SOUTH WEST WALES CRP
TEMPORARY STEERING GROUP – 30/07/2020
If you would like to be part of the temporary steering group, or if you have feedback or input you would like to contribute, please email Jennifer@SouthWestWales.co, or call 07917 587073.
Here follows a report of the virtual meeting of the temporary steering group on the 30th July, 2020. You can find a write up of notes from the steering group meeting below.
You can listen to an audio recording of the full 2 hour meeting below:
Audio Recording of the Meeting<br />
UPDATE ON SOUTH WEST WALES CONNECTED
Dawn welcomed new attendees to the CRP and briefly surmised the actions of the CRP during lockdown months, namely the invaluable input of all attendees in the co-creation of the name South West Wales Connected, the logo and the formation of the website.
Jennifer gave an update on the activities of the CRP during the past month. Jennifer has attended various meetings and connected with various community organisations and individuals. Notable meetings include Swansea Sustainable Travel Group, discussions included cycle lanes within the city, it was also advised that Swansea Council had been awarded a sum of money to improve cycling facilities at Park and Ride facilities. Jennifer has also met with Stephanie from TfW Business Centre regarding the promotion of a discount code for students attending open days/special events at Swansea University. This code for students travelling on TfW services will be promoted via the University website and specific event promotional material. GWR also offers a discount code.
All TfW railcards have been resigned, this includes the Pembrokeshire Railcard which offers a 34% discount and costs £10 per year. The railcard can be used as far as Swansea.
Claire Hickman, Network Rail’s Customer Support Manager for Wales joined the meeting and was invited to speak about her role within NR. Claire explained that NR is an ‘arms length’ Government body separated into Regions and then sub-routes. Claire is part of the Wales and West Region and Wales and Borders sub-route. Claire is the main point of contact for all community rail groups which includes community licenses which will fit into the wider agenda of SWWCo. These licences allow community groups to access land owned by NR for gardening, growth projects or general community ‘green’ areas within the Region. NR also offers an arts and murals licence for stations – this scheme is currently under utilised.
Milford Haven – a vision meeting took place in July. Improvements at the station are key and the priorities were agreed as follows: planters/plants; signage/wayfinding. Discussions also took place regarding the engagement of a local artist to work with the community and produce a piece of community art work. Detailed costings will be sought by the Visit Milford team.
Swansea Station Community Garden: A number of key personnel met at a socially distanced site visit earlier in the month regarding the land at the rear of High Street Station and a smaller linked area owned by The Grand Hotel. A proposal for a feasibility study and scoping exercise has been undertaken by Owen Griffiths, Director of ‘Ways of Working’ – a social enterprise working with communities on land based projects. WoW will collaboratively explore the potential of the site looking at biodiversity, edible landscape potential and green infrastructure for the “delivery of a new community green space” at the station.
SWWCo Community Rail Officer, Jennifer has been involved with several meetings with Llanelli Town Council regarding their vision in improving connectivity between the town centre and the waterfront. Grant funding from Coastal Communities Fund is being sought in order to further this vision.
Lisa Denison from Heart of Wales Line and Jennifer met with the Friends of Llanelli station, this group includes Nia Griffith MP. The Friends shared their plans for The Goods Shed and an area of land just outside of the station which they hope to develop as a community space with flower beds.
Other meetings attended by Jennifer include PAVS and CAVS and email communication with the Swansea equivalent. PAVS in particular are interested in capturing local walks taken during lockdown. The group was advised that ‘Welcome Teams’ are ‘out and about’ in Pembrokeshire. These teams have been trained to provide local information and direct visitors to less busy beaches/car parks etc. To ensure visitors are enjoying their time in the County but still being responsible to other visitors and residents alike.
Becky Lloyd introduced the ‘Spin off Bunting Challenge’ to the group. Becky had success making community bunting with Facebook groups in St David’s, Narberth and Kilgetty during lockdown. The spin off challenge aims to engage with community groups across the Region to create one bunting, with groups or individuals being encouraged to send in pendants from upcycled materials.
Laura Webley from NPT Tourism Team spoke about recovery within NPT. Laura advised that they have been quieter in terms of visitor numbers without the large influx that other parts of the region have experienced. The main issues have been within ‘Waterfall Country specifically’ in relation to parking. Laura advised that the team works closely with Brecon Beacons National Park, Rhondda Cynon Taff and NRW.
Jenny White has been engaged to write some blogs and other engaging posts for the website. Jenny is very experienced and is doing a great job. Jenny has contacted the cafe owned at Fishguard and Goodwick station with view to writing a blog about its success story. Thanks were offered to Jeremy for provision of the contact.
Peter Absolom talked about walks from stations within Pembrokeshire, station guides and the real ale guide.
Lisa advised that the Heart of Wales line is offering grant aid to assist groups experiencing hardship. The application process is robust but straightforward.
John Davies of Bay Trans reflected on sustainable travel in and around Swansea Bay without a car.
Jeremy Martineau mentioned that Fishguard & Goodwick Chamber of Travel and Tourism is to be renamed as the North Pembrokeshire Trade and Tourism. Jeremy informed the group that around 10% of visitors to F&G arrive by train, the Chamber of Trade is keen to increase this percentage. An Intern is currently working for the Chamber to develop their social media. Jeremy advised that boat trips operating from Fishguard usually carrying 12 passengers can currently carry 8. Jeremy also notified the group of an Interreg Project – ‘Ancient Connections’ a 3 day Pilgrim Route from Fearns to St Davids and also a Ports Past and Present initiative.
Chris Lund, Regional Marketing Manager from GWR spoke about his role – to look after Regional campaigns, stations and trains with regard to signage. GWR are following the guidelines issued by Westminster Government “Let’s Travel Safely this summer”. Chris advised GWR trains do have the capacity for social distancing. The “new peak” for travelling is currently 11am. Face coverings are compulsory and passengers are advised to purchase all tickets prior to traveling and use contactless payment.
Lewis Ward from GWR’s Commercial Development Team spoke next, his role includes supporting CRP’s across the Network. Lewis spoke of the reintroduction of services across SW Wales but that services are not at their usual strength. Lewis is keen to be involved with SWWCo in the future.
Carl Gough of Social Business Wales expressed interest in SWWCo from a social benefit perspective. Carl informed the group that a regular series of network events had been available, including webinars allowing social businesses ‘drop in sessions’ Carl spoke of geography not being an issue, with a pan Wales vision of bringing businesses together. Wales Cooperative Centre has a 10 year vision for social enterprise, transforming Wales by 2030.
Gitti Coates of Haverhub informed the group that the builders are on site in the Old Post Office in Haverfordwest town centre. Haverhub is awaiting feedback on their application to the Big Lottery. Gitti advised that collaborative working and meeting spaces will be available from April 2021. These places are bookable in advance. Haverhub will also have a large space for socially distanced meetings. www.haverhub.org.uk
PLANED CEO, Iwan Thomas advised that PLANED have been a partner in the “Welcome Teams” initiative operating across Pembrokeshire. These Welcome Teams will evolve and develop over time, aiming to help both visitors and communities. Iwan advised that the leaflets produced to promote walks from stations were ‘of their time’ with no digital versions available. PLANED have also been involved with the educational sector – FE/HE establishments regarding the use of public transport. PLANED have been at the forefront of initiatives involving charities and the distribution of laptops in the Fishguard area in association with Point Youth and Pembrokeshire College, with 20 laptops being distributed to vulnerable households. PLANED is also working with the Tourism sector on a next generation project. A ceremony is due to be held at the Senedd next year to promote green travel and railways. Lastly PLANED were commissioned by Milford Haven Town Council to undertake a survey, 150 responses, feedback to follow.
Bernie Davies from Introbiz is happy to help promote SWWCo on Introbiz newspage, Bernie is also happy to arrange podcasts with any business/initiative to further promote and a Zoom interview to get any initiatives into the public domain.
William Mansfield, Natural Resources Wales informed the group that the CRP has particular links with green infrastructure and active travel to reduce health and inequalities. At present NRW is in the planning stage, producing new Area Statements outlining the challenges and opportunities.
Jane Tonks, Uplands Living Streets is seeking physically better connectivity to the railway station and aiming to improve links to Uplands (Dylan Thomas link) and local markets in this location.
Interest will be sought for individuals/organisations to join formally as members. These members will be asked to approve the Governance, the Terms of Reference and the Service Level Agreement.
The next meeting of the Core Group will take place in early September with the wider group meeting a few weeks later (last Thursday of the month)
Jennifer Barfoot – CRO
Peter Absolom – Pembrokeshire Rail Travellers Association
John Davies – BayTrans
Zoe Antrobus, Dawn Lyle – 4theRegion
Laura Webley – Tourism Neath Port Talbot Council
Geraint Morgan – Community Rail Manager
Rhiannon-Jane Raftery – Community Rail Network
Chris Lund, Lewis Ward – Great Western Railway
Claire Hickman – Network Rail Community Manager
Lisa Denison – Heart of Wales Line
Jane Tonks – Uplands Living Streets
Jeremy Martineau – Fishguard & Goodwick Chamber of Trade & Tourism
Gitti Coates – Project Leader Haverhub
Becky Lloyd – St Davids Community Projects
Bernie Davies – Introbiz
Carl Gough – Social Business Wales
William Mansfield – Natural Resources Wales