Present: Frank Readhead (Chair), Daniel Block, Caroline Cawley, Ted Coney, Kevin Evans, Bridget Hickish, Shirley Overall, Terry Overall, Simon Pittock, Patricia Simmonds, John Simmons, Ray Tinker.
Sheila Friend-Smith, Pat Hillman, Peter Hillman, Helen Moore, Jackie Petts, Veronica Poultney, Mike Rouse, Liz Sayers. Peter Webb wrote to resign from the group due to other commitments.
DB volunteered to take minutes.
These were agreed.
No further news.
The restaurant is aiming to open for Eel Day. The replacement for the Boathouse restaurant (Grand Central) will also open in a couple of weeks.
Ely Society will be meeting with the Post Office next week. KE will be representing Ely Perspective and will report back.
The results of the recent Ely 'walkabout' have been referred to the City Centre Forum and some matters have already been assigned to Cathedral and ECDC. The observations will be made available (privately) online and categorised for further action. FR reported that a letter was sent by the Executive to the Dean about the parking issues at Sacrist's Gate and is being processed.
The Executive met with Lis Every (deputy mayor and incoming mayor) and had productive discussions about future plans. The relationship between Ely Perspective and the district and city councils has been strengthened in recent months and Lis Every was pleased to hear of our plans. FR reported that Ely Perspective is looking forward to working with the City Centre Forum on future projects. Some suggestions of future projects were made, such as statues in the city centre, and a dedicated notice-board (perhaps in the Cloisters passageway) for posters, flyers and advertising.
SP commented on the enthusiasm of City of Ely Council and City Centre Forum for Ely Perspective to work with them and take on tasks better suited to the group than to the Council.
DB and SP presented progress on the website where businesses and community groups can manage their own account by editing details, and adding their own special offers and events. SP commented that we need further information on the website regarding disabled access and similar facilities. SO informed of an upcoming meeting to cover these issues for SP to attend.
A stall for ElyAce has been booked for Eel Day, with an Eel game and various Eel and Ely themed baked goods to be available. BH and SO offered to help with this and PS offered to purchase prizes for a lucky dip. SO also suggested Ely Perspective leaflets could go on the stall.
Ely Perspective will again be arranging and printing special offer leaflets in conjunction with the City Centre Forum, the councils and Tracey Harding for distribution with the Ely Perspective shopping bags filled with various leaflets and vouchers at the 1st Ely Food & Drink Festival to take place on the Eel Day weekend.
Five of the six plaques have now been installed around the city, with the remaining plaque for the railway station requiring further paperwork. It has emerged that one plaque has an incorrect name on it (John instead of James) although further investigation is required to establish which name was most well known.
Pam Blakeman has agreed to write accompanying historical information about the sites of the plaques, for inclusion in a leaflet to guide visitors and on the Visit Ely website. Quotes for the printing of leaflets have been provided by the Tourist Information Centre. A photo of TO and SO with the installed plaque(s) will be taken soon and sent to local press.
An additional plaque for the Bishop's Palace has been proposed to Sue Freestone, and may be possible if Ely Perspective can fund it.
The courthouse will be available for the public to visit and inspect in September. It is currently being painted.
No further news.
FR reported that costs for the remainder of the project are estimated to be around £340k (inc VAT). The high cost means that various funding sources will be required, and it far exceeds the means of Section 106 money (were any to be allocated to the project at all). It was agreed that progress is required to ensure any currently earmarked funds are not lost. A printout of the Steeple Row plans was circulated to remind the group of what is required. There was also discussion about the bin-store as there are still businesses not using it. Clarification is required on the matter of whether bins left on the path are obstructing the County highway. SP also clarified the practical and financial reasons for a gate on the bin-store being impossible.
SP mentioned the idea of using online crowd-funding to contribute to the project. This is to be further investigated.
The wider subject of funding for Ely Perspective was discussed. FR emphasised the need to embark upon new projects and bring new ideas. He wishes for the group to make a visible impact over the next 12 months (to coincide with the Mayoral year) under his chairmanship. JS added that Lis Every mentioned some ideas during the meeting with the Executive, with recognition of the fact that Ely Perspective has scope to fund-raise where the councils do not. JS also reported that he had made a presentation to Ely Ladies' Group who were happy to hear about projects we had already worked on, and JS would be happy to do the same with other groups. JS suggested the next meeting (in May) should be used for discussing in detail possible new ideas to focus on and perhaps refer to the City Centre Forum.
KE mentioned the VCAEC in Ely as an area to investigate for potential funding sources. DB mentioned that Ely Perspective are members of the group and had recently been contacted by them.
DB reported on an update provided before the meeting by Allison Conder about Ely Country Park and the Riverside. The main points were as follows:
• A new CCTV camera has been installed at the park to overlook the play area and access path between Sainsbury's and Fisherman's car park.
• Solar lighting has now been installed into the same path.
• Wicksteed Playscapes has started work on the new picnic, cycle parking and toddler play area, due to be completed within 6 weeks.
• Over 3,000 snow drops, primulas, bluebells, and celandines were planted by the Council's open spaces team during April along the aforementioned path.
• An application has been made for a Green Flag award for the Country Park. The park is to be inspected during May.
• An improvement plan for the Riverside was approved at Council Committee and work has begun on the following improvements:
• Health and safety improvements to the slipway which is now owned by ECDC.
• Reversing the cycling ban on the riverside path and removing the 'no-cycling' signs.
• Handing back public fishing rights to the Environment Agency to manage and monitor.
• Still in progress are the following items:
• Installing the new duck feeding signage, which is awaiting further improvement works on the slipway and is estimated to take place in Autumn.
• Solar lighting – tendering has been completed and City Council is due to make a decision with work to take place during the Summer.
• Widening the footpath across Lavender Green. Work will commence during Autumn as the footpath will need to be closed during a quiet period.
• Unable to progress was a duck feeding dispenser as the maintenance could not be allocated. This is now on hold although alternative solutions are being explored.
A printout of the area covered by a proposed Mooring Byelaw sent by Lewis Bage was circulated to the group.
Ely In Bloom
RT reported the decision to move Ely-in-Bloom into the Street Furniture committee. The expectation is that Ely Perspective would take up non-monetary activity and competitions. The group expressed disappointment at this development.
Historic Buildings Register
TO notified the group that the public can nominate buildings for the register on ECDC's website until 27th April.
6.30pm Tuesday 20th May 2014 at St Peter's House, Broad Street, Ely.