Draft Minutes of the Conservation meeting of 2013-11-18

at 19:30 in The Stocks

[The last amendment was on 2014-01-20. As usual letters in square brackets refer to standing items, and numbers new items, in the corresponding Agenda].

[a] Chair: Ian Deans (ID)  chaired this meeting.

[b] Attendance: in addition, MM, BS, AM, RT, PB, KM, SP, and JP signed into the meeting (JP retrospectively). Apologies were received from LS and KF. KF’s email contained two points for the meeting, each of which can be seen attached to the relevant item below. In addition, CT has said that he was sorry he could not attend more Conservation meetings, but would continue to come when he could. A total of 36 people now receive emailed agendas and minutes.

Ongoing matters, or "things still to be done"

[z] The next meeting will be in the Stocks on Monday 20th January 2014 at 7:30 pm.

[1] MM reported that five people had helped decorate our joint Christmas Tree. All went well, and She said that it was nice that one person had attended from each of the contributing groups. She told us that Thursday was the last day for getting it ready, and the tree would then be displayed on 13th, 14th and 15th of December.

[2] KF’s email said that the Christmas Tree was sorted and money received from the Council passed to SH. Other arrangements for the village Christmas tree were discussed at the meeting. The tree needed to be erected and complete before the carol singing at 6 o’clock on 15th December.

[3] ID told us that he had had more dealings with Amey over the boundary marker on Green Lane. Amey weren’t sure that the stone was meant to be stood vertical, suggesting that it might be some kind of coping stone, and mentioned an example of this on Chesterfield Road. Members debated this, and AM wondered whether the 1901 map would show the marker [SP has since checked her copy of the 1901 map and not found anything. If therefore anybody has any information on any similar (vertical or horizontal) stones, then please let us know – JP].
[Since previous meetings had assumed that the stone was meant to be vertical, and would be erected on the boundary of Keylink], SP said she had enquired of Keylink’s general manager who was sympathetic to the idea. ID pointed out the importance of getting the position of the stone right, in view of possible gas mains etc. He would try and obtain written permission for the stone to be erected.

[4] ID said that he had also been in touch with Amey over the possible planter on Church Street/Chapeltown Road. There is a requirement to obtain a license to locate a structure on the verge.

[6] ID reminded us about the consultation event on phase II of the Governments High Speed Rail proposals (HS2). It had he said, generated an enormous amount of information, and some issues which members might want to comment on. Smithy Wood has already taken our interest, and ID said he was concerned about both its ancient-woodland and heritage aspects. ID mentioned the disruption likely to be created by the work. There are four platforms being proposed and six lines. Apparently this work will require embankments and possibly a “cut and cover” tunnel, and could go on for nine years, with traffic and disruption to feeder roads during this period. ID said there was reason to be concerned about the effect on the Trans Pennine Trail. Some members questioned how many people would use the HS2 train, and said that there should be no development. RT said he was ambivalent about it. ID concluded by saying that any comments had got to be in by the end of January, and agreed to put something together or our next meeting [The draft of which is now in the members area of our web site–JP].

[8] Since our Monday meetings were clashing with the Poker School, AM told us that the Parks group met at Unity Gardens, and suggested that we could do the same. There would be a need for us to obtain keys etc., so various other possible venues and dates were suggested, but none chosen. We therefore decided to meet again in the Stocks, but have a further think about it in the new year.

Completed matters or "things we have now done"

[c] Following on from the previous meeting, the question of whether to propose an extension to the Ecclesfield Conservation Area was discussed, and the old stone properties on Cross Hill, and Town End Farm were mentioned. The need for property owners to agree was again emphasized, but it was thought that some of them might be happy with it. Although there was some support for such an extension, there were questions about the merits or otherwise, of extensions which were not contiguous with the existing Conservation area, and the matter was left open. [It can of course be raised again, especially if anybody wants to make a specific suggestion or talk to some of the property owners and get their views - JP]

[5] JP reported that there had been a meeting in the Travelers Inn on problems created by busses parking while changing drivers near the Green Lane Bus depot.

[7] JP reported on the setting up of a Friends of Ecclesfield Library with the aim of responding to Sheffield City Council’s request for proposals to keep the library open [See library.ecclesfieldgroups.com for progress].

[y] KF’s email said that from his “point of view we appeared to be loosing track of what we were formed for in the first place”. He suggested that we concentrate on the Ecclesfield CONSERVATION area [his capitalization], and not include the surrounding area unless it “interfered with the Conservation area”.

PB strongly supported what KF had reported in his email to us. After we had discussed the problems at the Green Lane bus depot, he asked what has traffic got to do with the Conservation area. This prompted a debate about our terms of reference. ID said that the constitution did not confine us to the Ecclesfield Conservation Area, and our founder and Vice Chair RT agreed, pointing out that he and many other members did not live in the Conservation Area. [Members can of course change the constitution, but the wording is “Conservation Area and the village as a whole”. Links to both the current constitution, and aims can be seen at the bottom of our home page. In addition, I found the same wording in a 2008-07-02 copy of the constitution, which I have put on the members section of the website. Just click on “changes to constitution” and then “2008 constitution”].

PB also said that there was not enough about the history of Ecclesfield. No objections were voiced to this.

[In putting this issue in “Completed matters” I have assumed that the initial point about the Constitution has been answered. If anybody does not believe that to be the case, or wants to change the constitution, then please bring up the question again.

The other points which KF and PB raised may still be open, and I am placing them here not because I think they are unimportant or closed, but because of their general nature. I don’t know which of the points they or other members might want to pursue, or how they would want me to express them. If therefore any member would like to email me a (short) agenda item, and perhaps some (longer) text in its support, I will put both in the agenda as a proposal. Alternatively, general issues can always be raised in any other business or against any agenda item that it might impact – JP]