Minutes November 2010
KIRKBY STEPHEN TOWN FORUM
Minutes of the Meeting held on Monday 8 November 2010
Present: Mike Walker, Ann Sandell, Joan Johnstone, Jacqui Scarr, Derek Thompson, Shiela Haughey, Andrea Hines, Glenys Lumley, Liz Hall, Dick Capel, Paul Richardson, Tina Galloway, Debbie Hylton
1. Appointment of Chairman:
Joan Johnstone agreed to take the Chair for this meeting.
2. Apologies for absence:
Charles Hurst, John Thompson, Libby Bateman, Jacqui Semple, Alex Chalmers
3. Minutes of the meeting on 13 September 2010:
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true record.
4. Matters Arising (not otherwise included in the agenda):
a. Artwork for reprinting the town maps is available to view in the Community Office. Members were asked to suggest additions and modifications before we finalise the maps.
b. Mike has informed the Police about there being no Forum event on New Year’s Eve. They agreed to take this into account when planning cover.
c. HSBC have been asked about use of their window for a digital noticeboard, but have informed us that Head Office have been unable to agree to our request.
d. Kenneth Morrison read the Charter Proclamation on 23 October. It was agreed that the Forum should send him a £20 book token in recognition of his willingness to do this over the last three years. Action: Joan Johnstone
e. Events have been advised to AMT for insurance and these have been accepted subject to risk assessment. The insurance renewal reverted to the lower rate. AMT also agreed coverage of events outside Kirkby Stephen, provided that it was the Forum that was responsible for the activity.
f. A letter had been sent from the Forum to the Town Council supporting extended parking restrictions, and this is being progressed.
g. Copies of Annual Reports are now available in the Community Office.
h. The Pennine Young Farmers’ Club has expressed interest and support for the Hay/Straw sculpture idea, although had some concerns regarding safety & costs. Mike is trying to arrange a meeting to discuss how this could be progressed. An application for funding from the Neighbourhood Forum might be possible to cover some of the costs. Action: Mike Walker
i. The extension of invitations to the Forum to the UECP business network was not carried out. Mike walker apologised and undertook to do this for the next meeting. Action: Mike Walker
j. Other actions were covered on the agenda.
5. Christmas Lights:
Shiela Haughey explained the situation regarding the Christmas lights. Due to concerns about the mechanics of a pole supporting asymmetric strings of lights, it was agreed to revert to the use of a Christmas Tree. A 1000 bulb set of lights has been procured, and suppliers are being sought for a good shaped tree.
The committed costs to date amount to £1470, with catenary wire, power supplies at Church Gallery & Masonic Hall, gratuities, electricity, still to be paid. Much of this will be paid from the Town Council budget, but some support may be needed from the £2000 Calor prize monies held by the Forum. It was noted that bulb and harness renewal is likely to be needed next year, and it is probable that the Forum may need to raise additional funding to assist.
Discussions with the Methodist Church suggested that there were no appropriate trees to light. Shiela Haughey proposed that this area might be a sensible place for a ceiling of light, using the existing lamp-post and the high buildings around the Methodist Church and across High Street. This could be investigated for the future.
The lights on trees at the Masonic Hall are still in working order, in spite of being in place for almost a year. Mike has obtained suitable waterproof boxes and timers to suit, and is awaiting the provision of an RCD protected outdoor supply before completing the installation.
Letters have been sent out to businesses offering Christmas Trees on the usual basis. A request was made that business-supplied lights should preferably be plain white, with minimum flashing to avoid health problems with passers-by. After some chasing up we have orders for 23 trees and 17 entries for the Window Competition. Stuart McGroarty and John Popple have agreed to provide and mount the trees, and will be informed of the customers once the list is complete. Action: Mike Walker
Dick Capel raised a concern about the nuisance caused to occupants of upstairs premises due to the presence of Christmas Trees and Flags. Joan Johnstone advised him that this was not really a Forum issue, but we would have no objection to movement of the brackets to a position where they were of less concern.
6. Christmas Switch-on:
It is planned that the lights are switched-on at 18.30 on Friday 26 November, and Rory Stewart MP had agreed to perform the ceremony. Unfortunately we have been informed that he will not be in the country on that date. As it is now inconvenient to defer the switch-on, we are arranging for Rory to send a recorded message to the assembled crowd, and lead the count-down. Mike will organise an appropriate public address system. Action: Mike Walker
The usual carol singing and music has been arranged for this evening.
A draft risk-assessment has been prepared, and volunteers will be needed to wear fluorescent jackets and marshal the event to avoid conflict between traffic around the Market Square and onlookers. The secretary was asked to enquire if PCSOs might be available to assist. Action: Mike Walker
The lights team will be asked to provide support for switching on the various power supplies. Action: Shiela Haughey
Certificates for the Window Competition have been requested from Cerberus, and Joan Johnstone agreed to obtain appropriate prizes. Action: Joan Johnstone
Charles Hurst has agreed to judge the Windows on Thursday 25 November.
The “More Than a Handful Players” will perform a play/pantomime on Friday and Saturday evenings in the Masonic Hall. The Forum agreed to contribute £50 towards the costs of room hire for rehearsals.
7. Santa Event:
This event; The Lion, The Witch, The Wardrobe & Santa will be held on the weekend of 4/5 December 2010 in the King’s Arms yard, with a craft market in the ballroom. Eleven stalls have indicated an interest in taking part. Ann asked for further volunteers to be witches. The Town Council have provided £250 to cover some of the costs.
8. Shop Advertising Boards:
Although some designs were created by Raven Graphics, the Forum believed that these did not meet the needs for a flexible system, allowing change of tenancies to be made easily. In the absence of the original promoter, this item was deferred to the next meeting. Action: Mike Walker
9. Use of New Technology:
A meeting has been held with audio trails regarding supply of units for downloading information on the Poetry Path. Hardware cost of a combined Bluetooth and WiFi unit would be £950, plus £200 set up costs. The provision of a true Internet WiFi connection was thought to be inappropriate, as this would require a telephone line and payment to a Service Provider. The Bluetooth solution has the advantage that it senses Bluetooth devices and sends a message, being proactive rather than reactive. Meg Peacocke, the poet, has been approached to explore her reading her own poems. It was also suggested we might use an actor with a local accent to record the poems. It was agreed that we should consider a one-off payment to Meg, plus further royalties should we use the readings for other purposes. Mike will discuss this with Meg once he has access to a recording source. He also agreed to re-photograph each stone to avoid copyright issues with the current publication. An ultimate objective would be to photograph each stone in its own month, although it was accepted that this would have to be done retrospectively.
Other proposals for a guide to the Church, and possibly the Stainmore railway would also be explored.
The Forum supported this and proposed that this should be put to the Calor funding Committee for financing from the main prize money. Action: Mike Walker
10. EDC Budget – threat to Kirkby Stephen TIC:
Due to pressures on the budget, Eden District Council have proposed cost cutting measures which could mean closure of the TIC for Winter 2011-12, and complete closure from summer 2012 onwards. There was considerable discussion on this topic, with most Forum members rejecting the suggestion on the grounds that it is inconsistent with the Corporate Strategy of EDC, which is to support the economic vitality of the district. As tourism is a major contributor to the economy of Kirkby Stephen and the surrounding area, the closure of the TIC would help undermine the economy of the town. It was observed that there was no proposal for cost reduction at the TIC in Penrith, where tourism is a smaller part of the economy.
The Forum agreed that action was needed to try to counter these proposals. A letter would be sent from the Forum outlining our objection to these proposals, and tourism businesses in Kirkby Stephen would be encouraged to write their own letters. Copies should be sent to Kevin Douglas, Gordon Nicholson and David Rawsthorn.
Action: Mike Walker
11. Action for Market Towns Convention Venue for 2011/12
Action for Market Towns is looking for a venue for the 2011 convention. It was agreed, after some discussion prior to the Forum meeting, that Kirkby Stephen should declare an interest in hosting this event in September/October 2011.
Action: Mike Walker
12. Events for 2011:
There are no further events planned for 2011 above those listed in the last minutes.
13. Insurance – Notification of Events:
All currently planned events have been notified to the insurer.
14. Any Other Business:
a. The Eden Timebank AGM will be held on 16 November at 1930 in the Supper Room in Appleby. Nominations are requested by 15 November. They also wish to notify members of the Forum that “Drop-In” sessions are held between 1000 and 1230 every Wednesday at the Community Office.
b. The Eden Youth Work Partnership has offered space in its refurbished offices in Walton’s Yard to community members.
c. Mike has suggested stickers for the remaining Plusbus Walking routes brochures, explaining that the walks are still possible although the bus service is no longer as published. He agreed to produce sufficient to amend the remaining stock. Action: Mike Walker
15. Date of next meeting:
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on Monday 10 January 2011 at 1900, with subsequent meetings on the second Monday of odd months as usual, unless amended due to absence of key parties.