The purpose of High Street Malvern is the generation of ideas relating to the commercial success of Malvern.
It has evolved into a think tank. It has established close ties with the three councils and encouraged community groups to attend meetings.
A small committee was set up which has since met monthly and established itself as an important source of concepts and ideas.
High Street Malvern's Aspirations are achievable and realistic.
To develop, improve and enhance:
Scroll down to view the projects
The Park has been a major feature of the town since the Norman Conquest when it was laid out as part of the establishment of the Priory; it was the kitchen garden for the Priory and principal source of food. Although the cultivation of the area waned after the dissolution, it was still an important part of the town as the main town spring ran through it.
When the Theatre was built in the 1880s, the area was landscaped, the stream was culverted, and the pond restored as a recreational feature; the Park was planted with a range of unusual and exotic trees and shrubs.
Since that time, the area has been well maintained as a background to the Theatre but, lacking a development plan, allowed to deteriorate.
The bandstand was moved from Victoria Park in the 1970s as a result of the efforts of the Malvern Civic Society.
As will be seen from the following descriptions, the Park area already has a wide collection of cultural and recreational activities.
Two significant buildings on the periphery of the Park are either not fully used or may become surplus to requirements; both are owned by the Malvern Hills District Council.
Until fifteen years ago, the Council had its own nursery to provide flowers for roundabouts and parks – immediately south of the Splash. The nursery site, which has/had a number of significant buildings has been allowed to deteriorate and one of the buildings was demolished by a potential developer. Two buildings remain.
The Park itself has been well maintained over the years but it has not been possible to make any significant changes in line with the principles of the Victorian designers.
This paper makes some suggestions which, we hope, will be included in the consultation exercise being carried out by the District Council.
Since its incepion in 1884, the Malvern Hills Conservators have done a good job in looking after the Hills and protecting the town of Great Malvern from intrusive development. However, times have changed. Operational staff and day-to-day management do their best to look after the Hills and Commons but the rules and regulations under which they operate are no longer appropriate while the trustees are not effectively serving the Trust. Currently most of the operating expenditure of the Trust is spent on matters nothing to do with maintaining the Hills and Commons, a substantial amount of which is likely to be legal fees. The recent discussions on the sale of an easement off the Guarlford Road have uncovered the weakness of the MHT governance; it is even rumoured that they have to grant the easement [and collect the payment] to remain solvent.
1 Malvern has been in decline ever since the end of the 19C when the water cure was discontinued
2 Malvern, including the Link and Barnards Green, was built round the Water Cure as its USP – Unique Selling Point.
3 It is unlikely to fully recover unless another USP can be found.
4 The town’s key attractions are its history and heritage and the Hills. History and heritage provide a good general attraction for an interesting place to visit but something more specific and populist is needed in order to attract the general public. .
In recent months, public concern about the environment has led to the establishment of local groups promoting actionon specific matters. Encouraged by recent television programmes, public awareness is now focussed on what is seen as a major problem for the human race. Even though in Malvern is not going to have a major impact in China and India, it should begin to set an example of what is expected.
Some Italian tourist have, in recent months, announced fines for visitors who have equipment – shoes, bags, clothes – and it is this type of gesture that will have an impact across the world.
The current system does not meet the needs of either residents or visitors. We live in a highly mobile society and a society that has high expectations of being able to move around the area in which they live quickly and at the right time. The current system based on public transport lacks the flexibility to provide the right service economically.
2 The basic infrastructure of rail links and inter town buses should be maintained and developed.
3 Great Malvern Station should be designated as the transport hub and Network Rail should be encouraged to provide more parking.
4 Using large vehicles to try and provide niche services does not work - it is uneconomic and inconvenient. More flexible solutions are required using private operators.
5 Expecting large companies to provide local and flexible services is unrealistic; their licences and decision making is governed by Council Committees which, of necessity, are time consuming.
6 The future for local services lies in the ‘Uber’ approach of quick response and small vehicles. The existing taxi, Community transport and Dial-a-Ride services should be developed.
7 If bus passes could be used on taxi services, it would remove many of the problems with the current system. For more flexibility, taxis should be able to stop on request and carry more than one passenger fare.
8 Buses will still be required for moving groups of people.
9 A range of vehicles should be encouraged with an emphasis on electric and hybrid options making use of Malvern’s unique expertise in this field.
10 Future proof traffic management is required around Townsend Way.
There are initiatives originated by others which HSM actively supports. The State of the Town report by Malvern Civic Society is one example
1 The general impression of the streetscene in the centre of the town is that it is shabby and unloved.
2 This report contains eighty five pictures of problems with the pavements and shop fronts. The list is by no means complete.
3 Many of the problems represent hazards to pedestrians and should be fixed without delay.
4 A number relate to sloppy repairs – failure to carry out repairs in keeping with the surrounding setts or slabs and are unsightly.
5 Most are probably due to poor inspection of utility work by District Council officers.
6 The Town Council should accept the responsibility for policing the appearance of the street in the town centre and then liaising with the District and County to rectify.
7 Some of the problems relate to lack of interest on the part of shopkeepers in cleaning and/or decorating their premises
8 There is a role for the Society in fronting up a campaign to smarten up the shops – along the lines of the ‘Facelift’ project some years ago.
Click on the plus signs under the picture to reveal the story
Pictures and accounts of the signing and subsequent vists
A Zoom Meeting was held at 0930 on Friday 20th November 2020.
Dan Wild Ian Hopwood James O’Donnell John Watts Katharine Barber Laurie Gregory Mike Burstow Bruce Osborne Roger Sutton
Received from Beverley Nielsen, Victoria Carman, Denise Preston and David Ebsworth
Minutes and Matters Arising Elgar Square RS said that a revised application has been submitted which did not appear to address the issues raised against the first application; it will now be decided by the DC Planning Committee. Cable Car RS said that, as requested, he had emailed the Chief Executive of the DC to suggest that the cable car should be included in the new Tourism Strategy document with a view to setting up a feasibility study in due course. Mr Allison replied that he did not think that it was appropriate. High Ball Centre MY said that he was in discussions to agree a booking system for the TIC. Bank Consolidation The letter drafted by LG has been sent to Harriett Baldwin – no reply to date. The Malverns National Park BO submitted the latest draft for distribution; he said that the first level distribution to MPs had been done and he is now working on the next level – local councils in towns affected. He is aware of the recent Government initiative on creating National Parks. JOD mentioned the proposal to set up a Wye Valley National Park which would/could abut the Malverns. Malvern Culture Garden The first draft of the paper has been distributed; it was agreed that it should now have a wider consultation.
Web Site DW presented the latest draft of the web site and the statistics for the last year. It was agreed that news and the latest discussion documents should appear on the front page and the more historical documents be kept as .pdf files for the time being. RS thanked Dan for his successful and important work since the inception of the group. Malvern Business pandemic Support
A number of suggestions have been made in discussion and on Facebook including Sunday opening, more craft fairs and free parking. JOD advised that it was difficult to make any plans until the situation after early December was clarified.
The Prospectus RS said the understood that the first draft might be available by April 2021 and might be discussed/approved by the DC by the end of the year. The scope of the document would be five years.
Malvern community governance a Traffic Pollution b Electric Vehicles c Town Speed Limit d Town Council Environment Panel in abeyance e District Council & Climate Change in abeyance f MHDC Tourism Strategy due imminently g State of the Town h Belle Vue Island – Malvhina and Enigma in hand by the DC JOD said that the above items were worthwhile aspirations but that he did not think that any would be done until the current situation eased. However, he said that he was keen to be kept aware of any pavement problems which he would pass on to the County. Malvern Hills Conservators/MHT RS said that he had had a compaint from Cynthia Palmer about the content of the HSM discussion paper on the MHT and the circumstances surrounding the Guarlford Easement. It was agreed that no retrospective changes would be made but that a new paper would be written highlighting the current problems and possible solutions. Some of the problems mentioned included secrecy and [lack of] transparency, failure to meet accounting standards, governance by nominees rather than elected members and lack of budgetary control – the latest figures showed that the Conservators spent more on administration than care of the Hills.
Community Partnership/twinning a Malvern Worldwide BO reported no recent developments b Mariánské Lázně Spa Opening May 2021 In doubt due to the pandemic c Visit of the Fontana Choir On schedule subject to pandemic d Golf Club Reciprocal Visits IH said that he was in touch with a number of golf clubs g Landrecies No news h Bagnḕre de Bigorre No news
Any orther business None
NEXT MEETINGs Friday 18th December @ 0930 in the GMH.
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