Safer, Greener & Cleaner Places Cabinet Member – Minutes – 6 March 2018

24 (24) EPWORTH FIELD REEVES – The Director: Operations submitted a report seeking approval for North Lincolnshire Council to take ownership of the remaining meres in Epworth and for the Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase Landscape Partnership (IoAHC LP) to run a small project focused on Epworth’s Field Reeves.

Epworth Town Council had been approached by HSR Law on behalf of the Epworth Field Reeves, with a view to transfer the “ownership” of the various pieces of land with the responsibilities for management, maintenance and insurance. The pieces of land were known as meres and formed part of the medieval Open Field system.

Epworth Town Council discussed the issue at a meeting on Tuesday 6 September 2016 and agreed to refer the matter to North Lincolnshire Council.

From the early medieval times, the arable parts of England were covered by a complex system of cultivating the land in strips. These strips were divided up among the farmers, sometimes on an annual basis but more often in a manner that ensured all received parcels of mixed productivity. The strips were aggregated into furlongs and then into fields. Hedges were few, giving the term ‘Open Field’.

The task of managing Epworth’s open fields fell to the Field Reeves. Their job was to keep in order any fences or ditches and regulated the times during which animals were permitted to pasture. The reeves ensured the crop was varied and generally maintained and managed the field subject to the notions of the owner. They resolved any issues or disputes and managed the letting or sale of the individual strips.

The aim of the local IoAHC LP was to re-connect local people with their landscape and heritage.

The IoAHC LP would therefore run a project that would help to promote the history of Field Reeves and also engage volunteers helping to train them in aspects of mere maintenance.

Resolved – (a) That approval be granted for North Lincolnshire Council to take ownership of the proposed meres in Epworth, and (b) that the IoAHC LP small project focused on Epworth’s Field Reeves be approved.

25 (25) PARKING RESTRICTIONS – WEST STREET AND SCHOOL LANE, WEST BUTTERWICK – The Director: Operations submitted a report seeking approval for the proposed Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) and to consider objections received in connection with parking restrictions on West Street and School Lane, West Butterwick. The Parish Council had requested additional parking restrictions around West Butterwick Primary School. The council had received two representations from residents of West Street who objected to the loss of parking outside their homes.

Parking restrictions were installed on West Street, West Butterwick in 2011 following complaints from residents and the Parish Council. The Parish Council had since raised concerns about residents parking and vehicles mounting the footway to pass these vehicles.

Local Ward Councillors, representatives of the Parish Council and some residents met on site to look at options. It was agreed to restrict parking at the narrowest point but to retain some parking for residents as they did not have off street parking spaces.

The Parish Council had subsequently changed their stance and decided that they wanted to extend the proposed lines, removing parking for residents. An informal consultation on the extended proposal was carried out. This received objections from three residents. Officers reviewed the comments from residents and recommended that the same parking provision should remain on the road. The proposed restrictions were based on the recommendation at Appendix 1 of the report.

Following a period of formal consultation two objections were received from residents. They were concerned with the loss of parking and the potential increase in the speed of vehicles past the school. Both residents disputed the claim that vehicles regularly had to mount the footway.

The proposed restrictions were as agreed with Parish Council at the site meeting.

Resolved – (a) That the proposed TRO be approved, and (b) that officer’s write to the objectors advising them of the outcome.

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