Present:

Richard Harrison (Chair)
Dan Wood – Treasurer, Fram College
Gary Kitching – Framlingham Town Council
Verity Hales- English Heritage
Jenny Stockman – Suffolk Coastal Business/Fresh Aspirations Forum
Revd Canon Mark Sanders – St Michael’s Church
Janet Douglas – Country Markets
Richard Whitaker – Round House B&B
Alexandra Lapot – Alex Lapot
Sarah Lindsay – Framlingham Doctor Surgery
Heidi Harrison – Lemon Tree
Guy Edmonson – Framlingham Country Show
Elizabeth Jones – FBA Admin
Apologies:
Bill Bulstrode – Bulstrodes
Karen Haynes – Bulstrodes
Kelvin Gibbs – Chanwood Milling
Sarah Clarke – About Fram
Colin Farrand – Succeed in Spain
Lisa Handley – Windmill Cottages
Simon Tinkler – Enrnest Doe
Nicola Warner – Carleys Yard

 

  1. Sign off Draft Minutes
    Richard Whitaker approved and agreed to sign off the minutes from the February 2015 meeting.
  2. Draft Marketing Plan and Brand Guidelines
    Richard thanked everyone for their feedback on the draft market plan and brand guidelines. There were only a couple of minor amendments and both are available on request from Richard at chair@framlinghambusiness.co.uk.
  3. Website Development
    Richard thanked everyone for their positive feedback in response to the new FBA website. If anyone is experiencing problems using the DropBox, please contact Richard (chair@framlinghambusiness.co.uk) and he will be able to help you. We’re hoping to go live with the new website around Easter time.
  4. Town Council Report
    Gary Kitching reported on the following:

    Annual Parish Meeting – The APM will take place on Thursday 19th March at 7.30pm in The St John Westbury Centre. It is being held earlier this year due to the Elections.  Guest Speaker is Paul Taylor – Headmaster at Framlingham College who will talk about the College in its 150th Anniversary year.
    b. Elections – Elections take place on Thursday 7th May.  Could you be a Town Councillor? The Town Council welcomes all applicants and believes someone from the local business community would be a good addition. Posters and further information along with Nomination Forms will be available from 23rd March.
    e. Street Lighting Costs – The Town Council is responsible for 81 of the Town’s street lights and energy costs have reduced substantially as result of lighting restrictions around Framlingham
    f. 2016 Framlingham Calendar – The final 12 photos and front cover have been selected and the new Calendar will be on sale from May/June.
    g. Fram Market – The market welcomes back Bill Philpot with his own designed art deco posters.  Market Regulations and Charges can be found on www.framlingham.com along with details of how to apply for a pitch.  All applications are advertised on the agenda for the PR & Markets Committee meetings, held on the second Tuesday each month in the Town Council Office. Members of the public are welcome to attend.
    h. New Road Names – The Town Council keeps a list of suggested new road names put forward by residents over the years.  If you would like to add a road name to this list please email the Town Clerk.  The Town Council will consider the list of suggestions as and when new roads are developed.
    J. Sunday Bus Service – The Town Council would like to have the Sunday Bus Service reinstated.  There are no plans to do this at present, but Suffolk Coastal DC has noted FTC’s comments and FTC is now asking for support from the public.  You can do this by contacting FTC saying you think it is a good idea and that you would use it.
    k. Advance warning of power cut for Riverside area of Framlingham at 8am on Sunday 5th April and again at 4.30pm.
    l. Cemetery Gates – repainting – Work is starting on repainting the cemetery gates on Monday 27th April for approximately 3 – 4 days.
  5. Friendly Fram Signs
    Richard received no comments regarding the Friendly Fram signs and it was decided to go ahead and produce a small amount of simple signs to be placed in venues around Framlingham should they wish to participate. ACTION: RH
  6. Flower Baskets/Pots and Flags
    Quotes have been received to supply 12x 16-inch hanging baskets to be placed strategically around the Town. The cost is £30.00 per pot including VAT.  As an alternative, we are waiting for quotes from Garnetts to have 4 large pots filled with flowers to be placed around the Town.  There may be some issues as to where they can be placed and watered regularly.  Gary said there was a list of helpers held at FTC and Liz agreed to contact Eileen Coe to find out about all of this. Janet Douglas mentioned the geraniums by the Newsagents; she had dead-headed them but commented that some more flowers might be needed now.
    ACTION: Liz to contact Eileen Coe, follow up with Garnetts regarding the pots and source some extra flowers to go in the pots near the newsagents.
    Flags
    It was agreed that we would not put St George’s flags up for St George’s day, as this was too labour intensive for 1 day.  Instead, it was agreed that we’d invite people to have Union Jacks or Suffolk flags flying in time for Framlingham Gala, Monday 25th May 2015.

ACTION: RH and Bill Bulstrode to liaise on ensuring flags are in place, as per previous discussions

  1. Case Studies
    As a follow on from last month and in line with the new website, Richard asked again if anyone would be willing to chat with him about a success story relating to their business. He’s happy to write up the story and create a case study for use on your website (and on the FBA site) at no cost to individual members. He reiterated that it was a good way of promoting your own business and in the process highlighting the benefits of belonging to the Framlingham Business Association.
  2. Fram Spring Clean 21st March 2015. CANCELLED
    Richard Whittaker read a letter out from Suffolk Coastal Highways department. This explained that any individual or group wishing to carry out voluntary improvements/cleaning in the Town would need to undergo competency training first. This would ensure compliance with Health and Safety regulations when working near the public highway.  Richard volunteered to do the competency training at a later date, but all agreed that it was too late for this year and we should concentrate on getting ready for next March.
  3. Suffolk Coastal Report from Jenny Stockman
    Jenny reminded the meeting of the Suffolk Coastal event that is taking place on 25th March and there are some excellent key speakers and workshops, plus networking opportunities and a fine lunch! You will be entered into a free draw by booking before next week via the SCB website, the prize being a profile in “Suffolk” magazine. Other prizes are available via the SCB Facebook page or its website (http://suffolkcoastbusiness.co.uk/).

There is currently a recruitment drive for more board members within Suffolk Coastal Business.  The meetings take place every 6-8 weeks and the organisation is looking for people who are interested in developing the economy of Suffolk.
The Suffolk Coastal Business AGM will take place on 17th April at The Bell in Saxmundham.

AOB
a. On 14th March – Red Nose Day – the FBA raised £38.00 at its coffee morning, held at The Castle Inn. Thanks to the pub for hosting it.
b. Framlingham Country Show – This will take place on 11/12 April in the grounds of Framlingham College.  Guy Edmunson gave a brief outline of the weekend and encouraged local businesses to make the most of the opportunity to promote themselves to the many visitors that come to Framlingham for the event.  If you want to exhibit and be included on the FCS website, please contact Guy directly: guy@classicfestivals.co.uk.

The programme is yet to be printed so this is another option for businesses to promote themselves – again, contact Guy via email for more info.

As last year, FBA will use its own gazebo to have a presence at the event and members are welcome to provide leaflets/information for distribution. However, unless the businesses who want to advertise this way are willing to be on the stand for some period over the weekend, we cannot guarantee that there will be someone there for the duration of the show.

If you want to be sure of reaching out to as many visitors as possible, we suggest you take your own stand and leave some information on the FBA stand too.

  1. Reverend Canon Mark Sanders from St Michael’s Church gave a short presentation regarding an event called “Celebration Framlingham “ that is taking place between 2nd and 5th July. The aim is to celebrate the role of St Michael’s and other churches as an integral part of the community by using the premises for flower, art and photography exhibitions, for musical concerts, and for various stalls and refreshments. To encourage children/families to be involved, there will be a town trail/quiz and FBA members are invited to take part. It will only require a small amount of window space being provided for a clue/drawing or similar.

The Church is seeking goodwill and support for the town trail; for sponsorship (£250 for flower festival, £100 for photo exhibition or donations towards this); for advertisements in the programme

  1. Framlingham Gala – This will take place on Monday 25th May. Verity Hales agreed to attend a meeting on 25th March at the Sports Club and will report back. The theme of the parade this year is Fairy Tales and it was felt that the FBA should get involved with the Parade and all agreed that the parade has got smaller over the years.

It was suggested that visitors to the Town on that day would get an even better experience if more of the shops, cafes and other businesses were open – even if only until 2pm or 3pm. A bigger parade and having more to do – i.e. shopping, eating, browsing – would help to boost the event – and may benefit businesses both on the day and in the future (with return visitors).

  1. SausageFest 2015 – Richard explained that he will be sending to all members an ‘Expression of Interest’ outline information for anyone who is interested in Project Managing the event or managing the PR & Marketing for the event. Jenny is currently doing this but happy to hand the position over and this will be a paid position. The expressions of interest are just that and will explain if the candidate is suitable for the position with relevant experience.  Richard would like to receive any expressions of interests by 5.00pm Friday 27th March, with a candidate in place – ideally – by 10th April 2015.  Richard advised that three sausage producers have already confirmed that they would like to participate and Richard Whittaker confirmed that Creasys are happy to operate at The Round House once again. So, four confirmed already and last year we had 12 scheduled to attend.
    f. “NO” Signs – Richard Whittaker expressed concern about the remaining “NO” signs that have remained around the Town.  He explained that visitors to his B&B had commented that it gave a very negative feel to the Town and this was echoed throughout the meeting. Other members have emailed and/or spoken to Richard with similar concerns. Alex Lapot of Framlingham Residents Association, who was present at the meeting, agreed to ‘knock on doors’ to encourage the remaining few to remove the signs. [Chair’s note: Alex has subsequently shared with me the contents of a letter that all member residents will receive, asking them to remove the posters.]
  2. Next Meeting
    Monday 20th April 2015, 5.30pm at Framlingham College.