Parish Council Minutes - October 2009

  • Minutes of meeting held 14th October 2009 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.00pm


    Present : Dr Hutson; Messrs. McKinley (Chairman), Gray, Jacob, Davies, Norman, Wright; Mrs Balmer, Mrs Gallery-Strong. 

    1. Apologies: M rBailey.

    2. Declarations of interest . None

    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman said he had been informed by Mr Clarkson that Calderbridge Post Office was to close and this may be an opportunity to get the Gosforth Post Office reinstated. As a first step Mrs Balmer offered to discuss the possibility with Mrs Jackson (Hobby Shop).

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 9th September 2009. These were approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr Wright). Also approved were the minutes of the Finance Committee meeting held on 1st October 2009 (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr McKinley).

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

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

    2. Provide suggestions for Listed Buildings Register. Action – Mr Norman Action ongoing.

    3. Put ‘list of local businesses’ on October agenda. Action – The Clerk Action complete - See Item 7b below.

    4. Consult National Trust ref Honesty Box. Action – The Clerk Action ongoing – The Clerk said he now had obtained a contact.

    5. Negotiate with solicitors ref Playing Field Trust. Action – The Clerk Action ongoing – Clerk referred to recent correspondence which was to be discussed with the solicitors.

    6. Obtain plans of sewerage system. Action – The Clerk Action ongoing – Despite promises the maps had not been provided.

    7. Raise matter of Mid Boonwood Farm path with the Chairman. Action – The Clerk Action continues – LDNPA said they had not received a request for path diversion. The Clerk was asked to write to Mrs Lawson accordingly.

    8. Write to interested parties ref Allotments. Action – The Clerk Action ongoing – The Clerk said he was waiting for relevant information from the Chairman of Seascale PC.

    9. Copy LDNPA Charter to all councillors. Action – The Clerk Action ongoing – LDNPA would forward a copy when it was printed.

    10. Inform Cumbria Highways ref open ditch near Gilgrass How. Action – The Clerk Action complete.

    11. Write to occupier of Ellerslie House ref. overgrown hedge. Action complete – No reply or response to date. Action – The Clerk

    6. Financial Matters.

    a) Monthly Financial statement. This was approved (Proposed Mr Norman, seconded Mr Wright).

    b) Finance Committee meeting report (incl draft budget). Mr Norman (C/M Finance Committee) explained the thinking which had gone into preparing the draft budget, including the inclusion of potential funding for new Play Equipment. With some minor amendments to classifications it was agreed that the Finance Committee would bring forward appropriate resolutions and/or recommendations to the November meeting of the council for budget and precept approval.

    7. Main Business

    a) Locality Working. At the request of the Chairman The Clerk gave a resume of ‘progress’ to date. There was clearly unease at the way Copeland BC and the County Council were trying to force things in from the top-down. This view was shared by several parishes at the recent 3-tier meeting. The overall reaction from the parishes was that they would welcome any measures which enabled the 3 tiers of local government to work more effectively, but they would resist any attempt for the 2 principal authorities to introduce another tier of control or to sideline Parish Councils. The Chairman continued by referral to the 5-Rivers Group and its morphing into the Mid-Copeland area. He saw distinct advantages in maintaining the membership of and a contribution to the 5-Rivers Group (as described in the 5-Rivers Group Memorandum of Understanding) but shared the discomfort with the way Mid-Copeland appeared to be developing. He asked for the views of the members and support for the stance that Gosforth Parish Council should stay within the 5-Rivers group, but should it be obstructed from pursuing its own course of action (say by Mid-Copeland acting as another tier of government), then Gosforth PC would resign from the group. This was given unanimous support.

    b) Businesses List – Use & Distribution. It was felt that the original list contained too many inaccuracies. Dr Hutson agreed to re-examine and format the list in conjunction with Mr Davies and Mrs Balmer. The list would then be circulated to Members and a decision would then be made as to the best way of using and displaying the information, including the Village web-site.

    c) Play equipment funding. Mrs Gallery-Strong briefed the council on her progress to date. Copeland BC had told her that there was no likelihood of any further funding via the Lottery-based fund as Gosforth had received money for the Multi-Use Games Area. However she would pursue other funding streams eg. Neighbourhood Forum, Police Fund, LDNPA, N Clarkson, Community Fund etc. She would generate an Action Plan which included a list of possible funding sources and circulate that to members for comment and advice. Mr Gray suggested that it would be useful to Mrs Gallery-Strong in any forthcoming discussions she may have if a known sum of money had been identified by the council which would form the basis for the Play Equipment fund. Mr Norman proposed, seconded by Mr Davies that £2000 should be ring-fenced from the contingency fund. This was agreed unanimously. The Clerk was asked to write to Mr Clarkson to request a contribution from his fund towards the project.

    d) A595 closure (Dr Hutson). The conclusion reached from discussion was that the County Council had done nothing to improve the situation which arose on the previous occasion that road repairs were carried out. The Clerk said he had raised the issue at the recent 3-tier meeting and was astounded to learn that the Head of Transport (County) was unaware of the forthcoming closure and in any case didn’t regard it as his business. It was agreed that assurance should be sought that Emergency vehicles would not be delayed by the forthcoming works and that representation should be made to the County Councillor and our MP, making it clear that an alternative route was a necessity.

    e) LDF – progress. Relevant papers had been sent out to all councillors. The Chairman asked that those who had not yet responded to forward their comments to The Clerk for inclusion in a council response. Mrs Gallery-Strong, who had already sent comments, emphasised that some of the statements made in S3 of the document regarding play equipment and facilities were not accurate and should be corrected.

    f) MRWS – Memo of Understanding - MoU. (Note: This is the MoU signed by Cumbria CC & Allerdale and Copeland BC’s for working within the MRWS Partnership, and is not the MoU referred to in Item 7a above.) The impression gained was that this document had been deliberately written in such a wishy-washy fashion to ensure that there could be no controversy. It was noted that while the County Council were prepared to sign up to the MoU, they would not yet join the MRWS Partnership, remaining as ‘participating observers’. It was agreed to comment to CALC about the lack of any mention of parishes or Parish Councils.

    g) Reduced Freeview service (D Hutson). It was agreed that the recent changeover had resulted in a reduced service to all residents in the area, for which there had been no advance notice, and a suitable letter of protest should be sent to the County Councillor (Mr Clarkson) and our MP (Mr J Reed).

    8. Planning Matters

    a) 7-Acres, New steward accommodation.No objection.

    b) Gosforth School, Proposal to fit photo-voltaic panels on south-facing roofs. No objection – School should be commended for taking a proactive measure.

    c) Newton Manor, Security fencing. No objection but comment would be made to LDNPA that the property had been deliberately neglected, past suggestions to convert it to affordable housing had met with rebuff, and the Company should either maintain the property properly or demolish it and make it unavailable to vandals.

    d) 7-Acres Caravan Site, Refurbishment of existing Club-house to provide staff accommodation and new site layout. No objections to the Club-house mods. and the siting of the play area was judged more suitable, but until an answer was provided from LDNPA on what was authorised under the current planning/licensing conditions eg numbers, types and layout, the council could not make a judgement and therefore was left with no option but to object to this part of the application.

     e) Bleng View, 2 storey extension. No objection – Mr Jacob had ensured neighbours had been fully consulted.

    Note: In order to meet comment deadlines all the above applications were dealt with at the Finance Committee meeting of 1 st October 2009.

    f) Gosforth Nursery, Temporary Portakabin. As the plans were not to hand The Clerk agreed to circulate the details to obtain feedback from members.


    9. Correspondence.

    CBC – MRWS Leaflet. Noted.

     Irwin Mitchell – JB Wrigley Trust. The Clerk was dealing with this ongoing matter (ref Action 5.5 above).

     CCC – Street works permit. Necessary to enable repairs to be made to the Playing Field sewer.

     CALC – AGM booking form. Agreed The Chairman and Clerk would attend. £20.00 authorised to cover lunch etc.

     BT – Adopt telephone box. Mr Jacob would examine the proposal and report back.

     CORWM report to HMG on GDF progress. At present with the Chairman and would be circulated. Encouraging signs that CORWM have taken note of the comments made by Gosforth Parish Council.

     LDNPA – LDF poster. Noted.

     Clerk & LCR magazines. Passed to Chairman.

     LDNPA – Fix the Fells project. Noted.

     FLAG magazine. Put on circulation.

    Sent out by e-mail:

     CALC circular. All members.

     J Dell – Reply ref signage for unadopted roads. Agreed to raise this issue again with Mr Dell.

    Finance Comm – Minutes, Budget, CGS Paper.

    Memo of Understanding ( Cumbria County Council/ Allerdale & Copeland BC’s).

    Other e-mail:

     Police Incident Report. Noted. 15 incidents (4 Anti-social behaviour, 4 road traffic associated, 2 criminal damage, 5 miscellaneous).

     Mr Norman – Gravel Pit. Information had been received regarding possible ownership of the Gravel Pit. It was agreed to continue the present course of action to follow the advice of the Land Registry. Mr Gray provided The Clerk with copies of photographs which would be forwarded to the Land Registry together with a copy of the receipt for the new fencing.

     J Dell – Signs. Agreed to raise this matter again with Mr Dell.

    NALC – Leases & Licences. Guidance noted.

     Yvette Cooper lecture. The Chairman, Clerk and Mr Gray would attend.

     CRHT/LDNPA – Meeting ref Housing . The Clerk said that he had tried to arrange this for the November meeting but the Copeland BC rep was unavailable. Accordingly he had asked CRHT to organise a mutually acceptable date.

     CBC – Draft Housing Strategy. To be dealt with at a meeting to be arranged with CRHT.

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

    11 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Mr Norman – Said that Seascale School were holding an event on 6 th November at 1.30pm to which 2 members of the Parish Council were invited. The Mayor of Copeland would also be present, the objective being to introduce the children to local government. The Clerk was asked to let Mr Corran know who would attend.

    Dr Hutson – 1. Reported that there were a series of pot-holes along the Eskdale Road from the sub-station to Meadowfield entrance. These would be reported to Cumbria Highways.

    2. Reported that the footpath from the sub-station to Denton Park was overhung by tree growth. This would be reported to Copeland BC.

    12 Representatives Reports. Mr Gray updated members on the Parish Plan. 182 replies had been received to the questionnaire and detailed analysis was underway.

    13 In Camera. None.


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


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