‘Too busy’ tourism board members force cancellation of meetings throughout the summer- but Fenland Council now hope they can resume

Fenland tourism website

Fenland tourism website - Credit: Archant

A tourism board set up by Fenland Council has not met since March – since many of its members couldn’t attend meetings during the summer.

A council spokesman said: “Meetings have been cancelled due to limited availability from tourism board members in the lead up to and during the summer season. “Partnership discussions have been going on through the summer,”

The council says they hope to resume meetings following a recent presentation at which a refreshed tourism website for Fenland was presented. Scheduled meetings in April, May and June were among those cancelled.

The board – which last met before the local elections- had been chaired by portfolio holder Michelle Tanfield and included Councillor Sam Clark.

Other members included representatives of Fox Narrowboats, Octavia Hill Birthplace Museum, Common Rights Barn, Field End Waters Caravan Park and Skylark Maze and Fun Yard.

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The spokesman explained that the recent tourism get together at Fenland Hall “was not a website launch but an event to engage with tourism individuals, groups and businesses interested in tourism”.

The spokesman said: “The tourism board were keen to have a fresh looking website with improved multi device functionality.

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“The tourism partnership fund paid £4,100. There are also additional phases of development with the new website that can be pursued in the future. For example; the website will offer businesses the useful tool of website booking, and for major local events the home page will change to promote the event.”

The spokesman added: “The new tourism website is currently live, so there was no big launch (ie there was a soft launch).

“The new website will continue to evolve over time, keeping it fresh and current. The process will start with feedback received by tourism businesses at the event.”

The council defended some social media criticism of including Fossils Galore of March in the section of the website devoted to museums.

“It was felt that part of the Fossils Galore business was a ‘museum’ where people can go and see the historic collections of different fossils etc, therefore it was included in the museum section,” said the spokesman.

The spokesman insisted the tourism board was still functional but “has gone through some changes, but has not disbanded. It is looking to rebrand into a partnership with an emphasis on delivering the vision” from the recent event.

Minutes of the March meeting of the tourism board heard from Cllr Tanfield who suggested writing blogs for national newspapers: ‘A Day in Fenland’ sending it to the wider press including Sunday newspapers and magazines.

“This- could be done by board members,” the committee agreed. They also agreed that a sub-committee be set up to provide clear guidelines for a way forward, stories should be checked with other board members, with dates/deadlines being given to deliver stories.

The committee also agreed that “all board members encouraged to share events using social media and to start self promoting”.

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