Congleton Partnership Executive meeting minute took place recently, download the meeting minutes HERE.
Town Centre: Vacancy rates – Congleton has 186 of the 204 marketable units filled. Recent changes have included the closure of RBS in January, the opening of a new Motorbike shop in Lawton Street and the opening of Four Friends Tibetan kitchen in Mill Street. The Bulls Head have taken on the Soul Food Café premises on Mill Street which will be known as the Bulls Shed, A&A Music has changed hands. Able World has moved into the former Bargain Booze and Post Office Building on Mill Street. There has been no movement on the Post Office. The Post Office has confirmed that Congleton town would not be suitable for a satellite post office service. One business is still in the process of applying for the post office. Farm Foods will be leaving Congleton in the next few weeks. Other potential changes are still rumours. Figures due out from Cheshire East are likely to differ to the figures I give you. This is because they count all units that have had planning permission for retail, whether being marketed or not. Therefore they will include the Scarborough units on Mill Street, the empty units in Capital Walk and the units on the ground floor of the market space that were proposed to be retail units. I do not count these.
2. The free footfall data stopped at the end of January –and budgets were not allocated maintain the monitoring. The hardware is still in place if we wished to reinstall in the future.
3. The Markers Market has almost been in Congleton for a year. The February Market was very busy, helped by beautiful weather. Footfall on Makers Market days have been up by – 3,000 to 4,000 people. The Makers Market is in the process of applying for a Premise Licence.
4. Easter – Churches Together will be holding their service in the Town Centre on Good Friday. Congleton Town Council is organising a ‘hop around the shop’ Easter Egg hunt and an Easter Treats fun day in the pedestrian area on Tuesday 9th April – this first Tuesday of the Easter Holidays.
5. Car Parking -Congleton Town Council was one of a number of objectors to the proposed increase in parking charges across Cheshire East. Our concerns have unfortunately not changes anything for Congleton. All tariffs will be going up by 10p from the 8th March, and parking charges are being reintroduced on Park Street – (the small car park by the Rugby Club)
Public Realm – weather permitting yellow lines will be added to the granite blocks on Swan Bank on the 10th March. At this time the transition blocks will also be resorted. New working bollards should be delivered in the next couple of weeks, and the Town Council has agreed to purchase the same ornate lantern heads for the two lampposts in Victoria Street to match the rest of the pedestrian area.
7. Neighbourhood Plan – Congleton was allocated an independent examiner called Jonathan King. Mr King raised a number of questions regarding the Congleton Neighbourhood Plan. These were mainly related to housing and green spaces queries and clarifying policies. A great deal of work has gone into clarifying the information. We believe the Examiner carried out an unaccompanied visit last week and are waiting to hear about the next stage – the examiner may ask more questions, may pass the plan for referendum subject to a number of conditions or could even ask for it to go back through more consultation. The Referendum will need to be sometime after the election. The Steering Group thoughts are now moving towards devising a Delivery Plan to ensure that the Neighbourhood Plan is brought to life.
8. Bradshaw House – Congleton Town Council has put a sealed bid into Purchase Bradshaw House and is waiting to hear from Cheshire East.
9. Congleton in Bloom – the 2019 campaign is well underway! Around 30 people attended a Town Tidy this weekend – the next one will be held on the 6th April – aiming for the first Saturday of every month.
The next edition will be distributed from the 12th March and proofs should be back tomorrow. A double page spread on the Partnership was included in the winter edition.
The Old Saw Mill. Going from strength to strength with a good programme of regular activities planned.
The current programme of Cooking From Scratch on a Friday is well attended (10 to 12 people) Beckie Morley is starting a fortnightly Musical Movements activity from 1st April.
U3A are now regular uses of the OSM.
Peter expressed his thanks to The Inclosure Trust and Town Trust for their support of the new floor covering for the prep room.
Creative Congleton – Vince Cutcliffe
Electric Picture House has moved successfully to new location Spindle St, they have provided their own report.
The meeting ended at 7.15 pm
Next Meeting is:- Tuesday 4th June 2019, Congleton Town Hall, 5.30pm.