Parish Council Minutes - January 2013

  • Minutes of meeting held 9th January 2013 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.30pm


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

    1. Apologies: MrNorman ( Holiday).

    2. Declarations of interest . None

    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman introduced Mrs Ostle from Mill Farm who had asked to address the council regarding issues surrounding the access road to Bleng Forest. Mrs Ostle said that she did not wish to stop a small number of people from using the (private) road but the number of cars now using it was in her opinion excessive, although she accepted that the information placed in the Newsletter had been useful. It was also pointed out that a significant number of local people had traditionally used the road for some 40+ years without any problem and Parish Council members had received a number of negative comments from people who had been told they could not use the road. The issue appeared to have arisen from the production of a joint plan by the Parish Council, The Forestry Commission and LDNPA, for improving access within the forest, part of which included the upgrading of the present public footpath to a bridleway. Mr Walton said that there had never been any intention to enhance the number of cars using the road and all the advance promotion made clear that the improvements were intended to attract more walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. As there was to be a meeting of the Project Group the following day the Chairman invited Mrs Ostle to attend that meeting and put her case to the group and see if a suitable compromise approach could be worked out. Mrs Ostle agreed to this suggestion.

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 12th December 2012. These were approved (Proposed Mr Gray, Seconded Mr Jacob).

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    Follow up costs with Mr Garner for alternative scheme for Carpark lighting. Action removed pending acquisition of the carpark. Action – The Clerk.

    Produce list of local businesses. Action ongoing. Action – Dr Hutson, Mr Norman, Mr Ancell.

    Discuss with the Carpark Group the provision of a new Tourism Board. Action ongoing. Action - Mr Wright.

    Provide notice for Honesty Box. Action – Mr Wright.Action ongoing.

    Arrange a meeting of the Finance Committee. Action – The Clerk.Action complete.

    Circulate proposals for Newsletter articles to all members. Action complete. Action – Mr Gray.

    Arrange co-option procedure. Action – The Clerk.Action complete – See Item 7a below.

    Provide The Clerk with details of payments for Cycleway Drop-in event. Action ongoing. Action – Mr Gray.

    Contact Copeland E&H Dept ref Playing Field pavilion. Action ongoing. Action – The Clerk.

    Copy letter ref Bleng Forest access to members of the Bleng Forest Project Group. Action – The Clerk.Action complete.

    Check on availability of CCC Flood report and put ‘Emergency Plan’ on agenda. Action – The Clerk.Action complete – Flood report had been delayed until mid-January and see Item 7b for Emergency Plan.

    Bring definitive footpath map to next meeting. Action – Mr Wright.Action complete but more information was required from the CCC Ranger.

    Obtain information on Neighbourhood Planning. Action – The Clerk.Action complete.

    Facilitate the use of salt bins. Action – Mr Norman, The Clerk.Action complete – Bins had been positioned and CCC had been asked to provide salt.

    Update the Library Minute file. Action – The Clerk.Action complete.

    Check state of recycling bins. Action – All members.Action complete - Copeland BC had agreed to resite the cardboard skip.


    6. Financial matters.

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

    b) 2013-14 budget. The Clerk tabled a paper showing a proposed budget. Due to a Government initiative to hold council taxes down, the way in which council tax was now calculated had changed. Bizarrely Parish Council precepts (which were not capped) had to be included within the capped limits on spending of District Councils, the nett effect being to effectively diminish the amount of precept which could be set, without having an adverse effect ie increase) on the Council Tax. The system was complicated and resulted in compensatory grants for council tax relief having to be fed down to individual Parish Councils from Copeland BC.

    He suggested that rather than ring-fencing monies for the Cycleway, Carpark Resurfacing and Repairs from the budget they should be held in the Reserves; that way the precept could be kept at a level slightly lower than the previous year (£19182). This was agreed. Mrs Gallery-Strong said that there was no commitment to an annual safety inspection or for maintenance of the Play Equipment and this needed to be identified. She also said that part of the Play Area funding had been dedicated to supporting the associated maintenance and upkeep of the Play Area and equipment and to this end some transfer of monies from the Play Area account to the Parish Council was necessary. It was agreed that she would discuss this with The Clerk who would then amend the budget sheet as necessary and then circulate it for information.

    Clerk’s Note: Following discussions with Mrs Gallery-Strong it had been agreed that the funds remaining in the Play Area account would be transferred en masse to the Parish Council account and be included within the reserves; the funding for the Play Area inspection and maintenance for 2013-14 would be funded from the reserves. This process meant that the original budget figures including the level of precept tabled at the meeting need not be changed.


    7. Main Business.

    a) Co-option. The Clerk said that he had been having difficulty with obtaining the submission from the third candidate but had spoken to him earlier in the day and expected this in the next day or so. Mr Walton offered to go and see the gentleman concerned if this did not happen. It was agreed that The Clerk would circulate all three submissions with an associated voting plan as soon as they were available or by the end of the week at the latest.

    b) Emergency Plan. It was considered thatbefore the council embarked on any action it should seek guidance and information from both Cumbria CC and Copeland BC.


    8. Representative's reports.

    a) Carpark purchase progress. The Chairman and Clerk reported on their discussions with Copeland BC officers on December 19 th.It was accepted that certain conditions eg. The requirement to continue to operate the premises as a carpark, had to be included within the contract due to HMG rules on asset transfers. However much of the petty detail regarding eg. Toilet opening hours and various maintenance issues were unnecessary and would be written out of the contract. Some associated information was still outstanding but the feeling was that positive progress had been made. An amended contract was now awaited from Copeland BC.


    9. Planning Matters.

    a) Hallsenna - New barn. No objection but The Clerk was asked to ensure that the immediate neighbour was aware of the application and had no objections.

    b) Steelfield Cottage – Extension. There were no objections but Mr Wright was asked to consult the immediate neighbour.

    10 Correspondence.  

    1. Keswick public meeting MRWS. Sent to Nuclear Group.

    2. Sellafield - Changes to policing arrangements. Noted.

    3. Letter R Waite – Land allocation at Walkmill. It was felt that this item needed further consideration and would be brought to the February meeting for discussion.

    4. Note from Mrs Jackson. Mrs Jackson commented that the council should applaud and record the effort of Mr Ancell in drumming up advertising revenue for the Newsletter. This was agreed. She also suggested that in future the council should consider the provision of a Xmas Tree in the village. There was some support for this and it would be considered at the appropriate time.

    5. Cumbria CC – Neighbourhood Forum 10 th January. Noted.

    6. Cumbria CC - Highways matters. The Clerk said that a note from Mr Cosgrove said that work to provide the 20mph speed limit through the village would start in February.



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


    12 Questions Councillors wish to raise.

    Dr Hutson – Noted that engineering work was taking place in the fields at the rear of Meadowfield and asked what was going on. The Clerk said he had not been informed of any intended work and would contact United Utilities.

    Mr Rae – Said that the Action Plan (stemming from the Parish Plan) should be reviewed. This would be included on the next agenda.


    13 In Camera. None.


    There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.30pm.

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