Congleton Partnership Executive meeting minutes took place recently, download the full meeting minutes HERE.
|Town Centre report – J.MacArthur.
1. Town Centre: Occupancy rates remain around 88% – Congleton has 186 of the 204 marketable units filled. Recent changes have included:
· Ruby’s Fund Charity Shop set up in Lawton Street
· New clothes shop in Antrobus Street – Isabella’s Fashions
· Age UK Charity Shop in the pedestrian area has closed
· New owners of Beauty Shop on West Street
A small working group from the Town Council is looking into options for improving Congleton’s market. This will be reporting back to Community, Environment and Services Committee later this month.
Cheshire East Council is looking at revitalising town centres across Cheshire East and will be briefing Congleton Town Councillors and officers at a meeting on the 26th September – and will feed back to the Partnership.
A second survey is underway on the Makers Market. At a meeting in July with some of the shops asked for the market to be moved to a Sunday. This was considered by the Makers Market but due to other events and the availability of the traders that have established in Congleton it is not straightforward. A new survey is testing whether traders would rather see the Makers Market held on a Saturday, or for it to be cancelled. The issue is around the increase in footfall that the market brings, is resulting in worse sales for some of the shops with anecdotal evidence that their regulars are avoiding coming into town on makers days.
The Town Council has been managing two community stalls at the Makers Market since May. These have proved popular and are currently booked out though until December. If partnership members wish to book a stall for their groups please let me know as soon as possible. Political groups are not included as community groups.
The Public Space Protection Order for the market area, Victoria Street and part of the pedestrian area has been successful in that the Police have had far fewer dealings of ASB in this area over this summer. They have not had to issue any fines. The Town’s CCTV cameras have been upgraded (thanks to CEC) and now include high speed, high definition night vision – so the latest in technology.
CEC has also installed a temporary CCTV camera in Barn Road, which has proved useful and the ASB group will be using these findings to try again to get some funding from the Police Commissioner towards a camera for the area.
Congleton Events 2019
It’s been great to see the summer of activities in the town and thanks to all the groups involved in bringing additional life into the town centre over the summer. More in Jo and Vince’s reports.
Congleton Events 2020
We are starting to pull together an events calendar for 2020 and will look to get a listing in the January Bear Necessities as well as produce marketing and online materials that can go far and wide tell people about all the events in Congleton. If people are organising public events please email the details to Jackie.macarthur@Congleton-tc.gov.uk by early December. Discussions are have already started about the Congleton 2nd Heritage and Antiques Fair in September 2020.
Work is well underway on the Christmas activities – both for the big day itself (Saturday 23rd November) and the run up to Christmas. A new feature that we are planning to bring this year with the help of Congleton Rotary is a Tree of Light – which we plan to locate in a large container in the Cenotaph grassed area. This tree would be switched on a couple of weeks after the main tree and funds raised would go to a mixture of local charities being agreed with the Rotary Group.
Work is progressing towards getting a Penny Farthing on the roundabout of Park Lane.
A cherry tree will be planted in the Park in memory of Marie Johnson. The family is hoping this can happen whilst the Dutch Regiment and possibly a couple of Mercian representatives are in town for the Remembrance Sunday.
Congleton in Bloom
The results of this year’s competition will be announced on October 31st for the It’s Your Neighbourhood and 1st November for the Town entry. The Community Pride Awards will be announced on the 4th November. This is the final year for this competition. The sponsors have pulled out and Cheshire Community Action will not be continuing it.
The Town Council and Partnership worked with Congleton Lions to secure a new 24/7 defibrillator in the telephone box on the corner of Greenacres Road/Padgbury Lane. This is now in place. The Lions are working with the Church House to add a new outdoor 24/7 defibrillator to this location.
The next edition will be distributed from the 8th October and is currently being written. The edition will include a page on the War Memorial Hospital and the services provided at the hospital and also a page on Mental Health Awareness, which is being written by staff from Visyon.
|Community Projects – J.Money
Hidden Places – Collaboration with the Electric Picture House, offering a week’s workshops in the Easter holidays and further Saturdays for kids to devise, create and perform their own piece of theatre to an audience of very appreciative parents and family. We were not able to have afternoon performances this year as MMU students were no longer available due to the imminent closure of the Crewe campus. We did have the professional evening performance however, Unmythable which was a wonderful way to launch the Rural Touring Arts in the new home of EPH to a sell out audience.
Food and Drink Festival – June 9th. A great success with over 100 local produce stalls, global pop up street food and local eco charities and organisations. The Town Hall had a full programme of activities, demos and workshops and we had a small fringe festival with arts and craft stalls. Kids activities feature in the Passport project and the Kids Kitchen and all set to a back drop of all day street entertainment, music and magic. Using a specific counting procedure visitors were estimated to be 25,000 over the day. Our supported Charity this year was Visyon.
Congleton Pride – 20th July. CCP were delighted to be able to support the first pride Day for Congleton. We were able to offer basic event advice and to help out on the day. It was a fabulous day and very special to see a bunch of young passionate people organise such a successful first event. It will be exciting to watch this event and this group grow.
Play Day – this year was planned for 6th August but due to potential poor weather it was rescheduled for 27th. Unfortunately not as many groups were able to participate on the new date, namely Cycling Campaign, Go Bananas, Mama’s voices and Joanne Bayley dance exercises. However with equipment borrowed from Bromley Farm Trust we had a pedestrian area full of giant board games, hula hoops and hop scotch. Kids Planet nursery had a cracking little obstacle course and the Library offered some Rhyme Time story telling. Electric Picture House had plenty of kids decorating totem poles. It was a lovely day. Thanks for support from The Congleton Partnership in volunteering and funding, to Martha and to the Town Councillors Amanda Martin and Jean Parry for helping out. Thanks also to our Mayor for meeting everybody and joining in.
The event was created to support the National Play Day which celebrates children’s right to play. We also used the event to launch the new Partnership Play Area leaflet showing all the play spaces in Congleton, especially the 3 improved sites.
Congleton Jazz and Blues – Bank Holiday weekend. CCP were happy to support this great event on the community side of the things. Firstly we organised the road closures and marshalling of the Umbrella parade which had the most participants ever dancing their way through the town led by the Salt City Jazz Band. A great start to the festival. We also helped from the planning stage with the community day in the grounds of the Bath House and it was very special to see nearly 100 people singing along to the Madhatters and joining in with Becky Morley’s Music moments. The event was created to be inclusive and particularly dementia friendly. There was also the opportunity for new young musicians to perform in front of an audience. Hopefully we will develop this community aspect of the Festival further for next year.
Christmas Lights Switch-on 2019 – November 23rd. As part of the Christmas Team CCP and working in partnership with the Town Council, is primarily concerned with the lantern parade, Santa, lantern workshops and booking the stage and street entertainment in conjunction with the entertainment group. This year we also be taking over from the Makers Market and booking our own food stalls and charity and retail stalls. CCP is also organising the fair rides and fair attractions.
There will be 3 public workshops on Saturdays 2nd, 9th and 16th at Spindle Mill with an evening workshop at Overton House for the young Carers Group
Soul Night – fundraising Northern Soul, Motown and 70s music evening kindly put on by DJ’s Past and Present to raise funds for CCP. Tickets £6 from the Tourist Info Centre and the Chronicle or £7 on the door. Friday 4th October, Congleton Town Hall.
CCP is also supporting the Community Fayre 1st October, the Congleton Green Fayre 26th October. CCP also offers marshalling support via the Cheshire Marshals – Congleton Triathlon, Astbury Mayday, Civic Parade, the Umbrella Parade and the Half Marathon on October 6th
The meeting ended at 7.22 pm
Next Meeting is:- Tuesday 3rd December 2019, Congleton Town Hall, 5.30pm.