Present: Frank Readhead (Chair), Daniel Block, Ted Coney, Kevin Evans, Sheila Friend-Smith, Malcolm Green, Bridget Hickish, Pat Hillman, Peter Hillman, Simon Pittock, Liz Sayers, Patricia Simmonds, Ray Tinker.
Shirley Overall, Terry Overall, Veronica Poultney, Mike Rouse, John Simmons (was present for the start of the meeting to obtain accounts signatures before having to leave for another engagement).
DB agreed to take notes.
These were agreed.
Press release and picture for commemorative plaques had been picked up by a couple of publications and appeared on Ely News website.
SP reported back on previous meeting of working party. The structure of the group may change slightly, so that the working party meet regularly and report back to a twice yearly seminar open to all, in particular the local businesses who have previously shown an interest. The idea of an independent shopping guide aimed at bringing visitors to Ely was discussed, including possible funding sources. RT asked if Action for Market Towns (now Towns Alive) could be a source of help. It was mentioned that there are a number of options for distribution to Ely and the surrounding area – Caroline Cawley has previously offered to include items with AdeC's existing distribution, and possibly Ely-i magazine for city based distribution. Also, the scouts' Christmas post might be another possibility. Another special offers leaflet for summer was mentioned, as well as visiting the US airbase for Independence Day. Pat Hillman also suggested the Park & Ride for distribution.
DB reported on progress and new features, as well as the inclusion of ElyAce (and Ely Perspective) in the Tourist Information Centre's new retailers' welcome pack. There was discussion of how best to encourage businesses to submit information ready for launch of the project. DB will communicate with group members via email with a further update.
The current financial accounts were circulated for information. The financial situation and current commitments and contingencies were communicated to the group. Existing sources of income and funding were asked about. There is nothing currently in place and Sheila Friend-Smith gave some background of how income was obtained historically. Daniel reported back on a meeting with the Volunteer Centre where membership was confirmed and all current projects and potential new projects communicated to the representative, and Daniel will be notified of funding schemes and applications available to Perspective as a result. Kevin Evans warned of the stringent requirements for many funding schemes which require paperwork and constitutional wording which Perspective may be unable to provide. Some other avenues (including local companies and banks) were suggested as possible funding sources. Simon added that Shirley Blake has offered to assist with applications for funding. Also, crowdfunding was mentioned by Simon and Frank Readhead.
Frank is to meet Jane Kennedy of Ely Cathedral soon regarding the project. Frank has also met with Nigel Clarke about details of the plans. Prior Associates will be asked about seating installation, with regard to it being a 'no-dig' project. Sheila asked about alternative materials for the seating, and Frank outlined some options. Frank was also thanked by the group for his work on the project so far. Ted Coney asked for an update on whether John Yates has spoken to High St businesses about using the bin store. Sheila or Frank will ask.
Terry or Shirley Overall are to be asked about the situation with the accompanying leaflet.
Helen Moore's email in response to last month's mention of a bug hotel was discussed. Kevin had already replied with photos of the old bug hotel. Pat suggested group members look at an excellent example of a bug hotel behind the scout hut near Fordham.
Malcolm Green mentioned the following:
• the CCTV is not yet running/present in Pocket Park.
• Part of the wall that had broken down near Babylon Gallery is still broken.
• The riverbank along the riverside past the railway bridge has eroded at one point which has nearly reached the path. A responsible authority needs to be identified and action taken. Allison Conder is to be contacted.
Pat Hillman mentioned an advertisement in local newspaper which indicates Tabouche is making changes to be more family focused.
The following items emailed by Allison Conder were communicated:
• Dead tree in horseshoe seating area at the country park has died - this has now been replaced
• Diseased rabbits on the increase - Previous rabbit control at the park has been ineffective as they simply migrate in from the nearby railway embankment. We have seen an increased in myxomatosis rabbits, and are going to get specialist advice to ensure we can get the numbers (and damage) properly under control.
• Allison has copied in Spencer to note the 3 lights out in Jubilee Gardens.
Ted commented that the display boards at Jubilee Gardens are difficult to see and deteriorating. He asked if Friends of Jubilee Gardens could take it on as a responsibility. Simon mentioned that signage is being improved as an ongoing project via ECDC and the City Centre Forum. Liz Sayers noted signage in Kendall as a good example of useful information signs. The group were shown a picture and agreed.
Sheila mentioned someone who used to be at Kings School has set up a bunting workshop/business. Pat Hillman mentioned a banner printer they have used might have offcuts which could be used to make bunting. She also asked if the Jubilee Gardens display board could be taken on as a priority, at least to replace the perspex fronting to make it legible.
Malcolm asked if there is an update on the moorings situation. Daniel will ask ECDC for an update. Malcolm also said the Greylags are likely to usurp the Canada geese population this year, which will hopefully mitigate their effect on the riverside.
Ted suggested a project to encourage people to display old photos of their houses in their front windows.
Kevin mentioned an upcoming retrospective exhibition of how Ely looked 100 years ago, for the WW1 anniversary. He asked for ideas to obtain more photos from that period.
Malcolm suggested reviving an idea previously mentioned to extend the riverside footpath underneath the A142. Sheila thinks it was put on hold because of the ongoing southern bypass, but Malcolm pointed out that it shouldn't be related as the footpath would not need to be extended very far to link up the riverside with the path to Little Thetford.
Sheila mentioned Pat's idea to focus on the Jubilee Gardens display board as a possible future project.
Pat asked about reviving an old idea for lighting along the riverside. It was also mentioned that the existing Jubilee Gardens lighting needs attention, with some lighting having been out for at least 9 months. The lights installed in Cherry Hill Park and Pocket Park were noted as good additions and good examples of subtle lighting.
Frank mentioned ideas he had spotted in Sidmouth (including vouchers) which could be pursued, perhaps by the CCF. Sidmouth has an arboretum, which is maybe something Ely could have. Malcolm thinks someone may already have begun noting particular trees as he has spotted stickers with numbers on some significant riverside trees. Malcolm will investigate further.
Frank reported on progress of LovEly – that it had been communicated to Tracey Harding and Lis Every and had been well received, and he had registered the design to protect it from abuse. Frank showed examples of different uses of the theme, with potential ideas being greeting cards, t-shirts etc...
Ted asked about progress on the Market Square with specific regard to lamp-posts which have needed replacement for at least a year. The group expressed frustration at the delays. Simon suggested it be mentioned on Shape Your Place.
The Hillmans were thanked for their contributions over the years and wished good luck for the future away from Ely.
6.30pm Tuesday 15th July 2014 at St Peter's House, Broad Street, Ely.