Agenda Item No.
GLAMORGAN HERITAGE COAST ADVISORY GROUP
Minutes of a meeting held on 19th April, 2012, at the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre, Southerndown.
Present: Councillor Mrs. A.J. Preston (Chairman); Councillor Mrs. V.M. Hartrey (Vice-Chairman); Councillors A.M. Ernest and R.P. Thomas( Vale of Glamorgan Council); Mr. N. Sharpe (Countryside Council for Wales), Mr. J. Golunski (Dunraven Estates), Mr. R. McLaggan (Merthyr Mawr Estates), Mr. B. Acott (Friends of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast), Mrs. H. March, Mr. B. Guy (Operational Manager, Vale of Glamorgan), Mr. P. Dunn (Glamorgan Heritage Coast Centre) and Mr. P. Chappell (Creative Rural Communities).
(a) Apologies for Absence -
These were received from Councillors R.F. Curtis and E. Hacker (Vale of Glamorgan Council); Councillor G. Davies (Bridgend County Borough Council), Ms A Morgan ( One Voice Wales), Ms. S. Mabberley and G. Barter (Countryside Council for Wales).
(b) Minutes -
AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 13th October, 2011 be accepted subject to it being noted that Lark Meadow should read “Larks Meadows” and that the site at Craig Penllyn had been renamed “The Parish Field Caer Rhedyn”.
(c) Achievements and Issues at the Glamorgan Heritage Coast -
The Principal Ranger, Paul Dunn, provided the Group with a PowerPoint presentation detailing the work of the team up to March 2012. School Visitors to the Centre and the Coast remained consistent and even though charging for such visits had been agreed over the last few years, schools were still regularly visiting the Coast. The team also visited schools assisting with their biodiversity work and maintenance issues. Whilst viewing the presentation reference was made to the considerable amount of rubbish that was collected on a regular basis on the Coast and that Dunraven Estates provided skips to clear the sites at a cost of £250 per skip. In view of the costs incurred Members suggested that signs be provided around the area advising people of the potential to be fined for littering and that recycling bins be also supplied in the locality. However, following consideration of the matter it was suggested that discussions take place with the Head of Visible Services and local landowners to consider options on how to address the issue. Mr. Dunn further advised that the Centre was receiving more and more requests from private companies who wished to be involved in charitable activities to undertake litter picking on the Coast which was an extremely worthwhile exercise.
In relation to biodiversity there were considerable maintenance issues on the Coast, and recently seeds from the rare plant shore dock had been removed in order to reintroduce the species within the coast. Other work had been undertaken in relation to coastal access, improved styles and kissing gates, and the definitive path had been agreed by Dunraven Estates. Mr. Dunn also took the opportunity to acknowledge the support from Dunraven Estates which he considered was exceptional, to his staff within the Glamorgan Heritage Coast team for their dedication and to the Friends of Glamorgan Heritage Coast for their continued support.
Following the presentation it was
(1) T H A T Mr. Dunn be thanked for his informative update and that the Group’s thanks be also extended to the staff team for their hard work.
(2) T H A T discussions be held with the Head of Visible Services to consider options with regard to the issue of litter in the area.
(d) Creative Rural Communities – Current Projects -
The Principal Rural Regeneration Officer, Mr. Phil Chappell, presented information to the Group in respect of the projects being undertaken via the Creative Rural Communities service area. The projects included: Pride in our Farming Families, Pride in our Villages, Price in our Services, Rural Hubs Grants, Price in our Services – Footpath Grants, Cycleways, Pride in our Heritage, Rural Events Network, Pride in the Vale, and various smaller projects, e.g. Iolo Morgannwg Walk, Community Foodie, Coastal Camping Pilot, and the initiative Heritage Coast Sense of Place brand awareness. All these projects were developed under the Business Plan 2 2011-2013 with a total budget of £3.53m and will run to December 2013. In referring to the Coastal Camping Pilot he advised that sites had been identified throughout the Vale at Y Felin Fach, Monknash, Big Pool Farm at Ewenny, Pool Farm at St. Brides Major, Lougher Moor at Llantwit Major, Slade Farm, Southerndown and Rosedew Farm at Llantwit Major.
With regard to the issue of brand awareness Members were presented with a copy of details for the project which advised of a vision for the future for visitors to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. It is hoped that the project will enable visitors to identify where they have been, feel as if they have visited somewhere with a distinct local identity and be able to positively promote the area and its distinctiveness from others. Recent visitor research to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast showed that only 30% of visitors could name the coastal region unprompted, rising to only 58% when prompted with a map. Almost 70% of these visitors were from the Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend or Cardiff area. The Local Action Group (LAG) had therefore agreed to develop a project to raise awareness of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast by developing the local identity.
The project was split into four main strands as detailed below:
· development of an interpretation strategy for the Glamorgan Heritage Coast
· implementation of an interpretation strategy
· directional signage
· sense of pace programme with GHC tourism businesses and organisations.
Discussions had also been held with Bridgend County Borough Council in order to promote its development. Members referred to the lack of signage on the M4 to attractions within the Vale and were advised that with regard to tourism signs, tourism professionals tended to have a different view to highway professionals on the role of signage, with the former seeking promotional signs whilst the latter saw signage as a directional tool. Members queried whether temporary signs could be erected, in particular in view of the forthcoming Eisteddfod and that discussions be held with officers in the Highways Department regarding this.
Phil Chappell referred to the possibility of developing signage via satellite navigation systems in order for visitors to be aware of attractions before they visited the area. Members welcomed such an initiative to develop tourism.
Following the presentation the Group
AGREED – T H A T Mr. Phil Chappell be thanked for his informative presentation, in particular for the details relating to the many projects that were ongoing throughout the Vale of Glamorgan.
(e) Progress Update re Coastal Access Improvement Programme -
Mr. Bob Guy, Operational Manager, (Vale of Glamorgan,) reported on the date for the launch for the coastal path which was to be held on 5th May 2012 and advised that there were very few places on the path deemed permissive routes all the rest were public rights of way, including 7.5kms of new rights of way at the Heritage Coast. He took the opportunity to thank Dunraven Estates and the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Rights of Way Officer, Mr. Gwyn Teague, for all the hard work that had been undertaken in establishing the coastal path throughout the Vale of Glamorgan. Mr Guy also extended his appreciation to local landowners who had been involved in the process and informed Members that the Vale of Glamorgan’s coastal path was as near to the coast as possible as opposed to other Local Authorities in Wales which had to take their paths some way in land albeit for a number of reasons. Discussions would however, be ongoing with the Welsh Government as the Minister had indicated that there would be a continued programme for the Wales Coastal Path with further funding for improvement and maintenance to be addressed. Consultation on these proposals would take place in due course.
All members agreed that the coastal path was a valuable resource to be proud of and a great achievement for the Vale of Glamorgan. Local leaflets had been produced for the launch highlighting the coastal path and the Countryside Council for Wales had agreed to establish a guide book which would be published in due course. It was also understood that a dedicated website for the coastal path would be launched very shortly.
AGREED – T H A T Dunraven Estates, local landowners and the officers involved with the development of the Wales Coastal Path be congratulated on their achievement.
(f) Matters Raised by Bridgend County Borough Council –
Councillor G. Davies had tendered his apologies but had informed the Clerk that the suggestion for a representative from the Glamorgan Heritage Advisory Group to sit on the Trecco Bay Management Group had been referred to his Cabinet for a decision and he would advise the Group in due course.
(g) Matters Raised by the Countryside Council for Wales -
Mr. N. Sharpe advised that the plan to merge CCW and the Environment Agency was scheduled for April 2013. He also referred to documents that were currently out for consultation namely: National Resources Wales closure for consultation was for 2nd May 2012 and Sustaining and Living in Wales end of May 2012.
(h) Matters Raised by The Friends of Glamorgan Heritage Coast -
Mr. Acott also offered his congratulations to those involved with the development of the Coastal Path and advised that the Friends were firmly committed to the links down to the Sea Watch Centre.
(i) Announcement -
The Chairman took the opportunity to thank all members for their support throughout the year and invited those present to undertake a walk of the coastal path following the meeting.