OF EAST CHESHIRE RAMBLERS MEETING HELD
Tuesday 11 August 2020
Meeting held at 2.30pm in Jane Gay’s garden and it closed around 4.40pm.
- APOLOGIES AND ATTENDANCE
Apologies from Sue
- MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
The minutes of the
previous meeting held on May 5 were approved.
ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES
No matters arising.
This is clearly the most important
issue for discussion, how to proceed to get walks reinstated from September
2020, in accordance with guidelines from Head Office (HO).
role. To comply with
HO’s rules any walk leader has to be recorded on the system as having a
volunteer role. Jane has been busy in discussions
with HO and it has finally been agreed that we can send a list of walk leaders
and their membership numbers (we don’t need to ask individual members for these)
to HO and they will register them as walk leaders. We felt strongly that we would have lost walk
leaders if individuals had to self register.
It was considered whether we ought to just register everyone but was
decided that, as well as not going down well with HO, this would result with everyone
being bombarded with emails re unrelated volunteering issues.
At the time when Jane spoke to Steve
Butterfield (Area secretary) we only had 17 volunteers registered.
A membership list is held by Sue as
membership secretary so we should be able to extract a list of walk leaders
keeping of a formal risk assessment is mandatory and so we have no choice but
for walk leaders to keep one if we wish to get a walk programme up and
running. This needs to be kept either on
paper or electronically for 12 months. All boxes do not have to be ticked. Walk
leaders will be responsible for keeping such records. They will not be passed to walk
coordinators. We have no idea if their
existence will ever be checked.
The committee intends to write to the
CEO and Chairman of the Trustees to object to non-Covid related issues being
brought into the risk assessment. It was
felt there should have been consultation before the guidelines were sent to
volunteers. In the meantime, however, in order to get walks restarted, we
needed to comply by completing the form as issued by HO. Printed risk assessment stencils could be
taken to walks to hand out as required in the hope this will limit objections.
- Register. A
register has to be kept of walk attendees so that this information could be
passed to a track and trace team should this be necessary. A record of the name and telephone number of
each walker is therefore required. There
is an available stencil and again this could be printed and handed to walk
leaders. After some discussion it was
felt this was the simplest method. If we
asked walkers to bring along a printed slip containing their contact details,
half wouldn’t. Additionally it would be
another thing to ask for. The register
only needs to be kept for 21 days.
People can use the app if they so wish but a written register is
the walks. Roger will help however he can. If a coordinator sends him walks for four
months (Sep to Dec) then he will put them all on the programme. HO suggested shorter periods but it really
doesn’t matter. This is up to
coordinators. If they can only get walks
for September finalised, then Roger will put these onto the system, and add
others as and when.
It is our intention that Covid related advice is put on the
website so that the leader doesn’t, for instance, need to advise walkers not to
share food and drink! Some generic
statement could be a header before the list of forthcoming walks.
numbers of a maximum of 30. Firstly it was felt that such numbers
are very unlikely even for short walks.
We don’t want a booking system as this just complicates things for the
leader. The simplest way of applying
this rule is to say on the website that places will be offered on a first come
first served basis. So after the first
30 people have signed the register, any surplus would have to be turned away, a
very unlikely scenario. Should a walk
leader want a booking system then he/she would have to provide their telephone
number on the programme and ask would-be walkers to phone in advance and book
Treasurer’s report to end July 2020
included the following highlights since the last report of 5th May
social events cancelled and members refunded where appropriate.
banking activity apart from annual peppercorn rents paid to land owners on the
Charles Head permissive path.
balance at 31/7/20 £6290.89.
annual budget was reviewed on 23 July via Zoom and its basic constituents parts
agreed. Footpath committee with PROW
(public rights of way) identified several potential improvement and maintenance
projects requiring an estimated £8000 of funds from RA. This was then revised down to £6000.
final ECR budget was submitted to Area on 31 July.
donations to Mountain Rescue are being randomly made to Glossop, Kinder, Buxton
- FOOTPATHS Dave Barraclough’s report included the following
Footpath Committee has held one Meeting on 25th June. The Agenda covered various routine items of
progressing several footpath problem issues plus Diversions etc. There were no
items of special concern to bring to the Main ECR Committee.
main business was to review the annual footpath inspection of all paths.
Following the end of lockdown, it was hoped that inspections could restart and
still be complete by the normal September 31st deadline. Tony
Battilana wrote to all inspectors to encourage restart and check whether any
inspectors will be affected by COVID19 – but none have been reported.
noted that recent changes in Ramblers Insurance mean our Footpath Inspectors
will be insured under improved terms, including personal accident. We noted
that, somewhat surprisingly, volunteers can register to enjoy ongoing cover
without needing to be a member of Ramblers. (This seems to be in conflict to
the requirement that limits non members to 3 walks before they should become
Inspections since CV19 lockdown ended are going well. Theyare actually well
ahead of previous years. To the end of July 39% of footpaths have been
inspected, significantly higher than 9% by July in 2019.It appears that
inspectors have more time available to carry out their inspections. A limited
number of problems have been reported to PROW who are dealing with them,
although they are stretched by CV19 resource problems.
to the meeting, the ECR Budget Proposal for 2021 has included £8,000 (revised
to £6000) for proposed footpath projects, an increase over previous years. This
covers proposed trials on waymarks, fingerpost changes to sustainable materials
and some requests from PROW for specific projects.
- Nicola Swinnerton from PROW (public
rights of way) is looking at seeking permission for a new path through Savio
House land and is asking for Ramblers to contribute. We must consider this carefully as PROW has a
statutory duty to fund projects and we don’t want to get sucked in to sharing
will continue to pass around draft minutes soon after a meeting and ask members
for any additions or alterations.
Otherwise the minutes would remain draft until after the next meeting
and until they had been updated following comments in that meeting.
Keith had kindly offered to take over
from Colin. He had contacted Dominic
Tooze (fairly new to his role as assistant to Jack Cornish at PROW) and Tooze
had then sent Keith details of an Area role.
It was agreed that Keith should reply on the basis of only wanting to do
work for the group, not the area. Dave
thought it possible that Tooze mistook East Cheshire Ramblers and Cheshire East
Area to be one and the same, whereas, in fact, there were three groups
(Congleton and South Cheshire in addition to ours).
Colin Park’s considerable effort has
suggested 19 Lost Paths are worth further consideration. This will be compared with the list of 5 paths suggested by the
Footpath Committee from the total list of 45 identified in the old
Natural England review of Cheshire Lost ways that lie in the ECR area. Keith
will work further on this list of 19.
Dave was working as a verifier on lost
ways. Other people had identified lost
paths and Dave was checking these to see if they were correct and, more
importantly, worth spending money on. It
seems the people identifying lost paths were not necessarily walkers, so may
identify a path diagonally across a field when there was now a path around a
field. Whilst this may have been a
former route it is obviously not worth pursuit.
Dave believed the cost of pursuing a single path would be at least £5000
so clearly it has to be worthwhile.
Otherwise, PROW’s budget will be decimated.
Maggie explained that Theresa Marshall
was reluctant to take deposits from individuals for the weekend meal if these
were going to have to be returned due to cancellation of the event. Colin said that ECR would pay the deposit and
then it could be simply returned to ECR in the event of cancellation. This would save a lot of effort.
Committee members thanked Jane for all
her hard work replying to members’ emails and calls related to Covid19 and for
dealing with all the correspondence from
- AGENDA ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING
AGM planned for 14 November.
Co-ordination of maintenance team
Thursday 1st October