Minutes of Town Centre Recovery Working Group 04/09/20
Emma Anderson Macclesfield Museums
Matthew Baqueriza Jackson Make it Macclesfield
Cllr Liz Brathwaite Cheshire East Council
Justine Gore Peaks and Plains Housing Trust
Cllr Janet Jackson MBE Macclesfield Town Council (Chair)
Cllr Nick Mannion Cheshire East Council
Cllr Fiona Wilson Macclesfield Town Council
Laura Smith Macclesfield Town Council
Jo Wise Cheshire East Council
Nic Lewis Estates and Leisure
1. Welcome from Chair
Cllr Janet Jackson MBE welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked everyone for attending and giving their time and looked forward to a positive working experience.
2. Election of Chair / Co-Chair
It was agreed that the group should be Co-Chaired. Cllr Janet Jackson and Matthew Baqueriza-Jackson were selected for the positions for future meetings.
3. Background to the Working Group
Cllr Fiona Wilson, Macclesfield Town Council Town Centre and Regeneration Champion,
shared with the group an overview of Macclesfield Town Council’s strategy and their
response to Covid-19 including:
• The commitment to the Town Centre regeneration in the MTC Strategy.
• Substantial improvements to the public realm and an increase in Town Ranger hours.
• Resource review of staff at the Town Council and the imminent recruitment of an Events and Communication Officer (Town Centre Manager).
• Distribution of grants for local groups to help vulnerable residents.
• Holding virtual events including VE Day Celebrations and Barnaby Festival.
• Holding a focus group on 28th July 2020, to bring over 30 local stakeholders together to begin discussions for recovery.
Cllr Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council Portfolio Holder for Environment and Regeneration, informed the group of the initial work on a suggested recovery plan completed by Make it Macclesfield and the work that MTC led with the initial focus group in July, which has resulted in this working group coming together.
In response to Covid-19, CEC has distributed over £86,000,000 in business grants and has worked hard to ensure further discretionary grants were given to businesses who needed it most, which was a challenging process. CEC has also worked hard ensure social
distancing signage has been put around the town centre and welcome back banners to encourage the return and confidence of residents.
4. Terms of Reference
The group agreed to the Terms of Reference and also agreed to work to the Nolan Principles also known as the Seven Principles of Public Life
5. How we Measure Impact and Success
The group had an in-depth discussion about the different ways to measure the impact of the recovery of the town centre including:
• Footfall data (currently collected by MTC and CEC).
• Heatmap data (CEC will shortly have new data available).
• Survey of businesses / shops located in the town centre (MTC are currently completing this).
• Survey of businesses in the town centre.
• Survey of consumers and residents.
• Anecdotal case studies.
The group agreed on the need to establish a baseline and to remain flexible with our measurements and not to too prescriptive from the outset as there may be changes as the group continues.
The below actions were agreed to begin to establish the baseline.
– Cllr Wilson to produce a one page narrative of Macclesfield Town Council’s response to Covid- 19.
– MBJ to produce a one page narrative on the previous history of the town centre regeneration, including Macclesfield Town Centre Strategic Regeneration Framework and other strategic documents such as the Macclesfield Town Council Strategy 2019 -2023.
– Cllr Brathwaite and JW to produce a Business Confidence Survey and a Consumer Confidence Survey for the group to distribute.
A further action was agreed to publicise the group.
LS to draft a press release and share with all group members, with view to publicising within a week (taking note of the time needed for CEC to gain approval).
6. Additional Members/ Stakeholder Experts
The group discussed the benefit of additional members, and it was decided that a retail perspective was desired, and that further experts would be identified as the working group progressed.
LS to approach local retail business owners in the town centre with view to involving them in the working group either as a full-time member or an expert called upon for future meetings.
7. Date of Next Meeting
8.30am – 10.30am, 10th September via Zoom