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Minutes of Steering Group Meeting
3rd August 2023
Present: Adrian Coltman (Acting Chair), Adam & Carol Bull, Theresa Williams, David Lumb, Jeremy Kitto, David Miles, Mervyn & Joan Clayton, Linzy King, Mike McGrath, Jill Darlington.
1. Apologies for Absence
2. Minutes of the Meeting Held 1st June 2023
Agreed as a true record.
3. Matters Arising
- The FGVW AGM went ahead successfully on 22nd June.
- Attendance at the Summer Fair raised £108. It was quiet at first but then got busier as the day wore on. It was a good opportunity for networking.
4. Trustees Update
The Trustee meeting was held on 11th July 2023. Several items were discussed that have been put on the agenda to discuss with the Group. There was also a discussion on the proposed road closures in the area but it was decided that it should be left to individuals within the community rather than for FGVW to respond on the proposal as a Group.
5. Action Mornings
- Sunday 11 June
Live hedge was planted. There were concerns about watering it during the summer but the weather has meant that this has not been a problem so far.
- Sunday 16 July
There was some balsam bashing. Yellow rattle seeds were collected to be used elsewhere in the woods. Paths were also cleared. Various hedges were tidied up around Lincoln Drive, the meadow near Gledhow Valley Road, the side of Gledhow Lane, near the school and Beck Pasture.
- Sunday 13 August
The Bath House will be made ready for the Open Day. The fence needs painting and the meadow opposite needs cutting. There is also some path clearing to do. Post mix is required to put the sign back up, which fell down recently. It has been decided not to clean the water in the Bath House as it is still clear and now has aquatic wildlife in it.
Volunteers to meet at the Bath House on Gledhow Valley Road.
6. Allerton Grange Way Grassland - Proposed Tree Planting
A member of the community made the Group aware of a proposal to plant 2,709 trees on the grassland on Allerton Grange Way. A company called Common Place is collecting comments for the Leeds City Council Woodland Creation Team. The Group had not been consulted and had not been made aware of this plan.
The FGVW Trustees discussed the proposal at length and felt very strongly that this area was not suitable to plant these trees. The grassland has been used for many years for our annual FunDay community event and many other community events. The area is next to an existing woodland. There is no tree management plan in place. There has been no consultation with local groups or residents.
The Group also felt strongly about the proposals and protecting the grassland. Joan and Linzy have been very active in the community making people aware of the proposals so that they can comment on the Common Place website. Independently Joan and Linzy have also contacted the Council and the Local Councillors to ask why residents and groups have not been consulted and trying to find out more information. They have either received a poor response or no response at all.
The Group is not against planting trees and understands the benefits of doing this but feels very strongly that this designated green space is not a suitable place. It is used extensively by residents for community events and leisure activities.
The Group proposed:
- Individuals to continue notifying residents about the proposals and providing contact information for them to leave comments, contacting the Council and attending the Local Councillors surgeries to present their views.
- Inviting a representative to come and talk to the Group, potentially at the proposed tree planting site.
- Writing letters for the public to sign at the Chapel Allerton Festival to hand in to the Council.
- Trustees to send a letter, drafted by David M, on behalf of the Group to the Council outlining our concerns.
- Look at getting the site designated as a village green.
Comments can be made on the Common Place website until 3rd September 2023.
7. Heritage Lottery Fund Project Update
Phase 2 on Gledhow Lane/Beck is due to start on 4th September. A meeting has been arranged with the contractor on 14th August and requires a Trustee to be present.
The Group need to publicise the work going on in the woods. Last time a banner was put up but this was quite expensive. It was decided that notices on trees would be more effective and we could use social media. A display will also be available to show local residents what is happening and why at the Chapel Allerton Festival.
The contract was cheaper than expected so there may be some funding to allow the Group to put in more ponds and wetlands area. "Paul's Pond" could be extended but there are sewage pipes nearby to be aware of. Other ideas can be put forward. It was raised that the Council may need to install Health & Safety Notices for the ponds.
8. FGVW Merchandise
The Group do not have anything left to sell. Cards are needed for the Chapel Allerton Festival so Adrian will speak to Steve. Adrian is also going to build some birdboxes with wood provided by Mervyn and roofing material from Jeremy.
9. Chapel Allerton Arts Festival, 2-3 September 2023
The Group will have a stall and are looking for volunteers to help on each day. A rota will be drawn up if necessary.
Donations of books are also required for selling on the stall.
10. Heritage Open Day - Bath House, 10 September 2023
Gazebos will be put up and there will be refreshments and cakes available. Adam to send out a request for volunteers to help on the day and also for baking. Set up will be from 12 noon.
11. One Day Closure of Gledhow Valley Road
The Group has applied for a Climate Emergency Grant that will allow the Group to fund the partial closing of Gledhow Valley Road to traffic to hold an event. On 3rd July members of the Group pitched their proposal to a "Dragons' Den" style panel and were successful in obtaining a grant for £5,000. David M and Jill met to start planning the event that has to take place before Summer next year. Dates proposed where 20th or 23rd June, 7th or 14th July. The Group preferred the July dates.
The proposal is to close Gledhow Valley Road from Allerton Grange Way to the road after the Bath House and also close off the road running through Little Switzerland. This will need to be negotiated with the Council.
The Group hope to combine multiple events with the road closure and also have giant games and activities, chalk mural painting on the road and music, to encourage children to play.
The proposal is to get together a separate project management group who will organise the event and report back to the Steering Group. More funding may also be needed. The Group also raised the need to be sensitive as there are currently more permanent road closures being proposed and consulted on.
12. Gledhow Beck Water Quality Monitoring
A successful meeting took place where 27 people signed up as volunteers to measure the water quality in the Beck. It was run by Leeds University and included a practical demonstration.
The main focus is on testing the water quality but as there was a good number of volunteers there are other roles that can be included too. David M put a list together of the various roles and shared these with the Group.
David is to send out a communication to keep the momentum going and to ask what roles the volunteers would like to perform. The core roles are water testing and testing for E. coli.
Funding is available for testing kits each month for 12 months. There is £1,300 of funding available so the Group gave permission for David to order the kits and start the work in September.
- John Mudd is working on removing the dead tree from Allerton Grange Way grassland.
- There is an interview in the York Post magazine where Sharon Watson, CEO and Principal of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance, is quoted as saying her favourite walk is in Gledhow Valley.
- Some old photos from Dorothy were shared showing past work on the lake.
- Karen Dutton has put together a proposal to remove the bamboo taking over an area of the woods and creating a wetland area. A design is also being pulled together that can be used to secure funding. Snowberry has also been identified in the woods and there was a proposal to remove this at a future Action Morning.
- Adrian has arranged a follow up meeting with Yorkshire Water on 23rd August and the Group will discuss the water testing project.
14. Dates of Next Meetings
- Action Morning - Sun 13 Aug 2023
- Steering Group Meeting - Thu 14 Sept 2023
- Bath House Open Day - Sun 17 Sept 2023
- Action Morning - Sun 24 Sept 2023
- Steering Group Meeting - Thu 19 Oct 2023
- Action Morning - Sun 29 Oct 2023
- Steering Group Meeting - Thu 16 Nov 2023
- Action Morning - Sun 26 Nov 2023
- Steering Group Meeting - Thu 7 Dec 2023
- Action Morning - Sun 17 Dec 2023