Attract, Engage, Thrive

January 2019 BID Board meeting minutes

Minutes of Board Meeting held 17:30 8 January 2018 @ Premier Travel

  1. Directors Present

 

Jim Brewin (JB), Ian Hudson (IH), Gary Hyams (GH), Shara Vickers (SV), Claire Hunnable (CH), Lucy Clarke (LC)  Craige Quantin (CQ)  

(SV/LC/CQ appointments pending)

 

  1. NON-DIRECTORS PRESENT

 

Fiona Bates (FB – SWBID Ops), Simon Jackson (SJ – UDC), Louise Scutt-Richter (LSR – SWBID Ops). Cllr Barbara Light

 

  1. Apologies

 

Julie Redfern (JR - appointment pending) Cllr Howard Ryles (HR - appointment pending) Richard Booth (Adams Harrison), Nicola Brooks (Brooks Design Agency)

 

  1. Minutes of previous meeting (4 December 2018)

 

Approved subject to change date of next meeting.

 

  1. Update to BID company set-up

 

IH confirmed that have system in place for paying invoices incurred for Christmas events and staffing. People have been paid. Now invoice payment is in progress.  CH has been registered on the bank account but said that she had trouble getting access.  IH to sort out so she can be available to process payments as agreed.   ACTION: IH

There is still work to be done to organise categories under Business Plan headings to track campaigns and spend.  LSR and IH to collaborate on this. ACTION IH/LSR

 

 

 

IH

 

 

IH/LSR

IH confirmed that remining directors would be registered as soon as Companies House approved online access.  ACTION: IH to add Lucy Clarke, Craige Quantin, Julie Redfern, Howard Ryles, Shara Vickers.

 

IH

It was agreed to approach Wendy Howell as to join the board as a director. ACTION: IH

 

IH

  1. Levy payment update

 

It was confirmed that over 90% of total levy due had now been received by UDC.  In order to protect the interests of members who had paid the levy, formal debt collecting proceedings start in January.  Formal proceedings will add £90 to the debt of each levy payer who is the subject of the proceedings. BID & UDC need to meet again before this can be progressed ACTION: SJ

 

 

 

 

SJ

Following the last Board meeting and action to follow up with specific businesses using the script provided by IH and there are 5 outstanding. This list was divided up between some directors who agreed to have a conversation and feedback to LSR/JB/IH by the end of the week.

ACTION: JB, LC, SV, CQ

 

 

 

JB, LC, SV, CQ

It was agreed to send an email (via mailchimp) to follow up as a ‘Final Reminder’ to those who have not yet paid before UDC sent the final legal notice to demonstrate we have done all we can to inform and encourage payment ACTION: LSR

 

 

 

LSR

SJ raised a point about seeking extra funding from outside the BID area. It was agreed and noted that this will be looked into in due course as the BID gets established and starts to engage with others outside the BID

 

IH asked SJ to make sure the remaining payment from the UDC budget originally allocated for BID set up will be transferred to the BID account as agreed ACTION: SJ

 

SJ

  1. Members

 

The board agreed to approach all businesses in the BID area entitled to be ‘Members’ of the BID company, registered at CH as such. The benefits of Membership confer viting rights at AGMs and a say in what the BID does.  IH is working on the process for this.  Current thinking is writing a letter to each of them with personal follow up.  ACTION: IH SJ offered UDC help with printing.  ACTION: SJ.  IH asked LSR to follow up with Gary Reeves (BID expert) for best practice.  ACTION: LSR

 

 

 

IH

SJ

LSR

8. PARKING

 

SJ said that the monthly parking payment (via MIPermit) can be promoted and actioned for use at any time. This is further to early discussions between the BID Steering Group and UDC before the BID was established. ACTION: LSR to identify next steps to implement

 

 

 

LSR

SJ spoke about the UDC initiative to renew the parking payment machines and asked the BID to feed into the process for defining the spec based on feedback from businesses. ACTION: SJ to send details

 

 

SJ

9. Accessbility - GH

 

Gary H presented a proposal to the BID Board to invest in making Saffron Walden more accessible for residents and visitors with mobility issues on the basis that there are about 17,650 people in the District (in line with the business plan objectives to attract, engage and thrive). One aspect of this is technology (an App) that makes it easier for residents and visitors with mobility issues to cross at traffic lights without the need to press the button. The one-off cost would be £4,100+vat. See presentation for more info and this link => https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmRLN_EbrJM#action=share.

In summary, the conversation following this proposal included these elements:

  • It is a good idea for the BID Board to consider how we can make the town accessible as part of a wider strategy that needs to be delivered in conjunction with the town, district and county councils.

  • More research is necessary. We have access to market data that will help determine opportunity for this. More work needs to be done on assessing benefits realised where its in use elsewhere etc.  Apparently, this is available on the company’s website to be investigated

  • It is worth investigating matched funding from Gov’t or local authority grants too.

  • It’s a good PR story to publicise the town and it could be a good differentiator. 

  • Include for consideration alongside the other ways for making it easier to get into, and go about town eg, providing folding ramps for shops, more dropped curbs etc. Whilst it’s a one-off payment and ‘only’ a little over £4k, it needs to be factored in to a bigger picture plan.

  • As it is BID levy, ley payers need to be happy that this amount will be spent

The board agreed and noted it will be considered it as part of a wider strategy for accessibility in the business plan for 2019 and beyond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. BUSINESS WATCH – (SV)

 

SV outlined the proposal, which would be initiated with a WhatsApp group SV circulated a draft Guidelines for use (with input from the local PCSO) ACTION: All to feedback to SV on the Guidelines with the view to taking it round to businesses, promoting on next Update email and with the Walden Local. 

CQ suggested designing a window sticker for businesses to use ‘Saffron Walden Business Watch’ ACTION: (SV/CQ/LSR)

 

 

ALL

SV/CQ/LSR

11. COMMS STRATEGY - OUTLINE FRAMEWORK FOR DISCUSSION – (LSR)

 

LSR circulated a framework for a BID Comms Strategy which outlines; key audience groups, messages, channels and tools for engagement. It was not discussed at the meeting as time was short, but was presented with the request for Board members to look at it and feedback comments on it before more detailed work on tactics and metrics. ACTION: ALL

 

 

ALL

11a. UPDATE ON CHRISTMAS EVENTS

 

LSR outlined the summary stats from all the events in the run up to Christmas and some anecdotal feedback. We had a min 2787 engagements - measurable by competition entries; Shopping prize Draw - 1407 and Hunt - 120, passengers on Lodges Buses - 1258 people. 55 businesses took part in the shopping prize draw.  We boosted Facebook following to over a 1000 from 932 in the first week which continued and with a reach of > 4500 over 5 weeks

 

The location information we have collected gives us insight on where we can invest in advertising and promotion for future events. ACTION: LSR

LSR

In general, all events were positively received with many independent shops/cafes etc taking part in the Prize Draw and Hunt etc.  JB raised the point that we learned to ‘fail fast’ so for example, when there was a problem with suspending parking outside The Dogs Trust, we found a temporary solution for deliveries and signage.

FB raised the point we’ll reconsider timing if we repeat the Lodges Buses in the winter and if we ran in the summer, it would be much easier to encourage people into town after a visit to the Railway. 

 

The question was asked about the value of the spend and ‘return’ on investment.  IH made the point that we have a baseline now to build on to plan and cost for next time.  

Marketing is an investment and not a science and metrics are not only financial, but we have a good / increased level of engagement with businesses and residents/visitors the events we arranged.

We will set up a Christmas events planning team to include business owners in the BID much earlier in the year for 2019. ACTION: LSR

 

 

 

 

 

LSR

Further conversations will be had with businesses to get their feedback and an Update (e-shot) will go out to all businesses very soon now that the Board has had the feedback first ACTION: LSR

 

LSR

12. RECRUITMENT FOR BID MANAGER (JB)

 

JB said he has a draft BID Manager job spec to formally look for and appoint a BID Manager. It was noted that budget only allowed for a part time role (24 hours pw). Following his request for two directors to help with this process, SV and GH volunteered to help with the interviews. ACTION: JB/SV/GH

 

JB/SV/GH

13. AOB

 

LSR asked the Board if they’d support the TIC and share the cost (£350) of the ‘Excursions Exhibition’ in London on Jan 26.  The benefits are to promote the town to Tour Companies arranging tours/days out around the country. The Board agreed to this on the basis it is an opportunity to engage with people who would bring in (potentially 30-40) visitors per tour operator. This is in line with the ‘attract’ objective in the BID business plan.  Some work needs to be done on some promotional material/banners.  CQ offered to help LSR to do this. ACTION CQ/LSR

 

 

 

 

CQ/LSR

  1. Date of next meeting

 

JB asked LSR to send dates for forthcoming meetings. Proposed dates are:

Tuesday 5 February

Tuesday 5 March

Tuesday 9 April

Tuesday 7 May

Tuesday 4 June

Tuesday 2 July

 

 


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