Minutes of meeting held 8th June 2010 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.00pm
Present : Dr Hutson; Messrs. Gray, Jacob, McKinley (Chairman), Norman, Wright; Mrs Jackson, Mrs Gallery-Strong.
1. Apologies: None necessary.
2. Declarations of interest . None
3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman introduced Mr J Hosfield, a member of the public, who drew the council’s attentionto the risks to pedestrians on Gosforth Hill due to the lack of a footway. He suggested that a permissive path should be created within the adjacent field boundaries between The Red Admiral and Steelfield Hall, and while recognising that wayleave agreements would be necessary, said that much of the physical work could be done by Lake District Volunteers. There was support from members for this venture and it was agreed that if the council didn’t do anything there was little chance of it being achieved by any other body. The Chairman said that at the present time the council was heavily involved in several projects and was also 3 members short of a full complement but the suggestion would be fully considered in the near future. Mr Hosfield also suggested that now the council had provided upgraded play equipment for the younger age groups it should perhaps consider the provision of exercise equipment for the senior age group. The Chairman said this would be borne in mind at the next budgeting exercise.
The Chairman told the meeting that he had been successful in being re-elected to the LDNPA as a parish member and thanked all those who had supported his application.
He also wanted to make the council aware of a recent telephone conversation with a member of Seascale Parish Council who wanted to invite him to represent Gosforth Parish Council at a commemorative service being held in Seascale for the June 2 nd 2010 anniversary. He had refused the offer and gave the reasons by stating the council’s agreed policy (See Item 7c in minutes of 13th April 2011) on this matter. Members supported the action taken.
4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 11th May 2011. These were approved (Proposed Mr Norman, seconded Dr Hutson).
5. Actions arising from the minutes.
1. Put Council Communications on June agenda. Action – The Clerk Action complete – See Item 7b below.
2. Follow up costs with Mr Garner for alternative scheme for Carpark lighting. Action ongoing. Action – The Clerk
3. Arrange assessment and repairs of Toilet electrics. Action – Mr Norman Action complete.
4. Reconvene meeting of Footpath Group. (After May Meeting) Action – Mr Wright Action ongoing.
5. Deal with Solicitor ref Playing Field Trust. Action – The Clerk Action complete.
6. Define options for future PAYE and NI contributions. Action – Messrs Norman, McKinley, Wright and The Clerk Action ongoing – The Chairman said that it would also be necessary to review The Clerk’s terms and conditions of service.
7. Liaise with District Auditor ref Annual Return. Action – The Clerk Action complete.
8. Liaise with A-on ref Insurance. Action – The Clerk Action complete.
9. Put Co-option on June agenda. Action – The Clerk Action complete – See Item 7a below.
10. Draft response ref Transport Plan. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk. Action complete – No longer necessary.
11. Reserve places ref A595 Bypass meeting. Action – The Clerk Action complete.
12. Draft response ref Libraries future. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk Agenda Item 7e below.
13. Respond to R Bennett ref meeting with MRWS Partnership. Action – The Clerk Action complete.
14. Respond to LDNPA ref land ownership. Action – The Clerk Action complete.
15. Put Parish Tours on June agenda. Action – The Clerk Action complete – See Item 7c below.
16. Send letters of thanks to W Bailey and Mrs Balmer. Action – The Clerk Action complete.
17. Put Queen’s Jubilee on June agenda. Action – The Clerk Action complete – Se Item 7d below.
18. Consult Mr Melville ref brown information signs . Action – The Clerk Action complete – Mr Melville’s staff had provided information.
6. Financial Matters.
a) Monthly Financial Report. This was approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Dr Hutson).
b) Audit Matters. The Clerk reported on issues raised by the District Auditor regarding the value of council assets. The system of asset valuation had been changed and it was no longer possible to use insurance values as had been done in the past. The new system was illogical as the recorded values did not actually represent real values or the liabilities to the Parish Council, but the rules had to be followed, which had now been done.
7. Main Business
a) Co-option. After discussion it was agreed to co-opt Mr I Rae and Mr Ancell with the 3 rd vacancy held over pending further considerations. The Clerk was asked to write to the parties concerned. The Chairman would talk to Sue Kenwright who it was believed could be interested.
b) Council Communications. The Chairman suggested that this issue should be held over until there was a full council complement. In the meantime an appropriate note would be put in What’s On and The Chairman, Mrs Gallery-Strong and Mrs Jackson would consider the matter further.
c) Parish Tours. The tour for the Western area was on 12 th July. The Chairman said that more details on the tour itinerary would follow from LDNPA.
d) Queen’s Jubilee. It was agreed that the council should be prepared as there had already been a question from The School about a possible collaborative committee. It was suggested that in order to kickstart the process all village organisations should be contacted to seek the level of interest. The Clerk would draft an appropriate letter. Members were asked to forward suggestions of names of organisations to be included to The Clerk.
e) Libraries – future. The Chairman said that in discussions with The Clerk they had considered that this issue was best tackled by involving the full council.
Dr Hutson said that the meeting held in the Library earlier in the afternoon had been well-attended. He outlined several of the points being made to County Council staff present ie: General concern about the possible loss of the Library and its effect on village life; the increasing number of an aging village population who with no public transport who would be unable to travel (eg to Seascale if that Library was kept open) and would be unlikely to use modern ‘electronic books’; the fact that the Library was a centre for rural life and had additional social benefits other than the loan of books, including a contribution to the upkeep of the Public Hall and use as a computer centre and a general meeting place; the Library cost ~ £10000/year to run so any savings made from closure would be minimal in County Council terms – if saving money was the real issue it would be better to close suburban libraries which cost a lot more to run and where public transport was readily available; it was noted that LDNPA had designated Gosforth as a service centre – it had already lost its Post Office and without a Library another ‘Service’ would be unavailable; the use of volunteers to support the Library staff, particularly if this could lead to an extension in opening hours, was not rejected. (On this point Dr Hutson said that it would be in the council’s interest to participate in any pilot study).
Several members questioned the validity of the County Council’s numbers of Library users. Mr Jacob said that a ‘people counter’ rather than the number of books issued would give a far greater footfall. Mrs Jackson said that she borrowed books on behalf of ~60 children. Mrs Gallery-Strong suggested that getting individual children to register would enhance the footfall number. Mrs Jacksion agreed to discuss this point with Library staff. It was agreed that the council would write to Mr Martin (Leader – Cumbria CC) outlining the points raised from the discussion and making a case for maintaining the service.
f) Playing Field – Access (Mr Norman). Mr Norman drew attention to a note circulated by Mrs Gallery-Strong who had highlighted issues brought to light while the new Play Equipment was being installed. Most of the issues were dealt with amicably but it became clear that residents bordering the Playing Field had differing views regarding access to/from their properties via the Field. Mr Norman said that the council should take all necessary steps to ensure that residents were made aware that they had no right of access and that while the council would not seek to prevent use of the existing pedestrian gates onto the Field this was a privilege and not a right. The use of the Field for access to premises by vehicles (except for special circumstances and only then by prior agreement from the council) was forbidden in the interests of the safety of children. The Clerk said that he would like to seek solicitors’ advice on the wording of any correspondence to avoid any possible future aggravation. This was agreed.
Mr Norman also raised the possibility of small children ‘escaping’ from the Play Area and straying out of the Field or onto the road, and suggested extending the existing fencing and providing a gate across the gap by the Telephone Exchange. This was thought a good idea and he offered to get costings for this.
g) Honesty Box. The project was to be taken forward by the Carpark Group and Mr Norman offered to arrange for a concrete plinth to be installed as a preliminary to erecting the stone surround. The Clerk said that he had looked at the stone which had been kindly offered by Mr Ancell and this would be suitable for the purpose.
8. Representative's reports.
Note:A meeting was held on 16 th June with Mr Davies and Mr Millard and appropriate arrangements put in place.
f) Parish Plan. MrGray said that this was almost complete.
g) Public Hall. Mr Jacob said that the Hall committee was investigating the feasibility of installing Solar Panels as both an environmental improvement as well as (hopefully) a running cost reduction.
9. Planning Matters
WSSG Press release. (Agenda Item 8 above).
CGS – Note Playing Field. (Agenda Item 7f).
Drigg PC – Loan of Marquee. A reply from Drigg & Carleton PC refused the loan of the Marquee for the Open Day. The Clerk said he would confirm with Mr Dalton that the one from the Catholic Church was available.
Note: Confirmed since the meeting.
LDNPA – TPO Fell View. (Agenda Item 9).
FWS – Response to Prof Smythe. To be discussed by the Nuclear Group.
F Barker re-write of MRWS Siting Process. (Sent to all members – also to be discussed by the Nuclear Group).
S Kemp – Transport Issues MRWS. To be discussed by the Nuclear Group.
PCSO Bradley. The Clerk said that PCSO Bradley could not attend due to illness but had sent a report referring to the parking problems in Gosforth Gate. All residents had been contacted and the situation (and rules) explained. With 1 exception all had been co-operative. That resident had been issued with a fixed penalty notice for failing to comply with his request not to park in a dangerous manner.
S Brightman – Request to use Public Hall for exhibition. It was agreed that nothing had changed which would cause the council to change from following the policy regarding such events and the request was refused. The Clerk was asked to respond accordingly.
Brown Signs response. Mr Melville had provided the associated documents. It was agreed to bring to the attention of the County Council that there was no opportunity in the process for Parish Councils to be consulted.
Geology Seminar – 20 th June. It was agreed that members of the Nuclear Group would attend.
CVS Financial Services. To be considered under Action 5.6 above.
11 Public Participation. There were no members of the public present at this point.
12 Questions Councillors wish to raise. None.
13 In Camera. None.
There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.40pm.