Parish Council Minutes - March 2009

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

    Present : Dr Hutson; Messrs. Bailey, Gray, Jacob, McKinley (Chairman), Norman, Wright; Mrs Balmer.

    1. Apologies: MrAncell, Mr Newbold (both work commitments).

    2. Declarations of Interest . None

    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman said that he apologised to the meeting for not completing actions relating to Risk Assessment and drafting a letter to HMG on the radioactive waste disposal process. Regarding Risk Assessment he and The Clerk would be shortly meeting the solicitor to discuss this further. He had started on the draft letter which would be circulated to all members for comment.

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 11th February 2009. These were approved (Proposed Mr Norman, seconded Mr Gray).

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    1. Amend FoI schedule. Action – The Clerk. Action ongoing.

    2. Generate Risk Assessment procedure. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk. Action ongoing – see Item 3 above.

    3. Draft letter for HMG ref White Paper progress. Action – Mr McKinley. Action ongoing – see Item 3 above.

    4. Copy Police Pledge to all members. Action – The Clerk. Action complete.

    5. Check with Mr Grey ref situation of Public Hall and VAT claims. Action ongoing. Action - Mr Jacob.

    6. Send letter ref Shadow Partnership to CALC. Action – The Clerk. Action complete.

    7. Re-send note on allotments to all councillors. Action – The Clerk. Action complete.

    8. Respond to LDNPA ref. Lanthwaite planning application. Action complete. Action – The Clerk.

    9. Respond to Copeland BC ref dilapidated properties. Action – The Clerk. Action complete.

    10. Arrange for ‘Gosforth Nursery’ to be discussed at 5 Rivers Group meeting. Action complete. Action – The Clerk.

    11. Progress village signage with LDNPA. Action – The Clerk. Action complete. The reply was not helpful and The Chairman would raise the matter with LDNPA.

    12. Provide suggestions for addition to Listed Buildings register. Action ongoing. Action – Mr Norman.

    6. Financial matters.

    a) Monthly financial report. This was approved (Proposed Mr Norman, seconded Mr Bailey)

    b) Invoice from Playing Field contractor. The Clerk said that when he put this item on the agenda it had serious implications for the Parish Council; fortunately the matter had now (hopefully) been resolved. He explained that he had received an invoice from the contractor who had installed the All-weather Playing Surface for £33,351, which was due to be paid before 31 st March. On contacting Copeland BC he had been told that the Parish Council would not be receiving its agreed share of the Lottery Fund Grant directly as Copeland BC wanted to pay all invoices. (This was contrary to what had been agreed some 6 months previously and would seriously embarrass the Parish Council financially as it would be unable to claim back the VAT {~£6500}, on the contract.) Accordingly he had discussed the matter with Mr Parker and the Head of Finance (Ms J Crellin) at Copeland BC. who was very understanding of the position of the Parish Council and said that the decision could be reversed. Ms Crellin had agreed to liaise with the Clerk to ensure a satisfactory transfer of funds. At Dr Hutson’s suggestion The Clerk was thanked by the members for his prompt and effective action.

    c) The Chairman said that he had now received from CALC the details of the concluded agreement on Local Authority salaries. He suggested that he and the Vice-chairman should work out the amount of back-pay for The Clerk and table this at the next meeting. This was agreed.

    7. Main Business

    a) Parish Plan update. Mr Gray gave an overview of the situation. Some 180 questionnaires had been returned which was somewhat disappointing. Although there were some indications of the attitude of residents to eg. Siting a waste repository, use of any benefits which could accrue from same and the burial ground, detailed analysis was required for an accurate assessment. The target date for completion was June 2009.

    b) Letter to CORWM ref. Radioactive Waste. Mr Wright said that he had done a first draft which he had passed on to The Chairman and Clerk for preliminary comments. The intention was to circulate the draft to all members for further comment.

    c) Press-release/ Newsletter. Dr Hutson said that feedback he had received regarding the newsletter was favourable ie. The public felt that the Parish Council had adopted the right course of action. For other members who had had feedback the experience was similar. Regarding any press release it was felt, after discussion, that this was not the right time and should be put on hold to a time when it could have a more significant impact.

    8. Planning Matters a) Row Mill extension. No objections.

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

    10. Correspondence

     CCC – Landscape Character Assessment. Noted.

     Standards Board – Newsletter. Noted. The Clerk commented that while many were of the opinion that scrutiny of standards of behaviour for Parish Councils was ‘over the top’ the results showed otherwise. Many Parish Councils were not even operating within their legal obligations.

     CCC – Minerals & Waste Site allocations policy. Noted.

     HSBC Trust – Playing Field trusteeship. The Clerk read out a letter received from solicitors acting for HSBC who wanted to transfer their responsibility for managing the Playing Field Trust to another party – their suggestion being the Parish Council.Agreed that this item should be discussed by The Chairman & Clerk when they visit the solicitor.

     Digital UK – Note of changeover. Noted that all who receive signals by aerial will need to re-tune sets on changeover. Posters to be displayed and information to be put in What’s On.

     CCC – Peel Place liaison meeting 30 th March. Noted.

     5 Rivers – Action plan development. Noted.

     LDNPA – Hedgerow removal at Bridge Petton. Noted that this was necessary to provide access to a water valve pit which had become overgrown.

    Land Registry info. Noted.

     Copeland BCDog Control Orders. Agreed to send in comments as made in the meeting.

     Highways Area Committee – Response ref suggestions ref A595 alternative route. The Chairman had replied thanking the council for its proposals and said that he would explore further the possibility of funding the study from the Community Fund.

    CALC – March circular. Sent to all councillors.

     Police Report – January - 7 incidents (1 anti-social behaviour, 5 road related, and 1 Burglary at Gosforth Nursery). February – 13 incidents (3 anti-social behaviour, 5 road related, 4 miscellaneous and 1 Crime {assault}.

     Seascale Parish Council – A letter asking for support in their efforts to gain the Quality Awards for the beach was read. This was unreservedly given support.

    11.Questions Councillors wish to raise

    Mrs Balmer – Reported that the dog-poo bin was missing from the entrance to Denton Park. The Clerk said he would raise this with Copeland Parks Dept.

    Dr Hutson – a) Reported a large pothole at the junction of Wasdale Road and The Cut. This would be reported to Highways.

    b) Reported inconsiderate parking at the bottom of Leagate. This would be raised with the Community WPC.

    c) Highlighted the traffic problems caused by a skip positioned on Wasdale Road. This would also be raised with the Community WPC.

    d) Noted that the trees fouling the power lines near the sub-station had still not been cut back. The Clerk said he would be meeting Mr Davies from Copeland Parks Dept shortly and he would ask him to again prompt United Utilities.

    e) Asked that Local Businesses should be made an agenda item.

    f) Asked about progress on a replacement councillor for Mrs Pennington. The Clerk said that the relevant notices had been put up and he was awaiting instructions from Copeland BC on whether an election was required or the Parish Council could co-opt.

    Mr NormanReported that the drains on the carpark were blocked. The Clerk said he would ask Mr Davies to arrange for clearance.

    12. Representative's reports.

    a) 5 Rivers Group. The Clerk said that the last meeting was again taken up by discussions about the combined group plan. He had taken the opportunity to raise the matter of potential funding towards the new Nursery and had been told that Drigg PC were aware of the needs and would be discussing the matter at its next meeting. He would follow this up with the Drigg PC Clerk.

    b) CALC – Copeland District meeting (Highways). The Clerk said that feedback to the County Council was positive who thought that the scheme was working well.

    c) CALC – Copeland & Allerdale Districts meeting ( Radioactive Waste). The Clerk said that most Parish Councils were more relaxed about the situation than Gosforth. They considered it to be early days in a long, drawn-out process. The CALC representatives agreed to continue to attend the Shadow Partnership meetings and to act as a conduit for information. The Clerk said that he had stressed that there were 2 issues which were critical for future confidence in the process; 1 - that as soon as any Host Community was identified, that community should have an independent voice in any discussions, and 2 – that the same community should have the facility to arrange its own funding for any technological or safety advice and not rely on whatever Copeland BC or the County Council decided.

    Guy Richardson provided feedback from a meeting with Copeland BC and County Council officials regarding the progress to date on the actions taken post the White Paper. Apparently both bodies could see some usefulness of an advisory partnership but CCC were willing to join only as long as it was ‘advisory’. (Note - the County Council has not attended to date any meetings of the ‘Shadow Partnership’). Regarding the ‘Decision to Participate’ there was disagreement on how to make that work but both bodies agreed to try and find a solution.

    d) Mr Jacob – provided feedback from the public meeting on the Burial Ground. Most present favoured an extension to the churchyard but almost as many would accept re-use of the old part of the burial area.

    e) Mr Gray – Reported that there had been a meeting with Sustrans and the Land Agents regarding the Cycleway. Progress was still being made and safety issues raised by the County Council would be discussed.

    Village Care - He also reported that Copeland BC had removed a redundant footpath sign and a dead tree from the carpark and he was obtaining a quotation for removing moss from the Mosaic.

    13 In Camera. None.

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

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