Parish Council Minutes - February 2009

  • Minutes of meeting held 11th February 2009 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.00pm

    Present : Dr Hutson (After Item 5); Messrs. McKinley (Chairman), Ancell, Gray, Jacob, Newbold, Norman, Wright; Mrs Balmer.

    1. Apologies: Mr Bailey (Other engagement).

    2. Declarations of interest . None

    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman said it had been a relatively quiet month. Due to illness he had been unable to meet the solicitor with The Clerk. He thanked all those members who had provided assistance in the printing, sorting and distribution of the Parish Plan questionnaires and newsletters.

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 14th January 2009. These were approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mrs Balmer).

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    1. Check with Charity Commission ref P/Hall accounts and inform The Clerk. Action complete. Action Mr Jacob

    2. Check insurance issues ref War Memorial. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – Agreed to leave matters as they are at present.

    3. Put minutes on web-site and amend FoI schedule. Action – The Clerk Minutes and important correspondence now on the web-site. The Clerk said he would amend the schedule for the next meeting.

    4. Put ‘Allotments’ on next agenda. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – See Item 7d below.

    5. Report trees near power lines at sub-station to Copeland BC and/or United Utilities. Action – The Clerk. Action complete but Dr Hutson said that there had been no action. The Clerk said he would contact United Utilities directly if Copeland BC did not respond. NOTE: Since the meeting confirmation has been received from Copeland BC that they have contacted United Utilities.

    6. Write letter to Area Committee ref A595 alternative route and get it put on the 5-Rivers Group agenda. Action – The Clerk Action complete.

    7. Generate Risk Assessment procedure. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk Action continues.

    8. Copy Copeland BC report on ‘Shadow Partnership’ to all members. Action complete. Action – The Clerk

    9. Put MRWS on next meeting’s agenda. Action – The Clerk Action complete – See Item 7b below.

    10. Respond to LDNPA ref TPO at Netherwasdale Action – The Clerk Action complete.

    11. Obtain details of Golder Associates consultation. Action – The Clerk Action discontinued.

    12. Invite Supt Slater to meet the council. Action – The Clerk Action complete. A Cumbria police officer had contacted The Clerk prior to the meeting as Supt Slater was away. We await a reply.

    13. Inform NHS Cumbria ref meeting on 4 th February. Action – The Clerk Action discontinued.

    14. Inform Copeland BC ref blocked ditch at rear of Denton Park. Action complete – The Flood Officer was taking action. Action – The Clerk

    15. Copy schedule of Public Hall meetings to council representatives. Action complete. Action – Mr Jacob

    16. Find out more details regarding meeting Japanese researcher. Action discontinued. Action – The Clerk

    17. Draft letter for HMG ref White Paper progress. Action – Mr McKinley Action ongoing – awaiting response from CALC letter.

    18. Copy Police Pledge to all members. Action – The Clerk Action ongoing.

     Note: Actions 5.11, 5.13 and 5.16 were not actioned due to illness of The Clerk and consequently the deadlines were closed.

    6. Financial Matters.

    a) Monthly financial report. This was approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr Newbold).

    b) Clerk’s terms & conditions update. The Chairman said that he had received information via CALC that negotiations between HMG and the Local Government Association had still not reached agreement on the 2009-10 payround for council employees. He was reminding the council that when agreement was reached The Clerk’s salary and allowances would need to be updated and any backpay adjusted.

    7. Main Business

    a) Public Hall and Playing Field arrangements. The Chairman said that this item was associated with Risk Assessment requirements and referred to the solicitor’s letter following the visit by The Clerk. He felt that it had not really dealt with the issue raised and thought that another meeting may be necessary to clarify particular points. It was important to ensure that the council was seen to be abiding by its obligations (particularly from the District Auditor’s viewpoint) but that bureaucracy and paperwork should be kept to a minimum. Mr Jacob, as Chairman of the Public Hall committee, tabled an update of the Public Hall accounts status from the Charity Commission web-site together with a recent letter which clarified the position. He also agreed to consult a local accountant regarding the VAT situation of the Public Hall.

    b) Draft letter to CALC ref CBC Shadow Partnership. (Copied to all councillors)

    It was agreed that the letter should be sent on to CALC.

    c) Other radioactive waste matters. Eg. Letters to HMG and CORWM, Press release, Potential meeting with Councillor D Moore.

    Following discussion it was agreed that Mr Wright (in conjunction with the Chairman and Clerk) would draft a letter to CORWM which would be circulated to all members for comment before being despatched. It was thought that when comments were received back from CALC (Ref Item b above) then further correspondence and progress could be made on other matters.

    d) Allotments. Mr Newbold said that several people had contacted him to enquire what the procedure was, what powers the Parish Council had and whether there was an obligation on the council to provide allotments if they were demanded. The Clerk said that he had set out the answers to these questions in a note which had been distributed. Briefly if more than 6 electors wrote to the council it was under an obligation to seriously consider the request. However they were not necessarily under an obligation to provide eg. If no land was available, and the purchase, lease or rent would be an unacceptable burden on the ratepayers. He would send this note again.

    8. Planning Matters

    a) Lanthwaite extension. No objection.

    b) TPO 87 Fell View. Noted that the felled tree had to be replaced.

    9. Correspondence.

    1. CALC - Feb09 Newsletter. Sent to all councillors.

    2.CCC – Road closure. Sent to all councillors. Noted that the notice still refered to obscure road numbers and lacked local descriptions.

    3. CBC – Empty properties. Agreed to identify Newton Manor, Bank House Farm and the old Kats & Kids Shop as suitably qualified.

    4. CBC – Street cleaning programme. Noted.

    5. CBC – Notice of Annual meeting of PC’s (9 th March, 6.15pm Copeland Centre. Noted – The Chairman and Clerk would attend.

    6. Cumbria Community Foundation – 2008 review. Mr Norman & Mr Gray to assess.

    7. Gosforth Nursery – Update on new building. Noted. The Clerk said that he would bring this project to the attention of the 5 Rivers Group to see if a grant could be obtained from the Community Fund.

    8. LDNPA – TPO 87 Fell View. Noted that the felled tree had to be replaced.

    9. Cancer Research – Request for recycling bank. Refused as room for recycling facilities was limited and it was thought that priority should be given to the village residents requirements eg. Recycling of Cardboard and Plastic Bottles.

    10. Bleasdales – Response to visit.

    12. CRHT – Invite to visit a Community Land Trust. Noted.

    13. Mencap – Request for donation. Refused.

    14. St Mary’s PCC – Notice of meeting ref Burial Ground. See Item 12 below.

    15. CALC – Land Registry sessions. Noted. Mr Norman & Mr Gray would attend.

    16. CALC - Notice of meeting of Executives for Copeland & Allerdale. The Clerk would be attending as a member of the executive and would use the letter to CALC as an update for the meeting.

    17. Lamplugh PC – Invite to training session. Noted.

    18. LDNPA – Change of parish areas Rangers. Noted – No change for Gosforth.

    19. Copeland BC – Concurrent Services grant. To be actioned by The Clerk when the annual accounts were completed.

    20. Citizens Advice Bureau – request for donations. Refused.

    21. BDO Auditors – Local Council Briefing. Passed to The Chairman for subsequent discussion with The Clerk.

    Note: Items 9.13 and 9.20 were refused as Council policy is generally to support local rather than national charities.

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

    11 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Mr Norman – Noted that the Viking Cross in the churchyard was not included in the register of listed buildings. It was thought that this may be because it was classified as an Ancient Monument. He said that he would check this and also provide suggestions for other parish buildings to be included in the register.

    Mr Jacob – Asked about the viability of the Village Shop, bearing in mind the rumours which were circulating. Mr Ancell said that the business was suffering in common with many others in the present recession, but there were no plans to close it down.

    Mr Wright – Asked what had happened regarding the survey of signage within the village carried out by LDNPA. The Clerk was asked to contact LDNPA for an update on the position.

    Mr Newbold – Reported that a recent disturbance on Whitecroft caused by inconsiderate parking was still being dealt with by the Police.

    Mr Gray – Reported that the Community bus service had been suspended due to a lack of support and the availability of volunteer drivers, many of whom were no longer allowed to drive due to their age. The situation would be reviewed later in the year.

    12 Representatives Reports

    Burial Ground meeting. Dr Hutson and Mr Jacob reported back on the public meeting. The bureaucracy and costs associated with proving new ground was suitable were substantial and, importantly, carried no guarantee of certainty. Essentially there were 4 options available:

    1. Carry on with processing an extension to the churchyard. (Expensive)

    2. Ask Copeland BC to provide burial space somewhere in the vicinity of the village. (Extremely unlikely)

    3. Look for an alternative site, say between Seascale and Gosforth. (Assuming land could be found there would again be considerable expense involved in proving the ground suitable.)

    4. Utilise spaces between old graves. (Some opposition voiced)

    b) Parish Plan update. Mr Gray said that all questionnaires had been distributed and replies were coming back, although not in the numbers he had hoped for. He was giving consideration to the best way to hasten/ follow-up replies.

    13 In Camera. None

     There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.20pm.

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