A meeting of the Footpaths Committee was held on Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 online via Zoom videoconferencing at 7.00pm.


1).   Present were:-             

Councillor R. Taylor (Chair)                       

Councillor J. Leather                                     

Councillor C. Wilkins                         

Councillor S. Mifflin

 Councillor P. Jones (from 7.20pm)                    


 Mrs S. J. Worden (Clerk)

Co-opted members: Mr. N. Davenport          Mr. E. Ranson

Observing: Cllr. S. Perren, Cllr. P. Stenning


       Apologies:- Apologies were received by Mr. Graham Cole.

2).   Election of Chair and Vice Chair

The footpaths committee currently has no chair so Cllr. J. Leather took the chair for the election process.

Cllr. Ros Taylor was duly elected as Chair of the Committee, and Cllr. Chris Wilkins as Vice-Chair.

3).   Footpath Marshall reports and review of current maintenance schedule

Reports on work undertaken by Mr. Cole during 2020 and work to date in 2021 and a summary report were circulated prior to the meeting. A copy will be appended to the minutes. It was noted that the scheme has been doing well and all were happy with the current schedule.

4).   Proposed footpath works

Cllr. Taylor requested members to consider If there were any large scale remedial projects that could be put forward for grant funding. It was noted that the kissing gate onto the field at Garmelow Lane that leads up to the Star Pub can be impassable in wet weather and may benefit from drainage works. Mr. Cole will be asked to look into this during the next spell of wet weather.

It was reported that part of the Dells walk, near to the top of the lane (FP119?) was often wet and muddy, even in dry weather. Mr. Cole will be asked to investigate.

Concerns were raised regarding the corroded gate located at the junction of footpaths 15 and 13. Following a site inspection, County Council advised plans to remove the gate for reasons of improving accessibility in line with current policy. However, members believe cyclists will use the path and there is a danger of knocking pedestrians over due to lack of visibility at the junction. It was noted that there is a possibility of repairing the gate if a contractor has the appropriate mobile welding equipment. It was resolved to contact the Rights of Way team urgently to reiterate health and safety concerns and request the action be reviewed. It will also be suggested that the PC look into costs of repairing the gate if it can remain, with a view to taking on the cost of repairs.

5).   Update on Keep Eccleshall Tidy Team (KETT) and ongoing concerns

       A summary report was circulated to all members prior to the meeting and accepted. A copy will be appended to the minutes.

Mr. Davenport volunteered to litter pick in the Slindon area, which was received with thanks.

It was noted that there was an issue with plastic bags along the road/hedge towards the Star and the Pershall turning. They appear to be agricultural in origin so may have been blown from a nearby farm. It was resolved for the Clerk to obtain the necessary contact details in order to write and request their support in removing the plastic from the field.

(Cllr. P. Jones joined the meeting at this point).

Due to the additional volunteers joining the scheme, it was resolved to purchase additional litter picking sticks in line with the delegated budget.

Correspondence has been received by a resident proposing the Parish Council put up anti-litter signage in the modern style of those seen in other areas. There were mixed opinions on the tone of the signs and it was noted that formal research has noted that those who do the littering, do not pay attention to notices.

The committee felt that the signs would not be appropriate at this time, but this would be subject to monitoring and review should the littering situation worsens.

Issues were noted with discarded cigarette ends by the Co-op on Stafford Street, and also underneath the underpass at Selwyn Court,  between Castle Street and Cherry Tree Close, even where bins are located nearby. It was suggested that bins with integrated stubbers may help, although bins are provided by Stafford Borough Council. Another suggestion is for wall mounted stubbers near to bins, although these would need to be adopted by the Borough for emptying. It was resolved for the Clerk to look into options and report back.

It was noted that residents have shown interest in footpath marshals and litter schemes, and it would be beneficial to have printed cards ready to hand out so that contact information can be provided as part of the discussion. It may be that this may develop into wider use. It was resolved to recommend that business cards are produced for this purpose, using the Eccleshall Crest and wording supplied by Cllr. Wilkins. 

6).   Correspondence:

There was no further correspondence

7).   Any Other Business.

There was no further business.

11).  Date of next meeting:- to be confirmed.

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