Agenda and minutes

Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum
Thursday, 11th July, 2013 10.00 am

Venue: Executive Meeting Room 1 - Town Hall, Macclesfield SK10 1EA. View directions

Contact: Rachel Graves 

No. Item


Welcome, Apologies and Introductions


Apologies were received from Gillian Herdman.


It was agreed that the geographic area of Cheshire East which each member represented should be recorded. Details of each member’s areas of interest and geographic area represented are attached as an appendix to the minutes.





Appointment of Chairman and Vice Chairman

To appoint a Chairman and Vice Chairman



Nominations to the posts of Chairman and Vice Chairman were requested.  Robert Anderson was nominated as Chairman and Pat Featherstone as Vice Chairman.  It was agreed that they would be appointed for a one year period.




That Robert Anderson be appointed as the Chairman and Pat Featherstone as the Vice Chairman of the Cheshire East Local Access Forum for the ensuing year.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 79 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 25 April 2013



Update on Items considered at last Meeting


5 Public Rights of Way Budget

The letter had been sent to Cheshire East Council expressing the Forum’s concerns on the public rights of way resource allocation and a copy of the letter sent and response received had been circulated to Forum members for information.


8 Reports from Members

A letter had been sent to Reaseheath College expressing the Forum’s disappointment that the permissive permission for the cycle path had been withdrawn.  A copy of the letter sent and response received had been circulated to Forum members for information.


A planning application had been submitted to develop land at Kingsley Fields, near the College and it was agreed that the Forum submit comments on the plans suggesting that the development presented an opportunity to offer an alternative link for non-motorised users to reinstate the lost cycle path, which had been part of the National Cycle network.


With reference to the issue of erosion of public footpaths due to river flooding and specifically Brereton Bridleway No.31, the Rights of Way Manager reported that parts of the legal line of the path were unavailable due to river erosion and that discussions were being held with the landowner on the options available to move the line of the Bridleway.




That the minutes of the meeting held on 25 April 2013 be agreed as a correct record.


Proposals for Future Working of the Forum pdf icon PDF 73 KB

To consider the proposals outlined on how the Forum could work



The Forum discussed proposals on how the new Forum should work and operate. 


Discussion took place on the following issues:


Frequency, Time and Location of Meetings


It was proposed that for the first year, meetings be held quarterly and in either Crewe or Macclesfield, starting at 10.00 am. 


It was also suggested that occasional Site Visits be held to allow the Forum to see first hand the matter under discussion, and that a visit to The Carr, Wilmslow (which was considered at the last meeting) to be arranged as a test for this proposal.  It would also allow members to get to know each other informally.




It was proposed that the order for agenda should be

  • Reports from members/groups
  • Responses to external demands
  • External speakers (unless involved in the first two items)
  • Routine matters
  • New matters raised by members


When setting the agenda, the Chair and Secretary to agree a time for when an external speakers will be required to attend.


Public Participation


It was proposed that the Chair or Secretary to establish if attending members of the public wished to speak, instead of simply observing, and that they be invited to do so when the relevant item(s) is under discussion.


Sub Groups/Working Parties


It was proposed that a number of Sub Groups or Working Parties be established to deal with matters that required more attention than was possible during meetings, or which needed dealing with in the interval between meetings.


Suggestion for the Sub Groups included Publicity, Information and Data, Safety on Rural Lanes and Lost Ways.  These are listed in the proposed priorities for the Forum. 


Reporting and Circulation of Material


It was proposed that reports to the Forum should be in writing – preferably electronically, and sent to Genni Butler for including in the agenda.




It was noted that there was very limited resources available to the Forum and that it had no specific budget allocation.  The Council supported the Forum by providing the Secretary and Democratic Services Officers’ time and paying reasonable expenses for members.  The Forum may be required to look for grant funding or sponsorship if it wished to run an event or produce printed material beyond what could be provided by the Council.


Contact with Cheshire West and Chester Forum


It was proposed that the current arrangements for contact continue with officers attending each others Forum meetings and the minutes being exchanged.  Genni Butler and Chris Driver were asked to report on the activities of the Cheshire West and Chester Forum, especially on cross-border issues.


Future Strategies and Priorities


It was proposed that the Forum identified some priorities to provide a way of giving initial focus and purpose to the Forum and four priorities were suggested:

·        Publicity – strengthening the Forum’s identity/public awareness and its work (to be led by Carole Bentley)

·        Safety on Rural Lanes – development of a campaign (to be led by Linda Rose)

·        Lost Ways – focussing attention on and assisting progress with the  project  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


SEMMMS A6 - Manchester Airport Relief Road: Phase 2 Consultation Draft Response pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To consider the proposals for non-motorised users and respond to the Phase 2 consultation

(Dale Langham and Pat Featherstone)


Detailed background and plans for the Phase 2 Consultation can be found at



Pat Featherstone briefed the Forum on the proposed SEMMMS A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road which would provide a dual carriageway from the A6 near Hazel Grove to Manchester Airport via the existing A555.  A consultation on Phase 2 ran until 19 July 2012. 


It was reported that pedestrians, cyclists and horseriders were catered for with a separate cycle/pedestrian route alongside the new road and upgrades of footpaths to bridleways being proposed across the route.  The Public Rights of Way that cross the new road would be accomodated via bridges, underpasses or traffic light controlled crossing. 


Discussions on the proposals included consideration of the stopping up of Footpath No.37 Poynton; segregation of users on joint use paths; upgrading of the status of paths, and the provisions of traffic light controlled crossings at junctions.


It was agreed that that a response would be submitted to the consultation outlining the Forum’s discussions.





Congleton Relief Road Scheme

 To receive a briefing on the Congleton Relief Road Scheme

(Dominic Flynn, Jacobs)


Dominic Flynn from Jacobs attended the Forum to seek their views on the effect of the scheme on public rights of way for the environmental impact assessment.


At this stage in the process the route of the road had yet to be agreed and there was no detailed design for the proposed relief road but it was envisaged to be a 60 mph single carriageway linking the A534 Sandbach Road to the A536 Macclesfield Road. 


It was suggested that pedestrian/cycle ways be provided each side of the road, as on the Alderley Edge bypass, so that a link was created to other rights of way in the network.   It was noted that National Cycle Network Route 70 could be affected by the scheme and emphasised that it was important to ensure access to this cycle route was maintained. 


It was agreed that a response would be made outlining the Forum’s discussions.


Public consultation on the route options was expected to be carried out in the autumn and the Forum would be able to respond in more detail on the proposals.







Rights of Way Improvement Plan Update pdf icon PDF 61 KB

To receive an update on the current projects in the Rights of Way Improvement Plan

(Genni Butler)

Additional documents:


Genni Butler reported on the progress of the current projects in the Cheshire East Rights of Way Improvement Plan.  These included:


  • Goostrey Path North – an official opening ceremony had been held in May
  • Knutsford Rail Walks Leaflet – revised version of the leaflet had been published in May
  • Walks for All Leaflet – revision of information had been completed and would be re-printed shortly
  • Dane Meadow, Holmes Chapel – legal documents were being drafted to create new public rights of way
  • Wybunbury Footpath No.4 – quotes received for surfacing work following permission from Natural England and work would commence shortly.


A copy of the Annual Report for achievements delivered under the Rights of Way Improvement Plan during April 2012 to March 2013 was included in the agenda.


Forum members were asked to forward any suggestion to Genni Butler of suitable routes all abilities which could be included in a new Walks for All leaflet.  


Reports from Members pdf icon PDF 49 KB

To receive a report on the North West Regional LAF Chairs meeting and reports from members




Robert Anderson had attended the meeting of the North West Regional LAF Chairs, held on 18 June.  A report on the meeting had been included in the Agenda.  The main topics discussed were:

  • Support for LAFs from local authorities
  • Recruitment of new members
  • Lost Ways
  • Publication ‘Making Way for Horses’ from the Equestrian Forum
  • Joint statement from Ramblers/British Mountaineering Council/British Horse Society/Open Spaces Society on opportunities to boost economic growth through support for recreation and tourism.


It was asked if any members of the Forum could use Huddle forum created by Natural England.  They were informed that they needed to register to be able to use it and access the discussions, information and guidance available on the site.


Date of Next Meeting

To note that the next meeting is at 10.00 am on Thursday 10 October 2013 in the East Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, CW1 2BJ


The next meeting would be on Thursday 10 October 2013 in the East Committee Room, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe