Monday, 26 September 2011

Tenbury Business Community back Tesco

The results of the Tenbury Town Council's survey of the business community reveal a majority are in favour of the proposed Cattle Market development.

90 businesses in the Town Centre were given the opportunity to express an opinion in an anonymous survey.

70 surveys were returned, 5 could not be counted as the were not completed correctly.

Of the other 65, 46 (71%) were in favour and 19 (29%) were against.

Full Survey Results

These results seem to be at odds with the Chamber of Trade (members) survey (after the first application) which was 50/50, and Tenbury Futures survey which was against.

This could be because the questions in each survey were different or could be that the wider business community's view differs from the small shop keepers which may have been questioned by Tenbury Futures.

The Town Council discussed various aspects of the plan, but after a paper ballot voted 5 to 4 against supporting the application.

Cllrs questioned whether Tenbury needed a store of this size, and expressed concerns of traffic congestion and the need for delivery vehicles to drive through the car park to get to the loading bay.

One Cllr said "Where ever Tesco go they ruin the town" , "If they come here they will cripple this town" which does seem to be at odds with the opinion of the majority of the business community if no one else!

Shropshire Star

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Bridge Meeting a Disappointment to Some.

150 or so local people, including some Town Councillors, Shopkeepers, and representatives from the Emergency Services gathered at Tenbury High School on Wednesday to hear the County Council's briefing about the closure of Teme Bridge for repairs.

The meeting was rather light on information, as much of what was revealed was already well know locally.

The only bit of "news" was that English Heritage had refused permission for the upstream pavement to be removed, so the planned widening will no longer happen.

The bridge is expected to be closed for up to five months from 9th January, although it was hoped that it would be possible to use the bridge for periods during that time.  A footpath would be maintained during the closure period and a temporary car park will be established on the North side of the bridge.

The contractor will be chosen not on a least cost basis, but one who can finish the work quickly and can make the bridge available for traffic for as much of the time as possible.  Full details of all these arrangements should be available by mid November, once the contractor had been appointed.

It was explained that the bridge needed repairing and that as it no longer met the statutory requirements additional works would be carried out to bring the bridge up to specification.  It was hoped that these repairs would be the last major repairs for the next 120 years.

There had been calls for the repairs to be shelved, and have a weight limit instead, but it was explained that this would only delay the need to spend even more money in the future and weight limits are virtually unenforceable.

The Council also commented on the idea of a new bridge, but said that they didn't have access to the necessary £8 to £10 million pounds, and that the bridge would have to be sited much further up or down stream as it would not be allowed within sight of the old bridge, and the old bridge couldn't be demolished.

There were calls from the floor for a temporary bridge to be installed during the work which could be funded by tolls.  Again the Council explained that they hadn't the money for a temporary bridge.

A shop keeper asked if they would get compensation for the loss of trade, but was told that no compensation would be available, although there might be the possibility of some rate relief.

The Council said that all the diversionary routes would be gritted in the event of bad weather.  Separate routes would be sign posted for HGVs.

The Fire & Rescue Service will station an engine at the Bromyard Road Business Park during the closure.
Ambulance control will ensure cover is available via the diversionary routes or from Leominster or Bromyard. The Police will have an additional vehicle available in Tenbury.

Tenbury Advertiser
BBC News
Malvern Hills DC

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tenbury Regal - Management Trust is the future.

Local impresario Chris Davis, outlined the case to run the Tenbury Regal under a Management Trust at last nights meeting of the Town Council.

He correctly identified that in the past, the Regal had been owned and run by the Town Council, but in a non proactive way.  This meant that a wonderful local asset spent more time closed and sitting idle than it did, open, entertaining people and earning money.

Many local people didn’t really feel that they had ownership and consequently showed a lack of interest.  The Town Council are not in a position to commit additional resources either financially or in time, so without change the situation would not improve.

Chris and his committee, feel that if the Regal continued to be owned by the Town Council, but was managed by a Trust, there would be significant benefits.

Firstly, with more focused management, there would be more local ownership and much more opportunity for fund raising and for obtaining grants.  There would also be much more scope to make full use of the facility and therefore increase the income.

The plan is for the Trust to be overseen by a Board of Trustees, this board would include at least one Town Councillor, but would also include industry professionals, who have influence and connections.

There would also be a programming committee who would book and arrange all the events, including the cinema.  It is also hoped that a Drama School could be opened, not just for Children, but for anyone who wished to learn about performing and about stagecraft including lighting and sound.

A marketing committee would bring together the promotion of all the events, saving costs but also presenting much more coherent marketing, with perhaps a monthly poster or brochure.

The front of house committee would be responsible for providing the ushers and running a shop, cafe and bar, to maximise the earning potential of the building.

A proper box office would be established whereby people could book tickets for all events, including Internet and telephone booking.

A production committee would ensure that all the facilities of the Regal were available and volunteers or staff were in place to operate them.

Another part of the plan sees the formation of the “Regal Friends”, they would create their own mostly fund raising events, but would on occasion host, receptions or parties for visiting performers.

It is also hoped that both business and private sponsors would be willing to for instance to sponsor a seat.

In the year 2010-2011 the Regal cost just under £37,000 to run but only generated an income of just over £17,000.  So the net cost to the local Council tax payers was just under £20,000.

Under this plan, it is proposed that the trust pays to the Town Council a rent equivalent to the long term debt repayments that the Council are committed to, which is in the region of £4,000 a year, and that the Town Council provides the Trust with a £10,000 grant.  This would ensure that the current community events could continue to be hosted free or at the existing minimal non commercial rates.

It is envisaged that in a short time the Regal would start to generate an operating surplus which initially would be used to upgrade the technical equipment (which isn’t covered by the Heritage Lottery Grant) and then to redevelop the back stage area and community centre.

The immediate net effect to the Tenbury Town Council Tax precept payer would be a reduction from £20,000 to nearer £6,000, which under this scheme would be likely to reduce year on year, rather than increase.

The Town Councillors have been given a month to think about the proposal and will debate it further at the next full meeting of the Town Council on Monday 3rd October.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

A picture paints a thousand words, but are all of them true?

The same picture has appeared in both this weeks Teme Valley Times & Tenbury Advertiser showing traffic congestion at the junction of the Old Cattle Market site & Teme Street.

If traffic is always so bad then how do you explain this photo's?

This was taken at 12:40 on 24th August 2011.  I was in town for about an hour, and crossed back and forth across Teme Street several times and there was hardly a car to be seen.

Tenbury seems to get four rushes a day.  Two coincide with school runs and the other I guess is the "rush hour" although the evening one seems to last about 20 minutes.  If the only time you come to town is during these times you probably think it's busy, but at other times, often it's not. (Unless someone puts up temporary traffic lights and doesn't phase them correctly).
Time Stamp Data as requested.
Click to enlarge.