[These and previous minutes are available as a web page on conservation.ecclesfieldgroups.com Just click on "Minutes" for the minutes of the last meeting]

Minutes of the Conservation Group meeting of 2011-09-19 (Monday) at 19:30 in the Stocks

[Numbers and letters in square brackets refer to corresponding items in the agenda of the same date. This version of the minutes was last amended on 2011-09-25 and has not yet been approved]

For members attention

If anybody would like to attend the free "Interpretation Board Training Session" on Tuesday 25 October 2011 between 1pm and 4pm in upstairs function room at The Black Bull, then please let Peter Barker [E.g. ] know. ?

Attendance

[a] Keith Fish  chaired the meeting in John Ellis's absence, and started by welcoming Councillor Vic Bowden and Colin Taylor.
[b] 10 people signed into the meeting. 2 people sent apologies. In all 32 people receive emailed agendas and minutes.
[c] The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted without amendment. Jim Percival jim AT ... took these minutes.

Things we are doing

[z] The next meeting of the Conservation Group will be on 2011-10-17 (Monday) at 19:30 in the Stocks.
[1] Our joint stand at Ecclesfield Gala was discussed. Some people thought that we had not displayed enough material, but others pointed out that visitors to the stand had expressed interest in the group, and this year's sales of historical books had gone well. Both Councillor Bowden and Councillor Taylor had seen the stand and Council Taylor in particular thought that it was well produced. [The two, distinctive, red gazebos must have helped - JP].
[2]  ID said that he had drafted a letter to the council regarding the loss of topping stones, but as far as he was aware, JE had not had a reply. JH said that he had noticed some time ago, that the stones had become detached from the wall next to the flats on Yew Lane, but at least at that time, they had not been stolen, so he did not know where the originals had gone. The new stones were gradually weathering, and JP said that at least the stones had remained seemed to be still attached.
[3]
JP said that he had re-examined the planning application for the ALDI on the old Rollem site, following the letter which Roger Tordoff had received from the Planning Department, but he could not spot any material changes, apart from to marks on one of the plans around the road access.
[4]
The Northern Area Community Assembly were aware of the results of the two traffic surveys we did on Church Street. Councillor Bowden explained that in the current financial climate, the full proposals for Wheel Lane had been implemented, while Councillor Taylor agreed that some of the points we had made regarding Church Street were valid, mentioning the unsuitable nature of the road, and the speed of the traffic.  Our results also confirmed the results held by the City Council. ID said he had logged some of the heavy goods vehicles down Church Lane and Councillor Taylor thought that a log of a reasonable number of lorries, with their type, the name, and perhaps even their registration numbers would be of interest to the Council. It was agreed that ID and anybody else who wanted to submit information could do so [I suggest they email ]. However, he warned us that budgets had been slashed, so we should not expect additional expenditure. In the longer term however, it is important to tell the Council where the problems are. There followed a discussion of the very high costs of putting a pelican crossing across Church Street; the shortage of funding and underspend on the original proposals for Church Street and consequent high speed of the traffic.
[5] PB had printed out copies of the official letter offering us the grant for the Ecclesfield Interpretation Board, and handed these out in the meeting. He explained that the project was urgent because the grant had been given from  this year's EPIP budget, and the project was down to be completed by 24th February 2012. There was some discussion of the desirability of asking for extension to this date. Other requirements of the grant, and possible opportunities were discussed including...
The need to ask pubs and other venues to allow us to put up dispensers containing  leaflets describing the board at various places around the village.
ID Proposed, and Keith as chair congratulated Peter Barker on getting the grant offer.
[x]
None of the planning applications listed in the Agenda raised issues for anybody. RT had noticed that Ecclesfield Dam was up for sale again, and JP said he had found an advertisement for the auction which clearly stated that the land did not have planning permission.
JP mentioned the Government's were consulting on proposed changes to the planning system [Click here for the Planning Policy Framework ConsultationČ]. There was a discussion about what the changes would mean, for instance to the current protections given to land in the Green Belt, but apart from a drastic simplification, no one was able to point to any material change of practice. JH suggested that members might like to consider the organization "38 degrees", set up to protect woodlands [Click here for the 38 degrees petitionČ].
The application was however still listed on the Council web site as "Pending", so JP was asked to write a further letter suggesting that pedestrian access could be improved [see traffic problems below]. The application was however still listed on the Council web site as "Pending", so JP was asked to write a further letter suggesting that pedestrian access could be improved [see traffic problems below].
[y] JH reminded Councillor Bowden that we were hoping for a grant for this year's Ecclesfield Christmas tree, ready for the "sing song" on 4th December. If such a grant was not going to be available, then we would need as much notice as possible, otherwise, we are hoping that Roger Tordoff, as Secretary will receive the offer letter, enabling us to go ahead with the tree as usual.
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