Parish Council Meeting Report – Nov 6th
On November 12th, Remembrance Sunday, a parade was held from the Car Park to the church, where there was the act of remembrance with its two-minute silence, during which wreaths were laid, followed by a service in the church. This was made possible by surrounding roads being closed for a brief period, and the PC is grateful to Francis Meylan for arranging this on behalf of the Scouts, and for road-users' patience while this important national event is commemorated.
A small group of Councillors has been working with the Community Plan group to prepare a response to the latest proposals from RBC for releasing land for development which was the subject of a formal consultation at the end of October. It was agreed by a majority that this response should be submitted to RBC. It is expected that further consultation will result if RBC revises its proposals as a consequence. At the same time, we have learned of a forthcoming planning application for 5 affordable homes on the site of the garages by Holloway Close.
In relation to dogs on Butt Close playing fields, the format for consultation was agreed and is the subject of a separate article in this magazine.
The Council has learned that, as a result of an investigation by Notts Highways into the circumstances of the recent accident near the academy, they will not be making any specific proposals for new measures to reduce risk in that area. However, it is worth reminding everyone of the need for watchfulness and consideration for others when using our roads, especially at the busy times of the day.
The next meeting will be on Monday 4th December at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Jill Barlow – an appreciation
The Parish Council was saddened to receive the resignation of Jill Barlow as Clerk to the Parish Council and Responsible Financial Officer. Jill has been in post since 2006, and for many of those years was also a resident of the village. She has always given outstanding service, and is particularly noted for her thoroughness in ensuring that Councillors receive the best advice in making their decisions. In recent times, there have been particularly strenuous challenges, not least the pavilion fire, and her role in helping to ensure that the pavilion was brought back into use at the earliest opportunity was a shining example of her expertise and diligence. Jill is moving on to new challenges, and has our very best wishes for success with those, and our heartfelt thanks for her invaluable contribution to our village life.
Parish Council Meeting Report – Oct 2nd
During September, there was a special church service and reception to mark the 100th anniversary of the East Bridgford branch of the WI. The Council sends its congratulations and appreciation of the many very valuable contributions of this organisation to the village and the wider community over the years.
The proposals from RBC for releasing land for development were considered. It was noted that a further consultation event had been organised since one of the sites was not listed in the original consultation exercise. With the deadline for responses set later in November, it was decided to engage with the consultation and submit a response following the next Parish Council meeting. Residents are encouraged to ensure their own views are made known during this process.
There was no public comment, but a recent e-mail from a resident referred to a further problem for their child from dog excrement left on Butt Close. As mentioned in the previous month's report, the Council is considering making it a requirement for dogs to be kept on leads on Butt Close. It was decided to begin a process of consultation about this which will include an opportunity for people to contribute in person to the argument, and details of this and the specific proposals will follow in due course. A decision on how to proceed will be made at the January meeting to allow sufficient time for this process. Should the community support the introduction of a measure such as this, it will be for the community as a whole to implement and monitor it.
The PC will be contributing to the Community Plan public event, scheduled for the 6th December. This is an opportunity for residents to focus on the various issues raised in the questionnaires earlier this year, and to contribute to the action groups considering them.
It was saddening to learn of the recent traffic accident on Kneeton Road where a child was injured on the way to school. The Council understands that the child is making a good recovery, and sends its best wishes. Any investigation or proposals by Notts Highways about how improvements may be made in that area to make such incidents less likely will be supported by the Council. On another traffic related matter, the Council is pleased that additional bollards have been sited at the junction of Butt Lane with the old A46 to make visibility when approaching the junction better, something the Council has been pressing for over the past months.
An encampment on the Butt Lane by-way adjacent to the overbridge was noted again in recent weeks. Although it was only there a relatively short time, it could represent a developing pattern with similar ones in the area. The Council has requested agricultural gates at the entrance to that section which may require a change to the status of the by-way.
The notice in the village Car Park will be amended as follows:
"This car park provides temporary, short-term parking for the public.
Please do not use it for continuous, long-term parking.
Vehicles parked without a current MOT and/or road tax may be removed" This is to ensure that sufficient spaces are available for temporary situations such as events in the village hall or chapel.
Following the success of being runners-up in our category of the Best Kept Village competition, the Council considered the comments of the judges and decided to investigate how to make improvements for next year.
The next meeting will be on Monday 6th November at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report — Sept 4th
In public comment, it was suggested that there was an opportunity to include information from the Welcome Pack, normally available to new residents in the parish, in the December circulation of the parish magazine, which is delivered to all homes in the village. This would be an opportunity to update everyone and was thought to be a very good idea. It was also suggested that we should build upon the success in gaining the runners-up spot in the Best Kept Village competition, and consider how we might "get past the winning post" next year.
Problems with litter and hazardous waste have been reported on the footpath along the River Trent. Interested parties, such as the angling club and local authorities are being contacted to determine how the situation can be improved.
Metropolitan Housing has indicated that it is considering building up to 5 affordable homes on the site of the garages by the flats on Holloway Close. The Parish Council will comment when a formal planning application is made.
On another planning matter, the Council is aware of concerns about a proposed telecoms mast near the sewage pumping station on Springdale Lane, including the recent article in the parish magazine. The Parish Council is a consultee in the planning process, but decisions are made by Rushcliffe Borough Council. Mobile phone masts are contentious — people using mobiles want a good signal but concerns arise when a mast is due to be sited nearby. There are constraints in the planning process — a really good concise summary can be found on Poole's website (http://www.poole.gov.uk/planning-and-buildings/planning/telecommunication-masts/)
The public benches and seats around the village have been assessed and are due to be re-decorated, and where necessary repaired, in the coming months. Similarly, equipment and surfaces in the Play Area have recently been repaired or renewed.
It was decided to amend the notice in the village Car Park to include a request that vehicles should not be parked for long, continuous periods. This is to ensure that the Car Park can meet its primary aim of providing off-road spaces for temporary situations such as events in the village hall or chapel.
It is now over a year since a plea was made to dog walkers to ensure that no dog waste is left on the playing fields at Butt Close, and for dogs to be closely supervised. After some initially encouraging signs of improvement, there have been several incidents this summer of the waste problem returning and one report of a child being "nipped" on the hand by a dog which was not on a lead. The Council will need to consider if it is now time to require dogs to be kept on leads while on Butt Close.
The first stage will be an agenda item in October to decide whether to take this forward to full consultation and if so, how that will be organised. Public interest will be high, and anyone who wishes to comment in the first instance can e-mail the Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Council has received a request to supply a Christmas Tree for the festival which is planned at St. Peter's Church in early December. While the Council felt that it could not justify spending public money for this particular fund-raising purpose, it hopes that other organisations will support the festival and that it will be a great success.
The next meeting will be on Monday 2nd October at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report — July 3rd
In public comment, County Councillor Purdue-Horan referred to several consultation issues relating to highways in the parish, and sought the views of the PC. The PC confirmed its support for making Trent Lane one-way only near to its junction with the A6097 (towards the village only), which is likely to be subject to a one-year experimental order from March 2018. It also welcomed the news that new signage is being planned at the junction between Butt Lane and the old A46, to make the junction more visible at night, also by March 2018, and also measures to highlight the sharp bend on Kirk Hill for traffic coming from the traffic lights towards the village.
It was noted that a large group of travellers's vehicles had stopped briefly on the Butt Lane by-way, before moving on to a field in Lowdham. NCC is consulting about a change to the status of this part of the by-way to bridleway so that some form of restriction can be placed there. The PC has been asking for agricultural gates, to tackle this type of issue and fly-tipping etc.
The PC congratulated the Horticultural Society for the excellent Village Show this year, for which the weather was very kind. It was clear that a very large number of people had attended and had a great time.
It was noted that the Feast Sunday service, which takes place on the same weekend as the Village Show, had a reduced attendance. There is an act of remembrance at the war memorial during this service, where the roads are closed for a brief period so that the uniformed organisations can parade to the memorial and a period of silence can be held.
In the Best Kept Village competition, East Bridgford was selected for the second round of judging, which is a short-list of four villages in the same size-category. This judging was due to take place in the first 3 weeks of July.
The Council has learned that David Maddison is retiring from his post as Head Teacher of St. Peter'ss Academy after many years of distinguished service. Apart from his service on behalf of the children of the parish, he has also contributed to other activities in the village, not least the Village Show. The Council thanks him for his service, and wishes him every happiness in his retirement.
The next meeting will be on Monday 7th August at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report — June 5th 2017
County Councillor Purdue-Horan was welcomed to the meeting and congratulated on his recent election to the new Bingham East ward, of which East Bridgford is now part.
During public comment, a resident on Kneeton Road raised concerns about a revised planning application for the site which was formerly the car park, grounds and outbuildings of the Reindeer Inn. During the discussion which followed, the PC decided to object to the application on a number of grounds. The most recent version of the RBC planning web site allows people to view relevant documents and the responses made.
The recent vacancy on the PC was filled at the meeting when Mrs. Gill Stevens was duly co-opted on to the Council, and welcomed as she took her seat at the table.
As part of the preparation for the Best Kept Village competition, a 'clean-up' took place on the morning of Saturday 20th May. A group of Scouts and Parish Councillors completed a number of tasks, including litter-picking, cleaning of the pillar box and signs, weeding the block paving at the junction of Haycroft Way and clearing areas of the car park. The PC is very grateful to the Scouts and their leaders for this contribution to our community.
The PC has decided to adopt a policy about flying Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS, including drones and model aircraft) on land owned or leased by the PC. The aim of the policy is to ensure that the safety, enjoyment and privacy of people who are on such land, or who work or reside on neighbouring land, are not adversely affected by UAS. Accordingly, it was resolved that no UAS may be used on or over land owned or leased by the PC, in particular Butt Close where notices to this effect will be posted in due course. There may be a rare situation where the PC will consider a request from a professional operator to use a UAS, subject to very stringent conditions, the details of which are set out in the policy which is publicised on the village website.
It was reported that the draft Local Minerals Plan, which was due to be 'examined' in July has now been withdrawn and reviewed in the light of new data about the demand for aggregates which has become available. This was the Plan which considered the extraction of sand and gravel from Shelford West. The PC was opposed to this scheme for a number of reasons, not least the impact on the A6097 traffic, and it is to be hoped that the outcome of the review comes to a different conclusion about this scheme.
Midlands Rural Housing (MRH) is considering whether there could be another affordable homes scheme in the village. The first such scheme was the small development at Foster's Close, and, in the first instance, MRH is investigating if suitable land would be available near there for a similar development.
First brief readings of the results of the traffic survey and other analyses of the impact of the new A46 seem to support the view that traffic through the village has increased at peak times in particular, with a number of vehicles also using Trent Lane to by-pass the traffic lights. Notts CC Highways are consulting on a scheme to make a section of Trent Lane from its junction with the A6097 one way only (towards the village) and, subject to this process, this would be implemented in the spring of 2018. This scheme has the support of the PC.
The PC supported an application to divert a section of footpath 40 at Topfield Farm.
The next meeting will be on Monday 3rd July at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report - May 8th 2017
During public comment, a resident raised issues about the leases for the Sports Club and its constituent individual clubs. In the ensuing discussion, it was reported that the lease for Butt Close has been delayed while the processes for transfer of ownership from Nottinghamshire County Council to the PC are completed. In the meantime, it was noted that St. Peter's Academy is now a full member of the Sports Club and the PC congratulated the Friends of St. Peter's organisation for their successful Zorb football charity event which took place on Butt Close in early May.
While we await the results of the survey of traffic on roads affected by the building of the new A46 which has been undertaken on behalf of the Highways Agency towards the end of March, we have received notification of a further analysis which is being carried out into the effects of the A46 project. Details will be put on the village website, and individuals will be able to respond if they wish either directly or to the PC which will discuss its response in a future meeting.
Problems with hedges projecting onto footpaths and pavements are recurring. Residents and land owners are respectfully reminded that it is not sufficient to trim hedges tidily if they still project beyond the boundary of the pavement edge or restrict the width of a footpath. They regularly need substantial pruning back to the correct line.
The PC has decided to re-enter the Nottinghamshire Best Kept Village competition run by CPRE. Judging will take place in the summer, starting from June 5th. The PC is considering how to prepare for this, including a 'clean-up' on the morning of Saturday 20th May. The Car Park will also receive a further 'top dressing' of crushed stone. The PC is very grateful to Tony Beresford for re-painting the telephone box, which it owns and which is used as a book exchange and source of power to the defibrillator. Residents are asked to think about how they may help with this at their own properties, putting yourselves in the place of the judges and thinking how you might be able to influence them positively, for example with hanging baskets, etc.
At the Horticultural Society's request, the PC formally approved the use of Butt Close for the annual village show and wished them every success for the event.
The next meeting will be on Monday 5th June at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
East Bridgford Parish Council
Annual Parish Meeting - 20th April 2017
Butt Close and the Pavilion
The rebuilding of the pavilion after the devastating fire was completed on schedule and formally handed-over on the 13th May 2016. A ceremony to recognise this was held later when it was formally
re-opened by County Councillor Kay Cutts (see below). The whole process required a significant amount of hard work and consultation by all concerned to ensure that the pavilion was brought back into use as soon as possible, and it was another example of the depth of expertise and experience available in our community and the willingness of people to go the extra mile when needed. Some snagging issues have arisen over the last 9 months or so but these have been resolved.
Since then, a significant amount of work has been done negotiating new lease arrangements with the Sports Club for the pavilion, bowls green, tennis courts and Butt Close itself. As part of this, a public meeting was held to discuss use of the pavilion. Part of the way through this process, however, it became known that Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) was prepared to transfer ownership of Butt Close to the Parish Council (PC), subject to a number of conditions mainly relating to protecting its use as playing fields, especially for St. Peter's Academy. At the time of writing, formal consent is awaited from the Government's Department For Education for this to go ahead. The whole process has required input from the PC's solicitors with consequential costs (see also the item about precept below).
Two planned projects, Improved Access to Cuttle Hill and the Trim Trail on Butt Close were set aside in 2015-16 because of the financial uncertainties arising from the pavilion fire. The former had attracted time-limited grant aid which was forfeited, but, although the scheme was on the reserve list for grant funding in 2016-17, this has not been forthcoming. The Trim Trail however did secure funding and the equipment was installed near the zip wire and skateboard ramp following widespread consultation about the types of machine and where they should be sited. The Council is grateful to Cllr. Atkins for seeing this project through to its fruition.
Traffic and Parking issues
Concern has arisen about the number of vehicles passing through the village, and their speed. Representations have been made to the NCC Highways Department, and the results of Highways Agency surveys of traffic patterns consequent upon the opening of the new A46, which have taken place in March of this year, are awaited to determine the extent of the problems. In the meantime, some Councillors have been trained to use the new speed-monitoring equipment which can be loaned from the police.
Parking is still an issue around certain areas, especially near the Academy at the start and end of the school day. Consideration by NCC Highways of some restrictions to parking near to the crossroads of Trent Lane, Kirk Hill, Main Street and Kneeton Road has been requested because of the visibility problems, especially for vehicles emerging from Trent Lane, and dangers from vehicles needing to use the 'wrong' side of the road near the junction.
Further problems with dog mess were reported last summer, especially on Butt Close. An article was placed in the magazine to explain why owners and dog-walkers need to ensure that this is cleared up, and what may happen if the problem persists. If reports of over-flowing dog bins are any indicator, this situation may be improving, and hopefully this improvement will continue. It will help if all dog walkers are vigilant and encourage others to be the same, if restrictions are to be avoided.
Planning applications, including tree works
At the time of writing, the publication of a further Local Plan consultation by Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) has been launched, with a public information evening arranged by RBC at the Village Hall. The consultation for East Bridgford focuses on a number of sites in the green belt which may be considered for development in the future. The Council has submitted a formal response which was agreed at a special extra meeting of the Council and it is hoped that many residents will have too. Copies of the PC's response can be seen on the village website.
Over the year, there have been the usual number and variety of planning applications which the PC has needed to consider as a statutory consultee and the PC is fortunate to have the expertise and experience of architects amongst its ranks to call upon, as well as the support of the local RBC ward Councillor, Nigel Lawrence, who attends as many PC meetings as possible.
A new survey of trees on parish-owned or leased land has been commissioned to meet the Council's obligations under its Tree Policy. This will form the basis of a management plan for the trees in question.
Support to other organisations
Small grants were made to other organisations during the year, including the following:
St. Peter's Academy, for the DARE project.
The Parish Magazine, towards printing costs, which, together with the East Bridgford website, continues to provide an invaluable service to residents and visitors
A new Donations Policy is now in place, details of which are available on the website.
The PC also purchased some 'Road Ahead Closed' signs so that the Horticultural Society could arrange for roads to be closed for the parade to Butt Close prior to the annual Village Show. These have also been used by the Scouts so that parades to the war memorial for Remembrance events can take place again.
Unfortunately, after a number of years with either no increase or increases of less than 2%, it has become necessary to increase the precept for 2017-18 by a significant amount. One area where costs have risen dramatically is legal services. Over the past year, the PC has needed to secure an existing asset, prepare to extend its ownership of assets to include Butt Close, and formulate long-leases to the Sports Club. Another area of expenditure which is rising rapidly is the maintenance of the Play Area. Some of this expenditure is related to items which the PC believes should have lasted longer before needing repair or replacement and this is being taken up with the contractor. However, the use of the Play Area needs to be as safe as possible, so if closing certain pieces of equipment is to be avoided, the repairs need to be done.
Finally, the past two years have been particularly busy ones, for both Councillors and Officers, who nevertheless give freely of their time and goodwill to try and ensure that our village continues to be a place where people want to live. Not only have the major issues mentioned above needed dealing with, but all the small but nonetheless important issues (especially for nearby residents). Examples include responding to consultation about gravel extraction at Shelford, monitoring waste spreading on farmland on Kneeton Road, installing & maintaining memorial seats, weekly monitoring of the Play Area, negotiating with the Medical Centre about parking during building works, reporting fly-tipping, liaising with RBC about a travellers' camp off Butt Lane, occasional cleaning & maintenance of information boards, the defibrillator and the telephone box, managing the allotments on Butt Lane and dealing with numerous concerns raised by residents. However, notwithstanding the enormous fund of goodwill, the Council has a responsibility to ensure that its structure is such that it can meet its responsibilities to the community and its employees. Hence, the PC decided to appoint a Minuting Secretary to enhance the capacity of the team of Officers. The Council also recognises the valued contribution of the internal auditor, Alan Hopwood.
Following the resignation of Tanya Hartfield, an election to fill the vacancy was held and Michael Verner was duly elected. More recently, Suda Sharma has also tendered her resignation and a replacement will need to be co-opted. The Council has extended its thanks to both Tanya and Suda for their service. The Community Plan group is working on a replacement for the existing Parish Plan from 2003, which itself was a successful and effective document, and the results of the latest village appraisal by questionnaire organised by the group have recently been published. The PC looks forward to the creation of the Community Plan following work done by the various task groups now being set up to progress it and in due course helping to implement any improvements which are identified.
Following protracted negotiations, the PC has secured Springdale Wood for the parish on a very long lease. This will mean that the Friends of Springdale Wood, who do so much to maintain the wood so that it can be enjoyed by everyone, can implement the management plan agreed with the PC to ensure that the this continues as the wood matures.
A very successful beacon-lighting and fireworks display was held for the Queen's 90th Birthday Celebrations on Butt Close on the night of last year's Annual Meeting. Consequently, the St. Peter's school PTA, the Friends of St. Peter's Academy, asked for permission to hold a similar event in November, close to Bonfire Night. This was granted and the experience from the first display enabled advice to be given about risk-assessment etc. The event was so successful that the Friends intend to hold another fireworks display around Bonfire Night this year.
Garth Powell Memorial
The new information board sited in the Car Park as a memorial to Garth Powell, the long-standing Headmaster of St. Peter's and Chairman of the Parish Council, was formally unveiled by Alison Powell last summer. It displays a poster and contains some flyers about landmarks around the village for visitors and walkers produced by the History Group and the project was funded by Alison Powell.
County Councillor Kay Cutts
The Council has been fortunate over the years for the continued valuable support of both the Rushcliffe Borough Councillor, Nigel Lawrence, and the Nottinghamshire County Councillor, Kay Cutts. Kay has been the County Councillor for the Radcliffe-on-Trent ward, which has included East Bridgford, for many years. During that time, she has attended most of our Parish Council meetings, and has offered her help and guidance on many occasions. However, with effect from the elections to be held in May this year, boundary changes mean that East Bridgford will be in a new County Council ward, Bingham East. Hence, whatever happens in the election, Kay will no longer be our County Councillor, so we extend our most grateful thanks to her for her valued support and our very best wishes for the future.
Parish Council Meeting Report - April 3rd 2017
In public comment, a resident attended to alert the Council to a spate of burglaries and attempted burglaries around the village. By an alarming coincidence, he had come across one such incident only moments earlier at the junction of College Street and Straws Lane. The suspects were middle aged and drove off in a silver Ford. It appears the pattern is that they will attempt rapid entry, in search of keys and portable valuables. Residents are urged to secure their property at all times.
The consultation on the RBC Local Plan Part 2 ended on March 31st. The Council's response was considered at a special meeting of the PC on the 27th March, and submitted before the deadline. There are three response documents which have been placed on the village website for residents to view.
In planning, it was noted that the significant development at the garden centre has begun. A revised planning proposal for a veterinary centre in the building near the garden centre has been submitted.
The Council resolved to order more Footpath leaflets to replenish stock and also to contribute to the cost of publishing the parish magazine.
Further maintenance work has been approved to the Play Area once the field is firm enough for vehicle access. Issues related to the condition of some of the equipment are being pursued with the contractors.
A survey of traffic on roads affected by the building of the new A46 has been undertaken on behalf of the Highways Agency towards the end of March. It should provide evidence about whether and to what extent traffic through East Bridgford has changed as a result. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there has been an increase in vehicles using Main Street to avoid queues on the A6097 at the traffic lights but it will be useful to have quantitative evidence when that is available
A request for a dog bin on Lammas Lane was received. The site will be subject to a visit by the dog warden who may recommend a dog bin be installed by RBC. The PC decided to wait and see what the outcome of that visit is.
There is a vacancy for a Parish Councillor and the procedure for
co-option was agreed. This is publicised on the village notice boards or you may wish to contact the Parish Clerk for further information:
Jill Barlow - tel 01949 861791 or email email@example.com.
Finally, the Council believes it may be the right time to re-enter the Nottinghamshire Best Kept Village competition run by CPRE. Further details will follow in a later report.
The next meeting will be on Monday 8th May at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report - March 6th 2017
As a result of changes in accommodation at Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC), a number of artworks have been offered to communities in the borough. A winter-themed picture of the church from Kirk Hill corner was presented to the Chairman by Borough Councillor Nigel Lawrence at the meeting. The Parish Council (PC) agreed to make a donation to the RBC Mayor's Charity.
In public comment, a member of the Tennis Club attended to introduce the plans for the pavilion extension and to discuss the next stages in the process of applying for grant funds to build it. The PC accepted the outline design and expressed its support for the project.
Committee members of the Friends of St. Peter's Academy also attended to formally ask for permission to use Butt Close for an event to raise funds for a charity which supports families with children who have conditions which will shorten their lives. The Academy is now a member of the Sports Club (SC) but the proposed lease of Butt Close to the SC is not yet complete, which is why the PC still needs to give formal permission in cases like this. The PC supported this event, subject to the usual conditions involving risk assessments and adequate insurance.
At relatively short notice, a major consultation on the RBC Local Plan was announced which relates to housing. In common with several other rural settlements in the area, a number of sites in the green belt around East Bridgford are identified as potential sites for housing. A public meeting was to be held on 17th March and responses needed to be returned to RBC by 31st March. Following consideration of guidance related to declarations of interest, it was agreed in the first instance to delegate this to a small group of councillors which would produce a draft response for consideration by a special meeting of the PC on the 27th March.
In planning, the PC supported a pre-application proposal for a new CTIL base station near Springdale Farm. Poor availability of a mobile phone signal in the parish is an issue highlighted in several surveys, and this ought to result in significant improvement for some services.
Unfortunately, it was not possible to use the new Community Road Safety equipment to monitor speeds along Main Street as planned for February because of an equipment failure at short notice. A new date will be arranged in due course and in the meantime, it was requested that the police organise a check of their own in one of the time periods when through traffic is at a peak.
The PC agreed to contribute towards the cost of repairing potholes and water damage on the track and bridleway leading from Trent Lane to the marina.
A survey of trees on PC- owned or leased land has been carried out by a qualified consultant. When the report has been submitted, a new management plan will be adopted.
Storm Doris did cause some damage to a small tree on Butt Close which affected a neighbour, and this is being addressed.
The next meeting will be on Monday 3rd April at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report - January 9th 2017
Members of the Horticultural Society Committee attended and during public comment spoke about their proposal to contribute to the cost of repairing the damage to Butt Close caused by the fire engine at last year's Show. They have already contributed to the cricket club for the additional expense it suffered as a result. The Council accepted this offer and wished them good fortune with this year's Show. Also in public comment, a resident explained problems related to water draining on to his property and a potential solution which will be investigated.
A request by the Council for Notts Highways to install agricultural gates on the by-way leading from the over-bridge on Butt Lane to cut down fly tipping and anti-social behaviour has received some support from the team which manages footpaths and bridleways. It is hoped that some progress may be made with this over the coming months, especially since there is more evidence of fly tipping getting worse in this area, and also along Occupation Lane.
It was agreed that the Community Plan group could use the village website to publish its findings, sub-group meetings etc. It is currently in the process of setting up the sub-groups to look at individual areas identified in the survey, and volunteers to help with those should contact the group.
An issue with the use of Butt Close as a school playing field has introduced a delay into the process of the Council acquiring it from the County Council while formal permission is sought from the Department For Education in London. In the meantime, following some intense activity over Christmas, a lease over the land owned by the Parish already which covers the bowls green, tennis courts and pavilion is being put in place so that an application for grants to the Sports Club towards building an extension to the pavilion can be made. This extension, if it goes ahead, will improve provision in several ways, and it is hoped, for example, that table tennis could be offered when completed.
A sum of £500 is being allocated to the Friends of Springdale Wood in the first instance for management of the wood which is being leased by the Woodland Trust to the Parish Council over such a long period as to be regarded as virtually permanent.
In setting the precept for the next financial year, the Council has needed to consider the demands of taking over significant assets for the community i.e. Butt Close and Springdale Wood, together with the trend where the funding of tasks previously done by the county and borough is falling on the parish, if they are to be done at all. The play area costs are also starting to mount as the equipment begins to age. Good practice requires ever more attention to areas such as tree management, health & safety, and legal issues, and so the Council has enhanced its team of Officers to increase capacity. Hence, this year the precept set will involve a 6.2% increase. For a band D property, this would be £45.69, an increase of £2.66 over last year.
The problem with relation to poor visibility of the white lines along the edges of the A6097 in the section between the traffic lights and the new A46 island, reported last month by a resident, has been acknowledged by Notts Highways, and action to correct it is planned for the spring/summer.
The Council was saddened to receive the resignation of Suda Sharma and thanked her for her willingness to serve the community with energy and enthusiasm. The vacancy has been notified to Rushcliffe which will initiate the process of electing a replacement. The Council welcomed Jess Molyneaux as the new Minute Secretary, a post which has been created in response to the extra workload placed on the Council's Officers by the very significant changes taking place both currently and in the future.
Some damage has been reported to one of the bookcases in the old Telephone Box. Tony Beresford, who lives close to the Box, has kindly repaired it and he regularly cleans it out and tidies the books. The Council is very grateful for this community spirit which is typical of many others and East Bridgford is very fortunate in this respect. At the time of writing the Box has too many books, with many on the ground. These are cleared from time to time but it would be helpful if leaving quantities of books on the floor could be avoided, please.
The next meeting will be on Monday 6th February at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report - December 5th 2016
A resident attended to raise a problem with relation to poor visibility of the white lines along the edges of the A6097 in the section between the traffic lights and the new A46 island. She had used the online reporting facility but Notts Highways has said to her that an inspector had found no defects. At least one Councillor had noted he same problem so it was decided to write in support of further investigation, particularly during hours of darkness, and appropriate action.
On other traffic matters, some progress was reported in that Notts Highways has recognised visibility problems at night at the junction at the end of Butt Lane, and will be looking at suitable measures to improve things. The Parish Council has also had a detailed response about Trent Lane, and more work is being done to evaluate and consult further about a one-way scheme at the junction with the A6097.
Similarly, the issues around trying to reduce the dangers of the corner coming into the village from the traffic lights along Kirk Hill are also being investigated by Notts Highways, for example to see if signage can be improved.
Also in public comment, a resident returned to report that, further to his article in the parish magazine, he wished to create a community sports club to widen use of the field and the Pavilion. This included giving details of specific examples he personally would like to see. In subsequent discussion, the point was made that the management of the Pavilion was in the hands of the existing sports club.
Following action to post notices on vehicles being left for long periods in the car park, many have been removed, freeing up the spaces for residents and visitors to use. Further monitoring will take place in the coming months, particularly for untaxed vehicles, to see whether further action is needed.
Some emergency repairs are needed to equipment on the play area, primarily related to a number of logs which have started to rot. The Parish Council is concerned that the logs have failed within a much shorter time period than might be expected, and will be pursuing the issue with the original contractor.
Councillors agreed to take the opportunity created by a vacancy arising on the allotments to improve the car parking capacity down there.
A request to support the DARE programme at St. Peter’s Academy has been received, and the Council decided to give a donation of £500 towards this valued scheme, as it has previously done for several years now.
It was decided to monitor the situation with respect to dog fouling on Butt Close to see if the recent highlighting of this problem, and the appeal for improvement in the December magazine and elsewhere, have any effect. The Council is aware that this issue has also featured strongly in the questionnaire circulated by the Community Plan group. A short presentation of the main findings of this survey was given before the start of the Council meeting, prior to the full presentation being given to villagers on the following Wednesday. When the action groups formed to evaluate each aspect of the Community Plan have completed their work, the findings will be a very valuable resource for the Council and others to use in the future.
The next meeting will be on Monday 9th January at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report - November 7th 2016
In public comment, a resident attended again to further his argument that community facilities such as the Pavilion and playing fields should be made more widely available, and that this was not likely to happen if leases were granted which put the management of these facilities in the hands of the existing Sports Club. After consideration of this and other matters, the Council authorised the Chairman to sign the lease prepared by its solicitors.
The PC was pleased that the fireworks event organised by the Friends of St. Peter’s Academy had gone so well, and extended its congratulations and appreciation to all those who had been involved.
Councillors expressed their appreciation of the Trim Trail equipment which has been installed on Butt Close near the wire fencing, and thanked Cllr. Atkins for his efforts in bringing the project to fruition.
Although the Dog Warden was unable to attend the meeting, he has provided some advice which Councillors have now considered. It was decided to have one more concerted attempt to educate the remaining few owners who will not clear up after their dogs, starting with a brief article accompanying this report.
A problem has arisen with some cars being left in the village car park for extended periods of time. Investigations show that at least two of these are untaxed, with one having no MOT. It is suspected that some or all of these cars may be in the process of being sold. The problem arises because the number of spaces available to other users is significantly reduced, causing inconvenience to people using the village hall, Methodist chapel and other amenities, especially the elderly or those with restricted mobility. Hence, the PC will be seeking to ensure these vehicles are moved as soon as possible.
It was resolved to make another effort to convince Notts CC Highways that a significant amount of traffic passes through the village to get on to the A6097 via Trent Lane, especially during the morning rush hour and that turning on to the A6097 from the end of Trent Lane is very hazardous. The PC will be requesting that this junction, and at least 80m of Trent Lane, should be made one-way only (ie traffic turning in to Trent Lane only).
On separate roads issues, it has been reported that there have been several incidents where vehicles travelling from the traffic lights towards Kirk Hill have left the road on the corner, including some collisions with the large wall. It was decided to approach Highways to see if improved signage and/or safety barriers may be provided. In addition, a request is being made for more reflective posts at the junction of Butt Lane with the old A46 road.
The PC thanked the WI for its work in replanting and maintaining the triangular ‘island’ on Cherry Holt Lane. Projects like these have a very positive impact on the appearance of the village as a whole.
The next meeting will be on Monday 5th December at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report - October 3rd 2016
In public comment a resident asked the Council to reconsider the proposed leasing arrangements of Butt Close and the pavilion to the Sports Club, and identified a number of issues which he felt were not being addressed. An official of the Sports Club pointed out that the Sports Club and its volunteers had successfully run the facilities for many years. Following these comments, Councillors considered the issue and agreed that the latest versions of the lease documents could be sent to the Council’s solicitors for their consideration.
It was reported that the proposed Local Minerals Plan, which includes a scheme to extract gravel and sand from Shelford West, had passed the latest Committee stage at Notts County Council (NCC) and would now go to the full Council where a decision will be made whether to formally adopt the Plan.
At the time of writing, the Trim Trail equipment was scheduled to be installed on Butt Close near the wire fencing in the first week of October.
Several disturbing examples of children being contaminated by dog excrement while involved in school or other activities on Butt Close have been reported. It is clear that a number of owners or walkers, hopefully a small minority, will not clear up after their dogs. The formal position is that Butt Close is a playing field with some public footpaths around the edges. The Council recognises that it must do all it can to protect children and other users of the playing field from the health risks from dog excrement. Hence, there will be an agenda item at the next meeting, to which the Dog Warden will be invited, where various options will be explored.
A local resident has copied the Parish Council into e-mails to the Highways Department of NCC, where he argues that a significant amount of traffic passes through the village to get on to the A6097 via Trent Lane, especially during the morning rush hour. The Council agrees with him that turning on to the A6097 from the end of Trent Lane is hazardous and that making that junction one-way only (ie traffic turning in to Trent Lane only) would alleviate matters and probably reduce traffic through the village. However, this has been put forward before, when the idea was rejected by NCC Highways, so if other residents agree with the idea they should support it by writing to NCC Highways.
After a number of uneventful years at its current site, the defibrillator was called upon twice in the same afternoon recently. Unfortunately, due to a computer system problem at EMAS, the defibrillator was already out in use when called for on the second occasion. In the end, neither emergency required the actual use of the defibrillator, and it is now back in its cabinet. The PC will ask if the defibrillator at the Medical Centre is suitable and can be made available for public use so that two defibrillators are available out of normal hours. In the meantime, it is worth reminding everyone that the defibrillator can be accessed only after ringing 999 and receiving instructions from the emergency operator or paramedics.
Two sites for Community Road Safety monitoring have been agreed with the police so that speeds of vehicles entering the village from Butt Lane and Kneeton Road can be checked.
The next meeting will be on Monday 7th November at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – September 5th 2016
The Parish Council has considered appointing a Minuting Secretary, to meet the expanding workloads of the Clerk and Deputy Clerk. During public comment, a resident queried why the position was being advertised, which would involve extra administrative cost to the Council. He suggested changes to the system for recording minutes which he maintained would speed up communication for both Councillors and residents. Currently, minutes are produced in draft form based on notes taken in the meeting and published only when ratified by the next full PC meeting. It was decided to investigate what recommended practice existed elsewhere.
It was reported that the Community Plan Group has received the village survey documents and these will be analysed, and a report compiled, in due course.
Councillors have agreed which contractor will provide for the installation of equipment for the Trim Trail project. There will be a final consultation about the exact site for each piece of equipment so that a decision can be made in October.
Nottinghamshire County Council has agreed that ownership of Butt Close Playing Field should be transferred to the Parish Council, subject to various conditions and covenants which currently apply. This will secure the future of Butt Close, since it is currently leased by the PC on successive 25 year periods. It will take a little time for the Council’s solicitors to ensure that the legal agreements are put in place, but this will be a major asset for the village.
The Council was saddened to learn that the Women’s Section of the British Legion in East Bridgford is to be disbanded. It has been in place since 1931, and has taken part in the two Remembrance services at the Memorial each year, as well as organising a very popular lunch in August. It is understood that a nationally-imposed change has brought this about, and other Women’s Branches have followed suit, such that the issue has featured in national newspapers.
An issue has arisen with some poles in the Play Area equipment which have become rotten. This is being taken up with the contractors for the scheme, since the time which has elapsed seems very short for this to occur.
Under the Council’s Tree Policy, the trees on Parish-owned or leased land need to be monitored and managed, and, since it is now 3 years since the last formal survey, qualified consultants will again be contracted to carry out a new thorough survey. These surveys form the basis of a management plan to ensure as far as possible that the trees are safe and in good condition. Where it has been necessary to remove dangerous trees, replacements have been planted.
Many residents have noticed the existence of the Travellers’ Camp on the by-way next to the A46 over-bridge on Butt Lane. This was reported to RBC within 24 hours, and they have established procedures for dealing with this type of event. At the time of writing, two visits by RBC officials have taken place and the police have organised a patrol plan. The land concerned is the responsibility of Nottinghamshire County Council, which will need to resolve the matter. (Update: on Wednesday 7th September, the travellers moved on).
It was reported that Newark First Responders have recruited two East Bridgford residents to train as First Responders. These volunteers can respond where there might be a delay in an ambulance reaching a rural community such as ours. The Council is pleased to support this scheme.
The next meeting will be on Monday 3rd October at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – July 4th 2016
Despite the heavy rainfall, the Village Show was very successful with only a few events having to be curtailed, and the Chairman congratulated the Show Committee in his report for organising it under such difficult circumstances.
There was a problem during the morning’s preparations when a demonstration fire engine became bogged down near the pavilion, causing deep ruts in the cricket outfield. Members of the cricket club attended and, in public comment, expressed their fears for the effect of this on their season, what could be done to sort it out, and how such an event could be prevented in the future.
Horticultural Society Committee members were also present and expressed their apologies, noting that this was the first such problem for many years.
The Council had arranged a site meeting that day, and agreed to underwrite works to be carried out as soon as possible to top dress the field affected.
It was reported that County Councillor Kay Cutts had formally re-opened the pavilion during a short ceremony with many of the people who had worked on the project.
During public comment, there were further representations about whether the pavilion could be made more widely available for the community.
A public meeting in September was suggested, and this will be considered further at the next meeting in August.
A resident of a street near the Medical Centre spoke about the severe congestion caused by cars parked in the vicinity because of the restricted space in the Centre’s car park during the building works. She had personally witnessed an incident where a child was very nearly involved in a collision, and it was very dangerous when trying to emerge from junctions where cars were often double parked.
The Chairman reported that he had requested that the Medical Centre try some measures to alleviate the problem, and some cones had been placed opposite the junction with Cross Lane as a result. He agreed to approach them again, in particular to ask them to persuade staff working there to park further away.
Yellow lines were also suggested, and it could be possible to enforce better parking if these were in place, but it was pointed out that the Council has been pushing for these in other areas, such as the crossroads at Trent Lane, for several years and it was very difficult to persuade Nottinghamshire County Council to provide them.
Parking is one of the important issues in the Community Plan, and it was reported that the questionnaire had been issued to households in June. The results of this will hopefully provide evidence to take this forward, together with other issues identified by the survey.
The Trim Trail project had been put on hold while the cost implications of the pavilion fire were evaluated. Consultation has taken place about where to site this, but the preferred area, near the sub-station, is heavily used during the summer for parking at cricket and bowls matches and for events during the Village Show. Hence, it was decided the best venue was in the area behind the wire fence screen by the skateboard ramp and towards the trees there, which would need some crown lifting and trimming as a result. Works have been ordered to repair the ‘Tangle Logs’ climbing frame and to provide more sand for the Play Area.
The Council agreed to provide a grant to the WI to support re-planting of the ‘triangle’ at the junction of College Street, Lammas Lane and Cherry Holt Lane.
Following reports of the danger of cars skidding in icy conditions down the steep slope of Haycroft Way to the junction with Main Street, a Salt Grit bin, which was purchased by the Parish Council, has now been installed.
The next meeting will be on Monday 1st August at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – June 6th 2016
Following the election as a result of a vacancy arising on the Council, Michael Verner was duly elected as Parish Councillor and was welcomed to his first Council meeting.
In public comment, there were further representations about a proposed Bonfire Night Fireworks event and more activities for young people related to Butt Close and the pavilion.
In addition, two members of the Tennis Club attended to support the agenda item about the extension to the pavilion. It was agreed to support this project, subject to the conditions included in the scheme as presented to the Council and detailed plans required for a planning application.
The pavilion was duly handed over by the contractors on the 13th May as scheduled, and is now in use. It was agreed to have a brief formal ceremony to mark this, and County Councillor Kay Cutts, who was present, agreed to do this.
A date of Monday 27th June at 5.45pm was set to coincide with the annual President’s Cricket Match, traditionally held during Feast Week after the village show.
Although the fire was a devastating event, the process of reinstating the pavilion has illustrated the underlying strengths in our community and its organisations.
On broadband, some residents have received e-mails from BT informing them that the Exchange on Springdale Lane has been upgraded.
As a consequence, some ordinary broadband speeds have increased significantly. A small survey carried out subsequently appears to show that this effect declines rapidly with distance from the exchange. However, take-up of superfast packages, such as Infinity, is increasing, with users getting download speeds in excess of 35mbs. The programme of upgrading cabinets has been rolled out further than predicted which is probably as a result of commercial decisions based on take-up and local pressure.
A meeting with an officer from Nottinghamshire County Council Highways Dept. will take place to discuss yellow lines around the crossroads at Trent Lane/Kneeton Road/Main Street/Kirk Hill where visibility and congestion issues are causing safety concerns.
In relation to the speed of some vehicles through the village, training will take place in the use of new Community Speedwatch equipment. This will take place at 10.00am on Saturday 16th July, venue to be confirmed. If any volunteers wish to join Councillors at this training event, please contact the Clerk by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The concerns raised at the last meeting about police coverage in the parish were considered further, and representations will be made to the Commissioner in the coming weeks.
The next meeting will be on Monday 4th July at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
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