Present: Mike Adames, Stewart Edwards, Geoff Harrison, David Robinson, Paul Trowbridge
APOLOGIES – Trevor & Chris Incles, Judith James, Jackie Tait
1 MINUTES OF LAST MEETING – Minutes of meeting held on 1st October 2015 were approved.
2 FINANCES/GRANTS – £50.22 has been paid to Noble Marine by SE to renew the insurance cover for the Punt and trailer. Cheque given to SE by MA. MA reported balance at bank was £121. MA had received a letter from HSBC indicating that the local branch was likely to close.
3 RIVER CLEANING – In response to our e.mails and photographs regarding the flooding that occurred in August and concerns regarding the extensive weed growth in the river at the time and afterwards, assurances have been received from the EA to confirm that weed control works were being carried out and that routine work would continue in future years. Weed clearing in the town eventually started on the 6th of October, the Monday after our last meeting. Apparently during 2014 there were accidents where weed cutting machines had ended up in rivers (but not in this part of the world), as a result the start of weed clearing was delayed this year as ALL river banks had to be measured and surveyed to determine their suitability for machine access. The river is now much improved where the weed clearing has taken place, however when the section in Marshalls field was cleared about 1/3 of a mile from the field back to Strode Road was missed, following concerns expressed by nearby residents and as watercress and reeds were spanning the river in places, 2 calls have been made to the EA asking for it to be completed. On the day before the meeting PT reported that a heavy tracked vehicle had just been along the length of river from Strode Road bridge west to Marshalls Field clearing weed and depositing waste on the south bank. It was agreed that a number of LYF members would meet up in the New Year to remove items of rubbish brought up by the EA river clearing. The meeting then discussed alternative measures that could be carried out to control weed growth and slow down the spread of watercress during the summer months.
4 EQUIPMENT – Access to the boat and trailer has been restored.
5 FOOTPATHS/WALKS – MA has still not had final clearance from EA Estates Dept. for small sections of a permissive path on his proposed circular path. The works on the river bank to the rear of Brunel Engraving are still waiting for the go ahead.
6 LEVELS & FLOW – Following the machine clearing of the weed that had restricted the flow from the M5 towards the town there was an increase in level and flow during the last week of October. However the level has now dropped again following the lowering of the weir at Cooks Clyse to maintain the usual winter level from 1st December to 1st April. Although we are on the winter level, now the weed has been cleared a reasonable flow is being maintained through the town.
7 REPORT OF RIVER SECTIONS
Bernard’s section – There was an improvement in level and flow downstream following the weed clearing from Court lane to Meadow Road
Stewart’s section – Growth out from the river bank, bushes and brambles have been cut back by the contractors carrying out the manual weed clearing.
Town section – Trash screen clearing still being maintained in the Old Dairy Court by the Curo group, a large timber has also been removed which had recently emerged from Shoplands culvert. Leaves and vegetation have been accumulating on the NSC screen, following a phone call, the debris have recently been cleared and the water level by the Conservative Club has now dropped slightly. Development of the old timber yard owned by Staddons in Parnell Road is now under way, part of the old stone retaining wall along the river bank has been replaced by steel piling capped with concrete, however approximately half of the old wall has been retained despite its age and that it would appear to be in poor condition. DR thought that planning permission given by NSC would have specified works for the river bank, finishing etc. SE said he understood that the developer intends that a six foot fence be erected 1.5 meters back from the bank on the edge of what would be the car parking area. A watch would be kept on how the river and surrounds are affected by the development.
Trevor’s section – River now much improved following the weed clearing, there has been nothing back from the EA with regard to their investigation into the building on the Coleridge Vale side of the riverbank
Paul’s section – In response to an e.mail, it was confirmed on the 9th October that the EA Enforcement Officer was dealing with the construction of 2 buildings on the river bank and it was hoped there would be action soon. During a phone call on the 30th October, it was also confirmed the EA were aware a planning application had been submitted for the building already erected at the back of 34 Tennyson Ave and that the EA had objected to it. The EA Enforcement Officer is also dealing with this matter. Approximately 1/3 of a mile of the river from Strode Road to Marshalls Field was missed when the machine weed clearing took place, the EA have been contacted to ask for this section to be cleared. PT confirmed this work has now been carried out (see 3 River Cleaning above).
8 PUBLICITY – Nothing to report.
9 WEBSITE- SO no longer looking after Website. GH is familiarising himself with the site.
10 ANY OTHER BUSINESS – Offer of room for meetings by Town Council. Meeting discussed at length the correspondence between DR and Clevedon Town Council regarding the cost of the room hire and the history of previous premises used by LYF for meetings, notably the Old Village Hall in Old Street which was occupied without charge. It was agreed that DR would pursue options and discuss the matter with the chairman of CTC. and continue in correspondence with the Clerk to the Council.
CSC has been booked for meetings on the following, Feb 4th 2016, Apr 7th 2016, June 2nd 2016, Aug 4th 2016, Sept 1st 2016 AGM