Present: Frank Readhead (chair), Daniel Block, Kevin Evans, Sheila Friend-Smith (minutes), Bridget Hickish, Peter Hillman, Shirley Overall, Terry Overall, Veronica Poultney, Ray Tinker
Caroline Cawley, Ted Coney, Simon Pittock and Liz Sayers.
These were agreed but the Chairman apologised for failing to send them to all members.
Riverside: PH has tried to become part of the ECDC/City Council Riverside Group as he has succeeded Liz Wainwright as Chair of the Perspective Riverside Group but has not received an invitation so far.
He reported that the majority of the Riverside Group felt the time was right for the two Perspective groups to merge as the new ECDC /City Council group had taken on many of the Perspective group’s issues. The Design and Marketing members agreed with this idea as it would still be possible to have riverside issues on the merged agenda. Previous Riverside group members would be most welcome to play a full part in the larger group. This could be known as the Perspective Working party but a final decision about the merger would be taken by the Perspective executive.
Bunting: TO said that this had been discussed at an Eel Day meeting but it was thought that banners attached to lamp posts would be more cost effective as bunting needed to be erected by a costly cherry picker and had a limited life in inclement weather conditions.
DB said that delays in going live were caused by pressures of private work but the aim was to launch ACE at the end of February. The ACE team had kept retailers up to date and there had been no adverse feedback. BH explained that she had come to the meeting because she was very interested in ACE and offered to be a link with ACE if she restarted her monthly paper similar to a parish magazine that would serve the city of Ely. DB hoped it would be possible to use the empty shop window at Millets to publicise the app and it was also suggested that the launch of ACE could be featured on Shape Your Place.
TO and SO reported that the plaques have been promised for the middle of January and that they would collect them when they were ready. They have also found a reliable, fully insured workman who will erect the plaques with assistance from TO at a very reasonable cost. Owners of the sites will be informed when the plaques are going to be erected and can determine the exact location in compliance with the agreed plan. The group offered to pay petrol expenses when the Overalls went to collect the plaques.
SO said that progress was slow but new plans approved by the Access Group were being submitted.
Negotiations re the Maltings were ongoing and work has begun to make the cottage secure. A planning application to provide outdoor seating and a play area at the rear of the Maltings has been submitted by the new owners of the restaurant but as this encroaches on the cottage garden there were concerns about the timing of this application.
SF-S said that good progress was being made. The bin store would be built as soon as the agreement between the City Council and East Cambs District Council about its maintenance was finalised. Tender documents about the landscaping improvements would soon be drawn up and this stage of the work can be financed from the District Council conservation budget.
It might be possible to gain funding for the project from the Section 106 Open Spaces budget if the City Council agrees. SO suggested that it might be possible to provide solar lighting for the trees in addition to or instead of the ground lighting.
This was covered in Matters arising.
PH agreed to chair the February meeting.
It was agreed to continue with the activities outlined in the November minutes and the following new ideas were submitted: New plaques could be ordered for The Bishop’s Palace, The Old Fire in the Engine restaurant and the former Wallises building. Our group should co-operate with Tourism to produce a leaflet with details about an historic plaque trail. Possibly Pam Blakeman could be approached for assistance with the text. When resources permit it would be good to replace the Eel Trail discs with larger ones. It may help retailers if a special event could be held in Summer months in Jubilee Gardens in order to promote Ely retailers. This idea will be taken to the wider City centre forum being held in the Cathedral centre on 3rd February.
It was agreed that this item would be dealt with at the March meeting.
It was agreed that the Christmas get-together was very enjoyable and DB and TC were thanked for organising it.
RT announced that Stagecoach has taken over the Norfolk Green buses and that there were concerns about the long- term future of the service. He also expressed disappointment that the steam train passengers appeared to be unsure where they were expected to go on leaving the station although tourism officers were handing out maps.
A “mystery shopper” who visited the Cambridge TIC recently was disappointed to find that the poster of Ely was no longer on display. SF-S said that there will be an Isle of Ely Festival in 2014 from mid June to mid July and it will be mainly financed by an Arts Council grant. There will be a meeting of the community group in February to discuss further plans.
6.30pm Tuesday 18th February 2014 at St Peter's House, Broad Street, Ely.