Present: Frank Readhead (chair), Daniel Block, Ted Coney, Kevin Evans, Sheila FriendSmith, Shirley Overall, Terry Overall, Simon Pittock, Patricia Simmonds, Liz Sayers, Ray Tinker.
Caroline Cawley, Julie Elsey, Veronica Poultney, Mike Rouse, John Simmons.
Daniel Block volunteered to take notes.
These were agreed.
TC asked about progress on opening the path between the bottom of Fore Hill and the Broad Street car park. There is no news on when it will open, but it was noted that the owner of the building had suffered injury in an incident, so progress may be delayed. Simon Taylor, one of the businesses nearby, has moved.
The terms and conditions provided by FR previously have been agreed by the group as adequate for protecting the group from misuse of the site by users. DB gave an update on progress on the site and additional items which could not be shown the previous month. There was further discussion about the list of local features which require input from group members.
Action: DB, SP
SP and DB reported back on the Cathedral Fair, at which leaflets and shopping bags were given out to people leaving the Cathedral. In addition to this, banners were erected to remind visitors to explore the city's shops and restaurants. Also, thousands of the shopping voucher leaflets were inserted inside event programmes given to visitors entering the Cathedral. The group discussed possible outlets for distributing the remaining shopping voucher leaflets, such as Oliver Cromwell's House, The Maltings, Ely Library, doctors' surgeries, dentists, village post offices and tea and coffee shops. SO took some leaflets for distribution, and LS volunteered to collect the rest and deliver those.
Action: SO, LS
FR reported another consultation is in process on improvements to the riverside. TC mentioned the lights on the fountain in Jubilee Gardens have been repaired, although another light in the gardens is not working. SF-S will inform ECDC of this.
The path in Cherry Hill Park was mentioned because the embedded lights have not been visible since the fireworks event. The path will be cleaned soon.
Bricks that collapsed near Babylon Gallery are being repaired by City Council, as well as paving and new seats planned for the area.
FR queried the current riverside representation in our group as Malcolm Green and Helen Moore had not been in contact for a while, but members said they had been in contact, as well as some members present having previously been members of the riverside group.
Allison Conder was praised for her dedication in reading our minutes, replying with updates regularly, and taking action on queries raised by the group.
LS commented on the hazard posed by the wooden steps outside the Cutter Inn when wet. SF-S will enquire about possible solutions to this.
SP asked TC as an ADeC trustee if he has news on plans to move. They hope to move in the spring. The future use for the Maltings Cottage is still unknown, although it remains weather-tight.
SF-S reported on a meeting held with Helen Bright, FR, John Yates, Stephen Bourne and Nigel Clarke regarding a possible pilot project with Perspective and the Cathedral working together. Work is ongoing to pursue a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. It has been noted that money from ECDC should be used while it is still 'ring-fenced' for the project.
The subject of the bin-store was discussed by the group. Feedback from conversations with High St shops shows that some will not use the bin-store in its current form because it is too dark and unsafe, with unpleasant people loitering around. Lighting would help but would not solve the issue entirely. A security light would need to be attached somewhere – either to the bin-store or a nearby shop. Consultation and planning permission would be required for this. Also ownership of the bin-store needs to be established to move forward with this. FR suggested investigating brighter versions of pavement based lighting (like the path in Cherry Hill Park). Councils will be consulted to discover whether this would be possible. Confirmation that the pathway maintenance is the responsibility of the County Council was disputed by some group members, so this needs to be established.
SO confirmed there has been not much progress on agreeing a plaque for Bishop's Palace. TC had met with Ann Jarman of The Old Fire Engine House, but although she was keen to have a plaque, she did not want to fund the full cost. SO and TO will contact her. SO also reported that information on Ken Wallis has been compiled, and she is awaiting information on Jack Cardiff from his neighbour. SO also appealed for further information
on the other plaques being worked on. TO will contact the foundry to remind them we want to order more from them, and to check costs.
SF-S asked about the cost of producing an accompanying leaflet. SP gave some example figures based on ordering 10,000 copies for £500, but ours would likely be cheaper. DB and SP have agreed to design the leaflet. Further information for the leaflet is required. DB also mentioned an email from David Learner of Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, who was interested in having a plaque outside the old tax office where PD James had briefly worked. TO had spoken to him previously, and DB will forward the email to him.
FR gave a map leaflet to SO as an example for use on a tree walking trail.
Action: DB, SO, TO
SO corrected last month's comment about the protective canvas for the City Council stall, but said she will enquire. TO said Ian Newstead had emailed with information that the switch-on will take place at 19.00 instead of 18.45. There will be no tour bus this year, instead stalls and rides will extend onto High St, allowing more space on the Market Place.
FR explained that the five most popular potential projects could not be tackled by
Perspective for various reasons. DB circulated a report from the results of researching which funding sources might be available to us, and which of the other projects listed by the group might be possible as a result. This was welcomed by the group and RT
suggested it should form the main basis of the next meeting in January.
SP will enquire on progress of Clean Sweep with the City Council and whether Perspective can pursue this. TC asked about the information board in Jubilee Gardens. SP will ask Tracey Harding about this.
SO said she was keen to have historic street scene illustrations suggested by LS, which are currently displayed in Kendal and Deal. The group discussed ideas of how this could work in Ely.
DB pointed out the likelihood of funding for a bug hotel, which was put forward by SP. PS and SF-S pointed out some small ones which exist, although the one in the Country Park was vandalised. The proposed new one, though, would be larger and different in design.
TC asked about street bunting, which is another possible project. The logistical issues of installation were discussed, including the availability of cherry-pickers, training required and other factors. TC commented that local shops could fund it, but SP fed back on the City Centre Forum discussion from last year about co-ordinated efforts to ask traders for financial contributions rather than different groups asking traders for money a number of times. Also, lamp-posts on Market Street cannot currently be used for bunting.
SP confirmed money for signage is in place. SO asked about Fore Hill railings, but that will be different funding.
DB confirmed as a result of discussion with the Executive, and further research, Action for Market Towns has closed, which means Perspective's current membership subscription is lost, and the group will no longer benefit from the membership advantages.
FR requested SP ask City Council for projects they would like to pursue, which Perspective could potentially find funding for.
FR passed SP the City Pledge to follow up with City Council.
TC reported the sudden disappearance of the station leaflet stand. After making enquiries, he had confirmation from Paul Stannard that a station colleague had removed it in the process of rearranging the station ticket office. It is being stored and awaiting collection by Perspective. The group discussed where the old stand might best be used. TC also had confirmation that the previously confirmed renovation of the station area is now not going ahead. The group was angry at the way the leaflet stand had been removed without being consulted, and also that the renovation plans have been abandoned without any official communication.
6.30pm Tuesday 20th January 2015 at St Peter's House, Broad Street, Ely. Ends 20.30