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VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL ACCESS FORUM

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 20th April, 2011.

 

Present:  Mr. F. Coleman (Chairman); Mr. G.D. Cubbin, Mr. J.J. Herbert, Mrs. H. March, Mr. N. Moss, Mr. M. Parry, Mrs. A. Phillips, Mr. R. Pittard, Mr. R. Simpson and Mrs. L. Stuart.

 

Mr. J. Wyatt, Mr. B. Guy, Mr. G.W. Teague and Mrs. S. Thomas (Vale of Glamorgan Council); Mrs. T. Cottnam (Coastal Access Officer).

 

 

 

Action

(a)   Apologies for Absence -

 

These were received from Councillor A.M. Ernest (Vice-Chairman), Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, Mr. H.S. McMillan, Mr. R.L. Traherne and Mrs. V. Warlow.

 

 

 

(b)     Minutes -

 

AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meting held on 26th January, 2011 be accepted as a correct record subject to the reference to a site visit having been undertaken at Leckwith Woods in the action column relating to minute number (h) being deleted.

 

The following updates were provided to Members:

 

(i)     Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan (LDP)

 

The Chairman notified members that the consultation period, originally anticipated in May / June 2011, had been delayed until the Autumn due to ongoing negotiations with WAG in respect of the Delivery Agreement. 

 

 

(ii)     Current Position Relating to the LAF and CCW

 

The Chairman indicated that the matter of the non-attendance of CCW representatives at meetings of the LAF had been raised at the LAF Chairs meeting.  The view had been expressed that no LAF was being disadvantaged as a consequence since all were being treated in the same way and that CCW would continue to give any support required.  The Secretariat confirmed that agendas and minutes of the LAF were sent, as normal, to CCW. 

 

In relation to WAG proposals for a review and potential merger of various environmental bodies (including CCW), Mr. Pittard indicated that the formulation of such proposals had been delayed as a consequence of the imminent elections but that Members should consider engaging in any future consultation on those proposals.  Following some discussion, members

 

AGREED - T H A T CCW be notified in writing of the LAF’s concerns and asked to include the aforementioned consultation onto the published Work Programme for 2011/12.

 

 

(iii)    Vale of Glamorgan Walking Festival

 

Mrs. Warlow had requested that leaflets illustrating the programme of events in relation to the May 2011 Walking Festival be distributed to members of the LAF and had indicated that she would update members on the outcome of the Festival at the next meeting.   Mr. Guy undertook to ensure that the Festival was publicised on the Council’s website.

 

 

(iv)    Consultation on Level Crossings

 

In response to a question from Mrs. March as to whether any feedback had been received from the Law Commission in respect of Mr. Teague’s response, Mr. Teague confirmed that no feedback had been received to date and that nothing was anticipated in the near future. 

 

 

(vi)    Future Funding for the All Wales Coastal Path

 

Mr. Guy indicated that there was currently no commitment to funding beyond 2012 but that the outgoing Minister had established a Group to look at the future maintenance / sustainability of the Path.  Mr. Guy himself sat on that Group and was confident that, once a new Minister was in place, the Group would discuss future funding issues.

 

 

(vii)   Smart Coasts Scheme

 

Mr. Guy stated that his research had shown that the aforementioned scheme was primarily concerned with water quality on both sides of the Irish Sea.  He confirmed that the Council’s Coastal Management Section had not been notified of the Scheme and it was generally accepted that the coastline along the Vale would have a minimal impact upon water quality in the Irish Sea. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awaiting approval from the Welsh Government on a revised LDP timetable which shows consultation as being November/December 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E-mail sent to CCW dated 25th May 2011.  Response received 3rd June suggesting that an approach be made to Jean Rosenfeld to see if he would make representations on a national basis.

(c)     Legal Orders Tracking and Definitive Map Modification Order Tracking -

 

The LAF received a report in relation to both of the above matters. 

 

In response to questions, Mr. Teague explained that

 

·       there had been a change in the scheme of delegation for the consideration of such matters which meant that any non-contentious orders could be approved by the Director whereas previously all such orders had been reported to Committee for decision

·       in respect of the consultation comments shown relating to the diversion in relation to St. Nicholas No. 5, that a qualified objection to the Order had been received from a statutory undertaker (although he believed that objection had been based on erroneous information)

·       extensive consultations took place including not only statutory undertakers but also with bodies such as Community Councils, Ward Councillors, The Ramblers Association and The Open Space Society

·       the majority of the requests for Diversion Orders would have come from private landowners.

 

Discussion also ensued on the processes required to be adopted to update the Definitive Map.

 

 

 

(d)     ROWIP Funding Programme Update -

 

The entire allocation of grant money under the ROWIP funding programme had been expended in 2010/11.  The following projects had been completed: two cross border guided walks had been published taking in Leckwith Woods and St. George’s.  Copies of the leaflets were circulated.  Mr. Moss indicated that the leaflets were silent as to the paths’ accessibility for mobility impaired users which he considered to be unacceptable; Mr. Guy assured Members that the matter would be addressed when the leaflets were reprinted.  The report before the LAF went on to state that further improvements had been made at Leckwith Woods, including steps having been taken to curtail access to the woods by motorcyclists, drainage works, and further work at the southern end of the path to ensure access for the public was assured whilst the deed of dedication to record the route as a public footpath was being processed. 

 

In addition to Leckwith Woods, ROWIP funding also assisted in the provision of waymark disks and materials, the installation of roadside posts, and a network condition survey.  Members noted that a reduced ROWIP grant for 2011/12 of £33,169 had been offered, which it was intended to use:

·       as match funding for RDP projects for the provision of new cycleway and community links

·       for funding of a temporary contract for analysis of 2010/11 condition data survey and republication of the definitive map

·       to establish a wildlife walk including on site interpretation and facilities for group activities.

 

In response to questions, Mr. Teague confirmed that, as a consequence of the above funding, it was hoped that the Definitive Map would be republished by the end of March 2012 and that the wildlife walk referred to would be in the area of Wenvoe.

 

 

 

(e)     Coastal Access Improvement Programme Update -

 

Mrs. Cottnam, Coastal Access Officer, indicated that 2010/11 had been a positive year which had involved several projects, including completion of ground works and the negotiation of Creation Agreements with Landowners.  Mr. Teague spoke on the current situation in respect of the aforementioned Agreements.  Whilst there had been an underspend in 2010/11 (attributable mostly to the lengthy process in respect of Creation Orders), that underspend had been much smaller than the previous year.  Mr. Guy notified Members that CCW has asked the Council to make a formal request for that underspend to be slipped into the next financial year.  Funding for the year’s CAIP had been further increased to 100% in July backdated to the start of the financial year.  The report itself referred to the following projects, illustrations of some of which were included within the report:

 

·       The Golden Stairs, Porthkerry

·       Porthkerry Beach drainage

·       Bulwarks path improvements

·       Path Creation Agreements

·       East of Nash Point

·       Nell’s Point

·       Little Island.

 

In respect of future plans, the grant offer for the remaining two years of the CAIP of £130,200 had now been accepted.  Ten projects had been programmed for 2011/12 and four in 2012/13, the main projects including the following:

 

·       Path Creation Agreements

·       Little Island

·       Cwm Colhuw

·       Cwm Mawr

·       People Counters

·       Signage and Information Boards.

 

As far as the marketing of the Wales Coast Path (WCP) was concerned, members were pleased to note that the Coastal Access Officer actually sat on the WCP Marketing and Communications Steering Group.  The key facts so far included:

 

·       following a tendering process, Pembrokeshire Council had been awarded the contract for the Marketing Plan for the WCP

·       the need to create a website and links together with other key electronic communications such as Facebook and Twitter; the production of marketing material including leaflets and maps; and the official opening which was currently planned for Saturday 5th May 2012

·       the Ramblers were in the process of recruiting a person to work solely on the WCP

·       WAG would continue to provide PR Communications for the WCP

·       Local Authorities would continue to have section openings prior to the official openings and CCW / WAG now had an Event Planner which would be used as a blueprint for section openings

·       there would be ongoing consultation and communications with all Local Authorities in helping to progress the marketing and promotion of the WCP.

 

Mrs. Cottnam confirmed that the new paths at Barry Island formed part of the Wales Coast Path.  In response to a question as to whether consideration had been given to parties being invited to adopt a section of the WCP, thereby encouraging local ownership, Mrs. Cottnam agreed to raise the idea at the next meeting of the WCP Marketing and Communications Steering Group.

 

 

 

(f)     Countryside Council for Wales (CCW): Local Access Forums Work Plans 2011/12 -

 

The report outlined those issues which CCW/WAG anticipated would be referred to LAFs during the year.  One such issue was the implementation of the Walking and Cycling Action Plan for Wales, Mr. Pittard asking how the Council contributed to the process.  Mr. Guy indicated that the Council was progressing elements of the Plan and that he would submit a report thereon to a future meeting. 

 

Mr. Pittard also raised the matter of Glastir, Mr. Guy explaining that the Council was exploring the woodlands aspect only locally.

 

As regards the promotion of CCW’s Outdoor Wales online (OWoL) interactive map, Mr. Teague indicated that the Council would look at that more closely following the republication of the Definitive Map.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Report to November meeting

(g)     Synopsis of Key Points taken from the Minutes of the Meeting of the LAF Chairs on 15th February, 2011 -

 

The only issue raised in relation to the synopsis as presented related to the view expressed at the Chairs meeting that all LAFs should encourage their Local Authorities to use Countryside Access Management Systems (CAMS) in order to help prioritise works given that CAMS was in fact a private company.  It was generally accepted however that the point being raised at the Chairs meeting was more likely to be that CAMS had proven useful to date in terms of access related issues and that its usefulness should be promoted.  Mr. Teague confirmed that this Council did use CAMS.

 

 

 

(h)     Synopsis of Key Points taken from the Minutes of the National Access Forum for Wales (NAFW) on 8th March, 2011 -

 

Of the various matters raised in relation to the synopsis:

 

Mr. Guy confirmed that CCW had already been informed of this Council’s funding expended on ROWIP, and Members agreed that a representative from Sustrans should be invited to give a presentation at the meeting of the LAF scheduled for 27th July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Invitation to be extended in November

(i)     Feedback from Forum Members -

 

Mrs. March referred to the path leading from Llantwit Major into Cwm Colhuw and to the fact that she believed that initial controversy caused when the Council first put in the path on Council-owned land would abate. She indicated that the top end of the path had been much improved and the path was well used.  Mr. Teague confirmed that the improvements had been positively received.  Mrs. March also referred to the Cowbridge bridle route having been well received by the riding community, commenting that the leaflets tabled at the meeting were useful and asking whether consideration could be given to the provision of more bridle routes in the Llantwit Major area.  Mr. Guy stated that, whilst additional bridle routes would be of benefit to both local residents and tourists and the Council would wish to provide more where possible, the provision of the same was very expensive.

 

 

 

(j)     Any Other Business -

 

Mr. Cubbin drew attention to illegal vehicular access by 4 x 4s to the Ogmore river bank via the lay-by on the B4524 across a well established and well used public footpath on land owned by the Dunraven Estates.  He asked whether the LAF could make an approach to the Dunraven Estates to resolve the situation.  Mr. Guy undertook to ensure that the matter was brought to the attention of both Dunraven estates and the Heritage Coast Rangers.

 

The Chairman suggested that Mrs. Stuart should refer any concerns relating to travellers at the rubbish tip on Hayes Road to the Council’s Estates Section since this was not a matter for the LAF.

 

Members considered a proposal that the July meeting should be preceded by a site visit.  Mr. Teague indicated that Members could be asked to assess 2 viable walking routes in Penarth and that the Council’s Coastal Access Manager be invited to attend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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