February 6th, 2019

A meeting of the Footpaths Committee of Eccleshall Parish Council was held on Wednesday February 6th, 2019 at Eccleshall Community Centre at 7.00pm.

1). Present were:-
Councillor P. Mullee (Chair);  Councillor P. Baskerville
Councillor J. Leather;  Councillor E. Amos
Councillor L. Dale
Mrs. S. J. Worden (Clerk)
Mr. N. Davenport;  Mr. D. Smith
Observer: Cllr. P. Edwards

Apologies:- Apologies were recorded from Councillors Marshall, Garner and Alcock.

2). Minutes of the meeting held on September 5th, 2018 and matters arising:- The minutes, which had previously been circulated and accepted by the Council, were agreed and signed.

3). Approval of revised Walks Leaflets:– Walks 8 and 12 are outstanding, and Walk 10 has been updated but needs to be condensed in order to fit the leaflet format. Mr. Davenport will review this and the other walks in due course.

4). Footpath Marshall Reports:-
• Path 120 (reported as 114) – an electric fence with no provision for crossing at the start in Wootton, and broken stile. Ellenhall end – also an electric fence and no way marker. Cllr. Mullee will check and provide the Clerk with an address to write to the landowner
• Path 103 (Copmere – Pershall) – an electric fence is in the middle of the footpath without provision for crossing. Cllr. Mullee will check and report back to the Clerk.

5). Review of current maintenance schedule and new works for consideration: Mr. D. Smith provided an updated maintenance schedule noting the work completed to date, which equates to 10 hrs of work on a number of footpaths. This includes cutting back and the installation of the new fingerposts. The Clerk will update the schedule accordingly and provide a revised schedule for Mr. Smith. Payment will be processed for the hours worked.
Additional items to be added:
• New fingerpost required on footpath 96 at Arn Hill, Croxton. The Clerk will order a new post from the Rights of Way team.
• Broken Stile – at Copmere along footpath 100 (approx. second fence in) This will be added to the repair schedule.
• Broken Jacob’s ladder – also at Copmere on footpath 100, located on the lane about 300 yards from the Star. As a health and safety issue due to the unsafe step, The Clerk will report it to the County Rights of Way team.

It was noted that the Rights of Way team are in the process of installing a new stile along footpath 14.

6). To feedback on Clerks attendance at a recent PCC meeting regarding its plans for ongoing maintenance of the churchyard:– The PCC are in discussions with a representative from Caring for God’s Acre to look at possibilities for improving and also reducing maintenance costs of the churchyard. Final project plans have yet to be finalised.

7). Correspondence:-
• To consider request regarding the joint financing of resurfacing the area near the Vicarage (along footpath 13 to the junction of footpath 15) from end of Vicarage drive to the end of Washpits by phone box. The Parochial Church Council has requested a 50% contribution (£725.00) towards the gravelling of the area of footpath that also provides access to the Vicarage, as they have safety concerns regarding the potholes and muddy surface in wet weather. The PCC have already commissioned and completed the works. Ownership of the driveway is not logged on the land registry. The committee discussed the request and resolved to recommend to the Parish Council that a contribution to the PCC for gravelling the driveway would not be appropriate as it exceeds the normal level of maintenance conducted on the footpaths by the Parish Council and the cost is prohibitive with the small budget allocated for footpath maintenance. It was also noted in line with below that the Rights of Way team were planning to address the flooding issues.
• Related complaint regarding flooding along footpath 13 and query regarding insufficient drainage. The Clerk advised that the footpath had been inspected by the Rights of Way team in response to a request from the Clerk. Rights of Way have subsequently raised a job with the County Works Unit to clear the edges of this footpath and investigate if there are any hidden drains alongside it which may require clearing. Councillors noted that there was a pond located further along the footpath which overflows in wet weather and discharges onto footpath 13. This may be on church owned land.

8). Any Other Business:-

• Footpath 114 – The Parish Council reported a fallen tree on the Horsley footbridge and it was queried whether the removal had been completed. The Clerk will follow up with the County Council to check.
• Mr. Smith advised that a landowner at Mill Meece Farm needed to re-locate a stile from one side of a gate to the other. As this now put the stile in line with the footpath route, the committee could see no problem with this action and Mr. Smith will report back.
• Mr. Davenport had researched the listing of Eccleshall footpaths on the walking guide ifootpaths.com, however due to the high costs involved it will not be an option for consideration.

9). Date of next meeting: – The next meeting was arranged for May 1st , 2019 at 7.00pm, preceding the Planning Committee Meeting.

There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 7.35pm.