City Centre Forum

The City Centre Forum was set up and is chaired by the City of Ely Council to provide an advisory Forum inclusive of all groups and sectors with an interest in the effective management of Ely City Centre. It enables research and discussion on Town Centre management issues, shares best practice, and co-ordinates, supports and develops initiatives to reinforce and strengthen the Ely City Centre.  Some of the key objectives identified were:

  • To initiate local actions and activities designed to support and strengthen Ely City Centre;
  • Act as a central contact and liaison point with the East Cambridgeshire Council’s business and town centre development teams and other stakeholders to support agreed initiatives that will promote and reinforce Ely City Centre as a business centre and visitor destination;
  • To identify an action/business plan to address issues and develop Ely as a business centre, retail and visitor destination, and community service centre.

These stakeholders are drawn from the City of Ely Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, the Museum, the Cathedral, Ely Perspective, the Traders’ Association, independent traders, publications and community groups.  A Sub-Group formed from the main Forum is charged to manage the process of consultation, create partnership working on activities, identify a yearly plan and monitor progress.

Consultation with all stakeholder representatives resulted in the decision to run more regular Seminars which would enable a larger group of interested people to shape decisions and work on a yearly Action Plan with the Sub-Group continuing to work on implementation and feed back.  This has been accomplished.

Two further seminars have been run following the first seminar when the First Year’s Action Plan was formulated.  Phase 1 had been to create sustainable partnership with the stakeholders and build confidence to create a climate where collaborative working would result in decisions and activities which would benefit the economic development of the City.

The second seminar took place in October 2014. This was a six month update, monitoring progress on first half projects:

  • Joint marketing on shopper promotions, eg vouchers;
  • Retailer’s pack;
  • Footfall Survey;
  • Using the Elyi for distribution of marketing materials;
  • Promotion of social media for retailers;
  • Shopper and eating branding options for a Shopping and Food Guide.

The third seminar was in March 2014, the first year update:

  • Continued joint marketing projects;
  • Launch of Ely Shopping and Food Guide (planned in Seminar 2);
  • Wider marketing of Ely;
  • Update on Footfall;
  • Discussion on designs for signage around the City (funding obtained);
  • Using Star Radio, our media partner.
  • ‘Pride in Ely’ initiative

Next steps will include a new ‘dropping point’ in Ely for coaches

The next Seminar is scheduled for 21 October 2015 in the Cathedral Education Centre, 6.30-8.30 pm.

The City Centre Forum process is now working in line with many Town Centre Teams, ie formal stakeholders collaborating on planning and implementing projects with joint funding.  A review is taking place on how this could be taken forward with initial research into how similar towns operate.

Structure of the Committee

The Committee comprises six councillors including the current Mayor and Deputy Mayor and past mayor..

All Committee members serve on the Planning Committee. The Committee will discharge is responsibilities by:

  • Meeting six times a year and reporting to Full Council.
  • Creating and managing a balanced budget;
  • Managing the income and expenditure transactions;
  • Managing the sales and purchase transactions;
  • To undertake the payroll.
  • Producing management accounts for decision making for the whole Council. Dealing with all matters concerning personnel in line with the current legislation.
  • Managing the system for Section 106 recommendations.
  • Managing the grant system.
  • Managing the health and safety policy and day to day implementation..
  • Managing the shared equity housing.
  • Undertaking a transparent tendering and procurement system for acquisitions and services.
  • Ensuring value for money when dealing with suppliers.
  • Creating and updating the Council policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring effective communications with all stakeholders and maintaining a positive

Public reputation

  • Managing and updating the council’s website.
  • Work with the appointed Internal Auditor.

It will use its powers in carrying out these tasks by:

  • Regular consultation with the local community and media..
  • Participation in Community Panels and the City Centre Forum.
  • Regular liaison with East Cambridgeshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council and the ECDC Access Group.
  • Scrutiny and timely response to all relevant policy reviews and consultations.
  • Participation on planning committees.