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Agenda Item No.

 

VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL ACCESS FORUM

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 27th July, 2016.

 

Present:  Mr. F. Coleman, Mr. J.J. Herbert, Ms. C. Lucas, Mr. H.S. McMillan, Mr. R. Pittard, Mr. R. Simpson and Mr. G. Thomas.

 

Mr. J. Wyatt, Mr. S. Pickering, Mr. G. Teague and Mrs. S. Thomas (Vale of Glamorgan Council).

 

1.     Appointment of Chairman

 

In the absence of both the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, and on being put to the vote, it was

 

AGREED – T H A T Mr. F. Coleman be appointed Chairman for this meeting.

 

Mr. Coleman duly took the Chair.

 

2.     Apologies for Absence

 

These were received from Councillor E. Williams (Chairman), Mr. R. Traherne  (Vice-Chairman) and Ms. A. Haden; Mr. B. Guy (Vale of Glamorgan Council) and Ms. M. Miyata-Lee (Natural Resources Wales).

 

3.     Minutes

 

AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 25th May, 2016 be approved as a correct record, subject to a correction to Order dates specified in the Modification Orders table presented at the previous meeting being outlined and the Forum being advised that it had been corrected in the   update to be presented at this meeting.

 

4.     “Dog Friendly Vale”: Presentation by Carol Adams, Senior Regeneration Officer, Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

The Forum received a presentation on a pilot scheme to test “dog friendly tourism” in the Vale of Glamorgan;  the scheme being entitled “Paws in the Vale”.   

 

Work to date had included desk top research looking at the benefits and potential pitfalls of Dog Friendly tourism: 

  •   looking at ways to enhance and minimise pitfalls
  •   a learning trip to gain a further understanding
  •   workshops facilitated by a “dog friendly” expert.

Some of the “pros” identified included: 

  •   a growing trend towards becoming dog friendly
  •   the United Kingdom pet industry now being worth more than £23.7 billion annually
  •   a rise of 132% in 2011 in pet-friendly bookings
  •   an indication that dog owners would pay a premium for pet friendly accommodation
  •   the potential revenue increase available to hotels that opened their doors to dogs.

In terms of pitfalls, these had included: 

  •   dog foul not being disposed of properly and / or ruining crops
  •   livestock being worried, attacked or killed
  •   dogs who worried livestock being shot
  •   cattle injuring walkers with dogs
  •   dogs and owners falling off cliffs.

The aim of the pilot scheme was to establish whether dog friendly tourism was good for business, whether some of the pitfalls could be mitigated and the behaviour of dog owners influenced.    Further work would include a testing of new signage, trialling ways to disseminate the contents of the Countryside Dog Walking Code and developing a Code of Conduct for both residents and tourists that could be used following the pilot to encourage responsible dog friendly tourism.  In addition, a toolkit would be developed for the trade, a marketing campaign would be held between October 2016 and January 2017 to promote dog friendly locations in the Vale and, finally, the success and failure of the pilot would be evaluated and the findings disseminated. 

 

Members of the Forum were very interested in the information provided in the presentation and various questions / issues were raised and responded to by Ms. Adams.  These included: 

  •   confirmation that the purpose of the pilot was not to try to make everything “dog friendly”
  •   the advantage of looking to influence dog owners before they even arrived in the Vale, as well as once they were here
  •   if people were to be directed towards dog friendly facilities, it was necessary to seek to provide associated information at the facility itself
  •   key messages from the learning visit to Cornwall included:

    -         the need to give people a choice

    -         the need to manage the dog friendly visitor experience

    -         evidence that most “issues” were down to the behaviour of local people, as opposed to visitors

  •   whilst the pilot sought to establish means of stimulating the rural economy, it was also hoped to learn lessons in terms of influencing the behaviour of local people
  •   in terms of a suggestion that more access could potentially result in less control, Ms. Adams considered that the very high popularity of the activity already suggested that there would be no “spiral” in terms of usage. 

AGREED – T H A T Ms. Adams be thanked for her interesting and informative presentation.

 

5.     Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) Republication

 

Given the requirement for the Vale of Glamorgan Council to review and republish its Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) by November 2017, a draft Project Plan had been produced (based on the guidance issued) and this was submitted to the Forum for consideration.

 

Mr. Teague indicated that the comments of the Forum would be welcomed, particularly in terms of how their involvement might be best facilitated.  In response to a specific question, Mr. Teague confirmed that some of the work involved in the process would be outsourced, with the remainder undertaken in-house (the exact split being dependant on the most cost-effective approach).  The deadline of November 2017 reflected the requirement to produce a revised ROWIP ten years after the publication of the first ROWIP.

 

Again, in response to a question, Mr. Teague confirmed that there were two elements to the Assessment Phase, the second of which related to the current condition of the network, as opposed to how the previous ROWIP had delivered. 

 

AGREED – T H A T the draft Project Plan be noted and the Forum confirms its willingness to act as a “sounding board” during the ROWIP review / republication process. 

 

6.     Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) Grant Update

 

The project comprised a number of programme actions aiming to assist in the delivery of ROWIP Objectives. This year four actions were proposed: 

                                                                                                             
   

Ref

   
   

Location

   
   

Brief Details of     Programme Action

   
   

Update

   
   

VG1

   
   

Summerhouse Point

   
   

Dedication of rights at Summerhouse

   
   

Approval to proceed with an Order has been granted by Committee.

   

Instructions are with Legal Services regarding compensation.

   
   

VG2

   
   

Countywide

   
   

Adopt a path co-ordination of works

   
   

Maintenance issues on adopt a path routes have been programmed and initial approaches commenced.

   
   

VG3

   
   

Countywide

   
   

Definitive Map anomalies – resolve long standing issues by Order

   
   

Project not yet commenced.

   
   

VG4

   
   

30km of priority routes

   
   

Vegetation clearance

   
   

First annual clearance cut complete.

   

 

VG1 provided for the dedication of public footpath rights along a track between Boverton Mill and Boverton Mill and Summerhouse Point.  The grant allocation reflected anticipated compensation figures in addition to legal costs.

 

VG2 would support the co-ordination and resolution of maintenance issues on promoted routes that were part of the Adopt a Path scheme.

 

VG3 would begin to address long   standing issues identified during the quality assurance of the Definitive Map process.  This was likely to be through a mix of Orders, negotiations and / or enforcement where appropriate.

 

VG4 would support the annual clearance of inland routes.

 

Mr. Teague indicated that the position regarding ROWIP grant funding for 2017/18 was unlikely to be known until at least November 2016.  Asked whether details of the programme were contained within one document, Mr. Teague confirmed that this would possible and that he would submit a document to the next meeting.

 

7.     Coastal Access Improvement Programme: Background and Update

 

The Coastal Access Improvement Programme (CAIP) was a scheme funded by the Welsh Government via Natural Resources Wales and delivered through Local Authorities.

 

Since the Wales Coast Path officially opened on 5th May, 2012 the scheme, which initially ran from 2007-2013, had continued to fund the development and improvement of the route.  Following completion of the initial project, further funding was made available, this ran from 2013-2015.

 

The current programme was initiated by a Ministerial announcement that committed £900,000 worth of funding per annum for the next five years to the Path.  The current scheme differed from   previous in so much as funding was divided between improvements and maintenance, to reflect the maturing nature of the Coast Path.

 

Offers of grant had been received and accepted for the following improvement projects.  Updates on each were included below.  It was also anticipated that a further project at Sully Playing Fields would continue though funding had yet to be confirmed for 2016-17 in respect of this. 

                                                                                                                                   
   

Code

   
   

Location

   
   

Details

   
   

Update

   
   

VG1601

   
   

Dimhole

   
   

Path close to edge requires cutting back into cliff and provision of level surface as it ascends from cwm.

   
   

Tenders received and favoured contractor considered.

   
   

VG1501

   

 

   

  

   

Ogmore     Down

   
   

Conclude outstanding creation agreement on path, formalising new alignment that avoids needs for road walking

   
   

Dwr Cymru objections addressed.  No further objections received at pre-order.

   
   

VG1502

   
   

Traeth Mawr

   
   

Missing link currently available on permissive basis only. Previously submitted as creation order, landowner has indicated willingness to revert to agreement

   
   

Draft agreement to legal

   
   

VG1505

   
   

Cwm Colhuw West

   
   

Improve surface by addition of loose stone (type 1).

   
   

Works to improve surface have commenced.

   
   

VG1507

   
   

Gileston

   
   

Creation of missing link. Previously submitted as creation order, landowner has indicated willingness to revert to agreement

   
   

No move

   

 

In addition an allocation for coast path maintenance via grant and at 75% grant rate has been advised.  In the Vale for 2016-17 this amounted to £19,230   of grant to be matched by £6,410.  It was anticipated that this would be issued each year over the life of the programme: 

                                           
   

Code

   
   

Description

   
   

Details

   
   

Update

   
     

Maint

   
   

Maintenance Projects on VoG WCP

   
   

Vegetation cut back, maintenance of furniture and surfaces

   
   

First seasonal vegetation cut back     complete.

   

 

 

8.     Maintenance Reports

 

In presenting the report, Mr. Teague introduced members of the Forum to Andy Briscombe, who was an Assistant PROW Officer (Maintenance).  He also alluded to the briefing session which he would be presenting later in the meeting on Maintenance (one of a series of briefings he would give to the Forum). 

 

The Forum was provided with an update in relation to maintenance work carried out across the Vale of Glamorgan from March 2011 to July 2016.  Mr. Briscombe referred to the intention to   utilise the “window” from August to October (i.e. when most crops had been harvested and / or hay was on the ground) to undertake much of the Work Programme.   Landowners were more accepting of the team using vehicles to access land at that time of year.  The Work Programme would include a member of the Maintenance Team identifying whether issues were recorded correctly and, where necessary, re-entering issues on the system.  The overall Work Programme was split into west, central and east areas (split across the three Ranger Teams). 

 

Responding to points raised regarding the provision of kissing gates as replacements for stiles, Mr. Briscombe indicated that he and Mr. Teague were looking at ways of attaching a way marker on the upright of kissing gates.

 

AGREED – T H A T the Work Programme be reported to the next meeting of the Forum.

 

9.     Legal and Evidential Modification Orders Update

 

The Form was presented with an update on the Legal Orders and Evidential Modification Orders across the Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

10.    Member Briefing: Maintenance

 

The Forum received a presentation from Mr. Teague, which covered the following Public Rights of Way related areas: 

  •   Background / Reason for Definitive Maps
  •   Maintaining and Protecting – Highway Authority responsibilities
  •   Maintaining and Protecting – Landowner responsibilities
  •   Structures and Furniture
  •   Livestock
  •   Cultivation.

Following the presentation, Mr. Teague offered Forum members the opportunity of participating in a day of practical / volunteer work. 

 

AGREED – T H A T the Secretary e-mail / contact Forum members, asking those who are   interested in participating in a day of practical / volunteer work to contact Mr. Teague accordingly.

 

 

 

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