TO:  ALL WHITCHURCH TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS

 

FROM: Tony Corbin – Town Project Officer HCC (for and on behalf of WA/TAPT)

 

31st May 2006   PROJECT REPORT

 

Dear Councillors,

 

You will see that this month’s report, in accordance with WA Trustees wishes, ONLY contains the outstanding projects currently being worked upon. (Details are awaited of the WA Trustees proposed ‘Time Capsule’ project).

 

The main areas of progress since the last report are summarised below:

 

1.      Market Towns Award Application – The 19th April meeting of the Town Action Plan Team agreed to submit an application to the SERTP (South East Rural Towns Partnership) sponsored awards. After a consultation period, that included review by WA Trustees, it was decided that the project most closely meeting the award criteria was ‘Christmas in Whitchurch’ 2005. Stewart Parrington submitted the application on behalf of the sub group and the SE area award will be announced on13th July during the SERTP meeting in Emsworth. We keep our fingers crossed that Whitchurch is selected as one of the five finalists in the region.

2.      Traffic Management – this is a busy arena right now, with the revised parking consultation period and decisions to be made on the final (?) Town Gateway designs submitted to WA and WTC by BDBC on 30th May. The WA Traffic Management sub group is hoping to meet 6th June and will review and comment on the proposals for both schemes.

3.      Town Centre Revitalisation – this project, which embraces Tourism and Business Development, is currently looking at the form Christmas in Whitchurch 2006 might take. To that end, a meeting with retailers and interested local Community groups is planned for 28th June (6pm at the White Hart). The meeting will also try to agree the contents for the proposed ‘Welcome to Whitchurch’ pack (an idea that came from Brockenhurst Estate Agency) and hear about the proposed Retail Survey. This scheme is largely ESF (European Social Fund) grant aided and comprises a consumer survey, presentation of results and concludes with a training/mentoring offer based on the research (again subsidised up to 70% of cost) that can be delivered to a group or as 1 to 1 support to local retailers.

4.      New Library – Most of the Heritage Group members have now seen and been able to comment upon the internal layout of the new library building. Areas that can be used for display of local Heritage Items are depicted on the drawings and have been agreed in principle with HCC Recreation and Heritage Officers. Lottery Heritage funding may be available and the next steps will be to work up the details for the bid to cover the display panels and a new Heritage Trail leaflet. However, community representation at recent meetings has been disappointing and evidence of the local need is essential to support any funding bid. Previous attempts to bolster local interest have met with limited success and the sub group would welcome any ideas from members. (NB. It has also been confirmed that there will be six public IT (Internet) terminals in the new Library)

5.      Communications – The Whitchurch Community website (www.thewhitchurchweb.org) continues to grow in popularity. Members are asked to reference the website and in particular to encourage use by local Community Groups of the ‘What’s On’ Events Calendar such that it becomes the definitive listing of forthcoming events in the town. The publication of the launch issue of the new quarterly Whitchurch Web Community Magazine has been slightly delayed (securing content/advertising etc) but it is hoped the newsletter will be published by the end of June.

 

Kind Regards

 


 

(Merged)

Initiative

Project Charter

Sub Group Members

Leader in bold

(= Co opted)

<Cllr>

Aim and Current Status

1. Business Development, Town Centre

Revitalisation and Tourism

 

Tourism:

 

·         Encourage More Visitors to the Town

·         Increase spend in the Town

·         Raise Town Profile

Stewart Parrington

Phil Cooper

Harriet Titcomb

(Derek Verran)

(Stephen Bryer)

John Buckley

<Irene Clark>

Tony Corbin

Keith Watts

(BLWx)

 

(Brockenhurst – Comm’l Agency)

(Testbourne Bus Forum members)

(Local Retailers)

Aim - Target by end 2006 - Town Guide, Heritage Leaflet and Circular Walks reprint/update all cross-referencing further information on the Whitchurch Web. 30th Nov. meeting determined priorities, which include identifying sponsor/funding for new Heritage Leaflet (see also ‘Heritage’ project below) and Town Guide.

 

Status - On hold - resource constrained and requires sponsor/ grant monies

Business & Town Centre:

·         Revitalisation of Town centre

·         Encourage residents to ‘shop locally’

·         Improve appearance of Town Centre

·         More Town Events

·         Establish Traders Association

·         Skills Development

·         Marketing/Business Development

Aim - By Mid 2006 – Develop Bid for HCC Country Towns Initiative (circa £40-50k) and B&DBC POPPI circa £20k (Pride of Place Partnership Initiative) and possible SEEDA RTP matched funds potentially available for built environment enhancement & conservation related improvement projects.

 

Status - Christmas in Whitchurch – successfully delivered.. 22nd February meeting with retailers mapped out activities, priorities and actions for the coming 12 months. Meeting 28th June with local retailers to agree format CIW 2006, contents for ‘Welcome Pack’ and scope of planned retail survey (Sep). Preliminary list of possible Town Centre Improvement opportunities circulated WA/WTC for comment by 2nd June. Officers meeting scheduled 15th June after which, sub group will meet to work up scheme details with WA (Trustee/Heritage/Town Centre group represented). Also WTC/Retail and Silk Mill representatives.

Traffic Management

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traffic Mgt (cont)

Traffic Mgmt Projects:

a)       Reduced HGV through traffic volumes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b)       Distinctive

Town Gateway Entry Signs and associated BDBC funded traffic calming scheme

Tony Corbin

(for Derek Verran)

(Keith Watts)

(Reg Kimpton)

(Keith Pauw HCC)

<Cathy Burt>

John Wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greg Harris

Susan Flawith

<Cllr B. Jackman>

Harriet Titcomb

Tony Corbin

(Jamie Daly B&DBC)

Aim - Start Jan 05, Survey April 05; Report Presentation Sep 05; Actions agreed Jan 06

 

Status – HGV follow up actions to be agreed by sub committee meeting to be scheduled June. Group also invited to review BDBC Parking proposals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aim - Start Jan 05; Agree design Apr 05

 

HCC Highways could, not maintain original competition winning design plus too expensive to make. Much time lost on alternative designs. . Latest proposals from BDBC received 30th May 2006 by WA (copy to WTC) with request for approval 16th June. Sub Committee June meeting will also review and provide comment to BDBC/WTC on design and locations.

New Library Local Heritage

Display and IT Facilities

 

Local Heritage Centre

·         Accessible display and educative centre for local artefacts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IT/Internet Public access:

·         Increase number of individual Learning and Information access points

Harriet Titcomb

Deborah Woodland

Dr. Alison Deveson

Tony Corbin

<Cllr. A Wall>

John Mariner (History Soc)

Russell Cleaver (HCC R&H)

Hector Goldsack

Sarah Gray (R&H Library Service)

Janet Palmer

Phil Cooper

 

 

AIM - Start Dec 05 Finish Jan 07 (opening of Ctty Centre). Agree aims; recruit volunteers; agree and cost solution; develop lottery bid

 

 

Status – Internal library layout plans now received from HCC R&H and reviewed by Heritage sub group at May meeting (poorly attended). Locations of display areas also agreed in principle with R&H  – agreement on content now needed. Looking for ways to stimulate interest amongst local residents needed to progress project and evidence agreed need in proposed Lottery Heritage Bid (to cover cost of display units and Heritage Leaflet).

 

AIM – Increase the provision of publicly accessible Internet Terminals

 

Status – Confirmed that six PC’s to be included in new library design one of which enables access to Hampshire Record Office facilities (Family History tracing etc).

EIGHT

Comms

Communications Project:

·         House Style for WA materials

·         Web site inc open forum for feedback

·         Internal/external and stakeholder comms model

 

Phil Cooper

John Buckley

(Steve Hoffmann)

<Cathy Burt>

Tony Corbin

Marion Woods

AIM - Start Jun 05; Launch website Oct 05. Launch Magazine Spring 06

 

Status - Website (www.thewhitchurchweb.org) launched Oct as planned and being increasingly used by community and local businesses. Many facilities including what it is hoped will become the definitive ‘events calendar’ (What’s On?) for the Town

 

New Whitchurch Web Community Magazine (quarterly) will potentially now launch by end June 06. Twice per annum will include insert listing local retailers/accommodation, pubs and restaurants in the Town.