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Wednesday 16 January 2013

BGRA Committee Meeting, January 15th 2013

Minutes of the Burton Green Residents’ Association Committee Meeting
January 15th 2013

Present: Hilary Cox; Andy Gibbs; Terry Heyes; Judi Hibberd; Janet Hickinbottom; Bron Putnam;  Rona Taylor; and Faith Ward;

In attendance: Chris Langton, Martyn Stacey, Kathryn Stewart and Archie Taylor

Rona welcomed everyone especially Terry and Hilary as new members. Everyone introduced themselves.

1. Apologies  

Apologies had been received from Marlene Hills and John Nisbet

Cllr Ann Blacklock also sent apologies as she would like to have attended.

Minutes of the last meeting and Matters Arising 

The minutes of the last meeting of Nov 27th 2012 were accepted.

Matters Arising

Open Gardens: this matter was to be discussed the following week by the Jubilee committee.

Welcome pack: this was still being looked at.
                                Action: Rona and Mary

All other matters arising were to be covered by the agenda.

2. Presentation by Martyn Stacey, WDC

Martyn was welcomed as the contract officer for neighbourhood services with Warwick District Council. He explained his background working for several different authorities and that his responsibilities included waste and recycling. This also encompassed fly tipping, verges, hedges, abandoned vehicles etc throughout Kenilworth and 22 surrounding villages.

Recent problems had included green waste and residents needed to be aware that soil should not be added to green bins as this contaminated the green waste which would result in the entire load being sent for landfill.

Martyn was proud that the county’s recycling rate was over 50% of waste whilst the national average was 43%.  It was hoped to increase Warwickshire’s percentage to 80 within 8 years. More plastic recycling was soon to be introduced. Much of the non-recyclable waste in the area went to the Coventry incinerator rather than to landfill.

In response to a question Martyn said that an assisted collection service was available for residents who were not able to deal with their own bins and this involved completing a form.

Dog mess, especially on the Greenway, was raised as an issue.  Legislation had changed so now dog waste could be placed in litter bins. Martyn would investigate the placing of bins but they would have to be on the highway.

Martyn was happy to deal with any enquiries direct and provided his contact details: Martyn.Stacey@warwickdc.gov.uk

Information from Martyn would be made available in the Bugle.
Action: Mary

Members of the committee wished to record the excellent service provided by the District Council in terms of refuse and recycling.

Thanks were extended to Martyn for attending.

3. Amendment to constitution

This part of the evening was declared a “Special Meeting” to deal with matters of the constitution.

The original constitution of the Residents’ Association had been produced in the 1950s and the committee felt it needed updating.  A draft constitution had been produced.  This had been updated in terms of some wording and an equal opportunities statement had been included. (Funding applications often asked for a copy of the constitution and an equal opportunities policy.)

The draft constitution was adopted unanimously. This would now be made widely available for consultation and then ratified at the next meeting.
                    Action: Rona and Janet

The Special Meeting was closed at this point.

4. Update on and discussion of Residents’ Association initiatives and issues

Residents’ Association letter re compensation

Before the end of January the committee needed to submit a letter regarding the HS2 compensation consultation.   It was agreed a small sub group would tackle this. It was suggested that submissions from other organisations in the village could be consulted to help structure the response. It was agreed there was a need to emphasise Burton Green as a special case because of the major impact on the village and its community. It was also important to make positive comments as well as all the negative ones. Mary, Terry, Archie, Chris and Rona would form the sub group plus anyone else who was interested.

Andy would research further about property bonds.
                                Action: Andy

Christmas tree and carols review

Thanks were extended to members of the choir for leading the carol singing on a rather wet evening. Mary apologised for the solar tree lights which had not worked properly. Alternatives were to be investigated for next year including a supply from the lamp post or a 12v car battery.
                    Action: Hilary

Thanks were given to the Barnes family who donated the tree and to all who helped to erect and dismantle it.

Mary was thanked for the idea and the committee was keen to repeat it next year.

Breakfast for 65+

The idea was raised of an occasional brunch in the village hall.  Diane Swindells had offered to be involved as she had an Advanced Food Hygiene certificate.  Start up funding would be sought.
                                Action: Mary


The defibrillator had now arrived and plans were in place for it to be positioned on the wall of the village hall. The village hall committee was happy for it to be on the wall and would pay for electricity.  It was agreed that BGRA would undertake the annual maintenance contract and this would be put in writing to the village hall committee.
                                Action: Mary

There was some confusion about the training necessary for its use or instructions to be provided.  Paul Thornton and Alice Hawkins had agreed to provide a training session. Also, Vic Stuthridge was looking into the possibility of putting on a first aid course which included defibrillator training.
                                Action: Mary

Mary also obtained agreement to purchase four plaques @ £10 per plaque to put in prominent positions (yet to be agreed) to highlight the availability of the defibrillator.
                                Action: Mary

A news item was also to be placed in the Kenilworth Weekly News.

Speed Watch

Terry now had responsibility for the Speedwatch initiative in the village. Training and induction was taking place. 


The next edition was due in mid March. It was suggested that fewer reports would be appreciated and more photos. Invoices had been issued for advertisements in the last issue.

Le Van

No more had been heard but this was a Parish Council issues rather than a BGRA matter.

Burton Green Residents' Associaton website

Janet had been researching possibilities and presented some options. A suggestion was made that BGRA needed only a landing page with links to other websites in the village but it was felt that more information should be provided through a BGRA website which could be updated.

Now that this had been established, Janet agreed to present more detailed possibilities at the next meeting.
                                Action: Janet

Footpath survey

Chris had carried out a survey of the footpaths and provided the following notes:

The footpaths around Burton Green are generally in a very good state of repair, well sign posted and well maintained – bearing in mind that this survey has been done after prolonged periods of rain they have all been passable with stout walking shoes and not gum boots.

Much of this is due to the work of the Kenilworth Footpath Preservation Group (KFPG) a group of volunteers formed in 1974 who in collaboration with Warwickshire County Council (WCC) and Solihull Council (SMBC) send out volunteers one Sunday each month to help maintain and improve footpaths around the Kenilworth area http://www.kenilworthfootpaths.org.uk.

These improvements have included the replacement of a number of stiles with kissing gates to make it easier for all members of the community to enjoy the paths.

KFPG will assist with any paths that are included on their schedule of walks if WCC cannot – please see e-mail from their Chairman Brian Nicol – mailto:bnicol@waitrose.com or via their website above.
They have a publication ‘Kenilworth and Beyond’ which identifies country walks including one based on Burton Green.

I have walked the footpaths marked on the map provided to the BGRA identifying 7 specific recommendations for repairs/improvements
Note that I have not included the Greenway as this is regularly used and observed by others.

Most of the problems occur on narrow sections of path which have become chewed up and overgrown.

The 7 recommendations are:

(O/S map ref 427400/276700) – access to Path No W168 (waypoint 1) off Cromwell Lane opposite the Peeping Tom – this first part of this path is in a narrow alleyway which is overgrown at the sides and slippery under foot. Requires hardcore and the foliage cutting back – suggest involvement of WCC, KFPG and local volunteers
(O/S map ref 427500/276600) – a little further along Path W168 (waypoint 1) – there is a section of about 7 metres adjacent to a stream which is deep in water (two planks of wood have been laid) Requires hardcore or bridge – suggest involvement of WCC and KFPG.

(O/S map ref 427800/274800) – this is the link between the first 90 degree bend coming up Red Lane and the Greenway – the first section of the path is slippery under foot. Requires hardcore – suggest involvement of WCC (NB this is not a path on KFPG’s routes).

(0/S map ref 426700/274800) – this Path K6 (waypoint 5) from Hob Lane to the Kenilworth Road appears to be little used. This may well be that at this point there are two stiles which have collapsed and a stream. Requires the rebuilding/replacing of the stiles and a bridge over the stream. Suggest involvement of WCC and KFPG.

(O/S map ref 426400/275100) – this Path K5 (waypoint 5) appears less used than K6 that runs parallel to it – half way along there is a stream of water along the footpath making it slippery. Requires hardcore – suggest involvement of WCC and KFPG.

(O/S map ref 426500/276300) – this Path M187, the section from Hodgetts Lane at the Burton Green boundary to the Greenway has long been a problem. It is extremely muddy and rutted as it is used by both pedestrians and horses. Requires hardcore over a long section – suggest involvement of SMBC though there is suggestion that this path is the responsibility of National Grid as it runs around the periphery of the electricity sub station.

(O/S map ref 427000/276400) – Path M188 adjacent to Cromwell Lane has a narrow access between houses, It is overgrown with foliage – suggest local resident volunteers with their own garden tools and a couple of Green wheelie bins.

Some of the footpaths on the Solihull side of Burton Green form part of the 100 mile ‘Millennium Way’ which runs from Pershore up to Meriden then down to Middleton Cheney passing Kenilworth. Details of this and an extended walk based on Burton Green (similar to the KFPG one) can be found at www.walking.41club.org

The contact point for WCC paths@warwickshire.gov.uk and for SMBC their footpaths officer is davidkearney@solihull.gov.uk

Footnote – all footpaths were free from litter – however when walking on road sections along Hodgetts Lane from the Burton Green boundary up to Waste Lane the verges are littered with cans, plastic bottles and crisp packets presumably thrown from motor vehicles – although not directly in Burton Green it is suggested that SMBC are contacted on the issue.

At the BGRA Committee meeting on 15th January a map with photos to support these notes was presented with details of all the footpaths inspected and those radiating further out that had not yet been walked – Mary Webb and her group of volunteer walkers would extend this research over the next two months so that we can draw up a comprehensive list of all maintenance needs.

Chris Langton agreed to revisit this issue at the end of March (when maintenance work would be more practical) initially setting up meetings with WCC and SMBC (supported by KFPG where necessary) to determine a schedule and allocation of responsibility for the remedial work.

Thanks were extended to Chris for his thorough research and comprehensive presentation. It was agreed that as a community we must applaud the efforts made by WCC, SMBC and KFPG in giving us such a wonderful amenity which overall is very well maintained and signposted.

It was noted that 1087 visitors to the Greenway had been recorded on January 1st 2013!

5. Parish Plan Update

The first draft of the Parish Plan had been written and would be reviewed later in the month. It was acknowledged that, currently, it was a very long document.  It was agreed to trial it with members of the BGRA committee.
                             Action: Kathryn

It was suggested that a session could be held in the village hall to help people complete the questionnaire, as had taken place with the HS2 compensation consultation etc.

6. Village Hall

Kathryn reported several forthcoming events:
  • February 9th curry evening with magician;
  • April 13th Murder Mystery evening
  • July 7th BBQ
  • September 7th and 8th Produce Show
  • November Craft Fayre

7. HS2

Andy gave the dates of the various meetings. The next community forum was scheduled for February 12th in Kenilworth.

Everything appeared to be on hold until the outcome of the judicial reviews. If the government “lost” the reviews HS2 would not talk about the Y route or the tunnel so there would need to be pressure follow up on the nominal route through Burton Green and a decision about the tunnel.  Andy felt any other route considered might still go through Burton Green.

Conversely, if the government “won” the judicial reviews the Y route would be announced along with a decision on the tunnel.

It was still important to respond to the compensation consultation in spite of all the uncertainty.

8. Parish Councillor’s Reports

Cllr Taylor said grit bins were to be restored in the village and a notice board to be sited in Red Lane. The Parish Council was currently considering the precept and the Neighbourhood Plan.

9. Treasurer’s Report

Mary had handed over all the financial papers to Terry who had agreed to take on the role of Treasurer.  He was in the process of organising all the paperwork but could state that the Deposit Account held £1500.38 and the Current account £1606.92 (There were still some outstanding invoices)

10. Any Other Business

The plaque had been obtained to be placed on the mosaics and Terry agreed to erect it.
                            Action: Terry

Nigel Ward had volunteered to take over litter picking on the Greenway. Volunteers were requested for 27th Jan at 10a.m.

The Peeping Tom had a new manager and was to focus on drinks rather than food. Chris said to encourage people to use the facility or we or might lose it in the end.

Archie and Terry reported back on a presentation about the runway extension at Birmingham airport.  A second runway was out of the question. The plan was to extend the current runway and proposed flight paths would change negligibly. So, hopefully, Burton Green, unlike Berkswell and Balsall Common, would not be inconvenienced by greater noise. There was plenty of space for capacity to increase. Aircraft from and to further destinations were likely and frequency of flights would increase.

11. Date, time and venue of Next Meeting

The next committee meetings would take place on Mar 5; May 21; July 9; Sep 17; with the AGM on October 7th. (All subject to the availability of the village hall.)
                            Action: Judi

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