- Barkingside Business Partnership
Cllr. Ted Griffin LBR Cllr. Brian Waite LBR
Christina Tomlinson Specsavers Tony Binder Army & Navy
Reg Woda LBR – Partnership Support
1. Apologies for Absence
Cllr. A Candy; Cllr. N Hayes
2. Chairman’s Opening Remarks
The Chairman welcomed members to the meeting and indicated that there was a series of matters worth debating. He hoped members would support the Partnership’s vision for the High Road in 2008.
3. Minutes of the Last Meeting
Minutes accepted as a true record of the last meeting held on 26th October 2007.
4. Matters Arising
· Members congratulated the team for the organisation of the switch on event. Comments received had been most favourable; press coverage also provided an excellent report that promoted the area. It was, all agreed, a most successful event and would provide the basis for planning in 2008.
· Christmas lights were accepted as a reasonable scheme and despite the odd bulb not working during the period, gave the High Road a Christmas feel.
· The meeting discussed the procedure for delivering the Christmas lights programme across the borough and the method of funding the process.
· Members urged the local authority to identify a corporate budget with contributions from local businesses as part of the process. This would be followed at meetings planned for February 2008 and would be reported on at the next partnership meeting.
· A plan for new lamp posts and street furniture was being installed by TFL and would be implemented in April. Members heard that details were available and would be updated in the near future.
· Current works on footpaths were causing some inconvenience to traders and shoppers but hopefully the overall effect of new upgrading to street lighting and footpaths would refresh the street scene.
· The question of car parking was again raised and members identified that as the Craven Gardens Car Park was under used, would a reduced fee rate be considered to encourage a better uptake?
· Members were urged to conduct a survey for a month to produce evidence of low car usage that would support a petition for a review of car park charges.
· The meeting was also critical of non enforcement of illegal parking and abuse of disabled parking provision and recommended that the police take a more active role in enforcing the law.
· Details of the excellent performance of the MPS in Redbridge indicated lower levels of crime in 2007 and in some areas of crime perpetrated the Borough was the best achiever in the
5. Finance Report
· The meeting was informed that the Partnership’s finances were in good order, after expenses for the Christmas period were covered.
· A payment of £1000 was due to be paid as the Partnership’s contribution towards the Christmas Lights Scheme.
· After which the balance in hand would be £1607, which included a pledge of £500 still to be collected.
· The Treasurer emphasised that an annual fee of membership would be set at £50 and higher contributions from national corporate bodies would be sought.
· In view of the excellent work done over Christmas along with the news letter, the web site, new members should be able to recognise the value of membership for 2008 and be encouraged to join the Partnership.
· Funding of Christmas Lights reported earlier. Hanging baskets would be reinstated this year, depending upon cost, in time for the summer season (May).
· At this point the meeting discussed best practices in communication within the Council and how to maintain a valued dialogue with key decision makers.
· Business partnerships were the direct responsibility of the Planning and Regeneration Service. The Chief Officer is Mark Dorfman and Head of Regeneration is Mark Lucas. Cabinet Portfolio holder for Planning and Regeneration is Cllr Keith Prince. Beverley Stratton, Project Manager, and Reg Woda were the reference points to facilitate meeting to meeting feed back etc.
· The Partnership was urged to use these contacts as their first port of call in all instances.
6. Events and Activities
· The meeting was informed that a range of activities was being considered for this year.
· Difficulties concerning the areas in front of the Library and Swimming Pool need to be resolved.
· This would be followed up and reported to the Partnership in the near future.
· All agreed that this area provided the best community space and needed to be in use as quickly as possible.
· Street markets although not a success in the Craven Gardens Car Park would do better elsewhere. This would be looked into and reported back to the Partnership.
· Consideration for a summer carnival would be researched and a small working party set up.
· An invitation to Alison Selby, an officer in the Leisure Services Unit, would be extended to help plan an event in Barkingside for the summer.
7. Any Other Business
· Members of the Partnership were asked to consider a morning meeting for the future.
· Evidence from other business partnerships indicated that business people were more prepared to attend meetings during business hours and not at the end of a working day.
· Meeting closed at 7.00pm.
8. Date of Next Meeting
Tuesday 18th March – Danny’s Pie and Mash, High Road, Barkingside at 5.30pm.