Parish Council Minutes - August 2012

  • Minutes of meeting held 8th August 2012 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.00pm


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

     1. Apologies: Mr Rae.

     2. Declarations of interest . None

     3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman introduced Rachel Kendrick who gave a summary of the funding situation for the Cycleway. The estimated total project cost was ~£800K of which some £150K had been secured. Applications had been made for funding the difference. Mr Gray said that the County Council would project manage, build, and maintain the cycleway as part of the Sustrans network. A project overview would be available shortly.

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 11th July 2012. Mr Walton pointed out that the date for commencement of the Bleng Bridges was 20 th and not 26 th August. With this amendment the minutes were approved (Proposed Dr Hutson, seconded Mr Walton)

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

     Write to Mr Leighton with request for assistance with the Steelfield to Boonwood footpath project. Action – Mr Rae, The Clerk

    Action complete – An acknowledgement had been received with a note to say that the scheme would be included for consideration.

     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 ongoing. Action – Mr Norman, The Clerk.

    Produce list of local businesses. Action – Dr Hutson.

    Action ongoing – Mr Ancell and Mr Norman agreed to liaise with Dr Hutson to finalise the list.

    Contact Copeland BC ref footpath on carpark. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete.

    Write letters of thanks to members of Jubilee Committee. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete.

    Assess Copeland BC LDF. Action – Mr McKinley.

    Action complete – Document to be kept on file.

    Put Village Care on next agenda. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete – See Item 7f below.

    Consider ways of involving members of the public with Village Care.

    Action complete – See Item 7f below. Action – ALL Councillors.

    Consider possible suggestions for editorial assistance with the Newsletter. Action complete – See Item 8 below. Action – ALL Councillors.

    Put Purchase of Carpark on next agenda. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete – See Item 7b below.

    Prepare resolution on Council meeting start times. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete – See Item 7a below.


    6. Financial Matters.

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

    b) Resolution -"That the Parish Council increases its contribution to the ring-fenced cycleway fund to £1,000". (Mr Gray).

     The resolution was seconded by Mr Jacob and agreed unanimously.


    7. Main Business.

    a) Resolution to amend Standing Order No 12 to read: “Meetings of the Council shall normally be held at Gosforth Public Hall Supper Room at 7.30pm”.

    This was passed unanimously. 

    b) Purchase of the Carpark. The associated documents were still on circulation. The Chairman asked that all members should read the terms outlined and send any comments to The Clerk. Feedback to date was that the advice of a solicitor should be sought as the main document was full of legalese; also it appeared that Copeland BC wanted to sell the carpark but retain control which was unacceptable. The item would be put on the next meeting agenda.

    c) Adoption of new Code of Conduct. (The Clerk). The Clerk said that the deadline for adoption of the code had been extended. He would send out relevant papers to all councillors in the next few days and adoption of the code would be on the September agenda.

    d) Changes to Waste Collection system. (Consultation Paper sent to all councillors). It was agreed that Ms Fisher ( Copeland BC Waste Management) should be asked to attend a public meeting towards the end of the month – The Clerk to arrange.

    e) Should Gosforth Parish Council join the Mid-Copeland Parish Partnership Group? (Mr D Gray). Mr Gray outlined his reasoning why the Parish Council should rejoin the group, primarily that it gave access to various officers and information which could be of benefit to the parish. Mr Walton said that the meeting he had attended had been very useful and revealed that it was probable that seats on the Sellafield Site Stakeholders’ Group would in future be allocated to the Partnership and the Parish Council could be bypassed. The Chairman reminded the meeting why the Parish Council had resigned from the Partnership** – a unanimous council decision at the time. He said that as far as he was aware there had been no earlier decision by, nor earlier request made, to the Parish Council to amend the PC’s relationship with Mid-Copeland, though he was aware that Mr Gray had attended some Mid-Copeland meetings, which in his opinion was in contravention of a previously agreed council position. He added further that as far as he could see the Partnership was still not fulfilling its original terms of reference and there was a distinct danger – forecast at the time of the resignation – of effectively another tier of beauracracy being introduced which would diminish the effectiveness of the Parish Council. A subsequent vote resulted in a 7 for, 1 against result, with 2 abstentions.

    NOTE: ** There was some confusion regarding the terms ‘5-Rivers’ and ‘Mid-Copeland’. At the time of the Parish Council resignation the group had been known by the original name chosen by its members, namely ‘5-Rivers’, although the Mid- Copeland label was also increasingly used interchangeably before that time following the formation of both the North Copeland and South Copeland partnerships. Subsequently Copeland BC referred to 5-Rivers as ‘Mid-Copeland’ as that fitted its own Localism agenda for designating the various areas within Copeland. Following Gosforth PC’s resignation it has since been referred to as ‘Mid-Copeland’.

    f) Village Care – the future. Mr Gray and Mr Ancell reported that there had been a good response to the suggestion for members of the public to ‘ Adopt a Bench’ with 8 out of the 11 being adopted to date. During discussion it was suggested that it should be clarified to anyone adopting a seat that they were not solely responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the seat and the amount of their involvement was up to them. If they felt that repairs or maintenance was necessary they should bring this to the attention of the Parish Council. Mr Gray said that a survey of the benches showed that 6 out of 11 required some repair work and 1 would possibly require scrapping. The Clerk was asked to have this bench (on Meadowfield) assessed professionally. It was noted that a member of the public was placing flowers in the ladies’ toilet area.

    g) Tourist Notice Boards on Carpark (Mr Gray). Mr Gray drew attention to the state of the various tourist boards, some of which were out of date and some in poor condition. There was uncertainty on the ownership or responsibility for maintaining some of the boards and Mr Wright took an action to clarify the situation.


    8. Representatives Reports.

    Dr Hutson – Reported back on a meeting with Sellafield Site officers which outlined the various measures being put in place to enhance Sellafield Site security. These included double security fencing, removal of as many personnel as possible from the site to alternative workplaces, an aim (by 2014) to prevent site access to all forms of vehicle, and greater use of the rail service. One consequence of this was that huge new carparks would have to be provided at the Calder and Main Gate entrances and that traffic flow patterns would change substantially. Parish Council representatives pointed out the potential consequencies of blocking of local carparks and the necessity to improve the A595, particularly from Calderbridge to Gosforth, which was noted by those present. Further meetings were planned.

    Mrs Jackson – Said that in discussion with the Newsletter editor it had been suggested that an amalgamation of the production with Seascale PC could result in benefits, particularly in the area of advertising. As a result she sought the feeling of the council on whether it would consider this measure. The response was that amalgamation would lose the individual identity of each parish which was felt to be important and at this time the council wished to produce its own newsletter. Mrs Jackson also said that for a variety of reasons she was having difficulty in devoting time to the newsletter and asked that the production be reduced from 4 to 3 per year. This was agreed. The Clerk asked that subsequent print runs be increased from 600 to 650.


    9. Planning Matters.

    a) Crofthead (Whitecroft) – 2 storey extension. No objection.

    (Mr Gray subsequently visited the neighbours who had no objections)

    b) Blennerhazel – Extension of living accommodation. The Parish Council expressed its support for the proposal.

    c) The Clerk reported that approval by Copeland BC had been given to the application to cover over an old silage pit at Fleming Hall.


    10 Correspondence.


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


    12 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Mr Ancell – Raised the matter of the status of the footpath alongside The Nursery and its use by dog-walkers. The Clerk said that strictly this was not a public footpath although it had been used as such for generations and there had been no restriction placed on that situation. However the land was owned by the Church/ School and they could put up whatever notices they wished. Officially the area was not a designated Dog Exclusion Zone but the legal responsibility for owners to clear dog faeces prevailed in all areas of the parish.

    Mr Norman – Raised the issue of liaison with Sellafield Ltd and NDA. He thought relations had deteriorated and increasingly the Parish Council was being ignored. It was agreed that this matter should be discussed at a future meeting.


    13 In Camera. None.


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

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