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 - Apr 3rd
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 - Mar 6th
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 - Jan 9th
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 - Dec 5th
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 - Nov 7th
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 - Oct 3rd
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 – Sept 5th
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
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
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
Parish Council Meeting Report – May 9th
In public comment, two representatives of the Tennis Club spoke about a proposal for a project to replace the wooden viewing lodge with an extension to the pavilion, which would improve provision for them and the Bowls Club.
The Council agreed to put this on the agenda for the June meeting. In the Council’s Annual Meeting prior to this, the Council had amended its Committee structure to accommodate changes in the lease with the Sports Club when they are introduced, and these changes will also include the pavilion.
A local resident also spoke to support his view that there should be more opportunities for young people to be involved in using the facilities of the pavilion. His wife had requested a copy of the Sports Club lease, and he reported that it is difficult to find contact details of the Sports Club Committee, other than phone numbers. The Council will approach the Sports Club about this. The original lease document and a copy of the planning permission decision letter have been published on the village website but a new lease is still in the process of being negotiated with the Sports Club.
The pavilion was due to be handed over after its renovation on the 13th May, and training has taken place about the new fire alarm system, CCTV and other matters prior to this. Cooperation and communication with surveyors, managers and contractors have been excellent throughout, with a tight focus on the detail and complexities of the project.
Tiffany Taylor, who will become Chair of St. Peter’s Academy PTA (Friends of St. Peter’s) in September, introduced herself to the Council. She said many families had attended the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration and had enjoyed the firework display so much that they wished that a way could be found to reinstate the Bonfire Night fireworks event which used to take place in the village. She was asking advice about how this might be achieved and used, for example, as a fund-raising event. The Council suggested she approach the Scouts who had organised similar events in the past, and the Deputy Clerk offered his help with risk assessments etc. The Council also took the opportunity to place on record its gratitude to Cllr. David Atkins for so ably organising the Celebration, the WI for hosting the Annual Parish Meeting which took place at the same time, the Deputy clerk for sorting out risk assessments & various permissions, and the team who helped prepare the field.
The Council agreed to purchase road signs to be used when road closures are necessary, for example during the parade to the Horticultural Show. It also agreed to continue to support the Parish Magazine by making a contribution towards its costs.
Concerns were raised about police coverage in the parish. Another reorganisation has meant there is now no specified police officer for the area and it was agreed that this should be considered more fully at the next meeting, which will be on Monday 6th June at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Apr 4th
In public comment, it was reported that the Horticultural Society was now finding it difficult to access ‘Road Closure’ signs for the parade to the village show and this was also the case for the Remembrance Day parade last November. They requested that the Parish Council (PC) consider purchasing a set of signs for future use, and it was agreed to put this on next month’s agenda.
The Tennis Club also introduced outline proposals to replace their viewing lodge and change the fencing around the area where it sits. The PC as the owner of the land said it was broadly in favour, subject to the full details of the scheme in due course and reassurances that the fence was consistent with the current tennis court fencing and any new gate met the requirements for easy exit from the pavilion in the event of fire.
A number of residents from Bridgford Court and Trent Lane expressed dismay that the tree works on Trent Lane were more drastic than they thought necessary, and had devastated a key feature of the village. It was agreed to write to the Highways Department to ask for more consultation in advance when such work is planned.
Two residents from Kneeton Road spoke about their objections to the plans to redevelop the site of the Reindeer Inn. In subsequent discussion, the PC decided to object to the application in its current form.
Finally, the PC was saddened to learn about a prolonged delay to funeral arrangements following the death of a long-term resident. The PC could not formally intervene but individual members agreed to do what they could to try and expedite matters.
The grit bin for Haycroft Way has been purchased and will be installed in the near future.
Work on the Pavilion following the fire is now at an advanced stage, and is still on target for completion by May 13th.
The Play Area on Butt Close will be getting more bark and replacement matting to improve the paths.
The Floral Displays and Best Kept Allotments competitions will take place and be judged during June or July again this year.
Parking problems persist, and now include cars parking very near to the crossroads junction near the church. It was agreed to request a site meeting with the Highways Department to investigate the issue.
It was reported that the Community Plan group will be circulating a questionnaire in June to coincide with the distribution of the parish magazine. This is a valuable opportunity for residents to identify any strengths or weaknesses in our community and the PC hopes that as many people respond to that as possible, since the Community Plan which will be created as a consequence will be a guide for the PC in making future decisions for the next decade or longer.
Nottinghamshire County Council is introducing a vehicle registration scheme for users of their recycling centres so that only residents in the County will be able to use them. Hence, if you intend to use a recycling centre for disposal of rubbish etc, you will need to create an account with NCC and then register your vehicle details. In the next few months, the operators of the recycling centres will begin to refuse entry to unregistered vehicles. The link to follow is:
The next meeting will be on Monday 9 th May at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Feb 1st
There was no public comment, but the Council considered previous issues related to traffic through the village, and decided to restart the Community Speedwatch initiative, which will require some training as new equipment has been introduced. The Council has noted the appearance of 20mph signs on the roads which run past the two footpath entrances to the school, and trust that motorists will adhere to this limit. A blue grit bin is being ordered for the Haycroft Way/Main Street junction, but the final siting will be subject to consultation with the residents.
An offer to distribute Welcome packs for new residents via the Parish Magazine network was gratefully received
The Parish Council will join with the Scouts and the WI plus any other volunteers to a local version of the national Clean for the Queen event on Saturday March 5th. The opportunity will also be taken to add more aggregate to the car park surface, on that same date if possible.
The Annual Parish Meeting has been fixed for Thursday 21st April. Since that was done, details have been released about some celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday, which falls on that day (the actual birthday, rather than the official one in June). There will be a national lighting of beacons as part of the celebrations, and the Parish Council is investigating if a gas-fired beacon can be obtained so that it can be lit following the APM.
A recycling company has recently been adding waste to a field on Kneeton Road. This has been checked and the firm had a licence from the Environment Agency because there was an ‘agricultural benefit’. The process was near to completion at the time of writing, and a request is being made to make good the verges near the site.
On Butt Close, the weather has made many grass surfaces very muddy. As it dries, it will be cut and then it should be rolled and spiked. The Play Area will have more bark spread where required when the field is accessible.
A Housing Needs Survey has been offered again. It is some time since the last one, which led eventually to the rural-exception development at Foster’s Close, and it was felt that this would be very useful, especially in the context of the Community Plan. At the same time, proposals are in hand at Rushcliffe Borough Council to take Foster’s Close out of the green belt as part of a tidying-up of the green belt boundary.
The Council is adopting a Donations Policy, which will be used to determine how village organisations can apply for funds from the Parish Council. This will be published on the village website.
There will be an ‘unveiling’ of the Garth Powell Memorial Notice Board, which is at the entrance of the Car Park, on the evening of Tuesday April 5th prior to the History Group meeting (further details, including the time, to follow). This will contain posters and leaflets devised by the History Group as a guide to walkers and other visitors to the village. The Board was designed by John Black and erected by Bill Marshall and Russell Hunt. It will be a fitting memorial to Garth Powell, the long-serving headmaster of St. Peter’s and Chairman of the Parish Council, and the Council is very grateful to his widow, Alison, for supporting & funding the scheme.
The next meeting will be on Monday 7th March at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – 11
During public comment, one resident of Haycroft Way requested a grit bin for the junction with Main Street, because it was not easy to stop vehicles going down Haycroft Way in icy conditions. Notts CC would not site one there as it did not meet their criteria. The Parish Council resolved to purchase a blue grit bin and sort out the best location for it, but it would be local residents who would need to spread the grit when needed.
Another resident asked about Welcome packs for new residents. These had been awaiting updated footpath leaflets after the A46 changes, and were now in stock, but the details of Parish Councillors now needed updating too. Some footpath leaflets are to be given to the resident concerned.
A proposal by another resident to Nottinghamshire Highways to prevent traffic, which seemed to use the village as a way of avoiding the traffic lights, from using Trent Lane to access the A6097 at Gunthorpe Bridge was discussed. The Council voted to support this by passing a motion asking for the section of Trent Lane from its junction with the A6097 northwards for about 100m to be one-way ie allowing access into the village only. This will be sent to the Highways Department, although previous requests of this nature have been turned down.
Problems for people who use mobility scooters on some paths have been reported, and the Council agreed to report the issues using the on-line facility provided by Notts County Council, which can be used for problems with roads, pavements, footpaths and street lights for example. This has been effective in sorting out street light issues recently, and any resident can use the system.
The Council will support an application for a grant to the Woodland Trust, being made by the Friends of Springdale Wood to enable them to be equipped to carry out tasks when the Parish Council become responsible for the management of the wood.
There has been a delay sorting out a replacement ‘finger post’ sign at the crossroads of Trent Lane, Kirk Hill, Main Street and Kneeton Road, following problems with the original quotation.
There is still concern about a proposal to close Butt Lane during the daytime while works are carried out to improve the footpath. The Council has objected strongly and indicated that it would be much better if temporary lights were in operation for 24 hours instead, but it seems that the regulations are such that closure may well be mandatory if and when the works go ahead.
An increase to the precept for 2016-17 of 2% was agreed, together with the main budget headings. House owners will find that their contribution is increased by greater than 2% as there has been some transition relief in the past to allow changes as to how the charges are calculated, which were introduced by central Government, to be smoothed out. The effect in real terms will be an increase of a couple of pounds per annum on the average Band D property. The Council is also considering adopting a Donations Policy to assist in making decisions in this area in the future.
A new notice board has been erected in the Car Park. This will be to display posters and stock leaflets about the village, designed by the History Group, for people visiting the village, especially for walks. This board will be a memorial for Garth Powell, the long-standing Headmaster of St. Peter’s and also Chairman of the Parish Council, and there will be an unveiling of a plaque later in the spring.
A request from the WI to consider supporting a “Clean for the Queen” event in April has been received, and there are indications that there may be further events this year relating to the Queen’s Birthday. These will be considered in more detail next month.
Pot holes have developed in the car park due to the exceptional weather and these will be addressed.
Reinstatement of the pavilion continues, and is currently ahead of schedule. Continuous liaison is taking place to try and ensure that there are no unnecessary delays.
The next meeting will be on Monday 1st February at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Dec 7th
Refurbishment of the pavilion on Butt Close began on November 16th as scheduled and at the time of writing, the roof trusses are already in place. When these are covered in felt, the building will be water-tight which will enable internal works to continue in winter weather.
During public comment, one resident spoke in support of their spouse who had written to the Council asking why it was not taking the opportunity to consult more widely about how the pavilion could be better used for the community as a whole. The Council discussed the advice it had received, including that the original planning permission in 1987 had a condition which states that the pavilion shall only be used in connection with sporting activities taking place on the adjoining playing field. It agreed to provide a copy of the existing lease to the resident who had requested it, and to place it on the village website.
The Council expressed its thanks to the Horticultural Society which has donated £1500 to the Parish Council to support the refurbishment of the pavilion. It was decided to use this to help pay for a number of improvements, such as additional electrical sockets and ‘light pipes’ to improve natural light in the building, which had already been discussed and agreed.
Negotiations for the Council to take a long lease over Springdale Wood from its owners, The Woodland Trust, have reached the point where solicitors are being instructed to finalise the lease and to register it, following which the Parish Council will be responsible for the management of the wood, in partnership with the Friends of Springdale Wood.
The Council has agreed final details of a replacement ‘finger post’ sign at the crossroads of Trent Lane, Kirk Hill, Main Street and Kneeton Road, which should be erected early in the New Year.
Information has been received that CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale organisation, has applied for the Royal Oak to be made an Asset of Community Value. Rushcliffe Borough Council will consider this, and, if granted, it means that, should the asset be put up for sale, it gives an opportunity for community groups to find ways to keep it serving the community.
In relation to the control of dogs, it was decided to monitor the effect of new laws which apply to this area, and any interventions by the Dog Warden service.
Works to improve the footpath along Butt Lane from Cross Lane towards the allotments were welcomed, but concern was expressed about the proposal to close the road during the works. An objection has been lodged, together with a request for temporary lights to be used instead.
A resident has also asked for support for a suggestion that the new footpath along the old A46 road towards the Margidunum island should be extended towards Bingham. It seems however, that resources are likely to go into linking Newton with Bingham by a new footbridge instead.
Final details of electoral boundary changes for County Councillor wards in this area have been received. East Bridgford will move from Radcliffe on Trent ward to a new Bingham East ward at the next election in 2017. The Parish Council was saddened by this news, since it has received great support from Kay Cutts, the County Councillor for Radcliffe on Trent, for many years, and it expressed its thanks and appreciation to Mrs. Cutts who was present at the meeting.
The next meeting will be on Monday 11th January at 7.30pm, preceded at 7.00pm by a meeting of the Executive Committee.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Nov 2nd
In public comment, Francis Meylan explained the arrangements needed for traffic management on Remembrance Sunday. The Council thanked Francis for taking on this task.
Two residents of Farm Close commented on a planning application, and a resident from Moss Close spoke about problems caused to people using the narrow footpaths leading to Butt Close by dogs which were not on leads, particularly mothers with young children going to and from school. She asked about whether there was a law about dogs being on leads in such situations, and if not, there should be. The Council is aware that the law(s) relating to owners’ responsibilities for dogs in their control has changed significantly this year, and there have been at least two circumstances where the dog warden has visited owners in the village to warn them about their responsibilities in situations where dogs not on leads have caused serious alarm, and the increased penalties which may now apply. The Council will investigate this issue further, but in the meantime its advice to owners is that the best way to ensure control in public places, especially where young children may be present, is to keep their dog on a lead.
Elsewhere in planning, the Council decided to support an application for a major development of the Garden Centre on the old A46 which would increase local job opportunities.
Refurbishment of the pavilion on Butt Close was reported as being due to begin on November 16th and it should be completed by early May. It has taken a significant effort by everyone involved to enable all the arrangements to be negotiated so that work can begin such that there is every chance that the pavilion should be in use again early next summer.
Negotiations for the Council to take a long lease over Springdale Wood from its owners, The Woodland Trust, are at an advanced stage. This should further facilitate the work of the Friends of Springdale Wood, the volunteers who give their time to ensure that the Wood develops in ways which increase its value to our community as an amenity.
The Council has decided to pay for a replacement ‘finger post’ sign at the crossroads of Trent Lane, Kirk Hill, Main Street and Kneeton Road. The old concrete post sign is very dilapidated, and will be replaced by a traditional design black-and-white hooped metal one.
Another application for funding from the Supporting Local Communities scheme to improve access to Cuttle Hill, the council-owned green space opposite St. Peter’s Academy, will be made for next year. This project was deferred as a result of the uncertainties arising from the pavilion fire, as was the Trim Trail equipment project, for which some grant funding will also be sought.
The footpath from Main Street towards the WI Hut has been re-surfaced by Notts County Council which has much improved it. A street light on this path which has been malfunctioning has been reported for action.
Residents who find that a street light is not working can use the well-designed on-line reporting facility on the Notts County Council Highways Department website to report it, and receive feedback on the action being taken.
The next meeting will be on Monday 7th December at 7.30pm, preceded at 7.00pm by a meeting of the Pavilion Fire sub-committee.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Oct 12th
In public comment, a member of the WI spoke about the work needed to protect the gutters of the WI Hut from accumulated leaves. The Council resolved to donate £125 towards the cost of this work. A request was also made for a commentary to accompany the financial figures recently published in the village magazine. It was agreed this was a good idea, but best done in conjunction with the Annual Parish Meeting, usually held in April.
Finally, the new Chair of the Horticultural Society, Rob Bendy, was introduced by the outgoing Chair, Sophie Brewill. He was congratulated and welcomed by the Council and both were thanked for their very considerable contributions to village life.
Another issue which has arisen concerns the impact of roadworks, in particular the closures of the Butt Lane overbridge which coincided with sewer works on Main Street, and how these can be better publicised. Notice of significant works is sent to the Parish Council by Notts Highways and this is placed on the website and village noticeboards.
It is accepted that not everyone will routinely look at these. In respect of the Butt Lane overbridge, this was part of a series of similar works along most bridges on the A46. Others seemed to have metal road signs by the bridges in question giving notice, but not at Butt Lane which could have helped somewhat.
There may be other circumstances where communication around the village may alert residents to problems such as these or possible emergencies and this issue will be considered.
Good news however about the ‘old’ pavement along Butt Lane, which is going to be widened to bring it more in line with the new section which was developed at the same time as the over bridge.
Elsewhere in the village, problems with pavements which are made narrow by expanding hedges or parked cars, or which are made uneven by repairs or by installing drop-kerbs, are causing difficulties for pedestrians, particularly those pushing wheelchairs or buggies.
The Council considered a report by its appointed surveyor detailing the four tenders which have been submitted for refurbishing the pavilion and resolved to appoint the contractor recommended by the surveyor. Work should begin early in November and take approximately 6 months. Prior to work commencing, the Council will be consulting with pavilion users about a number of optional improvements to be included, subject to these being financed. Residents are reminded that, when re-building begins, there will be temporary site compounds and vehicles entering & leaving the field. Parents and others, such as dog walkers, will want to make plans about how to cope with the issues which will arise.
A problem has arisen with an on-line facility to search historical parish magazines and it was agreed to fund the necessary IT solution for this to be resolved.
There is a concern about people entering parish-owned land near the marina for fishing, and most recently this involved some clearance of willows planted by the Council to reduce erosion of the river bank. Hence, construction of a boundary fence is being urgently investigated.
A “Scoping” exercise is taking place by Nottinghamshire County Council about the potential environmental impact of the sand and gravel extraction at Shelford West proposed by the Brett Group. This is not a planning application as such but a preliminary procedure prior to an environmental-impact assessment which could precede a planning application. The Parish Council has submitted its view, previously also sent in response to a consultation about the Local Minerals Plan, that there would be a major negative impact on the A6097 and its environment from HGVs accessing or leaving the proposed distribution site.
Following recent developments involving the Reindeer Inn, the Council is re-considering the process of applying to register Assets of Community Value.
The next meeting will be on Monday 2nd November at 7.30pm, preceded at 6.45pm by a meeting of the Pavilion Fire sub-committee.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Sept 7th
In public comment, two members of the Sports Club raised issues about the lease arrangements on Butt Close Playing Field and the progress towards re-building the pavilion.
The negotiations about the lease arrangement with the Sports Club are progressing, and clarification about certain matters related to managing some of the issues was made.
The clearance of debris from the pavilion and boarding up has been completed, and sporting activities have continued, albeit with severe restrictions.
A portaloo has been put in place, thanks to the Tennis Club, and the Football Club is in the process of sourcing a cabin as a temporary changing room.
The Cricket Club used the Council’s storage shed and the WI has been very helpful in making the WI hut available.
The Bowls Club has been able to use the green for casual play with teams playing all fixtures away from home.
Negotiations with the surveyors appointed to manage the re-building process, one on behalf of the insurers, the other on behalf of the Council, have focussed on what can be included to provide appropriate facilities for the future.
Since the basic structure of the pavilion is still intact, the insurers will only pay for reinstatement plus any new requirements of building regulations. The Council discussed a list of possible improvements which have been requested by the Sports Club, and refined them so that the Council’s surveyor can include them in the tendering process for individual costing. Final decisions will be made when the tenders are received.
The date of the October meeting has been deferred because it is not yet known when the tenders for re-building the pavilion will be presented and a full Council meeting will be needed to make the decisions.
When re-building begins, there will be temporary site compounds and vehicles entering & leaving the field. These will be restricted to the area between the entrance and the pavilion and the school has been alerted to warn children about this. Parents and others, such as dog walkers, will want to make plans about how to cope with the issues which will arise.
Elsewhere on Butt Close, the Council is pleased that maintenance of the Play Area has improved. More sand has been laid, and some repairs have been authorised.
Junior football is due to begin and the pitch on the re-seeded area is much smoother and flatter as a result.
Changes have been made to the Council’s IT administration arrangements. As a consequence, more village organisations are now eligible to use an eastbridgford.org address if they wish. Secretaries should please contact the Clerk if interested. It was agreed to transfer the individual eastbridgford.net address facility to the group of current users.
Coun. Phil Clarke
East Bridgford Parish Council
Parish Council Meeting Report –July 6th
Much of the meeting was devoted to the impact of the fire at the Butt Close sports pavilion, and a number of agenda items were deferred as a result. This is reported separately [below].
Employees of Severn Trent attended to brief councillors on the current situation with flooding and sewage escapes, especially around Brickyard Lane.
This was timely, since another incident occurred on Main Street near the Royal Oak after moderately heavy rain fell on the night of Friday 3rd July. It was explained that the system was old and complex, and its capacity hardly able to cope with the increased demand of additional dwellings and associated coverage of ground by hard surfaces which also leads to faster run-off of rain water, which enters the same system. Investment is prioritised so it is vital that incidents are reported. This also leads to faster clean-up. The blockages often reveal that unsuitable items are being flushed into the system, so information leaflets will be circulated to properties. Residents are also urged to make use of water butts which increase the time taken for rain water to enter the system.
In public comment, a resident complained about the state of some pavements and footpaths. In most cases, these issues are the responsibility of Notts County Council Highways, and parish councillors have assisted residents with previous problems by bringing the matter to the attention of the appropriate department or by using the on-line problem reporting page, which residents can use directly, at http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/travelling/roads/road-design-and-maintenance/report-road-problems/.
Another resident was concerned that the council has not pursued an application to make the Reindeer Inn, which is up for sale, an Asset of Community Value, which if granted, can give time for community groups to bid for the asset. Councillors decided not to pursue this, but pointed out that any organised community group can apply for this status, and the application is decided by Rushcliffe Borough Council.
The problem of water pouring down the bank on to the track between Trent Lane and the Marina was discussed with input from local residents. Councillors voted to fund metal plates to cover a large pothole which had formed as a result and which was becoming a hazard for people using the track.
It is unclear whether the addition of an evening service or services to the Rushcliffe Greens bus service serving the village will meet the needs of residents. However, if passenger numbers are not sufficient, then the addition cannot be sustained. Councillors are interested in hearing about any issues which arise from the timings.
Finally, County Cllr. Kay Cutts thanked councillors for their efforts on behalf of the community, especially in these demanding circumstances.
The next meeting will be on Monday August 3rd.
Coun. Phil Clarke
The Fire at the Sports Pavilion, Butt Close Playing Fields
Most people will be aware of the devastating fire which destroyed the roof of the pavilion and much of its infrastructure within 20 minutes of it starting at approximately 8.45am on Show day. It is believed to have started as an electrical fire in a fridge or freezer being used to store food for the show.
The Fire Brigade team which attended stayed most of the day to ensure the fire was fully extinguished, and to supervise the temporary exclusion zone.
The Council is grateful for the expertise and experience of Cllr. Turner, who was able to take charge and ensure that an insurance Loss Adjuster attended in the afternoon, and to supervise the fencing off, which had been organised by Rushcliffe RBC at the urgent request of Borough Councillor Nigel Lawrence, for whose rapid action the Council also adds its thanks.
The Clerk was also able to attend for the meeting with the Loss Adjuster in the afternoon, and the Council is again fortunate to benefit from this level of commitment.
Remarkably, the Village Show continued with only small delays to its programme. Show Committee Chair Sophie Brewill, the team of ‘orange shirts’, and numerous ad-hoc volunteers, immediately sorted out what needed to be moved to enable the Show to take place.
The community spirit was notable in the general determination that the Show should continue, and the Committee should be congratulated on delivering a very successful Show in such difficult circumstances.
Since then, a number of inspection visits have taken place, and the first priority was to make the building safe by taking down any remaining roof structures and stripping out all rubble from the interior.
Then the building could be boarded up with a secure access for future work. The advantage of this is that the surrounding area, especially the tennis club third court and bowls green gate, would be accessible. Services have been cut off for the time being for safety reasons.
All of this has had a severe impact on the sports clubs which use the pavilion, and a number of representatives attended the July parish council meeting. Their priority is to identify temporary accommodation and services to try and enable activities to continue. In the meantime, a number of organisations have offered practical help, especially the WI.
This is a very challenging time for all concerned, and the same determination, creativity and expertise which enabled the Show to continue will be needed to resolve all of the issues which will arise from now until the pavilion is rebuilt, hopefully by spring time next year.
Coun. Phil Clarke
East Bridgford Parish Council
Parish Council Meeting Report – June 1st
Public comment focussed, firstly, on a planning application and, secondly, on progress towards the Parish Council taking a very long lease over Springdale Wood. The wording of a new notice board has been agreed with the Woodland Trust and the Biodiversity and Wildlife group. A large part of the work needed prior to hand-over, such as fencing and gate repairs, has been completed. An opportunity to be involved in an application process for a development grant was discussed and a decision about this will be made after consultation with the Biodiversity group.
Following a decision about Contract 2, the next and final phase of Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire, the Council was very disappointed to learn that, by the end of the project, only 76% of properties in East Bridgford will have access to Superfast Broadband. Some businesses will be able to apply for vouchers up to £3000 to enable them to upgrade their broadband but it seems everyone else will have to look elsewhere, for example 4G if it becomes more widely available. To check the situation for individual properties, use the postcode checker as follows: http://www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/living/business/broadband/where-and-when/postcode-checker/
Better news came about the bus services. As part of a reorganisation of Trent Barton’s Rushcliffe Greens service into the newly-named Rushcliffe Villager, some evening services are being reinstated. This will be for a trial period so it will be a case of ‘use it or lose it’ when the changes come into effect.
A further meeting to discuss and survey Cuttle Hill has taken place to progress the scheme to widen the pavement and create better access onto Cuttle Hill, the open space owned by the Parish Council opposite the main entrance to St. Peter’s Academy.
On Butt Close, the Council agreed the items and cost of installation for the ‘Trim Trail’ equipment. Further consultation about the positioning of the equipment is taking place, up to and including the Village Show, where details will be available for viewing.
The maintenance of the Play Area will be monitored closely over the next 3 months to see if this improves. This is in addition to the programme of regular formal safety inspections which takes place.
Mobility scooters are becoming more common and are a very useful aid to those who would otherwise have difficulty getting round the village. However, when these use the pavement, problems can be caused by cars parking half-way or further onto the pavement, some hedges which have thickened at the base, and the occasional pavement which is not wide enough in the first place. These problems can lead to the scooter having to go on the road, a hazardous situation especially on some corners. In the first two cases, a plea is made to the owners concerned to avoid creating the problem. Where pavement design is the issue, an approach to Notts CC may be made.
Issues arising from water draining on to the bank above the access track and bridleway which leads from Trent Lane to the marina and weir are being investigated and where necessary referred to Nottinghamshire County Council.
The next meeting will be on Monday July 6th.
Coun. Phil Clarke
East Bridgford Parish Council
Parish Council Meeting Report – May 11th
This was the first meeting since the contested election for the Parish Council. The votes cast, also published on the Rushcliffe Borough Council website, were as follows:
Atkins, David 542; Bancroft, Paul 553; Clarke, Philip 503; Hall, Norman 438;
Hartfield, Tanya, 411; Hunt, Russell 425; Meylan, David 401;
Norman, Tricia 417; Sharma, Suda 396; Stevens, Gill 335; Strutt, Tracy 542;
Turner, John 502; Spoiled papers (mainly blank) 32
The candidate not elected therefore was Gill Stevens.
The Chairman for the coming year is Phil Clarke, and the Vice-Chairman is Tracy Strutt.
During the Annual Parish Meeting in April, it was requested that the Parish Council should put details of the candidates on the village notice boards to assist people in making a decision about voting, but advice was subsequently sought by the Clerk which indicated that the Parish Council as a body should not get involved and only the candidates themselves could arrange to publicise their election material.
Further to the Annual Parish Meeting, councillors believed that it had been a successful evening overall, and were grateful to the speakers/presenters who had contributed. Consequently, the Council agreed to support the Newark First Responder group by offering to host a training course in how to react to a heart-related emergency. This is limited to 12 people, and hence any resident who is interested in attending should contact the Clerk by e-mail at email@example.com by mid-June. The Council also agreed to make a donation of £300 to the Group.
There was no public comment, but the Council welcomed the Managing Director of Streetwise to the meeting. Some issues have arisen about the quality of the maintenance of the Play Area on Butt Close, and subsequent communications with Streetwise, who are contracted to carry out the schedule of regular maintenance. When he learned of this, he had readily offered to attend the meeting and gave the Council reassurances that these service issues would be addressed forthwith.
On Butt Close, the proposed site for Trim Trail equipment is in the area behind the zip wire and skateboard ramp. Further consultation will take place including a display at the village show in June.
Proposals are progressing for updating the Council’s IT systems and the village website. Some suggestions have been received recently for inclusion of certain issues on the website, for example to alert residents to a possible scam. However, the Council has agreed an editorial policy some time ago to avoid possible litigation and other problems which may arise in some circumstances, and this policy does not allow this type of item to be included.
In matters for report, there was dissatisfaction about the quality of the repair to the bus shelter roof opposite the Royal Oak and this will be raised with the County Council. Motor cycle noise from a field off Closes Side Lane, and off-road riding of motor cycles on the by-way from Butt Lane to Springdale Lane, have been causing concern. Residents have complained to the police and RBC Environmental Health. It is advised that if a complaint is made to the police, a crime number should be requested.
The next meeting will be on Monday June 1st.
East Bridgford Parish Council
Annual Parish Meeting – 23rd April 2015
As this is the Annual Parish Meeting immediately before the Council is subject to the four-yearly election, it has been suggested by a resident that this report should also reflect upon the whole cycle, and not just the preceding year. This is a worthwhile exercise and it is also an opportunity to give a personal view on the role of the Parish Council as it is evolving.
The Parish Council has few statutory responsibilities which also carry any authority for action. A good example of this restricted role is in planning matters where the Parish Council is consulted but the decisions are made at the Borough Council. Hence, if we take one view that the main function of the Council is to support the residents, businesses and organisations in the parish so that the overall quality of life of everyone in it is improved, then the various actions of the Council can be assessed against that aim. Three broad areas can be identified:
- Where the Council owns or leases assets such as Butt Close, these will be managed to maintain them and make improvements where necessary, subject to consultation. The Council will monitor and update compliance and good practice issues
- The Council will continue to use its financial resources to support organisations in the parish, and also use its expertise to attract further funding from grants where possible.
- The Council will also make representations when necessary to try and ensure that other organisations deal with issues arising in the parish which are part of their responsibility. It can also advise individuals from time to time about ways in which infrastructure issues with other organisations may be addressed, and if appropriate, intervene on their behalf.
The following examples are provided covering the last four years (* = last 12 months)
Asset Improvements & maintenance
Butt Close: Additions to Play Area equipment; Play Area maintenance &annual safety inspections; Sports Field re-levelled and re-seeded(*); College Street entrance improved(*). Legionella & electrical safety inspections in the pavilion. Improved CCTV. Maintenance of seats & provision/arranging servicing of litter bins. Purchase of land & provision of new storage hut for football and village show equipment. Plan for trim trail type equipment (due Summer 2015)
Car Park: Re-surfacing, Inspecting & maintaining grounds and trees (tree policy)
Bridgford Street Meadow: Lease taken out, new gates etc.
Springdale Wood: Negotiations commenced to lease the wood from the Woodland Trust (*)
Allotments: new track surface and security arrangements (A46 spin off); 4 new allotments created; new notice board (*)
Cuttle Hill: temporary planting for WW1 remembrance (*) plan devised for improved access (*)
Telephone box: converted to book exchange and power source for defibrillator; re-painted.
Toll bridge new sign board (*)
GAWP Shop Corner – new sign board, seat and landscaping
Village signs: new designs and planter boxes stocked and maintained each year
Interactive speed sign purchased and installed on Butt Lane (*)
Miscellaneous: Daffodil planting; fingerposts & millennium sign backplate renovated (*) new street name signs (requested from & installed by RBC);
Support to other organisations
Support, including financial support, occasionally via third party funding of grant applications, has been given to the following:
Diamond Jubilee and Olympics celebrations
St. Peter’s Academy DARE project (*)
WI Hut improvements to toilet facilities (*)
Church Clock via a new Heritage Fund (*)
Biodiversity & Wildlife Group
Friends of Springdale Wood for training
Village magazine annual contribution
Horticultural Society Village Show ( * for new road signs etc)
Lobbying and interventions
(individual cases are kept confidential)
Superfast Broadband (*)
Flooding problems from sewage and/or heavy rain (ongoing *)
Social & affordable housing
Highways and footpaths, including safety features (*)
Pillar box re-painting (successful, at last *)
Finally, the work of the Council is not without its humorous aspects. In this year, our lives have been brightened by various things, not least by reports of an invading pig on the allotments! On the other hand, there have also been occasional controversies and heated emotions. Of course, there are frustrations too which return again and again – parking, dog excrement and blocked gullies or ditches to name the most prevalent, but it is hoped that the above account shows that the Council has been both active and proactive in helping to keep East Bridgford a very good place in which to live, work and play. None of this could have been achieved without a seemingly limitless energy and expertise of the Councillors and the two officials, the Clerk and Deputy Clerk. Special mention must go to Borough Councillor Nigel Lawrence who stands down from the Parish Council this year. We will miss his valuable insight, particularly from his knowledge of the mechanisms at Rushcliffe Borough Council (although I am sure that the Council will still need to call on him from time to time!). The Council is also indebted to its contractors, and to a number of organisations and individuals for their support over the years, including County Councillor Kay Cutts, the WI Committee (not least for this evening!), the editors and their teams on the Village Magazine and Website, the Village Hall Committee, the Scouts, Friends of Springdale Wood, the Biodiversity & Wildlife Group, the Sports Club, and the Horticultural Society. Numerous others have also supported the Council in many ways and the Council is very grateful to them all. As this is the end-of-cycle report, tribute must also be paid to the part played by the Chairman for the majority of that time, and for many years prior to that, the late Garth Powell, who is sadly missed but whose fine legacy continues in many areas of village life.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – April 13th
There were no members of the public present on this occasion.
On Butt Close, the improvements to the College Street entrance by extending the tarmac and installing reinforcing plastic mesh have been completed. Grass on the levelled and re-seeded area has been growing strongly and has been mowed several times and verti-cut once. The Council is in the process of choosing the provider for the Trim Trail equipment which was identified in a consultation procedure last year, and also consulting about suitable sites for its installation.
The proposed improvements to access onto Cuttle Hill have been the subject of a grant application to the Supporting Local Communities scheme at Nottinghamshire County Council, which was supported by Cllr. Kay Cutts. The Council was pleased to learn that the application for matched funding has been successful. The next stage will be to negotiate with the County Council to include the project with widening the pavement and other safety features, which would form part of a ‘Safer Schools’ area scheme.
Broadband speeds are beginning to improve for some residents with two cabinets going ‘live’ for superfast broadband. However, many residents and businesses cannot still access this service. Details of ‘Contract 2’, the next phase of the Better Broadband for Notts scheme, should soon be available, which may give an indication of if and when further provision will be available.
The Council had joined in with a National Community Clean-Up Day on the 21st March, when a number of Councillors, Scouts, and members of the Biodiversity and Friends of Springdale Wood group set out to clear areas of the parish of litter and clean up some landmarks such as the telephone box and millennium sign.
A worryingly large number of sacks of rubbish were filled in the space of a couple of hours which were later collected by Rushcliffe Borough Council (RBC) which supported the scheme. Particular black spots were the by-way off Butt Lane as it leads under the over-bridge and Brunts Lane towards the A6097. There is also anecdotal evidence that the closure of Langar Recycling Centre is leading to increased fly-tipping, to which the above sites and others in the parish are vulnerable. Incidents of fly-tipping should be reported to Streetwise via the RBC website.
The Woodland Trust has been carrying out repairs to gates etc and other works in Springdale Wood as part of the preparation for the Parish Council to take over a long lease for the Wood. A new Notice Board is also being designed.
Competitions for the Best Floral Displays around the village and the Best Allotments will take place again this year. Judging takes place in mid-summer when conditions are at their optimum.
Elections to the Parish Council take place on 7th May at the same time as the General Election, and the election for the Borough Council. Since there have been 12 nominations for the 11 places, a contested election will be taking place, which has not happened for many years. As a result, the council agreed to a suggestion by a resident to have an item on the agenda of the Annual Parish Meeting, held on the 23rd April, where there would be an opportunity for candidates to be present and questions asked.
The first meeting of the new Council after the election is on Monday May 11th at 7.30pm. The Chairman thanked the Councillors, the Clerk and the Deputy Clerk for their service over the preceding four years. In particular, he thanked Nigel Lawrence, who is standing down as a Parish Councillor this time, for his many years of valuable service.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Mar 2nd
In public comment, a resident requested that the Council looks at improving the footpaths on Butt Close, in particular between College Street and the school. While the re-seeded area was fenced off, the paths became very muddy. It was agreed that after the entrance work was completed (projected to be by 23rd March), a feasibility study on this would be carried out. On another matter, a resident has contacted the Council about concerns arising from security lighting at the Garden Centre. These concerns centre on their opinion that the lighting has an intrusive effect on the nearby by-ways and wildlife habitats. The Council is aware that further development is taking place at the Garden Centre and stated its intention to raise this issue with them. At the time of writing, the Managing Director of the Garden Centre has already responded to the Parish Council’s approach, expressing his commitment to sorting it out.
The council welcomed Gill Hunt and Dawn Fern-Wood, who edit and maintain the village website, to the meeting. The website is a very valuable asset for the village, but as organisations build their own websites, it is more difficult to bring together all the various issues and events. They are actively promoting the village website at the moment. In particular, it is hoped to include details of all up and coming events in the village, and secretaries and organisers are urged to continue to provide updated material. The contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org. An ‘Alert’ page will be included for things like roadworks, and the website will take into account forthcoming changes in the Council’s own IT and communication systems. Content on the website is still subject to the current policies and disclaimers.
A request from the Tennis Club to extend its playing hours from 8am to 7am in the morning was refused by a majority decision on the grounds that it was likely to increase noise for neighbouring properties.
The Council agreed to join in with a National Community Clean-Up Day on the 21st March.
Residents are reminded that, when planning applications are approved, there may be conditions attached. If you believe that these conditions on a property’s development have not been met, and this affects your own property or the local environment, especially in the conservation area, or the quality of life of yourself or others, you may report this to the Rushcliffe Borough Council Development Control so that they can investigate and enforce the condition(s) if necessary.
Elections to the Parish Council take place on 7th May at the same time as the General Election. The deadline for nominations, forms for which are available from Rushcliffe Borough Council, is 4pm on the 9th April.
There are several vacant allotments at the moment. The Council is investigating what to do with them if tenants cannot be found to prevent unsightly, proliferating weeds. If you are interested in taking an allotment, please contact the clerk at email@example.com
Anyone whose property was affected by ingress of water during the significant flooding event in 2013 may be eligible for some funding which has been made available by the Government. Please contact customer services at Rushcliffe Borough Council for further details.
Parish Council Meeting Report – Feb 2nd
A representative of Trent Barton came to the February meeting to discuss the cancellation of some evening services from last autumn.
Councillors and parishioners from both East Bridgford and Newton were able to ask questions and explore possible solutions.
The services were withdrawn because a subsidy from Nottinghamshire County Council was cut last summer. Several alternative solutions have been submitted to Trent Barton, and some of these were explored at the meeting.
It was also requested that essential information, such as changes to timetables, should be displayed inside the buses. Currently, Trent Barton has no plans to reinstate any services, on commercial grounds, but it is hoped that it will continue to consider timetabling changes wherever possible.
There has been good news on broadband. The first cabinet to go ‘live’ has been announced. It is the one at the junction of Brown’s Lane and College Street, which serves over 200 properties.
Those households will now be able to order superfast broadband from an ISP. Please note that not all ISPs are offering this, and it will cost more, and so the usual advice is to shop around.
It is not known how far the roll-out will go in this phase. Residents may wish to monitor their postcode at http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/ (this website allows an individual address/phone number to be entered).
On Butt Close, a reminder that work to improve the College Street access by extending the drive and putting in stiff recycled plastic mesh begins in March, and access from College Street will not be possible during this work.
Quotes for the ‘Trim Trail’ equipment are in hand, and, following consultation with the Sports Club about where it will finally be installed, it is expected to be in place during the summer.
Notts County Council Highways Department has been busy in the village, with the new guard rails outside the Medical Centre, and new gully chambers and lids on Brickyard Lane.
Please note that any problems can be reported via an online system, and this has led to rapid responses recently for broken bollards and potholes, and the Council is grateful for this. The system can be accessed as follows:
Formal consultation is taking place about a ‘Safe Zone’ on Kneeton Road, outside of St. Peter’s Academy. The council welcomes this development, which will result in an enforceable no-parking zone covering both sides of the road.
In general, the village has a number of areas of congestion, and drivers are requested to always consider the impact on other road-users when parking their vehicles.
The new Planning Application viewing website at Rushcliffe Borough Council has had some teething problems, but will hopefully improve matters eventually.
Residents are reminded that the Parish Council is a consultee, and can only make comments about applications, which are decided at the Borough Council.
However, a plea was made that those making applications take the opportunity to consider the village design statement and carry out other pre-application consultations which will probably improve the outcomes for all concerned.
Residents on Holloway Close had significant problems in recent snow and ice, and a request has been made for a grit box for that area.
The next meeting is on Monday March 2nd at 7.30pm.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Jan 5th
There was no public comment. A representative of Trent Barton has agreed, however, to come to the February meeting to discuss the cancellation of some evening services last autumn. By necessity, this will be limited to 30 minutes and will focus on whether alternative, creative solutions can be found.
Following a further site meeting between representatives of the Friends of Springdale Wood, the Wildlife & Biodiversity Group, the Parish Council and a number of managers and other representatives from the Woodland Trust, it is expected that a draft agreement to take out a long lease on Springdale Wood will soon be available. The volunteers who help in the wood can be proud of the high regard for their work expressed by the people who attended.
During discussions on planning matters, councillors expressed disappointment in the replacement RBC website for viewing applications. It is much less user-friendly, especially for planning diagrams. Concern was expressed about an application to vary the conditions on a development on Cross Lane, including the installation of secure gates across the entrance, which councillors felt strongly goes against the friendly, open ethos of the village. These concerns will be voiced with Rushcliffe Borough Council and with the developers. There will be a summary report of all planning decisions during 2014 on the village website.
Councillors voted to increase the precept by an amount equivalent to 2% on a Band D property (a calculated increase of 80p per annum). Recent, large scale improvements in the village have reduced the reserves held by the council and this increase is designed to balance the predicted income and expenditure. It was also agreed to donate £500 to the Community Plan Steering Group for the purchase of survey software to better enable effective sampling of residents’ views.
On Butt Close, work to improve the College Street access by extending the drive and putting in stiff recycled plastic mesh, to protect the grass where cars enter during the summer, will begin in March. After this, the next stage of the improvement project is to install some ‘Trim Trail’ – type equipment.
After concerns were raised about issues in the car park, councillors were pleased to learn that the police had contacted neighbours and monitored activity there. It was also reported that occasional ‘double-parking’ on Main Street has been causing problems for large vehicles like buses. A sensible consensus has developed where drivers park on one side only, and people are urged to cooperate with this.
Finally, with the opening shots being fired in the general election campaign, an early reminder that this will coincide with an election for the whole parish council and also the Rushcliffe Borough Council. Further details of how the process works will follow next month.
The next meeting is on Monday February 2nd.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Dec 1st
There was no public comment but in response to issues raised by the public, it was decided to review the security of the village car park. The situation is being monitored because of reported incidents of anti-social behaviour. There are also instances of fly-tipping and unauthorised use of the restricted by-way which begins just short of the Butt Lane bridge over the A46 and which then goes under the bridge and up Springdale Lane. Please report to the police any examples of dangerous use of the by-way, and any fly-tipping to Streetwise via the RBC website.
The council has written to the Highways Authority about the potential problems of HGV access on to the A6097 as proposed in the 8-week consultation about extracting sand and gravel from Shelford West. It has also responded formally to the consultation to object about this and other matters.
On Butt Close, the newly seeded grass is still growing strongly, and will need a treatment of weed-killer shortly. Hence it will be necessary to retain the fencing for the time being. Footpaths around this area at the College Street side are getting worn and muddy, so residents may wish to take alternative routes. There is still evidence of motor cycles entering the field to reach the pavilion and making the situation worse. Please report any instances to the police.
Following a meeting between representatives of the Friends of Springdale Wood, the Wildlife & Biodiversity Group, the Parish Council and a manager from the Woodland Trust, it is expected that a proposal will be made to take out a long lease on the wood. The Woodland Trust is impressed by the commitment of the Friends of Springdale Wood and the impact they have made on the wood. It is one of the best examples from the sites which were created across the country at the time of the millennium celebrations.
East Bridgford is not alone in its concerns about how extensive Superfast Broadband will be across the village. At a recent meeting, it was clear that a number of rural areas will have either no new build provision or only partial provision. Work has started in East Bridgford but it may be some time before some postcodes have fibre optic capability delivered to a cabinet nearby. Residents are reminded that provision will not be free. ISP’s will charge for high-speed broadband and some of that charge feeds back into investment i.e. the more people who sign up, the more likely the system may extend further in that area. Nevertheless, it is likely that some postcodes will remain outside the Superfast area and may need to look for 4G capability or other methods as and when they become available.
Formal consultation is taking place about changing the speed limits on Butt Lane and Kneeton Road. The council has been pressing for change in both areas to reduce risks of accidents. At Kneeton Road, a ‘buffer’ 40mph zone is being proposed on entry to the village from the Kneeton direction. At Butt Lane, the start of the 30mph zone will be moved eastwards with a speed indicator sign opposite the medical centre. The council supports this, but is concerned that the proposed point of the beginning of the new zone was nearer to the village than had been expected following an earlier site meeting. This will be followed up.
Following concern from residents both here and in Shelford, and at the request of County Councillor Kay Cutts, it was decided to invite a representative from Trent Barton to a future council meeting to explore why evening services were cut back at short notice with little consultation and why sensible alternatives suggested by individuals have been rejected so far. A Shelford and Newton councillor will also be invited, together with the Shelford resident who proposed a specific solution. On the subject of bus travel, the shelter opposite the Royal Oak was damaged by passing traffic recently and this has been reported.
The next meeting is on Monday January 5th.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Nov 3rd
Two members of the WI attended to support their request for a donation towards upgrading toilet and washroom facilities at the WI Hut, in particular to make them more accessible for disabled persons and the small children who attend Pre-School. In view of the importance to the community of this facility, the Council agreed in principle to make a donation subject to a final specification being agreed.
The 8-week consultation about extracting sand and gravel from an area known as Shelford West has begun. Details about how individuals can respond have been publicised in the magazine by the action group, Save Our Valley. The Council is responding, and will object particularly about the impact on the traffic along the A6097. Residents with concerns about this and other issues are urged to respond using the official response forms available on the Notts. County Council website:
On Butt Close, the newly seeded grass on the junior football pitches and most of the cricket pitch outfield has been growing strongly. The next phase will be to re-surface the entrance to the field off College Street where there are problems with constant wear and tear, including rutting and mud. When this occurs, probably early in 2015, there will be a period when access to the field off College Street for pedestrians will be severely restricted.
Initial talks have taken place about the Parish Council taking out a lease for Springdale Wood from the Woodland Trust, which owns it, subject to an agreed management plan for the Wood. Such an arrangement would potentially make it easier for the Friends of Springdale Wood and the Wildlife & Biodiversity Group to carry out the voluntary tasks which are currently proving valuable in maintaining access and improving the environment and amenity which the Wood offers.
It appears that work has begun on installing some fibre-optic cabling as part of the roll-out of Superfast Broadband in East Bridgford. Since it is unclear what the extent of this work will be, and that some postcodes will probably not be upgraded unless pressure is applied, as and when residents notice a change in speed or are contacted by providers to alert you that the service is available, please contact the Council via firstname.lastname@example.org to advise which postcode is affected so that we can continue to monitor the situation.
In respect of Foster’s Close, it has been agreed that a leaflet will be added to the Waterloo Housing Welcome pack. Available properties will be e-mailed to people on the Help to Buy register, and the Parish Council will be informed.
It has been agreed to add the Village Hall to the sites in the village where bags of salt will be provided for use in icy or snowy conditions.
As part of the monitoring process of the trees on Parish Council land, it has been found after thorough testing with probes and a drill by a consultant, that the large sycamore in the Car Park has significant decay and become hazardous. It has needed to be felled as a matter of urgency. A suitable replacement tree will be planted.
Finally, congratulations to Councillor David Meylan who has been given a Long Service Award for his 25 + years service on the Parish Council.
The next meeting is on Monday December 1st.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Oct 6th
Public comment centred on a planning application. Residents are reminded that they can come along to the parish council meeting if they are concerned about a planning or other issue, speak briefly (3 minutes) about it if they wish and listen to the council’s discussions.
It was reported that, following a meeting on the 9th October, an 8-week consultation will probably take place about extracting sand and gravel from an area known as Shelford West. Shelford and Newton Parish Council is urging all local residents and organisations to object strongly to the proposals and an action group Save Our Valley is being set up. The main impact on East Bridgford, apart from possible noise and dust, is likely to be a major increase in heavy lorries using the A6097. Please watch out for further details in the local press etc, and send in your comments to the appropriate body.
The Council is grateful to the Scouts and their Leaders who helped to spread and roll additional crushed stone in the village car park to level out some emerging depressions. There is evidence of some anti-social noise from people parking there at night with engines running. Any suspicious activity can be reported at the time by ringing the police on 101. Also in the car park, as part of the tree management plan, two trees are to be inspected.
In relation to Butt Close, the junior football pitches and most of the cricket pitch outfield have been ploughed, levelled and re-seeded, and the area fenced off. Lack of rain has been a problem until the beginning of October, but hopefully the grass will still establish itself by next spring. The condition of Footpath 3, which leads from the tennis courts onto Browns Lane, is causing some concern.
Unfortunately, it appears that an attempt by a Shelford resident and others to persuade Trent Barton to reinstate evening bus services has failed.
Cllr. Turner reported that he had arranged to meet with Severn Trent and the Consumer Council about the on-going flooding issues.
An intervention by Robert Jenrick MP with BT about Superfast Broadband in East Bridgford and other local areas has been reported in the local press. Hopefully, this may expedite matters, but we will continue to monitor the situation.
Further conversations are taking place between Waterloo Housing and Rushcliffe about marketing properties on Foster’s Close. In the meantime, it is clear that anyone with a local connection who is interested in moving to Foster’s Close in the future is advised to be registered with Rushcliffe Borough Council Strategic Housing.
Finally, an unwelcome reminder of approaching winter – bags of salt have been ordered and will be distributed to the usual key locations.
The next meeting is on Monday November 3rd.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – Sept 8th
A resident whose property contains a hedge adjacent to a footpath attended to seek clarification about the council’s current interest. The council agreed to seek a site meeting with the Footpaths Officer from Notts. CC to establish the defined width of the path which originates on Kneeton Road and goes via the WI Hut to Main Street opposite to Millgate. In general, it is recommended that any hedges bordering footpaths or pavements should be cut back to the boundary edge of the property to avoid a gradual thickening impacting on the width of the path.
Also in public comment, two residents highlighted a problem in the village car park, where some people have been leaving their car engines running while sitting in them, often late at night. The council was concerned to learn that apparently the police were not willing to act as the land belongs to the council. This will be followed up. Reports are still coming in of motor cycles, mopeds or scooters which are being ridden on Butt Close playing fields. It was agreed that notices stating clearly that this is not allowed will be placed at the entrances to the field. Registration numbers are being reported to the police, and residents are also encouraged to report incidents to the police or to the parish council.
In relation to Butt Close, the improvement project where the junior football pitches and most of the cricket pitch outfield are planned to be ploughed, levelled and re-seeded was reported to be ready to start on schedule to ensure that the grass would be established in time for the next cricket season. A replacement junior pitch has been marked on the senior pitch. When the field is ploughed and seeded, it is vital that all residents use the 3m wide unaffected strip around the outside and not walk across the seeded area, to allow the grass to grow and strengthen.
A meeting has taken place with County Coun. Kay Cutts to explore issues relating to the possibility of creating a safer area outside the school as part of the improvements to Cuttle Hill, an idea which was suggested during the consultation about the project at the Village Show. Although this will delay the project a little, it was decided to pursue the possibility of widening the footpath adjacent to Cuttle Hill and putting in guard rails. The whole project would need consultation with Notts County Council and a meeting will be arranged. Planning permission is likely to be necessary and grant aid will also be sought.
The situation with Superfast Broadband is proving very frustrating. It is now clear that BT are not prepared to upgrade the exchange on Springdale Lane as part of its commercial roll-out. Postcodes across the parish are still identified on the Better Braodband for Notts website in three categories: those with a timetable for an upgrade, those identified for future upgrade depending on further investigation and those which will not be upgraded due to technical and other difficulties. For the moment, the parish council will monitor what happens with those postcodes due for upgrade between October and March next year. To assist us, please contact the Chairman on email@example.com if you are notified that your broadband speed will be increasing dramatically as a result of an upgrade, quoting your postcode.
The council is considering nominations for ‘Assets of Community Value’. In essence, these are buildings or land which can be considered important to the life of the parish community, and if sold or subject to change of use might represent a significant loss to the community. If registered as Assets of Community Value, such a change can be delayed so that residents can decide if they wish to purchase the asset to protect it.
Concern remains about what happens when properties on Foster’s Close become available for rent or shared-purchase. The council is determined that people with a local connection and eligible for social housing should be made aware of when such an opportunity arises. Hence, the parish noticeboards will be made available for a notice of how the system works and any details of properties available. Anyone who may be interested in future opportunities may visit this webpage http://www.rushcliffe.gov.uk/housing/findingaplacetolive/socialhousing/
They may also contact Rushcliffe Borough Council Strategic Housing to ascertain how they can register that interest.
The next meeting is on Monday October 6th.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – August 4th
Discussions with Severn Trent about the drainage problems in the village are ongoing and Cllr Turner is to meet with Robert Jenrick MP to discuss the problems. The Parish Council will also be contacting landowners who have responsibility for the ditches and gullies on Kneeton Road to ask them to clear these to help prevent flooding.
Councillors were pleased that Waterloo Housing have agreed to notify the Parish Council when any of the Fosters Close shared-ownership properties are put up for sale, so that residents who may be interested in purchasing one of these properties can be alerted. The Parish Council is also to consider how residents can be made aware of the procedures that should be followed in buying and selling these properties, to ensure that people with a local connection are given the opportunity to buy.
Following withdrawal of the Nottinghamshire County Council’s (NCC) subsidies to Trent Barton, the bus company have withdrawn the evening bus services to the village (which departed Nottingham at 8.10pm and 10.40pm) and the Parish Council has contacted NCC and Trent Barton to express its concern about the reduction in services. Trent Barton have been asked to consider the viability of providing an evening service by incorporating East Bridgford, Shelford, Newton and Gunthorpe into an existing bus on the Bingham route and it is understood that Trent Barton are looking into this. The Parish Council has expressed its support for this proposal and is also asking whether the 10.40pm service, which served the village “on request”, could be reinstated.
Concern has been expressed about the width of the footpath leading up to the WI Hut from Kneeton Road, which is significantly narrower than it was and the Parish Council is to seek advice from Nottinghamshire County Council Footpaths Officer about this.
Works to improve the condition of Butt Field should be commencing in September and notices will be put up around the playing field giving notification of the works. Residents are also reminded that the riding of motorcycles on Butt Field is prohibited and notices to this effect are to be displayed.
The nomination of Assets of Community Value was discussed and it was agreed that initially The Reindeer, The Royal Oak and the Village Hall should be put forward to Rushcliffe Borough Council for consideration. Other village assets will be considered for nomination in the future.
There is currently a vacant allotment in the village and any residents who are interested in taking on an allotment should contact the Parish Clerk.
The date of the next meeting has been changed to Monday, 8th September 2014 and will be held in the Methodist Chapel at 7.30 pm. Residents are always welcome to attend any of our meetings.
Cllr Tricia Norman
Parish Council Meeting Report – July 7th
The Parish Council congratulated the Horticultural Society on the success of its 150th show. The committee coped very well with greater responsibility for road closures etc and there was an increased attendance as well. The plan for the project for Cuttle Hill was available for comment in the main marquee, as was the Community Plan process. A well-designed leaflet was provided for the latter and a number of residents of all ages wrote ideas on the flip-chart. These will be considered by the group of people who have volunteered to take part in the Community Plan process. People may wish to contribute to specific areas of interest, for example drainage or broadband, if and when groups are set up to look at these.
The comments on Cuttle Hill will be considered, together with the project’s possible implications. For example, should there be a ‘safe area’ defined for the road between the school and Cuttle Hill? Also, in respect of Cuttle Hill, the Council is very grateful to Cllr. Atkins and his wife who designed and planted the WW1 Commemoration Garden, which was made possible by a grant from Nottinghamshire County Council.
Public comment was restricted to planning matters, the number of which appears to be on the increase again. Developers and neighbours affected by development are advised to look at the Rushcliffe Development Control website for information about the policies which apply.
The Council still has concerns about marketing of properties on Fosters Close, the affordable homes scheme. Although some assurances have been made that ‘system flags’ will be applied to files which emphasise the local connection condition for these homes, these still seem to be subject to possible problems from staff movement or organisational change. Further advice is being sought.
Superfast Broadband for East Bridgford? There is an apparent confusion about what the current situation is. On the Notts CC webpage for their Better Broadband scheme, putting in different postcodes for streets in East Bridgford elicits different replies, with some being listed for inclusion between October 2014 and March 2015 and some not included at all. Urgent clarification has been sought from the link person at the county council, as well as from the Head Office at BT, since recent e-mails from personnel of that firm have contained seemingly contradictory information.
It was resolved to place the order for the first phase of the Butt Close Improvement Project. This will involve ploughing and levelling an L-shaped area of the field where the two junior football pitches are sited this autumn after the cricket season ends. It will then be re-seeded so that it can be ready for the following spring. The second phase will include Trim Trail equipment, which was the subject of consultation at various events, culminating in the marquee at the village show.
The temporary speed indicator sign has now been installed near the bus shelter by the medical centre, and will remain in place until a permanent one replaces it when the 30mph zone is extended, hopefully early in 2015. In the meantime, joggers and power walkers can also get feedback since it is sensitive enough to detect you as well!
A decision was taken to contract work on improving an area of land on Brooks Close, which has become overgrown. Residents and neighbours affected will continue to be consulted.
The notice board at the allotments, which had to be removed because it had become rotten, is being replaced by a waterproof version capable of displaying 4 x A4 sheets of paper.
A number of formal leases and arrangements have been under review, including the leases for the sports club and individual clubs using Butt Close. Much of this work is close to conclusion, but the discussion required to ensure the details are in line with what is intended meant that a number of agenda items were deferred to the next meeting, which is on Monday August 4th.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – June 2nd
The council was delighted to learn that a ‘Grant to Plant’ of £200 has been secured. This has been offered so that the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War 1 can be commemorated, and an area on Cuttle Hill will be planted to an appropriate design by Cllr. Atkins. This will be a temporary arrangement for the duration of the commemoration – the project to improve the frontage and access on to Cuttle Hill will proceed after further consultation and a tendering process for the final design has been completed. On the subject of commemorating the First World War, the council has learned that a march from Newark to Radcliffe on Trent, calling at Flintham and East Bridgford, is being planned for Sunday August 10th. This is being based on a recruitment event for the Sherwood Foresters regiment held in Newark during 1914, following which the volunteers were marched to Derby to be trained. It is hoped further details will be available soon.
Following up on the high-speed broadband issue, the council has written to BT Openreach to ask for an update about the timetable for an upgrade to the exchange on Springdale Lane. We have also contacted Newton & Shelford council, which is also concerned about when this important service will be available in their area, to see whether there are opportunities to cooperate over this matter.
Issues have arisen about the marketing of shared-ownership properties on Foster’s Close, the ‘affordable homes’ development. The parish council is concerned that any opportunities should be being publicised more effectively in the parish since applicants with a “local connection” receive priority. For interested and eligible people, further details are available at www.helptobuymidlands.co.uk. The council will also monitor the situation with respect to the rental properties on that site.
A report from ROSPA on the condition of the Play Area has been received, and there are only a few minor issues to resolve. Overall, the Play Area is well-maintained. By the time this article is published, the meeting at WREN to consider the council’s application for a grant towards the cost of improving the playing surfaces of the pitches on Butt Close will have been held, although a final decision about this may not be available until later in July.
The temporary speed indicator sign promised for Butt Lane/Main Street has still not been installed, and this issue will be pursued with the Highways Department.
Consultation about planned works to improve an area of land on Brooks Close, which has become overgrown, is nearing completion. The next stage will be to check for any necessary consents and consider a tendering process.
A news article in the Evening Post in May suggested that there is a threat to the Nottingham to East Bridgford bus service. Further inquiry has found that a subsidy given to Trent Barton to support a small number of journeys in the evening is being withdrawn by the County Council and that the daytime services are not affected. The parish council is concerned about the lack of consultation about this and has written to the County Council to this effect.
The notice board at the allotments has been removed because it had become rotten. A replacement is being investigated. An annual ‘walk-round’ has been completed by the Allotments & Open Spaces Committee.
The next meeting is on Monday July 7th.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – May 12th 2014
There was again public interest in the broadband issue. An initial survey has been the subject of a trial, and it revealed a wide range of broadband speeds across the postcodes in East Bridgford. It also shows that speeds can vary according to which day and what time of day. Information received about the project to upgrade the BT exchange has been contradictory and has only served to confuse the issue. Hence, it was resolved to write to BT Openreach to establish if possible the timescale for upgrading the exchange and how and when that will be rolled out to the ‘green cabinets’ which provide the nodes for most properties’ copper network. To assist the council in arguing the case for faster broadband, we are extending the survey. If you want to contribute, the information requested is as per the spreadsheet below, and can be accessed via a broadband speed checker, such as http://www.broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk. (please ensure you use a checker which is cleared by your antivirus programme).
date format: DDMMYY; days: Su,Mo,Tu,We,Th,Fr,Sa; time: 24 hour ( do not include minutes) Download and upload speeds; Ping (optional, not shown on the output)
Example output from spreadsheet
||24 hr Time
||Download speed mb/s
||Upload speed mb/s
Please send your results (about 5 from different days and times) to clarkephilipa@BTinternet.com by the end of June, please. It will also help to know if, where high speed broadband is available, you would be prepared to pay extra for the premium service eg BT Infinity.
Footpath leaflets have now been received from the printers. The council aims to arrange distribution to every household, but initially some copies will be placed in the local shops.
The design for improving Cuttle Hill access was presented at the Annual Parish Meeting, and will be available to be seen at the Village Show in June.
The council agreed to co-opt Mrs. Tricia Norman to fill the vacancy on the Parish Council, and is grateful for her willingness to serve our community in this role.
The provision of Trim Trail equipment will be the basis for a second application for grant aid to improve Butt Close. Some examples were on display at the Annual Parish Meeting, and those present were able to show a preference. As a result, the most popular ones are likely to be in the bid, and images will be on display at the Village Show.
It was resolved to set up a Heritage Fund so that the council can help to maintain facilities which are important to the image or ethos of the village, for example the war memorial or the telephone box. In the first instance, a contribution will be made to the repair of the church clock.
In relation to the telephone box, it is currently bulging at the seams, so much so that it is difficult to get in! If the shelves are full, please do not leave any more books on the floor. They will be a hazard, and will also get wet and mouldy. Also, can we ask that only books which are in good condition, and likely to be read, be brought along, please? The box can only ever be a small source of books, so we need to be selective and will have to dispose of the surplus.
A query has been received about who is liable to maintain roadside ditches. These must be kept clear as part of the management of surface water, and their importance has been reinforced by the recent flooding. The following is taken from a useful leaflet available from West Berkshire on the following link
There are 3 categories of roadside ditch:
1. A ditch created by the Highway Authority and owned by them solely for draining the
highway, which is the responsibility of the Highway Authority
2. A ditch on the road side of fences and hedges taking land drainage as well as highway drainage, which is the responsibility of the Riparian Owner
3. A ditch on the field side of a fence or hedge taking land drainage as well as highway
drainage, which is a responsibility of the Riparian Owner
Councillors will be carrying out risk assessments on activities which they carry out as part of their role. This is to enable the council to fulfil its duty of care towards the councillors, and anyone who does voluntary work on its behalf.
At last, a positive report about dog fouling. A recent ‘walk-round’ of the village showed that the problem of dog fouling of the footpaths is much reduced. Many thanks to all those responsible owners and walkers for clearing up after their dogs.
The next meeting is on Monday June 2nd.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Annual Parish - Chairman's Report – April 17th 2014
John Garth Powell
Garth very rarely lost a battle, and even then, only after a determined fight. It was with a great sense of loss when we learned that he had succumbed to the illness which had forced him to give up the role of Chairman of the Parish Council during this last year. He had a distinguished and very successful career in teaching, and his Headship of St. Peter’s ensured that many children experienced a broad and rich education. When he retired, he brought the same desire to enrich the lives of people in East Bridgford to the Parish Council. His great strength was his ability to use his impressive network of contacts to help find the resources, human or material, to enable things to get done. The outcomes of the Parish Plan and the Play Area are two excellent examples of this but Garth was also interested in the small things, and he could often be seen wielding his litter-picker, removing the debris of people less community-spirited. One of his favourite developments was the planting of daffodils in the verges and hedgerows around the village, and it is particularly appropriate that this year’s display has surely been the best ever.
It is rare for someone to have a beneficial impact on thousands of lives during their own lifetime, and the people of East Bridgford are very fortunate that Garth was one of them.
Flooding and Drainage
Few would have thought that, as a hill-top settlement, the village would suffer from severe flooding and an on-going sewage problem. However, last July, a storm which precipitated over 3.5 inches of rain in less than an hour caused significant problems for many households and had a devastating impact on some. While some nearby places have records which show that this was roughly a 1 in 100 years event, climate change may mean that heavy rainfall is more likely in the future. Even moderate rainfall is resulting in sewage outflow near Brickyard Lane, and Cllrs. Turner and Lawrence have been keeping up pressure on Severn Trent to resolve the problem. Notts. County Council has indicated that a thorough drainage system survey will take place in the future, but residents should also review their own circumstances. Landowners with ditches need to ensure they are clear. The Council has extended its maintenance contract to include checking and clearing the grid at the top of the Kneeton Road culvert.
For several years, the Council has responded to the impact of economic austerity by not increasing the precept. This year, it has increased it by an average of approximately £1 per household. Although there has been a healthy capital balance in recent years, this is essential to underwrite the cost of improvement projects. There is a level of expertise in the council and elsewhere in gaining grants from external sources to meet the substantial part of many improvements, but funds are needed to ensure cash flow does not become an issue. With running costs also steadily increasing, the Council felt it prudent to authorise this small increase this year.
A thorough survey of trees on land owned or leased by the Council was carried out, as part of the Tree Policy. Some trees needed to be felled, and replacements have been planted. Others have been improved, such as the conifer in the car park.
A speed-indicator sign is being purchased for siting on Butt Lane. This awaits a re-definition of the start of the 30mph limit but we are promised a temporary sign in the meantime.
After several years of waiting lists, there have been vacant allotments this year. Despite constant battles with weeds, and occasional visits from shed and produce thieves, this is still a rewarding activity for a very modest cost.
Further improvements have been made to the Play Area, with the extended section and a table for parents to use while supervising their children and the new equipment recently installed near the Play Fort. An application has been made for grant aid towards levelling and re-seeding a large area of the playing field. The re-siting of the Kick-In goal will await this work. An area adjacent to the Bowls Green has been cleared as a site for future benches.
The Council has begun to review its insurance requirements and associated procedures, such as risk assessments. This will have an impact on organisations which use facilities owned or leased by the Council.
For some years, the number of planning applications has been smaller owing to the economic situation. However, despite recent changes to the criteria which require permission to be sought, these seem to be increasing again. The Council will continue to use its fund of local knowledge to make representations to the Planning Authority. It is noticeable that those developments which have the benefit of pre-final design comments from RBC Planning Officers and the Parish Council have fewer permission problems and generally were of improved design. As the village is more ‘filled-in’, the design challenge becomes more difficult, so if you are thinking of developing please do take soundings through the Parish Council and RBC Planners.
As in previous years, problems exist on pavements and footpaths caused by overhanging branches and overgrown hedges etc. Again, we urge landowners to reduce these problems by timely pruning and cutting back.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – April 7th 2014
A presentation was received from Donna Dwyer who manages affordable homes issues on behalf of Rushcliffe Borough Council. She outlined the issues arising when a shared-ownership dwelling which is on a rural exception site such as Foster’s Close is being resold. This site was the first in Rushcliffe, and later sites’ conditions were amended to improve them in the light of experience. All the sites, however, have some difficulty with availability of mortgages for this type of ownership. Nevertheless, there is a procedure for determining the level of need and priority should be given to those with a local connection. The parish council is concerned that information about eligibility and the marketing of such properties should receive more emphasis in the immediate area. RBC are to provide information which will be included in a later edition of this magazine.
The council also heard from a scout, supported by a local scout leader, who will be part of an expedition to Japan in the near future. The council decided to support the work of our scout leaders by making a donation to the local Scout Group.
In public comment, a representative of a local business situated in the north of the village said that he thought it was vital that the parish council supported access to high-speed broadband. Since the last meeting, it emerged that our local exchange is listed for future upgrade but there is no timescale and the overall scheme seems to be suffering some delay. Although we have our own exchange, houses and businesses at the north end of the village will still have the problem of being at the end of the ‘copper’ network which lowers speeds. Cllr. Lawrence said there is an argument to be made that a high-speed link to a cabinet in that area could be part of the rural initiative by Notts County Council, and urged that representations be made to that effect.
Amanda Waring of Catfoot Garden Design outlined an initial design to improve the frontage and access on to Cuttle Hill. After some discussion, it was decided to ask Amanda to take an amended design to the Annual Parish Meeting for wider consultation. The extent of the scheme is likely to depend upon sourcing additional finance.
A temporary interactive speed sign on the Butt Lane entrance to the village should be erected soon. This will stay in place until the 30mph limit is redefined, at which point a permanent one will be erected approximately opposite the medical centre, probably next year.
Footpath leaflets have now been redesigned following the A46 changes and are at the printers, so should be available in the near future.
Severn Trent has carried out further investigations and seems to be close to identifying what work is needed to improve the system which at the moment is causing continuing problems with sewage outflow at the Brickyard Lane/Main Street junction. To assist with communication, Cllr. Turner has agreed to be the local contact who will forward issues to the right department.
Maintenance of the land at the Farm Close junction with College Street, which was replanted last year by Streetwise to coincide with the Ashes series, is now included in the parish council’s casual labour contract. The council sends its gratitude to the neighbour who has been tending the area, and will pass on her suggestions for improvement to the contractor, including funding bark chippings to help keep down the brambles & other weeds.
The funding application for assistance in improving the playing surfaces on Butt Close has been submitted and should be decided by July. Work is scheduled to begin in September on the junior football pitches.
The council encourages residents to become involved in the Community Plan and will continue to support the formation of a group. An important opportunity to share information about this will be at the village show in June.
The next meeting is on Monday May 12th.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – March 3rd 2014
The meeting began with a minute of silence in memory of Garth Powell, former Chairman and long-standing member of the council. Later, the council heard a moving appreciation of Garth’s contribution to the village and its school written by Mr. Maddison, the current Head Teacher of St. Peter’s Academy.
The council welcomed County Coun. Kay Cutts to the meeting, and also congratulated her on her recent award of the MBE.
The Chairman, John Turner, has stood down temporarily because of personal reasons, and Phil Clarke was elected Chairman, with Tracy Strutt as Vice-Chairman. John has been active in pursuing Severn Trent over the drainage and sewage issues, and reported yet another incident at Brickyard Lane, which was cleaned up in 48 hours. Remedial work is planned to the sewer at its junction with Mill Gate which is awaiting confirmation. The council is concerned about responsibility for clearing ditches where these are on private land, particularly on Kneeton Road and Springdale Lane, and this issue will be followed up in subsequent meetings of the council and with other interested parties.
In public comment, a resident asked about the council’s response to recent initiatives on high-speed broadband which he felt would be welcomed by many residents as well as established and emerging businesses. Cllr. Cutts reminded councillors of the rural broadband development scheme, which is due to be rolled-out in Rushcliffe. It was decided to investigate further and consider this at a future meeting. He also asked about progress in improving Butt Close. He had heard that a neighbouring village had obtained £70k in grants to improve their playing fields. The council then discussed its own scheme which will aim to plough and level the two junior pitches at the end of the cricket season and in a second phase, to provide a Trim Trail, better access to the main entrance and re-site the kick-in goal posts. Grants will be sought to provide the bulk of the finance for this scheme.
The council learned more details of the successful launch of the Community Plan and voted to provide a sum of money for the initial work of the group of residents who will take the Plan forward, including a presence at the village show which will enable this to be presented to a wider range of people.
As related elsewhere, the first phase of a project to improve Cuttle Hill was completed with the planting of two trees. The next phase will be to suggest ways to provide a retaining barrier by the pavement and an access path at the upper north end. This will be discussed at the next meeting, and plans made available for consultation, including at the Annual Parish Meeting. The council was disappointed to learn of another event on its intended date for this meeting on the 24th April and, to avoid any dilemma, decided to move the Annual Parish Meeting to April 17th, 7.30pm in the WI hut. It was felt that the village diary system was not as effective as in the past and needed to be reviewed.
An issue has arisen with an affordable home on Fosters Close. Clarification is needed about the requirement for a ‘local connection’ in addition to qualification for people wanting to move into one which is in the process of being sold. It was decided to investigate this further.
The council was pleased to learn that a new signboard has been erected on the site of the old Toll Bridge on Trent Lane, explaining the history of the original bridge over the Trent. It thanked Cllr. Hunt for his hard work in bringing the project to fruition.
Consideration is being given to nominating Assets of Community Value. This scheme allows a community to nominate buildings and land which are deemed very important to the life of the community, which, if accepted, would be listed as such. Should they come up for sale for any reason after this, the community would then have the right to time to decide whether to purchase the asset itself and raise funds to do so.
The next meeting is on Monday April 7th.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – February 3rd 2014
In public comment, one resident, who is also involved with the East Bridgford Community Energy IPS which has submitted a new planning application for a wind turbine, spoke in support of it. He explained the reasons why a new site was being proposed and how these addressed issues which had been given by the Planning Department in refusing permission for the previous application. New national consultation requirements had come into force for this process and he said that the returns from this showed a majority in support. Another resident asked if the changes to subsidies and tariffs would adversely affect the suggested benefits to the community from the project. It was also still a very significant structure in the green belt and it seemed to him that the environmental impact is as great as before. He was also worried that allowing a turbine would set a precedent. It was pointed out that the ‘very special circumstances’ needed for building in the green belt in this case include the community aspect, which no other external company could rely upon. The council then considered the issue, and after some discussion, voted by a small majority to object to the application, mainly on the same grounds as the previous one.
In the Chairman’s Report, he outlined the progress being made with Severn Trent in getting them to fully investigate and resolve the problems with water and sewage drainage, particularly near Brickyard Lane and along Main Street. There is a significant repair needed close to the junction with Millgate, which will take place as soon as traffic issues are sorted out, and it appears that foul water is entering the rain water drainage system at several points. Severn Trent is considering the best way to resolve this. The Chairman will continue to monitor this process.
A number of issues about where responsibilities for maintaining footpaths lie have been resolved with Notts CC. One part of the cliff-top footpath, closed due to landslips during last summer’s torrential rain, has re-opened but others in that area remain closed.
The council considered the precept for the next financial year, and, after several years of making no increase, decided to increase it by 2% in line with inflation. A sum of money from reserves is being set aside for capital projects, including supporting improvements to the playing surfaces on Butt Field. These are suffering further this winter from the amount of rain. Also on Butt Field, the council was pleased to learn that the new play equipment has been installed so that further facilities are available in the Play Area for when the weather improves.
Another possible project is on Cuttle Hill. Replacement trees are due to be planted where one was recently felled, and the council is grateful to the Greenwood Partnership for a grant towards their cost. The council is investigating, through local designer Catfoot Garden Design, whether access can be economically improved on to Cuttle Hill and if a community feature can be included. The Parish Council is also very grateful to James Briggs Ltd who have given us the materials we need to continue to spruce up the village Phone Box (when the weather is a little kinder). The free paint is offered under part of a wider partnership scheme between the British Coatings Federation, BT and the Community Heartbeat Trust, from whom we sourced the defibrillator. BT for its part, now pays the costs of the electricity supply.
The interactive speed sign on Butt Lane has been chosen but cannot be installed until the 30mph zone is re-defined. However, Notts CC has agreed to erect a temporary sign which will stay in place until this occurs.
It is necessary for the council to set up an Asset Register and associated Risk Assessments to meet its obligations for insurance and avoid potential liabilities. This is a specialist area and so a consultant will be appointed to carry out this work on its behalf. Councillors now have High Visibility jackets, with East Bridgford Parish Council printed on the back. This will reduce risk when they are doing council-related tasks and allow the public to recognise when they are on council business. If you see one, please feel free to stop and chat!
The next meeting is on Monday March 3rd.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report –January 6th 2014
It was noted that County Cllrs Cutts and Clark had been awarded MBEs in the New Year’s Honours List and the Clerk was asked on behalf of the Parish Council to send a letter of congratulations to each.
There has been a meeting with Notts CC re the village and riverbank footpaths
and trying to formalise/link up what is ‘on the ground’ with what is ‘on the maps’.
Responsibilities for maintaining and mowing paths are to be formalised with Notts
CC following the end of the Parish Paths Partnerships arrangements.
Purchase of additional play area equipment
Work is scheduled to be started on 20 January. One of the cradle swing straps
has been replaced with a new one.
Interactive “Your Speed” sign on Butt Lane
Notts CC will be supplying and installing an interactive “Your Speed” sign on Butt
Lane. The sign has been ordered and will be paid for by the Parish Council.
Miss S Featherstone, 108 Kneeton Road. New Menage. No objection
Mr and Mrs Robert Waring, 10A Kneeton Road. One dwelling with detached
carport. No objection.
Mr Rushden , Tree Cottage, 5 Lammas Gardens.
Extension to dwelling to form first floor accommodation
Objection, as not compatible with the Village Design Statement
The proposed Cuttle Hill Improvement Programme
There has been a favourable response from the Greenwood Trust about our bid
for 2 replacement trees on Cuttle Hill. An initial survey has been done to assess
the levels (to ascertain what options may exist for providing access to Cuttle Hill).
The Council is considering proposals for the next steps.
Parish Council and Footpaths leaflets are to be printed
Finger posts (WI Hut and Butt Field)
To be renovated and repaired as needed, rather than being replaced.
The new pre-school group
The Parish Council resolved to support the new group with a loan to help them
The DARE project at St Peter’s School
This is being supported with a £500 grant to be paid.
The Parish Council will also assist the Horticultural Society by funding the
purchase of Traffic cones and road signs for use at the Village Show.
There has been flooding on the road corner along Kirk Hill. Clerk to report to
Highways. There has been serious flooding on the dual carriageway at the
Margidunum island. This is not in East Bridgford Parish but nonetheless the Clerk
to report to Highways as a road hazard.
Community Grant Scheme
Anyone wishing to apply for aid under the Community Grant Scheme should
contact Cllr Lawrence.
These are being sent out at the same annual rent as 2013.
Date of next meeting: Monday, 3 February 2014 at 7.30pm
Parish Council Meeting Report – December 2nd
There was no public comment this month, but a number of issues were discussed where parishioners will be able to contribute in the coming months. The main one is the Parish Plan. The steering group has fixed the date for the public meeting to launch the process on the evening of 13th February in the Methodist Chapel. Further details will follow in January.
The council was concerned to learn of the possible closure of the Langar Recycling Site. County Councillor Kay Cutts has been organising a petition against this, which by the date this is published, should be available for signing, probably in the Post Office.
It is intended that Cuttle Hill will be the subject of a project to make it more accessible and attractive. The next stage will be to draw up a design and then consult generally with residents and more specifically with those neighbouring the site.
A quotation to install an interactive speed sign on Butt Lane was accepted and it is hoped this can go ahead as soon as possible. Incidents at the junction of Butt Lane with the old A46 continue to be reported. So that pressure can be exerted on Nottinghamshire County Council, people who experience or witness near-misses are asked to report them, either directly to the Highways Department or to the Parish Council who will pass them on. Notification was received that the 40mph speed limit along Gunthorpe Bridge is being extended further up the hill towards the traffic lights to accommodate the installation of average speed cameras along the whole speed-restricted stretch.
Emergency Planning is an area where the council will also need to consider making some provision. Initially, because of the season, Cllr. Strutt agreed to act as a Snow Warden, who will alert the county council to problems of access etc in the event of heavy snow. The council will also investigate if a local farmer can be available for local snow clearance.
The council was very impressed by, and grateful for, the list of donations made by the Horticultural Society as a result of its successful annual show on Butt Field. It was also pleased to learn that a new Pre-School Group is planned to launch, and will consider a request for specific funding at the next monthly meeting. The Village Hall Committee is also considering re-decorating the Hall and a similar request for financial support may be made.
On Butt Field, it was agreed to purchase new play equipment and install it in place of the planter and play fort in the Play Area. The kick-in goal and fence will need to be completely re-designed, since it has proved impossible to resolve the issues which arise in the current arrangement. The finger-posts pointing towards Butt Field and the WI Hut are in need of refurbishment or replacement.
There are some vacant plots available at the allotments on Butt Lane. Please contact the clerk if you are interested.
The next meeting is on Monday January 6th. Generally, meetings will continue on the first Monday of each month next year except in May, which will be on the 12th to avoid the Bank Holiday. The provisional date for the Annual Parish Meeting is Thursday April 24th.
Coun. Phil Clarke
Parish Council Meeting Report – November 4th 2013
It is now some years since a group of residents and parish councillors successfully worked to produce a Parish Plan. Following a rigorous formal process of consultation, the Plan has informed a number of improvements including the footpath from Ludgate Drive to the Medical Centre, the affordable homes project on Fosters Close, improved lighting in various locations and the Play Area project. Now is a good time to build upon this work, and the council invited Greg Hewitt and Jenny Kirkwood from RCAN to talk to councillors at the beginning of the meeting about the latest thinking on community-led planning. As a result, a public meeting to launch the next stage of the process will be organised in the new year and it is hoped that people will engage with it as effectively as before.
In public comment, representatives of the Tennis Club spoke in support of a renewed application to erect lights at the tennis courts on Butt Field. The application sought to address issues which had led Rushcliffe Borough Council to refuse the application a year ago. After some discussion, the parish council voted by a majority not to object to the application.
Continued pressure about the sewage problem at the junction of Brickyard Lane and Main Street has been maintained on Severn Trent by the council’s Chairman, in particular the involvement of the Consumer Council section of OFWAT and the office of Patrick Mercer, MP. As a result, we have been assured that investigations have intensified and a date in mid-November was promised for communicating the outcome. In respect of the issue of blocked grills to the culvert and drains near the junction of Cherryholt Lane and Kneeton Road, the council agreed to pay for regular clearing. However, it was noted that clearing of dykes and ditches by landowners is becoming even more of an issue, especially where a length of ditch is covered by several owners.
Preliminary work on sourcing grant funding for works to improve the surfaces on Butt Field will be completed when a few final issues are concluded, and hence an application will be made to WREN in the next round which ends in April. A decision is then expected by July, and if successful, this will enable the project to start in phases as desired in August/September.
Renovation of the entrance to Butt Field by the WI hut has been completed and the re-erected metal gates will be repainted in the spring when the weather is suitable.
It was agreed to proceed with the installation of an interactive speed sign on Butt Lane as soon as possible. However, on-going issues of design and location have meant that the plan to site another one on Kneeton Road has been deferred indefinitely.
The footpaths along the river bank and cliff top remain closed while stability investigations are concluded and possible solutions to landslips are explored by Nottinghamshire County Council. One solution to the large landslip by the weir is to re-grade the earth and install steps at each end. This may be achieved quicker than attempting to remove all the earth (which in itself may create further problems of possible landslip) but will change the accessibility to the footpath. Further along the cliff towards Kneeton, the footpath with steep up-and-down steps, known locally as ‘the Great Wall of China’, suffered major damage with one ladder of steps being completely washed away. It would be very expensive to replace these and it is proposed as a temporary solution to seek an alternative routing. Anyone who wishes to comment on these problems and possible solutions may contact Jane Baines at the County Council (firstname.lastname@example.org). One bit of good news – the part of the path from Bridgford Court along the cliff top towards the ‘moorings’ is due to re-open soon.
Further work on trees and other plant growth in the overgrown section of the hedge on Brooks Close is planned by the County Council. When this is completed, the parish council will consider if any further improvement work is needed.
Permission was granted to the Horticultural Society to hold the annual show on Butt Field on the 28th June 2014. They may also use the pavilion, subject to negotiation about costs etc with the Sports Club. All organisations using the pavilion are reminded that each and every item of electrical equipment should be PAT tested and labelled accordingly.
Daffodil bulbs have been planted again in several locations this autumn to further enhance the impressive displays at entrances to the village each spring. The council is very grateful to those councillors and other residents who gave of their time to distribute and plant the bulbs.
The next meeting is on Monday December 2nd.
Coun. Phil Clarke
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