Agenda and minutes

Communities Scrutiny Group - Thursday, 21st July, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber Area B, Rushcliffe Arena, Rugby Road, West Bridgford. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


There were no apologies.


Declarations of Interest


There were no declarations of interest reported.


Minutes of the meeting held on 28 April 2022 pdf icon PDF 258 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 28 April 2022 were approved as a true record and were signed by the Chairman.


The Service Manager – Neighbourhoods provided a verbal update on the actions from the previous meeting.


Access Agreement - Canal and River Trust pdf icon PDF 234 KB

Report of the Director for Neighbourhoods

Additional documents:


Councillor Combellack, (Ward Councillor for Neville and Langar) addressed the Group, expressing her support for the Council renewing its Access Agreement. Councillor Combellack explained her concerns regarding the loss of water along some stretches of the Grantham Canal and the urgent need for appropriate repairs, dredging and maintenance that is required to prevent further water loss. Councillor Combellack advised how waterways have evolved particularly during the recent Covid Pandemic as a provision for relaxation and wellbeing and why waterways are important for blue prescribing as they provide a valuable aid for mental health and wellbeing, including the biodiversity of wildlife the canal attracts.


The Communities Manager explained how the Council has worked with the Canal and River Trust over the years, with particular focus on the Access Agreement between the Borough Council and the Canal and River Trust for the Grantham Canal, which was set up on 1 April 2003 for 21 years, thus expiring on 31 March 2024.


Mr R Erwin-Jones, Strategic Programmes Manager for the Canal and River Trust delivered a presentation that emphasised the extent of the waterways across the whole of the East Midlands and highlighted the Rushcliffe District – Trust Navigations including the River Trent, Upper Trent, River Soar and Grantham Canal.


Mr Erwin-Jones provided information on the national income that the Trust receives, which is in the region of £215.4m from various sources including; Defra, investment and property, Boat licence and mooring fees, utilities and water development and third party income from charitable investments and donations. In addition, Mr Erwin-Jones provided a detailed breakdown of the annual investment on the Grantham Canal totalling £195,448.60, of which the Borough Council provides £40,000 from the Access Agreement.


Mr R Bennett, Heritage and Environment Manager for the Canal and River Trust continued, providing information on the annual costs for vegetation management, including; towpath cutting, hedgerow maintenance, tree works and clearance, aquatic read and invasive plant removal, which he advised was in excess of £34,100 annually through specialist contractors.


The Group were advised that towpaths are subject to a rolling programme of repairs including reactive works such as wind damage and fallen trees, removal of fly-tipped items and occasional fencing.  Vegetation is generally cut between the months of April to August allowing for a front and rear fringe along the bound surface path to create a natural habitat along the towpath, and extra cuts made around benches, signs and bridge approaches and locks. Hedgerows are also maintained and trimmed annually to allow the safe access width along the towpath, including hedge-laying which provides long term biodiversity improvements and skills and volunteer/community engagement.


In respect of leaks and water management Mr Bennett explained that unfortunately leaks do occur and that water resources are limited, Kinoulton being particularly affected in recent years. In addition, Mr Bennett advised that some sections had long been dry and had created terrestrial habitats at Cropwell Bishop. Concluding that Leaks are repaired, but unfortunately new ones will appear.


Ms L Beaumont, Partnerships Manager for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Sports Development in Rushcliffe pdf icon PDF 255 KB

Report of the Director for Neighbourhoods



The Communities Manager delivered a presentation to inform members how the Council delivers its Sports Development function, including funding, club support and promotion of major events and competitions such as Cricket World Cup and the Tour of Britain.


The Communities Manager explained that the Council tracks sport and physical activity using Sport England’s annual Active Lives Survey, which consists of an adult survey (16+) and a separate survey targeting children and young people (u16’s). The Communities Manager advised that the surveys provide data at a local, county and national level, on types of activity and activity levels.


It was noted that Rushcliffe has higher than average activity levels compared to Nottinghamshire and England and these are monitored through the Active Rushcliffe Health Partnership, made up of representatives from sport and health partners within Rushcliffe. The key priorities being ‘increase participation in sport and physical activity with a focus on the inactive’.


The Communities Manager advised the Group that from data, experience and new ways of working there are many barriers to residents taking part in sport and physical activities which can be defined as follows:


Personal – insufficient time, motivation, lack of social support, fear of injury or feeling self-conscious


Environmental – access to safe and convenient sports facilities, green/blue spaces, walking and cycling networks


Socio-economic – access to disposable income, with many residents having to prioritise paying bills and feeding families, particularly in the current cost of living climate.


In overcoming some of these barriers the Communities Manager advised the Group that since its implementation in 2020, the Reach Rushcliffe Fund has supported 7 physical activity projects, the Holiday Activities and Food Fund (HAF) has supported 591 children and young people by providing access to school holiday programmes that provide physical activity, nutritional activities and a meal.


The Communities Manager advised the Group that in line with sports England and Active Notts strategies the Council uses data to help understand and target where support is needed most and tackling underrepresented groups, in particular women and girls, residents with disabilities and residents on low incomes. The Group were advised that the Council works with partners to facilitate programmes and activity targeted at these groups.


The Communities Manager explained that the Council facilitates community sport and physical activity through working with a range of partners and that Rushcliffe is fortunate to have three professional sports clubs to work with to deliver the Council’s priorities, including Trent Bridge Trust, Nottingham Rugby  and Positive Futures . In addition, the Council introduced Rushcliffe parkrun at Rushcliffe Country Park and due to its success and demand a second parkrun is due to start at Cotgrave Country Park later this year. Local sports clubs and athletes are supported through various sports grants, for example Coach Scholarship Scheme, the Elite Sports Grant and Rushcliffe FANS (Free Access for National Sportspeople).


In concluding, the Group were informed that the Council community sport and physical activity work programme is underpinned by both the Rushcliffe Leisure Strategy and the Rushcliffe  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 142 KB

Report of the Director for Finance and Corporate Services


The Chairman presented the report of the Director -finance and Corporate Services, which detailed the proposed Communities Scrutiny Group Work Programme for 2022/23.


Councillor Jones requested that the establishment of a Youth Council scheduled for 19 January 2023, is not to put back to a future meeting.


Members requested that a further report in respect of the Access Agreement for the Canal and River Trust be brought back to a future meeting of Communities Scrutiny Group in the new year.


The Chairman informed the Group that the work programme detailed below was subject to approval by the Corporate Overview Group on 6 September 2022.


It was RESOLVED that the Work Programme below be approved:


6 October 2022


·       Council’s External Communications Strategy

·       Customer Access Strategy

·       Work Programme


19 January 2023


·       Establishment of a Youth Council

·       Corporate Enforcement Policy

·       Work Programme


16 March 2023


·       Carbon Management Plan

·       Environment Policy

·       Work Programme