Minutes May 2009
KIRKBY STEPHEN TOWN FORUM
Minutes Of the Meeting held on Monday 11 May 2009
Present: Mike Walker, Ann Sandell, Joan Johnstone, Derek Thompson, Libby Bateman, John Thompson, Jacqui Scarr, Andrea Hines, Glenys Lumley, Alex Birtles, Karne Morley-Chesworth, Debbie Hylton, Euan Bell, Dick Capel, Paul Walker
1. Chairman’s welcome.
In the absence of Jacqui, Joan Johnstone took the chair and welcomed all participants.
2. Apologies for absence:
Jacqui Semple, Charles Hurst, Tim Stoddard, Linda Walker
3. Eden Messenger:
Karen Morley-Chesworth outlined the position with the Eden Messenger, which ahs recently been relaunched as a web-based newspaper in response to local demand for good news stories especially in the Eden Valley. (www.edenvalleymessenger.com) The Online newspaper is updated each Wednesday, but can also offer breaking news stories and will offer results from agricultural shows on the night of each show. News and ideas from organisations in Kirkby Stephen is welcomed. Karen can be contacted at
4. Minutes of the meeting on 9 March 2009: Andrea Hines had suggested a correction to the item regarding the TIC opening hours. This was rectified in the copy sent out to inform the current meeting. The corrected version was accepted as a true record of the meeting.
5. Matters Arising (not otherwise included in the agenda):
Trolleys and storage for market stalls is still work in progress, although access to the sheds is now possible once again thanks to Capita repairing the lock. Mike agreed to get accurate measurements now he can get to the stalls.
Action: Mike Walker
The invoice for rehearsal time at the Masonic Hall was sent to the “More Than a Handful” players and payment made.
The Town Council agreed with the proposed changes to the Christmas lights, and a further meeting of the sub-group will be arranged to further the project
Action: Mike Walker
A Facebook Forum has been set up to provide a mechanism to sound out ideas on what young people wanted in Kirkby Stephen. An initial question regarding Jubilee Park has brought together some comments, but further stimulation may be needed.
Action: Libby Bateman
Views of the young people in Kirkby Stephen on the Charter Market were requested, and Ann agreed to raise this with Abbie Pepper to include on the Forum.
Action: Ann Sandell
Mike had coordinated a number of entries for the Eden Local Heroes Awards and the Forum was pleased that the Kirkby Stephen in Bloom Group had won the Local Pride Award. It was noted that however worthy our entrants were, the contributions of others to the Eden District were impressive. The Forum agreed to send a letter of congratulations to Eric Woof, a friend of the Forum, who was awarded the Chairman’s Award for the individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the District over a long period of time. Action: Mike Walker
6. Chairman’s Report:
The Chairman had apologised that she had been unable to provide this report for the meeting. Mike outlined the list of activities that the Forum had been involved with in the past year:
• Coordinated the entry in to the Calor Cumbria Village of the Year, and the Calor England Village of the Year competitions with notable successes
• Coordinated activities towards achievement of Walkers are Welcome accreditation for KS
• Planned and organised Heritage Open Days and launched a new Lady Anne Trail brochure in association with Appleby and English Heritage
• Organised the Charter Market, Craft Fair and Walking Exhibition.
• Organised Christmas Trees for businesses in KS and arranged for the switch-on of Christmas lights.
• Organised Christmas festivities in partnership with the Church Choir, Silver Band and More Than a Handful players.
• Continued work towards development of an Upper Eden Alliance with Appleby.
• Started a Junior Forum based on Facebook in association with the Upper Eden Community Plan Group.
• Attended Eden District Tourism Network meetings to emphasise the needs of KS during decision-making.
• Attended Eden District Economic Forum meetings to represent business interests of KS.
• Stimulated discussions towards the renewal of Christmas lights, and developed an appropriate plan
• Obtained funding and worked with Extended Services and Age Concern on the Community Cinema project.
• Promoted Kirkby Stephen as a filming venue and promoted recent film successes.
• Attended Eden Local Partnership and Cumbria CVS meetings highlighting the problems faced by our rural location and the voluntary sector.
• Promoted Kirkby Stephen, events and businesses for the purpose of resident's information and tourism.
• Helped with Kirkby Stephen in Bloom activities.
• Gave support to the TIC in difficult times.
• Worked with other local organizations in meeting their or our aims e.g. Kirkby Stephen Grammar School, Stainmore Railway Company, Eastside.
• Maintained a close working relationship with the Kirkby Stephen Town Council, Community Centre and Tourist Information Centre, new links with the Upper Eden Community Plan group and their Project Officer.
• Joined and supported Eden Timebank.
A formal report will follow.
7. Treasurer’s Report:
The Treasurer distributed copies of the audited income and expenditure of the Town Forum. (see attached). It was pointed out that the monies in the Planters Fund had been added to the Britain-in-Bloom funds, making a total for this ring-fenced fund of £1070.31. The shortfall for the Heritage Open Days was covered by a grant from Eden District Council and the Forum expressed its gratitude for this contribution. The balance left for general funds is £1569.98.
Mike Walker proposed acceptance of these accounts, and Ann Sandell seconded it. There were no objections.
It was agreed to send a letter of thanks to Heb Lumley for carrying out the audit.
Action: Mike Walker
8. Revision of the Kirkby Stephen Town Forum Constitution:
Mike had circulated a proposal for modifications to the Constitution reflecting changes that had occurred since it was originally written in 2004, especially that of the position of secretary, which was no longer provided by the Community and Council Centre.
Modifications were discussed and proposed by Debbie Hylton, seconded by Derek Thompson as follows:
i) “The Forum shall be operated as a not-for-profit organisation” to be added under the aims in 2.1
ii) “Secretary” to be added as a member of the Executive Committee in 4.1
iii) 4.4 to be reworded as follows: “As far as resources permit, administration facilities shall be provided by the Community and Council Centre. The membership will annually elect a secretary who will have responsibility for arranging meetings if the Forum, writing minutes and correspondence.”
iv) 4.5 to be reworded as follows: “The membership will annually elect a publicity Officer who will have responsibility for the promotion of the Forum and of its activities.”
v) Reference to Building Society in 4.7 to be replaced by “Bank”
These modifications were agreed. The secretary will circulate an updated copy of the Constitution with the Minutes. Action: Mike Walker
9. Election of Officers:
No nominations for the elected posts had been received, and although Jacqui Semple expressed a wish to stand down as Chairman at the previous meeting, she had subsequently agreed to continue. Nominations were made as follows at the meeting:
Chairman: Jacqui Semple Proposed by Joan Johnstone
Seconded by Derek Thompson
Secretary: Mike Walker Proposed by Joan Johnstone
Seconded by Ann Sandell
Publicity Officer: Ann Sandell Proposed by Debbie Hylton
Seconded by Jacqui Scarr
Treasurer: Joan Johnstone Proposed by Jacqui Scarr
Seconded by Mike Walker
With the willingness of those proposed to continue in these posts, and in the absence of further nominations, these members were declared elected.
10. Endorsement of Agreement to Form Upper Eden Alliance:
The Appleby Chamber of Trade and Community Association formally endorsed a position statement about the progress towards an Upper Eden Alliance and Mike tabled copies of this statement requesting formal endorsement by the Forum. There was considerable discussion about this issue, not least that the position had been made more complicated by the advent of the Upper Eden Community Plan group, and work towards a similar Heart of Eden group based on Appleby. It was noted that clusters of organisations were now encouraged by central Government, and that such an over-arching group may assist access to major funding, and would help to limit competition between local groups. Mike Walker proposed and Glenys Lumley seconded endorsement, and it was agreed that we should go ahead with the proposal.
Action: Mike Walker
11. Insurance Issues:
Recent notification from Action for Market Towns has highlight that our public liability insurance from Zurich, requires prior notification of events for cover to be valid, and for events involving more than 500 people additional premiums would be required. It is also necessary for all other participants, stall holders, performers etc. to have their own insurance cover.
There was some discussion about whether the Town Forum was liable in all cases, especially the Heritage Open Days where public liability cover is provided by English Heritage, and the Walking Programme we are advertising are not organised by the Forum, but by other organisations who should have their own cover. The Community Cinema should be covered by the School insurance, and activities at Kirkby Stephen East Station by the Stainmore Railway Company insurance. It was finally agreed that we should list Forum activities for the insurance company, establish the interpretation of 500 attendees (is it total or at any one time) and enquire as to the cost of additional premiums for larger numbers. The position of craft-stall holders would also be discussed with Action for Market Towns as it is believed that many would not have their own insurance.
Action: Mike Walker to follow up.
12. Stobars Hall – involvement with the Community:
Euan Bell expressed his desires to bring Stobars Hall more into the community. There are 14 acres of grounds available for shows, and fund raising events. A boules (petanque) court is now available for public use, and a croquet lawn will be available later in the summer. Events will be welcome to use the facilities at Stobars Hall, and events elsewhere suitable for residents of the hall should be advised to Euan to ensure participation opportunities can be offered as appropriate.
There are also allotments available at no charge, although there is an expectation that donations of produce will be made at the kitchen door. It was suggested that this might provide an opportunity for old people to engage with young people, in a similar way to the cooking experiences at Mill Gardens.
The opportunities to engage residents of Stobars Hall in the oral history project will be passed on to the History Society, and Euan will liaise with Libby about ideas from young people through the Facebook forum.
Action: Ann Sandell
Euan Bell / Libby Bateman
13. Town Centres Manager:
Paul Walker introduced himself as the once new Town Centres Manager, and admitted that in 7 months in the role he had only visited Kirkby Stephen twice. He is now intending to spend more time and emphasis on the Upper Eden Valley following the visioning meeting held earlier this year.
Paul introduced the loyalty scheme that is supported by the Herald newspaper, and aims to encourage shopping locally. Copies of the scheme are included with these minutes and businesses are encouraged to consider whether they can pledge their support.
Action: Business Owners
14. Poetry Path:
Dick Capel outlined issues relating to the Poetry Path since the demise of the East Cumbria Countryside Project. Many of the projects have been adopted by Carlisle City, but the Poetry Path was left high and dry. Some legal ownership is needed as legal agreements are in place with landowners, there are maintenance requirements, and also a need to ensure some body has responsibility for royalty payments based on guidebook sales. It was pointed out that the path has a high profile as it appears in Somerville’s book “100 Best Walks in Britain”. The Northern Viaducts Trust is also to be approached to consider whether they could take on the Poetry path. The meeting felt that it was not an appropriate activity for the Town Forum, and support was given to a propsed “Friends of the Poetry Path” group if other support could not be found.
15. Forum Social Event:
Libby Bateman reported on the outcome of the sub-group following up the idea of a Community Open Day. The idea of asking the Rugby Club if we could hold an event on the Sunday following their gala was eliminated as it was felt to be too much to ask of residents following two active days involved with the gala. The group suggested an event at the Rugby Club on Sunday 13 September as a Community Showcase, allowing all local groups to be involved in information provision, fund-raising etc. The proposal was to provide free refreshments for around 200 visitors, and provide some family entertainment. It was thought that Cumbria Community Foundation funding might be available to support such a function.
The Forum was generally supportive of this event, although there was some discussion as to whether it would fulfil the original objective of encouraging further membership of the Forum, especially from businesses. It was agreed that Mike & Libby would convene to apply for funding, and that we all should consider whether we can offer businesses anything to encourage membership of the Forum.
Action: Mike / Libby
16. Calor Village of the Year Competition:
Following our success in winning the North region competition, and the need to be judged once again on 13 July, it was agreed that a small, sub-committee of Mike, Joan, Ann, Linda and Jeanette should meet to define how we should present Kirkby Stephen to the next set of judges. The feeling was that much of what we had used before was still appropriate, although we need to update the presentation with things that have happened since the original entry was made in November 2008.
Action: Mike to set up sub-group meeting
We believe the regional competition prize of £2000 will not be presented until December 2009. Mike suggested that we should use this money to extend the Christmas lights, provided that we can get sufficient financial support from the community to raise money to convert the existing lights to low-energy bulbs. There was no dissent to this.
17. Any Other Business:
a) Derek Thompson updated the Forum about progress at the Stainmore Railway Company with the car-park and picnic area.
b) Walkers are Welcome: Kirkby Stephen has received accreditation and good publicity. Libby has provided an accumulation of walks advertised on the Kirkby Stephen web-site, and the Walking Programme has been circulated. The accommodation providers’ questionnaire is ongoing and newsletters will follow giving details of current inspections available and a choice of advertising.
c) There are a number of events organised for the Bank Holiday weekend, members support and raising awareness would be appreciated.
18-23 May KS Library Local History Week, photographic display and reference materials
18-23 May KS Family History Group display and free access to ancestry.co.uk
Taster sessions on Saturday
23 May KS Family History Day, information and help
23 May Stainmore Railway exhibition of photos of ex-railway workers
20 & 23 May Town History Walks changes since World War II
22 May KS Community Cinema – Young Victoria
23-25 May KS Tourist Information Centre celebrates 21 Years
Launch of Walkers are Welcome accreditation
25 May Bank Holiday market and car boot sale
18. Date of Next Meeting:
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on 13 July 2009 at 1900.