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RISHTON AREA COUNCIL, Thursday, 14th February 2008.

Present: Councillor Liddle (in the Chair); Councillor Horne

In attendance:

Co-optees: D. Haworth, C. Hammerton, County Councillor Parkinson, M. Worden and Inspector C. Saville

Residents: N. Airey, G. Baldam, D. Baron, D. Cassidy, R. Colling, C. Hargreaves, J. Hargreaves, C. Hooper, N. McIntosh, J. Pollard, J. Pollard, M. Pollard, D. Smith, L. Smith, J. Standage, D. Webster, L. Webster, W. Singleton (17 residents)

Officers: U. Reilly, L. Williams, P. Worswick

FORMAL BUSINESS

Apologies for absence

AC723 Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Grayson, Mr. Flood, Colin Grahame and Lesley Jackson.

Declarations of Interest

AC724 Councillor Liddle declared a personal/prejudicial interest in the closure of the post offices item as she worked for the post office.

Minutes of the last meeting

AC725 The minutes of the last Rishton Area Council meeting held on 16th October 2007 (paper A) were submitted for approval.

Resolved - That the minutes of the meeting held on 16th October 2007 be approved as a correct record.

What’s happening about….

AC726 Rishton Caretaker – The Area Council Co-ordinator provided the meeting with an update on the work of the Caretaker in Rishton and advised if any resident had noticed an area in Rishton that required tidying to contact the Area Council office for a Community Caretaker form.

AC727 Rishton OId People’s Welfare Centre – Christine Hammerton reported that work was progressing at a slow pace, but it was anticipated the new toilets would be installed within the next two weeks. The Centre was awaiting confirmation in relation to money they had recently applied for and they continued to search funding avenues.

AC728 The Turrets – The Chair advised the Council had indicated the owner accepted the land belonged to them but that the cost of recovering the land would be too expensive and fact the owner kept the land in good condition meant it would remain with him for the time being. The owner was fully aware that when he sold the property the land could not be included in the sale.

AC729 Holt Street Recreation Ground – Colin Hooper reported that the scheme was currently in the possession of Groundwork. The scheme had failed at its first attempt to secure funding through Big Lottery, but was successful on its second attempt and was through to the next stage. The Big Lottery required a consultation exercise to demonstrate and also consult with the public on the proposed scheme and it was likely that event would be held at Norden Sports Hall, on either Friday 6th March or Saturday 8th March. The bid would be completed and submitted by the end of March 2008.

AC730 CCTV – The Chair informed the meeting the two cameras were due to be installed by the end of the financial year. The cameras would be positioned at the junction near the Lotus garage and further down High Street towards the bridge respectively.

AC731 Britain in Bloom – Margaret Worden provided the meeting with an update on the Britain in Bloom event as follows:

County Councillor Parkinson had donated 200 for his grants towards Prosperity Recycling.

Residents along Station Road would be asked to erect hanging baskets outside their homes.

Stonehills garden centre had provided Sunflower seeds to 200 school children and hanging baskets to Rishton residents at a reduced price of 10.00. Orders should be placed no later 1st May 2008. The garden centre had been extremely supportive of the scheme and has also offered assistance with bedding plants.

Planting would be carried out on the boundaries of St Holban’s Road however the footpath was in a poor state and the Council had been asked to resurface, which would cost approximately 8,000.

Parkview garden centre had also indicated they would like to be involved in the scheme.

The next meeting was scheduled for 15th March 2008 at St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Church and all residents were invited to attend.

Post Office Closures

AC732 The Area Council Co-ordinator advised that petition forms against the closure of the post offices were available to sign at the meeting.

MAIN ITEMS

The Future for Hyndburn

AC733 The Plans and Environment Manager (Hyndburn Borough Council) gave a presentation on the Future for Hyndburn, as follows:

The new plan making system was changed in 2004 and would replace the current structure plans and local plan.

The key documents would include the Core Strategy, which outlined development within the Borough over the next ten years and development of a management document that would assist the Planning Committee when making decisions.

The Local Development Framework was made up of various documents including the Core Strategy.

The emerging Strategy would take into account national and regional planning policy, results of issues and consultations, the Sustainable Community Strategy, sustainable appraisal and an evidence base to support policies.

The major issues to be addressed included housing, employment, education, development to the East and West of the Borough, Accrington town centre and West Accrington.

Residents were informed of the timetable of events.

The Plans and Environment Manager provided the meeting with an update on the Whitebirk development. He advised that when the plan for employment allocation to the east of Whitebirk industrial estate was prepared it would be subject to a number of caveats. A sequential test would be carried out to ensure that land in other boroughs had been considered. A review of green belt land would take place at a regional level and would involve an independent inquiry to release green belt land. Local road issues would need to be resolved before the development commenced and the open break between Blackburn and Rishton should be maintained and enhanced.

A resident asked what sort of development the estate would be. The Plans and Environment Manager advised that it was marked as strategic employment and would cater for all Pennine districts. The site would try and retain people in the Borough, particularly young University graduates.

A resident queried what sort of jobs would be available. The Plans and Environment Manager indicated it was for high level workers.

David Haworth asked if residents would be given more time to consider the proposals before the development was rushed through. The Plans and Environment Manager advised that he would be happy to attend a separate meeting of Rishton Area Council prior to the formal consultation stage. At present the document was in draft format.

New Health Centres

AC734 Helen Sigsworth (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) gave a presentation on the services they provided as follows:

PALS help families and carers through the healthcare system.

PALS were bourn from the NHS Plan in July 2000, under Section 10 of the Act ‘changes for patients’. The Strategy aims to increase representation, voice, accountability and influence.

PALS were responsible for helping with resolutions to issues/concerns, providing information and a listening ear, guidance towards complaints, offering advice and support and acting as an early warning system.

Outlined the key aspects of PALS which included independent facilitation and clinical governance.

Explained the various ways PALS could be accessed including outreach sessions, referrals, helpline and email.

Referred to the core standards that PALS operated to.

Advised that the impact on patients included patient satisfaction, empowerment to self-manage, improved communications, patient choice and an increased understanding of health service provision and limitations.

A resident queried the cost of the PALS service as it seemed many aspects of the service could be delivered by Social Services. Helen Sigwell indicated that Social Services that PALS worked closely with Social Services particularly in relation to hospital discharge. No extra funding was provided and the service was paid for through agreements or in house. The PALS staff received a salary and bids were submitted to the delivery plan, money was not taken from other services.

Dog Fouling

AC735 The Area Council Co-ordinator informed the meeting that Hyndburn Borough Council aimed to increase the number of dog bins throughout the Borough with the provision of an additional member of staff and a van. The Area Council Co-ordinator asked residents to provide their suggestions for locationd for dog bins in Rishton, should the proposal be approved at Cabinet.

Proposed improvements for you area

AC736 The Chair reported that Councillors had provided suggestions on how to spend the remaining money in the budget as follows:

Garden area on the corner of Parker Street

AC737 The Area Council Co-ordinator reported that a garden feature at the corner of Parker Street was being considered as part of the Floral Market Towns Initiative. The area was a gateway to Rishton and would be a welcome site for residents and people visiting the town. Residents were referred to paper C which provided details of the design.

Floodlighting

AC738 The Area Council Co-ordinator advised that the Area Council had been asked to consider floodlighting for the cenotaph and a quote was obtained for the work in the sum of 4,852.50.

Benches corner of School Street

AC739 The Area Council Co-ordinator informed the meeting that Area Council wished to make the area more pleasant for residents. The meeting was advised the existing bench was damaged and needed replacing. The Area Council wished to use Prosperity Recycling for the scheme, which would provide residents with seating and also support a worthwhile local business. The Chair indicated that Prosperity street furniture was made from recycled material and was very durable.

The cost of the benches was 300. The majority of residents indicated they were in favour of the project with a show of hands.

Lord Street

AC740 The Chair advised that it would be possible to resurface Lord Street at a cost of 870.

Notice board for welfare centre

AC741 The Chair reported that the Council’s Graphics Officer had been asked to design a new sign for the welfare centre and a quote was obtained for its manufacture and erection. The Chair advised the meeting that the existing facia board was water damaged and uneven, the company providing the quote had advised that no guarantee could be provided the graphics would remain on the board for any length of time. The company suggested it would be better for the facia to be covered with a diabond board and graphics applied to that, which would then be sealed to prevent water damage. Two quotes were provided as follows:

370 apply graphics to existing board; or 140 new facia board, total cost 510 which included supply and fitting and repairing the existing facia board.

The Chair advised the latter option was preferred.

Repair or replace damaged benches in Turrets garden area

AC742 The Chair reported four of the benches were damaged and a quote of approximately 450 had been obtained from the Council’s Parks department for their repair. Residents were referred to paper D which detailed proposals for refurbishment of the garden including repairs to the benches. The Chair advised that if funding was available in the next financial year the work to the garden area would go ahead and Area Council may be asked to contribute.

Refurbishment of Turrets garden

AC743 The Chair referred residents to paper D and advised if the work was carried out it would be completed in two phases, phase 1 and 2, at a cost of 8,000 and 15,000 respectively. The work would be carried out as part of the floral town market initiative and Area Council would consider making a contribution to the cost of the work.

Cutt Wood Park

AC744 A resident had requested money to repaint the gates and the three benches in Cutt Wood Park.

The Chair reported that they had spoken to the Parks department who had agreed the benches required painting, but it was not a priority and there was no money in the Parks’ budget to complete the work. The Area Council would consider funding the work but more time was required to obtain a quote.

Bicycle rack near health centre/library

AC745 A resident queried the possibility of the installation of a bicycle rack within the vicinity of the health centre or library. At present children using the library were parking their bikes in the foyer of the library for safety because there was no where else to park them. The Chair advised that the land was owned by Lancashire County Council and it was their responsibility to consider providing cycle racks for library users.

County Councillor Parkinson advised that he would take the suggestion to Hyndburn Local and consider locations available.

Neat Streets

AC746 The Chair reported that the Neat Streets Campaign was considering purchasing two large skips that could be used for all Neat Streets’ activities throughout the Borough, which would allow the campaign to collect used electrical goods and tyres. The Chair advised that Neat Streets was a multi-agency initiative which was a continuation of the Crime and Grime project and provided details of the partners involved. The meeting was informed the scheme aimed to tackle a wide-range of social problems including littering and fly-tipping and a need had been identified for skips to be placed in various locations to enable local residents to remove rubbish and prevent it being dumped, which would ultimately lead to further expense to remove it.

OPEN FORUM

AC747 Wendy Singleton submitted the following question prior to the meeting:

Q. Further to my letter from Rishton West Residents Association, could you confirm what date the Council would be arranging for another meeting in relation to the rise in Council Tax and how much notice would given to the publicise the meeting.

Mrs. Singleton was present at the meeting and advised that an unreasonable amount of notification was provided in relation to the Area Council budget meeting held on 18th January 2008 and asked when another meeting would be arranged.

R. The Area Council Co-ordinator apologised for the information not being received earlier but advised information advertising the budget was forwarded to all newspapers to be published on 8th January 2008 and advertised in all Council buildings. The Chair advised that Rishton Councillors had delivered leaflets throughout Rishton advertising the meeting.

Mrs. Singleton suggested that in future the meeting be advertised in the local free newspaper as it should not be assumed that all residents purchased newspapers or visited Council buildings.

The Area Council Co-ordinator advised she would arrange for a copy of the presentation received at that meeting to be forwarded to Mrs. Singleton.

AC748 The Chair asked if the police could ask Police Community Support Officers could watch the cash machine at Rishton Post Office because people were parking their cars there.

AC749 The Chair pointed out that the pedestrian crossing on Blackburn Road was not illuminated at night which made it difficult to see people waiting to cross. County Councillor Parkinson advised he would look into the matter.

LOCAL ISSUES

Lancashire Local/Lancashire County Council

AC750 County Councillor Parkinson provided an update on Lancashire issues relating to Rishton as follows:

Work to Norden Bridge was now complete.

Work to Whitebirk roundabout was nearing completion.

The work to the children’s centre was complete and the keys to the building had been handed over. Staff training was to be carried out and then an open day would take place.

Lancashire County Council’s budget was set to increase by 2.9%.

A resident queried if funds would be made available for speeds bumps on Devonshire Road.

County Councillor Parkinson indicated he would take the resident’s contact details at the end of the meeting and look into the matter.

A resident asked if back streets were covered by Lancashire County Council Highways, as the cobbles on the back streets of Cliff Street and Livesey Street were sunken. County Councillor Parkinson advised that it depended whether a back street had been adopted by Highways, he would perform a search to discover if the back streets were adopted and advise the Highways Officer.

Lancashire Constabulary

AC751 Inspector Chris Saville provided an update on police issues in Rishton, as follows:

There were low levels of crime during the last four months apart from a spate of burglaries which had resulted in the arrest of five people during November and early December, three had been charged and two released on bail.

Anti-social behaviour was down by 46.2% which was 128 less calls than the same time last year.

There had recently been in a change in legislation in relation to dispersal orders, which meant that people sixteen years old and over could be asked to move if behaving in an anti-social manner.

The theatre group was to hold door-step sessions in relation to crime awareness at St Peters and St Paul’s Church.

Test purchasing continued in conjunction with Trading Standards.

Lancashire Constabulary had recently appointed a new Community Beat Manager to fill a vacant post which meant there would be two Community Beat Managers and two Police Community Support Officers working in Rishton.

Prospects

AC752 Margaret Worden provided an update on the work of Prospects, as follows:

4,800 had been received from Awards for All for benches throughout Rishton.

Work in relation to the Station car park was at the detailed design stage and once the design stage was complete the work would be put out to tender.

Margaret Worden asked if there would be any monies remaining in the current budget for Prospects to help towards Rishton in Bloom. The Area Council Co-ordinator advised that money to purchase planters would be available out of next year’s budget. Prospects were advised to complete an application form and submit to apply for money remaining in this year’s budget.

Friends of Rishton

AC753 Christine Hammeton gave thanks for the Trading Standards presentation recently received and suggested it should be rolled out to the rest of Rishton residents. The meeting was informed that the Friends of Rishton were searching for funding and that remaining monies in the current year’s budget would be spent on the community area with Norden High School and the youth club.

Free Gardeners Association

AC754 David Haworth reported that the Association intended to refurbish Chapel Street garden next month and Parkview Landscape had kindly offered to supply the plants and hedging for free.

Children that had originally ruined the garden would be asked to help refurbish it in the hope they would take pride in their work and in future respect the area.

A resident referred to the path across the backfield, the path was dangerous in certain sections and the wooden fencing alongside the path was damaged. A resident on St Albans Road with poor vision had indicated they found it difficult to walk on that stretch of road. The Chair reported that detailed discussions had been held and a quote of 8,000 was received to repair the path, which was too much for the Area Council. The Area Council hoped that one end of the path could be repaired but needed further consideration. The Chair advised that in relation to the fencing the Area Council Co-ordinator dealt with that only eighteen months ago, the fencing was private property. The Area Council Co-ordinator agreed to contact the Council’s Health and Safety Officer to ascertain whether it could be repaired on safety grounds.

GRANTS AND BUDGETS

AC755 The Area Council Co-ordinator referred the meeting to paper C that contained details of the budget for 2007/08.

The Area Council Co-ordinator informed the meeting of the following schemes that were proposed:

Garden feature on the corner of Parker Street, as part of the Floral Market Town Initiative - 5,000

Flood lighting on the cenotaph on Blackburn Road - 4,852

One or two new benches on the corner of School Street next to the Old Peoples’ Welfare Centre; to be ordered from Prosperity Recycling.

Strip and re-cover the back alley near Lord Street - 870

Notice board for welfare centre (option 2) - 510

Repair or replace damaged bench(s) in Turrets garden area – approx 450

Refurbish Turrets garden area: Phase 1 - 8,000 / Phase 2 - 15000

Capital contribution to help purchase two large skips for the Neats Streets Campaign - 500

The Area Council Co-ordinator reported the following grant application had been received:

Gallipoli Detachment Lancs Army Cadet Force - 489 to purchase Army Cadet Standard

Resolved (1) That Rishton Area Council noted the report; and

(2) That Rishton Area Council approved the following scheme:

Garden feature corner of Parker Street - 5000

Flood lighting the Cenotaph - 4852

Two benches on the corner of School Street - 600

Strip and re-cover back alley near Lord Street - 870

Notice board for welfare centre (option 2) - 510

Replace or repair bench(s) in Turrets garden area, in principle - 450

Neat Streets Campaign – purchase two large skips - 500

Gallipoli Detachment Lancashire Army Cadet Force - 459

(3) That unallocated capitals funds be carried forward, in principle, as a contribution towards the refurbishment of the Turrets garden area as part of the Floral Towns Market Initiative.

(4) That Emergency Powers be delegated to the Managing Director in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair of Area Council for remaining capital and revenue monies.

DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING

AC756 The Chair thanked residents for attending Rishton Area Council and advised the next meeting would provisionally take place on 9th July 2008 at 7pm.

RISHTON AREA COUNCIL, Tuesday, 5th August 2008.

Present: Councillor Liddle (in the Chair); Councillors Horne and Grayson

In attendance:

Co-optees: C. Hammerton, County Councillor Parkinson, M. Worden and Eavesbrook Housing

Officers: U. Reilly, L. Williams

FORMAL BUSINESS

The Area Council Co-ordinator advised that the meeting had been convened due the cancellation of the July Area Council because of industrial strike action.

GRANTS AND BUDGETS

The Area Council Co-ordinator referred the meeting to paper A that contained details of the budget for 2008/09 which was as follows:

Capital 11,300

Revenue 2,500

The Area Council Co-ordinator reported that funding for the following projects had been carried forward:

Foodlighting to memorial 4,852

Two benches at School Street 600

The Area Council Co-ordinator advised that the total available revenue budget was 1,970 because 530 had been allocated for the maintenance of the Ladybird Garden.

The Chair informed the meeting that the following two projects had been carried out using emergency powers:

Refurbishment of Turrets Garden benches 1,380

Turrets flowerbed 600

The Chair suggested that the Area Council provided thanks to the individual that had carried out the refurbishment to the Turrets Garden benches.

The Chair advised that the remaining monies available to spend were as follows:

Capital 9,320

Revenue 1,970

The Area Council Co-ordinator informed the meeting of the following schemes that were proposed:

Purchase and install Christmas Crib and Nativity Figures, approximate cost 1,000 for crib and 600 for figures (capital)

Planting or landscaping project on the corner of School Street next to the welfare centre (capital)

Christmas celebration (revenue)

Christine Hammerton advised that Rishton already had a crib and figures that were placed in the library every Christmas. It was suggested that the crib be upgraded so that it could be appreciated from outside the library by all residents of Rishton.

Councillor Horne agreed to take photographs and measurements of existing figures and crib to consider their condition.

The Area Council Co-ordinator advised that she would contact the Parks department and Parkview nurseries to ascertain what types of planting could be placed in the School Street garden area.

Margaret Worden informed the meeting that many residents did not realise that the Turrets Gardens were a public area and it might be useful to erect noticeboards to publicise the gardens. It was suggested that the noticeboards advertise ‘Rishton Turrets Community Gardens’. Christine Hammerton advised that the bin needed emptying more regularly.

Councillor Grayson indicated that one of the football teams from Rishton United Juniors were travelling to Italy to play in a competition which had been funded entirely by the parents. In addition Rishton British Legion was faced with closure and it would be a good gesture from the Area Council to provide funding to both parties. The Chair advised that both organisations would need to submit a grant application form.

The Area Council Co-ordinator reported that a grant application from Rishton Prospects for refurbishment towards the Turrets Garden had been withdrawn because it was superceded by the above application.

The Area Council Co-ordinator advised that Lancashire Constabulary had requested 2,032.29 for CCTV equipment. County Councillor Parkinson suggested that evidence should be provided to Area Council on the number of times CCTV in other areas had been used and the number of convictions the cam eras had led to.

The Area Council Co-ordinator informed the meeting that the Neighbourhood Policing Team had submitted an application for assistance towards the purchase of a car to be shared amongst three neighbouring towns. The Area Council Co-ordinator reported that she had asked for population figures of each Area Council to determine what the proportionate costs would be. The meeting was informed that Great Harwood Area Council had approved funding and Clayton and Altham Area Council had agreed subject to fair distribution of cost with regard to head of population.

Resolved (1) That Rishton Area Council noted the report; and

(2) That Rishton Area Council approved the following scheme, in principle, subject to costings:

Christmas crib and nativity figures

(3) That Rishton Area Council agreed a budget of 600 to supply planting on the corner of School Street;

(4) That Rishton Area Council agreed that 250 be set aside for Christmas celebrations;

(5) The Area Council Co-ordinator would liaise with the Council’s Graphics Designer in relation to costings for noticeboards for the Turrets Gardens; and

(6) That the Area Council thank Lancashire Constabulary for their application for funding for CCTV, but before a decision be made examples of CCTV usage in other towns be provided and confirmation that the CCTV would be used only in Rishton

(7) That a meeting be arranged with Stuart Maclachlan in relation to the Neighbourhood Policing Unit’s application for funding towards a vehicle.