Present and apologies were duly noted. The meeting was led by Richard Harrison, FBA Chair.

1.       Sign off Draft Minutes

Richard highlighted some amendments that we needed to make to the draft minutes from the 16th December 2014 meeting

(Chair’s note on 23/02/15: The approved minutes for December, below, include these amendments).

Richard asked that members read and approve the amended minutes for December and these minutes for January, plus those for subsequent months, within a week of distribution. This will mean we can update the website approximately 14 days after each meeting.

One of the amendments referred to the Framlingham Town Notice Board on Market Hill. It was suggested that members may not be aware of how to get their info/posters on to the notice board, so it was agreed that FBA would add the details. ACTION: Richard Harrison

In summary: members can deliver their A5 posters/adverts, dated with the month and year for display (e.g. February 2015) to Eileen Coe at the Town Council offices. Members must ensure they supply new notices, dated as appropriate, for each new month so that the information remains current and other members have the chance of using the board.

Another suggestion concerned FBA and Town Council working together on a separate notice board – possibly electronic and potentially interactive – that allows people to find businesses not on Market Hill. ACTION: Andrew Niekirk (FBA) and Gary Kitching (TC) to liaise on this.

As an update to the last meeting, rather than amendments to the minutes, Richard read out a statement of apology received from Jenny Stockman in respect of Lindsay Want-Beal and Sally Seeley for a comment made at December’s meeting. Here is Jenny’s statement:

“Jenny would like to offer her apologies to Lindsay and Sally for the comment she made at the last FBA meeting. It was inappropriate to voice, in public, a personal frustration about perceived restricted access to admin on the website. A greater understanding of the issues involved with access has clarified the situation. Jenny also wants to emphasise that her comment did not reflect the opinion of the Management Committee, nor was it intended to be voiced as such, or interpreted as such.”

In an additional update, Richard announced the introduction of new FBA Procurement Procedures following a productive meeting he held with Jenny, Lindsay and Sally in January. The aim is that the written procedures make FBA’s purchasing of goods and services a more transparent process. As opportunities for supplying goods and services arise, members will have enough time to respond. Each application will be judged on its merits.

2.       Business Plan and Website Development
Richard asked the meeting if we would be happy for the Business Plan to be made public – e.g. to share with other Business Associations and/or publish on the website?  It was felt that the former was acceptable, as long as we specify that the document is available only to Committee members. It was suggested that the Business Plan only be made available to the public in advance of the July AGM. It is available any time upon request to FBA members.
ACTION: Richard Harrison to diarise for June 2015 the publication of the Business Plan.

We are still developing the new version of the website. We aim to give members access to the development site (i.e. not live site) for review and feedback before the next meeting.

3.       Branding Guidelines/Marketing Plan
Branding Guidelines and Marketing Plan should be ready for review, upon request, before the next meeting.  We invite input from all members who want to see the drafts.
ACTION – Richard Harrison to send drafts, when ready, to Sarah Clarke who requested them at the meeting

4.       Town Council Report
a. Hopkins Homes Station Road – Plans for development to go to FTC in next month.
b. Lighting Queen’s Alley – possible option – solar light fixed to wall of Price of India. Seeking FBA support. FBA members urged the Council to find a solution that satisfied businesses and residents alike. We confirmed our readiness to provide financial support for affordable schemes that achieved broad agreement between interested parties.
c. ‘A’ boards – reminder of Highway’s guidance in relation to ‘A’ boards. Advertising signs on the highway Advice Note SCC.
d. Framlingham Town Council committee agendas – available prior to meetings for comment.
e. Framlingham Town Council News – published monthly on Council website highlighting main issues arising from meetings.

5.       Suffolk Coastal Report from Jenny Stockman
The Suffolk Coast Business Event will take place on 25th March at High Lodge Darsham, 09.00 – 2pm. This is an evolution of the Suffolk Coast Business Exhibition and is designed to deliver more tangible benefits to all who attend. The theme is Routes to Market.

The day will kick off with a keynote speech from Richard Jackson MBE to motivate and inspire. A short presentation by the DMO (Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation) will followed, about the important role tourism plays in our economy.

Attendees will be able to visit some carefully selected trade stands that are suitable for the theme and either have “meet the buyer” sections or other useful info. There will be master classes on subjects such as tendering with Suffolk County Council, business planning to work out your market, and communication techniques to really engage and gain customers.

Delegate fee is £35 which covers lunch, refreshments, master classes and the whole morning. There are opportunities to get involved via sponsorship (including lunch tables) or by having a stand. Booking will open online very shortly when we launch our new website.

Please email chair@suffolkcoastbusiness.co.uk for details
SCB is also putting together a series of workshops to help people with various business skills. And don’t forget about the monthly breakfast club meetings – emails will notify you of venues and speakers, details on website www.suffolkcoastbusiness.co.uk.

6.       Wickham Market
As an action from the last meeting, Andrew Nierkirk produced a FBA boundary map for Framlingham and the surrounding villages. The boundary encompasses current members with Dennington, Earl Soham, Lower Hacheston,  Little Glemham and Wickham Market.

Richard and Andrew had a positive meeting with members of the Town Team at Wickham Market, who produced a list of potential members. It’s thought that approximately 6 are likely to join FBA at the moment. We’ll advise businesses in Wickham Market that they are able to join the FBA and that events currently based in Framlingham will stay here. We would be happy to assist in helping with events in Wickham Market.

7.       Current Events, Heritage Open Day, SausageFest and Fabulous Framlingham Christmas
At the last meeting, Richard asked for ideas regarding future events in Framlingham and a couple of suggestions had been made. However, it was felt that FBA needs to focus on existing events for now.

Sarah Clarke and Kathy Churchill will continue to organise the Heritage Open Day, which was a huge success. Richard expressed the FBA’s thanks for this.

SausageFest – It was felt by the meeting that SF is too big an event, in its current guise, for a volunteer to run. Jenny Stockman has successfully organised it for the last two years but has little desire to undertake this again. The option of ‘employing’ a professional events organiser/ company was discussed, but everyone agreed that this is probably not financially viable.

Another option is to mentor volunteers from youth groups such as Fresh Aspirations Forum and FAYAP. But the mentor/events co-ordinator would still need a financial reward and FBA would still need to raise a substantial amount to cover costs. Figures for 2014 SausageFest and Christmas events will be available at the AGM.

Richard confirmed that he had used a page of Framfare (out on 30th Jan) to request any kind of volunteer help.

Julia Nathan from Fresh Aspirations suggested that FBA call a one-off meeting about SausageFest (and/or other events) to get volunteers. ACTION: Richard Harrison to set up.

Jenny Stockman commented that although organising SausageFest was time-consuming, it was also very rewarding and fulfilling from a personal development point of view. Lindsay Want-Beal suggested that becoming more integrated with the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival might help us attract sponsorship and volunteers. ACTION: Richard Harrison to meet Jenny Stockman to discuss further.

8.       Proposed Town Wide Sign Cleaning
Richard Whitaker undertook to look at the proposed town wide sign cleaning. Everyone agreed that January and February were not the best months to do this and he offered a date of 21/22 March (start of Spring).  He asked if anyone had a contact for the scout/guide groups in Fram and also FYAP/Duke of Edinburgh groups who might like to get involved. If you do, please let him know via admin@framlinghambuisness.co.uk.

He asked that in time for the next meeting everyone make notes of what cleaning/repair works they see need doing and bring to the next meeting.  Simon Tinkler mentioned that Health and Safety and Risk Assessments might need to take place if children/young people will be getting involved.

9.       AOB
– Richard and Liz provided an update on the 9 memberships outstanding. We now have 101 business members.
– ACTION: Liz to provide Bill Bulstrode an updated list of outstanding invoices for Christmas Trees and he will chase for payment.
– ACTION: Richard to circulate with these minutes a copy of SCDC Mourning Protocol relating to flying of flags

10.   Next Meeting
Monday 16th February 2015, 5.30pm at The Crown Hotel