Agenda and minutes

Stockport Local Access Forum (outside body)
Monday, 29th July, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Room 206, Town Hall. View directions

Items
No. Item

1.

Election of Chair

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That Edgar Ernstbrunner be elected Chair of the Stockport Local Access Forum for the 2019/2020 Municipal Year.

Edgar Ernstbrunner in the Chair

2.

Appointment of Vice-Chair

To appoint a Chair of the Forum for the period until the next Annual Meeting of the Council.

Minutes:

RESOLVED – That Debbi Hall be appointed Vice-Chair of the Stockport Local Access Forum for the 2019/2020 Municipal Year.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 80 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 January 2019.

Minutes:

The Minutes (copies of which had been circulated) of the meeting held on 14 January 2019 were approved as a correct record subject under the fourth bullet point of Minute 5 (Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan) to the amendment of a typographical error to replace ‘Been network’ with ‘Bee Network’.

4.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received on behalf of David Gosling and Debbi Hall.

 

The Secretary also advised the Forum that he had been informed that Dr Stephen Watkins had formally resigned his membership of the Forum.  The Forum was also advised that its membership now comprised of ten members which was the statutory minimum. 

 

Whilst The Local Access Forums (England) Regulations 2007 only required local authorities to appoint additional members when its membership fell below ten, the Secretary advised the Forum that it would be prudent to consider the appointment of additional members at this stage.

 

It was clarified that the membership of the Forum should represent a range of interests which could include landowners, equestrians, ramblers, cyclists and disabled users amongst others.

 

RESOLVED – (1) That the Secretary be requested to make the necessary arrangements for the appointment of additional members of the Forum.

 

(2) That the Secretary be requested to circulate a list of the current membership of the Forum to all members, and where possible that this identify the range of interests of those members.

5.

Declarations of Interest

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

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.

6.

Matters Arising

Minutes:

Forward Plan (Minute 8 of 28 March 2018 refers)

 

It was commented that it had previously been identified that the quality of the available mapping was poor and that this had hampered the work towards the development of a Bridleway Strategy.  It had previously been agreed that officers would work with members of the Forum to obtain this information in a more intelligible format, and it was queried whether this had taken place.

 

In response it was stated that whilst discussions had taken place, this had not yet resulted in a positive outcome.  Officers undertook to engage directly with members undertaking work on the Bridleway Strategy to ensure that appropriately detailed mapping information was available.

 

PROW Surfacing (Minute 11 of 14 January 2019 refers)

 

The Chair commented that this item had originally been placed on the agenda at his request, but that he not been able to attend that meeting at which it was considered.  The Chair stated that the Minute suggested that the intention behind the item was for proposals for resurfacing to be brought to the Forum for consideration prior to any work being undertaken.  It was clarified that was not the intention, but rather that the Forum wanted to be assured that there was a robust process in place for consulting relevant stakeholders.

 

RESOLVED – That the Head of Highways and Transportation be recommended to submit a report to a future meeting of the Forum detailing the existing arrangements for engaging with relevant stakeholders in advance of undertaking resurfacing works on Public Rights of Way, or in the eventuality such a process was not already in place, the Forum would recommend that the Local Access Authority institute such a mechanism and report to the Forum on such proposed arrangements.

7.

The Changing face of Public Rights of Way pdf icon PDF 40 KB

To consider a report of the Transport Strategy Manager.

 

The Public Rights of Way delivery structure has undergone a number of changes this year and these changes will continue. This report outlines the changes that have been made so far and the changes that the council is still looking to make.

 

The Forum is recommended to note the report.

 

Officer contact: Emily Brough on 0161 474 4592 or email: emily.brough@stockport.gov.uk

Minutes:

A report of the Transport Strategy Manager was submitted (copies of which had been circulated) detailing a number of changes that had been made with regard to the Public Rights of Way delivery structure and outlining anticipated future changes that may affect the service.

 

Specifically, the report stated that in spring 2019 the service was realigned within the Highways and Transportation service and detailed the interim arrangements that had been put in place to provide continuity of service within Public Rights of Way service.  It was further stated that a department-wide review was currently underway, at the conclusion of which it was proposed to advertise for a number of roles including positions related to public rights of way.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

8.

Reactive Work Progress Report pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To consider a report of the Transport Strategy Manager.

Minutes:

A report of the Transport Strategy Manager was submitted (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the current schedule of reactive maintenance work across the public rights of way network including repair and improvement work as well as vegetation clearance.  The report also detailed the response of the service to a number of complaints that had been received in respect of public rights of way.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         It was useful to understand the range of work that was being undertaken to improve the network.

·         Members stated it would be helpful to have the anticipated timescales for the completion of the schedule of works.

·         It was suggested that priority should be afforded to the proposed clearance of vegetation from the footpath from Kingsleigh Road to Laurel Edge Road in view of its heavy use by families as a safe walking route to and from Tithe Barn Primary School as an alternative to heavily trafficked roads.

·         It was commented that there was not currently a routine vegetation clearance programme for public rights of way, and work was currently taking place to understand the demand with a view to building an evidence-led maintenance schedule.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

9.

Public Rights of Way - Legal Update pdf icon PDF 47 KB

To consider a report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

Minutes:

A report of the Deputy Chief Executive was submitted (copies of which had been circulated) providing an update on the activities of Legal Services towards implementing Definitive Map Modification Orders.

 

It was stated that the list of outstanding ‘Definitive Map Modification Orders’ (DMMOs) actually consisted of a mixture of DMMOs made under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and diversion or extinguishment orders made under the Highways Act 1980.  It was suggested that future such reports should separate out these different categories of order.

 

It was further commented that some of the claims listed in the report had remained outstanding for a significant period of time and Forum would maintain a keen interest in the progression of these.

 

In response, it was stated that there was now additional resource available within Legal Services which it was anticipated would result in more progress being made on the outstanding public rights of way work.

 

RESOVLED – That the report be noted.

10.

Asset Management and PROW Approach pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider a report of the Transport Strategy Manager.

Minutes:

A report of the Transport Strategy Manager was submitted (copies of which had been circulated) detailing the Council’s move towards an asset management based approach to dealing with its different infrastructure requirements.  As part of this the Council produced a Public Right of Way

Inspection and Repair Plan 2018 and was working to amend the other parts of the Public Rights of Way procedure to be delivered using a risk based approach and the lifecycle planning procedures needed for asset management.

 

It was explained that it was important that the service obtained much better understanding of the assets across the public rights of way network and their condition to enable a more proactive approach to the maintenance of the assets including the programmed replacement of life-expired assets and the development of an investment strategy.

 

The following comments were made/ issues raised:-

 

·         There would be a consultation on the review of the Council’s overall Asset Management Plan which was expected before the end of the current financial year.

·         The increased cataloguing of public rights of way assets within the Council’s Confirm Asset Management System was welcomed as a means of allowing the public to more readily report defects across the public rights of way network in the future.

·         It was suggested that consideration should be given to the use of mobile app-based software to allow residents to report problems while in situ using the devices’ built-in GPS which would allow for greater accuracy in identifying the location of any defects.

 

RESOLVED – That the report be noted.

11.

Revisiting Local Access Forum Procedures

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 expressed his concern that the draft Minutes of the last meeting of the Forum had not been circulated to the chair of that meeting for comment in a timely fashion.  Specifically, it was stated that the Forum had previously agreed that this should take place within ten working days of the meeting.

 

The Secretary expressed his regret that this had not taken place on this occasion and confirmed that where possible the ten working day timescale would be adhered to in the future.

 

RESOLVED – That the position be noted.