Agenda and minutes

Stockport Local Access Forum (outside body)
Wednesday, 28th March, 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Room 5, Town Hall. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2017.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 29 November 2017 were approved as a correct record.

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

There were no apologies for absence.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Councillors 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:

There were no matters arising.

5.

Rights of Way Improvement Plan Consultation pdf icon PDF 65 KB

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

 

Following the consultation on the Draft Rights of Way Improvement Plan (ROWIP) the draft document has been reviewed and amended. This report provides an update of the results of the consultation and identifies the ways in which the final draft of the ROWIP has been amended to address the concerns identified.

 

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

 

Officer contact: Sue Stevenson on 0161 474 4351 or email:  sue.stevenson@stockport.gov.uk

Additional documents:

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted the final Rights of Way Improvement Plan which had been approved by the Council’s Cabinet at its meeting on 13 March 2018.

 

The Forum was advised that the Plan had been amended since draft Plan was considered at the last meeting of the Forum in 29 November 2017 to incorporate feedback received as part of the consultation process.  The principal amendments to Plan included:-

 

·         amendments to the way the plan dealt with the issue of the protection of the natural environment and the historic environment while still looking to improve the rights of way in the borough to enable them to be more useful to modern day needs. This included a new section of the document at 5.3.

·         amendments to the way the plan dealt with the needs of equestrian groups. This included a new section of the document at 5.5.

·         amendments in the way the document dealt with accessibility for all users so that the needs of people with a disability and the needs of minority ethnic and minority user groups were addressed. The proposed degree of changes to routes had been clarified.

·         amendments to clarify how the document dealt with conflict between users.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         It was queried why the final Plan had not been circulated to members of the Forum in advance of its approval by the Council. In response, it was stated that the draft Plan had been submitted for comment by the Forum at its last meeting, and the Forum had agreed to feedback any further responses via the Chair in advance of the consultation deadline.

·         It was commented that the Rights of Way Improvement Plan was largely aspirational in tone, and that it was heavily dependent on the availability of funding to implement its aims.  

·         In response to a query in relation to how improvements to rights of way would be funded, it was stated that there were a number of available funding streams which included a modest revenue budget for ongoing maintenance and repairs; the Transportation Capital Programme; and ring-fenced grants for specific projects.

·         Where the Council was in a position to attract funding for the development of cycling schemes, the intention was to undertake these as bridleway schemes to allow for the creation of multiuse facilities rather than solely as cycle tracks.

·         It was requested that a copy of the Transportation Capital Programme be circulated to members of the Forum when it became available.

·         Funding occasionally became available through developer contributions which allowed for the creation of new routes, or improvements to existing routes.

·         It was commented that amongst the main changes identified in the covering report to the Rights of Way Improvement Plan were amendments to the way the Plan dealt with the issue of the protection of the natural environment and the historic environment and amendments to the way the Plan dealt with the needs of equestrian groups; however members were unable to find reference to these amendments within the final Plan document.

·         The consultation had identified that users of rights of way considered that the most important services were surface condition, obstruction removal and drainage.

 

RESOLVED – That the Rights of Way Improvement Plan be noted.

6.

Rights of Way Update pdf icon PDF 39 KB

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 since the last meeting of the Forum.

 

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 since the last meeting of the Forum.

 

The following comments were made:-

 

·         The report focussed on the actions being taken to make improvements to signage along definitive routes.  While it was acknowledged that this was an important element of the work of the Public Rights Team, the Forum had specifically requested that it be provided with details of those problems which had been reported on the network and the progress that had been made towards resolving them.

·         Concern was expressed that there were a number of outstanding problems with obstructions on the rights of way network that had been reported a long time ago which had not yet been resolved.

·         It was suggested that an action plan should be developed identifying how the Council proposed to tackle the backlog of maintenance issues on the rights of way network.

·         It was suggested that a report be brought to the next meeting of the Forum detailing the service planning work being undertaken in the Public Rights of Way Team that would identify the priorities of the service for the 2018/19 municipal year.

·         It was commented that the resources available to the Public Rights of Way Team were unrealistically small to deal with the volume of issues on the network.  In response, it was stated that the Council was having to make significant budgetary reductions that were having an impact on service provision across the broad spectrum of services provided by the Council, however the Council continued to make considerable investments in rights of way.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That members of the Forum be requested to forward any outstanding maintenance issues on the rights of way network to the Head of Highways and Transportation.

 

(2) That the Head of Highways and Transportation be requested to provide an update to members of the Forum on progress towards resolving those maintenance issues forwarded to her by members.

7.

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 to provide an overview of the current position with regard to the progress of Definitive Map Modification Orders. 

 

The Chair commented that it was disappointing that notwithstanding the resolution of the Forum at its last meeting on 29 November 2017 that arrangements be made 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, no such report had been forthcoming on this occasion.

 

The following comments were made:-

 

·         It was commented that Legal Services were currently working through the backlog of Orders.

·         A detailed list of progress towards implementing definitive map modification orders had become available shortly prior to the commencement of the meeting, however it was acknowledged that there had been insufficient notice for the Forum to reasonably give consideration to this material during the course of the meeting.  It was suggested that this should be subsequently circulated to members of the Forum, and that an updated version be submitted to the next meeting of the Forum.

·         It was commented that all local authorities were required to publish a register of applications under Section 53(5) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 for definitive map modification orders, but that some users had experienced difficulties in accessing this on the Council’s website.  In response, it was stated that the Section 53 register was available at www.stockport.gov.uk/prow

·         It was proving difficult to assess the Council’s performance in handling definitive map modification orders.

 

RESOLVED – That the Senior Rights of Way Officer be requested to circulate the progress report on definitive map modification orders to members of the Forum through the Secretary.

 

8.

Open Access

This item has been placed on the agenda at the request of the Chair.

Minutes:

The Chair reported that this item had been placed on the agenda at his request.

 

The Chair commented that it was disappointing that notwithstanding his request for this item to be placed on the agenda, a written report had not been submitted to accompany it in accordance with the agreed Local Access Forum Protocol and Procedures (Minute 5 of 29 November 2017 refers).

 

The Chair reported he had requested that a report be submitted which summarised open access land within the Borough and the access provisions for each. 

 

The following comments were made:-

 

·         The Forum had a statutory role in advising on the management and promotion of access land and to encourage responsible and wider enjoyment of access land.

·         In order for the Forum to fulfil its statutory role, it needed to be provided with baseline information on the current provision within the Borough how this might be accessed by the public.

·         It was noted that there was currently a claim in progress for a bridleway across Ludworth Moor which was understood to currently form open access land.

 

RESOLVED – That the Senior Rights of Way Officer be requested to submit a report to the next meeting of the Forum detailing the current provision of Open Access land within the Borough, how this might be accessed by the public and whether there were any restrictions on access to the land.

9.

Brownfield register pdf icon PDF 205 KB

This item has been placed on the agenda at the request of the Chair.

 

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

 

The report provides a general progress update on the Brownfield First work and a more specific update on the recommendations approved by the Environment & Economy Scrutiny Committee on 2 March 2017.

 

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

 

Officer contact: Nicola Turner on 0161 218 1635 or email: nicola.turner@stockport.gov.uk

Minutes:

A representative of the Corporate Director for Place Management & Regeneration submitted a report (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the Council’s approach to bringing forward brownfield land for development as part of its regeneration ambitions.

 

The following comments were made:-

 

·         It was too early to assess whether there was sufficient brownfield land availability to cope with the anticipated demand for development land.

·         The second draft of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework was currently under development and it was anticipated that this would be published in June 2018.

·         A public call for sites was ongoing on the Council’s website along with a copy of the current brownfield register at www.stockport.gov.uk/brownfield

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

10.

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 the following items be scheduled for inclusion on the agenda for future meetings of the Forum:-

 

Item

Indicative Meeting Date

Responsible

 

 

 

Transportation Capital Programme 2018/19

17 July 2018

Sue Stevenson

Priorities of the Public Rights of Way Team for 2018/19

17 July 2018

Sue Stevenson

Open Access Land

17 July 2018

Ernest Nama

Update on Landscape Character Assessments

17 July 2018

Sue Stevenson

Development of a Bridleway Strategy

28 November 2018

Debbi Hall

Conflicts between users on Multi-use routes

28 November 2018

Sue Stevenson