Agenda and draft minutes

Commons Advisory Panel - Monday, 16th September 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1, City Hall

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

No. Item


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 - 1 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 98 KB


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 1 July 2019 be confirmed subject to the following amendment:


Minute No 4: Cyclocross Event


Caroline Steel, representing Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust asked that the following key point be incorporated into the minute:


No cycling signage had recently been installed at the commons, it would be a confusing message to allow people to then cycle on the common.



Matters Arising


Cyclocross Event


Lee George, Open Spaces Officer advised that a walk around would take place with the organisers of the event to find out the proposed route. A map of the proposed route would be circulated to members of the panel following the meeting.


George Wolfenden, representing West End Resident’s Association/ Open Spaces Society asked if the Cyclocross event would be charged for the use of Malandry Close for car parking and the use of the toilets?


The panel discussed the suggestion and agreed that the event organisers should be charged a reasonable amount for the use of Malandry Close and the car parks and for the money to be ring-fenced for the commons.


Walk on the Common


The Chair suggested that the annual walk on the commons be held on Saturday 5th October 2019 at 11.30am starting on the South Common. Caroline Steel, representing Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust requested that the map of the proposed route for the Cyclocross event be circulated prior to this walk so that it could be discussed on site.


Work Priorities- Use of Car Parking Income pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:


Caroline Bird, Community Services Manager:


a.    provided a report to update Commons Advisory Panel (CAP) on the work priorities agreed at previous CAP meetings using income from Lincoln City Football Club’s use of Malandry Close for car parking on match days.

b.    updated that the balance by the end of the year would be approximately £23,000 taking into account committed spend and approximate income based on figures from last year’s football season.

c.    advised that the figures would be confirmed and reported back at the next meeting of CAP.

d.    outlined the content of the work programme which had been updated since the last meeting with a broad delivery timetable where defined dates were not  yet available and costs included where known or estimated, (lines highlighted were already spent or committed) as detailed at Appendix A of her report.

e.    suggested that a report be brought to CAP at the end of each financial year to highlight the work achieved throughout the year.

f.     requested members’ feedback on the content of the report.


Caroline Steel, representing Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust referred to the ponds B and C on the South Common and asked if the work would be undertaken over the winter period.


Caroline Bird, Community Services Manager advised that she would speak to the relevant Officer and provide an answer following the meeting.


RESOLVED that contents of the work programme be noted.


Common's Management Plan Update pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Additional documents:


Caroline Bird, Community Services Manager:


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

  2. referred to an update on the Management Plan activities attached at Appendix A of her report, which showed a summary of the non-routine actions delivered since the previous update, ongoing works and works planned for the coming quarters, including on-going volunteer work.

  3. advised that a review of the Management Plan had commenced, and that a volunteer had contributed significant time to updating and reformatting the previous version.

  4. highlighted that first aims and objectives for the revised Management Plan were circulated to CAP members in December involving liaison with Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust (LWT) in a ‘critical friend’ role.

  5. advised that LWT had carried out ecology surveys of the three commons, and the outcomes of these surveys would be fundamentally important to informing the Management Actions; a summary of findings could be found at Appendix B to her report with full survey results expected later in the year.


  1. confirmed that the receipt of the summary information enabled development of the management plan to re-commence. A draft timeline was circulated to July CAP. Unfortunately progress was hampered by the commitment of key staff resourced to other open spaces projects and revised timeline was attached at Appendix B to the report.


  1. advised that based on the draft timeline, adoption of the revised plan would not be possible before April 2020, and this would be the council’s aim, subject to there being sufficient and appropriate consultation with key stakeholders.

  2. requested members’ comments on the content of the report and action plan.


Alistair Brooke, Volunteer Coordinater gave a brief update on the ongoing volunteer works and advised that there had been a few setbacks on the painting of the railings opposite the Grandstand on the West Common due to the weather, this would be completed as soon as possible.


Colin Smith representing Lincoln Group Ramblers Association commented that he was happy with the work that had been completed on the Viking Way and asked if a tree that was partially obstructing a footpath on the Viking Way could be looked at. Alistair Brookes, Volunteer Coordinator advised that he would take a look at the tree to see if any action could be taken.


Caroline Bird, proposed that a meeting of the Commons Management Plan Sub Group be held on the afternoon of Thursday 3rd October 2019. An email would be sent to confirm the meeting.


RESOLVED that the contents of the report be noted.


West Common Stable Block as a Nesting Site for Swallows


John Davies, representing Long Leys Residents Association presented a report to


  1. ask why some of the stables at the West Common stable block had been fully meshed over, which was preventing swallows using them as nest sites.


  1. ask if there were any future plans for maintenance of the stable block.


Steve Bird, Assistant Director Communities and Street Scene oadvised that he had spoken with Property Services who had advised that a hole could be made in the fence but advice would be needed regarding the size of the hole. He confirmed that there were no future plans to rent out the property.


Caroline Steel, representing Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust advised that a 6 inch gap should be cut below the lintel to allow space for the swallows to enter and nest.


Alistair Brooke representing Volunteer Services commented that this would be something that the volunteer group could do.


RESOLVED that a 6 inch gap be cut at the top of the mesh fencing in the unused part of the  West Common Stable Block to enable swallows to nest.



Future Response to Traveller Encampments on the Commons


John Davies representing Long Leys Residents Association (LLRA):


  1. presented feedback from the Long Leys Residents Association on the overall response to the Traveller Encampment in Whitton Park.


  1. advised that whilst the City Council and Police did a highly effective job, both in achieving a satisfactory outcome for residents and in the subsequent clean up, it would be helpful for the community to understand what other measures could be taken and how these could relate to the protection of the Commons which were equally vulnerable to damage to fencing and dumping of rubbish.


Steve Bird, Assistant Director Communities and Street Scene explained  that there were approximately 6-8 Traveller Encampments in the City each year. The Council took it very seriously and had established a joint protocol with Lincolnshire Police.


Councillor Preston suggested that the work that was being done by the Council should be publicised in the media so that residents were aware that the Encampment was being dealt with at the time.


Councillor Murray, Chair suggested that the feedback from the LLRA be formally fed back to the Council Traveller Encampment Review Group.


RESOLVED that a meeting be held between John Davies, Councillor Neil Murray and the Traveller Encampment Review Group to formally provide feedback on the overall response to the Traveller Encampment in Whitton Park.



Any Other Business


West Common


Members of the group commented that some trees had been planted on the golf course which had blocked access.


Councillor Murray, Chair responded that he would raise this issue at his meeting with the Carholme Golf Club.


South Common


Colin Smith, representing Lincoln Group Ramblers Association, advised that there were footpaths that were overgrown at the bottom end of the South Common.


Councillor Murray, Chair advised that this would be looked at on the annual walk of the commons.