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Tuesday, 15th March, 2011.

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

In Attendance:

Co-optees: County Councillor Parkinson

Residents: D. Avison, G. Baldam, J. Baron, H. Beaghan, E. Chan, S. Charnley, P. Chisholm, C. Cleary, R. Colling, F. Cook, C. Cooper, Father M.C. Dowd, W.J. Flanagan, B. Griggs, J. Hargreaves, J. Haworth, P. Haworth, L. Jackson, J. Martindale, W. Melia, E. Parker, P. Sanderson, J. Waverly, F. Winter, M. Worden. (25 No. of Residents )

Officers: S. Prideaux, C. Baker, A. Roberts, S. Gardner, S. Watson, N. Gastall

Police: PC Haworth, Inspector G. Lister,

Others: F. Muir – NHS Neighbourhood Health Worker

Media: S. Thacker – Accrington Observer

Welcome

The Chair welcomed residents to the Rishton Area Management Council. He invited residents to join him inholding a minutes silence in respect of the people of Japan after the he recent earthquake and Tsunami.

Health and safety procedures were outlined at the meeting.

 Formal Business

Apologies for Absence & Declarations of Interest

Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of C. Graham, Mrs. Burton, C. Hammerton, W. Singleton and Val Logue.

 There were no declarations of interest.

 Minutes of the last Meeting

The Chair submitted the Minutes of the last meeting of the Rishton Area Management Council (Paper A) held on 9th November 2010.

Resolved -that the Minutes be received and approved as a correct record subject to the following corrections:-

Local News from the Community– To amend the minutes to show that Prospects had no responsibility for the Ladybird Garden.

Grants &Budgets – To insert the surname of Dominick Avison(as omitted in the minutes) as the person attending the meeting to speak on behalf of 2n d Rishton Baptist Scouts Group.

Matters Arising

The Chair referred erred residents to Paper B which set out matters arising from the Minutes which were not covered elsewhere on the Agenda:-

Feedback/Your Issues Forms – no forms had been submitted since the last meeting.

Rishton Caretaker–  no Community Caretaker Forms had been received. The Chair outlined the Caretaker’s duties since the last meeting.

Empty Property Strategy Forms – No Empty Property Strategy forms had been received.

Ladybird Gardens Bench &Bin – A bench and bin had been ordered from Prosperity Recycling which would be installed by the end of April.

Post Box– Councillor Moss updated the meeting on a request from residents for a post box to be installed on Jam es street, Rishton. He reported that they had been unsuccessful in submitting petition to the Royal Mail for a post box and advised that a suggestion for the Area Management Council to purchase a post box and installed it themselves would not be f feasible as the Council did not have powers to force the Royal Mail to make a collection.

 Station Close Conifers –Councillor Moss reported that residents on Station Road had expressed concern about the height of conifers in their locality. He informed the m meeting that the trees were owned by Lancashire County Council who considered that the trees posed no immediate danger. He advised on three options residents could consider, firstly that the t trees remained as they were until Lancashire County Council decided to t take action, secondly that consideration was given to the Area Management Council using their own funding to cut down the trees and thirdly that once the trees had been cut down the resident should agree to continue to maintain them. He indicated that he would contact Lancashire County Council and request that they agree, in writing, to any liability if  the trees become dangerous. He also report ed that he would consult with residents again before taking a decision on how-to deal with the situation.

 Eachill Lighting Column –the Chair reported that the Eachill lighting column had improved t he area and made a big difference, especially to Eachill Garden bungalows.

 Proposed Bus Stop – Councillor Moss reported that residents in the area of the proposed bus stop had been consulted but due to a lack of interest the scheme would not be going ahead.

 Area Working– Steve Watson explained that the Area Managem ent Councils Team had reorganised their working structure in order to become more accessible to residents by holding regular surgeries, currently in the People's Centre on Monday y afternoons between2 p.m. and 4 p.m.,but to be moved to the Library from April onwards. He pointed out that residents would have the opportunity to speak with the Area Managem ent Councils Officer as well as officers from other partnerships such as the Police, PCT and Fire Service

 Rishton Neighbourhood Action Group– The Chair reported that t his was a standard item on t he agenda and a report would be submitted later in the meeting.

Scout Hut Heating System –the Chairman informed residents that the Scouts had been awarded a grant from the Cabinet Action Fund to replace t heir heating system in the Scout hut which was now up and running.

A representative from the Scouts read out a letter thanking the Area Management Council Team for the grant for the heating system.

Kissing Gates – Councillor Moss reported on t he proposal to install kissing gates or an A-frame at the end of Shawbrook Close to prevent unauthorised horse riders. He reported that an installation had been approved and funding would be allocated after the Council budget. He acknowledged that this was a wide spread issue across Rishton and invited residents to report similar issues in other areas.

A resident reported that horse riders were still using the Springfield Bridge and Tottleworth areas.

 Esplanade Roses– the Chair reported that a resident had indicated that this scheme had been completed some weeks ago.

 Albert Mill – the Chair reported that there had been an outline planning application submitted for 26 houses. He reported that a Section106 Agreem ent for a contribution had been set which if not signed by 5t h May the Planning Officers could ref use the planning application.

 Regeneration – the Chair reported that he would be attending a meeting at Hyndburn Borough Council with the Chair and Portfolio Holder for Regeneration to discuss£250,000 funding in Rishton. He gave details of ideas for f funding regeneration issues.

 A resident suggested that the car park entrancing Rishton could be improved and cleansed to improve t he gateway to the town. The Chair indicated that the site was owned b Lancashire County Council but agreed that the suggestion would be considered.

 A resident suggested that money was spent to make improvements to the People's Centre in Rishton.

MAIN ITEMS

Tottleworth Conservation Area

Simon Prideaux, Chief Planning and Transportation Officer ref erred to the review of planning strategies and policies for Rishton. He encouraged residents to submit their comments on planning issues in Rishton so that this information could be incorporated into the Core Strategy.

Carolyn Baker, Senior Planner (Hyndburn Borough Council) gave a presentation on Tottleworth Conservation area. She informed residents that Councils were required to have character appraisals and management plans in place for all conservation areas and that they were currently endeavouring to do this. She reported that plans for Tottleworth Conservation area would include several elements and take into consideration such aspects as the special character of the area, past history, changes t hat have happened over the years and boundary changes. She pointed out that these issues would be considered carefully before a plan was drawn up.

 Residents referred to changes in the area due to the growth of trees and woodland and population changes. The Senior Planner indicated that she would investigate these aspects for inclusion in t he management plan of Tottleworth conservation area.

Cancer Volunteers

Fiona Muir, Neighbourhood Health Worker for the NHS gave a present ation on t he Communities Against Cancer project and pointed out that t he aim of this scheme was to raise awareness of symptoms of cancer and to encourage people to visit their doctors sooner. She provided statist ical information which showed that there was a higher rate of breast, bowel and lung cancer across East Lancashire because people were not presenting to their doctor soon enough with the onset of symptoms. She indicated that they had investigate why people were not doing this and found that people were either too scared to speak to their GPs or there was a lack of knowledge of the symptoms. She reported that the project aimed to recruit volunteers to pass on this knowledge of symptoms so that warning signs could be acted upon quickly. She provided information on the main symptoms of breast, bowel and lung cancer. She also introduced a leaflet that patients could use if they found it difficult to talk to their GPs.

She provided contact details for anyone wanting to volunteer to be part of the scheme.

Royal Wedding Street Party Packs

The Area Council Manager reported that street party packs for the Royal Wedding were available from the Area Management Councils Team . He inf ormed residents that the Council were not providing grants for street parties but if residents wanted to organise them the Council would help by co-ordinating road closures etc. He explained that residents want ing to organise street parties should contact the Area Management Councils Team.

Census Reminder

The Area Council’s Manager reminded residents to return their census forms and explained that the information provided on these forms would determine funding for services in the area. He advised anyone with any problem s filling in the forms to contact the Area Managem ent Council Team for help.

UPDATES

County Issues

County Councillor Parkinson provided an update on issues relating to Lancashire County Council. He referred to the necessity of budget cuts including the possible closure of respite care homes and children’s homes. However, he did point out that no decision had yet been made on the future of these homes, including Hargreaves House.

He reported that cuts would also be made on bus services and pointed out that Lancashire County Council would no longer be f unding the Dial-a-Ride services and that the Eachill Gardens bus route had finished.

He inf ormed the meeting that the budget for resurfacing roads and footpaths had been cut by 12% and that the priority list would be issued on 1s t April.

Rishton Neighbourhood Action Group

Fiona Cook, member of Rishton Neighbourhood Action Group, gave details of what the Group did and invited interested residents to join them. She explained that they worked with voluntary groups, the Area Management Council and the Council to make a difference to their neighbourhoods. She informed the meeting that they were working on two projects (a Community Audit (Cut wood Park to Tottleworth) and Rishton Remembered) and that they wanted people to volunteer to become Street Ambassadors. She explained the role of a Street Ambassador and provided details of how the Group could be contacted and their meeting dates and times.

Police

P.C. Haworth updated residents on the work that the Police had been undertaking since they had reported at the last Area Management Council. He provided statistical data on the num ber of recorded incidents from November 2010 and mid March 2011 and explained that comparatively the data showed little difference in the figures from the previous year.

-reported that the next PACT meeting would be held on 6t h April and invited residents to attend to speak to the Police about concerns in their neighbourhood.

-gave details of an operation that the Police had undertaken to detect stolen items.

-Informed residents of the neighbourhood police team’s annual project they held with local youths.

-Outlined the rubbish collection event held with children during the half term break.

-Pointed out that there was still a problem with mini-mot os and indicated t hat the Police had powers t o seize any mini-motos deemed to be causing a nuisance.

-Indicated t hat they had been working with Risht on Allotments Together to prevent criminal incidents on the allotments and pointed out that they would have further details at the next meeting.

 Prospects

Colin Cooper reported that Prospects had constructed the willows tunnel in the park and erected thirteen bird boxes. He point ed out that the crocus bulbs they had planted were now in full bloom and had been a success.

Rishton Award

Councillor Moss suggested that the Rishton Award, last awarded in 2007, should be resurrected and asked residents to put forward their nominations by contacting their local Councillor or the Area Management Council Team.

Open Forum

Allotment Rent Increases - A resident expressed concern about the extent of rent increases for allotments. The Chair explained that rent increases for allotments owned by the Council had risen but that rental was based on the rate of area rather than a flat rent and therefore would affect some more than others. He informed residents that if their allotments were owned by the Dunkenhalgh estate then they should raise any concerns with Ingham and York who would be responsible for these.

List of Concerns in Rishton -

A resident listed a number of problems he had concerns about including:

  •  - the traffic lights on Harwood Road
  • -the sequencing of traffic lights at Eachill Gardens
  • -the footpath at Great Harwood Norden Bridge was impassable
  • -Japanese Knotweed was growing in a number of areas.
  • -Trees on Close Brow were becoming untidy.

 Steve Watson indicated that he would look into the concerns of the resident as listed above.

Littering Under the Harwood Road Bridge - A resident reported littering under the bridge on Harwood Road and pointed out that the drains often got blocked in this area due to tree roots.

The Chairman asked Steve Watson to look into this complaint.

Former Westwood Garage Site - A resident asked for a progress report on the future of Westwood Garage on Harwood Road and expressed concern that youths had been hanging around this area. The Chairman reported that the property had been let to the Co-operative but was not aware of the date that they would be moving in.

Wall Fallen Down - A resident reported t hat the Norden canal bank and playing field section wall had been knocked down.

Sound System - A resident requested the use of a sound syst em for Remembrance Day. The Chairman indicated that he would liaise with the resident to obtain a sound system.

Proposed Rishton to Blackpool Bus Route - A resident asked for further information on the proposed bus route from Rishton to Blackpool. The Chair indicated that he would clarify what route the bus had been planned to take.

Regeneration Funding - A resident asked if there would be a public consultation on how the £250,000 funding for regeneration in Rishton would be spent or to confirm if the decision on how it would be spent had already been m ade. A representative from ‘Friends of Rishton’ referred to the creation of a toddler play area as part of the Holt Street regeneration scheme and requested that consideration was given to some of the funding to be allocated to this project.

The Chair indicated that he would write to the Leader of the Council to seek clarity on how the funding would be spent in Rishton and if residents had been or would be consulted during the process.

Former Paper Mill, Bottom End of Rishton - A resident requested information on plans for the former Paper Mill site at the bottom end of Rishton. The Chair reported that this was a blighted site which had previously had outline planning permission but which had also wanted to use a part of green belt land. Councillor Moss informed residents that the Council’s Planning Department would include this site in its planning documents for potential development and explained that there were potential plans to demolish the building and build a mixture of residential and commercial properties on the site.

GRANTS & BUDGETS

The Chair referred residents to Paper C of the agenda, outlining the grants and budgets for Rishton Area Management Council f or 2010/2011. He informed the meeting that a budget of £12,025 had been allocated to capital and revenue projects and schemes for t he year and that there was £2,606 capital and £55.75 revenue still remaining. He proposed that the remainder of the budget was used to provide deterrents to stop the unauthorised use of f footpaths.

Resolved -That the remainder of the budget for 2010/2011 be used to approve quotes, in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair of Rishton Area Management Council, on deterrents to unauthorised use of footpaths on Shaw Brook Close and White Path.

DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING

The Chair thanked residents for attending t he meeting and reported that the next Rishton Area Management Council would take place on 12t h July, 2011.

Signed:……………………………………………….

Date: ……………………………………………………….

Chair of the meeting at which the minutes were confirmed.