Peter Boarder                   R&B – Head of Place Delivery

Greg Brown                       Home Instead

Rosemary Jones                Redhill Redstone Rotary

Ross Spanton                     R&B – Community Safety Officer (re PSPO)

Nick Guy                             Martin & Co

Simon Pither                     PaTMa  & Redhill Micropreneurs

Justin Drayton                   Rethink Print

Ian Matthews                    Moore Kingston Smith

Cllr Sue Sinden                  Redhill East – Green Party

Chris Laurence                  Redhill Reigate & District Rotary

Andy Nash (Vice Chairman)

Phil Jones (Treasurer)

Andy Brown (Secretary)

Paula Edwards (Communications)

Diane Dunkley (Council Liaison)

Sarah Mason (apologies)

Andy Nash welcomed everyone to the meeting, which was being held on-line (via Zoom) due to coronavirus restrictions on numbers of people attending a meeting, however, the Committee felt it was still important to hold a meeting.

As with the previous meeting, a ‘business card’ raffle will be held, with a member picked at random, who would receive a bottle of bubbly.

All members introduced themselves and their businesses and were asked to highlight any current news or issues.

Phil Jones reported that Furnistore has reopened, and that 23 families had been helped during lockdown.

RBBC MARKETFIELD WAY AND CROMWELL ROAD PROJECT UPDATES

Peter Boarder (Reigate & Banstead Borough Council) provided an update on Cromwell Road and  Marketfield Way projects;

  • Marketfield Way will consist of 150 residential units, a multi-screen cinema, ground floor and 1st floor commercial units.  Demolition works now complete, services disconnected and diverted.   Vinchy contractors have commenced construction of electrical substation for the new development.  Piling work is now almost complete for the cinema building and remaining piling starts in 1 week’s time.  Then basement construction begins.  They are creating a new entrance way to the site near the Abbot pub and relocating the pedestrian crossing.  The Council executive have agreed final terms of the main building contract within budget with cost certainty in terms of the build.  Progressing at a good pace with completion targeted July 2022.  All construction work is being done under best practice guidelines including temperature checks of each person before entering site, and social distancing by 40 staff on site.  There were 4 operators interested in the cinema and 1 has been selected, which is currently progressing through the legal channels.  The final scheme will have new trees planted along Marketfield Way and private amenity space for residential garden, with main towers having brown and green roofs.
  • Cromwell Road will consist of 32 new homes and ground floor commercial space.  Construction groundworks commenced mid-June and are progressing well with scheduled completion of August 2021.

REDHILL PUBLIC SPACES PROTECTION ORDER

Ross Spanton provided details of the renewal of the Public Space Protection Order for Redhill, which has been sent to RBG for their input;

The PSPO was put in place 3 years ago.  At that time, the area around McDonalds had regular disorder issues with criminal activity taking place inside McDonalds, and their security staff were not acting effectively.  After implementation, the PSPO was used 54 times in the first year and 62 times in the second year, and the problem is much improved now (due to coronavirus lockdown).  The only other area in the Borough which has more disorder issues is the Priory Park area in Reigate.

The PSPO means that any of the behaviours listed can be stopped there and then by the Police and it considerably speeds up the process and gives immediate powers of dispersal, rather than needing to gather evidence etc.  If alcohol is abused in a public space it provides powers to remove or disperse immediately (this does not affect law-abiding/licensed drinking in the park for events or picnics).

Nick Guy (Martin & Co) commented that he sees it as a positive policy and has never been mentioned as a negative issue by any buyers or renters.

Ian Matthews (Moore Kingston Smith) commented that the whole seafront of Worthing has a PSPO and it doesn’t put anyone off buying property.

Ross reported for it to be renewed there has to be a public consultation and a survey on RBBC website has been set up.  To date there have been 120 submissions, and 14 organisations have been approached for their input, including RBG.  At the time of the Guild Meeting, 93% of submissions want to keep the PSPO in place (it ends 17 August 2020), then it will go to a committee for final decision.

RBBC SUPPORT FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES

Diane Dunkley (RBBC) reported on the Council’s active role in dealing with the coronavirus lockdown issues and the recovery of the Borough.  She reported that grants have been allocated to local businesses totalling £23m, with 7% of the fund remaining.  She highlighted that if your business pays business rates, you may be able to apply.  In addition, discretionary funds are still available, and the Council is on their second round of allocations – please visit the website before 24 July to apply for a grant up to £10k.  She also reported that the Council has been working on town centres to keep them clean, safe and friendly, with increased social media messaging, more planters for Redhill and giving £5k for Redhill Christmas lights along with £5k towards a Christmas event. 

REDHILL FREE BUSINESS DIRECTORY LISTING

Paula Edwards reported that the Guild intends to host a free business directory listing for all local businesses, including non-members.  She requested all members should check their listing on the RGB website and email across any updates.  In addition, if members tag RBG, or email, or DM, on a post, we can promote it across our social media channels – free marketing!

LOCKDOWN EXPERIENCES 

Andy Nash (Belfry) reported that the typical 80k of visitors had dropped to 14k first week of lockdown.  This number had increased to 25k 3 weeks ago, and now most stores have reopened, footfall was at 50k, he is seeing green shoots with current customers.  However, he is still missing the office workers, as many are still working from home.  He is keeping a live counter of footfall for safety, has installed a one-way system around the Belfry, sanitisers every few yards, contactless handwashing and removed all touch points. He has installed a face covering vending machine, but has seen very little use of face coverings in general.  Compulsory wearing of face coverings commences from 25th.  Car parking has been free March to July.

Justin Drayton (Rethink Marketing) reported his revenue was down 80% in April and most B2B clients have put work on hold.  However, he has started to pick up new customers and has picked up business where printers have gone into administration.  He commented that the Council have helped enormously with a grant for his business as he pays business rates.

Nick Guy (Martin & Co) reported that both offices were closed but there had been great demand for rental since opening in May, and for sales due to the stamp duty holiday.  The Council grant has been a great help enabling them to furlough staff, however, he is now looking to make up revenus lost in the 2 months of lockdown.  Rentals are increasing in price, house prices are going up, and their client base is currently local and first time buyers, along with people looking for outside space, and he has been busy with house valuations for sale.

Greg Brown (Home Instead) reported on securing PPE for their 54 care givers.  All office staff have worked from home.  A great deal of his work is companionship based, so visits were stopped, but lots of families could not see relatives, so they needed Home Instead to fill in the gaps, so business is back to where they were before Covid.  Not one of his clients got Coronavirus.

Simon Pither – reported that his consultancy work paused just before lockdown, and he took on home schooling.  Patma website traffic stalled for 3 weeks, but now well up on pre-lockdown activity, people are curious about property at the moment and the market seems buoyant.

Ian Matthews (Moore Kingston Smith) reported the first phase was crisis management, but now looking to the future and how can they grow again.  Keeping up-to-date with Government changes on guidance, and updating clients continuously.  They have 600 employees, and no one going back this side of Xmas.  They have embraced technology and the business is having to change; coming out of lockdown leaner and more focused.