Present: Frank Readhead (Chair), Ted Coney, Julie Elsey, Kevin Evans, Sheila-Friend-Smith, Shirley Overall, Terry Overall, Simon Pittock, Mike Rouse, Liz Sayers.
Caroline Cawley, Veronica Poultney, John Simmons, Daniel Block, Malcolm Green, Pat Hillman, Peter Hillman, Ray Tinker, Bridget Hickish, Patricia Simmonds, Jackie Petts.
Liz Sayers agreed to take notes.
These were agreed.
Approximately £2,000 had been spent on creating a garden at the station. This included seating, plants, soil and turf to make an attractive area, which had been very much enjoyed by waiting passengers. This work was led by Shirley and Terry Overall and the garden had been praised by ‘Britain in Bloom’ judges. The garden is now under threat as work progresses on refurbishment and reorganisation of the Station site, which is understood to include a cycle repair shop in one of the units to the left of the station entrance. Concern was expressed at an apparent lack of communication by Station management over the plans. Simon Pittock said Perspective funding was available to pay for an improved wall-mounted leaflet stand to promote Ely’s attractions and businesses. The cost would be approximately £350 but it was agreed there was no point in placing an order until a suitable site could be agreed. Mike Rouse agreed to make inquiries to establish a Station management contact with whom the Perspective can liaise.
Kevin Evans reported on a meeting with Gary Herbert, Post Office regional manager. It is government policy to reduce the number of Crown Post Offices. The majority are now franchise operations. Negotiations to establish a Post Office in the Premier convenience store in the High Street had fallen through and it is likely that until such time as a business – possibly another convenience store – is able to accommodate Post Office counters it will be some time before there is a move from the Portakabin on the Paradise car park. If all avenues fail then there is a possibility Ely might not have a Post Office at all. The City Council has asked the Post Office for fortnightly updates on the situation and councillors have urged them to be more pro-active in seeking out premises from among the city’s business and retail community.
The new Mayor, Cllr Lis Every, is keen to make the City Centre Forum work for Ely. Simon Pittock reported the Forum is developing an Action Plan with goals and sources of funding. One thousand copies of a leaflet funded by the Perspective at a cost of £126 featuring special offers from 28 Ely shops and businesses had been given away on Eel Day as well as 500 of the ‘City for all reasons’ cloth bags. Simon said post Eel Day feedback from shops had been universally positive and he expected 60 shops to join in the ‘special offers’ promotion next year. The Perspective’s stall had raised £116.
Simon and Daniel had spent 14 days during the past three-and-a-half weeks developing Ely Ace. It was essential that problems were ironed out before Ely Ace goes live and they appreciated help from ‘non-tech’ guinea pigs who were assisting with this. Additional features were being developed including one with the potential for a loyalty card system. Two pop-up Ely Ace promotional banners had been bought for £74 and these had been displayed at Eel Day and would be used for the stand at the Cathedral Business Exhibition. Shirley Overall thanked Simon for speaking to the city’s Accessibility group. Ely Ace will include information on facilities for the disabled.
Six plaques had been erected. Photographs had been taken and a Press release would be prepared. This might include an appeal to the public to suggest other sites of interest e.g. the childhood home of the late Ken Wallis, inventor of ‘James Bond gyro’. Daniel and Simon offered to do the design for the proposed ‘plaque trail’ leaflet which Tracey Harding has offered to promote with a launch and a free guided walk.
Frank Readhead was working with city councillor Nigel Clarke to put together a proposal to enable quotes for the work to be obtained. Although businesses at the east end of Steeple Row were using the new bin store, those at the west (Gallery) end were not. Frank Readhead understood John Yates had agreed to liaise with the businesses concerned. He would find out whether this had been done.
A suggestion that community groups should put forward ideas for projects that the Perspective might fund should be put on the ‘back burner’. This prompted questions about funding in general and the need for regular updates from the executive on the Perspective’s income and expenditure.
A newly planted tree at the horseshoe seating in Pocket Park had died. CCTV was not working. Diseased rabbits were on the increase. New play equipment in the Country Park was proving very popular and would be inspected for a Green Flag award on 27 May, the same day as Jubilee Gardens, which is expected to retain its award. Three lights in Jubilee Gardens are not working. Sheila Friend-Smith agreed to talk to Spencer at ECDC.
Mooring enforcement was on-going and one mooring had been extended due to a medical emergency. A section of the wall around the flowerbed by the Babylon Gallery had been demolished by the driver of a mobility scooter during Eel Day. This had been reported to city councillor Nigel Clarke on the day. Mike Rouse agreed to ask if repairs were in hand.
There are very few Canada geese on the river and the Muscovy ducks seem to have disappeared, which has resulted in the restoration of the slipway grass where families are now picnicking.
KE: Monks (Milton Keynes has cows, Ely could have monks)
TC: Bunting in city centre streets
LS: Ely Superserver competition in co-operation with local Press/Clean Sweep Ely (community litter-pick initiative possibly best spearheaded by Mayor and City Centre Form)
SF-S: Cleaner city and clean loos
SO: Metal sculptures (recycling project)
TO: Refurbishment of electricity supply ‘green box’ in Jubilee Gardens (currently a health and safety hazard)
SP: Bug hotels/power points in Fisherman’s Walk car park area to encourage motorhome tourists to visit Ely/interactive touch-screen tourist sign on Market Place and WiFi hotspots in public parks
FR: 1. First Sunday
close High Street, community organisations take turns to organise events – (long water slide in Bristol)
2. Duck race
plastic ducks on river from A to B ?
Possible sites for new projects:
• St. Mary’s Green
• Cross Green
• Palace Green
• Market Place
• Willow Walk – Lavender Green
• Pocket Park
• Oliver Cromwell
• The rower
Existing sculptures and focal points:
• Palace Green - Crimean cannon
• Brays Lane - Q. Victoria R et I
• Jubilee Gardens - Metal eel, water rock
• Maltings - Weird weir, Eel fork
sand bins for fag ends
5. L O V E L Y
T shirts, banners, flags, bunting, posters, publications
‘not just a L O V E L Y cathedral’
LOVELY – TAKE YOUR LITTER HOME / BIN YOUR LITTER
6. HUNT THE MONK – TRAIL
7. 15mph speed limit in High Street
8. Cycle priority streets with central gaps in bumps
Simon Pittock reported that Bridget Hickish was hoping to publish the first edition of a re-launched Ely Eye magazine in the first week of July and would mention Ely Ace. The magazine would be distributed to 9,000 homes. SP showed a promotional flier for the venture. He also showed a leaflet publicising forthcoming events in the city. It was suggested this should be circulated as widely as possible. TC said staff at Ely City Council offices turned down requests to display tourist attraction material. Mike Rouse said he was unaware of any such ruling and would investigate.
6.30pm Tuesday 17th June 2014 at St Peter's House, Broad Street, Ely.