Sandgate Business Forum Minutes 21 March 2018

Please find below the minutes of the Sandgate Business Forum meeting of 21st March 2018, discussing the Sea Festival and Parking among other items.

The next meeting of the Sandgate Business Forum will take place on Wednesday 30th May at 5.30 for 5.40 in Sandgate Library chaired by Paul Mercier-Herring of Sandgate Trading. If you have any items you want to see on the agenda please contact Paul at or call 01303 487757.

Sandgate Business Forum

Minutes of meeting 21/3/18 starting at 17.40 in Sandgate Library


Present were:

  • Paul Mercier-Herring [Sandgate Trading]
  • Tim Prater [Prater Raines & Parish Councillor]
  • Joe and Jeannette Zammit [Fabulous Nellie]
  • Tracy Vardell [Hoard Gallery]
  • Jacqui Wilkinson [Encore]
  • Melly Henning [Old English Pine]
  • Patrick Butler [The Village Store]
  • Laurielle Hampton [Escondido Restaurant]
  • Marjorie Findlay-Stone [Sandgate Parish Council]

Apologies were received from Kurt and Tracy Stephens [Acula Creations]

Sandgate Sea Festival

PM-H introduced the item, seeking ideas for this year to make the High Street more of a “centre” for the Festival on both days and extend the bust period of the Festival earlier on the Saturday and later on the Sunday.

Sandgate Trading will have a pavement table outside both days.

PB wanted clearer promotion (handout leaflets / posters) in advance, to make it easier to signpost people to come back the following day.

MH strongly expressed the view there should be more EVERY week not just at Sea Festivals. Tables outside shops each week, regular promotion etc. She also mentioned lights strung across the High Street as something that had been done before and worth trying, and that Riviera Court residents often don’t use their parking spaces so they should be used.

TV felt the theme of the event wasn’t clear or drawing people in. Requires more focus on what Sandgate is good at.

LH was keen to see the Festival feel open earlier on Saturday, drawing people in from earlier than just for the fireworks.

JZ proposed a Treasure Hunt style event to draw people to different shops.

It was suggested FHODS should be asked to do a dressed-up walk-around on the Saturday or Sunday.

It was confirmed that the Chichester Hall would hold (as usual) a Craft market on the Sunday.

Brocante Day in Deal was mentioned as an example of a theme that works well for the area.


Shops are asked to come up with stalls to go outside their shops for the Saturday / Sunday. Any theme welcome (food for sale, give away, shop themed, sale items, whatever) to give the High Street a draw for the Saturday Sunday. Ideas that work for children are especially welcome: there are many on the day. Ideas notified by May to PM-H will get promotion as part of Sea Festival related publicity.

Equally shops are asked to consider events and promotions for the weekend: from pop-up restaurants to tables outside, bunting: all welcome. Again, themes, events and promotions notified by May to PM-H can get promotion as part of Sea Festival related publicity.

Treasure Hunt contributions would be welcomed from each business.

All shops are encouraged to maximise their outside presence especially around Farmers Markets (1st and 3rd Saturday of each month) to “draw” people along the High Street.

CPZ Parking Update

Shepway Parking Cabinet Member Ann Berry did not attend as expected (she later called to explain she had mis-recorded the time in her diary).

PM-H updated on the position. He viewed parking as a two half problem, with those at the East end of the High Street mainly content the revised parking scheme was working better, and a number of businesses at the West End feeling parking was not working as well. Some businesses even from the west end however felt that there were generally spaces available Mon-Fri days, but it was harder to park evenings and weekends.

Businesses at the West end would prefer the parking from 88-102 SHS to be short term only and to exclude permit parking. The view was expressed that residents would not agree with that, but it is a reasonable view for the Business Forum to put forward. It was further noted that it was previously not expected for that parking to change from short-term only, but that was imposed by SDC who did not want to see different types of parking restriction on the same street as “confusing”.

It was felt signage for Castle Road Car Park from the High Street and at the entrance to the car park itself.

The loading bay by 88 SHS is welcomed, but useless if not enforced regularly as it is getting used for long term parking.

A message from Andrea at Old English Pine explaining the current parking restrictions were having a serious detrimental impact on her business were received.

With parking charges likely to be imposed at Wilberforce Road Car Park, options of staff from outside the area parking were becoming still more limited without paying.


PM-H to pass to Shepway that the Business Forum would like to see:

  • Some provision for staff of Sandgate businesses to park for free / low cost in Sandgate;
  • SHS Loading Bay to be policed to ensure it is used as intended;
  • 88-102 SHS parking should exclude permit holders;
  • Residents permits to be allowed to apply to Castle Road car park to mirror arrangements in Wilberforce Road;
  • Better signposting for both Castle Road and Wilberforce Road car parks;
  • Better signage to clarify that people can also park in roads off High Street including seafront, Castle Road, Riviera etc.

Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting was agreed as 30th May in Sandgate Library, starting at 17.40.