Draft Minutes of the Conservation meeting of

2014-02-19 at 19:00 in The Stocks

[The last amendment to these minutes was made on 2014-02-28.

Comments on these minutes can be sent to JP on . Letters refer to standing items, and numbers new items, in the agenda of the same date at conservation.ecclesfieldgroups.com/minutes ].

A. Chair: Ian Deans (ID) chaired this meeting.

B. Attendance: ID, MM, KM, DM, AM, BS, and JP signed into the meeting. Apologies were received from LS, CT, RT, SP, KF, PB, and JH. A total of 40 people now receive emailed agendas and minutes.

Ongoing Matters

Z. It was agreed that our AGM should be at 19:00 on Wednesday 19th March 2014, in The Stocks. Members agreed that this Wednesday had proved a very quiet evening for a meeting. However, members were also aware of the large number of apologies. A decision on the dates for future meetings was therefore left for the AGM.

1.i ID reported on his communications with Amey about the sycamore on Yew Lane/Stocks Hill. He said that Amey had described a plan to retain the stone planter which supported the tree, and to plant it with shrubs or other plants. The Council/Amey would then maintain the planter.

Instead of putting a replacement tree in the old planter, however, Amey are planning to plant a Field Maple in the verge almost opposite to the old site. This is however still subject to a utilities search, and even if this is clear, ID said that we do not yet know how large the tree is going to be.

However, Amey are planning to plant trees further up Yew Lane. The type of tree, and exact location were not specified but wherever the trees are planted, they will not be in the Conservation Area.

ID said that following his conversations with Amey, they had agreed to add a “Conservation Area” layer to their GIS maps. They also offered to circulate to us, their plans for any future tree works. JP said that this was a considerable improvement on Amey’s initial reaction, and what he had found when visiting Amey’s Road Show. ID asked members whether they wanted him to ask Amey for a more definite commitment, and the meeting agreed [The Conservation Area now appears on Amey’s map of work to be done. This is linked to on our web site http://conservation.ecclesfieldgroups.com. Just scroll down to “Tree Felling in Sheffield” - JP ].

1.ii JP said that there was now a draft procedure for surveying trees on the member’s area of the Conservation web site. If we could work out how to measure the distance to trees which were in someone’s garden, then the width of the tree trunk as it appears on the photograph should allow us to calculate the diameter of the tree. The total of all the tree diameters should then give us a measure of the tree bio-mass. ID thought that such a figure for the Conservation Area would be useful.

ID also suggested that where trees were in people’s front gardens, it might be useful to knock on the owner’s door and ask if the householders were happy for us to publish a photograph of their tree on our Archive web site and to measure the girth of their tree.

1.iii ID asked whether members had concerns about other street works, being carried out by Amey. The new LED street lights were discussed. It was recalled that when we first heard about the conservation to the more efficient form of lighting, it was suggested that Conservation Areas could have a modified version. However, no specific objections were raised to what members had seen being done in Ecclesfield so far.

2) Concerning the planter proposed for Church Street / Chapeltown Road, ID reported on his appointment with Denis Wyatt (Highways Enforcement Officer at SCC) on the site. The verge was already looking very nice - probably because of the work Dennis Haywood of Morningside Cattery (DH), who lives nearby, has already done to keep it tidy. Mr Wyatt had agreed in principle to the location of the planter. DH has also said he will plant up and water the planter. This still leaves it to us to purchase the planter and get it into position.

Unfortunately, when ID checked that the previous quotation for the planter was still valid, he found that the suppliers had increased the price by over 40% since the original application for grant funding was made. ID therefore agreed to see if something could be done about the price, and JP added that he had read of an Ecclesfield supplier of owl boxes that might be able to help [Unfortunately, although R3 products make recycled plastic board, we have not found anyone to assemble it into a planter – JP].

ID said that the Council had also asked for a Section 142 licence for the planter. These were normally negotiated between an adjacent land owner and the Council, and DH was prepared to sign such a licence. Apparently, unless we ask for and are given an extension, the planter needs to be in place by the end of March.

There was then a discussion on how, given the price increase, we could fund a second planter, and if so where it should be. Wheel Lane, Yew Lane and High Greave were mentioned. The planter could be on the Council-owned verge, or it could be on private land if the land owner agreed.

4) At our last meeting, members asked questions about what appeared to be an un-discharged planning obligation on Aldi, to erect a heritage board on the old Rollem Mill building. It looked as if Aldi or their agent had submitted a copy of one of our Heritage Leaflets to Sheffield City Council, as an example of what Aldi could provide. ID updated us on this, saying that he had written to the manager at Aldi, mentioning these facts, and asking if Aldi wanted us to help [If anybody has an old photograph of the Rollem Mill building, it looks as if it could come in very handy – JP]

7) MM said that she had spoken to the ladies who had worked on the burial records at St. Mary’s Church. Some of these records were less than 100 years old and should not perhaps be released.

On the other hand, MM added that there were three graveyards in the area, each of different ages. The earliest graves were in the Church grounds, and are dated from around 1700 to about 1840. Later graves are in the “old grave yard”. Later still, are the ones in the Municipal grave yard beyond the Gatty Hall, which dated from 1901.

Photographs of some of St. Mary’s records of deaths were already on-line, and AM said she had already managed to use these for her own genealogical researches. However, JP thought that since only pictures of the ledgers are on St. Mary’s web site, the names and details cannot be found by Google. This means that the records are only accessible by people who already know which church to search for. The solution would be to read the handwritten records, transcribe them, and then put the transcription on the Internet.

8) MM told us that our insurance policy, shared with the Bloom Group, was up for renewal. Its provisions might have to change, and its cost is likely to go up. There was adequate provision in our funds to cover the renewal.

9) ID said that he had been looking at Sheffield City Council’s East Ecclesfield Ward Plan. This had been prepared by LAP-North. The plan began by describing the characteristics of the ward. It then said that they had conducted a postal survey. The replies were expressed as a “top ten” list of priorities, which began…

1. Road and pavement repairs

2. Clean streets

3. Level of crime

4. Level of traffic congestion

ID expressed surprise that interest groups such as ourselves had not been given the opportunity to comment, and the meeting decided to ask our ward councillors if we could have some real input into next year’s revision of the plan.

However, ID was pleased to note that the “Ward Action Plan” at the end of the document mentioned among other things, support for local groups e.g. through grants; and support for the Ecclesfield Parish Council Archive Project.

It was agreed that ID should write to Cllr Weatherall to ask about delivery of the Action Plan and for an input into next year’s Plan

Y. DM asked if anybody remembered Green’s Foundry on The Common. Apparently the stock of painted wooden patterns for metal castings in their yard was quite a sight. [If anybody has any photographs, let me know. It became Moorwood Vulcan before Morrisons supermarket was built – JP].

Y. MM said that our heritage leaflets were still in demand and she was on her last box. Members agreed to apply to the Parish Council for a grant to enable more copies to be printed. ID warned us that more dispensers would be needed, and that there was a problem in getting hold of the bamboo ones we had used before in small quantities.

Completed Matters

C. The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted for publication on our Internet site.

3) ID told us that he had submitted our comments to the HS2 consultation, and received an acknowledgement. ID also contacted our Ward Councillors and our MP. Angela Smith had replied, saying that she was in favour of the project, but with a “cut and cover” tunnel to reduce the environmental impact at Smithy Wood and Hedley Wood.

5) JP reported on Artbeat of Derby’s use of the Ecclesfield Village Archive to select pictures for Meadow Farm.

6) ID told us about the large amount of publicity resulting from the Save Smithy Wood campaign’s, application to make the area into a village green. [If anybody wants to help the campaign, and has any memories or photographs of the area, see http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/campaigning/actions/save-smithy-wood/ ]