Minutes September 2010
KIRKBY STEPHEN TOWN FORUM
Minutes of the Meeting held on Monday 13 September 2010
Present: Mike Walker, Ann Sandell, Joan Johnstone, Jacqui Scarr, John Thompson, Derek Thompson, Shiela Haughey, Libby Bateman, Andrea Hines, Glenys Lumley, Jacqui Semple
1. Appointment of Chairman:
Andrea Hines agreed to take the Chair for this meeting.
2. Apologies for absence:
Charles Hurst, Andrew Griffiths, Liz Hall, Debbie Hylton, Leanne Harbage,
Linda Walker, Tina Galloway, Mike Sunderland
3. Minutes of the meeting on 12 July 2010:
The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true record.
4. Matters Arising (not otherwise included in the agenda):
a. The Community Foundation were informed of the publication of the “What to do in Kirkby Stephen” leaflet. No comment has been made.
b. Cerberus do not have the original artwork for the business booklet.
c. Quotations for reprinting the town maps have been received at £75 for artwork and a few pounds for printing. The Forum agreed to go ahead using some of the Calor prize money for this. Action: Joan Johnstone
d. Other actions were covered on the agenda.
5. Christmas Lights:
Shiela Haughey reminded the meeting that there were 102 days to Christmas, and although there had been hold-ups due to slow suppliers’ responses, the Christmas Lights project was still on track. Lamp harnesses, catenary wire and additional bulbs are now on order, together with a suitable pole that will form the centrepiece of the ceiling of light in the Market Square. Shiela asked that the Forum thank Roger Frank, who had given excellent assistance with the mechanics of the pole, and Jeanette Cooper who had performed outside her usual Town Clerk remit in procuring the equipment. Action: Mike Walker
An electrician will be appointed by the Town Council to oversee the installation and rectify any problems that may arise. Action: Joan Johnstone
Because of the significant changes in the arrangement of the lights for 2010, a meeting of the erection team will be convened as soon as possible to work out details of power supply, connections and switching.
Action: Shiela Haughey
The following lighting scheme will be available for 2010
a. A ceiling of light in the market square, with eleven strings of lights radiating from a central pole in place of the Christmas tree.
b. An extension of existing lights along North Road.
c. Lighting the trees in Silver Street gardens as proposed in 2009.
The secretary asked that the opportunity was taken in the next Community Newsletter to explain the situation with Christmas Lights, and why it was not possible this year to extend them to the traffic lights as promised. Action: Shiela Haughey
Various members of the Forum had requested retention of Christmas trees on business premises in town, and it was agreed to defer the icicles until next year. The secretary will contact Stuart McGroarty and John Popple, and send letters out as usual. A request was made that business-supplied lights should preferably be plain white, with minimum flashing to avoid health problems with passers-by.
Action: Mike Walker
It was agreed that we should promote more trees along the south of Market Street, at the Post Office, and at the Methodist Chapel. Mike will discuss possibilities with Geoff Hastwell. Action: Mike Walker
6. Christmas Switch-on:
Discussions in the Lights group had led to a suggestion that the lights be switched-on at 18.30 on Friday 26 November, to maximise the impact on businesses. It was also suggested that lights be switched-off on 2 January as by that time they will have been in place for 5 weeks. The Meeting agreed these dates.
Preliminary enquiries had established that Rory Stewart MP would be available to perform the switch-on, and the secretary will confirm this with his office.
Action: Mike Walker
The usual carol singing and music will be arranged for this evening.
Action: Ann Sandell
The “More Than a Handful Players” will perform a play/pantomime on Friday and Saturday evenings. The secretary will establish if the Masonic Hall is free for both nights and book the three preceding Wednesday evenings for rehearsals. The Forum agreed to contribute £50 towards the costs of room hire for rehearsals.
Action: Mike Walker
It was agreed to hold the usual Christmas Window competition with a theme based on the Narnia novels, to conform to the theme of the Santa event. It was agreed to ask if Rory Stewart MP would also be available to judge the windows during his visit.
Action: Mike Walker
7. Santa Event:
As the Stainmore Railway are busy preparing for their 150th birthday, they are not holding a Santa event in 2010. The Forum is arranging an event in the King’s Arms yard, with a craft market in the ballroom, on the weekend of 4/5 December 2010. The theme proposed is the Lion, Witch, Wardrobe & Santa. A Christmas / Winter setting will be provided courtesy of Stuart McGroarty who has agreed to lend Christmas tress for the occasion. The facility to send letters to Santa will be provided via the Royal Mail service. Action: Jacqui Semple
8. New Year’s Eve:
For the past 3 year’s Mike Walker has displayed Big Ben for New Year in the Market Square. He will not be doing the same in 2010, but the DVD is available if anyone else wishes to do it. The Forum agreed that there would be no formal activity this year. The Police would be advised so that they can monitor and deal with any trouble.
Action: Mike Walker
9. Shop Advertising Boards:
Raven Graphics have done some preliminary designs for advertising boards, but the Forum felt that they did not meet the needs for an easily updateable display of businesses in Kirkby Stephen. As Leanne Harbage had been instrumental in raising this it was agreed to defer discussion until the next meeting.
Display frames were available for the bus shelters at a cost of ca £240 each
10. Use of New Technology:
Mike had not been able to convene a meeting of the sub-group proposed at the last meeting, but has been in touch with a supplier of Bluetooth equipment which may fit the bill. Mike explained that it was desirable to use technology that was in common use, and which could be activated once in Kirkby Stephen rather than needing prior research. Bluetooth downloads to a mobile phone appeared to fit the bill, and was not reliant on having the most up-to-date equipment. Audio Trails can supply mains powered Bluetooth units for around £500. The immediate idea is for downloads of a guide to the church, and of each stone on the Poetry Path with a photograph, and a reading of the relevant poem. The Forum supported the project but pointed out we may need to pay royalties to the poet. Detailed location issues also need to be resolve to avoid annoyance of locals, always being informed of the availability of the Bluetooth downloads, and nuisance to passing drivers to avoid possible accidents, and disturbance of church services. It was agreed to go ahead and invite the supplier to visit to discuss details of what we would like to offer.
Action: Mike Walker
Discussion of the Poetry Path led to consideration of more sales outlets, especially as the TIC and Community Office are only open for limited hours. As part of the cost covers royalty payments to the poet this needs to be considered carefully.
Ann Sandell also asked if the TIC WiFi link could be made available out of hours. The secretary pointed out that this was a business opportunity for many in the town, although for a number of reasons many do not make it available. This would be investigated. Action: Andrea Hines
Libby Bateman has also been investigating use of a digital noticeboard. Once possible costs are established the Forum will consider where one might be installed. The secretary will enquire with HSBC whether their window might be a possible location.
Action: Libby Bateman / Mike Walker
11. “All the Little Shops”:
The secretary had circulated information about the “All the Little Shops” organisation. It was agreed that the Forum would take no action, but if businesses wished to follow it up they could do.
Libby Bateman took the opportunity to outline her thoughts on Shopping Locally, with a Christmas challenge.
12. St Luke’s Fair / Charter Market:
There will be no major activity this year, but Kenneth Morrison has been asked to read the charter at 1100 on Saturday 23 October. We need to find the scroll prepared for the 2009 event. Action: Joan Johnstone
13. 2011 Events:
The following events are already proposed for 2011:
• Easter Commercial Vehicle Rally
• Stainmore Railway Steam Gathering – Father’s Day - June
• Stainmore Railway. 150th anniversary weekend - 27/28/29 August. This will be a major event with special trains, and a walking event.
• Parish Church Flower Festival 27/28/29 August
• King’s Arms Beer & Folk Festival
• Brough 2 day Roman weekend – July
It was felt that with so much happening there was no need for the Forum to arrange any other activities.
The Community Cinema has sufficient funding for one more showing. As there are many new developments in community cinema, not least through Eden Arts, it was agreed to hold of further showings until we establish whether we can get better value for money from different providers.
14. Insurance – Notification of Events:
The only Forum events to notify for insurance will be the Christmas lights switch-on and play, and the Santa Event in December. The secretary will notify Action for Market Towns of these. Action: Mike Walker
The insurance is due shortly. It was noted that we increased the level of coverage for 2009/10 because of the Calor presentation. It was agreed that we ask for reduced coverage for 2010/11. It was also agreed that we should enquire whether we could extend coverage to other areas than the Kirkby Stephen ward so as to include events in Brough. Action: Mike Walker
15. Any Other Business:
a. Cumbria in Bloom judges visited Kirkby Stephen in July and in early September it was announced that Kirkby Stephen had won four trophies and received two gold medals in the competition. The judges’ comments are appended to these minutes. Joan Johnstone asked the Forum to pass on her thanks to the community for all their efforts in this achievement.
b. During the meeting extracts from the BBC 1 series, Secret Britain were shown to the Forum including Alison O’Neil at Uldale Waterfall, Libby Bateman at Pendragon Castle and Julia Bradbury interviewing Stephen Walker at Nine Standards.
c. Cerberus has printed too many town trail leaflets, and has offered the additional 5000 for an additional £125. It was agreed that this should be funded. The TIC has asked if they can purchase their stock of leaflets to minimise the bureaucracy of accounting for a portion of each sale to repay the Forum. Details will be sorted out. Action: Joan Johnstone
d. Jacqui Semple advised the Forum that a representative of Denton (Norfolk), one of the Calor finalists in the 2009 competition, had visited the Emporium. He had high praise for Kirkby Stephen, and was reassured that Denton had been beaten by a worthy opponent.
e. The issue of parking was also raised with problems arising once the restrictions were lifted at the end of August. The secretary was asked to write to the Town Council outlining these concerns and enquiring about the possibility of year-round restrictions, and greater Police presence at busy sales times. The possibility of using the school car-park for charity fund raising was raised by Libby Bateman and noted.
Action: Mike Walker
f. Ann Sandell has converted the Annual Report into a printable version, and this will be made available in the TIC, Community Office, Library and elsewhere. Action: Ann Sandell
g. Mike displayed photographs of Hay/Straw sculptures that he has seen in northern France. (attached). The Pennine YFC would be interested in working with the Forum to promote competition between villages with similar sculptures, provided that some difficulties could be overcome. It was thought that such an activity in Upper Eden could provide a tourism opportunity in villages away from the main road, promote community involvement and be fun. It was suggested that Eden Arts might be approached for support. The Forum agreed that Mike should progress this idea for 2011. Action: Mike Walker
h. ITV Borders are looking for young people (16-25) who contribute to the community, to provide support and publicity for “ITV Fixers”. It was agreed to pass the information on to the Eastside Crew, the Grammar School and the Young Farmers. Action: Mike Walker
i. Mike also raised the circulation list for the Forum and asked for permission to include businesses from the UECP circulation list. It was agreed to do this for the agenda for the next meeting. Action: Mike Walker
10. Date of Next Meeting:
It was agreed that the next meeting would be held on Monday 8 November 2010 at 1900 in the room above the TIC.