Minutes of the LVRA monthly meeting Monday 10th February 2020

David Rhodes

Minutes of the Meeting held at the Top Club on Monday, 10th February 2020

Present: Karen Hawden ( Chairperson ), David Rhodes (Social Media and Liaison Officer), Richard Ball ( Secretary ), Bob Nicholas ( Footpaths officer ), A. Corkin, D. Corkin, C. Whiting, I. Cardy, I. Booth, , Cllr D.Foxcroft, A. Harrison, S. Glenholmes, F. Pilkington, D. Rhodes, P.Holt , M. Rae, J. Riley, M. Booth, Derrick Bartlett-Smith, Dave Pilling, K. Iverson, M. Hargreaves, E. Walton, L. Pearson, D. Cairns, T. Rhodes, D. Rhodes, J. Barker.

Apologies: C. Broadbent, D. Nugent, Cllr A. Barnes.

1.       Opening Remarks

1.1​Karen chaired the meeting and welcomed all those attending the meeting.

2.        Minutes of previous meeting.

2.1​Eric proposed and Lewis seconded acceptance of the minutes.

3.        Matters Arising

3.1​Community Woodland. ( See report below )There had been some strange developments over the last month when the Woodland was once again put up for sale by LCC but the move appeared to have been quickly stopped.

Cllr D.Foxcroft said that LCC are now prioritising the community owning the woodland and are less interested in selling but will welcome pro-active community groups.

Chris.W asked who was leading this project and it emerged there is a meeting at the community centre on the 17th of February to determine this point. 

Barbara asked if there is any money needed by the groups to which David.F replied that there will be some monies needed for insurance and maintenance ( which has previously been minimal ).

Andy Harrison asked if we are working with the woodland trust and was told by Bob that we were ( see report ).

Cllr David.F said that the council are likely to put covenants on the sale of woodland to discourage any development.

Andy. H asked why were LCC getting rid of the woodland, to which Cllr D.Foxcroft replied that there was a review in 2017 of the countryside service.( cost cutting )

Derrick asked has there been a survey of the woods to determine how much money a prospective client might have to pay.

Cllr David. F replied that there had been no such survey. Although the previous maintenance costs had been minimal.

Margaret asked was there any tree preservation orders as LCC are behind on their allocation in the area.

Cllr David. F replied that some had been looked at in the Bottomley Bank area ( although not assigned ).

Margaret urged residents to place bat boxes to help the wildlife and trees.

Chris. W said that the Briggs family had given the wood to LCC on the understanding that the fences are maintained. Could the council ensure this is looked at before the transfer?

Cllr David. F agreed to ask the question.

3.1.2​The traffic problems with Burnley Road were again discussed. Cllr A. Barnes left correspondence to the meeting that she had not asked as yet for the camera on Burnley road and we are still awaiting the community concern signs. Cllr David. F added that they has been earmarked for the 28th of January but as yet had not arrived.

                ( See Bob’s report on car pollution and recycling )

​Ann.C said there was a confusing issue over plastic recycling and the bags were now not printed in the same format.

​Cllr David. F replied that LCC policy has now been changed to accept more types of plastic for recycling.( See LCC website for further detail. )

4.        Reports
4.1     ​Chairman

4.1.1​Karen’s firstly reported Cllr. A. Barnes messages that the pre-school will open today after the recent flood. That a further part of Folly clough bridge has collapsed forcing residents to use Donkey Lane. Planning enforcement officers have been active at the Colebrand site.

​Karen then went on to report that Dog dirt is an issue in Loveclough at the moment and should green bins be used without home-owners permission, as appears to be the case?

​Karen had also received an email from a Ex-patriot in New Zealand who was very encouraging of the LVRA. She would like a copy of the new LVRA calendar.

4.2      ​Secretary

4.2.1​Richard reported that the unusual events off the woodland had caused some issues the past month. That Colin had reported that the Reedsholme bridge had been fixed ( if in a somewhat sparse manner ). Also that the recent floods had almost covered the new foundations at the Woodside/Reedsholme development. This highlighted the problem of building on floodplain areas.

4.3      ​Treasurer/Chairman LVAA

                  Darryl was absent and Bob reported that the funds are £3315. The allotments have survived storm Ciara almost unscathed.

4.4      ​Footpaths Officer

4.4.1​Bob’s report can be found under Annex 1. 

4.5     ​Social Media & Liaison Officer

4.5.1​David reported that there were 802 Likes on facebook. The main traffic is now for the flooding in the area. David also reported that has his role as a Liaison officer he had been asked to Rossendale Community meeting. David reported that he had met the New Chief Executive of Rossendale Council a mister Neil Shaw. The meeting was focused on Waterfoot mainly but civic pride will be receiving a grant for £500 to update Jubilee Gardens. The councils are also promoting mental health awareness at the moment. If people are lobbying the council please ensure that it is done in writing with a reference number if possible and the council have a legal requirement to reply.

5.            Local planning applications.

5.1​There has been appeal to the proposal for four dwellings off Goodshaw lane. The inspectors at Bristol are presiding over the matter after RBC refused the application. Residents are urged to respond on the RBC planning portal to any development proposals they disagree with.

6.St John’s Church

Richard reported that there is a meeting on the 24th of February from 4.00pm -7.00pm about the future of the historic church site. Peter Dunn will be looking for residents to help with the project. The Church commissioners have agreed to fund the repair of the gully which is a massive step forward. 

7.Folly Clough Bridge ( See report in the annex )

8.Any other business

8.1​Chris.W asked what are LCC doing to maintain the road gullies.

​Cllr David, F agreed that present system seems to be inefficient despite being reviewed on a regular basis. Cllr. David will log the concern.

              Chris. W reiterated his point saying he had spent much of Sunday cleaning mud which should have been done by a council maintenance team.

8.2​Cllr David. F has logged the dangerous pavement reported in Loveclough.

8.3​Eric handed over some photographs towards the new LVRA calendar.

8.4​Lewis reported further problems to the footpath at Turton Hollow road. Bob will check.

              Lewis also mentioned the old building off Burnley road near Novaks is several hundred years old this year and it would be nice if we highlighted it. Dave. R. agreed to put it on the website.

8.5​Jill Barker spoke as a concerned resident that flood water from the fields has been cascading down through her garden near Loveclough Fold. The drainage in the lane appears to be of poor quality.

​David.C Said he had previously tried to improve the situation but allowing water to run freely under a wall. David however said more work is required. David also reported that the Penny Lodge outlet is blocked and that may be exasperating the situation. Cllr Foxcroft took up the matter.

8.6​The Lancashire floodline number is 0345 988 1188.

8.7​The missing Reedsholme works stone was discussed. It appears the contractors have moved it for safe keeping.

8.Future meetings: dates and location

It was AGREED the now usual pattern of utilising the 2nd Monday of each month should continue, so that meetings in 2020 would be on Monday the 9th of March 2020 at the Top Club and subsequent meetings would be as follows: 13thof April 2020, 11th of May 2020. 

9.Close of the Meeting

9.1​Karen closed the Meeting at 21.00 hrs.

Annex 1

Footpath Report February

During the last month my workload seems to have crept up by stealth. I have written four reports for tonight’s meeting, penned two letters on various subjects, contacted Together Housing (which I will mention shortly) by post, and posted off information to Lancashire County Council in relation to St Marys path. It would seem that LCC will now only accept written correspondence in relation to Modification Orders! Is this a case of lets go backwards to the future?

Amongst my scribing I did manage to get some fresh air! I investigated a report of a locked gate on a footpath near Willows Farm. This was made the customary content of a Public Right of Way Report and I also passed on a report to one of my contacts at LCC.

The situation with St Mary’s path has, after being in the doldrums for many months, now got something of a fire under it at last! LCC have finally accepted the evidence I sent that the track at the side of St Marys cemetery may be unadopted. But to make sure I have been given the task under section 3 paragraph 2 of Schedule 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act to place dispensation notices on site just to make sure there really are no claimants. LCC will also do a more rigorous search to establish any historic claims. 

At the moment there is only one claimant on the line of the path (and that covers a staggering 8 mts) and that is Together Housing who I have mentioned previously. I have served notice on them as required under section 53(5) Schedules 14/17 of the above mentioned act. And for now my final act is to serve a Certificate of Service of Notice on LCC itself which will give me the greatest of pleasure.  Hopefully this long winded affair is coming to an end! It was in the first place meant to be such a simple application – but such is life.  

Bob Nicholas  

Annex 2

Folly Clough Bridge

On Wednesday 15th January a meeting of the Folly Clough Bridge Group took place at the CPA Club. The meeting was sparsely attended and I was the sole person representing the LVRA. John Hardman, who is the spokesperson for the group, stated that he had with the help of Rachael from Proffitts at Haslingden put together an application for funds from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The application is for £10,000 and will cover the cost of Solicitors’ searches, and an engineer’s report (£5,000) along with tree felling cost (£3,500) leaving a contingency fund of £1,500. However the application may now be in vain. Just recently more of the structure collapsed and as I was writing this report LCC have closed the bridge to all traffic including pedestrians.

The residents of Folly Clough Terrace now have to use the Donkey track and Bottomley Bank Road for access to and from their properties. This is not an acceptable solution either in the short or long term with the added complication of the difficulty emergency vehicles would have in reaching the terrace if the need arose.

The actual structural failure has been in large part due to the copious amount of trees growing on the bridge both fully mature or saplings which have undermined the structure. The situation that the trees posed a danger to the structure has been known for some time, but due to the many difficulties surrounding the bridge (ownership etc) and raising the funds to do the work necessary on the trees has in part led to the current situation.

The situation over the bridge just like the woodland is set to run for some time and I am sure updates will appear on Facebook along with reports to LVRA meetings.

Bob Nicholas

Annex 3

Woodland Report

This report gives an overview and update on the situation regarding the three parcels of woodland that were saved from being placed in auction by Lancashire County Council. The woodlands in question are Britannia tree planting site and Stoneholme wood both running parallel to the Limey River between Kenross Containers and Killelea. The third site is Bottomley Bank tree planting site to the side of Bottomley Bank Road on the eastern outskirts of Crawshawbooth.

Members will be aware of the initial situation in October and November 2019 when the local population was informed of LCC’s decision. Naturally there was an outcry, public meetings were organised and Rossendale Council collected email evidence from people who use the woods plus proof of the extensive biodiversity of plant and animal life that the woodlands contain. And the woodlands were removed from auction.

Since then the dust somewhat settled on the situation. And then came the news that LCC had once again made its intentions known that the woodlands would be placed back on sale. In a hectic 24 hours thanks to County Cllr David Foxcroft and our MP Jake Berry’s swift intervention the woodlands were once again withdrawn from the sale.

However we are not out of the woods yet! The fact is that since this situation arose there really has been no attempt to organise so we have ended up with (potentially) three parcels of woodland and what else? Well to put it very bluntly diddly-squat is the answer to that. The Crawshawbooth Woodland Group (for the want of a better name) has a great deal of work ahead if the venture of securing the woods for the community is to be a success. 

At the time of writing this report a meeting is being arranged (similar to a committee meeting) to look at the way forward. We will have to formally express an interest in the sites to LCC and work out a deal with them to take ownership. And also look at a way to be more organised than we have been to date. No doubt this issue will continue to run and regular reports will be made.

Bob Nicholas

Annex 4 

Report on Air Pollution and Recycling

A concerned resident contacted the LVRA over the two issues mentioned above.

The first is about something which is unfortunately widespread and in reality is virtually impossible to police: it is something that possibly every person who owns a car has been guilty of up to a point. The crime is simply of sitting in a car while parked with the engine running for an extended period of time.

The resident points to a number of examples, in particular taxis at the local supermarkets waiting for fares, people waiting in the car at supermarket car parks or just parked at the road side. Of course the examples could go on: it also seems to be prevalent in car parks of fast food outlets and outdoor recreational car parks.

Of course this practice creates unwanted and unnecessary pollution. Perhaps on a very cold day there may be an excuse – but in moderate or warm temperatures do people need to sit with the windows closed with the engine running and the air conditioning on to keep cool?

Perhaps a poster campaign on car parks would have some effect alongside spot checks by our overworked police. The resident informs us that from information he has seen in the national press idling is a finable offence. But really it comes down to individuals to simply be aware of the consequences of their actions on the environment however small.

The second issue is the mixing of recyclable and non recyclable waste in general waste bins. Our correspondent informs us he has done research into this matter (one can only guess what this may mean!) and in recent samples he has seen that a lot of recyclables are being placed in the general waste bins. 

This seems to come down to general apathy. Rossendale Council gives every household a well set out leaflet explaining what is recyclable and what is not and what bins to use – it could not be simpler so why people cannot do it leaves a question. On this matter could the council not do spot checks on general waste bins and ones containing a significant amount of recyclable material be given a fixed penalty fine. The answers to this of course are over to the council.

Bob Nicholas