Minutes of STAR Meeting: Wednesday 8th June 2011
SANDBACH TRADERS AND RETAILERS
MINUTES OF S.T.A.R.
Wednesday 8th June 2011
AT SANDBACH ENTERPRISE CENTRE , WESLEY AVENUE
Cllr Gill Merry Dot Flint Larry Sharps David McGifford (CEC) Keith Castree Carol Williams Sue Brereton Peter Firman Jayne Firman Elaine Kelly (Redress Agency) Pete Nacson Cllr Carolyn Lowe Mark Cliffe (EDD Solutions)
Ruth Hindson Dave Skeels Cllr Barr Moran Sarah Ellershaw James Mason
- Larry welcomed everyone to the meeting.
- Keith reported £593.65 in bank account. Plus £2350 monies from payment for Town guide being held for Sandbach Town council to pay advertising costs.
- David McGifford is the Senior Regeneration Officer at Cheshire East Council and supports 14 towns in CEC (except for Crewe and Macclesfield). Last year CEC joined a scheme called “action for market towns” and funded a statistical analysis of all its towns centres called “benchmarking” which aims to measure, evaluate and ultimately improve town centres. To maximise benefits from benchmarking Sandbach would need to take ownership of the scheme and commit to collecting and recording information on an annual basis. Questions could then be tailored to our requirements and possibly college students used to collect data, such as footfall, shoppers’ origin, visitor satisfaction, business confidence. The evidence gathered can be used to inform action plans and longer-term strategies. Dot suggested setting up a working party with a member from STAR, Sandbach Town Council and Sandbach Partnership.
- Carolyn Lowe reported that 16 stalls are booked for June 25th Craft Market and 11 stalls for July 23rd market. Ideally she would like 24 stalls at each. Most bookings are new stalls. Pete Nacson agreed to contact Blakemere Craft Centre at Sandiway to see if anyone there was interested in a stall. Elaine has some email addresses of contacts she will send to Carolyn. Nu Nu will run craft activities for children at the June market. Dot will contact Sandbach Childrens centre to see if they can organize the July activities. Keith Castree is working on the music provision. Leaflets are being distributed to households and local businesses.
- Keith reported that letters have been distributed around local businesses by Graham and Elsie Alcock from the Christmas Lights committee and they have been back and collected and most have been very generous.
- The Sandbach Town Guide is looking to be printed and distributed by the end of June. To date approx £2600 in advertising has been sold and paid for which has almost covered the costs of producing the guide. Carolyn Lowe said that despite sending out emails, letters and putting information in the press, few local organisations had taken up the offer of free entry in a directory of organisations. Larry thanked Carolyn for all her work on the guide. [Note: But see correction in 6th July 2011 Minutes]
- A.O.B. Carol directed a question to David McGifford on CEC’s Alfresco Policy. CEC have recently issued a press release launching their revised system. Costs for an initial licence is £150 for seating up to 4 people (annual renewal fee £100) and £550 for more than 4 people (annual renewal £330.00). This is a huge increase from May 2009 when Carol was quoted £264 for the first year and £67 for subsequent years. Sue and Dot offered to email other town chambers and partnerships to ask their viewpoint. It was felt that a co-ordinated approach from several towns and enlisting the support of local MP Fiona Bruce would have more sway with CEC.
Gill Merry asked if STAR would still like herself and Barry to attend meetings. Everyone agreed that both are valuable members. Gill also asked that STAR provide a member(s) to sit on a working party to look for ideas on how Sandbach can celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June 2012. Hopefully funding will be available in order that the event can be free.
Carolyn advised that Friday 2nd December is Christmas Market and late night opening and a sub group needs to be formed. Pete Nacson, Keith Castree, Carol Williams, together with Sandbach Partnership volunteered. Meeting will be held on Monday 11th July at 6.00 p.m. at Literary Institute. Any other interested parties welcome.
Larry asked if there was a possibility of getting a list of meeting dates of various committees in order to avoid clashes but everyone thought this would be very hard to achieve as meetings were always being altered at short notice and people were very busy.
Dot reported that Sandbach Partnership had called a meeting with the indoor market traders (of which there are 20 stalls) but only 4 had turned up, these were very positive and wanted to set up a market traders group. They don’t currently belong to a market traders federation so the next step is to set up an affiliation to one. Carolyn reported that STC are looking to take over the running of the market in 2012.
- Next meeting ….Wednesday 6 th July 2011. 5.30 p.m. at SECE