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Agenda Item No.

 

 

VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL ACCESS FORUM

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 24th July, 2013.

 

Present: Mr. F. Coleman (Chairman); Mr. M. Dunn, Mr. R. Pittard, Mr. R. Simpson, Mr. G. Thomas and Councillor E. Williams.

 

Also present:  Mrs. K. Bowen, Mr. G. Teague  and Mrs. S. Thomas (VOGC).

 

 

(a)       Announcement-

 

Prior to the meeting a number of Members undertook a walk with Mr. R. Pritchard, Park Ranger, who advised of recent developments at the Park.  Members then took the opportunity at the meeting to thank Mr. Pritchard for this opportunity and also his Manager, Mr. S. Latham, for the use of the Country Park Lodge for the meeting.  

(b)       Apologies for Absence – 

 

These were received from Councillor Mrs. V.M. Hartrey, Ms. C. Lucas, Ms. E. Nash, Mr. H.S. McMillan and Mr. R Traherne. 

(c)        Minutes

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 10th April, 2013 be accepted as a correct record. 

 

It was noted that with regard to minute (c) 'Promoting Walking in the Rural Vale' Mr. Dunn advised that the Steering Group had met recently and were shortly to consider the promotion of walking routes, particularly ones in the Western Vale.  He confirmed that the walking festival had been extremely successful. 

 

In response to a query regarding the Green Links Sunday bus service it was noted that the take up had been disappointing with it being subsequently suggested that Travel Line Cymru be approached to promote the route. 

 

Minute (j) 'Glastir Maps' – that further information in relation to the farms that had applied for entry level be presented to the LAF. 

 

Minute (k) 'Review of Local Access Fora' – The Secretary had been advised that an evaluation of ROWIP funding programmes would be carried out during the year. With regard to the request for copies of the original LAF guidance documents, these were tabled at the meeting for Members’ information.

(d)       Natural Resource Wales Local Access Forum Work Programme

 

The work programme for 2013/14 was tabled at the meeting. In noting the reference in the document to the Wales legislative programme Members were advised that consideration was currently also being given as to whether to include issues in the Active Travel Bill.                                                                                                         

(e)       'Tranquil, Greener, Cleaner Spaces' Project – Verbal update

 

The Chairman advised that there was a national definition for tranquil spaces and he was aware that some areas had been defined as such within the Vale of Glamorgan.  Gwyn Teague referred to projects undertaken by Communities First and the Parks Department in Caldy Close, Barry.  Members requested that further information in relation to any other projects in the Vale be reported when available. 

(f)       Spring Public Rights of Way Survey Results and Surveyor Guidance – 

 

In considering the report the results showed that the main issue from the Spring Survey was that the pass rate was 63% which was similar to the previous year.  In analysing the information it was apparent that over the years a gradual increase could be identified.  The officer also referred to a positive meeting that had been held with surveyors and the success of the work in relation to the performance indicators which had been completed by LAF Members.  

 

Reference was made to the materials used for the maintenance regime, with officers advising that the processes were regularly assessed to ascertain if they were fit for purpose. 

 

Members subsequently recorded their thanks to the officers and to Mr. McMillan for the successful surveyors meeting that had taken place.  It was also agreed that the report was a good overview, particularly in view of the fact that random samples had been looked at.   

(g)       Modification and Legal Orders Update

 

The report provided the Forum with progress in respect of tracking information of modification order applications together with details of live cases where applications had been received.

 

In referring to reference number 8 - Pontypridd Road – Nant Talwg Woods, a public inquiry had been held on 25th / 26th June and the department was awaiting the Inspector’s decision.  With regard to reference 9 - 63, Romilly Park Road, it was noted that objections were to be referred to the Planning Inspectorate shortly with it being anticipated that it would ultimately be dealt with via a public inquiry.

 

Reference 10 - Backway House, Peterston-Super-Ely, Gwyn Teague confirmed that the investigation was underway and the application would be submitted to a sub-committee for determination in due course.

 

In order to assist Members further it was suggested that in the future the report also include information detailing where the requests had been received from e.g. Community Councils or from private individuals.  Gwyn Teague agreed to add the details to future lists.

 

Following considerable discussion on individual applications the Forum subsequently noted the report. 

(h)       Maintenance Priorities and Update

 

The LAF had previously received reports which had outlined existing strategies for prioritising Public Rights of Way work and at a meeting on 12th December 2012 had received feedback on the process via a number of workshops.  At that meeting LAF Members had broadly agreed the model for prioritisation that had been proposed according to criteria categorising the issues.  Workshop feedback had also appeared to support these views by considering the priority of issues to be dependent on public safety, promotion of routes, operationally imperative issues and the degree of blockage.  In addition, the workshop feedback had also identified connectivity and community routes and cost benefit as prioritisation factors.  Gwyn Teague advised that whilst connectivity and cost benefit requests had been acknowledged, a suitable mechanism was required in order to define which routes should be considered a priority.  He was of the view that limiting the differentiation to promoted routes set a clear standard, with it being proposed that outside of this, importance based on connectivity and community use be left to officer judgement.  As such, the following model was proposed:

 

 

 

 

 

Priority

Level

Issue

 

 

1

Immediate hazard to public safety

 

 

2

Operationally imperative issues (legal deadlines, emergency network protection)

 

 

3

Potential hazard to public safety

Inaccessible promoted route (e.g. obstructed)

 

 

4

Inaccessible non promoted route (e.g. obstructed)

Inconvenient promoted route (e.g. disrepair)

 

 

5

Inconvenient non promoted route (e.g. disrepair)

Minor detriment to use of promoted route (desirable, signage)

 

 

6

Minor detriment to use of non promoted route (desirable, signage)

 

 

 

 

 

In considering the report and the appendices in relation to the maintenance of Public Rights of Way, the overall view of the Forum was that good progress was being made and it was subsequently

 

AGREED – T H A T with the inclusion of communities and heritage features the proposed model as above be adopted. 

(i)       Rights of Way Improvement (ROWIP) Update – 

 

Gwyn Teague advised that funding for ROWIP during 2013/14 had been accepted at a rate of £30,391 with the conditions of funding for schemes to be set against the following criteria :

  • that authorities deliver at least one improvement in 2013/14 aimed at better meeting the needs of the disabled, Communities First, ethnic minority or other groups
  • that authorities aim each to deliver at least one network improvement that will also assist public understanding of, or conservation of, local biodiversity
  • that each coastal local authority undertakes at least one improvement in the coastal zone which creates a circular community link to the Wales Coast Path. 

The projects that were currently being undertaken had been agreed as follows:

  • preparation of a new Definitive Map and analysis and reporting of CAMS data
  • creation and improvement PROW links between communities and within Coastal Zone to the Wales Coast Path, including ecological surveys and biodiversity interpretation where necessary
  • improvement of coastal links and negotiation towards coastal loop at Gileston
  • review and support of annual clearance arrangements
  • establish a focus group including Communities First and Health Agenda representatives to develop and deliver improvements for Low Use groups. 

Attached as an appendix to the report was an action plan that had been taken from the original ROWIP document which listed actions and progress to date.  The Chairman stated that the main purpose of the appendix was to identify progress that had been made in each and he suggested that further consideration of the document be undertaken by the Forum following completion of the review by the consultants.  For ease of use Members also requested that each action be underlined in order to be easier on the eye. 

(j)       Wales Coast Path Update

 

National Resources Wales (NRW) had introduced a new four stage process for administering the Coastal Access Improvement Programme (CAIP) as follows:

 

Stage 1 – Submission of detailed project forms (DPF)

Stage 2 – Applying for grant and issue of offer letters

Stage 3 – Project set up and authorisation to proceed

Stage 4 – Implementation and recovery of costs from NRW.

 

The following list detailed the approved project list via DPF submission:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ref No

Type of Work

(Select from drop down list below)

Grant rate for this project % (select from drop down list below)

Description of works / Location

 

 

VG101

Path works

100

Ogmore – Realignment study

 

 

VG102

Path works

70

Atlantic College – surface improvements

 

 

VG103

Path works

70

Llantwit Beach – legal diversion onto walked route

 

 

VG104

Path works

70

Cwm Colhuw – surface improvements

 

 

VG105

Path works

70

Gilestone – Diversion Order and ground works

 

 

VG106

Path works

70

Rhoose Point – surface improvements

 

 

VG107

Path works

70

Little Island and Nell’s’ Point / Barry Island – legal creation

 

 

VG108

Path works

70

Sully – move stone stiles to safer location

 

 

VG109

Path works

70

Captain’s Wife – Creation Order, minor groundworks

 

 

VG110

Path works

70

Bay Caravan park – legal diversion onto walked line

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gwyn Teague advised that as a result of the changes to the process a quarter of the year had been lost which would mean completing all project work by the end of the year would be difficult. 

 

Members, in noting Mr. Teague’s comments, confirmed approval of the list provided. 

(k)       Announcements

 

The Chairman informed Members of the annual awards presented by the Royal Town Planning Institute and, in particular, referred to the Jubilee Cup for meritorious planning achievement for the year which had been won in respect of the Wales Coast Path.  All Members agreed that this was an excellent achievement for the whole programme. 

 

The Chairman also stated that he had recently forwarded a letter on behalf of the Forum wishing Ms. Lorraine Pugh all the best in her retirement and thanking her for her contribution to the Forum over the years.  All Members confirmed approval and also requested that Ms. Pugh be mentioned in the Forum’s annual report which would be circulated to all Members for their consideration prior to the October meeting. 

 

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