Parish Council Minutes - October 2010

  • Minutes of meeting held 13th October 2010

    in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.00pm


    Present : Dr Hutson; Messrs. Gray, Jacob, McKinley (Chairman), Norman,

     1. Apologies: Messrs Bailey, Davies, Wright; Mrs Balmer, Mrs Gallery-Strong.

    2. Declarations of interest . None

    3. Chairman's opening remarks. None.

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 8th September 2010. These were approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr Gray).

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    Generate Risk Assessment procedure. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk Action ongoing.

    Negotiate with solicitors ref Playing Field Trust. Action – The Clerk Action ongoing – The Clerk read out the latest correspondence which outlined the position. The Order (to transfer trusteeship) was to be sent to the Charity Commission. The Clerk was asked to clarify the requirements for valuation and the realisation of the Shares held as part of the Trust.

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

    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 Clerk was asked to progress the matter.

     Send copy of first rental payment on Gravel Pit to the Land Registry. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – The Clerk had confirmed that deposit of the actual lease was unnecessary at this stage.

    Arrange a demonstration of the CCTV system and provide a detailed cost estimate. Action – Mr Jacob. Action ongoing – Estimate was ~£500.

    Draw up draft Memorandum of Understanding ref Gosforth – Ponsonby PC working. Action complete – See Item 7a below. Action – The Clerk.

    Review Toilet Cleaning contract. Action – Mr Norman, The Clerk. Action complete.

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

    Generate draft letter of reply to CORWM. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk. Action put on hold until the results of the BGS Survey are known.

    Apply for Play Equipment funding from Neighbourhood Forum. Action complete. Action – Mrs Gallery-Strong.

    Assess NDA documents and DVD. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – There was nothing within these documents which was not already known.

    Ask Mrs Pritt to advise the council on funding for rural signs. Action discontinued as funding no longer available. Action – Mr Norman.

    Make arrangements with HSBC for Improved Play Area account. Action complete. Action – The Clerk.

    Arrange for Public Meeting ref lease of Public Hall land. Action complete. Action – The Clerk.

    Generate draft Newsletter. Action – Mr Ancell. Action ongoing.

    Contact Copeland BC ref Carpark improvements. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – CBC agreed to provide plastic recycling on the existing concrete plinth, to allow the construction of the Honesty Box (but planning approval was required from LDNPA) and construction of steps to the top seat required acceptance from the Officer for the Disabled, which was awaited.

    Write letter of thanks to Mrs Sparshott for arranging the Open day. Action complete. Action – The Clerk.

    Take up with Copeland BC matter of waste collection from Playing Field. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – Copeland BC had the right to charge and the Playing Fields Committee had been made aware of the decision.

    Obtain views of Playing Fields Committee ref future insurance, inspection and grass-cutting. Action – Mr Norman. Action ongoing – to be presented to the next committee meeting.

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

    Complete questionnaires from Copeland BC on Public Hall use. Action complete. Action – The Clerk.

    Contact Copeland BC Enforcement team ref parking at Bank and Bakery. Action complete. Action – The Clerk.

    Contact Home Housing ref possible gate at footpath behind the Bank. Action complete – No reply to date. Action – The Clerk.

    Alter the future format of the Agenda. Action complete. Action – The Clerk.


    6. Financial Matters.

    a) Honorarium for Internal Auditor. £50 approved.

    (Proposed Dr Hutson, seconded Mr Gray).

    b) Donation for Public Hall Table-top Sale. £25 approved.

    (Proposed Mr Norman, seconded Mr Gray).

    Note: Mr Jacob declared an interest in this item and did not vote.

    c) Monthly Financial Report. This was approved (Proposed Dr Hutson, seconded Mr Jacob).

    d) 2011-12 Budget. The Clerk said that CALC had advised Clerks that they should wait to see what effect the HMG spending review had on County and District Councils as it could affect how Parish Councils needed to set their precepts. It was decided that any date for a budget review meeting would be delayed until the November meeting. Mrs Gallery-Strong who had possible budgetary requirements in relation to the new Play area would be invited.


    7. Main Business:

    a) Memorandum of Understanding with Ponsonby PC. Agreed and duly signed.

    b) Membership of 5-Rivers Group. The Chairman said that the misgivings he had expressed for some time regarding the function and usefulness of the group had reached a head at the last meeting which he and The Clerk had attended. The meeting, rather than provide a group response to the shortcomings and fallibility of the County Council Transport Plan,(which the agenda implied), instead tried to identify specific problems in individual parishes, many of which could be dealt with via the existing Highways maintenance arrangements. Furthermore these problems were then to be assessed by a small sub-group for prioritisation. Also the meeting was not restricted to 5-Rivers Group members, with representatives from other organisations being allowed to present very specific and narrow views on issues which they wanted to voice. This did not accord with what the Gosforth members agreed to under the Memorandum of Understanding. Accordingly the Chairman proposed that the Parish Council should resign its membership of the group. This was agreed. An appropriate letter of resignation would be sent outlining the reasons why the Parish Council was taking the action but indicating it would be willing to participate in any discussions which were of major concern and common interest to the area covered by the 5-Rivers Group.

    c) BGS Survey. The Chairman said that the publication of the results had again been delayed but it was promised by the MRWS Partnership that the information would be made available at its meeting of 29 th October. He considered this totally unsatisfactory and questioned whether the Freedom of Information process should be enacted. The CALC Allerdale & Copeland Joint Executive were due to meet on 1 st November when it was hoped more information would be available. It was agreed that the situation would be kept under review and be made an agenda item for the November council meeting.

    d) Flooding at Denton Park entrance. (Dr Hutson). This had now been dealt with by Highways after considerable pressure from Parish Councillors and members of the public.

    e) Update on Newsletter. (Mr Ancell). As Mr Ancell was not present Mr Gray agreed to ask him to circulate a progress report.


    8. Representative's reports.

    a) Meeting of Lake District parishes. (Mr McKinley, The Clerk). The Chairman gave a resume of the items discussed at the meeting which included the LDNPA Parnership Plan, progess on the bid for World Heritage Status (where any information on the potential benefits to the resident communities was sadly lacking), and a presentation from Cumbria Tourism Board which did a good job of talking up the quality of the landscape and culture of the Lake District (World Class) but totally ignored the lamentable state of the transport infrastructure.

    b) The ‘Big Society’ briefing. (Mr McKinley, The Clerk). The Chairman considered that this was a useful seminar in that the main presenter (Mr Rory Stewart MP) confirmed the view that communities could and should do more for themselves and that principal authorities and other large organisations should assist and not hinder them in that process. He had urged all communities who came up against obstacles to progress, to vigorously challenge the ‘authorities’, as this was what HMG regarded as the best way forward. He was a big supporter of the ‘bottom-up’ approach. Other presenters gave examples of how their communities, in several case working with other groups, had successfully overcome bureaucratic hurdles to achieve their objectives. The Chairman felt that the projects the Parish Council were presently engaged with eg. The Nursery, The Playing Field Trusteeship, the Improved Play Equipment, transfer of the ownership of the Carpark etc. were all examples which fitted in to the basic concept of communities helping themselves.

    c) Burial Ground (Mr Jacob). Mr Jacob reported that the recent borehole survey had indicated that a substantial part of the field adjacent to the churchyard was suitable for burials.


    9. Planning Matters a) Covered Seating Area, Hallsenna. No objection.

    b) Lowcray – Timber & Glass Extension. No objection.


    10 Correspondence.

    Note CBC ref Waste Collection. Noted that collection of rubbish from the Playing Field now incurred a collection charge.

     Police Report. 7 incidents had been reported during the period (2 thefts, 1 highway disruption at Wellington and 4 miscellaneous – none serious)

     Invite to Fyfe Lecture. Noted.

     Note CBC ref Plastic recycling. Copeland BC would provide a plastic waste collection skip on the existing plinth.

     CALC – Notice of District AGM 26 th October. Noted.

     Cumbria County Police summary report. Noted the substantial reduction in most types of crime.

     Friends of Lake District – Open Spaces. Noted.

     VAC – Communities Exchanges Grants. Noted – Not thought applicable at present.

     CALC – County AGM 6 th November. Noted – The Chairman, The Clerk and Mr Jacob would attend.

     Response J Reed ref Emergency Services ‘consultation’. Noted.

     CCC – Local Links. Noted – Considered a waste of money.

     Note – Review of National Nuclear Policy Statement. The Clerk reported that HMG were to review the National Nuclear Policy Statement. The good news was that the Braystones and Kirksanton sites had been excluded from the review as they were not considered viable within the proposed time-scale.

     Note – County Council Boundaries review. The Clerk reported that the Boundaries Commission was to review the electoral representation for Cumbria County Council. The 1 st stage was to address the number of councillors (deadline 22 nd November), and in the New Year, how the boundaries should be redrawn. More information would follow.

     Receipt of footpaths maps from Andrea Bonacker. Agreed to discuss footpaths more fully at the next meeting.

     Complaint from resident regarding overgrown hedge at Whitecroft. The Clerk had asked Dr Hutson to follow this up, who said that in his opinion there was not a real problem.


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


    12 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Mr Gray – Said he was aware of some changes taking place to local parish boundaries and asked for further information. The Clerk said that there were substantial changes being made to the Beckermet parish with the formation of a new council next May, which had an influence on the boundaries of other surrounding parishes, eg. Ponsonby, Lowside Quarter, Haile and Egremont. Gosforth parish remained unaffected. There were reviews being enacted for Drigg & Carleton and Santon parishes.


    13 In Camera. None.


    There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.17pm.