End of an era as group meets for the last time

Stamford Town Partnership at its final meeting. Pictured are, from left, is Graddon Rowlands, John Dawson, Don Lambert (back), Andrew Moore, Andrew Leech, Max Sawyer (back), Christine Jurd, co-chairman Philip Sagar and Gwyneth Gibbs
Stamford Town Partnership at its final meeting. Pictured are, from left, is Graddon Rowlands, John Dawson, Don Lambert (back), Andrew Moore, Andrew Leech, Max Sawyer (back), Christine Jurd, co-chairman Philip Sagar and Gwyneth Gibbs

A town partnership held its last meeting on Monday before being disbanded and handed its remaining funds to Stamford Civic Society.

The directors decided to wind up Stamford Town Partnership, which was a community interest company, in March last year for financial reasons. Since then, it has been handing over its responsibilities and the meeting on Monday marked the final stage in the process.

Stamford Town Council has taken on responsibility for the festivals, including Stamford Christmas Festival, and has been given the £4,083 from the partnership’s festival accounts.

The urban group will continue as part of Stamford Civic Society and at the meeting, chairman of the urban group Don Lambert and chairman of the civic society Gwyneth Gibbs, also a partnership member, accepted a cheque for £4,023.

In closing the meeting co-chairman of the partnership Philip Sagar said: “This started life as Stamford Vision 2015 back in 2003 with the sole aim of improving the infrastructure of the town, improving its viability, trying to maintain its heritage and raise its profile.”

Mr Sagar said the biggest project had been the Gateway project, a £1.4m scheme to improve Red Lion Square and Sheep Market.

He admitted there had been problems over the years but said the relationship between the partnership and Stamford Town Council, which protested against the Gateway project, had improved.

Mr Sagar said: “It was never about a hidden society which we were often accused of. Our sole aim was for the benefit of Stamford. It is winding up because we have got to the stage where we have realised most of our ambitions and it is difficult to get funding.

“It shouldn’t be seen as a complete closure because we have passed on our responsibilities and it shouldn’t be seen as a failure because we have achieved so much.”

He said it had been a privilege and a pleasure to be involved in the partnership.

Stamford town councillor John Dawson, a partnership member, said a legacy of empowerment had been left.

He said: “Vision said if you’re not prepared to do it, then we will and I believe we wouldn’t have projects like a toilet on the Recreation Ground if it wasn’t for Stamford Vision.

“It has got everyone far more involved and that is the legacy. Hopefully the town council and the urban group, under Stamford Civic Society, are more empowered.”