Agenda and minutes

Cheshire East Countryside Access Forum
Thursday, 19th September, 2019 10.00 am

Venue: East Committee Room - Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, CW1 2BJ. View directions

Contact: Rachel Graves 

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies


The Chairman welcomed new members Terry Dykes and Councillor June Buckley to the meeting.


Apologies were received from Forum Members Sharon Angus-Crawshaw, John Matthews, Maurice Palin, Linda Rose and Helen Wainwright and from Genni Butler, Acting Rights of Way Manager,


Rural Road Safety Education Campaigns

Ian Greenstreet, Cheshire Fire and Rescue


Ian Greenstreet from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service attended the Forum meeting to talk about their education programme on road safety.


The Service attended schools, colleges and Prince’s Trust events to teach young people on how to drive more safely on roads.  The Service had created a video entitled ‘Think Drive Survive it’s all choice’ which was designed to be watched on virtual reality headset and simulated a car crash with a tractor.  The video highlighted the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving, speeding, not driving to the road conditions and not wearing seatbelts.  


The video was shown to the Forum, with a number of members using the virtual reality headsets.  Members also took part in an attention test to see if they noticed changes in the street scene they were looking at.


Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 20 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 70 KB




That the minutes of the meeting held on 20 June 2019 be confirmed as a correct record.


Priorities of the Forum pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Bob Anderson


Following on from the discussion at the last meeting, a report had been circulated which outlined the identified priority work areas for the Forum.


It had previously been agreed that the general approach for progressing the work priorities was for the creation of small working groups, made up of 2 – 3 Forum members, which would report to the Forum as required.


Discussion took place on the work identified:


a. Visitor Economy and Climate Change


John Handley reported that he had worked on this in the past and had updated his report to include implications for Cheshire East.  It was agreed that John would present his report to the Forum first rather than have a joint meeting with the Visitor Economy Forum.


b. Lost Ways


Laureen Roberts proposed that the Forum receive a presentation on the work being undertaken to identify Lost Ways.  Both the British Horse Society and the Ramblers had databases of routes which had been identified for possible inclusion on the Definitive Map. She agreed to approach the British Horse Society to see if they would attend a meeting of the Forum.


c. Rural Road Safety


It was agreed that this work priority should continue.  It was noted that the Highway Code did not have a section on driving on  rural roads and that this may be an area that the Forum could look into and lobby the Secretary of State on.


d. Countryside Access for All


Bob Anderson stated that this working group was to cover access for all, not just disability access.    It was noted that a number of towns in Cheshire East had created walking maps and market town trails and that these, along with other walking route booklets, should be better promoted to people to walk them. 


e. Responsible Countryside Access


It was proposed that the Forum work with other organisations, such as the NFU and Cheshire Wildlife, to encourage those accessing the countryside to do so responsibly.  Topics could include keeping to paths, control of dogs, littering and wildlife conservation.


f. Infrastructure Schemes


Commenting on infrastructure schemes, such as new roads, in order to retain, facilitate and encourage countryside access was seen as important part of the Forum’s work and that that the Forum should continue to do this.


g. Health and Wellbeing


This priority was covered by all the other Forum’s priorities and it was suggested that the Forum should make comments and suggestions on health and wellbeing outcomes when responding to other strategies, policies and project proposals.


Reports from Members


Social Media pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Laureen Roberts


Laureen Roberts introduced her report on the use of Social Media, which provided information on how a Facebook page would operate, how it could be used as a working tool for Forum members in a closed group and for promoting the work of the Forum via public pages.


The Forum had previous considered using Facebook but had decided against it due to concerns about maintaining the pages and moderation of any posts.


Laureen reported that other Local Access Forums had Facebook pages used.  She highlighted that Facebook could be used to share information and ideas and that there was no requirement to create content.  Rules would need to be agreed on how the page would operate and those wishing to add a post to the page would need to adhere to these.


It was agreed that a small group be established to look into using Facebook and that they report back to the next meeting.  It was noted that if a Facebook page was created, the use of social media would also need to be included in the Forum’s communications strategy.


Rights of Way Improvement Plan Update pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Genni Butler


In the absence of Genni Butler, the Forum noted the update on the projects being delivered under the Rights of Way Improvement Plan as set out in the agenda. 


Any Other Business


There were no matters of other business raised.


Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 28 November 2019 at 10.00 am in the Silk Room, Macclesfield Town Hall.


The next meeting will be held on Thursday 28 November 2019 at Macclesfield Town Hall.