Minutes of meeting held 11th June 2014 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.30pm
Present : Messrs. Ancell, Gray, McKinley, Norman (Chairman), Rae,
1. Apologies: Dr Hutson; Messrs. Jacob, Walton, Wright; Mrs Gallery-Strong.
2. Declarations of interest . None
3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman said that if at all possible he would try not to hold a meeting in August to avoid holiday commitments. He used the opportunity to thank Mr Ancell for strimming the road verge at the north exit from the village as this had become seriously overgrown and limited visibility. Clerk’s Note: This area is the responsibility of the County Council and is not included within the current Parish Council contract for grass-cutting.
4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 14th May 2014. These were approved (Proposed Mr Gray, seconded Mr Rae). Also approved were the minutes of the council meeting of 21 st May (Proposed Mr Rae, seconded Mr Norman), and the report from the meeting with the Solicitor was accepted (a copy is attached to these minutes).
5. Actions arising from the minutes.
1. Check with LDNPA if PC’s are informed about planning appeals. Action – Mr McKinley.
Action ongoing – Mr McKinley was pursuing clarification on the process.
2. Discuss carpark land ownership issues with Copeland solicitor. Action – The Clerk. Action ongoing – The Clerk had responded to Mr Boyce. Mr McKinley and The Clerk met with the council’s solicitor on 15 th May. A relevant report has been issued (Ref Item 4 above).
3. Raise enforcement issues with Copeland BC and Cumbria CC. Action – Mr Jacob, The Clerk.
Action complete – Mr Jacob had confirmed the present arrangements and provided a contact name and telephone number. The Clerk had discussed the matter with Mr Clarkson who said that Allerdale should provide a universal service across the two boroughs.
4. Seek legal advice on Pavilion Lease interpretation. Action – The Clerk.
Action complete – Ref report Item 4 above. A written reply would follow.
5. Assess financial risks to PC should management involvement with the Pavilion become necessary.
Action ongoing. Action – The Finance Committee.
6. Put Gravel Pit on Council Asset Register. Action – The Clerk.
Action complete – The Clerk said he had sought advice from CALC as the land was registered as Adverse Possession. It was agreed that as the Annual Return had already been completed the actual registrationwould be at the start of the next financial year.
7. Deal with Annual Return. Action – The Clerk.
8. Write letter of support to School for MUGA. Action – The Clerk.
9. Reply to A Cleaver letter ref Holy Well. Action – The Clerk.
10. Respond to LDNPA Ref Cherry Garth planning application. Action – The Clerk.
11. Arrange planning meeting 21 st May. Action – The Clerk.
Action complete – See Minutes of 21 st May meeting. The Clerk said he had informed LDNPA of the decisions taken at that meeting and also written to those applicants where objections had been raised (specifically Holme Lea and 75/76 Meadowfield).
12. Put Grass-cutting on agenda. Action – The Clerk.
Action complete – Put on July agenda.
13. Ascertain status of Guide Book distribution. Action – Mr Wright.
14. Enquire from Mr Melville ref reinstatement of white/yellow lines. Action – The Clerk.
Action ongoing. There had been no satisfactory reply. The Clerk said that similar issues had arisen from Ponsonby PC and he had been asked to arrange a meeting with County Highways and Mr Clarkson. It seemed sensible to include Gosforth issues at that meeting and he would inform the Chairman of the arrangements.
15. Write to Police Commissioner ref CCTV etc. Action – The Clerk.
Action complete – No reply to date.
16. Put Police Report on future agendas. Action – The Clerk.
Action complete – Agenda template changed to suit.
17. Raise matter of Police Reports with Cumbria Constabulary. Action – The Clerk.
Action complete – The Clerk had received a reply from Inspector Wear who had offered to meet and discuss the matter. It was decided that when a suitable venue could be arranged a small council delegation would meet the Inspector.
18. Confirm maintenance arrangements for footpath by the School with Mr Pratt. Action complete – the path had been cut since the contact. Action – The Clerk.
19. Put Review of Parish Plan on agenda. Action – The Clerk.
Action complete – See Item 7c below).
6. Financial matters
a) Monthly Financial report . This was accepted (Proposed Mr Gray, seconded Mr Ancell).
b) Insurance Age Limitation. The Clerk explained that the amount of insurance cover for injuries etc caused while on council duty, for both individual councillors and employees, was age restricted. At the age of 75 the amount of cover was reduced from the norm of £100,000 to £10,000, and from the age of 85 the amount was zero.In response to a question The Clerk gave a brief overview of the insurance schedule.
7. Main Business
a) Future of Newsletter (Ref letter from T Preece). Mr Preece had asked the Parish Council to consider joining with Seascale and Drigg PC’s in the production of a Community Newsletter. There were differing views of whether this was what the council wanted, although some form of newsletter was thought valuable as a means of communication with residents - it was not clear exactly what. Other options could be considered. As few councillors were present it was decided to put the item on the July agenda. In the meantime enquiries would be made of how the PCC produce their magazine – costs, editoring, distribution etc.
b) Update on Toilets. At the invitation of the Chairman, Mr McKinley asked the council to consider the future for the public toilets bearing in mind their age, appearance and inevitable increasing maintenance costs. He gave a resume of the situation in Lakes PC whereby it had taken over several sets of toilets/carparks from South Lakes District Council and had reduced the financial burden on the PC by introducing charges (20P). He offered to contact the Lakes PC Clerk for details and the possibility of a meeting. In the discussion which followed issues such as people not wanting to pay would merely use the other areas of the carpark – an unpleasant and potentially unhealthy outcome. It was accepted that until the transfer of ownership was completed no firm commitments should be made. It may be useful to contact other Parish Councils who managed toilets eg. Seascale, St Bees etc. for information. As few councillors were present it was decided to put the item on the July agenda.
c) Review of Parish Plan (Mr Rae) It was agreed that this session of the review would be limited to Objectives 1to8 and 17 due to time constraints.
Objective 1 – Cycleway . Progress had been made. All short-term goals had been met. A planning application had been lodged and all associated queries had been dealt with. Significant funding had been secured.
Objective 2 – Guidebook . Guidebook had been completed. Distribution was controlled by C Jones. A question was raised regarding the guidebooks availability within the village.
Objective 3 – Enforcement of Parking . Although the short-term goals had been met in that a traffic plan had been developed reorganisation of Borough and County Council services had not delivered the results. The road marking and enforcement were issues which were actively being pursued.
Objective 4 – 20mph Speed Limit. Complete.
Objective 5 – More Pavements . Undeliverable. Exhaustive discussions with traffic engineers concluded that without taking land from existing property gardens (and in places even this was not possible due to the direct frontage on to the road) the road was too narrow to accommodate a pavement. The possibility of introducing one-way priority traffic controls was explored and deemed unfeasible.
Objective 6 – Additional flower displays . No significant progress made. This issue would be raised on the September agenda.
Objective 7 – Transfer of Carpark to Parish Council . Although progress had been made legal complications had held up proceedings. Work was still in progress to ensure completion.
Objective 8 – Additional recycling facilities . Complete. Facilities for caqrdboard and plastic bottles had been secured.
Objective 17- Blengdale Crossings. Complete. Both bridges were in place and improvements made to provide a picnic area and viewpoint.
8. Representative's reports.
CALC Copeland Executive – The Clerk said that at the last council meeting during the appointment of representatives he had inadvertently misled the council. Members of the CALC Executive had to be elected by the council as it was not the prerogative for the Chairman and Clerk to assume that role. It was unanimously agreed (Proposed Mr Gray, seconded Mr Rae) that Mr McKinley and The Clerk would represent the council on the CALC Executive. It was also clarified that for 3-tier meetings (Parish, District and County Councils) the Chairman and Clerk would normally attend.
Mr Gray – Reported on:
The Mid-Copeland Task & Finish Group which was working hard, together with the West Cumbria Bus Users’ Group, to ensure that when the County Council local bus subsidy is withdrawn a local service will still be available. He gave thanks to Mrs Cornall who had collected a mass of data on the present service (eg that 52 % of journeys were concerned with hospital visits) which would be valuable in the discussions to come.
The Copeland Rail Users Group (CRUG) who were working to get improved train services. An extra train in the evening and a through train from Barrow to Newcastle had been secured and a bid had been made for funding to run a Sunday service.
Broadband – The delivery of High Speed Broadband to Gosforth Village was a high probability; it was likely that this would not be extended to the Wasdale valley.
Mr McKinley & The Clerk reported on the LDNPA Parish Forum. The main item was concerned with United Utilities proposals to bring a water supply to West Cumbria from Thirlmere as future extraction from Ennerdale was to be prohibited. The need for the project was solely for environmental reasons – the protection of freshwater mussels in the river. There was some concern expressed that the estimated costs (~£300M) was hardly justified but UU were acting under instructions from the Environment agency.
9. Planning Matters
a) 7/2014/4024, Conservatory, Cherry Garth. This had been approved.
b) Proposals for dealing with Applications (Mr Rae). As only a small number of councillors was present this item was referred to the July agenda.
c) 7/2014/4039 - High Boonwood, Agricultural building. The Chairman had visited the site and sought opinions from neighbours, from whom there was general support. After discussion it was agreed not to object but to ask LDNPA to ensure that as many trees as possible would be kept on the site to act as a screen and minimise the visible impact.
10. Correspondence . Dealt with during the meeting.
11. Police Report . There had been six events recorded – 1 Burglary, 1 Concern for Welfare, 1 Criminal Damage, 1 Highway Disruption and 2 Road Traffic Accidents. (Note Action 5.17 above).
12. Public Participation. Mrs Cornall tabled a letter on behalf of a resident which raised several road safety issues including speeding of traffic, poor street lighting, and ineffective road marking. Further comments were made about logging wagons moving through the village at school muster times. There was general agreement that all the issues were well-founded and coincided with discussions Ref Actions 5.3 and 5.14 above. The Clerk would respond to the letter.
12 Questions Councillors wish to raise.
Mr Norman – Said that the War Memorial was in need of some attention, at least a good clean. It was agreed that in the first instance an approach would be made to Mr Hobson. Mr Gray volunteered to contact him.
Mr Gray – Asked what the response was to his request to replace 2 seats (Cost ~ £385 +VAT). The Clerk said that the Chair of the Finance Committee had said that as the request had not been Included within the budget then it required a council decision to transfer funds from the reserves (virement). It was agreed that this process should be enacted.
Mr Ancell – Raised questions regarding the chaos caused by the use of the carpark by large vehicles and coaches, the latter being associated with people involved in 3-Peaks events. The Chairman said that the lease prohibited large vehicles from using the carpark and would consider whether an appropriate notice could be provided.
The Clerk – Reported that following the meeting of him and Mr McKinley at Bleasdales solicitors the Lease for the land at the rear of the Public Hall had now been prepared and had been officially signed on behalf of the Parish Council. Mr Nolan had been informed.
13 In Camera. None.
There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.45 pm.