Minutes of a meeting of Business in Action
Held at the Old Lodge, at 6.00pm on Wednesday 6 May 2009.Present: Denys Townsend (Chair) (Linton Pet Shop), John Marshal & Silvia Milson (Parnabies), Tim Sinclair (Ambiente), Caroline Sellers (Ethel Austin), Malcolm Chalk (WWSM), Gemma Magson (Topiary Tree), Helen Knapp (Hidden Monkey); Graham Hampshire (Gazette), Paul Andrews (Ryedale District Council Ward Councillor)
Apologies: Tracey Holroyd (Old Lodge), Ray King (Corks and Cans), David Jeffells (Gazette)
Minutes of the meeting on 1 April 2009 were discussed and approved.
* Progress on the appointment of the Town Ambassador was reported also that interviews take place next week. We are assured that if a suitable candidate is not interviewed then the position will not be offered.
* The Easter Saturday competitions were not well reported. We should have made more of the opportunity.
* The engagement of the street ambassadors was reported to be working well despite one or two early glitches.
* The Ryedale District Council (RDC) P&R committee meeting on 2 April was attended by a few members. All were very disappointed in the way the chairman of the meeting treated the Malton Ward member and also the absence of any general discussion of the voluminous WSP report.
The chair mentioned meetings and discussions he had undertaken in the last month
* Meeting with the chief executive of RDC - mainly a preamble to presentations made by her and the Leader of RDC about proposals from political leaders for the development of Wentworth Street car park and the connections to the traditional town centre.
* Meeting with the Deputy Leader, Ms Jackson. Discussion centred about the perceived control over Malton issues by RDC. Also the disappointment in the way the Malton and Norton Area Partnership (MNAP) is being run. Suggestions to improve were suggested and have been passed on to the Chair of MNAP without response.
* The article about BIA in the HandyMag free shopping guide was reported
* The Mercury newspaper has request information of interest regarding the business community for their 'new business section'.
* At last a response has been received from Thrive to our invitation to meet with two officers for discussions on matters of mutual interest. The invitation has been declined because:
"We are an independent group which is not accountable to anyone. This is fundamentally important to the essence of the group. Thrive was set up on the back of frustrations that Malton & Norton had fantastic potential to develop and thrive as the principal town of Ryedale. However any ideas were continually criticised and delayed until apathy set in. We appreciate we have caused some controversy since establishing two years ago but this has been essential to get things moving again and we make no apology for this.
Although BIA may agree with some of our objectives we think that we are miles apart regarding how to achieve goals and what the priorities are.
Although we have listened to the business viewpoints and have been very supportive to them, our priority is the interest of the community as a whole and that can often result in a different perspective.
Even if we needed the business view we would not necessarily go to BIA as we are unsure how representative this group is, given that we are aware that some businesses refuse to have any involvement in it.
Our understanding is that the method of taking different groups interest into consideration is through the Malton & Norton Area Partnership of which we are both members. This is the agreed route to pass ideas and to be consulted. There is therefore no additional benefit for also meeting separately. On this point however we also have concerns regarding whether the membership of Malton & Norton Area Partnership is representative of the community."
* A Statement of our views on various matters concerning the future of Malton has been given to the Gazette. The text, which is on our website, was circulated.
* About 200 cards have been / are being delivered to businesses in Malton Norton and industrial estates. These are slowly being returned. The purpose is to collect emails for quick distribution of information to members. (Collection/return by 20 May please)
* It was agreed that a monthly email setting out what's on and other information should be circulated widely to business with a view to giving them information about BIA is the hope that they approve of our actions and support us and join the group.
* John Collins and Tim Sinclair agreed to produce the May edition to go out on about 23 May in anticipation of the Food festival.
Malton and Norton Area Partnership. The chair reported that he held a position on the executive representing BIA. The composition of the executive was discussed, Tim, Malcolm and Paul had attended the meetings and members could not understand why meeting were so private. The consensus was that Ryedale District Council still appeared to control MNAP despite them maintaining that they did not. Most agreed that the partnership had done little itself since the change in its chair although the significant works done and in progress in Malton Quick Wins were acknowledged and applauded. It was felt that MNAP only rubber stamped proposals put forward by RDC without much opportunity to input to them. This meeting endorsed the chair's appointment to the executive and encouraged him to make whatever efforts are needed to make the MNAP more forward thinking. Public discussion on this point is left to the discretion of the chair. It was further considered that it is in the public interest that the business of the partnership to be placed in the public domain.
Revitalisation Group: The activities of this group are being presented to various bodies and the proposals were outlined by Malcolm, Denys and Paul who are members of the group. The main principal is that, if the Livestock Market cannot stay on its present site a scheme, already widely publicised, would involve a move to the Showfield Lane site. This would encompass residential and employment development of the area from the Showfield to Broughton Road and includes the creation of all direction access from Broughton Road onto A64 bypass.
The Lidl planning application was reported to go before planning on 12 May. No recommendation has been made. As no Norton members were present a view was not expressed. The application by Morrisons is also at the planning meeting for decision. This meeting wished its view on this application to be submitted 'that the extension will not attract new shoppers to the district and only give a wider variety of goods to existing customers. Approval will have an adverse effect on other independent town centre businesses. As council policy is to recommend support for the independent businesses the application should be resisted.'
As no formal proposals or recommendations for Wentworth Street car park have been made it is premature to make a representations now.
* The proposals for the food and drink festival were circulated. The ambassadors will be requested to circulate plans to businesses to inform them well in advance and then to ask how they can participate. The numbers of businesses visited by each ambassador needs to be established. As Saville Street and St Michael's Street are to be closed for the food festival it was suggested that something be put on in those streets to stop them looking deserted.
* Yorkshire Day - Saturday 1 August. There will be a strong media presence in Malton that day with, hopefully, additional visitors. Suggestions made included: Themed Shop Windows, Yorkshire Flags, Brass band music, a Yorkshire themed market outside St Michaels.
* It was agreed to hold a 'Blue Cross Week' from Sat 4 July to Sat 11 July. Ian Shepherd and the newly appointed Town Ambassador to be contacted to help us publicise this event to a wider population.
* Rail Poster Campaign. This has been worked by Derek Spenser from Fitzwilliam Malton Estate (FME) in conjunction with a small group. A Poster has been designed and funding is needed towards printing. BIA to contribute £200 to the cost of the poster. Denys is to follow up his application for funding to Ryedale District Council.
* The use by FME of a distant rather than a local supplier for flower baskets for the town was disappointing.
* Caroline asked that a Fashion Show on Tues 2 June at the Milton Rooms be added to the Calendar.
The meeting closed at 8.00pm
Next meeting on 3 June at the Old Lodge at 6.00pm