Minutes 2015.05.19 - Brecon Beacons Park Society

Cymdeithas Parc Bannau Brycheiniog
The Brecon Beacons Park Society
Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting held at The Bear Hotel, Crickhowell,
on Tuesday, 19th May, 2015 at 5.00pm.
Present: Jim Wilson (Chairman), Ceridwen Coulson, Charles Henderson, Anne Pritchard,
Elizabeth Gibbs, Richard Chandler (Minutes Secretary).
1. Apologies: David Thomas, Ben Sladen, Chris Barber.
2. The Minutes of the Last Meeting (on 14th April, 2015) were approved and signed.
3. Matters arising: (i) 3. iii Done.
Jenny Robbins has resigned.
(ii) 3. vi Done.
(vi) 4.13 Done.
(iii) 4.7 Done. (iv) 4.10 Done. (v) 4.11 Not done.
(vii) 5.i Not done. Anne will speak to Ben about
updating the email addresses list and the sending of emails to other members of the same households.
ACTION: Anne. (viii) 5.ii Done. (ix) 5.iii Done.
4. Reports:
4.1 Financial and Membership – See document from Ben, circulated previously, regarding the Annual
Return to the Charity Commission. It was agreed that no action is required, at present, and that the
matter may be considered during the next year.
The final accounts show a £500 positive balance.
Anne will remind Ben about sending information to David, regarding the electronic application form,
which is to go on the website. ACTION: Anne.
4.2 Secretarial – see Ceridwen’s report, previously circulated. Invitations to the AGM have been sent,
by mail or by email, to all members and to guests. The Annual Report and Financial Statements are on
the website. Ceridwen will attach the necessary documents to the display boards. Dates for
Executive Committee meetings, in the next year, were agreed. The 2016 AGM will be on 11th June.
4.3 Guided Walks and Events Programmes – see Anne’s report, previously circulated. There were
many more walkers than usual during the last winter, largely on account of the more reasonable
weather. Although some had to be changed, no walks were cancelled.
Jason Rees of the BBNPA
has suggested that the footpath volunteers should adopt a section of footpath and to concentrate all
their efforts on that. He has suggested the Offa’s Dyke path above Hay Bluff but it was agreed that it
would be better to take on a section of the Beacons Way, as it would be easier for people to get to.
Anne will discuss this with Ros Grant. ACTION: Anne.
It has been suggested and agreed that some
walk leader training will now be held in small groups or ‘clusters’ in various parts of the Park, led by
leaders who already have qualifications or experience. It has also been suggested that some of the
walks leaders might go along to Mountain Rescue training days, as observers. It is understood that
the Western Brecon Team are intending to hold a training day at Rhossili Bay on the 11th July and to
open this to all walkers. It was agreed that the information should be transmitted to all Society
members, by email, website and Facebook. ACTION: Anne/Ceridwen.
4.3 cont.
One hundred and fourteen people have signed up to the Society Facebook page, though not all are,
necessarily, Society members.
4.4 The Beacon – No report.
4.5 Website – No report.
4.6 Beacons Way Steering Group – No report.
Jim has prepared a draft letter to the BWSG to
express our disappointment at the level of support for the Beacons Way that is currently being shown
by both the Authority and the Steering Group itself. With a slight amendment, it was unanimously
agreed that this should be sent.
4.7 Planning and Development Control – see report by Liz, circulated previously.
Liz did put in an
objection to a planning application plan to turn the Corn Exchange Public House, Crickhowell, into a
convenience store, as indicated at the last meeting. The application has now been withdrawn. She
has put in an objection to an application for the change of use of a shop in the centre of Brecon into a
coffee shop, on the grounds that the development would involve alterations to the shop front of a listed
building in the Conservation Area.
There has been no news, as yet, of a decision on the Circuit of
Wales Enquiry.
4.8 Walls of Llangynidr – No report.
4.9 Brecon Beacons Trust – Charles has attended his first meeting of the BBT. The Trust has
agreed to award a grant of 75% of the cost of a Biodiversity and Ecological Survey of the Gunpowder
Works site, conditional upon a confirmation, by tender, of the costs; upon confirmation that the Park
Society and the BBNPA will provide match funding; and upon a successful application for funds from
the Heritage Lottery Fund for the definitive conservation project.
It appears that, at the current
rate of grant approvals, the Trust will run out of money after approximately two years.
4.10 Rights of Way – see David Dickson’s report, circulated previously.
4.11 Communications/Publicity/Press Releases – As noted earlier, Jenny Robbins has resigned as
Newsletter Editor. Following a discussion about the future of the Newsletter, it was agreed that we do
need one and that it should be only a list of succinct news items pertinent to the Society.
It was agreed, once again, that we do need a Publicity Officer, to increase the profile of the Society
and to ensure effective communications both within and outwith the Society. Anne will email all walk
leaders to ask if they would like to volunteer, and also to ask them to canvass members on walks.
4.12 Geopark Management Group – see report from Dilys, circulated previously.
There is a
proposal that the Partnership Board should disband itself.
4.13 Alliance for National Parks Cymru / Welsh Government’s Legislation Programme – The
Alliance has been considering its input to the Stage 2 Review of the Designated Landscapes Bill and
will submit comments. A full meeting of the Alliance Board was held last week and its response to the
discussions and comments to be submitted was entirely positive. The new Chief Executive of CNP,
Fiona Howie, attended, by invitation. Subsequently, she met John Cook and was shown the National
Grid potential undergrounding sites by Jim and Julian Atkins. First impressions appeared to be good
and it is to be hoped that relationships between the Welsh Park Societies and CNP will, in the not too
distant future, settle on a more amenable footing, with their acceptance that the Alliance is to take the
lead in all things related to Welsh National Parks.
4.14 BBPS/ BBNPA Relations – Continue to be good.
Management Plan 2015 – 2025.
Jim has commented on the BBNPA
We have been invited to vote on which area of Authority work the
Scrutiny Group should look at next. They are also keeping us informed and involved regarding new
funding sources coming from Welsh Government.
4.15 Dark Sky - It is hoped that our input into Welsh Planning Policy will be accepted, with regard to
lighting regulations.
4.16 Fundraising and Business Planning – Not good news – the ‘Taste in Wales’ group have not
implemented it properly and only £25 has come in recently.
Jim, Dilys and Ruth Coulthard are to
go to look at the Gunpowder Works. Thanks were extended to Liz for championing us with the Gibbs
Trust, from which we will (conditionally) receive £2000 towards the Gunpowder Works project. The
Society has contributed £300. The total project cost is estimated to be in the region of £1.2 million.
5. Any Other Business – None.
6. Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday, 14th July 2015 at 5.00pm. at The Bear Hotel, Crickhowell.
N.B. Saturday, 13th June, 2015, at 10.00am. - Annual General Meeting at the Learning Room at the
Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon.
The meeting ended at 6.24pm.
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