Minutes of the Meeting: 20.00 hrs. on Monday, 09 July 2018 at the Top Club
Present: David Hempsall (Secretary), Darryl Nugent (Treasurer), Bob Nicholas (Footpaths Officer), David Rhodes (Social Media and Liaison Officer); Barbara Ashworth, Julian Ashworth, Richard Ball, Derrick Bartlett-Smith, Mark Booth, David Cairns, Ian Cardy, Ann Corkin, David Corkin, John Dawson, Michael Dop, Barbara Gerken, Stephen Glenholmes, Peter Holt, Michael Howard, Lewis Pearson, Patricia Rhodes, Eric Walton, Ann White.
Apologies: Karen Hawden (Chair); Cllr Alyson Barnes, Cllr David Foxcroft, Frank Pilkington, Jim Riley, Barbara Walton.
1. Opening Remarks – Apologies – Thanks
1.1 In Karen’s absence, Bob Nicholas took the Chair.
1.2 Apologies were taken.
2. Minutes of previous Meeting, 11 June 2018
2.1 Lewis proposed and Richard seconded acceptance of the Minutes.
2.2 The Minutes were taken as a true record, nem. con..
3. Matters Arising
3.1 Matter arising appeared on the Agenda.
4.1.1 In Karen’s absence, no report was forthcoming
4.2.1 David outlined the reason for his absence at the three previous meetings and thanked those who had sent messages of support.
4.2.2 He drew attention to the meeting of Rossendale Borough Council, scheduled for the following Wednesday – 11 July 2018 – at which,inter alia, site allocations for development would be discussed; his comments are shown in full as Annex 1.
4.2.3 In discussion, Darryl said he had already been supplied with detailed information as to numbers and locations of housing whilst David R was able to call up a map showing nominated sites; Derrick thought the permission given to build to the rear of 2 Commercial Street meant that the principle of protecting the west side of Burnley Road had been abandoned by RBC; the meeting expressed concerns about traffic, employment, and the provision of school and medical services..
4.2.4 It was AGREEDthat (1) officers would consider producing and distributing a leaflet advising all residents of the existence of the plan; (2) an invitation would be issued via Alyson Barnes for a member of the Planning Department – in the past Adrian Smith – to present to the September meeting at 19.30 hrs; (3) the meeting would then go into its usual mode at 20.00 hrs. with a view to formulating a collective response to what was proposed.
4.2.5 David advised that he would be missing from the August meeting but said that residents should be urged to study the proposals and then attend the September meeting which would allow adequate time for a considered response ahead of the closing date of the six-week consultation period.
4.3 Treasurer/Chairman LVAA
4.3.1 Darryl reported funds standing at £4,138.21 with a cheque due to be paid to Bob amounting to ±£70.00.
4.3.2 All was well at the allotments with bumper crops of strawberries and red currants; the car-park had been extended and work on flagging the community hut would be undertaken during the summer.
4.4 Footpaths Officer
4.4.1 Bob presented his periodic report, highlighting LVEG’s shortage of volunteers and of equipment, the latter now having been partially addressed.
4.4.2 Bob was concerned that the community showed little interest in Loveclough Park and suggested that, to mark the 10thanniversary of the foundation of the LVRA, an event be staged in the park would have the additional – and necessary benefit – of fund-raising.
4.4.3 Bob’s Report is shown as Annex 2.
4.4.4 Richard asked what thought had been given to marking the 10thanniversary; Bob thought the reduced scale of the park as opposed to football field would be advantageous for an event; Ian reminded the meeting that both borough and county councillors had access to community funds.
4.5 Social Media & Liaison Officer
4.5.1 David R continued the previous point: what is now styled Rawtenstall Community Partnership has funds to disburse, most recently £500.00.
4.5.2 The website had been renewed, securing both LVRA and LVAA a web presence.
4.6.1 Steve advertised a litter-pick at the park on the following Sunday – 15 July – commencing 10.00 hrs.
4.6.2 There was wide-ranging discussion of local walls and banks in need of repair and maintenance.
5. St John’s
5.1 Richard said he was unaware of any further movement: his information was that an organisation in London was considering taking over the building to provide a Christian retreat.
6. Traffic issues
6.1 Derrick asked why – given the absurdity of placing some 20 mph speed restrictions on ginnels in Rawtenstall – no 20 mph sign had been placed at the top of Commercial Street; David Corkin said the matter had been previously raised with Alyson (then serving on LCC) but nothing had eventuated; it was AGREEDthat the Secretary would contact Cllr Foxcroft over the matter, ACTIONby David H.
6.2 Barbara G asked whether Goodshaw Fold was also supposed by have a 20 mph speed restriction; it was thought that it did but this – according to Darryl – did nothing to stop speeding.
7. Local Plan – next phase
7.1 The issue had been previously covered under Item 4.2 (supra).
8. Any Other Business
8.1 Traffic issues: David H commented on the now commonplace habit of builders/developers parking their vehicles thoughtlessly so as to obscure sight-lines for motorists emerging from either side of Burnley Road, most recently at the top of Commercial Street; Lewis wondered whether the presence of new retail along the Burnley Road night assist.
9. Next Meetings and Close
9.1 20.00 hrs. on Monday, 13 August 2018 at the Top Club.
9.2 Thereafter the now usual pattern of utilising the 2ndMonday of each month will continue, so that meetings in 2018 are expected to be held as follows: 10 September, 8 October, 12 November (including AGM) and 10 December.
9.3 The meeting concluded at 20.37 hrs..
Annex 1 Secretary
This Wednesday, 11 July, RBC will consider site allocations for development in the borough.
The context is, of course, national: the demand for more housing comes from central government which has issued only very recently further guidelines which further reduce councils’ room for manoeuvre. So far as the borough is concerned, RBC was successful in reducing the previous governmental demand for 5,000+ houses to about 3,000. RBC’s priorities in implementing a policy over which it has almost no control remain the same: to concentrate new housing first on brownfield sites, secondly, countryside and thirdly green-belt.
Some years ago, our then-Chair Derrick, Darryl and I walked the patch – concentrating on Goodshaw and Loveclough – and soon realized that in addition to infill sites, there were areas of rough land which were of little-to-no agricultural or grazing value and therefore likely to attract development. The boggy field to the east of the allotments was, of course, one such site.
Following the council’s deliberations on Wednesday, the site allocation plan will be published and a six-week period of consultation will begin. This effectively will take us to 1 October. It is clear that whatever appears in the final, published version will affect our patch: there will be things in it which we don’t like and may wish to contest. By the same token, we have to accept that (1) RBC is having to respond to national government; (2) the council’s intentions are entirely well-meaning; (3) that knee-jerk reaction to any proposals will be a waste of time; and (4) the best way to proceed will be to study the proposals, to identify those elements which are beyond our – or RBC’s – control and engage in constructive dialogue with RBC to secure if not the best, then the least worst scenario when it comes to implementation.
The site allocation will be strategic, so development won’t take place immediately. In advance of it doing so, it is incumbent upon the association to act as it has done since its inception as RBC’s critical friend. As someone once said, “we’re all in this together”.
Annex 2 Footpaths Officer
Footpath related news being somewhat thin, with permission from our Chair, I have devoted my report to LVEG, the park and the LVRA in general. At the last LVEG clean up Jim, Frank and I were the only volunteers who turned up. The lack of equipment and lack of funds available to LVEG was discussed. I volunteered (with clearance from our Chair) to purchase some tools to help with the work that LVEG does from the footpath fund.
LVEG now have two pairs of shears, one long handled, one adjustable, and two brushes, one normal head, one wide head, one long handle spade, one long handle shovel and two normal shovels. Any further equipment required will be obtained.
There is no doubt LVEG’s work with the park has made a great transformation and the park seems to be enjoying regular use. But its potential along with the landscaping remains unfulfilled. One thing that is of concern is the lack of community interest in LVEG. They do exactly the same job as Civic Pride yet the undoubted enthusiasm, commitment and success that Civic Pride enjoys is totally absent with LVEG. The park itself would make a great venue for all sorts of events. The long banking could have seating on. And if the park had an electricity supply a large screen could be used for special events – and along with providing refreshments (I believe we have enough hot dogs in storage to feed the Army!) this would be another source of income for the LVRA.
All of course comes down to the lack of funds. Besides the lack of equipment the LVEG shed on the allotment site from the inside looks like a hand grenade has gone off! The result is that the walls pay lip service to weather proofing! And this comes back to the LVRA since the demise of the fete, except for donations and the money I receive from Lancashire County Council for the footpath work; we have no other source of income. We simply cannot really afford to contribute to any major projects and as we are nearly at the 10thanniversary of the founding of the LVRA having just £4,000 odd pounds in the bank really is a poor state of affairs when we could have had somewhere between £5,000-£10,000 in the bank and been able to invest in the community knowing that fund raising was continuing.
As mentioned above next year will be the 10th anniversary of the founding of the residents group. How will it be marked, or will it just drift by and the undoubted achievements the LVRA has accomplished will they simply be overlooked? Using the park as a centre point this could be a great opportunity for the LVRA to not only start raising some much needed funds but also get people involved, not only in regenerating the park, but also helping with community projects. But this is a question for debate for members to engage in hopefully sooner rather than later.