Parish Council Minutes - October 2012

  • Minutes of meeting held 10th October 2012 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.30pm


    Present : Dr Hutson; Messrs. Ancell, Gray, McKinley (Chairman), Norman, Rae, Walton, Wright; Mrs Gallery-Strong.

    1. Apologies: Mr Jacob.

    2. Declarations of interest . None

    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman introduced PCSO Ben Rogerson, the new Community Policeman for the Gosforth area, and his colleague from the Egremont area PCSO Reece Watt. Ben explained that he had been a PCSO for some 4 years, most of which had been spent in urban areas. He found police work in rural areas a different culture and was enjoying spending time with the schools and people. He then gave a resume of the police incidents reported in the last 3 months noting the relatively high number of reportings of suspicious activities by members of the public which was an encouraging sign that they had general confidence in the police force. Overall there had been 25 reported incidents (low compared with the numbers of other areas). In response to a question on the siting of Speed Indicating Signs he said that as far as he was aware as long as they did not cause an obstruction they could be sited anywhere. In response to a question on Neighbourhood Watch he offered to discuss this at a future meeting. The Chairman thanked both officers for their attendance.

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 12th September 2012. Mrs Gallery-Strong said that in Item 7b it should read that members present had read the papers. With this amendment the minutes were approved (Proposed Mr Norman, seconded Mr Wright).

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    Follow up costs with Mr Garner for alternative scheme for Carpark lighting. Action ongoing. Action – The Clerk.

    Amend conditions of contract ref toilet opening/closure times with Mrs Holmes. Action ongoing. Action – Mr Norman, The Clerk.

    Produce list of local businesses. Action – Dr Hutson, Mr Norman, Mr Ancell. Action ongoing .

    Contact Copeland BC ref resignation of Mrs Jackson. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – The statutory notice had been displayed and Copeland BC informed the Parish Council that it was now free to co-opt.

     Make decision on replacement of Meadowfield seat. Action – The Village Care Group. The seat was beyond repair and the group thought that it should not be replaced and would arrange for its removal.

     Contact Copeland BC ref Tourist notice boards. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – The boards had been transferred to the Parish Council.

    Discuss with the Carpark Group the provision of a new Tourism Board. Action - Mr Wright. Action ongoing.

    Honorarium Internal Auditor. Action – The Clerk. Action complete .

    Donation Gosforth Public Hall. Action – The Clerk. Action complete.

    Inform the Monitoring Officer of adoption of Code of Conduct. Action – The Clerk.Action complete.

    Contact Mr Boyce and arrange a meeting with Mr Wilson ref carpark purchase. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – A letter highlighting the issues that were unacceptable to the Parish Council had been sent to Mr Boyce and the transfer documents had since been deposited with the solicitor, who would arrange a meeting with the council.

    Respond to CCC ref 20 mph limit. Action – The Clerk Action complete – See Item 8f below.

    Arrange with BT for a business telephone service. Action – The Clerk. Action complete.

    Get details of computer maintenance package for The Clerk. Action – Mr Norman.Action complete .

    Respond to CALC ref MRWS Partnership final report. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – See Item 8a below. 2

    Respond to LDNPA Ref planning applications. Action – The Clerk. Action complete.

    Put Printing Costs on next agenda. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – See Item 7a below.

    Provide notice for Honesty Box. Action – Mr Wright. Action ongoing.


     6. Financial Matters. a) Monthly financial report. This was approved (Proposed Mr Norman, seconded Mr Gray). 

    The Clerk reminded members that a meeting of the Finance Committee would be convened in the near future to discuss the budget for 2013-14. Any member with suggestions for items to be included should make those known (Preferably in writing) to The Chairman, Mr Norman or The Clerk.

     7. Main Business

    a) Printing costs (Mr Norman). Mr Norman said he had raised this issue as the amount of information now being received by members meant that the cost of printing was not inconsiderable. The Clerk said there were 3 options – Allowances to councillors – which he strongly advised against, individual members claiming expenses from the Parish Council or for The Clerk to provide paper as and when required. It was agreed to adopt the third option.

    b) Parish Newsletter. The Chairman said that although Mrs Jackson had left the council she had agreed to provide assistance with the production. Mr Ancell and Mr Gray had agreed to produce the next edition probably in November. Mr Gray said that Seascale Parish Council were keen to change to a joint newsletter and a meeting with Mr Preece had been arranged to discuss the possibility. The Chairman reminded those present that when the possibility of a merger had been tabled previously, the council had voted to remain separate. At the suggestion of Mr Norman it was agreed that the production of the next edition should go ahead as planned and this issue should be discussed at the January meeting.

    c) Management of Radioactive Waste. The Chairman referred to the recent press release from the Principal Authorities which said that they had put any Decision to Partcipate on hold for 3 months. This was following a visit to Westminster by The Leaders of the County Council and the two Borough Councils. Quite what could be achieved by a 3 month delay was uncertain as a review of the Geology and a Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment would take substantially longer than 3 months. A newsletter from Cumbria County Council emphasised the lack of trust between the 3 Principal Authorities and the Government. It ignored the corresponding, and much deeper-seated lack of trust, between the potential Host Communities and themselves.


    8. Representative's reports

     CALC Executive meeting (The Clerk). The Clerk reported that the executive had decided, following feedback from the parishes from the MRWS meeting at Hunday Manor, not to add anything to the letter to the Principal Authorities which it had already sent. Regarding the provision of Broadband it had been agreed to send a deputation to the Cumbria Leaders’ Board to try and generate some urgency into the County Council process as thee was a distinct danger that essential funding would be lost. The one piece of good news was that BT had agreed to invest some £30 Million into broadband provision in the west of the county. This was toatally separate to the Rural Broadband project which was being driven by the County Council.

    Cycleway (Mr Gray). Mr Gray said that the application for funding from the Copeland Community Fund had been refused pending the provision of more information and would have to be re-submitted.

      Bleng Forest (Mr Walton). Mr Walton reported that installation of the bridges was complete but the project was on hold as one of the landowners was objecting to the upgrade of the footpath to a bridleway. As some of the funding was based on an extension to the bridleway network it needed to be clarified how this would or could be affected. Mr Walton was to follow this up. Further action would depend on the outcome.

    Meeting with Sellafield Ltd (Mr Norman, The Clerk). An update on the Wastwater Pipeline project was given and the project manager agreed to deal with some problems identified with damage to drains, walls and gates. The Security Fencing project was still proceeding to programme. Regarding Security Strategy, it was emphasised that the series of meetings which had been arranged earlier in the year and to which the Parish Coucils had been invited, should continue. While it was recognised that some aspects of security planning were not the business of Parish Councils, the consequences of any outcomes certainly were and they wished to be kept informed. This was agreed and notice was given that the next meeting was scheduled for some time in late October. Also discussed was what was perceived as poor management by NDA of its properties and woodlands – Newton Manor, Longlands Farm, and the associated woodland at Pelham House were cited as examples. Mr Dunne said he was the Head of Property for Sellafield Ltd and now managed the estates on behalf of NDA – a recent arrangement. He was in the process of working up a management plan for the estates and agreed to act as a contact point for any issues the Parish Councils wished to raise.

    National Park parishes meeting (Mr McKinley). The Chairman said that there were essentially 3 issues which had arisen – MRWS where the parishes were extremely critical of the failure of the LDNPA to express clear statements of policy; Affordable/ Low-cost Housing which in some areas was the over-riding concern of some parishes; and the (13) ‘Whole Valley Plans’ which LDNPA were introducing as part of a planning strategy . Details of these would be made available.

    Traffic management meeting (Mr Norman, The Clerk). The meeting had been combined with Ponsonby Parish Council. Mr Cosgrove confirmed that traffic data analysis in Gosforth was now complete and justified the introduction of the 20 mph speed limit. The suggestion by the Parish Council to extend the limit further south on the Santon Bridge road (as far as Syke End) was accepted. The installation would be undertaken before the end of the financial year (31 st March 2013) and would be done in conjunction with the change of parking priorities at Gosforth gate/ Petton Place and the yellow/ white lining would be simultaneously upgraded. Once the new limit was in force another assessment of the issue of parking near to the School would be undertaken.

    Boonwood footpath (Mr Rae). Mr Rae said that he had made no progress on this matter with Mr Leighton. On the separate matter of Speed Indicating Signs he said that if a formal letter from the Parish Council to Carillion was sent it would be considered within their programme for support of locaal communities. The Clerk was asked to write accordingly.

    Meeting with Mr Clarkson ref flooding. (The Clerk). The Clerk said he had met Mr Clarkson who was arranging for the ‘Flood Team’ to complete its visit to Gosforth to inspect areas which had not been picked up on the first visit (Ellerslie area and Wellington). Mr Clarkson would let The Clerk know when arrangements had been made.


    9. Planning Matters. Mill Farm, Wellington – Storage area cover. The members found the plans provided confusing and asked for more information.

    The Clerk reported that the following applications had been approved:

    Croft Head, Whitecroft (2 storey extension); Blennerhazel (Barn extension); Low Boonwood Farm (Roof cover to manure store).


    10 Correspondence.

    a) Copeland BC – Dog Control Order, The order, to ban all dogs, now extended to the whole of the Playing Field.In response to a question The Clerk said he would check if there were standard warning signs which should be displayed to advise the public.

    b) CALC – Advice on precepts. A note from CALC advised Parish Councils not to set precepts until a statement from Government was issued which avoided the possibility of councils being trapped by local government capping restrictions.

    c) CALC – Advice on agendas . Another note gave an example of how Parish Councils could protect themselves from transgressing the new laws on Declarations of Interest.

    d) Copeland BC – Requesting information on Electrical testing (of the electrical system in the toilet block), and the management system which the council had in place to control of Legionella. The Clerk would deal with both issues for the Parish Council and would advise both the Public Hall and the Playing Field Committees that they should consider both issues accordingly.


    11 Public Participation. There were no members of the public present at this point.

    12 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Mr Gray – Raised the matter of the appointment of 2 members to the Mid-Copeland Group. Mr Walton and Mr Ancell were appointed. Mr Walton also agreed to act as a deputy for Dr Hutson on the Neighbourhood Forum. It was agreed to purchase 2 more flower tubs to enhance the carpark area.

    13 In Camera. .

    There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.25pm.

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