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Superintendent's Update

Report of the Superintendent of Burnham Beeches & the Commons.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report of the Superintendent of ‘The Commons’ providing a general update on issues across the nine sites within ‘The Commons’ division that may be of interest to Members and is supplementary to the monthly email updates.

 

A Member congratulated the Superintendent and his staff on two recent, successful site visits to Stoke Common and Kenley Common which she stated was particularly impressive around learning activities.

 

A Verderer commented that work with South Bucks District Council around the Local Plan production was important in terms of ensuring consistency of approach. She offered to help facilitate these discussions in any way that was required. The Superintendent thanked the Verderer for this offer and reported that discussions around the sharing of mitigation issues for the impact of recreation pressure on Burnham Beeches were taking place and that he would contact her to take up her kind offer in the near future.

 

In response to questions around the Kenley Revival Update and any anticipated additional costs due to the failure of the mortar on the blast pens and rifle range, the Superintendent reported that he now had 6 trial panels in place and that these would help to determine the materials to be used when repairs are finally carried out. He added that the current assumption was that the City as client would not bear the burden of any additional cost.

 

In response to questions around the controls in place for dog related incidents, the Superintendent stated that there was a strict protocol in place and that the process was to ensure up to three verbal warnings at which point a final letter of warning is issued.  If a further offence ensues then either a fixed penalty notice is issued  or the matter is dealt with at Magistrates Court, depending on the severity of the issue.

 

With regard to questions on the increased costs associated with OPM’s the Director reported that there had been a huge increase in costs across the Department with close to £100,000 being spent on the problem this year alone as opposed to just £10,000 last year. The Director reported that a report on this matter would therefore be put to the Open Spaces Committee in December 2018 flagging this as a strategic issue and then on to various, affected service committees in January 2019. The Director went on to report that costs in excess of £250,000 were anticipated in this area in future years. The Forestry Commission were aware that it was not possible to remove every nest and that work would therefore be targeted on those areas where the public were most likely to come in to contact with the pest species.

 

A Verderer commented that it would be useful for Members to have an illustrated guide on pest species and an indication of the problems around their eradication/control. The Chairman agreed with this suggestion and asked that it also be made available on social media for the public to consult. A Member commented that this kind of guide was already available from the Forestry Commission and suggested that Members be sent the link for this to avoid any unnecessary duplication.

 

RESOLVED – That, Members note the content of the report.

Supporting documents:

 


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