Parish Council Minutes - October 2015

  • Minutes of meeting held 21st October 2015 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.30pm.

    The meeting had been postponed from 14 th October due to The Clerk’s illness.


    Present : Dr Hutson; Messrs. Jacob, Norman (Chairman), Walton, Turner.

    Mr D Hobson was also present as a member of the public


    1. Apologies: MessrsAncell, Gray, McKinley, Parker.

    2. Declarations of interest . None


    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chaiman introduced Mr D Hobson saying that he had expressed an interest in serving on the Parish Council. At the Chairman’s request Mr Hobson gave a resume of his 40 years residence in the village and his various activities. Mr Jacob proposed, seconded by Dr Hutson that Mr D Hobson should be co-opted onto the council. There was unanimous approval for this move and Mr Hobson was duly elected. The Clerk signed his Declaration of Acceptance of Office. The council now has its full complement (11) of councillors.


    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 21 st September 2015. These were approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr Walton).


    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    1. Raise issues with Kell Bank lane with Pub owners, LDNPA and Wasdale MRT.

    Action – Mr Norman, The Clerk

    Action complete – The situation had been addressed and neighbours were currently satisfied with the outcome.

    2. Assess financial risks to PC should management involvement with the Pavilion become necessary. Action – The Finance Committee.

    Action ongoing – The Finance Committee meeting had addressed the issue. More information was required from the Playing Fields Committee about Pavilion running costs and the position of the Library was critical to the future budget which was yet to be decided. See also Item 6b below.

    3. Check on state of cricket nets. Action – Mr Parker

    Action complete

    4. Raise matter of Whitecroft hedge with Mr Ledgard. Action – Mr Norman

    Action complete

    5. Arrange meeting with planning LDNPA officer. Action – The Clerk

    Action ongoing.

    6. Obtain information ref Carpark management etc. Action – Mr Turner

    Action complete – Mr Turner gave a resume of various schemes which were available which could be considered if the current parking situation continued. He also said that 12 SIDS were now available via the Police.

    7. Discuss Library issues with Chairman of Public Hall. Action – Mr Norman

    Action complete – Public meeting with CCC was awaited( See Item 7a below).

    8. Respond to LDNPA ref Planning applications. Action – The Clerk

    Action complete


    6. Financial Matters.


    a) Monthly financial statement. As copies had not reached members (which would be forwarded later) The Clerk itemised the various transactions for the period. The report was approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr Turner).

    b) Finance Committee report (Sent to all members). As described in the committee report only the Chairman, Vice-chairman and The Clerk were present. The Clerk presented up-to- date accounts and the present systems for control of finances were considered satisfactory. With reference to Action 5.2 above any budget considerations would have to be shelved until the future position of the Pavilion and the Library became clear. Actions to provide financial information had been placed on Mr Parker (Ref The Pavilion) and The Clerk (Ref The Public Hall and Library).


    7. Main Business

    a) Library future. Dr Hutson updated members on the current position. There was no doubt that the Library was under threat of closure or amalgamation with Seascale but CCC had yet to make any decision. A public meeting was offered which would enable local opinions to be sought and options explored. The Parish Council asked Dr Hutson to inform CCC that a public meeting should be arranged.

    Note: This has been provisionally set for Thursday 26th November at 4.30 pm and will be confirmed later.


    b) Clerk’s resignation. The Clerk explained that he would be moving out of the area in the near future and formally tended his resignation. He would arrange with CALC for a suitable vacancy notice to be generated and also advertise for The Clerk’s post locally via the web-site, notice boards and the Whitehaven News. It was agreed that any advertising would be shared with Ponsonby PC. He said that he could not give an actual date for leaving but was contracted to 1 month’s notice but would continue to serve as long as possible or until a new Clerk had been appointed.


    8. Representative's reports

    a) Meeting with Drigg PC. The Chairman reported on a meeting hosted by Drigg & Carleton PC which highlighted the forthcoming application for development consent by National Grid (NG) for upgrading of the Grid to accommodate the Moorside Power Station. As NG had more or less determined that only an overground (pylon) route would be considered it was felt that the environmental impact on the rural areas of West Cumbria south of the Moorside site, including part of the National Park, would be huge. The parishes of Drigg & Carleton specifically would be greatly affected and sought support from other adjacent and local PC’s, as the size of the new pylons were such that they would be visible from almost every parish in the mid- and south Copeland area. A draft letter to the Planning Inspectorate asking that various environmental impacts should be taken into account had been generated, and it was agreed that Gosforth PC would send in an appropriate letter based on the draft.

    b) SSSG (Enabling Group) Dr Hutson reported that the NDA have to produce a strategy document every 5 years. the next one is due in Spring 2016. The NDA requested a small sub- committee of the  West Cumbria Stakeholders Group to comment before a Formal "DRAFT for Consultation" was issued. This was scheduled for 8th Sept. but HM Government requested that this stage be postponed until after the results of the Government Spending Review was published. The draft  is now expected to be published in early 2016.

    There have been 4 meetings, of which Dr Hutson had attended 3.

    Major Comments

    Infrastructure & Transport

    The present strategy only concerned itself with transport of nuclear materials. Our main Thrust was that this must cover movement of people as well as goods and must be co-ordinated with the projected Moorside project.

    We also stressed that the NDA should be pressing that adequate health facilities need to be provided in the Sellafield Area.

     Increasing NDA income

    The Trade Union rep was pushing for extension of Reprocessing, but the majority felt this was unlikely to happen. However a possibly more fruitful avenue would be for more effort to be directed at external sales of technology and expertise developed for Sellafield.

    c) Mid –Copeland Group. Mr Walton – gave a resume of the recent mid- Copeland meeting.

    North Cumbria University Hospitals are starting a new recruitment drive, highlighting the attractions of life in the area.

      A new project is seeking funding to create a network of cycleways linking Millom to Seascale as part of the coastal initiative. This could fit in well with the LDNPA’s plans to improve access routes in to the western valleys – where possible this will use existing rights of way. 

    The Boot River Action Group has completed its project to provide new and improved access to the river at Boot. LDNPA are now considering improving the Eskdale Trail. 

    The plans for electricity distribution from the proposed new nuclear power station at Moorside were discussed. LDNPA (amongst others) are concerned about visual impact and, as a result of pressure applied, costs for a route under the Duddon are now being costed to allow comparison with the overground route. 

    Abbeyfield have appointed architects to design new “sheltered housing” to be built at Bradbury House. This is in advance of an approach to the diocese next year to discuss purchase of the land needed. 

    Plans to improve parking at Wasdale Head have been called in to question by a protest against the proposed location. There are plans to improve the village green at Nether Wasdale, part of these plans will increase the available parking. 

    The impact of the need to reduce costs in the library service were discussed – these are likely to have serious implications for both Seascale and Gosforth libraries. In Seascale, the Parish Council is considering the viability of taking over the building. In Gosforth it is likely that the CCC will look to withdraw from the Public Hall. It was stated that a library service would be maintained, but not necessarily a librarian in a building. 

    Funding is still available via the neighbourhood funding scheme. The next grants panels will be held 9 th December 2015 and 24 th February 2016. 

    The next mid-Copeland meeting will host the Copeland mayor, and will be held 1 st December, 18.00 at Millstones, Bootle. All parish councillors in the area are invited to attend.


    9. Planning Matters

    a) 7/2015/4078, 47A Fell View, Porch addition . The Clerk said that Mr Gray had visited the site and spoken with any possibly affected neighbours. This was a minor development which had minimal impact. It was agreed to raise No objection.

    b) The Clerk reported that decisions on the applications listed below had been made by LDNPA:

    7/2015/4071/2, Row Head, Variation of conditions. Approved

    7/2015/4066, Scot Hall, Creation of pool etc. Approved

    7/2014/4102, Wheatsheaf, Conversion to 3 dwellings. Refused

    7/2015/4060, 90A Meadowfield, Extension. Approved

    7/2015/4054, Old Hallsteads, Greenhouse. Approved

    7/2015/4061, Extension Boonwood GC bungalow. Approved


    10 Correspondence.

    FLAG Magazine. Put on circulation via Dr Hutson.

    CALC - Invitation to 2015 AGM


    11 Police Report. There have been 6 incidents reported in the period, all associated with roads or traffic – 2 involved potential drink driving, 2 RTA’s (neither serious), 1 concerning failure of the temporary traffic controls at Calderbridge and 1 where a calf was loose on the A595.


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


    13 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Mr Hobson - said that he was in the process of surveying all the street lights and that he would also clear the moss from the toilet block roof.

    Mr Walton - said that he had been asked by the School if the Parish Council would pay for the hedge adjacent to the Nursery footpath to be cut back as it was overgrown. This was agreed (Approximate cost would be £90) and arrangements would be made via Mr Pratt.

    Mr McKinley (via The Clerk) Informed the council that NUGEN were making ‘Green Grants’ available and suggested that the Cycleway Group could maybe benefit. Mr Gray would be informed.

    Mr Gray (via The Clerk) – Raised the matter of the Parish Magazine distribution. Members considered that the present arrangements were adequate.


    14 In Camera. None.


    There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.20 pm.


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