Horncastle Matters Group

Horncastle Matters - Thursday 3rd November 2016 


Bill Aron, Angela Birchall and Rose Williams (Horncastle Town Council)
Mary Silverton (Horncastle History and Heritage Society)
Linda Patrick (St Mary’s Church)
Paul Scott (Joseph Banks Centre) 

1. Apologies - apologies were received from Chrissie Chapman (HHHS) and Luke (Tescos)

2. Agree notes from meeting on 8th September - noted 

3. To discuss action points in notes not covered on the agenda - Gillian asked about how best to inform other groups about Horncastle Matters and invite them to get involved.  It was agreed everyone would help compile a list of groups and email addresses for an invite to go out. 

It was suggested that Horncastle needed a development plan outlining where it was hoped the town would be in the future and different projects that would help it achieve this.  It was decided to discuss this further at the next meeting alongside feedback from Paul Scott on his presentation for the town to the Town Council. 

4. To discuss and develop the Terms of Reference for the group - amendments to the current terms of reference were suggested.  Gillian to send out amended version for comments.

5. Update on current projects:

• Walking map and information boards - Bill, Angela and Linda were working on this.  A report was circulated for comment.  The report outlined the range of tourist attractions that town had to offer and possible symbols that could go on the brown signs.  Quotes were also provided from Sprint Signs for finger posts in the town which could be used to signpost attractions.  The group supported the report moving forward to help source funding.

• Brown signs - Mary and Gillian were working on this.  It was suggested that there could be 8 boards around town tying in with the town walk leaflet.  Possible help with funding might come from the War Memorial Hospital and Linda suggested that the church might be able to fund one in their grounds.

Examples of the sort of boards they were looking at could be seen at Woodhall, Wilksby Church and in the Wolds.  These would now be contacted for details on costs and manufactures.  It was agreed that the Town Council would be approached to ask if they would apply for planning permission for them.  

6. Update on forthcoming events/activities/projects in the town and any help required supporting/advertising them - upcoming events included the Christmas market, Christmas tree event in the church, a gallery opening in town and the launch of the Lincolnshire Wolds website and Destination Plan. 

Mary reported that the HHHS would be refurbishing the tubs at the top of West Street and Gillian reported that the baskets on the bridge had been restocked for winter by HHHS volunteers and the hanging baskets were due to be done soon.

7. Any other matters - concerns were raised again about pigeons in the town and the state of some of the buildings. 

8. Date of next meeting - mid January 

 Three Way Meeting - 3 February 2016

In attendance: 

Town Council
• Cllr Bill Aron
• Cllr Angela Birchall (Chairman)
• Cllr Rose Williams 

Horncastle History and Heritage Society 
• Mary Silverton 
• Chrissie Chapman

Horncastle Federation for Trade, Commerce and Industry
• Ben Smith 

1. Apologies – none 

2. Notes from 4 November 2015 meeting - noted

3. Update on action points from last meeting not covered as an agenda item - none

4. Update on options for signpost advertising businesses on West Street and brown tourist signs – other prices had been obtained for the West Street sign and brown tourist signs.  Neither worked out much cheaper than the quotes previously obtained and it was noted that if they did not go with LCC to do the brown tourist signs then there was a lot of work involved. 

Agreed – leave the West Street sign at present and take the brown tourist sign back to the town council as it was felt that this was beneficial for the town.  The group would prefer to see the Roman symbol on it though rather than the antiques one and then work towards improving signage to the sections of the Roman walls. 

5. Update on re-launching the Business Federation – Ben reported that the group really wasn’t in existence at present but if he could get a couple of businesses involved it might be possible to resurrect it.

6. Update on Lincolnshire Wolds Tourism meetings and conference in April – this was developing well. There was a conference taking place on 20 April and it was hoped that this would be a success.

Rose reported that she had met with Magna Vita to discuss the Wolds Words event which Horncastle had not been included in last year.  Magna Vita confirmed that the town would be included this year. 

7. Draft press release regarding pigeons in the town – Gillian had finally drafted a press release and circulated it for comments.  It was agreed that this would now go to the paper from the group. 

8. Ideas for publicising local shops and shopping locally – Gillian provided details on a scheme she had seen up and running in Newark called Totally Locally.  It was a national scheme and it was down to businesses in each town to get it up and running and make it work for them.

Ben offered to take the paperwork away and see if it was something he could use to get the Business Federation up and running again. 

9. Update on joint projects in the town – heritage trail (artwork around the town), updating the town trail, floral displays – the floral displays were working well.  The Town Council was providing the funding for planters and plants and volunteers from the History and Heritage Society were putting them together and maintaining them. 

The town trail extension was being worked on by the History and Heritage Society and there was an idea to tie this in with the heritage trail (the black and white artwork) and then put in a funding bid for both. 

10. Any other matters – it was suggested that the vicar’s wife be invited to a future meeting as she had a background in communications/tourism

11. Date of next meeting – 13th April at 5.30pm 



Three Way Meeting - Wednesday 22 July 2015

Town Council
• Cllr Angela Birchall (Chairman)
• Cllr Jonathan Ferrari (substituting for Cllr Aron)
• Cllr Rose Williams 

Horncastle History and Heritage Society 
• Rod Sambrook
• Mary Silverton 

Horncastle Federation for Trade, Commerce and Industry
• Roly Freeman
• Ben Smith


1. Notes from the last meeting – 22 April 2015 – agreed 

2. Update on action points from last meeting not covered as an agenda item – several people had received comments from visitors that the town was not looking as tidy as it use to.  ELDC was responsible for keeping the streets clean and it was wondered if the number of visits or the level of work had been reduced. 

It was suggested that businesses be asked to ‘do their bit’ by keeping their shop front clean.  There was a particular issue with the some of the banks (such as HSBC).

It was agreed that the town needed some volunteers to help with more town tidy ups – suggested that something could be put in the paper asking for volunteers.  Rose was involved with managing a few Facebook pages and details could be included there.  It was also suggested that the Town Council had a market stall on a Thursday to got out and talk to local people about how to help improve the town. 

Roman Wall – Angela updated the group on this.  A meeting was being arranged with English Heritage to look at this further.  It was noted that English Heritage considered the wall to be very valuable and more should be done in the town to promote it more, particularly as a tourist attraction.

3. Update on improving the pagoda – Gillian reported that ELDC were happy for the Town Council to take over maintaining it and to make the changes to the doors so that the notice boards were accessible to everyone to put up posters etc.  Stuart, the Estates Supervisor, was looking at different options for fixing the doors and improving the notice boards and this work would be done soon. 

4. Update on idea for ‘signpost’ advertising businesses on West Street – Mary had examples of different types of signposts that could be installed.  A simple design was chosen and Mary agreed to find out more details on costs and sizes

It was noted that the area of land where the signpost could go was not registered with the land registry so it would be possible just to site it there.

Gillian still needed to check about planning permission 

5. Update on dealing with pigeons in the town – this continued to be an issue and it was agreed that the suggestions from before be pursued: 

- problem with feeding pigeons needed to be explained to people – ask them not to feed them, when feeding birds in the garden make sure the food is only accessible to smaller birds, if feeding ducks feed in moderation (article from three way meeting – press release, leaflet, on the website)

- ask business to help stop pigeons roosting in the town by putting up spikes (can we supply the spikes or help get them at a reduced rate?)

5. Update on promoting businesses and events in Horncastle – Ben stated that they were looking to reform the Business Federation and try and get more businesses involved. 

Ideas/issues discussed were: 
- Tidying up the town and holding more events would encourage more visitors to the town.  
- It was noted that there were lots of people in the town who were involved in different groups which were all trying to do their bit to help.  What was needed was a united approach to moving things forward together 
- Horncastle had lost its identity over time – what was it we wanted to promote – antique centres, Roman Wall, Historic events – eg horse fair 
- other towns and villages held events that they were now well known for – eg Woodhall Spa had its 1940s weekend.  There was a Regency event here in the town but not many people knew about it – should more be done to promote that? 
- should the group be expanded to include other groups – Rotary, Lions etc or would that make the group too large and at risk of becoming just a talking shop 
- how to engage with volunteers in the town?
- the events leaflet produced by Caistor was highlighted as a good simple way of letting people know what was happening in the town – details on costs and production to be brought to the next meeting (Gillian to action)
- other towns had a town centre manager – this is something Horncastle needed (Gillian to find out from ELDC more about these and if we could apply to have one) 

It was agreed that as well as the minutes going to the September council meeting a report on how to promote the town better and to develop some ideas for moving forward would be discussed

6. Update on Lincolnshire Wolds Tourism Meetings – Ben had been attending these meetings and reported that they were progressing well.  The idea was to get the wolds market towns to work closer together to promote the area.  They had held a branding exercise which had been really interesting (perhaps that sort of thing was needed for Horncastle??)

7. Update on street art project – Rod was now available to be able to move this forward again.  The History and Heritage Group was looking to set up a working group to deal with it.  

He had also been in touch with the Environment Agency about putting artwork in the concrete trench either side of the River Waring in town. 

8. Any other matters
It was noted that there was a lack of directional signs coming into town to say where to park – Angela offered to check out what was there at present and what more was needed 

Concerns were raised about the condition of some of the buildings in the town centre – Conservation Officer at ELDC to be contacted about this (Gillian to action)

It was suggested that the Rugby Club should be approached to look at setting up a rugby event for next year to tie in with the world cup (Jonathan to action) 

9. Date of next meeting – 21 October at 5pm 




Three Way Meeting - Wednesday 22 April 2015


Town Council
• Cllr Angela Birchall 
• Cllr Sandra Campbell-Wardman (chairman) 

Horncastle History and Heritage Society (HHHS)
• Mary Silverton 

Horncastle Federation for Trade, Commerce and Industry
• Roly Freeman
• Ben Smith

1. Notes from the last meeting – 19 February 2015 – agreed 

2. Update on action points from last meeting not covered as an agenda item - none

3. Update on improving the pagoda – Gillian stated that the Council had agreed to spend up to £100 on fixing the doors and opening up the notice boards so that community groups could use them.  

ELDC had supported the idea of the Town Council doing the work but had not confirmed it in writing yet.  It was asked if it could be clarified with ELDC if they would still maintain the pagoda or if that would now become the responsibility of the Town Council.

It was suggested that if possible paint could be brought within the £100 for future use on the pagoda if the council took over responsibility for it. 

4. Update on idea for ‘signpost’ advertising businesses on West Street - Gillian stated that ELDC and LCC had said the land did not belong to them.  Roly agreed check out the land registry as to who owned it.  

Confirmation was needed from ELDC as to whether planning permission for a signpost would be needed. 

Ideas for a possible design were circulated.  It was felt the designs were not bold enough and more ideas would be looked at.

Grants to purchase and install the signpost would be needed and research on these needed doing. 

5. Update on dealing with pigeons in the town – Mary had carried out some research on the different methods available for reducing pigeon numbers.  It was shown that most were ineffective and only led to a temporary dip in numbers before they increased again.  Creating an artificial breeding facility had shown to work in Switzerland but this was expensive and time consuming as someone was needed to remove the eggs.  The best way to really reduce numbers was to restrict access to food.

It was agreed that:
- the problem with feeding pigeons needed to be explained to people – ask them not to feed them, when feeding birds in the garden make sure the food is only accessible to smaller birds, if feeding ducks feed in moderation (article from three way meeting – press release, leaflet, on the website)

- ask business to help stop pigeons roosting in the town by putting up spikes (can we supply the spikes or help get them at a reduced rate?)

The next stage would be to tackle the issues of empty buildings. 

6. Update on promoting businesses and events in Horncastle – Ben provided prices for leaflets – a 6 sided A4 leaflet cost £1,021 for 25,000 or £1,000 for 10,000 if it was of a higher spec.  An information booklet cost £200 for 2,000.

The Federation had recently been discussing how to better promote the town and events that were on through a website/online magazine.  A grant would be needed initially to set it up and maintain if for the first year.  Hopefully after that it could sustain itself through selling advertising space. 

It was suggested sources for grants be explored such as Lincolnshire Co-op, Lindsey Action Zone, LCC and ELDC councillors 

Gillian to provide Ben with a list of local organisations from the old town plan and find out how the Woodhall website had been set up and how it was managed. 

7. Update on Town tidy up in May – Gillian had contacted the youth groups in the town about it.  Some were keen to get involved but concerned that if fell within the May school holiday.  It was therefore agreed to move the event to Friday 5 June.

Gillian to email out to youth groups again and email other local town groups, produce a press release and do some posters.  

8. To consider producing a ‘wish list’ for any planning 106 money or community development money that might be made available to the town – Mary reported that when she had previously been a Town Clerk at North Hykeham the council was provided with 106 money from developments which they could then spend on community facilities.  Gillian agreed to check out if this was still the case as previous advice from ELDC had been that community 106 money was not available. 

9. To discuss concerns about the condition of sections of the Roman Wall – Mary reported that HHHS had done a lot of work on trying to identify who owned the various sections of the wall.  English Heritage had recently been in touch to say that if the town got together a group of people interested in helping preserve the wall it might be possible to access grants to help with this.  The HHHS planned to organise an initial meeting of interested people to see how this could be taken forward.

Angela stated that the Community Centre had met that day to discuss a section which they might be responsible for.  They were concerned that no one had spoken to them previously about this matter and were now in the process of clarifying who owned this section of the wall.

10. Any other matters – Gillian asked if the Federation still had the flags which had previously been put up on shops in the town and whether something similar could be done again over the summer. 

11. Date of next meeting – Wednesday 22 July at 5pm in the library. 
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Minutes of Meetings

Meetings with the Town Council and the Federation of Small Businesses take place every three months. this has changed in 2016 to include other groups in the town who are interested in promoting the town.  St Mary's church and the SJB Society now attend.

Ideas discussed are for maintaining and enhancing the town and encouraging visitors to the town.

Minutes of meetings will be shown here.