Present: Sheila Friend-Smith (chairman), Will Burton, Daniel Block, Simon Pittock, Philip Eden, John Baker, Ted Coney, Ray Tinker
Apologies were received from Liz Sayers, Angela Moody, Peter Hillman, Heber Martin, Suzanne Lindsay, Alan Mittins, Yvonne Thresh.
These were agreed.
There were no matters arising.
Sheila Friend-Smith and Philip Eden went to meet Stuart Hobbley, the Director of the Regional Heritage Lottery Fund in Cambridge on 7th February. Our ideas, together with the Cathedral's plans to mark the foundations of the former northwest transept in the outdoor seating area of the refectory were well received and we stressed the excellent opportunities which would be opened up with the Steeple Row enhancement and the "missing transept project". We met to write a pre-application for Heritage Lottery funding and Philip is producing the final version after showing it to the Dean and Chapter and Jane Kennedy.
Unfortunately Shirley and Terry Overall could not be here so there was no report.
The Ely Society has arranged a meeting with Mark Veale, Regional Estates Manager for HM's Courts Service and Sheila was asked to compile a list and invite local council and community representatives to a meeting on 7th March in St. Peter's Church House. This will be an exploratory meeting finding out about the process of transferring the Court building to new ownership.
As Daniel Block and Simon Pittock are interested in improving our publicity online most of the discussion was centered on this aspect of the Way Forward. Daniel and Simon had hoped to create a web site which would give publicity to the city and link businesses, churches and other organisations, but they did not succeed in getting the necessary funding. Philip said that he had arranged a presentation for the Ely Traders Association on 28th February on a loyalty card service called "All the Little Shops" and invited Daniel and Simon to the meeting. It was also suggested that they could go with two other members, Will Burton and Ray Tinker to Thame to learn about an innovative scheme linking iPhone software to barcode information in shop windows. Daniel and Simon also said that they would help to update and refresh our web site.
Philip was compiling the invitation list to include all the local Councillors representing Ely and its hinterland, officers from ECDC and the County and local businessmen and community representatives.
The planning application was now public and it was agreed that Design Group members should scrutinise it carefully.
Sand and City has closed. Griffin's shop has not closed but is being refurbished.
• Philip has met Giles Hughes about the proposed loss of a Transport Officer at ECDC as the responsibility for concessionary fares was passing to the County Council. Giles assured Philip that proper attention would still be given to transport issues. He was also assured that money for Steeple Row was still remaining in the Conservation capital budget.
• Will said that the CCTV scheme was going well but more volunteers were needed. He asked why there were no Neighbourhood Panels in March and Philip explained that it was because elections were imminent.
• John said that he was resigning from the Ely Society committee but would continue as a link with the Design Group.
• Ray wondered how we could revive the steam train visits to Ely and Sheila suggested that Will could discuss this with the Traders Association.
• Simon was keen for Ely to have a Christmas market and said he would research how it could be arranged.