Agenda Item No.
VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL ACCESS FORUM
Minutes of a meeting held on 12th September, 2012 at the Community College, Old Hall, Cowbridge.
Present: Mr. F. Coleman (Chairman); Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, Mr. R. Pittard, Mr. R. Simpson, Mr. G. Thomas, Mr. R. Traherne and Councillor E. Williams.
Also present: Ms. T. Cottnam, Mr. G. Teague, Mrs. S. Thomas and Mrs. K. Bowen (VoGC).
Prior to the meeting several of the above had undertaken a visit to a scheme that had been completed under RDP/ROWIP funding which upgraded the link from the secondary school to Town Hall car park in Cowbridge.
(a) Apologies for Absence -
These were received from Mr. M. Dunn (Deputy-Chairman), Mr. J. J. Herbert, Ms. C. Lucas, Ms. E. Nash, Mr. H. S. McMillan, Mr. C. Short and Mr. B. Guy (Operational Manager - Vale of Glamorgan Council).
(b) Introduction of Councillor E. Williams -
The Chairman welcomed Councillor E. Williams (Vale of Glamorgan Council representative) to his first meeting of the Forum. Councillor Williams introduced himself and informed Members that he was a keen walker, he had been involved with a number of e-trails projects, was a member of a Ramblers Association and expressed his pleasure as being appointed a member of the Forum.
(b) Minutes -
AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 16th May, 2012 be accepted as a correct record subject to it being noted that the location of meetings be inserted in the first sentence of future minutes.
(c) Glastir Targeted Element - Permissive Access -
Gwyn Teague advised that at the meeting of 28th July 2010 the LAF had considered mapping detailing permissive access under the Tir-Gofal scheme which was due to be replaced with the Glastir scheme. The Welsh Government had requested the forums views on:-
· which of the existing permissive paths would be considered valuable and should be continued within the Glastir scheme.
· Potential strategic routes that did not currently exist and which could be established under new permissive access in Glastir.
At that time Welsh Government were advised that the forum felt that all existing access should be retained with no additional routes suggested.
The LAF had now been requested to comment on further maps which were attached to the report. It being noted that these maps contained no permissive routes in the Vale of Glamorgan.
In considering the report Councillor Traherne referred to the fact that he was aware that a significant number of farmers had not signed up to the scheme for economic reasons. It was noted that the Minister had recently stated that European Union had accepted the Glastir Scheme but the Chairman recalled that the LAF had supported the Tir Gofal schemes. It was subsequently
AGREED - T H A T Gwyn Teague be requested to continue to advise Welsh Government that the Forum felt that all existing access should be retained.
(d) Definitive Map Modification and Public Path Orders - Updates –
The schedule was presented for Members information.
AGREED – that the contents of the schedule be noted.
(e) ROWIP Update -
Gwyn Teague advised that 90% of the quality assurance of definitive statements had been completed with the aim for full completion by the end of the month. Promoted routes had been digitised and forwarded for uploading to the web. A new biodiversity Ecology assistant had also been appointed and consideration was being given to the possibility of linking biodiversity to the Rural Development Plan project at Wenvoe.
With regard to the Rural Development Plan match funding, 5 projects had been submitted for consideration and had subsequently been approved by the RDP panel at its September meeting. These projects related to
· formalising and improving an informal link between Twyn yr Odyn and Wenvoe
· improving the surface of a bridleway that links Welsh St. Donats and Pendoylan
· creating, diverting and improving links to the coast
· dedicating and improving links from Llangan to Colwinston
· creating a footpath to link St. Mary Church with the Herberts.
AGREED - T H A T it be noted that the five projects had been successful and the partnership working commended.
(f) Maintenance Priorities -
At the last meeting of the Forum the results of a conditions survey data had been reported, it being noted that there were approximately 1500 unresolved issues. In order to consider ways of dealing with the backlog Gwyn Teague advised that maintenance priority schedules were being used as a guide by a number of local authorities and that there were two main approaches to developing a prioritisation schedule. The first would categorise typical issues against a priority level, the second would attempt to weigh relevant criteria and return a priority value for each issue based on a formula. Examples of schedules that currently existed were detailed within the report.
In considering the examples, although some Members were of the view that formulas were not the best approach it was agreed that a guide was essential in order to deal with the issue. The example of low, medium and high priorities was accepted to be a more suitable process with it being subsequently
AGREED - T H A T Mr. Teague be recommended to present a further report to the forum on a suitable process to be developed.
(g) Wales Coast Path Update and Vale of Glamorgan Council Response to Questions on Future Management -
The Vale of Glamorgan Coastal Access Officer Tricia Cottnam presented the Forum with an overview of progress from April 2011 to March 2012 and referred to the opening of the coastal path on 5th May, 2012.
In her introduction she advised that it had been a satisfying year for work on the Vale section of the Wales Coast Path. Although there were sections that needed further improvement the path had been opened on 5th May having had great publicity during and after the official opening which included a great news feature by Sian Lloyd the broadcaster and a short interview with Tricia which could be accessed via the website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17937192).
Ms Cottnam also referred to the ceramic discs that had been purchased at the end of the financial year which would be installed along pedestrianised areas in Cold Knap, Barry Island, Barry Waterfront and Penarth. It was noted that a coastal access meeting was due to be held in Cardiff shortly where aspects of the coastal path would be shown.
The response by the Vale of Glamorgan Council in relation to the WCP Future Management, had been appended to the report with it being noted that the response had been completed by Gwyn Teague in consultation with the Chairman as there had been no time to consult with the Forum itself.
During discussion reference was made to Active Travel, it being noted that the Transport Consortia was currently looking at the cycling element for paths. Mention was made of a group that had been set up to consider this element further. Gwyn Teague advised that he was not aware of such a group but would look into the matter and report to a future meeting of the Forum.
Having considered the response it was
AGREED - T H A T the response be endorsed.
(h) Draft Annual Report 2011/12 -
The draft Annual Report for the Local Access Forum was submitted for approval.
Councillor Williams, as a new member, advised that the Annual Report had been extremely useful as an introduction to the work of the Forum but agreed with members that a more shortened version containing bullet points and pictures would probably be more pleasing to the eye and more inclined to be read.
It was also suggested that consideration be given to including a before and after section to include details of the work that had been undertaken throughout the year e.g. the renewal of stiles and maintenance of footpaths.
AGREED - T H A T the Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum Annual Report 2011/12 be endorsed and that future versions be streamlined and further consideration given to content that would be more user friendly.
(i) Announcement -
The Chairman, in thanking the members for attending the first meeting since the Local Government Elections took the opportunity to advise members of a book that the Deputy Chairman had recently published on walking in the South Wales Valleys which took into account 32 walks in the area. He took the opportunity to congratulate Mr. Dunn on his publication noting that it had also been featured in the Penarth Times.