Present: Cllr. H..Kane, Cllr. J.Lea, J. Law, T.O’Connor  D.Bensted, D.Evans, P. Messenger, M.Horton M.Sheffield, R. Porter Rev. P. Smith, M.Boyce. D.Sheffield

Apologies: B.Elliott, C.Simpson, R.Walters, A.Crowley, P. Clegg, A.Ako-Nai

Chair: Paul Violet

Minutes taken by Paula Violet.

Paul welcomed everyone to the meeting. He introduced Di Russell as an attendee for the first time. Di has been involved in the meetings for the Festival of Lights group.

Minutes of the July meeting were agreed.

Matters Arising

  • Business Grants. Cllr.Kane reported that all monies have been allocated. There may be more funds available in the future, but this has yet to be confirmed.
  • Abbey Gardens development. Tony reported that ideas are progressing. Costings now need to be estimated / forwarded  in order for bids to be placed (March 2022).
  • Discrimination Statement. It was requested that Gender be added to the Statement. It will now read:
  • 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, Gender 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.

This report accounts for activity in July and August. Diana requested that she could submit the accounts to Connor Warin for auditing for the AGM. This was agreed.  She also reported that HSBC continue to ask for more information for their Safeguarding check. They are also requesting details of people involved with the organisation. Tony and Paul agreed to provide this.

Church Update (submitted)

Since Friday 6th August the Abbey Church has been open to visitors on Fridays 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., Saturdays 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. and Sundays 12.00 noon to 4.00 p.m. (subject to services). The Friends’ shop in the Lady Chapel is also open at the same times.

Congregational numbers at the 8.30 and 10.30am services on Sundays and the 10.30am service on Wednesdays are no longer restricted, nor is it now necessary to book in advance. Registration using the QR code or by signing in is still requested.

Members of the congregation are encouraged to keep a comfortable distance between each other and to wear face coverings while in the church. Congregational singing has been restored at the 10.30am Sunday service; the 8.30am service remains spoken.

In considering further developments the Rector and Churchwardens are following guidelines from the Government and the Church of England. 

 LVRP London Revolution Cycle ride will be going through the park as a 2- day event. Abbey gardens has been entered in the Green Flag Award. Results will not be notified until October / November.

Museum The Boys exhibition , which ended on September 4th, culminated in a private view and lunch for the Loughton Boys, some of the Holocaust survivors, and guests. The event was held at Holmehurst in Buckhurst Hill where 26 of the Boys lived for 2 years. A blue plaque was unveiled, at the front of the house, to mark this. Robert Rinder and Angela Cohen were present and commended the Museum staff on the excellent Exhibition. It has been a successful project and there has been interest in it becoming a touring exhibition.

25th September will start the next exhibition “Game Plan” from the Museum of Childhood. This will end on December 24th.  Paul commented that Exhibitions at the Museum are always of a high calibre.

U3A Open meetings have resumed with a good attendance. The membership remains high.  The Photographic group has continued.

 Tourism   No report. The meeting has been postponed until next week. A report should be available for the October meeting.

Historical Society  No report.

Heritage Trail  This is getting close to having Boards completed. A Graphic designer is needed to convert the drawings into Designs for the Boards. It was agreed that the format should stay in line with those already in LVRP and the monies should be found to be able to use the same Company to develop these Boards.

Festival Of Light. The idea to light up the Town and surrounding areas was initiated by Mark Boyce. It is envisaged this will start at the Cavalcade event and continue through the week to the Christmas market. It is hoped Sun Street will be open and the WATP Shop window competition will have the theme of “Lights”. We are hoping for a good response to this. Ninefields Resident association have agreed to join in as has Upshire. On the Monday evening there will be events in Ninefields. Further ideas are on hold for 2022.

It is envisaged the Cavalcade Parade will end at the Town Hall and there will be a Carol “Singalong” outside the Church. It was hoping the Town Twinning Germans would join in , but their visit this November is in doubt.

Paul reported that a news sheet outlining this has been distributed to all Businesses. A questionnaire was included in the sheet. A summary of the relevant responses is shown at the end of these Minutes ***.

The number of responses was disappointing , but a general consensus of those replying was to move the large funfair rides. Shops have been reluctant to open during the Cavalcade due to security issues. Could the Council arrange for additional Stewards to be present not only as a security issue, but also as an aspect of Covid security and reassurance?

The aim of the event is to encourage more people into Waltham Abbey.

Council  The focus is on Community events, to encourage people to socialise and attend events in the Town. Cinema nights , A Comedy show are some of the events planned. A risk assessment / feasibility study of the suitability of using Sun Street for the Cavalcade is being undertaken.

Concerns were raised about the retention of keeping Market Square pedestrianised and would signage help?  This is not an issue that the Council can address.

Town Centre Developments. There has been Government funding available but accessing it has been difficult. Plans are continuing in the background. It is hoped to be able to site 10 Planters in the near future.

Gates are partially fitted, and work continues to complete them. The EFDC are still working on plans for the Town Centre developments.

AOB   No AOB items had been requested, but a lengthy discussion followed around the Telephone Box, by the Gateway Café and then Telephone boxes in general!

Paul thanked everyone for their attendance at the Meeting. He said it was encouraging to see such a good number.

Date of next Meeting      Tuesday October 12th. 9.15am, Council Chambers.

*** Summary of survey results:

Re-routing the cavalcade was evenly split. Some really did not want it moved from Sun Street whilst others thought it was an excellent idea so to do.

However, 65% of respondees said that, whether or not they voted for a change of route, they would take advantage by opening if Sun Street were not used for the Cavalcade.

What was universal was the wish NOT to include the hurdy gurdy element of street activities.  Having stalls that catered for younger people was preferred, thus not attracting what was generally described as the ‘wrong’ people to the town centre.