Minutes of meeting held on Wednesday 5 March 2014 Present: Committee: Steve Ellams (SE) – Chair, Alan Elsegood (ADE, Acting Sec’y), Peter Ward (PW), Quentin Mackenzie (QM), Lilias McCulloch (LM), Glyn Martill (GM), David Manson (DM), Cllr. Dale Smith (DS) Members of the public incl. Graham Booth, Sue Rix, David Rhodes, Philip Moore, Roger Livesey (Website). Apologies: Cllr. J Whiteley. Chris Hartley (CH), John Houlihan (JH), John Naylor. 1. Welcome and apologies Apologies as above. 2. Minutes of last meeting (Forum) and Matters Arising The previous meeting was at the Forum which had taken place on 4 February. That meeting had been well attended and those present had heard a report on the threat to the Children’s Centre, also from Inspector Sue Sanderson on changes taking place within the Neighbourhood Policing Team. It was unfortunate that the Inspector Sanderson could not be with us tonight, and she has now been allocated to duties at Keighley. The Forum had received an update from Alan Elsegood on matters relating to the Airport and complaints of noise nuisance. Comprehensive minutes of the Forum meeting were published on both the ‘official’ and ‘alternative’ websites. 3. Correspondence: The only correspondence related to SE’s complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. The LGO had provided a preliminary view by e-mail which was rather dismissive, and SE was still evaluating the implications. 4. Treasurer’s Report GM reported that the MCA currently had the sum of £1,277 in an HSBC account and £500 in funds readily available. This was after the renewal of the MCA’s insurance policy (£258.20) which included cover for Menston in Bloom. SE proposed that the MCA might find it more convenient to pay for 12 months in advance for room hire at the Methodist Church Hall and this was agreed in principle. The financial position was agreed to be encouraging and there were sufficient funds available to finance the project to erect more notice boards in the village (a matter for later in the Agenda). GM was thanked for his continued good management of the MCA’s finances. 5. Menston in Bloom Report QM reported that Menston in Bloom members had been looking after planters in preparation for the Yorkshire in Bloom judging which was to take place between 31 March and 15 April. QM was keen to encourage all participants and all Menston residents to make an effort to tidy up the village wherever they could in advance of the inspection by YIB judges. 6. Parish Council Report: The Planning Panel of the Parish Council had received a representation from Cleasby Kindercare inresponse to the denial of Planning Permission for a child-minding service at a property on Cleasby Road where neighbours had complained about the noise. The proprietors of Cleasby Kindercare informed the Parish Council of their recent excellent review by OFSTED and of their desire to find alternative premises in Menston from which to operate their childcare service, which was in strong demand from residents. Other matters for discussion at the Parish Council had included encouragement of Bradford Council to cut back hedges on Station Road, which were now intruding into the path of pedestrians, and reports on comments made about the Core Strategy publication. The Parish Council was seeking an update on the Section 106 funding to Bradford Council which was supposed to have arisen out of the High Royds development, but which had not been delivered. It was now understood that the developers of High Royds were seeking to modify the Planning Permissions with a view to increasing the number of residential dwellings and reducing or eliminating the planned health centre, social club and shops. At the meeting of the Parish Council, Professor Rhodes had indicated that he was awaiting a firm date for a meeting with members of Bradford MDC Planning Department In respect of groundwater flooding on the Bingley Road and Derry Hill sites. 7. Update on Notice Boards & Business Promotion initiative Sue Rix and Roger Livesey had been working on this project and provided an update. Some advice and guidance had been received from Quentin Mackenzie and Hazel Goulden, and this was much appreciated. It was now appropriate to seek the MCA Committee’s approval to proceed, before asking the Parish Council’s approval. It was proposed to erect a notice board in a position at or near Lane Ends, another at the railway station and a third – which would be intended as the MCA’s Information Centre – adjacent to the library. This Information Centre would be the MCA’s primary publicity mechanism and it was proposed to include a map of the village with features and venues highlighted, the MCA’s notes, Minutes and a schedule of events, and possibly to feature one or more of the village walks. It was also considered worthwhile to supplement the signage in Menston Park, to draw attention to the village’s businesses and the existence of the Information Centre. Several of the businesses had been approached and were enthusiastic about the project and might be prepared to contribute. Having regard to the financial position of the MCA as previously outlined, the Committee took the view that there were sufficient funds to kickstart this project and to proceed with the purchase of one or more notice boards, subject to Planning Permission to erect them. DM suggested that Roger and Sue might make contact with his wife, Alison, who is a graphic designer: she might volunteer to assist with the production of a village map, cartography, and the general design of the notices. Graham Booth suggested that, as the project developed, it might be possible to extend into wireless technology, such that information could be downloaded to tablets and mobile phones from the Information Centre. There would be a meeting in April 2014 to explore forming a Business Promotion Group, to include proprietors of local businesses, and to plan the way forward with a view to boosting trade for Menston businesses. 8. Latest on Film Show Project Roger Livesey had distributed a questionnaire asking about residents’ interest in and expectations of film shows in the village. The response had been overwhelmingly positive. Lots of ideas had been put forward and it looked as though the project would be well supported. Respondents had indicated that they were prepared to pay between £3.00 and £5.00 to watch a film session and the median price people had considered acceptable was £4.00, which made it viable. There were Menston-based people with experience of the film industry who could bring this project on. It was likely that a trial would be conducted at an early date before entering into any commitment. 9. Planning: community consultation re. traffic and representations on Bradford Core Strategy SE and ADE had attended the traffic consultation, with a view to speaking to residents about the Publication Draft of Bradford MDC’s Core Strategy for the period to 2030. The majority of those attending the traffic consultation appeared to be concerned about “traffic calming measures” although generally in favour of a speed restriction to 20 mph throughout the village. It had been made clear that the traffic plans would not be implemented if the proposed housing developments at Derry Hill and Bingley Road did not proceed. A table had been set up in the main hall at Kirklands to show visitors the Core Strategy documents and advise them of the implications. Most people had commented that the material was too bulky and too technical for them to make individual responses and they would look to the MCA or the Parish Council to represent them. A question was asked as to whether there was evidence of Bradford MDC cooperating with Leeds City Council as the adjoining local authority, in respect of traffic, housing and Green Belt issues. ADE replied that this was not immediately evident. It was suggested that a Freedom of Information Request might be put to Bradford Council to resolve the question. A meeting of the Yorkshire Greenspace Alliance is to take place at Menston Methodist Church Hall on Saturday 15 March to consider and hear views upon the threat to Green Belt in Wharfedale. It was not known at this stage whether the meeting was fully open to the public, but information on this matter would be sought in the next few days and publicised. SE informed the meeting that he was proposing to attend a meeting at Burley on Saturday 8 March to see how Burley Parish Council was addressing the issues of Bradford Council’s Core Strategy, and to see what lessons we might learn for Menston. 10. Car Show Matters were progressing according to plan in respect of the Motor Vehicle Show planned for 5 May, 2014. Significant interest had been indicated but it was proposed to limit the number of vehicles rather than open it up generally, in recognition of the logistical difficulty which would be posed by trying to accommodate a large number of vehicles. The local businesses, and particularly those providing food and drink, appeared to be enthusiastic about the event. An invitation had been accepted to locate a steam organ on the frontage of the Menston Arms and it was proposed to see whether a Morris Dancing group could be available. Graham Booth suggested a competition for children such as “best presented bike” and this was felt to be a good idea. Nigel Cawthorne was understood not to be available for the event and therefore it was open to question whether a village walk could also be organised. ADE would take responsibility for organizing the event following his return from holiday and this would allow some five weeks for finalising the arrangements. 11. Review of the MCA Constitution In the interests of transparency and proper procedure, SE advised the meeting that he had been challenged in relation to his intention to be a candidate in the Ward Councillor elections, as to whether this was consistent with the MCA constitution. It was agreed that SE’s candidature in no way compromised the non-political stance of the MCA. It was also agreed that the MCA constitution, written many years ago, required some revision to make it more pertinent to the way in which business was conducted in Menston, particularly since the creation of a Parish Council. This was a project probably well suited to the creation of a Working Party but was not seen to be an immediate priority. Cllr Dale Smith observed that membership of the MCA is automatically open to all Menston residents and there was no conflict whatsoever with any member of the Committee standing for election. 12. Any other business Children’s Centre. Sue Rix advised that, following discussion in Bradford Council, it had been agreed that the Children’s Centre in Menston would continue in its present form for a further 12 months. It was however very important to secure the funding to continue the work of the Children’s Centre beyond that period. This information was warmly welcomed, and residents were thanked for their vocal support. Anti-social behaviour. There had been some anti-social disturbances, apparently resulting from a party in or around Dicks Garth Road last Saturday evening. The police had been called as some of the participants appeared to have offensive weapons or missiles. Attenders at the meeting were also notified about three youths, the eldest aged about 14 and the youngest perhaps 9, who had been observed acting suspiciously in various places around the village including the toilets of public houses and around the station. If residents observed any behaviour which gave rise to concern, they should contact the Police (on telephone number 101) who were already aware of the identities of these three young people. Aircraft noise. An aircraft noise monitor has been installed (temporarily) in the vicinity of Hawksworth Drive. 13. Next meeting Wednesday 2 April, 2014, 7.30 – 9.30pm MCA meetings are open to all Menston residents.
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THE BATTLE FOR MENSTON