Parish Council Minutes - November 2012

  • Minutes of meeting held 14th November 2012 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.00pm


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

     1. Apologies: Mr Wright.

     2. Declarations of interest . None

     3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman said that due to other commitments he would not be able to attend the December meeting.

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 10th October 2012. With reference to Item 12 it Mr Walton would not act as deputy for Dr Hutson as stated but would be the second Parish Council representative. With this amendment the minutes were approved (Proposed Mrs Gallery-Strong, seconded Dr Hutson).

      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 complete. Action – Mr Norman, The Clerk.

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

    Make decision on replacement of Meadowfield seat. Action complete. Action – The Village Care Group.

    Discuss with the Carpark Group the provision of a new Tourism Board. Action ongoing. Action - Mr Wright.

    Provide notice for Honesty Box. Action – Mr Wright. Action ongoing.

    Write to Mr Leighton ref Speed Indicating Signs. Action – The Clerk. Action complete – Response said that these had been included in their list for consideration.

    Check on Dog Control Order notices. Action – The Clerk Action complete – Notices had been displayed.

    Deal with Copeland BC ref Electrical Testing and Prevention of Legionella in Toilet block; Advise Public Hall and Playing Field Committees accordingly. Action complete Action – The Clerk

    Advise The Clerk of suggestions (Preferably in writing) for inclusion in 2013-14 budget. Action – All members. Action complete – A meeting of the Finance Committee would be arranged.

    Clarify funding situation ref Bleng Forest project. Action – Mr Walton. Action complete – See Item 7c below.


    6. Financial Matters.

    a) Monthly Financial report. This was approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mrs Gallery-Strong).

    b) 2013-14 Budget. The Finance Committee would meet to discuss; The Clerk would arrange a venue. Mrs Gallery-Strong was appointed to the committee in place of Mrs Jackson. Mr Gray asked if a cost breakdown of providing the Newsletter could be provided. The Clerk said he would produce the figures.

    c) Proposal to purchase 2 new flower tubs for the entrance to Denton Park (Mr Gray). This was approved – Cost ~£80.


    7. Main Business

    a) Co-option. The Chairman suggested that the best way of selection was via a small group of members to interview the candidates. This was contested by others who felt that the whole council should take part in the selection process. Mr Norman said that was how he was selected and the experience was awful. It was decided to ask all candidates to provide a written submission which included reasons why they wished to become a Parish Councillor which would then be copied to all members and a decision made on the strength of the submissions. 

    b) Combined Seascale/Gosforth newsletter. Mr Gray raised this matter and outlined the difficulties with the present arrangements. Members were clear that theydid not want a combined newsletter as this would lose a lot of the local relevance of the contents. The Chairman said that the council was grateful to Mr Gray for carrying on the Editorship and he should make council members aware if he needed assistance. If necessary the number of issues could be reduced from 4 to 3/year. Mr Ancell said that he had taken on the advertising aspect and to date had ~ £900 of requests in the pipeline, a sum which was welcomed by all members.

    c) Blengdale Forest project update. Mr Walton reported that he had met with the landowners to discuss the issues they had with a potential upgrade of the footpath from Wellington to Bleng Forest to a bridleway. The real problem, as seen by the landowners, is their fear that there will be an increase in the use of the road by cars and they are not keen or willing to grant a general dispensation, as one of their key arguments is potential risk from/interference with farm/forestry operations, i.e. the answer might be different at different times. They also want a feel for who is using the road and when. An article in the forthcoming Parish Magazine will advise people to contact the landowners at Mill House Farm; it's up to them whether they phone or visit. People should not assume that if they make contact that permission would necessarily be granted. Members, some of whom had used the road for a long time, commented that if cars were not allowed to drive down as far as the Forestry turning area (commonly referred to as ‘the carpark’) the whole forest would be effectively inaccessible, particularly to those with young families and those of advanced years. The Chairman said that in view of the apparent deadlock, and to ensure that any funding was not prejudiced, it was necessary to reconvene a meeting of the Project Group to try and resolve the impasse. Mr Walton would initiate this.

    d) Cycleway project update. Mr Gray gave an update on the project. Current effort was directed to handling funding applicationswhich were at various stages of completion. His assessment of the situation was that the outlook was promising.

    e) Purchase of carpark update. The Clerk said that he had responded to the Copeland BC solicitor outlining the terms of sale which were considered unacceptable to the Parish Council. His reply was not very encouraging but it was thought worthwhile to take up the offer of a meeting to try and reach an acceptable compromise. The Clerk would arrange the meeting and the Chairman would gather information from South Lakeland District Council on how they had managed the transfer of its toilets/carparks to South Lakes PC.

    f) Neighbourhood Watch. The Community Policeman, Ben Rogerson had provided an explanation of the scheme as it is now run. This would be passed on to the editor for inclusion in What’s On and appended to the end of these minutes.


    8. Representative's reports.

    a) CALC Copeland AGM. The Clerk reported that the existing executive committee had been elected en masse and he and the Chairman would continue in post. Reference was made to the new training requirements for retained firemen which was having the effect of reducing the number available for call-outs, in some cases to below the required level, crews having to travel from Whitehaven to attend local incidents. The other major item was more information on National Grid proposals for Grid enhancement within West Cumbria. The web-site details would be forwarded to members.

    b) CALC County AGM. The Clerk reported that the presentation from the Leader of the County Council was well received and included an appeal for Parish Councils to give him their views on improving the governance of Cumbria by reduction of the number of councillors (County and District). He said some form of Unitary Authority/ies was essential if services were to be maintained to any appreciable standard. (The County Council at present provides 822 separate services to the community of Cumbria).

    c) Meeting with NUGEN. The Clerk said that ths had beena useful presentation by NUGEN which was at the stage of determining site suitability for a new nuclear reactor to the north of the Sellafield site. They seemed keen to involve the local Parish Councils and anxious to ensure that their site activities did not infringe unduly on the day to day life of the local population. They promised to hold more meetings as information became available and decisions were taken. The type of reactor had yet to be decided upon as the choice was partly dependent on the site geology.

    d) Meeting with Mr Clarkson ref Flooding issues. The Clerk said that he had met Mr Clarkson again together with staff from the County Council who were gathering data, including videoing the culverts, for a county-wide report on flooding issues. He had specifically drawn attention to the problems at Denton Park. The report was timetabled for mid-December and would be used by Cumbria CC to prioritise any prevention measures.

    e) Mr Jacob - reported that the Public Hall financial position had been stabilised and recovered to some degree.

    f) Mr Ancell – reported that at the last Mid-Copeland Group meeting there had been a presentation on Walney Wind Farm.


    9.Planning Matters

     Bleng Fell Farm – New Barn. This was objected to on the grounds that no ‘need’ had been shown and its adverse effect on the landscape.

     Westlakes Hotel – Function Room extension. No objections. This project was fully supported by the Parish Council as it enhanced a local business and contributed to continued sustainability of the area.

    The Clerk reported that LDNPA planning approval had been given to 86 Meadowfield (Conservatory); Mill House Farm (Covering in of Yard); and Ellerslie Stable (Change of use to dwelling).


    10 Correspondence.

    Copeland BC – Precepts. Noted.

    Copeland Local Plan

    Sellafield - Infrastructure Enhancements meeting. Dr Hutson would attend.

    Playdale Customer Survey. Mrs Gallery-Strong would respond.

    NHS Consultation. To be copied to all councillors.

    Sellafield parking notice. Noted.


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


    12 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Dr Hutson – referring to a recent notice advising parishioners that a number of caravans would be delivered to Fell View Park, asked whether this was an increase in the number of site dwellings. The Chairman said that the number was set by the Licence (issued by Copeland BC) but planning permission was the responsibility of LDNPA and to his knowledge there had been no planning application, and it was assumed that this was replacement of old stock.


    13 In Camera. None.


    There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.35pm.


    NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH – An update from our Community Policeman PCSO Ben Rogerson


    I would just like to make you aware of the current situation regarding neighbourhood watch, It is very straight forward. No one has to be a co-ordinator or do the old fashioned pick up a phone etc.

     All I need are name, address, email address and phone number, I will then put details on to the community messaging system for you. Then it is simple if I think there is anything you should be aware of I simply send a message out for example “There has been a increase of burglaries in the Seascale/ Gosforth area, please be extra careful and lock away your valuables” this will then go to every person I have on my list by both email and text, or just email if you don’t have a phone.

    It is as simple as that, a username and password can be created for members should they ever want to log on to the community messaging site themselves and reply to a message or send one out themselves. But if people don’t want to do this that is fine they can simply be on the list and receive any emails and texts if there is a problem I think you should be aware of.

    I would be grateful if I could put yourselves and any other parish council members on the system as well as any other members of the community, the more people on it the better.

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