Agenda and minutes

Commons Advisory Panel
Monday, 12th March 2018 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall

Contact: Ali Hewson , Democratic Services Officer  Tel:(01522 873370) e mail:

No. Item


Appointment of Chair


In the absence of Councillor Murray it was proposed, seconded and:


RESOLVED that: Councillor Speakman be appointed as Chair for the duration of tonight’s meeting.


Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.


None declared.


Confirmation of Minutes - 11 December 2017 pdf icon PDF 78 KB


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 11 December 2017 be confirmed, subject to the following amendments:


·         The reference to meadow pippins should be corrected to read ‘Meadow Pippits’

·         The statement in relation to the South Common being in desperate need of grazing was made by Caroline Steel, representing Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and not Caroline Bird, Community Services Manager.


Matters Arising


Minute No 23 Matters Arising:


Potential Play Area- Bowling Green


George Woolfenden, representing West End Residents Association, requested an update on proposals for a play area on the Bowling Green.


Caroline Bird, Community Services Manager advised there were three stages to gathering together the detail of the proposals:


1.    A consultation process to establish interest for the project within the community.

2.    If supported, further contact with the applicant to check there was still interest in proceeding with the project.

3.    If so, further consultation with Commons Advisory Panel prior to commencement of a procurement exercise.


Caroline Bird confirmed that currently the Council was at the first stage of the proceedings. She highlighted that the Bowls Club had asked for fencing to be erected. She awaited feedback from the Legal Section on this matter.


George Woolfenden commented that he believed Carholme Community Forum had also offered feedback on the proposals.


RESOLVED that the content of the verbal update be noted.


Minute No 23: Matters Arising: Volunteer Work


Caroline Steel, representing Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, queried whether Dave Walker, Volunteer Coordinator had distributed handouts to all members of Commons Advisory Panel as requested?


Caroline Bird advised that she believed this matter had been actioned but would double check in any case.


Minute No 26: Fallow Period


Caroline Steel asked for an update on the transfer of horses to the South Common during the fallow period on the West Common during the summer of 2018.


Lee George, Community Contracts Officer, advised that all horse owners had been written to individually, some of whom did intend to transfer their horses. Owners had until 31 March 2018 to make this decision. The fallow period extended from 31 March 2018 to 14 May 2018.


Caroline Steel requested that an update be presented to the next meeting of Commons Advisory Panel.


Minute No 25 Signage


Caroline Bird, Community Services Manager, updated members of Commons Advisory Panel on progress in relation to a signage plan as follows:


·         Currently there was an eclectic mix of signage on the City Commons.

·         Some signage was in a poor state of repair and was questionable as to whether still relevant.

·         Some signage was of good quality just requiring a good clean.

·         Simon Lawson, Community Contracts Officer had catalogued details of all the existing signage.

·         The aim was to pull together uniform signage to be placed at strategic entrances to the City Commons at South/West Common/Cowpaddle and Carholme Golf Course.

·         She circulated paper copies of suggested signage, which could be sent out electronically to Panel members to enable them to share with their respective groups.


Panel members agreed to receive a draft signage strategy from officers in due course for comments.


Councillor Hills suggested the potential to use apple phone/android technology apps with devices available at the entrances to City Commons which cost less.


Caroline Bird agreed to incorporate this suggestion into the consultation process.


George Woolfenden, representing West End Residents Association referred to signage already erected on the Carholme Golf Club regarding  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.


Reports from External Members


West Parade Gateway/Carholme Road pdf icon PDF 190 KB


George Woolfenden, representing West End Resident’s Association/Open Spaces Society, reported on poor drainage at the pedestrian gateway to the West Common and to a lesser extent Carholme Road. He advised of ground deterioration due to flooding issues during the winter months and asked whether there were any ways to improve drainage to make the area more user friendly.


Lee George, Community Contracts Officer, accepted there were problems with flooding in the area. The horses’ feeding station close by was also affected.


George Woolfenden advised that a pipe had been inserted through the path in the past as a mitigation measure however this only moved the problem on. He referred to a visit by Anglian Water Authority the previous weekend. The possibility of diverting the water into the drain had been mentioned.


Lee George agreed to look into the problem together with the potential to redirect the feeding station to another area which may help with drainage issues.


George Woolfenden suggested an area of land in the enclosure opposite the West Common as an alternative feeding area for the horses. He referred to further issues:


·         The outside extension onto the West Common by the main gate was ‘broken up’.

·         The outflow from the West Common Pond was blocked.


Emma Olivier-Townrow, representing Log Leys Residents Association asked whether the footpath at the entrance gates to the West Common could be extended either side to give mums with toddlers and pushchairs more space to navigate through this muddy area.


The use of grasscrete as an alternative surface dressing was suggested.


RESOLVED that officers would investigate the above issues raised by Panel members and bring back a report to the following meeting.


Standard Agenda Items


Commons Management Plan Update pdf icon PDF 44 KB

Additional documents:


Caroline Bird, Community Services Manager:


a.    presented a report which provided an update to the Commons Advisory Panel on the Commons Management Plan


b.    noted that the Management Plan was overdue for revision highlighting that a plan for its review was forthcoming by Ruth Simons, Chief Conservation Manager at Hartsholme Park


c.    referred to an update on Management Plan actions appended to the report, which showed a summary of the non-routine actions delivered since the previous update, ongoing works and works planned for the coming quarters.


External members asked questions and received relevant responses from officers as follows:


·         Question: It was noted that none of the work on the City Commons had been completed by volunteers. How was the Volunteer Coordinator progressing with recruitment?

·         Response: Interest in volunteering had been slow to start, however, it was getting more popular. Interest in Birchwood Nature Park was encouraging.

·         Question: The City Council’s website was not very clear on recruiting volunteers for specific projects. Was there any timescale for the revised management plan yet?

·         Response: Not yet, this would be advised in due course.


George Woolfenden, representing West End Residents Association (WERA)/Open Spaces Society, invited Dave Walker, Volunteer Coordinator to attend one of the open meetings at WERA to give a talk.


Councillor Speakman, Chair suggested that Long Leys Residents Association also be invited to attend.


Emma Olivier-Townrow, representing Long Leys Residents Association, suggested Facebook as a good avenue to engage with local residents.


Alison Griffiths, representing Carholme Community Forum highlighted that her group used Facebook to nurture volunteers, and although it was hard work it was well worth it.


Caroline Steel, representing Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, emphasised that a well-advertised get together on the South Common to engage volunteers would be welcomed locally.




1.    Commons Advisory Panel be updated on volunteering work to be carried out on the City Commons in the next year.


2.    A possible date for a talk by Dave Walker, Volunteer Coordinator delivered to WERA/ Long Leys Residents Association be considered.


3.    Engagement with potential volunteers via Facebook be investigated.


Other Matters


1.    Fencing - West Common


George Woolfenden, representing West End Residents Association/Open Spaces Society thanked officers for the excellent improvements to fencing on Alderman’s Walk which was of high quality and a great asset to the area.


2.    Signage-Dogs on Lead


George Woolfenden asked whether signs could be put up on the City Commons requesting that dogs be kept on leads during the nesting season.


Caroline Bird, Community Services Manager confirmed that appropriate wording would be worked up for signage requesting visitors to be respectful/keep dogs under control during nesting periods.


3.    Carholme Community- Tidy Up


Councillor Lucinda Preston advised that a community tidy-up would be held in Carholme Ward on Sunday 18 March commencing at 2.30pm from Carholme Road/Gresham Street junction. Teams of students would be litter picking mainly around the pavements but this may extend to the West Common.


Out of courtesy she was alerting Panel members of the event to allay any possible anxiety amongst local residents as to what it was all about.


Dates of Future Meetings


Monday -25 June 2018- 6.00pm