Minutes of LVRA monthly meeting Monday 10th October 2016

David Rhodes

LVRA Meeting: 20.00 hrs. on Monday 10 October 2016 at the Top Club

Present: Karen Hawden (Chair), David Hempsall (Secretary), Bob Nicholas (Footpaths Officer), Darryl Nugent (Treasurer); Cllr Alyson Barnes, Marian Bent, Debra Booth, Mark Booth, Ian Booth, Michael Dop, Cllr Dorothy Farrington, Jim Feder, Claire Fletcher, Stephen Glenholmes, Jack Hadden, Marie Hargreaves, Michael Howard, Sandra Lawson, Lewis Pearson, David Pilling, Jean Pilling, Neil Prestwich, Jim Riley, Mohammed Rizwan, Barbara St John, Sandra Simpson, Bett Watson, Ann White and Chris Whiting.

Apologies: Barbara Ashworth, Julian Ashworth, Derrick Bartlett-Smith, Ann Corkin, David Corkin, John Dawson, Diane Ewart-Jones, Richard Green, Ken Iveson, Frank Pilkington, David Rhodes (Social Media & Liaison Officer), Barbara Walton and Eric Walton.

1.        Opening Remarks – Apologies – Thanks

1.1 Karen welcomed those attending.

1.2 Apologies were taken.

2.        Minutes of Last Meeting, 12 September 2016

2.1 Sandra L proposed and Bob seconded acceptance of the Minutes.

2.1 The Minutes were taken as a true record, nem.con.

3.        Matters Arising Loveclough’s Identity, update: David reported that anomalies having been ironed out, he expected the Royal Mail now to proceed to public consultation. Community Centre, update: Alyson that LCC Cabinet had received an expression of interest from the Community Association and that matters were now proceeding; whereas volunteers had cared for the interior for over 20 years, what was now being proposed was taking on responsibility for the whole building via an asset transfer; the Community Association – of which Alyson is a Trustee – would run a community library in the centre, focussing on children’s books; LCC was making a small grant to focus on systems development and a county council employee would help in establishing these; at the end of the day, Alyson expected that folk would see very little change; for those aged 12+ seeking a book, arrangements would be put in place to secure loans from Rossendale or Lancashire; the need was for volunteers, especially those with practical skills in, say, plumbing and joinery; it was thought that, initially, the centre would open 5 days a week from 3.00-5.00pm – thereby catching youngsters – and on Saturday mornings.

3.10.1 The Glory, update: Alyson said that Mr Ainsworth was appealing to the Planning Inspectorate against action taken by Rossendale Borough Council requiring him to restore land to the west of the site to its original state.

3.10.2 Pasturelands, update: Bob reported receipt of a further request to inspect the perimeter fence line of the land on Hamer Avenue; he had made his fifth visit, accompanied by the Chair and Social Media & Liaison Officer, calling at the residence of the landowner who was not at home; the team of three had found the fence in a good state of repair with a gap in the south-east corner allowing children to access the site, with the owner’s permission; Sandra felt the site was highly dangerous with glass and other detritus; she and other residents were concerned by children throwing stones and engaging in other anti-social behaviour; parents could not be counted upon to control the children.

8 Ladies Night, 28 October 2016: the Secretary confirmed the event would be advertised in the forthcoming Limey Leader.

4.        Reports

4.1      Chairman

4.1.1 Karen had received expressions of disappointment at the cancellation of the Summer Fete.

4.1.2 The ongoing saga of The Glory and of the Community Centre demonstrated the need for volunteers to become involved to ensure the survival of amenities vital to the community.

4.2      Secretary

4.2.1 David reported briefly on four items: ongoing contacts with RBC officers over The Glory; the need to get behind RBC as it formulated a new iteration of its Strategic Plan; communications he had received over 801 Burney Road (cf. Item 8, infra); and forthcoming publication of the Limey Leader (cf. Item 6, infra).

4.2.2 David thought it important that a clear view should emerge from the meeting over proposals for the re-development of 801 Burnley Road.

4.3      Treasurer/Chairman LVAA

4.3.1 Funds stood at £4,274.32 with between £80-£105 as cash in hand; one cheque was outstanding and the total included £500.00 being held for Goodshaw Pride and the balance of Bob’s footpaths fund.

4.3.2 On the allotments, business was winding down; over the winter, work on the community building would proceed; three plots were available and would be advertised to potential tenants in the Limey Leader.

4.4      Footpaths Officer

4.4.1 Bob presented his periodic report: it is shown as Annex 1.

4.5      Social Media & Liaison Officer

4.5.1 In David R’s absence, the Secretary read aloud his email.

4.5.2 Facebook now has 592 “likes”, the same as the previous month.

4.5.3 Items which had aroused particular interest included 801 Burnley Road (1150 views and shares), The Glory (1054 views, all supporting the rejection of plans to build four dwellings), a burglary at Reeds Close (465 views) and a request from a resident seeking out fellow star-gazers (372 views).

4.5.4 The post about 801 Burnley Road showed the immediacy with which news can be shared and dialogue started.

4.6 LVEG

4.6.1 Steve advised that the next clear-up session would commence at 10.00 hrs. on Sunday, 16 October, those interested convening at the park entrance.

5. Loveclough signage, update

5.1 Bob updated the meeting with progress: this is shown in full as Annex 2.

5.2 A brief discussion ensued.

6. Limey Leader, October issue

6.1 David said that the Leader was ready for despatch to Dave Hughes for printing.

6.2 He was holding off in case there was anything flowing from the meeting which would require copy to be modified; in any event, the issue would be a full, 12 page edition.

6.3 David particularly commended Alyson’s contribution.

7. Mace Convenience Store

7.1 The meeting noted the re-branding of the former Rossendale Convenience Store

7.2 Mohammed Rizwan, proprietor of the store, took questions.

8. Proposal for Premier Store at 801 Burnley Road

8.1 Marian, a resident on Goodshaw Avenue, had researched what was being proposed and, together with Sandra S, had polled 100 or so residents in the area, collecting signatures of those opposed to the plan: only one person had been found in favour of what was being proposed.

8.2 Issues included noise, deliveries, hours of opening (07.00 – 23.00 hrs, seven days a week), exacerbation of the existing issue of rubbish being deposited in residents’ gardens from purchases made at Pleasant View, youths congregating , the issue of ID for alcohol purchases, parking (given the double yellow lines adjacent to the premises), the ATM planned for the north-west corner of the premises.

8.3 Sandra S added that as a resident of over 20 years’ standing, the Rossendale Kawasaki shop had never been an issue; it was the type of shop which was now an issue as convenience stores tended to attract those who popped in to make purchases with attendant issues, such as parking.

8.4 Were the premises to be turned over to, say, hair or beauty or clothing, then customers were likely to park responsibly; the proposed convenience store selling alcohol was unacceptable, especially given the proposed hours of opening; what was proposed would be worse than when the Jester Inn was operating and there would be knock-on consequences for other convenience stores, including the Mace store.

8.5 There was discussion: Alyson sympathised, pointing out that RBC’s position on such applications was initially neutral until facts and views had been garnered; she reiterated the relevant grounds for objection as being fourfold – prevention of crime, public safety, protecting children from harm and prevention of public nuisance.

8.6 As a retired Deputy Head, Marian was concerned for the welfare of children, especially toddlers and parents using the recently opened nursery; children congregating around the proposed shop would constitute an accident waiting to happen; already motorists disregarded the 40>30 mph speed restriction on the adjacent portion of Burney Road.

8.7 Alyson sympathised with the residents’ concerns, adding that the hours of opening being proposed were pretty well standard nowadays: in Stacksteads, one such store opened from 05.30-23.00 hrs.

8.8 As licensing was involved, the requisite notice had been printed on blue paper and properly displayed; but not everyone reads the Rossendale Free Press or thinks to look in shop windows, so there has – until recently – been a degree of public ignorance about what was being proposed; the closing date for the receipt of comments to the Licensing Officer was 18 October 2016. [NOTE: the closing date for comments is now 3 November 2016 as the original application was deemed deficient.]

8.9 Marian wondered whether the local community could support the numbers of shops, given the number of empty premises hereabouts; Sandra S said the price of 801 Burnley Road had been reduced from £150,000 to £145,000 as potential buyers had been put off by the location; it was clear that convenience stores made their money on sales of alcohol with relatively high unit pricing, as against sales of bread and milk.

8.10 In answer to a question from Neil, it was possible to log comments online, including via Facebook; Ian B advised avoiding issues in any objection which muddied the waters, such as the potential ice hazard in winter on Goodshaw Avenue.

8.11 Discussion having ended, Christ Whiting proposed that the LVRA should take the issue on board, writing to the Licensing Officer before the due date to register its objections; Alyson seconded the proposal; the Chair asked for a show of hands and support for the proposal was unanimous; ACTION by the Secretary who would convey the mood of the meeting, using the appropriate criteria, to the Licensing Officer.

9. Any Other Business

9.1 AGM: the Annual General Meeting would be held at 16.00 hrs. on Sunday, 20 November at the Top Club.

9.2 Traffic lights in Rawtenstall: a number of residents complained about the operation of the so-called “intelligent” lights, in Rawtenstall; Alyson AGREED to take up the matter with the Traffic Engineer who she has on speed-dial.

10. Next Meetings and Close

10.1 20.00 hrs. on Monday, 14 November 2016: Top Club.

10.2 The meeting concluded at 21.03 hrs..

Annex 1 Footpath Report

During the past month the Footpath Group has purchased a strimmer, but this is not your average commoner garden variety. It is described as a landscaping multi-tool and comes with attachments for line cutting, brush cutting, hedge trimming and branch pruning – and thus should give the Footpath Group the cutting edge when it comes to dealing with overgrown footpaths or, indeed, overgrown anything else. There is plenty of work to be done in regard to reclaiming overgrown footpaths, sign posts and stiles. And the strimmer will possibly be used to clean up Goodshaw Lane where verges have reached an unacceptable state of overgrowth – unless the council beats us to it!

In a previous report I mentioned the state of the paths around Folly Clough and Willows Farm. It will be obvious to members that the LVRA does not have the required resource to meet this sort of problem and with government cut backs the same criteria could be applied to Lancashire County Council. However thanks to our Liaison Officer I was informed of a partnership between Rossendale Ramblers and Martins Countryside Contractors (who do work for LCC and other councils) to look at repairing problems with the footpath network.

I contacted the Ramblers Footpath Officer, Arnold Sampson, over this issue – Arnold and I have a good working relationship which was forged over a certain footpath in Loveclough Fold. I met Arnold on this past Thursday and had a very constructive meeting. The similarities between the Ramblers position and the LVRA are very close in that we both wish to have a good usable footpath network in the valley, and clean up some of the problem paths. The main problems we face at the moment are the twin ones of creating more publicity for the scheme and attracting funding – it is early days but we have put together an outline plan which we will be working on – and I will report back on as we progress.

Annex 2 Loveclough Signage Update

At last the LVRA has the all-important permit from Rossendale Council to place the stone on their land and hopefully it will be set this month – so we now return to the important subject of the plaque. It is some time since this subject was raised and I would like to put forward an alternative suggestion. Some time ago the LVRA was informed by the council that they would have no objections to the sign if it was of similar dimensions to the plaque adorning the obelisk on the entrance to Rawtenstall from the A682 from the M66.

What they did not do was give any dimensions!! Taking my trusty tape measure I ascertained that the dimensions of the council sign and the proposed LVRA one were very similar – the only real difference is the shape: the council sign is oval, ours is oblong. After some thought I think that the Loveclough sign would look good in an oval format – I have not contacted the makers as this really is up to the members to consider. If members would like me to get a quote and template for the sign in an oval format I will go ahead and do so, and then a final decision can be made.

Bob Nicholas

T: 07780 813 613 E:bobnic51@btinternet.com