14th January 2016

Notes of First Open Meeting
8:00pm on Thursday 14th January 2016 at The Anglers Rest

Present:
John Stubbs (Chair), Pater Townsend (Treasurer) Elaine Randall (Secretary) Nick Jefferson, John Earl, Rosemary Earl, Malcolm Dungworth, Cath Allwood, John Anderson

Apologies:
Liz Marshall (Committee member), Jeremy Scholes, Alison Butlin, Roger Butlin, Stanley Slaughter, Linda Davidson

Introduction:
John, Elaine and Peter introduced themselves laying out briefly their reasons for becoming involved in FoBS.

Why have FoBS?

John outlined some of the things such a group could work towards e.g.: make the station more attractive - worth getting off the train for, increase rail usage, provide information about the village and village life, develop tourisms, build synergistic relationship between the village and the station etc.

Structure of FoBS

The Group has a basic constitution – avaialbe from John or Elaine on request – this is a requirement for funding. The committee has held two meetings to date and these minutes have also been circulated to a distribution list of people who have expressed an interest in the development of the group. (People at the meeting have been added to this list and anyone else who wants to be included should let either John or Elaine know).

The constitution requires at least four meetings a year including an AGM.– the first AGM has been set for 8.00pm on Thursday 29th September 2016 in The Anglers Rest

The first two meetings were just the founding members; future meeting will be open to all who are interested.

Planned Activities

John explained that our current funding position means that we only have the promise of a £250 grant at present, so on that basis the first activity will planters for the station. Hope Valley Garden Centre has agreed to provide the plants and compost free of charge if the planters are purchased from them. We have therefore submitted a grant application for three planters @£80 each and are awaiting a decision. We may need some volunteers with setting these up and planting them later in the year once we get the go ahead. The offer from the Garden Centre is, presently, only for the first year and the risks of these falling into disuse over time was mentioned at the meeting. The group is mindful of this.

We are also looking at putting more local information and a map of the village and village facilities, eg: Anglers, Garden Centre, Garage, shop, B&Bs, route & buses to Fairholmes etc., in the two notice boards on the platforms that have been designated for local use. We are hoping to develop the mutuality by providing timetables and info about the train service at the Anglers

Other ideas raised at the meeting included;

Possibly providing some high level information in different languages to support foreign tourists eg: Chinese students,
  • Include information about the Touchstone Trail & Historic Bamford – Malcolm issued the current leaflets to the meeting, the Historic Bamford one is due for an update but it was agreed the Touchstones Trail one could be placed in the notice board immediately. This could be developed further with website link or QR code created. 
  • Could work with other Friends groups to promote a wider Hope Valley identity 
  • Improvements to the access road – agreed this was outside the scope of FoBS at this time given that, if the proposed new loop was to progress, the road would be used by heavy vehicles so likely to deteriorate further. Network Rail would have to ‘make good’ at the end of the project so there is little point in pressing for improvements, other than ad hoc attention to pot holes, (which Elaine does already in her capacity as the Station Adopter) until that time. 
The consensus of the meeting was to start small -not be too ambitious too soon but wait to see how the group and funding develops.

ACORP

John explained that it was a funding requirement that the group becomes a member of the Association of Community Rail partnerships (ACORP) this will be done once the set up funds of £250 is received from DCC

Social Media

There was a short discussion on how to use social media. Cath Allwood pointed out that a Facebook page had to be kept up to date and vibrant with regular posts to be of any worth. It was agreed that it wasn’t a priority at present but that there could still be a role for a publicity officer as the group developed.

Finance

The Group has set up a bank account and is awaiting the promised £250 for start up and running cost from Derbyshire County Council. Some expenses have been incurred to date - £32.26- details from Peter Townsend - which will be reimbursed from that £250. The ACORP subscription is £30 per annum of estimated annual running costs of £75, so the £250 will not go far. We do not know what other running costs funding will become available but we have been given assurances that Arriva Northern, who will be running the franchise from 1 April 2016, are fully committed to building on the existing community structure so we are optimistic there may be further funding for both running and capital costs.

The only other funding we are applying for at present is the £250 from Northern Rail for the planters. Again we are hopeful there may be more available once the Arriva Northern structure is in place.

AOB:
Discussions on development ideas have been incorporated into the item on planned activities

The next meeting will be 8:00pm Thursday 24th March Anglers Rest – everyone welcome.

Elaine Randall
16 January 2016