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Meeting of Rishton PROSPECTS Panel held at Primetime Centre 15th January 1998

1. Present : Andrew Parker (Chairman), Beverley Moorhouse (Secretary), Colin Cooper (Treasurer), Ruth Colling, Fiona Cook, Maureen Cunliffe, Michael Waters and Margaret Worden. Andy Wild (visitor from Sheffield University).

2. Apologies : Heather Crossland, Edwina Furber, Coun. Lesley Jackson, Bob Jenkinson and PROSPECTS Coordinator : Mark Hopley.

3. Minutes of meeting 20th November and 18th December 1997 . Minutes as circulated were agreed as a true record, with the addition of apologies from Fiona Cook and Edwina Furber (both for18/12/97).

4. Matters arising.

a) Membership list. Maureen reported that she now had the list fully computerised and would provide Andrew and Colin with copies as promised. There had been two recent resignations.

b) Recording of apologies. Some members had commented that messages of apology they had recorded on Maureen's Primetime number had not got on to the minutes. Maureen felt certain that she had passed on any messages that she had received. Fiona offered her number (888718) as an alternative.

c) PROSPECTS Foundation. Colin reported that he had attended the steering group meeting on 8/1/98 where the advantages of setting up a Foundation as a limited company were explored, particularly in relation to landfill tax rebate money and grants, for the benefit of PROSPECTS generally. As a result, a working group was set up to prepare the neccessary "memorandum and articles of association" and other paperwork in draft form for consideration at the next steering group meeting 27/1/98. Final proposals would be submitted to the next Forum meeting on 3/2/98.

d) BTCV Membership. This had now been confirmed, together with the necessary insurance cover.

5. Treasurer's report. Colin recorded a balance in the bank as at 6/1/98 of 92.69. To be deducted from this was 55.00 to BTCV and an item of 0.45 postage, leaving a balance of 37.24. Mark had indicated that he was applying for further grants for panels' administrative expenses. Fiona hoped that all legitimate expenses were being claimed by members.

6. Young People's Questionnaire. It had not been possible for the working group to meet as planned on 6/1/98 and a new date was set for 2/2/98 at 7pm in Norden School library. As well as preparing the summary of results, they would also set a date and decide on the type of event for the report back to the young people. A Tuesday evening was suggested and Maureen was to check available Tuesdays at Primetime before Easter.

7. Parker St/ Hermitage St project. There had been a dozen or so responses to the circulated scheme details. Most were very favourable, with some reservations as indicated at the last meeting but also with some useful suggestions. A letter had been sent to the local police for their comments but no reply had as yet been received. It was also suggested that we contact WPC Gale Whiteoak who was the police's School and Youth Organiser for Hyndburn.

The following list of suggestions came from the responses and those attending the meeting:-

1) Pathway to be wide enough for wheelchairs/prams to pass.

2) No pergolas - vandalism/maintenance problems. (Totem poles had been suggested for a scheme in Gt. Harwood).

3) Hanging baskets on poles ( a la Esplanade).

4) Light pathway for pedestrian safety/anti vandalism.- nb. one lamp to light central area

5) Continuous seating (not bays).

6) Gravel under seating planted with aromatic plants when stepped on.

7) Broad low stone wall along west edge of pathway from Parker St, various heights so children can walk along it.

8) Central area not to have decorative paving but some form of target/board game.

9) Decorative stone panels to be put in wall at back of seating , instead of decorative paving.

10) On grass side of east central feature wall, for last few feet, slope ground up to wall and plant it with camomile lawn and bulbs. (Wont then need mowing up to the wall).

11) Timber walls with tile inserts either side of path leading into cental feature.

12) Area to west of pathway (Parker St end) to have wood chippings and a few more play features.

13) Area between central feature and Gaskell's fence to include plants etc. of interest to the blind.

14) Incorporate provision for dog dirt bins.

Colin agreed to contact Mark with a view to arranging for Groundwork to draw up a final scheme. A time scale for proceeding with the scheme then needed to be worked out. Clarification was being sought as to whether the money allocated by Hyndburn BC had to be spent by the end of March or only 'committed'.

8. Any other business.

a) Bicycle Users Group. Details were given of the inaugural meeting of this group to be held at the HBC offices Accrington at 7.15pm Wednesday 28/1/98. The object of the group was to improve communications related to Hyndburn's developing cycling strategy.

b) Aluminium Drinks Can Recycling Scheme. Details were also given of the launch of a new recycling competition associated with this scheme, coinciding with Hynburn's new aluminium can collection service. This launch was to take place at Accrington Town Hall on Monday 2/2/98 at 4.15pm.

c) Towpath High St to Norden. Hyndburn BC still hoped to complete the improvement scheme in this financial year.

d) Traffic Calming Blackburn Rd. Plans for this scheme were to be displayed in the Library for comment.

e) Andy Wild. Andy explained that he was a research student from Sheffield University looking into communities' involvement in improving their 'quality of life' and the 'environment'. PROSPECTS was one such initiative that he was looking at and visiting the Panels was one aspect of this. He asked if he could meet the Panel again for a more detailed discussion and it was agreed that the first hour of the next meeting would be devoted to this. This might mean a slightly later finish than usual.

9. Next Meeting. Thursday 19th February 1998 at 7.00pm at Primetime (Norden School Library). Future meetings :-

19th March 1998

16th April 1998.

Meeting of Rishton PROSPECTS Panel held at Primetime Centre 17th February 1998

1. Present : Andrew Parker (Chairman), Beverley Moorhouse (Secretary), Colin Cooper (Treasurer), Louise Bloomer, Fiona Cook, Heather Crossland, Maureen Cunliffe, and Margaret Worden, Mark Hopley (PROSPECTS Coordinator) and Andy Wild (visitor from Sheffield University).

2. Apologies : Edwina Furber, Gordon Howarth, Coun. Lesley Jackson, Bob Jenkinson, Coun. Harold Tootle and Michael Waters.

3. Minutes of meeting 15th January 1998 . Minutes as circulated were agreed as a true record.

4. Matters arising. None.

5. Andy Wild presentation. To assist with his research project at Sheffield University, Andy explored with those present their understanding of local and global environmental issues and an interesting discussion ensued.

6. Young People's Questionnaire.

a) Working party (2/2/98) report-back. The working party had met as planned and agreed a line of approach to analyse the responses to the questionnaire. Subsequently Colin and Beverley had produced a four page response analysis and a two page Summary, copies of which were tabled at the meeting. A conclusion to be added to the Summary was agreed together with acknowledgements to Rural Action and PROSPECTS for their financial support.

It was agreed that the the young people should be the first to see the Summary at the report-back event ie. it should not be made generally available beforehand.

b) Young People's event. A date of Tuesday 24/3/98 was set for the report-back event to be held at Primetime, 7.00pm refreshments for start at 7.15pm (setting up from 6.30pm). Heather felt that apart from the report back, a debate on some contentious issue from the questionnaire like dog dirt, litter, etc would be popular with the young people. An alternative suggestion was an art workshop demonstration related to the Hermitage St/ Parker St project (see item 7 below). It was agreed to incorporate both a debate and something of an art demonstration, bearing in mind that the workshops in the schools etc. would by then be well advanced if not completed.

A letter would be sent to all those who responded to the questionnaire and Heather agreed to do a poster so that the event could be given wider publicity (the event was to be open to any interested young people, not only those who responded).

7. Parker St/ Hermitage St project.

a) Meeting with Groundwork East Lancashire. Colin reported that he had attended a meeting on the Panel's behalf at the Groundwork office in Great Harwood on 5/2/98,

present : Adele Adams (Groundwork), Andrew Hayhurst (HBC-parks), Mark Hopley and himself. Consideration had been given to the suggested amendments (see minutes of last Panel meeting) and while not agreed in precise detail, many of the basic ideas would be incorporated in the revised plan. Groundwork would produce a revised sketch and costings but this might take a few weeks due to other commitments.

Andrew Hayhurst indicated that he had in mind starting on the pathway in May. Adele proposed doing the major planting work in October. She had suggested that this be done by a contractor to speed up the process however Colin and Mark had insisted that this phase was the one envisaged for maximum community participation (probably with BTCV assistance). If therefore this would lead to an extension of the planting timescale, somewhere secure might have to be found to store trees/shrubs/plants/bulbs during the process. (Gaskells?).

Adele announced the good news that Groundwork had applied on the Panel's behalf for a grant under the Barclay's Sitesavers scheme and a grant of 7000 had been awarded. Mark felt confident that matched funding could be obtained as a result and therefore the Panel would be well on its way to the total needed for the project. He was to meet Colin the following Friday to pursue this.

Mark reported that the 2000 granted under the Community Environment Fund had to be spent by the end of March. With this in mind, Groundwork had been given the OK to engage an artist(s) to commence art workshops with local schools and youth groups as soon as possible. This would be to produce the paving features and wall tiles. The meeting confirmed this decision and it was agreed that Groundwork should proceed with this element of the scheme up to a limit of 2000.

b) Site visit Shell Better Britain Campaign (SBBC). Colin had met Mr Bill Welch the SBBC representative on site 21/1/98 to discuss our grant application. Mr Welch would be recommending us for a grant but we might not get the full amount of 2000 applied for. [later : cheque for 1200 received].

c) Site visit Gt Harwood police. Also on 21/1/98 Colin had met Inspector John Pennington on site to discuss the lettter of concern sent 31/12/97. The Inspector wished the Panel every success with the project and promised that the police would do all they could to keep an eye on the site and respond to any calls for assistance from the local community if there was any trouble. He indicated that a new form of community policing was to be introduced in April and this should help. He was in favour of the idea of some lighting on the pathway and provided a list of spikey shrubs.

8. Other schemes/ideas for 1998. Fiona had suggested at the previous meeting that as untidy streets and back alleys figured significantly in the responses to the young people's questionnaire, something might be done to involve the community in tackling these problems. Margaret felt that we should give consideration once again to doing a parish map. Both ideas were left for future consideration.

9. Any other business.

a) Recycling facilities. In answering question 5 of their questionnaire, the young people felt there should be more recycling facilities in the village. Mark reported that the PROSPECTS Forum was wanting in future to try out neighbourhood pilots in this field and wondered whether Rishton might therefore be a suitable area.

b) Aluminium drinks can recycling scheme. The new scheme had been launched on 2/2/98 but the take-up so far from schools had been a little disappointing. Mark asked Panel members to do what they could to encourage Rishton schools to take part and promised to provide further details of the scheme to assist.

10. Next Meeting. Thursday 19th March 1998 at 7.00pm at Primetime (Norden School Library). Future meetings :-

16th April 1998.

14th May 1998.?

18th June 1998.?

Meeting of Rishton PROSPECTS Panel held at Primetime Centre 16th March 1998

1. Present : Andrew Parker (Chairman), Fiona Cook (Vice-Chairman), Beverley Moorhouse (Secretary), Colin Cooper (Treasurer), Heather Crossland (part-time), Maureen Cunliffe (part-time), Bob Jenkinson and Margaret Worden.

2. Apologies : Edwina Furber, Mark Hopley (PROSPECTS Coordinator), Gordon Howarth, and Michael Waters.

3. Minutes of meeting 17th February 1998 . Minutes as circulated were agreed as a true record.

4. Matters arising.

a) Aluminium Can Re-cycling Scheme. Members were again asked to do what they could to follow this up with the local schools. Colin to get more details to assist. Not only were there financial benefits to the schools but for the scheme to succeed, Hyndburn needed to achieve a target tonnage with the scrap contractors.

5. Young People's Questionnaire.

a) Report-back Event Tuesday 24/3/98. Invitation letters from Andrew had gone out to all 44 Young People who had responded to the Questionnaire. In it they were also invited to bring any interested friends as it was an open meeting. Heather had not yet been able to produce a poster but had made the event widely known through the Norden Youth Club.

Maureen offered to arrange suitable refreshments at the start (7.00pm for 7.15pm), helpers to arrive about 6.30pm to get the room ready. Those attending would be given a copy of the Summary to look at when they arrived. Andrew would chair the meeting.

It was decided to start with the presentation by the artists involved with art workshops for the Parker St/Hermitage St Project. This would release them to return home as they were travelling some distance to be present. They would demonstrate the work they had been doing in the local schools to produce a mosaic central paving feature and decorative wall tiles. Time allowed, approx 30/40 minutes.

This would be followed by an explanation of the Summary and open discussion/debate on some of the issues raised. Aim to finish about 9.00pm.

It was suggested in the invitation letter that some indication would be given of how the YPs could get involved in the Parker St Project, but it appeared now that this was only likely to be at the tree/shrub/bulb planting stage around October. Ideally we should find something for them to be involved in sooner. We were too late for bulb planting now. A litter-pick or tidy-up somewhere might be appropriate, but where? It was decided to wait and see if the YPs could suggest something themselves.

6) Parker St/Hermitage St Project.

a) Art Workshops Update. The workshops had started at Norden on Monday 9/3/98 lead by Nikki Greaves doing the mosaic central paving feature and Mandy Ward doing the decorative wall tiles. Workshops had also taken place at St Charles and Rishton Methodist Junior Schools and the Norden Youth Club.

The initial stages had involved over 200 children in 'brainstorming' design ideas and sketches and latterly some 150 children had had 'hands-on' experience of either building the mosaics or making the clay wall tiles.

Workshops would finish on Friday 20/3/98 but it was expected the artists would have to do a lot of work to finish things off themselves after this. The mosaics and tiles would then be stored until the site was ready for them to be installed

Groundwork's original estimate for this work was 2500, so Mark had contacted the Great Harwood and Rishton Rotary Club on the Panel's behalf to see if they could support the venture with 500 to complement the 2000 coming from the Community Environment Fund. This was still being sympathetically considered. In the meantime Colin and Andrew had reason to question whether 2500 was necessary and ultimately 2250 was agreed with Groundwork and the artists as a more justifiable figure. This was endorsed by the meeting.

b) Revised Sketch Plan and Costings. The latest sketch plan produced by Groundwork following the meeting with them on 5/2/98 was presented to the meeting and met with general approval. The latest costings associated with it were being queried in a number of respects with them by Mark and Colin but a total figure between 20,000 and 23,000 seemed likely. Mark and Colin were looking at possible additional sources of funding to supplement the encouraging grants already received.

7. Other schemes/ideas for 1998.

a) Parish Map. The idea appealed to the Panel partly because it could involve those who might not be able to take part in or be interested in more physical environmental activities. It could also involve other local community organisations. Margaret had acquired some information but it was agreed that more was needed. Everyone to see what they could find.

b) Ladybird Trail and Deer Walk. The surveys of these had been started by Mark and Michael last year and it was felt it could be useful to complete them. Any remedial work that was found necessary could be done in stages over a period of time as separate little projects, as finance and enthusiasm allowed. They could also be suitable for involving young people. Colin to contact Mark and Michael to see how best to pick up the idea again.

c) Canalside Flowerbed - High St Bridge. Lastest indications were that the Council's proposed towpath upgrading scheme would be going ahead this summer. The Panel could then do something about the flowerbed.

8. Any other business. None.

9. Next Meeting. Thursday 16th April 1998 at 7.00pm at Primetime (Norden School Library). Future meetings :-

14th May 1998. 18th June 1998.

Meeting of Rishton PROSPECTS Panel held at Primetime Centre 16th April 1998

1. Present : Andrew Parker (Chairman), Fiona Cook (Vice-Chairman), Colin Cooper (Treasurer), Heather Crossland, Maureen Cunliffe, Joanne Holden, Coun.Lesley Jackson, Margaret Worden and Mark Hopley (PROSPECTS Coordinator),

2. Apologies : Edwina Furber, Gordon Howarth, Bob Jenkinson, Beverley Moorhouse and Michael Waters.

3. Minutes of meeting 16th March 1998. Minutes as circulated were agreed as a true record.

4. Matters arising.

a) Aluminium Can Re-cycling Scheme. More details of the Hyndburn scheme had now been received and copies were given to appropriate Panel members to follow up with the local schools. Mark pointed out that the scheme was open to groups as well as schools. It was therefore suggested that Norden Youth Club be encouraged to take part. Heather to inform Myra and Fiona also to raise at imminent YC management meeting. Maureen to look at Primetime can venders situation. Mark stressed the need to help Hyndburn meet its target tonnage and suggested that raising local awareness of the scheme could be considered a 2nd current project for the Panel (ie. in addition to the Parker St project).

On the general question of circulating information to schools, Fiona warned that schools get so much through the post that much of it tends not to be properly looked at. A far better method was to have items officially recognised by the LEA and circulated by them through their 'orange bag' system.

5. Young People's Questionnaire.

a) Report-back Event Tuesday 24/3/98. Attendance had been a little disappointing with

8 young people attending. All 44 of those who responded to the questionnaire had been sent invitations, 5 of the 8 being from these. However a good evening had been enjoyed by those who came and they seemed keen to get more involved. Some had since been back to Maureen and were looking to have some form of regular meeting, to which Maureen was trying to respond.

The evening started with a demonstration by Nikki Greaves, the artist involved with the mosaic for the Parker St project. This was followed by small group brainstorming sessions on improvements the young people would like to see in Rishton.

A recurrent theme from the questionnaire and the report-back event was the state of the bottom 'Rec' and Holt St.. It was decided to meet the following Sunday afternoon at the 'Rec' to do a survey and then to contact Andrew Hayhurst (HBC Asst Parks Officer) to see what potential there might be for doing something with the area. Maureen would contact the YP's who had been back to her to see if they could join in the survey.

Colin reported that he had contacted Jean Williams (HBC Planning Officer) about the derelict land in Holt St. She promised to check on ownership and responsibility and report back.

Maureen was thanked for providing the facilities and the refreshments for the evening.

6. Parker St/Hermitage St Project.

a) Art Workshops Update. The workshops had been completed as planned 20/3/98 and the sections of mosaic were in storage at Groundwork's Great Harwood office awaiting installation when the site was ready. It was believed Mandy Ward was finishing off work on the wall tiles in her workshop. It was estimated that over 300 pupils had been involved in the workshops in one way or another and it was obviously hoped that some, if not all, could see something of the installation work when this came to be done. Photographs of the workshops were shown and these would be made available to Shell Better Britain Campaign with others of the site development in due course, as they had provided a free film for the purpose.

b) Costings and Fund Raising. A meeting was scheduled for 23/4/98 at Groundwork, Great Harwood for them to finalise the costings with Andrew Hayhurst, Mark and Colin. We were being asked to choose the type of animal sculptures we would like, 'farm' or 'jungle'. It was decided to have 'farm', which incidentally were cheaper. There were concerns about the 3 sided notice board, which it was feared might be too great a temptation to be used as a climbing frame. A 2 winged version might be preferable, with the fronts being used for community notices and the backs for more permanent displays about the sponsors etc.

Great Harwood and Rishton Rotary had kindly agreed to donate 500 towards the art workshops and had invited Andrew and Colin to their meeting on 21/4/98 to receive their cheque. The Press would be present to record the event.

Mark confirmed that a grant of 13,000 had been agreed with the Environment Agency which, depending on the final costings, should see the Project fully funded. There were however certain criteria to be fulfilled. Mark would be evaluating the implications of these and would ensure the Panel was kept informed. Thanks were expressed to Mark for his part in securing this magnificent sum.

c) Programme of Site Work. It was hoped to get a feel for this at the meeting at Groundwork on 23/4/98. It was agreed that there should be an official opening ceremony and it was felt that it would be appropriate to invite Coun.Ian Ormerod, who was Chairman of Hyndburn's Leisure Services Committee, but by then would also be Mayor of Hyndburn. This would probably need to be after the major construction work was complete but before the final planting was done.

7. Membership Review. Maureen's computer had been invaded by a 'bug' and the full membership list was not accessible. It was agreed therefore that the review be left until the next meeting when it was hoped the virus would have been exterminated!

8. Other schemes/ideas for 1998.

a) Parish Map. Helpful information was still being gleaned. Mark suggested we try Sue Caudle of the Community Council of Lancashire and Margaret agreed to follow this up.

b) Ladybird Trail and Deer Walk. Mark was still trying to get maps and it was suggested we might try Rishton Library. Colin to enquire. Mark had however requested packs for PROSPECTS Panel use from the Countryside Commission about surveying footpaths. He envisaged that this sort of activity could be done as joint ventures between the various PROSPECTS Panels where paths went from one Panel area to another.

Maureen offered the services of 'Rishton Ramblers', a group of people with disabilities based at Primetime. They were looking to involve themselves in local walks and could incorporate some survey work in these. This idea was readily accepted.

c) Holt St and bottom 'Rec'. See (5) above

d) Visits. Mark would get the latest information about the Waste Water Treatment Works at Martholme

e) Other Ideas. Enough for now!

9. Any other business.

a) Forum Newsletter. Margaret advised that the first PROSPECTS Forum Newsletter was in course of preparation and would be delivered to every household in Hyndburn. She was assisting Gillian Constable in its preparation and would be happy to write something on the Rishton Panel's behalf. Agreed with thanks.

b) Magazines, Newsletters, etc. Colin reported that he was in receipt of numerous publications from Shell Better Britain, Mersey Basin Trust, etc which were full of good ideas but which he wasn't finding time to read and digest. It was agreed that he should bring these along to the meetings and 'farm them out' to other members to read and report back anything significant.


Thursday 21st May 1998 at Primetime at 7.00pm.

Meeting of Rishton PROSPECTS Panel held at Primetime Centre 21st May 1998

1. Present : Fiona Cook (Vice-Chairman), Colin Cooper (Treasurer), Maureen Cunliffe, Bob Jenkinson, Beverley Moorhouse, Laureen Smith, Margaret Worden and Mark Hopley (PROSPECTS Coordinator),

2. Apologies : Andrew Parker (Chairman), Edwina Furber, Cllr.Lesley Jackson, Gordon Howarth.

Fiona welcomed Laureen to her first meeting and Mark gave her a resume of the PROSPECTS initiative.

3. Minutes of meeting 16th April 1998. Minutes as circulated were agreed as a true record.

4. Matters arising. None.

5. Aluminium Can Re-cycling Scheme. Members had started to pursue the scheme with the schools, youth club and Primetime but there was no concrete progress to report as yet.

6. Parker St/Hermitage St Project.

Colin reported on his meeting at Groundwork East Lancs (Adele Adams) with Mark and Andrew Hayhurst 23/4/98. A number of details of site work, costs, timing, etc had been sorted out, mainly between Adele and Andrew. Design of the notice board had still to be agreed, Adele to get details and arrange further meeting [now set for 2/6/98].

Subsequently Adele had forwarded a proposed programme of site works/activities, copies of which were circulated to the meeting. It had been hoped that work on the path would be finished by the end of May but that now looked unlikely as work had not yet started. Community involvement was proposed during the summer school holiday with planting in the planters as part of a summer playscheme. BTCV would be engaged to supervise four days of shrub planting during October and bulb planting was earmarked for the Autumn school half term.

A revised cost schedule had just been received but was under query with GWEL. A Mersey Basin Trust representative was to visit site 29/5/98 to follow up our longstanding application for funding with them. Fiona would be meeting her there on the Panel's behalf.

Wooden animal play features ordered were : two pigs, one Shetland pony, one snail table and one tortoise table. These had been delivered and were in store until required on site. It was believed also that the decorative wall tiles had been delivered to GWEL to be stored with the mosaic sections already there. There was some doubt about any great involvement by the schools being possible in the installation of the mosaic and wall tiles. We must make sure however that they knew what was going on and when.

The form and timing of an official opening/celebration event was discussed briefly but was left for more detailed discussion at the next meeting.

7. Bottom 'Rec' and Holt St. Andrew, Fiona, Margaret and Colin had met to survey the 'Rec' on Sunday 19/4/98 as planned. Maureen reported that she had contacted some of the young people who had raised the issue but they were unable to attend on this occasion. There was some rubbish that needed clearing but the situation was complicated by the work going on on the blocked culvert. A wooded area had potential for coppicing once accumulated debris and a derelict piece of machinery had been removed. Other areas looked to be given over to good wildlife habitat. A football changing room had had some remedial work done on it but was severely vandalised.

Following the meeting at GWEL, Colin, Mark and Andrew had visited the 'Rec' and done a further survey. Andrew advised that the area within the fence was leased by the Council from the Dunkenhalgh Estates and had a further 7 years to run. He felt that there was considerable potential in the area and would establish the position regarding the changing rooms.

It had subsequently been suggested that there was a need to understand the site better and one way of doing this would be by having a wildlife habitat survey done by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust funded by Rural Action. It was agreed to pursue this idea and apply to Rural Action. LWT would seek the assistance of volunteers and this could be an ideal way of involving the young people. Maureen reported that a core number were still interested in forming a junior Panel and meeting regularly but the difficulty was manpower to organise them.

8. Membership Review. Maureen reported success in retrieving the membership list but she pointed out that some on the list were known to be still interested in the Panel's activities but could not attend the meetings. It was decided to leave the proposed review until later in the year to see if there was renewed interest once the Parker St scheme showed what the Panel could achieve. Further interest should also be generated by the PROSPECTS Forum Newsletter which was to go to every household in Hyndburn in July and a new PROSPECTS leaflet was being produced with a recruitment bias. Lastly a schools conference was being planned for the 7th July with a 'visioning' theme and as Norden HS was taking part, there could be some spin-off from this.

Contact had been made with the two new Rishton councillors, Russell Davies and Stan Horne. Both had expressed an interest but were otherwise engaged that evening. Fr Ian Farrell who had replaced FR Michael Waters at St Charles had also expressed an intersest once he had settled in the parish.

9. Parish Map. Margaret reported that she was still gathering information on this.

10. Ladybird Trail and Deer Walk. Mark had now located maps for these and would let Maureen have copies. He presented her with one of the Countryside Commission footpath surveying packs for use by 'Rishton Ramblers'.

11. Visits. Nothing to report.

12. Any other business.

a) Canal towpath upgrading. Mark reported that he had had a meeting with Jim Swindells who had recently been seconded to the district by British Waterways to help facilitate the planned improvements to the canal areas from Norden to Altham. He was keen to meet representatives from all the Panels and Mark was trying to fix a convenient date. Week commencing 29/6/98 was suggested as convenient for Rishton. Mark was confident that we should now see plans moving forward on the ground and we might at last be able to do something with the canalside flower bed by High St bridge.

b) Credit Union. In some of the initial meetings in Great Harwood looking to set up a Credit Union, there had been some attendance by people from Rishton. Great Harwood Panel was therefore asking if we would be interested in forming a Great Harwood and Rishton scheme. It was agreed that we would back such a proposal in principle and do all we could to promote it, but that we did not have the manpower at the present time to get involved in the organisation and running.

c) Alan Critchlow Way. Maureen gave details of the conflict that had developed between the incoming residents of the new Eaves Brook housing development and the existing residents of the Spring St/Bridge St area. It wasn't being suggested that the Panel should get directly involved but it had highlighted a need for a leaflet giving details of all the community facilities available to incoming residents. The Panel might like to be involved in this.

13. Next Meeting. Thursday 18th June 1998 at Primetime at 7.00pm.

Meeting of Rishton PROSPECTS Panel held at Primetime Centre 18th June 1998

1. Present : Fiona Cook (Vice-Chairman), Colin Cooper (Treasurer), Heather Crossland, Cllr Russell Davies, Margaret Worden, Vincent Wright and Mark Hopley (PROSPECTS Coordinator),

2. Apologies : Andrew Parker (Chairman), Beverley Moorhouse (Secretary), Maureen Cunliffe, Edwina Furber, Cllr.Lesley Jackson, Cllr Stan Horne, Gordon Howarth, Bob Jenkinson.

Fiona gave a particular welcome to Cllr Davies and Vincent Wright (Secretary of the newly formed Sands Estate Tenant's Association [SETA] ) to their first meeting. Cllr Davies outlined the objects of SETA and Mark gave a resume of the PROSPECTS initiative.

3. Minutes of meeting 21st May 1998. There not being a quorum of members, this was held over until the following meeting.

4. Matters arising. None.

5. Parker St/Hermitage St Project.

Colin reported that the delay in starting had been mainly due to difficulties in getting supplies of the path edging. This had now been resolved and a start was imminent, with an anticipated completion of the path by the end of June. However, at a meeting with Adele Adams (GWEL) previously that day it transpired that they were having difficuly finding a stone mason available to build the follow-up stonework. There was also some doubt still about the supply of reclaimed stone by Hyndburn BC. Adele was pursuing another avenue for these but it might cost more. At the same meeting, the question of GWEL's fee had been discussed and proposals were being put forward for further discussion.

Colin had met a representative of Signs Studio, Great Harwood 2/6/98 to discuss notice board designs. Sketches of the suggested designs were presented to the meeting, a single board with space for 10 x A4 each side @ 1156 +VAT and a double board in a 'V' configuration @ 1920 + VAT. It was questioned whether enough material would be displayed to require the double. With the backs likely to be taken up with more permanent displays, it was felt two front faces for current displays would readily be filled. It was decided to order the double board. Decorative cut-out panels under the board would pick up appropriate designs from the wall tiles. Colour to be black or dark green.

Vincent advised that there was a firm operating at the end of Spring St that did decorative iron work and it was agreed to pursue this to try to keep the project in Rishton. [Later : Colin followed this up. They could do the metalwork but not the polycarbonate etc needed for the panels, so GWEL were instructed to go ahead with Signs Studio.].

It was questioned who was going to look after the notice board (which would be padlocked). This was left for further thought.

Fiona reported that she had met Gwen White of Mersey Basin Trust on site 29/5/98 as planned and the response to our request for funding appeared favourable, though we might not get the full 1000 we had applied for. Some further written and photographic evidence was requested, particularly related to the relationship between the project and the Canal. This had been sent and the adjudicating panel was due to meet early in July.

6. Bottom 'Rec' and Holt St. An application form had been requested from Rural Action so that funding could be applied for to have a wildlife habitat survey carried out on the 'Rec' as a prelude to deciding how best the area might be developed for community use. RA had temporarily run out of forms and Margaret agreed to chase this up.

In parallel with this, a proposal had been submitted for the area to be included in the Countryside Commission's Millenium Greens programme. By definition, "A Millenium Green is an area of open space, to be enjoyed permanently by the local community. ----- has its own character - there may be trees, bushes, ponds, streams, paths. It is a place where people can relax, children can play and everyone can enjoy nature. Millenium Greens are permanent 'breathing spaces' for people of all ages."

If successful, 50% funding would be provided and it was hoped this could be matched from the Lancashire Environmental Fund (Landfill Tax) and other sources. The aim would also be to negotiate the purchase of the land by Hyndburn BC from the Dunkenhalgh Estate. It would not be possible under the Millenium Greens scheme for the football pitch to remain, however an alternative site would be found for this.

Mark stressed that the bid was provisional at this stage and its progression would be determined through negotiation with all parties who had a direct interest in the site.

With regard to the derelict land in Holt St, this was still being investigated.

7. Credit Union. Following the decision at the last meeting to back the formation of a joint Great Harwood and Rishton scheme in principle, a letter had now been received from the Great Harwood Panel asking if we could host a public meeting in Rishton to recruit local support. Margaret and Fiona said they would be willing to organise a one-off event but could not commit themselves further. Mark pointed out that while the Great Harwood Panel had been the catalyst, their initiative was now being developed by largely non-Panel people recruited from their public meeting, including one person from Rishton. The same would hopefully prove true in Rishton.

A date of Tuesday 11th August 1998 was proposed, subject to being able to book a suitable venue and speakers, the theme being 'community savings schemes'. The venue needed to be central and a-political and the Legion Club was suggested. Colin to liaise with the Rishton person on the pilot group to arrange a booking. [Later : confirmed for 11/8/98.] Speakers as in Great Harwood were suggested as Janice Parker from the Lancashire Cooperative Development Agency (LCDA) and Bill Whittaker from the Helmshore Credit Union. Margaret agreed to contact both of these. She would liaise with Fiona to produce an invitation letter to be sent to churches, clubs and other organisations whose members were likely to be interested.

Mark explained briefly the principles behind a credit union. From our point of view it could be helpful in engendering a community spirit. Asked whether he thought it would be of interest to SETA, Vince replied that they might be in the long term but at the moment his members were more concerned about getting their houses refurbished.

8. Parish Map. Margaret reported that she had been in touch with Kath Barnes of Preston BC who was an expert in this field. She was willing to come and talk to an interested gathering at any time.

9. Ladybird Trail and Deer Walk. In Maureen's absence there was nothing to report.

10. Aluminium Can Recycling Scheme. Nothing to report

11. Canal - Meeting with British Waterways. A meeting to meet Jim Swindells, the newly appointed B.W. Project Manager for this area, had now been arranged for Thursday 2/7/98 at Accrington Town Hall at 7.00pm. Mark urged as many as possible to attend as Jim was keen to hear what ideas local people had about the Canal and how it might be developed for community use.

12. Any other business.

a) SETA Cllr Davies and Vince Wright explained what was happening in the Sands Close area and their hopes that something might now be done to improve the housing. It was not felt that the Panel could contribute greatly to their specific problems but contact had been made with Maureen in her community worker role and if there was anything she felt the Panel could do within its remit, she would be sure to highlight it.

13. Next Meeting. Thursday 6th August 1998 at Primetime at 7.00pm.

Meeting of Rishton PROSPECTS Panel held at Primetime Centre 6th August 1998

1. Present : Andrew Parker (Chairman), Colin Cooper (Treasurer), Roy Baker, Elaine Barnsley, Maureen Cunliffe, Stuart Hogg, Tony Quinn, Margaret Worden, Mark Hopley (PROSPECTS Coordinator) and Jim Swindells (British Waterways).

2. Apologies : Fiona Cook (Vice-Chairman), Beverley Moorhouse (Secretary), Edwina Furber, Cllr.Lesley Jackson, Cllr Harold Tootle, Gordon Howarth, Bob Jenkinson.

As Andrew was initially delayed in attending, Colin (as temporary chairman) welcomed guest speaker, Jim Swindells, also Stuart and Tony representing Rishton Junior Football Club and finally Roy and Elaine who were attending their first meeting of the Panel.

3. Minutes of meeting 21st May and 18th June1998. There not being a quorum of members, these were held over until the following meeting.

4. Jim Swindells - British Waterways. Jim outlined BW's hopes of encouraging far greater use of the Canal and his remit to facilitate improvements to the stretch in the Hyndburn area which currently had an unfortunate reputation, not without some justification. His emphasis would be to encourage community involvement in any improvement schemes, consultation with interested groups being a key element. He saw PROSPECTS as offering a good basis for consultation (but not exclusively) and he welcomed the opportunities he was having to meet the various Panels.

He understood that the Rishton Panel had been allocated 3000 from the sum set aside for the planned improvement to the towpath from Norden bridge to High St bridge. This was to be used in ways the Panel felt appropriate, eg benches, picnic area(s), notice board, landscaping, etc. Colin advised that Jean Williams, Hyndburn BC's planning officer responsible for the towpath scheme, had offered to walk the towpath with Panel members to discuss possible ideas.

This opportunity to get involved was welcomed by the Panel and Colin was asked to liaise with Jean Williams and Panel members to arrange an evening walk in the next two/three weeks if possible. It was understood that work on the towpath could start towards the end of the month (August) and be completed by end March 1999. [Later : date for walk set at Tuesday 18/8/98]

Jim was thanked for his presentation with its examples of environmental improvements achieved elsewhere on the Canal with community involvement and the Panel looked forward to working with him to help achieve similar results in this area.

5. Parker St/Hermitage St Project.

It was disappointing that a start had not yet been made. This was now largely due to the weather and the consequent soft ground. There were fears that the equipment associated with the removal of the existing path and construction of the new would damage the site and lead to significant restitution costs. However, work could not be delayed much longer if the project was to be completed in the late autumn and it was believed plans were being made to start soon in any case. [Later : Work commenced on Monday 10/8/98]

Colin was pleased to announce that notification had been received from Mersey Basin Trust that our application had been approved and for the full amount of 1000. This brought our current fund raising total to 25000. However, there was concern that Groundwork's latest cost estimate showed a potential increase (excluding VAT) from the original 19600 to 26600, athough it was noted that within this figure there were contingency sums that might not be required.

The original agreement with Groundwork was that their fee structure would be 15% of cost, so their potential fee had increased from 2300 to 3400, which had been felt unfair because many of the cost increases did not involve extra work for Groundwork. They had therefore offered now to negotiate a fixed price and Colin had reached an understanding with them at 2800 (+ VAT). This was agreed by the meeting. (This would not include any costs for an opening 'event', should we require Groundwork's assistance in organising this.)

6. Bottom 'Rec' The application had been submitted to Rural Action for a grant to carry out the wildlife habitat survey. This was now awaiting their assessment.

Representatives of the Countryside Commission had visited the site 20/7/98 to assess our Millennium Green application. They seemed quite impressed with the suitability of the site and the Panel's ability and commitment to 'deliver' an appropriate scheme. A crucial factor however was whether the Dunkenhalgh Estates, who currently leased the land to Hyndburn BC, would be prepared to sell the land or offer a 999 year lease. Mark had written to the agents of the Dunkenhalgh Estates requesting consideration of a sale or long term lease. He was awaiting their response.

Stuart and Tony expressed concern that if the application was successful, the football pitch might have to be moved under Millennium Green rules. ( by definition : Millennium Greens are to be places for informal recreation, enjoyment and play : they are not intended to be sports fields.) While it had been suggested that an alternative location for the pitch might be found, they wondered where that might be as there were already not enough pitches in Hyndburn and Blackburn for the teams that wanted to use them. They currently ran three junior teams and they wanted to increase this to four this coming season and perhaps more thereafter. It was also a prerequisite of the league that they had to have adequate changing room accomodation. They had plans therefore to refurbish the present vandalised accomodation and had in fact organised a sportsmans dinner to raise funds for this. Their concern could be readily understood therefore if all their efforts were to come to nought. They themselves had tried by multitudinous means to approach the Dunkenhalgh Estates about a longer term tenure arrangement, but without success.

The feeling of the meeting was firmly that the Panel did not want to do anything that was going to cut across the good work the Football Club was doing for the young people of Rishton. Quite the reverse, it would want to do all it could to encourage and assist their efforts. The aim had been to try to respond to many concerns expressed by residents in the lower part of Rishton that something be done to improve the bottom 'rec' and a Millennium Green was seen as a possible approach.

It was agreed to await the Dunkenhalgh Estates' response and in the meantime the Football Club would proceed with its current plans. It was suggested that there might be more response from the Estates if they were approached through Greg Pope the MP. If the Millennium Green application was not successful for any reason, efforts could still be made to access funding elsewhere so that something could be done to improve the area, including the football provision.

7. Holt St. We had been advised by Hyndburn BC that the derelict land in Holt St, including the now demolished burnt-out garage, was the subject of a full planning application in May this year for the building of 7 bungalows/garages. This was still being processed.

8. Credit Union. Arrangements were in hand for the public meeting on Credit Unions to be held in the Legion Club, Walmsley St on Tuesday 11th August 1998 at 7.30pm. Letters and posters had been sent to all clubs, pubs, churches and various organisations and posters placed in the Library, doctors surgeries, the clinic and various shops. It was hoped therefore that interest would be generated thereby. The meeting would be chaired by Chris Reid, chairman of the Great Harwood steering group and the main speaker would be Janice Parker of the Lancashire Cooperative Development Agency (LCDA). LCDA's remit was to, 'provide information,support, training and general help to existing credit unions and to people who are interested in setting up credit unions to serve their community.'

9. Any Other Business.

a) Held over to next meeting : Parish map; Ladybird trail and deer walk; Aluminium can recycling scheme; Hedge laying project - bottom 'rec'.

b) Forthcoming events. Details were given of the following :

i) 'A simple guide to fundraising' - one day course - Huncoat Forum - Sat 8/8/98.

ii) 'Sound 98' - Oakhill Park - 16/8/98 - pm - help required by Accrington Panel for PROSPECTS marquee.

iii) 'Back to the Future' - one day event - improving the environment and strengthening the community for the millennium - sponsored by Rural Action - Preston - 24/10/98

10. Next Meetings. Tuesday 1st September 1998 at Primetime at 7.00pm.

AGM : Tuesday 29th September 1998

Meeting of Rishton PROSPECTS Panel held at Primetime Centre 1st September 1998

1. Present : Andrew Parker (Chairman), Colin Cooper (Treasurer), Fiona Cook (Vice-Chairman), Maureen Cunliffe, Bob Jenkinson, Paul Osborne, Margaret Worden.

2. Apologies : Beverley Moorhouse (Secretary), Heather Crossland, Edwina Furber, Cllr.Lesley Jackson, Cllr Harold Tootle, Gordon Howarth and Mark Hopley (PROSPECTS Coordinator)

Andrew welcomed everyone and particularly Paul for whom this was the first meeting.

3. Minutes of meeting 21st May, 18th June and 6th August 1998 . These were approved as previously circulated.

4. Matters Arising. None.

5. Parker St/Hermitage St Project. It was pleasing to note that work had now started despite the soft ground conditions. Some damage to the ground was being experienced but nothing too drastic. Foundations to the centrepiece had proved more difficult to excavate than anticipated due to uncovering significant amounts of stone rubble just below the surface, presumably from previous building demolition on site. It was hoped there would now be a smooth progression from one phase to another.

BTCV had been tentatively booked for two of the four days allowed for planting on Wednesday and Thursday the 4th/5th November. It was pointed out that it might have been better to have it the week before which was the schools half term and there should also be some weekend activity for those who were working during the week. Colin to take up with Groundwork.

Andrew tabled Groundworks suggested planting plan together with a tabulated list that he had prepared from the plan. They appeared to have covered most types of plant/shrub/tree we were likely to want but it was agreed to circulate the plan to other members for their comments.

On the question of notice board control, it was agreed that Primetime should act as the advertised collecting point for notices people wished to have displayed. A rota of members responsible for weekly changes to the notice board would be drawn up.

6. Bottom 'Rec'. No reply had yet been received from Rural Action about the application for a grant to carry out the wildlife habitat survey. Colin to liaise with Mark to chase. [Later : Grant confirmed. Survey fixed to start Friday 18/9/98].

Despite repeated attempts to contact the Dunkenhalgh Estates agents, Mark had still not had an answer to the request for purchase of the land or a long term lease. Indications from the Countryside Commission were that our scheme was highly favoured if we could get a positive answer from the Dunkenhalgh Estates. Mark was urging a response as the deadline was fast approaching. [Later : The answer from the Dunkenhalgh Estates was negative and therefore the application could not go forward.]

The hedgelaying project was awaiting the outcome of the meeting to allocate the landfill tax grant money due to take place 9/9/98. Colin was to represent the Panel at this meeting. The estimated cost of the scheme was just under 2000 (+ vat) for 6 days of BTCV time plus materials. The BTCV time included the training of volunteers whose involvement was a key element.

7. Credit Union. Despite efforts to publicise the meeting through the press, local organisations, churches, clubs and shops, etc, the public meeting at the Legion Club, Walmsley St on Tuesday 11th August 1998 had been a big disappointment. Apart from members of the Great Harwood and Rishton Panels, no one else had attended. However a useful meeting had taken place and the introductory talk by Janice Parker from the Lancashire Cooperative Development Agency was very helpful.

The need was now for more volunteers to form a steering committee and undergo the training required by law for such ventures. A minimum of 11 was required but about 15 was considered essential to provide back-up. Great Harwood had about 8 who were interested. The commitment in time for the training was not to be underestimated. It was left for all those present to consider ways of recruiting the necessary volunteers. Everyone was convinced that once started, it would prove very popular as a convenient and cost effective way of saving and borrowing, so there was a determination to press on.

The next meeting of the organising group was to be at the Victoria, Great Harwood on the 11th September 1998 and it was hoped there could be some representation from the Rishton Panel.

8. Towpath Upgrade. The walk along the towpath from Norden to High St had taken place on Tuesday 18/8/98 and had been blessed with a beautiful evening. Jean Williams from HBC's planning office attended but Jim Swindells from British Waterways had unfortunately been unable to make it. Possible sites for benches had been identified but the prime need was felt to be some good signage for canal users.

It was decided in the first instance to concentrate on signs and information boards, particularly around the area of the proposed 48 hour mooring at High St.. Colin was to contact Mersey Basin Trust and British Waterways to see if they could provide details of the construction, materials and designs of signs used elsewhere on the canal. Fiona would draw up a scheme of the sort of signs and their location that would be suitable to canal users.

9. Other Projects.

(i) Parish Map. Margaret had spoken to a Kath Barnes from Preston BC who was an expert in this field and she had offered to come and speak on the subject. It was agreed to try to invite her to come and speak to a special meeting at Primetime on either Tuesday 3/11/98 or 17/11/98.

(ii) Aluminium Can Recycling. To be followed up when the schools returned. There was now a can container at the recycling point on the Library Car Park.

(iii) Ladybird Trail and Deer Walk. Maureen still to pursue this with the help of Rishton Ramblers.

10. Any Other Business.

(i) Roebuck Forecourt. Margaret had written on behalf of the Panel to Scottish and Newcastle Breweries to ask if anything was planned to improve the outlook of the forecourt as part of the Roebuck refurbishment. She had as yet had no reply.

(ii) Forthcoming events. Details were given of the following :

a) Mersey Basin Trust AGM - Warrington - Saturday 17th October 1998 - incorporating visits to North West Water laboratories and Leigh Environmental Education Centre - deadline for booking : Monday 28th September.

b) 'Back to the Future' - one day event - improving the environment and strengthening the community for the millennium - sponsored by Rural Action - Preston -

Saturday 24th October 1998 - deadline for booking : Monday 5th October .

(iii) 'Grimewatch' Awards. Colin reported that he had registered the Panel for the Lancashire Evening Telegraph 'Grimewatch' awards competition with the Parker St project in mind. Final submissions did not have to be in until the 18th December, so hopefully the scheme would be finished by then.

11. Next Meeting. AGM : Tuesday 29th September 1998 at Primetime at 7.00pm.

Second Annual General Meeting of Rishton PROSPECTS Panel held at Primetime Centre 29th September 1998

1. Present : Andrew Parker (Chairman), Fiona Cook (Vice-Chairman), Beverley Moorhouse (Secretary), Colin Cooper (Treasurer), Heather Crossland, Cllr.Lesley Jackson, Paul Osborne, Margaret Worden, Mark Hopley (PROSPECTS Coordinator) and Andy Wild (Sheffield University).

2. Apologies : Maureen Cunliffe, Edwina Furber, Gordon Howarth, Bob Jenkinson, Cllr Harold Tootle.

3. Welcome. Those present were welcomed to the AGM and in particular Andy Wild paying a return visit.

4. Notice of Meeting and Agenda. Apologies were given that a reminder notice and agenda prepared for the meeting had not been posted to the membership due to unforseen illness. The date of the AGM had however been notified with the agenda circulated before the 1st September meeting. Posters announcing the meeting had also been displayed in the Library and elsewhere. It was determined that according to the Constitution, the meeting was quorate.

5. Andy Wild. Andy had requested a further meeting with the Panel as a follow-up to the publication of his report on the findings of his discussions with various PROSPECTS Panels earlier in the year. (Andy is researching community participation in Local Agenda 21 for a PhD.) He sought comments on the report and extended his questioning. An interesting discussion ensued and he thanked those present for their contributions. He promised to keep the Panel informed of the progress of his research.

6. Chairman's Address and Review of the Year. Andrew thanked all those who had supported the Panel during the past 12 months and in particular Mark for his astute guidance and encouragement. There had been some notable achievements.

By dint of a lot of 'sweated labour', the Young Peoples Questionnare had been prepared for circulation by Royal Mail to all (?) households in Rishton. There had been a limited but worthwhile and interesting response. The follow-up event for those who had responded was stimulating and enjoyable. However, effort was still required to address some of the issues raised by the young people and to involve the keen ones in Panel activities or junior activities of their own.

After some very satisfactory consultation exercises with the local community; the development of imaginative ideas with Groundwork East Lancashire and Hyndburn BC (Parks); outstanding fund raising; and equally outstanding success with art workshops in local schools; it was disappointing that the Hermitage St/Parker St Project had been delayed by the wet weather in actually 'getting off the ground' on site. However, this was not to detract from the excellent support from the Panel in the early stages. It was now even more disappointing that due to technical and management difficulties beyond the Panel's control, the project had been held up again. This was not helping the Panel's local image on what was supposed to be a prestigious first project. However, it was to be hoped that a good image could be restored by the end of the project and lead to more people wanting to be involved in Panel activities.

It had also been disappointing that due to a lack of sympathetic cooperation from the Dunkenhalgh Estate, we had been unsuccessful in what had looked to be a highly rated scheme by the Countryside Commission for a 'Millennium Green' grant for the 'Bottom Rec'. However it was still hoped that something could be done to enhance that area environmentally and the results of the wildlife habitat survey being carried out by the Lancashire Wildlife Trust with a grant from Rural Action were awaited with interest.

It was pleasing to note that the Panel had been invited to contribute to the proposed improvements to the canal towpath but ideas as to how the 3000 granted to us might be used still needed to be finalised.

We had lent support to the Great Harwood Panel in its efforts to set up a credit union for Great Harwood and Rishton and would have liked to do more if the 'manpower' had been available.

The idea of a parish map was being actively pursued as was some survey work on local 'trails' with the help of the 'Rishton Ramblers' disabled group.

All in all there had been significant progress during the year from what was a relatively small band of active supporters. A lot more could be achieved if there was more support and it was to be hoped that the coming year would see this increase.

7. Treasurer's Report and Accounts. Colin presented a financial statement for the year 18/9/97 to 29/9/98 (see Appendix I). Acknowledgement was made of grants received from Barclay's Sitesavers, Community Environment Fund, Shell Better Britain Campaign, Great Harwood and Rishton Rotary Club, The Environment Agency, Mersey Basin Trust/Waterside Revival (Bechtel), for the Hermitage St/Parker St Project and Rural Action for the Young Peoples Questionnaire and Wildlife Habitat Survey. Without these and support from the PROSPECTS Budget, little of what had been achieved could have been achieved. Maureen was also thanked for her Youth and Community Service support.

8. Membership Review. Once again it was questionned whether all those on the mailing list really did have an interest in the Panel's activities. However, it was decided not to take any further action at this stage in the hope that visible results and publicised successes from the Panel's efforts would awaken a desire to become more actively involved and also encourage new members to join.

9. Election of Officers and Representatives. Unanimously re-elected were:

Chairman Andrew Parker

Vice Chairman Fiona Cook

Secretary Beverley Moorhouse

Treasurer Colin Cooper

Membership Secretary Maureen Cunliffe

Forum Representative Margaret Worden

Beverley Moorhouse wished to resign as the second PROSPECTS Forum representative and Colin Cooper was elected in her place.

10. Any Other Business.

a) Hermitage St/Parker St. Colin reported that from a position at the end of the first week in September where phase 1 of the path preparation and the centre foundations appeared to be complete, no further work had been done due to a series of set-backs. This was the point at which Lancashire Landscapes were to take over from Hyndburn Works to build the stone seating. The set-backs included misunderstandings about site availability,

stonemasons holidays and a late realisation that the foundations were not adequate. In the absence of Adele Adams (GWEL) on holiday, Andrew Hayhurst (HBC Parks) was now trying to find a way of retrieving the situation. As had already been mentioned, this was reflecting badly on the Panel's local image but if a start to the seating could be made within the next few days, then continuity through to the final planting phase in early November might still be achieved. The Panel expressed its disappointment and determined that if any resulting scheme changes involved an increase in cost then this should be claimed from GWEL for poor management.

b) Forthcoming Events.

17/10/98 - Mersey Basin Trust AGM - Paul said he would represent the Panel. It was agreed that the Panel would reimburse his travelling costs (otherwise free).

17/10/98 - Wildlife and Greenspace in Hyndburn Action Planning Day - Mark gave further details and urged as many as possible to attend.

24/10/98 - Rural Action - 'Back to the Future' - PROSPECTS were laying on a bus and offering to pay for three places per Panel (otherwise 6.00 each)

31/10/98 - Committee Skills Course - PROSPECTS/WEA - details to follow.

11. Next Normal Meeting. Tuesday 3rd November 1998 at Primetime starting at 7.00pm.

Meeting of Rishton PROSPECTS Panel held at Primetime Centre 3rd November 1998

1. Present : Andrew Parker (Chairman), Beverley Moorhouse (Secretary), Colin Cooper (Treasurer), Stuart Hogg, Bob Jenkinson, Paul Osborne, Tony Quinn, Margaret Worden and Mark Hopley (PROSPECTS Coordinator)

2. Apologies : Fiona Cook (Vice-Chairman), Maureen Cunliffe, Edwina Furber, Gordon Howarth, Cllr.Lesley Jackson, Cllr Harold Tootle.

3. Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

Mrs Mary-Ann Renton (Executive Adviser) and (police) Sgt Graham Eccles were welcomed to the meeting. They proceeded to give a presentation on the background to the Government's new Crime and Disorder Act and the associated Audit being carried out in Hyndburn. Copies of the ward profiles for Eachill and Norden in Rishton were circulated. A time of discussion followed and those present were asked to study the information further, complete the associated comments form and return it to the Chief Executive's office by the deadline of the 16th November 1998.

4. Minutes of AGM 29/11/98 . These were approved as previously circulated.

5. Matters Arising.

(i) Mersey Basin Trust AGM 17/10/98. Paul thanked the Panel for enabling him to go to the AGM which had included visits to the North West Water testing laboratories and the Leigh Environmental Education Centre where an old sewage works had been turned into a nature reserve.

(ii) Wildlife and Greenspace in Hyndburn Action Planning Day 17/10/98. Colin and Lesley had attended this and some useful ideas for future action had been generated. There had been a particularly interesting presentation on the creation of wild flower gardens/meadows which could have applications in Rishton, even in areas where only short term tenure might be possible.

6. Parker St/Hermitage St Project. It had been 'touch and go' whether construction work would be sufficiently far advanced for planting to proceed as planned with BTCV on the 4th, 5th, and 7th November. However, it was going ahead. Only the Tutorial Centre of the local schools approached were able to send a team of pupils down to assist one afternoon. Andrew, Paul and Colin had posted a letter in every house 'below the bridge' asking for local community support, particularly on the Saturday when bulb planting was planned.

Previously, when adverse comment was being generated locally about the state of the site and the absence of activity for four weeks, a letter had been drafted explaining the position and requesting tolerance. This Bob and Gordon had posted once again to every local household. It was hoped by this means to restore something of the somewhat tarnished PROSPECTS image.

The planting plan had been submitted to the Environment Agency who had suggested some modifications, mainly putting more emphasis on native species. This had been relayed to Groundwork who were incorporating the suggestions where possible.

Regarding an opening celebration/event, a suggestion had been made that we might incorporate this with the lighting of the Christmas Tree on the evening of Wednesday 2nd December 1998. Approaches had been made to the Mayor's office to see if this might be possible, with a positive response. It was in fact to be the Deputy Mayor and Mayoress who were to perform the lighting ceremony this year. This idea met with general approval and it was agreed a formal approach be made. However, it was further suggested that a higher profile celebratory event also be held on the site in the Spring/early Summer and this was agreed. There was a possibility that the project might not be fully finished until the Spring anyway. Particularly in doubt now was the laying of the mosaic which needed neither very wet nor frosty conditions if it wasn't to be spoiled.

7. Bottom 'Rec'. (i) Wildlife Habitat Survey. Copies of the draft report from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust had only just been received. It was agreed that further copies be produced and circulated to those who required them in readiness for discussion at the next meeting.

(ii) Hedgelaying Project. The PROSPECTS Foundation had now formally accepted its award from the LWS Lancashire Environment Fund and the hedgelaying project had been scheduled with BTCV for sometime in the period January to March 1999.

(iii) Junior Football Club. Stuart and Tony reported that they had received a proposed contract from Hyndburn BC for the use of the pitch at a peppercorn rent but some of the terms were unacceptable. The main objection was that the lease would only be for three years and should it not be renewed, they would have to restore the site to its original condition. This would mean demolishing the pavilion which they would have had to refurbish to League and HBC standards (instal running water,etc) at considerable cost. Nor were they being guaranteed sole right to the use of the pitch and changing facilities, even though they would be paying rates on the latter. Their committee had therefore decided the terms were unacceptable and for this season at least they were having to make arrangements to use alternative pitches. Another problem was that following the work on the collapsed culvert, there was currently no official access point to the site for such as ambulances, etc.

Mark promised to discuss and clarify the situation with Andrew Leah, HBC's Principal Estates Surveyor and report back to them.

(iv) Length of Lease. It was pointed out that the remaining length of Hyndburn BC's lease from the Dunkenhalgh could also be a problem to the Panel if it was to develop the site following the wildlife habitat survey. This could take some years. It was felt there was a need to clarify this situation as well. Mark said he would explore the possibility of negotiations being opened up with the Dunkenhalgh before the current lease expired.

8. Membership Review. In Maureen's absence it was agreed to hold this over until the next meeting.

9. Towpath Upgrade. Colin had received some information from Jean Williams (HBC Planning) about possible sign designs but had not yet contacted British Waterways. Tony said he might have some BW information from a contract his company had carried out for them. [Later : Tony arranged for Panel members to meet BW reps 17/11/98 to discuss possible options]

10. Credit Union. No up-to-date information was available but it was believed that thanks to Lesley's efforts, there was now more Rishton representation on the steering committee.

11. Other Projects.

(i) Parish Map. Margaret was having great difficulty contacting Kath Barnes from Preston BC who was a supposed expert in this field. She was now going to try to find someone else to talk to the Panel

(ii) Aluminium Can Recycling. (iii) Ladybird Trail and Deer Walk. No reports.

12. Any Other Business.

(i) Roebuck Forecourt. Still no response from Brewery.

(ii) 'Grimewatch' Awards. Colin had submitted further information to the Lancashire Evening Telegraph to support our application based on the Parker St project

(iii) BTCV Membership. Forms had been received to renew our membership @ 25 annual membership fee and 30 insurance premium, due 1/1/99. It was agreed to renew.

(iv) Hanging Baskets. It was reported that Rishton, together with other Hyndburn townships was to benefit from money previously allocated to the Britain in Bloom contest. Hanging baskets were to be put on lamp posts down the High St. It was believed that in the light of this, Cllrs Jackson and Tootle were again suggesting their idea for a competition for the best dressed shop,etc. It was decided to hold this over to get further information from them.

(v) Committee Skills Training Day 14/11/98. Details of this event were given and members were encouraged to take part

13. Next Meeting. Tuesday 1st December 1998 at Primetime at 7.00pm.

Minutes of the Meeting of Rishton PROSPECTS Panel held at the Primetime Centre 1st December 1998

1. Present : Andrew Parker (Chairman), Fiona Cook (Vice-Chairman), Beverley Moorhouse (Secretary), Colin Cooper (Treasurer), Cllr Russell Davies, Bob Jenkinson, Paul Osborne and Margaret Worden,. Guest : Alan Holden (Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society)

2. Apologies : Heather Crossland, Maureen Cunliffe, Edwina Furber, Cllr Stan Horne, Gordon Howarth, Cllr Lesley Jackson, Cllr harold Tootle, and Mark Hopley (PROSPECTS Coordinator).

Colin read out a letter received from Edwina Furber who had been ill and was now unable to attend meetings. She expressed gratitude for being kept informed of the Panel's activities through the minutes and she wished the Panel continued success. It was agreed the Secretary send her a letter of greetings from the Panel.

Andrew welcomed everyone to the meeting and in particular, Alan Holden. Alan outlined the aims of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Society which had been in existence for 12 months. They were particularly concerned to preserve and record the history, heritage and culture of the Canal. They were aware that many of the PROSPECTS Panels were involved or likely to be involved in schemes along the Canal, so they were keen to establish and maintain contact with them and assist where they could.

3. Minutes of Meeting 3/11/98 . These were approved as previously circulated with the date of the AGM amended from 29/11/98 to 29/9/98.

4. Matters Arising.

(i) Committee Skills Training Day 14/11/98. Andrew had attended and found the day of some interest but not as useful as he had hoped.

(ii) Natural pioneers Millennium Awards Workshops 26/11/98. It had not proved possible to send anyone on the workshop but it was agreed further details be sent for. Future workshops were a possibility.

(iii) BTCV Membership. Membership and insurance had been renewed. With the renewal confirmation had come an offer of free individual BTCV membership for one person for a year. It was agreed Paul be nominated for this.

5. Parker St/Hermitage St Project.

(i) Planting. This had gone ahead as planned on the 4th, 5th and 7th November. A group of pupils from the Tutorial Centre had enjoyed helping on the afternoon of the 5th. There had been some welcome support from the local community but the response was a little disappointing. The main assistance to BTCV had come from Paul and Andrew. A few plants and more bulbs remained to be planted by Hyndburn BC when the ground was ready.

Associated with the planting exercise was a Barclay's 'SiteSavers' spot-the-difference competition. Details of this had been circulated to the local schools that had taken part in the art workshops and planting. Entries had been received from the Methodist School and Tutorial Centre. The winning entry had come from the Methodist School and the winner would receive a 10 music voucher from Barclays. Barclays had also supplied a 'SiteSavers' plaque to be fixed to an appropriate spot on site.

(ii) Opening. Concern was expressed about the state of the site. Although a lot of work had been done by Hyndburn BC Operations Department in the last two days, there was still a lack of confidence that it would be sufficiently complete and the site made tidy and safe to sensibly ask the Deputy Mayor to declare the project officially open the following evening.

Russell promised to see what he could do to expedite matters but the meeting concluded reluctantly that the official opening should be postponed for now. Colin was therefore asked to contact the Mayor's office the following day to cancel the arrangement.

Disappointment was expressed at the apparent low priority the project had had throughout with the Operations Department. The frequent delays, numerous periods of inactivity and the length of time the site had looked a mess, had not reflected well on the Rishton Panel in the eyes of the local community, nor on PROSPECTS in general. It could only be hoped that when the project was eventually finished, a better impression was still possible.

(iii) Letters. A letter had appeared in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph from a resident of Talbot St complaining what a mess and waste of money the Parker St site was. It was agreed not to respond at this stage but to wait and see if there was any further media comment.

Conversely, Mark had received a letter from a resident of Burton St applauding what was being done but expressing concern that it might all be to no avail due to vandalism. The letter had been passed to Andrew who was responding.

(iv) Police Surveillance. Colin had written to Insp Bob Ford of Great Harwood Police advising him of the advanced state of work on the site and requesting increased police surveillance. Insp Ford had visited him at home and assured him that they would do all they could to keep an eye on the site and respond to any calls from local residents. He proposed to send a letter to all residents around the site assuring them of police vigilance and asking for their help in reporting any incidents. A draft of the proposed letter was read out to the Panel and given appreciative approval.

(v) Community Notice Board. This had been erected but the means of locking it might need further discussion with the makers. The project sponsors were being approached for display material to go on the back panels.

6. Bottom 'Rec'.

(i) Wildlife Habitat Survey. Further copias of the draft report from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust had been circulated. All agreed it was an interesting and informative document with plenty of scope for future Panel projects. There was nothing anyone wanted to add or correct and it was agreed Colin contact LWT to have the Survey finalised and published.

However, it was also agreed that there was little point proceeding further unless there was some certainty of being able to extend Hyndburn's lease beyond its present 5 (?) year expiry period. To be pursued through Mark.

Andrew had established that the lessee of the areas to the north of Hyndburn's area might be willing to give up their lease. Colin had established that Park View Nurseries were in

fact the lessees of the coppice but it still remained to be established were they stood with their lease. In both cases a better rapport would need to be established with the Dunkenhalgh Estate if progress was to be made. Fiona knew of another part of the country where the Petre family had been very supportive of environmental initiatives, which made our situation all the more frustrating.

(ii) Hedgelaying Project. This was still scheduled with BTCV for sometime in the period January to March 1999, but no further details were available.

(iii) Junior Football Club. Mark had asked Colin to urge Stuart and Tony to contact Andrew Leah, HBC's Principal Estates Surveyor to arrange a meeting to develop a better understanding of what was being proposed and where possible flexibilities might exist.

7. Membership Review. Colin had been through the membership list with Maureen to reconcile resignations (3),additions and omissions. The list of those who had not met the attendance requirements for continued membership was read out to the meeting and deletions (20) agreed. The list of those who wished to be kept informed but could not guarantee meeting attendance (16) was also agreed. This left 23 active and semi-active members.

8. Towpath Upgrade. It was noted that contractors had started work on the towpath upgrading scheme and were working from Spring St towards Norden.

Alan stressed the importance of such schemes as there was little doubt that there was going to be much more use of the Canal in future, especially when it became part of the ring including the Rochdale Canal and Huddersfield Narrow when reclamation work was completed in 2001/2002. But our stretch had a bad reputation for poor facilities and vandalism, as he knew from experience being a local boat owner himself. Therefore, anything that could be done to improve the area must be encouraged.

Tony had not after all been able to locate the British Waterways signage information but had instead set up a canalside meeting with BW representatives, Stephanie Wray and Roy Gibbons on 17/11/98. This Andrew and Paul had attended and a useful discussion had been held. It had been left with the Panel to specify the type of signage it felt desirable and BW would then have the signs made up to their standard specifications. It was agreed to set up a small working party of Andrew, Fiona, Paul and Alan to meet at Fiona's at 7.30pm 7/12/98.

9. Credit Union. Colin and Lesley had attended the steering group meeting 27/11/98. Janice Parker of the Lancashire Cooperative Development Agency was to work out a timetable for action and training over the coming year. A number of factfinding exercises were set up as a prelude to producing a business plan. Concern was expressed that a number of those showing definite interest originally had not attended recent meetings and there was a need to rekindle their interest. There still seemed to be a shortage in the numbers required to undergo training to make it a viable venture.

10. Other Projects.

(i) Parish Map. Margaret still trying to find someone to come to talk to the Panel.

(ii) Aluminium Can Recycling. No report.

(iii) Ladybird Trail and Deer Walk. No reports, although it was known that Maureen still had this in mind for the 'Rishton Ramblers' to get involved in.

(iv) Roebuck Forecourt. Still no response from Brewery, but it was noted that some money had been set aside in the Outer Towns budget, although it had not been given high priority.

(v) Gaskells Wall Hermitage St. It was similarly noted that some money had been set aside for this.

(vi) 'Grimewatch' Awards. Colin had to submit final information by 18/12/98. It was a pity that it did not look as though the scheme would now be finished by then.

(vii) Hanging Baskets. Await further information from Lesley.

11. Any Other Business.


12. Next Meeting. Thursday 7th January 1999 at Primetime at 7.00pm.