Menston Community Association, Minutes of meeting 2 April 2014

Present: [Committee] Steve Ellams (SE) – Chair, Alan Elsegood (ADE, Acting Sec’y), Peter Ward (PW), Quentin Mackenzie (QM), Lilias McCulloch (LM), Cllr. Dale Smith (DS), David Manson (DM), Chris Hartley (CH), John Houlihan (JH).

Members of the public incl. Sue Rix, David Rhodes, John Naylor.

Apologies:, Glyn Martill (GM).

1. Welcome and apologies: Attendance and apologies as above.

2. Minutes of last meeting (5 March) and Matters Arising. The previous meeting’s Minutes had been prepared by ADE and circulated. Approved as written.

3. Correspondence. 

GM, being unable to attend, had advised of the receipt of a sum of £400 (from Menston Parish Council?) in respect of Menston News, which was gratefully received.

The Local Government Ombudsman has responded in relation to the two complaints, one by SE and the other by ADE. The reply to ADE had been that the Ombudsman’s Investigator had concluded that there was insufficient injustice, on the evidence, he’d read to warrant a full inquiry having regard to the LGO’s budgetary constraints. ADE had referred the matter on to Philip Davies MP as it seemed the Investigator had not even scratched the surface of the complaint and had taken Bradford MDC’s ‘evidence’ at face value. SE had had a similar response initially, but then a reconsideration, as the Investigator wanted to consider the complaints re. Derry Hill and Bingley Road separately. He therefore proposes to review the position re. Bingley Road and respond, whereas his conclusions relating to the Derry Hill application had been viewed similarly to ADE’s complaint. SE believes he has been “getting the run-around” and has referred the matter to Philip Davies.

4. 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 tomorrow (3 April). There had been a good effort by residents, and by Bradford’s Parks Dept. in advance of the judging.

A donation had been received from Mrs S Harder for the purpose of dedicating a bench in Butterfield Park, which was greatly appreciated.

5. Parish Council Report

QM reviewed the Parish Council meeting of 27 March. The Police had reported 6 crimes, 5 of which were thefts from sheds and garages, and 1 a theft from a motor vehicle. Menston continued to be a safe area comparatively, but extra vigilance was recommended re. security of sheds, garages and outhouses.

A report had been submitted to the Parish Council following David Naylor’s participation at the Airport Consultative Committee (in substitution for ADE). It was reported that the new system of monitoring noise and flight tracks was now in place, but there would be no results to publish for some time, and a delay had resulted, such that last summer’s noise and track report would not be available until the June meeting.

The Parish Council had refused a Planning Application for Nos. 3 & 4 Otley Road as inappropriate. The former Pump House on Hillings Lane had been recommended for approval. It was advised that any new Notice Boards might need the landlord’s consent for erection.

6. Update on Notice Boards & Business Promotion initiative

Sue Rix reported on recent developments including discussions with Roger Livesey (unable to attend). Agreement had been achieved at the Parish Council about the potential benefits of this initiative (both in principle and as to proposed content) but it was regarded as necessary to ensure that the landlord’s permission was sought before any new Notice Board was erected (particularly if the landlord was Bradford MDC). Matters would be reviewed at a future Parish Council meeting once progress had been made on which a report could be provided. The Business Initiative was separate, although the new Notice Boards would promote Menston businesses. As to dates, the Project Group anticipated that some of the new Notice Boards would be up and operational in advance of the Menston Show (September).

7. Planning: flooding & drainage issues, and representations on Bradford Core Strategy (LDF)

Menston Parish Council had made 22 representations on the Core Strategy. ADE had made 7 more before his holidays and SE had also put 3 forward. All had been submitted in the permitted timescale and together made a powerful show of concern by Menston.

Prof. David Rhodes and Cllr. Dale Smith had met with reps. of Bradford MDC Planning & Drainage Depts., and DR had agreed to put forward additional evidence for consideration. This new evidence would contain computer simulations of water flow, which illustrated that likely (and historic) emergence of water on sites around Menston were greater by a factor of x10 than BMDC and the developers had estimated. This was related to the unique geology around Rombalds Moor, and showed that development would place properties and areas in Menston at risk of flooding. In DR’s view this evidence was clear and undeniable, although the developer would undoubtedly try to contest it.

In relation to a proposed development on Hargrave Crescent, BMDC had denied that there was a culvert in that vicinity. John Houlihan had written to BMDC, met with an Inspector and showed that Inspector where the drainage system was. The risk could no longer be denied. Tony Poole (BMDC’s Principal Drainage Officer) was being “obstructive” and was currently unwilling to concede that development in that location would affect drainage or result in flooding.

8. Forum (provisionally planned for Tuesday 3 June)

The next Forum would be one shared with BMDC. We were now obliged to hold it on Tuesdays as the main hall at Kirklands was booked on Wednesdays. Subject to agreement with Shipley Area Coordinator, the date was likely to be Tuesday 3 June. Menston’s items for the Agenda were likely to include:

    • Planning issues re. Derry Hill & Bingley Road sites, also the plans for lower down Bingley Road by Chartford Homes (all on flood areas)
    • Film Show initiative
    • Progress on the Menston Business Initiative
    • Notice Boards

LM proposed that an approach be made to the representatives of Leeds City Council responsible for monitoring services at the airport, to advise about the results from the monitor recently positioned in the Hawksworth Drive area, and noise and track monitoring generally. DS proposed an item relating to the commemoration of World War 1 and the events proposed for the village. A further suggestion was for clarification of the proposal for a “Sustrans” cycle-way along the Wharfe Valley, which might include part of the disused railway (between Otley and Burley in Wharfedale, crossing Ellar Ghyll). June would also be a good time to clarify the issues about road closures, challenges and opportunities which might flow from the Tour de France which would pass through Otley and Burley, affecting the A65.

Additional suggestions included:

  • Inviting the successor to Insp. Sue Sanderson to participate and introduce him/herself
  • A Parish Council update on the responses to Bradford’s LDF
  • What’s happening following the Level 1 consultation exercise re. roads and traffic
  • A review and promotion of the Menston.org website
  • The possibility of a fair/fete on Menston Park in July.

9. Update on Motor Vehicle Show

ADE was now ready to take on primary responsibility for organizing the event. SE reported that all the main venues for locating vehicles were “signed up” (The Fairfax Club, The Menston Arms, The Malt Shovel, Parmley Graham) and other sites were being sought in case the numbers of vehicles were higher than we anticipated. We now had some five weeks for finalising the arrangements.

The Morris Dancing group and the fairground organ would be available. The suggested competition for children had been followed-up and a “Best-Dressed Scooter” competition was now proposed. The JCT600 Group had offered to provide a couple of “exotic vehicles” and Stratstone Motor Group were considering offering one of the new Minis for display. Food would be available at several venues, such as the public houses, The Fairfax Club, Menston Village Bakery: the newsagents at Lane Ends would be open to provide drinks and ice creams and there might be scope for stalls. The Methodist Church had offered NOT to open Cornerstones, so as to make space available for parking outside and for their forecourt to be used for the children’s competition. The funfair/roundabout and other facilities would be positioned at The Fairfax Club. SE would be approaching someone (suggested by Cllr. Smith) who might agree to supervise the children’s’ competition. There were other ideas still being “tested”.

10. Any other business

DS advised that there would be a meeting on Monday 14 April at the Methodist Church Hall (comm. 7.30pm) to discuss the format and content of the commemorations of WW1. He invited members of the MCA and residents generally to attend and offer support.

Menston Show Committee needs new members and volunteers. The Show was scheduled for Sat 6 September, and a preparatory meeting would be held on 23 April at No. 23 Park Road. Anyone interested in participating would be very welcome.

DS criticised SE for having issued a letter to the Wharfedale Observer (referring to development issues) and signing it off as Chairman of the MCA when the letter had not gone before the full Committee. SE acknowledged that this might be taken to infer that his views were those of the MCA as a whole, and he apologised that this had not occurred to him when he wrote the letter.

There were plans for re-design of the roundabout at the junction of Main Street and Bingley Road, in the hope of avoiding accident risk as traffic tended to come fast up and down Bingley Road and not give way to traffic on Main Street. JH proposed, and it was agreed, that this should be a discrete matter of risk avoidance and not connected with the recently-presented traffic plan. The roundabout merited action at an early date, irrespective what might happen relating to the wider traffic proposals.

11. Next meeting

Wednesday 7 May, 2014, 7.30 pm at Menston Methodist Church Hall.

MCA meetings are open to all Menston residents.

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