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Notes on the Council of Southern Caving Clubs AGM. 17th May 1986

Club rep., Bob Cork.

SSSI Special Meeting. The AGM was preceded by a special meeting to discuss the problems regarding the scheduling of caves in the Wookey catchment area.  Those affected being; Swildons Hole, Eastwater Cavern, Sludge Pit, Nine Barrows Swallet, North Hill Swallet, St CuthbertÂ’s Swallet and Hunters Hole.  Mr Bob Corns the Nature Conversancy Council representative who is handling this matter was invited to attend this meeting.

Dave Irwin (chair) opened the meeting by giving a resume of the events so far plus a history of the events which led to the present revision taking place, a long address but succinct (this will appear in the BB in full in due course).  Phil Romford was then invited to speak on a meeting which he and Dave Irwin had with Bob Corns (NCC) on Tuesday 13th May 86.  The major outcome of this meeting was that the NCC have no intention to change caving in any sense as we now know it, he was asked to substantiate this in writing, he agreed.  A letter from Keith Duff (NCC Peterborough) was handed out to all club reps to clarify and substantiate this. It was made clear to the meeting that although the NCC may not have bad intentions to cavers, the way the scheduling of Priddy caves was conducted has resulted in antagonism which may well result in our access being restricted in the long term.

The letter from NCC Peterborough also revealed changes to the application of some Potentially Damaging Operations which may be of some help to the Landowners, although Bob Corns (NCC) explained them a full understanding is yet to realised

Tim Large was invited to give a resume of a meeting called by Roger Dors to which he invited all affected landowners to discuss the problem; Roger called Dave Irwin, Tim Large and Phil Romford to present their case as cavers and to offer any solutions if possible.  A more full report of this meeting is elsewhere in this BB.

A question and answer session was held with Bob Corns in the firing line.  He was asked some relevant and some irrelevant questions from the floor, of course he was unable to make policy changes that would have settled some people, changes can only be made on representation to the NCC from interested parties.  He left the meeting with a reasonable idea of the feelings abroad.  A vote of thanks to Bob Corns was made by Rich Whitcombe.

Resolutions were taken before any CSCC policy and actions could be decided.  EGONS and BEC both put forward proposals to form a working party under the council.  After much tooing and froing the working party idea was accepted and would comprise the Chairman, Hon Sec, C&A Officer, Geological Adviser, Legal Adviser and up to two Liaison Officer's.  Personnel would be voted under AOB of the AGM.

CSCC policy is to unequivocally support the landowners using the working party to make representation to the NCC and other bodies to help resolve the situation.  The working party would also make attempts to de-schedule as much as the NCC will allow.

Fairy Cave Quarry.  This was the subject of a CSCC special committee meeting on 1oth t1ay 1986.  The resolution tabled at that meeting was deferred until the SSSI policy had been established at the AGM.  The outcome was that with reservations Shatter Cave could become a show cave providing its intrinsic beauty was preserved.

The CSCC would wish that the NCC obtain advice from suitable advisers.  If the CSCC did intend taking any action on the matter they would advise the Cerberus S.S. of their intentions.