Minutes September 2008
KIRKBY STEPHEN TOWN FORUM
Minutes Of the Meeting held on Monday 15 September 2008
Present: Jacqui Semple, Mike Walker, Linda Walker, Ann Sandell, Joan Johnstone, Derek Thompson, John Thompson, Liz Botterill, Glenys Lumley, Peter Boardman, Debbie Hylton, Andy Sayer
1. Chairman’s welcome.
Jacqui welcomed all participants and encouraged the meeting to address the large agenda efficiently.
2. Apologies for absence:
Father Chappell, Tim Stoddard, Alex Birtles, Charles Hurst, Lorain Rockminster, Andrea Hines, Jackie Scarr, Liz Hall
3. Minutes of the meeting on 14 July 2008: These were accepted as a true record of the meeting.
4. Matters Arising (not otherwise included in the agenda):
No action has yet been taken on obtaining a grant for replacing the flags. The action remains. Action: Mike & Joan
The formal Annual Report has been completed, and circulated by e-mail. A paper copy is available to read in the Community Office.
The original Kirkby Stephen leaflet has been reprinted and its revision is the next project to be carried out by EDC now that the Penrith Guide is complete. EDC advise that they wish to get agreement with the Town Council, Town Forum and TIC regarding its content.
The Upper Eden Alliance would be launched in early 2009 following restructuring of the original Appleby Alliance.
Photographs of the town tunnels and cellars have been taken, but the idea of publicising them has been shelved.
The “Where to eat” update has been deferred because of the Village of the Year activity. With many businesses closed or on the market, it was agreed that a reissue should be held over until 2009. The donation from the Fat Lamb has not been banked and Mike will return this. Action: Mike
There has been no further progress with the Film locations but it was noted that the BBC had commissioned a series on the Coast-to-Coast walk with Julia Bradbury, and filming had taken place in Kirkby Stephen last week.
It was established that there is no suitable storage furniture in the EDC store.
Progress has been made on the accommodation provider newsletter, with adverts placed with the aim of establishing a database of providers, and encouraging them to keep in touch with the Town Forum. Action: Jackie & Debbie
The Cumbria Science Festival has been deferred until 2009. We will follow up the action when advised. Action: Mike
A booking has been made for Ann Sandell to attend the “Action for Market Towns” annual convention in Skipton in October. The Town Council has donated £50 to the overall cost.
The Equal Opportunities and Child Protection Policies have been completed and signed, and copies provided for all Forum members.
Marquees such as that used by the Crosby Ravensworth market were available relatively cheaply (£60 - £300). They are only really suitable for erection on grass, and use in the street or the market square would present problems. Mike suggested that we could consider purchasing one for some activities.
A decision is awaited on funding for the Stainmore railway picnic area.
Glenys is progressing discussions to resurrect the Swaledale Trust museum.
The Eastside Crew are launching their new centre at the Cricket Pavilion on 28 September.
5. Calor Cumbria Village of the Year®
Mike reported that following a presentation at short notice to the judges in August, when over 25 residents joined to show the vibrancy of the Kirkby Stephen community, we were judged overall winners, and winners in the business section. A presentation was arranged at the end of August when we were awarded a plaque to be fixed to the external wall of the TIC, and a framed certificate displayed in the Community Office. Cumbria County Council also presented a cheque for £200, which we will use for a specific purpose to be decided. We are now invited to represent Cumbria in the National competition and our entry has to be submitted by the end of November.
It was agreed that a sub-group should progress the entry and Mike, Linda, Ann and Joan agreed to form the basis of this. The Eastside Crew and the Schools would be invited to be involved as we believe that the involvement of young people assisted our entry. It was also suggested that the Duke of Edinburgh award group might be involved, and Andy agreed to contact Margaret Albon regarding this.
Action: Mike & Linda to set up
Prizes of Kirkby Stephen Vouchers were given to the three Grammar School children involved. Problems of redeeming were experienced and cash was provided through the Community Office. It was agreed that better communication to businesses was needed for future activities such as this.
6. Heritage Open Days:
The recent Heritage Open Day weekend had been a modest success, with Saturday busier than Sunday. The Lady Anne Trail leaflet was launched, and this should have a long-term effect on visitors to the town. The castle window competition had attracted 9 entries and the winners were 1st: Petstop, 2nd: Littlefairs and 3rd: Oliver Pye. A Kirkby Stephen Wine Glass had been found to offer as first prize. All entries received certificates.
Ann expressed disappointment that there was little cooperation from Brough, but reported that Appleby and Brougham had a better response than on previous Open Days, and the Forum suggested that Kirkby Stephen may find the same for future events.
It was agreed that we should leave the Kirkby Stephen in Bloom and Village of the Year displays in the Church, as many visitors will see them there.
Ann asked the Forum to minute thanks to Debbie Coleman for her efforts at Pendragon Castle. Mike also thanked Ann for her hard work in getting this weekend off the ground, and Karen Greenwood of Appleby for her assistance.
7. Upper Eden Community Plan:
Glenys reported that most parishes had agreed to an additional precept for a project officer and recruitment is underway to start work at the end of October.
The Upper Eden Community Plan Group have proposed the week of 22 September for a promotion of the Walk/Bike/Shop Local themes. The Forum was disappointed that little specific had been done to promote the late night shopping next week. Jackie agreed to ask businesses and provide a list of those willing to stay open until 1900. Mike will ask the newsagents about putting flyers in the Saturday papers, and Linda agreed to devise a more specific flyer.
Action: Jackie, Mike & Linda
8. Charter Market:
Arrangements are already in hand for the Charter Market on 25 October. The Continental Market has agreed to return, and there will be Craft Stalls and Antique Stalls in the Masonic Hall. A Walking Exhibition is being arranged in the King’s Arms ballroom, with displays from Eden Outdoors, the Rotary Club Yomp, and hopefully a display of accommodation providers. Various ideas were suggested for the accommodation providers and it was agreed to approach Carol Pepper and Chrys Callan.
Kenneth Morrison has agreed to read the Charter Proclamation and this will be held at 11.00. Ann will ask the Silver Band if they will be willing to lead a procession through town. Action: Ann
It was agreed that a plea for loan of suitable costumes might be made via the next Community Newsletter. Action: Ann
The Stainmore Railway Company will have Santa at the East station on two days in December. The last meeting suggested that this year the Forum organise a low-key Christmas event, concentrating on switching on the lights, and presenting window competition prizes. It was suggested that carols, hot-chestnuts, mince pies and mulled wine around the Market Square on a weekday evening, with shops encouraged to open late would provide a good atmosphere. Liz Botterill asked if we could include a short play about Good King Wenceslas, in the Masonic Hall. There was general support for this idea and the date of Wednesday 3 December was agreed. Provisional timing of Carol singing from 1800, prize giving and switch-on by King Wencelas at 1830, with the play beginning at 1930 was agreed. Details would be confirmed at the next Forum meeting.
The School would be asked to join in with provision of posters, and it was agreed that the theme for the event and the window competition should be “Carols”.
The electrical supply for the Christmas tree lights was being followed up by Jeanette Cooper. Andy was asked to discuss with Mike Sayer the possibility of including a time switch, as the benefits of low energy bulbs are compromised if they burn 24 hours per day.
10. Christmas Trees:
Joan agreed to ask John Popple about his willingness and a price for installing Christmas Trees on business premises. Nigel Stephenson would be asked for a price for supply of the trees and Mike would prepare letters as previously for both the trees and the window competition. Action: Joan & Mike
11. New Year’s Eve:
The Forum agreed that we should repeat the presentation of Big Ben in the Market square on new Year’s Eve, as this appeared to have contributed to a reduction in nuisance behaviour. Mike will enquire about the possibility of using the window above the new flower shop. The projector has already been booked from EDC
12. Awards for All funding:
a. New market stalls:
3x3 meter heavy-duty aluminium gazebos with sidewalls, weighted feet and a wheeled bag would cost approximately £700 each. It was agreed that we should pursue a bid for around £3000 to replace the four stalls we have. Joan suggested that we could include provision of flags in this bid and the Forum agreed.
Action: Mike & Ann
b. Christmas Lights:
A representative had visited the town in July and promised a broad estimate for drape lighting along each side of the main street. No such estimate has yet been received, but a figure of £6000 to £10000 was suggested during the visit. Complication of switch-on would be compounded if the lights were powered by each building and further specification will be needed.
13. Forum Social Event:
The Forum discussed options for a social event, but reinstatement of the Cracker Ball had no support. Further ideas included a trip by Classic Coach and Ullswater Steamers, or a train trip. These ideas will be discussed further at the November meeting.
14. Walkers are Welcome accreditation:
The Town Council has given approval to Kirkby Stephen working towards accreditation under the Walkers are Welcome scheme and it is hoped that the exhibition on Charter Market day will help provide the signatures of support necessary. Denise Robinson has expressed a willingness to be involved with this activity.
15. Further Planned activities:
The Forum felt that we had sufficient on our plate and no further activities were suggested.
16. Any Other Business:
a. It was suggested and agreed that we invite the three young people who contributed to the Village of the Year competition to the next Forum meeting in order to more effectively hear the views of young people of the town. Action: Mike
b. Kirkby Stephen has been successful in the Cumbria in Bloom Competition winning the large village category and gaining a Silver Gilt Award. A special award was presented for the interpretation of the theme Local Roots, and an improvement award for the Westgarth Estate. The coordinators thanked everyone, especially the businesses, for making the effort to make the town look good. The Britain in Bloom results will be announced in Chester on 24 September. Kirkby Stephen has agreed to represent Cumbria in this competition in 2009.
c. There were comments that coach drivers were no longer stopping in town. No reason for this had been established, although the lack of open cafes was suggested as a possibility. It was accepted that coaches should be welcomed and ideas would be considered to encourage them.
d. Mike had been asked by Glenys to write a letter of support from the Forum for the Skateable Sculpture Project in the light of concerns that EDC financial support may be redirected. The Forum ratified this support.
17. Date of Next Meeting: The date next meeting was confirmed as 10 November at 19.00, in the room above the TIC, unless advised otherwise because of access problems.