Minutes of the Tourism Committee Meeting held in the Council Chamber,Town Hall on Tuesday 17 October 2023 at 6.00 pm
Councillor Mrs J Gubb (Chairman)
Councillor J Hellyer
Councillor S Inch
Councillor P Lawrence
Councillor D Bushby
Councillor C Hawkins
Mrs L Dixon-Chatfield, Town Clerk’s Asst
Councillor T Inch
034. TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES AND REASONS FOR ABSENCE
No apologies were received.
035. TO RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST ON ITEMS ON THE AGENDA
There were no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.
036. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION
There were no members of the public in attendance.
Proposed by Councillor S Inch and seconded by Councillor Bushby, the minutes of the meeting held on 5th September 2023 were approved and signed as a correct record.
(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0)
038. TO UPDATE ON THE TICKETED EVENT FOR THE 450TH ANNIVERSARY CHARTER ON 16TH DECEMBER 2023.
The Chairman asked the Clerk to update members who reported that she had been promoting the event in the Link magazine for this month and had submitted again for November. Tickets would be purchased through this office and a reservation list had been started. The Clerk would work with Admin Assistant on designing a ticket, promoting on social media and the website. She added that it was hoped to sell up to 80 tickets.
The Clerk asked who from the Committee would be available to help steward the event, Councillor S Inch advised that unfortunately he would be unable to attend, but all other members would be available.
The Clerk added that all Civic Officers would be in attendance. She asked members about a budget for refreshments and what they would like her to purchase. A budget of £200 was set for wine, soft drinks, festive nibbles.
The Clerk asked the Chair about cocession tickets to Councillors. All members agreed that Councillots would be given free entry but any guests would purchase a ticket.
Councillor Bushby asked if Caroline Hinton could be invited as Elizabeth I along with Sir Richard Grenville, members agreed this would add a sense of history to the evening.. Councillor Lawrence would contact the lady.
Finally, the Clerk asked about raffle prizes and gave some examples of what sort of prize. Members were happy to get prizes. The Clerk also had spoken to Councillor Christie about setting a short historical written quiz for the interval, who had agreed to provide one, she suggested she ask him about providing one of his books for a prize.
039. TO DISCUSS AND RECEIVE UPDATES FOR THE D-DAY 80 BEACON LIGHTING ON 6TH JUNE 2024 AND CONTINUE FORMING A PLAN.
The Clerk had contacted the Pollyfield Centre regarding a site meeting, they had suggested a Wednesday would be best at around 5pm. She asked which members wished to be involved; Councillors Mrs Gubb, Bushby and S Inch woukd attend,. Councillor Lawrence would be happy to attend if required.
The Clerk asked members for some available dates in November, avoiding meetings. Both 8th and 22nd November were suggested.
(After meeting note – Wednesday 22nd November at 5pm was set and circulated to the Tourism Committee 18th October 2023).
The Clerk had not managed to speak with the fish and chip vendors and reminded Councillor Bushby that he had kindly offered to contact them. He said he would on his return from holiday.
The Clerk pointed out that the Port Memorial Decorative Bed would be planted in recognition of the occasion and that prices had come in. She explained that the plants would be more expensive this year as growers are not permitted to use peat, which has had an impact on prices. But it was not a prohibitive increase.
Councillor Bushby was having difficulty contacting the Vintage Vehicles person but would persevere.
For the idea to bring in a roll call, the Clerk had started asking for Bideford people to come forward with names involved in the D-Day Landings. She had an appeal in the Link magazine and would be appealing on social media and the website, local radio, press. She was reminded that the late Clifford Coates had been involved and, of course, he had been a Councillor and Mayor of Bideford.
040. TO DISCUSS UPDATES TO THE LITTLE AMERICA INFORMATION PANELS
The Clerk explained that she had received costings and had circulated these to members. She had not, as yet, re-designed two of the panels but was looking at the Town Guide pages where it explains the variety of established events that take place each year.
The Clerk would endeavour to have something more tangible for the next meeting.
041. TO DISCUSS AND RECOMMEND PROCEEDING WITH THE PROVISION OF THE CHRISTMAS ICE RINK EVENT 2024
Councillor Bushby explained that he had taken the idea from the last meeting and looked into it further. He explained that he and the Town Clerk had been in dialogue with a company to obtain basic information and the Town Clerk then put together a feasibility study, showing three costing scenarios. He suggested possibly visiting one of the ice rinks that this company supplies to see how it is operated. He added that it would be real ice and that the costings shown would include the hire of good quality skates. . If managed correctly, and being indoors, this could be a big attraction drawing people from the wider North Devon area, and further.
Members discussed the different scenarios, the Market Hall set up and the overall cost of hiring the ice rink. Ther Chairman reminded members that the agenda item was to recommend whether to take the idea to Full Council. Councillor Bushby advised that there is a time implication in that if the Council agree to the Ice Rink it will need to be booked in March, so would be good to get this item, if approved for recommendation, included in the February (at the latest) Full Council agenda.
All members agreed to defer this item until the next Tourism meeting to enable Councillor Bushby to liaise with the Town Clerk on gaining more information thus:
• To speak with other venues in our area who have previously organised an ice rink
• To perhaps visit an Ice Rink that is hired from this Company
• To consider a market survey
• Firm up the figures
042. TO DISCUSS RE-INSTATING THE TIDY TOWN VOLUNTEER
The Chairman opened by explaining that this item was previously known as Clean Up days and that there had been two each year where Councillors and the public would be asked to volunteer to choose a “grot spot” area to clean up.
Councillor Bushby added that it had been from 10am until 1pm on Sundays, when the Town is quieter and any work would not impact on business and shoppers, he added that they had been successful more times than not. The Clerk added that a team from ASDA had joined in and members of the Bideford Town Centre Partnership. She had co-ordinated the teams, produced the Risk Assessment and the Safety Flyer to hand out to participants. Promoting through social media, the website and posters had been carried out from the office.
Members agreed to reinstate the Clean Up days and to hold two next year on Sunday 28th April and Sunday 29th September.
043. TO AGREE TO ORGANISING BIDEFORD FAIR, BIDEFORD’S GOT TALENT AND CHUDLEIGH PICNIC AND SET DATES FOR ALL THREE EVENTS
Members agreed to continue with Bideford Fair and the Chairman felt that Saturday 8th June 2024 would be the favoured date as that particular Saturday had been settled weather for the last two years. The Clerk pointed out that there were several events booked during that week which would require Councillor attendance and this one would show the week thus:
Tuesday 4th June 2024 – Mayor’s Introduction
Thursday 6th June 2024 – D-Day 80 Beacon Lighting
Saturday 8th June 2024 – Bideford Fair
Sunday 9th June 2024 – Mayor’s Parade and Service
The Clerk informed members that there had been a suggestion from some non-Council participants that perhaps the Mayor’s Parade could be combined in some way with Bideford Fair as the latter involves a Procession (not a parade though). This would mean that there would not be a Mayor’s Parade on the Sunday. It had been mooted with her that many of the participants preferred not to attend the Church Service on a Sunday.
The Clerk explained that if this were to be agreed it could be organised that the Mayoral Party, Councillors, Town Clerk and Mayor’s Chaplain would process through the Town on the Saturday, to Victoria Park where the dais would be positioned in the cordoned off arena. The ivited cadet groups would parade past the Mayor, who would take the salute. The Mayor’s Chaplain would conduct a blessing. The Mayor would then open the Fair. A Mayor’s Civic Church Service could be held on a different date as is done by most of the neighbouring Councils.
Some members felt that this would be a radical break with tradition, others felt it could work.
Councillor Lawrence suggested that it would be a good idea to try it for next year, especially as that week is busy and Councillors may not have the appetite to attend so many events/functions. He added that if it did not work then 2025 could revert to tradition.
The Clerk advised that this would need to be a recommendation to Full Council and that the December meeting be suggested in order to put an explanatory report together (as these minutes would not be finished in time for the agenda for the Full Council meeting on 26th this month).
Proposed by: Councillor Lawrence, seconded by Councillor Hawkins and
RECOMMENDED: That a report is made ready for the Full Council on 7th December 2023 for the Mayor’s Parade to be combined with the Bideford Fair event on Saturday 8th June 2024 as outlined above.
(Vote – For: 3, Against: 0 , Abstention: 3) The Motion is carried
Bideford’s Got Talent
Members agreed that this event would be held in the Market Hall. Councillor Bushby advised that the dates could not be set until it was confirmed that the Sound and Light provider would be available. The provisional dates would be:
• Dress Rehearsal/Final Selection – Friday 12th July 2024
• Full Show/Final – Friday 19th July 2024
(After meeting note – Councillor Mrs Gubb contacted the Sound and Light provider who has agreed to the dates. These can now be booked with the Market Hall and the event can start to be organised).
Members agreed that the event is successful and agreed to hold it in 2024, and that the hog roast worked well. The Clerk asked if they would like to book ND Hog Roast again – they agreed to this.
After a brief discussion about dates members proposed that the event would be held on the last day of the Summer holidays:
• Sunday 1st September 2024
044. TO DISCUSS IDEAS FOR 2024 AND LOOK AT WAYS OF UTILISING THE PANNIER MARKET HALL
The Chairman asked the Clerk to gather updates on ideas from the previous meeting’s minutes:
Ice Rink – Discussed in Minute number 031 above.
Roller Skating – No new updates, Councillor Bushby suggested that the surface of the Market Hall is no more bumpy than the average road or pavement and that it would be a good idea to find roller-skaters who were willing to try it out.
Wedding Receptions – The Clerk advised that a Wedding Reception had been held in September and was a great success. A Wedding Fair had also been held there, promoting the Hall for Receptions.
Christmas Party – no further update but still a consideration.
Pancake Day activities - The Clerk had been out of the office due to her accident and had not had the opportunity to research but would endeavour to have more information for the next meeting.
Cream Tea Festival or a Bake Off event – no further updates on either event.
Councillor Bushby had been in contact with Skern Lodge about a Climbing Wall. They had shown some keenness to use the Market Hall on a semi-permanent basis. He would gather costings on how much they are prepared to pay for the space.
045. TO AGREE A BUDGET FOR 2024-2025
Spend to date 2023-2024
Bideford Fair £ 3,401.67
450 years Celebration **
Port Memorial Decorative bed £ 512.00
Coronation £ 8,173.25
Chudleigh Picnic £ 2,322.17
Bideford’s Got Talent £ 1,020.00
TOTAL £ 15,429.09
** One event has yet to go ahead in December. Much of the Celebrations were included in the figures for the Port Memorial Bed and Bideford Fair. Much of the Coronation costs can be taken from the Celebrations budget in the Town Council Accounts.
The Tourism Budget for 2023/24 was £15,500.
Anticipated spend 2024-2025
Bideford Fair £ 3,500.00
D-Day 80 £ 3,500.00
Port Memorial Decorative Bed £ 1.800.00
Bideford’s Got Talent £ 3,000.00
Chudleigh Picnic £ 3,000.00
TOTAL £ 15,800.00
Proposed by: Councillor J. Hellyer, seconded by Councillor S Inch and
RECOMMENDED: That the budget for 2024-2025 is £15,800 is agreed.
(Vote – For: 6, Against: 0) The Motion is carried.
046. DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING
The next meeting would be held on Tuesday 28th November 2023 at 6.00pm.
The business of the meeting having been completed, the Chairman thanked the members for their attendance and the meeting concluded at 7.20 pm.