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Thakeham Parish Council
ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE MEETING – Thursday, 20 April 2017
Meeting opened: 7.00 p.m. (St Mary’s Church Rooms)
Present Mr N Prince (Chair) Mr D MacEachern Mr D Scott Kerr
In attendance Mr O Richards Clerk to the Council
50. Apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllrs Hunt, Hounslow and McConnachie
51. Interests of Members
No interests were declared.
52. Minutes of the last meeting
Minutes of the last meeting held on 16 January 2017 were approved and signed; no matters had been dealt with under delegated authority.
53. Report on action items from previous meetings (not otherwise on the agenda)
33 Salt bin Abingworth south jct: still awaiting works completion before purchase of bin. (action: Clerk)
36.2 20mph speed limit suggestion for High Bar Lane: still to be progressed. It was noted that the speed limit had been 20, in line with bridleway status, prior to the Linfield development. (action: Clerk)
36.4 Woodland Way fence: the northern gate had been mended but areas of leaning fence still need repair before long, this had been flagged to WSCC. (action: Clerk to chase)
41.1 Furze Field playground: see item 54.1
41.2 High Bar Lane playground: see item 54.2
45 Dog waste bins: see item 58.
46 Recycling locations: not yet progressed (action: Clerk)
48 Meadowbrook planting/culvert issues: seem to have been brought to conclusion but will continue monitoring.
49.1 Litter picking arrangements: see item 58.
49.2 Steps to footpath from The Street: see item 55
49.3 Village Tidy: noted successful event on 8 April and Cllr Prince thanked all involved
54.1 Furze Field
The gates had been repaired; paintwork touch-up would be done soon (action: Cllr MacEachern)
54.2 High Bar Lane
Members noted that the PC had agreed that there would be a memorial bench and tree planting in the High Bar Lane play area, in memory of Ellie Thornton. Budget to be agreed at the next TPC meeting. Ellie’s family would be consulted about preferred bench design and tree variety, and some form of related community event. Regarding choice of tree, considerations included appropriateness for soil type, size (at purchase and when mature), and location – and to ensure adequate watering and protection from vandalism. Members agreed to seek to move quickly on this project. [Post-meeting note: the family subsequently decided on 10 July timeline.] (actions: Clerk/Cllr Prince)
Members noted that use of the HBL area seemed to have been high recently, and that it was in good condition. However, there had been several ongoing instances of vandalism, most recently a fire being set in one of the new litter bins. New metal internal bin sleeves would be ordered (action: Clerk).
In relation to the agreed project of play equipment replacement, the Clerk had begun getting supplier suggestions and indicative costings but these needed to be refined via consultations on specific new equipment. Initial indications on desirable changes (via Cllr MacEachern) included a bigger slide and better climbing frame. It was agreed to pursue a double-sided flyer to residents of the High Bar Lane/ Furze Common area, explaining the project and enabling feedback via a ‘ranking’ form on reverse of flyer – to be returned to a drop-box, or online. Timeline: July 2017. (Action: Clerk/working group)
55. Rights of Way
The Committee noted the WSCC PRoW team report on its regular inspection/remedial works pass of March 2017. The report was considered unhelpful in not presenting the work done in map format, and it appeared that the works had been minimal. Cllr MacEachern reported that the fingerpost on the bridleway from High Bar Lane to West Chiltington was still down (action: Clerk to report).
Repairs to the footpath steps from The Street – WSCC had been slow to respond to reports since September 2016, but had recently committed to doing the repairs (action: Clerk to monitor)
Members noted that there had had to be recent liaison with Oakford Homes about conflict between a footpath line and fencing works. The PC had pointed out that construction plans needed to allow for replacement of the footpath with the new East-West bridleway, and this seemed to have been resolved.
It was agreed that the next trim of Woodland Way should be late May/early June (action: Clerk)
56. Bus service situation
Members noted that although the 74/A bus service had been reprieved by WSCC, the service was now reduced and offered no connection between Thakeham and Storrington on mid-week mornings. The upcoming Annual Parish Meeting was due to focus on community transport issues – specifically, options relating to a future community minibus funded from Abingworth Travel Plan commitments. Members noted that there was also a possible option of subsidising some extension of the Compass service – S106-funded arrangements were not uncommon. There might even be interest from a major employer, e.g. Monaghans. (Action – Clerk to flag to TPC/Planning group)
The Committee also noted plans for temporary bus stop arrangements during imminent further works around the Abingworth south junction. Cllr MacEachern reported that Milbury intended to control traffic at school bus pick-up/set-down times and that he would monitor this. (Action: Cllr MacEachern)
57. Roads matters
57.1 Members noted recent developments relating to traffic calming in the context of HDC consideration of the Abingworth phase 2 proposals. WSCC Highways’ position now seemed generally supportive of proposed designs, subject to remaining formal consultation stages. Members felt strongly that long-term safety of school bus pick-up/set-down would be much improved by detouring buses from the B2139, e.g. through the main Abingworth Crescent road. Although the scheme of pinch-points and improved crossings would be helpful, without a dedicated bus stop layby, children would still be left milling around buses on the B2139. Members also felt strongly that safety must be paramount in new crossing designs for the B2139, which may have to involve limited lighting for drivers to see pinch points and pedestrians (similar to the existing arrangement near High Bar Lane playground). (Action: Clerk to flag to TPC/Planning group)
The expected timing of bus shelter works over coming weeks was also noted. (Action: Clerk to monitor)
57.2 Members were updated on liaison with Highways re. improvements to signage/road treatments around the Picketty Corner junction and B2139 bends southwards. (Action: Clerk/Cllr Prince to progress)
58. Litter and dog waste bins
The Clerk reported that HDC would install dog waste posters when the PC identified the best locations (Action: Clerk). Members still felt it premature to decide on location of new bins – particularly around Abingworth, but noted a suggestion of Furze Common Road, near garages east of toddler playground. The agreed review of litter collection arrangements was in hand (Action: Clerk/Cllr Scott Kerr).
59. Any other business
59.1 Cllr Prince flagged that the PC had approached the Diocese re. future maintenance of the Glebe Field.
59.2 Cllr Prince flagged the appearance of road crossing/pavement markings by Rock Road school (Action: Clerk to investigate, and Cllr Arculus to be quizzed if necessary.)
59.3 Members noted the upcoming May Day Walk and Cllrs Scott Kerr and MacEachern agreed to review route maps in Cllr Prince’s holiday absence. (Action: Clerk to send route maps).
Meeting closed: 8.15 p.m.
Date of next meeting: 17 July 2017, 6.15pm, Village Hall. The report was considered unhelpful in not presenting the work done in map format, and it appeared that the works had been minimal. Cllr MacEachern reported that the fingerpost on the bridleway from High Bar Lane to West Chiltington was still down (action: Clerk to report).
Members noted that there had had to be recent liaison with Oakford Homes about conflict between a footpath line and fencing works. The P