Venue: Mayor's Parlour
Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Members: Sarah Barber (ABC), Mike Bartlett (TDCC), Sue Ferguson (MyTenterden), Cllr. Roger Quinton (TTC), Simon Robinson (TDCC), Cllr. Alan Sugden (TTC), and Seren Welch (Tourism Consultant). Claire Gilbert (TTC) took the minutes.
Non-members: Cllr. Mrs. Jean Curteis (TTC – Town Mayor), Helen Douglas (Kent & East Sussex Railway) and Andrew Keates (Resident).
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.
Cllrs. Ken Mulholland, Justin Nelson and Mrs. Pam Smith. Cllr. Paul Clokie (ABC), Rod Hardingham and Glenn Thompson.
To consider and, if approved, confirm the minutes and report of the meeting held on 14th January 2020.
The minutes of the meeting held on 14th January 2020 were agreed.
Minute 6 Action points – updates.
1. Co-ordination of potential Tenterden blog posts that could be utilised by the Council as well as feature on the Visit Ashford and Tenterden website:
(a) no blog post ideas had been put forward by committee members - therefore, this item was carried forward to the February meeting for further action.
2. Tourism information points around the Town:
(a) no formal visitor information centre exists in Tenterden, therefore the committee have reviewed the possibility of three potential locations to cover the Town 7 days a week:
(i) Town Hall lobby - open to public 9.00 – 3.30pm Monday to Friday - All Year;
(ii) Tenterden Museum – open to the public 1.30-4.30pm every day between April and October;
(iii) St. Mildred’s Church – Open every day 9-6 pm - All Year.
(b) in addition, the Kent And East Sussex Railway have a Take One information rack on site to promote local attractions.
Action: Town Hall staff to research a freestanding leaflet rack for St. Mildred’s Church as well as necessary signage from the high street to indicate the info point location (A Board).
3. Business development funding opportunities
(a) Interreg information was circulated to Committee members. Sarah Barber agreed to circulate updates as they are published. Sarah reported that Food, Drink, Wine & Beer are the focus of Ashford at the moment.
4. Town clash diary – for Major events only
TOWN CENTRE MANAGER POSITION.
Update from the Working Group on the production of a job description/fixed term contract.
Town Centre & Tourism Co-ordinator (Please note change in Job title)
The job description has been finalised and approved by the Sub-committee.
1. Job description to be approved by the Town Council’s Staffing Sub-committee. Next meeting 11th March 2020.
2. Approved JD to be reported to the next External Committee on 14th April for ratification.
3. Advertisement of post around mid-April/post Easter (two week application window). This will be advertised on the Council’s website, social media pages and in the Wealden Advertiser.
4. Proposed interviews early May.
5. Appointment and starting date for successful candidate June 2020.
To review the recommendations of the Working Group from their first meeting on 20th January 2020. *
The minutes of the working group meeting held on 20th January 2020 were noted. A list of recommendations has been put forward for consideration:
(a) Straightening of bins - to be actioned by Town Council’s Maintenance Team;
(b) Tighter management of the greens including repairs - to be actioned by Town Council’s Maintenance Team;
(c) Repairs to footpaths/ pavements - Town Council are not in a position to repair footpaths as this is the responsibility of Kent County Council and the Town Council would become liable if repairs were to be made by the Maintenance Team - as reported by Claire Gilbert (Deputy Town Clerk).
(d) Connecting walkway from Railway - the Sub-committee were mostly in agreement with the proposal, however a discussion with the General Manager at the Kent & East Sussex Railway was needed, to clarify any concerns over safety and security issues for the railway and to consider proposed development at the railway site and any associated implications.
(e) Town Centre Road layout – initial concept ideas have been produced for the layout of the High Street and side roads which were circulated with the Agenda. Points for consideration:
(i) should KCC be consulted first before spending funds on ideas and to gauge support;
(ii) were these initial proposals taking into consideration the full impact of current housing development scheduled within the Town;
(iii) do the councillors need additional image based information to absorb these proposals.
Mike Bartlett congratulated the Working Group on moving things forwarded and suggested that a timeframe be set up for the works to be done.
1. Claire would contact the KCC Highways Representative based in Ashford to see if an officer would be able to walk the High Street to produce an action plan of areas that required attention. Cllr. Roger Quinton agreed to participate in the meeting.
2. Helen to liaise with Shaun Dewey General Manager over access and safety/security concerns. Claire to send Helen the working group’s plans.
3. It was agreed to put forward the recommendations to the External Committee, with the revised proposal for the footpaths to be considered.
To consider funding £650.00 plus VAT for a licence to use the Sketch-up software for images of possible changes to the High Street. *
As previously discussed, it was agreed to put forward the recommendation to the External Committee that the basic software licence is purchased at a cost of approximately £250.00.
Action: it was agreed that the lower fee of around £250.00 should be recommended to obtain the Sketch Up software as proposed by Cllr. Nelson.
Given the timeframe for the appointment of the Town Centre Co-ordinator, elements of the Destination delivery plan will need to be actioned before June, to ensure the town is promoted as a tourism destination for the 2020 spring and summer season.
Action: Suggested blogs for Tenterden and the surrounding area to be submitted to Claire by Wednesday 11th March 2020.
BUSINESS CONSULTATION FORUM.
A new vision for Ashford Borough – reported by Sarah Barber.
Background information: Ahead of the review of the Corporate Plan (2020-2025) and the Local Plan to 2030, the council has embarked on a major Futures Study, working in partnership with Work Advance Ltd and Experian PLC. We are exploring ‘what do we want to achieve over the next decade’
‘what steps do we need to take now to ensure a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable future for Ashford, Tenterden and the surrounding villages and rural areas’.
A draft vision is being complied following a workshop in early February, where local councils were represented by the Chair and Vice Chair of Ashford KALC. The next stage is to test and refine the draft vision. This will be facilitated through a focused workshop - 3 dates
• Tuesday 10th March: At the Rare Breeds Centre, Woodchurch,
• Tuesday 17th March: At the Reece Pavilion, Wye Village Hall, Wye
• Tuesday 17th March: At the Civic Centre, Ashford
Representatives from TTC attended the February workshop.
Sarah Barber reported that ABC were currently doing work on the corporate plan which was raised at the 3rd February Visioning Event 2020-2025. They were currently working on the Ashford Borough story; this comes under the economic development strategy and covers tourism.
They currently understand Ashford’s challenges, but need to know Tenterden’s, Tom Jenkins (ABC Economic Development officer) has invited feedback from the committee in-order to prioritise the actions for Ashford Borough Council in order to tackle Tenterdens and would like to know what are the top two challenges. Committee comments:
• Pavement maintenance and repair
• Greater insight into high street footfall
• Visual streetscape and improvements
• Building the towns evening economy
• Parking management and the wider roll out of ‘free after 3 pm’ in ABC car parks.
• Retailer recruitment to the high street and support for pop ups / independents
The Chair highlighted that supporting data for footfall and free parking could be obtained via the business consultation highlighted above. – Sarah Barber highlighted that the Ashford Experien data which highlighted Ashford key areas to address, could offer insight to Tenterden.
1. 2018 Public Engagement sub-committee survey finding to be shared with ABC Economic Development, also the Tenterden DMP report.
2. Sarah to check with Tom Jenkins on the timescales for committee feedback.
3. Chair to source example of a high street engagement questionnaire and share with DTC.
To consider floral displays around the Town.
Visual appearance and attractiveness of the town featured in the top five concerns raised by local residents in the 2018 public engagement survey.
TTC have now employed a town gardener (1.5 days per week) with extensive horticultural knowledge who has already overhauled all town flowerbeds, Millennium gardens and East Cross gardens.
Due to a KCC lamp post replacement scheme, there is now an issue/ restrictions on the town using these lamp posts for hanging basket attachments – approximately half of the current display points.
The Committee endorsed the proposal for options suggested by Matt the Town Council’s Gardener, to enhance the current display at East Cross Gardens at The Fairings. However the rest of the High Street needs to be looked at to ensure it links via floral displays. E.g. the use of static planters.
Action: It was agreed that a working group should be set up to look at floral presentation year-round, this group would offer an overview and consider possible entries into Britain in bloom.
Working group members: Committee Chair (SW), Tenterden Horticultural Society, Jan Page, Simon Robinson. Possible meeting W/c 9th March – Chair to draft outline.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS.
1. Andy Keates reported that Bridewell Lane car park requires grooves added in order to stop it flooding so regularly.
2. Helen reported on behalf of Shaun Dewey that the burglary at the Railway reported to the Police 18 months ago. Even though finger prints were obtained and a confession taken from the culprit, the CPS did not prosecute.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING.
To be confirmed.