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Blacksnape Residents' Group


Minutes for Blacksnape Meeting 26th Jan 2012

Present – [TBA]
Apologies – David & Christine Neville, Sylvia, Martyn, Jane & Jonny
ERN - No news or updates on this, awaiting update from Martyn at the next meeting
Grit Distribution – No further news on this
Social Fund – On hold, awaiting for more people to be available to discuss this further. A discussion did arise about have a spring BBQ to “kick start” any funding. Decision was made to hold the BBQ and wait till the next meeting to see if to use this BBQ for fund raising.
Dog Bin – David West to investigate further about if possible to contact the Lancashire Evening Telegraph about getting an article put in the paper about the dog waste issue.
Another idea was to approach St Pauls Primary school and see if the Children would be able to design a poster which could be displayed around the village - Sarah West to investigate.
Morecambe Bay Walk – Nothing on Web Site yet
Coniston Run – Olivia and Imogen Skipper to design a sponsorship form, money to go towards the social fund if we are to go ahead with it. Jonny to design t-shirts for the run.
Drystone Walling & Spring BBQ – Wall needs finishing, suggested date for this would be 14th April, BBQ after would be held after. Date, time and details to be confirmed at next meeting.
•    Possible BBQ site is Red Lion Car Park
•    Everyone to bring own food and drinks
•    A couple of designated “chefs” to cook the food and then all shared out?
•    People to bring their own BBQ is possible (we do have a half drum also available which may be sufficient)
Red Lion Car Park and Anti-Social Behaviour – The community officer is to be contacted re reports of anti-social behaviour, possible drug dealing and fly tipping on the car park. Car Registrations have been taken. Martyn to contact community officer to discuss and invite to next meeting.
Next Meeting – 15th March at Red Lion, Martyn to chair. Any volunteers for Minute taking?
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Blacksnape Minutes of Meeting Wednesday 30th November 2011

Present
Martyn Skipper (Chair), David Robinson, Olivia Skipper, David West, Keith Holmes, Sue Skipper Christine Robinson ,Gillian Booth, Sarah West (Minutes), Cath Holmes, Jonny Bromilow, Jan Farrow, Jackie Livesey  

ERN Updates

• ERN Funding. 
A small amount of money is available for local funding.  Ideas included:
- Professional dry stone walling.
- Flowers and plants for the entrance to Blacksnape.
- Dog poo bin for Heys Lane.
- Moving the notice board to the pub.

• Grit squad
BwD council is mentioning having a store of grit available for local communities.  This would be located in a central area (most probably Hoddlesden), with secure storage.   Training is available for anyone wishing to help to grit the roads this winter at the Blackburn Enterprise Centre 8th December 17:30 – 20:00.  Please contact Martyn for further information, or see Blacksnape website. Leaflet with  more info  at http://blacksnape.co.uk/documents/gritsquad.pdf

Traffic updates

• Training is available for hand held speed guns for traffic calming measures.  This would involve a couple of hours per month to monitor Blacksnape road.  People already volunteered are:
Jonny Bromilow
Jackie Livesey
Christine Robinson
David West
Martyn Skipper

Social fund
• Jan suggested a social fund to pay for events (e.g. Bonfire fireworks, van hire for walks, etc).  This could be funded by social gatherings (e.g. BBQs, cheese & wine parties, etc). Sarah West and Cath Holmes have agreed to look after the finances if this is to proceed.

Pub update
• Paul Davis (area manager) has spoken with Martyn. Looking to spend money to tidy up the place (short term) and was having a meeting with the management company who deals with failing pubs.
• Paul Robinson (the landlord) mentioned about renting out the kitchen as a separate business.  He is speaking with Paul Davis about this option.  Jackie mentioned her friend works at the Willows pub (as a chef) and may be interested in this venture.
• There will be carols inside the Red Lion around the tree on Christmas eve at 5pm for anyone wishing to attend,  food will not be provided, but you are more than welcome to bring mince pies etc yourself.
• The pub will be open on Christmas day from 16:00 till 22:00 for residents. Villagers encouraged to attend.

Christmas Walk
• The Blacksnape walk will be on the 27th December at 11am.  This will start and finish at the Red Lion and will involve approximately 2-3 miles.  Again you are more than welcome to bring food to the pub for when we return. The event would be a Jacobs Join.  Sarah West and Jonny Bromilow to provide paper plates and cutlery.

Dog bin
• The path between Blacksnape and Hoddlesden (Heys lane) is littered with dog poo.  A bin could be available but would cost £400.  Half of this money could be provided by the ERN, but the remainder would have to be privately funded.  Some of the Blacksnape Group are competing in the Coniston 14 mile run, this may be an opportunity for fundraising.

Next meeting
• The next meeting will be on the 26th January 2012 at 19:30 in the Red Lion.

Previous meeting Minutes

 July2011 September 2010 July 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February  2010 January 2010

 October2009

15th Sept 09

The attached, old letter from Capita may be of interest in the discussion on traffic calming measures.

We understand the Highways Officer at BwD is now Claire Waterhouse. You are encouraged to write to Claire to point out that the speed warning sign is incorrectly worded (and facing the wrong way!).

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When the previous website closed after the termination of the hosting company's operations, much of the  group's records of business was lost.

We have however managed to retrieve minutes of  two meetings, which are reproduced below:

Blacksnape Community Meeting, Red Lion, Blacksnape 22nd August, 2006

Minutes

Apologies: Janet Anderson, MP, Andrew Walsh, Paul Greene

Present: Ann Boothman, Mark Burns, Frank Connor (Councillor Marsh), Kevin Connor (Councillor Marsh), David Gorton, Cath Holmes, Keith Holmes, Denis Keaskin, Andrew Mead, Wendy Mead, Tony Murray, Christine Neville,  David Neville, Aileen Pritchard, Christine Robinson, David Robinson, Dawn Robinson-Walsh, Colin Rodgers, Moira Rodgers, Wayne Silver, Martyn Skipper, Sue Skipper, Julie Slater, S. Sawbett, Joan Taylor, Chris Thayne (Councillor Marsh), Carol Turnbull (Blackburn with Darwen, Neighbourhood Capacity Officer), David West

1. Introduction: Dawn and Sue introduced themselves and explained why they had written the newsletter/called the meeting.

2. Newsletter: generally welcomed to generate community spirit in a linear village. Carol Turnbull may be able to offer advice on funding issues, and setting up a formal community group/constitution, etc.

3. Traffic Concerns:

All are concerned about the speed of the traffic on Blacksnape Road. Various options were discussed:
o Speed cameras. These alienate drivers so not ideal. Also, there haven’t been enough accidents/a fatality to warrant one! Aim is to encourage people to recognise Blacksnape as a village, where people, including children, live, rather than penalise motorists.
o Mobile speed camera, as used currently. Not effective – people are given too much warning and it is badly placed. Needs re-siting, if used.
o Hand painted signs – considered striking initially and a good idea but would need to check their viability with the police.
o Flashing speed sign which warns people who are speeding, or, as in Edgworth, thanks them for not speeding.
o Speed humps/red paint – unpopular option because of problems for emergency services, but also noise for people living nearby.
o Count down road markings to warn drivers they are about to enter a 30mph zone.
o Chicanes would be effective as cars have to lose speed though cost would be an issue for the local authority. But would need to think carefully how this was done as the road is already narrow.
o Village status improvement. Problem of Blacksnape not recognised by people or the local authority as a village, more as a drive through. Could we have village signs?
o Mini roundabout planned for Marsh Lane junction will not slow traffic down until very close to the junction.
o Should a 20mph limit be enforced by the playing fields given the numbers of children there?

4. Evidence Gathering:

The weight of the lobby and the support of the MP, alongside the councillors, were felt to be important, but evidence will need to be gathered for them to press the community case. All councillors expressed a willingness to work on our behalf.
Types of evidence needed:
o Accurate records of speeds through the area. Can we access police figures from the mobile speed gun? 90% of evidence is not recorded – is there a way of collecting evidence, for example, the police working with the community to use a speed gun for evidence gathering, rather than prosecution, purposes? Does the local authority have a speed gun which communities may be trained to use? Need to check out the legalities of this.
o Cost of traffic calming measures. Councillors could obtain costings of various traffic calming measures from local government officers, so the cost scale of the issue can be assessed.
o Anecdotal evidence also useful – e.g., one person had their legally parked car pushed into the front of next door’s house by a speeding vehicle. This is linked with factual evidence from insurance claim and prosecution.
o Factual assessment of lack of footpath and lighting issues, especially on way into village where limit is 40mph. Photographic evidence may help here.
o Evidence from other rural/semi-rural areas of the borough: Tockholes, Edgworth, Belmont, Belthorn, Chapeltown and Pleasington all have traffic calming measures in place ranging from speed cameras and speed bumps to chicanes. Why not Blacksnape? Seek information from Andy Kay on this. Frank Connor did mention that measures in place in Tockholes have been unpopular, but these restrictions have been very severe due to their proximity to the slip road of the M65.
o Damage to people’s vehicles/property/ pet animals, by speeding cars. Documentary evidence welcome/useful.
o Use of press. Ensure any of the evidence gathered is used to provide press releases for the media.
o Traffic volume likely to be greater with welcome development of playing field/sport facilities, so issue needs addressing quickly. Seek more info on changes to the recreation area.
o Photographic evidence of any local hazards which relate to speeding traffic.

Councillors present were all invited to give their thoughts on the issue, and extracts of an email from Janet Anderson were read out.

4. Action:

o Mail drop. Sue & Dawn will do a further mail drop, informing of the meeting’s outcome and asking people to provide any details of traffic evidence, whether anecdotal, photographic or statistical. For now, they will co-ordinate the gathering of material to build a dossier of evidence.
o Police Liaison. Important to contact local police re. options for children’s signs, speed guns, etc. Sue & Dawn. Carol Turnbull offered to initiate this.
o Costings of various traffic calming measures – councillors to ascertain from officers.
o Lighting issues – poor levels of lighting especially at higher end of the village and on the 40mph section create further hazards. Dawn can ask highways engineer she knows about this.
o Gathering photographic evidence – whole community.
o Anecdotal evidence – whole community.
o Contact Councillor Andy Kay re. more prominent village signs and to ask the question why Blacksnape has been left out of rural/semi-rural traffic calming – Dawn and Sue
o Help with media campaign – Wayne Silver offered media contacts and to help with press releases, etc.
o Contact Councillor John Milburn re. the proposed new changing rooms for the playing fields and whether any community facility for the village will be built in – Dawn and Sue.
o Information from internet re. use of speed guns, etc. Whole community.

5. AOB.

o Condolences offered to the bereaved family of Cllr Fred Slater
o Sue & Dawn are happy to initiate things and follow through but need community support.
o Carol Turnbull to help to make the group official for more leverage – this will require constitution/officers, etc. To be discussed further at next meeting.
o Thanks to David West for local history materials lent.
o Ideas welcome to create more of a community feel/village cohesion.
o Thanks were given to Angela at the Red Lion for use of the room in the pub, to our councillors, Julie Slater and Carol Turnbull, for all attending, and to all of local community members present.
o Cllr K Connor closed the meeting with an expression of thanks.

6. Date and Time of Next Meeting: 7pm Red Lion, Tuesday 19th September. Items for the agenda to Dawn/Sue by Saturday 16th September, please.

Meeting ended at 8.30pm

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Blacksnape Community Meeting, Red Lion, Blacksnape, 19th September, 2006

Minutes

1) Welcome & apologies:
Martyn introduced himself and then delivered a formal welcome.  He read apologies from: Janet Anderson, MP, Dawn Robinson-Walsh, Chris Thayne (Councillor Marsh), Kevin Connor (Councillor Marsh), Claire Waterhouse (Road Safety Manager) & Dave West.

Present: 
Andrew Mead, Ann Boothman, Tony Murray, Julie Greenhalgh, David Greehalgh, Jackie Livesey, Alisha Rayson, Martyn Wilshaw, Paul Greene, Mark Burns, Martyn Skipper, Sue Skipper, S.A. Berry, Christine Robinson, David Robinson, Lorraine Roberts, Colin Greave, Paul Raseta, Jean Greenhalgh, Jack Greenhalgh, PC Phil Hambley, CSO Carolyn Armstrong, W. Patterson, M. Tyson, C. Sharples, Carol Turnbull (Blackburn with Darwen, Neighbourhood Capacity Officer), Christine Neville,  David Neville, Andrew Walsh, Julie Slater (Candidate East Rural), Bridget Bawkitt, Frank Connor (Councillor Marshhouse), Neil Slater & Peter van Eijsden (Senior Highway Engineer, Civil Engineering Section, BwD Council).

2) Minutes & matters arising from last meeting:
Martyn summarised the minutes from the last meeting.  Residents at Old Temple and Drummer Stoops said that they didn’t receive a copy.  Sue said that she would ensure they received a copy of that issue and all future issues.
Dave West (not present) mentioned speed cushions, he wondered whether they would be more acceptable than speed bumps, as they do not hinder wide axled vehicles such as emergency vehicles and buses.  PC Hambley said that these can be effective.
One person posed a general question: “What are the red stripes meant to do?”
Martyn saw this as a perfect point to introduce Peter van Eijsden (Senior Highway Engineer, Civil Engineering Section, BwD Council)
3) Peter van Eijsden (Senior Highway Engineer, Civil Engineering Section, BwD Council)
Peter had produced a report into the tools available to tackle the problem of speeding through the village (see appendix 1)
4) Traffic – reports from meetings with police and Janet Anderson
Sue briefly outlined what Janet Anderson is currently doing on our behalf;
1. Putting researcher onto rural traffic issues.
2. Talking to police (Inspector Andrea Bradbury) re: hand-held training/gun for PC Hambly
3. Janet will contact the council re: budget and signs.

Sue introduced PC Hambley as the time was flying and he had to leave at 7:55pm. 

PC Hambley informed those present of a PACT meeting at Ashleigh Primary School.  He advised that some villagers should be present to raise our concerns.

PC Hambley spoke of a hand-held speed camera that he was keen to acquire.  He believes that this will be a great tool in the fight against speeding.

PC Hambley was very enthusiastic about the way that the community had come together.  He commented that it should not just be about speeding, it should also be about strengthening the community.
3a) Peter van Eijsden
Martyn opened the forum by posing the first question to Peter.  Would there be any advantage in extending the 30mph zone further to the south of the village, and wouldn’t a reduction in the speed limit to 20mph be excessive and potentially ineffective?
Peter suggested that extending the speed limit would be ineffective.  He cited Broadhead as an example.  The 30mph limit was extended from Edgworth to …  Drivers continue to speed in the areas where they cannot see any houses and this would be likely to happen to the south of Blacksnape.

Martyn invited questions from those present:
“Could we have more speed camera signs and an empty speed camera box?”
Peter responded that the council has already put in place speed camera signs.  It would not provide an empty speed camera box, but what residents put in their gardens is up to them.  Peter suggested buying such a box from the fabricator on Eccleshill.

Neil Slater said that he didn’t think that would a good idea as it would attract boy-racers, who would use it as an excuse to speed on our road.

Martyn asked Peter whether the movable interactive signs would be move between different villages.  Peter replied that the signs would only be moved within Blacksnape.  If signs are left in one position for a long period of time, motorists stop noticing them, hence the facility to move them up and down the road.
Q. Would ‘welcome to the village’ signs be effective?
Peter thought these might help – the funds would be a problem though.  Would the village be prepared to pay for them, or would this be an issue that could split the village?  There are restrictions on what would be possible, especially on the grass verges at the southern end of the village.

Q. Could residents put signs on their own land?
Yes, as long as the sign does not obstruct the highway.

Peter suggested that the likelihood of getting funding for traffic calming was very small, he would have to look to rural funding and this depends on the allocation.  However, Peter will recommend Blacksnape for an interactive sign in the next financial year!  The New Year starts in April 07, and instigation would be fairly quick if the budget allows it.

Q. Do we still need to gather evidence?
No, evidence gathering is not really necessary now.  Both the Police and the Local Authority are aware of the problem.

One resident made the observation the profile of the village was now changing.  There are now many more children, and many residents are worried that there will be a serious accident.  Is this a sign of the naivety of Local Government; in its failure to pre-empt an accident, rather than acting on actual road accident statistics (that is an accident involving a child)?

Peter pointed out that Janet Anderson has a website that is seeking to increase funding for road safety.

Frank Connor countered this accusation by suggesting that the Council is not naïve.  The Council is restricted by its budget, and indeed feels frustrated by its inability to do anything about the problem.

Martyn advised the group about a similar campaign that took place in a friend’s village.  He summarised the e-mail received from Mrs Whiteley on the subject.

Peter advised that the village should be careful as divisions with attitudes towards this issue could split the community, as in Tockholes. 

Q. Is the problem with lorries using the road legally enforceable?
Yes, but only by the police.  The Council can’t enforce weight restrictions – this is also a problem on the Grain Road.  You could make a note of lorries that use the road and pass the information on to the police.
5) Action
? East Rural PACT meeting – Julie Slater will contact the Parish Council.
? Julie will also check with Yate and Pickup Bank.
? Julie will contact local radio to drum up some publicity.
? Re-approach the police re: mobile camera site, also about the numbers of taxis and buses, particularly school buses, which speed through the village.
? Key for the village notice board – Johnnie Norweb?

6) Any other business
? Thanks were given to Angela at the Red Lion for use of the room in the pub, to our councillors, Julie Slater and Carol Turnbull, for all attending, and to all of local community members present.
? Next meeting arranged for Tuesday 17th October, 2006, at 7pm.

Meeting ended at 9pm
 
Appendix 1
BLACKSNAPE

Accident history
Between Jan 2000 and April 2005, 3 injury accidents have been recorded between the Marsh House Lane junction and the outer limit of the village.

23 Dec 2001
Veh on narrow road in heavy fog collides with rear of parked vehicle

28 Feb 2002
Two vehicles approach each other, road narrows down due to parked vehicle, v1 starts breaking and skids on freshly fallen snow.

26 Jan 2003
Vi brakes suddenly but brakes failed causing V1 to run into V2.

Speed readings
Speed survey carried out in 2003. Speed data enclosed. High speed.

Speed Camera
Blackburn, together with Lancashire and Blackpool was one of the first local authorities within England who implemented safety cameras on its highway. The rules and guidelines were not strict allowing the authorities to place approximately 250 cameras on its highway.  With the increase in speed cameras country wide motorist felt that they were taxed unfairly and complained loudly. The government took note of the complaints and introduced very strict rules and guidelines for the provision of cameras. These rules state that at least 4 injury accident resulting in a death or Serious casualty should be recorded over a 1km length of road, over a three year period.  There are very few sites in Lancashire which comply to these rules hence no new camera housings have been installed over the last two years.

The government has recognised that there are speeding problems on roads without the set injury accidents. To address this the government has allowed partnerships to allocate 20% of the total speed enforcement time to sites with speeding problems. These site are called Community concern sites. To warn drivers about these sites signage need to be placed which have to conform to guidelines set by the DfT. If the location and signage does not conform to the set guidelines the driver caught can contest the fine and most likely the magistrate will judge in favour of the driver.

This authority receives many complaints about speeding traffic and a high number of communities compete to be selected as a community concern site. Unfortunately only 12 sites within the whole of the Eastern Division are selected as community concern sites and Blacksnape is one of them. (4 within Blackburn and Darwen). If the community feels that the enforcement within their village is not effective this service can be withdrawn and moved to another area. Within the Eastern Division only 12 of these sites exist and four sites are within this borough from which Blacksnape Road is one.

Unfortunately, I am unable to give any information to how many times and how many prosecutions have been carried out. ACPO and DfT guidelines does not permit to do this.

Traffic Calming Measures
Funding for the provision of traffic calming programme is received, through a bidding process, on an annual basis from the Department of Transport. There are strict rules and guidelines on the level of funding which is allocated to the various project. To measures the highway authorities performance the government introduced performance indicators which in turn will determine the level of funding in future years. Regarding the traffic calming budget the performance indicators are based on a reduction in the number of injury accidents therefore funding has to be allocated to sites with actually injury accidents before funding can be allocated to sites with low number of injury accidents.

There are fewer accidents recorded in rural areas than in urban areas and therefore these areas often miss out on traffic calming measures. This has been recognised by the DfT who has allowed local highway authorities to set a small amount of funding aside to treat traffic problems in these areas. Over the last years this level of funding has been set at £30k. This financial year however the LTP allocation was lower than expected and cuts within the budget had to be introduced. This years allocation is £10k which is being used to supply the interactive signs in Edgworth. Depending on next years settlement funding will or will not be available for rural areas.

Traffic calming features
The construction cost of the traffic calming scheme in Tockholes was £60k. This scheme was funded over two financial years from the rural allocation part of the councils LTP.

Physical traffic calming measures are used to slow traffic down. To ensure that once a driver has slowed down he has not got the opportunity to increase speed, measures have to be placed at a distance between 60 to 100 meters.
The length of Blacksnape Road between the car park of the playing fields the southern limit of the village is 970 meters, according to the above rule 10 traffic calming features should be placed to ensure that traffic speed is reduced below 30mph.

Cost for individual traffic calming measures
Bus Cushions – small road humps placed within the running lanes – ideal for busses and farm vehicles. Unfortunately, does not reduce the speed of cars significantly and motor riders  are not affected at all - Cost per hump £500 need two over a carriageway width.

Road Humps – 75mm high hump, 6 metres plateau – Slows all form of traffic down but can be the cause for noise and vibration nuisance – Cost  £2500 per hump without drainage alterations - £6000 including drainage alterations.

Chicanes  -  Build out on either side of the road. Needs illuminated signs to give drivers an indication to whom has a right of way. For young drivers they become a challenge to drive through fast. Female drivers feel vulnerable when a large 4x4 ignores the give way signs and pushes itself through the measure. It takes on street car parking away. – Cost including signage £7,000.

Traverse bar markings -  2 to 3mm high red road marking material £14 per sqm. Full set of markings is about £1,000.  Makes drivers more aware of the dangers ahead but does not really slow traffic down.

Interactive Signs – Starting to use this type of measure and trying to establish how effective and vulnerable they are. Initial observations are very good but no data available how good they are in the long term – Cost, two signs with electrical connection £14,000.

Street Lighting
The council has no funding in place for new street lighting. The only funding available is from the maintenance budget. This budget is to maintain the existing street lights and if necessary replace columns.  The lights in place do comply to the regulations set for a 30mph speed limit and with the current budgets in place it would be very difficult to secure funding for new lights within the village.

 
What can be done
To try to influence traffic speed interactive signs have been placed in Pleasington and Edgworth. The reason why those places have been treated first is that unlike Blacksnape there is no speed enforcement in those areas.

If funding was available this financial year within the rural allocation signs would have been placed within the village. However as explained before this years allocation is very limited and there is no sufficient funding available to do this.  Hopefully, we will be in a better position next financial year.