Waltham Abbey Town Partnership.

Minutes of the virtual meeting held Tuesday May 11th. 2021

Present: Cllr. H.Kane, T.O’Connor, R.Walters, M. Boyce, B.Elliott , C. Simpson, C. Tarrier, M.Sheffield, Rev. K Efah. J.Law, D.Evans, D.Bensted.P.Clegg, A.Crowley, P.Messenger.

ApologiesD.Hodges

Chair:         Paul Violet

Minutes taken by Paula Violet.

Congratulations. Paul opened the Meeting by congratulating Cllr Helen Kane on her success in the Local Elections last week. He asked for congratulations to be passed to Cllr. Sam Kane on his successful appointment.

Minutes of the last meeting were agreed.

Matters Arising:  

  • Clive has been unable to contact the owner of the Court House. He is concerned at the poor condition of the building.
  • Clive gave Paul details of U3A members who could support the siting of the Town signs. Joe Baccarini has been very helpful with this.
  • Mark B has added to the CGIs.

Church Update

The Abbey Church has remained closed other than for two Holy Communion services each Sunday at 8.30 and 10.30am, with attendance limited to 50 and face coverings worn, and for baptisms, weddings, and funerals with a limited number of attendees and by arrangement with the Parish Office. However, on the evening of Friday 16th April a Vigil Service for HRH Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh on the eve of his funeral and a single bell was tolled before this service and before the funeral on the Saturday afternoon. In planning to re-open further the Rector and Churchwardens are following guidelines from the Government and the Church of England. 

There are additional services in the next two weeks. This Thursday (13th) is Ascension Day and there will be two services of Holy Communion in the Abbey Church, at 10.30am and 8pm. While congregational singing is still not allowed it is expected that a reduced and socially distanced Abbey Choir will lead the worship at the 8pm service on Ascension Day. 

Weekly Wednesday morning services of Holy Communion will recommence on Wednesday 26th May at 10.30am. Provided numbers do not exceed fifty at any service booking in advance will not be needed for Wednesday mornings or either of the Ascension Day services.

It is expected that service bellringing and bell-ringing practice will restart after 17th of May but restricted to six bells with safety precautions in place and for a maximum of forty-five minutes.

Sub Committee Reports

LVRP

The number of visitors to the sites has reduced along with the litter, but litter continues to be a problem. The Wildlife Centre is open, and booking is required , although this may not be needed from next week.  Several events are now planned for the Summer including the London to Cambridge Bike ride in July and the IWA Festival of Water in August.

Museum

Team are busy preparing for the opening on May17th. with some Covid restrictions. Booking will not be required but numbers will be limited. There will be the 250th. temporary exhibition since the Museum opened – Holocaust Survivors in the Epping Forest District- 17th. May – September 4th. This has been funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. There has been a lot of interest from schools and Catherine Hammond has produced a Pack to support school visits.

Work continues with Architects on the Library / Museum Community Hub which is proving to be an exciting development. Final draft will go to EFDC in July. 

Please look at the link which connects to a short Survey regarding this. 

https://www.eppingforestdc.gov.uk/museum/waltham-abbey-community-and-cultural-hub-survey/

U3A

Groups are opening up for outside meetings. The photographic group continues to flourish as does the Football Club.

Historical Society

A newsletter will be distributed this week together with a Video of Stan Newens.

Tourism.

The Visitors’ pack is developing and will include a Colouring Book, a Toby Book and discount for food outlets . There have been 23 outlets identified and the next stage is to encourage them to join the Discount Scheme. 

WATTA

Members have kept in touch with our German friends via Zoom meetings. Having spoken to one of the German group, our visit in August is in doubt. They are hoping to visit in November, when they hope the group will be larger than usual due to them missing seeing us and Waltham Abbey during the pandemic.

Heritage Trail

Paul met Elaine Quill from EFDC and the Treasurer and Secretary of the Romeland Residents Association. He had a CGI of the position of the Board on the wall, but it was decided that permission will be sought to remove the signage of the Flat locations and put the Board there. A very positive outcome especially as now EFDC appear to have a real interest in the Heritage Trail.

Websites

There are 3 sites relating to WA and in January 2019 it was agreed that only one should be retained – Walthamabbeytownpartnership .org.uk

Discoverwalthamabbey.co.uk has old material but has been used by Tricia Gurnett. After consultation with her it has been agreed to close it, but Tricia has requested that this is delayed for a week as she wishes to remove some articles for her future use. Paul proposed the meeting adopt the recommendation that all websites be closed with the exception  of Walthamabbeytownpartnership.org.uk This was unanimously agreed.

It was agreed to retain the domain name of Discover Waltham Abbey.

Locality Fund Signs

Finding locations for these signs has been a challenge, but there are 4 positioned. Photographs are on Social Media and there has been an excellent response to them . All comments on-line and on site have been very complimentary. Paul is grateful to Carol Tarrier and the Waltham Abbey Baptist Church community for requesting to have a sign on their wall. Real appreciation too to Joe Baccarini who has helped with fixing them. A further sign will soon also be on the garden wall of the Museum.

Paul is investigating the possibility of a sign on the lamppost by the building that was Philpotts, but ownership of this is to be investigated.

Town Centre Manager

Paul Messenger confirmed his appointment as the Town Manager. He has investigated the management of the rubbish left by the old Police Station  and requested that lampposts in Sun Street undergo maintenance.

He has informed businesses of Grant Funding available and an initiative “Click it Local “. Businesses who do not have an internet ordering facility can sign up to this and goods can be ordered from them and delivered.  An app is being developed promoting the area and it is envisaged that this can be linked to the Heritage Trail.  Paul M’s aim is to make Waltham Abbey a place where visitors  will want to come. He would welcome any ideas that would promote and support this aim. 

The point was raised regarding the hazard caused by cyclists in Sun Street. Whilst it was agreed that cycling is to be promoted Sun Street is a pedestrianised area and it is not appropriate for cyclists to be using it. A secure bike parking facility would be useful for bikes to be left whist people used the area.

Waltham Abbey Festival of Light

Meetings continue with the planning of this. The main issue now being pursued by Mark Boyce is finding locations of, and planning permission for, the lights. 

AOB

Paul has a short slot at the Waltham Abbey Town Council Meeting on May 19th. to promote WATP. Any suggestions of what he should include would be welcomed.

Paul thanked everyone for their attendance this morning. His hope is for the meetings to return to Face to Face soon.  

Date of next Meeting  Tuesday June 8th. 2021 9.30am via Zoom.