Waltham Abbey Minutes

Tuesday March 9th, 2021  9.30am Virtual Meeting (Zoom)

Present  Cllr.H.Kane, T.O’Connor, C.Simpson, M.Boyce, R.Walters, B.Elliott,J.Law, D.Bensted, D.Evans, P.Messenger, M.Sheffield, D.Hodges, R.Porter

Apologies No apologies have been received.

Chair: Paul Violet

Minutes taken by Paula Violet.

Minutes of the Meeting of 9th February were agreed.

Matters Arising:  

  • Accounts to be audited.
  • Boards – Agenda item.

Housekeeping  It was suggested to Paul by a Councillor that he should arrange a separate email address for WATP busines, to comply with GDPR requirements. All correspondence re WATP will now come from:      [email protected]

Sub Committee Reports

LVRP:  The Parks have been busy during lockdown with 1k Hectares to manage. Venues will be opening in line with Government guidelines, the first to the Wildlife Study Centre. Staff are looking forward to this.

Museum: Staff are working towards the re-opening on May 17th, although there is general consternation as to why Museums cannot open in line with libraries. The opening exhibition will be “The Windermere Boys” some of whom located to this area. Plans and consultation with EFDC continue with the design of The Hub and if good progress continues these should be finalised by July. Work with Historical Society, Heritage Trail and LRVP will continue but there is a dependence on the National Heritage Lottery Fund. A link for the U3A photo gallery and the Festival of Culture in case anyone wants to take a look is https://efdmuseum.com/waltham-abbey-u3a/     and  Festival of Culture address on the Visit Epping Forest website is. http://www.visiteppingforest.org/festival-of-culture/about-and-news     

The Abbey Church remains closed to the public at the moment, except for funerals with attendance limited to thirty. Provision of worship online continues as previously reported. 

Work towards re-opening is under way, with guidance from the Diocese and the local health authority – both organisations are still advising that we exercise extreme caution and complete fresh risk assessments. We are advised that we will have to continue social distancing and reduced numbers, as before, for the foreseeable future and that activities like singing and post service coffee and socialising will still not be possible in the short to mid-term. We will still be required to wear masks or face coverings in church.

On the morning of Saturday 27th February, a single bell was tolled 100 times to mark the funeral of Captain Sir Tom Moore.

U3A: There is to be a virtual lecture today from the National Maritime Museum. Various groups are trying to co-ordinate Zoom meetings. 

Historical Society: The group were saddened by the news of the passing of Stan Newens, President of the Society. He was a tireless supporter and gave his time to the work of the Historical Society. He was always supportive of the work of the Museum. He is a real loss and will be greatly missed. 

Tourism: There was no Tourism report available.

Heritage Trail: Chris Sumner has produced a prototype board that can be used to verify the location of the board in Romeland.  In total 8 Boards will be produced to enhance the Resident and Visitor experience of the history of the area. Details of the exact content of the Boards is to be finalised, but it would be appropriate to start looking for examples of artwork now.

Locality Fund:  Ideas of the Welcome Signs were agreed by Essex and designs were submitted to Modal.   Paul was then told they can only be sited 2.2metres off the ground and on inspection fixing to the signage posts will now not be possible. The design has to be modified to be fitted on alternative posts. In consultation with Tony O’Connor and Cllr. Kane it was requested, and ECC agreed, to go ahead with the signs being made in order that the £3k Fund is not lost. WATP have to pay the total cost of £3,070, and then after an Invoice is received by Essex the monies will be transferred. 7 Sites need to be found to locate these signs – Paul will be grateful for help with this, please. Signs are due to be delivered on March 15th. Essex have asked for monthly updates on the progress of the location of the Boards.

Waltham Abbey Festival of Light Mark Boyce reported that it is his vision to have Waltham Abbey and the surrounding areas lit up for the Cavalcade and Christmas Market 2022. It is hoped retailers will join in and major buildings can be lit. The German Town Twinners are keen to contribute to this. A fortnightly meeting has been taking place to collect ideas and interest. Any ideas relating to this will be welcomed. WATP want to fully support this initiative.

EFDC / Waltham Abbey Enhancement Project. WATP are keen to support this as much as possible. Cllr. Helen Kane reported that the FB page has been useful in enabling residents to share ideas and they are all being considered as to their viability. Market Square and Sun Street have had some refurbishments and rose bushes have been planted. Projects are going ahead in Roundhills and Ninefields. The Council are in constant discussion regarding  projects that can be pursued. The Town Mead area is being reviewed with trees having been planted and when the weather allows there will be pathway improvements around the fields.

Paul Messenger reported that EFDC have agreed and advertised for a Project Manager closing date for applicants is next week. A website has been developed to allow local  retailers an on-line facility to help increase their sales. This is targeted at local retailers who do not currently have Internet sales facility, in the hope it will support an increase in their sales. A social media site is also being set up to enable businesses to link. Clive also reminded the meeting of the Centreforce Radio  Station.

Paul Messenger commended WATP as being a busy and active group. He is working with several Partnerships and WA is the most enthusiastic and busiest of them all.

Paul thanked everyone for attending the meeting and asked they look out for possible posts for the signs!!

Date of next meeting: Tuesday April 13th. 2021