Parish Council Minutes - April 2009

  • Minutes of meeting held 8th April 2009 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.00pm

    Present : : : Mr McKinley (Chairman); Dr Hutson; Messrs. Ancell, Gray, Jacob, Norman, Mrs Balmer.

    1. Apologies: Messrs Bailey (Wasdale meeting), Mr Wright (Work commitments).

    2. Declarations of interest . None

    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman said that the past month had been more fruitful in that progress had been made with the completion of the CORWM leter, the meeting with the solicitor had been helpful and the meeting on Nuclear New-build had been informative.

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 11th March 2009. These were approved (Proposed Mr Norman, seconded Dr Hutson).

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    1. Amend Freedom of Information schedule. Action – The Clerk Action complete – See Item 7d below.

    2. Generate Risk Assessment procedure. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk Action ongoing – The Chairman said that the meeting with the solicitor had proved most useful and although there were some matters which the council would need to address more formally than at present he was confident that the essential things were in place. He asked The Clerk to copy the solicitor’s letter to all councillors.

    3. Draft letter for HMG ref White Paper progress. Action ongoing. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk

    4. Check with Mr Grey ref situation of Public Hall and VAT.Action – Mr Jacob Action complete – The present arrangements were satisfactory.

    5. Progress village signage with LDNPA. Action – Mr McKinley Action ongoing – The Chairman had followed this up at LDNPA but awaited a satisfactory reply.

    6. Provide suggestions for addition to Listed Buildings register. Action ongoing. Action – Mr Norman

    7. Liaise with Copeland BC ref Lottery Funding for Playing Field. Action complete – See Item 6b below. Action – The Clerk

    8. Table details of Clerk’s salary following national settlement. Action complete – See Item 6d below. Action – Mr McKinley, Mr Wright

    9. Respond to LDNPA ref Row Mill extension. Action – The Clerk Action complete.

    10. Discuss the Playing Field Trust with solicitor. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk Action complete – This issue is included within Action 5.2 above.

    11. Arrange for information ref Digital changeover to be put in What’s On. Action complete. Action – The Clerk

    12. Respond to Copeland BC ref Dog Control Orders. Action – The Clerk Action complete.

    13. Write letter of support to Seascale PC ref Beach Quality Awards. Action complete. Action – The Clerk

    14. Liaise with Copeland BC Parks Dept ref Dog-poo bin, Trees fouling power lines, and blocked carpark drains. Action – The Clerk Action complete.

    15. Report pothole at Cut entrance to Highways. Action – The Clerk Action complete.

    16. Liaise with the Community WPC ref Parking at Leagate and the skip on Wasdale Road at Whitecroft. Action – The Clerk Action complete.

    17. Put ‘Local Business’ on next agenda. Action – The Clerk Action complete – See Item 7a below.


    6. Financial Matters.

    a) Monthly Financial Report. This was approved (Proposed Mr Norman, seconded Mr Jacob).

    b) Update on Playing Field project. The Clerk said that the Lottery Funding had been received from Copeland BC and also funding from the Landfill Fund via the Playing Fields Committee. Following discussions with Mr Millard (Playing Fields Treasurer) and Mr Norman (Finance Committee Chairman), he had released £25000 to the contractor as part payment. It had been agreed with the contractor that the balance would be paid when the tarmac resurfacing had been completed.

    c) Annual Return 2008-9. The Clerk said that this had now been received and it was his intention, following auditing of the year’s accounts, to bring this to the May meeting for approval and signature.

    d) Clerk’s Salary increase (from April 2008). The Chairman explained that a failure to agree between HMG and the Civil Service Unions had resulted in the 2008-9 pay rates being delayed for a full 12 months. Having finally received the figures he outlined the consequencies: The Clerk’s hourly rate would rise from £8.92 to £9.161 per hour and the travel rate from 55.8p to 58.7p per mile. Based on the hours worked (30 per month) and distance travelled (1255) for 2008 this resulted in back pay of £86.76 and travel allowances of £36.40 respectively. This was approved for payment at the May meeting (Proposed Mr McKinley, seconded Mr Norman).


    7. Main Business

    a) Local Business (Dr Hutson). Dr Hutson said that the council should promote the buying of local produce and use of local services. During discussion which showed general enthusiasm, the possibilities of an extra page in What’s On, a Council calendar and use of the Notice Boards were suggested. Mr Gray thought that more information could come out of the Parish Plan survey and together with Mrs Balmer offered to compile a list of businesses for the next meeting.

    b) Parish Plan update. Mr Gray said that there had been ~30% return of completed questionnaires and he was still working on the analysis. He estimated it would take 3–4 months to complete the plan, slightly longer than the original programme date of June.

    c) CORWM letter update. The Clerk said that following despatch of the CORWM letter he had received a telephone call from the Committee secretary saying that it had been received and would be tabled for consideration at the next committee meeting on April 21 st. He was asked for permission for CORWM to copy the letter to HMG, which was given.

    d) Freedom of Information schedule. This was approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr Ancell.The Clerk had sent a copy of the schedule to all councillors and said that a copy would be attached to the minutes and put in the Library; it would also be on the web-site.

    8. Planning Matters. Seven Acres Caravan Site. After some discussion it was agreed that a site visit should be requested as there were concerns about the present layout and the various site amenities. It was unclear what was presently permitted and hence what the changes were.

    9. Correspondence.

     LDNPA – LDF update. Noted – To be copied to all councillors.

     VAC – Renewal of membership. Agreed to renew subscription

     BDO Stayward – Annual ReturnSee Item 6c above

     LDNPA – Planning Surgeries April-June 2009Noted

     LDNPA – Lakes for Living conferenceNoted

     CRUG newsletter Put on circulation

     Info n Commissioner’s Office - Explanatory DVDThe Clerk to assess

     Solicitor – Responsefrom meeting with the Chairman & Clerk. Reported on under Action 5.2 above

     Cumbria Police – The Clerk said he had been contacted by Chief Inspector Greenhow who had promised to progress the queries raised by the council with the Chief Constable regarding the matter of firearms being used in non-security situations eg checking tax discs.

    Police Report. Apologies had been sent by PCW Geer who had e-mailed the report.


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

    11 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Dr Hutson – Asked about the date of the Annual Parish Meeting. After some discussion it was agreed that this would be held immediately prior to the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council on May 13 th.

    Mr Ancell

    a) Reported that Mr Irwin who had for many years provided flowers and maintained the area adjacent to the Playing Field could no longer carry on. The council asked that a suitable letter of thanks should be sent for his past efforts. It was also noted that the area would now have to be added to those maintained under contract by Copeland BC.

    b) Asked about opening times for the toilets and whether they could be kept open for longer in the evenings during Spring/Summer months particularly to accommodate visitors. Mr Norman said he would raise the matter with Mrs Holmes.

    c) Asked what was happening regarding the Globe Hotel. Mr Norman said that he had been told that someone would be taking it over but several rumours were circulating.

    d) Remarked that the new 40 mph limit signs on the A595 were extremely small and could easily be missed. The Clerk was asked to raise the matter with Mr Dell.

    e) Asked about the position regarding a replacement for Mrs Pennington. The Clerk said that the statutory notices had been displayed and he was awaiting information from Copeland BC on whether any candidates had put their names forward. He would hasten a reply.

    Mr Jacob – Asked what progress there had been on the allotments issue. The Clerk said that he had received 1 contact from an interested party. It was suggested that an appropriate message should be put in What’s On to see if there was sufficient interest.


    12 Representatives Reports

    Mr McKinley

     Reported on the meeting attended by himself and The Clerk on Nuclear New-build. While there was substantial support for New-build in principle there was concerned opposition from the residents of the Braystones area. Their main points were that it was unnecessary to sterilise and disrupt a large rural area when the Sellafield site was so close and already possessed the necessary access and infrastructure. There were also serious problems to be addressed regarding the export of electricity from any chosen site to the National Grid due to the inadequacy of the present transmission system. Further meetings/ presentations are to be made by the power companies concerned.

    Drew attention to ‘The Power of Wellbeing’ paper referred to in the CALC circular. He suggested that the summary produced by CALC should be copied to all councillors and it made an agenda item.

    Mr Gray

    Reported on the meeting of the Shadow Partnership (See attached note to these minutes). He also said that he had arranged with a local builder to create a stone enclosure on the carpark to replace one of the wooden tubs – Cost would be of the order of £100.

    Reported on the seminar with The Land Registry (also attended by Mr Norman). It was thought that the registration of the Gravel Pit for the Parish Council was a distinct possibility and it was agreed to make this an agenda item for the next meeting.

    Mr Jacob – Tabled a copy of a letter from RWE (one of the power companies proposing a Nuclear Power Station) which offered to deal with any questions which may arise.

    The Clerk – Reported on the meeting of CALC Executive Committee. CALC now had representatives on the Neighbourhood Watch Management Committee and on the Cumbria Joint Scutiny Committee, both examples enabling the widening of influence of Parish Councils.

    Mr Norman – Tabled the Annual Accounts for the Playing Field committee and drew attention to the fact that Gosforth Show Day had now been moved to a Saturday.

    13 In Camera. None


    There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.25pm.


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