Minutes of meeting held 10th November 2010
in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.00pm
Present : Dr Hutson; Messrs. Ancell, Davies, Gray, Jacob, McKinley (Chairman), Wright; Mrs Balmer, Mrs Gallery-Strong.
3 members of the public were also in attendance.
1. Apologies: Mr Norman ( Holiday)
2. Declarations of interest . Mr Ancell declared an interest in Item 6c below.
3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman introduced PCW Hoggarth who gave her monthly report, which reflected a substantial decrease in the number of incidents - 7 in the month,(2 crime; 1 Road Traffic; 4 miscellaneous; none serious). She also informed the council that she was taking a 2-year career break and could not advise the council on who her replacement may be, as police manning requirements were the subject of review. She also said that a member of staff from the Civil Nuclear Police would like to make contact with the Parish Council. The council were acceptable to this and suggested he should contact The Clerk in the first instance to arrange a suitable date. The Chairman thanked PCW Hoggarth for her past work both with the council and within the community which had been much appreciated and effective, and on behalf of the council wished her well for the future. After PCW Hoggarth left the meeting it was agreed that a suitable letter of recognition of her service to the community should be sent to the Chief Constable and also asking to be kept informed of the future arrangements for community policing for the area.
The Chairman then introduced David Laird and Lucy Howe (members of the public) who asked about progress on the cycleway. At the request of the Chairman, Mr Gray gave an update on recent history and the position to date, saying that he was trying to arrange a meeting with the Sustrans representative (Nikki Winfield) to move the project forward. Funding from Sustrans (supported by funds from the Parish Council) was available to enable the project to be taken up to the Planning Permission stage. There had been some past opposition from the County Council highways department but this had now been overcome and all who were now involved were taking a positive stance. The Chairman said that the council shared in the frustration of many that the project, which had been in gestation for some 10-12 years, did not appear to be moving forward. The funding required for completion was way above what the 2 Parish Councils (Seascale & Gosforth) could afford, however there was now the possibility of tapping into the Copeland Community Fund and this avenue would be explored. It was agreed that Mr Gray should try again to arrange a meeting with Ms Winfield and if this was not possible in the near future the council would make the details of the situation known directly to the Head of Sustrans. The Chairman thanked David and Lucy for their attendance and questions and they left the meeting at this point.
4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 13th October 2010; These were approved, (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Dr Hutson). Also approved were the minutes of the Parish Meeting held on the same date, ( Proposed Dr Hutson, seconded Mr Gray).
5. Actions arising from the minutes.
Generate Risk Assessment procedure. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk Action ongoing.
Negotiate with solicitors ref Playing Field Trust. Action – The Clerk Action ongoing – The Order was to be sent to the Charities Commission. The Clerk was asked to clarify the requirements for land valuationand the realisation of the Shares held as part of the Trust.
( Mrs Gallery-Strong asked why these 2 items were presented as Actions as they were clearly long-term and should be dealt with by updates as necessary, or by annual review. It was agreed that this process would be adopted.)
Progress estimates for carpark floodlighting. Action – The Clerk. Action ongoing – The Clerk said he had received some figures which suggested the cost would be ~£6000. He had asked the Copeland Street Infrastructure officer to meet him on site to see if this cost could be reduced by the Parish Council carrying out part of the work.
Discuss draft Business Plan for transfer of carpark with Copeland BC. Action – The Clerk & Mr McKinley. Action ongoing – Awaiting acceptance of business plan from Copeland BC. The plan is due to be presented to Copeland Council in December.
Arrange a demonstration of the CCTV system and provide a detailed cost estimate. Action – Mr Jacob. Action discontinued – See Item 6c below.
Arrange an assessment of Toilet electrics & plumbing. Action – Mr Norman. Action ongoing.
Generate draft letter of reply to CORWM. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk. Action put on hold until the Nuclear sub-group considers the situation regarding the BGS Survey and subsequent site selection.
Generate draft Newsletter. Action – Mr Ancell. Action ongoing – See Item 7e below.
Obtain views of Playing Fields Committee ref future insurance, inspection and grass-cutting. Action – Mr Norman. Action ongoing.
Contact Copeland BC Enforcement team ref parking at Bank and Bakery. Action complete. Action – The Clerk.
Contact Home Housing ref gate at rear of the Bank. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – No reply to date.
Put 2011-12 Budget on November agenda. Action – The Clerk Action complete – See Item 6b below.
Draft letter to 5-Rivers group giving reasons for resignation. Action complete. Action – The Clerk
Make BGS Survey an agenda item for November meeting. Action – The Clerk Action complete – See Item 7c below.
Inform LDNPA and Copeland BC ref Planning Applications. Action – The Clerk Action complete.
Put Boundaries Review on November agenda. Action – The Clerk Action complete – See Item 7a below.
Put Footpaths on November agenda. Action – The Clerk Action complete – See Item 7b below.
6. Financial Matters.
a) Monthly Financial Report. This was approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr Ancell)
b) 2011-12 Budget – Initial discussions. The Clerk said that he had put this item on the agenda to remind members that if they foresaw any funding requirements for the next Financial Year then they should make them known to the Finance Committee. The intention was to hold a Budget Meeting in December. ( Mrs Gallery-Strong would be invited as she had already identified a possible funding issue with the new Play Area project).
c) Resolution (Mr McKinley, Mr Wright)- That the council takes up the written offer from The Lakeland Habit owners (previously circulated to all councillors for information), for the provision of CCTV equipment and associated maintenance, and approves the necessary expenditure (~£820 +VAT) from the contingency fund.
This was approved unanimously. The Chairman thanked Mr Ancell on behalf of the council for his generosity in allowing the Parish Council to link in to a modern high-quality CCTV system. Mr Ancell handed to The Clerk £60 from a collection box in the Lakeland Habit and £110 – the proceedings from a Hog Roast event (shared with the Nursery). Both contributions were for the new Play Area project.
a) County Council Electoral Review. (The Clerk) The Clerk had sent a relevant paper to all councillors. It was emphasised that at this stage all that was being asked was the number of County councillors the Parish Council thought there ought to be in future (Presently 84, 12 of whom represented the Copeland District). There was a wide difference of opinion ranging from no change to a 50% reduction. It was felt that, once again, a conceptual system which would work in urban areas, was wholly unsuited to rural areas where the geographical areas would be enlarged dramatically and/or small rural parishes would find themselves linked to large urban populations where their voice would be swamped. The Clerk was asked to draft a suitable reply which highlighted the difficulties in answering the question.
b) Public Footpaths (Mr McKinley). Following a request earlier in the year from Mr Gray that the council as a whole should become more involved in ‘Parish Care’ – condition of Parish furniture, Notice Boards, carpark surrounds, recycling facilities, footpaths etc. - a question was raised about the extent of the footpath network in the parish and its condition. As a first step an up-to-date map was obtained from Cumbria CC showing the extent of the network.Utilising the map it was agreed that the footpaths should be kept under a regular survey by the council although the use of additional people would reduce the time taken. Mr Wright was asked to convene a meeting of the Footpaths and Roads sub-group to devise a simple scheme.
c) BGS Survey. At the request of the Chairman, Mr Wright had produced an analysis of the technical report which had been sent to all members. He then gave a resume of the paper, highlighting those exclusion criteria which did not rule out certain areas for specific reasons eg. Faulting and aquifers. He considered the report to very thorough and of high quality but made the observation that this was really the starting point as far as any Host Communities were concerned. What was now necessary was for the powers-that-be to be open and transparent about the process by which the ‘not unsuitable’ areas would be refined down in size to potential disposal sites and the voluntarism aspect of the process (for potential Host Communities) to be enacted. It was agreed that the Nuclear sub-group should consider the technical and other papers further and advise the council on what its next action should be.
d) Broadband in Cumbria (Dr Hutson) Although BT, via its web-site, stated that this area was not due for an upgrade the reality is that if 75% of web users declare an interest, the company has to take action. A message had been put in What’s On and all members were encouraged to register an interest.
e) Update on Parish Newsletter (Mr Ancell) Mr Ancell said that he had not been able to make the progress he had hoped for due to work commitments but felt that he would have a finished draft for by the end of the month.
8. Representative's reports
a) Cumbria Association of Local Councils (CALC) District AGM. The Chairman said that this had been an excellent meeting with the guest speaker being John Findlay, the Chief Executive of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), who gave a resume of the discussions NALC were having with HMG. The wheel has turned somewhat in that Parish Councils are now viewed favourably by Central Government, and are seen as fundamental building blocks to conversion to the Big Society agenda. Issues such as funding, more powers for Parish Councils, The Big Society and The Localism Bill had all been recently discussed with Ministers and officials. What became clear is that Parish Councils are fortunate to have someone, such as John Findlay, with the necessary detailed knowledge of the needs and aspirations of Parish Councils, and above all a working experience, to represent them in such discussions.
b) CALC Joint Executive meeting. The Clerk reported that as well as discussing the BGS Survey which had just been published, the CALC representatives were still concerned that Parish Councils were not given the recognition they should have - eg. in particular when the process for narrowing down the areas highlighted by the BGS Survey is being developed. Issues such as having an independent Chairman and altering the Terms of Reference of the Partnership, which had been raised by CALC some 6 months ago, had still not been addressed.
c) Improved Play Area. Mrs Gallery-Strong reported that the project had benefitted by £661 from the Neighbourhood Forum and that committed funding was standing at ~£14770. She had sent off an application to the Community Spaces fund.
d) Parish Plan. Mr Gray was now assembled but required an Implementation Plan. To assist in this process he would circulate a copy of the draft plan and a list of actions for members to provide feedback and comment.
e) School Governors. Mrs Gallery-Strong said that she had attended a recent meeting which was mainly concerned with administration.
9. Planning Matters
Approval for Hard Standing, Fleming Hall. Noted.
Soil Store – Hallsenna, Field No 3824. The Clerk explained that this application had been presented previously but had had to be re-submitted because the original application was made under an agricultural category (apparently agriculture does not include horticulture). It was agreed to raise no objection but to draw the attention of the Planning Officers to the increasing amount of heavy goods vehicles accessing what was a narrow and unmade country track, and used mainly for acess to private dwellings.
11 Public Participation. There were no questions from the members of the public present.
12 Questions Councillors wish to raise.
Mr Gray - Reported that:
Dr Hutson – Reported that there was substantial overgrowth protruding out from the space by the Library. It was uncertain whether this land belonged to Mr Nolan or the Public Hall. Mr Jacob would investigate.
13 In Camera. None.
There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.30pm.