Footpaths Committee Meeting
FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE AGENDA
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a meeting of Eccleshall Parish Council Footpaths Committee will be held on Wednesday 17th August 2022, at 7pm, Eccleshall Community Centre, preceding the planning committee meeting.
2. Election of Chair and Vice Chair
3. To approve the minutes of the meetings held on May 4th 2022
4. Review of current maintenance schedule, work completed to date and any new issues to consider
5. Footpath Walks leaflets:
- To provide any update on the Doorstep Walks project with SBC
- To provide any update on the circular walks project
6. To consider the possibility of increasing accessibility to public rights of way by replacing stiles with gates along suitable routes.
7. Update on Keep Eccleshall Tidy Team (KETT) and ongoing concerns.
8. To consider the issue of dog fouling and any potential actions to be undertaken
- None was received at the date the agenda was issued
10. Items for next meeting.
11. Date of next meeting – 2nd November 2022
S. J. Worden………
Clerk to the Council – 11/08/2022
ECCLESHALL PARISH COUNCIL – FOOTPATHS COMMITTEE – Wednesday, August 17th, 2022
A meeting of the Footpaths Committee was held on Wednesday, August 17th, at 7pm at Eccleshall Community Centre.
Councillor R. Taylor (Chair) Councillor C. Wilkins
Councillor P. Jones Councillor S. Perren
Councillor D. Hill
Mr. N. Davenport Mr. E. Ranson
Mrs S. J. Worden (Clerk)
Observers: Cllr. A. Reid, J. Jones.
Apologies were received from Cllrs Leather, Mifflin and Mr. Graham Cole.
2). Election of Chair and Vice Chair.
Cllr. P. Jones took the chair for the election process.
Cllr. Ros Taylor was duly re-elected as Chair of the Committee, and Cllr. Chris Wilkins re-elected as Vice-Chair.
3). To approve the minutes of the meeting held on May 4th, 2022.
The minutes, which had been previously circulated, were agreed and signed.
4). Review of current maintenance schedule, work completed to date and any new issues to consider
The updated maintenance schedule was circulated for information prior to the meeting. Issues are being reported and addressed as they arise and there have been no major issues.
It was noted that the fencing erected to the side of the new gate leading to footpath 13/15 was excellent and having the desired effect of ensuring the gate was used rather than circumvented.
A new report was received regarding footpath 16a (Badgers Croft to Hartlands Road). The tarmac surface is heavily rutted and neighbouring properties drives are being accessed to avoid the surface, which is unsuitable for wheelchairs and buggies. Cllr. Taylor will provide images to the Clerk, who will contact County Rights of Way to ask for remedial works.
Concerns were raised relating to pavement overgrowth along the A519 by Staffordshire Chickens and the junction to Raleigh Hall. Cllr. Hill will provide the photographs to the Clerk for consideration by the Enhancements committee as it is a highways pavement as opposed to a Right of Way.
5) Footpath Walks leaflets
- Update on the Stafford Borough Council Walks Project:- the final tweaks on the draft have been completed and it is ready for sign off. All were in favour of this course of action. It was agreed to ask for 250 printed copies for distribution.
- Update on the Circular Walks Project:- the work to identify and research the routes is ongoing. The Clerk is still progressing permission to undertake remedial work to footpath 26 with Network Rail but there are complications with regards to their application process and potential costs associated with the application to work on the land. The clerk has contacted the County Rights of Way team who will contact Network Rail on our behalf for clarification. The owner of the land adjacent to the path has been in contact and they will not give permission for use of their land as an alternative route due to livestock using the land.
6). To consider the possibility of increasing accessibility to public rights of way by replacing stiles with gates along suitable routes.
Members noted that there may only be a small number of routes that would be suitable for wheelchair/buggy users. Cllrs. Taylor and Wilkins will look into possible routes that would benefit. The footpath marshals will be asked to identify the location of stiles to help with this process. Due to cost, there may only be the potential to replace 1 or 2 stiles a year, but the committee could look to access the County Community Paths Initiative Fund, which will provide up to 50% match funding with grants available up to a total of £2000. Landowners would have to give permission for the work to be undertaken.
It was observed that a number of footpaths had kissing gates, which were less accessible than full opening gates but still provided greater accessibility than stiles as no climbing was required. More rural routes may benefit from the conversion of stiles to kissing gates.
Concerns were raised about lack of access to footpath 115 due to the landowner planting crop to close to the edge of the field and blocking the route. The clerk will contact County Rights of Way to ask for landowner information. The crop has since been cut, but it is hoped to avoid the issue next year if the landowner can be contacted to request that more space is left. It was noted that if a route is blocked, it is legal to take an alternative route as long as the route is on land owned by the same landowner.
7). Update on Keep Eccleshall Tidy Team (KETT) and ongoing concerns.
The KETT volunteer work is ongoing. Slindon still has issues with roadside litter thrown from cars. This is also experienced along the Newport and Stafford Roads, however litter picking has temporarily halted in those areas until the pavements are cleared of encroaching vegetation as it is too hazardous for the volunteers without a route safely away from traffic.
It was noted that the KETT team did an excellent job to support the Jubilee events with their litter picks.
8). To consider the issue of dog fouling and any actions to be undertaken.
Research is ongoing in this area and any initiatives that may be of interest to the committee will be brought to the attention of the Clerk to brought to the next meeting.
There was no correspondence for consideration.
10). Items for next meeting
None were raised.
11). Date of next meeting:-
Wednesday 2nd November 2022, at 7pm, Eccleshall Community Centre, prior to the Planning committee meeting.
There being no further business, the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 7.35pm.