resolution by the Council and EDC.
15. Forum activities in 2010:
The Forum has no definite plans for activities in 2010. Ann Sandell will not organise a Charter Fair this year. It was agreed that we must have the reading of the Market Charter. It was suggested that groups may wish to organise their own events around this date, or to arrange a single event such as a concert, rather than an extravaganza of many activities. This can be discussed further nearer the time.
The Christmas switch-on will be held, dependent on the progress of the Christmas Lights project.
11. Any Other Business:
Mike mentioned that the charity Balkan Vision, have sourced a fire engine for use in Bulgaria. It will be present in the Market Square from 1000 till 1200 on Friday 26 March. Lincolnshire Fire Brigade, who provided the engine, have agreed to drive it to Bulgaria and carry out training of the local crews.
Mike also raised the possibility of the Forum providing a political meeting with all potential candidates, aimed at young people in Kirkby Stephen. Churches together have planned an event during the election campaign. It was agreed that the Forum should take no action. If the candidates wish to engage with young people, they should provide the initiative.
12. Date of Next Meeting:
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on Monday 10 May 2010 at 1900 in the room above the TIC. This will be our Annual General Meeting, and the positions of officers will be open to election. Nominations should be sent to the secretary.