Parish Council Minutes - September 2012

  • Minutes of meeting held 12th September 2012 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.30pm

     Present : Messrs.Jacob, McKinley (Chairman), Norman, Rae, Wright.

    1 member of the public also attended.


    1. Apologies: Dr Hutson; Messrs. Walton, Ancell, Gray; Mrs Gallery-Strong.

    2. Declarations of interest . None

    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman informed the meeting that Mrs Jackson had decided to resign from the council due to a combination of work and domestic pressures. He was concerned that production of the Newsletterwould be affected by Mrs Jackson’s resignation and said that he would talk to Mr Preece on this matter. He also reminded the members that it had ben agreed that the meeting would not proceed beyond 9.30pm.

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 8th August 2012. These were approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr Norman)

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

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

    Amend conditions of contract ref toilet opening/closure times with Mrs Holmes. Action ongoing. Action – Mr Norman, The Clerk.

    Produce list of local businesses. Action – Dr Hutson, Mr Norman, Mr Ancell. Action ongoing.

    Put Purchase of Carpark on next agenda. Action – The Clerk.Action complete – See Item 7b below.

    Adoption of Code of Conduct papers to be sent out. Action – The Clerk. Action complete.

    Arrange Public Meeting with Joanne Fisher ref Waste Collection. Action discontinued – no resources at Copeland BC. Action – The Clerk.

    Get professional assessment of Meadowfield seat. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – Advice is that the seat is beyond repair. It was suggested that the Village Care Group should arrange for removal and decide on whether a replacement is necessary.

    Clarify responsibilities for Tourism notice boards. Action – Mr Wright. Action ongoing – The Clerk would get confirmation from Copeland BC regarding the upkeep, replacement or removal of the notice boards. Mr Wright would set up a meeting of the Carpark Group to decide on the provision of a future Tourism Board.

      Respond to LDNPA ref planning applications. Action – The Clerk. Action complete.

    Put ‘Liaison with Sellafield’ on next agenda. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – See Item 7c below.

    Clarify the number of representatives for each PC on the Mid-Copeland Group. Action complete – Number confirmed at 2. Action – Mr Gray.


    6. Financial Matters.

    a) Monthly Financial report. This was approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr Wright)

    b) Internal Auditor Honorarium. It was agreed that a sum of £60.00 should be paid to Mr Stewart for his services as Internal Auditor.

    c) Council payments scheme. The Clerk explained that HM Government had changed the Law to enable council payments to to be made by the use of modern methods including Credit Cards and electronic means. In his opinion however the safeguards that needed to be put in place to demonstrate an adequate defence against fraud outweighed any advantages over the cheque system. Accordingly his advice to the council was to stick with the present syatem of payment by cheque authorised by two separate mandated councillors. It was agreed to heed the advice.

    d) Public Hall Tabletop Sale event. It was decided to make a donation of £25.00 to the Public Hall for the Tabletop sale event.


    7. Main Business

    a) Adoption of new Code of Conduct. The new Code of Conduct was adopted unanimously.

    b) Purchase of carpark. All members had now read the papers. It was clear that a solicitor’s advice was required to clarify some issues and parts of the proposed agreement were unacceptable eg Copeland BC selling the land but still wanting to maintain control. The Clerk was asked to inform Mr Boyce(CBC) of the situation and arrange a meeting with Mr Wilson (Bleasdales).

    c) Liaison with Sellafield. (Mr Norman). Mr Norman thought that relations with the Sellafield site had deteriorated and the Parish Council was being ignored. He felt that the disbanding of the 6 Parish Councils committee had been a retrograde step and sited the recent issue over the Wasdale pipeline as an example. The Clerk said that following recent discussions with Mr Rooms who had arranged for members of the council to meet the project management teams for both the Pipeline and the Security Fencing, and offered to set up periodic meetings, things had improved. It was agreed to continue for the time being with the aforesaid meetings and to monitor progress.

    Note: The next meeting has been arranged for 10 th October.

    d) Response to CCC 20mph speed limit consultation. There was general agreement with the proposals presented, though it was considered that the limit on the Santon Bridge road should be extended southward to include all the properties as far as Syke End. Regarding the entrance to the village from the north there was some debate about the siting of the limit immediately off the A595 but it was considered that the judgement on this should be left to the highways engineers. The Clerk was asked to respond accordingly.

    e) Flooding in Gosforth. The Clerk said he had spent considerable time with Mr Clarkson ( County Councillor) and a team from Cumbria Highways and Copeland BC Flood Control. They had surveyed New Mill and the main areas of flooding within the village (Hardingill, Gosforth Gate, Meadowfield Estate, Denton Park and Beck Place) but still needed to visit Ellerslie Terrace and Wellington areas. Considerable damage had been done to domestic and business properties and sections of culverts would have to be surveyed with remote cameras. The intention is for the County Council to produce a relevant report. The Clerk said that he had asked that part of the report should contain a clear detailed map and statement of where responsibility lay for the maintenance of the various water courses as well as defining what preventative measures were necessary and who was responsible for their implementation.

    f) Telecommunication Problems. (The Chairman) Mr McKinley outlined the problems caused in managing the council business during a period when The Clerk’s computer was out of action (having been hacked). This was closely followed by almost 10 days of intermittent outage of The Clerk’s telephone which made communications extremely difficult. It was considered that the council should provide a support package for computer maintenance (Mr Norman offered to provide details) and The Clerk’s telephone should be put on a business tariff which would ensure a rapid response to any problems.

    8. Representative's reports.

     CALC meeting at Hunday Manor. Mr Wright and The Clerk reported that the meeting was well attended, the purpose being to receive a summary of the areas of concern which the CALC representatives on the MRWS Partnership had with the final report. These were numerous, but CALC had concentrated on 3 major areas of concern – uncertainty about the quality of West Cumbrian geology, the lack of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (required under both UK and European Law), and the proposed ongoing siting process which gave Host Communities little or no say in any decisions. CALC’s advice was that the MRWS process should be put on hold until these issues were resolved. The meeting had heartily endorsed the CALC stance and councils were asked to respond accordingly to the CALC Executive. Individual councils were also asked to lobby their respective County and Borough representatives. To this effect the Nuclear Group would be meeting to decide how this could be best achieved and as part of the process would be generating a letter for the local press. This action was approved.

    9. Planning Matters  

    a) 86 Meadowfield – New Conservatory. A letter had been received by a neighbour who objected to the current application on various aspects of the design. The council decided to object on the grounds that the points raised by the aforesaid neighbour needed resolution and the design of the frontal aspect of the development did not blend in with the current surrounding layout.

    b) Steel portal building at Mill Farm. No objection.


    10. Correspondence.

    1. Sellafield Ltd – Contaminated water management (Workshop). Noted.

    2. Letters from Ms Schofield, Mr Gray and Mrs Gallery-Strong ref flooding.

    All discussed during the meeting with Mr Clarkson et al(Item 7e above).

    3. CCC – Local News letter. Noted.  

    4. Neighbourhood Forum 18 th September ( Gosforth Primary School) Noted.


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

    12 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Mr Norman – Raised the question of the amount of correspondence and the consequent paper which was required for printing. Since the numbers of members attending was low the Chairman suggested that this item be discussed at the next meeting.

    Mr Wright –  

    1. Tabled an outline design for a notice for the Honesty Box and said he could get it made up. This was agreed.

    2. Said he had been asked why the whole area of grass on the northbound side of Gosforth Hill was cut when it was customary to cut only a metre-wide strip. The Clerk replied that the contractor had advised that cutting the whole area was cost effective, as otherwise it would require at least 2 different machines at different intervals. There were also advantages in cutting the whole area to improve visibility.


    13 In Camera. None.


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

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