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APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Jane Urquhart – former Portfolio Holder for Housing and Planning (Councillor Linda Woodings, current Portfolio Holder was in attendance).
Of the previous meeting held on 10 October 2018.
The minutes of the meeting held on 10 October 2018 were agreed as a true record.
OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL MEMBERS TO RAISE ANY ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION WHICH ARE NOT LISTED BELOW
No items were raised at this point in the meeting.
WORKING WITH THE NOTTINGHAM OPEN SPACES FORUM
Liz Cordle to report
Previously, Liz Cordle had informed the Forum that the NLAF was discussing several issues which appeared to overlap with the remit of the Nottingham Open Space Forum (NOSF), and therefore, in the interest of efficiency and mutual benefit, if agreeable, it was sensible for representatives of each group to attend the other’s meetings and report back on relevant points.
Martin Willis, Chair of the NOSF, was in attendance and welcomed the opportunity of sharing information, ideas, and particularly knowledge and briefly outlined the areas of overlap and potential partnership working as follows:
(a) Planning applications which may impact on open spaces and potentially public access are considered by NOSF and where appropriate, comments submitted;
(b) NOSF is happy to advertise the NLAF’s guided and led walks;
(c) There is a shared interest in Neighbourhood and the Environment;
(d) Definitive Maps and historic rights of way are mutually relevant and some ‘friends of’ local parks members have a wealth of current and local knowledge which they would welcome sharing;
(e) Promotion of each other’s events.
Whilst new members and representatives of interested groups are welcome, anyone wanting to receive information issued by NOSF, including agenda and notes of meetings, should pass their contact details to Martin who is happy for such information to be circulated to members of the NLAF as with such common ground, it is of mutual benefit to amplify each other’s activity and broaden the network.
It is noted that NOSF had highlighted the planning permission sought for Colwick Hall which NLAF had initially overlooked, and so comments were able to be submitted and have been taken into account by in the Planning Permission conditions.
Councillor Woodings commented that as a member of a women’s running group, access to parks and green spaces is important so it would be valuable to link with NOSF as the group uses sites across the City.
(1) to thank Martin Willis for his attendance, presentation and contribution to the discussions;
(2) for the notes of the NOSF to be shared with the NLAF via John Lee;
(3) for Chris Thompson to attend future NOSF meetings on behalf of the NLAF (although this does not restrict others attending) and highlight to John Lee any relevant issues which should be shared before the next NLAF meeting;
(4) for an update item from NOSF to be a standing item on future agenda.
RAISING THE PROFILE OF NLAF ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Matt Wilson to report
The Chair welcomed new members and the wealth of knowledge and expertise, varying perspectives and experience which they brought to the Forum.
Matt Wilson is a new member who had seen a poster advertising the NLAF whilst out running and, as an ICT professional, has kindly offered to help the Forum establish a social media presence to raise the group’s profile and promote its activity.
Matt made the following suggestions:
(a) In creating a social media presence with a twitter feed and maybe in future an Instagram account, this provides NLAF with an easily accessible platform;
(b) Once launched, its success should be reviewed in 6 months’ time;
(c) The site could be all content driven and as the group want to work closely with the existing organisations, if mutually agreed, hosting links to other/each other’s sites could be of mutual benefit;
(d) Visual information on the progress of activities is more attractive than text alone and shows the impact the group can have;
(e) press releases can be issued on the site and could pick up on trends such as national days of walking or cycling;
(f) The site could include articles and does not have to focus on activities and events;
(g) The target audience needs to be considered with regard to what the group offers – such as historical walks or activity for young people.
Members of the Forum welcomed Matt’s the suggestions with enthusiasm and agreed that a social media site would benefit the NLAF immensely.
Questions were responded to as follows:
(h) It can be difficult to maintain up-to-date information, especially where those involved are volunteers, but it can be done;
(i) As the site will be self-fulfilling, it is important that forum members join the social media page and by registering it as a ‘like’ and then sharing it as it will then appear on the accounts of all their ‘friend’s’, spreading publicity;
(j) Hootsuite is a free facility which could host the social media package and enables easy management of the site by stacking content and then enabling release throughout the month;
(k) Hard media such as posters, fliers is also valuable and should not be discounted;
(l) As an intermediate measure whilst content is decided, there is the ability to create a Google Group whereby members can easily share information with each other;
(m) Prioritising content is always a difficult decision.
It is noted that NLAF does have a web-based presence within the City Council’s internet site.
(1) to thank Matt and accept his kind offer to help establish a social media presence for the group;
(2) for Councillor Linda Woodings to enquire as to whether it would be possible for the Forum to link into City Council promotional routes, including social media, for promotional purposes;
(3) for a focus group initially consisting of Steve Rhodes, Helen Hemstock and Laura Dominguez work with Matt towards establishing a social media presence for the NLAF.
UPDATE FROM THE WALKS SUBGROUP
Liz Cordle to report, including details of the Carrington and Sherwood Walk Launch on 12th January 2019 at 10.30am.
Liz Cordle introduced the update from the Walks Sub-Group with contributions from Ian Bussey and other members of the sub-group and Forum.
The following points were highlighted:
(a) Thanks to Ian the Sherwood to Carrington Linear Walk (Walk 5) leaflet has now been published and the walk will be launched on Saturday 12 January at 10.30am from outside St John’s Church and is expected to last approximately 2.5 hours, ending at the Vale Pub in Daybrook. Several people have offered to help steward the walk and have been asked to familiarise themselves with the route and talk to people along the way;
(b) The walks are trying to encourage people to get out and see the interesting things in their area which they may not be aware of. The leaflet has several stopping points of interest and takes walkers into the Sherwood Council estate but there is interest there in that Jesse Boot lived there temporarily to test the houses;
(c) On the day of the Walk 5 Launch, there will be 4 stops at different points and walk leaders will be careful not to say too much. Points of interest are not just historical but also about the national history of the area. The walk ends at the Vale pub which is a listed building;
(d) Local networks have been used to advertise the walk and this information can be shared with Matt;
(e) Other walks are in development including a first draft of a Bestwood Walk, and routes proposed for Aspley, Bilborough and Leen Valley by Steve Rhodes, St Ann’s and also the City Centre by Hilary Yates and Chris Thompson;
(f) Inclusion of the Nottingham Enclosure Walk which is led annually by Friends of the Forest could be considered for inclusion in future promotional material, along with the 100 years since women got the vote, a few months ago Nottinghamshire Women’s Group put on a suffrage walk;
(g) It is important to continue to promote the existing walks and not just the new walks;
(h) A City Centre walk which could also be wheelchair accessible, to include buildings of interest which are covered by preservation orders, listed, or included in the Local List, would be welcomed;
(i) As part of a local event there have been 2 ‘walk and talk’ walks led in Basford which were very popular and well attended so it would be good if such walks could be co-ordinated with NLAF;
(j) There are several formal groups such as the Ramblers and Nott’s Guided Walks which could provide more information, including the historical element. There has been an recent initiative launched called ‘Active 10’ which could also draw on the work to date if there was a proposal to bring the information together or just offer to have links to organisation’s websites on the LAF website of social media if organisations were happy with this. ‘Active 10’ (active for 10 minutes) is one of the initiatives supported by the Obesity Forum which, with ... view the full minutes text for item 60.
MAKING MINOR ALTERNATIONS TO IMPROVE LOCAL CYCLE ROUTES
Ken Weise to report
With the perspective of a cyclist, Ken Weise highlighted some minor alterations to existing roads and footpaths to include shared or dedicated access for cyclists. Whilst cycle routes already existed, many are isolated so Ken suggested, with the aid of a presentation, the following additional link-routes with a view to a connecting current cycle facilities and encouraging more cycling:
Woodthorpe Park.From Mansfield road, through the park on an additional surface aligned to the existing footpaths or long part of the outer boundary, to the top end of the park.
Valley Road.For the area between Daybrook and the City Hospital, there is an existing park and open space with the brook running alongside Valley Road. Although some sections of this land may be nature reserves, it is surely better to encourage its use and improve the safety (and air quality) for cyclists.
Councillor Linda Woodings commented that the City Council has secured European Funding via DEFRA for flood alleviation works around the River Leen, with some of that funding to be used on blue/green infrastructure. As part of the flood alleviation work, the river would meander to slow the flow of water (from being straight) and although to be used as a flood water storage area when necessary, there was potential to establish a footpath along its route.
John Lee commented that public rights of way have co-existed for many years so if properly managed, he cannot see any specific issues.
In addition to Chair of NOSF, Martin Willis is also Chair of the Nottingham Urban Wildlife Scheme and commented that whilst it is okay for people to have access to wildlife areas, materials need to be sensitive as tarmac and lighting is detrimental to wildlife. It is noted that the high school own the section of the brook beyond the City Hospital and they are not willing to allow it to be incorporated into the scheme without reimbursement.
Councillor Linda Woodings also informed the Forum that a scheme to improve safety for cyclists between Western Boulevard and Vernon Road is currently in consultation.
Mansfield Road/Rock Cemetery.There is capacity at the brow of the hill for a cycle lane to be introduced next to the 2 traffic lanes, in preference to 3 lanes of traffic which could become two.
The Chair felt that has there was not enough time available in the meeting to consider the proposals in detail, that further work could be done separately with specialist advice. John Lee suggested that the City Council’s Cycling and Walking Road Safety Team would be the most appropriate specialists as they deal with road safety and have previously looked at issues of concern at Forest Road East and Mansfield Road.
(1) to thank Ken Weise for his suggestions and presentation;
(2) for John Lee to invite the ‘Cycling and Walking Road Safety Team’ to attend the April meeting of the Forum to discuss at least one of the proposed cycle route ideas, having received outline proposals ... view the full minutes text for item 61.
UPDATE FROM THE PLANNING SUBGROUP
Margaret Knowles to report
Margaret Knowles updated the Forum on the activity of the Planning Subgroup as follows:
Further work has been done on the
(b) Colwick Hall applied for planning approval to erect a new marquee as a permanent function room with landscaping and other ground works. The subgroup objected on the grounds of the potential impact on public right of way and loss of open space, while suggesting how the public right-of-way issue could be alleviated. This was included within the planning conditions;
(c) Steve Rhodes and Edmund Hopkins will be considering applications during January. A new examination rota will be created and the guidance on how to deal with applications reviewed;
(d) The LAF is also relevant to a number of bodies, not just planning and Nottingham City Council but also traffic management and highways schemes. Proposals.
The Vice-Chair commented that Highway England was probably not even aware of the Forum but that the proposals submitted for changes to the A52 should at least be examined by the Group and any concerns and queries submitted. It is suggested that Hugh McClintock work with Margaret Knowles on this and report to the next meeting.
The Chair commented that the NLAF is an advisory body set up under statute and its formal name (Nottingham Local Access Forum) should be referenced correctly in Planning Committee reports. John Lee is requested to clarify if there is any legislative requirement to acknowledge such comments.
(1) to thank Margaret Knowles for the Planning Subgroup Update;
(2) for John Lee to clarify in advance of the next meeting:
(i) the position regarding the formal acknowledgement of comments from the Forum on proposals and applications;
(ii) weather the Forum should also consider proposals for also traffic management and highways schemes;
(3) for Hugh McClintock and Margaret Knowles to examine the proposals submitted for changes to the A52 and report to the next meeting.
UPDATE FROM THE DEFINITIVE MAP SUBGROUP
Chris Thompson to report
Chris Thompson, Nick Hynes and Mike Mewse updated group on the latest work of the Definitive Map Sub-Group which is working to register paths as public rights of way on the definitive map before the 2026 deadline, after which, if not registered, they will be extinguished.
The following points were highlighted:
(a) To date over 500 paths have been registered but there are several hundred yet to be recognised;
(b) The latest additions include a path on the new college site at Sussex Street which links to Trent Bridge;
(c) Rights-of-way which link areas are important to maintain;
(d) The tunnel into the park is yet to be claimed as a public right-of-way and yet is a key feature of the City. However, evidence is needed from citizens that the tunnel is and has been used by the public over time and so can be considered by default a public right-of-way. As such, if anyone who has used the tunnel and would like to register that use, please inform John Lee who will be able to provide a consultation form to support the registration;
(e) There is still much work to be done and the Definitive Map Sub-Group would welcome more members to assist, particularly as there is a limited timeframe in which to register public rights of way.
Members of the Forum suggested that if possible, the Park Tunnel is incorporated into one of the walking routes.
Resolved to thank Chris Thompson, Nick Hynesand Mike Mewse for the progress update on the Definitive Map Sub-Group.
LOCAL NEIGHBOURHOODS AND ENVIRONMENT SUBGROUP
Ruth Thurgood to report
The Chair introduced this fairly new group which to date has undertaken litter picks on Sneinton Greenway and other public rights of way, including jointly with local councillors and community groups. The next litter pick will be held on 23 February at 11:30am and more details will be available nearer the time from John Lee.
If any NLAF members are interested in becoming a member of this subgroup, the next meeting will take place on either Tuesday, 22 January or Wednesday, 23 January at 6:30pm. Please contact Ruth Thurgood or John Lee with availability and in the meeting date will be confirmed.
A summary of current and potential Sub Groups and an invitation for all members of the Forum to suggest if any further Sub Group activity may be beneficial.
John Lee, Senior Rights-Of-Way Officer, is keen to keep the momentum of the group going and ensure that the forum has the subgroups which members want. As such if any members of the NLAF are interested in establishing Traffic Regulation Orders Sub-group, they should contact John Lee.
As per the subgroups document included within the agenda, which outlines the aims the work involved in the occurrence of each of the existing subgroups, which will now also include the Social Media Sub-Group, if anybody who is not listed as a member and would like to join any specific groups please contact John Lee.
The Chair suggested that everyone joined at least one sub-group it would be valuable to the work of the Forum.
RIGHTS OF WAY IMPROVEMENT SCHEMES AND ORDERS
John Lee to report
The Park Tunnel was discussed earlier in the meeting and so this item was deferred to the next meeting.
John Rhodes and Hugh McClintock to report
Hugh McClintock and John Rhodes provided an update on the foot/cycle bridge proposals for the Trent Bridge Basin development to Lady Bay. A detailed PowerPoint presentation was delivered which is included with the initial publication of the minutes.
The following points were highlighted in addition to the comprehensive information within the presentation:
(a) The project has taken approximately four a half years to evolve to this point and once completed will provide a valuable, safer leisure and commuter link between large areas of residential housing but also to Colwick Park and Lady Bay;
(b) There are proposals to extend the path along the southern bank of the Trent to Colwick Park. The rugby club are happy for their used section of scrubland to be used;
(c) The current proposal will link well with other routes which is key to connectivity of foot and cycle routes within the area;
(d) If the bid is accepted, it is not known how long it will take to complete, but there is confidence that as the ground work of Local Authority and community support in addition to planning and infrastructure consideration is already in place, the bid will be successful;
(e) The City Council are fully in favour and committed to the completion of the scheme;
(f) Further work with Rushcliffe Borough Council could be done to encourage improvements of the southerly access to the bridge.
RESOLVED to thank Hugh McClintock and John Rhodes for their update.
APPOINTMENT OF NEW CHAIR AND VICE CHAIR FOR ELECTION APRIL 2019
Ruth Thurgood to report
The Chair introduced the item and stated that whilst she and Hugh McClintock have served two tears as Chair and Vice-Chair, they feel that it is important to ensure that the energy of the Forum is maintained and to have different people applying different styles. Therefore it is requested that members consider if they would like to be nominated as Chair or Vice-Chair.
There will be an election at the next meeting and Ruth, Hugh and John Lee are happy to talk to anyone who is interested in what the roles involve. Ruth stated that whilst having been fully committed to the role, she would rather not stand for Chair again as although maintaining and interest, there are other areas of interest which she wished to pursue.
SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
All members of the Forum are invited to suggest topics/ issues/concerns for consideration at future meetings.
Members of the Forum suggested that the following topics are investigated further at future meetings:
(i) Permissive rights of way. The City Council’s Planning Department appears to prefer to recommend or accept permissive rights of way which only allow access to land with the permission of the land owner/developer, in preference to a permanent public right of way. Whilst initially public access may be provided, the permission can be withdrawn at any time. There needs to be a balance, particularly in a City where walking and cycling are promoted, and access is important;
(ii) Motorised Scooters using foot and cycle paths. This is a growing issue in London and has caused a lot of debate;
(iii) Improving air quality. The City Council have recognised concerns and recently prosecuted a local company for their production of dust, and consulted on the impact of idling traffic, which is a dissuader for many citizens who may consider cycling. Members of the Forum felt that there may be something more that NLAF could do to highlight the need for good air quality.
If members of the Forum have any further ideas, they should contact John Lee.
(1) for Edmund Hopkins to forward points on permissive rights of way to John Lee who will liaise with Planning Department colleagues and, if possible, within a Developer for their perspective, and request a formal response;
(2) for the topics of improving Air Quality and nuisance scooter use to be considered for inclusion in future agenda.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
FUTURE MEETING DATES
To note the formerly agreed Forum meeting dates as follows:
10 April 2019
10 July 2019
9 October 2019
RESOLVED to note that the future NLAF meeting dates are as follows:
10 April 2019
10 July 2019
09 October 2019