Minutes of meeting of 13th June 2007

Minutes of a meeting at the White Lion Hotel, Hebden Bridge, June 13th, 2007

Angela Cairns (AC), chairing the meeting, welcomed those attending. Copies of the minutes of the previous meeting were circulated.

Matters Arising

Benches By the River

AC explained that the petition, signed at the last meeting, about the benches near the new steps had been sent to the Hebden Bridge Times, but the paper had not published it.  She urged everyone to write independently.

David Fletcher (DF) said extra benches would be placed at the head of the steps and in St. George’s Square.

Nigel Pickles asked about the requested ramp to the river and mentioned that the seat that is currently there doesn’t face the river.  This is to be reassessed.  The meeting called for old-fashioned benches, which would provide back support for the elderly.  It was also noted that the plaques, which had been removed during the renovation of the area, were to be retained and that they would be appropriate reinstated.

Anthony Rae (AR: Transport) said that all the commemorative plaques had been retained and would be restored – the official in charge was Richard Binks.

Action: The meeting stated that any comments regarding this issue should be directed to Richard Binks.
Lois Smith (LS) commented on the need for a handrail on the steps down to the river.

Parking around the Square

The meeting raised whether there were plans to demark the area around the square with double yellow lines to prevent parking.  It was mentioned that this was currently on hold pending the new drainage and resurfacing work which was due to take place, but that it also needs to be sympathetic to the general landscaping of the square, but that it was planned. There would still be an opportunity for a loading bay for the local shops.

Among the topics that were raised in the subsequent discussion were:

Calder Holmes Park
Benches in the Park
Jill Smith-Moorhouse (JSM) raised the issue of what had happened to the benches in the park, due to the work being currently undertaken.  It was confirmed by others at the meeting, that these were also to be reinstated once work was completed.

This raised the wider issue of the work in Calder Holmes.  Some, who had not been present at the first meeting, raised the issue regarding whether the planning (now underway) had received input from local residents. 

Many mentioned that it had been difficult and that generally the issue of monitoring planning applications for the area generally was something of a hit and miss affair.  There was no requirement for the Hebden Bridge Times to publish. Sources included the Hebweb ‘Planning Watch’ pages and the noticeboard of the council office in town.

It was raised that before any scheduled meeting of the Hebden Bridge Council that they will list the planning applications of interest.

There was a further suggestion that any planning application considered of special interest, could warrant a meeting of the parish council.

Those present intimated that both Hebden Royd Town Council and Calderdale were working together on the scheme for the park and that further work was planned.  However, there was a general consensus that that this had been particularly badly planned in that the work was taking place over the summer months, causing disruption and upheaval to the park at its busiest time. 

There was also mention of a large amount of rubble and concrete which had amassed at one end of the park as a result of the path creation and some consternation as to whether this would be shifted on completion of the works.

Another member of the meeting, mentioned the exhaust fumes from the ice-cream van in the park and whether this was something the council should be responsible for addressing. 
Following on from the discussions which followed regarding the demise of the bowling green and tennis courts in Calder Holmes, Barbara Booth, also mentioned that she sadly missed the WI which now meant there were few facilities of this kind in the area.

GG drew attention to the Ice Cream van in the park which kept its engine running all summer

Garden Street Car Park
David Jennings (a resident in The Crofts) distributed leaflets and  said that Calderdale refused to answer queries about the plans and even refused to give reasons for refusing.

JSM said that the Council had already signed agreements with DF and Studio Baard.  DF , who said that he hoped to be part of any newly formed group, argued that, while commercial information had to be protected, the information on Hebweb and on the leaflets was not accurate.

Barbara Jennings said that the illustrations on the leaflets were those on the table top models and therefore accurate.

There was much discussion of – and disagreement about – the number of car spaces available at present and how many would be added by the new development.

David Jennings said that the information being given out re car spaces was inaccurate and that the focus of the development had changed – that it had now become more residential and would therefore involve more car parking spaces; an 8 story car park was not appropriate and creating the few extra spaces could be done without 4/5 years disruption.

DF repeated that the diagram being circulated by the residents was wrong, that it put all three proposed schemes together and that there was nothing that was going to be 8 stories high; Calderdale had stipulated minimum of 120 car spaces but there could be up to 200 = if required.

Cllr Janet Battye said that there were proposals for extending the car park at railway station (with 2 options, -for either a small or a large car park)  but that there was no money available for such an extension.  NMJ stated that the latest Hebden Royd Council publication - ‘Towntalk’ had mentioned using the gasometer site near Railway station for parking.

  1. Action: Further meeting was held on Saturday June 16th.
  2. AR said people have to decide where they want car parking to be and ensure they made their objections known through the appropriate channels.

Civic Trust

It was then suggested by the Chair that all the worries expressed in previous meeting could fall within the remit of the now defunct Civic Trust and Julian Bugler (JB) of the Civic Trust was invited to address the meeting.

JB outlined the aims of the Trust, mentioned some of the actions it had previously taken against Calderdale in its heyday and chronicled its decline over the last 6-7 years. The organisation was ready to be used by the people who supported its aims; existing members would be happy to help but also happy to step aside if new members felt it necessary.
It was made clear that membership would involve an individual paying a small fee – the membership fee had previously been c.£1/2 per annum.

There was some discussion. GG said needed to have contact with Halifax Civic Trust but felt that the crucial point was that CT was too ‘respectable’

JB pointed out that, if a group abided by constitution, it could take any position it wanted. AC asked what steps were necessary for the present ‘watchdog’ group to become part of the Civic Trust. JB said that the Trust would call an AGM.
A motion was proposed that the watchdog group should join the Civic Trust. The votes were:

In favour: 22
Against: 17
Abstentions: 5

  1.  Action: JB would circulate minutes and application with minutes. A list was placed at the back of the room and people were asked to sign if they wanted to get involved.

The volunteers would meet on July 10th at the White Lion @ 7.30pm.

Next Meeting
Next public meeting would be held on July 25th @ White Lion, Hebden Bridge @ 7.30pm.

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