Present and apologies were duly noted. The meeting was led by Richard Harrison, FBA Chair.
1. Sign Off Draft Minutes – Andrew Nierkirk agreed to sign off the draft minutes from 17th November 2014 meeting.
2. Business Plan
Richard thanked everyone who provided feedback on the draft business plan. He confirmed that FBA will remain as a non-profit organisation and that any profits will be channelled back into the Association, not paid as dividends. This will clear in the amended business plan.
Richard confirmed that the amended business plan will be clear that FBA will not duplicate the efforts of other organisations that act on behalf of Framlingham. He also confirmed that FBA has a constitution and that it will be published on the website in due course.
Richard confirmed that the request to include a breakdown of Marketing Costs has been noted, and that the details will be available in the revised business plan.
ACTION: Richard Harrison to update the Business Plan, and publish the Constitution on the website, as noted above.
3. Wickham Market
There is general support from members to the proposal to allow businesses from Wickham Market to join FBA. Richard confirmed that events planned by FBA would remain in Fram.
Richard asked the meeting if FBA should have a fixed boundary. There are many businesses operating in the areas outside of Framlingham, and we already have members from Wickham Market, Easton and Glemham Hall. 12-15 businesses within Wickham Market have expressed an interest in joining the FBA soon.
ACTION: Andrew Nierkirk agreed to look at establishing a boundary for Framlingham.
4. Town Council Report
Two main issues from FTC:
a. Lighting for Queens Alley – feasibility study being undertaken by FTC.
b. The PR & Markets agenda will be published prior to FBA meetings to allow for comments
from local businesses on new stall holder applications.
c. For discussion at the next meeting, a new notice board in the town centre that draws people’s attention to the town’s businesses that are not on Market Hill.
ACTION: Richard Harrison/Liz Jones to ensure item “c.” is included in January agenda.
5. Branding Guidelines, Marketing Plan and Website Development
£1K had been assigned in the draft Business Plan to the creation of brand guidelines. Richard Harrison is undertaking this work voluntarily, so the amended plan may re-assign these funds following discussion by the Management Committee.
Richard invited members to make their own suggestions about re-assignment via email to Liz Jones before January 2nd 2015.
The marketing plan and brand guidelines will follow on from the finalisation of the business plan.
There is £1K assigned for the production of a revised FBA website. Tom Huggins, who works in the marketing department at Framlingham College and has his own web design business, will be developing the website. Richard will be sharing updates on the Marketing Plan and the website with members, and nothing will go live online without consultation.
The updating of the existing site, and the revised version, will be shared between Richard Harrison, Andrew Nierkirk and Liz Jones. Richard minuted his apologies for some delays in updating the site during his first month in office.
Andrew Nierkirk is fulfilling the everyday technical upkeep of the website on a voluntary basis. We have appointed a company in Ipswich called Novella Hosting, which is also doing some of the technical build on the revamped site, to look after web and email hosting. FBA will retain full access to the site and ownership of it.
Richard Harrison presented Lindsay Want-Beal and Sally Seeley with a Christmas Wreath each, as a thank you for the all the hard work they’ve put in on the current FBA website. Sally was not there to receive the Wreath, but Lindsay accepted on her behalf. Lindsay commented that she felt the decision by the management committee to update the FBA website, and to bring in a new supplier, had not been communicated clearly nor handled very well. Richard Harrison suggested that a separate meeting should take place for further discussion, with Richard, Lindsay, Sally and Jenny (in her capacity as former Chair) to attend. ACTION: Richard Harrison to set up meeting.
6. Car Parks
All the licences are in place for the use of Sports Club parking. The cost is 50p per day, it’s available between 6am and 7pm, and permits are for one month at a time. Staff members from Conrad Consulting currently use the car park, which is helping to ease congestion on Fore St. There is also free parking for FBA members at Atlas Fram on Saturdays.
Please email Liz Jones if you would like to apply for a permit for either car park.
7. Fabulous Fram Christmas
Fiona Mealing commented that the event was a success, since it was well attended, generated positive feedback, and benefitted most businesses in terms of the extra footfall through Fram. However, some of the traders on Church St received a reduction on pitch fees, as they didn’t do as well as stalls on Market Hill. Fiona thanked everyone involved in helping her organise and set up the event, and Richard presented her with a Christmas Wreath to express FBA’s thanks. He also presented one each to Bill Bulstrode and Karen Haynes to thank them for their hard work in relation to Christmas celebrations in Fram.
Fiona concluded by saying that FBA needs a new co-ordinator (or team of two) to lead the organising of next year’s event. Please contact Fiona and/or Liz if you’re interested.
8. Market Hill Notice Board
RH commented that Eileen Coe of Framlingham Town Council was concerned that a new approach/system is needed to make a better and fairer use of the town notice board on Market Hill. Possibilities included the use of A5 notices instead of A4, to rotate them on a monthly basis to keep things current and that seasonal events would overtake everyday notices i.e. SausageFest, Christmas etc. Gary also mentioned this in his Town Council Report.
ACTION: Members who want notices displayed should make them A5 and clearly add the month in which they want them on show. If members want to advertise for longer, they will need to supply Eileen with a new notice for each new month.
9. Proposed Town Wide Sign Cleaning in January
There is a proposal that FBA volunteers meet one Sunday in January 2015 to clean the road signs and street name signs around the town. One suggestion was to encourage local groups (e.g. scouts, brownies) to also get involved. Another suggestion was that one person from each street would clean their sign.
ACTION: Richard Whittaker agreed to coordinate this.
10. New Year, New Ideas
Richard suggested that it would be good to use the next meeting to exchange ideas about FBA activities in general. One specific discussion would be about running another event in Framlingham, perhaps in the early summer. Please email your ideas and suggestions to Liz by January 7th 2015.
– Businesses in Fram received a letter looking for donations to fund a traffic study in respect of the Neighbourhood Plan and proposal to build houses on Fairfield Road. It was agreed that individuals should donate if they want to, and that FBA would not make a donation as an Association.
– Richard had some literature from Essex/Suffolk Water about a water saving initiative that they are undertaking.
– FBA received an official ‘thank you’ for the money donated from Sausage Fest from Framlingham Sports Club and FAYAP. The latter advised that their budget has been cut by £7000, so the donation was very well received.
– Heritage Open Day – Richard presented Christmas wreaths to Kathy Churchill and Sarah Clarke of About Fram (Kathy accepted on Sarah’s behalf) to thank them for their hard work in organising the September event.
– Jenny Stockman confirmed that the Suffolk Coast Business annual B2B event will take place on March 25th 2015 9am – 2.30pm. More details available from Jenny.
– The next Suffolk Coastal Breakfast Meeting will take place at 7.45am on January 16th 2015 at the Lemon Tree. Book in through Liz Jones.
– Richard presented Jenny Stockman with flowers and fizz to say thank you for all her hard work as Chair for the last two years.
12. Next Meeting
The next FBA meeting will take place on Monday, January 19th at 5.30pm in the Armoury at The Castle Inn.