Minutes of meeting held 11th December 2013 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.30pm
Present : Dr Hutson; Messrs. Gray, Jacob, McKinley (Chairman), Norman, Wright.
1. Apologies: Ancell, Rae, Walton, Mrs Gallery-Strong.
2. Declarations of interest . None
3. Chairman's opening remarks. None.
4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 13th November 2013. These were approved (Proposed Dr Hutson, seconded Mr Wright). Also approved (Proposed Mr Norman, seconded Mr Wright) were the minutes form the special meeting on 27 th November called to finalise the response to the Decc consultationon MRWS.
5. Actions arising from the minutes.
1. Respond to LDNPA ref Walkmill Gardens planning application. Action complete. Action - The Clerk.
2. Discuss carpark land ownership issues with Copeland solicitor. Action – The Clerk
Action ongoing - The Clerk had written to the Land Registry, providing appropriately marked maps, to ask for any assistance they could provide. No further progress was possible without Copeland BC action.
3. Deal with non-paying advertisers. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk.
Some progress had been made. The Chairman said that in view of the amount of effort expended to date, in his opinion the council was unlikely to recover further monies and suggested that the amount be written off. This was seconded by Mr Norman. After some debate this motion was put to the vote and with 1 abstention was agreed.
4. Check list of properties with Local Occupancy conditions attached from both Planning Authorities.
Action ongoing. Action – The Clerk
5. Review CCTV document. Action – Mr Jacob, Mr Ancell.
Action complete – It was considered that the council system complied with the guidance.
6. Arrange with Mr Gould for Ponsonby PC minutes to be put on web-site. Action - The Clerk
Action complete – A separate section had been provided.
7. Get costs from Copeland BC ref grass-cutting at Denton Park. Action - The Clerk
Action complete – See Item 11a below.
6. Financial Matters. The Clerk apologised for not having the monthly report completed. He would forward copies to all members and the file copy could be approved at the January meeting.
a) MRWS. (Final response copied to all members). The Chairman said that following the meeting on 27 th November the final response to the consultation had been sent off to DECC. The Chairman commented that from the other responses published there was a general agreement that the National Park should be excluded as an area for siting a repository. This was backed up by robust submissions from LDNPA and National Trust. A substantial change of emphasis was noticed in the Allerdale BC submission who now agreed with the Parish Council (and others) that finding a suitable geological setting was essential before calling for volunteer communities. There was of course no such change of heart from Copeland BC. According to announcements made by DECC a new White Paper will be published some time in the second half of 2014. It was agreed that copies of the council response would be sent to CALC, CBC (Leader), CCC (Leader), MEP, LDNPA, Above-Derwent PC, Cumbria Trust, J Reed MP, Mr N Clarkson. The Clerk said he had already put it on the web-site and would put a copy in the Library. In response to a question regarding Cumbria Trust, The Chairman suggested that The Clerk should circulate the contact details for the web-site; members could then read some of the information provided and the matter could be debated at a future meeting.
b) County Council budget (Papers sent out in advance). The Clerk said he had received comments back from Mrs Gallery-Strong and Mr Gray. Of particular concern was the proposal to remove substantial funding for the rural bus network as this would probably result in the total loss of the X6 service. There was also a proposal to remove support for the college bus service which would create extreme difficulties in rural areas for youngsters onward education. Cuts were proposed to the Area Committees grants as well as Health & Social Care. Also at risk was the matter of verge maintenance which was a critical safety issue on many of the rural roadsIt was agreed that a response would be sent; The Clerk would prepare a draft after he had attended a meeting with County Council officers, which had been arranged for the CALC County Executive on 19 th December.
8. Representative's reports.
a) Flooding Meeting (Notes of meeting forwarded to members). The Clerk said he had been disappointed at the response of the County Council who did not appear to want to engage with the Parish Council, it being suggested that any future discussions should be via Flood Forums (or Neighbourhood Forums). It was made clear by CCC that the main purpose of the report was to act as a primer to attract funding for improvements and the sort of detail which the Parish Council had been asking for, in particular identification and responsibilities of riparian owners, was work for the future. Dr Hutson said that CCC had agreed to hold another public meeting and The Clerk was actioned to progress this. He also said that following the meeting the Flood Team had visited Denton Park and had agreed that the flood water which was now flowing over the footpath was a public nuisance and from that respect they would take some remedial action.
b) 3-Tier Meeting. Mr Jacob reported that the main issues discussed were Healthwatch Cumbria – a new organisation which had been set up to deal with health issues; Electoral Registration whereby individuals would now be required to individually register to vote as opposed to the previous system where this responsibility was delegated to the head of the household; and the proposed County Council budget cuts.
9. Planning Matters.
a) 50 Meadowfield – Extensions. Mr Gray had visited the site and spoken to neighbours who did not raise any issues. No objection.
b) Hurlbarrow Farm – New Barn. Mr Norman had assessed the plans. No objection.
c) Craemar – New development. Mr Gray had visited the site, spoken to the owner, and consulted neighbours. Concerns had been raised regarding the height and siting of the property. Dr Hutson said that the owners of the adjacent field were probably not aware of the proposal and would inform them accordingly. There was some doubt whether the development was ‘affordable’ or ‘low-cost’ and whether it would be subject to a S106 agreement. It was decided that in view of the reactions from the neighbours and the questions raised the Council would recommend to LDNPA that a site visit should be arranged before a decision was taken.
10. Public Participation. Mrs Cornall reported that the Millennium Oak on the carpark had been blown down in the recent gale. Mr Gray said he had arranged for the tree to be removed and was seeking a cost for a replacement. At the request of The Clerk, Mrs Cornall agreed to review the various travel notices on the Notice Board, some of which were out of date.
a) Feedback from CBC ref Grass-cutting. The Clerk said he had discussed this matter with Mr Davies who had replied that he could include cutting of the verges at fortnightly intervals within the current contract. If the council wished to have the whole area cut this would entail an additional cost of ~£200 for each side. As things were at present the LHS could not be cut due to the presence of standing water. Dr Hutson said that the area at the rear of the sub-station was being neglected and residents had removed tree growth to keep the pathway clear. The Clerk said he was meeting Mr Davies on 13 th December and would raise this matter with him.
b) LDNPA – Allocations of Land & Minerals & Waste plans. Noted.
c) CALC Circular . Sent to all councillors.
d) CALC – Consultation on Electoral Reform. CALC had responded to the DCLG consultation document following The Clerk raising the issue at the CALC AGM. The consultation identified the criteria necessary for an individual to legally stand for election but omitted to provide any remedy to the present legal situation whereby the Returning Officer could not exclude a candidate for providing false information. The submission by CALC was clear, precise and offered a simple solution. It was hoped that pressure from NALC will persuade DCLG to provide positive guidance as this is an extremely importantissue for Parish Councils in particular.
12 Questions Councillors wish to raise.
Mr Gray – Asked if something could be done about the overgrown hedge in Whitecroft. Dr Hutson agreed to approach the owner of the offending property.
Mr McKinley – Reported that LDNPA were embarking on a project to upgrade public toilets which they owned, simultaneously introducing charges for use.
13 In Camera. None.
There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.15pm.