Minutes of the LVRA AGM (held via Skype) Monday 9th November 2020


Minutes of the Meeting and Annual General Meeting held remotely on Monday  9th of November 2020

Present:  Karen Hawden ( Chairperson ), Darryl Nugent (Treasurer), David Rhodes (Social Media and Liaison Officer), Richard Ball ( Secretary ), Bob Nicholas ( Footpaths officer ), Alyson Barnes, Chris Hamer.

1.         Opening of the Annual General Meeting

1.1       Karen welcomed all those attending and opened the meeting.

2.         Election of Meeting Chair

2.1       Karen chaired the meeting and welcomed all those attending the meeting.

2.2       The proposal was AGREEDnem. con..

Election of Officers for 2020-2021

            The Chairperson reported that whereas current officers had all indicated their willingness to serve for a further period of 12 months, no additional nominations had been received.

            All officers were re-elected, Alison proposed and Chris seconded this was AGREEDnem. con..

            Officers for 2020-2021 will, therefore, be: Karen Hawden (Chair), Richard Ball (Secretary), Darryl Nugent (Treasurer), Bob Nicholas (Footpaths Officer), and David Rhodes (Liaison and Social Media Officer).

3.         Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting held on 11th November 2019

3.1       Darryl proposed and Bob seconded acceptance of the Minutes.

3.2       The proposal was AGREED, nem. con..

4.         Matters arising

4.1       Woodlands.

The sale of the Woodlands was raised. It was confirmed by Alyson that all the woodlands had been sold and for their reserve prices. 

LCC would not negotiate with a member of the public who wanted to purchase them and then release them to the community for a reduced fee. The local woodlands in Crawshawbooth and Loveclough have now been sold to people who live outside the local area, some hundreds of miles away. This has obviously raised concerns about the intention of the owners and the future management and upkeep of the sites. 

4.2       Planning Matters

There are still some concerns around the former Colebrand site in Goodshawfold. The owner has recently deceased and his wife is believed to be running the estate. Concerns raised were about the appearance of the concrete block wall, the disturbance and levelling off of the surrounding meadow, the alteration of a footbridge up Gin Clough and the potential increase in volume of traffic on Goodshawfold road.  Alyson will consult Nick Brookman planning officer over these concerns.

4.3       Certain aspects of the Rossendale local plan are up for examination. Action: Darryl to scrutinise the documents and to highlight any local concerns. Agreed

Alyson will share an infrastructure report and detail areas where future spending is most likely.

4.4       The new planning laws which makes development much easier for local councils and requires much less public input was discussed. Alyson said the she was not in favour these as there is much less community involvement. Alyson has raised questions about this policy.

4.5       Alyson mentioned that a local resident has put forward a suggestion to develop a cycleway along the Limey River from Goodshawfold and potentially linking with Rawtenstall. She said the council are looking into this.

4.6       St John’s church was mentioned and it was confirmed that the developers are now looking to create a standard residential development and not a retired veteran community.

4.7       Traffic on Burnley Road

            Alison suggested that there are plans to increase the police presence and to better deploy them. Chris suggested that more local police presence and better deployment would be a welcome benefit to the area.

5.         Presentation of the annual reports

5.1       Chair

5.1.1       See Annex 1.

5.2       Secretary

5.1         See Annex 2.

5.3       Treasurer

5.3.1       See Annex 3.

5.4       Footpaths Officer

5.4.1       See Annex 4.

5.5       Social Media & Liaison Officer

5.5.1       See Annex 5.

6.         Any other business

6.1       Action. Bob said he would put a footpath modification order in regarding the collapsed footpath between Forest Bank road and Shortclough lane. Agreed This was due to a landslip blocking the existing route.

6.2       Richard asked if there was any news on Folly Bridge. The improvements have taken some weight off the bridge but it still remains in a dangerous state and is still being used by motor vehicles. Alyson said that the responsibility is not RBCs and that the residents may need to pay for the repairs. Richard suggested that the water authority might own the bridge as it is similar in style to other works associated with the Greenfold reservoir.

7.1       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 2020/21 would be on:  Monday the 14th of December 2020, the 11th of January 2021, the 8th of February 2020 and the 8th of March 2021. These will be held remotely until further notice.  

8.         Close of the Meeting

8.1       Karen closed the Annual General Meeting at 21.20 hrs.

Annex 1

Chairpersons Report to AGM 2020

Most of the feedback received from residents this year has been concerns about the housing/building  issues in our area.  Comments have included:

  • The lack of infrastructure.
  • Routes in and out of Rossendale,  particularly towards  Rawtenstall and Burnley.
  • The decision to build on the west side of Burnley Road taking valuable farmland and countryside.
  • School places.
  • Safe play areas for children.
  • There appears to have been an increase in speeding traffic on Burnley Road and there have been a number of accidents reported.
  • There has been some interest from local residents in coming together to take part in a road survey to gather information on speed of traffic and how this can be addressed.
  • An issue that was raised during the summer months was the number of walkers who have allowed their dogs to run freely through fields with sheep and lambs present.  Some lambs have unfortunately been worried and killed.  Some people have been reported to have damaged fencing by climbing over and pulling them up to let their dogs under the fencing.
  • Due to the restrictions regarding COVID-19 there has been less communications from residents than usual.  LVRA have continued to meet over Skype and Zoom and have monitored planning issues and other local issues as much as possible.
  • A disappointing aspect of this year has been the sale of the local woodlands in which LCC did not appear to take on board the level of feeling that residents have for their local area.  
  • LVRA hope to get copies of the Limey Leader out to residents before the Christmas period to update the community on issues that affect them.

Many Thanks,

Karen Hawden  (Chairman of LVRA)

Annex 2                        Secretary Report to AGM 2020.

I have very much enjoyed the role of secretary of the LVRA this year, we have had lots of successes and have grown in various ways as a group. It has however been a most unusual and challenging time for our community and it has tested the resolve of everyone. I feel as a community group, we have met those challenges and continue to actively serve our residents. 

The Covid 19 crisis has meant we have had to adapt our way of operating. The new meetings have provided some difficulties and we hope to engage more participants in the near future. 

Some setbacks include changes to planning law which have now made it much easier for local council supported development to be passed as such. With the often robust and ancient laws being rapidly swept away it clearly threatens many more areas of countryside. This to me seems a very short sighted government policy given the massive global threats to environment, wildlife and the increase in flooding we have experienced.  

As a community I would call for extra vigilance with these potential sites where protected animals, archaeological remains and other such features could be destroyed by potential development. With less local feedback the developers are clearly going to be missing vital data when creating their developments.

I will reiterate that we are not against development and the RBC planning department often do a great job.  We will support the development if it follows planning laws, is environmentally sound and engages or enhances our community in some way. Development is necessary but when the residents are not fully consulted there is clearly potential for huge errors in judgement.

The LVRA and its volunteers have had further successes in the past year and we are proud to be a small but vital part of the team who campaigned to save St John’s church, we have helped remove trees from Folly Bridge to reduce stresses on the bridge, we have opposed many developments outside the urban boundary and continue to monitor developments in the area, we have monitored traffic incidents on Burnley road, we have connected the community with our minutes and newsletters and quickly raise any issues of community concern on social media. We enhance public rights of way and report any issues to LCC, not to mention hundreds of other smaller matters.

I am proud to be part of the LVRA team of volunteers. Against all the recent community challenges, we are still working hard to keep our patch a beautiful and scenic area to live. We are striving to keep our residents informed of any local issues and to reach out to any community member who needs our assistance.

Thank you for your continuing support,

Richard Ball (Secretary LVRA) 

Annex 3            Treasurer’s Report

2020 has been an unusual year, not due to the Covid 19 pandemic but as a result of unseasonable weather. The statement below shows our (negligible) banking activities for 2020 largely due to a lack of activities.

As chairman of LVAA.

We have finally completed our community building and we plan to add the finishing touches in 2021. Our next major project will be to install a drainage system to prevent flooding to the lower plots. Hopefully we can harvest the water for irrigation. Membership remains high with all plots being tenanted so 2021 is set for another fruitful year. 

Many Thanks,

Darryl Nugent  ( Treasurer of LVRA and Chairman of LVAA)

Annex 4            Footpath Officer’s Report to Meeting & the AGM 2020

November Meeting

This report just contains two notices of Modifications Orders which will be published in the Limey Leader and on Facebook. Obviously because of the Covid-19 lockdown nothing in the short term is going to happen. With the untimely death of Mr Cordwell, the owner of the Colebrand site, the situation is somewhat fluid but enquiries by Rossendale Council are ongoing into what plans there are for the site in particularly the situation of the proposed removal of the concrete bridge and its replacement with a footbridge. 

Hopefully in the New Year with the relaxation of restrictions more work can be done on both the orders below.  

Bob Nicholas,

(Footpaths Officer LVRA)

Footpaths Officer’s Report AGM 2020

2020 started for me like many other people with a list of possible jobs to do, but most of them got swept away with Covid-19 when the annual work I do for Lancashire County Council under the Public Rights of Way scheme came to a halt. Not having the work was not really a problem for me but the LVRA lost out on a very large slice of its income (actually its only income). 

With Covid-19 the local footpaths got considerable more use than they had in many years, and Goodshaw Lane became the walkers’ equivalent of the M6. This situation had its positives and negatives. Starting with the good a lot of people who have lived in the area (but worked outside) started to discover the countryside around them. But this in short order led to some negatives. There were some reports coming in of sheep and lambs being chased and worried by dogs, fences damaged by people climbing over or making access for dogs by pulling the fences up.

Some landowners also made access difficult for walkers. Whether this was in retaliation for the mindless actions of a few individuals, or just a chance to close public footpaths (or make them difficult to use) is open to question?? What was needed and was in short supply was mutual respect and people to follow the country code. Let’s hope in this current lockdown that is the case.

When I took on (or slipped into – I’m not sure which) the role of Footpaths Officer for the LVRA it came with no job description. Okay, I have surveyed footpaths, and continue to monitor and report faults in the footpath network, and have done some light footpath maintenance under the PROW scheme. But increasingly I have found that my work is more office based than boots on the ground. 

This work has centred on the making up of Modification Orders; my first( in 2017/18) was a “tour de force” on the convoluted Footpath No 4 (now 384) in Loveclough Fold which was successful but sadly LCC have not yet opened the path up. This was followed in short order by the path alongside St Mary’s cemetery (St Mary’s path) which is currently awaiting a decision from LCC. I find this work absorbing although it has its moments of frustration, but saving some of our ancient pathways and opening up paths for a wider use (bridleways) means they will be saved for posterity.

My other role I have recently taken on is editor of the Limey Leader. With David Hempsall leaving the LVRA it had an uncertain future. David had increasingly asked for help with the LL due to his health condition at the time and I helped out where I could. David stated that the LL was a labour of love and he had put a lot into it. I decided that it was too important to lose and took on the role of editor. David co-piloted me through issues 19 and 20 and although issue 21 has taken some time to arrive this was my first solo edition. The previous 20 issues all followed a similar format so I decided on a few changes, nothing too radical but just to give it a new look. I hope you like it.

Bob Nicholas,

(Footpaths Officer LVRA)  

Annex 5              Social Media Officers report to the AGM 2020  

At the last AGM (11/11/20) we had 791 Facebook followers and 133 Twitter followers.

Facebook posts were automatically linked to post to twitter, but that function has been removed sometime last year and accordingly LVRA now no longer tweet and have deactivated the account. 

We now concentrate on Facebook (now @899 followers) and the website www.lvra.co.uk

In summer 2020 the website was transferred over to free hosting and slightly tweaked. 

We continue to publish the specific weekly planning applications in our area, which appears to be well used and generates engagement. 

Facebook posts with highest ‘reach’ over the last year;

  • 1/12/19 Re Woodland sale – 3583 people reached. 
  • 09/02/20 Road closure – 1316 people reached
  • 20/02/20 sharing message from Cllr Barnes re discussion over village crossing – 2464 people reached
  • 11/03/20 Sharing the RBC partnership message about SAFETALK Suicide prevention training – 1366 people reached
  • 24/03/20 Picture of the ‘The Village People Community Group Crawshawbooth’ Covid 19 leaflet – 1537 people reached
  • 09/04/20 sharing message from Lancashire Police about going to beauty spots during lockdown – 2577 people reached
  • 25/04/20 sharing message from Cllr Barnes re: blood in the River Limey – 1464 people reached 
  • 23/10/20 Sharing RBC/LCC’s message re: health and wellbeing partnership ½ term packed lunches – 1169 people reached

Many Thanks,

David Rhodes (Social Media Officer LVRA)