Minutes November 2009
KIRKBY STEPHEN TOWN FORUM
Minutes Of the Meeting held on Monday 9 November 2009
Present: Jacqui Semple, Mike Walker, Ann Sandell, Joan Johnstone, Charles Hurst., Derek Thompson, John Thompson, Jacqui Scarr, Andrea Hines Glenys Lumley
1. Chairman’s welcome:
Jacqui Semple welcomed participants and thanked them for attending on a cold evening.
2. Apologies for absence:
Debbie Hylton, Linda Walker, Libby Bateman, Liz Hall
3. Minutes of the meeting on 5 October 2009:
These 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 still outstanding.
Action: Mike Walker / Peter Foskett
No-one has volunteered to act as a coordinator for the Shopwatch scheme.
AMT Insurance was extended as agreed to give the Forum £5M Public Liability cover.
No adverse comments had been received on the draft Annual Report.
Funding for the refurbishment of the Phone Box in Rowgate by the “Walkers are Welcome” group has not yet been followed up. Eden District Council are exercising a veto on the phone-box closure.
5. Treasurer’s Report:
Although no details were available, the Forum account is currently healthy with monies received for Christmas Lights and Christmas trees. A payment is due from Calor for £3000 this week for the celebration of the Village of the Year® Award.
6. Charter Market /Calor England Village of the Year Presentation®:
It was felt that the Charter Fair and Calor Celebration had been a great event with a fantastic atmosphere, it spite of the weather. A letter had been received from Jon Tanner, the Marketing Director of Calor, outlining his views about the event and his belief that Kirkby Stephen was a worthy winner.
A great deal of publicity had been received, press and television, and this is still continuing with a visit from Dalesman Publications for an item in Cumbria on the morning of the meeting.
The overall expenditure had been £3120, and Calor had agreed to contribute £3000.
Two Calor Village of the Year® banners on the frames at each end of Kirkby Stephen had been damaged in the gales immediately after the celebration. A third banner is still in good condition and the Forum agreed that it should be displayed in the town centre. Jacqui Semple agreed to place it on the railings outside the Emporium.
7. Ideas for spending prize money:
A suggestion scheme has been running since the Community fair in September and we have received 15 suggestions to date, with a number of further suggestions offered at the meeting. It was agreed that a decision on spending should be joint between the Forum and the Council, with a view that whatever we did should have some permanent nature and be appropriate for all age groups and future generations. No decision was made and ideas will continue to be collected. A small group will be established between the Forum and the Council with the aim of deciding early in 2010 for expenditure before the end of next year.
8. Christmas Lights:
Mike reported the great success of the fund-raising for low energy Christmas Lights. With a target of £1500 for replacement of the bulbs in the strings, and the tree lights, £1910 had been raised through donations and sale of virtual bulbs. Donors will be displayed in Cleator’s window as soon as possible. Donations had been sent by many businesses that are not normally involved in routine activities and thanks were expressed for the widespread of donations.
It had been agreed that all donors be included in a draw for the “privilege” of turning on the lights, and Andrea Hines did the honour of drawing out the winning ticket. Harrison & Hetherington were the winner and the secretary would invite them to provide a representative to carry out the switch-on. In case of refusal, further tickets were drawn so that reserves are available in case of need. Action: Mike Walker
9. Christmas Switch-on:
The switch-on has been planned for 1830 on Wednesday 2 December, preceded by carols led by the Kirkby Stephen Silver Band, and followed by a pantomime in the Masonic Hall, with mulled wine and mince pies. The hall has been booked for rehearsals, and it was agreed to share the cost with the players.
It was agreed not to promote late opening of shops as it has not been successful in previous years, but businesses with windows in the window competition have been asked to keep their lights on so that visitors can see the displays.
The list of business trees and window competition entries is still incomplete and the secretary agreed to remind those who have been involved in previous years.
Action: Mike Walker
The new Rector has agreed to judge the windows on Monday 30 November.
Action: Derek Thompson
Prizes and certificates will be needed as before, and the trophies need to be recovered.
Action: Joan Johnstone / Mike Walker
Posters will be prepared outlining the event, and will include a reference to Santa at the Station on 12 December. Action: Ann Sandell
10. Big Ben at New Year:
The Forum agreed that we should display Big Ben again on New Year’s Eve and Mike would make the appropriate arrangements.
Action: Mike Walker
11. Shopping Locally:
Libby Bateman has suggested a Shopping Locally challenge (see attached paper). Members of the Forum felt that such an idea was very late for 2009, but that generally it was up to businesses to offer what customers want, rather than trying to put responsibility on the customers. It was agreed that we should try to use the efforts of Paul Walker, Eden Town Centres Manager, for future promotional activity in Kirkby Stephen.
Action: Mike Walker
12. Future Direction of the Forum:
There was considerable discussion about the work of the Forum and a perceived need to address the business climate, especially as and when properties on Market Street become vacated. It was agreed that the current activities of the Forum address the social needs of Kirkby Stephen, but with only a small number of business members, does not truly represent the economic basis of the community.
Following the visioning meeting held earlier in 2009, it was suggested that the Forum should do something to promote the economic well being of the town. In the past an Economic Development Group was set up with this aim, and it was felt that such a body might be of benefit now. It was agreed that we should have a substantive discussion on this issue at the January meeting, and Arthur Littlefair be invited to outline how such a body worked in the past, and to determine whether we can do something similar.
Action: Mike Walker to include on agenda and invite Arthur Littlefair to next meeting.
13. Any Other Business:
a. Charles Thornton had expressed a wish to explain the position regarding the TIC and would be invited to the next Forum meeting. Action: Mike Walker
b. Mike, Linda and Libby would be attending an AMT meeting in Settle on 11 November to discuss and view their Hydro-Power project. A report will be made to the next meeting.
c. An evaluation form has been received regarding the Community Fair funding and this will be completed by Mike & Libby
d. An enquiry has been received from Brough regarding the use of one of our Market Stalls for their Christmas event on 12 December. The Forum had no objection to this and Mike would discuss details with the enquirer. Action: Mike Walker
9. Date of Next Meeting:
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on Monday 11 January 2010 at 1900 in the room above the TIC.