21 Waltham Abbey Town Partnership Minutes of the Steering Committee meeting

Tuesday July 13th. 2021

Present: Cllr. J.Lea, J. Law, T.O’Connor, R.Walters, D.Bensted, D.Evans, P. Messenger, A.Crowley, M.Horton

Apologies: Cllr. H.Kane, B.Elliott, C.Simpson, K.Towns,M.Sheffield

Chair: Paul Violet 

Minutes taken by Paula Violet.

Paul opened the meeting with thanks to all for attending and their willingness to meet face to face after so many virtual meetings. He was pleased to see everyone.

AOB requests were made by Paul, Diana & Marion Horton

Minutes of the last meeting were agreed. 

Matters arising

One matter arising would be deferred to the next meeting due to the absence of Cllr. Kane.

The question was asked about the grant available to Businesses who have closed. Cllr. Kane said all requests have been considered and paid.  A fuller report regarding this will be available at the next meeting.

Jodie Law confirmed The Town Mead repairs are costed at £9k. Approval of this will be confirmed at the Council Leisure & Community meeting next week.

Waltham Abbey Church update

The situation has remained the same as reported at the last meeting.  In planning to re-open further the Rector and Churchwardens are following guidelines from the Government and the Church of England. As of 12th July, specific guidance for churches as to any developments after 19th July is still awaited.

Sub Committee Reports.

LVRP. They are waiting clarification after July 19th as to the extent of re-opening fully. Wildlife Centre is due to open subject to availability of staff of which there has been some issues.  Various events are taking place including London to Brighton Cycle ride, 10k & ½ Marathon, a Music Festival – 28th/29th August which has 15,000 tickets sold. (Full details /dates of events are on LVRP website). Cornmill Car Park is open as a Covid Testing Centre and will be there for the foreseeable future.  Any queries regarding this should be addressed to Simon Pile on 07834481785 or [email protected]            Car Parking charges are to be increased across all sites. 

Museum   *The Summer Activity programme has been published across the District containing several bookable events.  The Boys: Holocaust Survivors in the Epping Forest District is running until September 4th. It has been well received and there has been  visits from school groups. There will be a private event for the families. Planning is in progress with a web designer for the Epping Forest / Waltham Abbey app. 

Work continues with the architects on the Hub and costings need to be confirmed.  Approval will then be needed from WA Council 7 EFDC. There are proposals for works to take place in Abbey Gardens and various funding opportunities will enable this to happen.  He is hoping for the Town partnership to be involved in this project. Tony will report more fully on this development at the next meeting.

*Below is a digital brochure listing the summer activities at the museum.

Heritage Trail  progress with this has been slow due to Covid restrictions, but we continue to wait for permission to put Boards up at various sites.

Town Council.  The Town Hall is will open more fully as restrictions allow. It is the aim for it to become an entertainment venue and tickets are currently available for the Comedy Show. There is no current news about the progress of the tapestry.

The “Next” developed was rejected by the Council but they are able to appeal. The increase in heavy traffic was a contributory factor in it being refused.

There were no reports available from U3A, The Historical Society or the Tourism sub- committee.

Welcome Signs Permission was finally given from ECC to use lamppost 32 for a Sign. This has now been used and so the project has been finalised and signed off by ECC. This means we could have access to funds in the future.

WAFol This initiative is being led by Mark Boyce. The idea is to enhance the Town with lights from the period of the Cavalcade through the week to the Christmas Market.  Lots of ideas have been suggested and the Friday evening plans are positive. More support is needed from the Community for the week.

Town Team A small group has been formed to support the ideas for the development of the Town.  There are plans to increase the number of benches, trees / plants in a bid to make the town an inviting place to visit. EFDC wants more pop -up testing Centres. Engagement with Local businesses continues to be a challenge with some negativity around proposed plans.

Newsletter and Information Sheet Paul has distributed a WATP newsletter to all businesses. He also prepared an information sheet for Businesses for the Council Stand at the Town Show. Unfortunately, there was little opportunity to distribute them.

AOB

·       As agreed at a previous meeting only one WATP website will remain. Domain names of the obsolete ones will be retained. Paul would welcome suggestions / ideas for what the Committee feel should be on the website. Please let him know any thoughts.

·        Diana suggested WATP should have an anti -racist / anti- discrimination statement/ policy in light  of recent events generated by the football. Paul agreed to research this.

·       Marion shared her concerns about the abuse of the wildlife in Abbey Gardens. She has devoted time to this and feels the public should be more aware of the legal requirements surrounding the safety of the wildlife. Dog owners can often be irresponsible in this regard.

Date of next meeting  It was agreed to not have a meeting in August, so the next meeting will be –

Tuesday September 14th.  9.15am Council Chambers

Paul closed the meeting by again thanking everyone for their attendance and contributions.

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NOTE: This is the Inclusivity Statement that is proposed will be used by WATP.   Implementation will be discussed at a future meeting.

WATP is committed to:

  • Promoting equal opportunities for all.
  • Opposing all forms of discrimination and intolerance of any member/s of the Community.
  • Respecting people and their views regardless of their Age, Race or Religion, Ethnicity or Sexual orientation.
  • Opposing racism in any form direct, associative, perceptive, indirect, by harassment or victimisation.
  • Celebrating and valuing the diverse and ethnically mixed Community of Waltham Abbey.