Leeds Group of the Ramblers’
Minutes of Committee Meeting, 19th January 2017
Martin Bennett (Acting Chair), Lee Davidson (Minutes secretary), Carl Richman, Mike Willison.
Stephanie Blevins, Peter Sweeney, Jean Wynne.
2. Minutes of meeting held on 4th October 2016
The Minutes of the meeting of 4th October, 2016, were approved (Prop MW, Sec CR).
3. Matters arising
3.1. 2 Minutes of the meeting held on 23rd June 2016
The minutes of the meeting held on June 23rd had still not been fully checked and it was agreed to bring them to the
next meeting (March 28th, 2017).
3.2. 3.1 Offering funds to Leeds CC
The cheque given to Leeds CC had been sent.
4. Draft Minutes of the AGM held on Saturday 12th November, 2016
The Committee reviewed the draft minutes of the AGM held on 12th November 2016 and made some minor changes
The following matters were noted during the discussion:
• On attacks by exotic species it was mentioned that a walker had been attacked by a rhea in Derbyshire.
• The emailing lists used by the Committee Secretary and Minutes Secretary should be checked to ensure that
Jean Wynne’s name had been added.
• It was suggested that LD’s presentation on footpath work used at the AGM should be put on the Group
website, subject to checking that it contained nothing which might be considered inadvisable for general
• The new website was felt to be a great improvement on the previous one.
6. Secretary (CR)
6.1. Volunteer newsletter email from CO on 14/1/17
CR drew attention to the useful email sent out by CO on 14/1/17 which drew together information on various aspects
of volunteer work at Group level, such as the revised Volunteer Welcome Booklet. It was felt that the material showed
that CO was engaging in a better way with the wider membership.
6.2. Volunteer Roadshow Leeds 18th March 2017
Leeds would host one of the forthcoming series of volunteer roadshows on March 18th (https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/
e/ramblers-roadshow-leeds-tickets-30519440468?ref=ecal ). Some stewards would be needed and it was hoped that
they could be found among Leeds members. As MW and MB were not available that day an email to the group
membership inviting participation was thought desirable. (PSw NB).
6.3. Notification of changes of officers
CR explained that he distributed a sheet containing lists of all the Area’s Committees for the Area AGM inviting
updates and this information was passed on to CO.
It was hard to keep website pages which contained committee and similar lists up to date. This was a job which a
volunteer could undertake which would be an opportunity to contribute to Group work without an open-ended
commitment of time. The work would have to be done in conjunction with PSw who would advise on data protection
issues involved in putting contact details etc on public web pages.
7. Treasurer/Membership (PSw)
In PSw’s absence this was deferred.
8. Countryside (MW)
8.1. Skelton Lake housing
The housing at Skelton Lake had been approved in outline.
A r e v i s e d m a p (had been issued showing a smaller area identified
for the possible building of 1850 housing units (Development Plan Panel meeting of 10th January 2017). This was the
first phase of the original proposals for a total of around 5000 units. The public reception of the proposals had been
lively and the Development Plan Panel had reviewed the proposals. The land which had been excluded from the
revised proposals would remain as green belt land. If at some future date housing was proposed for this land a major
revision of the Plan would be necessary and this would involve a full consultation process.
LD would examine the revised map to see what changes it made to the possible effects on PRoWs which he had
identified in consultation with MW in late 2016.
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The next stage in the Development Plan would be for the whole plan to go to Executive Board and a 6 week period of
public consultation. At the same time it would go to the Secretary of State. Comments from all sources would then
go to a planning inquiry chaired by an Inspector.
At the same time the entire housing target for Leeds of 70,000 units, which many thought excessive, would be
reviewed. It was known that planning permission for around 20,000 units was already granted, but had not been built.
This process would not conclude until after the final stages of the Development Plan, and, if the target was changed
the whole Plan would have to be reviewed.
In the meantime controversial housing developments on land whose status remained unclear until the Plan was
complete were going through on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. These included such locations as Kirklees
Knowl and Collingham.
8.3. Dunningley Lane proposals
The Dunningley Lane housing proposals (Planning App 16/05981) had been opposed by Highways England on the
grounds that the site was too isolated from shopping etc and would require major road building to be rendered
suitable. They had submitted a very detailed list of objections, which complemented the Civic Trust’s objections.
LD had found that the proposals had taken account of all the PRoWs on the site and were proposing developments
such as reusing the old railway track which were desirable, so had been unable to object on grounds of a threat to
Local meetings had been arranged for consultation on the revised route for HS2
Saturday 21 January Woodlesford Blackburn Hall, Commercial
Street, Rothwell, Leeds, LS26
10am - 5pm
Monday 23 January Garforth Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa,
1150 Century Way, Leeds,
12pm - 8pm
Tuesday 24 January Hunslet Royal Armouries Museum,
Armouries Drive, Leeds, LS10
12pm - 8pm
Wednesday 22 February Leeds City Centre * The Met Hotel Leeds, King
Street, Leeds, LS1 2HQ
12pm - 8pm
The firm Ardent (http://www.ardent-management.com/ardents-leeds-office/ ) has been engaged to undertake detailed
work on the HS2 planned route in the Leeds area.
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It was agreed that detailed maps showing PRoWs should be sought from the developers at the earliest opportunity so
that full consideration of the effects on the PRoW network could be assessed. Action to deal with problems early was
a better strategy than waiting to object to later plans. The general policy should be to avoid all extinguishments and
9. Walks programme
In PSw’s absence there was no detailed discussion but the new booklet was praised, though it was noted that some of
the contact details on the back page needed revision.
There was some discussion of the information available on websites. There were now websites at national, Area and
Group level. A member had reported that there were no contact details for the Leeds Group on the revised Area
website. CR would check if this was so.
10. Footpaths (LD, MB)
There had been little footpath business, other than a trickle of orders arising from earlier work.
The most interesting case had been the extinguishment of a portion of FP Rothwell 10. Faulty planning decisions
back in the 1960s had left a portion of FP Rothwell 10 lying under new houses in the Gipsy Hill/Parkways area of
Rothwell. The residents had believed that a contractor had made arrangements for the path at the time but this had not
been so. A legal search in connection with a house sale had brought the matter to attention again and it was now
proposed that the portion of the path running through the housing should be deleted.
In the course of investigating FP Rothwell 10 LD had found a portion of linking ginnel which connected to the
surviving part of the RoW and this would be entered on the definitive map as a non-definitive way.
MB reported that the first of the signposts would shortly be erected.
CRr reported path problems near Tyersal Hall. MB had looked into the situation but found that it was mainly litter,
which remained a problem in the Tyersal/Black Carr Woods area.
MB would contact Peter Taylor’s wife to see if there was further news of Peter’s state of health.
Mike Bartholomew had sent an email asking for information about damage to BOATs. Leeds did not have many
BOATs. MW suggested that checking Miller Lane on the Chevin would be worthwhile as it was most exposed to
John Ellis’s name had been sent on to PRoW and Richard Smith as he was interested in path maintenance work.
Andrew Sanderson (Morley) had reported paths at Dunningley (Morley 68 and 69) to be in a poor surface state.
11.Other meetings etc
11.1. Local Access Forum (MW)
At its meeting on 22nd November 2016 the LAF had discussed the future of permissive access, which had been
supported by EU funding. This funding would come to an end irrespective of the referendum of June 23rd. It would
be regrettable if the access provided by this programme withered away. It was thought that access at Bramham might
be maintained. Other locations were Fairburn Ings, Hazel House Farm (Methley) and Rodley Nature Reserve.
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Members should write to MPs to impress upon them the importance of finding future support for the continuation of
the scheme. as providing public benefit.
MW, LD and Jerry Pearlman would meet with Highways on January 26th to discuss the issues of the Street Register,
National Street Gazetteer and the Definitive map.
Next LAF meeting 28th February 2017.
11.2. Pathwatch (MB)
MB reported that the new app was much better, and provided a way for path problems to be reported with minimum
difficulty. He had submitted a ‘mystery shopper’ report on paths near Farnley Hall and from the reaction of PRoW it
was clear that the linking up of report to authority was working. He had undertaken a test for Bradford.
11.3. Parks and Greenspaces AGM (MB)
MB had been encouraged by the news at the Parks and Greenspaces AGM. Although funding would be cut staff
would not be reduced. Green areas would have fewer grass cuttings. The cost of cutting some areas was very high, eg
Stanningley bypass, where most of the expenditure was on traffic control measures for the staff. Carr Manor Fields
and Farnley Park would be cut perhaps once a season. Ways would be cut through the longer grass.
There had also been news of Leeds application to be European City of Culture which would through a welcome focus
on areas such as the waterfront and link with South Leeds Regeneration.
There were arguments for safeguarding the future of parks by making them statutory (as are PRoWs). This would
11.4. Railway timetables
LD reported that the loss of the single consolidated railway timetable for West Yorkshire made it less convenient for
walkers to use trains for walking and linking with stations. The replacement timetables issued by separate companies
were incomplete and produced on different patterns with a loss of usability for the network as a whole.
12.Date of next meeting
28th March, 2017, Oxford Place, Leeds, 7pm.
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