Parish Council Minutes - January 2011

  • Minutes of meeting held 12th January 2011 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.00pm

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

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

    2. Declarations of interest . None

    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman welcomed members to the New Year and said that the December meeting had been cancelled in the best interests of all concerned due to the appalling weather.

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 10th November 2010. These were approved ( Proposed Dr Hutson, seconded Mr Gray).

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    1. Write to Chief Constable ref PCW Hoggarth. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete – A reply of thanks had been received.

    2. Arrange meeting with Sustrans. Action – Mr Gray.

    Action complete – See Item 8b below..

    3. Progress estimates for carpark floodlighting. Action – The Clerk.

    Action ongoing.

    4. Discuss draft Business Plan for transfer of carpark with Copeland BC. Action – The Clerk & Mr McKinley.

    Action ongoing – Awaiting acceptance of business plan from Copeland BC. The plan was presented to Copeland Council in December.

    5. Arrange an assessment of Toilet electrics & plumbing. Action – Mr Norman.

    Action ongoing for electrics; plumbing complete.

    6. Generate draft letter of reply to CORWM. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk.

    Action withdrawn; overtaken by events.

    7. Generate draft Newsletter. Action – Mr Ancell.

    Action complete – See Item 7c below.

    8. Obtain views of Playing Fields Committee ref future insurance, inspection and grass-cutting. Action – Mr Norman.

    Action complete.

    9. Arrange Budget meeting with Finance Committee Action – The Clerk Action in hand – See Item 6b below.

    10. Respond to County Council electoral review consultation. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete – The Boundary Commission had responded asking CCC to consider further action.

    11. Convene meeting of Footpath Group. Action – Mr Wright.

    Action ongoing.

    12. Arrange meeting of the Nuclear sub-group. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete – See Item 7b below.

    13. Provide feedback to Mr Gray on Parish Plan. Action – All councillors.

    Action complete – See Item 8c below.

    14. Respond to CBC Planning Dept ref Hallsenna Soil Store. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete – Approval had been given by CBC.

    15. Respond to HMG Nuclear Policy Statement. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete – An acknowledgement had been received from DECC.

    16. Arrange with Mr Norman for any High School charity funds to be handed over to the Nursery. Action – The Clerk

    Action ongoing.

    17. Respond to the Community Well-being group questionnaire. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.

    18. Copy CBC Policy Briefing to all councillors. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete.

    19. Investigate land ownership by the Library. Action – Mr Jacob

    Action passed to The Clerk to check the Deeds.


    6. Financial matters

    a) Monthly Financial Report. This was approved ( Proposed Dr Hutson, seconded Mr Ancell).

    b) Budget (draft) & Finance Committee meeting date. The Clerk said that he had produced this as a preliminary to discussions within the Finance Committee in order to give all councillors a feel for what budget restraints would entail. It was agreed to hold a Finance Committee meeting in the week beginning 24 th January, the actual date to be confirmed.

    7. Main Business

     Council Response to MRWS Questionnaire (Draft sent to all members). Agreed to return questionnaire as drafted.

    Nuclear Group analysis of proposed GDF Site Selection Process. The Chairman gave a review of the Nuclear Group thinking on this issue which followed the Drop-in session at Calderbridge when the opportunity was taken to gain further information on geological constraints and site selection proposals; and specifically the issue by the MRWS Partnership of a paper {Document 79, Draft 5} outlining proposals for the Partnership’s consideration in relation to site selection and the way forward that they see for the engagement process. These had all the hallmarks of a repeat of the NIREX process. In particular, Voluntarism, the presence of a Host Community as defined in the White Paper, and a properly constituted Community Siting Partnership effectively disappeared. This was considered by the group to be totally unacceptable.

    Accordingly the group had prepared a response for discussion by the Joint (Allerdale & Copeland) CALC Executive on 17 th January, where the Gosforth members (The Chairman & The Clerk) would try and persuade CALC to withdraw from the MRWS Partnership, until such time as the MRWS process was re-aligned with the requirements set out in the White Paper. If that request failed, then The Chairman asked for the council’s approval to inform CALC that Gosforth Parish Council would withdraw from being represented by CALC within the Partnership (and also the Joint Executive). Note: There was no intention to resign membership of CALC itself). There was unanimous support for this action.

    The Chairman went on to say that depending on the outcome of the meeting on 17 th January the Nuclear group would need to consider what further action was required, in particular informing the MRWS Partnership, DECC, CALC (Chairman & Chief Executive), and if necessary CORWM.


     Parish Newsletter. Mr Ancell tabled a final draft which received appreciation and, with minor amendments, approval for distribution. Mr Ancell said that he would compare printing costs when the newsletter was complete.

    Playing Field Lease transfer. (The Clerk). The Clerk said that he had asked for this to be put on the agenda as at the time he was concerned about the lack of progress. He had recently had an update from HSBC solicitors which indicated that the progress was being made and that no further action was necessary in the immediate future.

    Provision of Bus Shelter for schoolchildren at Meadowfield (Mr Gray).

    Mr Gray said that he had been approached by several residents asking for a shelter to be provided for some 11 Gosforth schoolchildren en route to Millom who were picked up at Meadowfield. There was some difference of opinion within the ensuing debate about the necessity for providing a shelter or the wisdom of doing so. Since considerable funding would be required The Clerk was asked to discuss the matter with both the County and District councils and also get some idea of the costs involved.


    8. Representative's reports

    a) The MRWS Drop-in at Calderbridge. Dealt with under Item 7b above.

    b) Cycleway. Mr Gray said due to the bad weather a meeting had not been held but he had managed to talk to Sustrans who were still confident of getting the project to the planning stage. It was agreed that a face-to-face meeting was essential to enable actions, the possibility of accessing the Community Fund, and timescales to be confirmed.

    c) Parish Plan. Mr Gray said that he had been somewhat overwhelmed by the plethora of advice, some of which was confusing and contradictory, regarding completion and presentation of the Plan. Accordingly he had decided as a primary step to publish the analysed results of the questionnaire. There was general agreement with this step.

    d) Toilets. Mr Norman reported on the long saga with the toilets which had been shut soon after the start of the cold weather due to freezing-up of the internal services. When the thaw arrived there had been numerous burst pipes to repair as well as replacement of the main header tank and ceiling repairs. All work had now been completed and the toilets were to be opened on the following day (Thursday 13 th January). He said that the opportunity had been taken to replace and upgrade much of the lagging and carry out other minor repairs and improvements. He estimated the resultant bill would be ~£600.

    The Clerk reported that he had received a statement from United Utilities which indicated that water costs would increase by a factor of ~4 for the next financial year. Upon investigation it appeared that the meter readings recorded by the water supply company did not tally with the actual water usage. He had contacted the company who agreed there was some anomaly and were investigating the discrepancy.

    e) SSG Health & Safety Committee. Dr Hutson said that he had attended the last meeting of the committee and passed on the associated press statement (Circulated to all members by The Clerk). There was little to report from the meeting – discharges were still low and well within any limits set by the licencing authorities.

    9. Planning Matters. Hallcroft, Wellington – Replacement conservatory. There was no objection raised but The Clerk was asked to make comment to LDNPA that as far as possible natural materials should be matched.

    The Clerk reported that approval had been given by Copeland BC for the soil store at Hallsenna.


    10 Correspondence.

    DEFRA – Consultation on management of National Parks. The Chairman reported on a meeting at Brockhole which he had attended with The Clerk where this matter was debated by CALC, LDNPA, and Parish Councils from within the National Park. Basically HMG wanted to reduce the number of members of LDNPA. There was agreement that some reduction could be managed, but at the expense of County and District nominations and NOT Parish Council representatives where an increase was sought.

    CCC – Consultation on Services. Noted.

    CWMET – Annual Report. To be passed to Mrs Gallery-Strong.

     Boundary Commission – Response to CCC review. The Clerk read out a letter from the Commission which effectively told the County Council to reconsider its original review.

     LDNPA – Revised Development Management. Noted.

    British Legion flyer. To be passed on to Mr Steel, Leskew Cottages.

     CCC – Newsletter.Noted.

     DECCResponse to comments ref Kirksanton & Braystones sites. Noted.

    CBC Policy Briefings. Noted.


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


    12 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Dr Hutson (and others) – Drew attention to the large number of potholes now evident, the one at Petton Place being of serious size. Clearly it would take the County Council some considerable time to deal with the backlog. He suggested that as many people as possible should report problems to the Hotline. The Clerk was asked to contact Mr Melville for the intended programme for repairs.

    Mr Bailey – Suggested that the council should thank an individual who had gritted Leagate during the bad weather. The Chairman said that many residents had played a part in gritting roads and footpaths, and also helping those who could not get about, and the gratitude should be extended to all concerned.


    13 In Camera. None.

    There being no other business the meeting was closed at 8.50pm .

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