Parish Council Minutes - May 2011

  • Minutes of the Annual Meeting held 11th May 2011 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.00pm


    Present : Dr Hutson; Messrs. Gray, Jacob, McKinley, Norman; Mrs G Jackson.

    Apologies: Mr Wright ( Holiday); Mrs Gallery-Strong (Work commitments).

    1. Election of Chairman . Mr McKinley was duly elected as Chairman unopposed having been proposed by Mr Gray, seconded by Dr Hutson. He welcomed all members who had been re-elected and also Mrs Jackson who was joining the council for the first time.

    2. Chairman’s acceptance of office. The Chairman signed his declaration after the meeting.

    3. Election of Vice-Chairman. Mr Wright was duly elected having been proposed by Mr Norman, seconded by Mr Gray, and with no other nominations.

    4. The following appointments were made:

    a) Finance Committee : Messrs. Jacob, Norman, Mrs Jackson, + Mr McKinley & Mr Wright (ex-officio), + AN Other.

    b) Village Care, Carpark & Toilets: MessrsGray, Norman, Wright, + 2x AN Other.

    d) Highways (Liaison and Transport): Mr Norman, Dr Hutson, Mr Jacob.

    e) Footpaths and Common Land: M r Wright, + 3x AN Other.

    f) CCTV: Messrs Jacob, Wright. + AN Other.

    g) What’s On/Website Editor: Mr Gould in liaison with The Clerk.

    h) Fairtrade Group: Mr Jacob.

     Nuclear Matters Sub-group: Dr Hutson, Mr McKinley, Mr Wright, The Clerk.


    6. The following were appointed to Management Committees:

    Public Hall: Mr Norman, Mrs Jackson.

    Playing Field: Mr Norman, Mrs Gallery-Strong.


    7. The following were appointed to other Committees/Groups:

    West Cumbria Site Stakeholders Group (WCSSG): Dr Hutson ( Health, Safety & Environmental sub-group), Mr Wright (Socio-economic sub-group). It was noted that there was no representative on the main committee and The Clerk was asked to pursue the possibility.

    Copeland District Committee of CALC: Mr McKinley, The Clerk.

    Neighbourhood Forum: Dr Hutson, +AN Other.

    Charities - Hartley’s and Hearse House Trustees : Mr Norman, Mr Jacob.

    St Mary’s Burial Ground Committee: Dr Hutson, Mr Jacob.

    Governor – Gosforth School: Mrs Gallery-Strong

    Parish Plan Group – As the Plan was in its final stages of completion it was decided to disband the Group; Mr Gray would call on assistance as required.

    Council Communications Group. It was decided to leave appointments to this group until after discussion at the next meeting when more members may be available.


    8. Declarations of interest . None

    9. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 13th April 2011. Also approved were the minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on the same date.

    10. Actions arising from the minutes.

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

    2. Copy note to Ms P Graham to Mr Jacob ref. Carpark transfer with Copeland BC. Action complete – See Item 15.3 below. Action – The Clerk

    3. Arrange assessment and repairs of Toilet electrics. Action in hand. Action – Mr Norman

    4. Reconvene meeting of Footpath Group. (After May Meeting) Action ongoing. Action – Mr Wright

    5. Deal with Solicitor ref Playing Field Trust. Action – The Clerk

    Action ongoing – The Transfer Deeds had been completed and returned.

    6. Define options for future PAYE and NI contributions.

    Action – Messrs Norman, McKinley, Wright and The Clerk.

    Action ongoing.

    7. Send results of resolution on sale of assets ref Playing Field Trust to HSBC Solicitors. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.

    8. Forward Mr McKinley’s application for continued LDNPA Parishes membership to CALC. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.

    9. Contact Community Police and Area Engineer ref Petton Place parking problems. Action complete. Action – The Clerk

    10. Respond to Ms Brightman. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.

    11. Contact Rhuari Bennet ref potential meeting with MRWS Partnership. Action complete – See Item 12e below. Action – The Clerk

    12. Respond to J Falkner with support for PCC decision on Burial Ground. Action complete. Action – The Clerk

    13. Respond to Copeland BC supporting bid for RL World Cup. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.

    14. Discuss Insurance details and quotation. Action – Mr Norman, The Clerk

    Action complete – See Item 11c below.

    15. Inform Mr Gould ref changes in opening hours of Distington Crematorium. Action complete. Action – The Clerk

    16. Arrange audit of accounts and make Annual return a May agenda item. Action complete – See Item 11b below. Action – The Clerk

    17. Respond to Boundary Commission ref changes to County Council divisions. Action complete. Action – The Clerk

    18. Put Customer Focus Group info in Library. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.

    19. Forward latest Cumbria Transport Plan to all members. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.

    20. Forward Libraries consultation to all members. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.


    11. Financial Matters.

    Monthly Financial Statement. This was approved (Proposed Mr Norman, seconded Dr Hutson)

    2010-11 Annual Return. This was duly accepted and signed off (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr Norman). The attached Governance Statement was also approved and signed.

    2011-12 Council Insurance Proposal. Mr Norman said that he and The Clerk had examined the proposal and with the exception of the cover for CCTV (which was at too high a value) considered it acceptable. Mr Norman proposed, seconded by Dr Hutson that the premium (£1714.48) be accepted, and this was agreed. The Clerk would contact A-on ref. the CCTV cover level. It was also noted that when the new play equipment is installed the amount of cover will need to be raised.


    12. Main Business.

    a) Co-option. The Chairman said that it was his opinion that the workload on Parish Councils would increase in the future. He mentioned the Localism Bill, the GDF proposals and New-build Reactors as examples. It was therefore essential for all councillors to realise that being a Parish Councillor required more than just turning up for monthly meetings.He suggested that all members should consider carefully who could make a positive contribution to the work of the council and bring names to the next meeting when a decision to co-opt could be made. In addition The Clerk would put up appropriate notices and get an entry in What’s On.

    b) Cumbria Transport Plan.(Sent to all members 15 th April). It was decided that the Chairman and Clerk should prepare a draft response.

    c) A595 bypass consultation ( Cumbria CC). The council had been invited to send representatives to a consultation meeting in Whitehaven on 9 th June. It was agreed that Dr Hutson, Mr Norman, Mr Jacob and The Clerk would attend.

    d) Libraries Future.(Sent to all members 15 th April). It was decided that the Chairman and Clerk should prepare a draft response.

    e) GDF update (Prof. D Smythe Report & NDA Reports). The Chairman said that the paper by Prof. D Smythe (Emeritus Professor of Geophysics at Glasgow University) raised several important issues regarding the suitability of West Cumbria in general and in particular the Gosforth area as a host site for a GDF. He outlined the following:

    International guidance suggests that for deep geological disposal in crystalline rock, geological formations should be simple and predictable so as to enable satisfactory characterisation of the potential host rock, and that such disposal should be in areas with a low hydraulic gradient.

    The geology in West and North Cumbria is extremely well known as a result of the mining of coal, haematite and anhydrite, exploratory drilling for hydrocarbons (especially in North Cumbria), and the activities of NIREX (especially in West Cumbria).

    From this work it is quite obvious that the geology of both West and North Cumbria is both extremely complex and unpredictable and therefore difficult to characterise, and that because of the topography of the area the hydraulic gradient is some 20 times greater than normally considered desirable.

    Notwithstanding the above, Prof Smythe considers that Longlands offers the “least unsuitable location in the region” and goes on to say that it “is probably now as well understood in geological 3D as any comparable volume of rock in the world……… including oilfields”.

    It is not known how the paper will be viewed by the MRWS Partnership but it does nothing to diminish the opinion of the Nuclear Group that it is essential that the Site Selection Process does not develop further without the active engagement of potential Host Communities with the attendant safeguards of Voluntarism and Right of Withdrawal which have for so long been ignored by the County and District Councils.

    Referring to the NDA Paper the Chairman said that the MRWS Parnership had asked it to respond to 3 questions to show why it believes the prospects of finding a site for a GDF in West Cumbria are sufficiently good to justify proceeding further, commenting on the inherent uncertainties and how they will be managed . :

    1 . Why are the prospects of finding a site for a GDF in West Cumbria sufficiently good to justify proceeding further?

    2. What are the inherent uncertainties and how will these uncertainties be managed?

    3. What are the future research needs?

    It was significant that not one of the questions had been properly answered.

    The Chairman also referred to the ongoing dialogue with Rhuari Bennett (3KQ) regarding a potential meeting of the Nuclear Group with County Council MRWS Partnership members – at the suggestion of E Martin (Cumbria CC Leader). It appears that the County Council representatives are either unaware of the Parish Council’s meeting with Mr Martin or cannot decide what it is they wish to know, which they don’t already know, regarding the Parish Council view of the way the MRWS Partnership is proceeding. Until some clarification is forthcoming no meeting would take place and The Clerk was asked to respond accordingly to R Bennett. The Chairman also said that in order not to give offence to Mr Martin he had asked Mr Clarkson to speak to him to see if there was anything in the 2 letters the council had received which was being misunderstood.13. Representatives Reports.


    13 Representatives' Reports

    Mr Gray - Reported that the arranged meeting with Sustrans on the Cycleway did not take place as planned due to a failure by Sustrans.

    Mrs Jackson – At the request of the Chairman updated the meeting on the status of the Nursery. The project was nearing completion and all staff appreciated the quality of the improvements. An Open Day was arranged for Saturday 18 th June from 10.00am – 3.00pm.

    14. Planning Matters. None.


    15. Correspondence.

    HSBC Trust info. The Clerk said that he had received a statement regarding the Trust assets which had a value of £738.

     Friends of L District – Annual Report. Put on circulation.

     CBC – Update on Carpark lease. The Clerk said he had been contacted by Copeland BC Legal Dept who were producing a suite of documents to effect a transfer.

    LDNPA – Assistance with land ownership. The Clerk would respond.

    Boundary Commission – Acknowledgement of comments ref Cumbria CC. Noted.

     LDNPA – Parish Tours. Noted – To be put on June agenda.

     Natural England – Landscape Designation project. Noted.

     CALC May circular. Sent to all members.

     CBC – Community Support. Noted.

     ACT – Chief Executive change. Noted.


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


    17. Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Mr Gray – Asked that letters of thanks for their past service to the council should be sent to Mr Bailey, Mr Davies and Mrs Balmer. This was agreed.

    Mr Norman – a) Drew attention to the forthcoming Queen’s 60 th Jubilee. It was agreed to make this a future agenda item.

    b) Asked why more brown signs advertising services outside the village had been installed. The Clerk would ask Mr Melville.


    18. In Camera. None.


    There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.15pm.

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