Highways & Neighbourhoods and People Cabinet Members – Minutes – 13 September 2012

1        (1)  SILICA PARK LOCAL NATURE RESERVE –The Director of Places and Director of People submitted a joint report which outlined the background to Silica Park becoming established as a Local Nature Reserve (LNR), the measures taken to improve the LNR and water safety over the preceding years and to inform the cabinet members of the water safety incident that had occurred at the Silica Park LNR on 7 August 2012.

The report explained that a key point in the designation as a LNR was that the site must be accessible to the public and be available for environmental educational purposes.  To comply with the designation criteria the whole site was risk assessed. This assessment and all the previous assessments indicated the need for water safety equipment, water safety signage, surfaced footpaths delineating where people could go and a public presence on site.

Since designation the site had been the subject of considerable volunteer activity undertaking a range of tasks including checking and recovering the water safety equipment. It was confirmed that all the water safety equipment was checked once a week and on occasions, twice a week.

Details of a water safety incident were outlined within the report and this endorsed the need for continued education in our schools and communities about not swimming in open water.  Consultation had been undertaken with the Water Safety Group, Humberside Fire Brigade and Humberside Police, all of whom had helped to inform on further specific safety measures.

Concern over water safety at the site had led to a specific and unique planning condition that required the council to further improve the water safety equipment on site and ensure that it was kept up to standard. It was considered that the Childrens Campus would add a positive value to young people living there and the wider environment. The campus would be overseen by North Lincolnshire councils elected members in line with their Corporate Parenting responsibility and monthly rota visits carried out to ensure this was running to plan.

Resolved – (a) That the enhanced water safety measures be incorporated into the proposed Childrens Campus development; (b) that the Water Safety Group continue to meet on a regular basis; (c) that copies of the Water Safety Group minutes be placed in the political group offices for information; (d) that the water safety education programme be continued in schools, and (e) that the free swimming programme for all children of school age continues during school summer holiday periods.