Parish Council Minutes - November 2013

  • Minutes of meeting held 13th November 2013 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.30pm



    Present : Dr Hutson; Messrs. Ancell, Gray, McKinley (Chairman), Walton, Wright; Mrs Gallery-Strong.

    3 members of the public also attended


    1. Apologies: Messrs. Norman, Rae, Jacob,


    2. Declarations of interest . None


    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman said that as the members of the public had come specifically for Item 9b, he would take that item first. Mr Greenwood addressed the meeting putting forward the Walkmill residents case that there should be no development on this land as it acted as an essential floodplain. The Chairman replied that the land was now excluded from the LDNPA Allocated Land map and while this did not in itself prevent development the Parish Council had been active in highlighting the flooding potential of the area to both LDNPA and Cumbria County Council who were now the Lead Flood Authority – the Environment Agency only being concerned with main water courses ie. rivers. After a short discussion the council agreed to support the Walkmill residents and object to the development.


    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 8th October 2013. Dr Hutson said that Action 5.1 had actually been discontinued. With this amendment the minutes were approved (Proposed Mr Wright, seconded Dr Hutson).


    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    1. Produce list of local businesses.

    Action discontinued. Action – Dr Hutson, Mr Norman, Mr Ancell.

    2. Discuss carpark land ownership issues with Copeland solicitor. Action – The Clerk

    Action ongoing - The Clerk had written to the Land Registry, providing appropriately marked maps, to ask for any assistance they could provide.

    3. Draft ideas for public communication. Action – Mr Walton.

    Action complete – The paper would be sent to all members post-meeting.

    4. Deal with non-paying advertisers. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk.

    Action ongoing – Some progress had been made with payments totalling £230 being received. The amount now outstanding had been reduced to £305. The Chairman and Clerk planned to re-assess the situation.

    5. Obtain details of planning training and checklist. Action – Mr McKinley.

    Action complete – See Item 9a below.

    6. Check list of properties with Local Occupancy conditions attached from both Planning Authorities.

    Action ongoing.

    7. Respond to The Clerk with comments on Flood Report. Action complete – 4 members had responded. Action – All members .

    8. Contact Mr Pratt ref School footpath. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete – The School would arrange for maintenance of the footpath and the Parish Council would make a donatation to the School

    9. Advertise/canvas for interested parties ref. Village to Boonwood footpath. Action – All members .

    Note: The Clerk would put an item in What’s On and the web-site.

    Action complete.

    10. Review CCTV document. Action – Mr Jacob, Mr Ancell.

    Action ongoing.

    11. Put No 6 Bus Service on next agenda. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete – See Item 7c below.


     6. Financial matters.


    a) Monthly Financial report. This was approved (Proposed Mr Gray, seconded Mr Walton).

    b) Budget discussions update. Mrs Gallery-Strong gave a resume of the meeting of the Finance Committee. All spending was within budget. For the next year ~£2000 increase in precept was necessary to maintain the current council position on spending. Following debate it was agreed that any increase in the precept should be kept as low as possible but at the suggestion of Mr Wright should not exceed 2%.


    7. Main Business


    a) Use of PC web-site. The Clerk said that he had been approached by Ponsonby PC to see if space could be made on the Gosforth Village web-site for essential information eg. Minutes of meetings, relating to Ponsonby. He had discussed this with Mr Gould who could make the necessary arrangements – space was not an issue. It was agreed that this suggestion should go ahead in the spirit of continued co-operation between the two parishes.

    b) MRWS Draft paper sent to all members.

    The Chairman asked for comments on the draft response to the Decc consultation on a new process for siting a GDF. Some members considered it too long and detailed, some regarded the response as too emotional. There was no feedback to suggest that any of the questions asked had not been answered or that essential information had been omitted. Mr Wright explained some of the difficulties encountered in responding to the questions whereby Q1 was meaningless as written, and Q2 & Q3 were confused and overlapped; separating responses out was not easy. It was noted that following the public meeting on 30 th October all of the issues raised had already been covered in the draft response. The Chairman said the draft would be reconsidered by the Nuclear Group and it was agreed that a council meeting would be convened on 27 th November to consider the final draft.

    c) No.6 Bus Service . Mr Gray referred to detailed information gathered since the meeting in September with Mr Clarkson. The results showed that the service had not improved. However another meeting had been arranged for 15 th November which would include Stagecoach management and the issues would again be raised. He referred to the County Council budget consultation document which proposed cutting rural bus subsidies substantially. He felt that further negotiation with Cumbria CC and Stagecoach was not likely to improve matters and was advised that following the meeting of 15 th November he should take up any issues with the Traffic Commissioner.

    d) Denton Park grass-cutting. Dr Hutson again raised this matter including the flooding of the left side of the entrance. The Clerk described what he had done to date and the simple fact was that Copeland BC would not accept any responsibility for the area, despite being provided with documentary evidence to state otherwise. He had also made the Flood Control Team aware of the situation in the hope that they could put some pressure on Copeland BC. It was suggested that the Denton Park residents lobby their Copeland BC Ward Councillor as any further action by the Parish Council was a fruitless exercise. Regarding the grass-cutting The Clerk said that he had discussed the possibility of changing the mowing regime with Mr Davies ( Copeland BC) but a decision was awaited. In any case this could not take place until the start of the new mowing season. In response to a suggestion that the Parish Council should include this area within the present grass-cutting contract The Clerk said that it could not be done without incurring extra costs, which would need to be included within the budget, and he would contact Copeland BC for estimates.

     e) Flood Report. Dr Hutson said that there were several points that needed answering regarding the responsibilities on riparian owners for future flood prevention. The Clerk said that all the points being raised had already been made in the responses to both the original draft and the updated Flood Report No 26. He had been informed by Mr Clarkson that there was another meeting arranged for Thursday 14 th November at the request of the Flood Control Team. Dr Hutson, together with Mrs Gallery-Strong said they would attend.

    f) CCC budget consultation. Details sent to all members.

      This item was deferred but Mr Gray drew attention (See Item 7c above) to one of the suggested cuts which could have serious consequences for the local bus service. The Chairman suggested that members read the proposals to enable a proper debate. On December agenda.


    8. Representative's reports.

     Mr Wa lton – Reported that The Forestry Commission are expecting to complete the picnic area and new viewpoint in the next couple of weeks. This part of the original project scope is being delivered through funding from CWMET.

     Mr McKinley and The Clerk - R eported on the CALC AGM at which the guest speaker was the Cumbria Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC). The meeting was well attended and the PCC came over as a knowledgeable individual who had a clear idea of what was required for future policing in Cumbria. He was committed to maintaining local (community) policing. In responding to questions he showed a grasp of the many issues raised and openly admitted that in some areas such as re-offending there was no quick fix and no one way in which to deal with the problem.

    They also reported on the Decc sponsored stakeholders’ meeting at Rheged on MRWS which was well-attended including by several members of Copeland District and Cumbria County Councils. The meeting was not very helpful as the Decc presenters were clearly badly briefed and were obviously not familiar with the whole MRWS saga to date (One person had only joined the department the day before), and could not provide answers to many questions asked eg. What is a community? The workshops were more productive but the overall impression was that any suggestions to change the site selection process from that proposed in the consultation document would be met with deaf ears.

    On the admin front The Clerk was re-elected to the County Executive Committee for another term.

     Mr Gray – Reported:

     That another meeting on the Cycleway was due to take place on 20 th November?????

     That at the Neighbourhood Forum the matter of Retained Fireman had been discussed. The minutes from that meeting were awaited.

    There had been a meeting of the mid-Copeland Strategy Group which had included within the notes sent out the delivery of a GDF as a desired achievement. This had been questioned. The notes should have said New-build Nuclear Power Station and not a GDF.

    9. Planning Matters

      a) Planning Checklist Sent to all members prior to October meeting.

     It was agreed that due to time constraints this item would be postponed.

    b) 7/2013/4068 Access at Walkmill for 3 proposed dwellings.

    (Objection from residents of Walkmill Gardens sent to all members).

     Dealt with under Item 3 above.

    c) Public meeting in Calderbridge ref Wind Turbines. The Clerk said that he had attended the presentation which had been very professionally arranged and there had been plenty of staff available to deal with any queries. There had been a good turnout by members of the public and the general feedback was that there was overwhelming opposition to the provision of wind turbines in the Ponsonby area. The public awareness meeting was obviously the fore-runner for a planning application which, although promoted for two turbines, would almost certainly be increased – up to 15 has been suggested.


     10 Correspondence.

    Meeting invitation 15 th Nov 10.30 -12.30 No 6 Bus Service N Clarkson, M Hodgkiss (CCC) , R Martin (Stagecoach Ops Manager).

    Noted above (Item 7c).

    Forestry Commission – Public meeting 15 th November. Posters put up.

    CALC – Fracking advice. Sent to all councillors.

    CCC Budget consultation. Sent to all councillors.

    Gosforth Public Hall. Meeting postponed from 14 th Nov to 21 st November.

    CCC Trading Standards. Sent to all councillors.

    CCC - Office Furniture offer. Sent to all councillors.

    School Remembrance Day. Sent to all councillors.

    CCC – Snow Champions. Sent to all councillors.


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


    12 Questions Councillors wish to raise. None.


    13 In Camera. None.


    There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.25pm.


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