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FROM: Phil Cooper – (for and on behalf of WA/TAPT) 25th June 2007
Dear Councillors and WA Committee Members
This month it is the first for some time and covers the period from the Town Assembly to 25th June.
1. SEEDA Bid You are obviously aware that the bid was successful in that the review team recommended that the whole £120,000 of matched funding was to be made available. Since the review team’s meeting, there has been an officers’ meeting (19th June) at which an outline plan was produced. At the moment there are lots of “start up” activities but the next major events are the appointment of the Town Centre Improvements Manager(TCIM), work to confirm that there is a need for the e.office and the development of detailed technical plans by HCC officers for presentation to the Steering Committee. When the Steering Committee is happy with the proposals there will be the opportunity for public consultation, probably in September. This will allow work to start , hopefully as early as October.
A small working party from the WA and W4W has been set up to coordinate its activities, it is hoped that the Town Council will also join the party so that Whitchurch can speak with “one voice” when meeting with those involved in implementing the projects.
2. e.Office – The proposal is that this facility will offer a “serviced office” for new and starting up businesses which do not enough facilities at home, it will be set up by Working 4 Whitchurch(W4W) and then managed by the TCIM. The review panel felt that there should be further work to confirm the need for this facility before it is fully established. W4W is working with council officers and agencies such as Rural Hampshire Enterprise Gateway to collect the evidence. Meanwhile a suitable office has been identified (the old Barber’s Shop) and is being brought up to a useable standard by the landlord.
3. Gateways – the picket fences are overdue, but now promised by B&DBC possibly in August.
4. Working 4 Whitchurch – The Committee:
a. Worked with one of the Town’s Businesses to promote it and raise money for the Mayor’s Good Cause. The Blue Ginger Management handed over a cheque for £500 to the Mayor on 12 June)
b. Has produced a Welcome to Whitchurch brochure for production and distribution by the Town’s estate agents for its customers. It will also be available for a donation to the WYP to townsfolk and reference copies will be held by the schools, the library and the Town Hall.
c. Has organised:
· Whitchurch Food Fortnight (23rd June – 8th July), 5 food producers are enhancing their normal offerings and are featured in the Hampshire Food Festival’s publicity material (57,000 booklets and a major website)
· A Skills and Knowledge Seminar for the South Rural Towns Partnership (10th July) which will bring representatives of 20 other similar towns to Whitchurch to see how our businesses work in partnership with the town (and the GNCC). They will see the Town and visit the Silk Mill as well as hearing form W4W about its activities and presentations on other related topics. The Mayor will welcome the visitors.
· Two seminars for start up businesses (17th July) with Rural Hampshire Enterprise Gateway.
d. Is planning:
· Beer, Sausage and Potato Festival in the Town’s pubs (26-8th October)
· Christmas in Whitchurch 2007, starting with late night opening and a Craft Market on 1st December (Snow for the lighting up ceremony has been guaranteed by the Met Office).
5. The other non-completed projects - are currently in abeyance:
b. Local History