Agenda and minutes

Stockport Local Access Forum (outside body)
Wednesday, 29th November, 2017 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 3, Town Hall. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2017.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2017 were approved as a correct record, subject to:-

 

(i)    under Minute 5 – ‘Statutory Registers’ to the insertion of “which was considered to be compliant.” at the end of the last bullet point

(ii)  under Minute 7 – ‘Definitive Map and Statement Revision’ to the insertion of an additional bullet point reading:-

 

·         “Concern was expressed that the obsolescence of the electronic version of the Definitive Map had caused issues where this had been relied upon by staff in the Council’s call centre.”

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received on behalf of David Gosling.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Members and officers to declare any interests which they have in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

A note is attached which provides members of the Forum with guidance on the type and nature of interests which need to be declared.

Minutes:

Members of the Forum were invited to declare any interests which they had in any of the items on the agenda for the meeting.

 

No declarations were made.

4.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

(a)       SEMMMS Refresh (See Minute 3 of 7 September 2017)

 

It was noted that at the last meeting of the Forum, it had been agreed that information would be submitted to this meeting of the Forum relating to the provision of maps to enable members to see up to date information relating to bridleways.

 

It was confirmed that this would be addressed for the next meeting of the Forum on 28 March 2018 as part of a wider report to enable members to better understand the location of Stockport’s bridleways.

 

(b)       Stockport Local Plan (See Minute 4 of 7 September 2017)

 

The Chair reported that a co-ordinated response on behalf of the Forum to the Stockport Local Plan had not been issued as only one submission had been received from members of the Forum.

 

The Chair commented that a more detailed consultation would take place as part of the next phase of the development of the Local Plan.

5.

Local Access Forum Protocol and Procedures pdf icon PDF 49 KB

(Minute 2 of 7 September 2017 refers)

 

The notes of an informal meeting held on 2 October 2017 between support officers of the Forum and the Chair relating to the procedures and protocols and practical arrangements for the support of the work of the Forum are included for comment.

 

The Forum is recommended to comment on and note the notes of the meeting.

Minutes:

The Chair submitted a copy of the notes of an informal meeting held on 2 October 2017 between support officers of the Forum and the Chair relating to the procedures and protocols and practical arrangements for the support of the work of the Forum following comments and concerns raised by members of the Forum at its meeting on 7 September 2017.

 

Members of the Forum broadly welcomed the outcomes from the meeting and the positive response of the Local Authority which would form the framework of a protocol for the arrangements of future meetings of the Forum.

 

RESOLVED – That the notes of the meeting held on 2 October 2017 be noted and the approach for the arrangements of future meetings of the Forum be endorsed.

6.

The Rights of Way Improvement Plan Consultation pdf icon PDF 77 KB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration.

 

The report details the Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) and invites the Area Committee’s comments of the on the draft plan. The Committee is particularly recommended to give their views on the seven conclusions reached in the plan, and the actions suggested.

 

For the purposes of the plan a Right of Way is all off road routes that the public are able to utilise legally. Examples include routes in parks, concessionary paths, public rights of way and access space.

 

The Forum is recommended to provide comments upon the draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan in Appendix 1.

 

Officer contact: Sue Stevenson on 0161 4744351 or email sue.stevenson@stockport.gov.uk

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan and inviting the Forum to  comment of the on the draft plan.

 

The Forum was particularly recommended to give their views on the seven conclusions reached in the plan, and the actions suggested.

 

The Chair proposed that broad initial comments on the draft Plan could be made at this meeting, but that detailed responses could be made individually as part of the public consultation.

 

The following comments were then made:-

 

·         The Chair offered to co-ordinate a response to the consultation on behalf of the Forum and requested that individual comments from members should be submitted to him directly by no later than 31 December 2017.

·         In response to a concern about difficulties in accessing the consultation document, it was stated that this was available on the Council’s website on the ‘Have Your Say’ pages.

·         The Council’s Cycling and Walking Strategy would be consulted upon separately in the New Year, however, it had been developed to work in tandem with the Rights of Way Improvement Plan.

·         Relevant responses received in respect of the consultation on the Rights of Way Improvement Plan would be considered as part of the consultation on the Cycling and Walking Strategy.

·         In response to a comment on the omission of horse riding within the Cycling and Walking Strategy, it was stated that the Rights of Way Improvement Plan was the appropriate strategy document to address those issues.

·         It was commented that there was an ongoing conflict between the demands of different users of bridleways for space on the bridleway network with the apparent focus being on adapting bridleways for use by cyclists. 

·         Concern was expressed in relation to the apparent urbanisation of the public rights of way network through the use of what was considered to be inappropriate surfacing materials. 

·         There was a lack of focus on environmental protection and conservation within the draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan and no reference to the importance of the green belt or landscape character policies.

·         It was commented that there was frequently a variance of opinion in relation to network improvement measures which could polarise opinion.

·         There needed to be consultation with relevant landowners and rights of way users, particularly when it was proposed to introduce new types of surfacing.

·         The Council had been in discussion with National Parks authorities in relation to the suitability of the type of surfacing it had recently been introducing on the rights of way network.

·         The need to resurface the full width of a right of way was discussed with regard to the visual impact this might have on the setting of the route within a natural context.

·         Where maintenance or amendment of a route was being considered, the draft plan indicates that there is a need to do further consultation on those routes in relation to their role they have providing access to schools and shops, recreation and providing links between communities to ensure that they continued to meet the needs of communities.  It was commented that this was not an activity that was currently taking place.

·         It was commented that the introduction of gates on the rights of way network constituted an impediment to many users.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the comments of the Forum be taken into account as part of the wider consultation on the draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan.

 

(2) That members of the Forum be requested to forward their detailed comments on the draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan to the Chair of the Forum by no later than 31 December 2017 to allow him to prepare and submit a co-ordinated response on behalf of the Forum as part of the public consultation.

7.

Rights of Way Update pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To consider a report of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration.

 

The report provides an update on the work of the Public Rights of Way team during 2017 and the challenges encountered.

 

The Forum is recommended to comment on and note the report.

 

Officer contact: Ernest Nama on 0161 474 4595 or email: ernest.nama@stockport.gov.uk

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) providing an update on the work of the Public Rights of Way team during 2017 and the challenges encountered.

 

The following comments were made:-

 

·         The revenue and capital budgetary provision was welcomed. 

·         In response to a query about the level of the capital budget, it was stated that last year this had been allocated towards repairs to the network following the flooding that had occurred in various location throughout the Borough.  The £60,000 capital budget had been supplemented by other funding from the Council amounting to circa £700,000 investment in repairs to the network.

·         It was anticipated that provision for £60,000 in the capital budget would be maintained in 2018/19.  It was further commented that this core funding was supplemented by Section 106 allocations which in 2017/18 had amounted to approximately £500,0000 additional capital resource, although this was subject to wide year-on-year variations.

·         The Council continued to promote the introduction of bridleway routes rather than dedicated cycle tracks when money for the development of cycling routes became available as these offered more flexibility in terms of the range of users that could access them.

·         In response to a comment about the potential for the introduction of concessionary cycle routes over existing rights of way as undertaken in Manchester and Bury, it was stated that third party funders were reticent to allocate funding for schemes for which cycling rights could readily be withdrawn.

·         There was an increasing pressure amongst cyclists for the provision of segregated on-road routes.

·         Multi-use provision was acceptable, but this needed to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

·         There were a number of short off-road routes between estates which over which horse riders were precluded access.  If these were opened up, it would remove horse riders from the road which would be a benefit to all users.

·         It was noted that there was an error in the report in relation to the current staffing arrangements for the Public Rights of Way Team and that there remained two officers in post.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

 

8.

Definitive Map Modification Orders Handling/ Progress

The Senior Public Rights of Way Officer will attend the meeting to provide an update on progress on Definitive Map Modification Orders.

Minutes:

The Senior Public Rights of Way Officer attended the meeting and provided an overview of the current position with regard to the progress of Definitive Map Modification Orders.

 

It was stated that there was currently a backlog of work with the Council’s Legal Services department that way delaying the making of the Orders, however recruitment was taking place which would provide additional capacity within the service to assist in clearing some of the outstanding Orders.

 

The following comments were then made:-

 

·         The announcement that issue of outstanding Definitive Map Modification Orders was being addressed within the Council was welcomed.

·         It was suggested that it would be useful for the Forum to be provided with a brief overview of those Orders that remained outstanding along with a summary of the progress made to date towards implementing them.

·         Once the Council had resolved to make an Order, that could not be rescinded due to the delay in implementing it.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the update be noted.

 

(2) That the Senior Public Rights of Way Officer be requested to make arrangements for future meetings of the Forum to be provided with an overview of those Orders that remained outstanding along with a summary of the progress made to date towards implementing them.

9.

Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 46 KB

To consider a report of the Secretary.

 

This report proposes that members give consideration to items that may be include don agendas for future meetings of the Forum to allow the Forum to plan ahead for the inclusion of any additional items well in advance of the meetings taking place.

 

The Forum is recommended to give consideration to the criteria included in the report and determine if there are any items they would wish to consider over the forthcoming 12 month period.

 

Officer contact: Damian Eaton on 0161 474 3207 or email: damian.eaton@stockport.gov.uk

Minutes:

The Secretary submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) inviting the Forum to give consideration to any items that may be included on agendas for future meetings of the Forum to allow the Forum to plan ahead for the inclusion of additional items well in advance of those meetings taking place.

 

RESOLVED – That members of the Forum be requested to contact the Secretary with any additional items they would like to have included on the agenda for future meetings of the Forum.