- Councillor Dan Beauchamp (Vice-Chairman)
- Councillor Katharine Keats-Rohan
- Councillor Deborah Whelan
- Michelle Taylor, Town Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer
- Jennifer Green, Community, Business & Tourism Development Officer
- Sue Ross, representing the Town Information Centre (TIC)
- Luke Whitcomb, Meetings Officer
- 0 members of the public
- 0 members of the press
255/22 MEETING PROTOCOL
The Vice-Chairman advised attendees of the protocol for this meeting.
Apologies were received from Councillors Cattermole, Gibbon (Chairman), Harris and Hughes.
Councillor Sinkinson did not attend.
The quorum for this meeting was 3.
257/22 DECLARATION OF INTEREST
No interests were declared.
It was proposed by Councillor Whelan, and seconded by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Tourism and Economic Development Committee held on 27 June 2022 are an accurate record of that meeting, and the Vice-Chairman is authorised to sign them
259/22 ACTIONS FROM PREVIOUS MEETING
The Committee reviewed actions agreed at the last meeting.
Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) as Highways Authority had confirmed that one of the proposed locations for the ‘i’ sign belonged to the Town Council, but required the sign be hung two metres above the ground.
It was proposed by Councillor Beauchamp, and seconded by Councillor Whelan, and RESOLVED that this matter now be actioned at the TIC’s preferred location, the decision having been delegated by the Full Council, using discretionary budget managed by the Town Clerk.
260/22 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
No members of the public were present.
261/22 COMMUNITY, BUSINESS AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT OFFICER
The Vice-Chairman welcomed Ms Jennifer Green to the new role of Community, Business and Tourism Development (CBTD) Officer
The CBTD Officer outlined her initial priorities in post, which included work on the Town Council’s leaflet range and preparations for Christmas lighting.
262/22 CHRISTMAS 2022
The CBTD Officer described the proposal for Christmas lighting, which included a canopy up to the tree, and reported that sponsorship was likely from Berkeley Homes, the developers of Highcroft and Winterbrook Meadows. There was support for some form of community engagement in decorating the tree.
The Wallingford in Business Christmas retail event would be taking place (date yet to be confirmed) as well as the carol-singing on 14 December 2022.
263/22 NOISE AND SIZE OF BUSES IN THE MARKET PLACE
Following the Committee’s last meeting, the Chairman had contacted the Interim Managing Director of the Oxford Bus Company, Mr Luke Marion; and a prompt, substantive and helpful reply had been received.
The size of buses was dictated by capacity needed at peak times, including school movements which had rebounded back strongly after the pandemic. The carriage of other customer groups was still around 75% of pre-pandemic levels. Increased home-working was also having an impact.
Mr Marion had conceded that some of the older 2005/6 buses, such as those used on the 136 route, had particularly noisy cooling fans and these could give the impression of an engine revving. Newer and quieter 2010/11 vehicles were being introduced from autumn 2022 onwards. Drivers were asked to switch off engines whenever the bus was going to be stationary for more than one minute. Switching off the engine for periods less than this, led to increased emissions.
The Oxford Bus Company indicated they looked forward to working with the Town Council going forwards.
264/22 BAND CONCERTS – 2022 PROGRAMME AND FUTURE STRATEGY
The CBTD Officer reported that the 2022 programme had now been finalised and included a wider range of music as the Council had requested.
It was proposed by Councillor Beauchamp, and seconded by Councillor Whelan, and RESOLVED that the Full Council be recommended to adopt the following strategy for the next few years:
- A wider range of music to be showcased, types that were appropriate for the space and setting
- Local musicians to be used
- Events to remain free, but that donations to, and sponsorship for, the conservation of the Castle Motte be encouraged and strong links be made to that cause
- Local organisations to continue to provide refreshments
The CBTD Officer reported that she had been working with Councillor Holder, as part of the Communications Working Party, to update the range of Town Council leaflets to ensure consistent branding and a more contemporary feel, including the leaflet for the visiting boating community.
The Committee noted the multi-stakeholder action that the Full Council had initiated to address the seasonal anti-social behaviour at the riverside during the summer. The behaviour had appeared particularly bad this year with multiple complaints and accounts of intimidation.
Riverside Working Party update
No update was received as the Working Group had not met since the Committee’s last meeting.
267/22 YOUTH ACTIVITIES – SUMMER 2023
The CBTD Officer outlined the potential for increased activities for young people over the summer holiday, including the encouragement of young musicians in the Market Place and the re-establishment of the Young Traders’ Market.
It was proposed by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and seconded by Councillor Whelan, and RESOLVED that the Full Council be recommended to support the development of a programme of activities for young people for the summer of 2023, including young musicians in the Market Place and the holding of a Young Traders’ Market, working with local organisations and learning from the practice of other towns
268/22 AGATHA CHRISTIE STATUE AND BENCH – AUTUMN 2023
The Committee discussed the potential for a series of associated events to be developed to coincide with the unveiling of the Agatha Christie bench and statue.
Councillor Keats-Rohan thought that it was best for this to be left to the Museum who already had good contacts with the Agatha Christie Estate.
269/22 VARIATION OF ORDER OF BUSINESS
It was proposed by Councillor Beauchamp, and seconded by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and RESOLVED that the Wallingford in Business item (agenda item 15) be considered in closed session.
270/22 FLOWER BASKET SPONSORSHIP [moved from agenda item 16 to 15]
The Committee considered the price points for the sponsorship of flower baskets – compared to other market towns – and the number and range of baskets.
It was proposed by Councillor Beauchamp, and seconded by Councillor Whelan, and RESOLVED that the Full Council agree to increase the number and range of baskets available for sponsorship around the town in time for the 2023/24 Municipal Year, and that any increases in price points be considered as part of the 2023/24 budget discussions later this year
271/22 TOWN INFORMATION CENTRE (TIC) [moved from agenda item 17 to 16]
Ms Sue Ross of the Town Information Centre updated Members on the recent usage of the TIC, including by domestic and overseas tourists. The Centre’s team had faced challenges with the recent changes to bus timetables and numbers which had not been implemented well on local bus stops.
272/22 FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS [moved from agenda item 18 to 17]
The following were identified as items for future meetings:
- Wallingford Town signs
- Youth activity programme for summer 2023
- Widening the Town Centre to include some of St Martin’s Street on market days
- Increasing networking with Tourism South East
- Noise and size of buses in the Market Place (to review at some point in the future after Oxford Bus Company had made their planned changes to vehicles)
- Retailers’ forum
- The Mikron Theatre Company stopping at Wallingford (raised by Councillor Whelan)
273/22 EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
It was proposed by Councillor Beauchamp, and seconded by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting due to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted.
The meeting ended at 8.25 pm
Minutes of the
Tourism & Economic Development Committee
5 September 2022,
signed as a correct record Chairman
2022-09-05 TED minutes