Parish Council Minutes - April 2014

  • Minutes of meeting held 9th April 2014 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.30pm


    Present : Dr Hutson; Messrs. Gray, Jacob, McKinley (Chairman), Norman, Parker, Walton, Wright.


    1. Apologies: Mr Rae, Mr Ancell, Mrs Gallery-Strong.


     2. Declarations of interest . Mr Jacob declared an interest (as a member of Copeland BC planning panel) in Item 9b and left the room during the discussion. Mr Gray declared an interest (as a Director of SASRA) in Item 8b.


     3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman said that due to his workload for LDNPA he had decided not to seek re-election as Chairman of the Parish Council for the forthcoming year and hence this would be his last meeting as Chairman.

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 12 th March 2014. These were approved (Proposed Mr Wright, seconded Mr Walton).


     5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    1. Check with LDNPA if PC’s are informed about planning appeals. Action – Mr McKinley.

    Action ongoing – Mr McKinley had discovered that the system for informing Parish Councils was inconsistent and he had asked for clarification.

    2. Discuss carpark land ownership issues with Copeland solicitor. Action – The Clerk. Action ongoing – See Item 7a below.

    3. Obtain more information on use of social media for council communications. Action – Mr Walton.

    Action complete – Mr Walton said that his analysis of the use of social media was that there were significant penalties in terms of PC time and resources which had to be balanced against any accrued benefits. It was agreed that the Parish Council should not go down this route at the present time.

    4. Check out suitability of oak tree for replacement. Action – Mr Gray, Mr Jacob.

    Action complete – Tree replaced.

    5. Forward response from CALC ref Minutes. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete.

    6. Contact Community Police ref parking on Meadowfield. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete – Mr Jacob would raise the issue of enforcement with Copeland BC; The Clerk would discuss the matter with Mr Clarkson.

    7. a) Seek legal advice on Pavilion Lease interpretation.

    Action complete – Reply awaited.

    b) Write letters of thanks to outgoing Secretary & Chairman of the Playing Fields Committee,

    Action complete. Action – The Clerk.

    8. Assess financial risks to PC should management involvement with the Pavilion become necessary.

    Action ongoing. Action – The Finance Committee.

    9. Respond to Copeland BC ref Planning application for Silverdale. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete.

    10. Make arrangements with Copeland BC to remove large tree on carpark. Action – The Clerk.

    Action complete- final details on timing being discussed.


     6. Financial matters


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


    b) Audit and Annual Return. The Clerk said that the relevant papers had been received from the District Auditor. It was his intention to present the Annual Return at the May 14th meeting.



    7. Main Business

    a) Transfer of Carpark progress. (The Transfer Contract and the Lease-back of the recycling facilitypapers had been sent with the agenda). The Clerk updated the council on the current state of play. He had some concerns with the documentation provided by the Land Registry which would need to be discussed with the council’s and CBC solicitors. There were several issues within the Contract and the Lease which may need amendment such as details of management of the toilets and the provision of water and it was therefore agreed that all members would read the 2 documents and send any comments to him by Friday 18 th April. He would then arrange a meeting with the solicitors for clarification.

    b) Management of overseas nuclear fuel – Decc consultation. The Clerk said that Decc had decided to consult on how best to deal with a quantity of material, mainly nuclear fuel from overseas contracts. It was extremely unlikely that this could be reprocessed and would need storage at Sellafield for the foreseeable future. It was agreed that the Nuclear Group would discuss the matter and respond accordingly.

    8. Representative's reports

     Cycleway. Mr Gray updated the council on the position. The planning application had been lodged and Mr Melville was dealing with any subsequent questions from Copeland BC.

     Playing Field situation. Mr Norman said that he and Mrs Gallery-Strong had progressed the various issues with the Rugby Club and there was now common ground to work more effectively.

    Some issues of maintenance had still to be clarified and the legal advice (Ref Action – 5.7a) was awaited which would assist in this.


    9. Planning Matters

     a) Bolton Head Farm sign – 7/2014/4018. No objection.

    b) Wind Turbines at Ponsonby & Drigg. Mr Norman said thatin his opinion both Parish Councils should be supported in their objection to these developments. In both cases the turbines were close to the Gosforth parish boundary and overlooked a substantial area of the parish. In the case of the turbines proposed for Church House Farm, Ponsonby, their height would be greater than the old Windscale Pile towers. The Chairman reminded members that one of the main reasons for the refusal of the NIREX proposal was the adverse impact it would have had on the local landscape including its setting adjacent to the National Park. The Sellafield complex was far more intrusive when that decision was made than it is today as substantial elements such as the Calder Hall cooling towers and one of the Pile chimneys had been demolished. Mr Gray proposed, seconded by Dr Hutson that the council should object to both developments and it was agreed that The Clerk would provide suitable letters of objection.

    c) Log Cabin development at Craemar(7/2013/4074). The Clerk reported that this had been approved.


    10 Correspondence.


    CORWM – Notice of meeting at Workington on MRWS 30 th April. The Nuclear Group would attend.

     Sellafield – Notice of meeting to update local parishes on ongoing events. Mr Norman and The Clerk would attend.

     LDNPA – Notice of parish forum at Thirlmere 23 rd April. The chairman and The Clerk would attend.

     Cumbria Playing Fields Association. Notice that this organisation had been dissolved.

     CALC Circular. Sent to all councillors.



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


    12 Questions Councillors wish to raise.


    Mr Gray

    Asked whether the council had any interest in supporting a combined Drigg/Seascale/Gosforth newsletter; a proposal being put forward by Mr Preece. The Chairman suggested that this would be best dealt with by inviting Mr Preece to meet with the council, probably at the June meeting.

    Note; Since the meeting a letter from Mr Preece describing his proposal has been received and copied to all members.

    - Said that the interior of the toilets were in dire need of decoration and questioned whether this could be done. The Clerk was asked to get some estimates.

    - Regarding Broadband said that there was now a separate budget available for certain ‘eligible’ businesses, and he would circulate the list for information.


    Dr Hutson – Asked whether there was a policy for what was displayed on the Notice Boards. He drew attention to a full-sized advert. Mr Gray said he had put it up for information. The Clerk said as far as he was aware there was no policy, but providing essential Parish Council information was not masked he could see no reason to bar other local information.


    Mr Jacob – Said that the recent Table-top sale generated ~£175 for the Public Hall.


    Mr Walton – Referred to an article in the CALC Circular which advised local councils to have individual e-mail addresses (cf. using The Clerk’s home address which was the norm). The Clerk said he would bear this in mind and consider the options.


    Mr McKinley – Asked the council members to consider what the future of the Toilets should be, assuming the present transfer arrangements were concluded successfully. He described how South Lakes PC had taken over several public toilets and carparks from SLDC to prevent closure. They had introduced a charging scheme (as had also LDNPA) which substantially reduced the financial burden on the Parish Council and suggested this was worth further debate – say at the June meeting.

    13 In Camera. None.



    There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.15 pm.



    Back to main page