Present (The Lemon Tree)

Richard Harrison (Chair) – RichWords Limited

Jacqueline Ward – FBA Admin

Richard Whittaker (Management Committee) – The Round House Bed and Breakfast

Andrew Niekirk (Vice-Chair) – Eagle Media

Jenny Stockman (Management Committee) – Framlingham Technology Centre/Fresh Aspirations

Kelvin Gibbs (Management Committee) – Charnwood Milling Company Ltd

Gary Kitching – Framlingham Town Council

John Ashley-Smith – Framlingham Town Council

Geoff Mayhew – Framlingham Sports Club

Heidi Harrison – The Lemon Tree

Mark Jenkins – Mark’s Maintenance

Apologies

Sarah Clarke – About Media

Verity Hales – English Heritage

Lindsay Want-Beal – Xtrahead

The pre-Christmas get-together began with a free drink upon arrival, followed immediately with FBA business, from 5.30pm to 6.15pm.

       1)    Attendees – brief introductions by attendees as well as Apologies for absences (as above).

  • Minutes from last meeting held 16th November 2015 were approved by Richard Whittaker and seconded by Kelvin Gibbs.
  • Fabulous Fram Christmas – update by Richard H

Positive feedback from the public, stall holders and shop owners. Large crowds between 6 and 8pm; very quiet for the last hour (after the raffle was called). Suggestion from RH to move the event forward one hour (5pm to 8pm) was welcomed, on proviso that we close car park earlier (from 12 noon). Also need to stagger the arrival of stall-holders.

John Ashley-Smith gave feedback on the partial road closure, manned by two people wearing hi-vis jackets. He explained that some road users took little notice of sign (which had been praised by a policeman, since it was compliant with legislation that doesn’t allow anyone to use copies of official signs). Others did stop for information, particularly on disabled parking (perhaps need to sign-post this more clearly next time – it was in front of the trees along the left-hand side of Market Hill as you go up towards Church Street).

Discussion followed regarding parking around the town on the night. Castle Car Park and others were full, and parking was heavy in Double Street. There were a lot of people from outside the town driving to the event, so FBA should consider extra parking in future. It was noted that SCC has suspended parking charges for events elsewhere.

John Ashley-Smith said that some of the entertainers were unsure where to go, and Richard Harrison explained that they’d been given full instructions, as had stall holders. The clearance of parked cars from Market Hill after 3pm had encountered problems.  The Police, although fully aware of the event in advance, had been unable to assist and one car remained in place all evening.  Stall layout had to be altered to fit around it, which had an effect on crowd flow past stalls. Ideally the road closure would commence earlier in future.

ACTION: Richard Whitaker will organise the event next year and review feedback within                 

the Xmas even sub-committee (see item 5, below).  RH and JW to assist; about 5 people required.

Jenny Stockman asked about the distribution of raffle prizes, Richard Whittaker said that all were distributed or about to be. He also gave general feedback on the Raffle, which generated charitable donations (which in turn increased the number and value of the prizes donated).

It was also noted that the raffle and event on-the-night had a number of non-members making a valuable input to the success of the event.

Mark Jenkins commented that the evening was very popular and a resounding success.

Richard Harrison ran through the expenditure and income items for the event:

Expenditure

Item Last Year (£) This Year (£)
Grotto (Santa) 50 0
Sports Club 50 100
Raffle prizes 350 0
Raffle posters 0 30
Raffle ticket printing 70 70
Puppet Theatre 220 0
Entertainment 320 450
Horse and Carriage 80 80
Road closure 763 50
Leaflets and banners 204 740
Licences 21 41
Big tree 1050 1260
Small trees 780 1122
Xmas lights 610 848
Storage boxes for lights 58 0
Tree brackets 252 0
Sundries 107 0
Thank you gifts 140 109
Charitable donations

(SEH, EACH, Guides/Scouts)

0 350

 

Totals 4676 5250

We spent £465 more this year

Income

Item Last Year (£) This Year (£)
Sponsorship/Grants 3090 3649*
Grotto 375 125**
Stall-holders 170 395
Raffle 810 874
Puppet Theatre 76 0
Small trees (incl sales) 282 640***
Totals 4803 5683

* Grants: SCC = £899; SCDC = £1500; FTC = £400

Sponsors: Local companies = £850

** We made it £2.50 for 5-and-overs and free for under-5s, and had 130 visitors in total. This means we only had 50 over 5s in the Grotto (accounting for the £125) and therefore 80 under 5s. For Xmas 2016, we should consider charging more for the older children, or charging for both age groups, to raise more funds.

*** Still 29 payments outstanding, which (if/when paid) will add a further £290 to our total.

Summary: Last year’s profit = £327; This year’s profit = £433

  • Town Council – report by Gary Kitching/John Ashley-Smith
  • The FTC Chair had stood down at the last full meeting. Stephanie Bennell was standing in for the time being, and it was hoped that a new Chair would be appointed very soon.
  • The budget had been looked at will be agreed at the full meeting in January.
  • The new assistant for the FTC office has been appointed, in addition to Eileen Coe and Jane Parlone.
  • The Neighbourhood Plan will be out in January, the final one prior to publication. The group now has a new leader – John Jones.
  • Charity Market held Sunday 6th December went well, and the weather was good.
  • The Annual Rights of Way Walk to be held 3rd January from 11am, starting at The Elms Car Park. To include points of interest along the way and concluding at the FTC offices at 1pm with mince pies and mulled wine.

Richard Harrison asked if the FTC grants would be at the end of January and the end of June. FBA is looking to run an event to celebrate the Queens 90th birthday, possibly as a shared event with FTC? GK/J A-S advised applying for January grant asap.

ACTION: RH to contact Eileen Coe re grant application.

Mark Jenkins asked about the fundraising of FTC Fram bags and calendars and Charity Market. GK/J A-S commented that the charity Market only really makes money for the charities, the main fundraiser for FTC is the November Firework event.

Mark Jenkins asked about FAYAP.  This is run as a charity and has recently bought a building.  It is helped by FTC, two FAYAP members Steve Lovett and Spadge Hopkins are also on the FTC. The Drill Hall money was queried, GK and J A-S explained this is for a capital project and is within a timeline.

A question was asked about the success of the Charity Market this year, given that it was promoted as being part of the Fab Fram Christmas weekend (along with the Tree Festival at St Michael’s Church). It was considered there had been neither a detrimental nor positive effect.

John Ashley-Smith asked if consideration had been given to alternative town Christmas decorations.  He highlighted the different approach in Saxmundham, where the whole town was lit, rather than trees on individual buildings. The general consensus was that the current approach was attractive and sympathetic to the town, and that the shape of Market Hill made other options problematical. Potential costs were also noted. There was also a need to consider the costs of what we currently do, there would be further expense should current volunteers be unavailable in the future.

 

  • FBA Chair vacancy/Management Committee meeting/Web stats – update by Richard H

FBA Chair – nobody has stepped forward to take on the role, despite conversations that RH had with two people who expressed some interest. Now RH has stood down so, in the absence of a new Chair, Committee decided as follows

  • For “Chair” emails to be re-directed to Vice Chair Andrew Niekirk.

ACTION: AN to organise re-direct

  • Andrew’s contact details to go onto the website, so he can be the spokesperson for the press and in other circumstances as needed

ACTION: RH to update website

  • FBA Administrator Jacqueline Ward to email ALL Committee members when payments need to be made. She’ll only make those payments after she’s received at least two confirmations that it’s OK (equivalent of getting two signatures on cheques)
  • If Jacqueline receives emails where it’s unclear what action is required, she will share with the Committee and/or sub-committee(s) – see (6) below.
  • To hold open meetings once every two months rather than monthly. This means the dates for 2016 are: January 18th; March 21st; May 16th; June 12 – if AGM to coincide with proposed event for Queen’s 90th (see 6b below) – or July 18th (to include AGM if not held in June); September 19th; November 21st.

Having bi-monthly meetings will allow us to:

  1. Reduce the onus on Admin and each meeting’s stand-in Chair (a task to be shared around the Committee members) re agenda-setting and running of meetings
  2. Encourage (we hope) more members to attend the meetings – we have effectively halved the commitment required
  3. Still meet before events to finalise plans/inform members of what’s happening

 

  • To set up sub-committees (which will meet as often as required) to take on various tasks:
  1. Marketing, which includes advertising, brochures, posters, PR and website

Dan Wood agreed to sit on this sub-committee, but we need members (and/or non-members) with marketing knowledge to join him. Tasks will include:

web updates (news items, meeting minutes, members’ directory listings etc.)

social media activities

writing and distribution of press releases

creation and distribution of promotional materials as needed

update of the Marketing Plan (dated March 2015).

 

A small budget of £2080 (£40 per week, assuming 2 hours at £20ph) is available to cover some or all of the cost of the time spent on these updates and activities.

Richard explained that he had taken on these Marketing duties as Chair, saving FBA the budgeted amount of £2080. The slight downside was that he only had time to do the most essential web updates, plus write and distribute occasional press releases, and write and oversee design, production and distribution of all promotional items.

Press coverage has been OK throughout the year, and promotional materials have been in line with the new branding and, most importantly, very effective in attracting crowds to FBA’s key events: SausageFest and Christmas. However, with Richard stepping down from the role of Chair and not continuing to do the marketing, there’s a need for the budget to be assigned this year.

In addition, there’s room for improvement in terms of PR coverage and the integration of social media and the website. The web stats in FBA’s Web Report for December 2015 show that there’s been a drop-off in the number of site visits over the past year. This could be a reflection of the reduced amount of social media activity during the period compared to the previous 12 months. If this is adjudged to be the case, then the creation of a social media campaign that pushes members (and others) to the website may be a good starting point for the Marketing sub-committee and/or the paid-for marketing resource.

ACTION: The report includes a number of actions for the Marketing sub-committee (when formed)

ACTION: Anyone interested in getting involved as a volunteer for marketing and/or a paid-for service provider, should email Jacqueline Ward in the first instance: admin@framlinghambusiness.co.uk

 

  1. Events – Jenny Stockman agreed to oversee/co-ordinate this sub-committee, as long as teams are in place to organise the details of individual events

Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations (weekend of June 11th, 12th) – Sunday 12th is the day that country-wide picnics are likely to take place, as there is a street party in The Mall, , with entertainment (all televised) – raising money for charity/local projects

ACTION: RH to initiate discussions with Eileen Coe about Town Council’s possible involvement with event, and about TC’s next funding round at end of January 2016.

ACTION: We need a team of volunteers willing to organise this event. Please email admin@framlinghambusiness.co.uk and/or Jenny Stockman: jenny@t-centre.co.uk

AGM – traditionally July

It was suggested that AGM should/could be a family event, to encourage more attendees. This led to a suggestion that we could combine the AGM with the Queen’s birthday event and take advantage of the larger crowds that it should attract.

ACTION: Andrew Niekirk & Jenny to discuss. Volunteers welcome – contact as above.

Heritage Open Day – September

AboutMedia will not be able to run this event in 2016 and the Committee felt it unrealistic for FBA to take it on currently (despite the success of recent years).

SausageFest – October

Committee agreed at last open meeting to run the event again, and we’re already discussing the format of next year’s event (see AOB).

ACTION: Jenny (who’s agreed to run the event) to share latest thoughts with Committee, and start building her team of volunteers and paid-for service providers

Fab Fram Christmas – December

Richard Whitaker agreed to take on the organisation for next year

ACTION: As noted, RW to review feedback and pull together a team of volunteers

 

  • Suffolk Coast Business – report (Jenny Stockman)

Jenny said that the new SCB admin Alyson Tipping was doing an excellent job. She is currently working on the SCB March conference. Grants were being looked at too.

  • AOB

SausageFest – Jenny Stockman has someone who is interested in helping to move the event up a gear.  Jenny was concerned that the event could become stale, she noted that others had tried to run similar events and failed.  The possibility of a Market Hill full road closure, and the use of additional non-central venues around town could be considered.  Extra funding could be available if the event name was changed, it was felt that a minor change could be acceptable but that Framlingham and Festival/Fest should appear in the title. The event was seen as showcasing the town and also British pork. Discussion on how large the event could be to be sustainable, how to attract further sponsorship, and whether to remain an Aldeburgh Food Festival fringe event. Mark Jenkins asked if Ladies in Pigs had been approached for 2016 and Jenny assured everyone that they would be.

Richard Harrison commented that the event made a profit this year (and hadn’t previously), but that its success and levels of attendance are somewhat weather-dependent. It was felt that the event should develop within its current framework, with improved marketing to increase pre-sales.

ACTION: Jenny to walk the town with Eileen Coe, FTC Clerk, to consider the best promotion of the town.

Outgoing Chair – Richard Harrison received thanks from those assembled for his time as Chair, and for his work organising the Fab Fram Christmas event.

 

  • Next meeting – January 18th @ 5.30pm (The Castle Inn)