Draft Minutes of the Conservation meeting of

2014-03-19 at 19:00 in The Stocks

[The last amendment to these minutes was made on 2014-04-22.

Comments on these minutes can be sent to JP on http://conservation.ecclesfieldgroups.com/james.gif.

Letters refer to standing items, and numbers new items, in the agenda of the same date, which can be seen at conservation.ecclesfieldgroups.com/minutes].

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

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

Ongoing Matters

Z) The next meeting will be on Tuesday 22nd April 2014, at 7:00 in “The Stocks” [See item 9 below for the reason for the change of day].

3) ID reported that Amey had responded to most of the points we made last month. Amey confirmed that trees of special value can be recorded on their system, and we were promised that advance notification of the community would be improved. ID said he had told Amey that we were not only interested in the work that was going on in the Conservation Area, but also in East Ecclesfield more generally. Other trees, including those in Ecclesfield Park were discussed, but ID emphasised that Amey’s remit concerned only “street trees”. [I will put any notifications of future tree work we receive on our web site – JP]

Biodiversity, the Diameter or DBH, and age range of the trees was discussed, and ID said that Amey had recognised that this was a Sheffield wide concern, and were trying to improve communication. Public meetings had been arranged 7:15 pm on 31st March, and at 1.45 pm on 3rd April in the Town Hall [https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/whats-new/2014-news/march/time-to-talk-trees.html ] to discuss the effect of the Streets Ahead program on Sheffield’s trees. In answer to questions about the trees in Ecclesfield Park, ID cautioned that Amey was only concerned with “Street Trees”.

In the case of the sycamore on Yew Lane/Stocks Hill, they were saying that due to the species, and the decay, reduction was not an option. However when ID asked them, Amey said that decay detection equipment was not used.

ID said that the new planting, including a Field Maple standard of 14 – 16 cm girth to replace the Sycamore will be confirmed. The planting further up Yew lane is still to be determined. JH agreed that it is getting towards the end of the March planting period, but there might still be some time left to carry out the work this year.

Sheffield’s Biodiversity Action Plan was also discussed, and was said to still be an “evolving” document. Our tree survey was mentioned, and the need to take photographs and get a measure of their trunk diameters.

4) ID told us that the suppliers had agreed to the reduced price of £500 for two planters, and these were now being manufactured. The first would go to Church Street, and this would be looked after by the manger of the adjacent Cattery. AM offered to house the other in the Garden at Ecclesfield Park, pending proper siting. Wheel Lane, Yew Lane, and High Greave were again suggested as possibilities, but ID thought that it might mean knocking on some doors, to find someone willing to look after them. AR of St. Mary’s Trust had been kept informed [and should be receiving copies of these minutes and agenda’s – JP]

5) After writing to them about their need to erect a heritage board, ID said he had now met Aldi’s representative. There was an opportunity for us to assist in this, and they would pay us for the cost of doing so. [We are therefore in the market for any photographs or any other material on the old Rollem Mill - JP]

6) A new 2014/15 version of the Ward Plan will be prepared, but we don’t yet know the date. ID had confirmed that we would like to be invited to contribute as a group”. The existing plan showed that Road Safety was a priority. This is something which we had been concerned about since our survey of the traffic down Church Street, and which the new Aldi can only have made worse.

7) ID told us that he had applied for £954 for printing 1000 of each of our three types of leaflet.

8) Pointing out the high number of apologies received, JP said that some people could not get to the Wednesday meetings, and the next quietest day in the Stocks, seems to be Tuesday. The 4th Tuesday in the month was decided upon, as was the date for next meeting of 22nd April 2014, at 7:00 in The Stocks.

Y) AM raised the question of awareness. She wondered whether, for instance, people living in the Ecclesfield Conservation Area actually know that they were living in a conservation area. AM suggested that we might send out a mail shot. JP said that the library group were trying to get funding for a joint survey, which all the groups could contribute to. The bloom group were in favour, and MM said she had spoken to John Brady about this and confirmed that the Ecclesfield Street Dusters would like to join. To increase the number of replies, the survey form would be accompanied by a Free Post envelope. MM said she would look into a possible grant application to help fund our part of this.

ID mentioned the National Planning Framework, which is meant to give a background to planning decisions. ID relayed its statement that unmet housing need is unlikely to outweigh harm to the green belt. Instead the document stressed the importance of bringing brown land into use.

 Completed Matters

1) MM distributed 10 copies of our “Statement of Accounts” for the year ended 31 March 2014. The previous year’s accounts were included for reference. MM said we were waiting for the £500 invoice for the planters. The balance was therefore still included the £500 grant from St. Mary’s Lane Trust. In looking at the balance, it should also be noted that we had not yet paid for insurance for this year, and unlike previous years, this could not be shared with the Bloom Group. The meeting accepted the accounts, and ID signed them off at the meeting.

2) All existing officers indicated their willingness to stand. No other candidates put themselves forward, and all officers were re-elected. These were ID as Chair, RT as Vice Chair, and JP as Secretary and Webmaster. JP said that there were lots of opportunities for somebody to help with the web site and archive. Holding one of the backup copies of the Archive would help, as would improving the archive by photo-editing and transcription.

X) The planned expansion of Whitley Hall was mentioned, and in particular the traffic problems on Elliott Lane. There was some discussion of this, but rather than raise an objection, we decided we should “watch this space”.