Agenda and minutes

Contact: Sharon Montgomerie 

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Apologies for Absence

Before the meeting commences proper, a presentation will be made by Dr Sarah Robinson on the 'Networks for Nectar' Project


The current Chair for 2014/2015 Municipal Year, County Councillor Albert Atkinson, welcomed all to the meeting.  Round the table introductions were made and members of the public were welcomed.


Apologies for absence were noted as above.


The Committee was advised that Councillor Ian Thompson, Craven District Council had replaced Councillor Lin Barrington.


Appointment of Chair and Vice Chair


Resolved:  County Councillor Albert Atkinson and County Councillor Mrs Susie Charles were appointed Chair and Vice-Chair respectively for the 2015/2016 Municipal Year.


Disclosure of Pecuniary Interests

Members are asked to consider any Pecuniary Interests they may have to disclose to the meeting in relation to matters under consideration on the Agenda.


None declared.


Constitution, Membership and Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 67 KB

The Joint Advisory Committee is asked to approve the attached constitution, membership and terms of reference for 2015/16.  


Resolved:  The Committee approved the Constitution, Membership and Terms of Reference for 2015/2016, after the amendment to Roger Brooks by adding the title 'Alderman' to his name.


Minutes of the Meetings held on 23 April 2015 and 16 October 2014 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

The Committee is asked to consider approving the minutes of the meetings held on 23 April 2015 and 16 October 2014.

Additional documents:


Resolved:  The minutes of the meetings held on 23 April 2015 and 16 October 2014 were agreed as an accurate record.


Resolutions from these minutes have either been included on this agenda or have since been resolved.


AONB Partner Updates


Alison Boden, Wyre Borough Council


The Discover Bowland brochure which has been devised has been well received by everybody.  Volunteers and full-time rangers have done a good job.


Garstang Walking Festival


The Garstang Walking Festival again was a huge success this year.  Plans for next year's event are well underway, with around 50 walks and events having been organised.  The Festival dates will be 2-15 May 2016.


The Walks from Garstang is a project linked with Healthy Streets and Alison shared the leaflet with the Committee.  The leaflet has been funded and the photo on the back is of the volunteers who have created it and also walked the routes.  It has been found to be a useful piece of literature and it will be going on the website too.  Partnership working with Thornton and Caldervale is also taking place to promote it further.  It has been a great success.


The River Wyre Catchment Project (as reported at the last meeting on 23 April 2015) is still on-going and reports are being produced from it.  It is hoped that the project will continue next year as there is still a lot more work to do.  River Lune and the River Ribble have similar projects also.


Helen Dix, Environment Agency (EA) (presented by Elliott Lorimer)


EA are working with United Utilities (UU) and other partners to formalise a way of preventing UU abstraction points from holding back sediment in the River Langden.  At the moment an intake for raw drinking water provides a barrier for gravel which would otherwise move naturally down the river in times of high flow.  The gravel blocks up the intake and would otherwise provide important habitat for invertebrates and fish downstream.  A group of organisations, also including the Ribble Rivers Trust and the Hodder Fisheries Consultative trialled an approach of reintroducing the gravel (digging it out of the intake and moving it downstream of the barrier) so it could continue to move downstream with the flow.  This was successful, so the EA are now supporting UU and working on an agreement for this to become a long-term way of working.


A weir and ford on Kettles Beck (NE corner of the AONB) was recently removed in a partnership between the EA, Amey (construction company), United Utilities and the Lune Rivers Trust.  The weir and ford were impeding the passage of fish so it was removed and replaced by a bridge.


EA unfortunately had to investigate a few fish kill incidents in the AONB over the Summer – one on Waddington Brook at Waddington and one on West Bradford Brook. EA think these were due to intense rainfall following a period of hot, sunny weather which resulted in warm water flushing into the watercourses.  Many species of fish are intolerant to high water temperatures and it holds less oxygen than cold water.  As EA couldn’t find any evidence of pollution, they think the temperature change was the cause.


Ribble Life Together –The Ribble Rivers Trust (on behalf  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Revised Estimates 2015/16 and Revenue Budget 2016/17 pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Additional documents:


Elliott Lorimer presented a report on the Revised Estimates 2015/2016 and Revenue Budget 2016/2017.  He stated that the Defra grant offer is expected before Christmas following the Government's announcement of the Comprehensive Spending Review planned for 25 November 2015.


Given the uncertainty this poses, it is proposed that the Committee meets in January 2016 to consider again the Revenue Budget 2016/17.


Elliott drew the Committee's attention to page 19 of the agenda papers and the following points:


Gross Expenditure


Net Expenditure

Additional resources


Resolved:  that the Committee agreed to


i)  note the 2015/16 Revised Estimates with the amendment to Column 3 figure   from £357,813 to £358,888

ii)  approve the 2016/17 Revenue Budget as set out in the report

iii)  subject to the approval of  (ii) above, to request the funding authorities to make appropriate provision in their revenue budgets

iv)  hold a special 'budget' Committee meeting in January 2015 (date to be confirmed) to review 2016/17 Revenue Budget, following confirmation of the Defra AONB grant offer.


AONB Team Report pdf icon PDF 751 KB


The Committee received the AONB Unit report which provided updates on a whole range of issues and projects, as attached to the agenda and also verbally presented at the meeting by Hetty Byrne.


Cathy Hopley agreed to inform the Committee of the outcome of the bid made by the Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership as soon as it was received.


With regards the Dark Sky Discovery Site accreditation, Hetty Byrne agreed to speak to Michael Williams with regards an alternative site for Pendle to put forward and as soon as accreditations for the other sites have been received will inform the Committee.


Information on the Underground for Visual Amenity programme has been sent to Parish Councils and the Committee requested that they also be sent a copy of the letter.


Resolved:  i)  That the report be noted.


Planning and Development and the Forest of Bowland AONB pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Additional documents:


The report attached to the agenda papers outlines two planning and development matters for consideration by the Committee in relation to the Planning and Development Protocol between Natural England and the AONB Partnership and also the FoB AONB Obtrusive Lighting Position Statement and Guidance. 


Following a brief discussion it was:


Resolved:  that the Committee agreed to


i)  consider the draft Protocol, offer comments and if minded, approve adoption of the by AONB Partnership.

ii)  consider the draft AONB Obtrusive Lighting Position Statement and Guidance, offer comments and if minded approve adoption of the policy by the AONB Partnership


Hen Harriers in the Forest of Bowland

Verbal Update


Elliott Lorimer gave a verbal update which had been received from James Bray, RSPB Bowland Project Officer.


There were a total of seven nesting attempts in Bowland in 2015.  Six of these failed and one was partially successful with one surviving juvenile.


The season started very optimistically with four pairs laying eggs.  However, four males disappeared in unexplained circumstances from these active nests soon after the females had laid full clutches, which resulted in these nests failing.


Lancashire Police appealed for information about the disappearances of the males.


Highlander, who was born in Bowland in 2014 (and was satellite tagged just before she left the nest) was one of the birds that returned to breed in Bowland this year.  Her first attempt failed when her first partner disappeared.  She laid a second clutch in the same nest but this also failed.  We think this might have been due to the adopting male being a young bird who lacked the experience to provision her well enough.  Her third attempt in a different valley with a third male was predated by a stoat on the day that her last egg hatched.  The RSPB are following her movements, and she is still in Bowland. 


One other nest hatched chicks with four chicks fledging from this nest.  However, soon after three of them were found dead nearby, leaving only one surviving juvenile.  The corpses were sent off for post mortem analysis but the tests were inconclusive.  We suspect that they succumbed to either starvation or disease or a combination of both.


Last year, two pairs of hen harriers bred successfully in Bowland, fledging a total of nine chicks.


Only one pair of Peregrines bred successfully in Bowland this year.  In the recent past the number of pairs nesting was in the double figures.


Over 20 people volunteered to watch the harrier nests in Bowland this year, with employees of United Utilities, the AONB and the local police all giving their time to help.  The RSPB are very grateful for the volunteers’ help, as well as to the shooting and farming tenants on the United Utilities Bowland estate for their help.


Resolved:  the Committee noted the report.


Following discussion, Jeremy Duckworth from the Moorland Association commented that it would be useful to invite the Wildlife Crime Police Unit to discuss further at a meeting as this is a number one priority across the board.  This requires Government involvement and currently there is a Joint Recovery Plan awaiting Ministerial approval.  Jeremy also reported that all partners have signed up to the Joint Recovery Plan, except the RSPB.


Any Other Business


Cllr James Starkie raised the issue again regarding the replacement of the AONB boundary signs in Pendleside.  The signs are ready, but are yet be installed. 


Resolved:  That Elliott agreed to speak with Cllr Starkie and Dave Padley (LCC officer, who has the replacement signs) to seek to resolve this and also to discuss repainting old signs.


Urgent Business

An item of Urgent Business may only be considered under this heading where, by reason of special circumstances to be recorded in the minutes, the Chairman of the meeting is of the opinion that the item should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.  Wherever possible, the Chief Executive should be given advance warning of any Members' intention to raise a matter under this heading.


There was no urgent business received.


Date of Meetings in 2016

The dates and locations of the meetings to be held in 2016 are Thursday 21 April in Wyre and Thursday 13 October, venue to be confirmed.


The dates and locations of the next meetings are Thursday, 21 April 2016 in Wyre District and Thursday, 13 October 2016, in Preston District.


As discussed there will be a special 'budget' Committee meeting in January 2016 (date and venue to be agreed).