Draft Minutes of the Conservation meeting of
2014-10-28 at 19:00 in “The Stocks”

[Including two amendments carried out by JP on 2014-11-25, and accepted at the meeting of that date]

[As usual, 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, AM, MM, BS, LS, ID, SP, JP, and Councillor Pauline Andrews pauline.andrews@sheffield.gov.uk ( PA). Apologies were given by RT, and KM.

C. Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting were modified and approved for placing on the web site.

Z. Date of the next meeting

Our next meeting will be on November 25th October (I.e. fourth Tuesday), at 7 o'clock in the Stocks.

1.    Smithy Wood update

ID attended a meeting, to discuss the application by Cowley Road Action Group for village green status for Smithy Wood. They had hoped that Sheffield City Licensing Committee would take evidence and make a decision. However, barristers had been instructed and the Council decided to move the decision to a non statutory committee.

ID had also been to an exhibition by the Highways Agency and mentioned the Motorway Service Station application. The Motorway people did not seem to know of the application, but when told of it they were not happy, and felt that it could be a problem.

The exhibition was about 4 lane running. I.e. the hard shoulder becoming a running lane. Evidence had been presented by the police, who worried that it would not work. Refuges had therefore been added, plus gantry signs.

2. Parish Archiving Project

ID said that Christine Handley is in place, and has built her office. She already has a computer and large flat bed scanner. When she is settled in and has more time, she would like to come to one of our meetings. Meanwhile she is organising another Steering Group Meeting. AM asked whether the project cover the whole of the Ecclesfield Parish.

3. Grenoside Reading Room

ID said that he was looking at dates in November for our combined visit to be shown both the Grenoside Archive beneath the Community Centre, and on the same day - the Grenoside Reading Room.

In addition, we have been offered a space on the wall of the Grenoside Reading Room. This could be quite large, and therefore valuable to us in terms of publicity. [If anybody has any suggestions, or wants to draft something up contact JP]

4. PC Grant Application

ID explained that the PC were not able to get our grant application for leaflets and dispensers in for consideration this month. This might be just as well because they are tied up with Christmas Tree grants at the moment. It is perhaps better than it be considered on 20th November. We want to put in for £954 for leaflets, and £100 for dispensers. The meeting agreed to put in £100 of our own funding, so the grant application is likely to be for £954. ID warned members that even with this reduction, this may be a bit strong for the Parish Council.

MM added that it was important because Smithy Wood was documented on leaflet No. 2. [  See 4conservation.ecclesfieldgroups.com/board2-3 and click on “leaflet-2.pdf”.]

5. Dates for the next meeting

Since our meetings are on the 4th Tuesday of each month, ID proposed, and the meeting agreed, dates for following meetings of (27/1, 24/2, 24/3, 28/4, 26/5, 23/6, 28/7, 22/9, 27/10, 24/11). Note that this means that there is no December 2014 or August 2015 meeting.

6. Ward meeting

ID reported on his attendance at the Ward Meeting on 25th September to discuss the new East and West Ecclesfield Ward Plan. About 20 members of the public turned up - quite a wide spread of people. Two questions seemed to be a particular concern for us in Ecclesfield. There was a question about the barriers put up by Amey while replacing street lights. Problems were being caused by these causing a traffic hazard by being on the carriageway, rather than on the pavement, and by the barriers being in place for rather a long time. This was reported to be happening in other areas, and ID reported that it was also occurring on Townend Road. Amey was reported to have said that some of the problems had been caused by the wiring they had to tap into not being in quite the place that it was supposed to be in.

The priorities for East Ecclesfield were …i) to tackle isolation by supporting activities and helping to develop local groups. ii) Road safety. This was said to require working with Amey to address the concerns about the volume and speed of traffic, including on Church Street and the Wheel. ID said that undertaking the survey and lobbying, seems to have caused members of the Council to respond. One problem was that Council members had been told that Sheffield City Council Highways department were extremely reluctant to put an HGV restriction or even a weight restriction on the road. This was, ID said, in spite of the huge number of “artics” associated with Arla Foods travelling down the road, as well as some heavy rigid vehicles.

Councillor Andrews told us about the lack of transport in some areas. She had been talking to South Yorkshire Passenger Transport about the route of the M92 bus, and hoped that they would improve their winter service. She was also concerned about the absence of pavements, and without pavements, lighting in the area of Foxhill Road and Crematorium. Councillor Andrews mentioned the use of smaller buses.

The Boundary Commission report was mentioned, but Pauline Andrews said that as far as she knew it did not change our boundaries.

X. Planning Applications

JP said that the planning application by Pink’s Estate agency was still pending. AM said that it was the amount of pink that was the problem, and the fact that it was not a delicate colour. JP agreed that the “Victorian colours” he had found, were less intense, and more in character with a Conservation Area.

KM raised concerns and the meeting agreed that the character of the Conservation was an asset, and this should be raised with local members, including those on the planning committee, such as Councillor Joyce Wright.

There was a discussion of Smithy Wood, with suggestions for improving the amenity value of all our woodland areas and parks by controlling Quad bikes and mini motorbikes. BS said that he had seen at least one motorbike go from Sycamore Road to Mill Road by the side of the Doctor’s Surgery. He was walking past the children’s play area and suggested that anyone seeing anything dangerous like that, report it by ringing 101. The Police can sometimes respond very quickly.

The other new planning application were considered without objection.

There was a discussion of the application by Aldi for extended opening hours. While no objection was raised, several people were concerned about a possible excess of retail space in the Area, and its consequences for some of the local shops.

There was some concern about empty properties in Ecclesfield. The old PCT and Police buildings were mentioned as being of immediate concern.

Z. Any Other Business

ID said that our planter had now been re-planted and looks much better. We may need to think about an irrigation system, but said that he would keep in touch with the person looking after it by phone.

There was a proposal and request for a Post Office in the Village, perhaps in Morrisons.

AM told us of the new web site at http://ecclesfieldpark.co.uk belonging to the Revitalisation of Ecclesfield Park and Pavilion Group, and the meeting agreed to put a link to Ecclesfield Park on our web site [Done - JP].

Difficulties with BT Internet Connections in Ecclesfield, were reported, including slow response.