Actions Required Edit

These actions have been agreed by the Steering Group following proposal by the business and community consultations:

Develop the ability of the Malling area to provide more for local people

  • Convene a Malling Area marketing group including WMPC and other local Parish Councils, T&MBC, Chamber, other business reps, Malling Society, etc. to develop and deliver a marketing plan for the area to increase visitor numbers. Appoint a Project Co-ordinator (P/T) to manage the Putting Malling on the Map Plan

Develop the retail and hospitality offer in the town and surrounding area

  • Provide/broker business support and learning opportunities via a Business Forum - website platform with monthly meetings/workshops and annual Business Fair
  • Develop and support cooperation on visitor "packages" , a Corporate Rewards offer and Loyalty Scheme

Co-ordinate existing and develop new events for local people and visitors

  • Support existing events and develop new events based on local food, crafts, arts, sport, heritage etc.

Attract more visitors to the area

  • Develop the Farmer's Market - extend and improve
  • Develop Coach tourism

Improve Community Communication

  • Encourage greater use of public transport to access West Malling - publish a Travel Guide with timetables and route information, promote business loans for travel cards, run Car Free Days
  • Produce tourism and other marketing materials
  • Establish a community web site
  • Establish a community magazine

Improve the environment for the future

  • Set up and coordinate “green day” activities for local people to help to tidy up green spaces, run a planter competition, plant up roundabouts at entrances to West Malling, plant trees in town centre, improve the wall around St Leonard’s Tower etc

Lobby to improve the environment - Parking problem

  • Research the size of the parking problem to provide a considered input to the planned Borough Council consultation – businesses to ask customers to answer questionnaire, to research staff parking issue, quantify how many spaces could be released for visitors and popularity of options for transferring to other forms of transport, test likely result from introducing paid parking on visitors – investigate use by commuters of free parking near the station
  • Lobby the district council to reduce 4 hour parking to 3 hours to increase turnover of visitors and discourage local workers from using visitor parking
  • Lobby the district council to increase business spaces in the town for business vehicles between picking up and dropping off stock etc. – use spaces currently being used by commuters who should be in paid parking by the station as business permit parking areas, use parking restrictions e.g. no parking between 1.00 - 2.00pm to prevent commuters from using visitor spaces
  • Locate additional parking spaces around the town currently unused or not designated for parking (e.g. St Leonard’s Street, Water Lane)
  • Hold Car Free days in the town to inspire people to investigate alternative transport methods
  • Prevent parking on Bus Stops – lobby for regular parking enforcement visits
  • Lobby for safe cycling routes between villages and town using footpath routes or improving road routes and provide secure cycle parking in the town to encourage cyclists

Lobby to improve the environment - Maintain the character of the Market Town

  • Lobby for a Market Town conservation via introduction of a local planning policy regarding any further change of business use from retail to service/ hospitality /residential – make business case to Borough Council that the retention of the balance between retail, services and hospitality businesses is vital to maintaining the character of the Market Town via Borough Council Review of Local Development Framework

Lobby to Improve the environment - sustainability

  • Appoint a group to develop environmental initiatives – low carbon community, recycling schemes etc.

Lobby to improve the environment - Community Safety

  • Reduce speeding around the Malling area by running a PACE scheme – supported by the police – where local people agree to keep to speed limits (and set voluntary lower speed limits), have stickers in their cars to promote safe speeds, ensure all drivers are aware of the 20 mph limit through better signage
  • Lobby for safer crossings
  • Support the Pub Watch scheme to assist the police to keep West Malling a pleasant “al fresco” eating and drinking area without resorting to an alcohol control zone
  • Introduce a “Cold Calling” ban in the area to prevent theft from elderly and vulnerable people in their homes from bogus callers
  • Encourage people to attend PCSO surgeries to discuss safety issues

Activities for young people

  • Develop more activities for teenagers in the town – all leisure and sports groups to consider attracting junior members, encourage more groups like Charlton Football Club to offer summer schools, School to set up a Youth Club, Lions and Clout Institute have already agreed to support

See Annex 1 for the detailed Action Plan activities.

Threats, risks and realism Edit

Each action has its own threat analysis, however there some overall issues that will impact on the achievement of the plan

  • Effectiveness of lead bodies for each action in delivering – it is possible that some lead bodies may find delivery difficult to achieve, either because of personnel changes, changes in local authority priorities, funding shortfalls or time pressures on volunteers. Any lead body that runs into problems will be able to go to MAP in the first instance for support and possibly to reallocate the action to another lead body.
  • Once the Action Plan has been handed over to the individual lead bodies MAP itself could lose the momentum and cohesion to continue its role. It will be important to continue to have MAP Steering Meetings on a regular basis – perhaps quarterly – and to ensure news about the plan is communicated effectively to the local community to prevent this.

Judging success Edit

Each action has been allocated to a lead body that will manage the activity and ensure wide participation in delivery of that action. Where the action has to be adapted or changed to meet arising needs then the lead body will report this to MAP for onward communication to the local community.

The MAP Partnership Steering Group will be convened from representatives of each of the lead bodies. From July to December 2008 the Steering Group will be working to secure funding for the projects, particularly the matched funding for the Kent Rural Towns bid. If successful the Kent Rural Towns funding would be confirmed in December 2008 and projects begin to deliver in February 2009. The Action Plan will be delivered over three years to December 2011.

MAP will arrange for quarterly reporting to the Steering Group during the three year life of the plan to monitor progress from each action and communicate this to the MAP Partnership and the wider community.

At the end of the three year plan period MAP will conduct a survey of business and the community to assess the impact and success of the plan. It will also be able to benchmark with other Kent Rural Towns Programme participants.