28/03/2022 - Rural Market Town Group Meeting

RMTG Meeting
Online via Zoom
16:30pm-18pm, Monday, 28th March 2022

- You can download a copy of the agenda and papers for this meeting here
- You can download a copy of these minutes here
- You can download a copy of the “Project Ready” (Wisbech Town Council) presentation here
- You can download a copy of the 'RSN 'Rural Lens review of the Levelling Up White Paper' presentation here

1.  Welcome from Graham Biggs MBE, Chief Executive and David Inman, Corporate Director.

2.  Notes from the previous RMTG meeting.
Held on the 12th October 2021.
The minutes were  agreed by the Group.

3.  Our Services for RMTG in 2021. (Attachment 1)
David Inman, Corporate Director set out the main services provided to the RMTG by the RSN, as detailed in the attachment.

4.  RMTG Meeting Schedule 2022.

We welcome RMTG member suggestions for possible agenda items for discussion for the meetings outlined above.

5.  RMTG Working with NALC and Future Arrangements.
Justin Griggs, Head of Policy and Communications at NALC was introduced to the meeting.
The partnership between NALC and the RSN was explained where NALC members can get a discount on RSN RMTG membership and the benefit of the two organisations working closely for rural communities.

6.  “Project Ready” – Listing of Priority Schemes.
Terry Jordan (Wisbech Town Council) provided a presentation to the meeting (which can be accessed at this link), outlining the initiatives undertaken by his council which aimed to make the town a better place for people who live in the town, work in the town, visit the town or importantly invest in the town.  This includes:

  • £1.9 Million Heritage Lottery Funding to regenerate part of the high street
  • Art Projects
  • Safer Wisbech Group – focusing on reducing perception or fear of crime
  • Love Wisbech Partnership (all 3 tiers of LG represented and voluntary sector, CICS and some local businesses)

To summarise, the Town Council does the following:

  • Works collaboratively with “professional” partners, charitable and not-for-profit organisations and the business-sector
  • Supports community groups
  • Takes opportunities to access third-party funding
  • Has representation and input into projects aimed at improving people’s lives/opportunities
  • Achieves “linkages” between projects (some of the projects are shown in earlier slide)
  • Takes a pro-active approach to communications, marketing and promotions

7.  Government Levelling Up White Paper.
Graham Biggs MBE, the Chief Executive of the RSN provided an overview of the Levelling Up White Paper and a critique through a rural lens.

The presentation can be accessed at this link.
Key points include:

  • The White Paper touches on all of the issues raised by our “Revitalising Rural” campaign and come as no surprise.
  • The key question is whether or not the proposals are fit for purpose in a rural context.
  • Most interventions are major town or city focused - leaving rural areas potentially overlooked
  • No real details on which bodies are going to be charged with delivery. Local Government seems to have a major role - but no explanation of additional funding to meet change on the scale envisaged (let alone addressing the current funding gap).

8.  Local Councillor Vulnerability Panels – Update.

  • Rural Young People Panel.
  • Rural Older People Panel.

We have put together these two panels with nominations from council Members of the RMTG.  Councils were asked to nominate a Member for the two specific areas which could then be available as a sounding board for organisations to use, or to consult ourselves to ensure that we can gather targeted views on these two topics.

9.  RMTG Facebook Group.
Joining link – https://www.facebook.com/groups/rsn.rmtgThis has been established for this group to use as a forum to ask questions of each other, to gather views and share best practice.  If you haven’t joined, please feel free to click the link and join on behalf of your council.

10.  RMTG & Covid-19.
David Inman highlighted the fact that lots of Town and Parish Councils provided voluntary schemes of support during the Covid period. 
Action: Please let us know if any schemes are still operating and have become part of the community.

11.  Neighbourhood Plans.
It was noted that the framework for neighbourhood planning could be changing and we will move this to a future agenda for discussion.

12.  RSN Rural Lens Reviews.
These were highlighted earlier in the meeting as a piece of work carried out by the RSN, where we explore Government Policy and Strategy through a rural lens to determine the rural impact and implications.

13.  RMTG Council Priorities and Liaison Work – Survey.
Please click here to complete the survey.
This survey is designed to find out more information about your local priorities and work.
Action: RMTG members to complete the survey.


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