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RISHTON AREA COUNCIL, Thursday, 19th March, 2009

7 pm. St Charles’ RC Primary School, Knowles Street

Agenda

Welcome

Formal business:

Apologies for Absence & Declarations of Interest

Minutes of the Meeting on 11th November, 2008

Matters arising not covered below:

Open Forum, Feedback & What’s Happening About – Report back on Rishton Area Council Caretaker, Floral Market Town Project on Parker Street corner, CCTV, more …

Main Items

Benefit Fraud

Don’t let Cheats Benefit!  A talk and DVD on this important topic which affects us all.

Overview and Scrutiny

What is it and how does it work?

Prospects Foundation

Hear about their work and how you can get involved

Neighbourhood Management in Rishton

A report back on the newly formed Neighbourhood Management Board and its plans for Rishton in the coming year

Dog Control

New legislation concerning the control of dogs on leads in cemeteries

Open Forum

Have your say on what matters to you

Local News

Updates from the Police, County and local groups

Grants and Budgets

Grant applications and spending decisions

Rishton Area Council’s Next Meeting  -   16th July, 2009 tbc

Tea and biscuits                                            from 9.00

RISHTON AREA MANAGEMENT COUNCIL, Thursday, 25th June, 2009

7 pm. St Charles’ RC Primary School, Knowles Street

Agenda

Welcome

Formal business:

Apologies for Absence & Declarations of Interest

Minutes of the Meeting on 19th March, 2009

Matters arising not covered below:

Open Forum, Feedback & What’s Happening About – Report back on Rishton Area Management Caretaker, Project on Parker Street corner, CCTV, more …

Main Items

Area Management

A new way of working .. find out how this affects Rishton

Rishton Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG)

Delivering Neighbourhood Management in Rishton, - a report back on progress so far and how you can get involved

Projects for the coming year

Hear proposals for projects to improve Rishton, and have your say

Open Forum

Have your say on what matters to you

Local News

Updates from the Police, County and local groups

Grants and Budgets

Grant applications and spending decisions

Next Meeting  -   10th November, 2009

Tea and biscuits                                            from 9.00

RISHTON AREA MANAGEMENT COUNCIL, Tuesday, 10th November, 2009

Present:

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

In attendance:

Co-optees:      P.S. Banks, County Councillor Parkinson, C. Hammerton

Residents:        G.H. Baldam, J. Baron, R. Beaghan, P. Childen, R. Colling, I. Cook, C. Cooper, I. Drysdale, W. Flanagan, S. Hanson, J.N. Haworth, L. Jackson, J. Martindale, G. McIntosh, N. McIntosh, K. Moss, P. Sanderson, B. Snowden, P. Troughton, I.M. Waddington, S.G. Waddington, M. Ward, D. Waterhouse, F. Winter and M. Worden.  (No. of Residents: 25)

Officers:              S. Gardner, U. Reilly, P. Worswick, K. Walsh

Police:                 P.C. Haworth and P.C.S.O. Hayes

Organisations:    A. Laverty – Primary Care Trust, East Lancashire

FORMAL BUSINESS

Apologies for absence

AC182 Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of C. Graham, Father Dowd, J. Hughes and Wendy Singleton.

Minutes of the last meeting

AC183 The minutes of the Rishton Area Management Council (Paper A) held on 25th June, 2009 were submitted for approval.  The following amendments to the minutes were given:-

-   page 2 – Pillar Street Garden – Pillar Street Garden should read Parker Street Garden

- page 6 – Friends of Rishton Youth - MUGGER should read MUGA (Multi-Use Games Area)

Resolved - That the minutes of the meeting held on 25th June, 2009 be approved as a correct record subject to the above amendments.

Matters arising

AC184 The Chair updated residents on matters arising from the previous minutes as follows:-

Caretaker Update

Rishton Neighbourhood Action Group went on a walk around Rishton and compiled a list of work which could be given to the Caretaker which would benefit from his assistance.

Ursula Reilly reported that the Area Management Council had since employed a third Caretaker to cover all of the Area Management Council wards and had also purchased two vans for the Caretakers.

Christmas Lights Switch On

Ursula Reilly reported that the Rishton Christmas lights would be switched on outside the Library on the 7 December at 6.30 p.m.   The Mayor and children from the local schools would be in attendance.

Pillar Clock

Ursula Reilly reported that the pillar clock was already in storage and that it would be installed as soon as planning permission and the site for its location had been determined.

Pedestrian Crossing

 County Councilor Parkinson reported that this issue would be discussed at the next Lancashire Local meeting.

Design for the backdrop to the Christmas Crib in Rishton

 Christine Hammerton reported that local school children had taken part in a competition to design the backdrop to the Rishton Christmas Crib.  She reported that there were over one hundred entries from which four designs were chosen and then extracts from each were amalgamated to create one design.  She presented the final design to the Area Management Council and pointed out how well those who had taken part had done and that the winners would all receive a 25 voucher for their schools.

The Chair referred to the number and good standard of entries for the competition and explained that the final design would be used to cover the whole of the backdrop of the Christmas Crib.  On behalf of Rishton Area Management Council she thanked Ashley Fenlon Area Management Team’s Graphic Design Section for his work in compiling the design.

Road Signs

Ursula Reilly reported that Councillor Horne had proposed that new road signs were located at the gateways into Rishton as the old signs were in need of replacement.

Holt Street and Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA)

Christine Hammerton reported that funding had been received by Hyndburn Borough Council but issues relating to the ownership of the lease had to be resolved before the project could continue.

PRESENTATIONS

Empty Properties

AC185 Kevin Walsh, Empty Properties Officer, gave a presentation on how Hyndburn Borough Council recorded and dealt with empty properties in the borough.  He reported:-

He reported that the Council was beginning to see progress in the procedures they had adopted to deal with the extent of this problem.

A resident expressed concern about the cost to the Council of works carried out in default and suggested that this could be open to abuse by property owners.  Councillor Grayson also referred to legal problems associated with residents who allowed their properties to fall into states of disrepair.

Kevin Walsh pointed out that the Council would be introducing a selective licensing process to ensure that landlords were fit and responsible.  He also explained that the Council’s Environmental Health Section applied its powers where appropriate to ensure that properties were of a decent standard.

The Chair referred to progress being made with the empty properties on Spring Street.  Councillor Grayson pointed out that the properties at the end of Spring Street had been damaged by fire and expressed concern that the Council was not doing enough to ensure that the properties were in a safe condition.

A resident referred to the vacant factory in the Hermitage Street area and asked if this could be investigated as an empty property.   Kevin Walsh indicated he would forward the details of this property onto the appropriate Council Officer for investigation.

The Chair requested that a progress report on empty properties was given at the next meeting.

Petition For Health Centre in Rishton

AC186 Residents submitted a petition to Rishton Area Management Council for services at Rishton Health Centre to be retained.

Agreed             -  That the Chair, on behalf of Rishton Area Management Council, formally received and accepted a petition submitted by residents of Rishton in support of the retention of services at Rishton Health Centre.

Primary Care Trust

AC187 Andy Laverty, Primary Care Trust East Lancashire, gave a brief presentation on how residents could access health care provision in Rishton.  He acknowledged that there had been a failure in communications with residents of Rishton in respect of promoting health care provision and gave details of what services were available.  He pointed out that the Primary Care Trust intended to make further health care provision in Rishton in the near future.   

Residents expressed the following concerns and opinions:-

         Which health services would be taken away from Rishton.

         There were rumours that the Rishton clinic would be closing down.

         A closure of Rishton health services would result in residents having to travel.

         Rishton did not currently offer enough health care services.

         The replacement health care services offered to Rishton residents were located in Great Harwood and were often very busy which resulted in long waiting times.  

         Many people in Rishton, particularly the elderly, found it difficult to travel for these services.

         Residents requested that a comparison was made of the health care services that had been available in Rishton in relation to those that may be made available in the future. 

The Chair suggested that there could be improvements in communications between residents and the Primary Care Trust and requested a response to the concerns of the residents from East Lancashire Primary Care Trust.

Andy Laverty indicated that he would take back the comments to the Primary Care Trust and forward a response to residents via the Area Management Council.

Core Strategy

AC188 Paul Worswick, Plans and Environment Manager (Hyndburn Borough Council), gave a presentation on the Core Strategy and reported that a consultation on the document had been carried out earlier in the year and thanked the Rishton Prospects Panel for their help with organising the consultation.  He pointed out that those residents who had submitted comments would receive a copy of the document.  He explained that Whitebirk Industrial Estate had two proposed strategic sites and the details were set out in the policy although more discussions would have to be held before any development would commence.  He informed the meeting that, in response to the consultation, the Core Strategy was being redrafted and a copy would be submitted to Full Council in January 2010 for approval for publication.  He referred to the processes that would then have to take place including further consultations, submission to the Government Office North West and examination in public before the Core Strategy document could finally be approved.  

Residents submitted the following comments and questions:-

         Concern about the proposed Whitebirk development’s effect on Rishton.

         Concern that only a small proportion of the monies created from the development would be invested into Rishton.

         Advice sought on what action residents could take to stop the Whitebirk development.

         How Hyndburn Borough Council planned to ensure that residents were adequately consulted during the next consultation on the Core Strategy.

         Concern that Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council would be able to implement proposed developments even without consultation and the agreement of Hyndburn Borough Council.  

Paul Worswick pointed out that planning permission for the Whitebirk development sites would be subject to legal agreements and that a progress report would be submitted to the Area Management Council to keep residents informed.  He acknowledged that the Council could do better in carrying out public consultations and gave examples of ways in which the Council intended to do this.  He thanked Rishton Prospects Panel for their help with the previous consultation.  He informed the meeting  that although Blackburn with Darwen did not have to consult Hyndburn Borough Council about who they chose to consult about the proposed developments, he would ask if they could include residents of Great Harwood and Rishton.  He reported that there was still a lot of work required before the location of the proposed Whitebirk sites could be confirmed and that Hyndburn Borough Council would be contributing to these discussions.  He reminded residents that they had the right to object to the proposed strategies and outlined ways in which residents could do this.

Councillor Grayson suggested that if the Council printed flyers to inform residents of the consultation volunteers would deliver them to every household in Rishton. 

Tottleworth Conservation Area

AC189 Paul Worswick, Plans and Environment Manager (Hyndburn Borough Council), reported that the Council was reviewing the conservation and management plans across the borough including the Tottleworth Conservation area.  He reported that all conservation areas were assessed for their special interest and problems affecting them and that this assessment was being carried out by heritage consultants Kathryn Sather Associates.  He informed the meeting that an Exhibition on the draft proposals for the site would be on display to the public in January and February 2010.    

Roads and Pavements

AC190 Ursula Reilly referred the meeting to Paper D of the agenda and invited residents to contribute to a wish list of the areas that pavements and roads could be improved or repaired.  She indicated that this wish list would be forwarded to Lancashire County Council.

Hyndburn Homes

AC191 Ursula Reilly referred residents to Paper E of the agenda – an informative report submitted from Hyndburn Homes relating to Help Direct and Choice Based Lettings.

Rishton Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG) 

AC192 Fiona Cooke explained that Rishton Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG) was a newly formed group with the aim of making Rishton more proactive by working alongside other voluntary and local groups.  She gave details of the members of the Group and reported that they had monthly walkabouts to list problems areas and issues relevant to the community which they would then endeavour to resolve.  She also informed the meeting that they were involved in the NEAT Streets campaign and had taken the best practices used by Clayton Neighbourhood Management Team and developed them for use in Rishton.  She indicated that funding was provided by the Area Management Council as well as other organisations but that more financial support was required.  She asked residents to submit tales about Rishton and the local area for submission to an artist who would use them to illustrate plaques to be placed in different areas of Rishton.  She indicated that eight stories would be chosen.  She also reported that Rishton NAG was considering running a Rishton in Bloom scheme.

OPEN FORUM

AC193 Ursula Reilly reminded residents to send in any questions for the open forum in advance of the meeting.  She reported that the question submitted by Mrs. Parker had been forwarded to the Council’s Freedom of Information Officer for response.

LOCAL NEWS

Policing in Rishton

AC194 P.S. Banks reported that the crime figures had increased slightly in comparison with those records for the previous year but pointed out that detection rates had increased.  He invited residents to attend the PACT meetings and gave details of when they were held. 

He provided a report on a number of policing issues and initiatives in Rishton, as follows:

  Two drug warrants had been executed and cautions issued.

  The Police were working with Prospects to increase the involvement of young people in activities and community events.

  A ‘Restorative Justice’ scheme had been promoted which provided opportunities for people affected by crime to meet with the offenders. 

  That a super surgery would be held on 18th November by the Police and other local organisations.  He reported that further details of this could be found on their website.

Friends of Rishton Youth

AC195 Christine Hammerton updated residents on events and initiatives being undertaken by the Friends of Rishton Youth.  She thanked the Police for their involvement in the youth schemes in Rishton and informed the meeting that the After School Club was still in operation.  She indicated that the Cadets were still using Norden School to hold their club.  She referred to the difficulties of trying to raise funding for further projects during the current difficult financial times.

GRANTS AND BUDGETS

AC196 Ursula Reilly referred residents to paper G of the agenda and outlined details of the capital and revenue budgets for 2009-10 and indicated that there was 3,610.02 capital budget and no revenue budget remaining.  

She reported that one grant application had been submitted from the Rishton Festival Association who had requested 400 for the purchase of a PA system which could be hired out to other local organisations for a nominal fee. 

Applications for the following project proposals were also submitted:

     PROSPECTS - 1000 to make improvements to the Shawbrook Close path

     New road signs to Rishton and Library– provisional cost of 1000

Members suggested that the application from Prospects to make improvements to the Shawbrook Close path should be withdrawn as it would be unlikely for this amount of funding to make enough difference.  The Members proposed that a safety assessment of the path may provide evidence for Lancashire County Council to fund any repairs.

The Chair referred to the scheme to place Christmas trees above shops which had taken place in Rishton in previous years and asked residents to vote on whether the scheme should be continued at an estimated cost of 1,500 for Christmas 2009.  Residents voted in favour of continuing with the Christmas tree scheme for 2009.

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

                                      (2)      That Rishton Area Management Council approved a grant to Rishton Festival Association of 400 for a PA System;

        (3)      That Rishton Area Management Council refused the application for 1,000 for the project proposal to make improvements to the Shawbrook Close path;

        (4)      That Rishton Area Management Council approved a provisional amount of 1,000 for road signs at both entrances of Rishton and a new sign at the Library; and

        (5)      That Rishton Area Management Council approved a provisional amount of 1,500 for a scheme for Christmas Trees to be fitted above Rishton shops.

Cutt Wood Park

AC197 The Chair reported that Cutt Wood Park had received Green Flag status and invited residents to set up a Friends of Cutt Wood Park organisation.  She indicated that any resident interested in becoming a member should contact the Area Management Councils Team.

DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING

AC198 The Chair thanked residents for attending and indicated that the next meeting would be held on Thursday, 18th March 2010.