Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Items
No. Item

36.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.

Minutes:

Cllr. Mrs. J. Curteis, Ms. E. Ditton and Cllr. J. Nelson.

37.

MINUTES. pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To consider and, if approved, confirm the minutes and report of the meeting held on 12th November 2020. *

Minutes:

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 12th November 2020 were approved.

38.

MEMBERSHIP OF SUB-COMMITTEE.

To co-opt Alan Bates of the Tenterden & District Residents Association onto the Sub-committee.

 

Minutes:

 

Mr. A. Bates of the Tenterden & District Residents Association and resident Mr. M. Freeman were both co-opted onto the Sub-committee.  Both Mr. Bates and Mr. Freeman signed their acceptance of the Town Council’s Code of Conduct.

39.

CONCEPT DRAWINGS OF TENTERDEN HIGH STREET.

To consider the format for latest drawings which will be sent to Kent County Council, Kent Highways and recommended partners for their views before going to public consultation. (Confidential enclosures attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

The format for latest drawings which will be sent to Kent County Council (KCC), Kent Highways and recommended partners for their views before going to public consultation were discussed.

 

Cllr. Mike Carter queried why the concept drawings are confidential.  The Deputy Town Clerk Claire Gilbert explained that it was agreed by the External Committee that the drawings could go to KCC first for their views, and then to public consultation once fed back to the Town Council’s External Committee.  Cllr. Sue Ferguson commented that the drawings must contain the wording ‘concept’ when sent to KCC and asked Cllr. Paul Clokie how ABC consulted with KCC when they required works to be done.   Cllr. Clokie confirmed that the proposals are sent to KCC first and then ABC sought funding for the costs.  Matt Freeman reported that documentation must state that these are concept drawings and not definitive plans; they are ideas and should not be construed as a master plan.  Matt, who produced the drawings, requested comments from Committee members before they are sent off. 

 

Alan Bates had a number of comments, but highlighted that he agreed with the wider pavements for seating.  Alan was concerned that by creating four zebra crossings in the high street, it gives pedestrians the priority as soon as they put their foot on it and, knowing the way people cross the road, it could have a significant impact on traffic.  Zebra crossings are now not as visible as they were when first invented due to street lighting and lights from businesses.  The roundabouts would probably take more space than allowed for in the drawings, so this would need investigating.

 

Cllr. Clokie reminded members that the A28 is the main road from Margate to Hastings and is a connecting road; KCC will be more interested in traffic movement than pedestrians so zebras crossings could be an issue.

 

Cllr. Roger Quinton reported that when looking at the sizing of the roundabouts, they would have to be the same size as the one Redrow were currently installing at the Beacon Oak Junction; they cannot be the type that are painted directly on to the road.  Alan reported that there is a 169-page document on the design of roundabouts and this confirms that they cannot be painted on type for the volume of traffic that runs through the Town.  The minimum size of a roundabout is 28m in diameter (absolute minimum) and then the transitions.

 

Mike Bartlett reported that there needs to be a document sent with the drawings explaining what we are trying to do and why.  Mike Carter agreed and stated that it would need to include the reasons for the changes to the high street, i.e. outside seating, etc.   Sue suggested including a couple of paragraphs with an overview of the concept drawings. 

 

Mike Bartlett and Mike Carter agreed to draft the document to accompany the drawings and bring this back to the Sub-committee for approval.   Mike Carter asked how the process will happen with KCC;  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.

40.

SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESSES. pdf icon PDF 5 MB

An update from Keli Nolan-Lyons, Town Centre & Tourism Co-ordinator. *

Minutes:

 

Keli Nolan-Lyons reported that she has been working with ABC and the Economic Development Team in particular with regard to the launch of a new platform.  Keli’s relationship with ABC has made sure that Tenterden has been secured involvement and included in the process.  Keli reported that businesses really need to up their game with regard to social media following extensive research Nationwide with the importance of the digital to physical process and ABC have chosen a platform to move the project forward.  Funding is available for 1,000 businesses across Tenterden and Ashford to guide them over a year for free.  The cost is normally £1,140 per business. 

 

The idea is to completely support businesses for a year on all social media; it provides a reward scheme and is a great platform to use. From social media aficionados to complete beginners, there are self-led courses, 121 support and weekly webinars with updates on social media trends and promoting best practice. It provides easy to use tools and insights to help businesses better understand their online audiences, how to reach more customers and make more sales.

 

This idea forms part of High Street Regeneration for Tenterden. Keli will update the Committee at the next meeting, but this proposal is huge support for Ashford and Tenterden businesses coming out of the pandemic.  With this assistance, after a year businesses can continue or stop if they are happy and feel more confident. 

 

Mike Carter asked how can businesses register for the programme.  Keli reported it is a very strategically carried out roll out process.  Ashford and Tenterden will select a small group of businesses initially to begin the process before expanding into the whole programme. It will soon be rolled out to tourism and hospitality businesses too.

41.

FOOTFALL COUNTERS & PARKING. pdf icon PDF 264 KB

A report from Keli Nolan-Lyons, Town Centre & Tourism Co-ordinator, on the recent ‘Springboard 2020 Annual Review – How did 2020 Perform & Predictions for 2021’ Webinar. *

Minutes:

 

Keli reported that the idea of Tenterden having a footfall counter has been discussed before and not pursued as they are extremely expensive.  Keli had attended a ‘Springboard’ seminar where they reviewed 2020 and made predictions for 2021.  Springboard is one of the biggest providers of footfall counting in the Country; it would cost around £10,000 for the first year and a large ongoing upkeep if Tenterden were to pursue this.  Keli very much felt that to a degree, we need to drive the footfall and spend money achieving that rather than counting it.  Keli had asked High Street businesses before lockdown about them helping with footfall counting. 

 

Keli reported that she felt this Committee needed to concentrate on what is going to happen this Spring/Summer when hopefully businesses will start to reopen.  She is hopeful that there will be staycations and we need to be ready for that.  Many of the businesses will need outdoor space and we need to see how we can help them to tackle this issue; Keli queried whether the Town Council could think about tables, seating or marquees so that there can be an overspill for businesses.  This could be either onto the footpaths or onto the Recreation Ground.  Claire reported that currently the Town Council is not considering events running on the Recreation Ground in May due to attracting large numbers of people.

 

Sue reported that we need to encourage more of the shops to have their own footfall counters and she knows that Fat Face and Tenterden House Interiors have their own.  Sue had read an article about local authorities making outside space available for cafes and restaurants.  However, KCC had already denied using the layby outside of This Ancient Boro’.

 

Roger reported that as the reordering of the Recreation Ground is hopefully going ahead later this year, it would not be ideal to dedicate the only part of the green space available to the public over to businesses for outside space.  With discussions taking place over the Town Council possibly taking on one or more of the town’s car parks, Roger suggested that it would help if a car park was free or at least free for a few hours to encourage footfall.   Cllr. Callum Knowles reported that if the Town Council did consider  taking on one or more car parks the cost implications would need to be investigated to see if it was possible. It is not definitely going to happen, but will be fully investigated. 

 

Callum reported that there were the 100 car parking spaces coming up available on Tent1a; all the parking bays have been marked to show where you can park in preparation for the adoption of the Restricted Parking Zones.  Alan reported that 25 parking bays extra were being built into the leisure centre reconfiguration and about 50 around the Tent1a development.  Callum felt that there is an asset which should be advertised to businesses in the town in order for their workers to have  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

SOUTH & SOUTH EAST IN BLOOM 2021.

To note that the Town Council is applying to take part this year.  There will be the usual display of hanging baskets throughout the Town but also additional 3-tiered planters and additional colour in the current flower beds throughout the Town.

Minutes:

 

It was noted that the Town Council is applying to take part in the South & South East in Bloom competition this year.  There will be the usual display of hanging baskets throughout the Town but also additional 3-tiered planters and additional colour in the current flower beds throughout the Town. 

 

Claire reported that five additional planters will also be placed on the South side of the High Street stretching from Montalbano down to just past the War Memorial.  Claire reassured the Committee that whichever planters are chosen for the greens, they would be visually appealing. 

43.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS.

Minutes:

 

(a)         Localise App.  Mike Bartlett asked what had happened to the Localise app.  Keli reported that she had chased them up to see how it was going.  They were doing technical tweaks to the app and as it is an app based on footfall, it maybe they have held back due to the pandemic.  Keli reported that it would sit in line with the Maybe platform as well and she will chase this up.  Sue reported that Localise was still not live yet and reported that the Maybe platform will be in direct competition with Localise on the rewards scheme.  It was agreed that Keli would update non-council members of the Sub-committee on the ‘Maybe’ proposal.

 

(b)         Speed Limit.  Sue reported that at a previous meeting the idea of a 20mph speed limit through the town was briefly discussed.  Sue wanted the Committee to be aware that KCC are currently in the middle of a consultation and rollout for reduction of limits for Faversham & Tonbridge.  The consultation ends on 3rd March for these towns and it would be a good idea for us to keep an eye on the outcome.  The Order is to encourage walking and cycling and improve the area.  Sue agreed to forward the report to Mike Bartlett and Mike Carter for inclusion in the accompanying report to KCC regarding the concept ideas. 

 

(c)         Hydrogen Buses.   It was queried whether we had written to Jo Bamford (Wrightbus owner and JCB heir) regarding hydrogen buses; Claire was unsure where we were at, but will look into it.  Cllr. Clokie suggested lobbying KCC into using the buses.

 

Sue reported that there is a huge overlap on some of the tasks that the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and High Street Regeneration Sub-committee are carrying out.  Sue was keen to find a way of interlinking.  Mike suggested sending the concept drawings to the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee at the same time as they are sent to KCC for their input.

44.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING.

Minutes:

 

Thursday, 11th March 2021 at 6pm.  It was suggested that an ABC Officer be invited to come along to look at installing ANPR parking at Bridewell Lane car park.