Parish Council Minutes - March 2013

  • Minutes of meeting held 20th March 2013in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.30pm


    Note: The meeting had been postponed from its original scheduled date of 13 th March.


    Present : Messrs. Ancell, Gray, McKinley (Chairman), Norman, Parker, Rae, Walton, Wright; Mrs Gallery-Strong.


    1. Apologies: Dr Hutson ( Holiday); Mr Jacob (Illness).


    2. Declarations of interest . None.


    3. Chairman's opening remarks. None.


    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 13th February 2013. These were approved (Proposed Mr Walton, seconded Mr Gray).


    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    1. Write to LDNPA ref Land Allocation GF 01 H. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete.

    Clerk’s Note – Since the meeting a copy of the revised plan had been received from LDNPA.

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

    Action ongoing.

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

    Action ongoing – The Clerk said he now had access keys to both information boards.

    4. Provide The Clerk with details of payments for Cycleway Drop-in event. Action ongoing. Action – Mr Gray.

    5. Put Parish Plan review on March 13 th agenda. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete – See Item 7a below.

    6. Write letter of thanks to E Martin ref MRWS. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete.

    7. Produce item for newsletter on Purchase of the Carpark. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete.

    8. Respond to LDNPA ref planning applications (TPO No 285) and BT Tel.Exchange. Action complete. Action – The Clerk.

    9. Invite Seascale PC to discuss newsletter merger. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete.

    10. Invite Cumbria Police to meet the council. Action – The Clerk.

    Action ongoing – meetings of April and June were suggested.

    11. Ask Mrs Gallery-Strong about the Jubilee Committee Accounts. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete – Mrs Gallery-Strong said she would provide the information when work commitments allowed.

    12. Check start times of meetings in What’s On and web-site. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete – correct times are given.


     6. Financial matters. MrNorman declared an interest in Item 6a.

     Monthly Financial Report. This was agreed (Proposed Mr Wright, seconded Mr Ancell).

    b) Annual Risk Assessment. The Clerk had tabled 2 papers one related to risk assessment and the other giving an outline of the council’s processes for managing its finances. He had included within the risk assessment additional statements referring to Freedom of Information and Data Protection. It was also accepted that statements should also be included to cover folding of either of the Playing Fields or the Public Hall Committees. With these amendments the risk assessment for 2012 financial year was approved.

    After reviewing the processes for management of the council’s finances which were described by The Clerk, it was felt that although it was unusual for any cash to be handled it should be referred to in the paper. With this amendment the paper was approved.

    Amended copies of both papers are attached to these minutes.

    7. Main Business.

    a) Parish Action Plan review. A review of progress regarding Objectives 1-9 of the plan was undertaken.

    Objective 1 – Cycleway to Seascale: All the short-term targets had been met. The route had been agreed, the majority of funding was in place including that ringfenced by the Parish Council, detailed plans had been drawn up and the project was being led by Sustrans and Cumbria County Council. There was continuing liaison between all the parties involved.

    Objective 2 – Promote tourism; produce guidebook for visitors: This project had been partly funded by residual funds from the Hidden Britain project and the guidebook was nearing completion.

    Objectives 3&4 – Enforce parking regulations & 20 mph speed limit: All short-term targets had been met. Discussions with Cumbria Highways had resulted in detailed plans for enhancement of existing traffic restrictions and improvements where necessary. The boundaries for the 20mph limit had been agreed. Initially delivery of the necessary work had been promised within the current financial year, but this now looks unlikely. It was agreed that The Clerk should try and confirm a start date with Cumbria Highways.

    Objective 5 – More pavements within the village: The Parish Council had several meetings with Cumbria Highways to try and find a solution to this matter. The hard fact is that the roadway is of insufficient width to accommodate pavements or even a section of road dedicated to pedestrians within long stretches of the village, in particular along the Main Street, Whitecroft and Wasdale Road. It was also felt that conversion of the roads to one-way traffic flow would require so much additional street signing and architecture that the village would lose its character. Without compulsory purchase of residents’ land it had to be accepted that additional pavements could not be provided.

    Objective 6 – Extra floral displays: Some progress had been made with improvements on the carpark and also at the entrance to Denton Park. Maintenance of these displays was a crucial issue and unless volunteers came forward, provision by a contractor was expensive and at present not within the budget constraints.

    Objective 7 – Transfer of the carpark to the Parish Council: Short-term negotiations have gone well. Agreement had been reached with Copeland Borough Council and a contract for sale generated. It had been hoped to complete the sale by June 2013. However a legal matter regarding land registration has recently arisen which will require further action, and it is not known at this time how long that will take.

    Objective 8 – Additional recycling facilities: This objective has been met. There are now recycling facilities for Cardboard, Plastic containers, Paper, Cans, Glass bottles and Clothes on the carpark. Batteries can be deposited for recycling by courtesy of an arrangement at the Village Shop.

    Objective 9 – Broadband upgrade: The County Council successfully acquired the necessary Government funding for this county-wide project to go ahead. The details of how it will be implemented within specific areas are being worked out and the Parish Council has a representative who is in regular contact with the organisation. It is possible that Gosforth may benefit from the recent announcement by BT that separate funding had been made for upgrading in several areas of the county including Holmrook.


    b) Refuse collection Blennerhazel Lane. Mrs Gallery-Strong said she had asked for this matter to be included because of recent changes to the collection process introduced by Copeland BC. Unless there were reasons of disability, residents would have to place their bins at collection points at lane ends, otherwise they would not be collected, although initially she had been told that restrictions would not apply to Blennerhazel Lane. She said there had not been proper consultation and although she had written for some explanation none had been received. She said that many residents had not received any prior warning and that some publicity should be given to informing them and providing them with contact details. The Clerk and Mrs Gallery-Strong would compile something appropriate.


    c) Windfarms – What is/should be the council policy? The Clerk said he had asked for this issue to be put on the agenda as there was currently a repeat planning application for a large wind turbine in Drigg, the previous application having been turned down after an appeal. Together with other applications in the locality it was obvious that developers were anxious to instal turbines in the area wherever they could and questioned whether the Parish Council should take an overall view. It was decided that no policy would be made but each application would be considered on merit.


    d) Annual Parish Meeting 2013. It was decided that this would be held immediately prior to the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council on May 8th.


    e) Parish Newsletter. There was still some concern about the newsletter, including: its purpose, the size, the time commitment and the collection of advertising donations. Also outstanding was a meeting with Seascale PC regarding the potential amalgamation of the 2 village newsletters. It was agreed that a small sub-group should examine the issues and report back to the council with recommendations for the future. Mrs Gallery-Strong, Mr Parker, Mr Gray and Mr Ancell agreed to form the group.


    8. Representative's reports

    a) Cycleway (Mr Gray). Mr Gray said there was little further to report although the project was proceeding. (See also Item 7a Obj.1 above).

    b) Transfer of Carpark (The Clerk). The Clerk said that he had recently received correspondence from Mr Boyce – Copeland BC solicitor - which stated that part of the carpark had been registered (with the Land Registry) by another landowner. This clearly contradicted the details on the land conveyance between the JB Wrigley estate and Ennerdale RDC who were the original purchasers of the land for development as a carpark. The Clerk had discussed the matter with the Parish Council’s solicitor and it was decided that Mr Norman would visit the landowner with a view to resolving the issue amicably without having to contest the matter legally, which would be both time-consuming and expensive.

    c) Blengdale Forest project (Mr Walton). Mr Walton said that timescales were getting tight for the retention of the grant funding. It was agreed that he and the Chairman would discuss what actions were necessary to resolve the apparent deadlock concerning access issues. He had postponed the group meeting which had been arranged for 21 st March until the access issue was clarified.

    d) Village Flooding Issues (The Clerk). The Clerk said that he had received information from Cumbria CC that a series of community meetings were being arranged to inform the public and get their views on the remedial measures proposed. A meeting for Gosforth had been scheduled for 24 th April from 6.00pm. Mr Clarkson ( County Councillor) would chair the meeting. A note advising the public of the meeting had been put in What’s On and on the web-site.

    e) Mid-Copeland Group. Mr Walton said that a small sub-group had been formed to deal with the footpath issue at Drigg Cross.It was suggested that Mr Hosfield may beinterested in joining the group. He asked about communications with parishioners and agreed to draft some thoughts on this matter for consideration.


    9. Planning Matters.

    a) Forestry Commission – Construction of short lengths of timber road within Bleng Forest. There were no objections.


    10 Correspondence.

    Sellafield – Evaporator D delivery of components. Noted.

    LDNPA – Whole Valley planning. Noted.

    CBC – Correspondence ref. waste-bin collections. See Item 7b above.


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


    12 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Mr Gray – Said that Dr Hutson had asked him to inform the council that the Library hours were now standardised at 10.00am – Noon for Monday, Friday and Saturday, and that a Friends of Gosforth Library Group was being formed.


    13 In Camera. None.


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
















    Financial Controls



    1. Financial Regulations are in place and linked to council Standing Orders.


    1. The Clerk is the council’s Registered Financial Officer and oversees the system for financial control as well as keeping the records of all council transactions.


    1. The council has appointed an Internal Auditor who provides advice as necessary and has access to the council’s accounts at any time of his choosing. He completes Part 4 of the Annual Return required by the District Auditor.


    1. All council payments are made by cheque via HSBC Bank.


    1. All cheques have to be authorised by 2 mandated councillors. The list of mandated councillors is reviewed at necessary intervals.


    1. All deposits into the council’s Bank Account are made by The Clerk, or if necessary, a councillor acting on his behalf. Cash is rarely handled except for the Honesty Box which is routinely emptied by The Clerk.


    1. Any transfers of monies between council accounts requires authorisation by signature of 2 mandated councillors.


    1. At each monthly meeting The Clerk presents a financial statement which gives details of the previous month’s transactions and the Bank reconciliation. This statement forms part of the minutes of the meeting.


    1. The Chairman of the Finance Committee carries out random checks on the council’s financial position to ensure compliance with the financial controls.





    March 2013









    Gosforth Parish Council Risk Assessment update March 2013.
















    CONTROLS (and agreed improvements)






    Protection of physical assets. Security of buildings, equipment etc

    Buildings insured. Value increased annually by RPI. Alarms on Village Hall. New entry door system. Contents insured.


    Potential folding of management committees of Playing Fields and Public Hall

    As Trustee for both charities the Parish Coucil takes over responsibility for management


    Loss of cash through theft or dishonesty. Financial controls and records

    Rarely handle cash. Proceeds from the Honesty Box are handled by The Clerk. Monthly reconciliation statements by RFO reported to the council. Fidelity guarantee insurance in place.


    Risk to 3rd party, property or individuals. Legal liability as consequence of asset ownership.

    Insurance in place. Annual H&S checks of Playing Field equipment. Public Hall and Playing Field separately insured. Daily checks of toilets by Cleaner; monthly checks by Mr Norman.

    Legal liability

    Ensuring that all activities are within legal powers.


    Clerk clarifies legal position on any new proposal. Legal advice sought where necessary from CALC/NALC. Procedures in place for Freedom of Information and Data Protection.


    Absence of Clerk from duty eg. Illness


    Arrangements in hand for another Clerk (via CALC). Procedure in place for handling correspondence.



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