Minutes of the LVRA Annual General Meeting 12th November 2018

David Rhodes

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting: Monday, 12 November 2018 at the Top Club, Loveclough

Present: Karen Hawden (Chair), David Hempsall (Secretary), Bob Nicholas (Footpaths Officer), Darryl Nugent (Treasurer), David Rhodes (Socal Media & Liaison officer); Richard Ball, Cllr Alyson Barnes, Derrick Bartlett-Smith, Ian Booth, Ann Corkin, David Corkin, John Dawson, Cllr David Foxcroft, Steve Glenholmes, Marie Hargreaves, Ken Iveson, Lewis Pearson, Frank Pilkington, David Pilling, Jean Pilling, Jim Riley, Denise Smith, Eric Walton and Bett Watson.

Apologies: Rosalyn Lord, Barbara Walton.

1. Opening of the Annual General Meeting

Karen welcomed those attending and opened the meeting.

2. Election of Meeting Chair

David H put – and Ian seconded – the proposal that Karen should chair the meeting; this was AGREEDunanimously.

3. Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting held on 13 November 2017

The Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting, held on 13 November 2017, were AGREEDunanimously

4. Matters arising

There were no matters arising.

5. Presentation of the annual reports

5.1 Chair

5.1.1 Karen said that whilst in the surface, it had been a quiet year, there were plenty of issues in train.

5.1.2 These ranged widely, from housing to speeding traffic to the allotments.

5.1.3 There had been a good response to the sale of roadside poppies.

5.1.4 Thought needed to be given as to how best to mark the LVRA’s 10thanniversary.

5.2 Secretary

David H’s report is show in full as Annex 1.

5.3 Treasurer

5.3.1 Darryl reported that the balance had remained static.

5.3.2 Whilst the accounts were in a good state, he warned against the sort of expense incurred when producing flyers, as had occurred recently.

5.3.3 The Limey Leader usually made a small surplus.

5.3.4 Darryl recommended that thought be given to fund-raising and that action be taken to that end.

5.4 Footpaths Officer

Bob’s report is shown in full as Annex 2.

5.5 Social Media & Liaison Officer

5.5.1 David R said that he had been in post since 2014 and he drew attention to developments in that period.

5.5.2 Whereas in March 2014, Facebook attracted 302 follower and Twitter 37, the figures were now 749 and 139 respectively.

5.5.3 Social media were used principally to advertise meetings, the Local Plan and news of suspected crime.

5.5.4 The most recent report – of a man trying car door handles in Reedsholme – was broadcast before the police were aware of the siuation and attracted 6400 hits.

5.5.5 The website was under continuous, gradual development: a page advertising local walks would appear next.

6. Election of Officers for 2018-2019

6.1 David H said that no new nominations for office had been received.

6.2 As present officers were willing to serve again, Derrick proposed and David C seconded the re-appointment of all officers: this wasAGREEDnem. con.

7. Any other business

7.1 Future meetings: dates and location

7.1.1 The dates and times of future meetings were as advertised the calling papers for each monthly meeting, routinely on the second Monday of each month..

7.2 There was no other business.

8. Close of the Meeting

The meeting closed at 20.17 hrs..

Annex 1:Secretary’s Report for 2017/2018

The first six months following the AGM of 2017 were quiet. Issues were few and far between, as regular attenders of these meetings will recall. From a personal point of view, this was as well, given my protracted absence from the colours. I am very grateful to Darryl who stepped into the breach so ably.

My return to active service coincided with the emergence of RBC planners’ Local Plan. This is neither the time nor the place to rehearse all the issues yet again. None the less, I would pick out four.

First, the plans for our patch are flawed for the reasons we have all articulated.

Secondly, the plans were dumped on residents under Regulation 19 provisions, without prior consultation. This was – and is – unsatisfactory.

Thirdly, the plans were inadequately broadcast by RBC, dissemination being unofficially franchised out to third parties, such as LVRA. This was – and is – unsatisfactory.

Fourthly, whilst appreciating that RBC is between a rock and a hard place, namely central government on the one hand and us on the other, this does not excuse the utter inadequacy of communication. As regards RBC, up and down the country there are residents’ groups like ours articulating the very same complaint: we have not been consulted and, being contrary to natural justice, the procedures are flawed.

Hence our objections to what is proposed are both intrinsic and procedural. We await developments with our case soundly based and well prepared.

I have to thank my fellow officers for their contribution to organising the means of consulting residents and then articulating their concerns. RBC has received over 200 uniformly hostile responses to its plans. Thanks to our Footpaths Officer in particular, LVRA has proffered an alternative suggestion to allow RBC to meet its own housing objectives, indeed to exceed them. The suggestion required RBC to respond to seek elucidation. To date, no such response has been received which makes me wonder if the recipients actually bother to read with any care letters of objection, even those offering constructive alternatives.

Other than Issue 17 which dealt with the Local Plan, there hasn’t been an issue of the Limey Leader. Another edition is on the stocks but, in truth, we’ll be treading water on the periodical until the bigger issues are clarified.

In closing, I shall make a prediction. I need no crystal ball as I can guarantee that the next six months will be turbulent, unlike the corresponding period last year. Of that we may be sure.

Annex 2: Footpaths Officer’s Report for 2017/2018

Before last year’s AGM I realised that should I be re-elected to serve as Footpaths Officer for the Association I would have a busy year. At the time I did not realise quite how busy! My diary informs me I spent a considerable amount of time – several hundred hours – dealing with matters relating to footpaths, the general business of the LVRA, and matters which I refer to as being ‘in orbit’ around the LVRA. One thing is certain it is never boring with various projects in hand being dealt with and new projects arriving in my in box at regular intervals.

One such task this year took up the best part of a third of my time of which I have outlined later in this report. And because I really had no chance of passing the baton on in this matter I would like to thank Lewis Pearson for his excellent help and advice! Accordingly members may think my report, due to the amount of time I have given over the year, will be of some great length but will be pleased to note that I have made it as concise as possible.

Firstly: dealing with matters in orbit around the LVRA. These were CAST (Community Assets Standing Tall) and Folly Clough Bridge. The CAST project, as somewhat expected did not light a fire within the community; in fact it didn’t even raise a smouldering ember. But several potential assets have been identified to be registered which hopefully will be completed in the next twelve months. The one thing CAST did was to swallow up nearly two hundred hours of my time partly on the project itself but also involving the research and writing of a verbal history of the valley. Regarding Folly Clough Bridge the saga continues to blow hot and unfortunately mostly cold and there is little to report at the moment but it will be interesting to see what the New Year brings.

Secondly: my footpath and survey activities are – well – footpath and survey activities! I have no intention of going into a great deal of explanation over what I have achieved but I have had a very productive year. Earlier in the year I received news from Lancashire County Council regarding the Modification Orders I had placed on Footpath(s) No4 in Loveclough Fold. At the beginning of my involvement with this scenario, which was a truly complicated affair, Cllr Alyson Barnes referred to the difficulties it presented as akin to plaiting fog. Well on 6thof July I received confirmation from LCC that the path would be passed into law (along with a diploma in plaiting fog!). And although the path has been added to the definitive map, work to reopen the path is still in progress.

Thirdly: during the year I also made up the Modification Order on St Mary’s path and this is now in the system. One relief was that it was straight forward and fingers crossed should have an easy passage at County Hall. One of the reasons I spend time on these projects is the fact that although unrecognised and not thought of by most people who use them, footpaths and track ways are part of our history and heritage. They did not just appear; they evolved down the centuries with some beginning life in the early 12thcentury as hunting tracks when this valley was but a tiny segment of a greater forest and a royal hunting ground. And there is no doubt the early Kings of England used them – one track in fact being called the Kings Highway – they are part our history – and that is one reason why I am so passionate about preserving and protecting them.

And last but not least finance. At last year’s AGM the closing balance showed the funds available to the footpath fund was £253.92 this was augmented by funds I received in 2018 from CAST and LCC of some £400.00 bringing the total to £653.92. In the last financial year £110.98has been withdrawn bringing the closing total at this year’s AGM to £ 542.94.A full breakdown of expenses is supplied with this report.

Bob Nicholas








Balance from 2017




Lancashire CC

Grant 05/2018 AP1709964

BACS Transfer




History Talk






Tools for LVEG


Hear defenders


Bow rake


Closing balance 2018