To recieve a presentation from the Coastal Path Project Officer.
A presentation was given by the Coastal Path Project Officer. He elaborated on the Coastal Path project, noting that there were three elements to the project, namely maintenance, upgrading and development. After receiving funding from the Coastal Communities Fund, he noted that 18 circuits had been established along the Coast Path. He explained that there was funding for the project until at least 2021 and if any member had an observation or suggestion, they should e-mail LlwybrArfordir@gwynedd.llyw.cymru .
The Llŷn AONB Service Manager noted that the AONB Service had held many guided walks along the circuits. He highlighted that an information sheet about the circuits was available.
Members were given the opportunity to make observations and ask questions; members noted the following main points:
· Pleased that funding was available to maintain the Coastal Path;
· Was the grant funding available for the circuits as well?
· Was there more work to be done in the Bwlch Mawr area?
· The officer was congratulated on his work. O Ddrws i Ddrws played their part in terms of the Coastal Path's success with the Coastal Bus running during the summer. How much use was made of the Coastal Path?
· Was adding new sections of land to the Coastal Path difficult?
· Some parts of land in the Clynnog and Trefor area had not been included as part of the Coastal Path. There was an act in England enforcing that land became part of the Coastal Path but negotiations were held in Wales.
In response to the above observations, the officers noted:
· A grant of approximately £100,000 had been received from Welsh Government every year since 2015 to develop the Coastal Path and to cover staffing costs;
· Funding the circuits was the Council’s responsibility;
· The minor work in Bwlch Mawr had mostly been completed and that most of the work involved signage;
· That counters had been buried in the land to count the number of people who used the path. The latest user figures could be sent to the Llŷn AONB Service Manager to be shared with members;
· Adding new sections of land to the Coastal Path was a contentious subject. Landowners who committed sections of land to the Coastal Path received compensation and their legal and land agent costs would be paid. Work to form the path would be undertaken and in some instances a fence would also be constructed to keep dogs out of the fields. On the whole, landowners co-operated;
· A discussion had been held between the Local Authority and Welsh Government before the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 was adopted, where it was noted that enforcement would facilitate the process of completing the Coastal Path. Welsh Government had not adopted this part of the act, as it had been done in England, with the approach of getting landowners to buy-in to the idea instead of enforcement;
· Negotiating with landowners could take time. Completing the paperwork was easy but an application for an order would have to be made if landowners refused. The order process took approximately a period of one year;
· There were 35 landowners and 7 tenants in the area from Pontllyfni to Trefor and it took considerable time to negotiate.
The Chair thanked the Coastal Path Project Officer for the presentation and congratulated him for the work.